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Old Nov 20th, 2022, 06:49 AM
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Elanir Elanir is offline
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Keani Owata
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Keani Owata (Art by “Littlerock”)
Vanerua weathered Keani’s verbal downpour with such calmness and grace that the Ki’Nau bit his lower lip in shame, his anger evaporating as quickly as water on a hot summer day. The burning cheeks and gnawing feeling inside him reminded him of the days when his mother would scold him for abandoning his chores to explore the Copia Wildwood with his friends or spending hours diving in the Tyodan without permission.

With the wind taken out of his sails, the half-elf meekly followed the group, remaining silent, unless directly spoken to. The strange combination of sugar and insects, exotic feathered masks and masterfully carved wooden boxes caught his attention too, but he knew with certainty that he could not afford such knick-knacks, not with the shadow of the debt he owed constantly in his mind. The Myriad were not known to show compassion and understanding to those in need and the nefarious organization was rumored to have infiltrated the whole continent. It wasn’t unthinkable that one of Dumprot’s gnolls or one of the merchants plying their trade in Urzin were keeping an eye on him on behalf of the brotherhood. No place was beyond the Myriad’s reach, people claimed, and Keani had no reason to doubt it.

Though lacking in artistic expression, the ogre lord’s palace of sorts more than made up for it in size and location. Built on the back of the largest creature the sailor had ever seen, the tower looked like a gigantic needle ready to impale the very skies above it. Perhaps such a thing would not be such a bad idea. Perhaps it could teach a certain meddling god a valuable lesson - to mind his own business.

With the spark of anger reignited inside him, Keani swiftly climbed the imposing stairs, trying to ignore Dumprot’s warning about “doing funny business” in the presence of the ogre lord. Though decidedly primitive compared to the throne rooms of other rulers, the wood, furs and smell of cooked food reminded the Ki’Nau of home. His parents’ house in Tussoa evoked the same feeling of warmth and coziness and even the sight of the huge ogre in front of him unnerved the half-elf less than he would have thought possible. It was easy to see how Buhfall had become the master of Urzin. There was no one inside this room, and quite possibly outside of it as well, who could have hoped to best him in combat. The multitude of scars and the bear’s hide the lord was wearing were clear testament to that. Keani had the distinct feeling that the ogre could have raised him over his head and snapped him in two with the same ease that he would do the same to a twig. Thankfully, nothing gave the impression that he actually wanted to do so, which was truly comforting.

"May your salt and sand be plentiful, may the breeze and foam never leave you", said Keani with a respectful bow of his head, before sitting down next to the pallid elf. It was a strange thing to say in a city built upon the backs of giant tortoises wandering aimlessly in a huge swamp far away from the sea, but these were the traditional words the Ki’Nau spoke when accepting the hospitality of others and the half-elf saw no reason to change them. If Buhfall was as clever as he appeared to be strong, he would know to value them.

Among the various roasted meats that had once belonged to creatures Keani had probably never before encountered, was a large plate with paella, a traditional dish of the Menagerie Coast and Keani’s personal favorite. His eyes widening in delightful surprise, the half-elf eagerly scooped up a sizable portion of it inside a small bowl and imitating the ogre lord’s disdain for the use of cutlery, tasted it using only his fingers. It wasn’t long before his eyes closed in enjoyment and a smile formed on his lips.

Most dishes required a strict adherence to a recipe, hoping to reconstruct a particular mix of flavors. It was not so with paella. This was a dish that varied from place to place and time to time, since a great variety of different ingredients could be used. Each time it was prepared the result was unexpected and unique, never having been experienced before or ever to be repeated again. It was exactly this quality that made the dish so special and beloved to Keani.

Opening his eyes once more, the sailor turned to face the pallid elf, his smile like the sun emerging after the storm.

"You must taste the paella, Vanerua. It is excellent. I cannot exactly identify the kind of meat and fish that were used to prepare it, but this mystery just adds to the flavor, I think."

Taking the liberty to offer the cleric a small bowl full of the aromatic dish, Keani suddenly grew serious.

"I am terribly sorry about the way I talked to you before. It’s like there is this fierce storm raging inside me and it takes incredible effort to keep it contained. Sometimes, and through no fault of yours, it escapes and… changes me." The half-elf sighed and looked sadly at the priestess. "I know this is no excuse, I just wanted you to know that I am not like that normally. Please forgive me, if you have it within you, even though I do not deserve it. Still, it would mean a lot to me."

Sighing deeply, he gave the pallid elf a somewhat sorrowful smile. Apologizing had not been easy, but it was the right thing to do.

Having done whatever he could to resolve the situation he himself had caused, Keani’s attention was drawn back to their illustrious host, blissfully tearing off huge chunks of flesh from the largest “chicken leg” the sailor had ever seen. His hatred for the Empire seemed to be shared by the pallid elf priestess, who summarized it in just a few fiery words. The Ki’Nau didn’t share that sentiment to the same extent, though he was definitely wary of the Empire’s strict structure and stifling rules and regulations.

"Is the Empire one of the reasons you asked for outside assistance, Lord? Do you think that the Dwendalians are involved in the disappearance of counselor Bol’bara?"

Though normally a person content with enjoying the small pleasures of life that each moment entailed, Keani had the distinct feeling that he was running out of time. Perhaps the ogre lord could be goaded into offering them some information about the task he had in mind, before his companions were so full of food and drink that they would have to postpone setting off for the following day.

Fourty four days have already passed, the half elf reminded himself. One and a half months with nothing to show for it. Let’s see if coming here is going to change all that.

He/Him - I have taken the Oath of Sangus
Running Dragons of a Broken World: A Dragonlance (Age of Mortals) 5e DnD campaign
”The elf told me to!” - Pnoah, tinker gnome
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Old Nov 20th, 2022, 11:12 AM
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Vanerua Galanodel
Level 1 Twilight Cleric

The turn in demeanor was surprising, but not entirely unexpected. Reaching out to pluck the bowl from the man's grasp to set it in front of her, Vanerua scooped with her fingers, showing a technique that was much more common on the Menagerie Coast, and took a taste. Moving it around her mouth a moment in a studied manner, the cleric turned to smile at the sailor before his seriousness softened it as she absorbed his words.

The Pallid's warm smile returned as Keani asked forgiveness, causing Vanerua to softly shake her head, "There is no such forgiveness needed given. I overstepped. Sometimes it is difficult to not be preaching, especially after…" The thought seemed to hang to woman up, but for only a moment, "Your reaction was one I should have expected, and is also one I have encountered many times before in my travels. Pay it no mind."

Vanerua thought it better not to say more, given Keani's previous cursing of the god he was so very much emulating. Her smile, as practiced as it was, hid her amusement as she turned her attention back to the paella and plantains in front of her. Pondering it for a moment, the elf scooped up some of the rice onto a fried slice and took a bite of the fusion, pondering it as she looked up in wait for the Ogre Lord's replies.

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.~Douglas Adams
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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 12:02 PM
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The chaos and clamour of the warrens grew around them as hawkers and shopkeepers bawled at anyone and everyone. It was like a tsunami of civilisation that roared towards them and finally crashed down, drowning them in sounds, smells, and the growing heat of cramped bodies. As that wave grew, Dewdrop felt anxiety grow as she drifted to the centre of the group, tugging her cloak further over her head and pressing it across her face. But once the tide hit and swept them along, she relaxed.

It wasn’t that she didn’t underestimate the dangers of such chaos; she’d cut enough purses to know how easily a blade could be produced and employed without anyone seeing. But it made planning nigh on impossible. If the Children were to spot, organise, and try and abduct her here, there was a few hundred dozen ways anything like that could be thwarted, while she could easily use that chaos to escape. This was Urzin in its most natural form, and it suited her just fine. So she let the group wash her along.

When they finally left the throng of the Warrens and moved onto the huge stretch of bridge, Dew’s mood shifted once again. The huge onyx-like shell of the horizonback ahead made the impossibly tall edifice atop it seem like it was brighter, larger, and rising from some dark morass. The imagery was not lost on her; the thin bridge was a break from chaos into the ordered power of Urzin, where the Dynasty’s control was aggregated like some cloud of night upon which Urzin’s people floated. But where the Dynasty exerted influence was of interest to her - it was after all why she’d accepted Buhfall’s invitation in the first place.

And so as they moved through the paved courtyard Dew’s alertness peaked, doing all she could to take in every detail. Where guards were standing by doors to protect them; areas that might be set apart for planning; if goods and equipment were being moved about. In her experience military establishments moved in a series of interlocking mechanical systems that, if you could understand it, might leave gaps for one to move through unseen. Even as they stepped into the Lord’s main chamber, she first glanced at the walls looking for doors and guards and cloistered rooms where one might keep information the Dynasty might not want people to see.

And so it was that she was still scanning for crossbowmen hidden somewhere out of sight when Buhfall boomed out his introduction, and she looked at him for the first time. Well, at his navel, then she had to tilt her head up to take him in fully. The Scars, spikes, and affectations of combat all pointed to a savage and mindless control, but Dew reminder herself that the craftiest card players she’d lost to often hid sharp wits behind blunted exteriors.

~Keep your eyes open, Sabanna. Not sure how this is going to play out.~ She turned to the platters of food, wondering if Buhfall was intimating the Empire might’ve poisoned it. Which was one of the oddest serving suggestions she’d come across.

~You really think this brute will somehow get us access to the aurora guard’s stations here?~ Sabanna aske wryly, and Dew gave a mental shrug at her. ~Do you even think he knows what consecution is?~

She grabbed a small knot of bread dusted with something dark that might’ve been sugar and stuffed the whole thing in her mouth at once absently. ~I don’t know, but if you’ve got any better ideas I’d love to hear them because…oh wow, this is delicious!~ Dew felt Sabanna grump to herself for a moment, then settled down into a watchful state while Dew scuttled up and down the tables, absently shovelling anything bite sized and colourful into her mouth l while paying attention to the room concealed behind the powerful visage of Buhfall himself.

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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 12:39 PM
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Kimmaath "Kimma" Vyufras
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There was a reverberation within Kimma's very core from Buhfall's voice. A sense of strength and power. Copper eyes rushed to take the mighty ogre in, to trace the muscles and scars.

Kimma wanted to fight this hulking figure.

Ogres would appear here and there in Jigow for fisticuff matches. Yet they were always kept in a bracket of their own. Their ferocity never knowing the words "stop you blithering idiot, you're killing them!"

This just made the concept of challenge all the more alluring.

Taking the Lord's offer of food and drink, Kimmaath took a seat upon the furs adorning his fancy new mask. A trinket that was more of an impulse by and earned him a bit of chiding from his new friend over the concept of haggling. Yet, how could you say something that made you THIS handsome should be worth less than what he paid for?!

Fierce eyes looked towards the one who summoned them. A thin arc of electricity leapt from his opening mouth to the tin lining of his mask as his hands instinctively shoved food in.

Amid his chewing Kimmaath leaned down in what appeared as the most non-discrete way, from a third-party point of view, to 'whisper' to Nissa. "Oi. Need an honest opinion here - d'ya think I could take 'im on one-on-one?"

"Or d'ya think it would be improper to fight the one hiring you?"

Status:Getting back on track. Thanks for your patience!
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Old Dec 8th, 2022, 10:12 AM
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Argus Varak, Student of the Five Metal Path
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Argus kept himself mostly aloof from whatever small drama had been swirling around Keani and Vanerua during their journey. He had also avoided the street vendors hawking their wares, a quick glance around revealed nothing worth owning, let alone spending coin on. But now they had arrived at their destination, and he found himself face to face, more or less, with the illustrious Ogre Lord Buhfall II.

The ogre himself was everything one might expect from a member of that species, if perhaps a little more well spoken. The lord's greeting was a curious one. Argus found himself silently asking the same question that Keani gave voice to. What did the Empire have to do with all this? The scion of House Varak did not echo nor decry Vanerua's sentiments, mindful of diplomatic relationships that would be important to maintain once Draconia was restored. Still, the Kryn Dynasty was a much closer neighbor than Rexxentrum. His tailed swayed unconsciously back and forth as he weighed the political ramifications of conflict between the two powers.

The silver draconian helped himself to some of the Ogre Lord's largesse, a little curious why they were being treated to such a warm welcome. Perhaps if he had been meeting with Buhfall himself as a representative of his house, this kind of spread would be warranted... but for this crowd of ne'er-do-wells and vagrants? Or was this simply the ogre's normal repast, and feeding half a dozen normal sized individuals along side him was no extra burden? Either way, Argus made sure to strike a balance in his selections, careful to appear neither ungrateful nor overly grasping. There would be plenty of time for avarice later, when they were being paid...

Speaking of which, as he passed Kimmaath and Nissa on his way to find a spot to sit and eat, Argus could not help but overhear a whispered conversation between the two. Wincing a little, he forced a smile and contributed his own opinion unsolicited. "I think Dumprot might consider that 'funny business'. Perhaps wait until after we have accomplished our task... and been rewarded."

Turning back to their, Argus spoke up louder, hoping to move the conversation past anything that may or may not have been heard by the group as a whole. "Truly a generous greeting you have for us, Lord Buhfall. But with a person missing, time may be of the essence? Perhaps we could move on to business matters?"


Status: Holidays ate me alive. Trying to catch up. I'm sorry.
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