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  #46  
Old Dec 31st, 2019, 01:19 PM
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Ravi Mudbelle
Female Strongheart Halfling Artificer
 


The halfling didn't make it too far from the bar before the inspector spoke up to clarify his intent. Halting her progress after the blue man she stood to be lectured as the drivel spewed forth from the wizard's mouth. Absently sipping on her mead Ravi simply nodded a few times until her throat was cleared before she let out a drawn out "Ohhh." He seemed like the smart type so she was likely in the wrong as was often the case when she decided to open her mouth.

The word on sending Mal in to handle their possible quarry upstairs lit the flame of excitement in the small one. Ready to cheer for her friend being the one to venture forward ahead of everyone else she paused as Leather Pants began to speak up, even calling her by her name. Not too sure what was truly unfolding before her all the halfling could do was watch intently while sipping on the mead.

It was like watching a carriage wreck.

She should've ordered food for this show.

Sonya then took off after blue man while the inspector had an angered expression about him. Craving for more drama but knowing this wasn't the time Ravi looked to her friend playing the lute masterfully as he always had. One more "sip" of mead and a relieved sigh "Sounds like you're our ace in the hole, Mal!" the words filled with excitement as to what this party combination might bring next. "If there was ever someone who could talk down a fierce lady it'd be you, yeah?" an odd way to encourage someone but it could also be the mead already beginning to talk.

Unsure if everyone should head up or if Shaw had the right of it and they'd "spook" the woman the alchemist looked about unsure "So are we all going? Or some of us going - or just Mal?"

Another long "sip" of mead.
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  #47  
Old Dec 31st, 2019, 03:34 PM
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The Elves' Song
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Alan laughed heartily at Edmund's question, about to answer before Ravi and Mal answered for him. "Indeed," he responded to Mal. "Any doogooders in this town have bigger problems on their hands than a ghost who ain't done no harm to no one. Besides, too many in Baldur's Gate can empathize with her plight - a love taken too soon," he added on, a wistful smile gracing his handsome elvish features before winking at the investigator, "Even if 'ey tried, Skoona would put a stop to it fast enough."

"Tarina's not one to hide," Alan answered as he filled a new glass for Ravi, Mal's playing filtering through the room in the background, "chances are she's up there, buried deep in a game of Baldur's Bones - likely winnin' too. Not often you see someone as lucky as she is." Something about the sly way he smiles as he spoke implied that perhaps there was more than just luck to it. "It's likely the others have seen her round here before. Long, wavy brown hair. Brightly colored clothes. Stands out in a crowd. She won't be hard to find. That is, if you really want to find her," he said, his voice lowering and his eyes darting to Sonya briefly, "from my experience, nothing good comes from chasing women who are too beautiful or too lucky - even less so if they're both."

As if summoned, Sonya broke into the discussion, her barbed words lashing out towards Edmund. Alan let out a snort of a laugh and wiped up the spilled ale that Ravi had spit up, giving the halfling a skeptical look as he picked up the gold piece. Cosmas throwing his own gold piece on the bar for a dinner earned an outright astonished look from the tavern owner who moved to cover it with his own hand in an attempt to shield it from view from other patrons, only to have Mal reach it first. When Mal held it out to him again, Alan smiled and nodded. "You lot are looking for trouble, ain't you? Can't go throwing around gold pieces in this part of town like they're nothing. People watch... and talk. You want o-" he began to ask the aasimar, but Cosmas had already begun walking towards the stairs. Alan shook his head. "Right, then. I guess I'll get him something to eat," he said, giving Ravi her change and giving Mal Cosmas'. He pressed the 8 silver for changesilver pieces into the bar top as he slid them over to Mal. "An honest boy deserves honest change, right?" Alan offered to the musician before lifting his fingers off of them and pocketing the two gold pieces. "Better teach him the ways of the Gate 'fore he ends up hanging from it," he warned before moving back into the kitchen.

With Sonya and Cosmas moving wards the stairs and Alan in the backroom, Shaw, Edmund, and Ravi couldn't help but have their attention drawn to their musician friend whose fingers danced on the strings as if guided by some otherworldly power. Several of the other patrons stopped their games to turn towards him, hearing the song they were so accustomed to, but in a way that they'd never experienced before. Eyes turned towards the ghost, waiting with bated breath to see if she would join in. She had stopped her wandering and instead stared at Mal as if she'd only just noticed him there before, as if only just noticing that anyone was there. A sorrowful smile emerged on her lips as she glided over the floor towards the half-elf.

The ethereal elven woman stopped a few feet from him and shook her head so gently that it appeared almost as if she did so in slow motion. She reached out and let her hand hover above his until his fingers stopped plucking at the strings and settled to rest. With a heart-breaking smile, she began to sing once again of Elturel and she passed her ghostly fingers through the strings of his lute once, as if coaxing him to play along with her. Slowly, as her singing continued, she faded away while her disembodied voice continued on until the song's end.

Tempting Fate
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As Cosmas and Sonya ascended the narrow wooden staircase, the song the began below was drown out by uproarious laughter and eager conversation. Several rats scurried away from their footsteps as they turned into a wide room with two long tables sitting in the middle of it. Both tables were occupied with several people either playing or watching what seemed to be a rather interesting game of dice. A woman in richly colored garments more akin to the fashions of a distant land sat with her back to the stairs, stacking coins before her while a punch-drunk shipwright with no eyebrows scowled back at her. Next to him, jovial, strong-jawed half-orc let out a bellowing laugh which earned him his own scowl of his own. At the end of the table, a man in worn clothing sat with a small leather book, furiously crossing out and rewriting, his attention so focused on his work that he didn't even notice the newcomers.

Several others crowded another worn table nearby, deep in conversation, while another woman in a colorful cape sat lounging in one of the two couches that sat pressed up against the white-washed walls of the upper level. Many thick, wooden doors, several with locks, led to various sleeping quarters or private rooms on each of the walls of the room. While the music still drifted up from the bottom level, it was muffled and became obvious to the two aasimars that the patrons who lingered weren't tourists who came to this place for the elf's singing.

A woman with short copper colored hair pulled out a coin purse and tossed it to the table, grabbing the attention of the group that had just ended their game.

"Any room for another?" she asked with an all too-eager look in her eye.

The scowling man with no eyebrows grunted and pushed his chair back, moving the table itself a few inches in the process. Excited, the new woman swapped tables as her previous companion rolled her eyes and resumed rolling a silver coin between her knuckles as the thug came to sit nearby.

She shot him a barbed look. "What do you want?" she asked as he plopped down, his chin resting on his fist. He didn't answer, his attention instead drawn to Cosmas standing at the top of the stairs.




 
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Last edited by DaysUntold; Dec 31st, 2019 at 04:29 PM.
  #48  
Old Dec 31st, 2019, 08:05 PM
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Malconus Galt
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She flowed like a snow melt stream across the room toward Mal. There was no air left in his lungs as she shook her head and crushed his heart. He felt the miserable organ take a lone shuddering beat like the sigh of a forlorn lover before stopping entirely for an endless moment as her hand passed through his. The tendons in his neck danced and his nostrils flared as he took a silent, swift breath to start it beating again. Ice. His veins were full of it. He felt as if he could breathe the frost of dragons. Another shuddering breath as she smiled at him and the tears he held at her song were loosed. It amazed him that they did not freeze on his cheeks. Her hand floated through his again and some voice came to him that was not hers and was not his own. Muffled as through and ocean it laughed. A dark and pitiless sound. He knew the voice though the words were lost to an unfathomable gulf between them. He knew it because he had heard it before. He tried everything in his power to block it out but he could not for it was inside him. In the end, she was his salvation.

The lady sang her song again and compelled by nothing but her desire he played. The voice faded with her sound. Other instruments would do it better service he knew. But a player did what a player could with the instrument gifted to him. Mal played for her and her alone. The rest of the room faded until only her voice and the strings under his fingers were what were real. He didn't even know when her spectral form faded from sight. It was only when the last notes touched the air and her haunting voice fell away that he realized she was gone. He wiped his eyes and found himself looking at Ravi. He laughed uncomfortably at his state and shrugged at her with a weak smile. Looking down, Gregorio's fine instrument was blotted with dark spots where his tears had fallen. They, too, reminded him of other days and other droplets. The strings squeaked as his calloused fingers zipped up the fingerboard along them. He bowed to the ghost who was no longer there as if finishing a dance with her and twirled his hand both in a flourish and in the motions of a Messagespell.

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  #49  
Old Jan 1st, 2020, 06:04 AM
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Edmund Trellian
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As Edmund listens to Mal perform what one regular whispers to him is the song the ghost usually sings, he notices that Sonya and Cosmas are heading upstairs. After mulling things over for a moment he decides there is no better than a 50/50 chance they manage to find this contact of the captains and get on her good side. He sighs, sensing he may need to do some damage control.

Something the barkeeper says does spark a thought. Tarina seems to be a regular here, and a gambler. And either blessed by Tymora or someone not above cheating at the game to make her seem like a favorite of the goddess of luck. Either is interesting, but the latter might give them leverage, should it be true.

As the bard finishes his tune, Edmund grabs his glass again and heads upstairs. "I’ll make sure they don’t get into trouble," he mumbles as he slowly makes his way up the stairs. Once there, it isn’t hard to divine who Tarina might be. And judging by the size of the pile of coins in front of her, she’s clearly living up to her reputation.

The lanky wizard moves into the room and maneuvers to a spot next to the wall where he has an uninterrupted view of Tarina and the people she’s playing. Best let Sonya and Cosmas take the lead if they want it. Investigation check observing the game, looking for cheaters, was a 14He’s content watching the game of chance and trying to figure out if Tarina is trying to cheat or not.

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  #50  
Old Jan 1st, 2020, 08:25 AM
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Malconus Galt
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Mal hung his lute back over his shoulder and looked at the two remaining friends. "I guess we should make our way up. I'm just waiting on a message from Sonya." He cupped his ear toward the stairs and smiled at Shaw as he leaned casually against the bar. "Your idea was a good one, Shaw. We'll get a report back on what our contact is drinking and we can bring up a second round. Sorry to waste time playing as I do. Sometimes it is irresistible. It is just as well that our bladed warriors lead the way though. Some people don't take a musician like myself seriously and this is a serious matter. Ready to head up? I should get Sonya's message in a moment."

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Old Jan 1st, 2020, 07:17 PM
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Cosmas crested the top of the stairs, accompanied by the ashen-hair swordswoman. The floor above seemed a somewhat smaller, more intimate space populated by raucous voices and personalities. One of the men stared at Cosmas as he took in the room. When the knight noticed, he stared back, wondering what the man was looking for. There were a handful of woman as well as men, and Cosmas remembered that the person they were to find in this tavern was a lady. If he remembered her name, he might have simply asked for her, but he couldn't recall what the captain had said, so instead Cosmas approached the table where the dice game was being played.

His gut was still warmed by the wine from below. "Pardon," He said, leaning a hand on the table as he walked by and taking a look at the foreign looking woman. She could be the one they sought. His gaze turned to the sullen looking girl who sat with the man who had stared at him. She wore an eye-patch and played with a coin. Now she looked like a spy. Cosmas turned his body and headed to her table. "Hail. Do you know the captain?"


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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 04:42 PM
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Shaw
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Shaw slowly drained the last of his cup, then set it down on the bar and turned to face Mal. He shrugged expressively. "Yeah, we can head up. I just wanted to give them a chance to introduce us. They just needed a few moments to go up and give Tarina a second to get accustomed to the idea. Even Blue couldn't screw that up."

He moved away from the bar, picking up his load once more and gesturing towards Ravi and Mal. "I'll be right behind you."
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  #53  
Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 05:59 PM
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Sonya Blackwood
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Sonya ascended the stairs, shooing a rat with her boot as she did, and followed behind the blue, naïve child-- he certainly behaved as such even if she didn’t know his age. She pursed her lips once her gaze settled upon the room at the top. Her appraising eye overlooked every man and woman, deciding on who was who.

Over all, the room was as intimate as it was dangerous. How thrilling! Sonya looked for the woman who matched the description of Tarina. Sonya stepped forward only a few paces before she froze in mid-stride, her jaw setting and her face in full flush. A harsh exhale escaped from her lips as sudden, inexplicable anger wrote over her expression as a whisper spoke inside her head.
Sonya radiated a deathly aura, her grip on Cosmas’s shoulder vice-like as her delicate nails, now not-so delicate, dug into flesh. “Boy,” She seethed between her teeth. “Have you ever considered the reason why everyone tells you ‘you’ll be the first to die’? Perhaps give it some thought before you open your mouth.”

She shot the woman with an eyepatch a tight smile. “Drinks go straight to the head, you know. Doesn’t help if one’s a dullard, amiright?” With that, Sonya quickly drug Cosmas away, the grip on his arm unrelenting.

As she pulled at him, she gave into a harsh whisper as she berated him. “Who says ‘hail’ as a greeting to these likes, you dolt? ‘Do you know the captain’? Bah! We’re in mixed company. Are you looking to get strung up by your intestines?”

Good gods almighty, this was going to be more of a challenge that she had thought. Cosmas was a walking disaster waiting to happen. She huffed a breath, forcing her shoulders down. She ran a hand through her tangled ponytail soothingly, then caught sight of the Watch-mongrel. Sonya pointed at her own eyes, then jutted her fingers at Cosmas. Watch him.

She shook her head imperceptibly before she stepped up to the table where Tarina was. “Care if I join in?” Sonya asked. She had the thought of taking a seat before being invited, but so much had gone wrong already.


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  #54  
Old Jan 3rd, 2020, 08:42 AM
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Malconus Galt
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Mal's smile turned to annoyance and he stuck his finger in his pointy ear and shook as if trying to get it to stop ringing. "Lady she's not," he said with a slight frown. But laying his eyes on Shaw and Ravi made him smile again. Most of the group who had been thrown back together felt their conspiracy had been a mistake of circumstance, perhaps something to regret. But Mal had no qualms about the result. Tract had been a monster and one Shaw seemed motivated to destroy. He respected that sort of dogged conviction. And Ravi never disappointed. She was clever. He wanted to watch her develop into a full fledged alchemist and see what she might accomplish. To that end, he was resolved to protect her. Their work was dangerous here and whoever assigned them to it obviously knew of their actions on the street that moonless night. Maybe they wanted to test them. Maybe they wanted them all dead.

The bard put his hand on his scabbard and pushed the basket of his rapier up with a thumb to test that it hadn't been gummed up by spilled drink. The black blade slid out with a gentle tug and he slapped it back in place with his hand resting on it like the head of a scepter. "An ale, Alan. Make it a half yard...2.5 pintsSkoona-sized flagon if you would. It might need to be shared." He slid his gold over more circumspect and collected his change in a similar manner less a silver for the barkeep. "Thanks for the information. If you're ever in the need, I'll repay the favor in kind if I'm able." He put his change in his purse along with his copper badge. Mal had no intentions of announcing his affiliation at the moment.

Holding the oversized mug carefully, he patted Shaw on the shoulder and nodded to Ravi. "We should be on our way. The blue horn of young Cosmas may have blown to announce our arrival." He winked, but the hurry in his step toward the stairs hinted at a less than casual urgency that they rejoin the Fists pro tempore.

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  #55  
Old Jan 3rd, 2020, 03:01 PM
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Ravi Mudbelle
Female Strongheart Halfling Artificer
 

When the ghost sang it was calm yet creepy because - well, y'know...

ghosts...

Yet Mal taking up her song was like watching a ballad one that even the dead seemed to appreciate. As it were many times before the young halfling stood there, drink in hand, incapable of actually bringing the edge of the cup to her lips for fear that even the slightest action would disturb the concentrations she now held. Malconus had Ravinia's attention whole heartedly filling the heart with the longing of skill that he had developed over the many years of playing and recalling the few stories she was able to pry from her mother's lips of her father and the viol he played.

Were the alchemist to take a sip of her mead now she would possibly miss out on a note that was playing so lovely that tears threatened to well in her eyes. Yet, she knew she could not cry here - not like she would commonly due after numerous drinks in the lass' stomach and a tune from the half-elf in the background, no.


They were here for a reason.


With the final note Ravinia's one real friend looked to her with a slight smile and a shrug and all she could do was clap. Quickly placing the mug in her mouth to hold with her teeth, ignoring the counter and chairs right there that would've sufficed, she clapped for her friend - even if it meant being the only one to do so and while looking the fool.

"WHUAT WHAA AH GWAAT SWONG!" Ravi exclaimed through her teeth feeling the weight becoming almost unbearable forcing the halfling to halt her applause and retrieve the mug from her jaw. A quick movement check of her jaw to make sure it was alright followed by a solid nod at the suggestion they head up.

"He announced our arrival?! We were being so discrete though!" the halfling chirped in blissful ignorance at the look she was surely getting from Alan and Shaw to this statement. Nevertheless, the shorten legs of the alchemist happily carried her along after Mal, her drink still in hand, to head up stairs to join the others now that they broke the ice.
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  #56  
Old Jan 6th, 2020, 10:52 AM
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Music to read by

Malconus
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Mal crested the stairs with Ravi and Shaw and took in the long room of the second floor. Buildings were just buildings to the man, no matter how opulent or destitute. But it always amazed him to see how people transformed a space. One day might hold a jovial atmosphere of a party. Another may give a sense of somber reflection, each group or pairing huddled in their own pensive orbit. And another still might be a lone couple, filling the space with the charge of their sexual energy. It was important for an entertainer to read a room. This room felt at once languid and on edge as gamblers tended to be. He saw Sonya settled in to a table with Cosmas by her and Edmund observing from the side but he didn't acknowledge them. Instead the half-elf spotted the woman in the colorful cape and headed her way. He didn't know which of the gambling women was their contact, but he knew this one on the couch was not her. Sonya was trying her own way to make contact, so Mal left her to it. There were too many people in the room to go about getting her secret information out at the moment.

He slowed as he made it to the couch and gave a kind smile with a quirk of his brow asking if he could join her. Without objection, Mal slid into his corner, moving his instrument and sword out of the way like a courtesan adjusting his cape to avoid wrinkles. The couch was small and their legs couldn't help but touch though he tried to give her as much room as he could. "Malconus," he offered and crossed an ankle over his knee creating a cradle to rest his lute in. Lounging in a manner similar to her, Mal plucked at the 6 courses, tuning the 12 strings as he listened to her reply. He watched where Ravi went and how Shaw was going to navigate this situation from his new perch, purposefully ignoring the gambling tables and their occupants.

"Have you heard The Lady's newest song?" he asked her as his fingers practiced the repeated progression of the song's stanzas. The sound from the lute was muted in his lap and as he began to sing his voice matched the volume, lending only a background song to the room. His version was O sing a song of Elturel
Of water, woods, and hill
The sun dawns on her ruddy cliffs
And fields green and still.
This land of long-abiding joy
Home of the strong and brave
Renowned by all, across the realms,
And never once a slave.

O sing a song of Elturel
When foes are at her door
Her fields torn by cloven feet
From some infernal shore.
Arise the mighty Hellriders
Take up your swift, keen swords
Then charge into the hellish fray
And scatter devil hordes.

O sing a song of Elturel
And when the night does fall
Sleep safe beneath Companion’s light
Until the dawn does call.
We’re bound by mortal covenant
That only ends with death
And so we’ll sing of Elturel
Until our final breath.
in common and he drew the words out into a slower tempo, allowing those he was now travelling with to hear the words of the song for the first time and glean their import. As he concluded the song, he allowed himself a moment to look over at Cosmas and his heart went out to the young refugee.

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  #57  
Old Jan 8th, 2020, 01:06 PM
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Win Some, Lose Some
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Tarina smiled and motioned at the seat across from her that was vacated not long before.

"Of course," she said. Her eyes made a wide scan of the room, landing on the Watch Investigator for a heartbeat before moving on. A quick jostling of the dice and coinage on the table and it was clear again. Tarina produced a vibrant crimson bag with black ribbon ties that pulled to cinch it closed, out of which she pulled out three red, well-worn dice and slid them across the table to where Sonya was sitting down.

"Have you played before? I've seen you here before, but I don't believe we've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I'm Tarina," she said, distributing dice to the other players as well. "This is Rahima and the slack-jawed orc sitting next to you is Whaul," she continued, offering introductions for the others. The half-orc simply laughed and rubbed his jaw with an over-sized palm as if accepting a compliment.

"I don't believe in taking advantage of new players, so I'll let you set the ante," Tarina offered with a warm smile.

Rahima ran a hand through her short, copper hair and made a sound that was halfway between a scoff and a chuckle. "Don't let her fool you, lass," the woman teased, rolling one of the dice between her thumb and forefinger, "she'll take anything she can from anyone she can."

Sonya swung a long leg over her seat as she sat down, blowing the stray hairs from her face that were perpetually in the way. She should really invest in new hair products. The weather was causing such problems to an already problematic problem. Wow. That was a mouthful. She made a small face to herself at her thoughts, thinking that if Mal were to hear them, he wouldn’t have used a sentence with as many ‘problem’ based words in it.

Bah! Stop thinking about that bastard. He isn’t in your head anymore!

"I’ve played once or twice," Sonya answered,as she cracked a smile. “But I’m always the one that needs to be reminded of the rules, you know?” With a chuckle, she leaned her cheek into her hand, "No, we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting. I’m Sonya." The white-haired woman then nodded her greeting at the others at the table.

She straightened and slapped down five silver, "Now, let’s get this game rolling!"

Tarina's grin widened and she pulled out five of her own silver, pushing them to the middle alongside Sonya's. "You must be confident to make such a bet when you can't remember the rules," she observed amiably.

"Luckily," she started, "it isn't hard. I host. We each roll three dice at the same time. Starting from my left each of you will have a chance to get as close to twenty-one as possible. You go over? You lose. Whoever gets closest wins the whole pot. Got it?" Without waiting for an answer, she nodded to the others who each grabbed and rolled their respective dice. Rahima appeared especially pleased with her score and, despite her low start, Tarina didn't seem concerned at all.

Rahima leaned forward, her elbows firmly pressed against the table as she held up her left forefinger and held out her right palm. Tarina released the die a couple inches above the woman's hand and Rahima barely seemed to touch it, grabbing it so swiftly and letting it roll off of her fingers in a way that made it almost seem as if the die was avoiding any touch of her skin. It rolled and settled on a three and Rahima let out a short laugh.

"Maybe your luck is finally up Tarina," she teased before leaning back against her chair once more, one of her arms hanging over the back. "I'll stand. All you," she said, nodding to Sonya with a wink. The half-orc simply huffed through his slightly slack jaw.

"What can I say?" Sonya said, wearing a half-cocked smile, "sometimes I get lucky, rules or no. Confidence is key."

While confidence was key, luck happened to play a good part in it. Particularly when it came to a game of chance. Sonya made a face, something between a scowl of annoyance and a frown of disappointment at her rolls. Sonya never did have a good poker face.

The white-haired woman glanced up when Mal finally strode up the stairs. Finally. Ugh...How she loathed the idea what she was relieved to see his face and to feel the need for help after a rocky start with Cosmas. For a moment, her gaze followed him as he sat beside the woman at the couch. Sonya had seen that woman, had thought her interesting, but dismissed her in favor of trying to stay focused.

Her etiquette teacher had often shamed her for her scattered focus and inattention for detail. Sonya had found it all frightfully boring and would've preferred to skip the lessons and go straight to 'play with her swords.' She huffed. Then, realized something her mother had said to her bullheaded daughter, once. It wasn't a welcomed memory, but in that moment Sonya understood the wisdom of it. 'Don't chase after a carriage, darling. There will always be another one.'

Sonya smoothed back her hair, realizing that in order to win this game, she might have to lose it first. But, be damned, she would try and keep going-- just to see what would happen. "I'll roll." She was probably not getting the point of her mother's words, not really as her stubbornness clung tight as reached for her dice to roll again.

"I like her," Rahima said with a wink.

Tarina laughed and set the bag of dice in the center of the table for Sonya to help herself, knowing that she would need to roll more than once if she wanted to win.

Sonya's smile grew once again at Rahima's words. "You ain't so bad yourself," she said as she reached into the bag and took out three more dice.

Sonay shook them in her hand first before letting them drop to the table. Her eyes followed as they skittered across the table. She pursed her lips when they stilled. Not at a bad number, but it wasn't quite enough. Still, she felt better that she had tried and had gotten close to goal, rather than waste away at a piss poor number waiting for a carriage, as it were.

Sonya shrugged a shoulder, "Mighty fine for someone who's only played a few times."
Whaul, the half-orc with an almost sickly green shade of skin, grunted in amusement.

Tarina smiled and gently prodded. "Well," she said, "you might as well try your hand at another throw. You might lose if you roll, but you've already lost if you stand. Sometimes, there's no better option than to risk it all."Her smile took on a playful feel.

The half-orc frowned and he leaned back in his chair, bringing the front legs off of the floor. "Cheating," he complained.

"Not cheating," Tarina scolded, "teaching. Or else was it cheating when we helped you in the beginning?"

Whaul let out a huff through clenched front teeth and leaned forward once more, letting the legs slam into the wooden floor. Rahima simply let out another laugh.

Sonya shrugged and responded to Tarina as she wore an equally playful look, "I suppose you're right." Then she raised a delicate brow toward Whaul, her lips pressed together and puckered in pout. "Isn't it a little rude to call a girl a cheater?"

In the end, she only beamed a smile at Whaul, feeling far more amused than offended. Sonya plucked out a single dice and let it roll across the table. She let out a breath at the number. It was a bust.

Sonya huffed, "Might be the first time I've been disappointed by a high number."

She shrugged a shoulder once more as she scooped her hair from one shoulder to the other. "Well, that was fun." Sonya's eyes settled on Tarina, "But, sadly I can't keep playing. Unfortunately, I have a job. Do you know a certain one-eyed man? I'm working for him at the moment, and he pointed me in this direction if you get my meaning."


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  #58  
Old Jan 8th, 2020, 03:22 PM
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Ravi Mudbelle
Female Strongheart Halfling Artificer
 

The halfling mounted the top of the stairs nearing the halfway mark of the mead handed to the alchemist not long ago. Drinking greedily as if she were to lose this drink as she did the last.

The tip of her leather boot catching the wooden lip of the stairs sending the halfling stumbling forward to catch herself but not before spilling most of what mead remained onto her face and bangs. The dirty blonde hair of the artificer seeming more dirty than it was blonde under the conditions present as it traveled down the face towards her shirt collar or floor. "Really?!...really..." the tone went from shocked to unamused.

An immediate glance into the tankard to see what was left from the gaff gave her solace in that she didn't lose all of it. There was still some left, that wasn't currently on her person.

Viridian green eyes scanning the room, ignoring the wet sensation upon her face from the mead; it was cooling her in this warm place - why wipe it away now? Mal was, well... being Mal and already warming up the occupants of the room while the three that ventured up before they could were over near a table; Sonya, currently at said table rolling dice.


Ravi wanted in.


Eyes sparkling with each dice roll that hit the table.

Yet the table looked full.
Deflated she continued to scan until one individual caught her eye.

"Hey!~ What'cha writting?!" the words coming out of the halflings mouth in the most excited and curious manner she could muster approaching the man furiously writing in a leather book with a tankard in hand and wet complexion in part from the mead. "You writing dirty stuff?" a sip of what mead remained followed as the question fell off her tongue innocently yet loud enough for most to hear.
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Old Jan 9th, 2020, 08:47 PM
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The Elves' Song
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The room was silent for a long moment after the woman had faded into memory, where her song would no doubt remain for some time to come. Where her delicate, ghostly fingers had passed through the strings, they appeared brighter, lighter, almost as if they had just been cleaned. At least at first, until it became clear that they weren’t so much a different color as much as emitting a soft light. Within a moment, the effect spread up and down the length of the strings until eventually fading just like the woman who had caused it.

Slowly, conversation began again through the room, taking even longer before whispers once again became normal conversation. Alan simply looked at the bard and shook his head. "Well, I’ll be damned," he said with a smile, "you must be touched by Milil himself to deserve such attention. You even got the dead ones swooning over you." The man let out a laugh and shook his head once more, handing a large wooden mug to the half-elf.

"Don’t go messin’ up my tavern!" he called after them as the adventurers left to head upstairs.





The arrival of the two newcomers upstairs earned little in the way of attention, at least, until the Cosmas drew it upon himself. Several patrons looked him over, but none spared a second glance. As unique as his skin color was, it was far from the strangest thing people saw in a diverse city such as this. With his lost expression and seemingly innocuous question, many simply wrote him off as another naive refugee looking for a ship far away from the city that the gods had forsaken - and Elturel as well.

"You see that harbor out there?" said the woman with an eye patch. With a flash of her fingers the coin disappeared and a dagger appeared instead, pointing out and through the wall in the direction that the bay could be found. "All those ships there? Each and every one of them has a captain. Not to mention the poor deck scrubbers who claim to be one to make it into some naive maid’s bedchamber. If you’re looking for the latter, I’m sure Skrawldar here will put on a cap and call you Matey for the right amount of coin. Otherwise, I fear you’ll have to be a bit more specific," she said with a smug smile on her face. The man at the table with her laughed harder than the comment deserved and elbowed her arm, earning a dangerous look in his direction. When Sonya pulled him away, the woman simply mouthed a silent, ‘good luck.’

Edmund, however, garnered more than a few sideways glances and uncomfortable stares as he sat and eyed those within. Tarina’s eyes barely grazed the rather stern and proper looking man watching her movements, but it was enough and she deftly palmed the bag of dice that had been sitting before her. Another emerged to replace it in the blink of an eye, far too fast for anyone to notice unless they had been specifically looking for it.

The last three strangers made their way up the stairs in varying degrees of soddenness and the room suddenly grew much smaller, causing a degree of tension for a moment as if waiting for a spark to ignite. If there was any doubt as to what type of company they found themselves in were in, it was quickly extinguished in anyone who recognized the change in the air for what it was. The uneasiness vanished with Ravi’s unexpected and less-than-decorous accusation, especially with the brilliant shade of crimson that the man’s face turned immediately after. The entire room broke out in laughter and even the woman with the scar across her face and eye patch let out a low chuckle.

"I-" the man stammered, "I beg your pardon? I dare say it is none of your concern!"

Recognizing that his outrage was doing nothing to abate the amused looks that he was getting, his hue darkened and he slammed his book shut. "Not that I regard it as any of your business," he started once more, "but I happen to be making observations to be used as inspiration for my next script." He stood and straightened out his tunic. It was of fine material and make, at least at one point, but was several years out of fashion and beginning to look rather worn. Still, when he stood he did so with an air of self-importance that would have felt at home in the upper city or any stage.

"I believe," he said, trying to regain his dignity while gathering his things together, "that I have had about all the inspiration for a petulant child that I can handle for one evening. Good night."

Whaul roared with laughter once more which only served to hurry along the embarrassed playwright as he scurried down the stairs.

"He write dirty stuff," Whaul chuckled again, waiting patiently for his turn to roll.

Across the room, the woman sitting where the bard had turned his attention to returned the introduction. "Willow," she said. Her tone was not antagonistic, nor was it inviting. She listened respectfully, but seemed nowhere near as moved as Malconius himself had been. As he finished, she simply shook her head. "No, I can’t say that I have," she murmured. A sigh escaped her lips and she fiddled with a carved, wooden ring on her finger. "Just the same rumors as everyone else, not that one can believe anything they say. I know enough of the earth to know it doesn’t swallow cities whole," she said with little to no sympathy and obvious disdain. "They flood our gates, bringing fear and sickness with them, choking up the streets more than they already were and abusing the land that nourishes them."

The man sitting at the far table burped loudly and beamed with pride, pounding his fist against his chest as he raised his mug with the other, ale splashing from the side onto the table below. Willow scrunched her nose in disgust as she watched the display. For the most part, however, the scene in the room looked much the same as it had before he played, with no special mind paid to him afterwards, nor anyone looking especially moved as if they might have some experience or insight to offer.

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Out of the corner of his eye, Mal caught a subtle, but present, stiffening of Tarina’s back as she conversed with Sonya. Looking over to Edmund, it was clear that the investigator had noticed it too.

"It seems I have business to attend to," Tarina said after a small pause. The smile across her face was friendly, even if practiced, and the other two at the table were too disappointed in the loss of the game to notice the almost imperceptible change that had occurred.

"But-" Rahima started.

"I wouldn’t rob you of your opportunity to win some of Whaul’s fine coin. Instead I’m offering you the chance to make away with theirs as well," she said nodding towards the other table and giving her a wink. "Tell Skrawldar I’m financing this round. If you get him to play one he’ll end up throwing coin at you for the second."

Rahima, never one to give up an opportunity to gamble, displayed a sly smile and reached for the pile at the center of the table. She slid five coin back to Whaul and made her way to sit across from to the drunkard. "It’s your lucky night," she said, "I told Tarina that there’s no way in any of the nine hells that you best me two out of three. She thinks I’m full of sh*t and decided to fund your first round. You in?"

Alone at the table with Sonya now, Tarina spared a glance around.once more. "You aren’t the most subtle lot, are you?" she asked quietly, waiting for the game nearby to get underway. "I can’t tell if your goal is to get me killed or yourselves. If it’s the latter, I’d urge you to leave me out of it next time."

From the side, Edmund caught a flick of her wrist under the table that allowed a dagger to fall from beneath her sleeve and into her palm where she held it at the ready.

With the table next to them getting louder, Tarina leaned in and spoke more plainly. "What could Zodge possibly want that he had to send six of you for? I hope he knows he’ll be paying me back that five silver he just cost me."




 
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Last edited by DaysUntold; Jan 9th, 2020 at 08:53 PM.
  #60  
Old Jan 10th, 2020, 10:26 AM
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Ravi Mudbelle
Female Strongheart Halfling Artificer
 


The viridian green eyes of the alchemist gazed upon the playwright in sheer feigned innocence as the hue on his face traversed down the color scale to a darkened red. A slight smile on Ravi's face as the room erupted into laughter at the sake of the man just attempting to write.

As he spoke she did her best to (discord roll) Insight on pervwright: 8gauge the truth of the man yet the laughter was distracting. His words were interesting to the halfling, "inspiration", Ravi looked about the room at the company they shared.


Those gambling with the dice, the lady Mal was currently being Mal with, the blue guy, the inspector, Shaw...


Inspiration...

A "knowing" smile crept across her face but was dashed away by his words upon standing. "Oi! I ain't a kid! - I'm nineteen!" she cried holding the tankard of mead to her chest with both hands yet it was too late, the playwright was already on his way down the stairs. A low grumble from the sleight to her stature the alchemist rushed to the top of the stairs "Good luck with your smut! I hear leather is in!"

She was angry now. Bringing upon herself really, she went to drink some more from her tankard only to get a small bit of liquid. Ravi looked into the tankard to see but the few droplets that clung in a tiny pool at the base of it.

"Damn, already out?" she muttered to herself looking about for a barmaid.
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