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Acies ab Vesania

Tavern of Legend Season 3

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Bleidd rolled the enchanted marble thoughtfully between her fingers. So, this was it, wherever she ended up now was where she would have to stay. She had been given one more chance, turned away from the doors of the afterlife, she was to retain the balance of her new home in whatever small manner she was able. There was no going back, only forward.

She allowed the marble to fall to her feet, where it shattered into a thousand pieces. There was a sudden absence of everything. Reality shifted, twisted, compressed and then blinked her out of existence.

For a moment she was nowhere, then quite suddenly she found herself relocated.

Bleidd stood quite still for several moments carefully absorbing the information of her surroundings and getting her bearings. The climate seemed temperate and familiar enough, before her stood a small building she recognized to be an inn or tavern of some sort, the village in which it stood seemed built in such a way that no matter where you stood this building became the focal point.

Bleidds had no doubt that this was intentional and not some happy coincidence.

A few, what she perceived to be, locals passed her entirely uninterested in her sudden appearance. Infact she got the distinct impression that it was almost expected.

 

Her calf skin boots made no noise as she moved towards the door. She walked with the bearing and poise of someone who knows their form and it's capabilities well. At average height, with a lithe and supple frame she wouldn't particularly catch the eye. Her outfit is made up of many layers, first close fitting then loose, wrapped around and tied neatly at the waist. Trousers match the top, loose fitting from below the waist, tucked into her knee high soft soled boots.

The colours were designed to be evasive, depending on who you asked she could have been wearing grey, black,navy blue or faded varieties of all three.

The only obvious weapon was a plain bone handled Dirk slipped into her right boot.

 

She pushed open the door, and slipped quietly in behind a man who appeared to be another displaced traveler and a good humoured barkeep. As she stepped softly to the side, her toe brushed against a notebook left carelessly on the floor, in less than the blink of an eye, she pocketed the book, and returned her attention to the room.

Bleidd had a gift for remaining unseen, for appearing so utterly ordinary that she drew little if any attention. A quick assessment of her surroundings led her to locate a quiet corner with a good view of the room. There she quietly seated herself, viewing the interactions between the other patrons.

 

Edited by Syxanthie
Typo

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Ben's lie was so smooth as to slide directly past his intended target. The dark man furrowed a brow in a clear sign of befuddlement and telegraphed his intent to drill down on the statement and get to a crystal clear understanding of its implication, but before he could Ben was on to introductions.

"Ehhh."

The man looked around, grey eyes lighting on various bottles stores on the shelves behind the bar, on the other patrons, on the tables and booths and rafters, before returning to Ben.

"You may call me – Otto."

Otto nodded, satisfied with his decision. Without another word he turned and crossed the distance from the main entrance to the bar, heaving the barrel from one shoulder to the floor; the bartender came around and rolled the barrel along the floor to the kitchen. Otto crossed back to Ben, clapping him firmly on the shoulder.

"Yes, tavern is very nice. Is very im-pre-ssive." Otto took care to individually stress the syllables which made up what he felt was an exceedingly apropos word choice.

"Wait!"

Otto called out to a woman entering the tavern and maneuvering to a corner table. He said nothing else, but pointed to the obvious weapon in her boot and then to the sign next to the door, indicating that weapons needed to be checked. He smiled, gave her a conspicuous thumbs up, and returned to his conversation with Ben. Otto remained oblivious to any other weapons she may have on her person and the moment she left the field of his vision, she was an unassuming enough figure to slip from his mind completely.

"You are wet and dirty, much like a rat. Hungry too?" Otto held up the palm of his hand as evidence to Ben, where very trace amounts of mud suggested grounds for his insight into Ben's condition.

@Kelenon @Syxanthie

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There were many people in the memorials, soldiers, families, grieving loved ones. One individual stuck out among the rest, it was a clown wearing the longest frown one would ever see. He was dressed in a black suit with white stripes, bowler hat and bloused combat boots that did not match with his stiff clothings. As all clowns had a red squeezeable red nose and white face paint with black tear drops. The clown sat all alone on a bench, content with staring at the memorial.

He scrounged inside his inward suit pocket to pull a crumpled and slightly burnt picture. The clown looked at the picture longingly, he traced his fingers of the photo then looked up at the memorial. The pedestrians only glanced at the sad clown, they would have put some money if he was performing, they only thought of it as the clown taking a break of his performance. Though the people in the memorial did wander why a clown would perform here in of all places and why he was frowning. Clowns were supposed to smile and tell jokes, other than the appearence he certainly didn't act like one.   

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@supernal @Kelenon

 

((OOC- @Whammo Bammo I was unsure of your location in the current timeline of events, so did not include your character in my characters observations, apologies.))

"wait"

Bleidd had turned to see the jovial easy going innkeep pointing towards a sign that specified a check on weapons. Before he had even had a chance to finish his gesture, the blade was placed sheathed on the table in front of her, before she herself slid into her seat. There were other tools, carefully stored, hidden away out of sight, upon her person. Individually they were reasonably innocuous, only when seen together did her trade become obvious.

Pulling back her hood revealed, fair hair cropped short to the nape of her neck, dropping to jaw length and parted to the right, in the front. This framed  slightly elfin features on a pale complexion, pretty enough but not so much as she would turn heads ory6 incur a second look. Her eyes...depending on who you asked, were grey, or blue or green or something in between.

Nimble fingers tumbled a silver coin, across them, over and under, to and fro, occasionally it would disappear, only to reappear in her other hand. It was a habit born of another, when she couldn't make decision she simply flipped a coin, having long since given her future over to fate.

The interaction between the barkeep, who she now took to be called Otto, and the obviously befuddled, and somewhat scruffy looking traveller named Ben, lightened her mood considerably. Otto missed Ben's attempt at innuendo completely. The man was obviously lying through his teeth although she couldn't ascertain as to the purpose for his deception. 

Her thoughts were brought to an abrupt halt by her stomach grumbling somewhere beneath the many layers of clothing. How long had it been since she last ate? Who knew, before here she had been in the Hunters Hall's, waiting to pass through to the afterlife. Then the Koi'arii had made a deal for her soul...and here she was.

" Here we are," a thought that was not her own corrected.

The Koi'arii, a sentient element was the closest thing she could describe it as. Almost as old as creation, and whilst they were more or less inert without a host, once in several generations  A bond was forged. It prolonged her life whilst ceasing aging, it also magnified her own innate capabilities beyond anything that could be achieved naturally. However it could not impart abilities on her that she did not have a natural affinity for. It couldn't make her a powerful mage, or a muscle bound warrior. It merely enhanced what was already there. It had its own alignment of sorts which occasionally led to disagreements between itself and its host. 

The smell of fresh bread wrenched Bleidd from her internal thoughts a second time, and unable to withstand the hunger gnawing at her any longer, she silently made her way to the bar, collecting her blade as she went. Hopping up onto a stool, she  would suddenly appear in the innkeeps line of sight, aware that he might well miss her completely she spoke, her voice quiet, but confident and absolute.

" Otto? Is it? Food and drink please, when you can spare a moment? Oh and maybe something for your bedraggled looking friend there"

Bleidd indicated to the still somewhat confused looking Ben.

 

Edited by Syxanthie
Editing

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@supernal, @Syxanthie

Leaning against a bar Ben summarized innkeepers comment by raising eyebrows. He took off his hat when suddenly Otto pointed his finger and asked someone to "wait". Ben curious what's going on turned his head to see some shady looking women apparently caught on attempt to smuggle in some weapons. He had no reason to trouble himself about checking weapons, as he lost his pistol before he found himself in front of the tavern.

Without any objection women complied but Ben suspected that someone keeping daggers in her boots probably keeps weapons also in other elements of clothing. More intriguing to him was reason behind it though. People carry weapons for various reasons - as personal defense, to impress someone or as a status marker but when someone keeps them hidden it means he expects to get into trouble or to make someone trouble. Regardless when you meet someone doing it it's just better to keep on your guard, just in case.

You bet! - Ben said enthusiastically when innkeeper returned to conversation. - Don't mind my appearances, I'll take care of it later. - he added waving his hand dismissively towards dirty coat. - Right know just pour me some ale! I won't mind some hot meal too, whatever you recommend is fine... - when he finished making his order out of nowhere the "Shady-lady", as he unconsciously named elf looking women, took a seat nearby.

Thanks lass, just made my order - he said to her while pulling up a seat - First time here?

 

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OOC

@Whammo Bammo – like Syx, I'm a little unclear as to where your character is in relation to everyone else. Don't take this as me ignoring your character, just waiting for broader engagement

@Syxanthie and @Kelenon – since I'm just operating NPCs, feel free to skip me whenever you’d like to interact between yourselves or with other players. I'll be around and if you ever need my explicit attention you can tag me in the OOC

IC

@Syxanthie @Kelenon

Otto was neither bartender nor innkeeper. There was no way for the two of them to know this really, operating in vacuums of information as they were. Otto could have checked either of their assumptions the minute they started putting orders his way but he rather liked the attention. He commanded the strength of ten men and, consequently, was often tasked with straightforward manual labor. Easy enough work, but he sometimes craved interactions beyond 'move this over there, thanks'.

"Yes yes. I give you food. I give you drink. I give you moment, many, many moment."

The actual bartender, having been in the kitchen to get a new tray of mugs and dishes, arrived in time to see this exchange and kept his mouth shut. Otto was a good guy. He didn't mind playing along.

Otto himself disappears into the kitchen for a few minutes, his absence soon punctuated by the clatter of dishes. When he returns it's balancing two plates of food along the length of one arm, and hoisting two mugs of ale in one hand, wide palms able to accommodate the bases with ease, and strong fingers pressing the ales against one another to keep them from sloshing too much. He lays a plate and mug before Bleidd, and the same before Ben.

"Is ale for two. Is steamed ox for two. And here is chip, for knife."

Otto offered Bleidd a small, flat, green disc the size of a dress shirt button. In exchange he aimed to take the woman's knife and ferry it to the guard posted in front of the weapons room. When Otto returned a second time, it was with an apron, suggestive of a busboy or waiter position. Otto milled around the tavern a bit, but the patronage was thin, so he made it a point to mill about the two he found most intriguing.

Edited by supernal

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Bleidd had begun to wonder at her assumption that Otto was the attendant of this place. He seemed over qualified in all the wrong departments, but shrugged it off as he took their orders and disappeared through the back.

It was becoming obvious to Bleidd that this place was not quite what It seemed. She had experienced a few of these "in between" places over her many years of travel, and had learned it was best not to cut across the grain. Accept things for what they were otherwise you were likely to end up in all kinds of trouble.

She understood immediately the meaning of the token it was a familiar enough arrangement in towns and cities where weapons were worn...and alcohol available. The  plain blade was relinquished without objection and the green token apparently pocketed, although no one would witness her doing so.

As the hearty meal was placed before her Bleidd fell on it, like a starving lion on a carcass. She was ravenous, without looking up, she simply began shovelling food into her mouth, hardly remembering to draw breath. If she found herself with too much food in her mouth she simply forced it down with a swig of ale. Caring not not one bit how she appeared to her current company.

'By the stalkers grace, could you manage some decorum,? At least act like the fairer sex.'

Bleidd snorted with derision at the haughty intrusion of the "Koi'arii", she neither asked for, nor wanted its council, that did not prevent it from giving it. Neither was the irony lost on her, that the very thing that had turned her into an unrivalled killing implement, was now more concerned with her table  manners. At least no one else could hear it.

"Hah!" Bleidd scoffed out loud, before carrying on demolishing her meal with prejudice. 

When she was finally satiated she she sat up taking a long breath, and then a drink, turning to their current attendant she exclaimed,

"Otto! Many thanks to your cook, that was perfect!" 

After which she turned to her dining companion,

"So Ben, since your clearly unsure of where you are, where is it that you come from?" She raises an eyebrow slightly, suspecting he may choose not to answer that either.

Then more to herself than to anyone else,

"I suppose the real question should be where to go on from here?"

 

@Kelenon  @supernal

 

 

Edited by Syxanthie

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When Bleidd shouted out her satisfaction at the meal, Otto raised his right hand and nodded in acknowledgment. He walked towards the kitchen but stopped short, just behind the counter, then cupped his hands to his mouth and bellowed into the doors which led to the kitchen.

"Adon! Custy likes your cooking much. Is very excellent!"

For his enthusiasm Otto garnered an appropriate level of widespread irritation, especially by those patrons closest to him and most afflicted by the booming sound of his sonorous voice.

That meager bit of interaction Bleidd provided was all the excuse Otto required to begin wending his way back towards their table.

"I hear you say," Otto interjected – to say he interrupted would not be very accurate, as Kelenon concerned himself with his food and his drink to the exclusion of all else. He left it vague as to whether the question was inappropriate or if he just preferred to finish chewing, but either way, it was in that brief span of silence which Otto acted.

"You seek place to go. I see you have weapon, so you are used to it, to weapon, to fighting. There is work around here in these woods and other places nearby. If it is the kind of work you like, perhaps . . . then . . . ?"

Otto let the question twist in the air like a leaf caught in a sudden draft, meanwhile sweeping the same spot on the floor repeatedly. 

@Syxanthie

Edited by supernal

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Ben devoured contents of his plate like it was supposed to be last meal in his life. When Bleidd asked him a question he remained silent as it was hard to answer with mouthful of hot potatoes. Luckily Otto joined and he kept the conversation up so Ben just listened while drying of his mug. 

He started to think about what Bleidd said - "(...)real question should be where to go on from here?". Ben could only guess what meaning hides this simple question for sitting next to him women but it fitted his situation too. He had a job to do but so far everything indicated that he screwed up. He had no doubt that there had to be means to travel back home from tavern but what good would that do? Spending time here costed him nothing so he could as well explore a little. Who knows, maybe with a little effort and a bit of luck he could still find a way to finish his task?

And what kind of honest work might that be I wonder? - Ben asked with ironic smile on his face.

@Syxanthie @supernal

 

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A wry smile curled one corner of Bleidds lips, she couldn't help but find amusement in the ire of others, seeing the wincing customers as Otto bellowed through to the kitchen was no exception. she kept one eye on Ben, whilst he seemed disoriented she didn't figure him for deaf or stupid so saw no reason to repeat herself, so allowed her attention to be drawn by Otto's unsubtle attempt at a casual saunter over to their area of the bar.

The mention of work did pique her interest, however whilst she did indeed carry a weapon her forte was to ensure her marks were dead before they knew they were being killed.  Whilst she had good martial skills and could hold her own, she was not a seasoned fighter by any stretch of the imagination, but with enough shadows and tight corners she would have a fair chance at coming out the victor. 'Acquiring' things was much more her speed, but pay was pay and for now she would take what she could get.

Ben's speculative comment brought her out of her inner monologue, what kind of honest work might that be i wonder?

Well i don't suppose we will know unless we ask." came her reply. 

She watched Otto sweep the same spot on the floor for a few minutes, more out of curiosity than anything, wondering if he would just carry on doing that same motion until directed elsewhere. It seemed so. 

"So Otto, where is it I can find work? And what exactly will I be expected to do? And what about you,?" she nodded at Ben "you hanging around for this?" she tilted her head slightly raising an eyebrow, whilst awaiting  either man to reply.

 

@supernal   @Kelenon

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"He can tell you more."

Otto jabbed a finger through the air, aimed at a man on the other side of the tavern who sat alone nursing a glass of dark bourbon.

"Is Zell, but Otto tell you what I know."

Now that the man found himself again properly engaged in the exchange of conversation, he abandoned the pretense of sweeping, letting the broom drift from his hand to rest on their table's edge. Otto claimed his seat between the two of them, placed one elbow on the table while the other arm came to rest at his side; the hand above the fold moved through the air with errant gesticulations as Otto spoke.

"A few bad men, they camp somewheres along the roads. They sit and they wait, so when merchants pass through with their fat wagons and their wares -" Otto illustrated his point by snapping his finger as if plucking something out of thin air. "Easy prey.

"Is not just rob, they hurt people too. Zell says, perhaps, not an accident. Perhaps one of these men specific target. Perhaps these robbers are more than just hungry. For more, must ask Zell. He's angry at whole world but he's honest and if he say the pay is good, the pay is good."

@Syxanthie @Kelenon 

(OOC - As a note if you do interact with Zell and/or end up taking the quest in a new thread, those interactions would be handled between you as players.)

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I guess I'll give it a try. - Ben nodded towards Zell. - Talking to that fella won't hurt, right?

Kraft finished his ale, wiped mouth with a sleeve and he raised from the bar stool. - No point in delaying it, can we go now? - he asked Bleidd and not waiting for her to answer he turned to Otto - Thanks for the meal Otto, I'll pay before I'll take my leave. How much do I owe you anyway? - opportunity to go out and do something productive called out to him like a lifebuoy calls to a drowning man. Chance to fix his wrongs was just to alluring to resist...

@Syxanthie @supernal

 

(OOC: @supernal - will you play Zell for tavern part or it's on us to handle him and quest as well?)

Edited by Kelenon

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Bleidd leaned back slightly avoiding the enthusiastic gesticulations of their host, amusement in her eyes at the  animated and intense report.

What amused her less were the details of the situation, an expression of barely concealed contempt flashed momentarily cross her face before it was replaced by it's usual neutral pose.

This wasn't what she had expected, to find a return to the same old way of life so quickly.

" It is our place to hunt the hunters. To maintain a balance."

yeah but what hunts us. Was Bleidd's thought in respond to the Koi'arii. There was no reply. 

Otto's narration drew the attention of all three individuals to the man he named as Zell. Brow furrowed, eyes narrowed , a face hardened by frustration and resentment, if Bleidd was any judge...and she was. She watched him for a few moments. He was tense, hunched over his drink like a starving dog with a bone. Bleidd doubted all the ale in this bar would bring Zell relief from what troubled him, and she suspected more than just rogue bandits were the cause of his woes.

Still she wasn't going to be paid for solving all his problems...at this point she realise Otto had finished his recounting and Ben was addressing her.

Without taking her eyes from the scowling man in the corner her head bobbed slightly.

"Sure, I don't see why not. Otto? Let me know what I owe will you? Thanks."

With that she silently stepped off her stool, frowning slightly she adjusted her step so a soft light footfall could be heard. No point in startling a man already wound to snapping point. She fell into step with her new companion as they crossed the room.

@supernal @Kelenon

((OOC, once they leave I will start a new thread.))

 

Edited by Syxanthie

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Not waiting for Otto to answer Ben turned on his heel and with hands in pockets he approached slowly the table, where lonely character fought an uneven battle with his liquid adversary. When Ben walked around the table he faced a middle aged blond man with bushy mustache almost completely covering his mouth. He was wearing an dark-brown, riddled oilskin emitting intense oily scent mixed with aroma of fish. Despite his "fishermans" appearance he looked like he spent most of the day fishing in his in glass than actually fishing. When Zell noticed Ben casting a shadow on his table he raised his head.

Whatcha lookin' at? - he grumbled impatiently and finished his drink with one gulp.

Ben raised his eyebrows. - At a poor sod that looks for solution to his problems in wrong place apparently - he responded pointing with his finger at an empty glass. - Can we join you? - he added nodding at Bleidd direction.

Go pester someone else. I'm not in a mood for chit-chat. - seeing that Ben and Bliedd remained where they were he sighted and added - All right, do what you want...

Ben smiled slightly, took a seat and encouraged Bleidd with a gesture to do the same.

@Syxanthie

 

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