"Ill? No it is more than a common illness that leaves me so. And as for old, would you beleive I have counted no more than 27 years? This body is not the result of age but rather a, shall we say, payment. It was not more than 2 years ago that I left this dreadful town and set out to find a more exciting existance. Perhaps I should have been more careful what I sought for indeed I found what I sought."
Algrek picked up his mug of warm ale. "I find that even the worst ale tastes better if properly chilled." In moments a coating of frost covered his mug. He took a drink, "Well now it is at least passing."
Once more the weasel poked its head above the table. "Well now you are in a rare mood this evening my small friend" Algrek lifted the weasel into his lap. "This is D'weesle. He has been my sole companion for the past year. Whether he is my familiar or I am is has not yet to be established."
Algrek's attention was drawn to a rather flambouyant young woman who actually flounced into the bar. He noticed that most eyes were on her but unlike his, most of them were filled with desire. Algrek's eyes betrayed just a hint of envy. "I wonder if she is greatful for or even aware of the gift she possesses."
Turning his attention back to the lady at the table, "So what brings one such as you here? It cannot be chance that brings a stranger to a town such as this."
Posted on 2012-08-13 at 22:43:51.
Edited on 2012-08-14 at 23:09:40 by Keeper of Dragons
So you pay a price for your powers.” She said, it sounded like a question but it was in fact a statement, “Interesting.”
She watched him and his little companion; she raised a slim dark eyebrow when he spoke of D’weesle and their relationship. She wondered to herself which one of them was the master and which one the slave. It didn’t really matter; she might have a use for one or both of them.
She listened to his question, pondering the circumstances as she glanced about the room and then returned her gaze to Algrek and with a faint smile upon her lips she spoke.
“How would you like to ‘recoup’ some of the ’payment’ that your body has given?” she asked then watched his reaction as she sipped her slightly chilled Red wine. Her eyes went to the Old Man across the tavern, he was right the chill had lessened the taste of the wine but it would return to room temperature in time. She returned her attention to the young man before her; perhaps he would be one that she sought. She didn’t know how many should would need, but the more with her the more the risk would be spread around.
He left the woman at her table and headed back to Jonathan. When he was but half way there he was stopped in his track upon the entrance of a red headed woman. She was not just beautiful. He had seen beauty in all of its forms and he had seen an even larger share of its opposite. But this woman seemed made of desire. It was in the way she moved, in the glance of her eyes, the way her lips curled and her hair danced in that untamed rhythmic tangle.
The Scarlet Lover, he though, and grinned at the fitting comparison.
She would steal many hearts this evening. As he looked around, he noted he was not the only one staring at her. Peeking back at the town’s smith, he saw Jonathan staring at her as if he’d seen water burn. This was by far the prettiest girl the town was ever graced with, and Jorak’s grin widened even more at the young man’s obvious thoughts.
But while holding the grin, his thoughts raced to other corners of his mind. He frequented the Half Blind Warrior, was a regular guest. Yet never on any evening had he seen so many new faces. Especially such beautiful faces as the two women who had entered. He had spoken to one of them, and a sudden desire to do the same with the red head emerged. Perhaps there was something going on. If he spoke to her, maybe he could define a pattern and figure out if he should be concerned or not. For he was beginning to feel concern. Concern for his own cover. Concern for the town he lived in. And he had to admit: he was feeling concern for his fellow townsfolk.
He walked over the where the game had commenced and tapped the woman on the shoulder.
“When you’re done with your game, I would like to offer you a glass of Lockshir Cider. It’s a stiff drink, with a cool after taste and a body like no other beverage you’ve ever consumed.”
He smiled his toothless smile at her.
“I’m at the table over there, with that young man.”
"Recoup the payment? Ah that I could. Though I doubt that you have the power to change my 'agreement' there is no reason to avoid the possibility." Algrek sipped his ale. "What exactly are you proposing? I assume it is something that is not for the 'ordinary' amoung us to undertake."
"Compendium of Sren? No, I have not heard of it. I take it that you have an interest in the item." Algrek looked around, "Yes there are a few in here that might be above the ranks of the unwashed, brainless masses. To be honest, I have never seen the interesting looking ones here before nor do they seem to know the local peasents." Algrek shuddered a bit, "Such ignorance makes my skin crawl." Another pull from his ale drained the mug. He caught the arms of a passing server. "Tell the barkeep he should be ashamed to call this swill ale. Perhaps for a silver piece he can find something palatable."
Three hands into the game and Kit was on a solid losing streak... just as she had planned. She made she the monies lost were not much and had played well enough to let her table know she could hold her own, but her primary purpose had been to gather information, and what she had gained thus far was worth every coin lost.
Those at her table had loose enough tongues to talk openly about the goings-on around this "mud-hole": a number of soldiers had just returned home to their families from a skirmish with Sendrians to the east, the battle hard-won; the half-blind tavern was a stop-over for some travellers on their way to Calestra or Sendria or to the Plains, though few were travelling these days due to the skirmishs with Sendria; the woman and the man at the back table were new around here as far as any at Kit's table could tell, and Kearn and Jerome made it quite clear they didn't much like the looks of them.
Beyond that, Kit had a handle on her opponents too. Kearn and Jerome were savvy enough players to see a bluff but didn't have enough bravado to finish the play. Benny was a sweet lad, brave and bold, but his face tattle-tailed his hand everytime.
Jonah, however, had that great mix of bravado and brains. She could see that he was a man who was experienced at taking calculated risks, a leader of men who had anted-up soldiers' lives and dared enemy commanders to go ahead and try their luck.
He was dangerous, and Kit loved him for it.
Taking the marking die, Jonah moved it along to the edge of reason and calmly stated, "Eleven sixs"
Three... two... one... Kit counted in her head, anticipating Jonah's next move. Jonah placed his hands in front of him on the table, giving away his subtle tell that he really didn't have it. Kit ignored it.
She could feel the presence of the old man coming up alongside her as she gazed at her dice intently. When he place his hand on her shoulder, she looked up with a playful smile. Apparently, everyone's feeling a bit lucky tonight.
“When you’re done with your game," the old man began. "I would like to offer you a glaff of Lockfhir Cider. It’s a ftiff drink, with a cool after tafte and a body like no other beverage you’ve ever confumed.”
He smiled a toothless smile at Kit.
“I’m at the table over there, with that young man.” Kit smirked as she followed his gaze to the well-built, young man at the nearby table. Grandfather trying to set up his grandson? Kit wondered to herself.
"That would be lovely," she said to the old man, her eyes dancing playfully with her smile.
"Do you mind, Jorak?" Jonah asked, a little annoyed at the interruption. "We're kinda in the middle of something here."
Paying no attention to the soldier, Kit continued, "Give me just a minute to finish up here."
Turning her attention back to her dice, she looked them over one last time. Benny had already folded, and Kit was glad... she would have hated fleecing the lad. Jerome and Kearn predictably folded at Jonah's bluff, but had invested some good coin already, and likely would be calling it a night after this hand. Which left only Jonah.
And Kit knew Jonah was bluffing. He didn't have the 6's, that was for sure. But she was also fair confident that he did have a bunch of 1's. But would he admit defeat when called out, or would he keep pushing his little rouse. Let's find out, Kit thought excitedly
Flashing Jonah a knowing smile, Kit flipped the marker dice over once more, and playfully called, "Twelve ones."
"Thirteen sixs," came Jonah's reply, calm still, but slightly clipped and a beat quicker. He pushed in the necessary coins to match his bet.
"Fourteen ones," Kit answered sweetly, matching her bet with funds from her pouch. "What have I got to lose?"
"Alright," began Kit.
"Good call," said Jonah smugly, as he made to gather up the coins. "I would have hated for you to lose the last bit of your coin so soon into your game."
"You misunderstand me, Jonah," Kit's smile broadened. "I'm calling you out. You haven't got it. You're bluffing."
Throwing down the dice on the table, Jonah ubruptly slid his chair from the table, cursed Shinara, and walked out of the Tavern.
"Nothing personal, ma'am," Benny stated. "Captain's just not used to losing much. He just needs to walk it off. He'll maybe be back."
Jerome slid his chair from the table, "I need to get home myself. Likely have a full day tomorrow." Turning to Kit, he nodded slightly, "Saffron, it was nice to meet you. A good night to you all."
"Aye," echod Kearn, sliding his chair away too. "I best be finding my bed too. I ain't got much left to lose anyway."
The two men made their way out the door, leaving only Benny at the table with Kit. She gathered her won coins from the table and placed them into her pouch, while the young soldier looked her over.
"So," he began. "You got a place to stay for the night?"
Kit gave the young lad an appraising look. Bold and brave, even if he's lacking in brains, she thought, but replied simply with, "I think I like it right here."
Benny miss his cue and continued on, trying to put his arm around Kit, "Really? 'Cause I was thinking maybe you might wanna come with me."
The red-haired lass deftly deflected the incoming arm and invitation, as she stood up, "No, thanks, Benny. But thank you, kindly, for the offer."
Benny continued to follow her, "Come on, sweetheart. I'll pay ya. I got the coin... how much?"
A fire flashed in Kit's eyes and her playful smile became a bit tighter and she faced Benny, "Listen, lad. This ass isn't for sale. So, you best go home now." Her hand drifted to the hilt of her scimitar, her face letting Benny know she wasn't playing around.
The barkeep spoke next, "Benny, maybe you should go find your captain... make sure he's okay?" The young blacksmith also stood up.
The moment paused as Benny considered his options. He had misread this red-haired beauty and was now in the center spotlight, embarassed by his miscalculation. If Kit had been alone with him, he might have attempted to slapped her and carried her off by force. But with Jonathan and the barkeep offering the woman protection, Benny had enough sense to know he wouldn't have the opportunity.
"Another time, perhaps?" he said to Kit with a wicked grin full of malice. Colecting his stuff, he exited the Tavern with little more fuss.
Kit smiled inwardly, Everything is going splendidly. To the barkeep, she simply rolled her eyes dramatically, "Boys, right?"
The barkeep laughed, "Aye! Not always think with the right head."
Kit laughed lightly along with him as she made her way to the table with the young blacksmith and the old man. "That was mighty kind of you to stand up for me, sir," giving the man a little kiss on the cheek. "Some boys just don't know how to handle fire very well, you know what I mean?" Positioning a chair inbetween the old man and the young blacksmith, Kit leaned over and gave the old man a kiss on the cheek as well. "And thank you for the kind offer of a drink." She looked back at the young blacksmith with her playful eyes once more, "I love a stiff drink with a nice body."
Posted on 2012-08-18 at 21:13:54.
Edited on 2012-08-19 at 02:08:16 by Ayrn
"Tell me more about this compendium."
Algrek said to the dark woman but he could see that she apparently hadn’t heard him; her gaze was across the room at the gambling table. Her eyes watched as the other gamblers began to leave, and then one of them appeared to get ‘friendly’ with the young woman who had came in earlier.
As things got heated, the dark woman’s eyes narrowed as she watched and when the man turned to leave finally a small smile turned up the corner of the dark one’s crimson lips. She watched the man named Benny leave, she closed her eyes and slowly tilted her head to the left. It looked like she was listening to something for a moment. Her eyes opened and her head came back up and she smiled brightly as she turned back to Algrek.
Benny left the tavern but he was not happy about how it had ended. He was sure he was going to be leaving with that girl, he knew that she wanted it so why hadn’t she wanted him. It wasn’t him, couldn’t be. Had to be her; something wrong with that one.
He paused in the darkness to the side of the Tavern thinking if he should wait for the girl to come out and maybe try again; maybe this time he wouldn’t give her a choice. As he stood there he noticed a strange fog rolling in he looked and saw that it was sweeping down the street and was almost at the Tavern. He looked around and saw no one else on the street; he wondered where everyone else went.
The fog swept over him and he was surprised by it suddenness; it also surprised him that it was so cold in the fog. He visibly shivered and turned to walk up the street but found he wasn’t sure which way was which. He turned in circles and the fog completely blocked his vision; he couldn’t see more than 2 feet in any direction.
A clanking sound startled him and he jumped; it sounded close and he wasn’t sure what made the sound.
“Hello?” he said but got no reply.
The clanking sound came again, sounding closer. He turned to face where he thought the sound came from and tried to pierce the veil of fog.
A shadow moved in the fog; Benny’s eyes grew large at what he saw coming out of the fog in front of him. He froze for a moment; then turned to run. He never made it; a strangled cry within the fog was all that was heard and then slowly the fog moved back out of the street. There was no sign of Benny.
Looking around the room and finding as many intrigueing people as he could see in a tavern at home...though much taller and some that couldn't hold their drink in. he looked at the mead and at the door, at the mead and back to the door, looking sad that it wasn't the mead. Moreover he had drunk too much and needed a breather. Getting down from the stool and paying the keep again, he saw a young man leave the tavern and decided to follow him to talk. e got outside and the guy was gone without a trace, he looked around but there was no trace of him. He felt a strange force dissapate and...nothing. thorn put his hand on Light Bane's hilt and checked around again hoping it wasn't the mead, it wasn't...to his disbelief and distaste. Deciding to go back in he called out among the crowd...almost drunk, "Ball yuu fall peeples, comewun left here da finut hago and...poof, he gone mau." Waving his arms around the last bit, he fell after wards.
Algrek watched the obviously drunk man as he left the inn and again moments later when he returned. After a few incomprehensible words, spoken much to loudly, the fellow fell to the floor. "Seems the mead has won that fight" Algrek turned to his tablemate, "I hope such as he are not what you seek."
No one really paid attention to the Halfling as he stumbled out the door; but when he came back in babbling incoherently, almost everyone in the place looked at him. When he fell flat on the floor, several people rose and hurried over to help him up and make sure he wasn’t hurt. The barkeep came over and looked at him and saw he wasn’t seriously injured.
Algrek turned to his tablemate, "I hope such as he are not what you seek."
The dark woman watched the halfling and smirked at the scene; then turned to her table companion.
“You never know what use he might be.” she said to Algrek, “one should always make use of all resources.”
“Bring him over and sit him here.” she said aloud to the barkeeper.
The barkeep looked over at her and saw her gesturing to an empty chair next to her, across from Algrek at her table.
(Assuming he doesn’t resist of course)
The barkeep gestured to the two men and they helped the Halfling up and over to sit him into chair next to the dark woman. Once they made sure he wasn’t going to fall out of the chair, they retreated away from the dark stranger’s table.
She looked over the Halfling, reached out to the glass of water that had been set on the table with her meal that she had not drank. She picked up the glass and brought it up to her mouth as if going to drink but instead she blew on the top of the water for a second. The water changed to a light rose color; she then set the glass in front of the Halfling.
“Drink,” she said in an impelling tone, “this will help rid you of your stupor.”
(If he drinks he finds the fog of the drink fading from his mind as it clears and he sobers within seconds.)
If he obeys and drinks, she watches him for a few seconds until she sees the eyes begin to clear and she smiles.
“Why don’t you join us?” she said with a bright compelling smile.
barely seeing that he was getting help up, Thorn tried to resist but he couldn't move his arms so he didn't. Moving, he kinda saw where he was going and it wasn't he wanted but there a glass there!!!! maybe it was good. the odd woman picked up the glass and blew over the top of it and then put it in front of him.
"Drink,” she said in an impelling tone, “this will help rid you of your stupor.”
There was no hesitation, he chugged it, choking a bit but oddly sober now. She watched him....odd.
The woman smiled and said "Why don't you join us?"
"Where and what? he said in a tone that suggested he was a bit peeved that the question wan't what did you say back there.
The dark lady smiled brightly at the guy, her gaze was almost hypnotic and her smile alluring.
“I said why don’t you join us?” she gestured to Algrek who was also seated at the table across of him.
“You seem a capable man,” she continued, “with…skills. Why do you instead waste your time imbibing to the point of excess when you could do so much more?”
She leaned forward looking the little man straight in the eyes, “Do you have ‘skills’ as I sense in you? I sense a proficiency for stealth and shadows. In other words, a thief. If so, then maybe I can use you.”
She sat back and sipped her wine awaiting his response, her eyes watching him curiously.
He thought about that for a bit and his adventures in the past then answered
"I am" Thorn laughed "Now if you would at least answer where, the what really has no meaning, but to answer your question, I might as well join you, I've had nothing to do for a while. Light Bane and Thorn are at your service. Another question, who is that?" He ponted to the other man at the table.
Algrek listened as the woman spoke with their new arrival; a thief it seemed. Experience told him that such were often of use but more often required a close eye. It was not until the newcomber inquired about Algrek not to him directly but to the woman that Algrek broke his silence. "I am sitting right hear and my hearing has not forsaken me. It is impolite to ask about someone as if they did not exist. Further it is impolite to ask for another's name while witholding your own. For now I will chaulk it up to the lingering effects of the mead. However, in the future I would appreciate a bit more civility. You may address me as Algrek."