New Guise, Same Scars
Morning, 15th of Last Seed
The Singing Shrew, Evermore
Sagax had turned the corner, about to head up the stairs to the second floor of the inn he and his sister were staying at for the duration of the company's time in Evermore. He was stopped, however, by a dazed young man tumbling down the steps, his body thumping and crashing all the way down. Above, Sagax could see the door closest to the top of the flight slam shut, and he was able to pick up some disgruntled grumbling. The Imperial knew, of course, that that was Piper's room. It took no great effort to deduce why the fellow had been sent headfirst to the bottom of the staircase. Why would it? Piper had already chased this man away twice before; it seemed he had not yet quite learned his lesson.
"I told you not to go up there, friend. I warned you of the consequences, didn't I?"
The bruised man simply groaned in response and let his head hit the floor one last time. Perhaps now he would leave well enough alone. No guarantee, of course, if the other two times this exact scenario played out were any indication.
Piper must have been listening for footsteps, because as Sagax drew near the door, it suddenly flung open. Out came Piper, wrapped in a large bathrobe and brandishing her dirk.
"Listen you motherfucker, if you don't fuck off back to whatever Gods-forsaken hole in the ground you came from, I'm gonna-"
Sagax had jumped back a good distance. He understood perfectly just how well his sister could use a blade, and he wasn't about to get stuck by her because some Prince Charming couldn't take a hint. After clearing a patch of damp hair out of her eyes with a flick of her head, Piper put the knife away and sighed with relief.
"Fuck's sake, it's just you, Sagax..."
"Yep, just checking in...saw your handiwork down there. I uh, don't think he's going to be up a while."
"Shit, fine by me. He could stay on that floor for all I care. After what he just pulled though I've got half a fucking mind to cut something off of him!"
Sagax responded with a puzzled look. " 'After what he just pulled'? What, did he propose to you or something?" Piper just smiled and laughed, the kind of laugh where you could tell someone was only laughing because they were trying to hold back some serious anger.
"Oh, no, you'll love this. So, these doors lock, right? Shitty locks, but they're locks." He could agree to that. He had poked and prodded at the lock to his own door just for fun, and they were honestly nothing too special. Enough to keep out the faintly curious and not much else. "This son of a bitch...picks the fucking lock, opens the door just a little so he can see inside-"
"Please don't tell me he was..."
"That's exactly what the shithead was doing! Thought he was the fucking Gray Fox himself, thinking I wouldn't see him! He got more of a look than I would have liked."
The thought alone disgusted Sagax. He knew of people, both in Evermore and back home, that had tried to gain his sister's affection. Some read poems, some gave her gifts. She rejected them all, of course, and the reactions were varied. But to go so far as to outright invade her privacy like that? At least the fool got what was coming to him.
"Well, I think he's learned his lesson now...Mara's sake I certainly hope so. If not...well, I'll just say I didn't see anything."
"If he hasn't learned by, by Talos I'll make him learn soon! Ruined my damn bath, haven't even really gotten to scrub down yet..." Just then, Piper seemed to pick up a smell that made her face scrunch. "Eurgh..."
"What? What's wrong?"
"Ugh...you! Gods above, when was the last time you actually bathed, Sagax? Your recent high-dive doesn't count!"
"I...well..." Exactly how long had it been, anyway? He certainly hoped it wasn't before leaving for Skyrim...but he just couldn't remember.
"Your room's got water too, right? Should have some soap and rags and stuff...blegh, seriously, go and take a bath you...fucking wildman. I gotta finish my own anyway, so take your time." Before shutting the door, Piper looked back. "No really. Take your time with it. You honestly look like you just came out of a coal mine that went up in flames."
He didn't look that bad, did he? Well, shock of all shocks, yes. Yes he did. The mirror in his room showed a very different man from the one that just left the Imperial City for the Reach of Skyrim. His hair was longer, his eyes had begun to sink in, and he was actually starting to show the signs of a beard! But then there was the dirt. Oh, so much dirt! Sagax knew his current state simply would not do for the banquet, especially not for someone who was supposed to be serving food and drinks. Piper was right to order a bath, he'd be thrown out of any higher establishment at first glance.
The rooms at the Singing Shrew were more expensive than most inns Sagax had been to, but they were certainly worth it. Just like his sister said, there was hot water, an assortment of soaps, and even a nice comb and brush set. It reminded him of home, when he was a child. They had all these same luxuries in their magnificent two story manor. His room overlooked some of the public gardens. Sometimes he could even see his father performing his duties in the streets below, commanding his men and logging reports from wronged citizens that wished for justice. He was so far away now, though. So far away from home, and from family. Right now Piper was all he had, and he was all she had. They would make it work, though. They just had to hold on to hope that they would all be united again...what else would they be fighting for?
As Sagax washed up, he traced along the large burn scar on his chest. It still ached slightly to the touch as he ran the rag over it. It was there he noticed something...different. There were some muscles building around his abdomen and on his arms, ones he was sure were not there last time he was able to get a good look at himself. Well, at least mercenary work had some upsides. One being that, if you survive long enough, you might get a little buff! Maybe he'd be able to match Piper one day...nah, probably not. She was built like a horse. Somehow, though, also as graceful as a dancer.
After drying off and neatly combing his hair back, Sagax took another look at his mirror. In its reflection he found, finally, a decent excuse for a man. But he felt like there was something missing, something small. Looking down at the vanity, he spied some hairties, about five or six of them. He decided on the green one and used it to tie his now fairly long hair back into a slight ponytail. Now he almost looked a little bit noble! Certainly much neater. Upon meeting Piper outside the inn, her own hair now slightly curled from the washing, voiced her approval.
"Oh hello, handsome gentleman, have you seen my mangy brother? I seem to have lost him somewhere!"
Afternoon, 16th of Last Seed
Used Sundries, Evermore
It was almost show time. Sagax made his way to the changing area in Gustav's ramshackle toolshop, or whatever it was, and began preparing himself for the banquet. He had visited a nearby tailor and spent the rest of his allowance on some decent clothing that would fit his role. Something fancy but not extravagant; he wasn't a guest but a mere server. He eventually settled on a nice overcoat along with a doublet and pair of trousers that complemented its colors. On the side he bought a new pair of gloves, as the ones he usually wore had odd, dark stains on them that simply would not come off. The navy blue coat was trimmed at the collar and along the buttons with bronze, while the buttons themselves were of a silver make. Under it, Sagax would wear the dark-green doublet and black cotton trousers. The gloves were very sturdy, and would serve him well if the situation required the Imperial to get...dirty.
He could not bring his blade, but Sagax did decide to smuggle in his dagger inside of the coat's many inside pockets as an emergency weapon. He decided to leave his hair tied, as it seemed to be a fashion trend amongst the aristocracy. Sagax even created a new name for himself, though as a servant he most likely would not need to give it. He had decided on Shay Cormac. He wasn't sure exactly why he chose it, but the name seemed to have a nice ring to it.
Piper would be arriving in a shipping container of all things to help some of the others bring in the rest of the company's weapons and tools. She wasn't pleased with her travel conditions, but she also knew it was the best chance they had of smuggling in any serious utilities. They joined the rest in listening to Gustav's briefing and studied the map until they knew the place like the back of their hands. The two looked at eachother uneasily at Gustav's mention of vampires. Normally it would be because...well, it's vampires. But recent news of their father left them very paranoid and anxious. All they could do now, however, was wait and see.
Until then, they had their jobs to do, and they would see that they were tended to.