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Long Roads Ahead (Back to Square One)

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On ‎4‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 10:16 AM, Jotnotes said:

"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."

Torie smiled with teeth, whiskers ears and eyes, placing a giant paw on the little lady’s shoulder as she went all glassy-eyed. “If you need help, I’m happy to help. I’ve never really been part of a group like this before. And I’m pretty good at talking my way out of violence. Or growling.” She put on a mock-aggressive expression, but only for a moment. Then she turned wary eyes on Aaric. “And anyway, it seems you’ll need someone to be the… moral compass of the group anyway. So long as we don’t take on any assassination missions, or missions which require us to harm others… let me rephrase – missions which require us to do more harm than good – then I’ll be happy to partake.” Torie sat back, and only then noticed the vacant look on Priscilla’s little face had persisted the whole time she had spoken.

Torie waved her giant paw before the lady. “Hello? Anyone home? Err… did you hear any of that?” She looked to the other two as if to say, is this normal for people around here?

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On 4/22/2019 at 12:25 PM, Venus Sprite said:

“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.

“Oh, believe me my furry feline friend. I might look like I have one tum. But if I could, I would eat enough for three!” Aaric flashed a foxy grin of his own.

On 4/23/2019 at 8:16 AM, Jotnotes said:

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

Aaric beamed positively at deducing her intentions right. This was going well so far! Except…

On 4/22/2019 at 12:25 PM, 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."

Ah, crud. Seems like Ms Cat lady is a tad towards the more honorable side. So much for making a good first impression. Aaric deflated. He was about to defend himself but Priscilla beat him to it.

On 4/23/2019 at 8:16 AM, Jotnotes said:

"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 paused at that. Which Aaric immediately picked up. He suspected there was something hidden behind that unfinished sentenced. No matter, it wasn’t his place to pry…yet.

“Yeah! What she said!” The wayfarer added quickly to avoid prolonging the sudden awkward silence. Slurp.

On 4/23/2019 at 8:16 AM, Jotnotes said:

"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."

Aaric tried his best to stop his goofy grin from exploding upon his face. Money was definitely a number one priority right now. He had enough to last a couple of days in the city, but if pressed he would have to camp in the outskirts. He was no stranger to it given his wayfarer status, but a soft comfy bed still beat sleeping on a sheet with one eye open all the time.

On 4/23/2019 at 8:16 AM, Jotnotes said:

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."

Aaric kept quiet. His suspicions were now confirmed. This Priscilla most definitely had gone through some difficult times where she had to necessarily kill her enemies. Then again, this was how life was supposed to be like for a wandering adventurer without any luck. But a merchant like her? Those times must have been harrowing.

On 4/25/2019 at 9:35 AM, Venus Sprite said:

“If you need help, I’m happy to help. I’ve never really been part of a group like this before. And I’m pretty good at talking my way out of violence. Or growling.” She put on a mock-aggressive expression, but only for a moment. Then she turned wary eyes on Aaric. “And anyway, it seems you’ll need someone to be the… moral compass of the group anyway. So long as we don’t take on any assassination missions, or missions which require us to harm others… let me rephrase – missions which require us to do more harm than good – then I’ll be happy to partake.”

The corner of Aaric’s lips turned upwards just a bit. He was glad that the tigress agreed to join. He surmised that it would be best to have someone with a moral compass around lest he did something rash or stupid out of emotion. It wouldn’t be the first time anyway.

“Hey, as long as everyone’s happy I’m alright with taking any mission you all want!” Aaric raised his empty hand in mock-surrender. He gazed down at his own reflection upon the ale in his mug. “Besides, I don’t take just any job willy-nilly. About that assassination contract? That was the only one I took so far. Let’s just say that sometimes clients give you the wrong information on purpose to fulfil their own agendas.”

On 4/25/2019 at 9:35 AM, Venus Sprite said:

Torie sat back, and only then noticed the vacant look on Priscilla’s little face had persisted the whole time she had spoken.

Torie waved her giant paw before the lady. “Hello? Anyone home? Err… did you hear any of that?” She looked to the other two as if to say, is this normal for people around here?

Aaric leaned forward to get a better look at Priscilla. Then chuckled and waved it off “Nah… I think the drink’s getting the better of her. You want to get her attention, just do this!”

And he proceeded to pinch Priscilla’s cheek. Hard.

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2 hours ago, Venus Sprite said:

Torie's massive paw came down on Aaric's arm like a slab of meat on a chopping board. She gave him a look, eyes wide with horror and mouth ajar with disgust.

"OW!" Aaric cried, pulling his arm away and rubbing it to soothe the pain. "What gives?"

2 hours ago, Venus Sprite said:

"Are you sick? Don't ever touch her like that. Ever." She held his gaze, horror melting to a tigress' ferocity.

"What? It's not like I was manhandling her or anything, t'was just a pinch! What am I? A male chauvinist pig?" The wayfarer pouted, then bursting into his usual goofy grin. "Besides, she's back to the land of the living now. See?"

"Ya alright there Priscilla? You went all silent on us just now." Aaric asked, with a little more sincerity this time. 

 

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The tankard was thankfully deep and full, and Priscilla was able to hide for a second behind its mass. Shapes danced in her eyes conjuring fierce firestorms and ironclad protection spells, all of which fizzled in and out of existence on a whim. She needed another moment.

She swallowed another dram of ale, swallowing down the bitter drink, just in time to flinch--more like spasm--as somebody reached up and pinched her cheek. Hard.

Priscilla jerked violently as she was pulled out of her drink, and managed to spill a quarter of her glass across the table before her. She set the tankard down quick and looked in the direction of her attacker, who was already wincing, rubbing his hand in pain.

She caught the culprit, just as she began to speak, and put it all together.

On 4/27/2019 at 7:11 PM, Venus Sprite said:

"Are you sick? Don't ever touch her like that. Ever."

Well, Priscilla's mouth quirked up in a smile. It kind of hurt. It was interesting to note that the Tigress had warmed up to her.

23 hours ago, Vetanoob said:

"What? It's not like I was manhandling her or anything, t'was just a pinch! What am I? A male chauvinist pig?" The wayfarer pouted, then bursting into his usual goofy grin. "Besides, she's back to the land of the living now. See?"

She was paying attention now, at least. The runes were still there, floating around in her vision even now, but she could--maybe--ignore them for now. She rubbed her cheek, eyes flitting towards Aaric, he gave her that same little smile.

Bastard. She couldn't think such an unkind word for long, though. He hadn't hurt her much, after all.

23 hours ago, Vetanoob said:

"Ya alright there Priscilla? You went all silent on us just now." Aaric asked, with a little more sincerity this time. 

She waved off his questions mildly.

"Just touched on a sour note." She replied quietly. It wasn't a total lie. She picked up her mug again, and took another drink. She set it further away from her, cleared her throat and leaned back for a second, sighing.

"Well, I'm glad you guys didn't just up and leave the table when you figured out I wasn't a murderer." She confessed, smiling a little. "Truth be told, I'm a little sick of lying to potential companions. The group that took me to Vdara? I had to lie to them almost every step of the way. I'm just glad I had the money in the end to pay them for their work."

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On ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 1:33 PM, Vetanoob said:

"What am I? A male chauvinist pig?"

"What other sort are there?" Torie said, but sat back on her haunches, outrage subsiding to annoyance. She listened to Priscilla's recollection of her last journey, then said: "Well, I hope you don't feel the need to lie to us. To me anyway. Please don't, actually. I hate dishonesty. I'll aim to be fair in everything but if someone's tricking me..." She opened her mouth, reconsidered her words for a moment and said, "It's not what companions do."

"So, now that we've agreed to help you, why do you need help?" she cocked her head, hint of a smile returning. "If you're a merchant, then why don't you do merchant-y stuff to make money? You know, buy stuff, sell stuff, buy stuff..." She frowned thoughtfully, eyes rolling up and to the right. "You know, I think I just figured out why you can't make money as a merchant without any money. But still, surely there's some services you could offer that doesn't involve sharp things?" She glanced at the crossbow on Priscilla's back. "Like... counting money for other merchants. I hear there are people who do that. Or going and working for a richer merchant. And what sort of merchant are you, anyway?"

Edited by Venus Sprite

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6 hours ago, Venus Sprite said:

"What other sort are there?" Torie said, but sat back on her haunches, outrage subsiding to annoyance.

Aaric sighed. Looks like this adventure was going to be a long one. His attempt to seem friendly and helpful backfired on him somewhat, and now he was being viewed as a troublemaker instead. No matter... he would do his best to earn their trust in time. 

6 hours ago, Venus Sprite said:

"Well, I hope you don't feel the need to lie to us. To me anyway. Please don't, actually. I hate dishonesty. I'll aim to be fair in everything but if someone's tricking me..." She opened her mouth, reconsidered her words for a moment and said, "It's not what companions do."

The wayfarer smiled a little. If it was any comfort, at least he knew the Tigress honored loyalty, honesty and companionship above most other things. These people were rare in their world and it was refreshing to say the least. He decided to stop goofing around and take the conversation seriously if he was going to be taken seriously himself. 

"That's true." Aaric put in his two chips. "If we're going to stick together, honesty is the best policy between each of us. I'm not saying we should bare our deepest darkest secrets to each other. But if it's something that could mean life or death for anyone of us, I think we owe it to each other to at least sound out ya know?"

6 hours ago, Venus Sprite said:

"So, now that we've agreed to help you, why do you need help?" she cocked her head, hint of a smile returning. "If you're a merchant, then why don't you do merchant-y stuff to make money? You know, buy stuff, sell stuff, buy stuff..." She frowned thoughtfully, eyes rolling up and to the right. "You know, I think I just figured out why you can't make money as a merchant without any money. But still, surely there's some services you could offer that doesn't involve sharp things?" She glanced at the crossbow on Priscilla's back. "Like... counting money for other merchants. I hear there are people who do that. Or going and working for a richer merchant. And what sort of merchant are you, anyway?"

Aaric slurped his ale and pointed at the tigress. "Yeah, what she said. You say you're a merchant. So you're either a merchant of wares or a merchant of services. Judging by the lack of wares you have... I'd say you have a special skill or service to offer."

The wayfarer leaned forward with a concerned. "The question now is how much is it worth. You don't have to tell us what it is. But is it something worth recruiting some companions to protect?"

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On 5/2/2019 at 6:15 AM, Venus Sprite said:

"Like... counting money for other merchants. I hear there are people who do that. Or going and working for a richer merchant. And what sort of merchant are you, anyway?"

 

21 hours ago, Vetanoob said:

Aaric slurped his ale and pointed at the tigress. "Yeah, what she said. You say you're a merchant. So you're either a merchant of wares or a merchant of services. Judging by the lack of wares you have... I'd say you have a special skill or service to offer."

The wayfarer leaned forward with a concerned. "The question now is how much is it worth. You don't have to tell us what it is. But is it something worth recruiting some companions to protect?"

Priscilla brushed their questions off with indifference, and took another drink from her tankard. She let the liquor sit on her tongue for a bit, as if sterilizing her mouth, before swallowing. She tapped the table idly.

"I can tell you've never been a merchant." She replied candidly. "The markets are kind of cuthroat behind the scenes. As far as I can tell, they've always been kinda...draconic. I mean to say, it's difficult to get your foot into the market as an outsider."

Her food was getting cold. She gnawed on a hank of bread, washed it back and decided against breaking down the current state of the marketplace. Answer their questions first.

"Let's just say that I'm a very niche salesperson." She told them. "My work is hard to get into, and harder to find tools for. Losing my workshop and equipment set me back years of labor, if I try to approach it through honest work. I'm not slaving away for years just to get back to where I was." The runes floating in her eyes wandered into view away, and she shook her head, trying to dispel them. If she had to slave away for years to get back to work, the runes would surely drive her mad, in one way or another.

"But we can sit around and talk this over later." The rest of the food arrived, and she gestured towards it, flashing that same wolfish smile. It bespoke of confidence and ego, and though Priscilla didn't possess much of either of those, she wanted to sell herself as a fighter, not one to wait around for fortune to come her way. 

She raised her hands a bit. 

"Eat up. When we're through, we can talk about getting ourselves ready for a bounty."

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The arrival of more food was enough to draw Torie's attention. Even though the portion was small - much smaller than the metal wash tub half full of meat and offal that sat beside her bed of pillows - it was better prepared and much more flavoursome than the off-cuts she ate to save money. She bent down and, with her prickly cat-tongue, licked up the plate's contents in one go, savouring it in her mouth.

On ‎5‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 2:30 AM, Jotnotes said:

"I'm not slaving away for years just to get back to where I was."

Priscilla had said this moments ago, and Torie pondered it as she chewed. It might be considered lazy, not to want to work for your money. But then Priscilla was still willing to work, just in more dangerous and in a more lucrative occupation. She made a study of the little lady as she chewed: small, timid-looking, and with a veneer of bravado. But bravery was only ever present alongside fear. Otherwise it was madness.

"I'm done," she said, when her mouth and plate were empty, a good thirty seconds since the meal had arrived. She raised a paw and started scratching patterns on the tabletop with her claw. "So... how does one get ready for a bounty around here? At home we wouldn't eat all morning, so we could eat as much as possible when the meal was ready."

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Priscilla dug into her own food silently. She'd have spent more of that time trying to gauge her companions, look them over and try to figure out how best to make use of them, and maybe even put together some kind of coherent strategy, but the runes floating nebulously (annoyingly) in her vision were starting to worry her. This usually wasn't happening. In fact, during her long trek to Vdara, and her cold, brutal months as a mindslave and a bride, she'd never encountered anything quite like this. It worried her. Were the runes vanishing from her mind? She knew what most of them meant, but it took her time to decipher them. They appeared irregular and surreal at a glance, and none of them made much sense. Was something happening to her memory, or were they just melding together in strange and worrying new ways? Her heat was heavy at the thought of losing her talents. If she indeed did lose her ability to smith runes, she would be at a loss. The instrument used to imprint those runes into her brain was hard to come by, and likely wouldn't work on her, now that her eyes had fully developed. If she couldn't find a solution, she'd be talent less and directionless. The very thought made her lose her appetite. She shoved the remainder of the food away.

Torie had finished long before she did, so Priscilla figured it would be worth talking with her briefly. She looked up and gave a friendly, hopefully less sharky grin.

"I don't think I've ever had conversation with a Tigress before." She said. "Do you come from afar, or does your...tribe? Do you live close to Vdara?"

She mostly ignored her question for now. Bounties were easy enough to find, after all.

Edited by Jotnotes

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Aaric listened to her explanation. The way Priscilla described her skill was not lost on him. There were very few skills that were required expensive and specialized tools. Smithing and woodworking were definitely out of the question. Which meant only one thing: Her abilities were more mystic or magical in nature. 

The wayfarer also noted that there was something that was bothering or distracting her. As if her attention was constantly being pulled towards something other than their current conversation. Aaric's gaze trailed along her line of sight, and found nothing of interest. It was as if she was constantly staring at the air in front of her. But he decided not to pry too much. Time would tell eventually.

When the food arrived, Aaric kept silent and sipped his ale. He didn't order anything anyway. He observed and shivered a little at the tigress' sharp canines as she chewed her food. I pity the poor, unlucky soul who would be on the business end of those teeth!

17 hours ago, Venus Sprite said:

"I'm done," she said, when her mouth and plate were empty, a good thirty seconds since the meal had arrived. She raised a paw and started scratching patterns on the tabletop with her claw. "So... how does one get ready for a bounty around here? At home we wouldn't eat all morning, so we could eat as much as possible when the meal was ready."

"I could answer that." Aaric quipped, finally having something to contribute. He explained as he counted off with his fingers. "Always eat a filling meal between jobs. Check that the information provided for the bounty is legit, because sometimes clients lie or give bad info. Always gather info about the job yourself and scout the area before commencing a job. Always have more than one exit strategy. Lastly, as my old teacher always said: If you always prepare for the worst, then you'll almost always be pleasantly surprised." 

Aaric smiled and sipped his ale once more, mentally patting himself in the back. 

9 hours ago, Jotnotes said:

She looked up and gave a friendly, hopefully less sharky grin.

"I don't think I've ever had conversation with a Tigress before." She said. "Do you come from afar, or does your...tribe? Do you live close to Vdara?"

The wayfarer perked up at that. He was glad that Priscilla decided to ask. If it was him, he would have probably come off as rude or creepy and he didn't want to get on Torie's bad side after all. Aaric leaned a little closer while trying to nonchalantly slurp his drink. 

Slurp.

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4 hours ago, Vetanoob said:

"I could answer that." Aaric quipped, finally having something to contribute. He explained as he counted off with his fingers. "Always eat a filling meal between jobs. Check that the information provided for the bounty is legit, because sometimes clients lie or give bad info. Always gather info about the job yourself and scout the area before commencing a job. Always have more than one exit strategy. Lastly, as my old teacher always said: If you always prepare for the worst, then you'll almost always be pleasantly surprised." 

It occurred to Torie that perhaps the term bounty had more than one meaning. Her tribal language was quite distinct from those of other peoples, but she was a quick learner, blessedly. She nodded in acknowledgement of Aaric's words, the jowls and fur on her cheeks quivering. "Well. I'm glad some of us know what they're doing at least." She gave the skinny man a conceding smile, green eyes warming with cautious friendliness. "So long as you're not pinching anyone anymore, I'll be happy to follow your lead."

14 hours ago, Jotnotes said:

"I don't think I've ever had conversation with a Tigress before." She said. "Do you come from afar, or does your...tribe? Do you live close to Vdara?"

Torie smiled broadly at the chance to talk about herself. "I'm actually from Terrenus, from the Badlands, just south of the Shawnee glacier," she said. "Do you know it?  All my tribe are shape-shifters. We spend most of our time as animals. It helps us live off the land. But change back to human form to rear young. Before we're considered adults we go on a journey to gather knowledge for our tribe. Then we come back more worldly, and bring knowledge home with us. I've been travelling a couple of years now, and can barely bring myself to start heading back! It's so fun out here. The world is so big and there's so many people... so many kinds of people." There was a flash in her green eyes, and she looked over to the minotaur, as if he were a prime example. "I used to think our little tribe was the centre of the world. Then I found a map. Ha! Joke was on me I suppose." She shrugged.

Turning back to Priscilla, Torie said, "If you've got a trade that requires specific skills, I would love to learn it. That's the highest prize, to bring back a new trade. The elders will accept knowledge and history too but if you can bring back something with usefulness then even better!" She stopped talking then, but held Priscilla's gaze, as if begging for a response in the affirmative.

Edited by Venus Sprite

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On 5/9/2019 at 5:08 PM, Venus Sprite said:

"I'm actually from Terrenus, from the Badlands, just south of the Shawnee glacier," she said. "Do you know it?  All my tribe are shape-shifters. We spend most of our time as animals. It helps us live off the land. But change back to human form to rear young. Before we're considered adults we go on a journey to gather knowledge for our tribe. Then we come back more worldly, and bring knowledge home with us. I've been travelling a couple of years now, and can barely bring myself to start heading back! It's so fun out here. The world is so big and there's so many people... so many kinds of people."

Aaric listened to Torie's explanation with rapt attention. He was so excited by his newfound information on changelings he found himself scooching closer to the tigress with a notepad and a pencil on hand, hurriedly scribbling away. "Fascinating..." The wayfarer muttered. "Its amazing that you managed to get here all the way from Terrenus! Must've been quite a journey if you had to stay in your animal form most of the time. Unlike you, I've been wandering Genesaris for so long I haven't even thought of journeying to Terrenus before." Suddenly, a spark of inspiration hit him. "Ooh! Maybe I should go there one of these days! If you ever are going back to Terrenus, could I join you? That would be so awesome!"

On 5/9/2019 at 5:08 PM, Venus Sprite said:

"If you've got a trade that requires specific skills, I would love to learn it. That's the highest prize, to bring back a new trade. The elders will accept knowledge and history too but if you can bring back something with usefulness then even better!"

"Hmm..." Aaric rubbed his chin. "Looks like campcraft is out of the question since you seem to be adept at living off the land. So trades like smithing, woodworking or masonry perhaps?" Looking up from his notepad, he realised his questions weren't being answered. Not immediately anyway. He traced Torie's line of sight until it met Priscilla's own gaze. He turned back to Torie, then Priscilla, then back to Torie again.... and sighed. Aaric the wayfarer had unconsciously made himself part of the drapes. Again. Apparently he had gotten too skilled at making himself scarce even his own master sometimes forgot he was there and almost left him behind a good number of times. 

The young man decided to just let time work its magic. They would all get to know each other better the longer they stayed together. He had too many questions in his head, more than Torie could answer and some that the tigress would definitely skin him alive for even asking. Aaric shuddered at the thought and continued sipping his drink.

Slurp.

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Priscilla actually found herself leaning into the table, head propped up on her arms as she listened with interest. The way the tigress purred as she talked, in much a way that a preening bird might chirp as it brags, called to her sense of spirit and adventure. Priscilla had never been into the Badlands, herself. She'd been to Terrenus before, but typically visited major cities, and a few minor towns here and there, but she rarely traveled much farther than that. There was rarely incentive to do so, as a merchant. 

On 5/9/2019 at 3:08 AM, Venus Sprite said:

"I'm actually from Terrenus, from the Badlands, just south of the Shawnee glacier," she said. "Do you know it?  All my tribe are shape-shifters. We spend most of our time as animals. It helps us live off the land. But change back to human form to rear young. Before we're considered adults we go on a journey to gather knowledge for our tribe. Then we come back more worldly, and bring knowledge home with us. I've been travelling a couple of years now, and can barely bring myself to start heading back! It's so fun out here. The world is so big and there's so many people... so many kinds of people." There was a flash in her green eyes, and she looked over to the minotaur, as if he were a prime example. "I used to think our little tribe was the centre of the world. Then I found a map. Ha! Joke was on me I suppose." She shrugged.

 

On 5/11/2019 at 5:29 AM, Vetanoob said:

Aaric listened to Torie's explanation with rapt attention. He was so excited by his newfound information on changelings he found himself scooching closer to the tigress with a notepad and a pencil on hand, hurriedly scribbling away. "Fascinating..." The wayfarer muttered. "Its amazing that you managed to get here all the way from Terrenus! Must've been quite a journey if you had to stay in your animal form most of the time. Unlike you, I've been wandering Genesaris for so long I haven't even thought of journeying to Terrenus before." Suddenly, a spark of inspiration hit him. "Ooh! Maybe I should go there one of these days! If you ever are going back to Terrenus, could I join you? That would be so awesome!"

The merchant girl couldn't help but smile. Her little group of potential cuthroats were actually looking more and more like a cozy little group of goons. Given their propensity towards avoiding violence, if possible, that worked in their favor, of course. Between Aaric and Torie's natural chillness, they had a certain sweet charisma to them that was somewhat infectious. Priscilla decided that she liked them. If nothing more, they made her feel a little less lonely.

In the corner of the table, Allric sat still, either listening along or tuning them out. However, even now he stood in contrast to the rest of them. A grim reminder that, first and foremost, Priscilla approached them with the intention of bloody work. The thought sent chills up her spine, like a small jolt of cold static. 

On 5/9/2019 at 3:08 AM, Venus Sprite said:

Turning back to Priscilla, Torie said, "If you've got a trade that requires specific skills, I would love to learn it. That's the highest prize, to bring back a new trade. The elders will accept knowledge and history too but if you can bring back something with usefulness then even better!" She stopped talking then, but held Priscilla's gaze, as if begging for a response in the affirmative.

Torie had velvety, warm eyes, Priscilla noted. She sat up from her slump on the table, and tried to avoid looking too deep into them, lest she lose herself. Again, the matter of her occupation came up, and again, she was reluctant to share information.

On 5/11/2019 at 5:29 AM, Vetanoob said:

"Hmm..." Aaric rubbed his chin. "Looks like campcraft is out of the question since you seem to be adept at living off the land. So trades like smithing, woodworking or masonry perhaps?"

Priscilla shook her head at his question, smiling a bit when nobody could see. 

"It's a bit of a niche trade," She explained easily. "It's not something that can just be taught, really." She racked her brain for a way to explain it properly, without giving away the game. "It's a bit like learning how to write a novel, I guess. You need to have an understanding of the language, how it works and plays off itself, and apply that in certain, critical ways."

It didn't explain her craft, however. Runed eye floaters hovered into view. She shook her head irritably, and slammed the rest of her drink before exhaling loudly. None of that helped, and a particularly insistent rune floated into view. Priscilla lost her nerve, and interrupted any further attempts to draw by pulling her knife. She wasn't holding it correctly when she pulled it--it was facing up, not down towards the table--and she spun it in the palm of her hand expertly before slamming it into the table. It dug into the soft wood easily, and Priscilla caught her breath for a second. Then, almost on impulse, dragged the blade downwards, about three inches. She twisted the blade, exhaled, and drew another line at a forty-five degree angle, then another leading into the first line again and continuing outward for a similar distance. She turned it towards the end pole of the first line, once again, but not all the way there, and dragged the knife back as close to the origin as she could. Without pulling the knife from the table (the horrible scraping noise hopefully lost in the tavern sounds) she mimicked the design on the other end of the first line. Symmetrical and perfect, she exhaled, and put the knife away, studying the rune.

Gods, that was cathartic.

Looking down at it, she recognized it right away. It wouldn't activate on wood, of course, but it certainly looked mysterious, etched into the table there. She looked up from her work, caught the eyes on her, and put the knife away.

"I...uh...I etch runes for a living. And then I fit them into stuff, to enchant it. So like...swords? Armor? Tools? That stuff." She brushed some debris from the table. 

"Sorry about that."

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On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 9:29 PM, Vetanoob said:

"Ooh! Maybe I should go there one of these days! If you ever are going back to Terrenus, could I join you? That would be so awesome!"

Torie didn't justify that with a response, but gave him a side-long glance that said that's a terrible idea! in less than half as many words. When he started prattling on about skills, however, Torie's grin returned, and she gave Priscilla a knowing look.

On ‎5‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 12:32 PM, Jotnotes said:

"It's a bit of a niche trade," She explained easily. "It's not something that can just be taught, really." She racked her brain for a way to explain it properly, without giving away the game. "It's a bit like learning how to write a novel, I guess. You need to have an understanding of the language, how it works and plays off itself, and apply that in certain, critical ways."

Torie was about to say, but I can learn to write, too! when Priscilla's demeanour changed again. She thought she'd done something to offend the little lady, and flinched back violently when she produced the knife, a wave of blubber rolling under her luxurious fur from her neck to her hindquarters. But Priscilla attacked the table first.

"Hey!" Tevin said from behind the bar.

Torie watched, shock turning to fascination as she carved the rune onto the table.

On ‎5‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 12:32 PM, Jotnotes said:

"I...uh...I etch runes for a living. And then I fit them into stuff, to enchant it. So like...swords? Armor? Tools? That stuff." She brushed some debris from the table. 

"Sorry about that."

Torie's eyes were wide and her mouth slack in awe. Her tongue started to roll out, but she slurped it back up before it hit the table. "That would be... incredible," she said. "I would be the most... revered person in all of the Torata tribe! Please," she reached around the knife and grabbed Priscilla's delicate little hand, engulfing it in her warm paws half way to the lady's elbow. "You have to teach me!"

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