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Old 04-13-2017, 05:56 PM
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[Group 2] Avalon's Wharf - Prologue

All Adventures Start Here
This thread is for Apocalyps3, fiddler, Gazmania, MrCeeJ, timplausible, Totentanzen

Between the heavy clouds and the endless rain, you might as well be blind. In the occasional flash of lightning, however, as the rain is forced aside by a gust of howling wind, you can just barely make out the road ahead. A veritable river of mud twists and winds through a copse of gnarled trees and along a rocky coastline battered by white-capped swells. And beyond, visible only by the brightest thunderbolts, stands a town. The town is nestled in between two mountain ranges and is known for it’s treacherous rocky coastline and poor weather. Many ships have crashed ashore near this port. It is situated on one of the only routes through the mountain pass into the mainland and has close access to many of the islands nearby.

Despite the grey downpour and inclement weather, several shops bustle with activity, and the light that gleams through many a window is bright and cheerful. Sporadic people trudge their way along the muddy roads, shoulders hunched against the rain, going about this business or that. The gutters in the street flood with water and muck as they carry the populaces waste towards the ocean. Unlike many places this size there is no underground sewer network. Barrels of garbage are covered with lid to stop them from overflowing.Many of the buildings are built from limestone quarried from the mountains to the south.

The salty tang of the sea, and the lingering odor of a hundred years of fishing, insinuate themselves around your mouth and nose. Even the torrential rains and winds cannot completely strip the powerful odor from the air. Needing a dry place to stay and a warm meal many of the locals point you towards the Hollow Leg Tavern. It is one of the oldest taverns in Avalon’s Wharf.

Different styles of architecture suggest the building before you was once two or three separate shops, before someone sealed up the spaces between and knocked down the intervening walls. It now forms the largest structure on the block. Smoke rises from several chimneys, only to vanish into the falling rain. Firelight gleams through several windows, and the sound of conversation—nearly inaudible in the storm—leaks from the doorway. A sign above that door, portraying a ship at full sail on a wave less sea, flaps violently in the wind.

Three different patterns of wooden floor, at three slightly different levels, make up the common room. Beyond this single quirk, however, this might as well be any other tavern: a bar stands on one side of the vast chamber, a staircase on the other, with a smattering of chairs and tables scattered throughout the area. Two fireplaces radiate a comforting warmth throughout the room, and several serving staff whirl about with tankards of ale and plates of smoked fish.

There are about a dozen or so others in the tavern. One who catches a few glances is a dark-haired, graceful half-elf - a perfect beauty except for her left eye that is an ugly white color, obscured by a cataract. She boasts a tattoo of a gold leaf on her bare left shoulder and two armed gentlemen with the same gold leaf on their armor sit at the table behind her. Across from her is an male gentleman frighteningly showing her various treasures that he has tucked away in various pouches.

Behind the bar there is an old elven man with a peg leg who looks like he has seen better days. His once fair skin is wrinkled and looks of something you’d see in a leather shop. He is bald and missing the top half of one of his ears. He rubs his cracked hands together as he sees you enter. ”Welcome welcome,” He says in a hoarse voice, ”Care to try our house special Urchin Wine? Anyone who keeps down a glass will drink for free all night. If you cannot then it will cost you 1 gold piece!” He says with a devious grin as he waves a hand towards a glass tank of live sea urchins behind him.

oocFeel free to introduce your characters.


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Old 04-13-2017, 08:17 PM
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Coln Jorunn
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The persistent stench of fish and rotten refuse was enough to penetrate even the heaviest of rain falls. Smells about right, Coln thought. The air was cold, but the dwarf was accustomed to it. It was the rain, the unrelenting onslaught of dampness, that chilled him to the bone and forced bitter memories to the foreground of his mind. Closing his eyes for a brief moment and inhaling deeply, Coln was able to find peace once more.

"Git out da way!" A roar, loud enough to compete with the booming thunder, brought the dwarf back into the present moment. The voice's owner shoved Coln aside and barreled down the muddy road, abruptly turning to enter into a nearby shop. Aye, about right indeed. He opened his eyes with a sigh and proceeded down the uneven cobblestone street, using a quarterstaff to compensate for his hobble.

Coln turned a corner and found himself confronted by a familiar site. Ah, there it is...still standin' I see. The Hollow Leg Tavern had a distinctive look that was hard to forget. Pulling the door open and wiping his feet as best he could, the dwarf was greeted by the delightful smell of cooked meats and warm air. Stepping inside, Coln recognized the old barkeep, though a bit more aged.

The dwarf limped over to the end of the bar, taking the stool closest to the door; the very same one that he had occupied six years before. He waved a polite hand at the offer from behind the counter and chuckled in response, "No thank you, brotha'. I believe I know how that ends. An' by the looks of things..." Coln gestures to the somewhat vacant room, "It would seem others know as well. I'll just be havin' the house ale and whatever meat you have on the stove." The dwarf presented a soft, yet tired, smile as he set a few copper pieces on the bar.

Taking an opportunity to observe the room, Coln noticed that the only individuals of note seemed to be a dark haired half-elf conducting business with a shaky man selling trinkets and a large dragonborn seated off in the corner away from everyone else. Though as he turned his attention back to the counter, the door flung open behind him. Coln glanced over through the corner of his eye to view the glowing figure as it joined him at the bar, a few seats down. Taking a sip of his ale, the dwarf quietly chuckled to himself and shook his head as the newcomer accepted the barkeep's challenge.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:48 PM
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Balciar
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Balciar tightened the grasp of his cloak as he pulled it across his chest. The rain seemed as if it would never cease and the dragonborn was at his wits end with the weather in this region. His boots were soaked and his clothes drenched at the edges, slowly creeping up as they absorbed more of the unending storm. His swords clanked against his scales as the sheathes swung to and fro at his side. His feat were sore and his muscles ached, he must have been walking for what seemed like days to reach Avalon's warf. "This better be worth it, he thought to himself.

Through all this he trudged on as the wind fought to steal his cloak from his very back. He had finally made it to the front gate. He passed with little issue from the guards standing at duty. They themselves were doing their best to keep out the draft. "Poor bastards, have it worse than I," Balciar thought as he walked into the city. He nostrils were immediately met by the mixture of fish and salt, quite unpleasant to someone who was not raised by the sea. He intentionally began to breath out of his mouth to stave off the onslaught of odors that seemed to permeate the city.

He was surprised to see that, even amongst the terrible storm that raged right above their heads, people were going on about their lives as if any other day. Store to store they walked grabbing items necessary for daily life. Odd creatures they were to Balciar who couldn't imagine planting roots in one play for the rest of his life.

Walking through the streets he could hear nothing but the drumming of water as it clashed against the limestone streets. It was almost pleasant not hearing the voices of those around him, just him and his thoughts. As pleasant as it was he was well past the point of joy when it came to rain and he sought out the nearest abode in which to try his bones.

After a few minutes of searching he came upon what looked to be a tavern, or a motley group of buildings that made a tavern. He looked through the windows and found his hypothesis was indeed correct, but honestly the only thing that he cared for at the moment was the roaring hearth inside. Above the door Balciar was barley able to make out the name, "Hollow leg tavern, interesting." He hastened his steps towards the doorway and headed inside.

Upon entering the tavern he quickly removed his hood to reveal his radiant golden scales that glistened in the light due to the rain. He could feel the heat rush over his face as the warmth began to brighten his mood. The smell of cooked fish brought him stomach to rumble as he realized he wasn't quite sure the last time he had a proper meal.

His attention snapped back to reality as the barkeep mentioned something about a wager. He looked towards the man. An elderly elf stood behind the counter with a mischievous grin. He walks up to the counter and takes a seat. Looking closely at the glass he sees what the man is talking about. "Well I never back down from a wager," He looks the man in the eye. "While I put this away can you get me an order of fish, should go hand in hand with a night full of drinks that are sure to come," he states with a sense of pride. He takes the glass handed to him and begins to drink without stopping until it is all gone.
 

 
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:30 PM
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The barkeep smile is crooked and there are gaps where teeth use to be as you accept his challenge. He slams a larger than normal tankard on to the bar to garner the attention of the other occupants. "This fierce looking Dragonborn has taken old Ankus up on his Urchin wine challenge. He announces to the tavern. You see many of the common people start to laugh and begin wagering among themselves whether you can do it. A few others smile to themselves and turn to watch the entertainment.

"You must be new in town, friend, I am Ankus Akalvin." He says with another gaping grin as he fetches a sea urchin from the glass tank with a pair of long wooden tongs and plops it into the tankard. He fetches a large wooden muddle that looks like it's been chipped at many times by the urchin's spines and begins bashing the live urchin in the bottom of the tankard. Crunch, crunch, squish.

Aknus turns and fills the large mug with red wine and mixes the concoction around before handing it to you. Large spines and pieces of urchin swirl around in the murky orange liquid. The tavern all seem to quiet down altogether as you grasp the tankard.

oocCorrect. I'll allow you to use your flame breath to gain advantage on the check. Roll another d20 and take the higher of the two rolls. The DC for the constitution save is 18 or you'll become violently ill for the next 20 seconds or so.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:12 PM
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Valanthe
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She'd just left the sea, thought Val as she cinched her hood tight over her face. And now the sea was coming to her. Those weeks spent stowed away on that rickety trading vessel, sharing sleeping quarters with rats and spiders. It was not how she liked to travel, particularly not the part where they'd almost been dashed upon Sailor's Grief or Widow's Reef or whatever the rocky outcropping protecting the Avalon's Wharf harbor was called. And so the first thing she'd done upon reaching dry land was seek out a place for a cold drink, a hot bath, and a warm bed. And then the weather rolled in.

She pushed open the door of the Hollow Leg Tavern and pushed back her hood. Her black hair was flat and matted against her bronze face. The cloak had been useless in this weather, of course, and she was drenched to the bone. But fires roared in the two hearths and the place had a cozy, slightly salty ambiance that was not altogether unpleasant.

She ignored the grinning peg leg at the bar. Urchin wine indeed. Wasn't that what she'd lived off on her trip here? What comes from an unsuccessful treasure hunt. She'd sold a few mundane trinkets at the dockside shops and had enough for a few nights of drinking. Maybe if she found some unlucky gamblers she could turn it into more. There was a fearsome figure, looked to be part dragon, taking the old elf up on his wager anyway. Hope that urchin wine doesn't go down to hard, or the peg leg's liable to become a torch.

Seating herself at a table, she flagged down the nearest waitress. You there! A plate of smoked fish and your finest ale. And a deck of cards, if you've got one. What's the action tonight? She shuffled the cards, carefully pretending not to notice the elf with the gold leaf tattoo and her goons. Something about her seems familiar... what's he got in those pouches?
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:02 AM
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Benthos
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Seated alone at the corner table in the Hollow Leg, Benthos sat up a little straighter when the other dragonborn came into the tavern. He started to say something, but held his tongue when Balciar took the old elf's wager. Benthos leaned back again and smiled, deciding to wait and see how his friend would fair. Bethos thought about getting involved in the betting, but he didn't want to bet against his friend, and he wasn't sure that betting on Balciar's success was a good idea.

While the old elf made the drink, Benthos became distracted by an elven woman talking about cards. Cards were usually a good bet for Benthos, and more entertaining besides. His first instinct was to get right up and go challeng her to a game, but then he reminded himself that Balciar still had a glass of urchin wine to deal with. He decided he'd best see how that turned out before getting involved in anything else. It didn't look like anyone else in the tavern would be able to move Balciar if he collapsed from urchin poison, so Benthos waited to see the results of his friend's wager.

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Old 04-14-2017, 03:41 AM
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Calder stood impassively at the prow of The Golden Fleece as the sailors around him bustled with activity, struggling somewhat to dock the ship during the mild storm. Procan must be displeased he thought to himself as he scanned the horizon, wondering who was foolish enough to set sail without making the appropriate offerings. He was one of the first to stride down the gangplank after they docked, turning to shout his farewell to the Captain over the howling winds and hammering rains. "May the sea winds forever fill your sails!" he shouted cheerfully to the soaked and cheerless crew.

He walked the streets of Avalon's Wharf, happily breathing in the sea air, even if it was filled with the lingering smell of fish. While he had not been born here, for the last decade this port city had been the one place he would always consistently return to between serving on different ships, so for that reason it felt like home. He strode confidently through the bustling streets, head held high and apparently not phased by the storm, his trident occasionally thumping into the cobbled streets like a wizard walking with a staff.

But Calder did not look like a wizard; he was tall for a human, with broad shoulders and a thick barrel chest and the few muscles that could be seen under the layers of leather and heavy chain armour he wore looked strong. He had long blond hair, frayed and bleached by constant exposure to the salty sea air, that he wore in braids. A long wolf-fur cloak was wrapped around his shoulders, looking considerably more tattered and discoloured than when it had been worn by an animal. Alongside his trident he had a well-used axe strapped to his hip and a round wooden shield was slung across his back, painted (somewhat messily) with the holy symbol of Procan, a golden trident piercing a cresting wave.

His wanderings led him straight to The Hollow Leg tavern, one of Calder's favourites and a place he often frequented during his stopovers in the city. Pushing open the door he sighed contently as he stepped into the warm room, glancing around at the other occupants, a few people standing out from the usual crowds. His eyes lingered particularly on the large draconic figure preparing to drink Ankus's infamous urchin wine. Who knew, maybe he would have the fortitude for it? Calder had seen many that did not, despite the courage provided by a night of drinking.

"I'll just have an ale for now" he told a passing serving girl as he took a stool by the bar, pointedly ignoring Ankus's wager. While waiting he again glanced around the room, this time taking in more details about those around him. Sat at the end of the bar he saw a ghost from his past, Coln Jorunn, a dwarf he had not seen in many years. He looked older, sure, just as Calder was sure he looked older too. "By Procan's beard!" he exclaimed, taking to his feet and moving to take a seat closer to his old friend. "Coln?" he asked, not sure if his eyes deceived him. "Is that truly you?"
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:49 AM
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Balciar
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Balciar was not impressed by Ankus' display of intimidation. He had drinken far worse in the past and was not about to allow this meager wager take away his pride. He grasped the glass by the handle and lifted it up, "Bottoms up!" He began to drink the glass until it was empty not even stopping to breath. As the urchins made their way into his gullet he could already begin to feel the adverse reaction. He closed his eyes and focused on himself for a moment. Without moving he was able to stir up his clans Breath Attack-Firesecret skill and a fire raged within him. It was by no means the most pleasant experience, but far better then what would occur if the urchins had a chance to work on him. A few moments later he opened his eyes, smiled, and proceeded to let out a large belch.

Looking at the barkeep he let out a laugh, "Nothing to it!" He put down the glass and motioned for his first of many free glasses of Ale. With a fresh drink in his hand he looked around the tavern, he noticed two dwarves down the line seemed to be meeting after a long absence. A strange elf dealing with business and...

"Benthos?", he hollered to the corner of the tavern. "How long have you been sitting there ya lizard!" Bringing his drink with him he trudged off to the corner to see his partner. "I was sure I had beaten you here! So I assume you saw that whole scene? Couldn't resist robbin a barkeep of a few drinks this night," He stopped upon meeting to embrace his comrade and take another gulp of his ale. "How were your travels? I hope this dampened weather hasn't brought down your mood!" He sat down next to his friend and looked around the bar as they spoke. After catching up Balciar motioned towards and Elf sitting alone across the bar with a deck of cards. "Feel like testing your luck tonight? I've got my drinks squared away for the night already!"

 
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:04 PM
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Coln paused, mid drink, as the dragonkin snatched the tankard of "wine" and tossed it back. The dwarf's eyes widened as he watched the stranger finish off the concoction in a single gulp and slam the empty mug down in triumph. Coln's right eyebrow arched upwards in curiosity as he spotted a thin trail of smoke escape from the dragonborn's nostrils. Hm! Smart lizard. Coln chuckled to himself while returning to his own drink.

As the victorious newcomer left his seat at the bar to join his friend in the corner, a seemingly excited individual took up the stool closest to Coln. A bit startled, though quickly recognizing the human's voice, the dwarf turned to find a figure of distant memory. "C-Calder!?" He exclaimed, nearly choking on the swig of ale he had taken just moments before. "I thought you to be dead! I saw the sea devour you whole with me own eyes! Tell me brotha', how is it that you're still breathin'?" Coln could hardly contain his disbelief as he stumbled over his words while reaching up to clasp his friend's shoulder, partly in greeting, but mostly to reassure himself that this wasn't some kind of phantom before him.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:54 PM
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Thuldur
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Sitting silently with his hood up near the the fireplace closest to the entrance, Thuldur's eyes were transfixed on the doorway. Any minute now, Three Toed Kiber or any of his goons from the Black Coin would be storming in looking for him, swords drawn. He'd have enough time to take out one, maybe two before they reached his table.

His bow rested in front of him, his left hand resting on it. A mug of ale sat stagnant beside him. It wasn't often that Thuldur wasn't drinking. Maybe his subconscious was preventing it, since it was his fondness of libations that got him into this mess in the first place.

Not many scaleskins around here. He thought to himself as his eyes darted to the bar. He remembered his first time drinking that repugnant wine. He remembered the second time too. Neither ended well. He might be willing to try a third time if he didn't have a bounty on his head. No need to draw attention to myself now.

It wasn't until a tall man began speaking to a dwarf that Thuldur's interest was truly piqued. Did he say Coln?
He had thought the Dwarf looked familiar, but he never expected to see family at this port. And last he remembered, Coln cast aside his family name to set sail on the high seas. Which means he must have a boat. And an easy ride out of town.

Cousin Coln? Thuldur slid out of his chair and threw his bow over his shoulder. By the Gods, I never thought I'd see your face again. Or be so happy as to see it. He hardly noticed that he seemed to be interrupting a reunion with an old friend. It's me, Thuldur. You know, Myra's boy. I haven't seen you since we went with your Ma to see you off when you sailed from home. He patted him on the shoulder while glancing at the door. Is the ship here? Can we go see it? I haven't sailed much. Never had the taste for the salt like you did. But if you aren't doing anything tonight...
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:07 AM
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When Balciar called his name, Benthos grinned broadly. "I did indeed see that scene," he replied to Balciar's question. "And quite entertaining it was, too." Standing up, Benthos opened his arms wide and embraced his friend, clapping him hard on the back. I'm glad to see you finally made it here, and equally glad that urchin wine has left you none the worse. I may not be the smartest of my clan, but I'm smart enough to know the limits of my stomach. Good to see your constitution is as mighty as always."

Once seated, Benthos answered his friend's questions congenially. "My travels weren't much to speak of," he replied. "Boring and wet, but nothing an islander such as myself can't handle." As their conversation continued, Benthos periodically eyed the other patrons in the room, several of which seemed to draw his attention. "I'm always up for a game of cards," he replied to Balciar's inquiry on that topic, "though I've just barely got enough to ante in tonight."

Before he could continue, a cacophony of dwarf voices began bellowing at each other. Benthos looked their way and squinted at the two dwarves in question, and then at the fur-clad human who seemed somehow involved as well. "I think I sailed with that human in the wolf pelt," he said to Balciar, "before you and I met. Likes to shout at storms, as I recall - but the storms seem to listen. I guess it's true what the humans say - you never know who will turn up in Avalon's Wharf."

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Old 04-15-2017, 03:37 PM
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"Thuldur?" Coln blinked in surprise at the hooded dwarf coming his way and looked back to Calder with a smile, "It would seem that today is one of reunions, brotha'." Coln spun around on the wooden bar stool to face them both and continued, "This here's me cousin, Thuldur!"

With a look of disbelief still present on Coln's face, he turned to his kin and answered, "Blast, it's been nearly ten years hasn't it?" He trailed off and paused for a moment, briefly replaying the day he left home in his mind while following Thuldur's gaze to the door. Retrieving himself from the depths of his own memory, Coln snapped back into the present moment as Thuldur asked about a ship. "Forgive me cousin, but I've not been sailin' much lately on account of me leg." A somber look swept across Coln's face as he glanced down at his right leg and attempted to massage away the persistent dull ache. "Been about six years now, if I'm not mistaken. Tell me, how's it you came to be here and why the interest in settin' sail? Have you foolishly given up your name to see the world as well?"
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:49 PM
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As Coln clasped his shoulder, years of memories came flooding back to Calder from their time together on The Cissonius, the vast majority of them happy ones. They looked like an odd pairing, but half a decade ago the two had been almost inseparable friends, before the storm had torn them apart. Calder mirrored the dwarf's gesture, clasping his shoulder before pulling him in for a quick embrace, oblivious to anyone that might be watching.

"I thought I was to die that day too" he said, his smile fading somewhat as he thought back to the terrible storm that had almost taken his life. "I think I would have done too, had Procan not answered my prayers, dragging me from the depths before I became food for his sharks. To tell you the truth, I don't really know why I'm alive, but you won't hear me complain about it!" He took a large gulp of his ale as his jovial mood returned. "There's so much to catch up on, but tell me, how do you find yourself here? I've seen a few of the old crew working new ships and they all told me you had disappeared after the storm. A few even said old Radun had kicked you out?" His eyes glinted with malice at the thought, as if he didn't want to to believe his friend had been treated in such a way.

A look of annoyance was clearly visible on his face as Thuldur interrupted their conversation, but it softened as it became apparent he also knew Coln. "Well met, Thulder" he said, extending his hand as way of introduction. "I'm Calder, an old friend of your cousin. It would seem today truly is a day for reunions" he said cheerfully, waving over one of Ankus's serving girls "and a day for celebrations. More ale" he ordered, gesturing to all three of them, "and these ones are on me."

As they waited for their ales he looked around the tavern at the other guests and his gaze faltered on one of the dragonborn pair, the one that had not tried to stomach Ankus's urchin wine, who looked somewhat familiar. He raised his drink in an uncertain greeting; Calder found himself meeting a lot of people and was never truly certain who he recognised, but there was no harm in being polite if he was wrong. "What are your plans for tonight?" he asked the two dwarves, nodding toward what was seemingly a game of cards being prepared. "A game could be a good way to spend a few drinks as we become reacquainted."

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Old 04-17-2017, 04:29 PM
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Val looked around at the crowd in the tavern. Everyone here seems to know each other but me. Normally such a situation would set off her alarms, but her recent travels had wizened her to how traveling the seas together could make for strong companionships. Perhaps these fellows had all just walked off the same boat. Which was fine with her. She looked up at the two dragonborn and the salty, solemn fellow who had congregated around her table. Val didn't discriminate in who she took money from.

Hello there! Always happy to share a game among fine folk such as yourselves. You all know dragon rummy? One copper a point, I'm not looking to send anyone to the poor house. She looks around. What are your names? Or should I call you Stormy, Scaly, and, err, Urchin?

As she shuffles the cards and sets up the game, she carefully observes the merchandise deal going on across the tavern. Do I know that half-elf? What is it that guy is pulling out of his pockets?


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Old 04-17-2017, 07:07 PM
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Thuldur
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Let's just say I've worn out my welcome. Thuldur let out a half smile, concealing the fear in his voice.

He took Calder's hand and shook it with a firm grip. Three is better than one, in case they do show up. Buying drinks for a Dwarf? I hope you have a deep coin purse lad! His hearty laugh filled the room as he was finally starting to loosen up a bit.

If you learn one thing about me tonight, it'll be that I can't turn down a game of chance. Thuldur was still laughing a bit as he responded to Calder's offer to play cards. If the three of them will have us, I say we pull up a chair. He nodded at Val, wondering if she recognized him from the other night when he lost everything he had and then some to Three Toed Kiber. He was almost positive she was there that evening.
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