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  #31  
Old Sep 15th, 2014, 09:39 PM
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Gavin - Runa & Akya
Quote:
Originally Posted by Runa
"When will it happen, sir? And what legends are tied to it? Oh, my name is Runa." She smiles brightly, hoping that the man will be able to forget her rough appearance for the other aspect of her appearance; her femininity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akya
When Runa finally speaks up after gathering up much of the scholar's papers, clearly curious at what was going on, Akya did her best to explain. "You know how the Lady, the blue moon, passes in front of and eclipses the Dragon, the red moon, right? Well soon the Dragon will pass in front of, eclipse, the Lady. Finally catching her if you follow the old tales." Akya takes a glance out one of the windows at the much dimmed sky. "It's almost time for our meeting with the sheriff, we need to get going I fear." The elf's face is somewhat dimmed and saddened, clearly having already enjoyed even brief conversation with the scholar. She turns to him. "Are you here often?"
right-aligned image


While the Elf and the Half-Orc have a short conversation amongst themselves, which most would seem to be strange given their usual cultural heritages, the gentleman before them starts to gather his papers, quickly putting them into random piles which are then put into one big pile. "Yes, quite correct, the Dragon will catch the Lady! When? The last day of Highsun, almost three months to the day! There are many legends tied to this very rare eclipse, most of them involve Dragons, but who really knows..."

He takes all his belongings in his arms, looks at both of you and quickly says, "It was a pleasure to meet you both, I'm Gavin Morrigan. I must be leaving now, I have many crows to send out with messages!" Without waiting for any sort of reaction, Gavin hurriedly leaves the Bleeding Heart.

EveryoneThe few hours spent at the Bleeding Heart was a relatively enjoyable one. The food and drink were very enjoyable to your bellies, the entertainment was delightful to your ears, and the fellowship was overall, quite gratifying. Some of you seem to have developed a closer bond than the others, while others found it acceptable to just "investigate" together. A more than acceptable result. If you would have explained the gathering of the six souls that will soon find their fate intertwined, most would have placed a wager that the outcome would be different then it is.

right-aligned image
The six of you now find yourselves in front of Sheriff Torek's office. As each of you walk in, you immediately notice the office doesn't seem to see much use. It's one large room, with a small cell in the corner. The main room has enough space to have a desk and some chairs, all of which are placed directly in the middle. There are two people sitting at the desk. A broad shouldered man behind the desk whom you would presume is Sheriff Torek, and a cute as a button young woman who is seated across from the Sheriff.

He looks at each of you with a sort of anticipation in his eyes and rises up to greet you, as does the young lady with him. "Greetings to you all! I'm sure you've guessed I am Sherrif Torek, but please, just call me Brand. his voice is large, fitting perfectly with his size. The Lord and Lady feel it is important that I have an official tittle, but there is really no need to call me Sheriff when they are not around. I regret to inform you that the Lord and Lady were not able to be here in person, but they had other things to attend and asked me to offer greetings on their behalf."

As he moves around the desk talking and getting closer to you, you're able to pick out some prominent features that stand out. You noticed his broad shoulders when he was sitting, and you now see he has the height and large arms and hands to go with them. He's a big man, much the same as Marion. His hair is short and has a neatly trimmed beard which doesn’t hide his square jaw. His clothing is that of the average person, simple and used. You wouldn't know he was a sheriff other than him being in this office sitting behind the desk and telling you he is.

left-aligned image
Brand takes one of his big arms and puts it around the young woman holding a basket of pink flowers now standing beside him, and gives her a small squeeze of affection. "I'm being rude! This beautiful young woman is my niece Ariadne. She's always in and out of my office, usually to replace the flowers on my desk, or to make sure I stop and have some food. What a gem she is."

Ariadne is probably in her late teens, maybe her last year. Her long flowing blond hair reaches as far as her lower back. She has a face that would make any normal man look twice, it's just that pretty and innocent looking. She offers a wave with her perfect little hand and looks at each of you briefly, only stopping for a long look at Logan, and then a second look, and a third... Are her cheeks getting rosy?

Brand takes a step away from her and moves back around the desk. "Now then, I guess it's time to get down to business. Seeing as the meeting time has come and passed, I believe the five of you the only ones that will show. I have to admit, I didn't expect this many! I guess we're lucky to have five honourable and helpful persons show up tonight! Now then. You all saw the note, so you're aware that there's been a increase of... disturbances in the region of late. I can't keep up with everything be myself, so the Lord and Lady have decided I could use a hand. They're right. There are some strange things going on lately and it'll be your job, if you accept of course, to look into some of them and get back to me with information. Now, I'm sure you want to see the terms of the offer. I have them all here." He reaches into one of the drawers in his desk and pulls out a pile of papers, counts out five sheets and gives them to Ariadne. "Be a dear Ariadne and hand out the contracts would you? While Ariadne hands them out, Charlie being left out, Brand continues.

right-aligned image
You'll all see that there is a monthly fee to be paid to you, and accommodations have been arranged for each of you at the Bleeding Heart. The agreement also states that all goods found during your travels are yours to keep, as long as they arrived in your possession honestly. In return you will investigate certain problems I have identified and, if you can take care of the problems, do so in a manner that is acceptable. Now then, take you time to read them, and if you find it agreeable please sign the bottom. Of course, if you have any questions, please let me know."

Brand leans forward in his chair and looks at Charlie. "And now, who's this pretty girl? Is she a daughter of one of you? We can arrange for someone to care for her while you are gone. I'm sure Ariadne would love to have a little sister for a while."

There is a third person in the room. You noticed her shortly after you enter the office. She hasn't moved, and remains half sitting, half lying down on the cot in the office's only cell. She hasn't said a word. Only looking up when you first arrived, taking a good look at each of you. Now, she's just picking at her finger nails, occasionally biting a piece off. You can't make out much about her as she's sitting the far corner of the cell away from the light.

 

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  #32  
Old Sep 16th, 2014, 02:38 PM
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Kahuna held the piece of paper in his hands and simply stared at it as a feeling of unease swept over him. Damn... contracts... he thought. He expected there would be an agreement for him to sign. There usually was for retainer jobs like these--amount of pay, conditions of satisfaction, waiver of liability, contact information for next-of-kin--the standard provisions. What he hadn't expected was that he'd be addled enough in this situation to have trouble with his letters.

It wasn't that the warrior didn't know how to read. He did, and as a matter of fact his vocabulary was quite formidable, as he was able to demonstrate in verbal communication. It was something else, something nobody had been able to explain. On any given day, all conditions being favorable, he could read perfectly well, if a bit slow. At other times, particularly when he was feeling pressured or uptight, Yes, Kahuna is dyslexic - undiagnosed, as it is not understood.the words looked like a random collection of letters, and the harder he looked at them, the more scrambled they would seem.

It usually wasn't a problem, but there had been times where his challenge was mistaken as an inability to read, and that was followed by the presumption that he was stupid, and that was simply not true, and he didn't like to risk anyone holding that incorrect perception of him. That little fear was causing him a bit of a conundrum at the moment. He really didn't want to sign the contract without reading it, and also didn't much feel like revealing his... glitch, in this company, for a few different reasons.

When the party began to chat among themselves, looking over the agreements, discussing the questions they might have for Brand regarding the terms of their employment, Kahuna flagged Akya over to the edge of the room to join him. His cheeks turned noticeably pink as he whispered to the charming elf, his eyes flashing about to see who might be watching "Akya, if I can bother you for a favor? Quietly please... these blasted contracts are like holy texts, so much circular language, you know? Is there anything in here that seems unusual to you? Perhaps I can sort it out a bit if you could just read it, quietly, for me while I think to make sure everything is in order?"

It wasn't the most believable excuse, but then Akya might not have the street-savvy to pick up on his rouse and then take his explanation at face-value. The big man stooped over to view the paper, leaning on the handle of his hammer with both hands.
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  #33  
Old Sep 16th, 2014, 03:46 PM
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Akya was confused. When they had entered, the sheriff counted them as five, and the elf knew there were six members of their impromptu company. When he talked about Charlie as if she was a child her confusion reached heightened levels. Which of course meant she had to speak up on it. "I thought in most human culture that being of twenty years was considered adulthood, is this not the case?" Akya glances between Charlie and the sheriff. Eventually she shrugs and leaves it to the authority figure in the room to sort it out, she herself was far to ignorant of human culture despite her efforts to be able to do so. So she settles on doing something productive instead, in this case reading her contract. A few seconds later she was already halfway through it when she was quietly interrupted by Marion. Oh wait, 'Big Kahuna' was what he had wanted them to call him right?

So, curious as always, Akya walks over to the big man with a few light steps. "Yes?" Akya says quietly after 'the Kahuna's' first words. As she hears the big man lay out his problem Akya found herself confused yet against in the span of a minute. It had not been that hard for her to read had it? But then, she had also spent much of her life reading, either through tomes, books, scrolls, and even tablets that one time. What was that human expression one of her teachers had used? 'Practice makes perfect'? Perhaps through her decades of experience scripts and words that might be considered difficult or challenging for most people seemed easy to her? Yes, that was probably it. So she replied with a bright smile while pushing her curiosity on what blushing meant in non elven society off to some corner of her mind. Taking Kahuna's contract in hand she read over it pretty quickly.

"I've been reading just about everything since I first learned how to a little more than a century back, so I suppose it just all seems to be easy to me now. Like the time I raced a friend through three separate holy texts. Took us about a day and a half I think, though I could be wrong, I didn't keep track of days very well in school." Finishing her reading of the contract while talking to Kahuna at the same time, she looks back up to him. "Well that's a bit odd. Hmm. Well, to start from the top, they will be paying for our room and board at the Bleeding Heart whenever we're in town during the contract period, and judging from last night at least we will be well fed yes?" Akya nods a bit as she continues to summarize, but she fits a wink in there somewhere. She really hopes her estimation of what that meant to humans was correct, otherwise she would be in for more embarrassment on herself.

"Any goods we find in our travels, such as weapons, coin, and things of that nature, are ours to keep so long as we came by them honestly. Hmm. I think that means we're supposed to take them off any rampaging beasts or trolls we're tasked with fighting?" The elf shivers a bit at the thought. "I hope I know what I am getting into." She doesn't appear to realize she said that thought out loud, if quiet like the rest of here exchange with Kahuna. "We are to investigate problems, problems determined by him," She points to the sheriff. "-and if we can take care of those problems, to do so in an acceptable manner. That's odd." A pause, one that unintentionally may come close to having the big guy ask what was odd, but Akya starts speaking again before he gets to do so. "Usually contracts like these would list exactly what is considered 'acceptable', or at least give a general idea of it. It makes it seem like we won't know if how we dealt with it was acceptable until we report back. It makes me a little uneasy to be honest."

The elf furrows her brow, before she eventually moves on. "It also mentions a monthly fee to be paid to us while we remain under contract. Hmm." The noise she makes this time is less confused and more peeved. Akya preferred contract terms to be clearly defined, well, on second thought, not just contracts but everything that was written down. "It says we will be payed each month, but it doesn't say what it is they are paying us!" For all they knew, after a month of hard work they could find themselves being handed a tin of pig fat. "I can't pay for new arcana with pig fat!" It's a quietly worried exasperation, as Akya somehow remembers that Kahuna wanted them to talk quietly.
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  #34  
Old Sep 16th, 2014, 07:52 PM
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Giving Akya a smile, which then widens to include Gavin, Runa wonders more of the legends of the event which will come in three months. Maybe the elf knows more, but as Logan interrupts them, Runa frowns, 'I want to know more, but I should make a good impression... I'll ask her about it later.' She sighs and gives Gavin another smile, "Maybe we can talk again later. Be well and free." She gives Akya a friendly smile before giving the paladin a murderous glare. Without another word, she strides away with swaying hips, knowing how to get to the Sheriff's office.

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

Entering the Sheriff's office, Runa moves along the sides of the room as the big man talks, her intense green eyes taking in all that she sees. She gives young Charlie a glance, wondering how the girl will take being excluded. She also glares at the contracts, clearly unhappy with the thought of them. As Marion Kahuna and Akya have a side discussion, Runa decides that she should break the silence, "May you keep your health and freedom, Sheriff. And you, girl, are very beautiful. Let the sun shine on your days. I am Runa, though perhaps you know this." Her first words are calm and clear, but as her formal greetings are passed, her stance changes and her green eyes flare. But her fire is briefly dimmed at Akya's questioning demeanor, "No, no... Um. I don't think you gave your name at dinner. But I am twenty. Charlie is... maybe fourteen?" Taking a breath and a moment to compose herself, she gives the sheriff a steely look, "With that said, Brand, Charlie will be coming with us. She's old enough and skilled and deserves the chance to prove herself. We will all help, and as Shaman I will be there, but she is one of us." Throwing her shoulders back and taking an authoritative stance, one that also serves to highlight her feminine qualities, she makes it clear that she expects no argument. Executions will begin immediately.

Having said her piece, Runa takes up the contract with a look of disgust, taking a few moments to make sure there isn't anything ridiculous and fighting the urge to burn the paper. Holding it in her hands and waiting for the responses of the others to the contract, she looks closer at the woman within the cell, her orcish eyes piercing the darkness like no other eyes in the room can.

 
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 11:13 PM
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Her conversation with Zen left Charlie feeling a little weird and confused, she hadn't expected to open up so much to a virtual stranger but even less had she expected the reaction from the beautiful woman. Walking towards the sheriffs office she was deep in thought and very quiet, Zen had listened to her and instead of mocking or condemning her for leaving Father she instead had not only been supportive but also shared a little of her own heart. Charlie felt saddened by the tears the blue warrior had shed, it was the first time she had considered another in a long time and to think that Zen might have problems of her own was a revelation to Charlie, completely unexpected.

"Orphans' she had called them, mistakenly so obviously for Charlie was no orphan but she was certainly not going to argue that and hurt this already pained companion no matter how misguided she was.

When Zen offered not only friendship but protection Charlie was left a little speechless, 'Why would she do that?' was all she could think, she didn't even know Charlie but she had sounded so sincere and there was little doubt in Charlie's mind that she had meant everything she'd said. Certainly she needed friends, that was after all why she was here in the first place, whatever it was that had been taking the sheep, that she had fled while Father stayed to fight, chances were it was going to take more than her alone to defeat it. But Charlie had given very little thought to what "friends" actually meant, up until that moment with Zen they had just been pieces like those on the chequered boards she had seen old men pushing about, not once had she considered that friendship was a two way thing. She found herself warmed by Zen's affection and offer but she also found herself a little angered that such a beautiful and caring woman had been made to suffer, still suffered. Charlie found herself wanting to help, something she was struggling to come to terms with, the past few months she had existed only on thoughts of survival, finding Father or reaping revenge, there had been no space for anything else, yet here she was on the eve of her plans finally taking shape and she was feeling all this sadness and compassion for a woman she barely knew.


So lost in thought was she that she hadn't noticed herself following the others into the sheriffs office, and when Sheriff Torek leaned forwards and addressed her she was thrown into a state of panic for a moment. How could she have been so foolish to let her guard slip, how after all her planning could she now find herself the center of attention, for the man she had spent months avoiding. Her mind jerked back into action, the emotions were pushed to the side and the shutters came down and defences up. Grasping through her thoughts she plucked the last few moments from her conscious just as she had so often done when Nana Jenkins asked her a question about something she had been reading to her while Charlie had been staring absently out of the window thinking of other things entirely.

'Contract, monthly fee and disturbances' seemed to be key to the last few minutes and as she glanced around the room she saw each of the others holding a small sheet of parchment. She looked down at her own hands and oddly she didn't have a piece of her own, perhaps she should have collected one on the way in, she scanned the room looking for a pile of papers she may have missed.
What was it he had said, Torek? "I'm sure Ariadne would love to have a little sister for a while." was he referring to Charlie? No, no, surely not, this was not going anything like she had visualized, hundreds of times, inside she was screaming at herself for being so lapse.

Looking around the room she could see Kahuna looking decidedly uncomfortable, shuffling from foot to foot and showing obvious signs of agitation. His frustration seemed to center around the parchment he held for he kept looking earnestly at it as though he expected it to resolve into something different, interspersed with looking around desperately as if seeking help. Charlie began to wonder what might be written upon this paper they all held, she couldn't imagine there was much that would agitate someone as big and confident as the blacksmith, perhaps she should be thankful she didn't have a sheet of her own. The huge man obviously found what he was looking for in the young girl who had enquired about Charlie's age for they began to confer in whispers while comparing their two papers.

"I can't pay for new arcana with pig fat!" Akya bleated, only adding to Charlie's confusion, 'Pig fat?' she thought, had she missed more than she dare even imagine, she was tempted to run out of the office and just keep going, perhaps she would wake from this nightmare to find herself tangled in her bedroll beneath the bridge.
The confusion was making her head whirl and she was drifting again when she heard her name and fourteen, the tattooed warrior had said her name and announced that she was fourteen, 'Oh crap! this was worse than she imagined she was never going to be accepted by these people now, not even with Zen on her side.

"With that said, Brand, Charlie will be coming with us. She's old enough and skilled and deserves the chance to prove herself. We will all help, and as Shaman I will be there, but she is one of us." the dark haired fighter said, Runa, Charlie recalled her name.

Charlie dug her nails deep into her palms in an attempt to wake herself, this was one dream that had surely reached it's peak of weirdness. It didn't work, she was still here in the office and apparently the person she thought least likely to even notice her had just come to her defense and included her as one of the group.
Looking around the room for some thread of help, her eyes wide in disbelief she could think of nothing else to do, she looked right at the big sheriff smiled her sunniest smile and nodded her head up and down in agreement with the statement. At the last minute she spotted Ariadne holding a pile of papers and she stuck out her hand to indicate she wanted one too even if what was on it frightened the big smith.

It was then she noticed the woman partially hidden in the shadows at the back of the little cell, "Who's she?" she blurted out at Torek nodding in the direction of the woman. Hopefully distracting him from any objections he may raise against her as Ariadne moved to pass one of the sheets from her pile into Charlie's open hand.

 
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Old Sep 17th, 2014, 02:03 AM
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As the sun makes its slow descent towards the westerly horizon and early twilight begins to take hold of the small village of Hengistbury, Zenalia walks in silence beside the equally muted Charlie. Zen can feel a tightening in her gut as she walks, a clenching of her insides which begins to creep up her midsection and settles uncomfortably in her throat. Zen feels terrified.

What have I done? she thought. Why did I let myself do that?

Panic takes hold of her and she swallows reflexively as though the dry spit in her mouth could wash down that bitter fear taste. Her face remains calm even as the panic threatens, despite her pulsing heartbeat thrashing in her ears. Zenalia's heart had opened to the child in a way she had not thought she would ever feel again. Charlie's loneliness and sorrow had reached out to her own and Zen had let her entire self open up to her in that tender moment of embrace. That moment where two lost souls found what comfort they could in that shared moment of intense grief.

She found herself thinking of Kahuna and it left her confused and even more afraid. Some deep stirring there which pulled at her loneliness and threatened to draw her out from behind her carefully laid brick wall.

What is happening to me?

It was a short walk from the Bleeding Heart to Torek's office, but the mind is a strange place where time takes on a dimension all its own. Zen peered at the landscape of her own bleeding heart and the irony of their temporary home's name suddenly struck her.

Bleeding heart indeed. She looks down at Charlie and gives her a small smile as they take the final few steps to the sheriff's front stoop.

Zen repeats to herself the words she so recently told herself: I will not lose these people!

The terror finally released its stranglehold on her and she felt the knots in her throat and belly loosen just a little. Just enough. She walked into the sheriff's office.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Once inside, Zen recovers the rest of the way from her near moment of panic and quickly engages in her customary habit of scanning the room with her eyes, trying to absorb every detail of what they see. She immediately notices the woman in the cell and wonders what crime she could have committed to merit a spot in Hengistbury's small jail cell. She catches the way Ariadne blushes and stares at Logan and envies the girl's innocent and harmless girl-crush. Would that she could remember a time where she herself existed in that cocoon of innocence and security. Would that she could remember what it was like to feel that earnest and childish yearning for love and happiness. That time before love drove its claws into her and left her by the roadside bleeding from loss and pain and hate.

Torek moved on to business and Zen was glad to have to focus on the terms of their contract rather than the constant ruminations whirling through her brain. She glanced at the piece of paper in her hand and smelled the mixture of crisp paper and sweet lavender which likely rubbed off from Ariadne's perfume. She read the terms quickly, not really interested in their contents. She heard Akya bemoan the lack of details regarding payment and the specifics of their role here, but found she herself cared nothing for any of it. She wanted adventure for its own sake. To grow strong and right wrongs, if she could, and learn everything she needed to learn to find her vengeance. That, and sweet distraction.

Zen noticed that something bothered Kahuna, something about the contract. She saw him motion Akya over and watched them out of the corner of her eye as they conferred privately.

Hmm, maybe he can't read, she thought. No big deal.

Zen purposefully avoided looking directly at them, respectfully doing her best not to embarrass the big man by staring and letting on that she knew his secret.

When Zen realized Torek had omitted Charlie and singled her out as a child and a potential burden, she began to seethe with rage, all thoughts of Kahuna and his questionable literacy obliterated from her thoughts.

How dare he! She does not even look that young!

She wanted to yell at the sheriff, to berate him for his small mind and typical human lack of foresight, but clutched at the handle of her bow instead, taking deep breaths to calm herself. And that is when Runa, of all people, stood up for Charlie and claimed her as one of their own.

Zen's heart screamed with glee! She looked at the beautiful she-orc and felt that she could kiss her!

"Thank you, Runa! Well said!" she says, barely managing to keep her anger at the sheriff out of her voice.

"Charlie is one of us, and is with me. She's our scout. I know she's a bit small, but believe me, Mr Sheriff, that she is as capable and skilled as any scout I have ever seen! I bet she's been living right under your nose all this time and you never even saw her! Isn't that right, Charlie?

In her anger, Zen had missed Charlie's quiet question.
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Old Sep 21st, 2014, 09:03 AM
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Well, hadn't this little office just become a lively bustle of activity?

Most of the party members, Kahuna included, got lathered up right away over the ambiguity around the 'payment for services rendered' section of the agreement they'd all been examining. A few clarifying words from the Sheriff seemed to quell the discomfort about that, thankfully.

Speaking of being thankful--the sturdy warrior thanked Akya very sincerely, if a bit quietly, for her help in reading the agreement. His curiosity about this elf was turning to admiration quickly. Glancing at the paper again, he noticed the effect of his reduced-stress level as the letters fell back into place and appeared quite legible. It was a curious affliction...

Kahuna wasted no time then approaching the desk, dipping the pen in the inkwell and putting his 'signature', which was essentially a couple of swirly-looking scribbles, at the bottom of the page signifying his agreement to the terms, and his enthusiasm to get on with the action.

The hairs on the back of Kahuna's thick neck stood up a bit as he sensed a minor kerfuffle about to erupt regarding Charlie. His mood was calmed quickly by the reactions of both Runa and Zen. Clearly they'd both decided to take the combustible girl under their proverbial wings--a couple of care-takers they were, it seemed quite clear. Not a surprise given their vocations.

Shaman... he thought. That explains a bit. Fascinating!

It was Zen's declaration that Charlie was the team's scout that most grabbed Kahuna's attention, and brought a knowing grin to the corner of his lips, a grin he shared with Zen, adding a nod once he'd caught her eye. He had already been thinking exactly the same thing as he envisioned the essential roles in a party set on investigating some potentially-dangerous scenario. His nod to Zen silently conveying his agreement. Good-thinking on her part. Brains, beauty, compassion... good stars in the heavens... Now if she could only do something to settle the child down and work on that defensive posture of hers.

It was then Kahuna decided to get a better look at the prisoner. Charlie was the only one to even acknowledge the her presence, and only indirectly, as the woman in the cell did nothing to draw attention to herself. He stood right next to the cage and peered in. Though it seemed the hooded figure couldn't be less interested in the hubbub, he tried to engage her nonetheless.

"What the deuce does a person have to do to find themselves incarcerated in this quiet Hamlet, I wonder? Some misunderstanding, no doubt?" he asked, hoping to evoke some type of reaction, or even recognition...

 
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Old Sep 21st, 2014, 09:06 PM
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So this was it. The point of no return. From this moment forward Logan will be making his own mark upon the world free from the shadow of his mentor. A terrifying thought given all the unknowns the future held. What if he failed on his first mission? What if someone died while under his protection? What if? He could go on forever with scenarios that either worked out perfectly or wound up in disaster. There was no real way of knowing anything. That was the beauty and horror of the future. It was unwritten. Regardless, the moment was not lost upon him. For now was when he would forge his destiny.

The sheriff's office was nothing special. Not like some of the larger facilities the cities had. It was a simple set up for a simple kind of life. Despite sensing and then seeing someone in the cell, Logan had a feeling the cell itself was barely used and when it was it wasn't used for extended stays. The sheriff himself was a large man. Much like Marion, Torek had a bit of teddy bear in him that certainly was a breath of fresh air. Logan had been around some zealous lawmen in his life and found them to be a bit boorish. That was hardly the case with Brand Torek. He appeared to be a man who was happy with his life.

While it wasn't surprising that the Lord and Lady of the land didn't bother to make the trip down to meet them at this late hour, Logan did have to wonder if he would ever meet them. He knew so little about the Pembertons other than they seemed benevolent. That and of course, the secret in the odd song at the tavern. The way it affected everyone still seemed a bit odd. Sure history is filled with infamy, but the quiet thoughtfulness it evoked in the patrons just seemed like there was far more to it than the three fingered bard revealed. In any case, those thoughts were interrupted rather quickly once Logan noticed the fair maiden in the room.

Brand had introduced her as his niece Ariadne. She was lovely. She was beautiful. Not in the exotic way that Zenalia was beautiful, but in a softer way. It made Logan uncomfortable. He was used to people staring at him, but something about the way this woman looked at him made him feel... warm. He quickly tried to avert his eyes from her, only to have them drift back towards her as if entranced by her seeming interest in him. Were he a lecherous cur he would have made some sort of comment about her beauty that surely would have drawn a sharp eye from the sheriff, but Logan was far from lecherous. He had grown up around a woman, but knew very little about the fairer sex. There had never really been time to learn. He had spent his life on the road and quite honestly his mentor was hardly the type of person to teach him anything about relationships between men and women. She had given up that dream long ago and embraced the motherly role she had forged with Logan as a way to move past the pain she still had from something in her own distant past. In a way, it was similar to the way Zenalia had seemed to embrace having Charlie so close to her and surprisingly Runa.

Logan still hadn't figured out much about the half breed. She was so protective of everyone in the group. Well everyone save him. It was almost as if Logan had killed the woman's puppy given the way she glared at him. Certainly she had an axe to grind with him, but he had no clue what that axe was. Sometime, he would need to sit down with her and get everything out into the open. To harbor such resentment was only going to make the group less efficient in the long run. Best to try to handle the situation soon so as to be able to begin moving on and growing rather than remaining stagnant and stuck.

An outburst by the little elf brought a small smile to the Paladin's face and once more disrupted his stream of thoughts. His eyes slipped to the side to see the odd couple of the hulking Big Kahuna and the gentle Akya. Although in this case the roles could very well have been reversed given their demeanors. Marion seemed rather curious in the contract while Akya was the scary one who you didn't want to get on the wrong side of. If anything such a relationship would certainly keep moral up given how strange it looked. That was one of the endearing things about these people he had met. They all had such strong personalities and yet none of them were completely overwhelming and annoying. Rather, they were quite interesting in their own ways. Not to mention surprising. The way they stepped up to defend Charlie coming with them and being treated when in reality it probably would have been better for the girl to stay with Ariadne showed just how accepting they were of everyone. Logan had to wonder if that was a fault for them. Sure leaving Charlie behind might have been impossible if the girl was as determined as she first appeared. Then again, who was to say that having a nice simple family life with Ariadne wouldn't have been better for her? The girl was still so young. Whatever pain may have been in her past would certainly have been better healed by a life within a family. Running around on dangerous adventures may very well scar the poor girl for the rest of her life. Not only that, but possibly cut short her already short life. The decision seemed to have already been made however, and Logan wasn't about to rock the boat. At least not yet. If after their first mission it seems the child would be better off staying here and becoming part of a family then he would revisit the subject. For now, he would just plan to keep an extra eye on her to keep her safe.

Logan wasted no time signing the contract. There was no need for him to read it. Torek had explained the basics well enough and besides, Logan would have most likely taken on the job even without all the provisions being granted. He wasn't a sword for hire. Well not necessarily. He was thankful when he got paid as it kept him from living a life of hardship, but he wasn't in this line of work for riches. He was in it because it was the right thing to do. His eyes drifted back Ariadne for a second before he caught himself staring at her again. He wasn't sure how he could stop himself from doing that. Even when he tried not to, he found himself looking at her. Thankfully Charlie provided the kind of distraction necessary to turn away from the fair beauty. Logan turned his attention to the woman in the cage. For a brief second his eyes may have flickered with light as he looked in at the girl. A leftover of a shady part of his own past. It did give him the unique ability to see quite well in the dark, but it was also the reason for him becoming a pariah and a burden to his parents.

Once Brand had answered the questions of Marion and Charlie, Logan turned back to the large sheriff finding himself giving a slight smile to Ariadne along the way. Stop that! he cursed himself silently. "I believe we are all acceptable to the terms of the contract," Logan states after seeing everyone sign, So where would you like us to start Sher... Brand?"

 

Last edited by Foxtrot; Sep 21st, 2014 at 11:05 PM.
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Old Oct 1st, 2014, 02:55 PM
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Once Ariadne finishes handing out the papers containing the agreement, blushing when she hands Logan his, the pretty young blonde moves to Brand's side, who takes an arm and puts it around her shoulders giving her a gentle hug. It quite obvious that these two have a closer relationship than most uncles and nieces, something closer to a father - daughter relationship.

Brand stands with his niece looking at the group of adventurers, waiting for them to hand back the agreement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akya
"I can't pay for new arcana with pig fat!"
A look of surprise and confusion appears on Brands face, obviously he has no idea what the two are talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Runa
"May you keep your health and freedom, Sheriff. And you, girl, are very beautiful. Let the sun shine on your days. I am Runa, though perhaps you know this." Taking a breath and a moment to compose herself, she gives the sheriff a steely look, "With that said, Brand, Charlie will be coming with us. She's old enough and skilled and deserves the chance to prove herself. We will all help, and as Shaman I will be there, but she is one of us."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenalia
"Thank you, Runa! Well said!" she says, barely managing to keep her anger at the sheriff out of her voice.

"Charlie is one of us, and is with me. She's our scout. I know she's a bit small, but believe me, Mr Sheriff, that she is as capable and skilled as any scout I have ever seen! I bet she's been living right under your nose all this time and you never even saw her! Isn't that right, Charlie?"
"Greetings Runa,' says Brand with a large smile. "I have heard much about you and the help you have provided to those in the region. Although some around here are narrow minded, I know better than that, and welcome your helping hands." Brand shifts his eyes to Charlie and bring s a hands up to his chin, rubbing it. "It would seem I have the situation regarding you all wrong..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie
"Who's she?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion
"What the deuce does a person have to do to find themselves incarcerated in this quiet Hamlet, I wonder? Some misunderstanding, no doubt?"
"Her?" Brand looks over at the woman in the cell briefly, "She's one of the menaces in the region, A common thief really."

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The woman lets out a snort and adds to the Sheriff's words without raising her head. "I'm no common thief. I'm a believer that the rich should share their riches with the less fortunate, and I like to help the process. The good sheriff here doesn't quite see it that way. Oh course, that probably has to do with him getting his pay from the rich, the Pembertons. Her tone changes to disgust at the mention on the Pembertons.

"You'll have to excuse Tila, she has a way with words wouldn't you say? She is a common thief, a good one, I'll give her that, but a thief non-the-less. It took us a great deal of effort to catch her.

"Spoken like a true puppet of the rich" Tila spits out in disgust.

Brand ignores the woman's last comments, and goes around to collect the signed agreements himself. Returning to his desk, he looks at each paper quickly, most likely ensuring they are all signed, and puts them into a drawer.

Quote:
"I believe we are all acceptable to the terms of the contract," Logan states after seeing everyone sign, "So where would you like us to start Sher... Brand?"
"It would seem that everyone is in agreement, and there are disturbances for you to pursue, but first,"Brand brings his hand up to his chin once more, pulling at his beard slowly. "we have the situation of this young lady." His eyes stop on Charlie, and he remains quiet for a few moments before continuing, talking directly to Charlie.

"I am a representive of Lord and Lady Pemberton, and, knowing the Lord and Lady, they would not approve of the employment of children in this situation. Even though you have the backing of at least two of the folks in this room, I can't accept a signed agreement from you. Now, if the these people want to bring you along on their... tasks, that is for them to decide. I must be clear to all of you. If anything is to happen to this young girl, it is clearly on your hands."

Brand changes the tone of the conversation. "Now then, your first task is a troll that seems to be living under a bridge near Thornbury. The Troll doesn't seem to be attacking anyone with force, it just seems to be chasing them off. As harmless as it sounds, it's disrupting the traveller's between our two main villages. I need you to leave first thing in the morning and resolve the problem. Your rooms are already arranged at the Bleeding Heart and your supplies will be ready for you in the morning. If you need anything out of the ordinary, please let Ariadne know before you leave."

right-aligned image

"Oh yes, I have one last thing for you before you leave." Brand opens a drawer in his desk and counts out five brooches. "These brooches are to be warn by each of you to signify you are conducting business for the Pembertons Everyone in the region knows what is means. Now, if you don't have any questions, I need to be on my way as well and I apologize for leaving so quickly. I'll be riding up north to check on some other disturbances that need my attention. If you need anything, my lovely niece will help you, and she knows how to get in touch with me if needed."

Brand shakes each of your hands, and pats Charlie on the head, before leaving his office. The only two remaining are Ariadne and Tila.

 

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  #40  
Old Oct 2nd, 2014, 11:22 PM
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At first when Torek had mentioned a troll living under a bridge Charlie had panicked, but when he mentioned Thornbury she relaxed, her bridge was to the west of the town, completely the opposite direction to Thornbury.

A troll she mused to herself, is that all he wants and for no payment too.

Charlie had never seen a troll but she had heard of them of course, father often warned her of the dangers they posed up in the high pastures, he had even tracked one for a short way once, just to be certain it was moving on, but no, she had never seen one. It was unlikely though, from what she had heard, that one of her little lambs would frighten a fully grown troll overly much.

She was coming to dislike this sheriff Torek quite quickly, he had virtually dismissed her as a member of the party by refusing to pay her but even more so by not issuing her a broach of her own. Those broaches were a passport through the region from what little Torek had said about them and although she wasn't sure she would even stay with the party right now she certainly wanted one of those little badges.

She looked over at the woman in the prison cell and she felt only sympathy, but for her good fortune it could just as easily have been her sitting in there waiting on Torek's justice, she snorted, he wasn't even going to pay her what kind of justice would the man be capable of. If it were her she would have a way out of course, of course, perhaps she could help the female thief and stick one to Sheriff Torek at the same time.

All the others were either studying their new jewelry or the young girl Ariadne so very quietly and smoothly Charlie made her way over to the cell where the thief was being held. Using her body as cover against anyone else seeing she motioned for the thief to come a little closer.

Charlie and the thief stood looking at each other from opposite sides of the bars, this close to the prisoner she rummaged through her Knowledge local 1d20+2 4 I guess I don't know her then.memories to see if she could remember anything being mentioned about Tila that might help. The woman on the wrong side of the iron bars nodded to her very slightly almost imperceptibly and Charlie smiled in response.



She shrugged her shoulders and turned away from the cage moving across the room to stand over near Toreks desk and nodded slightly to herself.

Suddenly the room erupted as Tila began shouting and cursing at the others in the office, she grabbed the bars and spat through the gaps, reaching out to grab at Ariadne. All heads turned to the commotion, confounded by the sudden outburst.

At the very same moment Charlie slid open the drawer in Torek's desk and Sleight of hand Take 10 = 18 Roll = 1d20+8 10took two of the little broaches the sheriff had been so selfish with, slipping them quickly into a pocket and gently closing the drawer once more.

"Seems I'm not the only one upset with our local sheriff's poor hospitality!" She said into the silence that followed the commotion. "So, am I supposed to help solve his problems for free while the rest of you get paid? Is that the way of things? Perhaps I should just go my own way after all?""

 
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Old Oct 4th, 2014, 02:41 PM
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Runa takes a few moments as she looks at Tila, trying to Knowledge (Local) 15. That should be enough for something, right?remember the things she's heard about the woman over the years. As she is handed the badge, Runa looks at it in confusion before shooting a glance towards her right forearm, 'Humans and their badges. My authority has been visible this whole time. Still... this is not the River.' After a moment, and the words spoken by the Sheriff, Runa shakes her head with disdain as her mossy green eyes switch between them, "I'm far from home, but I have always thought that theft isn't much of a crime. According to the Freedoms, if you aren't strong enough to hold your own, then you do not deserve to keep it. Jails are a waste of space; if the crime is enough to be a crime, then kill them and be done with it. If not, send them away as best you can or let it be."

She breaks off, her mossy eyes moving to Charlie as she considers the youngling's situation. She takes a deep breath as she composes herself then moves to stand at the desk with her right hand on the wood and her left at the hilt of one of her daggers. Looking into the big man's eyes, she smiles wryly and shakes her head, "Thank you, Brand, for not calling me a Witch to my face. I do appreciate it. You say you are not narrow minded, yet you show it now. You never asked how old Charlie is, and she hasn't said. All you have are my words and her appearance. That is drivel for proof."

She closes her eyes as she thinks over her words again, before bending over the desk as she tries to make her presence more powerful, "I have made it clear that I do not care of her age; I was considered an adult at twelve. But, according to custom, sixteen is the age of ascendency, no? How do you know that you do not break your own laws by excluding Charlie? I implore you Brand, to do the good thing, because you are a good man from what I have heard. Or perhaps I should demand payment for all I have done over the years? Lives I have saved, blessings given and I have asked for nothing." She knows that her words are true, and she had done this to sway Chieftains in the past, but she wonders if the sheriff will Diplomacy of 10...respond to her presence and force of will.

 

Last edited by ManannanMacLir; Oct 4th, 2014 at 02:43 PM.
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Old Oct 5th, 2014, 01:01 AM
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Charlie's mind was ticking away, the same thought over and over, a troll! what could she possibly do against a troll, if they went out there tomorrow and there was a fight then her best chance of survival was to be deep in the hills at the time. She had her little lambs but there was no way she wanted to be close enough to a troll to be able to use one. Of course she had her bow too and if it was the bridge they wanted killing then she was the girl for the job but shooting sticks at a troll didn't seem to be a hobby she would be to keen on taking up.

The others were talking and discussing amongst themselves so she thought she would perhaps leave them too it, of course she couldn't have them worrying, what an odd thought that was, only hours ago she was all alone in the world, now she had people who would worry about her. She smiled it was not such a bad day after all even if Torek had tried to ruin it all. She moved over to Zen and tugged on her sleeve as the blue skinned beauty looked down at her she whispered, "I'm just going to see if I can find out anything about this troll, I'll be back later."

Satisfied she moved quietly to the door and slipped out into the night, the Lady had been full only last night and these spring nights were usually fairly clear so she was confident she would be able to see where she was going once her eyes adjusted. She stood leaning against the building for a few moment waiting patiently until the dark shapes ahead slowly resolved themselves into buildings. She knew Zen would assume she was going to talk to the Mortimers or Ugg to see if they knew anything. Pushing off from the wall she set off on her mission, she had no intention of bothering the Mortimers with her stories of trolls, gods no, perish the thought, she would never be able to stop them coming along. No this was what she did best and she felt a warm comfort at being out in the fresh air enveloped by darkness. She turned right and headed out of the eastern gate towards Thornbury.

The road made traveling easy despite the moon not being high enough to light much just yet, she traveled quickly alone, without stealth but still cautious as always. Eventually she reached the bridge Torek had spoken of, it lay about a hundred meters further up the road. There was a slight breeze blowing from the north which would be in her favour, and the mountains were that way too which meant the stream the bridge traversed would also run north to south, all things in her favour.

She slipped silently off the road heading diagonally south across the grassland with the wind, aiming for a dark tree whose silhouette she could just make out in the dim light. The tree, a willow, it's long branches drooping like Toreks beard, raking the top of the running stream leaving little trails as they bounced up and down. Like all willow trees this one held an open space once she pushed through its thick curtain of whiskers. Kneeling against the trunk she removed her backpack with the bow attached, she removed her cloak, her little lambs even her shoes, placing them all in a small pile next the the trunk of the old man. It felt odd being without weapons even after having them for such a short time, amazing how quickly we accustom ourselves to comforts she thought, she wouldn't need them though, if this came to a fight then she was dead anyway, no point dragging it out trying to scratch a troll in vengeance. She removed the scarf from around her neck opened it out and pressed her face into it pulling it back over and around her head and tying it behind, the holes in the material allowed her to see but it would hide her pale face well. Still hidden by the big tree's canopy she moved to the waters edge and scooped up two handfuls of thick mud, she grimaced and hesitated but only for a moment before smearing the thick gloop over her face and head. She plucked several ends from the thin tree's fingers and poked them into her scarf atop her head.

Satisfied she moved out into the stream using the branches as cover to cloak her, the next part was the hard bit, she gritted her teeth and slowly lowered herself into the stream, it wasn't overly deep, especially at the edge but it was running quickly and fresh from the mountains even after the full days sun it was not a pleasant sensation. Lying on her stomach she floated with just her head above the water, gripping the rocks on the bottom with her small, cold hands.
Then she began the longest part of her journey, slowly, hand over hand she pulled herself from rock to rock, moving up the stream toward the bridge. A hundred meters in fast flowing water, hand over hand, patience she laughed quietly to herself, patience and diligence. Odd how humor always colored the most difficult situations.

It took her about an hour to get within twenty meters of the bridge taking more and more care to be slow and Stealth:23stealthy the closer she got. The Lady was starting to make her beauty known now and the night was brighter by the minute. Like some kind of grounded branch, its journey from the hills to the ocean temporarily halted, she hung in the chill water her teeth chattering and she I would like to take 20 perception here but I will roll to just in case you don't permit it. 20listened and watched, looking for motion, sniffing the breeze for scent, she was so close to the bridge that she dare not even shiver as she patiently observed. She stayed as long as she could, the cold beginning to bite into her bones, her teeth in danger of giving her away, finally she had seen as much as she was likely to see, she let go of the rocks she was gripping numbly and let the stream take her back, silently, swiftly.

At the willow she climbed out of the water and quickly stripped of the her vest and under leggings throwing them in a pile, it was always the last thing you ever felt like doing when freezing cold, undressing, but she knew, she had been taught, if she didn't do it then it may be the death of her. Once naked she quickly redressed in her dry clothes, they were a comfort but by no means enough to break the deep chill. Strapping on her lambs took the longest, her trembling hands couldn't manage the buckles and she even considered just leaving them at one point. Finally, dressed she tied her wet things onto the back of her backpack with her filthy wet scarf, slung it across her back and moved out from under the embrace of the whispering tree. Moving slowly at first, always caution, patience, she headed back to the road. Once she felt the welcome dirt beneath her feet she began to jog, it wasn't something she wanted to do but she needed to raise her body temperature and a few minutes running would certainly do that. Especially carrying this stupid backpack, she chuckled.

Town was not her favorite place by any stretch of the imagination but right now a warm fire and hot drink indoors was the brightest thought in her life, she would tell the others what she had found and she would curl up and sleep in front of a warm fire, Ah, paradise.

Just at the edge of town she left the road momentarily, moved over to a large dead tree long since fallen. Looking around on the ground she found a distinguishable large rock, stooping down she rolled the rock to one side, felt about in her pocket and removed one of the broaches she had taken from Toreks drawer, placing it under the rock she slid it back into place. Grabbing a nearby stick she rammed it into the ground nearby before standing and heading back to the road, town and warmth.



 

Last edited by Zany; Oct 5th, 2014 at 01:26 AM.
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Old Oct 10th, 2014, 10:42 AM
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Zen lets the indignation in her heart subside slowly as she realizes she should not have expected any different from this small town sheriff.

He does not even realize how valuable an asset a girl like Charlie could be for a group like ours, she thinks. She is not going to like this. Hopefully we can make it right with her. Somehow.

When the group is momentarily engrossed in the mysterious prisoner's story Zen feels a modicum of sympathy for the imprisoned thief, but then thinks better of it.

I can understand stealing for survival, but I am not sure I condone stealing from the rich just because they are rich. If the wealthy in question are tyrannical in their methods for preserving and amassing it, I could understand that someone may want to separate them from some of it, but the Pembertons seem decent enough. I mean they are taking some action to safeguard the area and they will not be the only ones to benefit. I'll have to reserve judgment until I know more...

When the sheriff hands out the brooches, Zen feels the familiar ire rise up again.

No brooch for Charlie? No pay? Not good...

"You wanted a group of hardy adventurers and that is what you are getting Mr Torek. I find it rather uncouth of you to dismiss our choice of comrades out-of-hand in this way. Akya is correct, isn't she? The age of majority is a blurry line at best for you humans, is it not? This is highly improper."

Before she can finish her declamation, the prisoner causes some sort of commotion. Zen's keen eyes had seen Charlie approach the cell while the sheriff denounced the mysterious prisoner's crimes so Zen immediately scanned the room for their sneaky companion and Perception check result of 23.saw her pocket the brooches.

Zen immediately draws on the powers of her faith to cause cold clear water to pour from her open hands, spilling it all over the floor.

"My goodness, how clumsy of me! I seemed to have spilled water from my waterskin!"

Zen immediately sets about to clean up the mess, using her own cloak to soak up the spilled water.

"What a mess I've made! Well if that will be all for tonight, Mr Torek, I'd best be heading out! Good night everyone!"
__________________________________________________ ________________________

Zen makes her way out into the cool night air and looks up at the slightly waning Lady.

If that man and Akya are correct, you will soon have a Dragon passing in front of you. We'll both be haunted by a dragon.

As she thinks these thoughts, she notices Charlie making her way towards the village. She follows her with her gaze and feels her heart go out to her once more.

I wonder where she's going...

She decides to go for a short walk, not really feeling ready to turn in, but wanting some time alone to reflect on everything that happened. Such a hectic day. So much has happened. A troll? Zen shivers as she walks in the moonlight, making her way east towards the temple. She comes to the little cemetery and notices some firebugs flitting about nearby. She wanders through the forest of tomb markers, catching a few as she makes her way up a small hill. When she reaches the top, she spots a small figure heading east, with her cloak huddled close to herself for warmth.

Charlie? Where is she going?

Zen decides to leave her to her wanderings but decides to wait for her to return to make sure she is safe. After a few hours she begins to worry and is about to head out looking for her when she spots the girl returning. She walks down the hill to meet her.

"Are you ok, Charlie? I know Torek upset you, but you shouldn't worry overmuch about him. He's not important. I'll share my wages with you if you like. I'm not doing this for the money. He may not have accepted you, but he is not going to stop you from joining us. And I accept you. We all do. Even Runa spoke for you. So will you come with us? I really want you to."

 
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Last edited by LeoByron; Oct 10th, 2014 at 03:45 PM.
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Old Oct 10th, 2014, 01:37 PM
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Kahuna leaned on his trusty hammer as if it were a cane, occasionally wringing his hands around the shaft as he listened carefully to the Sheriff's instructions.

Petunia was a marvelous weapon, and suited the hulking warrior to a tee. Like him, Petunia was neither elegant nor subtle. She was big, bold, and forceful--and in her own way, attractive. There were many decorative touches on the finely-crafted weapon, but her owner most appreciated her simplicity and perfect balance. She just felt right in his hands. He could remember the first time he lifted her, and knowing instantly somehow it was an ideal fit.

Marion couldn't help but notice a certain similarity, a peculiar feeling of rightness at a first-touch not so many minutes ago...

What a day it had been. Brand's reaction to Charlie wasn't entirely unexpected, at least as far as Kahuna was concerned. The truth was he had many of the same feelings. He was, in fact, a bit conflicted over the whole thing. He had no personal grudge whatsoever against the girl, nor did he doubt she possessed skills that could be useful to their team of problem-solvers-for-hire.

What did concern him was her impetuous nature--the volatility of her personality. One could call it passion, in a sense, and that might be a good way to describe it, but what worried the experienced freelancer was how quickly and unpredictably her mood could change.

At that notion, Kahuna actually chuckled to himself. Perhaps she is more woman than I thought...

He listened to Runa, and then Zen defend Charlie--and what an imposing figure Runa could be when her aim was to add a taste of intimidation to her speech! Strong man that he was, he'd sure think twice before tangling with that one. It seemed imprudent to muddy the waters any further, not with Brand, or any of the others. Not yet. What he'd do is have a sincere chat with Charlie. He felt it was important for a couple of reasons, and it could wait until morning.

The Ulfen was proud of himself that he'd done so well actually listening to Zen's words, and not just the saccharine sound of her voice. When she mentioned majority age, the big man shuddered. That was not a thought he needed to visualize. Majority, minority, no matter--she was a child, and he couldn't think of her any other way, though that did not confine his ideas about her abilities, or whether it was appropriate for her to be a part of the mission.

He could imagine having a child of his own someday, and unlike many braggarts he'd heard trumpet their success in siring boys, he would be very pleased to have a daughter like Charlie. Independent and fearless. He imagined he wouldn't push her to be only what she was supposed to be to meet the stereotype, but would encourage her to find her gifts, as Charlie had done, and hope that she'd know she could be anything she wanted to if she believed enough in herself.

"Thank you, Brand. That will be all for me." Kahuna proclaimed with a respectful nod. "My pleasure to meet you as well, ma'am," he added for Ariadne, in her case punctuated by a proper bow.

Strolling by the holding cell, he thought it almost rude to not acknowledge the prisoner after being so cordial with the others. "You might want to take up the harmonica, it will save wear and tear on your fingernails" the moustachioed fighter mused with a wink.

"I'll be at the Bleeding Heart tomorrow come sun-up, ready for a troll hunt. Sleep well, my comrades, adventure awaits!" Kahuna addressed his new team, affixing the brooch to his armor by squeezing the needle through one of the links of chain, then swiftly but cautiously tossing Petunia over his shoulder as he made his way to the door.

It'll be nice to sleep on a proper bed tonight... he thought. Much better than the dusty bedroll he traveled with. He was tired, but excited. Hopefully sleep wouldn't be hard to find. The echo of a serene, mellifluous voice played in his ears. When sleep did come, he thought, there was a good chance it would be accompanied by a very pleasant dream. He hoped so.

 
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Last edited by ItsaVerb; Oct 10th, 2014 at 01:39 PM.
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Old Oct 11th, 2014, 01:04 AM
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Logan watched the woman in the cell with a discerning eye as she explained her actions. She wasn't the first he had heard of who had such a misguided sense of justice. People in all walks of life had a tendency to justify their actions with some loftier goal as a way to make it seem like they were doing what was needed rather than stirring up trouble for everyone around them. These people no matter how much they thought they were helping by undertaking such a cause often failed to realize the real motivation behind such operations. More often than not, these types of undertakings resulted from a far more selfish place than they were willing to admit. After all, if one were to admit that the crusade they were on had nothing to do with those they were supposedly representing and everything to do with their own unwillingness to work within the system to make things better for everyone they would be forced to face the fact that they were the real villains. Not those who supposedly are at the receiving end of their actions. In the end, perhaps she would learn a lesson. She had spent all of this time stealing from others. Perhaps by having her freedom stolen away from her, she would come to understand the loss that comes from taking what is not hers. Unlikely, given her attitude toward the sheriff, but Logan tended to hope for the best more often than not.

Runa's own interpretation about how to treat criminals brought a feeling of disgust to the knight. Surely she knew better than to think that stealing was not a crime. Did she believe that someone who had worked hard all of their life and was now old and frail deserved to have everything he owned taken by some thug who was in the prime of his life? That was insanity! Brute force may have been a part of her own upbringing, but in a civilized world, people needed to be better than that. If we were to murder everyone who did something wrong, there would be no one left. Everyone deserved a second chance to atone for their mistakes. To deny such a basic right was barbaric.

The troll was an intriguing task. Given the information, it didn't seem like the troll was really a threat to be eliminated, but rather a nuisance to dealt with. Given the fact that it had yet to actually hurt anyone intentionally led the Paladin to believe that this creature wasn't there because it was evil, but because something there was important to it. Were the monster truly evil it would be more aggressive one would think. Perhaps slaughter some travelers to warn others that they may not draw near. As it was, the troll seemed content to just drive people away. This led to the hope that perhaps the newly formed group would be able to deal with this situation diplomatically and find a peaceful solution that benefited everyone. Force would only need to be used as a backup measure. One the knight would just as soon avoid given the reputation of trolls.

Logan accepted the broach from Torek with a nod of appreciation. It's well crafted and intricate design quite the artistic accomplishment. Proudly the Paladin fastened it at the point where the ends of his cap met on his chest. This badge was a symbol of honor and one he would be proud to wear while assisting the people of this land. That's when Runa began to say her piece.

Logan closed his eyes and kept quiet for the time being. Letting the woman get her words in without interruption. Certainly this woman was passionate. Her points were proof that she had her heart in the right place. She just didn't seem to realize or maybe accept that her culture was not the same as the culture here. It didn't help that Zenalia added her own fuel to the fire. "Please calm down ladies," Logan stated in as calm of a voice as he could manage. The last thing he wanted was to wind them up even more, "We are here to help, not to bring about social change. The sheriff has his reasons for his decision on Charlie and we need to respect that whether we agree with him or not. If payment is the issue, I have no doubt the five of us can give a share of our own profits to the girl. If treasure is the issue, I believe that splitting that up will be simple enough. Charlie will receive her share. We have already stated that we will take responsibility for the girl and Sheriff Brand has accepted that decision. There is no reason to force an issue that is unnecessary. After all, we are at the service of the people here, not the other way around." For a second Logan thought about placing a comforting hand on Runa's shoulder before stopping short and instead placing it on the hilt of his sword. He had no intention of drawing it despite the possibility that he might incur Runa's wrath himself if he didn't tread lightly. Certainly, there was a large divide of opinions between himself and the Witch of the River. One that he wasn't sure he would be able to overcome the more he began to find himself in her company.

Logan looked to Charlie to see if she was alright with his solution only to find her missing from where he had last seen her. She does sneak about quite well... The search was soon interrupted when Zenalia somehow broke her waterskin. The knight narrowed his eyes at her carefully. It seemed unlikely she was clumsy. As a matter of fact, she had seemed to be the most graceful person he had ever seen. It may not have been obvious to some, but this act was a bit uncharacteristic. Now if it had been Akya, Logan would have paid it no mind, but as it was, there must have been something else behind this accident. What that something was, Logan could only guess. Regardless, he felt nothing nefarious about the act other than the fact that it seemed to be an act. Still, there was no reason to say anything other than the simple "Goodnight Zenalia" he gave before she exited.

It wasn't long after that Marion had decided that a good night's sleep was in order for him. The man's enthusiasm a bit infectious as Logan found a small smile creeping across his face. "Yes sleep well Big Kahuna," Logan responded still feeling like the name tripped off his tongue awkwardly. In time he hoped it would become second nature, but for now it still seemed rather odd. It suddenly dawned on him that Charlie had completely disappeared. Wherever she went, hopefully she would be safe. It definitely wouldn't do for something foul to happen to such a lost child.

Logan walked over to Ariadne and found himself at a loss of words for a moment. Her beauty still beguiling him and making him feel as uncomfortable as he had been the first time he faced down a creature of evil. While this fair woman was far from such a horror, she did make it difficult for him to figure out how best to handle the situation. If only Gloria had taught him more about social situations between men and women he might have been better prepared, but to ask such a thing of a warrior like she was only would have resulted in disaster now that he thought about it. Acting on instinct Logan took Ariadne's hand in his and brought it up to his lips where he gently kissed it. "Goodnight dear Ariadne. May your dreams be pleasant ones. If you need anything I will be at the Bleeding Heart Tavern. You may call on me if the need arises." That sounded so much better in my head before I said it. The thought bringing forth a need to escape before anything extremely embarrassing happened. The Paladin let the lovely young woman's hand go free as he turned walking over to the cell to look upon Tila once last time.

"If you really want to create change, you should work within the system. You might find it to be a more effective means of helping those in need," Logan advised before passing by. Giving a nod to Akya on his way out Logan headed outside letting the fresh air fill his lungs in a refreshing breath. Tomorrow the real adventure begins...

 

Last edited by Foxtrot; Oct 11th, 2014 at 01:53 AM.
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