The pursuit persisted through the winding streets of Ardent's Fall, with Ser Merek becoming visually winded. Though he wasn't out of shape, per se, the baron certainly had an aversion to long runs, especially down crowded streets of drunken men and men making merry; he'd much rather be amongst their ranks than scrambling through the city on a wild goose chase. Still, he needed that damn letter. No way he would be turned to ash the moment he met the woman of his dreams. As he doggedly persisted after the thief, Merek noticed him swipe a coin purse from a tall figure with blazing red horns sprouting from their head, a bold move on the thief's part. It took only a brief moment before his fellow victim gave chase after the fiend, in a notably much swifter fashion than Merek. The slim, tall figure fell back to his ragged pace for a moment to exchange a few words, it seemed, though once the baron saw her face, these words went in one ear and out the other. By the Gods...
The lithe woman was a tiefing, there was no doubt, and a rugged, yet beautiful one at that. Merek had met only a few in the past, though they left a strong impression upon him, especially the wild one with whom he shared a room with while on his travels. Though all their majesty paled when compared to the one before him. He was too enamored with the woman's flowing ebony hair, sweeping, gorgeous horns, and her graceful stride upon powerful legs to take in all the words she spoke, but he picked up bits and pieces. When she held up her hand, though, he saw the same scar that marred his own, and someone else's who he barely remembered. His eyes widened, though no words came out of his mouth, only panting. The two rounded a corner after the thief, certain they were close to catching him, only to realize the man led them in a giant circle around the city and returned them to the crowded town square. He was gone, slipped into the revelry of the festival. Merek was almost grateful for this, as any more running would have left him crawling on the ground gasping for breath, an embarrassing position to be in before his new tiefling muse. Even so, Merek bent over and took a few deep breaths, hands placed firmly on his knees. After a moment, he looked up to his red companion and spoke, trying to compose himself as much as possible. "Oh, that devil stole a letter from me, but it doesn't really matter right now," the baron panted, standing up straight. He had a strange cadence and accent to his deep voice, like a southern peasant attempting to sound like a nobleman, though a low one at that. "I was told I'd be lit aflame without the letter, though if the last thing I see before turning to ash is you, that fate doesn't sound as terrible anymore," the baron mused with a sorrowful grin.
Merek was rapidly composing a sonnet in his head as he took the tiefling's scarred hand into his own and gave it a gentle kiss. Skin like setting sun... Elegance of.. Deer? No, no... Something horns... In his frazzled state, he settled for an introduction. "Sir Merek the Brave, Baron of Ashenfield and Champion of Armond, at your service." The baron reached from his belt and handed the tiefling the small coin pouch he'd gathered from his stunt on the square before the thief made off with his letter. "It's not much, but I hope it'll make up for some of what that damned thief made off with."
Before Merek could launch into another round of flirting, he spotted a familiar face on the side of the street, a door freshly slammed in his face. "Well well, if it isn't my old friend, Bram!" Merek shouted out as he approached the man like an old friend, both arms outstretched for an embrace. In truth, the two had brushed shoulders in the past, in a few royal courts and business dealings, though they were far from old friends. In Merek's world, however, he knew no strangers, and everyone was an old friend. He hugged the nobleman in an aggressive bear hug and left him with a heavy pat on the back. "Care to join my friends and I at Minnie's? We're trying to solve the mystery of the scar," Merek asked jubilantly, showing the strange scarred glyph on his ungloved hand.