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Out of the Frying Pan [Closed]

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It was a cold, misty morning on the shore, and the fog piled up within the city wall. Salty moisture beaded on the underside of gutters, glittering dully from street lamps, and already settled into the crevices of the cobbled stones of the city's Better district. The citizens of Last Chance were already busy plying their livelihoods, and Nakara found herself impressed by their vigor and determination. Adjusting the satchel slung over her shoulder and shaking her coat sleeve back into place, she walked around with the pointed looking-about and deliberation that nearly all newcomers to any locale adopted; people here and there on their way to someplace decidedly important wove their ways around her with a mixture of disinterest and impatience whenever she slowed or stopped. Between distractions, she thought on what an atomizing dance it was, when the world goes about its business, people living their lives, around those who are, for the moment, existing in a state of stillness. How so many other people experienced it on a daily basis at varying times. Couldn't people just find some unity in the fact that they were all just really, really confused, all the time..?

She cut the thought short because it was corny.

Another pause, an impatient passerby, and she stepped off the main drag against a building by some shellfish stand, the vendor humming while he set up shop -- probably warming his diaphragm up to shout at customers to buy his stuff all day, she assumed. A sigh blew out from between her lips and she reached into one of her coat pockets, fiddling with a small package therein and withdrawing a cigarette. Moments later, she was lit.

Her searchings were complicated by the presence of the fog, a phenomenon that didn't bode well for newcomers -- especially bullheaded ones like herself. She reached up and scratched her nose, careful to blow her smoke away from the people walking past, and took a long look down the boardwalks in either direction. After a moment, she scrunched up her face slightly and said her first words for the day.

"Well this place sucks." 

The vendor beside her looked up sharply, frowning. Oops, She thought. He jerked his chin accusingly at her. 

"Why do you say that?"

She clamped her cigarette between her teeth and hitched up her collar against the cold. "I always say that when I go someplace new," She explained honestly, "That way I'm either always right, or pleasantly surprised." 

"Hah!" He barked, and while Nakara couldn't tell if it had been genuine amusement or a sign of disapproval, the vendor went back to his work. Unsure what to make of it and subsequently dismissing it, she shrugged. 

"Hey, y'all got a watering hole around here?" 


By the time she found herself at the tavern she had been directed to, the sun had burned off most of the fog and she could navigate properly at the very least. On her third cigarette, she pushed the doors open and took quick stock of the patrons -- there were precious few at this hour, though she knew it only took until noon for most people to find an excuse. 

Her? She lived a little more dangerously.

She plunked herself down in a stool at the bar, accompanied there by only a couple other people, and didn't even have to flag down the 'tender. It was a large, but bony woman who looked like she could break Nakara's legs over her knees. Nakara approved.

"What'll ya have?" 

"Whatever you've got the most of," She replied, throwing some coins down. After a moment's thought, she tossed down a couple more. "Get something for the bugger next to me, too." 

She merely sat with her chin in her hand, smoke dangling from between her lips, staring into the vague middle-distance behind the bar in thought as she waited. The clunk of a tankard in front of the person next to her preceded the sight of her own, and before the 'tender could leave, Nakara held out a hand to get her attention. 

"Hey, this'll sound weird, but you seen a guy who looks like me anywhere around here recently?" 

At first the barkeep snorted rudely at the suggestion and had decided not to answer, when she looked up and saw her newest customer's face. Then, she frowned. "'Ay, actually, I think I did. Good-looking fellow, too." 

Nakara leaned forward on her elbows and smirked, unable to help herself. "Better-looking than me?"

"By miles!" The keep retorted, unamused, and Nakara settled back with a hearty laugh despite herself. "He was here last week, I think -- or maybe the week before. Didn't stay long, though."

"Did he say where he was headed?" 

"Eh......" The woman hesitated briefly. "He took off for the... other half, as soon as he was done slamming back his drink."

"The what now?"

"You know. Opportunidad." The 'tender's tone lowered slightly and she made a series of impatient shuffles. Nakara's brow knitted slightly. 

"The hell'd he go there for?"

"Damned if I know, do I look like a mind-reader? 'Scuse me." 

With that the barkeep returned to her duties and Nakara was left frowning in irritation over her drink, ash from her burned-down cigarette snowing the sleeve-polished bar slightly. Finally, she sighed, and picked up her tankard. 

"Shit and shoot..." She muttered to herself, popping her smoke out of her mouth long enough to take a generous swig. It was going to be a bother of a day.

Edited by Trashbender

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"Oy, ya fuck!"

Natalie gnashed her teeth, snarling as she gripped the wooden handles of her cart and yanked, to no avail. The wheel was stuck, sunk in a rocky well between the crumbling stones ten feet from the tavern's entrance, in the middle of the road, and showing no signs of moving. She wasn't from the arcanic lit streets of Fortuna; she was from Oppourtunidad, through and through. No crystals powered Natalie's cart or lessened its weight; it was just her- her determination, her strength, her refusal to quit in the face of its overladen opposition. Behind her, in the shadow of Argus, the high-tech hum of traffic began to build up as shouts rose into the air.

"Fuck this."

Another yank rocked the cart, but the pile of cast iron cookware stacked high against its wooden walls remained unmoved, sliding back into its rut as Natalie's grip slipped and drove a fan of shredded splinters through her callouses and into her fleshy palm.


Whirling, Natalie kicked the cart's front wheel with frustration, knocking it further into the stony crevice. In a swift motion, she scrambled up onto the side of the cart and grabbed a leather sack full of iron pots and pans, throwing it on top of her back as she scampered toward the tavern and shoved her way through its doors.

The door frame shook as Natalie burst in, scraping the empty interior with a hard glare as she called out. "Ora! Come help me with this shit? I'm stuck as fuck outside an' s'gonna be a riot soon. Yer pans are in the pack, by the way.."  Her words carved through the morning-empty tavern, equal parts aggravation and amusement.  "..that grill top is a fuckin' beast.  Better replace Ralph with some muscle- his skinny arms ain't gonna be able t'lift it."

The keep, whose name was Ora as it turned out, signaled her aggravation with the toss of her white bar towel. "Goddamnit, Natalie- let me worry about Ralph.  What did you do?"

"It's not my fault! The road is a fucking wreck- get your guys to fix the curb or some shit."

"Your cart is ancient," countered Ora, rolling her hazel eyes as she shot a fingertip toward Nakara, then curled it sharply. "C'mon, your meal's on Natalie if we can get the goddamn cart moving again."

"Oy, what're y-" Natalie protested as she crossed through the door and behind the bar, disappearing into the kitchen with the heavy sack as Ora cut her objections short. "Shut it," the keep snapped, passing Natalie as she emerged from behind the bar and headed for the door, "Let's get this fucking thing on level ground.  When're you going to get modern-age transport?  I can't keep having traffic tangled out here.." she asked the girl.

Outside, the obstacle had created a snarled, angry, catastrophe and the women would exit directly into its roiling mass.

Edited by Noko

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While Ora had busied herself with the rest of her duties, Nakara unbuttoned and shrugged off her coat, laying it on her lap and leaning back on the bar, listening vaguely to the sounds of swearing and shouting outside. At one point it grew so loud and vehement that she quirked an eyebrow, impressed, and turned her head to see if anyone came in. 

Not a moment later, the doors flew open with a crash, having been all but kicked in, preceding the entrance of a young blonde woman hefting a loudly clanking pack, issuing possibly some of the foulest language she had yet seen on this rock, and definitely sporting some of the best arms she'd yet seen in Last Chance. 

"Nice," She muttered around her dwindling smoke, smirking and returning to her drink, though her attention was further drawn by the 'keep's aggravated responses to the girl. 

"Goddamnit, Natalie- let me worry about Ralph.  What did you do?"

"It's not my fault! The road is a fucking wreck- get your guys to fix the curb or some shit."

Oh god. She tried not to snicker, knowing the situation was absolutely not funny to the others involved. Thankfully the urge was cut short when a finger jabbed in her direction. 

"C'mon, your meal's on Natalie if we can get the goddamn cart moving again."

Both eyebrows went up this time and she shot a glance over at the young woman called Natalie before flicking it back to the barkeep, blinking once, and shrugging. 

"Sure, I'll help."

While not intending to take the barkeep's offer of someone else's charity, she would never pass up the opportunity to flex for a bunch of total strangers; Nakara bundled her coat around her satchel and leaned over the bar, dropping it behind with her saber leaning up against the underside so it would not be seen. She clapped the shoulder of the stranger sitting next to her who had received her free drink -- she knew she had done it for a reason. 

"Hey, watch my shit for a minute, willya?"

Without waiting for an answer she rolled up her sleeves, fully intending to go back inside and finish her drink when things were done, and followed Natalie and Orla outside. 

....into complete chaos. 

Oh god, She thought a second time, immediately bombarded with the shouting and rude gestures of dozens of people piled up behind the lopsided cart, some of whom had come around in front of it to harass the owner more effectively. Eyebrows that had previously been quirked in amusement arched down sharply and suddenly and she reached up, snatched the dwindling butt of her cigarette out of her mouth, and threw it aside. Stepping forward, she placed her hands on the chests of two of the small-time rioters and gave them an almighty shove away from Ora and Natalie. 

"AY, GET THE FUCK OUTTA THE WAY!!" She roared into their faces from the bottom of her diaphragm, face contorted in her angriest snarl. Those that were closest jumped and for a moment were silent, not expecting to be drowned out. While somewhat intimidated, however, they quickly found their attitudes again. 

"--holdin' up the entire city--"

"Get 'er out of the way!"

"Trash the cart if ya have to--"

"--thing's garbage anyway--" 

"The only trash I see in fronta me is you pipsqueaks!" Nakara snapped back, but the element of surprise had gone, and with a sigh and a curled lip she turned to check the cart itself, moving around it to see the wheel thoroughly stuck in a rough-looking rut in the stonework.

"Well, there's no pushing this baby out," She called crudely out to Natalie and Ora over the din, "We're gonna have to lift the wheel out, then roll it. Yo, you pieces could be getting on your way a lot faster if you'd fuckin' help!" Another roar at the passersby, and she crouched slightly, trying to lift the side of the cart with just her hands. 

With a grunt she managed to make it tilt in the correct direction, but not enough to get it out of the rut. Frowning and rolling her shoulders, she turned around and crouched beneath the cart by the wheel well, balancing the underside on her upper back and managing to push it up damn-near enough. 

"Aw yeah," She grinned, growling beneath the weight, setting it down momentarily to give the other two a thumbs-up. "This'll work, someone help me lift the side of this, and someone else push!"

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"Trash the cart if ya have to--"

"--thing's garbage anyway--"

It's true, the cart was garbage; it might even be older than Natalie, but it was the only cart the smith had, and the only way Natalie could get finished product out to his customers and get paid.  They were heading into winter; tourism was way down, and the river of neophyte adventurers that landed on the docks and geared up at the blacksmith's, had slowed to a trickle.  Deliveries weren't spare coin, for Natalie; it was how she and her family ate, so when the man threatened her cart, he threatened her family, and she roared back almost instantly.

"Hey, fuck you!" Natalie's voice tore as she shouted, claiming the space in a single stride until they were chest to chest, and she stretched up onto her tiptoes and spat the words right into the man's face.  For his part, he snorted; an angry snarl curling his lip as he leaned back- who is this bitch- and spread his arms as if to corral support from the raging onlookers.  There was a beat; a moment where it could have settled, but didn't, and the man's whole body tensed as he whirled back and slammed his palms against Natalie's shoulders.

"No, fuck you!" he countered, devolving into the Pulitzer-prize winning dialog that all shoving matches eventually degraded into.

The force drove her halfway across the street; she danced a quick-step, stumbling as she struggled to keep momentum over her hips, but it overcame her quickly and she fell backward on her ass, into the road. One could watch the rage spread across her face. It was the fury of impotence, of unfairness and inequity, dragging shadow to her sky blue eyes. Flat metal scales shot from a midpoint in her hand, interspersed and bound with arcanic threads, simply appearing and then disappearing in a moment so fast it was dream-like.

"Yer a boot-lickin' pawn, sucking off the Blackes like the rest'a these Fortunate sons."

Oh, them were fighting words, but Nakara's shout cut through the din.

"Yo, you pieces could be getting on your way a lot faster if you'd fuckin' help!"

For a moment, it looked like it would be a brawl anyway.  The man laughed sharply, starting to shrug off his suit jacket as he fixed a glare on Natalie.  The moment danced on a pin, saturated with aggression, and maybe sensing all the ways this could go horribly wrong, the man's female passenger pushed herself out of the transport and interjected herself between Natalie and the man.  It was all soothing tones- eye contact and the brush of fingertips against his arm, soft smiles, pacifying redirections, and until Natalie grabbed the man's gaze and flashed him a double-salute it was going pretty well.  The insult was gas on a fire, though, and only familiarity and Natalie's back as she turned and jogged toward Nakara, kept it from exploding.

Natalie was a fighter; adrenaline was her friend and, anyway, she was pissed.  The morning scrap woke her up; it felt good, despite the shitty state of her cart.  She felt strong and grinned as her steps tripped to a stammering halt next to Nakara.

"Fuck me, yer way bigger than you looked when you was sitting." It seemed like it took forever to find Nakara's face, way the fuck up there. Natalie even took a step back to reduce the crane of her neck, then gave up and shook her head, turning to instead look at the stuck cart. "I fucking hate these people," she commented, more to herself than anyone else, before scrubbing her palm across her face and sighing at the pot-laden transport.  "Yeah, hang on - lemme git under there," Natalie said as she bent, muscles flexing as her ragged fingernails dug into the bottom edge of the cart. "Ora, kin you push?" she called out.

"Gods alive, Natalie. I'm way too fucking old for this bullshit," Ora grumbled as she pushed her sleeves up, then slashed a hand at the angry crowd. "Go get in your cars, Gaia forbid the lot of you are late for your meetings," she urged as she bent and set her shoulder against the wood.

"Ready?" she shouted, "On three- not fucking after, Natalie."

So close to Natalie, Nakara could hear the frustration in Natalie's sigh before she yelled back, "It was one fucking time! Just count!"

So Ora counted- as promised, she pushed on three, and Natalie lifted with all the might contained in her compact frame. Bolstered by the shove, and the adrenaline, her contribution was far more than one would expect, and combined with Nakara's strength and leverage, and Ora pushing, the three women would manage to lift the cart up and out of its rut, then push it out of the road and onto the sidewalk.

The crowd began to disperse as commuters flowed back into their cars toward another mind-numbing day at the office.

Ora drifted toward the entrance to the tavern, slapping her hands clean before she pointed at Natalie. "I'm taking this out of your invoice. Now come in and get some goddamn breakfast; if you get any skinnier, you're going to blend in with these trust-fund babies.  And you," Her thick, calloused fingertip found Nakara, and pointed. "Thanks, it's a rare thing for someone to give a hand these days. Come on in, I'll get you a hot plate; you can eat while we can let all these incredibly important people get back to the business of whatever it is they do."


I assumed a bit to move the cart (namely, that Nakara would help) but if you want to stop or interject before, let me know and I'll edit back!


Edited by Noko

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It was past midnight when Jarl joined them in the Cromwyll's little hut. He was more than an hour late. Elene's foster mother was asleep in the bedroom they all shared, so Kylar and Elene and Uly were all sitting in the front room. Uly had falled asleep on Kylar, but she jerked upright instantly, terrified, as Jarl came in. What am I dragging this little girl into? Kylar thought. But he just squeezed her, and when she got her bearings, she calmed down, embarrassed...


"Sorry," Jarl said. "The palies are... punishing the warrens for the assassination attempt. I wanted to get back to check on some things, but they've sealed the bridges. No bribe's enough today." Kylar could tell Jarl was avoiding details because Uly was in the room, but considering how bad things were in the Warrens before the....

"Yo, you pieces could be getting on your way a lot faster if you'd fuckin' help!"

The gentle warm kiss of a half smoked cigarette tingled his lips, the smoke from the half centimetre long build up of ash stem mildly stinging his eyes as he awoke from the trance of being engrossed within his book, quickly becoming aware of his return to reality and the chaos ensuing across the street from the wall he was perched upon. Regaining focus, he gently lowered and folded closed his book, left thumb nestled between the pages to save his space, reaching up with his right hand to pinch the remainder of his smoke from his mouth. Taking one last drag, he lifted his gaze in the direction of all the shouting and noise, to take note of the old tavern keep Ora with two companions arguing with onlookers whilst attempting to move an old heavy cart. Exhaling the heavy intake, he forcefully flicked away his cigarette in the direction of a puddle, to which he missed, before continuing to sit with book hand in his lap and now empty right hand rested on the wall next to his hip in order to prop him up, observing the aggravated struggle and ensuing success. 

He looked up towards the blurred glow of the morning sun fighting its way through the fog, as he closed his eyes in an attempt to embrace whatever warmth proceeded to break through. Taking a deep breath of now fresh air, his breath soon made way for a yawn and the realisation that he had both been sat on that wall reading for several hours, as well as the fact that he was in dire need of a piss. Finishing his yawn with a good stretch, he relaxed and opened his eyes to notice the cart had been abandoned by crowd, Ora and guests. With support from his hands, he pushed himself off the wall and casually made his way towards the tavern, running his hand through his hair to scratch his scalp and ruffle his hair into what he hoped was a reasonably respectful style of sorts.

Leading with his hand to open the door, he walked into the tavern with pace, immediately being hit in the senses by the smell of stale beer and sick that had carpeted the floor from the night before as well as the clear increase in temperature from the outside morning damp. Initially making his way to the bar, he dumped his book on the counter next to a person who had clearly made a home of his stool from the night before, turning towards the toilets in the corner. Before he could make it to the lavatory, Ora caught him out the corner of her eye and shouted out after him, "Ya' look like shit Ash".

Pushing the toilet door open and not breaking his stride, he managed to raise a loud enough response for her to hear before disappearing out of sight.. "The usual please Ora".



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Ira woke up, with his head still resting on the wooden bar counter that he had closed his eyes staring at. He wasn't sure how drunk he was still, but even his still barely function body realized that shouting and screaming in the distance meant he should probably be conscious and preferably upright. 

"Damage report" he thought to himself. He sat up so his forehead rested against the wooden lip of the counter, and with his eyes still closed, began to make an assessment. His axe was still swinging off of his belt. His shield was still leaning against his leg. No limbs seemed to be broken. He then focused one what really seemed important, "My head. My fucking head." he groaned. If he were asked at the beginning of whatever day it was when he started drinking whether he would have looked forward to a brawl, he would have lit up like a beacon looking forward to the chance. That would have seemed like a reasonable way to burn off some stress, first having seen his best friend killed, and then another turn into a vampire.  

Ira managed to find the strength to sit up, open his eyes, and considered what he actually wanted to do.

"Water?" he thought, and decided against it. Not that desperate yet. "Food?" he thought, and though his stomach rumbled, he nodded to himself and got off his bar stool. 

"Food" he whispered to himself. The idea sounded phenomenal. The shouting outside seemed to be over an overturned food cart, in the middle of the street, and Ira thought it might be his lucky day. The beer in the tavern was well above the swill he would have gladly drunk, but it was draining his wallet as well. He learned long ago in a high class joint that nobody was going to tell a sell-sword paying in coin to leave, and nobody was going to mettle with his stuff. 

He walked slowly towards the door when two young women managed to move the cart off the road, and came into the tavern. He flagged them down and managed not to hurl as he blurted out,

"Have any food in that thing? And to be honest, anything would do. surprise me."

@Trashbender @Noko

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While Nakara had been fiddling with the cart, seeing about getting it to move, the conflict escalated out of her eyeshot. After poking her head back up she caught the tail end of it -- the young woman who'd been driving the cart was down on the ground, and some chucklehead across the way from her was in the middle of down-dressing like he planned to beat her. 

Her blood turned to ice in her veins and her heart suddenly hammered in her chest at a rapid pace; all thoughts for the search for her brother vanished, all thoughts of the cart, and of how much she disliked this new city -- it was replaced only with the sudden need to jump to defend somebody before shit got too real. In a moment she had stepped around the cart and was halfway to the scene, fists balled up, shoulders tense, a threatening menace in the curl of her upper lip-

-until some sweet dame, likely his girl, stepped in front of the would-be attacker. Nakara almost didn't register it, and stood solid where she was, nostrils flared, ready to go at a moment's notice. Soon though, the sight of those pawing touches, the murmured words she couldn't hear, soothed away the edge of even her outrage. She did not, however, take her gaze off the man, and so did not see Natalie's impressive display of rebellion -- she waited til he had clearly backed down, and only then did she relax her posture in any capacity. With her heart rate still simmering down, she didn't register Natalie's words at first. Then, they hit her, and the ice broke:

"Fuck me, yer way bigger than you looked when you was sitting."

"Ha!" Nakara barked suddenly, reaching up and mussing her hair a bit to break out of the high-wired mental state she had suddenly found herself in. All messed up and no one to punch, eh?

The women moved around back to the offending side of the cart, and over its lip Nakara caught the gaze of the man who had, a few moments ago, been ready to incite a full-on street fight, and forced herself to smirk in his direction before ducking down to help take care of the poor, old, stuck wagon. If he stepped out of his car one more time...

She channeled her fury into muscle power, and together the three women managed to right the thing and push it to the side. Nakara made a point of standing back up very quickly so she could catch the rear-end of the tough guy's vehicle, waiting just until it was too late for him to change his mind or turn around, then cupped both hands around her mouth, calling out in his direction: 

"Sorry about your dick, bro!" 

Satisfied, she too dusted off her hands and followed the other women inside. 

Ora gave Natalie a small mouthful as the doors shut behind them, and when she turned and jabbed that jabby finger of hers back in Nakara's direction, Nakara blinked and held up her hands as though half expecting to get shot. 

"Thanks, it's a rare thing for someone to give a hand these days. Come on in, I'll get you a hot plate; you can eat while we can let all these incredibly important people get back to the business of whatever it is they do."

"Oh-- hey, no problem," She replied as Ora returned to what seemed like her most natural duties, feeling that warm kind of awkwardness that was so common when one was being mothered, even a little, by a stranger. One of the fellows at the bar shuffled into view, looking like the most shriveled, dying part of a million bucks possible. 

"Have any food in that thing? And to be honest, anything would do. surprise me."

Nakara chuckled, patting his shoulder carefully as she passed him; she'd been there. A lot. "I think the ma'am's putting some chow on now, just sit tight, my dude. 'Ere, siddown, and go slow, or you'll yartz for sure." She made to help him back to his stool as the doors were flung open much more casually behind them. Ora made a brief exchange with a new patron, one that sounded like he must have been here many times -- Nakara lifted her gaze briefly over her shoulder to take curious stock of him, but he had already vanished into the lavatories, and she went immediately back to trying to guide the decidedly very, very hungover bar patron back to his seat. As she passed, she caught Natalie's gaze. 

"The gentry 'round here lost their ability to cope the second shit went a little automatic, eh? You okay? You were ready to beat ass out there."

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"Have any food in that thing? And to be honest, anything would do. surprise me."

"Nope, just pots. Y'eat pots? I heard there was a rust monster over in Chesterfield. You a rust monster?" Natalie's brow lofted quizzically as she floated the question toward Ira, perched and tacked as it was with mock seriousness, before she clapped her hand against his shoulder and laughed. 

"Lucky yer in a tavern- y'got coin, y'got food," she said as her laugh trailed off. She followed Nakara toward the bar, her young face downturned toward dirty, scarred hands, which she unhelpfully wiped against the tail of her stained sleeveless white tunic. The motion didn't earn her much. Her shirt might've got dirtier, but her hands didn't seem to get any cleaner, and the grime only highlighted the scars that etched across her knuckles. She caught Nakara's gaze from beneath a fringe of dirty blond and flashed the other woman a conspiratorial grin, slowing to trade some conversation on the way to a bar stool.

"The gentry 'round here lost their ability to cope the second shit went a little automatic, eh? You okay? You were ready to beat ass out there." commented Nakara.

"Yeah, I hate those soft-handed fucks," answered Natalie.  "Always blaring their horns and shouting- always super dicks when they bring their tourist friends down to buy some 'local cuisine' at the docks.  What's worse is when it's someone I used t'know- an' they ask me, why you still down here? An I ask'm, why the fuck you up there?

Anyway, whatever- just another day, right?  Thanks for helpin' out, I appreciate it.  Never woulda got outta that rut otherwise.  What're you doin' in town?  I mean, no offense- but you clearly ain't from here.." she wondered as Ora's voice rang out, carrying all the way from the kitchen to the barely-open bar. "Natalie, is my shit in the bag?" she yelled.

"Ain't it always?" came the reply, thrown with force from Natalie's diaphragm as nodded at Nakara, then tilted her head toward the open bar and beckoning stools - an invitation, clearly.

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On 12/19/2020 at 4:53 PM, Noko said:

"Lucky yer in a tavern- y'got coin, y'got food," 

On 12/16/2020 at 3:07 PM, Trashbender said:

"I think the ma'am's putting some chow on now, just sit tight, my dude. 'Ere, siddown, and go slow, or you'll yartz for sure.

Ira groaned at the accurate yet entirely unhelpful advice. As he tried to will himself to not hurl all over the tavern, there was no doubt in his mind that he must look like shit. He certainly felt like shit. His throat burned, his head was splitting but most of all, there were vicious gurgles in his stomach making him feel bad enough that he ignored his miserly nature and dragged himself over to the barstool where he flagged Ora down.

"Water. Breakfast. Please." was all he managed to get out. He dare not open his mouth longer than need be to get the words out just incase his body had involuntary ideas. Ora for her part had been serving him ale and lager for just short of a week, but seemed surprised that he was in this rough of shape. 

The only good news is that you don't literally smell like shit he thought to himself, thinking of the final result of friends past benders. When he was finally stabilized on something sturdier than his own two feet, Ira began looking around the bar to take tally, he noticed a fair amount of other patrons buzzing around. What surprised him a little bit is they seemed to still be closer to dawn than noon. 

Time. That's a good start. He heard the familiar sounds of a tavern going full tilt for meal time and deeply inhaled to see if there were any clues his sense of smell could uncover. He started hacking uncontrollably when the smell of cigar smoke entered his nostrils and let him know why his throat burned. He reached down and grabbed his sack containing the coin he carried on him. After several years of being a sword for hire, he had established bank accounts over Lagrimosa and Genesaris but didn't exactly have quick access to one in every city he landed in. Finding the key to a nightly hangover in the upscale neighborhood of Last Chance for the last several weeks had caused the sack to go from being a burden to pull out to feather-lite. You have been at this for decades you old fuck, he ached as he acknowledge bitterly to himself, over ten years makes it separate decades not several years. He never remembered hurting like this as a younger man. 

The two women settled at the bar nearby, and when Ira peered over, he thought that they could handle themselves.

Another prospective client I can rule out. He thought as he heard footsteps come up behind him. BREAKFAST! He nearly shouted as a full plate arrived, and paused from his food only to trade some coins for the meal. Eggs! Bacon! Hash Browns! This place has got everything!

It lasted 4 minutes as his fork swirled like a samurai's katana devouring everything in his path. He had to admit, as he pulled his plate armor off the ground and prepared to head back to his room, he felt a lot better. Time for a bath and to find a job.

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