Game Thread I - Troubadour's Call - RPG Crossing
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:35 PM
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I - Troubadour's Call

At last, your journey has ended. Days, perhaps weeks of travel have brought you to this small human city, the one your dreams have called you to, that you left behind everything you know for. For all the horror and death the nights have foretold, the city is as lively as ever. Bustling crowds fill the streets, flanked by buildings of strong wood, shops selling every kind of item imaginable. It is a captivating sight, its wonder and your own fascination guiding you deep into the heart of the city.

You have arrived at the town square, and the sudden change of current brings you back to reality. A lake to the rivers of people in the streets, the plaza is filled with gathered masses, watching street performers ply their trade, criers tell of local news, holding aloft scrolls of local news. "More caravans disappear! Traders reluctant to continue passing through Brook Forest! Read about it all here, only two copper!" Small pockets of people are present all around as well, discussing everything from gossip, fashion, and the weather to rumors that the mayor's son has become terribly ill. And above it all, in the center of the plaza, and Troubadour itself, a bright marble cathedral stands tall, a testament to Armon, god of justice and righteous law, and patron of all humans.

Your journey has brought you far, but you are here now. All that's left is to find out why.

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Old 06-06-2010, 11:28 PM
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The dream had changed. That alone was enough for Brother Anthony to awaken in his small paladin quarters in a cold sweat. Alone that would have done it, but there was more then that.

The battle, so dark and yet so real. So full of imagery and symbolism and yet so vivid all the same. Cold sweat? There was a time where he hadn't done that for as far as he could remember. Now he was doing it nightly, for how long now?

Fortunately, he had not been silent. A Paladin, a warrior of the Valiant Hero himself, having recurring dreams and not telling his superiors was idiocy to the point one could argue sacrilege. Rising from his bed, he begins to don his armor slowly and carefully with prayers on his lips. He'd been sharing his dream with the other brothers, and enough agreed with what he thought it meant that he's been preparing for this moment.

The Gods were calling him to War.

With this difference though, time could not be lost. Not a moment lost if it could be arranged. The dream told him those that were coming were now here, time to go. Leaving his quarters, prepared to walk out onto the battlefields and never return, he first goes to seek out his Commanding Officer. The news must be shared.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:16 AM
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A Leather-Bound Diary, First EntryIt has been nigh on three days since I began my sojourn from my beloved home of Thornapple in the dead of night, leaving behind its quiet rustic charm and all my friends, family, and acquaintances on some fool errand that has hounded me these last few weeks without so much as telling anyone for fear of being branded as mentally troubled. I begin to suspect that these endeavors of mine may inevitably prove little more than a nuisance, my conscience playing tricks upon my mind by means of these... I'm not sure what you would truly call them. Dreams? Nightmares? Precognitive insight? Divine communication? The first stages of madness? Regardless, whatever these 'visions' I have suffered nightly have only escalated in intensity and frequency, my mind still afire as I ponder their meaning when I rise with a start from my sweat-soaked bedroll.

Each night it is the same: I see celestial bodies illuminating a city, quiet and serene in its calming presence before my mind's eye drifts to an unknown entity garbed in a dark and eerie cloak, the anonymous figure vanishing soon after as it drifts into the shadows of the urban landscape. There is a shattering of implements -- a blade, a shawl or cloak, a staff -- and it is then that the dream takes a turn for the terrifying. Where once these instruments existed before shattering not unlike fragile glassware, a gnarled and deformed extremity reaches through the stony ground below. Horrifyingly, this is the least disturbing visage I am forced to bear witness to nightly. In the distance, I can hear them... the footfalls of a thunderous force, its very presence as it closes distance with my own ears shake the earthen foundation. I turn, and in a flash I can see it: the city where my dreams have brought me stands in ruin, flames searing the masonry and carpentry to little more than ash and a rising fog of incendiary debris whilst hordes of creatures more vile than I can describe rend the townsfolk -- noble, peasant, and warrior alike -- with bloodthirsty glee and aplomb. But there, for an inkling of a fraction of a passing moment, stands a lone woman. Her beauty in the wake of such carnage and destruction is both uplifting and disheartening; captivating yet unbearable to watch. Would but I could have, a scream might have escaped my lips as the unthinkable happens: she, too, is run through by a blade the shade of a sickeningly dark ichor. Perhaps it is in that moment that I do let loose a vocal cacophony, but hers... hers is a scream more spirit-crushing and mind-shattering than any banshee's wail.

It is at this point I awake. It is always the same, but each experience feels more livid than the last, as if bathed in a wash of sanguine scarlet. One word, however, always remains hauntingly perched atop the tip of my tongue: Troubadour. Thus is the purpose of my uninformed departure. Whatever their significance -- if there is any to be had at all -- I must confront these dreams if for no other reason than my own peace of mind. In all likelihood, this may end up being little more than a trivial tryst. Once I arrive and am satisfied with what knowledge I might glean in the town of Troubadour a quarter-day's walk from here, I shall make an endeavor to return post-haste to Thornapple. No doubt my father is worried to death over my mysterious absence, rallying search parties and attempting to procure a diviner to discern my location in the wake of my vanishings.

I pray these dreams are little more than folly.

~ Alcide Blanchard


With a weary plodding and an almost whimsical stare, Alcide Blanchard -- bardic student and apprentice scribe of Thornapple -- gazes on in wonderment at the architectural and social vibrancy that unintentionally makes his own home look like little more than an en masse semblance of country bumpkins and drunken gaffers sitting about lazily, imbibing ale after a particularly uneventful day. With red-hair flapping gently in the morning breeze and a surprisingly chipper smile etched across his pallid (albeit dirtied) face, the young bard finds himself greatly relieved to have made it to the safe confines of civilization once more; doubly so that he'd done so in such rapidity as that he might still be able to catch one of the local taverns still in the process of serving breakfast. Mencius knows a fellow can't survive purely on Wandermeal alone!

The sights were just as breathtaking as they had been the first time Alcide had ventured to Troubadour with his beloved mentor, its splendor and magnificence an enriching experience worthy of testament to anyone fortunate enough to lay their eyes upon its glory. In the distance, the familiar marvel that was the Cathedral to Armon stood out amongst the brick- and wooden homes about the city, its divine radiance accented with loving care from the sun's warmth above, beams of golden light daintily kissing the structure's artistic stained-glass paintings with ample celestial love. Were it not for the fact that wordsmiths twice his own caliber likely hadn't already done so already, Alcide might have felt compelled to compose a verbal sonnet in the clerical institutes name regarding its elegance and majesty. Perhaps once his business has been concluded, the young bard might visit its halls once more and gaze upon the Valiant Hero's structural achievement. Even with that aside, the various jugglers, fire-eaters, and tumblers in their colorful garbs were enough to draw anyone's attention to their performances.

Such thoughts, however, are fleeting at best. Alcide had a task -- odd though it may be -- and his mind, even now, seems plagued by his nightmares of late despite his status within the waking world. That could wait at least a bit longer, however, as there were other concerns for the near-sighted orator. Chief amongst these, ironically, was procuring a real meal and a refreshing cup of coffee to clear the cobwebs from his own mental facilities.

Yes. That sounded pleasant. Quite pleasant indeed.

With renewed vigor, the simplistically clad fellow from Thornapple began the familiar saunter of a man who's feet were no doubt howling in pain, staff in hand as the young man used its blunt end to support and ease his movement through the city. However, it was in this instance that he suddenly realizes something: he couldn't recall the location of any of the local taverns! This proves to be a rather embarrassing fiasco as Alcide stands there momentarily in the streets, silently trying to recall where precisely he'd traversed to with his dwarven counterpart years prior. Suffice it to say that the boy's mind remains devoid of a concise answer. It would seem as though directions were in order.

Turning about, the familiar bellows of one of the town criers rings true in Alcide's ears, scroll held aloft in anticipation of informing the citizenry of the latest happenings therein. A ginger step is all it takes for the fiery-crowned bard to stand beside the newshound, already fathoming the inevitable fishing of coppers out of the satchel dangling by his side in preparation for the monetary bartering that was no doubt going to take place. Besides, it wasn't right to just ask for information without offering at least something in return; that something, as it happened to be, would be the advancement of pivotal business sales for whatever scribe was splitting a profit with his- or her couriers.

"Good morning." chimes the native of Thornapple, his only free gloved hand available raised in gentle greeting to the crier, smiling in as friendly a manner he can muster. "I'll take one of those," Alcide says, pointing at the scroll before moving a hand to the satchel attached to his shoulder-slung sash, "as well as directions to the best inn here in town, if you would be so kind."

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Old 06-07-2010, 04:47 PM
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PreludeIn Thornapple, the smithy was unmanned, the anvil gathering dust. Horseshoes, hanging on hooks along the wall, waited for the end of days, or perhaps for their master to nail them to a horse's hooves. Hammers and tongs, bellows and buckets; in the quiet, they held discreet meetings to discuss the absence of their master.

"He will return," said Bellows, who was desperate for the flow of life through his great leather lung. "Soon he will return, and we will work all day and night to begin the Great Invention."

Tongs and the assortment of horseshoes murmured their agreement; but Anvil, who was accustomed to being beaten heavily and often, gave a snort of dissent. "The blacksmith is gone, and you are all fools who wait for him. A smithy is not his home; he has found a higher purpose, and we have no place in it. We are abandoned."

The door opened presently; all silent workers snapped to their inanimate stations, eager for news but terrified of being discovered. Even Anvil, who enjoyed being cynical, turned a degree toward the shaft of light pouring in from the doorway. But the voice that came forth was not the master's. It was his brother's.

"Jak," said the man who entered now; "it's Heilan. I was a fool to leave you so quickly; I realize that now. Are you here?"

The horseshoes quailed; they had heard, from cynical Anvil and loud-speaking Hammer, about the sort of man Heilan Sterling was, and to have him in their master's smithy was no good omen. They told him to leave, they screamed their iron pleas; but it was beyond Heilan's capacity to hear their cries, and he ignored them.

He dropped a small envelope on Anvil; then he wandered through the smithy, touching things as he went. He paused beside a broken sword, breathed a word, and made it whole. The weapon gasped its thanks, but it was hushed by every tool and item in the shop; "Do not speak to the Brother of the Master! He is evil!"

Which, of course, was not true; and if any of the tools in the master's smithy could read, they might have discovered from the note he left just what kind of business Heilan had in the shop that day: they might have learned that he intended to wait for Jak three days in Thornapple, and that if they could reunite, their family might be mended even after the death of their mother.

But it didn't matter. In three days, Jak did not appear. And Heilan and his brother never saw each other again in life.


Jak stumbled out of the carriage, hauling his trunk of belongings behind on his back. "Thanks for the headache," he muttered, half at the driver for the bumps in the road, half at the old man who had sat beside him all the way telling stories about his grandchildren.

He looked around himself. Troubadour, indeed. He hoisted the trunk higher on his shoulders, and - slowly, the trunk was heavy with the weight of supplies and his mother's hammer - made his way toward the sign of a nearby inn.

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Old 06-08-2010, 06:16 AM
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The DecisionIt had been the hardest thing Brom had ever had to do. Leaving his father's home had been hard - especially under the circumstances - but that had been for all the right reasons. This time - well, this time, the reasons were far too vague to be sure. And, in some way, he was leaving against his will, unlike before.

The dreams were difficult to ignore, both for the farmer and his wife. Lisa had picked up on the cold sweats, tossing and turning, sudden starts, and general restlessness before Brom was ever willing to admit it. They talked about it, long, hard, and many times. They had, as man and wife, alternately decided to ignore them, seek spiritual council, and go to Troubador - just to prove the dreams were wrong.

Eventually, it was decided - under the guise of a routine business trip, he would go to Troubador and see it with his own eyes. If the dreams continued, he would see a priest there. If all turned out well, he would come home. The public shame of the 'mad idiot' would be avoided in any case as none would be the wiser. And if the dreams were prophetic - well, Lisa knew Brom's stance on the defense of his home, and it was brutally clear they were under threat.

The only point of dissent was what to tell Emi. "Yo're denyin' it," Brom had said. "I may be goin' into danger an' if I don't come back I don't want my daughter thinkin' I lied to her." Lisa had acquiesced, finally admitting her husband might not come back and that he had to go.

The day before leaving, he'd sat with his daughter on the porch swing to watch the sunset. He'd taken her off his knee and set her beside him, their usual ritual for when he was treating her like an adult. "Daddy's got to go on a trip, lil' girl," he started. "An' I don't know when I'll be comin' back." He paused to gather himself, but for once his daughter minded her manners and didn't interrupt him. "I think there's bad men in Troubadour, lil' girl. I hope to death I'm wrong, but I can't risk bein' right and not goin'."

"Then do."

That one utterance was what Brom would remember most of the whole ordeal, his five year old daughter being braver than he could ever be, telling him she was OK if the world needed him more than she did. Nobody else was sure if the child really understood, but Brom knew.


His family had seen him off in the early morning, before anyone else got up. The seemingly picturesque image of Lisa holding baby Adell and Emi standing next to her, waving an enthusiastic goodbye, was diluted by the fact he knew Lisa was on the verge of tears and Emi would probably break down too. But he knew they were strong, and that he had no choice. He resolved then and then and there he would be coming back, no matter what.

The trip had been long but seemed short, as Brom walked the whole way and was intentionally slow, treating the excursion a bit like a camping trip. When he finally arrived in Troubadour, his spirits lifted as he saw it as bright and vibrant as ever. He trundled through the streets, making his way to nowhere in particular but eventually finding himself in the plaza.

He let out his usual low whistle when he saw the Temple. He'd been in Troubadour before on various occasions, but he still found it impressive. The press of people was already making him feel anxious, so the big man starts to look about for the nearest inn, figuring a place to leave his gear - and sleep, when the night comes - should be his first priority. He figures one near the plaza would put him that much closer to Armon if he should need him, and is thus worth any extra expense.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:46 PM
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After so many nights of the same dream and having cast some simple auguries to confirm it Lyrin decided that the dreams were a vision from the goddess telling her that she needed to do something. She wasn't sure what exactly, while she was a good priestess she wasn't necessarily the best fighter ever. In fact Lryin had never killed anything in her life. While she was trained, as all priests were, she had no real first hand experience in battle and yet it seemed like Sarenrae wanted her to journey into a warzone and it wasn't her place to question divine after all.

So it was Lyrin set forth on her journey her mother was upset to see her go but she accepted it. It was rather frightening for Lyrin who'd never been away from home before and the journey was more difficult then she'd expected even riding with a caravan. Finally she arrived at the city of Troubadour and was quite glad to see that it wasn't engulfed in flames. Perhaps she was mistaken?

Wandering through the streets not really sure of what she should be doing she heard the crier and decided that maybe the news scroll would give her an idea of what she should be doing there. "Excuse me sir." She said to the crier handing over the two copper. "I'd like one of those please."
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:58 AM
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The DepartureGabriel's nightmares were growing worse, each one more insistent than the one before. Every night he saw the same woman calling out to him for protection and it was driving him mad, he could scarcely remember what life was like when he could sleep in peace without fearing the malicious images that plagued his dreams.
Something had to be done. It was time to move.

The inn bustled with early morning business as Gabe came downstairs. "Gabe!" the Innkeep called out to him roughly, "you're late." The invalid approached the Innkeep with unease, crumpling in his hands the now-useless farewell note he had written. "I'm sorry to leave you like this, Otis," Gabe spoke, debating and eventually shooting down the idea of resting a hand on the man's shoulder, "but the dreams have gotten worse...I can hardly sleep anymore. I have to get out of here...I'm going into the city." The man's face flushed red from what Gabe presumed to be an intense uprising of anger. "Look," the blind man spoke, "You took me in when no one else would...and for that I am grateful...but you know as well as I that I was always more of an employee than a son."
"True," the Innkeep responded, his face turning a slightly healthier shade of red, but that doesn't make me any less pissed off about you leaving me short a cook on such short notice. Now get the hell out of here," he said, settling to give his orphan a hearty slap on the back, "But don't come back until the women in your dreams aren't about to get murdered!"


The day's ride into Troubadour had passed with surprising speed and Gabe now found himself getting a bit anxious amid the crowd of the city. The hustle and bustle appeared as a black and white blur to him, he wasn't used to this many people. Those that saw his eyes gave him looks of pity or disgust, and a choice few seemed almost angry for his presence. He gave his hood a few hard tugs to lower it a bit and, taking a few deep breaths, regained control.

The world around him grew immediately sharper, the sounds crisper. Out of the sea of voices he heard a crier and exchanged a couple copper's for the man's wares. Paper in hand, Gabe sought out the nearest inn to settle in.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:27 PM
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Lyrin Dawnsinger:

Lyrin began to read the news as she turned to walk off, mostly to get out of the other peoples way who were looking to get a copy themselves. Not paying attention the priestess walks right into the man who had bought one before her (Alcide). "Goddess I'm so sorry!" She with that shocked/embarrassed look on her face from doing something stupid.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:41 AM
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Morning light shines through the eastern windows of the cathedral, banishing the shadows of the night as you step through her halls. The church serves as both a spiritual hub of Troubadour, and a military barrack for the paladins of the Valorous One, and you pass individuals here for both purposes on your way. Early-morning worshipers give you the proper respect, and your brothers, casual greetings, though the vast majority of the former do so with palpable nervousness; It has been several seasons since your turn from Zaranos, but many still fear you. Father Garrett, a jovial man in his early 40s, was one of the first to take your change to the path of righteousness seriously, and is the individual you seek now.

After a bit of searching, you find him in the training yard, lecturing a number of would-be paladins on the proper use of shields, in his usual boisterous manner of course. "You have to keep it up! Follow your opponent with it, so when he swings," He enacts an offensive blocking motion, causing one of the recruits to flinch away from the swinging metal, "CLANG! you can block, and-" A young, red-haired man stumbles back as Father Garrett stabs the air in front of him. "Punish him for it!"

The boisterous man is about to continue his lecture, when, to the relief of his student, he turns and notices you, his demeanor immediately changing. "Ah... spar amongst yourselves for a bit." They do so gladly, giving the two of you a bit of space as your commanding officer approaches you, suddenly quite serious. There's only one thing this could be about. "The dream... It's told you something new, hasn't it?

He nods, and listens, uncharacteristically quiet as you tell him about the new turn of events. "And you've come to me seeking a course of action? Well, I have two ideas, and I think they'll both work. For the time being, you should stay here. They were on the steps of this very church in your dreams, were they not?" He thinks for a moment longer before continuing. "I'd ask you to minister a sermon, but I don't think our poor congregation could handle it!' Laughing uproariously at his joke, Father Garrett wipes a tear from his eye, and-... quite quickly calms down again as he sees your unchanged, steely demeanor. "...right. Well, in any case, you should be somewhere that you can be seen. Let them come to you." He looks around, thinking. "Ah, of course! Why don't you continue the lesson here? That should give you an opportunity to keep an eye on who's coming in and show off what you're made of, to boot! Yes, that will work perfectly. And... if it doesn't work by this evening, see me again, I have another idea." He lowers his head quickly, and gives a parting gesture. "One I've got to go prepare for, no less. Until then, Brother Anthony."


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The inn in the plaza is both the most expensive and the highest-quality establishment of the sort in Troubadour, a large three-story building dwarfed only by the cathedral it sits across from. The Warrior's Rest the sign hanging from the front proudly proclaims. Inside the formidable wooden building, you're greeted by a large, comforting common room, and a gray-haired man standing behind the counter, taking reservations for the evening. With neither holiday nor celebration in the near future, it is quite simple to reserve a room for the night, for the rather exorbitant sum of 3gp. On the bright side, dinner and tomorrow's breakfast is included, though alcohol comes out of your own pocket.

The inn is quiet, for the time being, with the evening meal not being served for several hours hence. As such, you decide (or are urged by your host to decide, if you dally long enough) to find somewhere else to spend your time while you wait for the evening to come.


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The crier's wares are of common parchment, and the text upon it written clearly, in plain, simple language. Despite their simplicity, they are without error in spelling or format, and magic was almost certainly involved in their creation. Between what is said and implied in the paper, you are able to glean that there is a commonly-traveled trade route to the Northwest that passes through an area of heavily-wooded hills: the fore-mentioned Brook Forest. It seems that the length of the route, as well as the geography of the area, is making it difficult to patrol and keep safe.

This seems to be becoming a serious problem, as the trade caravans that travel the route are disappearing more and more often, with survivors becoming more and more rare. The stories of those who do return seem to point to undead as the cause, animated corpses who besiege merchants and travelers with simple weapons, and drag the bodies of the fallen back into the dark forest, presumably to the same fate as their attackers.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:56 PM
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Brother Anthony nodded when he asked and gave the details of his dream, keeping it sparse and stripped to what was necessary. Certainly not lying to the man but definitely not flowering it up either.

When Father Garrett suggests Anthony take over the lesson he hoped that some acolytes swallowed fear in their throats. Good, conquering fear is an important first step to making a warrior- and those who couldn't do that shouldn't be on the battlefield anyway. Better to weed the weak out now while the lesson won't kill them.

Stepping forward, he whistles sharply to get their attention. The Paladin looks over the acolytes one by one to test for fear. And they better pass, by the gods, they better pass.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:59 PM
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Brom lets out a low whistle at the opulence of the place - once outside, once inside. He's quick enough to stop gaping and crosses to the counter, smiling amiably throughout the transaction and making a little small talk. "Anything interestin' goin' on here in town?" he asks innocently enough as he pulls out his overly-plump coinpurse. He winces as he draws out three gold coins - because of both his thrifty nature and the dream-memories the question calls up. He wiggles his toes a bit, the weight of the coins stowed in his left boot comforting him on the former point.

If there isn't any particularly interesting event, Brom will leave and make his way towards the chapel opposite the inn to see about consulting with the priests and healers.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:55 PM
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Lyrin Dawnsinger:

After apologizing to the man she moved on her first thought as she weaved through the crowd was to find somewhere to stay. Her second thought was to find someone in charge of the militia or whatever this town had and see what she could do to help. While she wasn't sure of course it sounded like there was a necromancer in those woods, while she hadn't had any direct experience with such things she'd read about them before.

As she thought and wandered the first place she came across was an Inn called the Warriors Rest, which had to have been the nicest place she'd seen. Heading in and talking to the behind the counter her jaw just about hit the floor when he told her the price of a room.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:09 PM
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The blind oracle skimmed through the parchment as he wandered his way through the crowd. A trade-route, it seemed, was becoming overrun with the walking dead. Gods know what was causing that, some renegade band of re-animators, or worse. But what could be done if the city itself wasn't aiding its own route? Is Brook Forest really so fearful as that?

As Gabe pondered the prospect of whether to provide his own assistance in the matter he stumbled upon the not-so-humble establishment of Warrior's Rest. To say it was nice inside would be a gross understatement, but either for lack of thinking ability or his own naïveté Gabe didn't anticipate the cost of spending the night there. As he came to terms with his shock he couldn't help but notice a light-haired young woman dressed in white who seemed to share his sentiments about the priciness of the place. "A bit pricey, eh?" he remarked, glancing at her with a crooked smile. The latter action of which he regretted almost immediately for fear she would be frightened by his eyes.
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Last edited by Fiyero; 08-16-2010 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:31 AM
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Brom, seeing two young un's gape-mouthed over the price, can't help but chuckle mirthfully. As soon as the sound escapes his lips he realizes how that could be construed as rude, so he opts to inject some good-natured charm and wisdom into the conversation to cover for it.

"Well, young sir, you get what you pay for," he says with a wide smile. "It's a spot o' luck the place isn't full. 'Course I'm usually only in town f'r festivals an' the harvest season, so maybe the inns aren't so packed the rest of the time."
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:03 PM
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"That may be true, stranger," Gabe responded cooly, turning to face the (rather large) man who'd spoken to him, "But emptying nearly my entire coin purse just to spend a single night here seems a bit excessive." The oracle blushes briefly on realizing he had just revealed the sad state of his financial affairs. "In any case," he continues, "I'm sure you'll enjoy your evening here while I seek elsewhere."

"Miss. Sir." Gabe finishes, nodding to the light-haired woman and the big man respectively. With that he turns to make his way back into the throng of the city.
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