Mid-day, 19th of Chad, 2005
Braydyn Shortcloak was in a terrible mood. Certainly his drenched clothing were enough for the mere passerby to guess at his sour disposition, but the silent squalls of discontent which filled the halfling's heart were unmeasurable. His day had been ruined by a number of things.
His morning had begun with a rude awakening when three men barged into his room at the Seacat's Folly. Two human thugs stood in his doorway as the halfling leading them delivered his message, twirling the lock-picks in between his fingers with a sadistic grin. Braydyn had recognized the messenger as one of Orm Redleaf's men before the man opened his mouth. The hour to repay the loan had come and gone; the HBA wanted a return on their investment. In the shock of the intrusion Braydyn had stuttered out that he had a deal that would generate the needed coin in the docks district just before noon. At the good news disappointment flashed from both the thugs, but the halfling nearly smiled, pointed to Braydyn and told his companions to 'get him ready'. Within moments Braydyn was dragged from his bed, hastily dressed, lofted over the shoulder of one of the brutes, and 'escorted' out of the Eastern District.
Dusting himself off, Braydyn had still held hopes that he could turn the day around. He still had time; after all he hadn't been greeted that morning with a bolt in his crest. He had made his way through the Warehouse District to where his merchandise was being held, but was stalled when it took the owner of the warehouse until mid-morning to locate the laborers he had promised. Moving on, he then had to hire a second messenger to locate the merchant ship purchasing his goods when he found his first in a pile of of spilt rum and bile. Later still he was forced to take a slow pace as he and his men crossed over into the Docks. The narrow cobbled roads had already been filled with the hustle and bustle of activity and Braydyn cursed the fact the the vessel had been forced to dock near the Broken Mug. As he had traveled his way along the streets he constantly had to duck and swerve through the traffic, but nothing could have prepared him for what happened.
Braydyn had barely registered the shouting in the distance, something about the brothers Hawkes- the name vaguely familiar. When that vocal conversation ended it was followed by a sudden surge of movement as many travelers dodged aside; a half-orc driving them into motion, a human shouting warnings and directions on his back. With only seconds to react Braydyn just managed to avoid being trampled; his laborers were knocked aside however. In the wake of the Hawkes' surge, two of Braydyn's crates were destroyed. He had quickly surveyed the damage, calculating his losses (his personal profit margin was gone) and he would have made just enough to repay the HBA.
But things had not gone as Braydyn had hoped. Arriving at their destination, the laborers made quick work in loading the goods as he talked the trade. The agreed sum for the merchandise had still met his mark; fate decided to turn the other way. As he turned to leave the ship he watched as two of the laborers hefted the gangplank off the ship and into the waters, and felt the tip of a sword against his back; he'd been caught in a trap. The ship had begun to sail out and he was relieved of his valuables as the captain -Trevel by name- made a spectacle of his gullibility, calling him half a man and other derogatory nterms; Braydyn took advantage of the man's bravado, snatching a dagger and stabbing him in the leg before taking a leap from the deck before the ship passed too far from the wharfs.
The swim back had been a struggle, and his limbs were worn from the effort, but Braydyn had managed to stay afloat and return to the docks. He had wondered if he should not have just let himself go into the drink, since the HBA would kill him soon enough; in his heart the halfling knew he did not want to die from either option. Wandering the streets he had weighed his options, even debating hiding in the Star of the Sea orphanage for a moment before realizing it would be too obvious to the rest of his kin. Slipping in amongst the crowd he had managed to acquire more than one coin pouch, their owners being too drunk to notice.
That is what brought him here. That is what brought Braydyn to the Rusty Hook with a mood that rivaled a dwarf with a grudge. He had used his stolen coins to purchase food and drink to ease his spirit and warm his bones, the half-elf barmaid seemed to know better than to try to ask him what happened. There was a period when she had stopped making rounds to check on the customers which made Braydyn look beyond his own table. He was shocked to see her sitting with the half-orc and human who had added to his misfortune this day. Anger bubbled in him but he held it back, drinking steadily and observing the situation. Braydyn watched as the group separated, as another half-orc stormed across the tavern, and as the first blow was struck. The chaos the ensued flared across the entire room; despite his anger Braydyn was a wet match, moving under his table. He didn't want to die this day.
The Rusty Hook; Late Afternoon
Two groans escaped in unison as Khash knocked two salts' heads together. He still hadn't located his friends, and the crowd was becoming more violent. His size no longer mattered, the amount of alcohol in some of the men seemed to give them thoughts of grandeur, many 'rising to the challenge' to 'defeat the monster' that still walked the Rusty Hook. Khash didn't mind a free chance to teach bigots a lesson, but bigots liked to fight in numbers.
Dropping his current 'students' Khash let out a rumbling chuckle as the other two men who flanked him went wide-eyed. They looked to each other, a wave a hesitation showing in their stance before Khash took a step further. Suddenly they grinned and charged forward. Ducking down Khash drove his fist into one mans stomach, knocking the wind from him. The other ran straight into Khash's shoulder and was buffered off with a shrug, but the sound of rushing air filled Khash's ear. Turning about sharply the half-orc came face to face with two tavern toughs, however he had little time to react as one drove their wooden weapon into his sore ribs. Groaning in pain Khash stumbled back and the brutes advanced, swinging wildly. He debated again in drawing his mace, but Khash knew Wil would never forgive him if he lost her a place to practice her trade; he needed to finish up quickly. As a cudgel ricocheted off his shoulder, Khash brought his knee into the attacker's gut and a fist into his back, winding him entirely. Unfortunately, the maneuver left him open to the other tough's swing; as cudgel met ribs yet again Khash stumbled to the floor.
Looking up, Khash could just make out a small form under the table he had fallen by. " 'alfpenny?" he sputtered "What're ye doin'?"
Braydyn scowled at the oaf who laid at his feet, the suspected insult lingering in his ears. The tough who had felled the half-orc was dragging his companion to his feet so they could share in the beating they were planning for him. When Khash had spoken to Braydyn the tough looked up and saw him in his hiding spot, a devious grin upon his face.
"C'mon G'er" the tough chuckled "the big one be yours. I've spied me a half-pint to play with."
The building anger that lay dormant in Braydyn snapped as desperation set in, causing him to kick Khash sharply in the ribs. "Get up ye lummox! We don't have time fer ye ta lay down!" He saw the half-orc stir, and he hoped for the best; the brutes were heading their way.
Why....why do they all hit the same spot? Khash let out a gasp of pain as the halfling's foot met his injury. Braydyn's words had also met their mark however, and Khash lifted his head to see their foes moving to strike; he waited for them to get closer. At the last possible moment he acted. Snatching the front of Braydyn's soaked shirt, Khash dragged him out from his cover as one tough flipped the table. The other was caught off-guard and tripped as Khash lashed outwards with his legs. Without thinking Khash let go the halfling and leapt upon the fallen tough, driving his weight into the man's chest.
Braydyn was left momentarily stunned at the exchange before he realized the other man was coming at him. Backing up desperately he bumped into an unconscious form on the floor, some poor drunkard with his a tankard half shattered around him. Grasping at the fragments, the halfling began throwing them with all his might at the brute before him. Most were smashed into nothingness by the cudgel, but one got through, catching the thug in the eye. As the man recoiled in pain Braydyn dashed between his legs and straight into Khash, who had returned to help him.
“Guns ahoy!” Someone shouted in the distance. Khash tried to pinpoint the direction, recognizing the voice.
‘Yo ho, the guns!’ Another familiar voice boomed just outside the crowd. Khash grinned as he formulated a plan; Braydyn didn't like the look he was getting.
A series of curses escaped Braydyn's lips as he soared over the crowd towards the bar. Falling to meet the floor, he tried to tuck into a ball to resist the impact, but missed his timing and skidded painfully. Recovering, he ducked in and out of the remaining patrons between him and his target, the dwarf at the bar. Sprinting the remaining distance, Braydyn looked absolutely haggard, but relief flashed across his face as he spotted the seaman who now stood with the dwarf. He still couldn't believe he was doing this.
"Cap'n Hawkes?" Braydyn breathed, sore and tired from his ordeal "Khash'll be along shortly."
Posted on 2011-10-03 at 03:43:59.
Edited on 2011-10-05 at 03:52:52 by Tuned_Out
The Order of the Sisters of Mercy Home
19th of Chad - Early Evening
Asim drifted in the darkness; it was silent and he wished for the music which had previously dragged him up from the depths.
But instead of music he did start to hear something, it started suddenly as if he had been alone one moment and then others were there.
“He hasn’t woken yet?”
“No Mum… soon though. He has started some stirring, they always do before they wake up.” “Who do you think he is? By the way he smelled I’d guess a sailor of some kind, no one can get salt that far into their soul without living on the sea. Handsome lad…”
“You have more important things to be concerning yourself with right now.”
The voices were faint but he could make them out as if they were speaking down a hallway or just outside a door. They both sounded female, one older and the other young.
“Word has come down. He seeks the Serpent again.”
“Again? Poor dear. Shall we do like last time if we find her?”
“I think not. He grows suspicious of us. And his temper is only growing worse.” “If you find her, quietly bring her to a room and let me know immediately, we will decide what to do then… I don’t want to turn her over, but…
“Let us pray that we don’t find her this time so those decisions won’t have to be made by us…”
“Yes Mum… and this young man?”
“The usual… when he wakes give him back his clothes and things, a napkin of food and send him on his way. Just remember to ask for a donation.”
“Of course… charity is not free. Good day Mum…” the younger voice laughed as she said that.
“Good day Sister…”
As the voices halted, Asim seemed drawn to them and he struggled up from the darkness. His eyelids fluttered and then slowly opened; he squinted against the light in the room. It hurt his eyes and as he tried to turn his head it caused a pain in his side and he groaned.
Slowly his eyes opened and he tried to focus on his surroundings. After a few moments his vision cleared and he saw a young woman standing near him.
“Where am I?” he croaked, his throat dry and hoarse.
Haspia smiled softly down at him and bent over to remove the fresh washcloth and help him sit up if he seemed inclined to do so.
"Safe... I promise. You're at the House of Mercy. Two of our greens found you and brought you back here. The reds worked on healing you..." she spoke quickly, probably a little too quickly for his still awakening mind. As she spoke she reached down and lightly placed her hand on his side, only the thin white sheet keeping her fingers from his bare skin. "Good as new now, well... almost." Her smile brightened, "The reds always leave a scar, you know they don't have to really, they are good enough healers that they could do away with it, and to be completly honest (and why be anything else?) they have healed a few wounds without so much as a single blemish left on the skin... but most of the time they leave at least a little scar. Mother says that it helps people feel more charitable... you know if they have a daily reminder of the chairty they once recieved." She shrugged and smiled, pausing for only a moment before going on. "Not saying that you owe us anything for this though. Well... not that you have anything. Looks as though whoever stuck you also turned your pockets out. But, you are a sailor aren't you? You smell like one, or did... we got most of that out... but... next time you come to port maybe you'll think of us and send a little coin our way, every bit helps I promise." A blush ran across her features then as she noticed the slightly blank expression on his face and realized she had been rambling at a high speed again.
"Oh... sorry. I get carried away sometimes. You'll have to forgive me. I'm Haspia, one of the Sister's of Mercy. And you're going to be alright." She offered another bright smile to him.
“Haspia?” Asim said when she paused to take a breath. His mind was still foggy and maybe not all of it sunk in at the moment but he realized that these Sisters of Mercy had saved his life.
“Thank you Haspia,” he managed to say as he became more awake. He reached down to where she had touched his side. When he touched where he had been stabbed it was only tender and he winced a little but then noticed that it wasn’t all that bad. No longer did a shooting pain run up his side when he moved.
“That is amazing,” he said and smiled back at her as he gingerly sat up, “I am sorry but you are correct I have no money but I promise that I will make a ‘donation’ in the future once I get some money.” He chuckled a little and gave her his best roguish smile.
“Do you think I might be able to leave soon?” he asked her glancing around the room, “How long have I been here?” It suddenly occurred to him that he didn’t know if he had been here hours or days; if the ship had sailed without him he would be in trouble.
"Well... to your first question, we aren't holding you here. Although I would recommend giving walking a try before you really start to head out, maybe some water..." she blushed again and quickly turned from him going to the small table by the bed and hastily getting him a glass.
"How absolutly forgetful of me... I'm sure you are parched. I should really think before I let my mouth ramble off, Mother says that all the time... oh... water right." She smiled and offered the cup to him.
"So as I was saying... you can leave as soon as you feel up to it... umm... you know I still don't know your name. Anyways, you've only been here a few hours really. The red's are pretty quick, especially with people in your condition, you did lose alot of blood you know..."
Asim took the glass of water and took a drink to quell his thirst and then he smiled apologetically at her, “I am sorry, My name is Asim. I am a sailor on the ship Smuggler’s Moon.” He said this as if she should recognize the name; there was a hint of pride in his voice at the mention of the ship on which he served.
Haspia noted how he puffed up at the mention of his ship, and while she knew nothing of the Smuggler's Moon, and little more about any of the other ships that docked here, she didn't want to hurt his feelings. A look of feigned awe struck her eyes and she nodded approvlingly. "Ohhhh..."
The lad started to get up but as he drew back the sheet he realized that he was naked; he immediately covered himself again.
“Ah, where are my clothes?” he asked, his cheeks starting to redden in embarrassment, “also, who undressed me?”
In response she giggled and copied his blush. "Well... that would be one of the reds. You see it's easier to get to your wounds that way... and well... to be frightfully honest with you, neither you nor your clothes smelled particularly sweet. So... well... we went ahead and gave both a little bath. Your clothes are here though..." she pointed to a pile of neatly folded clothing on the table by the bed. "All fresh and even dry. I could help you get them back on if you wish... I've gotten kind of good at that lately... part of the job of a blue." When she noticed his blush deepen she couldn't help but giggle again. "Or not... but... really no need to be embarrassed. We're all pretty professional around here."
“ah that wont be necessary I can do it myself,” Asim said as he started to rise again holding the sheet around his waist; he paused to look at her and still blushing he asked, “ah can you excuse me a moment?”
"ohh... of course..." she smiled and turning quickly to hide her blush she listened until she was certain he was done before turning around again.
Once she turned away, he stood up and trying to keep the sheet on till he could get his pants on he began to get dressed. Once he had his pants on he dropped the sheet back on the bed and looked at his healed wound before he put his shirt on.
“It is remarkable,” he said tracing the red line where his stab wound had been; it felt tender still and hurt a little when he moved but it was bearable.
"Well the reds are good, one day I hope to be a red too, but I've got a long way to go before then..."
Looking at her he smiled and then slipped his shirt over his head, leaving it hanging out as he buckled on his belt; he noticed his knife missing but assumed the thieves had taken it as he hadn’t had any coins left to take.
“I want to thank you,” he said taking a step towards her, his blush now faded with his clothes back in place, “I will not forget the service you have done me.”
Walking right up to her he paused and then leaned to her and kissed her on the cheek; stepping backwards he smiled at her again.
She smiled, her cheeks pink again. Lightly she touched her cheek where his lips had pressed against it.
“Now if you could show me the way out I have to get back to my ship,” he said as he set his hands on his belt unknowingly striking a haughty pirate pose, “it cant set sail without it’s best crewman.” He finished with a big grin.
Haspia laughed at that brightly, "I'm sure it can't, so I suppose we shant delay any further. This way..." quietly she took his arm and started out of the room with him. She led him through a series of small hallways in what seems to be a large complex. Rooms come off the hallways, more small rooms like the one he was in and larger communal rooms that bustle about with other women of varying ages in plain gowns in a rainbow of colors.
Finally they reach a foyer with a fountain in the middle, two delicate wooden gates keeping the city at bay. She opens a smaller door inside the large gate and holds it open for him. "Be careful out there Asim of the Smuggler's Moon... Next time you come visit I'd prefer you walked in instead of being carted by the greens."
She leaned over and returned the small kiss on the cheek then stood at the gate, watching him until he disappeared into the crowds of Freeport.
Asim laughed at her remark and after her parting peck on the cheek he turned and walked off through the streets. It took him a couple moments to get his bearings, but once he did he made his way towards the docks and the ship. He made sure the remember the location of the Sister’s Of Mercy temple, or whatever they called it.
He was careful as he moved along the streets; he would not allow a repeat of the earlier mishap that had befallen him. He chastised himself for allowing himself to be caught off guard; he was lucky this time and he knew that he might not be so lucky the next.
Walking back aboard the ship as the sun was sinking below the horizon, Asim sighed and headed to his hammock. He knew that he was healed but he felt drained and in need of rest; if he didn’t get it now it might be awhile before he did.
(OOC: I want to thank Meri for the wonderful collaboration and save. )
Foster's Grove, Hexworth, Date unknown, 1991
"Lyriandel Evermoon! You come down here this instant!"
Micarica stood on the porch, an apron over her hands as she rubbed them free of flour. Though stern in voice, there was no anger in her sharp grey eyes, only a distant sadness and endless frustration. The apron fell away, and she reached up to block the sun from her eyes. The child they'd been given years ago had grown into a tall, awkward teenager, but it was clear that the years had bestowed none of Micarica's domestic prowess, or Caleb's love of their hardy, prosperous farm.
At the moment, the half-elf girl was at the top of the tallest tree on their stead, one long bronzed arm around it's bare tip and leaning out, scouting, it seemed. Micarica called to her again, knowing full well the girl could hear her well enough, an watched as she moved down the trunk quickly, leap to the ground from a safe distance, and sprint towards home.
Aye, the human woman sighed, can't blame her for her blood.
"I did all m'chores before I come out," Lyri explained, as if in expectation of some scolding. "I even cleaned my room like you been after me to do."
Micarica softened, unable to stay frustrated with her fosterling. "Aye, and a good job done of it, too, li'l one. Or, " her tone turned wistful as she reached out and caressed the girl's cheek before tucking a strand of her auburn hair behind her ear. "perhaps not so little anymore, aye?"
Lyri blushed and suddenly hugged Micarica, holding her human mother tightly. "I love you, mum" she whispered, before releasing her. "Are you baking?"
How like her to avoid matters of the heart, so timid when it comes to real emotion, Micarica mused. She chalked it up to Lyriandel's parents death, killed by bandits yet the babe spared. "Come help me with the baking, and run into town for me, and you can have some pie when you get back."
Lyriandel grinned, and raced past Micarica into the kitchen. As much as she dreamed of being elsewhere most of the time, Lyri was pretty sure that, out there, she'd never get to taste anything as wonderful as Micarica's pies.
Late afternoon - The Rusty Hook, Freeport
Jericho maneuvered through the melee that had spilled across the floor of the Rusty Hook, one hand still gripping Lyri’s elbow as he went and the other left free to assist in making a path through the jostling crowd as he navigated them toward the bar. That free hand lashed out more than once to swat aside a flying tankard, intercept wildly thrown blows, or, sometimes, deliver them if a knot of bodies refused to untangle itself from the course he had plotted. At one point, as they drew near enough to the bar that Jericho could actually see Will and Maast, the arm Jericho had left free actually snaked around the copper-haired barmaid and pulled her against him in order to shield the already battered girl from a flying bottle that, in the end, smashed against his back. It was then that the captain of the Smuggler’s Moon finally took note of Lyri’s almost wild-eyed expression and he realized that she had gotten sucked into the tunnel-visioned exhilaration that often caused less-experienced combatants to miss important happenings beyond their adrenaline-narrowed scope…
“Wakey, wakey, lass,” he grinned, shrugging shards of glass from his shoulders as he peeled the girl away from his chest and regained a free hand once more, “ye’ll nae be lastin’ long ef ye only see wha’ be in front o’ ye, aye?
C’mon,” he added, “I reckon this wee escapade’s cost ye yer job an’ us our welcome tae Mester Wine’s fine establ’shment. It’d be wise ef we weren’t tae tary much longer.”
Jericho offered a quick wink in response as Lyri blinked up at him and, just that quick, they were shoving through the throng towards the Moon’s shanty singer and master gunner, once more. “Ahoy, Maast,” the captain smiled as he sidled up next to the dwarf, “I mighta knowed ye’d be showin’ up jus’ as th’ scuffle were gettin’ unner way, mate…” The smile melted from his face, though, when he caught sight of Willow’s. Blood ran in rivers from the bardess’ nose and her eyes had begun to blacken. “Yarr, fer th’ luv o’…” Jericho’s hand finally let go of Lyri’s arm and, without hesitation, went to Willow’s face. “Wha’ inna seven bloody hells’re ye doin’ standin’ ‘round, Willow-luv,” he murmured, anger and concern comingling in his eyes as they flicked between her face and the crowd that still jostled around them, “Ye shoulda been outta here th’ minute tha’ fargin’ lubber broadsided us.
Bad enough th’ bastard cost us our parlay wit’ th’ monkey,” he scowled, untying the scarf from about his brow and using it to daub the blood from the woman’s face, “but tae ‘ave this come o’ et’s well?!? Fargin’ cuttlefish son o’ a squid-humper! Ye a’right, lass?”
((Room in any of the above for interjections and such, of course… and, after a brief moment of Jericho fussing over Will… on to this…))
After having relinquished the scarf to Willow, the corsair captain’s angry eyes swept over the crowd in search of his brother. “Khash,” Jericho shouted over the ruckus, “Khash-mate! Et be time tae put this chum-bucket in our wake, lad! Where be ye, boy-o?!?!” It was in the searching for Khash that Jericho spotted the cursing Halfling soaring over and, then, disappearing back into the crowd and only an instant or two later that the wee man emerged from the tangled mess of brawlers just in front of him…
"Cap'n Hawkes?" the halfling breathed…
“Aye?” Jericho answered, arching a brow as he glanced down at Braydyn.
"Khash'll be along shortly."
“Aye,” Jericho grinned, now realizing exactly how the little fellow had managed to come to soaring over the frey like a fifty-pound cannonball, “well’n good, mate. If’n I give ye a launch back th’ way ye come, d’ye reckon ye could point ‘im tae th’ door? Tha’ be where we’re bound…”
Braydyn looked horrified at the thought and raised both hands; “No! No launch necessary, Cap’n,” he said, backing away a step, “I can find my own way.”
“Thar be a good lad,” Jericho nodded, already ushering Willow and the rest of his mates towards the exit, “ye do tha’, mate, an’ find yer own way there, too, aye? I’ll be sure tae make it worth yer trouble…”
((Got more coming for this, me hearties... nice little scene in the works for outside the bar and catching up with Bobo and Horse... but just wanted to get this much posted before the day got much later. As always, feel free to interject anything anywhere in what I've got here.))
The Smuggler’s Moon
19th of Chad - Early Evening
Asim arrived at the hammock that he called his bed, but before he crawled into it he paused as his stomach growled reminding him that he hadn’t eaten anything lately. The ale that he had drank earlier seemed to be gone now; surprisingly he had no effect from it. He wondered if the healing of the Sisters had also removed the aftereffects of the alcohol. He sighed and headed back up to the Galley to see if he might dig up something to stave off his growing hunger.
In the galley he found the cook was not present; of which he was kind of glad a she would probably be kicked out and told to wait till a proper meal time. More than likely he would have been told that the galley was closed in port, as it often was, since more crew were off ship finding other means to feed themselves either food or other necessary indulgences.
He started looking around the galley; searching through the cupboards and other areas for anything that was edible. He managed to find a half loaf of bread that wasn’t too stale and a hunk of ripe cheese, both with only a couple spots of mold. In a hidden salt locker, he found about a half pound slab of beef; the lad smiled as he set his findings on a clear counter and grabbed a knife off of a rack.
Pulling up a stool, he sat and began to carve off slices of the beef, cheese and bread and slowly ate. He happened to glance down at his clothing and realized that his shirt had a huge rent where he had been stabbed and though the Sisters had washed them he saw a little red still stained the side of his best shirt. He sighed and reached down into the rent he ran a finger along the thin scar from his wound and smiled thinking that he had been very lucky to still be alive.
Asim had promised that he would repay the Sisters, if he ever got any more coins to give them. He had spent what little he had on the drinks and if he hadn’t he would have lost it to the thugs in the alley. Thinking of drinks, he got up and found a mug and dipped it in barrel next to the stove. He knew better than to seek out some of the precious ale that the cook might have stashed away; the man would string him up and skin him alive and serve him to the crew for such an affront.
The young man sat carving thin slices of the beef, chucks of cheese and tearing off a hunk of the bread he ate and washed it down with simple water.
A moment later the doorway to the galley was once again decked with the shadow of another hungry soul. This one still wore the dress made of the captains shirt and hummed a little sea shanty quietly as she made her way in.
Quickly she surveyed the room and found it empty, save for one young man enjoying an improptu meal. Seeing him swept away the warm feeling she had after conversing with the rope runner most of the morning. The shanty stopped in her throat and fell to the floor as her face dropped into a pitiful frown.
"I... umm... sorry... I'll come back later..." she muttered and began to turn around.
“No wait!” Asim said seeing the woman turn to leave.
She paused at the door, turning back slightly to look over the young man.
He recognized her at once, Davian something; he stood up quickly and looked embarrassed at seeing her. She might suspect it was because someone had caught him raiding the pantry, but instead it was because he knew that he had suggested that they give her up for the reward. He didn’t know for sure but he suspected that somehow she might know about his indiscretion.
“If you are hungry,” he said setting down the knife so as not to seem threatening and stepped back from the fare he had laid out on the counter, “come in there is plenty.”
He kept his eyes downcast, his obvious discomfort at being there before her.
There was something about him that suggested to her not to trust this young man, especially as he wouldn't look directly at her. Instinctivly her fingers moved to her belt and to the dagger resting on her hip. As she did she noted again the small cuts that crossed her fingers and the small bits of blood caught in her cuticles and even in the hilt of the dagger. Just above where it rested her stomach uttered a low rumble to remind her that she was indeed hungry. The snake coiled around her arm reminded her that only the Serpent knew when her next real meal was coming and that such offers of food should almost always be taken up.
With reluctance she nodded. "Alright..."
Without another word she stepped into the galley. First though she headed to the water basin and began a hasty cleaning of her hands with a stray dish towel before she began to make her way over to the table where the young man sat.
Asim moved back from the food, giving her free reign to eat whatever she liked. He moved to the other side of the room and it looked for a moment that he was going to leave but he halted and looked up at her.
“Ah…” he started and then stopped, he looked like he was deciding to speak or not or maybe what he should say, “my name is Asim and I…”
He seemed very nervous and from his demeanor it was plain that he was in no way threatening to her.
“Well I… maam I owe you an apology,” he managed to blurt out finally looking embarrassed as he averted his eyes again.
She began to settle onto one of the benches when the boy, Asim, began to speak to her. Reaching over for the cheese she rose a brow when he spoke of appologizing. "For what? Has the cheese turned?"
Asim would have been tempted to chuckle at her remark but he was too nervous and guilty of what he was thinking and what he had done. He audibly cleared his throat and then dragged his eyes up from the floor and tried to look at her.
“Well I..,” he stammered and then cleared his throat again, “when you were brought onboard I ah…”
He felt the butterflies in his stomach trying to gnaw their way through to escape; it made him a little nauseous thinking about telling her.
“I was one of the several crew who wanted to.. Ah.. turn you in for the reward.” He blurted out the last in a hurry. He averted his eyes again for a moment and then forced himself to look up at her. He seemed scared of her; she was strange and mysterious and there were rumors among the crew that she was some kind of witch. He was scared that she might turn him into something unnatural.
“I’m sorry.” he managed to say in a barely audible tone that sounded filled with apprehension.
She watched him as he made his confession, her face slipping from mild anxiety to quiet sadness. The serpent lifted up and ran its pointed nose along the curve of her neck. Silence, save for her slow breathing, filled the room, it hung in the air almost seeming to press down on them. And if in those moments of silence Asim began to dread whatever horrible creature Davian might turn him into, well perhaps that was part of the penance.
Finally she took a deep sighing breath and spoke.
"Why? Why are you telling me this?"
“After the Captain shot us down…” he said still studying the floor intently, “and I saw you about the deck… well I realized that the Captain was right. It was wrong to sell a person.”
“I …ah…“ he said as he raised his eyes up to her, looking through his lashes, “please don’t … turn me into anything.”
He looked ready to run out of the room at any second.
"Turn... ohhhh..." realization lit in her eyes and she shook her head a little with it, accompanied by yet another sigh. "Not really my style."
Her tongue flickered between her lips a moment. Casually she reached across the table and grabbed a crust of the bread. "You weren't done yet... why don't you come back and finish your meal, and let me tell you something...
"Once, I had my life saved by a... great man. I worked with this man after, and his son, who was also a good man, maybe not great but good. And as is inevitable in life the father grew ill." She paused long enough to bite into the bread and grab a bit of the cheese.
"The son took over his father's affairs, and soon learned that things were not as... stable... as he had thought. In fact they were nearly disasterous." Another pause for another bite and a glance across the table at the young man she told her story to.
"He tried everything he could, I tried to help. As I said he was a good man... and... and my friend. But..." her voice quivered slightly as she continued.
"But in the end he got an offer that was too great, that would solve his problems. And even good men can be tempted..." She dropped her eyes and picked at her bread.
"I honestly believe that he didn't really know what the reprucussions for me were going to be. And that if he had known, that he wouldn't have gone through with it... but... but he really didn't, and the temptation was too great."
She paused here with a great breath and looked up at Asim, "I paid for his future with my freedom. It was one of the worst betrayals I've suffered. And yet... if I ever see him again and he asks for it... I think could forgive him."
Asim listened quietly to her tale and she could see him relax and his eyes came up to look at her as she spoke. He walked back over to the counter and slipped back onto the stool. He picked up a slice of cheese and began to nibble on it as she told him her tale. His brows furrowed as she continued, he tried to contemplate what she had went through but he finally realized that he couldn’t.
When she finished she might noticed a softer look to his features, his eyes were downcast but the look was more of one that was trying to comprehend rather than being afraid. He sighed audibly in the end of look at her; taking a bite of cheese he chewed and swallowed before he spoke.
“I cant imagine what you have gone through,” he said with a shake of his head, “but I am glad that you have decided to stay aboard."
She nodded noncommittally to that.
"Also,” he continued with a slight smile, “I am glad you didn’t turn me into anything.” He seemed to be joking but yet there was a look that said he still wasn’t sure if she was a witch or not. She didn’t seem to be but you never could tell sometimes.
At that she offered a light smile accompanied with a shrug as the tears started to leave her eyes, "Well as I said... not my style."
“So,” he started again as he picked up the knife and sliced off a couple thin slices of the beef, taking one and leaving the other for her, “you plan to stay on longer? I … ah.. have noticed the Captain seems to have taken a fancy to ya?” He grinned a little and raised an eyebrow at her questioningly.
"Aye... the Captain. He has his reasons... as everyone does. I'm here for now though, I don't particularly care for Freeport. I suppose I'll stay on board until I reach a safer port or until the Captain's reasons have been out weighed." She shrugged again and took another bite.
“Well,” Asim said between bites as he continued to eat as well, “if it is up to the Captain you will probably be here for as long as you wish.”
He finished off his last piece of bread and cheese and left some for her as he stood up and looked like he was going to leave.
“You have only been here a short time but you should know that the Captain is a very good man,” Asim said as he started walking to the passageway. He stopped in the doorway and turned to face her, his face serious and for once showed no sign of fear.
“He wont hurt you or turn you over to those that would,” he continued as he turned and left, his voice came faintly from down the hallway, “even if you hurt him in the end.”
Late afternoon - The Rusty Hook, Freeport
Braydyn was horrified at the thought of soaring across the room again and raised both hands; “No! No launch necessary, Cap’n,” he said, backing away a step, I belong on the ground; not up in the air, not under the waves, on the ground! panic raced through Braydyn's mind, but he managed to compose himself enough to slip away; “I can find my own way.”
As he moved towards the chaos, Braydyn looked back as Jericho spoke. “Thar be a good lad,” the man was already ushering the two wounded women and the dwarf towards the exit, “ye do tha’, mate, an’ find yer own way there, too, aye? I’ll be sure tae make it worth yer trouble…”
A bitter twist formed upon Braydyn's face as he began to scuttle in and out amidst the legs of the combatants. Worth his trouble? These brothers Hawkes had certainly added to his misfortune... though Braydyn was certain the "good Cap'n" would laugh in his face if the man heard the amount Braydyn needed to ward off the HBA.
Suddenly, Braydyn was forced to pay attention again. A low swinging fist nearly clipped his head, but the attacker was knocked aside by another drunkard who smashed a chair over his head; fragments of wood crashed all around the halfling, causing him to lose his footing as he tried to scurry away. Laying upon the floor, Braydyn had just opened his eyes when he saw a cudgel fly overhead, disappearing into the crowd. Rising, Braydyn spared a glance toward where the cudgel had come from to find the crowd suddenly parting before him; a familiar form charged past him for the second time this day, sending Braydyn diving off to the side.
At least he knew where Khash had gotten to, but he had a bad feeling about this. Despite reason, Braydyn raced after the half-orc as fast as his legs would take him.
Launching the halfling across the room had seemed like a good idea to Khash at the time; it got the little guy out of his way, and passed word off to his brother. However, the half-orc hadn't counted on the remaining tough to be so quick to strike at him again; as he set Braydyn in motion a cudgel crashed down upon Khash's shoulder.
“Khash,” Jericho shouted over the ruckus, “Khash-mate! Et be time tae put this chum-bucket in our wake, lad! Where be ye, boy-o?!?!”
Jarek would get an answer soon enough, but Khash had business to attend to. Wheeling about, Khash saw a dark gleam in the man's eyes as the cudgel came to bare upon Khash's ribs again. It seemed the man was done being coy, the weight of the blow set into his ribs seemed more aggressive than sub-dual; at least the man hit the other side of his chest.
The two eyed each other warily, circling each other and periodically exchanging blows. While Khash was able to land some solid blows into the tough's torso, the man's armour was allowing him to resist most of the damage. Meanwhile, another drop of the cudgel upon Khash's shoulder drained all of the half-orc's amusement with the exchange; he began following the weapon rather than the man. Khash watched how the man handled the cudgel during their minor exchanges, circling each other a few more times before he acted. As the weapon came around for his ribs again, Khash brought one fist up into the man's arm and an open hand down upon the cudgel; the man's eyes widened a bit as Khash grinned, tossing the cudgel over his shoulder. Surprised at the sudden lose of his weapon, the tough started to back away, but the half-orc kept him circling; Khash wasn't done teaching a lesson. A firm punch to the face sent the man stumbling, and he tripped over his unconscious companion. A series of curses escaped his lips as he fell.
Khash began to walk away when a tankard smashed into his back. Turning he saw the man he just felled standing upon unstable legs, blood flowing out of the toughs shattered nose as readily as it did from the cut beneath his eye Braydyn had delivered earlier. The man seemed on the verge of hysterics. Spitting blood at him the tough uttered words no man would forgive.
"Ye notin but a monster" He spat again and reached for something at his belt "Son 'o a beast ana whore. Best ta put..." He didn't get to finish; whatever he had been reaching for was knocked out of his grasp as quickly as the wind escaped from his chest. A guttural snarl filled the man's ears and he felt himself moving rapidly.
In a rage brought on by the degradation of his family, Khash had let go of common sense and lunged at the man. With no regard for what the fool had been reaching for, Khash had him by the throat and began charging through the crowd aiming for the nearest wall; the combatants parted like water upon the Moon's bow. With a heavy crash the tough's back met the side of the Rusty Hook, forcing him the gasp in pain as Khash's hand pinned his throat. The half-orc's free hand hefted his mace from his belt-loop.
Braydyn came sprinting after, muttering curses about letting himself get mixed up in all this. Seeing the scene at the wall made him despise the whole situation even more; where was luck when he needed it. The man Khash had pinned was starting to go limp, the lack of air in his chest cauing him to gasp continuously. The stream of blood from the man's nose was covering his mouth, forcing him to spit ; considering his current state, Khash likely saw it as spitting in defiance. Noticing the mace about to complete its draw back, Braydyn was spurred into action. With little time to contemplate it, the halfling jumped onto Khash's arm.
Khash felt a sudden pull upon his arm and looked down, seeing Braydyn looking wide-eyed and desperate.
"Easy now big fello" Braydyn was wracking his brain for a way to end the situation and get out of here; a brawl in Freeport was one thing, but murder was another. " the Cap'n want ye ta ship out" Khash's eyes seemed to look through him, and Braydyn felt himself start to rise. No! No more soaring! I'll not be flung again! Frustrated at the half-orc's lack of response, and his sudden ascent, Braydyn kicked wildly; a boot hit Khash's injured ribs.
Sharp pain coursed through Khash's chest, forcing him to release his grip upon the tough and comfort his ribs. The man slumped to the floor, desperately heaving in breath. Reality started to return to Khash's head and he looked down, first at the man who was slinking away, then at Braydyn trying to weigh down his mace. A puzzled look crossed Khash's face as he stared at the halfling. "but ye... da cap'n... how?" He hadn't expected Braydyn to return.
Annoyed, Braydyn sighed and hopped down. "The Cap'n was movin tward the door, with the dwarf ye mentioned an' two ladies who look like they had a poor time. He wants ye ta clear out. Now." He paused as Khash put away his weapon and looked about for the door."Ye best not plan ta leave me here eithr."
That Jarek had two ladies with him relieved Khash; they must be Lyri and Wil. His brother would take care of things until he got back; he always did. For now Khash, would deal with Braydyn's complaints and exit the bar. Khash grabbed Braydyn, placing him upon his shoulder. "Well" the half-orc said amidst a rumbling chuckle despite his pain "point da way din." With that the pair headed towards the door.
Posted on 2011-11-11 at 16:04:04.
Edited on 2011-11-12 at 03:56:02 by Tuned_Out
Saercyn Willow ~ Who knew this bard had some fight in her?
Late afternoon - The Rusty Hook, Freeport
“Athkurd, could you gib me ah hand ub?” He turned, flipped the axe in his right hand around and offered the handle to Will. She appeared to be in worse shape than he had seen at first glance. He turned around, brandishing his other axe at the nearby brawlers, and when he felt Willow grab the axe handle, he pulled her to her feet.
“Hand ub, handle ub, ith all the thame,” she responded as the dwarf helped her up. The blood looked like it was slowing to a dribble from out of her nostrils, but large dark circles were beginning to form under her eyes. Willow swayed briefly, and laid her free hand upon Askurt’s shoulder to steady herself.
Askurt's fury rose again as he saw Willow sway. He needed to get her out of here. "Follow close Will." He paused and almost grinned. "You elves think you're above everyone else, but don't expect me to carry you!"
“Halb elb, wool head,” Will responded. This argument had been a routine point in the two’s relationship; from the outside standpoint it looked like it got pretty heated at times, but like a good anvil, these confrontations seemed to weld together a camaraderie. Saercyn would have laughed at the timing of dwarf if she hadn’t been afraid of it making her nose spray blood. Her head was already pounding as it was.
“Ahoy, Maast,” Jericho boomed merrily as he stepped up to the dwarf. It almost seemed like her captain was enjoying the fray, “I mighta knowed ye’d be showin’ up jus’ as th’ scuffle were gettin’ unner way, mate…”
His mirth slide off his face as he focused in on the bard, “Yarr, fer th’ luv o’…” He let go of Lyri, and stepped towards her reaching out with his hand. Pain throbbed in her nose, and she subconsciously backed up. One pace backward and she hit the bar again, successfully cornered between it, Askurt, and now Jericho.
“Wha’ inna seven bloody hells’re ye doin’ standin’ ‘round, Willow-luv,” he murmured angrily as his large hand gently touched her face , “Ye shoulda been outta here th’ minute tha’ fargin’ lubber broadsided us.” She opened her mouth to protest at his words, but the captain plowed on, “Bad enough th’ bastard cost us our parlay wit’ th’ monkey,” he growled as he undid the scarf around his head. He began daubing the blood off of her face. With every touch, pain exploded up from the bottom of her nose, coursing through what felt like the inside of her brain and making her eyes water, “but tae ‘ave this come o’ et’s well?!? Fargin’ cuttlefish son o’ a squid-humper! Ye a’right, lass?”
Something inside the bard snapped. Willow grabbed the scarf from Jericho, “Am I alrighd? Doeth id loog lige I’m bloody alrighd?” she yelled, “Here I am, drying to ged the hell oudda thith bilge hole withoud gudding thomeone, and I thake ah tankard do the fathe, and you have the audathidy to athk me why I haben’ lefd?” Her heart was doing a thrum inside of her head, and blood began to flow freshly from her nose, muddling up her words, “Egcuth the hell oudda me, bud the lath dime I checkd I ain’ Cap’n Jericho Hawketh, mathder brawler ob the high theath oud to probe summi’ to the world. Ith nod lige I can juth walth righd through here an’ fling bodieth oudda my way”
The room began to spin as the blood continued to pour down the chin of her whitened face, but Willow was too riled up to stop now, “Maybe I thould juth thay thcrew id all and ged oud o’ here in a way thad won’ ged my damned nothe broken,” she shrieked as she began trying to free her rapier with Jericho’s scarf still clutched in her hand, “thad’ll cerdainly deach me to uthe dacg innae thiduadion lige thith!” The bard leaned heavily of the edge of the bar as she continued to fight with her tangled up scabbard. Something tickled at the back of her thoughts warning her about something, but all of her elvish reasoning had given away to pain.
[OOC: First little bit is a collab between Chess and I!]
Posted on 2011-11-12 at 18:04:38.
Edited on 2011-11-12 at 18:24:20 by Celeste
“Wakey, wakey, lass, ye’ll nae be lastin’ long ef ye only see wha’ be in front o’ ye, aye"
The captain peeled her back and she blinked, shook her head. The grin never wavered as she reached up to wipe the blood from her face, unintentionally just smearing it and making the damage look worse than it truly was. She didn't mind, this was what she had been searching for. The sense of calm that rippled over her felt like completion, contentment, but was short lived; she still had to make it to the ship. As Jericho fussed over Willow, she spared a moment to glance about, taking stock.
Aye, she thought, Wine'd be fairly done in with fits of anger and cries of empty vengeance after this, and she was rather surprised he hadn't made it down to see the explosion of violence for himself yet. There'd be no more work for here, she knew, and that was more than fine with her. She was headed for much grander things than is dive. Though, she had to admit, the thought of leaving all this behind made her a trifle sad. And...oh by the gods, her things! Not that she had much in the way of treasures, but... there were a few personal items she'd cherished and would hate to lose.
Lyri turned her head fast, narrowly avoiding an elbow to her already bloodied face, and cast her spritely green eyes up at the stairs. No, there's be no time, not if she wanted to make it out of here without irons on. The thought made her shudder, and she made her way towards fortune and glory in the company of her new crew mates. There would be more things to treasure, she took comfort in thinking, and now, new friends. As they neared the exit she looked back one last time, searching the brawling mass for Khash.
Well, that was the longest bar-brawl ever, wasn't it?
“Am I alrighd? Doeth id loog lige I’m bloody alrighd?
Here I am, drying to ged the hell oudda thith bilge hole withoud gudding thomeone, and I thake ah tankard do the fathe, and you have the audathidy to athk me why I haben’ lefd?”
Jericho blinked against the gale of Willow’s irritation and anger, of course, but, at the same time, couldn’t keep a grin from spreading across his lips as the battered half-elf continued on…
“Egcuth the hell oudda me, bud the lath dime I checkd I ain’ Cap’n Jericho Hawketh, mathder brawler ob the high theath oud to probe summi’ to the world. Ith nod lige I can juth walth righd through here an’ fling bodieth oudda my way.
Maybe I thould juth thay thcrew id all and ged oud o’ here in a way thad won’ ged my damned nothe broken,” she shrieked as she began trying to free her rapier with Jericho’s scarf still clutched in her hand, “thad’ll cerdainly deach me to uthe dacg innae thiduadion lige thith!” The bard leaned heavily of the edge of the bar as she continued to fight with her tangled up scabbard.
… The Captain’s grin cracked full open into a chuckle at that point and, as Willow wilted against the edge of the bar, he offered a faint shake of the head and slid one arm around the bard to support her as his other hand came to rest atop the one of hers that was unsuccessfully wrestling with her rapier. “I’ve got nae bloody idea wha ye jus’ said, Willow-luv,” he snickered from behind a wink as he pulled her toward him and turned toward the exit, “but I reckon I c’n work out the gist o’ et given th’ way yer singin’, aye? Jus’ keep th’ blade stowed, lass, er this is like ta get uglier than et already is e’re we manage tae shove off.
Come along, now, me hearties,” he said to the rest, already directing his steps toward the Hook’s crooked doorway and carrying Will along with him, “Looks’s ef more’n one o’ ye’ll be needin’ th’ Doc’s attention, aye? An’ I’ll be needin’ tae find our wee monkey friend ef we ‘ope ta be puttin’ Freeport in our wake ‘fore th’ guard comes callin’.”
((As always, any interjections or additions to the above are always welcome… making the assumption, here, though, that all SM crew members make it out of the Rusty Hook with minimal difficulty…))
The crews exit from the ramshackle tavern was far from the most direct they might have taken had there not been bodies and bottles being bandied about, but make that exit they did and with only the most minor of further trouble to be had along the way. None among them thought it wise to stop immediately outside the door, however, and so it was that the small group from the Smuggler’s Moon kept their feet moving once they found themselves on the winding ways of Freeport’s streets, once more.
“A’right, mates,” Jericho said once they had worked their way just a block or so south of Karl Wine’s establishment and ducked off of the larger thoroughfare and onto a narrower sidestreet, “I reckon we’ve been seein’ all th’ fun’s like ta be had fer one afternoon, aye?
Maast,” the captain continued, risking a peek around the corner to ensure that Khash had made it out, “If ye’d be s’kind as ta escort these lovely lasses back ta th’ Moon an’ see ta et tha’ th’ Doc tends ta their hurts, I’d be mos’ ‘ppreciative, mate.”
“Aye, Cap’n,” the master-gunner grunted in reply, “are ye not comin’ along, then?”
“Aye,” Jericho grinned, returning his gaze to his rather bedraggled crewmates, then, “but I’ll need ta be fetchin’ me wee brother, first, an’ then our job soon thereafter, saavy? Th’ swag tha’ our monkey friend promised is nae a thing I’d like ta be seein’ slip away so easy, aye? An’ ef wha’ he said ‘bout th’ destination be true enough, it may jus’ be a fine place fer our mos’ recent guest ta be doin’ her hidin’.”
((Okay… I’ll pause here for now… give the rest of you to add a bit and such, I suppose. Not sure if we’ve lost Chess or not since I have neither seen nor heard from him in quite some time, so, until we find out where he’s gone and if he’ll be back, I’m sure the lad wouldn’t mind if we NPCd the dwarven gunner for him along the way…))
“He won’t hurt you or turn you over to those that would,” Asim continued as he turned and left, his voice came faintly from down the hallway, “even if you hurt him in the end.”
Davian set down the bit of bread and cheese she was about to eat, having suddenly lost her appetite.
Fools and good men were often hard to tell apart. It seemed the Captain might be more of the former than the latter. Which was a damned shame.
She went about cleaning up the little lunch that she had shared with Asim and then wandered back to the Captain’s quarters. The good feeling she had gotten talking to the rope runner had disappeared and left her with a feeling as grey as an impending storm. Nothing good would come of this trip… but she had little choice in the matter. Looking out the little window in his quarters that faced the Eastern bluffs of the city she knew that Freeport held only a fate worse than death.
Across town, in one of the veritable palaces on the Eastern bluffs, Vernon sat with a fine brandy warming in his hands and looked out West. The port was dotted with easily a few hundred ships. That was the real Freeport. The docks and the warehouses, the taverns, and shops that spilled out onto the land beyond them were simply support for the ships. If the harbor shut down this entire city would collapse.
Most of his own fortune was tied up somehow in those ships. Certainly he had some money squirreled away in ventures that were completely dry just in case a drought sapped the ocean into a dessert. But that was an unlikely future and one that he did not realistically plan for. No. Those ships were pure gold.
On most afternoons the mere sight of them could bring a small smile to his lips. Today though a tight scowl was etched into his face and would not leave. Seeing those ships only made it tighter. Somewhere down on those ships there might be a treasure worth more than gold.
Already the city scurried with the tiny cockroaches he had sent out to find her, but so far none had come back with even a crumb. They would though. Eventually they would drag her back to him as they always had. And she would pay… she would pay back every gold piece he had spent finding her with interest… she would pay with her screams and her tears. Only that thought brought the slightest smile to his eyes.
He swirled the brandy and thought about having her back as he watched the ships in the harbor. Never knowing that the whirlpool eyes he so desperately sought stared back at him from one of them.
Ah, so soon the ship. Lyri grinned, practically beaming, and brushed herself off. But at the captain's request, her face lost a bit of it's lumination. "But I want to help! Willow needs more lookin at than me, and.." Her protest fell short and her shoulders sank. "Oh rubbish" she grumbled.
(imagining here a bit of orders back to ship from the cap'n)
Lyri nodded, the movement making her ears ring a little. "Aye, I'll go," she agreed, though it was with a bit of effort not to run back into the fray for more. And there were her things to think of. She'd have to find a way to get them back. It wasn't till she really looked at Willow that she calmed considerably.
"Now how was that for a performance," she grinned. "By the gods, you look like you've had a better time than me in there!"
No longer aiming to knock some sense into the mob, Khash eagerly sought a way out of the chaos that wracked the Rusty Hook. Nursing his sore ribs with one hand, Khash figured it was high time for him, and his small acquaintance, a halfing, to get out before things got ugly; Khash had nearly killed a man, and the temperament of the conscious patrons, toughs, and riff-raffs was leaning towards increased violence. Besides, Jarek had started moving everyone out, and Khash knew better than to keep him waiting, else Jarek begin to worry and dive back into this mess to find him.
Even now the masses that filled the tavern were surprisingly rowdy, disregarding Khash's usually intimidating size. More than once he had to swat away a drunken salt wielding a stolen cudgel, chair leg, or the shattered remains of a tankard. To the half-orc's growing concern, there were also a number of fools who attempted to pull the halfling off his shoulder and into the crowd. Each attempt met Khash's fist, but it was enough to make his small companions eyes grow wide with terror each time; they needed to get out. Luckily, from his vantage point upon Khash's shoulder, Braydyn was able to keep a steady eye on the door, and the activity between them and their destination.
The continued fluxuation of battle had forced Khash to navigate back to a familiar set of tables to avoid further conflict. The first was the fragmented remains of the table where he had left Taro, the fool who had started this mess. The other half-orc was no longer present, a fact which Khash took special note of despite the knowledge that he had broken Taro's arm; he was too dangerous to simply disregard. The next was where the crew had started dealings with "Captain" Bobo. The half-orc shuddered, recalling the creepy talking monkey. The fight had, for the most part, allowed him to ignore the ever increasing presence of magick in his life lately, something he'd rather be without. It was at this table the he noticed an overturned bottle of rum, and a man shoving spilt coins back into their sack; seemed Jarek had forgotten his things, luckily so had most of the bar. Khash stopped just short of the man, causing Braydyn to give a start; the halfing had been preoccupied scanning the crowd and feared a sudden attack.
Looking to the halfling Khash merely shrugged, forcing Braydyn to hastily grab the half-orc's shoulder to stay upright. "Seems me brudda fergot sum things."
Braydyn could only return a incredulous look, unable to speak his mind. I've really gotten into a mess this time.... why.... why, why, why are we stopping... we dont have time
Breaking his gaze the halfling looked to the door longingly before accepting the delay.
Chuckling at his small friend's lack of response, Khash advanced. "I'll be takin dat" The half-orc placed a hand upon the man's shoulder, causing him to freeze; it seemed he thought himself forgotten by the crowd and instantly tensed upon being discovered. "Hand it o'er an ye kin jus walk away."
The glint of steel was too quick for Khash to notice, as the man swivelled about with a knife drawn, planning to slash at the half-orc's wrist. Luckily the anxious halfling was faster then the assaulting man, producing a small dagger from within his damp clothes and deflecting the knife enough to stop the blow from landing. Shocked, the man had little time to think as Khash's fist knocked him aside. Hastily, the half-orc snatched the coin-purse and the remnants of the rum. "We need to move! Now! No more delays!" Braydyn's insistence wasn't unwarranted, for the man to pull a knife was another matter entirely.
With Jarek's possessions secured, Khash redoubled his efforts to escape the tavern. Barrelling his way through anything he couldn't avoid, and receiving various blows in the process. Braydyn held on for dear life, kicking away the few attempts to snatch him from his perch, and muttering a stream of curses. When push came to shove the pair final broke through the crowd, crashed out the door, and tumbled down the steps. From the ground, both looked up to see Jericho waiting, an eyebrow raised at their display.
Rising to his feet with a sheepish grin, Khash produced the coin-purse in one hand and the remnants of the rum in the other. Braydyn on the other hand was scowling as he dusted himself off.
"Ahoy Cap'n," the half-orc chuckled, stifling a groan over his sore ribs "ye fergot somtin."
Posted on 2011-12-12 at 01:29:11.
Edited on 2011-12-12 at 13:10:47 by Tuned_Out
“But I want to help,” Lyri complained after Jericho had ordered her and the others back to Smuggler’s Moon, “Willow needs more lookin at than me, and…”
“Belay th’ belly-achin’, lass,” Jericho chuffed, staying any more of the former barmaid’s protests with the lifting of a hand, “Ye’ll be o’ more help back onna ship, aye? An’ I’m gonna need ye hale an’ hearty out tae sea…” He rested that hand on Lyri’s shoulder and grinned at her then… “Ye’ll be gettin’ yer fill o’ adventure soon enough, Lyri Evermoon. Don’ ye be worryin’ yerself ‘bout tha’.”
“Oh rubbish,” Lyri grumbled even as she accepted, however grudgingly, the captain’s orders. “Aye, I’ll go.”
“Aye,” Jericho smiled, winking at her, “thar be a good star ta steer by, lass. Get yerself acquainted wit’ th’ ship an’ yer mates e’re we weigh anchor, lovely; et’ll be makin’ th’ sail all th’ better fer ye. Ye’ll nae be wantin’ fer a lack o’ comp’ny, aye?”
With that, he let go of the red-haired half-elf and turned his gaze on the others… Maast, stern faced and determined looking as always… and Willow, lovely as ever, he noticed, even with the blackening eyes, swollen nose, and smears of blood that stained her face. “Of ye go, then,” he grinned, shoving an errant tumble of braids back over his shoulder before, shooing them off , “Me an’ Khash’ll nae be far behind an’ we’ll be bringin’ th’ job back wi’ us, aye? Trust me…”
((Assuming some general “Aye, Cap’n’s” and such as the crew makes to head for the ship))
Jericho began backing in the opposite direction as Maast, Willow, and Lyri turned to make for the ship. He watched them for a moment, smiling faintly as, for lack of his scarf, he tangled his locks into the loose semblance of a pony-tail… “Ahoy, Will,” he called, before the troop got much farther away… When the bardess glanced back his smile brightened… “I’m sorry ‘bout tha’, aye,” he said, touching his own nose and feigning a wince, “I’ll be sure ta make et up to ye, lovely.”
He winked, and then, spun on his heel, and swaggered almost nonchalantly back toward The Rusty Hook, grinning and singing (although, likely not as well as Willow might’ve) as he went…
~Take up the sheets me hearties,
Water the decks with brine,
Bend to the oars, you lousy whores,
None is bigger than mine.~
…the corsair captain was only another half-a-verse into the song when the Hook’s now loosely-hanging door was framed in his sight, and scarce a note past that when Khash and a Halfling came crashing out of the place and landed with a thud at Jericho’s feet.
“Done wit’ yer dancin’, then, are ye, li’l brother,” Jericho snickered, arching a brow as the half-orc grinned and began to haul himself up from the street, “Ne’er did unnerstand why, wha’ wit’ a pretty lass like Lyri battin’ eyes, ye a’ways seems ta end up sashayin’ about wit’ big ugly blokes, aye?”
“Ahoy Cap'n,” the half-orc chuckled, stifling a groan over his sore ribs, “ye fergot somtin.”
Jericho grinned brightly and clapped his brother on the shoulder as Khash produced both Captain Bobo’s ‘advance’ and the bottle of strawberry-flavored rum that Willow had bought. “I dinna fergit, Khash-mate,” he chuckled, taking the bottle and indulging in a nice long pull, “I knowed ye’d be fetchin’ ‘em, seein’ as ye were innat proxim’ty, aye?”
He winced as the alcohol poured over a cut on his lip and shivered a bit as it served to soothe the ache of a few other brawl-related injuries… “Here,” he said, offering the bottle back to Khash, “look’s ef ye c’n be usin’ a knock o’ this yerself, aye? An’ hang on tae tha’ purse’s well, mate… I reckon any picky-pockets hereabouts’d think more ‘bout th’ consequences o’ nickin’ you as me, saavy?”
Jericho glanced at Braydyn, then, and smirked; “Ye recruitin’ fer us whilst ye were dancin’, too, me brother?”
((OOC: Okay… Over into T_O’s hands for the collab bit… figured I’d post this much just to nudge the thread or sommat…))
“I’ve got nae bloody idea wha ye jus’ said, Willow-luv,” Jericho sniggered as he began to pull her towards the exit, “but I reckon I c’n work out the gist o’ et given th’ way yer singin’, aye? Jus’ keep th’ blade stowed, lass, er this is like ta get uglier than et already is e’re we manage tae shove off.” Willow quit struggling with her scabbard under the weight of her captain’s hand and leaned into Jericho as they began moving towards the exit. Still clutching at her case, Saercyn held his scarf up to her face, thankful that the clots were reestablishing themselves and didn’t get it too terribly bloody.
The din of the fight was beginning to settle, but a wrong word could send the crowd into a tizzy once more, “Come along, now, me hearties,” he said to the rest, “Looks’s ef more’n one o’ ye’ll be needin’ th’ Doc’s attention, aye? An’ I’ll be needin’ tae find our wee monkey friend ef we ‘ope ta be puttin’ Freeport in our wake ‘fore th’ guard comes callin’.”
The cool late afternoon air was refreshing after the heat and smell of sweat in the bar. The small group was set upon the winding streets back down towards the docks, and they began to speak a bit more freely now that they were away from the fray.
“A’right, mates,” Jericho began, stopping just out of sight of the tavern, “I reckon we’ve been seein’ all th’ fun’s like ta be had fer one afternoon, aye?
Maast,” he said, shifting his weight to look around the corner to look back at the Rusty Hook, “If ye’d be s’kind as ta escort these lovely lasses back ta th’ Moon an’ see ta et tha’ th’ Doc tends ta their hurts, I’d be mos’ ‘ppreciative, mate.”
“Aye, Cap’n,” the master-gunner grunted in reply, “are ye not comin’ along, then?”
“Aye,” Jericho replied grinning, “but I’ll need ta be fetchin’ me wee brother, first, an’ then our job soon thereafter, saavy? Th’ swag tha’ our monkey friend promised is nae a thing I’d like ta be seein’ slip away so easy, aye? An’ ef wha’ he said ‘bout th’ destination be true enough, it may jus’ be a fine place fer our mos’ recent guest ta be doin’ her hidin’.”
Willow extracted herself from her captain’s grip, pulling the scarf away from her nose and checking it. No fresh blood. The clots were holding, the gods willing, just as long as she didn’t sneeze or get riled up again. She held fast to the scarf just in case.
“But I want to help,” Lyri pleaded, “Willow needs more lookin at than me, and…”
“Belay th’ belly-achin’, lass,” Jericho chuffed, staying any more of the former barmaid’s protests with the lifting of a hand, “Ye’ll be o’ more help back onna ship, aye? An’ I’m gonna need ye hale an’ hearty out tae sea…” he laid a massive hand on her shoulder and grinned mischievously at her, “Ye’ll be gettin’ yer fill o’ adventure soon enough, Lyri Evermoon. Don’ ye be worryin’ yerself ‘bout tha’.”
“Oh rubbish,” Lyri grumbled in response, “Aye, I’ll go.”
“Aye,” the captain said, “thar be a good star ta steer by, lass. Get yerself acquainted wit’ th’ ship an’ yer mates e’re we weigh anchor, lovely; et’ll be makin’ th’ sail all th’ better fer ye. Ye’ll nae be wantin’ fer a lack o’ comp’ny, aye?”
His gaze took them all in one by one. Will’s stomach swooped as his eyes drank her in, though she wasn’t entirely sure if it wasn’t from all the blood she had swallowed, “Of ye go, then,” he grinned, sweeping his braids behind his shoulders before shooing them away , “Me an’ Khash’ll nae be far behind an’ we’ll be bringin’ th’ job back wi’ us, aye? Trust me…”
“We’ll thee you onboard, Cap’n” Will replied. She desperately felt the need to inhale sharply through her nose to clear her sinuses, but something deep inside told her it would be a bad mistake.
"Now how was that for a performance," Lyri said, turning her brilliant green eyes to look Will full in the face. Her enthusiasm was infectious, despite one eye being nearly closed shut by the large bruise now covering it, "By the gods, you look like you've had a better time than me in there!"
Will grinned at that, and then winced at the pain that shot through her face. She threw the arm still holding the scarf around Lyri and turned to head back down towards the docks, “Aye, I may hab. Stig around a while, dear one, and I promithe nexd thime we’ll do a duet.”
“Ahoy, Will,” Jericho called before they had gone very far. She turned to face him over her shoulder, “I’m sorry ‘bout tha’, aye,” he said, his fingers touching his own nose and scrunching his face into a wince, “I’ll be sure ta make et up to ye, lovely.”
Her face split into a wide smile and pain flared fresh across her nose. “I’ll remember you said thad, Jarek. Be careful with thad varmid. ” she called back to him, her syntax still colored with blood. Willow turned back still half holding, half being supported by Lyri as the Captain’s voice echoed the refrain of one of her songs. Despite the sting it caused, Willow still managed to grin.
The Docks of Freeport, early evening
On board the Smuggler’s Moon, it was clear that most of the crew had taken leave to the many pleasures of the port city. A skeleton crew remained, taking care of tedious yet important tasks. One of the mainsails was stretched out on deck as a hand was bent over it; Will guessed that it was being repaired, but it was still hard to tell at this distance.
“Ahoy, Smuggler’s Moon,” Maast called out in a loud, thunderous voice.
“Elo ho ho, Maast,” came a shout from the deck. Will thought it was probably Derek, he never was one to go ashore much, but she couldn’t be sure. Her mind was more focused on making it aboard still standing. It wouldn’t do for even just a few of the crew to see their shanty crumple in front of the ship. She’d never hear the end of it. Inwardly she cursed herself. There had been other instances where she had her skin flayed open nearly to the bone and had still been able to fight, but having her nose broken for the first time brought about a different kind of pain. If only she could get something to drink; water, or maybe something a little stronger.
“Come on, lass,” Maast said to her, prodding Will’s side lightly, “Let’s get yer elfy nose in tae see Doc.”
“Halb elb,” she reminded him, but it was purely out of routine at this point. Willow couldn’t tell if her nose needed to be set or not, but she suspected things would feel a lot better if it didn’t need to be. The bard’s head was still pounding to a steady beat.
(OOC: I’m leaving it there for now until I’ve got a little bit more to go on for the Doc. Even better if we could get someone recruited for that position. *grins widely* Feel free to continue the conversation if you with, Lady D. I don’t mind back posting. ^_^ )
Posted on 2011-12-24 at 04:21:05.
Edited on 2011-12-24 at 05:31:27 by Celeste
The Smuggler’s Moon
19th of Chad - Early Evening
Asim rolled over in his hammock below decks and raised his head and listened; had he heard someone call out to the deckside watch? He heard voices above but they were too faint to make out the words or even who might have been saying them. There was no sound of trouble; probably just some of the crew coming back from liberty.
He groaned as he moved and hoped that they had a much better time than he had; he was sure that they had. The last he had seen a lot of the crew they had been at the bar enjoying fine song and drink. He wished that he had stayed there and he wouldn’t have wound up in the mess he had found out on the streets of Freeport.
Thou, when he thought about it, aside from the near death and pain, it hadn’t been all bad. He had met the young woman at the House of Mercy; what was her name? Haspia, yes that was it. She had been nice and pleasant to look upon; she seemed interested in him and that was a rare thing. Asim had a warm feeling spread through him at the thought of Haspia’s smile; the warmth helped to relax him and he closed his eyes and drifted back off to the sleep that his healing body needed.
(OOC: A little something since I havent posted in awhile. Felt I needed to show I am still interested in this here adventure. )
Posted on 2011-12-31 at 20:56:50.
Edited on 2011-12-31 at 21:00:19 by RP Noob