@The Grey Dust
"An enforcer? So are you like me, one who fights as a defender of the faith?" Eyes watching the movement of paws across the board, a strange pattern of stones arranged. There appeared to be no method to the distribution, at least not one the Valkyrie could discern. She was a simple woman, far less skilled than the clever tabaxi, in things beyond sport. An arm wrestle surely Alex could easily win by sheer muscle, but should it come to cunning and wiles, well that was largely Adal's department. Her straightforward approach to things made her particularly vulnerable to being horrible deceived or outwitted, yet her might was to be feared should she discover the ruse. The last man who tried to play her the fool succeed at the cost of having his arms ripped off and used to bludgeon him into a bloody pulp before dragging his battered body out of the village to be food for the wolves. "Yes, the honored warriors are whisked away in their death to a field of eternal battle, where their souls may fight in the glorious war games of the gods, and when they fall are taken to the longhalls to be tended and feast upon meat and mead aplenty."
"Hail companions, Adal has set the fires already, warm yourselves." Seeing Mila, Harridan and Anna break from the tree lines to join them, the amazon waved a hand over to beckon them, gesturing them to take seats around the makeshift table fireside as the male dwarf played with himself. Had Alex caught the dwarf's disregard of her religion, she may have chided him, but fortunately she was somewhat distracted by watching the strange distribution of stones and the arrival of the rest of the rag-tag party. The report of a lack of wild game was concerning, but the merchant seemed not to be a permanent part of their troupe, mentioning that she would sent back to her world. This was a curiousity as Adal gave a moment's pause, registering the information before resuming to graze. The grass tasted different, but familiar. Pulling out her coin pouch from the bag of holding set beside her, the barbarian rose to make trade with the small merchant, tying the jingling sack of heavy coins to the sash around her waist. Picking up the ethereal bow from the rest of the sundries, the phasic nature of the bow seemed to draw the curious Valkyrie in. There was a spear of a similar nature, but she already had a spear of legend, thus there was no need for another melee weapon in her view. This bow however, which seemed almost alive, with the great draw of the barbarian's chiseled arms, letting go to watch the wispy string snap back to unleash the stored power. Truly a mighty shortbow to bring back home. "I shall purchase this spiritual bow. And five hearty meals for myself and my new companions with all the ale you have."@ihinka
Dim's eyes never left the board as Alex spoke her question. The cleric's blue eyes shifted with lightning speed across the board, assessing, calculating, before she took a white stone from the pile next to the board and placed it on the grid. She then raised her head and looked at Alex.
"Not exactly." She answered. "I'm not familiar with your Hel and the way things happen in your world. But where I come from death is inevitable. She, like life will happen in the end, whenever that end might be." Dim took a black stone, placed it on the board and removed a white one. "The Raven Queen takes care of all who inevitably reach the end of their earthly journey. As Death is part of the natural order of things. Undeath to her is an aversion. The foulest insult that ever was." The tabaxi kept placing stones on the board and removing others. "And whomever tries to cheat death of her due, it is my job to find them and show them that in the end, death comes for us all. You cannot cheat her of her due!" Dim finished in a grim tone of voice.
She gazed up in time to see Mila return with Harridan and Anna the Merchant and Alex greeted them boisterously. They all gathered around the fire, Anna reporting with regret the lack of game in the vicinity. Dim was not concerned. She had her travel rations, and she wasn't very sure how much she could trust this merchant's words. As food and drink were ordered by Alex and Anna also took out her wears to demonstrate to the group, Dim returned her gaze at the board. She had no need for new equipment even if she had the coin to buy it with. She wanted to ask Anna some questions, but it could wait until the others were done shopping.
Anna: "Of course~ Pleasure doing business with you as well. Take all the ale you wish; wine too if you're feeling truly festive~" The merchant handed over the goods in exchange for payment. "Any time you feel like spending more, just let me know~"@JBRam2002
Mila glanced over the wares with envy. Wouldn't luck have it that she had been caught away from the majority of her money, and instead was transported here with barely a few platinum pieces to her name. "A lot of your products are quite interesting," Mila said, honesty impressed by the selection. "If only I had a few thousand gold... or, if someone feels like lending a poor girl some cash, I'm sure we can work out a repayment plan." The tiefling winked at the others, hoping someone would nibble.@ihinka
Dim continued playing her board game, calculating future moves and devising stratagems. Still, her attention was not solely riveted on the game. She was observing the interactions within the camp out of the corner of her eyes. She really couldn't care less for shopping unless she had a specific item she was in need of and as it stood she had no need of anything.
Catching the tiefling's playful plea however drew her attention from the board and the assembly of black and white stones. Now this was interesting. Dim had the gold to give her. But was it what she wanted to do? She didn't really need it so she could give it freely. And she didn't particularly care if, should something happen to the devil-kin, she didn't get it back. But would Mila feel in any way, not just financial, indebted to Dim, if the cleric was to offer her a loan? Either way, one could always tell a handful of things about a person by their loan return ethics.
Dim cleared her throat. "I can't say as I have riches beyond, but I can certainly provide aid to a fellow adventurer. And I'm sure the Queen would appreciate me helping one of her own." The tabaxi stood and approached Mila. "What amount would be to your liking?" Dim looked the dainty tiefling up and down. She'd tried for playful innocence with her plea, but the cleric could smell the cunning on this one. The moon bounced off Dim's cat eyes, making them gleam. "I'll try to oblige as best as I can."@JBRam2002
Mila smiled sweetly at the tabaxi. Did she perk up at the unspoken innuendo behind her suggestion? Or was it that she cared little for the value of currency? Or perhaps the cat had a more stringent payment plan in mind. In any case, she had taken the bait, and hopefully all would work in tbe tiefling's favor.
She turned back to the merchant and sought out which items seemed of value, adding a small thank-you gift to the tabaxi in her calculations. Two of the rods seemed of great value to her. One could heal, while the other could help her keep stride with the more pesky enemies. A dagger also caught the tiefling's eye, its blade as cunning as its wielder. And lastly, a sword that would be drawn to decimate undead seemed to make a righteous gift to tbe cleric of the Raven Queen. Everyone knew how much the Matron hated undead. Lastly, an outfit that seemed best suited for swimming seemed a good option; after all, she had been summoned away so quickly that she had not had time to dress for tbe occasion, and naught lay beneath her robes.
"From the prices listed, it looks like 3500 gold would get me all I want to buy," Mila replied after a moment of calculation. "But I will take any amount you wish to offer. I have almost nothing on me now."@ihinka
The demon-kin and cat-kin sized each other up. It seemed like a good amount of wit and cunning was employed for what was for all intents and purposes a straightforward fiscal interaction.
Dim resisted the urge to stroke her whiskers in quiet rumination as Mila perused Anna's selection. It was such a cat thing to do. And she didn't like being predictable.
When the tiefling turned to her the final tally worked out Dim didn't even have to check if she had the funds to lend. Even if she didn't care much for gold and spending it, she always knew exactly how much she had.
"By the Queen's grace, that is an amount I can provide you with." Dim spoke in her smooth feline voice. "As for repayment, I care for material possessions only as such that they aid me in my work for my patron. As long as that holds true I shall leave the terms of recompense to your discretion and conscience." Dim continued, reaching in her coin pouch to produce the necessary amount.@JBRam2002
The tiefling raised an eyebrow at Miss Moneycat's payment plan. "On conscience" was as good as saying she needed no repayment. Or perhaps she pictured a lasting relationship? "Maybe we can discuss terms of immaterial payback in private," Mila cooed in response, retrieving the offered coin. "In any case, you have my gratitude. That alone is worth much." She then handed the merchant the whole amount without bothering to count. "This should be enough," Mila said before reaching into her bag for a silver piece. "And this is for that cute outfit. Might not be good for snow, but better than nothing."
Mila pointed out the items she wished and the exchange was made. "You and I shall be very good friends, little knife," Mila whispered to her new blade, although it was plenty loud enough for others to overhear. The sword, however, she presented to the tabaxi. "Here is just the first portion of my recompense. I hope it is to your liking."