reok grins with as much of his face as he can, before motioning to the door.
"You read me like a book, half-orc, the less the authorities and I see of each other, the better." The barbarian begins to hobble towards the doorway, unsheathing his sword yet again, and using it as a crutch.
"So, tell me, if I'm to sign up to this mad scheme of your's where exactly are we going? What's the pay, how long are we going to be at sea and can I strangle that Behorned Son of a Cambion once we're on board?"
Jark laughed loudly at Reok's term for Pity, and guided him outside of the tavern as Reok spoke. Pity and Jack were nowhere to be seen.
"Well," the Half-Orc began, grinning, "I do hope your misgivings with the authorities isn't anything serious. Not that I'm worried; if you'd done anything I'd classify as 'serious' then the Paladin's would have been on you long before now."
Jark directed Reok down the busy, yet uncrowded, street, walking along the docks.
"Firstly, though, as much as I will enjoy seeing the look on that tiefling's face when he sees you on board, he's strictly off limits." Jark said, eyeing Reok seriously, "I know many spiritual followers such as yourself are infamous for their keen instincts...and fits of anger; no offense intended. However, open violence isn't going to be tolerated. Like myself and my brother, the man funding and spearheading this effort is a follower of Sra-Amun. Mind you, there'll be plenty of duels and such to keep the monotony away; not that there are many who can keep up with my brother and I."
Jark seemed to size Reok up yet again.
"Perhaps you'd be able to give us a run for our money though, eh? But as I was saying, Pity's off limits no matter how he provokes you. And trust me, he will continue to. He's a spoiled, prideful and egotistical brat, but he's also a good friend of the man in charge as well as a terrifyingly powerful Psionic. Without him, we have no true advantage in the occurence of a pirate attack; whether trying to run or trying to fight at range. A certain possibility, as we have a long way to go, but perhaps it's better that Tryaen gives you the details of the journey and the payment, if you're still interested. After all, we're approaching our ship now, let's hope he's in. He's the healer."
Jark pointed out a pier less than twenty meters aways. Docked was a Caraval, though perhaps not the largest example of its design. A merchant vessel, though it's design looked rather more sturdy than most, though an obviously greater weight and thicker sail designs meant that it clearly wasn't as fast a ship a merchant would normally like to have.
Time spent hopping continents meant Reok knew a bit about naval transports. A ship like that couldn't possibly hold a crew of larger than fourty, but would be able to be sailed by a mere dozen.
"By the way, you never mentioned your name." Jark pointed out as they made their way towards the ship.
"Reok Keal." The Barbarian drums his fingers on the pommel of his sword, squinting up at the ship.
"A spoilt, egotistical brat, eh? Sounds like someone I used to know. Don't worry, I'll control myself until we no longer need him."
A pause as Reok adjusts his grip on the blade steeling himself for the hobble up the gangplank.
"Well, at least they'll know how to treat splinters on a ship."
Jark shook his head. Even Reok could tell the face was a mixture of amusement and worry, probably if Reok was being serious or not. The half-orc's hand held up Reok's good shoulder, gently guiding the human up the plank.
Both could hear the shouting coming from somewhere on board the ship. A human voice shouting in Common.
"-do I have to drag you before the High Priest himself? I put two conditions on the promise you made to me - two conditions! - and you haven't upheld either. Do I have to spell it out for you, Pity? Don't look for trouble and don't cause it! We can't sail with you lying in a pool of blood or held in the Docks' prison! And don't think that Devoted would have helped you out if you-"
Reok and Jark finally got to the top of the gangplank. The ship's deck was devoid of personnel save for three figures. One - a human Reok recognized from before as "Jack" - leaning on the bow of the ship, watching the spectacle unfolding on the either side of the ship with a raised eyebrow. That is, Pity standing with his head turned aside, glowering at the floor as he was berated by the third figure.
Finely dressed, but not ostentatiously so, the third was a human carrying no armour nor weapon save a solitary rapier. The man shouted without obvious military authority or for argumentative sakes, but more like a lecturer would to a foolish child after the lecturer lost his temper. It was quite a sight, watching a human two inches shorter than the 5'10" devilish tiefling he was yelling at.
The man stopped suddenly as Reok and Jark stepped on board, taking in Reok's state with a knowing eye.
"By Erathis and Pelor, Pity, what did you intend to do - kill him? For responding to your own taunting? Do you truly think Devoted would have condoned that, that I would have condoned it? Go to a Cleric, I'm not going to heal a scratch to the head when you've done THAT to that man. Come back to the ship when you've cooled down." Finished the berating, as Pity scowled and stormed off towards the gangplank. Reok suddenly stumbled to the side - pushed by an unseen force - but was caught instantly by Jark even as Pity took the chance he'd obviously created to get leave the ship, not looking apologetic in the slightest.
By the time Reok had fully regained his balance, he was face-to-face with the man, who's temper seemed to have evaporated in the past few seconds. The man sighed, grimacing at the wounds in front of him, before turning to speak with the half-orc.
"Thank you, Jark, and sorry for the trouble. With any luck, Pity won't try that again. I'll pay for any damages to the tavern, and for your time." The man apologized, waving the half-orc away, though not unkindly, "I'll discuss it later, I'm afraid. You and your brother are free to go, again."
"Thanks, Creek, anytime. One of these days I'll have to ask you how you came to know that Chakchakpittul." Jark grumbled in reply as he waved Jack over and prepared to leave the ship again. The man - 'Creek' - called back as they left.
"Ugh. I don't want that mental image...there are times I wish I didn't understand Orcish." Creek said with a scowl as both of the departing brothers laughed.
Creek turned to Reok, finally.
"Sorry about all that. And, in particular, I apologize for my friend, Pity...He has a dangerous sense of pride, especially volatile when mixed with an undeserved sense of superiority to anything that moves. Anyway, I'm Tryaen Creek, organizer of the expedition this ship is prepared for. Lets get you patched up, though...I'm amazed you're still standing and walking as well as you are. Primalists never cease to amaze me..."
"I've had worse." Reok massages his splintered arm, as it begins to numb...probably not a good sign. "Alright, Creek, here's what I'm offering, you heal me then, since I'm feeling nice today we can talk about hiring me on. That'll count was whatever compensation you were planning for me and ensure that I finally manage to leave this blighted city. Deal?" The barbarian bares his teeth in a grin, made all the more feral by the trails of blood flowing down his left side.
Tryaen's attempt to hide his unease was poor; a strain now evident as he held a smile.
"Yes...perhaps Arvale isn't perfectly suited to a primalist. You'd like to be hired, though? Are you sure that's wise? I cannot guarantee Pity will be...respectful." Tryaen frowned, off-put. Before Reok could respond, Tryaen suddenly started off again, "Wait, no; don't answer. You can tell me your name we can discuss specifics afterwards. Just stay there; I need to fetch a couple of things to help fix you."
Tryaen ran off into a cabin at the bow of the ship; the rather fine painted door suggesting a room for people of some importance if not the actual captain. Without closing the door behind him, Reok could glimpse a painting of some sort and some similar ornaments. There were two...wait, three, beds that Reok could just see from his angle within the room.
Tryaen appeared to rummage in a chest of some kind on one of the beds. Reok recognized some items he brought out... A decent sized mortar-and-pestle, some kind of stone as the material; some kind of plant, or at least the stem or leaf of something green; a small, empty ceramic cup; a sealed glass pot of some thick liquid and a filled flask of some different liquid.
Working at speed, he mashed the green plant vigorously in the mortar, before pouring the much smaller pieces that remained into the cup. From the flask, he poured what was almost certainly water to half-fill the cup with the plant remnants, and stopping to think before pouring out a carefully measured amount of the thick, goopy liquid from the glass pot as a finishing product into the cup.
Walking rather than running, now, Tryaen left his materials on the bed inside and carefully made his way back to Reok with the cup in hands.
"Sorry I took so long. I had to make this. It's no magical potion; merely a mix of the Kar-mese plant "Dragonclaw", water and a mild acid agent popular with alchemists for breaking down small solids and cleaning impurities from liquids." Tryaen spoke as he made his way over. "Hold this with your good hand for me, though. Don't drink it yet for Sra-Amun's sakes..." Tryaen said, offering the cup to Reok.
"I need both hands to reliably work some simple magic on your arm. It's the source of most of the damage I'm working to fix, and I don't have the power to fix it completely with magic alone." Tryaen explained, seemingly waiting for permission to use magic on Reok.
"It's just to numb the pain the drink will likely induce. Dragonclaw is a remarkable plant, but dangerous, and normally I wouldn't advise use of it for many races outside of a Dragonborn or a Minotaur. Even in the Dragonborn culture it's used partially to test people. With magic I should be able to prevent you from blacking out, at least, as well as certainly prevent permanent paralysis."
Reok grins, accepting the poffered cup.
"Can't be any worse than Nelzadru Ichor...although then again Vratan didn't actually survive all that long after drinking it..."
"As for hiring me, well, I have my own reasons for travelling and at the moment Sylvor and Arvale aren't the best places for me to be. Let's leave it at that shall we. Besides, since you're both an apothacary and mage I'm going to have to find a way to end Pity that doesn't involve my sword or your herbs. Not too difficult if we're bound for the South of this continent."
Before Tryean can answer Reok downs the contents of the cup, after all it probably wasn't worse than Neldrazu Ichor.
Posted on 2011-05-25 at 03:02:36.
Edited on 2011-05-25 at 03:04:15 by clockwork demise
Tryaen swore, suddenly grabbing Reok's injured arm, heedless of any pain caused, his hands glowing slightly as he rapidly muttered out a word under his breath, indecipherably.
Reok, strangely didn't feel any pain at the touch on his arm, but he felt the itch of arcane magic being pushed into him. Probably numbing the pain. A second of nothing...the drink was unpleasantly thick, but otherwise tasted simply of slightly sour water.
Then it came. Reok clutched at the injured arm as Tryaen let go. His bones felt like they were rearranging themselves, like an arrow being wriggled as it was embedded into you. A gasp, a heartbeat, and it was over. His entire arm was numb, and the injuries were obvious on the outside, but it somehow moved easier and hung more naturally from his shoulders.
Vision swimming, Reok kept his feet through force of will as the pain disappeared. Beads of sweat were on Tryaens forehead, but the human was grinning.
"Perhaps I wasn't clear, but when I said 'don't drink it yet' I did mean until I stated otherwise. Still, I got my magic in before it took effect, thankfully. I doubt you would have kept the use of your arm otherwise." Tryaen said seriously, retrieving the cup, "Anyway, never heard of that Nelzadru Ichor. I'm not an apothecary, though, nor even a mage. I have a little Arcane power from Bardic arts, and I'm a herbalist by hobby rather than trade, you see. I would also advise against trying to get my friend killed, lest Pity kills you first, though."
Tryaen placed the cheap cup on the railing of the deck beside him, leaning against it casually.
"Anyway, that which you just consumed should finish it's work by tomorrow morning. All splinters and other grit that were on your skin will be broken down harmlessly as new layers grow over them as you sleep at a remarkable pace. Any fractures or breaks to your bones will be completely fixed within a couple of hours...indeed, the Dragonborn test soldiers with that plant for a reason, as the new resulting bone will actually be far more resilient than it used to be."
"But...onto hiring you. Frankly, your manner is less than courteous and you seem more likely to kill half of this crew before we reach our destination. And yet...as a Primalist...I think we have need of you. You see, we're not simply heading to the south of the continent, but all the way to Rog itself. It is no more a legend than Pandemonium or Silvour, I assure you. Though I'm surprised you even know of Silvour, and from your more accurate pronunciation of it...you're not from around here, are you?"
Reok grins ferally, cocking his head to one side.
"Ever tried being courteous to a Maw Daemon when it's got your leg? It doesn't work. As for my heritage I'm from one of the Cinderwaer tribe, Shouth-West Pandemonium, away from the ruins of Old Nerath and those Drow Cities. You were right when you said I was foriegn and your right when you say you'll need me, survival isn't free where I come from no matter who you are and what you're armed with. You were wrong, however, Creek, when you guessed that I'd see the deaths of half the crew, if we're going to Rog then we'll need every last blade we can get to survive...and even then there'll be the plague to worry about. Something I'm not even sure you or I could overcome."
He pauses, considering the ship for a moment.
"Although I may be tempted to throw Pity overboard when we next land."
At any given time, the colossal Docks District of Arvale is home to some of the most unusual travellers, pilgrims and citizens. From the Orcs that have long lived in peace in the area to the near-alien races such as the Githzerai or Shardmind that travel to see the famous nation, the height of purity and justice in a realm known for its endless wars between the mortal races that inhabit it to such extents.
So it wasn't all that unusual for an armored Half-Elf to be walking through the well-kept streets of brick and mortar that stretch on for so long before the architecture is taken over by wooden structures; a more valid substitute considering the innate risks of building along coastlines, and the unpredictability of the ocean. Though the presence of armor without the obvious status of a Paladin or Cleric of Sra-Amun seemed to lead the casual observer the assumption of a mercenary; the suprisingly well-kept equipment, the lack of wounds or scars, and the lack of any obvious insignia that most mercenary bands chose to emblazon their armor with, more or less threw away that theory.
There was a person nearby, though, that did not fit the 'casual observer' title. Even in the City of Light that is Arvale, this second figure so easily avoided notice. Rather than skulk in shadows or behind objects, he chose to hide himself in plain sight; observing taverns and stores, walking amongst a crowd...generally blending in with ease, moving wherever he wanted without anyone appearing to notice his lack of a destination. Certainly, he had no destination, content to blend in, experience the sights and culture...and appraise the armored half-elf from afar.
Clearly not a mercenary, so he wasn't likely to have a group to help him recover his gold, and not a Paladin or Cleric by sight, so he won't detect anything suspicious. But that armor signified money, if nothing else...
The Half-Elf strolled purposefully forward, unaware of the short thief in the crowd, making his way subtly closer, closer...
A tiny, tan-coloured hand reached out to the coinpurse along the belt of the half-elf...before its wrist was envelopped by a metal gauntlet-wearing grip, and the would-be pickpocket was held in place as the Half-Elf turned to look at whom he had so deftly caught.
He got a glimpse of the thief. A gnome; young by their standards, but probably on the verge of as much maturity as their race ever grows. The glimpse was all he got before the hand slipped from his grip with uncanny ability, and the gnome took off at a sprint from the Half-Elf into a long, empty alleyway mere paces away, the Half-Elf's coinpurse somehow in the deft hands of the thief.
Posted on 2011-06-21 at 12:05:22.
Edited on 2011-06-21 at 12:19:07 by Celtia
The Half-Elf shifted his pace in an attempt to follow the gnome, drawing many curious - or perhaps concerned- stares at his sudden change in behavior. Losing one's pouch was highly unprofessional, especially when one had the culprit at hand.
"When it is not one thing, it is another" he thought, more with amusement than frustration. "But then, there is a reason for it all... A gnome... not one for running; best look out for the trick."
Coming into the alley, he kept a keen eye ready for the faintest movement. Perhaps the gnome knew the streets better than himself, or perhaps just their hiding places. It was going to be one of those days, and there was still a job to be done.
The gnome looked back, expression unreadable as the Half-elf gave chase, before darting along to the right, an unusual crossroads of alleys that was difficult to see at first. His footsteps made almost no sound, but the direction he headed in did not lead to the midst of the populated maze that is the city, but rather the open territory of the docks and piers of the city a mere hundred meters or less away.
Rounding the corner, the Half-elf confirmed such a theory, his mental map of this area not leading him astray. Another alley stretched before him, but the lack of traffic in comparison to the street where he was first pickpocketed meant that he could see down the alley's full length and see the signs of the harbor at its end. Another glimpse of the gnome, swift feet having taken it to the end already, and it was off and out of sight, leaving shaded alleys for sunlit docks.
Back at Tryaen and Reok...
Tryaen audibly sighed, but something akin to a reluctant smile was on his face.
"Pandemonium...well I'll be. Perhaps over the course of the trip you may tell me more of the continent, if you so desire. But onto more practical business, I should first warn you against confronting Pity for any reason. He listens to me, but I'm not always going to be there, and tempting him can only end badly. Besides everything else, we need him, so try to put up with him for the sake of this job offer if nothing else."
Tryaen stopped to seemingly think things over, before continuing to speak. His tone was almost warning, having long since picked up on the almost tangible aura of danger that Reok emitted.
"Fortunately, though, I have it on good authority that the plague isn't as all-encompassing as it once was, though I'm surprised you know of it. Indeed, primalists such as you may be a factor for the fight against the plague...and having you along may help out when speaking to any tribes or civilizations there. As long as you obey orders and don't fight anything you're not told, of course. The payment, in addition to food, drink, bedding and basic needs which are all provided for the approximated one and a half year-long journey from now, is a non-negotiable sum of three and a half platinum, or 350 pieces of gold. Your payment will be received upon the expedition's conclusion, and you will recieve additional payment for unusual tasks or anything that puts you at any level of risk."
Tryaen stopped for a second, as if listening to some inaudible speech, before turning away from Reok, suddenly, to look over the busy harbor, spying some figure. Tryaen spoke aloud, but to himself, as if deep in thought or shock.
"...Wyrepynn? We've only been docked for a couple of hours...he can't have already gotten himself into trouble."
As the Half-Elf continued his chase he could not help but grin. The sense of urgency began to fade as he realized that perhaps someone was playing a trick upon it, and he did not believe it to be the gnome.
"Interesting that a thief, and a smaller individual at that, would leave the comfort of the crowds- where he could hide himself- for the openness of the dockyard." he thought, chuckling to himself. "Either he has himself a small hideout, or circumstance is on my side."
Beginning to believe it was the latter he carried on, perhaps he could use this to his advantage.
Posted on 2011-06-22 at 16:29:24.
Edited on 2011-06-22 at 18:30:48 by Tuned_Out
Reok strides to Tryean's side staring across the harbour.
"You seem to have personel issues, aside from those brother's, Jake and Jark, you've picked up we've got a surly Tiefling brat who could still be clinging onto his mother's dress and someone else who's mother clearly meant him ill by giving him a name like Wire-pin."
"Whatever the case, since you need me and I, at least for now, need you, we've got a deal," Reok holds out his good hand eyes metting Tryean's. "As for your gold, you can keep that, I'll take as much of my share as I can in loot of a more arcane nature, enchanted weapons, armour, amulets, no scrolls and spells though, I may have Primal Power but I'm no shaman or druid."
Tryaen began the handshake distracted, looking out towards the gnome that was running through the dock's, clearly heading for their ship, before snapping his attention back to Reok.
"I promise you will be reimbursed as is possible. Later I must ask as to what purpose you channel the primal spirits to, be it the rage of a berserk fighter or the bending of elements to your advantage. Glad to have you on board, and though I'm willing to hire most of whom I can get, I assure you that all of this crew show great talent in their field-"
Tryaen trailed off, his eyes wandering before his entire body turned without warning as the gnome reached the ship, small feet making little noise on the flat gangplank as it sprinted onto the deck, skidding to a halt when Tryaen called out, clearly familiar with the gnome.
"Wyrepynn! What in the Hells are you running from?"
The gnome turned, wide eyes briefly looking at the much taller human before glimpsing back at the docks and taking off again, running into a door at the rear of the ship, opposite to Tryaen's cabin, and slamming the door behind him.
Tryaen visibly grimaced, following the direction of the glance the gnome to see an armored figure approach the ship at a somewhat more appropriate pace, a figure holding a dignity lacked by the majority of armored figures in such an area; not including the Paladins and Clerics of the Sra-Amun temple.
"For the love of Sra-Amun. Excuse me, Reok, I think I need to talk to someone." Tryaen spoke, obviously exasperated as he clapped a hand to his face for a moment before walking to stand at the gangplank that was the only entrance to the ship, watching the approaching figure, his face unreadable.