It was mid-day in the village of Sorase. The sound of children's laughter echoed through the fields where the men tired away pulling weeds. Wives and mates, who's rugged, hardworking feet were tired from a long day of planting were finally at rest. It wasn't a particularly hot day, and many were merely content with how life was going. No disappearances in nearly three months. It was quite nice for everyone.
Nice for most.
Inside Cita's Inn, the Ale-house portion had her personal table, the table she used to sell her wares. She stood there faithfully, knowing tomorrow was the day her most common clients would return. She had here items fixed, cleaned, and well arranged. For her, this order was necessary, everything squared off. Shiniest and smallest in front, to catch her preys eyes. Then lead their view into the grand view of armors and arms that were behind her on mannequins. And it worked every time.
This though was the slow hours. It was growing dark quickly and the children were finally wearing themselves out. Cita however, was coming to grasp with something that wasn't wearing themselves down. A new customer actually, who had his eye on a new weapon. Cita stood on her side of a counter, with the table next to her. Opposite the counter stood a short, portly male who smelled of cabbage. She wasn't fond of the smell. But he had coins and she enjoyed spending them.
"So I says to the wench, You better not take my strings off of that!" He bellowed, a deep laugh rattling her to the core. She stood there, lazily slumped into the counter. Her left arm propping her up, with her right arm placed on top of an incredibly ornate bow. She was gently strumming the string with her index finger. It was calming to her, hearing the twang. But that serene tune was once again interrupted by this braggart.
"So I'm out hunting boars.. right? And yeah, the thing comes charging and I merely side step. The thing tears past me, and get stuck in a tree!" He chuckled, "So I leap into the air, and down upon him with two knives! slicing it in two!"
Cita brought her right hand up to her have, resting it into her palm. She sighed heavily, "That is." It hurt to sigh again, "Amazing."
The Braggart chuckled, staring her in the eyes silently. Cita was afraid of his next words. Is he.. going to propose to me?
she thought. Or worse.. The lightning was right for romance. Flickering flames cast swirling shadows around the room. The crackling of the fireplace and the soothing sounds of wind gently beating against the walls. Her fears were realized soon enough. "So the bow. You say it was brought from Tunnel-wind Barrow?" He asked, now gazing upon the bow.
"Yes." Cita said plainly, frustrated that she had now mentioned this eight times. As her frustration continued, she found herself gently drumming her fingers along the grip of the bow.
He began reaching for what she thought was her hand, forcing her to recoil. He smiled at her and continued forward. His hand finally reached its target. His finger tips running the length of the bow. "Oh yes." He said, closing his eyes gently.
Cita's face had disgust pained across it, the thoughts this man must've had were beyond her reasoning. "Uh. Guy. So are you going to buy?"
The man nodded and leaned away from her, reaching into his pockets. "Ha, this reminds me of the time I fought the-"
Cita sighed, and muttered under her breath. "Here we go again."
"What?" He said, "No matter, So yes, There I was. You know those little shits, the desert ones. Those three foot lizards with the pointy claws? There had to be fifteen of them. They were all around."
Cita's eyes began to glaze over as he continued. His motions, forcing his hands to resemble claws and mashing it down upon the table as if he was striking a foe. Behind him though, butterflies began to gather. The colors were idyllic.. and then the bird songs and neighing of unicorns as they pranced around his head. It was the first real smile she shown all day. A deep thunderous, monotone voice caved in her dream though, but at least the voice was on her side. Geart had made his way behind the Braggart and tapped his shoulders rather hard, nearly knocking him off balance. "You buying or not."
Cita shook off those thoughts then stood upright, and forced a smile. "We will be closing Soon. And I do Believe you need This for..." She sighed, "hunting three foot lizards."
"Ah yes! you're right! I'll purchase this. Now, Please.. tell me of those arrows behind you. I had an issue before. It was when I was fighting in the battle of Kohldar." His words quickly turned to blahs.
A few hours passed and she was finishing locking up her goods. Geart was ushering our the last few patrons of the Ale house while Sheska washed the now empty display table. The Brutish male made his way towards her after closing the main doors. "Madam. the Ale House is now closed."
"Thank you." Cita replied. Geart never smiled, never nodded.. it wasn't his way, but she knew he was thankful as well.
"Madam, this came for you." Geart said, stretching out his hand. An envelope nearly crushed by his massive fingers. She took it from him and he promptly turned away, retreating into the inn portion of her establishment. Cita left her counter and walked towards a small round table, sitting lazily into one of the four chairs. After a few moments of getting comfortable, she pried open the envelope, revealing a map along with note inside. She withdrew both and placed them before her.
You Like do not remember me, but I am master Zanthee Coatl IV. Your quick actions saved me, my wife, and three children from that pack of Harsnaan Wolves
. I will still forever be in your debt or your actions, however I have found a way to try and begin repaying that. A strange man appeared at my doors asking about you. He must've heard the tales I had told and wanted to know more. He was very frail, possibly a messenger from someone else.
I did not tell him where you reside, but did promise I would inform you of the situation. Apparently this person is gathering people to combat that wizard that has arisen. Though many still doubt this wizard exists, it might be worthwhile to see what this Is about.
Stay safe Cita.
She pushed the note back into the envelope and examined the map "Mannon, haven't been there in a while. Even if this is some lie, it does give me an opportunity to get some new things to sell." She turned her gaze to her counter, "Definitely time to increase my stock.". "I wonder if this is even real. Maybe though
The next day, She arose, still pondering if what-if of this journey. It bugged her long into the day, all through the sales it burned her thoughts. That evening, she walked to Geart who was dutifully ushering people out of the Ale-House. "Geart I am going to be leaving for a while. I need you to take over while I'm gone." Geart merely glanced at Cita as she left the room, before turning back to the growing crowd inside the Ale-House.
Cita felt so tired, as if her legs were going to give out. It had been three straight days of walking, A vein attempt to outpace a thunderstorm. Perhaps it was luck though, it gave her reason to setup a camp and get some sleep. Luck swung her way once more, as right as she began to drift into sleep, a familiar sound rung out. Gentle clopping and that of wheels crushing grass and small rocks below it. "Hey!" she shouted, rising quickly from her near slumber. At first the carriage didn't stop, so she quickly grabbed what she could, leaving most of her camping gear behind as she ran for the carriage.
"Woaaah" the driver said, drawing various neighs from the horses. When it finally stopped, The driver turned his head to see Cita running for his carriage. He slowly leaned over, gazing over his broad shoulders where a young girl sat. Behind him was a large enclosed carriage. It was mostly bare inside save a few boxes. "Nat, do not speak to strangers. Just let me handle this." The driver said, standing to face Cita. "That's plenty of weapons for a petite gal such as you." he said, showing a toothy grin.
Cita finally reached the Carriage, breathing heavily at this point. "One can never be too careful." she said between huffs. "I would like to pay for passage to Mannon." The driver nodded and pointed to the door. "We are actually heading there, a small town. War torn from what I've heard. Some sort of big gathering there and I figure I can sell some wares there."
"Oh is that so?" Cita replied piquing a brow. "How much for the trip?"
"We can discuss your fare once we arrive." The driver said, noticing her lack of possessions. No pack, no cloak. Nothing to protect her from the weather except that thin outfit she wore. With that, she climbed in and the Carriage started off.
weeks later Cita was laying across a bench seat staring out of the back port. The gentle swaying of an unlit lantern was helping her to fall asleep. This all changed in a hurry as the Driver shouted to Nat to jump. As Cita Rose quickly, only to feel a massive jolt from the horses breaking free, sent her to the floor. Creaking wood and a splintering floor forced her onto her side. She heard heavy breathing and a yelp from the driver as the front wheels broke off and the Carriage itself rolled onto its side, down into a ditch. Cita held still for a few moments as the carriage had finally stopped. Her heart was racing, hands mildly trembling as confusion was still dominant on her mind. A grim reality hit when the body of the Driver slumped over through the floor. His eyes wide open as he lay dangling. She reached out for him, thinking to save him but then the blood began to flow from his lips, and as his body slowly swayed, she could see the many pieces of wood jutting from his back.
She closed her eyes hard but quickly recovered, only to hear a scream from Nat nearby. She grabbed her spear and kicked open the door, freeing herself from the inside. As Cita stood upright, the all too familiar sound of bones crunching crossed her mind as ahead was a huge snake, coiled around Nat's now lifeless body. Her face had became deformed as cracks in her face spewed various fluids and gore. A scowl crossed Cita's lips and her brow furrowed.
There was no furious yell, no thunderous charge, Only the sound of a spear cutting through the wind with intense speed. The weapon pierced the creatures face right through the middle, bursting its skull in half and pinning it to a nearby tree. Cita slowly rose from her fighting pose, and began walking towards the now dead snake. As she pulled the spear from the creatures head, Cita noticed the mangled body of Nat and shook her head.
The burial didn't take Cita long. Piling large rocks atop bodies in a ditch seemed like a poor way to be remembered, so in their name she carved Nat into the back of her pendant. As she didn't ever catch the drivers name, she merely placed her hand over her heart. "Rest easy." Cita softly said, before turning to the carriage remains. "Guess i'll be walking from here."
Daylight broke through the clouds when Cita finally arrived into the village. She sighed in relief before walking to the sage who was busy talking to a large, brute of a man. Cita wasn't impressed and continued towards them. She became even more distraught as she heard the man speak. "Othe'wise" he said, prompting Cita to remark under her breath, "Brutish, and dumb. Please don't let this be the entourage." Though she did admit to herself that his question was a valid one.
So she just merely took her place behind the slowly growing crowd of warriors. She knew this was the right group, as other men nearby seemed to show cowardice before Farrin's commanding figure. Though their fear could've been from the two behemoth Buccanese males that seemed to tower over most. Made worse for Cita as she wasn't particularly tall for a female. She placed her hand upon her forehead, and gently wiped the sweat from it before approaching the men. "Hello, so is this the sorcerer removal team?"