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At the Nicked Shill

Entering the Inn, Aranwen notes the contrast of atmosphere from the streets of Crandel. The streets were quiet and dark, but the Nicked Shill is brightly lit and bustling with activity. However, the din of activity seems to die down as she and her companions enter the room. Conversations stop and heads turn as the common people of Crandel see these strangers arrive. When their gazes settle on Ch'dau, the looks of curiosity turn to outright hostility. The Silver Cat takes it all in stride, seeming not even to notice the looks and comments directed at him.

The patrons' comments get bolder and bolder. The atmosphere at the Inn seems about to erupt in violence, when finally, a large, bearded man steps forth and quiets the crowd. Aranwen assumes this man is the owner of the Nicked Shill. He commands an air of respect from the patrons, especially when he reaches behind the bar and picks up a nasty looking cudgel, which he casually leans against, suggesting that his prowess is known by all. Suprisingly, he seems to know a good deal about the Kazari, and is not afraid to treat him as he would any other customer.

Soon enough, conversation picks back up around the room, though people seem to alternate between outright staring at Ch'dau and the party or pointedly ignoring them.

At the innkeeper's request, a young maid greets the party warmly, and directs them to one of the few open spots - which is in a corner table unoccupied by locals. "Welcome to our inn, travelers," she speaks in an accent very similar to the gate guard's. She proceeds to tell the party about the food and drink available to them. Aranwen orders some of the fall wine which she mentioned, along with some good bread and cheese. After taking the orders from the rest of the party, she leaves.

Looking around, Aranwen notices the two other travelers seated at the table. Both are humans, one is a man dressed in leather armor and a brown cloak, wearing a sword at his belt, the other is an attractive blonde woman dressed in form fitting black clothing under a purple cloak, a broad-bladed knife in her belt and a silver pendant at her throat.

The man's eyes narrow as the party sits, his hand drifting closer to the handle of his blade, though he seems to relax after a few moments, nodding in the party's direction. He sits easily, though his eyes remain watchful, sweeping the room for signs of trouble.

The woman, on the other hand, looks at the party with more interest. While she doesn't truly smile, her expression is not unfriendly. Looking more closely at her face, Aranwen notices that her left cheek bears several silvered scars, one of which begins at the corner of her mouth and ends right next to her blue eye.

The food and drink is brought out to the table, and Aranwen digs in along with the rest of her companions. Though by far it is not the best food she ever tasted, it is a welcome change from the rations and stale water of the road. By this point, the locals seem to have grown more or less bored with the novelty of the party, and conversation around the room appears to be in full swing again.

The woman at the table moves as if to speak a greeting; the man seems about to object, but she silences him with a glare. "Well met, fellow travelers," she speaks politely, her accent leaving no doubt that she is no local. "I do not recall seeing you on the road, so I would think that you did not come from the west. Have you any news from the road to the east?"

Aranwen answers her "Greetings to you as well. Indeed, we have have been traveling the roads to the east. The way has been miserable, the weather as hot and wet as ever I have seen it. The strange mists surrounding us seemed to be playing tricks on the eyes and ears, making us see and hear things that weren't there. However, about 2 hours travel from town, we were beset by a group of undead fiends that were intent on adding us to their numbers. We managed to dispatch them without too much trouble, but it makes us wonder if there are more of those creatures about. Have you had any trouble on the roads to the west?"

Posted on 2018-08-04 at 13:37:59.
Edited on 2019-09-26 at 13:23:47 by Eol Fefalas

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dinner conversation

The woman gives the briefest of sideways glances at her companion, whose mouth tightens into ever so slight of a frown, before she tucks a stray strand of hair behind her ear and answers.

"Indeed," she speaks, "we encountered no such monsters to the west. Though," she admits, "we did hear odd footfalls more than once - not the normal sounds of the road, you understand.  You are correct, the mists seem most unnatural, and they give the feeling that they are hiding something, as it were."

As small talk is exchanged, the woman slowly learns forward more, and her body language shifts, as well.  She seems particularly taken with Aranwen; while she is ameniable enough to anyone who cares to speak to her, anyone that is paying attention can see that he gaze continues to return to the sylvari warrior. 

"Forgive my query if it is too bold, lady slvari," she states, "but I wonder... you are a warrior of Megilindar Nost, are you not?  You practice the bladesong?" 

OOC: assuming some sort of positive response...

Her eyes light up.  "How fascinating.  If the tales are true, you have spent as much time honing your skills with that blade as our serving wench has spent out of diapers."  For the briefest moment, her hand comes to rest on top of Aranwen's. 

A frown from her companion draws a returned glare from the woman. "Ah, but forgive me," she adds, sitting up straight, "I am Davena, and my bodyguard here is Garn. Alas, Garn does not share my interest in other cultures; what he finds tedious, I find fascinating." Davena brushes a golden lock back behind her ear, and fixes her gaze on Aranwen directly, all but ignoring the rest of the party.

"So tell me of your travels, macar.  How far across Antaron have you ranged?"

The conversation in the common room has fully retruend to a normal level; the locals seem to have forgotton that the group exists.   The serving wench returns to check for any additional requests, notices Aranwen and Davena in deep conversation, and gives a sly smile and a wink as she leaves.

Posted on 2018-08-06 at 09:55:31.
Edited on 2019-09-26 at 13:25:08 by Eol Fefalas

Eol Fefalas
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The Nicked Shill wasn’t unlike many other small inns to which Ch’dau had been permitted entry before. A number of long tables flanked by benches predominated the well-lit common area and the patrons clustered about those tables seemed mostly to be local folk, farmers and laborers and the like. It was a simple, provincial affair; the smells of stale sweat, wood smoke, and simmering food hung in the air like the conversations of the locals who were gathered at the tables. Unlike the conversations, though, the ambient odors didn’t diminish when Ch’dau and his companions stepped across the Nicked Shill’s threshold. Once boisterous discussions quickly quieted as suspicious gazes turned to regard the newcomers and, when those eyes fell on the kazari, the ambience shifted quickly from apprehensive to angry…

“Who let a monster in here,” one voice demanded.

“Maybe you should go get the Watch,” another suggested with scant subtlety.

And so the conversations swelled, again, with similar slights and epithets flavoring the air for a moment. Being accustomed to such receptions, and given that it was only words and not actions lobbed against him, Ch’dau shrugged the comments off with practiced indifference. To his surprise, however, there seemed to be at least one amongst the locals who had little tolerance for the turn in talks.

“Ya sorry lot cut that out now,” a deep baritone voice boomed over the others, “ya hear me? That be no monster – ‘es a kazari! Not only are they a damn sight better warriors than most o’ those what drift through ‘ere, but ya can take one at ‘is word.”

Ch’dau’s curiously surprised gaze found the burly, bearded man who had come to his defense and inclined his shaggy head in a faint nod of thanks.

“You have coin, cat man,” the large man asked loudly, a meaty finger pointing at Ch’dau.

“I do,” the kazari rumbled in answer.

“Are ya here ta cause trouble,” the human pressed.

“Only to eat,” Ch’dau replied, “and to escape the weather for a time.”

“Right, then! Nya, get the kazari an’ ‘is friends sommat ta eat an’ drink,” his bearded benefactor bellowed as he produced a heavy cudgel from behind the counter and, leaning on it, finished his admonition, “The rest o’ you lot mind yer own business or leave – now!” The place fell into rebuked silence, then, and, for a moment, it looked as if none would take the Inn’s apparent owner up on his invitation. However, after an instant, two men, both in the livery of the town watch, rose to their feet, doing little to mask their displeasure as they angrily take their leave.

The Silver Cat’s level gaze follows the two guardsmen out the door but is called back at the appearance of the young serving woman. “Welcome to our inn, travelers,” she smiled, directing them to a near empty corner table, “Special tonight is pork stew with peppers…”

Ch’dau followed the girl and his friends to the table, his ears keen on the menu that the befreckled brunette recited but his gaze sought out the brawny proprietor, again. He eyed the man curiously, wondering not only how he knew of the kazari but, also, how he’d come to speak of them with the respect he had. Have I fought beside this man, he mused, trying to find a memory of the bearded face in the depths of his mind, or, rather, has he encountered others of my kind? That last prospect intrigued him and, by the time he found himself claiming a seat at the table, Ch’dau had resolved himself to seek the man out and speak with him should the opportunity be presented.

His attention was drawn back to the serving girl after a moment; his companions had ordered their meals and the young woman was awaiting his. “The stew, little one,” he requested, “more pork than peppers, if you please, and an ale.”

It was then that Ch’dau took note of the others at the table; a man and a woman, both as foreign to Crandel as the Kazari and his friends by the looks of them. The cat-man responded to the male’s narrowed gaze with an equally hard look of his own, though, his hands never strayed toward his peace-knotted blades. After a moment, the stubble-faced man seems to relax, his hand drifting away from the hilt of his weapon as he offered a curt nod which the kazari mirrored. His slit-eyed gaze flitted to the woman, then; unlike her companion, her attentions to the party seemed more curious than cautious and, following his cursory appraisal, Ch’dau let his eyes drift away from them both as he awaited the return of the serving girl.

The girl returned quickly enough and dutifully placed their orders in front of them before slipping away, again. Ch’dau’s gaze follows her, for an instant, then skims over the rest of the room before finding it’s way back to the bowl and mug before him. The big cat lifts the mug, first, and drains a healthy portion of the ale from it before he sniffs at the contents of the bowl, picks a few peppers from the broth, then sets upon the rest of the stew hungrily, stopping only long enough to grunt an acknowledgement when the blonde woman greets them and makes her introductions. He eats in relative silence, listening as the conversation continues around him but adding nothing to it, himself, save for an occasional glance and, now and again, a muted snort or rumble in his chest. Aranwen seemed to have the situation well in hand, after all, and the foreign female – Davena, she had named herself – seemed most interested in the bladesinger, anyway.

The conversation in the common room has fully returned to a normal level; the locals seem to have forgotten that the group exists.   The serving wench returns to check for any additional requests, notices Aranwen and Davena in deep conversation, and gives a sly smile and a wink as she leaves.

A soft chuckle escaped the kazari at the serving girl’s expression… Indeed, Ch’dau mused, his eyes flicking toward Davena and Aranwen for a second, it would seem our syl friend may find herself in a warmer bed then the rest of us, this night… Then, as if he’d just remembered his earlier thought, his gaze snaps quickly back to the retreating serving wench. “Girl,” he called, hefting his mug and rising to his feet, “a moment, please?”

((OOC: Assuming the girl pauses and acknowledges him as opposed to running away screaming.))

“First,” he drained whatever was left in his mug in a single pull and then held the empty out to her, “another of these.” As her little hands reclaimed the mug, the cat-man continued in a softer tone; “Second; the bearded man in the apron who quieted the crowd when we arrived, might I speak with him?”

Posted on 2018-08-06 at 11:35:30.
Edited on 2019-09-26 at 13:28:25 by Eol Fefalas

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Cedric while eating tries to get a better look at that pendant the woman is wearing. "May we ask what business you have in Crandel? I am concerned about this fog and its cause. Especially the creatures we encountered on our way here."

Cedric tells the wench that the food is good and asks for another drink. He wonders if the strangers and Aranwen are of similar backgrounds as she is so drawn to him.

If given a chance Cedric will scan the inn patrons to see if anyone is paying particular attention to us.

Posted on 2018-08-06 at 15:36:19.

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Davena is deeply in conversation with Aranwen, and initially misses the query from Cedric.  A flush colors her cheeks as she stumbles momentarily for an answer.  "Er... ahem, I mean..." she stammers before flashing a smile.  "Forgive me, father, for I was lost in conversation.  Garn and I are traveling east, to the city of Tenimere and a trade contact there.  Crandel itself holds no business for us; a roof over our head and a break from the road were attraction enough to convince us to stay the night."

The cleric of Solanis scans the room, but by this point, there appears to be little to no interest from the locals in the goings on at your corner table.

Posted on 2018-08-06 at 15:42:53.
Edited on 2018-08-06 at 16:55:21 by t_catt11

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wench talk

Nya bobs her head at the request for a refill.  When Ch'dau adds the query about the beared man, she grins.  "You want to speak with Mort?  I reckon 'e'll be awright with it.  Follow me."

Without waiting, she heads deftly for a doorway on the far end of the room, balancing empty dishes with practiced ease. 

"Pardon me, friends," Ch'dau says, taking leave of his companions by stepping over the bench and moving to follow Nya, "I shall return shortly." Having excused himself, the great cat follows in the wake of the little serving woman.

Ducking through, she calls out.  "Mort!  The cat-man wants to talk to ya!"

A muffled voice can be heard in reply.  "Tell 'im to sit tight, I'll be back up in a minute!"

Nya's eyes dance.  "It takes you longer every trip, I think" she calls back in taunt.  "Taking a nap down there, are ya?"

"Poor some ale and get back to work, afore I box your ears, girl!" he calls back.  Laughing, she moved off to pull more ale. 

"Stay 'ere, love," the wench instructs as she heads back into the common room.  "Mort'll be up in a minute."

"Yes," the kazari nods, "Thank you."

Ch'dau finds himself alone in what is obviously the kitchen of the Inn.  A pot of stew simmers over a low flame, and assorted crockery is stacked in a handful of piles. A doorway nearby opens into a narrow staircase; the muffled voice of the Innkeeper came from the bottom. 

Stomping footsteps can be presently heard, and the beareded man reappears from the steps.  He places his burden of two large cheese wheels down on a counter, wipes his large hands on his apron, and thrusts one out in greeting. 

"Mortimer Greenfield, a' your service," he speaks as he grasps the kazari's forearm in a warrior's clasp.  "What can I do for ya?"

Ch'dau's gaze narrows as he searches the man’s face in hopes of sparking any sort of recognition in his own mind but he doesn't hesitate to accept Mortimer's greeting. "I am Ku'hr Ch'dau," the kazari responds, clasping the human’s forearm in kind, "Well met."

Releasing the warriors clasp, the cat-man’s ears tip forward and his tail curls in curiosity. If he'd ever fought at this man's side, he certainly doesn't recall his face. "You have already done enough for me, rrow'ka," he continues, "but I would trouble you for one more honor… Tell me, how is it that you know of the Kazari? I do not recognize your face and, if we have battled beside one another, I apologize for not recalling it. Neither, in my years in these lands of Antaron, have I encountered another of my kind and I find myself interested how you might know enough of my people to have defended our honor so?"

The burly man grins broadly and gestures to a tattered pennant with a green and black checkerboard pattern hanging on the wall above the doorway.  "It's been damn near on ta ten years," he states with a chuckle, "as ta gray in me 'air might boast, but I served with the Lockshir Reg'lars for quite a few seasons.  Was always careful with me coin, did 'ardly any boozin' or 'orin' like most o' that lot does, so when one o' that bastard khord's axemen nearly took me leg at Wolfsview in four forty-five, I 'ad enough set back ta retire 'ome an' open up this place."

He shakes his head, and his left hand unconsciously drops to his leg.  "Tha 'ealer did everything 'e could; Therassor knows I'm grateful ta still walk.  But tha damn limp is there fer good, it seems.  An damn when tha first frosts come!"

He laughs and shakes his head.  "But tha dunna tell ya naught about 'ow I came to know o' the kazari, ah?  If'n I recall c'rectly, it were in Pardinal... Miras, I believe.  The Reg'lars 'ad a contact there, an' while we wer there, one 'o your folk came to serve wif us.  Only knew 'im for a few months, but tha fuzzy bastard saved me life from the 'airiest, ugliest ungoulid sumbitch ya ever laid eyes on.  Thing 'ad slunk up out of a 'ole, was about ta open me guts from behind wif a spear while I were walkin' sentry, but tha cat fella saw it an' tore tha damn thing's throat open wif teeh an' claws afore I even knew it were there.  Then just went back ta work like it were naught."

Mort's eyes shine with the memory.  "Mos' mercs are always lookin' fer an angle.  Lookin' fer a way to scratch out an extra coin or three.  Tha cat fella weren't like that... an' if 'e told you 'e'd do something, it were done or 'e were dead.  'e were a damn sight better man than most 'o the so-called warriors I ever served wif, an' tha way 'e talked, 'e made it seem like all 'is folk were tha way."

He shakes his head.  "Tha's been a long time, o' course.  I cannae say wha' 'appened to 'im, as we left Pardinal altogether a few months later, an' I never seen nor heard abou' 'im again.  Truth be told, you're the first 'o 'is kind I've seen since then.  But I owe 'im me life, so tha least I kin do is threaten' to bash a few silly drunks wha don' know wha end 'o a spear ta 'old when they don't show tha proper respect to 'is kin, eh?"

Mort limps his way to a tapped barrel and grabs a mug.  With practiced ease, he pulls a pint as he speaks.  "Nya's been servin' ya tha reg'lar ale, I reckon - like a good lass.  But 'ere ya go - take a pint 'o me pers'nal store - make tha rest look like swill, eh?" 

He pauses for a moment.  "Also, I were smokin' some jerky up, but I just so 'appen to 'ave some beef left that I 'aven't cut up yet.  As I recall, your kind take ta raw cuts, eh?  If'n ya like, I'll 'ave Nya bring a red chunk to ya."  He gives the kazari a stern stare.  "An' I'll not 'ear of coin fer it.  'avin' all me guts in me skin makes me look at it like repayin' a favor, eh?"

Mort grins.  "Now then.  Back ta tha common roof wif ya.  I 'ave work to do, an tha girl will give me no end o' 'ell if she 'as ta wait on me!  " 


Posted on 2018-08-06 at 16:33:47.
Edited on 2018-08-06 at 17:05:18 by t_catt11

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The entrance to Crandel wasn't without some road bumps, but everything went relatively smoothly and there was no fight to be had. Kithran remained a silent shadow with her party, content to be swept up in their current of travel. Her mind was still pouring over the events of their fight and calculating alternative moves they could have made, playing out different avenues of combat. She liked to analyze and it helped ease the toil of travel.

It was not long before they came across the inn--the Nicked Shill. Again, a bit of trouble when they entered. Kithran's breathe caught at the whispers of calling the Watch about Ch'dau, but fortunatley all was well when the innkeep apparent quieted his crowd. Kithran was more than happy to take a seat at the corner table. The barmaid was pleasant enough and Kithran answered in the affirmative for a serving of stew and a small beer. Typically, she wouldn't have been so quick to take such a hardy meal, but travel and combat had made her stomach growl.

Their orders were blissfully quick to arrive and Kithran tucked in. The food was good and it warmed her a bit. There had been a subtle chill in her gut since their encounter on the roads, but a good meal and the lull of conversation around them helped ease it. The chances of some sort of fiend attacking them here seemed slim enough that relaxing a bit was in the cards.

Once the barmaid was gone once more, Kithran eyed the other two occupants of their table. The man's reach for his blade did not escape her, but he must have thought better of the trouble. The woman, fortunatley, seemed more receptive to their presence. "Well met, fellow travelers. I do not recall seeing you on the road, so I would think that you did not come from the west. Have you any news from the road to the east?" Her accent was unlike that of the locals, so she must have also been a foreigner of sorts.

Luckily, Arcanon answered her and Kithran relaxed, content to be a silent observer if possible. "Greetings to you as well. Indeed, we have have been traveling the roads to the east. The way has been miserable, the weather as hot and wet as ever I have seen it. The strange mists surrounding us seemed to be playing tricks on the eyes and ears, making us see and hear things that weren't there. However, about 2 hours travel from town, we were beset by a group of undead fiends that were intent on adding us to their numbers. We managed to dispatch them without too much trouble, but it makes us wonder if there are more of those creatures about. Have you had any trouble on the roads to the west?" The easy way Aranwen brought up the fiends they had encountered made Kithran's skin prickle, but she deserved to know if there was trouble ahead.

The woman had had no such trouble and as she began to pry into Aranwen's talents as a bladesinger, Kithran focused less on the conversation. The woman's singular interest seemed apparent enough and she was happy to just rest and get a meal in.

((OOC: assuming Kith and Ch'dau are seated beside one another))

Beside her, Ch'dau chuckled to himself and Kithran shot him a questioning look. His attention, too, seemed to be focused on Aranwen and Davena. But evidently they were not too interesting, because he then called over the barmaid once more. “Girl,” he called, hefting his mug and rising to his feet, “a moment, please?" His absence at her side made Kithran frown slightly and scoot slightly towards the rest of her companions on instinct. Regardless, she kept an eye on him as the barmaid led him away through the crowd and away into another section of the inn. Kithran continued to eat and drink, but her movements were slower and more controlled than before. Her ear was trained for trouble. No doubt if anything happened, Ch'dau would cause a racket and she could spring up in response. The inn and the staff seemed friendly enough, but one could never be too careful.

As the party continued their meal and own conversations, Kithran scanned the rest of the inn's patrons. It was not that she was trying to ignore her companions, but by now they were surely used to her 'silent until spoken to' policy. If someone wished to speak, Kithran wouldn't be rude, but she had no intentions of initiating small talk this evening. The unrest from before seemed to have evaporated, but she still caught an occassional glance in their direction. Her eyes moved among the crowd, looking for anyone that might seem a bit off or otherwise strange from the rest of the patrons.

Posted on 2018-08-06 at 19:47:18.
Edited on 2019-09-26 at 13:31:35 by Eol Fefalas

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Simple comforts.

The mist seems to dissapate upon entering the city walls, which  gravely troubles the mage...

Upon seeing the merriments Atharis cannot understand how rumours of the malign terrors witnessed on the road have not yet spread throughout the city.

Hearing the townfolks hushed-reactions to the silver cat brings annoyance and dismay to the wizard.
Upon entering the tavern, Atharis looks to Gib briefly after ordering some wine, bread and other accoutrements,  he whispers in a hushed tone "Crandel seems more concerned with our companion Ch'dua than that of the horrors just outside the gate, I fear that without our aid even this shall pass... After our bussiness here is concluded I feel we must investiagate these dark creatures and severe their disgusting-claws from this once vibrant land."

After the food bar maid returns, Atharis attempts to feel at ease- being in the ruck of the city walls, Atharis begins to eat and drink, however the scent of the dead  has not escaped his thoughts and worse stil the maniacal laughter... His concern for the pilgrims is obvious as he nervously fidgets with a small piece of bread.

Whilst Davena consults with Aranwen, Atharis nods to Midge, they have a mutual understanding that as soon as day breaks they will pursue the business of the mages circle, haste is of the essence.
((OOC Assuming Midge give a positive response))

Posted on 2018-08-06 at 20:21:47.

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Curious, Gib muses as the man he can only assume is the proprietor of the Nicked Shill puts the rising unrest to bed. I had thought Ch'dau's kind unique and where one might call them even happenstance would be closer to the shores. Perhaps this fellow has done some traveling in his day? In the time since he had first become acquainted with the Silver Cat, the priest had grown accustomed to reactions he politely refers to as memorable.He finds himself thusly more surprised by the man coming to the Kazari's defense than the crowd. 

Not allowing the consideration to full his senses, Gib follows his companions to their roost and takes up a position whereupon he can deposit his backpack underfoot and his shield against the table next to him.

 "The stew and a small beer, if you would, please," he states softly to the serving girl though his appraising gaze continues to travel about the chamber.

Most of the patrons return to their business with nary a further concern for the work party still speckled with the grime of their battle and the subsequent road. A few continue their curious inspection even after the two watchmen take their leave.  Checking to make certain the painted emblem of Therassor upon the face of his shield is visible to all behind him, Gib also attempts to surreptitiously pull his holy medallion from the folds of his clothing so that it shines more prominently. He hopes that the symbol of the just god helps further dissuade any ill will towards his Kazari friend. 

Two others at their table have not gone unnoticed by the warrior priest. The man is hard, weathered by experience that Moreno recognizes from his time in the military. Gripping the hilt of his weapon, staring down the only feasible threats within the Nicked Shill, and judging by the scowl on his craggy face; not at all pleased by the proximity of the adventurers. The woman... Beautiful... Gib cannot help but be attracted. She appears curious, well-bred, even... Noble? What could cause such perfect beauty -- wait. There. On her cheek. Is that scarring? Faint though it is, the silvery tendrils are not lost to him. 

Momentarily taking his appreciative eyes from her nearly flawless face, the priest scratches at his beard and shifts in his seat to adjust the way his chainmail is bunching under his thigh, Gib is slightly startled when her unfamiliar voice carries over the din asking about their travels.

As Aranwen answers, Moreno once again turns his attention to her. She is not at all curious about Ch'dau, he realizes, his brow rising a small fraction in response. Sylvari are a regal race, the priest can concede to that. But the woman is in the presence of a being from bard's tales and yet she focuses on Aranwen. Choosing to remain quiet and allow the Syl to continue her conversation, Gib makes his way through his meal barely noticing the  fare as he's doing his best to ascertain all that he can from the pair.

Ch'dau's asking to meet with the keep doesn't surprise the cleric, nor does the interpretation of the conversing pair's intentions by the serving girl. Having yet to see the bladesinger in a situation such as this, the warrior priest finds himself curious as to how things will end as well. What of her bodyguard? Moreno shifts his gaze to assess the other man. Is he as curious as I, or has he seen this behavior before?

Gib almost feels guilty for harboring such thoughts--such accusations. Especially as her conversation turns towards Aranwen's craft. She is well-versed and speaks the woman's native tongue (at least a few words of it). Perhaps she truly is just interested. Cedric's interruption confirms the depth of her focus and Gib almost blushes at how intensely he's scrutinizing her.

 "I find my belly content, my feet in need of relief, and my god deserving of gratitude for his hand in today's events," he states to any who will listen. Pushing back from the table, the priest looks to his arcane brothers-at-arms. "When and where is this meeting taking place?"

Posted on 2018-08-07 at 04:08:53.
Edited on 2019-09-26 at 13:34:44 by Eol Fefalas

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meeting of the minds?

Midge puts down an impressive amount of food for such a small fellow.  Stew, bread, cheese, ale - all of it seems to agree with him quite nicely.

When the warrior priest asks about the meeting, the cid shrugs.  "We don't have a set meeting, exactly.  I have a summons, more like - meet with Jerrin Balewood here in Crandel, and to make haste.  That's all I really know."

Looking around the common room, the litltle wizard muses.  "Most little towns like this don't take kindly to outsiders wandering around at night, so I figure that it's best to look for him in the morning.  It shouldn't be too hard, I can't imagine there are lots of blue-robed mages running around in a country town."

Posted on 2018-08-07 at 09:53:23.
Edited on 2018-08-07 at 09:59:48 by t_catt11

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more dinner conversation...

Aranwen is extremely polite and well mannered, but as the conversation with Davena develops, she does pursue a couple of topics - the first of which is wondering how she and Garn had no issues with the undead, while the pilgrims had been harried the past four nights. 

The blonde woman grows thoughtful at this line of questioning.  "Truly," she states in a level tone, "I do not know why were were not harried when those poor travelers were.  Perhaps these fiends were but minions of some fell power, and they were directed to harm the Lysorans, and we were not worthy of their attention?  Perhaps Garn's strong arm and blade made us a tougher target than the common folks you described?  Perhaps the gods were simply kind, and we escaped their attention?"  she shakes her head, hair fairly floating about her as she does.  "We never came across these pilgrims on the road; perhaps they were unfortunate enough to have enough of a lead on us as to attract their attention, while we remained unaware?  I cannot say."

Garn, for his part, ignores the conversation utterly - or makes it a point to appear as if he is doing so.  He eats, drinks, and scans the crowd from time to time, and makes no effort to engage anyone in talk of any sort.

The second line of questioning from Aranwen - as to how the women has recognized her as a bladesinger - causes Davena's blue eyes to dance with amusement.

"Watching you, lady?  Hardly.  Call it a lucky educated guess, if you like," she teases.  "It's rare enough to meet a sylvari this far from home... unless perhaps, one is in Coria.  It follows that any of your people who thus travel would either be merchants, emissaries, or adventurers.  You are not dressed like a trader or a diplomat, and you keep the company of a colorful band.  That says 'adventurer' to me.  You do not wear the robes of the arcane or a symbol of the gods... so you are no wizard or priest."

Her grin is slightly crooked. "Of the sylvari warriors I have met, all have carried a bow; it is fairly synonomous with your folk, is it not?  Yet you have no bow, no quiver.  Your armor is exquisitely worked - not plain like Garn's! - and the pommel of your blade is likewise ornate.  And you carry yourself, lady, with such grace and presence as I cannot recall witnessing in person."

Her cheeks flush, as she seemingly realizes that she is gushing.  "I mean no offense; if I have caused it, I sincerely apologize.   The exploits of your order are legendary, so to meet you in the flesh is... exciting."

Posted on 2018-08-07 at 13:45:47.
Edited on 2019-09-26 at 13:36:48 by Eol Fefalas

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The back of the acolyte's shaved head was all that the older woman could see, what with the man's face pressed to the stone floor like that.  "Get up," the senior snapped irritably.  "Cease your simpering, and tell me of the Ritual."

The acolyte's face came up as he assumed a more normal kneeling position, though he was careful to never make eye contact, instead keeping his gaze cast downward.  "I'm sorry, mistress," he replied, "but the Ritual has failed again." 

"WHAT???" the woman bellowed.  Striding forward, she drove the back of her hand into the acolyte's face, causing his neck to snap to the side and nearly knocking him off of his knees.  "What went wrong this time?" she deamanded.

Stinging, the acolyte fought to keep fear out of his voice.  "There was nothing we cold do, mistress!" he nearly wailed.  "It seemed to be gaining strength, truly!  But even as it waxed, she waned.  She succumbed, and it perished less than a day after.  There was nothing we could do!"

The woman shrieked in fury, spewing epithets that made the young man flinch.  "This cannot be!" she railed. "If it does not embrace both sides of its nature, the Ritual can never be completed!  Now our efforts is for naught, and we will be forced to begin anew!"

"I know, mistress!  I'm sorry, mistress!" The kneeling man was nearly panting in terror. "We tried, mistress!"

The young man flinched as the older woman laid a hand on his shoulder, but this time, her gesture was comforting.  "Yes," she murmured from behind the acolyte.  "I'm sure that you did." 

At first, it was a sting only.  Then, it was a burning.  As the acolyte's hands came up to his throat, the molten agony spread all across his gullet, throbbing up through his temples, as a ringing sound filled his ears.  His eyes went wide as his fingers came away dripping.  The young man slumped to the ground, gaping, his mouth trying to work, though death was already upon him; no sound beyond a choking gurgle would come.

The mistress stared down as the light went from his eyes and the puddle bloomed into full crimson radiance beneath the body.  The gleaming knife was held reverently in front of her, though the light did not reflect from the last few inches of the blade.  Casually, she murmured, seemingly to herself.

"The Dark One accepts your sacrifice."

Posted on 2018-08-07 at 14:27:54.
Edited on 2018-08-07 at 14:56:20 by t_catt11

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Conversation with Davena

Aranwen frowns at Davena's explanation as to why they escaped attack from the undead on the roads to the west. "Indeed, it seems a strange happening, one group of travelers beset 4 times, while you remained untouched."

When Davena changes the subject to his abilities as a Bladesinger, Aranwen smiles at her flattery. She wonders if perhaps she is trying to distract her from pursuing her line of questioning about the undead attacks. "I thank you for your kind words. The bladesong is a truly remarkable technique. I have studied for years, and still have yet to unlock many of its secrets." Glancing over at Garn, who is studiously ignoring the conversation, then back to Davena, she adds "What about you two? I know nothing of the two of you. From your dress, you are adventurers as well. You mentioned some business in Tenimere..."

Posted on 2018-08-07 at 15:36:06.
Edited on 2019-09-26 at 13:38:04 by Eol Fefalas

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Davena smiles self depreciatingly.  "I am no adventurer - I am a scholar.  I do have some business interests here and there, and yes, we are bound for Tenimere - as I said, I have a trade contact there.  There is much knowledge in the world that is handed down in story, but stories change over time; I prefer to document what I find.  Normally, I would administer my business from afar, but this contact seems to think that they have found something I might be interested in seeing in person, and I trust them enough to make the trip."  She pauses.

"Garn, here, is a solider in the employ of my family.  He is my sworn bodyguard, though he sometimes forgets his place." the last is spoken with a pointed look at the man, who snorts and takes another swig of ale. 

The blonde-haired begins to turn solemn.  "I cannot answer to you, mellon, why we were not accosted on the road.  Perhaps the larger group made more noise than the two of us; I truly cannot say.  To be honest, I am beginning to wonder... are you angry that we were safe, while others were not?  Are you blaming us for their troubles?  Are you suggesting that Garn and I are somehow responsible for what happened to those poor folk on the basis of us traveling the same road?"

As she speaks, Davena straightens, pulling away from Aranwen. 

Posted on 2018-08-07 at 15:50:04.

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The Cid shrugs, "We don't have a set meeting, exactly. I have a summons, more like - meet with Jerrin Balewood here in Crandel and to make haste. That's all I really know."

Looking around the common room, the wizard muses, "Most little towns like this don't take kindly to outsiders wandering around at night, so I figure that it's best to look for him in the morning. It shouldn't be too hard, I can't imagine there are lots of blue-robed mages running around in a country town."

"I find no fault with this logic," Gib grins, "then I'll go see to a room and give thanks to the Battle Lord.

"I bid you all a good night."

Hoisting his shield and slinging it over his shoulder, the warrior priest also retrieves his backpack before snatching his helmet from the table. (OOC: Assuming there're no other objections...) Tossing his helmet up a few inches from his hands, Gib catches it again and wags his eyebrows at his companions. Making his way over to the bar, Moreno attempts to get someone's attention who can help him procure a room.

Posted on 2018-08-07 at 21:48:19.


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