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  #16  
Old Nov 12th, 2019, 01:51 AM
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Shamira
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Shamira listened patiently as Bran vented his frustration and regret. She felt the same, overall, though it seemed the kind-hearted cleric felt it more deeply. She simply nodded and took another spoonful of stew when he asked if she would aid him in destroying the obvious evil that lay upon the land.

She was caught with the stew in her mouth when Bran rose to go burn the tattered cloth from the dress. This was not the proper time or place to go burning the recovered clothing of a girl they failed to save, but between the hot stew in her mouth, and the cleric's determination, Shamira was only able to manage a stifled "Ommrgh..." before the cleric had nodded his assent to the offer of a room and taken off to perform his own farewell ceremony. Drinking more ale to cool and wash down the stew, Sharmira sighed and nodded to the barkeep when he came around. "Two rooms for us, if you can," she said, laying silver down to pay. "If it's getting full, one room will suffice." She trusted the cleric to mind his manners, after all.

It was just as she was acknowledging Bran's manners that she glanced past the nodding barkeep, who was simply relieved and happy to have paying customers, to note Bran stopping to chat up the redheaded woman who'd so effortlessly commanded the attention of every male in the room...and even a few women. Shamira was simultaneously annoyed and jealous at the woman's easy charm and beauty, doubly so since the cleric had apparently decided to spontaneously forget his angst over the dead noble girl over the chance to chat up a local celebrity. Sighing again, she tugged at the barkeep's sleeve as he turned to inquire at another table, and added, "With a hot bath, if you have one. And another ale, if you please."

She had the feeling it was going to be a long night.

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Old Nov 13th, 2019, 01:44 PM
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The Mists"Hmm, two single rooms. Very well. Rooms are eight silvers a night", Romsan nodded to Dr. Brighton and Marybeth. [Say]I will have a stew sent down for you, sir. As to why everyone seems to be on edge, it's partly this unusual weather. The fog just hasn't left in the last tenday. It just sits there like a wet blanket. You can barely see ten feet in it. Haven't seen the sun in days. And it's not the only weird thing - it's also been unnaturally cold for this time of the year. Animals have been acting uneasy too. My cat just sits in her box, sulking. And crying all night. You know, the kind of cry that sounds just like a young child? Scared the hell out of me the first time. Some folks say they've seen... creatures... stalking in the fog. Though I consider that balderdash. It's so dense, gotta be a trick of the light. Or the mind."

The lanky, dark skinned man scratches his beard for a moment. "Well, then there's the other thing. We had a caravan of Gur set up camp outside my inn. They had nowhere else to go. You know what everyone thinks of them. So, out of the kindness of my heart, I gave them a place to stay. They don't last long in one place anyway. I welcomed them to come in for food and drink. They seemed well behaved at first, you know? They provided some nice entertainment with their stories and songs. They taught us a few card games and drinking ballads. The eldest of them - the rest of them called him 'Papa' - he even mixed up a concoction to help one of the... let's say regulars... with a headache one morning. Some folks here were starting to think they are not all bad.

But in the last day or so... They shows their true colors. Repayed my kindness with a stab in the back, they did. Overnight, their camp disappeared. Along with a load of coins from my till. And out of the wallets of some of these folks. Along with"
, Romsan draws closer to whisper. "Along with a small consignment of arms from our friends with the Carval Company." He motioned with his eyes towards the group in leather armor in the dour table. "Mercenary company out of Archendale. Bit of a pickle they are in. Anyway, folks here want to go after them and mete out righteous vengeance. Some even think they are the ones causing the weird weather. But it's all talk. No one wants to venture out in the fog. So all they do is sit here and grumble."

The innkeep looks around the place with an amused expression. "Well, as long as they are grumbling over my drinks! Alright, your stew will be here in a moment. It's... It's not the same as always. That son of a ***** Papa, he put a curse on my cook too.The man can barely move. We're hoping it's temporary."

Romsan passes by Horryn and Abel's table and finds them both transfixed by the elven woman by the fireplace. He gives them a knowing look. "That's lady Magdelene. She is a... What do they call 'em? An arcanist. She passes by here once every couple of months." The innkeep seems forthright enough, if a bit gregarious and open with information. Horryn looks around the room. He sees that most of the patrons are occupied by their own affairs. As the night wears on, they have mostly settled down. At the table with the mercenaries, though, the gnome notices that the woman, their presumed leader, looks towards their tables now and then, her constipated expression intact. As if trying to decide something.

"You sure you two don't want rooms? We've got double rooms for one gold. Single rooms are eight silvers", Romsan confirms as he moves along. At Shamira's table, he says, "Yes, rooms are available, madam. I will have a bucket of hot water sent to your room. And I will be back with your ale."

Near the fireplace, the elven woman looks up from her book. As she keeps it down, Bran is unable to read the title. There is a brief pause, just one second, before she breaks out into a brilliant smile. "Greetings, Bran. This is Cornelius, and I am Magdelene Lliadon. I found Cornelius in the streets of Chult, actually. Or rather, he found me. It is a long story."

The monkey climbs around the back of her neck to the other shoulder, further away from the cleric. A sweet smell of delicate perfume hangs about her. "The pleasure's mine. Please, have a seat. It is true that a gloom envelops this region, along with the minds of the people within it. I do not know what caused it, only that it is not natural. The common folk are also cursed with weakness for superstitutions and propensity for quick judgements. They have already started blaming the Gur for the weather. Anyway, I gather from your vestments that you associate yourself with a holy order. So, what brings a cleric of Helm to this place?"
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Old Nov 13th, 2019, 08:37 PM
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Abel Highgallows
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Abel's gaze shifted from the innkeeper to the elf in the green dress as the former answered his question. The thin, bearded man - Romsan, he said his name was - seemed honest, if quite free with volunteering information. The watchman was sure this was the type who drank gossip like liquor, and spread it around like a disease. However, Abel was more interested in the elf.

Too much of a coincidence. It must be her...

"One room," Abel answered the innkeep, not looking at him any longer. No use spending more than we have to.The watchman glanced at Horryn, indicating that he was going to walk over to this 'Lady Magdelene' despite the fact that someone had already beaten him to it; the man in the chain armor. "And stew. If it please you." Have to remember my manners...

When Romsan left and went hovering over another table, Abel got up and started approaching the elven woman. It was clear that he was interrupting her conversation with the man - who seemed to be a cleric of Helm - but his need was greater.

"Pardon. Lady Magdelene. I am Abel Highgallows, and I've come a long way to find you."


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Old Nov 13th, 2019, 09:54 PM
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Horryn Grenpine
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Horryn watches as Abel springs from the table and begins walking toward the elf in the green gown. Horryn then turns towards Romsan and grumbles "Stew as well." The gnome stares at Romsan until the man leaves, then turns his attention back to his companion Abel as the man crosses the room to speak to the elfin arcanist.

As Abel is walking over, Horryn pulls a short corncob pipe out from the depths of his leather armor and begins packing it. With a flint and steel, he shaves a spark into the bowl and puffs deeply, blazing the plant material inside into a glowing ember that illuminates the deeply etched contours of his face. He puffs repeatedly on the pipe until the ember catches to his satisfaction. He then blows a large puff of smoke out of his mouth, a large cloud into which he reaches his hand. When his hand returns from the ball of smoke, a small owl is perched upon his leather shielded wrist. It looks about in interest at its new surroundings, and then back at Horryn as if in expectation of some command.

Horryn nods at the owl and pointedly looks about the room. The owl gives a small hoot and hops onto Horryn's shoulder and begins peering about the room, watchfully. In the meanwhile, Horryn unabashedly follows Abel's interaction with the elf woman, his eyes glancing between her, Abel, and the cleric of Helm that had approached earlier.

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Old Nov 14th, 2019, 12:55 AM
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Dr. BrightonThe doctor sipped on his drink as he listened to the owner. He was certainly forthcoming with the comings and goings of late. Perhaps it was a ploy to gather more rumors or tempt someone to do something about the current situation. At least everyone’s sour attitude has been explained. Philippe was about to completely ignore the entire divulging until one little tidbit caught his attention.

A smile that was borderline creepy formed on the doctor’s face.“Your cook is a little under the weather you say? My my well that just won’t do now will it? I am a practitioner of the medical arts and my associate here is versed in medicinal herbs. I would like to take a look at your cook if I may. I am all about learning new conditions and diseases. Perhaps he is ailing from something that can be cured as opposed to some curse. I can not vouch for her, but I would like to assist. Perhaps if a resolution to this problem could be met, my and her rooms would be free for the night? Maybe a round of drinks for the mercenaries over there that have had a spot of bad luck such as yourself? It could be a small price to pay for happy customers with full bellies.”

Philippe simply shrugged and looked up at the ceiling. “Of course if your cook does pass away for some reason, I could assist you with the body. It would seem only fair after all. Shall he be seen now or would later be a better time

He then looked over and motioned to his colleague. “May I pick your brain on the matter?”Another chuckle escaped him for some unknown joke. Haha pick your brain. Her brain may reveal more matter than the last one.
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Old Nov 15th, 2019, 11:10 PM
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Marybeth took a drink of her wine as Ramson went on to explain that the fog is what had put everyone in such a poor mood. Even with the strong gust that pushed me here, it didn’t seem to budge. How curious…. I may have to make an inquiry,” Beth thought.

“I am sure you are better versed in the care and treatment of the infirmed than I, Dr. Brighton. But I can certainly assist to finding the cause of the cook’s affliction. Between the both of us we should be able to come to some answer or at least relieve some of his pain,”
the woman confirmed.

 


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Old Nov 17th, 2019, 10:07 PM
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Bran

Bran gave a slight bow in return to Lady Magdalene's courtesy and sat down on the edge of the chair next to her. He did not fully recline because he had not intended to chat for long. He glanced over at Shamira while the Elven traveler explained her relation to Cornelius and could see her obvious frustration.

I'll only be a moment Bran thought to himself. For it wasn't her that made Bran curious. More the fact that she had seemed to be the only one in this misbuilt Tavern to not breath hostility. She did not fit, just like himself and rest of the obvious outsiders near the front of the bar.

"Chult..." The Cleric said as he placed his hand on his chin while attempting to remember that name. "Forgive me, I don't believe I know where that is. I've spent a good portion along the dragonmere and not-"

A larger man cut Bran off mid sentence as he towered over the two and ¾. The large sword on his back and his demeanor had made Bran weary of his intentions. He did know this Elven traveler, but he hadn't wished for any more violence or animosity than there already was. Bran stood up in front of the larger fighter and glanced toward Shamira. He then noticed a rather sour faced gnome eyeing their direction.

"Dear friend," Bran said with his right arm resting on the hilt of his Warhammer and other on the strap of his shield."I don't know you're relation or intention with Miss Magdalene, but I remind you that we are in a public place filled with bitter glares and a table of anxious swords."


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Old Nov 18th, 2019, 10:49 AM
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Shamira
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Shamira nodded her thanks to the barkeep's response as he swept by, idly people-watching the rest of the crowd. Her thoughts turned inwardly reflective, as her mind turned over the events of the trip leading up to their visit to the inn. Her brow furrowed at the memory, and her eyes reflexively shifted over to the torn cloth left by the cleric. Her troubled gaze lingered on the stained cloth a moment before flickering back over to see how the cleric was doing.

She saw Bran stand up to face a large, armed man, and cast a look her direction. He held a defensive stance, with his hands cleared to draw weapon and shield, and his jaw had that particular set that people get when they're tense and ready for trouble.

You've got to be kidding me, she sighed to herself, shifting her chair to clear her own draw, if needed, and glanced back in the direction the big man had come from. Seeing the gnome, she cursed under her breath. Ordinarily, she wouldn't worry too much, as most people who did start trouble in a tavern were only looking for a brawl, and were generally unwilling to raise the stakes to anything too dangerous. On a night like tonight, however, and in a tavern with a mood like this...Shamira hoped that the cleric would be able to talk his way past whatever the issue was. He didn't seem like the type to brawl over a woman, however charming she might be, but he may not be given a choice.

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Old Nov 19th, 2019, 06:41 PM
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Abel Highgallows
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The ex-watchman noticed the cleric's apparent eagerness to resort to violence, making a stark contrast with his spoken words. Abel slowly tore his gaze away from the elven woman and rested on the armored warrior, who looked ready to bring out his warhammer and shield at the drop of a coin.

"Only anxious sword here," the fighter said calmly, if a bit rough, "is you."

Abel stopped and stood before woman and man, his hands staying relaxed by his sides. He made no move for his sword - in truth, violence was the furthest thing from his mind, for the cleric spoke true about the mood in the room - but he was ready for anything. When the man made no sudden movements, Abel turned back to look upon the elf in the green dress.

"Was sent here by a Grey Rider; Velar Stagmoore. Said you were an expert in... strange occurrences. My concern is... urgent. May I sit?"


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Old Nov 19th, 2019, 10:46 PM
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The Mists"Well, yeah, sure, why not?", Romsan says to the doctor haltingly, taking a little time to process the request. "Come with me, please."

The innkeep leads Dr. Brighton and Marybeth up a set of stairs to the upper floor. Around a square space, there are several doors that are all shut at the moment. A few of them are locked. The floor is covered with numerous rugs of an eclactic variety. Romsan continues up another flight of stairs. "We had Gormur brought to his room. I don't know if the man is in pain, actually. He hasn't responded to, well, anything. Pretty sure it's a curse. The cook's assistant saw this Papa fellow mutter something unintelligible under his breath, just before Gormur collapsed. Then he grabbed some stuff from the kitchen and decamped. Scared the boy half to death."

The third storey is similar to the one below, except the floor is bare wooden boards. Romsan walks over to a room at the end and knocks. A teenage boy opens the door. Inside is a relatively well appointed room. On a bed in the center, a large figure lies recumbent. The man would easily top two hundred and fifty pounds. His vigorously mustachioed face looks drained of all color. He is still dressed in his chef's whites, complete with a yellow stain across the front. His chest heaves up and down, so he is still alive, if unmoving. The young boy goes to one corner and sits on a chair.

"Well, there he is", the innkeep says, and looks at the duo expectantly.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

As Abel and Bran square up to each other, they hear amused laughter coming from Magdelene. "While I do enjoy the prospect of two men fighting over me, now is neither the time, not place. So, if you would, gentlemen, please stand down. We do not want to light a match when the air is already so thick with fumes of impotent rage, do we?"

The auburn-haired elven woman pauses when she hears Abel speak again. She looks him up and down. Her expression softens. "Please excuse me one moment. This does seem important", she says to the twilight cleric, then turns to the fighter. "Greetings, Abel Highgallows. This is Bran. Bran, Abel. Please, take a seat, if you will. Bran, if you don't mind scooting a bit? Good! Now we are all comfortable." She smiles, a twinkle in her eyes. "Now, Velar sent you? He is a good friend. Tell me then, what can I help you with?"

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Back at the tables, Shamira and Horryn are left alone. They both watch the goings on at Lady Magdelene's table with interest. After a few moments, the paladin feels a presence close to her. The woman who was sitting at the table with the mercenaries leans against the next table, her arms across her chest, waiting for Shamira's attention to fall upon her. She is stocky, muscular woman, perhaps in her mid thirties. Her dark hair is cropped short. Her nose seems to have been reoriented multiple times in the past. Her face and arms bear scars and bruises indicating years of active duty.

When the paladin does notice her, she speaks up. "Hello. I am Captain Zehra Reis with the Carval Company. Me and my team has been assigned to maintain law and order in the local area. I saw you all come in. You do stand out from the riff-raff. I might have something for you. A contract, if you will. Though I feel it is not something that can be accomplished alone, or even by two people. Are you interested?"


 
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Old Nov 19th, 2019, 11:05 PM
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Shamira
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Shamira relaxed a bit when the standoff near the bard seemed to settle, and glanced over to see the mercenary woman lurking nearby. Arching a brow, she listened as the warrior teased the offer of a contract, and Shamira gave a nod and gestured toward Bran's empty seat. "Interested enough to listen, at least," she said a bit noncommittally. "Please, have a seat and join me."

"Shamira Silmerhelve, Paladin of Helm," she said by way of introduction. "Good to meet you, Captain Reis, even if it is under...unusual circumstances." She flashed her eyes across the tense bar to explain her meaning, though she assumed the captain was well aware of the mood, and the general reasons for it.

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Old Nov 19th, 2019, 11:33 PM
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Abel Highgallows
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Abel's shoulders relaxed visibly, as if he were balanced on the tip of his toes beforehand. He grunted when introduced to Bran; not that he held animosity, really, but because he was not used to formal greetings.

"My thanks."

The fighter took the chair offered, then glanced at the cleric, who was still seated with them. He was not planning to tell his story to one stranger, let alone two; but the promise of help and the elf woman's gracious ways served to open Abel's tongue enough for him to tell her and Bran most of what had transpired that night regarding Yavanna. He told them about the plague, the clues they had gathered, and the ruin they discovered. He told them of the horrible supernatural occurrence down in its depths, where the love of his life was ripped from her body for another consciousness to take over. He didn't tell them that he ran away.

"...I met Velar in the woods, not long after that. Mentioned you by name, said you could help. Please, Lady, I-... Is there a way... to reverse this unholy summoning?"

Out of the corner of his eye, Abel noticed that there was something going on near the soldiers' table, but he was too distracted to really focus on other matters. His gaze snapped back to Magdalene, unable to quench the sliver of hope that had started to rise deep in the dark recesses of his heart.


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Old Nov 20th, 2019, 06:44 PM
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Horryn Grenpine
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The gnome and his owl watch as the cleric stands up, preparing for some sort of confrontation with Abel. Horryn smirks ever so slightly and puffs lightly on his pipe, knowing that Abel could handle himself, and wouldn't be the one starting any fight. At least without reason. Horryn had come to recognize that, like himself, the giant man had more pressing goals, and a fight would only slow them down.

Suddenly something pings in his mind, a small hoot only noticeable by Horryn. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see that a heavily armored woman at the bar is eyeing the interaction intently. Clearly a companion of the armored man sizing up Abel, Horryn blows a small puff of smoke out, obscuring his face, and glances over towards her. She is well armed, and looks as though she could handle herself in a fight.

Then Horryn can hear the voice of the elf woman interjecting, and while he can't make out the exact words, he can tell from the tone that she is trying to calm the situation. He watches as the two men relax, the tense moment apparently resolved.

A moment afterwards, at exactly the same time and pace (in a most unsettling manner), the gnome and the small owl on his shoulder turn to look straight at the woman at the bar. Horryn stares at her in the eyes for a moment, then nods slightly in acknowledgment and turns his gaze back to the rest of the inn. But not before he notices the other armored soldier walking her way.

Horryn pulls a small notebook out of his pocket, opens it to a random page, and pretends to be reading intently. However, his ears listen as the two introduce themselves and begin talking about work. "A paladin and a captain, this inn is filled with interesting characters..." the gnome idly thinks.


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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 05:13 PM
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The stew forgotten Marybeth stood and gathered her belongings before following after Romsan and Dr. Brighton. She cast a glance around the common room noting the tension ease at the other side of the fireplace. She had been so preoccupied with her business with Dr. Brighton that she had failed to notice the flash point that was being quelled by the Elf. A priest of some sort and a burly mercenary were letting the tension release in their shoulders as they both resumed seats at the Elf woman’s table. The dark haired woman returned to her pursuit glad to be missing whatever possible altercation development in the common space.

Marybeth caught up with Dr. Brighton and Romsan on the second floor landing with the parade of carpets catching the tail end of the innkeeper’s talk, “…Gormur collapsed. Then he grabbed some stuff from the kitchen and decamped. Scared the boy half to death."

“Collapsed? Has he ever collapsed before,” Marybeth asked but did not get a reply from the man. Very well I have been ignored before.

Going up to the third floor it was clear this was where the Crossroads’ staff lived. There was much less display of comfort as the floor was bare wood and there were only one or two candles lit at either end of the space so you wouldn’t trip on the steps. As the door to Gormur’s room was opened Beth looked at both men and then the teenager, most likely the kitchen boy, and stepped into the room.

The herbalist again set down her belongings and began to rattle of questions to the boy and Romsan, “ How long as he been laid up like this? Has he declined, improved or stayed the same since the caravan left? Has he ever collapsed before this event? What other treatments have been tried? Can he speak at all” she began wanting some more background information on Gormur.

She came and stood next to the left hand side of the bed and watched the cook breathe and medicine check: 5 totaltake in the appearance of his face for a few minutes. She then leaned over him taking a deep breath of air to see what she could smell.

If indeed it was a curse and not some illness the two of them could cure with herbs and experiments then they too would have to go after the Gor caravan as well. And be lucky enough to beat anyone else to them if they were to find out what kind of curse had been put on the cook.

 


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Old Nov 23rd, 2019, 08:12 PM
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Bran

Bran eyed Abel a few moments after the towering man explained his intentions. He didn't realize how quick he was ready for another brawl. How eager he was to assume the fellow traveler was a foe instead of a friend - acquaintance, at the very least.

He loosened his shield strap and moved his arm from the hilt of his Warhammer. Bran felt foolish for letting his past self take control again. He had sworn to be a proponent of peace and protection, but he failed both oaths on the same night.

"Forgive me," Bran said with a small bow of his head. "I assumed too quickly. This… environment has me weary"

Bran agreed to sit as Miss Magdalene had asked and listen to Abel's story. It was a story of pain and loss. One Bran knew as well.

"If it means anything," The Cleric began as he placed his hand on the fighter's shoulder. "I would like to offer a hand, but I would have to ask my companion if she would be willing."

Bran glanced at Shamira to see if she was still waiting at their table. She seemed to be in conversation with one of the mercenaries. Bran was not sure, but her stature and presence told the Cleric she was of a higher rank, if not the highest, among them.

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Last edited by Lord; Nov 23rd, 2019 at 08:14 PM.
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