Hidden 5 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Jarl Coolgruuf
Raw
Avatar of Jarl Coolgruuf

Jarl Coolgruuf The Mellower

Member Seen 41 min ago

Maréngo watched the other party members start to file out and decided to make his own exit. He gave a friendly nod to Skarsat as he stood and wiped a bit of grease from the pheasant with his hand which he wiped on the side of his pant leg.
"Be seein' you tomorrow then. Don't go breaking anything you can't pay for and you," he said pointing at Neh'miah with a smirk, "don't steal anything else you can't get away with before we set off."
He smiled at the both of them and chuckled before making his way back downstairs and into the main area of the tavern, but not before having Percy jot down a list of what he'd want for the journey; just a few odds and ends. With that, Maréngo rejoined the festivities. The celebration was in full swing and he would be severely disappointed in himself if he woke up with coin in his pocket. He might very well meet his god in the next few weeks so he would live like he was dying tomorrow as he did every day. No one takes coin with them past the grave so what good is holding on to every bit of it you touch? No good at all. Which is exactly why the sailor went straight to the top shelf and shared a bottle with a table of fellow seamen all equally as loud and burly as he. Such a fine icebreaker as passing around a bottle of master brewed cabernet warmed them up to his company right away.
"And where have you been all night, friend?"
The question came from a man with a golden hoop in one ear who gave a hearty laugh as he drank straight from the bottle before passing it along to the next man in line. Maréngo grinned as he watched the bottle circle back to him. He grabbed the neck and took a long swig, finishing the last of the bottle before slamming it back down on the table.
"Me? I've been waiting for a group of fine men to drink and tell stories with!"
A cheer went up around the table as mugs and horns smacked together.

=========


The festival carried on and before long Maréngo was thoroughly tipsy. His boisterous and animated way of telling his stories had started to attract the attention of other patrons.
"--And the wave brushed the heavens as the water swallowed the galleon whole like a monstrous shark!" He stretched his hands to the ceiling of the tavern as his voice rose. "And then crashed down on our ships with all the fury of the Kraken!"
The excitement in the small gathering around him only swelled as he brought his arms down on a tiny imaginary ship. He swayed a bit as he reached for a mug of ale on a table beside him and brought it to his lips, spilling a bit as he set it back down.
"Everything went black as I spun in a storm of water and wreckage. I had no way to know which way was up and only by pure luck and the will of the Lord of the Seas did I see a flash of lightning to my left." He clapped his hands together for emphasis. "I kicked off what I thought to be a mast and swam for all I was worth. My lungs burned like heated shot as I kicked and clawed at the black water. It seemed like I'd never make it."
His face fell as he clutched at his own shirt and it was easy to hear the despair in his voice; in another life he would've made a great living in the theater. The crowd was on the edge of their seats when all at once he rose up tall and proud with his chest out and a gleam in his eyes.
"But then my hand broke through the deep and I felt the howling wind on my fingers! I was alive but for how much longer? I grabbed tight to a piece of floating wreckage and looked around. I seemed to be the only survivor but I was far from safe. I called out to Lord Leathe and begged for the life of this lowly acolyte. I clung to the wreckage for hours and beseeched my god until my throat was raw and soon my prayers were answered. I was carried right into the eye of the monstrous storm which was right over a small archipelago. I swam for all I was worth and came ashore shivering and near dead. Barely a moment of rest did I have before the storm closed back around me. I don't know how or when I managed to fall asleep but I opened my eyes to this world and not the next. I was still alive, but only just! I spent two weeks drinking the blood of sea animals and eating turtle meat near raw until I was rescued but I survived, didn't I!?"
The group cheered and Maréngo downed the rest of his ale. He grinned as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and looked around. The night was growing long in the tooth and he thought he might like to retire… with company of course. He left the group after a final toast and moved on to find a lovely lady or two to keep him warm later that night. If not, there was always plenty of drink left to warm his guts and help him to sleep.
2x Like Like
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Fetzen
Raw
Avatar of Fetzen

Fetzen

Member Online

Skarsat


Skarsat stayed in the room for a little longer and in spite of the fact that his eating speed was on the fast side of things already. There simply was no excuse for leaving any of the food provided behind unconsumed and that was not simply because he was used to food being sparse in the Tork homeland, but because it actually tasted so good. The same could not be said for the wine though, so he really had to resist the temptation to dump it onto the floor, thereby saving any potential successors from having to drink it.

Later on, he found himself in his assigned quaters. A small stool had been positioned at one end of his bed and a pillow put down on top of it. A quite makeshift extension to accomodate his size, but it was sufficient and not uncomfortable. To his surprise, Nora had neither ordered him to stay awake for the night nor given any instructions about waking the others in the morning. That was a bit of a dilemma situation: On one hand he was happy about the extra time he could spend sleeping, on the other hand he'd really have liked to roar a certain subset of people out of their beds early in the morning.

As he had laid down with the window open in order to allow some of the fresh rain air to come in, Skarsat thought about what additional supplies he might need. The most important item: More arrows. Very large arrows. And maybe some cheap pieces of cloth that could serve as a makeshift bandage. Expecting not to be injured on this kind of endeavour was foolish at best, lethal at worst. Some rope would be good, too. Maybe the others thought that he'd rather tear the wall down instead of scaling it, but in fact even he was able to move vertically.

Slowly, Skarsat fell into an uneasy sleep. He felt a little more worried about the people than the actual task, but there still was plenty of opportunity left for anyone to prove him wrong.
2x Like Like
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Arkitekt
Raw
GM
Avatar of Arkitekt

Arkitekt Weaver of Webs, Collector of Souls

Member Seen 1 day ago




Guillan, Early Morning
Weather: Sunny


The sun shined brightly as it rose over the port city of Guillan, as if to signify some grand new beginning had taken place. A welcoming sign after the last few days of rain, though the rains did little to hinder the patrons of the city from their festivities which lasted well into the early morning. Only just now had the majority of them finally put themselves to rest, while there were still a few stragglers trying to keep the party alive until the next evening ramped up once more. Those too, who worked nightly hours and those just coming in from the sea all welcomed the early morning drink. The festival of the Crescents was perhaps the most favored event of the year and everyone seemed to make the very most of these three days. Guillan was usually already bustling by this hour but it was at a slow and crippled crawl presently. This was a festival of perseverance, and all fell prey to the slumber and grog, sooner or later...
It was already very warm and was expected to be sweltering later on, not to mention all the rain they had just received. It was a beautiful day none the less, and the humidity would hardly be noticed once half into a bottle. Cockatoos and parrots were already clucking at the morning rays, as hundreds of seagulls eagerly swooped to pick at the discarded fruits and treats that had dropped down to the cobbles. A beautiful chaos enjoyed by many an early shore walker, and very convenient for the city considering the the amount of discarded waste. Several ships of new arrivals were expected throughout the day, as well as several vessels containing cargo and provisions to relieve the stress of the festivities and fend off gaps of the availability of food items, and more importantly, the spirits. People flocked to the city from all over the continent and most of the surrounding island chains for the festival, and was perhaps the best three days for the economy and commerce out the entire year, so all the tourism was welcomed and encouraged.

Percival had left before first light to deliver Vargas's request down to the quartermaster at the docks and charter the ship and captain, who was seemingly at leisure for Vargas to call upon whenever he wished to, and was his man through and through. Percival admired Vargas's knack for retaining so many individuals with that level of devotion and loyalty, but he was always quickly reminded that it was all paid for, generously at that. He took a moment to stay by the docks and soak up the first rays of the morning before returning to the tavern to prepare a hearty breakfast before the party's departure. It was a pleasant few moments, which was a rarity for him at the tavern. Along the way he was to also stop by and schedule a private appointment with the dockside market. In Guillan, if you had enough coin you could do such things, and this private viewing was not uncommon to the markets, and was often done by nobility and other prominent people to avoid prying eyes and pickpockets. He also retrieved a vendor list for the day for the party. He also requested all the items that Neh'miah had asked for to be delivered to the tavern immediately. Yet again he was impressed with the power attached to Vargas's name, and to his coin...






The dock workers and ship hands start working diligently upon payment, loading the supplies and rations for the expedition. The men were hearty and used to the labor, and would make quick work of the list and would be fully loaded before their departure with ample time to spare before the party would arrive. They would then shift to prepare the vessel and it's riggings for the departure. Decks would be freshly swabbed, sails checked, lists would be gone through, then gone through again. Taking to the seas was a major endeavor, and it was not advised to sail if one were ill prepared. The sea was no place to be stranded or without all the necessary equipment. It would be bad enough for the individual, but multiply that by an entire crew and well, you get the picture... all sorts of problems begin to pile up, exponentially. Starvation within days, and those that turn to eating the flesh of other men when things get desperate. One would be better to take one's own pistol to their head and save themselves the despair. Percival shuddered to think about it, and was content with his station at the tavern. All affairs seemed to be in order, so long as the party adhered to the schedule everything would be in accord with the day's plans, though that would be a feat in itself.



The Faded Lantern, around seven...


The items requested from the markets were delivered promptly as Percival was in the middle of setting the table for the party to eat breakfast before their departure. He had set them in a meeting room as to not be disturbed by any of the other patrons. The kitchen staff had prepared quail eggs, sweet pork sausage links, freshly made biscuits and hot breads, fruit tarts and a basket of fresh fruits, including oranges, grapes, persimmons, plumbs, and melons sliced to eat. The aroma filled the hallway as the servers brought it to the table, right on schedule. For everything that the Faded Lantern lacked in, the kitchen and it's staff were to make up for the lot of it. No finer food could be found in the slums, or the docks, and was a little known secret to those who did not wish to congregate with the likes of those who frequented the district, and it could be said that perhaps that was the way that they liked it. Percival made his way down to to accept the goods and to take them to Neh'miah's room. He knocked briskly upon the door and made mention of his parcel and then went back to his duties with preparing for the party's departure. He still needed to divvy out their allotted coin and separate them all, with a small care package of sweet breads and dried plums...
1x Like Like
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Fetzen
Raw
Avatar of Fetzen

Fetzen

Member Online

Skarsat


Skarsat's sleep, at least this night, could be considered a very deep one for sure. Had the encounter with Vargas and his 'entourage' of parfumed women drained all of that well-trained Tork hardship out of him, or had the wine he had poured down so aggressively just to get done with its bad taste flushed away his general wariness ? Or, maybe, had the prolonged exposure to the comforts of the east made him soft so he could just drop dead onto a big bed instead of having to care about wild animals and the tribe's decision to get moving in the middle of the night ?

Whatever it was, Skarsat currently lacked the motivation to care about when he woke up. He bumped his head against one of the ceiling's supporting beams as he tried to raise to his full height and rubbed his scalp. No blood shed, but a reason to look forward to sleep under a free night's sky again. Through the blurry mess that was his vision right after wakeup, Skarsat could see a mistake he had made hours earlier: leave the window open when there were festivities going on! Pidgeons, seagulls and other birds who had accustomed themselves to the busy life of Guillan had happily accepted the opportunity to sit down and relax instead of having to search for food while flying. Had their wing flaps and cooing caused him to wake up ? Maybe.

A lot worse however was the fact that birds were clever beings who tended to toss any surplus weight overboard before taking off, so the window's ledge, the wall and the floor right next to the window on the inside were littered with the occasional bit of poo. One of those birds even still dared to sit on the ledge and stare down at what remained of the festivity's remains! What would Percy say if he'd be delivered a pidgeon for cooking with its head torn off ? Skarsat realized it had only potential to turn over some of the other people's stomachs while creating even more of a mess around the window, so he abandoned the thought quickly. Still the bird found itself pushed away from the ledge not exactly gently -- and the window shut behind it with a loud bang.

A staircase's abundant creaking announced the tork man's approach and, with a facial expression that told a story about some unfinished sleep, sat down at the place of his choice: near the wall with not that many chairs adjacent to it. A few people were okay, but he did not like things overcrowded. Percival was busy as if the man had not slept at all. What kind of jobs had the poor man already had on his list ? If he was looking forward to this weird party's departure one could hardly blame him, could one ?

Skarsat collected a few smallre fruits, some eggs and a large piece of bread. Doing so he spotted a piece of parchment apparently laid out for them: the Bazaar vendors ? Good to know. Skarsat could see little use in buying some exotic birds or other pets before departure, but some additional arrows and provisions could definitely come in handy.
2x Like Like
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Atrophy
Raw
Avatar of Atrophy

Atrophy Meddlesome Kid

Member Seen 5 hrs ago





Solange - The Faded Lantern



It would raise too many questions to leave the Red Sail with packed bags. Solange spent the night with the chair jammed underneath the doorknob, worried that her sister would wise up and try to convince her to stay or, worse, flap her gums and prompt unwanted attention to turn her way. Even after the jambori had settled down and the music stopped, Solange hardly slept, drifting off only to jump alert at the sound of footsteps passing by her room as some overnight guest struggled to find the loo. The night dragged on for what felt like an eternity, and she slipped out at first light to the Faded Lantern, lugging two packs brimming with dresses, journals, and alchemical supplies. She had heard enough horror stories from the sailors she’d slept with to squirrel away a few extra days worth of rations for herself, too. Knowing her luck she doubted it’d be a smooth sail.

It was already sweltering even though the sun’s golden rays had just begun to crest above the bay. Solange tugged at her collar and huffed, shifting the weight of the packs to try and ease her burden as she passed by the handful of sleeping revellers that’d failed to party until dawn. She imagined that most of their pockets had been picked clean by now, and the strain of the bags made her not want to dawdle. She quickened her pace and entered the Faded Lantern, abandoning her bags to Percival as quickly as she could. Secreted away in one of her hidden pockets was an itemized list of what she’d packed. She figured ol’ Percy lacked the guts to try and snag a tip, but she would rather play it safe.

A delectable aroma wafted from the meeting room and Solange felt her stomach rumble at the cornucopia set out for their band of rascillions. However, as difficult as it was to not satiate her appetite immediately, it was even more difficult to not notice the large Tork man despite his efforts to try and blend in with the wall decorations. It appeared that he was the only one to have arrived so far besides her. A devious smile flashed across Solange’s face. How perfect! It was difficult to pull the strong, silent type out of their shell while in a loud setting. Alone, he had no choice but to be wrapped up in her web.

“Good morning, darling! I am pleased to see that you felt no reservation in helping yourself to the food this morning,” said Solange.

Her hand flicked out and snagged the back of a chair, the leg scraping across the floor like an alarm harbinging the end times for Skarsat’s wallflower days. Solange sat down far enough as to not immediately burst his bubble, but close enough so that looking at the floor would be the only way to escape her presence. She sat with her legs crossed, her billowing dress slit just above the knee, and fingers idly playing with the strings on her bodice as she locked eyes with Skarsat.

“Sleep well, I hope? Did they ever get you that hammock? I was so excited I could hardly rest. I’m sorry I did not have more time to get to know you last evening, but you didn’t strike me as the type of man who’d enjoy playing dress-up—at least not with your superior in the room,” said Solange, her lip curling into a warm smile. “Of course I am referring to that Zherpa woman, my dear. I might be Lord Vargas’s business partner, but that doesn't mean you and I aren’t equals. If there is anything that you need, please do not hesitate to ask.”

“Believe me, love, I’ve been told that advice is the third best thing that I give. I’ll leave the other two up to your imagination...for now,”
she said, standing to peruse the food. “Would you like another plate, dear?”
4x Like Like
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Milkman
Raw

Milkman

Member Seen 16 hrs ago




Neh’miah He’ron


Location: The Faded Lantern

The quality of the food presented by the self-entitled lord surprised the young thief. He didn’t expect lord Vargass to waste such a fine selection of meat on the lowlifes like them. For a moment Neh’miah wondered why their financial benefactor had presented them this feast. It almost felt like this was intended as their last supper.

Neh’miah’s eyes went across the table as he watched how the others gobbled down the food. Manners were certainly not everyone’s strong suit, not that it mattered much. They weren’t gathered around this table to impress each other with their refinements after all. No, the table manners we're not the things that would make a difference. It was the skillset of each individual gathered that mattered.

Neh’miah watched how Vargass and Solage interacted. Those two certainly had a peculiar relationship. Were they truly on the same page? Or where they just dance around each other pretending to be partners. If they were not, Solage seemed to be in a huge risk of overplaying her hand.

The young thief was about to leave the table when he heard Marengo’s remark about stealing. ”Ha, as if there is anyone worth stealing from among the sorry lot that gathers here” Replied Neh’miah joyfully as he was making his way to the bar where he would spend his hard earn coin on food and wine for all the beautiful ladies that were willing to put up with his ramblings about his antics and adventures from the past, present and those who would still had to come.

Drunk from all the wine and far deeper into the night then intended Neh’miah stumbled towards his quarter in the tavern. As he fell down on the bed he noticed how bad the world was spinning. Laying on the soft sheets felt like he was on a galleon in the middle of an autumn storm. Not that the thief actually knew how it was to be on a ship, let alone in a storm. As the first lights of day entered through the window, Neh’miah fell into a sleep so deep, that even the knocking on the door by Percival did not wake him up.

2x Like Like
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Fetzen
Raw
Avatar of Fetzen

Fetzen

Member Online

Skarsat


It had not taken long for Skarsat to start enjoying the overly abundant plethora of food The Faded Lantern had to offer, although it seemed rather obvious to the Tork man that this offer was much more a special one than what any everyday guest could hope for. How much all of this would have cost if ordered by ordinary people without an assignment as critical as theirs ? Or rather: How much this Lord Vargas secretly subtracted from their reward for all of this ? Skarsat had a hard time imagining that their employer would not have calculated all of this very thoroughly, from what was on the table to the very rooms they had slept in this night.

On the other hand... if he had been nothing more than an ordinary guest this morning, Skarsat might have had it easier to just try and talk his money back out of the innkeeper's pockets, claiming that the overall atmosphere was... unpreferable and inappropriate. Or at least so it felt for him the moment Solange started her verbal siege. A piece of egg was still hanging out of a corner of his mouth as the hulking Tork raised his head, just looking at the woman -- with surprise at first, but quickly with rather obvious unhappyness that could hardly be explained by some residual morning groggyness.

Darling ? Reservation in helping himself ? Skarsat's thoughts could be summarized as follows: 'Erm... what?'. There were no such words in a Tork tribe, and right now he could just hope that there never would, even if his current judgement probably did those kind words great unjustice because it was Solange and her special way of expressing them that bothered him right now.

Since Tork tribes had come into existence they had found many phenomenons on, above and below their heated sands that they had found hard or impossible to explain, so many desert myths had formed over the ages. At some point one had found out that large grooves in the dunes were caused by nothing else than rocks being pushed around by violent gusts of wind, but that discovery had been too late to prevent the creation of a particularly nasty myth: the one of the great snails. Not great because people had liked them, but because they had been said to have been so abormously large that people had feared them.

Just like your ordinary snail, those creatures had allegedly been omnivores that had satisfied their large appetite by use of a radula. Not only had it been claimed that they had been able to cause disaster for a tribe by eating away all of the fruits a much needed oasis had to offer, but they had even been given the ability to attack any unwary wanderer directly. In your sleep they'd come at you at their shameful pace, slide aover your body, suffocate you with their weight while grinding away your skin at the same time.

Solange's words just seemed to do the same thing. That woman was a very good big snail impersonator. Unfortunately deploying any of the countermeasures a tribe would have had to offer against such a hypothetical threat would have caused big trouble for himself. So there was no other choice but to stand fast and bear all of it.

"Have you ever tried bare silence ? Maybe that's the best or second best thing you can give ?" No smile and no grin either. Skarsat's words were pretty dry, but even that already was the result of filtering out the negative emotions he currently had. "And handing me that plate over there certainly is the other thing, right ?" Now he tried to put up a slight smile, but whether it would have success and not come across as a pretty forced thing was to be questioned. He did not want to start an argument with Solange or anyone else right on the first morning, but he felt no need to hide his true feelings all too excessively either.

"A big man needs big food. That large plate, please." and he pointed to a pretty big one filled to the brim with bread, cheese and bacon.
2x Like Like 2x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Rapid Reader
Raw
Avatar of Rapid Reader

Rapid Reader

Member Seen 4 days ago


Nora




Nora stepped into the meeting with the faintest hint of a frown as she saw the mountain of food arrayed across the table. Vargas was drowning with water. Only a man so heavy with excess would think to waste so much on food. The softness of the city dwellers, the endless water they possessed without thought, filled her with a familiar current of irritation. What a great mystery it was that such a weak people could rule over such a broad range of land.

The Zherpanian bandit offered a brief nod to Skarsat and Solange as she sat down at the table. Dressed to the nines despite the early hour, she was wrapped in cloth and armor with freshly sharpened weapons on her hips. Her mind already on the lengthy voyage ahead of them. There was much to plan. There was much to prepare for. And there were as many problems to anticipate as there were stars in the sky. She filled her plate thoughtfully, deliberately choosing from the freshest fruits and meats laid atop the table. Nora knew well how quickly fresh food became rare on an expedition. She would relish what she could.

Biting down on an apple, it struck her then that only two members of their newly minted party were there. The painted woman, the harlot, had returned with all her charms and tricks. The woman was a dangerous mystery and Nora watched her with caution. She was uninterested in her chosen profession, how a woman earned her coin was her own concern. However, something about Solange spoke of unconstrainted ambition. She was like Vargas, drunk on her own dreams. And she was too clever. She spoke much, perhaps too much, and Nora couldn't help but suspect she would be trouble. Attacking the grapes on her plate as she continued to think, Nora nodded respectfully at Skarsat. She was pleased to see the large Tork at the table. Reliability was rare among thugs. She did not yet know the full measure of the giant man, but she suspected she would soon enough.

"Percival," she said loudly, making no move until she heard the familiar shuffle of his feet across the floorboards.

"Yes, Nora."

"We seem to be a smaller party this morning than we were last night. Would you tell me please where our lost friends are?"

"Here," Percival began. "S- Still here in the Faded Lantern that is...I mean."

"I do not see, Neh’miah at this table," Nora said. "Do you see him here, Percival?"

"Ah...I am afraid he is asleep," Percival said.

"Wake him up," Nora growled, turning towards Percival with bared teeth.

"I tried. I knocked on his door, but he didn't answer," Percival stammered. "I have returned three times to his door since then, to no avail I must regretfully report. He is beyond my reach."

Nora's lips shifted into a deep frown as Percival detailed his failures. Drink in plenty was as ever the greatest danger to any criminal endeavor. Vargas had given her a task though. She wouldn't fail so soon. She would drag the midnight revelers of the party onto the ship in chains if she had to. They could die at sea, but not a moment sooner. she would not allow it.

"Dare I ask where Y'vanna is?" Nora said, waving a hand hopelessly in the air.

"Last I saw she was headed to one of the unoccupied rooms on the second floor."

"Alone?" Nora said, her eyes narrowing dangerously.

"I am afraid not, but I made sure that they paid for the room before I gave them the key."

"Maréngo?"

"And some others..."

"Others!?" Nora hissed, cursing beneath her breath. She toke some small solace in the familiar feel of Zherpanian words rolling in anger off of her tongue. An unhappy expression played across her features as she contemplated the task Vargas had assigned her. Perhaps it would have been easier if he had asked her to herd a group of cats. Nora let out a low breath, before she she stuffed the remainder of food on her plate into her mouth with the well-practiced grace of a bandit used to eating in whatever limited span of time was allotted. Satisfied that she had at least wasted nothing, she pushed back from the table in a quick motion and rose to her feet. Standing, she grabbed hold of the Percival's shoulder and shoved him towards Skarsat.

"Skarsat, I must apologize for interrupting your breakfast, but would you be so kind as to accompany Percival to the room of our wayward thief, Neh'miah?" Nora began, offering a slight smile. "I am afraid it is far past the appropriate hour for sleeping. You may wake him in whatever manner you wish, but please bring him here undamaged."

"I will attend to our two other lost colleagues. The hour is too late for lazy depravity, we have much to do before we set sail, and precious little time for foolishness such as this. I know where Y'Vanna hides, I know her many vices, and I know how to handle her when she has had her fun."
1x Thank Thank
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Atrophy
Raw
Avatar of Atrophy

Atrophy Meddlesome Kid

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

With her back turned to the Tork, Solange could only pray that her body was blocking his view of the grape that she’d just plucked pop between her fingers as he asked her if she’d ever tried being silent. His words had cracked open her shell and poured salt onto her exposed skin, her face shriveling into a horrid expression of contempt as she milled the guts of the grape between her thumb and forefinger and imagined it was something of more personal value to Skarsat. Her shoulders tensed as she turned her head to look over them, her eyes narrow like the arrowslit of a fortress under siege, a deadly look nocked and ready to be fired. Solange saw the smile, her shoulders relaxed, and the standoff ended without bloodshed as she shook her head and chuckled.

“Absolutely incredible, truly, absolutely incredible. You nearly got it on your first guess. So close,” said Solange with a wag of her finger. Using two hands and a bit of willpower she grabbed the large plate—a serving platter, really—and gently handed it to Skarsat without spilling any of the contents on him. “Only I said it was one of the three best things I gave, darling. Shut up and feed me?” Solange rolled her eyes yet maintained a playful smile. “Those would qualify as two of the things men most commonly demanded of me, with the third thing being for me to lie to them about how amazingly, wonderfully, unbelievably and incredibly big—”

At that moment Nora walked in and Solange briefly stopped talking, which must’ve been much to Skarsat’s relief. Solange tried to return Nora’s cold nod with a warm smile, but she couldn’t control her eyebrow from raising in a look of curious amusement as Solange wondered how it was possible for Nora to look so annoyed so early in the morning. Solange glanced down at the feast, got up from where she was leaning against the table, and gave Skarsat a wink, mouthed “fun’s over”, and said, “Can you believe it, love? They gave us this wonderful fruit yet forgot the key ingredient to make sangria. I doubt either of us would have much hope of actually enjoying this meal without it.”

Solange’s exit was quick but not without grace, and she returned partway into Nora’s conversation with Percival, a glass of wine in her hand. One glass, specifically. Skarsat was a big man and she’d already played serving girl for him once already, so he could get his own damn drink. Solange hated not being up to date on the latest gossip, so she used the opportunity of crushing randomly chosen citrus into her glass and calling it breakfast as an excuse to listen in on Nora’s conversation. Neh’miah sleeping in late? How scandalous! Solange yawned and was about to tune out. She was glad she didn’t.

“I will attend to our two other lost colleagues. The hour is too late for lazy depravity, we have much to do before we set sail, and precious little time for foolishness such as this. I know where Y'Vanna hides, I know her many vices, and I know how to handle her when she had her fun."

“Sweetie, if I didn’t know any better I’d be so bold as to say that you’re jealous,” cooed Solange, her hair twisted into a tight coil around a finger, her eyes joyfully dissecting Nora. “If it’ll help ice your bruise, I didn’t get an invitation either. Lucky me, really. I would’ve hated to break their hearts about as much as I would’ve hated for Lord Vargas to then break their necks. Oh, but I’m sure there’s a good reason for you not being propositioned as…”

Wait, that annoyed look earlier now made so much more sense. Solange’s cheeks puffed out and her eyes crackled with a mischievous energy. No amount of contouring and lipstick, no number of revealing dresses and risque poses, and no utterance of suggestive sentences and flirty winks could prevent the image of a young, immature brat breaking through the mask of a seasoned seductress as Solange lifted her finger, pointed it at Nora, and squealed with delight as the pieces perfectly clicked together.

“No, fuck me dead! You are jealous! Like, jealous-jealous!” Solange cackled. She fell back into a chair, head back, hand on her forehead, and sunk low. Her accent slipped from its affected poshness she’d learned at the brothel and slammed back into her small hamlet accent referred to by the girls of the house as “bitch bumpkin” as she continued to howl with laughter, tears beginning to stream down her cheeks that were turning the shade of her hair. “Piss on the treasure, this is gold. Now have ya known her or didja wanna know her? How’s it feel, knowing that salty son of a whore’s probably knowing her right now?”

The mad laughter cut to a halt as Solange, who'd laughed herself so hard she'd slid out of the chair and was practically sitting on the floor, looked up at Nora with delight. "Ooh, that why you're in such a hurry then? Gonna ruin their good time, or didja plan on jumping in with hopes to expedite that their depravity? Hear that, big guy? You get to kiss sleeping beauty and she gets the orgy. Hardly a fair trade."
3x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Rapid Reader
Raw
Avatar of Rapid Reader

Rapid Reader

Member Seen 4 days ago


Nora



Nora felt a flash of confusion as Solange questioned her. She could hear the mockery in the other woman's voice. There was a cruelty to her humor and no kindness in her banter. Nora had dealt with worse. She had heard worse words thrown and spat at her. Criminals were as a rule far from well-mannered and the bandits of the Yhemerian Desert were not known for their kindness. Insults did not move her, but she had learned that she could not back down when challenged. Reputation and what might pass for honor among thieves were blades she kept carefully sharpened. She would not permit some common whore to chip and shatter her weapons. She could not let such a slight on her person go unmarked and she would not. A hand moved in a warding gesture and Nora considered the what price Vargas would demand if she cut the woman laughing at her down.

"I think you have mistaken me for someone else, harlot," Nora warned, staring down at Solange. The dessert bandit felt a growing disappointment. She had not asked to be saddled with a childish mad woman. She had expected some degree of professionalism in her new companions. She had hoped too much. She would not make the mistake again. She would not lower her guard. She would watch the courtesan carefully. Skarsat could drag Solange in chains onto the ship for all that she cared. Rags shoved into her mouth would shut her up well enough.

"I think perhaps you have misunderstood. Allow me to clarify," Nora said. Her right hand rested on the pommel of one of her swords and her lips were pursed in a grim smile. She looked politely displeased and violence danced behind her eyes.

"Vargas wants you on the ship," she said jabbing a finger roughly into Solange's shoulder in a sudden burst of movement.

"Vargas wants all of you on the ship. Vargas wants all of you brought back. Vargas wants his fair share of the profits," Nora added gesturing broadly with her arms as she loomed over Solange. "And he shall have all of these things."

"Dear lady," the bandit said with sarcasm dripping venomously from her voice. "You may be his business partner, but such titles will not protect you if you mock me again. Vargas prefers his property to be in pristine condition. I understand this. It is the way of men with wealth and power. Drunk as they are on wealth and water. But there are limits to my patience and I do not owe you mercy."

"I am sure Vargas will still find you to his tastes even if I return you missing an ear or perhaps some fingers," Nora began, mirroring a cutting motion with her left hand. She laughed, forging her anger into cruelty. "You will still be another pretty thing for him to keep here, for some time at least."
3x Like Like
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Atrophy
Raw
Avatar of Atrophy

Atrophy Meddlesome Kid

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

The childish giggling became a nervous chuckle and then died quietly, snuffed out by Nora’s shadow that now loomed over Solange. Eyes widening, Solange adjusted herself against the legs of the chair so that, if needed, she could easily bolt under the table and out the door. She was clever enough to realize that a mistake had been made, but too immature to accept that she’d been the one to make it. Vargas was to blame, then, having hired a woman incapable of being the butt of a joke. The late sleepers deserved a thrashing as well. If not for their irresponsibility, Solange wouldn’t be here, on the ground, wincing.

A sound of surprise like a mouse being pounced upon by an alleycat squeaked out of Solange’s lips as Nora dug a finger into her shoulder. She felt her body seize up as if she’d just stepped into an ice bath. She stopped fidgeting, although she drew her right leg up towards herself as her eyes jumped from Nora’s darkening stare to the woman’s fingers settling upon one of her blades. Solange’s right hand slid from her lap and came to a rest on the floor as she began to do some bloody calculations behind the fear in her eyes.

Unless Skarsat intervened, Nora could easily see her dead, yet if Solange saw the flash of steel she might be able to clip through Nora’s heel with her own dagger. Solange would be dead, but Nora’s career would be killed if the injury crippled. Perhaps she could live out the rest of her days working for Fontaine instead. Judging by her tone on the word harlot, she’d love it. The image of Nora painting her face and dressing in lace was almost enough to inspire Solange to make the move first. Her hand pressed against the fabric of her dress, but didn’t slip under it yet. Nora’s bitter laugh smacked a bit of sense back into Solange. Strangely, Solange found Nora’s commitment to her duty admirable even as it was leveled against her. The threat of butchery didn’t terrify Solange nearly as much as the promise of her being kept for Vargas. If it came to that—it wouldn’t, she was sure.

Solange pulled her hand back away from her dress and lifted herself up into her seat. Her head hung in silent dejection for a moment. She knew she should put on a brave face, swallow her pride, and, even though she clearly did no wrong, apologize and diffuse the situation, spinning it into a thread she could pull at later. It would be the clever thing to do, but even if she were clever her damned luck would see her fail. It always did.

“I understand,” she said with a choke, looking down at her hands. A teardrop leapt from her eye and splattered violently on the back of her hand. Solange stared at it in horror, sniffled, and dug her nails into her thighs. Once Skarsat and Nora left she’d be able to quickly recollect herself and smother her embarrassment, but for now her shoulders shook. She felt utterly pathetic. She couldn’t even bring herself to meet Nora’s eyes. “Wake the others. Neither of us wants to disappoint Lord Vargas.”
3x Like Like
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Arkitekt
Raw
GM
Avatar of Arkitekt

Arkitekt Weaver of Webs, Collector of Souls

Member Seen 1 day ago



Ambience

8:19am
Elsewhere, on Gnok Island...


A light fog dissipates as a ship pulls into the harbor bearing the flag of The Black Lion Trading Company, the early morning turns to swelter as the sun is well on its journey across the skies. The island, still within the tropical band familiar to Guillan, was for the most part a lush tropical island, with sparse bits of rocky, sandy croppings strewn about here and there across the island. One of these sparse bits of land, cleared of vegetation long ago to make way for a great cathedral. This holy site was once busy with many patrons who would make the pilgrimage annually to fortify their strength in their faith. Entire families would make the journey if they could afford to do so, to witness the sunrise on the longest day of the year. A day of gratefulness, and remembrance, and for a renewal of hope Before the sun begins to make its way lower down the horizon as the winter approaches. To prepare for these months to come, and to strengthen the bond a family shares through their faith.
This practice died out some five hundred years ago, as the faith progressed to what is now known as The Keepers of The Light in the current era. The Cathedral had fallen into disrepair, and had been scavenged throughout the course of time. It now sat atop a sandy hill, a crumbling skeleton of spires and buttresses, whipped by the salt and the sand. A near forgotten ruins, only known to the local inhabitants who paid it little attention. A small town and port is the only thing still inhabited, and was of a fairly modest size. Comprised of fishermen and those who practiced the most basic trades, completely self sufficient from the outside world and not reliant on need of supply. The tropical forests were bountiful enough and the population was small enough in size not to put a strain on the natural resources available.

These people, many of which had came to the island to seek a life of solitude, to be left alone and far enough away from any real civilization, and the long fingers of it's lawmen. They keep to themselves and wont go out of their way to greet anyone on the street, but modest enough to help when asked or welcoming enough to provide services when needed. One would argue that these were the best types of people, especially if one was accustomed to the hordes of Guillan. Content in minding their own business, and tending to their selves and their own needs, but a very tight-knit community, held together by the sinew they all shared. It was a paradise for them. One they would not see changed in the slightest way, and this gave them strength in that shared bond, a silent and and understood constant...
The trading company was well versed in dealing with all sorts of cultures and knew how to ease their way in to just about anywhere. They knew just how to weasel themselves into a position to acquire whatever they desired, and held a strong monopoly across the globe. Their reach and wealth has no bounds, and could even be considered a superpower in their own right. Which brings one to wonder... just what would the Black Lion be interested in on such a small and irrelevant location?

One wonders indeed.


The party faced a journey of ninety eight miles, a good three weeks at sea with adequate winds, and maybe a bit shorter if their luck and the winds permitted. Lord Vargas had prepared well for the trip, and there was little concern as far as rations were concerned. As long as nothing dramatic happened along the way the party would make it to Gnok well faring, and unscathed. Captain Griffin was a well seasoned man, and so was his crew. Many of them Afriks from Baakara, and as hardy as they came. Great looming hulks of men, hardened by sail and sea, donned by decorative scars in their skin, and many scars that were not. Intimidating men, the lot of them.
Lord Vargas was no slouch when it came to those he would call his retainers, and Captain Griffin and his crew were some of the best to be had, and well equipped to the seas surrounding Guillan. This was for certain. The crew had been busy since before the sun had crested the horizon and were eager to meet the sea. Captain Griffin paced the deck in anticipation as the quartermaster made sure that everything was in order. Vargas had already met with him earlier, a conversation made privy only to themselves. The crew paid them no mind as they toiled away on the rigging and loading of the hull. Vargas produced another coin purse which he gave to the captain, the two nodded and Vargas left as quickly as he had emerged. One would wager that this outing had more facets to it than one could see, submerged just beneath the surface... and there was real danger to be sure. One wouldn't shuck out so much coin if it wasn't of great worth, in whatever form that would take on. For one that was as well off as Vargas was it was to be sure that coin, or the promise of more of it was not to be it...


Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Fetzen
Raw
Avatar of Fetzen

Fetzen

Member Online

For the last couple of minutes, or rather for as long as the 'debate' between Solange and Nora had unfolded, Skarsat had done nothing but to remain on his seat and to continue eating. Nora's unexpected appearance, her orders and the fact that Solange had managed to suck the poor woman into yet another bloody mess of her making had actually saved Solange from a quite sudden and ferocious reaction of the Tork man, but demoted the latter to the role of a mere observer. A three-front war was going on in his mind, all participants being different parts and schools of thinking of himself.

The first was the rational one: He had been given a clear instruction to wake up the others, so he should obey so not to make a bad first impression and to prove helpful for the party overall. Also, given how Nora had cornered Solange on a chair and her facial expression, it seemed that she was already getting things under control and would give that other woman a lecture well deserved.

The second was the curious one: Solange had done more things wrong in a matter of minutes than he could ever have imagined previously, so what would come next ? That part wanted to stay, even if that would mean having to eat even more than the flabbergasting amount he already had just to have some kind of pretense. Solange was just bound to screw things up even more and in some way it was so ridiculous it was even funny!

The third one was responsible for rage: It wanted to do the exact same thing as the second one, but not out of curiosity and a good laugh but because it hoped that Solange would turn her attention back towards him and just give that one, absolutely blatant, unmistakable, perfect reason for him to jump onto the table, run at and jump at her like a wild beast and ruin more than just this morning's hairstyle of hers!

Unfortunately none of those three parts had shown any sign of winning the conflict. On the contrary: none had achieved even the slightest bit of a goal so far! He was still sitting here and waiting for his very own decision making...

Enough!

In a bold move, the rational part forged an uneasy alliance with rage: Maybe Nora would give Solange the lesson she derserved, but it would be Nora's lesson! So where was his lesson ? Could he really rely on Nora doing the dirty work for him and tell Solange that she had done wrong to him as well ? No, of course not! And if things went according to rage this Neh’miah would not need a personalized wakeup call after some special kind of Solange lesson anyway!

Skarsat got up and approached the two women, coming so close that probably at least Nora could feel the floorboards buckle beneath a pair of Tork feet. He looked down at Solange and some minor parts of his face twitched. Then the giant lowered himself so he could look her in the eyes more easily, letting go of a prolonged, albeit artificial, sigh. He folded his hands in front of his face and rubbed his nose. Like said... it was an uneasy alliance between rational and rage...

"Solange..." he started, rather calm at first. "So you think that handing someone a plate full of food because he asked for it equals 'feeding' that someone ? Or how did you suddenly get to this 'Shut up and feed me ?' thing." Quoting her, Skarsat also tried to mimic the voice of her words, but not without adding a lot of bitterness and personal disgust to his attempt. "Or, more generally asking... exactly what part of my drinking and chewing made you believe that I or anyone else in this room had actual interest in hearing your bedroom stories of personal superiority ?"

And now rage backstabbed the rational and took over, immediately commanding Skarsat's right hand to try and hit Solange's cheek hard while his left hand was given the order to approach her head from the other side to prevent her from just escaping in that direction. However even before he could see whether he'd hit her or miss her his speech continued. Now much, much louder:

"When we're in trouble, you run out of arrows and shout to me to hand you my quiver, will I then afterwards also just be one more petty man in the life of the great Solange who begged you to lie about the size of the thing between his legs ? You sound like you're the pinnacle of the world yet so far you've only spread doubt about your actual usefulness!

Oh and before your crazy mind even dares to think about it: You will never 'feed' me! Not with a spoon and not with your breast if that's what you're imagining! Your milk is spoiled by your arrogance!"
2x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Atrophy
Raw
Avatar of Atrophy

Atrophy Meddlesome Kid

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

For the briefest of moments, Solange thought that perhaps Skarsat was actually comforting her. She wiped away the traitorous tears with a flick of her finger and looked up to meet his gaze as he lowered himself to be almost face to face with her. She tried to muster up a flirty smile that faltered and slipped away through the floorboards as his words mocked her own. Solange caught a look in his eyes. Violent men wasn’t something she dealt with often while working for Fontaine thanks to the protection she offered through the reputation of her enforcer alone, but there had been one altercation with a man from her hometown who happened to stop by the brothel. Unlucky that she was working that night, really. What were the odds? His eyes were forever burned into her mind. Skarsat’s eyes didn’t look so different.

If she went back the momentum would take her to the ground, so she ducked forward instead. If Solange was quick, Skarsat’s hand would run through the waves of her hair and she could try to weasel out from under his arm. She wasn’t quick enough. The smack echoed throughout the room as his hand smacked across Solange’s cheek so hard that if not for his other hand to catch her she would’ve been knocked from the chair by the momentum of her head whipping. She bit down on her lip so hard that it bled; her pained scream twisted in her mouth and morphed into a defeated chuckle.

She squirmed in her seat and looked away from Skarsat, half her face covered by her hair where it had been knocked once he’d hit her, her cheek already changing like a chameleon to match it’s reddish tone. A tear from her eyes lost a race to her chin against a droplet of blood from her lip. It was strange, but he didn’t frighten her as much as Nora. Once the threat of violence was gone and all that remained was the pain it wasn’t so bad. Pain was a dear, old friend.

“Thank you, love. I was being hysterical,” she said softly, the same defeated tone she’d given to Nora just moments ago. However, unlike with the bandit woman she looked up at Skarsat, a shimmer in her eyes that wasn’t the tears. There was a certainty to her that shouldn’t have been there, an undeserved sense that she was coming out of this exchange on top. Striking her would have consequences, even if not immediate. She smiled at him, her teeth stained red with blood and lipstick. “Now, would you like to continue telling me about how I’m the one imagining putting you to my breast like a suckling babe, or is mommy’s big boy going to wake up Neh’miah like he was told?”
2x Like Like 2x Laugh Laugh
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Fetzen
Raw
Avatar of Fetzen

Fetzen

Member Online

So his hand had made her bleed. Good!

Not so good that this included the possibility than some of said blood, along with residual traces of cosmetic ingredients this damn woman certainly applied to her face every day, could have attached themselves to his palm. Skarsat had no real proof of that, but even without actually looking at his fingers he rubbed them against each other to get an estimation about how much of a smeary layer of shit there was on his skin. Otherwise though he just kept staring at Solange, his face being kinda stuck in a state of forced idling around because his mind was too busy thinking about...

Defeat. How could this woman just keep doing shittalk all the fucking time ? 'Suckling babe', 'mommy's big boy', 'like he was told...'... for a brief series of moments all these nasty little provocations just did not seem to have any impact because Skarsat was just too flabbergasted by the initial 'love' which had already announced a lot about her overall reaction. Then however, with some noticeable delay, he caught up with Solange's queue of insults.

"You know... I'm no arrogant fool like you who maintains an unshakeable belief in his own infallibility. I know that, despite my training and experience, some of my arrows can and will miss their intended target. I start to think that despite all the real hostiles we might encounter on this endeavour this might actually be a good message for you."

Having said this, Skarsat raised himself to his full height again and looked down at her for a second or two.

"Now if you'd like to turn this journey into a damned world of fear where a possibly growing number of people outright hates you, then just keep going!" Skarsat turned away from her, but not without trying to hit her foot with his own and put his full weight onto it. Upon success he'd express his regret, which of course would be entirely fake.
2x Like Like
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Arkitekt
Raw
GM
Avatar of Arkitekt

Arkitekt Weaver of Webs, Collector of Souls

Member Seen 1 day ago


On Gnok Island...


The ship anchors at the end of the longest dock in the port. Men start to shift provisions and gear from the ships cargo and begin to unload it onto the docks. Several of the local workers greet them and start to help them with the task. The captain of the ship, a large man, exits the ship, followed by another man who is shrouded in a dark cloak, make their way down the wooden planks to meet with the dock quarter master. He also goes out to meet them as they approach.

Guillan, 8:32AM


The sun is now well into the air, and the swelter causes the humidity to rise greatly, forming a light fog in the harbor. The rains from the previous days did much to aid this along. The mist would surely dissipate before too long, but the humidity would fearfully cling on for quite some time, It was shaping up to be an unbearably muggy day. This also caused those still stifled from drink and slumber to rise whether they wanted to or not. They rose to roost like sluggish zombies and one could almost hear the cumulative groaning as they all put themselves on the shortest path to finding something to subdue that brick that was seemingly tied to their foreheads...
It was still far too early for music or the drums, but once the lot had one or two to rewet that whistle it'd going again before too long. The masses had begun to move, and the festivities would continue. The King's Guard were already patrolling, and rousing the streets free of those slumbering there and they generally seemed to enjoy the work. Prodding them with the ends of their halberds and pike poles, or a good firm kick to the kidneys looked to be the most preferred, and most efficient ways to go about it. Shop keepers and Pub owners were thrilled by this of course. Whatever got their patrons back to shedding coin in their establishments was welcomed whole heartedly. Shutters were opened and their hearths had already been lit for some time and the broth was warm and ready to serve. Pitchers were poured and horns were filled. The smell of broth and cooked eggs, blood sausages and bacon, filled the streets with their savory aromas. It was common practice for a lot of taverns to offer a spot of breakfast for free, as long as they were buying more drink. Savvy pubs and taverns knew that patrons could stand to buy far more drink on a full stomach than not.
The Faded Lantern offered breakfast to everyone, though most patrons were not afforded the same feast that Lord Vargas had set forth for the party. The regular breakfast was much more modest, consisting of quails eggs, a few links, and some porridge or a bit of bread, and was limited to those who had purchased a room. It was also good practice to offer a free bit of breakfast to the King's Guard...

Sheriff Gerranti had returned with four of his guards and some of the serving staff were quick to intercept them as they entered. Sheri was the senior most staff next to Percival so she spoke to greet them. She was well versed in this sort of thing.

"Ah, sheriff Gerranti, to what do we owe the pleasure?" she said, forwarding a most generous smile and welcoming demeanor.

"Your Lord Vargas, is he in?" Gerranti spoke, his words sharp and to the point.

"Oh, sorry but no, he's off on errands since early this morn..." Sheri was doing her best to deflect. "there's no trouble, I hope?" she said, raising her brow inquisitively.

"Just a bit of a loose end from yesterday I'm hoping he can help me with is all." he said.

"Lord Vargas has been out since very early. I'm sure he will be back soon if you'd like to wait for him. Perhaps a spot of breakfast while you fine fellows wait for him?" Sheri said, waving another server to come over and seat them. She already had a basket of freshly baked sweet breads and a pitcher of black water ready, and the wafting aroma was intended to entice.

"Well now, I suppose I have worked up a bit of an appetite." He said, as the basket of breads caught his attention. "You know what? I think I'll take you up on that. Lord Vargas sure is a man of renowned hospitality. Hamish, why don't you and John go and have a look about the place and make sure that Lord Vargas's patrons are behaving themselves until he returns. Here, take a bit of bread and a horn with you before the other two eat it all gone."

The two nodded and helped themselves to a bit of the bread as the servant poured them a horn of the coffee. The other two and Gerranti took to seating themselves a few booths away from the front door, with a good clean line of sight to it, and the kitchen door in the back. The two other guards took to surveying the tavern and making rounds. Sheri was beginning to fret slightly.

"Indeed, then I hope you find it to your enjoyment, and may it fill your bellies sufficiently. I will tell Lord Vargas of your kind compliments." she said, curtsying as she did.

"Oh, not if I see him first, dear." Gerranti smiled slyly as he spoke.

Sheri took her leave from the sheriff and did not hasten her step until she was around the corner and out of sight. She then took to the stairs as quick as she could to notify the others and find Percival, bounding them all in just three leaps. This would have to happen in Vargas's absence, she thought. Damn her luck. She crashed through the threshold clumsily with a fear that had solidified in her eyes, and in her voice..

"Has anyone seen Percy?" she clamored, "Sheriff Gerranti is back with his guards and no doubt looking for Neh'miah!" blurting the words out as fast as she could, having to remind herself mid sentence to keep her voice down.

Panic was now setting in, and things were beginning to look grim...

Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Atrophy
Raw
Avatar of Atrophy

Atrophy Meddlesome Kid

Member Seen 5 hrs ago

Solange moved a hand up to wipe the blood from her lip and kept it there to cover her grin as Skarsat let loose. What he called foolish arrogance she viewed as confidence. Still, it wasn’t the first nor would it be the last time a man viewed her own self-assurance as something that threatened their standing. She’d hope that Skarsat wasn’t quite the simpleton he appeared to be, but sometimes the simplest solution was the right one. There were only two reasons for a man to ever get so upset at a woman for, as far as she was capable of seeing it (as Solange was incapable of ever seeing her own faults), nothing more than a little teasing.

The first reason she thought of was that Skarsat hated women. Yet while he had undermined Nora by striking Solange, there wasn’t enough evidence beyond that. He solely seemed to hate Solange and Solange only. Thus the second reason became the only reason, and it brought so much joy to Solange that her hand could no longer hide her bloody smile. Skarsat had a crush on her, and like a young boy pushing a girl he liked into the mud he was confounded by his feelings and could only express them through sheer aggression. Goodness, she couldn’t wait to be stuck on a ship with him! How fun it would be to break his oversized heart.

“Sweetheart, with how tall you are I fear the reason some of you arrows may miss is because you are simply firing over your target’s head. With all of your experience, it confuses me as to why I must be the one to tell you that maybe you just have to aim lower,” she said, her eyes catching his foot tracing the ground towards her skirt. As Skarsat turned to move away from her as well as wallop her with a sharp kick, Solange deftly stepped over his foot and moved out of the chair as she joined him at his side. In stark contrast to her advice to him, he really should’ve aimed higher. She dragged a sharp finger down the side of his arm, leaving a faint trail of her own blood, and whispered, “Do you believe I’m afraid of others hating me? There's no difference between being loved or being hated. Either way, I'm the only thing they can ever think about.”

Solange moved quickly out of his reach, cast one glance back at Skarsat as Sheri entered the room to ask for Percy, and then Solange pretended to be more interested in plucking a plum from the table than avoiding a smack that would surely come if her touch lingered for another second. She spun around to lean against the table, set the uneaten plum down, and pulled out a compact mirror and a handkerchief. She glared at the bruise forming on her cheek, and then wiped the ruined lipstick and blood from her mouth.

“Percival is doing his job. It’s one of the admirable things about him,” said Solange. Percival had a knack about giving himself deniability, knowing the less he saw the better his day went. He’d slipped out the moment the room had turned hostile. She looked towards Skarsat who was supposed to be waking Neh’miah with the man but held her tongue. Voi must’ve been playing a game with them. If everyone had been even a bit more timely, they probably would’ve walked right into the Sheriff while leaving the tavern. Solange just worried as she twisted the ring on her finger that the goddess wasn’t done twisting fate’s thread yet this morning. She tilted her head towards Nora.

“Darling, you said yourself that Vargas wants everyone on that ship, and none of us would dare disappoint the Lord, ” said Solange as she began to touch up the bruise on her cheek with makeup. “I doubt I could knock as loudly as our Tork friend or cool the passion between two lovers as quickly as you, but if you would like I could return with dear Sheri here and help ensure that the only thing the Sheriff and his men get this morning is a free meal. Alternatively, I can meet you all at the ship. It’d give me plenty of time to turn what would’ve been poor Neh’miah’s cabin into a drawing room.”
2x Like Like
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Rapid Reader
Raw
Avatar of Rapid Reader

Rapid Reader

Member Seen 4 days ago


Nora




"A distraction would be most welcome," Nora said, nodding towards Sheri. "I am sure the good Sheriff will relish the pleasant company. It has been said that he is a man of many great appetites and boundless greed."

The hand resting on her sword finally relaxed as the carefully collected words left her mouth. Nora could feel the warmth of anger in her chest. The whirlwind of emotion whipped across her skin like sharp kernels of sand. She watched Skarsat carefully. He had made his point. That was fair. That was the risk Solange courted when she played her games. But he had gone too far. She would not defend Solange. The woman had to defend herself. However, Nora could not ignore the bitter taste in her mouth. She had limits too. And the Tork had danced on the very blade's edge of what she would tolerate. Violence was a weapon. Violence was a useful weapon. Still, like all weapons it had to be wielded properly, carefully even, and it had to be applied in just the right amount. There was an art to violence. A gentle dance, skillful footsteps matched to the rhythm of blood.

Disappointment was a bitter draught to swallow and Nora considered for a moment what sort of people Vargas had bound her to. The giant Tork had a temper. Tempers were a problem. Tempers had a habit of leading to problems. Problems inevitably lead to violence. And violence. Violence meant death. She hoped for his sake that Vargas would not hear that he had touched Solange or see the damage he had caused for that matter. There were rules. There were rules of conduct expected of all that entered the Faded Lantern. Unspoken as they might be, they were no less fatal if broken. Vargas was protective over his property. And more importantly Vargas had his own reputation to consider. There were consequences to damaging the property of the Lord without proper cause.

"I trust that we can all conduct ourselves as professionals? Yes?" Nora said with a cold glance that settled first upon Skarsat and then on Solange. A frown danced across her lips as her eyes lingered and she resisted a sudden urge to shake her head. It was too early for fools. It was too early for foolish bravado. And it was far too early to bloody her blade. "You may settle any disputes after we return."

"May you find cool water," Nora said in parting with a warding sign as she left the room, not quite managing to shake off the shifting dunes of anger she felt as she turned away from her two colleagues.
2x Like Like
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Fetzen
Raw
Avatar of Fetzen

Fetzen

Member Online

Skarsat


Skarsat's eye twitched in silence just like a vulcano's walls bent and shifted ever so slightly when in reality, pressure was building up inside and waiting to break free. Finding cool water ? Yeah, maybe just swimming alongside the ship instead of sharing his free time with one of the more... exotic... members of their little party was indeed a good idea. Though, a neutral observer from outside the fourth wall might object, an idea that came along with the risk of the ocean just evaporating as the vulcano swam in it.

Today however would not turn out to be eruption day. Or would it ? After all it had only just begun. Yet at least for the moment Skarsat decided there were higher priorities that presented themselves in form of a 'sheriff Gerranti'. So the city's forces responsible for law and order were looking exactly for the one person he was supposed to wake up ?

Skarsat found that, if not anything else already, to be a good call to leave the main hall and get the job done. He heaved himself up the staircase and down the corridor he believed the room in question was accessible from, then knocked on the door -- hard. He could still feel a great amount of irritation trying to smother his attempts to calm down and at the same time he could feel the urge to act quickly because who knew how long those down in the main hall could keep this Gerranti busy before he'd give the order to start searching ?

As he was thinking about the ifs, whens and hows of talking to his boss, Nora, about any of the most recent events, he knocked at the door a second time. Still he didn't openly call out Neh'miahs name or even just say anything else. If there was anything he had learned then probably that his voice could easily be heard. Normally not much of an issue, but if this sheriff down there would hear the name of the one being searched for and could associate it with some frantic efforts to wake up the man... Anonymously knocking at the door and opening it by force if needed was bound to be much more effective in this case.

The giant did seriously hope though that Neh'miah would get out of bed by himself by the second though. The man needed some time left to leave the place, too -- and preferably not completely naked or with a prostitute making a loud fuzz about his sudden departure!
3x Like Like
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Atrophy
Raw
Avatar of Atrophy

Atrophy Meddlesome Kid

Member Seen 5 hrs ago


Solange - The Faded Lantern Tavern & Inn

Lies aren't needed when others make the excuse for you.



“We must run in different circles, honey. All I ever heard about the Sheriff was that he was a man of strange taste and disappointing stamina,” said Solange with a half-smile that faded quickly as Nora’s icy stare flashed like a dagger from Skarsat over to her. The redhead stood up straight and cupped her hands together to stand like a proper, professional young lady with no hint of irony in her disposition. She nodded in acknowledgment to Nora’s departing statement, Solange’s tongue twisting in her mouth as she swallowed the desire to return the Zherpanian saying with a similar one she’d heard uttered by the followers of Voi—something about making water once the passions cooled. Neither, she realized, would be advice that would need to be followed at this moment.

“Any disputes? Darling, can you believe Miss Sunshine thought we were having a...darling?” Solange craned her neck to search for Skarsat, but her plaything had already slipped away. She exchanged a glance with Sheri and smiled sweetly. “Let’s head to the kitchen. After you.”

Solange had the misfortune of dealing with Sheri before, who’d taken it upon herself to explain the lives of every member of the staff to Solange like some kind of proud, doting mother. It amazed Solange how Sheri was able to know so much about the others, considering she never took a single moment to let someone else get a word in. However, seemingly the stress of dealing with the Sheriff was enough to silence the suffocating gossip who, much to Solange’s relief, fretted with her frock more than anything. Sheri held the swinging door to the kitchen open for Solange, who stepped through after telling the woman to wait outside.

The kitchen of the Faded Lantern was normally well organized but currently in complete disarray due to the prep done to provide the would-be treasure hunters with a bountiful feast that now would go unenjoyed by half of their party. Solange eyed a tower of dirty dishes, her tongue pressing into her bruised cheek as she fought the urge to send them cascading to the ground, porcelain shattering everywhere and ruining the day of some young kitchenhand who’d be forced to scrub it all up. Perhaps if the floors weren’t already dirty the temptation would be too much for her.

She peeled herself away and found what she’d come looking for: an iron kettle filled with black, muddy coffee. Its bitter flavor would do well to mask the taste of the leaves of iris that Solange had squirreled away for a day when her sister had deeply annoyed her. She pulled the leaves out of her tiny herb pouch, casting a glance over her shoulder to make sure that none of that staff was poking their head around. Grabbing a bowl and a wooden spoon from the pile of dirty dishes, Solange pulverized the leaves until they made a fine paste, loosened it upon with a bit of water, and mixed it in with the coffee. It might add a bit of grit to the brew, but it’d be difficult to differentiate between it and loose coffee grounds.

The poison wasn’t lethal—killing her sister was out of the question, and killing the Sheriff would be bad for the local businesses—but it would ruin the better part of the morning by keeping him contained to the loo. Most likely the Sheriff would reason that the cooking was bad or that he had too much to drink the night before and not even consider that someone would dose him. She stashed her makeshift mortar and pestle in with the rest of the dishes and grabbed the wooden handle of the kettle. Popping out of the kitchen, she nodded to Sheri and followed the woman’s gaze up to the balcony. Her nose wrinkled as she caught sight of Sheriff Gerranti gesturing with a piece of bacon to one of the guards seated with him.

Solange adjusted her dress and sashayed her way up to the pig trough. She heard a bark of laughter and paused outside of the sliding door, taking a moment to come up with a story. Nerves steeled and a phony smile painted on her face, Solange pulled on the handle and found three men with crumbs on their lips staring at her. She stepped gracefully through the threshold with her chin high, casting a quick glance at the two nobodies before focusing her gaze upon the Sheriff. Normally she’d move to a spot where she could have her eyes on the door, but she needed to be able to see the main hall.

“Gentleman, I am so pleased our staff saw fit to serve you breakfast after my partner so quickly turned you away the other night. It is always so wonderful to see them take ownership, especially when it comes to taking care of a respectable man of the law. My name is Solange Belgard, Lord Vargas’s new business partner. Sheri took it upon herself to inform me of everything. I’m afraid we’d be here well past supper if we were to wait for Lord Vargas, but I may answer what questions you have in his stead. However, before that…” She placed her hand on the back of an empty chair and leaned forward, squeezing her chest up as she raised the tainted kettle, her blue eyes narrowing. “...who needs more coffee?”
2x Like Like
↑ Top
© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet