A thin frame approached the Tavern from the normal roads. The building seemed used to travelers, abound with signs of use and welcome, from the indented steps to its still-squeaky, well-oiled hinges. Violet eyes traced over the wooden structure at a peculiarly lengthy distance. ‘I don’t need to stop. I have enough provisions, and if I want a warm meal I can make it myself.’ The figure turned away from the road and started to the forest, disappearing into the fog.
She walked with no particular place or goal in mind, as someone that has no particular loyalties left is want to do. Her eyebrows knitted as she mused over whether or not she had enough alchemical supplies to skip another town, and suddenly she came crashing down to the ground with an obvious thud. Bracing herself upwards, her dark hair flew aside as she swiveled back to look at what had tripped her - a lonely bucket of water, now soaking the ground and rapidly muddying her clothes. Embarrassed heat crawled into her visage. She scrambled up and away from the object, swatting at her clothes in an attempt to clean them. Her back met resistance, and she turned to realize she’s at the backside of the same building she’d left what she’d thought was moments before.
‘I don’t remember looping back here...’
A quick glance at her now wet clothes and the shiver slowly building pace within her told her exactly what she didn’t want to hear - she would need to go inside. Edging to the front of the place, the human peered inside from the corner of the window, her already wide eyes looking about to burst out of her head at the sight of so many strangers. ‘Okay, this is fine, you’re fine, you just need to sit by the fire for a bit, maybe trade for some new clothes.’
With an air of uncertainty, she gripped the door handle and pulled hard, only to realize that it was a push door. She felt her whole body flush with a fever-like anxiety as she pressed against it and slammed into the room.
Despite having wanted to do exactly the opposite, her entrance drew looks from several patrons, though most went back to their business quickly. She sighed with relief. Noticing a place for weapons, she sidled over, keeping her back to the wall and both eyes glancing around the room, trying to monitor if anyone was still watching her. It was only when she went to remove her quiver that she noticed a probably pretty blond man standing next to her destination, an overdone smile stretching across his face. “Can I get you anythi-“
Ellara would have jumped out of her shoes if she hadn’t laced them properly, her equipment clattering to the floor, and a near-inperceptible hissing sound emanating from within. “I’m sorry,” she screeched, though whether that was to the man, the bar, or the weapons was unclear. A dexterity and precision she had not had while anywhere near this establishment returned as she began rapidly pulling out arrows. She squinted helplessly at each before she resorted to turning them over in her hands. Eventually she found the source of the noise, a silver, bulbous-tipped arrow, with white feathers that almost seemed to shine in the light. Cupping her hand around the ammunition, she shoved her way back to the door, liquid dripping between her fingers as she ran outside, where she threw it with effort into the dirt nearby. It erupted in a moderate amount of light and a cloud of glittering mist, which quickly mixed into the fog and disappeared. She sighed and returned to the tavern proper, a dour look marring her refined face.
It wasn’t until she was nearly done packing her quiver back that she noticed the same boy was speaking to her, seemingly apologizing for scaring her. She turned empty eyes to him, unwilling to talk to him, and was startled to see him get slapped on the arm by a red-haired woman. Her voice was commanding: “I think you’ve bothered this lady enough, why don’t you go do some work?”
With the help of the woman, Ellara stood and made her way to the fireplace, where she sat on the floor in a dejected heap. She pulled her cloak tighter around herself, mulling over the possibility of finding holy water and blessed silver again, and then panic crept into her grip as she tried to recall the processes and spell needed to make those arrows again. Did she need a personal belonging of a saint, or just the blessing of an arch-priest? Was that holy water magically blessed or just blessed by someone of strong faith? A gentle hand tapped her shoulder and handed her a chip, and the woman explained she could reclaim her equipment with it. Ellara thanked her fervently before she fell back into her moody musings.
Eventually her clothes had dried enough that she realized they were going to be stained permanently. Fashion wasn’t a priority for someone whose sole goal was survival, but sometimes survival around sentient creatures hinged on appearances, which was perhaps why she avoided them more often than not. At base, Ellara knew she was attractive, but the amount of effort needed to remain attractive universally was more than she was willing to put in. With a brief sigh, she stood and picked her way to the bar counter to see if she could purchase some clothing.
At the slight distance, she gleaned the stance of a merchant in the man behind the bar, and realized no winning personality or well-placed sideways glances would win her any favors with him. All the better, because she really couldn’t work her way through those things. Still not near, she scanned to see if there were any listed prices. She recognized a few numbers, but none of it was helpful because they were all associated with letters of some sort, and a not-particularly-hidden curse was spat to the air as she recognized them to be most likely words.
Pushing herself along tables and past patrons, she made her way to the counter and politely inquired about clothing. The man sent someone else to look, and while he was gone, the kind stranger queried about the hubbub when she came in. Normally Ellara did not feel comfortable talking about herself with strangers, but she found herself explaining that she was a magical artificer of little means or status, and that arrow had been extremely valuable to her since it had been crafted from holy water and blessed silver, and she wasn’t sure when either would be available again to her. The man listened to her story, and she found herself frustratedly blurting our her tale of arrival at the place, while he kept expertly tending the bar. When she was almost done, the other returned with a set of clothes, and said they would probably be slightly too big. “Quite alright, you learn to sew quite well when you have to do it all yourself. I’ll take them.” She placed coinage on the counter to cover the items, then collected them into her arms and turned to the weapons counter. Before walking away, she called over her shoulder, “Thank you for your help and kindness,” then waded awkwardly through the room.
She was about to leave when a man burst out of a door, being pursued by three others that must have come in while she had been musing at the fire or talking to the barkeep. Her skin crawled looking at them, though she attributed it mostly to their weapons they still had on them. She sidestepped the man’s rushed exit, and as his pursuers went by she studied them. What a curious lot. And then they piled outside, only to find nothing. One of them turned back and shouted at the doorway, “Where did he go?!” Ellara shook her head honestly. “You got me. I don’t know either.” The men seemed frustrated, and one approached her, putting an arm on either side of her and leaning down so close to her face that he was spitting on her when he spoke. “Where. Is he.” Scrunching up her face, she turned away. “With the amount you’ve slobbered on me, you’d think we’d have been making love. I told you, I don’t know.”
The person in front of her seemed to only become more frustrated, but one of his comrades jerked him back. “She’s telling the truth. Let’s go.” The man snarled at Ellara as he exited, and Ellara kept her face cool until his back was turned, then stuck her tongue out at him. ‘Jerk.’
Collecting herself and her things, she waited until they had disappeared before stepping outside and looking around. Some sort of magic had been used here. Reaching up, she felt for the leftover threads, then tugged a shimmering piece of the air down and wrapped it around her wrist. It may have been her fault that the man had disappeared, if her holy water had acted as a catalyst for some sort of magic. She had nothing better to do, so she might as well catch dinner nearby, and if he wasn’t holding up, perhaps she would share it with him.
She inhaled sharply, a light rain began to drizzle, then she closed her eyes and turned her wrist and it was all gone.