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The Black Anvil Hymn [ Hub ]

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@~Harlow.

Stello was caught somewhat by surprise with her response about coffee. As he was standing there by the door and he heard that she was actually continuing the conversation, he crossed both of his arms. The skepticism in his expression was intentionally apparent. Nevertheless, the thought of there being more to a subject if a greater interest to explore was taken intrigued him. He rather liked when people had a passion for things, even when those things were small. Internally, he had convinced himself that if unsweetened green tea was an acquired taste, which it was, then coffee without sugar was probably a forced taste. Forced at gun point. He intended to have her show him this properly made sugarless coffee some time. 

In referencing the highly unfriendly exchange from earlier, Stello's expression returned to its resting state but he somehow looked like he held reservations. Since hitting adulthood, it felt like the world demanded he apologize occasionally. It was such a frequent happenstance that Harlow's dialogue initially came off as if it was headed in that direction and he was well prepared to fervently refuse. When it became clear that wasn't it and all of that hard anticipation of confrontation dissipated, there was room for approval to creep on in instead. Maybe even a little playfulness. 

"You do? Coulda fooled me." His expression turned mischievous. "Cause it looked like you were ready to knock my lights out earlier. Or at least try to. Oh and if you're lookin' for personnel, I know a few adventuring types who might wanna sign up. Might be better than picking up randos off the streets." 

Her description of how she came to own the Cloudstrider did sound strange. If it was the kind of story to leave her short on words to describe, it had to have been interesting. Ultimately, by the time she was finished, Stello couldn't help but laugh somewhat softly when he realized something. Despite all that, she hadn't really answered the question but he understood. She wanted to do the story justice, perhaps. 

"Over a cup of sugarless coffee maybe," he encouraged. "I'll try almost anything at least once." 

He was about to close the door when he heard her conversation with the other person on the communication device. Cabin twelve sounded like where he'd be bunking and then it hit him that she intended to leave immediately. 

"Oh shit!" he exclaimed, "We're leaving now? I gotta go get my things." 

In a rush, he ran back into the shop, hoped over the counter and then devoured the staircase that led up to the living quarters with lengthy strides of his long legs. Ten minutes later, he returned, carrying several pieces of luggage full of clothing and hygienic products and wearing cleaner threads than before, hidden beneath a gray raincoat. He rolled a platform cart out from the warehouse and among the many things he loaded onto it was an iron, an ironing board, and two equipment cases. For all intents and purposes, it looked like he was heading off on a vacation. 

"Okay I'm ready." 

After closing down the entire shop and leaving behind a note, one that would inform Lexicus of his departure and providing contact information in case of emergency, he left. A tarp protected his belongings from the elements as they went. 

While on the lift that raised them to the ship docking area, he glanced out to the rest of the city below them. It was quite a view, and he could already imagine how fantastic it was going to look from the aerial angle that the ship would provide. All thoughts of anticipation and excitement vanished, however, when the bay opened and exposed them to a swirling tornado of water droplets and wind. It instantly blew away the hood over his head and nearly swept off his snap back. 

As if it wasn't already bad, Harlow suddenly shouted out orders and ran off. Stello scrambled to regain his bearings, gripped the platform cart and could be heard yelling from a few feet behind her, "What the fuck's port side?! The side facing this port?!" 

Without waiting for an answer, he shot off after her, pushing his cargo through the violent and watery winds. The wheels slid off to the side occasionally, resulting in a torrent of curse words ten times as horrendous as the downpour that engulfed them. Harlow got there first and though he had settled with following her to the right destination, his instructions changed. Before he could join her, he was being pointed and waved off in another direction, to the cargo ramp descending from another side of the ship, a better suited entry point for his cart.

By the time anybody met him in the ship's cargo bay, he was calmly removing his raincoat, which had proven useless, and was wiping water off his face. The flannel long sleeve button up underneath was soaked through. He looked like a mess. Only reason he hadn't relied on magic was because his license had been suspended a few months ago for threatening minors with bodily harm. 

"Let it be chronicled that the heavens dropped a giant piss storm down on us this day." A pause. "Nice fucking ship by the way. The engines. With the blue lights outside of it? Blue's my favorite color." 

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On 4/26/2018 at 5:53 AM, LastLight said:


 

(This whole coming together moment is sort of making me hype, so this is my inspiration song hahaha)

"... Okay." The Leper nodded at Stello. He had a feeling it was gonna be a no, but still, the prospect of new work seemed like it could be more profitable than simply buying one of Stellos pieces. Not only this but if he joined, he may even get a chance to prove his worth to them, both Ioreth and Stello. Bonus points if he can get a sword by the end of all of this, and never ending work from Ioreth seemed like a nice little perk as well. The Amateur Mercenary in him rose in his heart and he simply nodded in silence at Stellos opening to discuss Water later on. The last sentence Stello struck well with Leper. If they were going to work together, he wanted to be updated on all goings on with the mission to find the Sword of Una. Secrets on these sort of expeditions tended to end badly, so although he did not show it, he did agree with the young blacksmith. The Leper had a keen interest in history, and thought this could be a nice little break. He was growing concerned however that these two would probably easily use his life in any worst case scenario looking for the source. He was the third wheel after all. He contemplated recruiting a partner for this... not only this, but what Ioreth in the end wanted the item for herself? And decided to off him and Stello? Or maybe even Stello offing him and Ioreth? It seems like they were partners on this, but what was he? He definitely would not consider himself a partner, more like a lackey or tool to be used. But whos? Who was his boss? Ioreth, the one technically executing the mission with her vast resources, or Stello, the man whom vocally declared the Lepers partaking in this adventure and came up with the quest idea in the first place? If the two turned on each other for the Sword, who should he turn in favor for?

Like a chess game, the Leper had a strange feeling of familiarity he was experiencing in relation to relationships, and personal politics. He had never faced such a situation before. He was a bit curious now to see how things would turn out. He nodded once more and sighed, before looking towards Ioreth. "Hopefully we won't have to disagree on anything." The Leper suddenly pulled out a golden flask with the large, intricate design of a revolver engraved on it from his jacket pocket.  This the one treasure the Leper could never let go of, not only this but the many times he's lost, it has mysteriously made its way back to him. He twisted the cap off and jutted the flask containing tequila in it towards Ioreth first, since after all she was the main driving force for all of  this. "Let's do our best... There's no I in team, yes?".

Edited by B2BBear

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Days had passed before his summons was returned. Lexicus was still settling in to the Hymn. Upstairs he was 'waking up' after some rest. It would be a while before he got fully dressed and ready to go down the stairs. Since he wanted to fit in easier, Lexicus decided to get clothes that suited the area standards. A pair of khakis for traveling out, a pair of blue jeans to work in, a long sleeve tan t-shirt to work in, and finally a few short sleeve shirts as well as a button up shirt and vest to wear around when not working. Lex had spent the last few days mostly staying in the shop working on arms and a few sets of chain to sell. Today was the day he had hoped his associates would arrive..or at least he sensed them very nearby..but something wasn't quite right.

From downstairs, there were two visitors that entered. One, a very buff blonde haired young man, looking in his early 20s maybe even late teens, with pointed ears and dull green eyes. He was carrying a large square shield on his back and a bastard sword in a scabbard strapped to his back. His clothes were very light, consisting of baggy jeans with a lot of pockets, looking as if they all bore something within them, as well as a cropped vest that had straps along the front that held the vest closed around his torso. The vest seemed to be made of a very dense looking material, at a glance it seemed like very hardened leather. The pointed eared guy also wore a few strange accessories. A tribal looking necklace consisting of a chain base, some minuscule triangular bones pointed at each end, some rounded dark stones, and a peculiar looking dark marble-like stone with an engraving edged on it. Also, a wristband made of a some material that looked like a dark rope flattened down to lay flat along someone's wrist, it bore a mosaic made from small stones and shells woven onto the wristband which depicted a lost tribal symbol. 

The other visitor, a figure with a hooded robe, it was very obvious that this figure did not want to reveal their appearance, however they did not stand very tall nor were they wide. A more slim figure as compared to the other person who entered before they did. Their feet bore lightly pointed shoes looked to be crafted out of some sort of thick hide.

The blonde haired man moved over to the counter, spotting Stello working on a few pieces. "Good morning." His voice bore some age to it, slightly gruff, he spoke with power behind his words. "Sorry to bother you but I need a moment of your time. I promise it will be quick." He planted both hands on the counter and was leaning his weight forwards. 

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One foot in front of the other, Godric. There you go. You almost did it! Don't worry, my son, you'll be walking again in no time. It's as easy as what I just told you. Put one foot in front of the other.

What do I do when I only have one foot, father? Where's your advice now?

Ten years ago, Godric was sick with a terrible fever, one that had him debilitated in his bed for days. Once he got better, he found his legs had forgotten how they worked, the muscles having atrophied somewhat during his convalescence. His father helped him regain his ability to walk every step of the way, until finally he could go where he wished without assistance. Fate had deemed it necessary to force the young adventurer through a similar situation, but with a much more malicious twist to it.

It all started in Blairville, where Godric had taken a job to recover a book and stop a monster rampaging through the streets. After a good amount of time investigating, the book was recovered and the monster was defeated with minimal problems. Of course it was more of a major problem for Godric, whose leg got so mangled during that time he had to have it amputated or never adventure again. Perspectives are funny that way.

Now he was here in Hell's Gate, hoping to get back on two feet again as he hobbled his way through the sidewalk. Walking via crutches was a difficult motion to get used, especially with all the pain he felt in his armpits. It also didn't help how most people were apathetic to his condition, to the point where a few times he nearly tripped because someone carelessly bumped into him while making their way to work. Being a cripple wasn't a very easy life, especially when one has to spend most of their time biting back the anger of being treated as an invalid. Hopefully he could solve all that with this little visit to a blacksmith he was referred to by his boss.

First challenge, get through the door. Not easy, but not impossible either, just required a bit of work. In keeping on his left leg, he leaned against the door frame for support, passing one crutch to the other arm so he could push the door ajar. The sound of a hammer striking an anvil met his ears, and the inside looked nice enough, if only for its lack of chairs to sit upon.

"Excuse me, I am looking for a blacksmith. Seen any around?" Chuckling lightly, the young adventurer did his best to hop past the threshold, grunting with effort in order to keep his balance. With a curse his foot slipped, and he landed on his back on the floor, his blue tunic likely already smudged with grease or sweat or something. "Sorry about that" he said, sitting upright and rubbing the back of his head "still getting used to these."

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  Gaia’s tits, such suspicion. Was it the hat?
 
  Stello and the Leper’s misgivings were a contrast from the typical way human (or human-seeming) males behaved around her. They did not immediately trip over her Mystical Elf Lady vibe and fall into her hands, nor did they seem willing to be blindly swept up into the wandering river of her life. She did her best to look after those that stumbled into her path, but one cannot help but notice that the balance of power was often tipped in her favor. While a superficial feeling or two twinged in irritation, it was another lesson that the universe flung her way: a reminder to refrain from complacency.
 
  Stello’s request was for full transparency met with an arched brow and, invoked by the suggestion of a big fat disappointment, a gleam of that blistering elvish distaste. “I would promise no less. You and I both take our work seriously, yes? We have contracts written for clients and---” she inclined her head towards the Leper “---mercenaries seeking temporary employment that should cover all of your concerns regarding payment and our company’s services.” For the Leper, though, serenity once more took its hold of her features, despite him echoing his own reservations towards potential dissidence. Not only did he have snacks, he also brought drinks. 

  Well, a drink. Whatever it was, it promised to burn on the way down.
 
  She accepted the flask with a bow of her head and purred, “Naichte òcai d’uis-al.” It was a toast which, when translated from Duendaic to common Terran, essentially could be paraphrased to mean “blessed be the obstinate asshole.” Nevertheless, it had the cadence of a friendly santé, and the joke was ultimately on her when she shot back a swig of the Leper’s oath-serum.
 
  Not only did it burn, it kicked like a thrice damned mule. Not only had it been well over a year since she last had even a flirtation with hard liquor, Ioreth never developed much of a taste for tequila. Whiskey was an old friend; tequila was a tolerated acquaintance. The flask was thrust back into the Leper’s wrapped hands as she made a valiant attempt to contain her grimace. 
 
  “Well. Ah. I can bring the contracts here in a few days or…” 
 
  Once more her pen and pad of paper made their appearance, and she continued to speak as she jotted down two separate notations. “...You both could meet me here. I’m lodging with a friend, she lives near the Haze Kitchen district and makes a divine parmigiana. ‘Tis your choice.” The address to the eclectically constructed home was passed to her new adventuring companions. It was not difficult to miss. If one did not first notice the electric blue tree towering out of the center of the home, one may have found their attention fixated upon the seven foot tall orcish woman tinkering with motorcycles out on the front lawn. 
 
  “I can provide transport to Ashville, but one of you shall need to decide who is riding in the sidecar. I like to keep my books there,” she laughed, “though I suppose I can move them elsewhere.” 
 
  After Stello and the Leper answered with their preference, Ioreth would offer each of them a bow of her head and thank them for the new retrieval opportunity and for the protein bars, respectively, before inquiring, “Since we are going to be traveling together, would you two like to have a meal with me? Stello, you know the area far better than I. If you pick, I’ll pay. No big fat disappointments,  yeah?”

Edited by KittyvonCupcake
Typo Fixin'

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@Fennis Ursai

Watching Lexicus integrate into this new environment was interesting. Slowly but surely his choice of garb had changed, began to resemble what the city folk that walked the streets of Hell's Gate wore. He looked like one of them. Until, of course, he opened his mouth. 

Sometimes when customers were greeted by Lexicus at the counter, the old world chivalry so thoroughly ingrained into his diction resulted in smiles or brief pauses. Although some may have gone so far as to believe it was a gimmick, many were receptive to it. Since Lexicus began his tenure here, those types of interactions had been a reliable source of entertainment. On top of that, he was often hard at work putting chain mail together, which there couldn't ever be enough of. These every day folks ate the stuff up but Stello had drawn a clear line at chain mail lingerie. Someone like Lexicus would probably be grateful. 

There was also the process of teaching him about all of the equipment present in the shop. The belt sander made polishing both wood and metal much easier. If a more gradual and slow approach was necessary, variable speeds made it possible to approximate performing the process by hand. Perhaps the most difficult piece of machinery to accept, however, would be the power hammer. All a smith had to do was put his foot down on a pedal, position the work piece comfortably in two hands and let the servos do the work of pounding a billet into shape. Despite its presence in Stello's shop, the anvil still saw frequent use. 

But once that drudgery was concluded, in came the materials. Stello gets most of his metals from a versatile steel yard in Hell's Gate that goes by the name of He Who Smelt It. The variable powder forging machine in the shop makes it possible to produce all kinds of small components, namely the rings used in mail. They spent less time prepping their materials and more time bringing their designs to fruition. Watching Lexicus get used to all of that was interesting as well. 

The day the visitors arrived, Stello was sitting at a table with a pen and several papers strewn about its surface, each bearing a different metal knuckle design on its surface. Being that he carried the intention of using them himself, he was acutely engaged. When the ping echoed through the establishment, announcing the arrival of the patrons, he registered the sound and its implications but resisted abandoning his work for as long as cordially possible. Once he did, the waning tunnel vision made the environment feel more vibrant. He stood, took in a breath, and approached the counter with his head hanging somewhat low until he arrived, whereupon he leveled his gaze with the older gentleman's eyes. 

No customer would have apologized for being present so Stello immediately put together the fact that they weren't here to buy, otherwise he would have welcomed them to the shop. Instead, he responded, his words calm, relaxed and slowly spoken, "We got no public restrooms here." As he spoke, he pointed at a sign on one of the walls announcing the policy. There were some real horror stories behind that one. "But I'll help with directions if that's what you're here for. What do you need?" 

Though he had only been in the process of drawing up a potential work piece, he still wore his leather apron and boots. A black t-shirt, blue jeans and a backwards facing ball cap rounded up the rest of his garb. 


@B2BBear @KittyvonCupcake

When during Ioreth's response she asked if whether they both took their business seriously, Stello nodded deeply and pressed both lips together tightly. The expression was made so as to douse the idea of that with unwavering certainty. Both of his hands found their ways to the edge of the counter, supporting himself on it as he listened to her words without looking into her eyes. Curiously, he even tilted his head so as to angle one of his ears in her direction. The way his eyes shifted, it was as if he was trying to listen to the ping of a needle hitting the floor. He wanted to hear every word clearly, and when it was over, he nodded firmly one more time with the intent to convey that he concurred with deep finality. 

"That's what I like to hear." 

His weight was eased off the counter and with a firm slap on its surface, he watched her receive the flask, oblivious to the message behind the toast but perhaps surprisingly engaged by it. It may have been true that few individuals with a lesser genetic pedigree could resist being swept into her river flow but it might be even truer that even fewer of those men could resist the rhythm of a foreign language spoken by a lady with a savory voice. How ironic that he might actually be the obstinate asshole she was referring to while he was thinking about how alluring the duendaic tongue was. She may have been stealthily, and unknowingly, making a fool out of him in more ways than one. 

From how it looked like she was fighting the urge to twist her face up into something resembling an abstract painted depiction of a person's semblance, Stello imagined the Leper might have added some rubbing alcohol into the drink as a filler. 

His eyes angled down to follow the motion of the paper she passed towards them. He didn't immediately develop a preference for the two options but when she asked for a place to eat, he lifted his head again. When he chose, it was on a whim, "I'm too tall for a side car and we'll meet you there." With that out of the way, he continued, oozing confidence, "No disappointments, not if I get the last say. I know the best place in all of Hell's Gate," he announced, pointing straight down, "Right here. Those protein bars look like they should hold you for a short while. I don't usually cook fat people food but how's about an orange baked ham served with au gratin that'll smell so good you'll want to pay me for the aroma therapy session? I got my recommendations but it'll be your choice of wine." At least he was willing to compromise on something. 

Next, he looked at the Leper, "And for you, your choice of hard liquor sans rubbing alcohol filler if you'll head on over to The Big Meat to get us the ham. I'm friends with the butcher there. Lends me pig carcasses to test my weapons on." 

Once he began considering calling in to get the ham prepared so that the Leper could pick it up, it dawned on him that he didn't know what to call him. Some iota of resonance with the Leper's situation crept into his demeanor.

"Did you forget your name, too? What should we call you?" 
 

Edited by LastLight
italicized he who smelt it

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The blonde haired man looked the shop keeper up and down as he made his way over. The comment about the public restrooms brought over a chuckle to the back of his mind as well as a sens of wonder, the was a reason behind the policy, something he would make a note of and move on for now. "As I said, sorry bother you. Me and my associate are looking for a mister Stello?" The name was spoke questionably, not because it was hard to pronounce, but because he wasn't sure it was actually a name. "I was informed that he might be in this area and that he was also a smith...so I'm hoping that'd be 'you'?" The emphasis on the 'you' was made as a higher pitch waning squeal, sort of like he'd gave up hope finding this guy and was ready to pack it up and go back home.

The cloaked figure swayed behind the blonde haired man, feeling out the area. It'd been a while since they'd been out, and this was the first time these two had ever been paired together. The trip was strange, not a lot of talking going on between the two, what speech there was felt, awkward..forced at times as well. There was a passing thought why they were paired together for the trip. However, the trip was flagged as important which means that they could not afford to have only one of the clan leave unattended. It was a long experience, both partnered up not knowing much about the other as the trip started, knowing what felt like even less by the time they arrived..well at least for the blonde haired man. 

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@Grubbistch

Opposite of Godric, Stello was having a pleasant morning. For a few months now, he had been hard at work coming up with a knuckle duster design that he was happy with and he had finally arrived at that momentous milestone. There was white piece of paper sitting on its own upon the counter, flat and bestowed with his chosen design. The rings were shaped like hexagons and the support, clenched within the hand, was fashioned in the image of an angry bull. Its horns curved in such a way as to form part of the piece but never granted it with the ability to pierce. 

First thing he did after opening up shop was stand beside it, sipping from a cup of steaming green tea while he studied its features. Each and every moment he took to admire what he had come up with filled him with a greater sense of excitement. He was already fantasizing about what materials to use, if whether he should give it a pattern weld of some kind and how much he wanted it to weigh. A few test pieces were in order, he concluded, and just as he was considering that, someone arrived at the door. 

He turned his head and as he waited for the visitor to come through, he picked up signs of a struggle. The door opened and then closed again. Then it opened in increments several times before someone in crutches fell through. Stello's brows tightened, "Oh shit!" he exclaimed, putting the tea down and hopping over the counter to provide help. "You alright!?" 

As he arrived next to Godric, Stello lowered and stopped short of placing hands on him after hearing him apologize. He sounded fine. "Uh . . . I guess that's a hell of a door, isn't it?" Glancing towards the metal entrance, he shook his head and smiled, "Probably should start thinking about a handicapped entry way." Probably not what Godric wanted to hear. 

Stello meant no offense, however, which was evident in the way he began helping him up. After getting Godric safe on his crutches again, he began to step back towards the work space, "One sec, let me grab you a chair." He returned with one of the soft lobby seats that he hadn't brought back out from cleaning yet. After placing it on the ground for him, he straightened and retrieved his cup of hot tea and began to consider what Godric might be looking for. His eyes zeroed in on the crutches. 

"Are you here for a souped up set of battle crutches? Because I might be able to pull that off." 

After thinking about it, he surprised himself in finding that the idea intrigued him. Enough so that he began to encircle his new patron, stopping only to more closely study the structure of Godric's implements. "Get some pattern welding in there, make it look elegant. Maybe a deployable shield? Spiked shield for you. I wouldn't think about playing it dignified if I was on crutches and someone saw fit to make short work of me." 


@Fennis Ursai

Stello's pupils dilated the moment he was assessed head to toe and promptly returned the gesture, noting the blonde's enlarged pants, leather vest, wristband, strange necklace and everything else. Naturally, he spent the most time eyeing the large shield on his back together with the sword. The equipment often spoke volumes of the warrior and this was no different. In the end, he chalked up the audacious gesture to unfamiliarity. The blonde fellow looked like he wasn't raised in the city and likely found it strange to see someone like him operating a forge for this sort of weaponry. 

If he had been any kind of typical street urchin with a bad reputation, it would have been wise to tell them they had the wrong guy. It could have prevented him from facing any unwanted repercussions. Then again, there was not one menace on Valucre mean enough for Stello to deny his name. He would have told them the truth one way or the other. 

Adjusting his hat, he leaned his hip against the counter and glanced sideways in their direction, his gaze momentarily fixated on how the more enshrouded of the two gentlemen looked all around in curiosity, "You've come to the right place. I'm Stello Lavis, owner of the Black Anvil Hymn. So far, I don't see anything to apologize for. I'm guessing you're here to get something made. How'd you hear about me?" 

There was a very slight clench, or perhaps tug, coming from the bare skin nestled between each of his eyebrows as he addressed them. 
 

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Did Godric land on his head when he fell? There was a massively confused look on his face when Stello started talking about battle crutches. "Um, I'm not really here for new crutches. I was actually hoping for something more mobile than that." He motioned towards the space where his leg used to be.

"Ioreth told me to take a visit to your shop. Said you were the best there is. I can pay you for your services. You'd be amazed how much money you save when you only have to buy one shoe." He chuckled, doing his best to try and hide the nervousness he felt about all of this. Being an adventurer was his life, and if he couldn't move around with two legs then he would have to go back home to Ursa Madeum, and hope they would take their poor crippled son back. 

"I know it's not something you do mostly, but I really need this, I need another leg. Without it I can't continue my job, and I really want to keep this job. Please, you have to help me." It was hard to appear so weak, but he was certainly feeling desperate enough to start begging if he had to. 

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So this was the right place after all..

The blonde haired man held out an open hand to the owner, "Lenix...house..well..'clan' Ardese. Glad to meet you Stello, and no..well maybe..depends on your work. I'm actually here looking for a mutual..person of interest that we both know." Lenix turned his head over to the cloaked figure, "This is the place."

With the acknowledgement of the correct location, the cloaked figure tossed back their hood to reveal the face of a tan skinned, black haired woman adorned with a few pieces of jewelry dangling around her neck and ear. "Good..I was beginning to thing this was a wild chase." She turned back to begin walking back to the counter. Her eyes had..unique pupils, to say the least. Her eyes had a thin black oval surrounded by a green iris..almost like a cat. 

"This, is Ishanis."

"A pleasure."

"So, this is your shop? Can't say I've seen many people use the blow torch method before. Most of 'em try to recreate the old ways of hammer and anvil or go by those damn heat jets. I assume the metal still holds up well enough with the torch, probably easier to do spot work right?" He didn't know too much about smithing, only what he'd seen from the orcs and from what Beris had showed him, however he did a bit of work before..wasn't great, but it was necessary. Lenix bore a lot of respect for those who practiced, he wasn't much good at it but a well trained smith can change the tide of a war, he'd seen that first hand. 

Ishanis took a while,  moving around the shop, almost swaying about it like a dance. It wasn't her favorite type of place to be in, however it wasn't a trail that she had to constantly follow. Her feet wanted to move about for a bit in a way that wasn't just a direct 'march'. She could hear someone fumbling around upstairs. She kept that under her belt for the time being, in the back of her mind she believed that it was who they were looking for.

Lexicus had finished getting dressed, however he was just stalling to come down. Perhaps if he waited, they might go on..but he needed them here..well he needed 'Al' here. This was a setback but he would live with it. After gathering his tools and nabbing a playing card from a deck of cards he carried with his things, Lexicus sat by the top of the staircase, listening to those down below.  

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On 5/16/2018 at 4:41 AM, LastLight said:

 

The Leper usually chose a bottle over a plate, but honestly, the guy could go for some food right about now. He couldn't recall the last time he ate actually. The Leper was fine going with either person, but felt some relief when Stello spoke for him. "I could probably fit in  the side car, but I think I'll stick around with the Blacksmith a little longer." Leper politely bowed his head to Ioreth in thanks for her hospitality. The Leper looked towards Stello as he spoke and nodded in approval. He felt a good, honest aura about the man and he knew he would be in safe with Stellos local experience and presentable nature. When describing the dish he had planned,  Leper felt that even under his numbed skin, a tinge of hunger began to rise in his belly. He could practically smell and taste the orange baked ham, his mouth watering slightly in his usually dry mouth. Leper could not help but smile underneath his bandages at the two people before him a over a meal. It felt so.... normal. He could not recall a moment within his life that he shared a home cooked meal and bonded with anyone over it. A bit of anxiety arose from him. He felt like he was in a dream. The display kindness and reaching out to him was a bit too foreign. He was so used to being avoided and feared, whether by repulsion or something else. He began to have hid doubts. Perhaps he should not join Ioreth and Stello for dinner... he was but a tool after all. They were the minds behind the project. 

The goggles and bandages hiding Leper from the world was like a layer of protection for him, although he used it for self medication purposes. He could not lie that he felt naked and embarrassed without it. He used it as an excuse for moments like this, in which he could look towards the ground and not at those who talked to him. The Leper looked up from the ground when Leper made a  little joke about rubbing alcohol filler, to which the Leper did not have any reply to. The reality was that people who struggled out there did crazy, even shameful things to get their fix. 

"Leper will do. It's a reminder." The Bandaged Man replied to Stello. He would then (perhaps) get the instructions on how to get to The Big Meat plus any additional info. He would simply fix his hat, turn, and leave without much of a goodbye. Once outside the shop, he would quickly take out one of those numbing cigarettes Ioreth had traded him for the protein bars. His itch back there was almost too much to handle. Once lit, Leper would inhale its unique contents, and feel the rush that Ioreth had described not too long ago. He faced the street pondering on whether he should wander off now. He predicted he would get rather close with these people, which he felt rather uncomfortable with. Those he got close to always got hurt, whether he knew it or not. He pondered abandoning those two. They were much stronger than him, he would only be a liability he figured. He took a few more hard puffs to numb the rising anxiety within him. Should he just go and leave them? He thought long and hard. 

He decided he would walk towards the butchers and see what he would do from there...

(Not sure where i could go with this now. Perhaps I can just let yall talk and come back in a bit.)

Edited by B2BBear

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Stello was greeted by way of an oncoming dry towel to the chest, Harlow pacing behind it as she dried the end of her ponytail and bangs with another.

“Why thanks, she’s a beauty. And, in much better shape than she was when we found her. The first thing we did was an overhaul, on most of it anyway.” She pointed a thumb over her shoulder to the furthest end of the cargo bay, the tall wall beyond them accented by a single door. To its left, stairs. “I assume you don’t want to walk around soaking wet in an air conditioned ship for too long. Let me show you to your quarters.”

After realizing Stello wasn’t much of a light packer, Harlow lead them to a small four-by-four lift beside the stairs. It waned to a halt on the top floor and opened to the eclectic collection of couches, floor mats, and chairs that laid claim to the common area. The overhead lights were dimmed here, with only a couple kept bright enough over a few small tables. Seated in the center of the seemingly organized patchwork of furniture, sunk deep into the back of an old upholstered chair, was a small woman. She sat illuminated by the screen in her hand, eyes centered on it unblinking.

Harlow stepped from the lift, motioning over her shoulder to him to follow. She looked back to the silent woman seated in the chair, who hadn’t seemed to notice their arrival. The Captain cleared her throat as she continued to walk.

“I thought the tournament was over.”

The light of the screen spasmed and danced about the dim room as the woman sprang from the chair in response, flipping it in her hands. She knelt on the cushioned seat, staring over the tall back of the chair at the two of them. A small, luminous device rest on her ear, the light flickering in tandem with an artificial voice. What it lacked in authenticity, it made up for with natural inflection and cadence. The only odd thing about her voice was the simple fact it wasn’t coming from her mouth, which remained perfectly closed, though expressive.

“You’re back! I was reading some of the responses we got. We have three yeses for our rendezvous so far. Who’s this guy?” She shrugged in Stello’s direction.

“A fourth yes, apparently. Stello, meet Abigail, my engineer. Abi, this is Stello.”

“Oh yeah, that rich guy with the new shop in town. Wait - “ She blinked at him, “You’re coming with us? What did she bribe you with?”

“Ha ha.” She conspicuously turned her attention from Abi to Stello, “This is the common area, we like to collect neat pieces of furniture for it. Hang out here anytime. Let me show you to your room before you freeze to death.”

Coming up on the door, it was quickly obvious which had been his. A neatly arranged, oversized 'TWELVE”'stretched from top to bottom, the lower bit of the T leading to the door handle.

“Here we go. Lockable from the inside. Roomy. Take a look around. If it’s in there, you can use it. The kitchen is behind us right here, too. Our cook Tom is great - he’s sleeping right now, kind of an early-riser, but I’m sure you’ll see him. He’s the quiet-but-friendly sort.” She motioned to the closed door as a grin played across her features.

“Welcome aboard, Sir. Let me know if you want more of a tour later. We'll be leaving here as soon as the storm passes."
 

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