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Vdara Kingdom Marketplace

NorthEastern Genesaris

597, Modern Era

Despite telling herself that she wouldn't, the Runesmith was looking through crossbow bolts, again.

The quiver on her back was empty, shamefully so, and sat in stark contrast to the heavy black-metal gunbow strapped to her back. The bolts on show weren't all that varied: you had your wooden bolts, of course, but also ones made of bronze, aluminum and even a handful of glass bolts, too. They were expensive, though, and well out of Priscilla's price range. This was why she'd been so averse to coming to this particular stand. She couldn't afford quality goods, and ought to have browsed cheaper stalls closer to the entrance of the market.

But those stalls didn't have the specialized bolts the gunbow needed to fire, further adding to her dilemma. 

Thankfully, she didn't have to worry about wasting the vendor's time, as they were busy with another customer. This allowed her to walk away quickly, without making things awkward.

She headed back the way she came. The sun was out, and it bathed the streets--and herself--in light. Vdara was every bit as beautiful as she remembered from her previous visits, but now she was returning not in trumph, but in disgrace. The familiar minishop she was so used to riding with had been gone for months now, and now, only the comforting weight of the crossbow on her back, and the knife strapped to her chest felt familiar. She was nigh unrecognizable, she realized upon passing a tall mirror on sale. Her natural hair color, that soft, cocoa-brown, was looking much healthier than when she'd started travelling to Vdara in the first place, and clothed in the thick, comfortable pirate's jacket and heavy boots she'd looted from the crash of Gehenna, she looked stronger than before, even. She didn't look the same as the woman who regularly visited Vdara and the Merchant's Guild, though. Her purple hair, and trim, effeminate appearance were gone, or at least hidden.

Maybe that had something to do with why she was denied the majority of her insurance?

Whether it did or not, Priscilla walked out of the Merchant's Guild less than wealthy. Worse still, nearly eighty percent of her gains were immediately handed over to the people involved in saving her. With what she had left, she'd been able to put some money into a hotel, buy some clean clothes and...that was it, really.

She wasn't going to stop, though. If anything, the attempts on her life, over and over, had toughened her, and taught her a thing or two about how to stay alive, when people and animals and the environment itself desired otherwise. So, while she'd been resting in the tavern she'd holed up in, she'd come up with the idea of doing it again.

Not the almost getting killed, part. The part where she didn't die while fighting things.

Contract work wasn't unfamiliar anywhere within Genesaris, and loads of people made their living off of it. So, Priscilla reasoned, she could find a contract or three, and make enough money to recover her business. She passed beneath a bridge--or what it a road?--and focused on the tavern where she'd rested last night. 

The tavern was a classic, after all. She'd look for some hired help within, and get started before noon.

She stepped inside, burying the quiet buzz of passing conversation for the louder clamor for the people within the bar, the bright sunlight for the dim candlelight of the tavern's interior, and the smell of fresh air for booze and sweat.

She cringed, a bit, but pressed on, and found a spot at an empty table.

And then, Priscilla waited, and watched.

She didn't really know exactly who to look for, but she was confident they'd become obvious, in time.

 

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The ale the tavern served was bold, elegant, exceptional, of this, there was no objection. Yet he did not consume alcohol out of a desire for its taste nor for the fact that the ale would be exotic to one such as himself who had traveled from a different nation. No, Allric Galanos only flocked to taverns for one desire. The want to forget. He had assured himself that, upon visiting Ilhelm Castle, liberating it from the dark forces that had made it their own personal settlement, and committing himself to the reformation of Ilhelm Covenant, he would be freed of his more destructive tendencies. That he would be stronger. It was an incorrect assumption. He still found himself haunted by voices which no longer belonged to this world and apparitions of beings that had long since been buried in the earth. His accomplishment had given him a new sense of purpose, but his old habits were proving difficult to overcome.

His royal blue duffel bag sat on the floor beside his feet, bulging as it was the current home of his knight-like armor. His helmet protruded from the top ever so slightly, a consequence of the limited space of his equipment holder. The well-maintained metal glittered slightly in the rays of sunlight that reached it from the windows of the tavern. Allric had taken an exceptional amount of time to restore his battle garb to its formal glory after its retrieval, yet he had not donned it again since he had slain the Wretched. Likewise, he had not bared his arms in the same amount of time. His spear and greatsword were held within the rune carved over the heart of his chest piece by his fallen master. Arondight remained in the open, unlike the rest of his recovered equipment, strapped to the top of the duffel bag.

Vdara was not the first destination he had held in mind once he departed Ilhelm Castle. Nevertheless, Allric had learned years ago that preexisting plans had a tendency to fall apart. Ilhelm Covenant was, by and large, considered defunct. This gave him something of an advantage as any enemies they may have accumulated once upon a time had dismissed any future presence they may have held, giving him ample time to put all of his affairs in order. He knew such matters needed to be done in secrecy and this had inevitably lead Allric far from home to gather resources away from the prying eyes of those who would take notice. He had yet to find anything worthwhile to pursue to kickstart his goals, a factor which played the ultimate driving force for Allric's attendance in the establishment he sat in.

A frown fell across his lips as he stared down at his beverage. For a moment he had wanted to forget, yet he found himself immensely grateful to his body's built immunity to the effects of alcohol. Forgetting would be a blessing, but one he could not afford. Such an action would only be detrimental to the legacy, and reconstruction, of the Vilebloods. His fingertips pressed against his glass before sliding it across his table away from his person. "Water please." He spoke, his hazel eyes drifting to a tavern personal before falling back to his table. There was a stack of papers off to the side, leads on potential resources. None seemed as if they would prove useful, but given his current knowledge of Vdara it was his sole source of potential income. It was worth a relook.

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meditation equilibrium GIF

Entering next into the tavern was a tall figure, dressed in the robes of a monk, face obscured by his hood, but nothing could hide the horns sticking out from the sides. Lowering said hood, the unmistakable visage of a minotaur could be seen, and so the muscled humanoid made his way to the bar.

"One glass of water, and some rice, please." He asked, thanking the man after paying him what little coin he had left. Traveling made one rich in wisdom, but it seemed to leave the wallet somewhat light. Groxnar was not worried about this, however, as he was used to living without. Making his way to a place in which to sit, the bulky monk found that most people were reluctant to allow him to sit with them.

Finally he decided it might be best to simply sit in the corner, eating and drinking in silence as he thought on what to do next. He was out of money, and the people were becoming less and less willing to help him out of the kindness of their hearts. 

"Hey bull boy! Unless you got coin to rent a room, you gotta leave as soon as you're done eating." The bar man stated, and Groxnar nodded in compliance. 

Looked like another night of sleeping under the stars for him. 

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“Oh give him a break, Tevin,” said the most fabulously massive cat that Vdara had ever seen. Torie had a corner of the inn all to herself, and lounged on many cushions more colourful but much less plush than her stripy tiger coat. Her sparkling green eyes wandered over the minotaur, and she gave him a sympathetic (albeit very toothy) smile. “He only respects money, sadly,” she said, her voice a deep almost-roar which reverberated off the stone walls of the tavern. “You can share my room, if you want. It has a bed I’m not using. Care to come sit with me?”

The massive cat nodded her snout towards a wooden chair beside her, which looked diminutive in comparison. It was obvious the cat would not be able to come to the minotaur, for the spaces between the tables simply didn’t allow a being of her girth to navigate. She wasn’t only big (although she was big, easily being twelve feet long) but had a girth to match. Jowls of fat and fur had almost hidden her ears from view, and her belly splayed out around her like an in-built cushion. Even her massive paws were chubby, with a ring of fat at the joint of her wrist. Beside her sat a leather harness made with many bags for her belongings, and a large brass washbasin, big enough to bathe a man but instead holding a steaming pile of meat, from the leg of a deer to other, less-discernible parts. Torie waved her paw at it. “Do you eat meat? Take something, if you like.”

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The table was big enough to sit maybe five people around it, and placed just off-center in the middle of the bar, flanked on all sides by other tables. It was early, more or less, for the majority of the people living in the city, so the bar wasn't completely filled yet. Priscilla had the good fortune of not being packed between giant, sweaty dudes crammed around tables for the time being, so she could focus primarily on the people filtering in and out, and looking for potential recruits.

She'd thought about it for a while now, and had come to accept the fact that she was, in fact, 'recruiting' people. Not convincing them to join her out of charity, or hiring them, as you would laborers, but conscripting them, as you would with soldiers. It wasn't a pleasant thought, but she had to accept it, albeit with some disdain. The truth was, Priscilla didn't want to be a mercenary of any kind, and yet here she was, out of her element once again. Would it be obvious when she approached her potential peers that she wasn't as cold-blooded as they were?

Priscilla stopped thinking. Well, sort of. She realized that thinking in that way for long periods of time not only distracted, but made it easy to doubt yourself, your actions, and even your motives. So she stopped that, and focused on the people around her.

Again, there were slim pickings. There were plenty of strong-looking people, but a lot of them were already part of fairly obvious groups. She had to assume they were more experienced adventurers, working in tight-knit groups, or even larger cartels. Not exactly the type to pick up easily, or cheap, either. Priscilla looked past them, eyeing the few remnants. She didn't actually know what to look for, so she just started making up arbitrary requirements.

Muscle was the first on her list, then. Priscilla herself couldn't do very much heavy lifting; she wasn't weak, but she was still rather malnourished, lean and slim as she appeared now. It'd take a while to build back up some muscle mass, she supposed. In the meantime, she needed somebody that could boot a door down, or lift trees or heft a bag of gold, she mused.

The minotaur coming in just now was a promising start. Most of the were, right? Tall, broad and powerful creatures. This one wasn't too far from what she'd expect a minotaur to look like. She figured he could heft pretty much anything if she could convince him to.

However, she second guessed herself when the barkeep barked at the robed, masked figure.

On 3/30/2019 at 9:43 AM, Grubbistch said:

"Hey bull boy! Unless you got coin to rent a room, you gotta leave as soon as you're done eating."

Whoa. Either the bartender was used to bossing around heavyweights, or the minotaur was a bit softer than he appeared at first glance. Priscilla watched him with intent, and looked away quickly after he nodded gently, silently. Well! With those well-made robes and quiet stature, the minotaur didn't exactly smack of strength, or ability. She turned her attention elsewhere, but only briefly.

On 3/31/2019 at 11:32 PM, Venus Sprite said:

“Oh give him a break, Tevin,”

Priscilla frowned, before catching sight of the speaker; a positively plump tigress lazing upon the tavern cushions like royalty. Once you saw the tiger, it was almost impossible not to gawk, at least a little. She was, again, quite a sight, and Priscilla found the corners of her mouth tugging upwards just looking at her. The tiger looked more like an overgrown housecat, laying about that way, and she talked with a merriment that most housecats didn't share. From the way she talked, she also seemed quite personable; Priscilla wondered if she always looked like a tiger, or if she just took that shape in the bar. Maybe she could ask. The cat was interesting, however, because she appeared so sympathetic to the minotaur's plight. She understood poverty, then, the runesmith supposed. That could be a useful bargaining chip.

Also of note was another fellow at a table alone, save for the mountain of papers nearby. He looked troubled, or possibly just sad, but with these boyish features that made it impossible not to feel his plight. Priscilla watched him frown into the table for a few minutes, pondering over his fortune. He didn't appear to be antisocial, abnormal or ruminating, so she wondered if he was waiting on company. One of the fellows at a table between her and the man she was observing moved, leaning forward in his chair for a moment, and that was when Priscilla saw his bag.

It was a bulky, cumbersome thing, rugged and ugly, but the splash of blue cloth didn't do a fantastic job of hiding the various bits and pieces within. Priscilla watched the edges as an unmistakable shoulderpad of some fine kind pressed against the wall, eager to be freed. It might have been heavy armor, or light armor. She was uncertain from here. What she was certain of was that he was a warrior of some kind or another, and with the way he sulked, he might make for an easy recruit.

She just needed somebody, or some thing to get him to open up a bit, and make her life a little easier.

This was the part Priscilla was good at; pretending to be a business woman. She stood up from her table, the chair groaning as she did, and strode over towards where the minotaur and tigress conversed. Whether they were mid-conversation or not, Priscilla didn't care. She walked to the table where Pretty Boy That Sulks was sitting, and pulled a chair, before clearing her throat, hopefully loud enough for both of them to hear.

"If you'd indulge me, for a few moments, I can take care of your appetite for you. Room troubles, too." She flashed a winning smile, or so she hoped it looked like one. In the jacket, she did look kind of like a scoundrel. Did her innocent, beaming smile instead resemble shark's teeth, for a spell?

Regardless, she strode forward towards them both, and invited them towards the table, and after a moment after, also addressed the tigress.

"Unless you're comfy where you are, in which case, I can bring the table to you."

Behind her, the sad-eyed man appeared ready to move, or talk, and she spun on her heels, clacked them against the floorboards and leaned against the table, flashing him a similar smile, but a little less toothy this time around. 

"You also look like you're in need of table-fellows. Why not keep us company, and get a meal for your efforts?"

Now, she needed only to wait for them to settle in, and she could get to work trying to assemble this motley crew. She waited with baited breath for everything to settle into place.

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The woman's voice caught Allric off guard somewhat, having been thoroughly invested, and irritated, at the slim offerings presented by the papers he had been perusing. His eyes lifted slowly from the paper in his grasp to observe the one who had spoken to him. He found her smile to somehow be both inviting and off putting at the same exact time. A... unique feat. Briefly he glanced to the others she had conversed with and found a minotaur and a lazing tiger.

Not the typical sort you would find in a tavern.

Allric quickly pushed his surprise to the very back of his mind. He had seen far stranger things and he typically found it best to hide shock. He turned his attention back to the female leaning on his table before allowing his teeth to show in a smile of his own. "Table-fellows, huh?" He questioned, rapping his knuckles on the table twice as he considered the offer. "Sure. Why not? Seems like an interesting lot you're trying to talk to. Or drink with." He spoke as he pushed himself up, grabbing his duffel bag and jerking it from the floor to relocate.

"No need to feed me though. It hasn't been that long since I've eaten. Maybe you can help me." He stopped short of the Minotaur and Tiger, his smile dropping down to one side. "A mighty minotaur and majestic tiger. Can't say I ever imagined I would be sharing a table with the like. No offence intended." With a respectful bow of his head he settled into his new seat, dropping his bag to the ground with a harsh 'thunk'. "Alric Galanos. Pleased to make your acquaintance."

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On 4/8/2019 at 10:27 PM, Token said:

"Table-fellows, huh?" He questioned, rapping his knuckles on the table twice as he considered the offer. "Sure. Why not? Seems like an interesting lot you're trying to talk to. Or drink with." He spoke as he pushed himself up, grabbing his duffel bag and jerking it from the floor to relocate.

Priscilla smiled in relief, and took a seat. The tigress and minotaur, neither had recognized her words yet, or acknowledged her offer, to her great dismay. Still she didn't let it register; part of being a salesman was being able to maintain a stiff upper lip whenever a sale fell through. If what you were offering didn't impress your clients, then it was their loss, not yours. Even though her situation was the other way around, she couldn't let anybody see her sweat.

Especially not the charitable soul who'd allowed her to adopt the table with him! Priscilla sat down close by--another secret salesman trick--so that instead of staring across the table as opposites, they sat closer together, as if they were already in a group. It helped from time to time with stubborn or unwilling customers.

The tigress and minotaur hadn't joined them yet, but her company had taken note of them as well.

On 4/8/2019 at 10:27 PM, Token said:

"A mighty minotaur and majestic tiger. Can't say I ever imagined I would be sharing a table with the like. No offence intended."

She hoped they'd actually join them, after all. Her company shuffled and sat back down, with only a seat between them. Perfect.

On 4/8/2019 at 10:27 PM, Token said:

"Alric Galanos. Pleased to make your acquaintance."

"Priscilla," She replied. She couldn't match the cordial way he introduced himself; she sounded a bit brash, just like a home grown scoundrel. She was tempted to buy into it, and just dive wholesale into the dark, broody persona she was slowly catastrophising in her head. Priscilla Arettle, full-time murderess and sky-pirate. If she ever ran out of options, she supposed it'd make for a nice retirement plan. She wasn't there yet, though, and she needed to continue to play to that. She was mysterious, charismatic and friendly. She had to show that off.

A barmatron strode over, already overburdened with drinks as she looked the two of them over. 

"Alright now. Quick, quick!" She snapped her fingers at Priscilla. "What'll you have, dear?"

"Just a brew and some soup." She replied candidly.

"A brew for the lady," She turned toward Alric and snapped in a similar way. "A brew for you, then? Anything else?" 

She took his order quickly and hurried off, still carrying her cargo aloft with one arm. She was pretty strong, Priscilla noted. Those steins certainly didn't look very light.

But then, she was gone, and Priscilla needed to fill in the space again. So, she looked at her company expectantly and....

Shit, she had no idea what to do. Was she supposed to ask about his armor? Who he was? Was she fidgeting? Priscilla blanked for a moment, and did whatever came to mind first. She reached for her belt, and produced her knife, serrated on the back, and glinting cruelly in the light. She spied some kind of dried crud on the table, and busied herself trying to scratch it off, casually. She had to remain casual now, because otherwise she'd look like an idiot who played with knives for fun. 

"So this bar is pretty out of the way, huh?" She tried to sound nonchalant. "Are you some kind of merchant, or...I dunno, a pilot or something?" The crud was gone too soon, and she needed another distraction. She examined the blade's edge before asking, sounding almost uninterested: 

"You a murderer? A mercenary, I mean. Sword for hire."

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On ‎4‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 3:17 PM, Jotnotes said:

"If you'd indulge me, for a few moments, I can take care of your appetite for you. Room troubles, too..." 

"Unless you're comfy where you are, in which case, I can bring the table to you."

The first thing Torie thought was, this lady must be rich. A washbasin full of meat wasn't cheap, and if this lady was offering to pay then Torie was more than happy to indulge her... whatever that meant. So when the table was offered, Torie stretched, flexing dinnerplate-sized paws and claws like huge talons.

Huge, white, manicured talons.

"I suppose I could do with a stretch," she said, then positioned her legs to stand. Or tried to. The girth of her overstuffed stomach was such that it took her a little while to find the right position, and then the willpower to haul two thousand pounds of tiger to its feet took another few moments. She wandered over to the table at a saunter, trying not to look as winded as she felt, and trying to make sure she wasn't obviously arching her back to keep her stomach off the ground - dirty skid marks on otherwise white fur weren't really a good look.

She looked up when the man - Alric - mentioned a majestic tiger, just to make sure there wasn't any hint of irony, and gave him an appreciative smile when she didn't detect any. Either he was extremely kind or extremely blind. Regardless, fair words never hurt.

She reached the table and plopped down her rump just in time to hear the thin lady ask the Alric if he was a murderer. Torie cocked her head, studying the lady, nose and whiskers twitching delicately. Was that... fear, she could smell? Maybe not fear, but definitely nerves, like the weakest wolf growling for a piece of the kill. Strange thing to smell, given her stony face. Torie wouldn't even have noticed if it weren't for the faux pas. She turned to Alric and said:

"I suppose you could be both, right? Or all three." She leaned a little closer, squinting her pale green eyes. "You don't look like a murderer to me, but then again they do tend to wash the blood off their clothes and weapons after the deed is done." She sniffed again. "No scent of blood on you. So either you're a cleanly murderer or... not a murderer."

Edited by Venus Sprite

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Alric asked for his previously ordered water from the waitress but nothing else as he comfortably settled himself into his seat. "Priscilla... That's a nice name." He remarked, mulling the name over in his mind. It wasn't foreign to him, he had known someone of the name once upon a time. That had been long ago though when he was nothing more than a teenager. His attention drifted as he watched the tiger pick herself up from her resting place and make her way over to them. He returned the smile she sent him, if only just slightly enough for it to be seen. Before she could reach the table he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. His head moved, his body tensing ever so slightly as he realized the woman next to him, Priscilla, had drawn a knife. Slowly he relaxed when he realized she was just fidgeting, scratching something off of the table. He made note that the minotaur chose not to accept the offer given, though chose not to say anything. He understood when one needed to be alone.

23 hours ago, Jotnotes said:

"So this bar is pretty out of the way, huh?" She tried to sound nonchalant. "Are you some kind of merchant, or...I dunno, a pilot or something?"

"That depends. How far out of the way for you is it? I'm not really from around here. I came from Ursa Madeum." He took hold of his water when the waitress returned and presented it to him, taking a sip and raising an eyebrow at the second question. "A pilot? No. What'd give you that idea?" He chuckled slightly at the question. She was obviously making small talk, but the idea of him ever being a pilot was an amusing idea to him. He lifted his glass.

23 hours ago, Jotnotes said:

"You a murderer? A mercenary, I mean. Sword for hire."

Alric found an involuntary cough escaping him as he attempted to take another drink of his water, causing him to place it back on the table quickly. "That's a pretty big leap from a pilot." He returned, a half smile still present on his face as he looked down, tapping his knuckles on the table in front of him. "It's the duffel bag of armor, isn't it?" The tiger reached them, having made her way across the tavern, before taking her place by them and weighing in on their new conversation.

22 hours ago, Venus Sprite said:

"I suppose you could be both, right? Or all three." She leaned a little closer, squinting her pale green eyes. "You don't look like a murderer to me, but then again they do tend to wash the blood off their clothes and weapons after the deed is done." She sniffed again. "No scent of blood on you. So either you're a cleanly murderer or... not a murderer."

"Could be." Alric returned with a slight shrug. "If what you're asking is if I'm someone who murders for fun, then no. If you're asking if I've taken lives..." His eyes dropped slightly before he nodded. "Then yes. Many times. You're not going to find the smell of blood on me though. I'm not a mercenary. I'm a knight... was a knight." He reached down and patted his blue duffel bag, his hand grazing against the metal protruding from the top. "I prefer to battle in my armor. Haven't in a while. Even if I had I clean my armor. Negative effects if gear isn't properly maintained."

His fingers drummed the table before he leaned forward and rested his chin in his palm. "Enough about me though. What about you two? Murderers? Detectives? I'm curious what brings a tiger here. And your question. It felt like there was something behind it. A reason." He leaned back in his chair, taking his beverage once again, flashing a smile at the others. "I'm an open book if you are."

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Priscilla continued to play with her knife, but inwardly toyed with his answer. 

Well, even before he answered her, the cough wasn't a great sign. It showed that he probably wasn't used to talking about what he did for work, and wasn't used to being considered a murderer, or a mercenary maybe. That was already a poor sign. Had she picked a poor mark? 

The rapping of knuckles on the desk pulled her out of her thinking.

On 4/14/2019 at 10:30 PM, Token said:

"It's the duffel bag of armor, isn't it?"

Damn. She'd been caught. Priscilla tried to look like she knew what she was doing, and spun the knife around, pointing it down towards the table and...gently lowering it down to the table grain, pushing the blade between the cracks in the table. She looked up at him, and prepared to explain herself, willing to come clean all at once now, and put aside the 'tough bandit' facade and hope for the best, but the tigress intervened.

On 4/13/2019 at 11:46 PM, Venus Sprite said:

"I suppose you could be both, right? Or all three." She leaned a little closer, squinting her pale green eyes. "You don't look like a murderer to me, but then again they do tend to wash the blood off their clothes and weapons after the deed is done." She sniffed again. "No scent of blood on you. So either you're a cleanly murderer or... not a murderer."

Priscilla looked over at the tigress again, appraising her once more. She was, to be very plain, fluffy as all hell, and Priscilla really wanted to give her a rub. She couldn't help it, she realized with a small smile aimed the tiger's way. She was poofy and adorable, which stood in contrast with the regal beauty usually bespoke of her kind. It was a charming contrast. More importantly, however she had a good nose, and she spoke very, very well. Her nose was good, too. Coupled with her honeyed words, Priscilla wondered if...

On 4/14/2019 at 10:30 PM, Token said:

"Could be." Alric returned with a slight shrug. "If what you're asking is if I'm someone who murders for fun, then no. If you're asking if I've taken lives..." His eyes dropped slightly before he nodded. "Then yes. Many times. You're not going to find the smell of blood on me though. I'm not a mercenary. I'm a knight... was a knight." He reached down and patted his blue duffel bag, his hand grazing against the metal protruding from the top. "I prefer to battle in my armor. Haven't in a while. Even if I had I clean my armor. Negative effects if gear isn't properly maintained."

There it was. The pieces were coming together rather quickly now, Priscilla noticed with concealed glee. She flipped the knife around and toyed with it more, finding confidence in her adopted role as 'tough gal.' The tigress did a better job of talking than she did, and if she could convince her to help Priscilla's cause, she'd be invaluable. That would allow the merchant girl to focus on other things, like getting them paid, and acting as if she knew what she was doing. This, coupled with Alric's confession (greatest of news!) that he was a former knight, of all things, meant that the party could be incredibly strong, if only it would come together. 

She thought it over. Now, she just had to get Alric and the tigress to cooperate. She poked the blade carefully, examining it for nicks and damage.

On 4/14/2019 at 10:30 PM, Token said:

His fingers drummed the table before he leaned forward and rested his chin in his palm. "Enough about me though. What about you two? Murderers? Detectives? I'm curious what brings a tiger here. And your question. It felt like there was something behind it. A reason." He leaned back in his chair, taking his beverage once again, flashing a smile at the others. "I'm an open book if you are."

She set the knife down carefully, and folded her fingers together. She looked him in the eyes and said, very plainly.

"Well, you see. I'm a murderer, and I need help murdering people."

She waited a beat, before unfolding her hands, and putting away the knife, and offering a cutting smirk. Hopefully the confidence she oozed into the statement would make it very clear that she was lying. She was relying on the tigress to pick up on this lie, if noone else would.

"Obviously, I'm not a murderer, as you can tell. That is, I'm not in the line of work for killing people, but it's an unfortunate consequence of making money, I'm afraid."

She picked the knife up, and put it away. She crossed her hands again, and leaned into the table. 

"I make my money by picking up odd jobs hither and thither, travelling around wherever I can find work. Usually my work is on the right side of the law." She paused, for dramatic effect, before pushing a recent, and rather intriguing remark. 

"The Gehenna crash a while ago? That wasn't on the right side of the law, unfortunately. But, I walked it off rather well, unlike a lot of other people on the payroll." News of the Gehenna's crash a few months back had made the news for a good long while. The airship was one of the largest commercial ships in the air in recent history, and had fallen from the sky after being attacked mid-flight by pirates, who grounded the ship and murdered and captures the crew and passengers. Priscilla and her friends aboard the vessel had survived, by fighting off pirates and scavengers at the crash site, and had made it to Vdara, but many folks didn't, and were still missing, or dead.

She figured that could give her some mystique to play around with. 

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This lady looks at me like a child looks at a teddy bear in a store window, Torie thought. It wasn’t a bad thing. Company was usually better with people like that, and Torie enjoyed a good scratch as much as any cat.

On ‎4‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 2:30 PM, Token said:

"Could be." Alric returned with a slight shrug. "If what you're asking is if I'm someone who murders for fun, then no. If you're asking if I've taken lives..." His eyes dropped slightly before he nodded. "Then yes. Many times. You're not going to find the smell of blood on me though. I'm not a mercenary. I'm a knight... was a knight." He reached down and patted his blue duffel bag, his hand grazing against the metal protruding from the top. "I prefer to battle in my armor. Haven't in a while. Even if I had I clean my armor. Negative effects if gear isn't properly maintained."

His fingers drummed the table before he leaned forward and rested his chin in his palm. "Enough about me though. What about you two? Murderers? Detectives? I'm curious what brings a tiger here. And your question. It felt like there was something behind it. A reason." He leaned back in his chair, taking his beverage once again, flashing a smile at the others. "I'm an open book if you are."

Torie decided to let Priscilla go first, but soon forgot to give a reply herself.

8 hours ago, Jotnotes said:

"Well, you see. I'm a murderer, and I need help murdering people."

A murderer? What a weird thing to say. Torie noticed her smirk and waited. Murderer had been the bait, but where was the hook?

It came out eventually. Well, something did.

8 hours ago, Jotnotes said:

"The Gehenna crash a while ago? That wasn't on the right side of the law, unfortunately. But, I walked it off rather well, unlike a lot of other people on the payroll." News of the Gehenna's crash a few months back had made the news for a good long while. The airship was one of the largest commercial ships in the air in recent history, and had fallen from the sky after being attacked mid-flight by pirates, who grounded the ship and murdered and captures the crew and passengers. Priscilla and her friends aboard the vessel had survived, by fighting off pirates and scavengers at the crash site, and had made it to Vdara, but many folks didn't, and were still missing, or dead.

At first, Torie thought Priscilla meant the airship was on the wrong side of the law. But the real implication soon clicked.

“Wait. So you were part of a pirate gang who crashed an airship. Didn’t dozens of people disappear?” Torie cocked her head, a very serious expression on her face. “And this is something you’re proud of?”

There was something extremely fishy going on. Torie liked to think she could pick a bad egg, and tell the difference between someone who wanted to LOOK bad to keep people away, and someone who actually was bad. But Priscilla didn’t seem like either. She smelled of desperation, she looked like the embodiment of confidence, asked people of they were murderers and claimed to murder people for money herself, if it suited her.

“You are desperate,” she said with a certainty, leaning backwards, eyes now wide as if she’d just found a hidden figure in a painting. “I should always trust my nose. What do you want? Speak plainly. I’ll know if you’re lying. Or my nose will.” She narrowed her eyes and flared her nostrils, leaning close in mock anger, looming large over the little lady. “You should know I’m a helpful soul, but only to honest folk. What does someone like you need murderers for? I might be wrong, but I seriously doubt you've murdered anyone in your life. Killed? Maybe. Murdered..?” She shook her head.

Edited by Venus Sprite

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Allric glanced back and forth between the tiger and the woman who had brought the three of them together, listening to their exchange. "The Gehenna Crash? Sounds like a big deal from what the two of you are saying. I haven't heard of it though. Then again, I have spent a lot of time alone in taverns for a while." Still leaning back in his chair he rested his water on the table before reaching up and rubbing his cheek. "I'm also inclined to agree with our majestic table fellow. I don't think that you're a murderer. You put up a good act. Even have some tendencies I've seen murderers do pinned down, like playing with a knife. But, as I said, I heard something behind your question. If she's right, then desperation might just be it." After taking a deep breath and releasing it, he continued, "Besides, murderers don't normally try to bring new people into their folds. Especially if those people are strangers. They also don't normally offer rooms and meals, unless they're picking their next target maybe. A tiger and a guy with a duffel bag of armor aren't really prime candidates to be murder victims though."

With a small smile, Allric placed his arms on the table and leaned forward. "So now I'm a little curious. Normally I'd just kill the curiosity because I learned a long time ago it hardly ever leads to anything good. But, I'm already in this conversation so I may as well indulge myself this one time and I believe our friend here has the best question for the situation. What exactly do you need murderers for?"

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Aaric Tritum woke up fresher than he had ever been in his life as the sun shone brightly through the window that was his and his teacher’s rented room inside the tavern. It felt odd as Strutter was never one to let him sleep in till this late. This meant two things: Either his teacher was finally giving him some slack, or something was very very wrong.

The budding adventurer got up in a flash and quickly gazed at his surroundings. Nothing seemed out of place; no blood, no mess, no sign of his teacher or his belongings…

WAIT A FIDDLESTICKING MINUTE! Aaric threw the sheets of his half-nude, athletic form and cursed as he quickly put on some clothes, his mind running a mile a minute. Where did his master go? How could he just up and leave him in the room? He never once did this ever since he took him on as his apprentice! Maybe he was out on some errand? This definitely, positively could not be happening to him!

Dressing as minimally and modestly as he could, the young man slid down the railing of the stairs, jumped off and running to the attending barkeep as he casually wiped his mugs with a dirty piece of cloth that definitely had seen better days.

“Good day, good sir!” Aaric panted heavily, trying to catch his breath. “Have you perchance saw my master leaving this place? You should know him; bearded, always cloaked, puffing on his pipe. We checked in only a couple of days past!”

“Hmm,” The bearded man rubbed his bearded chin. “I can’t say I ne’er saw im’. Too many persons checking in an’ out these days. Perhaps something… glinty could help jog mah mind?”

The wayfarer gave the barkeep the most deadpan expression he could give. That was the most blatant request for a bribe he had ever heard! But no matter, first priority was knowing where Strutter was so he could at least know what in the blazes was going on. With great reluctance he pulled out a silver coin and slammed it onto the table, sliding it towards the bearded man with his fingers, scowling immensely.

The barkeep picked it up with his gnarled hands and inspected it; biting it to Aaric’s great disgust, as if checking if it was real silver. Once he was satisfied of the coin’s authenticity, he pocketed the coin and took out a piece of parchment that was sealed with wax and handed it over to the young man who took it and looked at curiously.

“Ya just earned yerself another night’s stay youngin’.” He gruffed. “Yer master wanted me to pass it to ya when he left. He specifically asked me tuh bribe ya so ya could learn this lesson: Information ne’er comes fer free. Go ahead an’ open it.”

Aaric raised a brow. That was quite a roundabout way of teaching him something. It wasn’t a lesson he never learnt before. Perhaps Strutter wanted to remind him to be cautious when it came to dabbling in information. But that didn’t matter now… the fact that his teacher left him a letter meant things were most probably exactly as he feared. Hands, shivering with trepidation, he ripped open the wax seal and read the contents of the letter. As he read it, his emotions ranged from shock, confused then somber.

Dear Aaric Tritum,

It is with great regret and heavy heart as I write this letter, to inform you that it is time we part ways.

I still remember when you were still a young boy, so full of potential! It reminded me of myself during my younger days. How I wish I could have turned back time and relive my more adventurous years!

We have been through so many adventures together, both big and small. Although my teaching methods may have been harsh, I hope you know that I did it because I knew you would soak up the knowledge I gave like a fish to water!

But now, it is time to move on. I can proudly say I have taught you everything I know. You even have your own fighting style, your own weapons, equipment, tactics. I could go on. But in all honestly, I left because I felt that it is time that you went on your own adventures. You do not need my hand to hold anymore.

As for me, I have my own personal quest that I have to do. Alone. If I told you beforehand you would definitely have stuck to me like glue! I could not let you come with me. Not this time.

I regard you as my own son that I never had, Aaric. I still do, and I will for years to come. So go forth like a eaglet and spread your own wings! Someday, we may cross paths once again and we can exchange stories of our adventures as fellow adventurers instead of student and teacher.

Remember the creed that I, now you, shall always live by.

Strength and Honor.

Regards,
Strutter

Aaric closed his eyes and sighed, his shoulders slumped as he folded the letter and kept it in his pocket. Strutter had well and truly left him behind to fend for himself. During their adventures, he would always say that he would leave him one day to pursue his own quests. But Aaric always thought it as a joke. He thought he would always be with his master. It seemed that Strutter always stuck true to what he said.

Strength and honor, huh? The newly independent wayfarer chuckled. I’ve always trusted him. No reason to not trust him right now. If he really thinks I can make it on my own, then I’ll show him!

With determination burning brightly in his eyes. Aaric turned to the barkeep and slid a copper coin, who took out a mug-full of ale without a word. Muttering his thanks, the newly minted adventurer sat on the barstool, ale in hand and sipped as he turned to face the rest of the tavern’s inhabitants. It was nearing midday, but business seemed to be brisk. Scanning the area he looked out for any hints of a contract or job being in the works.

Tavern customers usually came in either individually or in groups. The two types never mixed or sat at the same table together for the duration of their drink or meal. The only way to know if a job was in its planning stages, was if one party from a table decided to directly interact with the other party from another table. There were many seedy groups and individuals, too many for young Aaric to keep track of. So he decided to wait and see if anyone else would start something. Anything!

The entrance opened with the ringing of the bell that caught Aaric’s attention. The first things he noticed were her thin, graceful frame which did nothing to hide the large heavily modified crossbow that made him stop sipping his ale in amazement.

Where in the blazes did she get that thing?! Huh, doesn’t seem like she’s having any trouble carrying it. Seems like a well-seasoned adventurer. Wonder if she’s trying to compensate for something? Aaric sniggered at his own joke as he watched her take an empty table and simply watched the rest of the tavern’s customers going about their own business. Oho! Seems like little miss crossbow is looking for something… someone perhaps? Likely for hired help. Let’s see where this goes.

A few minutes later, the entrance bell rang again. This time, Aaric’s eyes widened in shock as a tall burly figure of a Minotaur in monks robes no less, entered the tavern and sat down at another table make his order.

A minotaur in a monk’s guise. Damn, that’s something you don’t see every day. And I’m more well-traveled than most people here! Aaric wondered. Didn’t monks usually confine themselves to their monasteries? What is he doing all the way in a tavern like this?

"Hey bull boy! Unless you got coin to rent a room, you gotta leave as soon as you're done eating." The barkeep stated, which the minotaur nodded in compliance.

Well… that was easy. Minotaurs are usually an easily angered bunch of creatures. You could anger them as easily as waving a red cloth in front of their faces whether it was intentional or not. But this one’s quiet and calm. Looks like this monk’s robes aren’t for show. The wayfarer surmised.

“Oh give him a break, Tevin,” Aaric almost spit out his ale as he tried to not stare as obviously as possible at possibly the largest tigress that he had ever seen. Judging from the tone in her voice, she was definitely female and had a corner of the inn all to herself, lounging on many cushions more colourful but much less plush than her stripy tiger coat. Her sparkling green eyes wandered over the minotaur, and she gave him a sympathetic (albeit very toothy) smile. “He only respects money, sadly,” she said, her voice a deep almost-roar which reverberated off the stone walls of the tavern. “You can share my room, if you want. It has a bed I’m not using. Care to come sit with me?”

The massive cat nodded her snout towards a wooden chair beside her, which looked diminutive in comparison. It was obvious the cat would not be able to come to the minotaur, for the spaces between the tables simply didn’t allow a being of her girth to navigate. She wasn’t only big (although she was big, easily being twelve feet long) but had a girth to match. Jowls of fat and fur had almost hidden her ears from view, and her belly splayed out around her like an in-built cushion. Even her massive paws were chubby, with a ring of fat at the joint of her wrist. Beside her sat a leather harness made with many bags for her belongings, and a large brass washbasin, big enough to bathe a man but instead holding a steaming pile of meat, from the leg of a deer to other, less-discernible parts. Torie waved her paw at it. “Do you eat meat? Take something, if you like.”

How in the bloody hell did he not notice the tigress in the corner? Perhaps Aaric wasn’t as eagle-eyed as he thought he was. The fact that she could speak meant that she wasn’t any mere talking creature. Pure animals couldn’t talk. Half-breeds like the minotaur could. Which meant only one thing: This female feline was a changeling. He knew of their existence but had never really met one up close, and talking in their animal form no less! Usually it was too hard to spot one from a crowd of humans in their human form, or from any other normal animal in their animal form out in the wild

Seems like it was Aaric’s lucky day! So many unique personalities around him, perhaps soon someone will initiate a conversation of sorts?

His predictions were soon answered when he noticed the purple-haired woman stand from her seat and make her way towards the general direction of the minotaur and tigress. They weren’t exactly far apart anyways.

"If you'd indulge me, for a few moments, I can take care of your appetite for you. Room troubles, too." The crossbow girl flashed a smile towards the minotaur, if a little awkward to Aaric at least. Then addressing the tigress as well. "Unless you're comfy where you are, in which case, I can bring the table to you."

Snapping her heels, she then made her way towards the corner where Aaric noticed a broody man was sitting alone, brooding with a stack of papers beside him.

Hmm. Seems like the warrior type. Looks sad and brooding over that stack of papers he’s got. Wonder what’s inside that blue bag of his? That doesn’t look like any gunny sack, material looks to good be used as one. I’m gonna name this one… Mister Broody McSadface! Let’s see where this goes, little miss crossbow! Aaric thought with excitement.

"You also look like you're in need of table-fellows. Why not keep us company, and get a meal for your efforts?" She enquired before finally making her way towards a moderately sized table in the middle of the tavern where she leant, expecting the three individuals to answer her offers.

"Table-fellows, huh?" The regal looking man answered first, rapping his knuckles on the table twice as he considered the offer. "Sure. Why not? Seems like an interesting lot you're trying to talk to. Or drink with." He spoke as he pushed himself up, grabbing his duffel bag and jerking it from the floor to relocate.

"No need to feed me though. It hasn't been that long since I've eaten. Maybe you can help me." He stopped short of the Minotaur and Tiger, his smile dropping down to one side. "A mighty minotaur and majestic tiger. Can't say I ever imagined I would be sharing a table with the like. No offence intended." With a respectful bow of his head he settled into his new seat, dropping his bag to the ground with a harsh 'thunk'. "Alric Galanos. Pleased to make your acquaintance."

Alric Galanos… sounds almost like a noble’s name. Looks the part too. That was definitely metal clanking when he dropped the bag on the floor. Armor perhaps? Could be a soldier or knight. Makes sense. Crossbow girl definitely needs someone to take someone head on while she goes for the range.

"Priscilla," She replied curtly.

"Priscilla... That's a nice name." Mister Broody McSadface remarked.

Ahh so little miss crossbow has a name. Nice name to go with that pretty face of hers, if a little weathered. Aaric commented offhandedly in his mind.

"So this bar is pretty out of the way, huh?" Priscilla asked. "Are you some kind of merchant, or...I dunno, a pilot or something?"

"That depends. How far out of the way for you is it? I'm not really from around here. I came from Ursa Madeum." He took hold of his water when the waitress returned and presented it to him, taking a sip and raising an eyebrow at the second question. "A pilot? No. What'd give you that idea?" He chuckled slightly at the question.

The Tigress was next to respond. She stretched, flexing dinnerplate-sized paws and claws like huge talons.

Huge, white, manicured talons. Aaric shivered at what those could do to any prey in her way. Maybe she could turn into her human form? What did she look like as a human? Did changelings even have any clothes on when they changed between forms?

Aaric’s imagination went wild and he had to stop himself from blushing or worse, bleeding from his nose at his more than puerile thoughts. While young Aaric was no stranger to the fairer sex, he wasn’t exactly great in the relationship department. Not that he had any to speak of that lasted more than a night. And even those were very few and far between.

"I suppose I could do with a stretch," she said, then positioned her legs to stand. Or tried to. The girth of her overstuffed stomach was such that it took her a little while to find the right position, and then the willpower to haul two thousand pounds of tiger to its feet took another few moments. She wandered over to the table at a saunter, trying not to look as winded as she felt, and trying to make sure she wasn't obviously arching her back to keep her stomach off the ground - dirty skid marks on otherwise white fur weren't really a good look.

She looked up when the man - Alric - mentioned a majestic tiger and gave him an appreciative smile before reaching the table and plopping down on her rump when Aaric Priscilla ask Alric if he was a murderer.

The wayfarer wore a comically confused expression. Who in their right mind asks if they’re a murderer in the face?!

Alric found an involuntary cough escaping him as he attempted to take another drink of his water, causing him to place it back on the table quickly. "That's a pretty big leap from a pilot." He returned, a half smile still present on his face as he looked down, tapping his knuckles on the table in front of him. "It's the duffel bag of armor, isn't it?"

Finally realizing that this was one conversation he wasn’t going to want to miss, Aaric slowly slid off the barstool and slowly crept towards the table as quietly and discreetly as possible, trying not to alert the parties involved.

The tigress turned to Alric and said: "I suppose you could be both, right? Or all three." She leaned a little closer, squinting her pale green eyes. "You don't look like a murderer to me, but then again they do tend to wash the blood off their clothes and weapons after the deed is done." She sniffed again. "No scent of blood on you. So either you're a cleanly murderer or... not a murderer."

Damn… cat lady’s got a good sense of smell. Aaric surmised. A party member with a nose like that would do wonders in sniffing out ambushes or tracking down people. Looks like this party’s worth joining if I do say so myself!

"Could be." Alric returned with a slight shrug. "If what you're asking is if I'm someone who murders for fun, then no. If you're asking if I've taken lives... Then yes. Many times. You're not going to find the smell of blood on me though. I'm not a mercenary. I'm a knight... was a knight."

Yes! Spot on Aaric tritum! Looks like Strutter’s training paid off! Aaric cheered to himself mentally.

The knight reached down and patted his blue duffel bag, his hand grazing against the metal protruding from the top. "I prefer to battle in my armor. Haven't in a while. Even if I had I clean my armor. Negative effects if gear isn't properly maintained."

His fingers drummed the table before he leaned forward and rested his chin in his palm. "Enough about me though. What about you two? Murderers? Detectives? I'm curious what brings a tiger here. And your question. It felt like there was something behind it. A reason." He leaned back in his chair, taking his beverage once again, flashing a smile at the others. "I'm an open book if you are."

As the wayfarer neared the table, keeping himself as far away from the sensitive nose of the tigress as possible, the conversation became easier to eavesdrop on. Sitting on the stool on the table adjacent and closest to them, he continued to listen.

Priscilla put the knife that she was toying with onto the table. "Well, you see. I'm a murderer, and I need help murdering people."

Ooookay. Seems like this dainty girl looks more tough than she lets on. She’s got spunk, saying that in front of potential hires.

"Obviously, I'm not a murderer, as you can tell. That is, I'm not in the line of work for killing people, but it's an unfortunate consequence of making money, I'm afraid." She continued.

True. Aaric nodded. It seemed that she had more than enough experience being in the rough in her hands. Slowly, cautiously, he shuffled his stool closer to their table.

She picked the knife up, and put it away. She crossed her hands again, and leaned into the table.

"I make my money by picking up odd jobs hither and thither, travelling around wherever I can find work. Usually my work is on the right side of the law." Priscilla explained. “The Gehenna crash a while ago? That wasn't on the right side of the law, unfortunately. But, I walked it off rather well, unlike a lot of other people on the payroll."

So she’s one of the survivors. Aaric sipped his ale. News of the Gehenna's crash a few months back had made the news for a good long while. The airship was one of the largest commercial ships in the air in recent history, and had fallen from the sky after being attacked mid-flight by pirates, who grounded the ship and murdered and captures the crew and passengers. Priscilla and her friends aboard the vessel had survived, by fighting off pirates and scavengers at the crash site, and had made it to Vdara, but many folks didn't, and were still missing, or dead.

“Wait. So you were part of a pirate gang who crashed an airship. Didn’t dozens of people disappear?” The tigress cocked her head, a very serious expression on her face. “And this is something you’re proud of?”

Aaric stopped midway between his table and theirs, quirking a brow at the accusation the tigress made. This little lady was one of the pirates who crashed the ship?! Huh, doesn’t seem to look the part. If she made herself well-off from the crash she shouldn’t be sniffing around the likes of this place looking for help.

“You are desperate,” The tigress said with a certainty, leaning backwards, eyes now wide as if she’d just found a hidden figure in a painting. “I should always trust my nose. What do you want? Speak plainly. I’ll know if you’re lying. Or my nose will.” She narrowed her eyes and flared her nostrils, leaning close in mock anger, looming large over the little lady. “You should know I’m a helpful soul, but only to honest folk. What does someone like you need murderers for? I might be wrong, but I seriously doubt you've murdered anyone in your life. Killed? Maybe. Murdered..?” She shook her head.

"The Gehenna Crash? Sounds like a big deal from what the two of you are saying. I haven't heard of it though. Then again, I have spent a lot of time alone in taverns for a while." Alric exclaimed. Still leaning back in his chair he rested his water on the table before reaching up and rubbing his cheek. "I'm also inclined to agree with our majestic table fellow. I don't think that you're a murderer. You put up a good act. Even have some tendencies I've seen murderers do pinned down, like playing with a knife. But, as I said, I heard something behind your question. If she's right, then desperation might just be it." After taking a deep breath and releasing it, he continued, "Besides, murderers don't normally try to bring new people into their folds. Especially if those people are strangers. They also don't normally offer rooms and meals, unless they're picking their next target maybe. A tiger and a guy with a duffel bag of armor aren't really prime candidates to be murder victims though."

With a small smile, Allric placed his arms on the table and leaned forward. "So now I'm a little curious. Normally I'd just kill the curiosity because I learned a long time ago it hardly ever leads to anything good. But, I'm already in this conversation so I may as well indulge myself this one time and I believe our friend here has the best question for the situation. What exactly do you need murderers for?"

At this moment in time, Aaric had finally managed to merge himself with the table and still seemingly act like he was part of the drapes in the background. Thus, he decided to introduce himself in the best way possible.

“Yeah, what do you need murderers for?” Aaric piped up

Which shocked the holy hell out of everyone at the table. Or at least he hoped he did. One thing was for certain, that definitely got everyone’s attention and now all eyes were on him.

“Oh! Um… Hi.” He started off intelligently, giving his best and most charming smile! “Uh… I’m really sorry for barging in like this, but I couldn’t help overhear your conversation. And I want to just say… that I would like to be a part of this thing you guys are planning.”

Looking at the three pairs staring at him, he knew this would be a tough crowd to convince. And he couldn’t fault them if they decided to reject him. He basically just swooped right into the conversation without invitation and eavesdropped on them to his hearts content. If he was going to earn a sliver of their trust, he would have to use the one thing Strutter ever taught him when it came to the basics of taking on a job: Honestly is the best policy.

“My name is Aaric Tritum.” The wayfarer introduced himself. “Not to be confused with Mister Broody McSadface ‘Alric’ over there, so if it makes it easier you can call me Ricky for short.”

“I am a wayfarer and I have been travelling the lands of Genesaris with my Teacher, Strutter. Who has, without warning, left me to fend for myself after teaching me everything he knows about adventuring and mercenary work. Heheh!” Aaric continued as he scratched the back of his head sheepishly.

“Let me try to summarise what I think little miss crossbow is trying to do here. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think what she’s trying to do is form a motley riff raff party to earn some coin. So I have come to you guys to request that I join your merry band and hope we can earn coin together! As a team!”

“As for what I can provide in terms of skills, you could say I dabble in the subtler aspects of adventuring. Skills which some may associate more towards the likes of rogues, thieves… and assassins.” Aaric looked up, trying to gauge the reactions of the rest of the table. “I am quite proficient in information gathering, spying, pickpocketing, wall climbing and shadow blending… Which is exactly what you all might think it means.”

“Of course, this doesn’t make me less of a fighter. I’m very proficient in hand to hand combat and with my twin nightmare blades, if I do say so myself. I tend to rely on stealth, speed, traps and tricks to neutralize my opponents. In addition, If I cannot take down my opponents directly I still have a ranged option.” He exclaimed, then turned to the lavender haired woman. “Just like you little miss crossbow! Just a little… smaller.”

Putting his left arm onto the table for all to see, he upturned it to show everyone his wrist bow. A mechanical spring-loaded device made from the finest materials Genesaris had to offer. A gift commissioned by none other than Strutter himself on his eighteenth birthday. Made by a travelling gearsmith from Terrenus. It could re-cock itself with each cycle and fire a myriad of bolt types that Aaric could easily fashion himself with the right tools and resources.

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“And that is on top of all my cute little gadgets I have stashed in my backpack which can help give everyone an edge while were on the road.” The self-professed wayfarer ended his introduction, then to the former knight. “I hope that my less-than-honorable methods won’t be an issue Mister Alric?”

“I… I’ve killed before. I even took up an assassination contract once.” Aaric suddenly went somber, as if remembering an unpleasant memory. Pushing it to the back of his mind, he continued. “But like all of you, I’m not a murderer. I’m here just to look for a party and earn some coin. Maybe make a friend or two.”

 

Edited by Vetanoob

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Torie looked the newcomer up and down. Two attractive men, one who looked around her age. That wasn’t something to sneeze at. Maybe she COULD become a murderer...?

“Aaric Tritum?” She said, then poked him in the navel with one retracted claw. “But you barely even have one tum!” He gave the newcomer a toothy grin, which lasted until he talked about taking on an assassination mission.

“How can you NOT be a murderer but kill people for money?” she said, then looked back to Priscilla with narrowed eyes. “Sounds like you two will get along just fine though."

She looked back and forth between all three of them. Much company was overdue, and men here seemed quite friendly, but she wasn't exactly sure about their morality. Priscilla seemed keen to kill children in their sleep. Aaric didn't enjoy killing people for money but did it anyway. At least Allric seemed like the noble warrior.

She would have to hear a little more first.

Edited by Venus Sprite

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On 4/17/2019 at 1:12 AM, Venus Sprite said:

“You are desperate,” she said with a certainty, leaning backwards, eyes now wide as if she’d just found a hidden figure in a painting. “I should always trust my nose. What do you want? Speak plainly. I’ll know if you’re lying. Or my nose will.” She narrowed her eyes and flared her nostrils, leaning close in mock anger, looming large over the little lady. “You should know I’m a helpful soul, but only to honest folk. What does someone like you need murderers for? I might be wrong, but I seriously doubt you've murdered anyone in your life. Killed? Maybe. Murdered..?” She shook her head.

Priscilla didn't flinch.

Thank the gods that she didn't. As the tigress realized her schemes, Priscilla had inwardly cursed, and prepared to be exposed as a phony. If Torie was clever enough to see through her ruse, she had to be too obvious.

However, she did not flinch, and kept her stony face even as Allric called her bluff, as well. She turned to him as she spoke, catching the way the cat looked at her as she did. She didn't want the tigress to dislike her. The whole point was for the party to be united under a common alliance.

20 hours ago, Token said:

"I'm also inclined to agree with our majestic table fellow. I don't think that you're a murderer. You put up a good act. Even have some tendencies I've seen murderers do pinned down, like playing with a knife. But, as I said, I heard something behind your question. If she's right, then desperation might just be it." After taking a deep breath and releasing it, he continued, "Besides, murderers don't normally try to bring new people into their folds. Especially if those people are strangers. They also don't normally offer rooms and meals, unless they're picking their next target maybe. A tiger and a guy with a duffel bag of armor aren't really prime candidates to be murder victims though."

Of course, he was right. Although he pointed out that she'd managed to maintain some of the habits of a callous, ruthless bandit or murderer, she'd failed to account for the fact that she'd started off strong. It's how she got them to the table, before she pulled the sudden 180 on them. She didn't concede the point, but she did shoot him a knowing smile.

Alright, ya caught me. It seemed to say.

20 hours ago, Token said:

With a small smile, Allric placed his arms on the table and leaned forward. "So now I'm a little curious. Normally I'd just kill the curiosity because I learned a long time ago it hardly ever leads to anything good. But, I'm already in this conversation so I may as well indulge myself this one time and I believe our friend here has the best question for the situation. What exactly do you need murderers for?"

Priscilla leaned back in her chair, arms slung casually over the back of it, as if bored. Really, she just needed a little space, to better keep up her visage. Priscilla had started all of this by pretending to be tougher than she was, and she'd keep it up, as long as it continued to help her image, rather than hurt it. 

"Well, like I said--"

20 hours ago, Vetanoob said:

“Yeah, what do you need murderers for?” Aaric piped up

Priscilla flinched. 

Gods damn it. She reached for her knife, but didn't pull it, and spun in her chair to face the target. Had they been so loud that the whole bar had heard them? She looked beyond the speaker first, looking for stares, but found none. He wasn't that loud, he didn't speak loud enough to draw attention to them. She looked back at the speaker, scrutinizing him. Her hand eventually left the knife, but clenched into a fist. 

She'd lost her edge. If the cat, or the knight had seen it, she'd almost certainly lose whatever few points that persona had given her. Who was this guy, anyway? He was young, and kind of eager-looking. In that way, he kind of reminded her of herself, when her hair was purple, and she had her little cart. The cart alone could be recovered, and the hair too, but there was also a sort of optimism and faith in those eyes. Priscilla tensed up as she remembered, quite uncomfortably, that others had stolen her optimism and sense of safety, already. She'd never get those back.

Her cold, suddenly hostile gaze must have burned the newcomer, because he fidgeted, and spoke up again.

20 hours ago, Vetanoob said:

“Oh! Um… Hi.” He started off intelligently, giving his best and most charming smile! “Uh… I’m really sorry for barging in like this, but I couldn’t help overhear your conversation. And I want to just say… that I would like to be a part of this thing you guys are planning.”

The gears in her brain turned, and eventually she relaxed. There was a minotaur-shaped hole in the party right now, and a youngish man with something to prove might fill it, temporarily. 

20 hours ago, Vetanoob said:

“My name is Aaric Tritum.” The wayfarer introduced himself. “Not to be confused with Mister Broody McSadface ‘Alric’ over there, so if it makes it easier you can call me Ricky for short.”

“I am a wayfarer and I have been travelling the lands of Genesaris with my Teacher, Strutter. Who has, without warning, left me to fend for myself after teaching me everything he knows about adventuring and mercenary work. Heheh!” Aaric continued as he scratched the back of his head sheepishly.

“Let me try to summarise what I think little miss crossbow is trying to do here. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think what she’s trying to do is form a motley riff raff party to earn some coin. So I have come to you guys to request that I join your merry band and hope we can earn coin together! As a team!”

“As for what I can provide in terms of skills, you could say I dabble in the subtler aspects of adventuring. Skills which some may associate more towards the likes of rogues, thieves… and assassins.” Aaric looked up, trying to gauge the reactions of the rest of the table. “I am quite proficient in information gathering, spying, pickpocketing, wall climbing and shadow blending… Which is exactly what you all might think it means.”

“Of course, this doesn’t make me less of a fighter. I’m very proficient in hand to hand combat and with my twin nightmare blades, if I do say so myself. I tend to rely on stealth, speed, traps and tricks to neutralize my opponents. In addition, If I cannot take down my opponents directly I still have a ranged option.” He exclaimed, then turned to the lavender haired woman. “Just like you little miss crossbow! Just a little… smaller.”

Putting his left arm onto the table for all to see, he upturned it to show everyone his wrist bow. A mechanical spring-loaded device made from the finest materials Genesaris had to offer. A gift commissioned by none other than Strutter himself on his eighteenth birthday. Made by a travelling gearsmith from Terrenus. It could re-cock itself with each cycle and fire a myriad of bolt types that Aaric could easily fashion himself with the right tools and resources.

Priscilla sat there, and eventually turned back to the rest of the party. She gestured at him, almost with confidence and offered a noncommittal addition to his introduction.

"Uh...yeah. This guy gets it."

19 hours ago, Venus Sprite said:

“How can you NOT be a murderer but kill people for money?” she said, then looked back to Priscilla with narrowed eyes. “Sounds like you two will get along just fine though."

Oh good, the cat still thought she was actually a murderer...or maybe she was poking fun at Priscilla? She had no idea, honestly. 

"Well, what if the people have it coming?" She offered candidly. "Like...what if you kill bandits, defending your business?" She asked. "Or...what if you need to stab your..." She wanted to talk about Alentha, or whatever her kidnappers called it, and she wanted to talk about how she was treated there, but...she couldn't. To put words to what happened to her legitimized what they'd done to her, and those were scars she didn't want picked. She cast her glance downward, and tried to repress any ugly memories that threatened to rise up. She stayed silent, until she remembered that she still had more work to do. She looked back up, and failed to keep a tough visage up.

"Look, you all seem like the type that need money. Money for another night's rent, or another meal, or money to put distance between you and your past." She leaned into the table, training her eyes especially on the tigress. "I'm no murderer, I'm a merchant. But I have had to kill in order to keep myself safe, and that's why I tried to get your attention. I can make you money. I can make all of us a lot of money." She pointed at the other two. As an endnote, she grabbed the chair next to her and pulled it out, before pointing at it, indicating to Aaric to sit. 

She leaned into the table further, and relaxed her stare. "And...you were right. I am desperate." She looked away. "I don't do this for a living, and I never want to do this for a living. But I have no choice."

She turned her palms upward, as if to plea, and...letters floated around. Not letters, but emblems, sharp and jagged shapes dug into the air before her, floating around like eye-floaters. She tried to look at one, suddenly distracted, and immediately recognized it for what it was. Runes, basic instructions and complex designs in conjunction, floated around everywhere she looked. She blinked, suddenly absorbed by what she was seeing. 

She wasn't stupid as to what this was about. These were runes, projected into her vision back when she was a child. When her father had taken her outside one cloudless night, brought out the instrument and had her stare into the night sky, at the moon, through it for a while. This was just like when she started as a runesmith, but why?

The barmaid returned with food for the table, and Priscilla could disguise her discomfort by grabbing her tankard and taking a swift, and very excessive swig of the contents. Her eyes ached, and the runes were still there. She needed a minute to hide behind the cup.

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