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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Of Blood and Ash.

    You remember them still, when the nights grow cold and the all too familiar darkness claws at the edges of your frail sanity, threatening to tear lose a resolve born of hate and decades of grim determination. Though it has been a scant score of years since that fateful day you find yourself lacking the happy memories of your younger days since for every happy memory you summon forth a dozen more spring to the forefront to cloud your mind, filling your vision with only nightmare. Oh you remember it clearly enough, vivid crimson sluggishly creeping down weathered skin the color of burnt silver, gently dripping from delicate feet to fall in a basin of ash meticulously cleared beneath the dessicated corpses of those you loved so much. You can remember the dread you felt then as you stood watching that too deep pool of coagulating crimson, body trembling as your still young mind desperately tried to process what had happened, clinging to the thought that it was all some twisted nightmare. Yet despite all the memories of that day what manages to shock your now more jaded mind the most is that despite through all the haze and rage you can no longer remember their faces. You recall only the blood, only the ash.

    A fugitive you were then from your nightmares and from a law that sought your capture or death, believing then as they no doubt still do now that you and you alone were responsible for the death of your parents and immediate family, a bloody coup for possession of a smoldering, barren estate. And so you ran as you still do now, running from those that would see you brought to justice and though a score of years have ensured your crime is all but forgotten from the majority who would seek you there are other far more long lived creatures who roam the realm in the name of justice. It's saddening that their logic would even fathom that you, a young mer barely out of your first century would be capable of such evil and it baffled you for many years, but time has perhaps hardened your mind. So you run on the budget of a beggar, roaming from township to city and back again living on whatever scraps life throws at you while you search for old contacts of your parents and House. Hoping for even the most gossamer of threads in which to hang your hopes and for far too many years your endless roaming has brought nothing but frustration and anguish though despite all this a last thread of hope remains. With that last thread you find yourself crossing kingdoms through rain and snow and scorching heat, sleeping wherever the road allows while the name of that final hope rings heavily through your very being.

    The name is Vern Hornshard of Twin Crossings and that is where you have come to find yourself now.

    You smile as once again you find yourself competing with the local rats for lodging. A smile that quickly fades when you remember that you're slowly freezing to death, shivering violently as you desperately try to cover yourself with the threadbare scraps of your traveling cloak and cursing as freezing rain pummels you from above, cutting far deeper than any mere blade ever could. You lay on a thin cushion of grime covered straw and gods know what that has long since frozen atop the hard cobblestone of some shadowed alley deep within the city of Twin Crossings, surrounded by tall buildings made of stout logs and plaster and thank whatever high being that may be listening that at least you don't have to deal with the wind. Sighing deeply you look around the alley and ask yourself why you ever thought you could tough it out in such a place on a night like this while you run your hand over your rather light coin purse. While you may have been raised in a city or on a wagon train you have spent enough time on the road these past years to know that nights like this are lethal to those who find themselves lacking shelter and you have yet to spend enough time in Twin Crossings to get a grasp of how dangerous it is. Shivering you push yourself to your feet as you hear the sound of a stage coach roaring down a nearby street, the horse snorting in futile protestation as it trudges forth through the cold.

    Poor or not, it's time to find yourself some shelter.

    OOC:
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    Ok. The first few posts wont move the plot by leaps and bounds but are more designed for me to get a feel on your play style and sort of ease into things.

    The world is more is a bit steampunky but not blatantly so. Vancian magic is a bit on the low side in this world making you fairly standout and is replaced by magic fueled crafts and quasi-tech. Neither is exactly a dime a dozen but it does exist and is available.

    Depending on what part of the world you're in cultures range from dark age to late medieval times which is where most of the world is. More traditional fantasy weapons and armor are still used regularly but are in the beginning stages of being phases out by cannons and guns and whatnot.

    Guns are available and houseruled a bit. First of all all crossbows are simple weapons, including hand crossbows and repeating crossbows while pistols and muskets are martial weapons. The stats for the guns are on pg145 of the DMG but as they are guns you only have to make a touch attack to hit with a gun against non-magical armor. This makes them very potent and whatnot but hey, lets face it, guns are potent hence why they replaced swords.

    Just sort of let me know what direction you want to go with things in your post with some inner thoughts and motivations and whatnot and we shall go from there.

    Enjoy at own risk.
    (Ivellios and Ryver for ease of future reference.)
    Last edited by Ms.Malbolge; 2010-07-14 at 04:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Stars.

    OOC:
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    Again, sorry for the lateness of my reply. I have been busy/AFK all weekend, and I didn't know this thread was even up until late last night. Seeing the impressive amount of text, I decided to wait until I was more alert and capable of understanding what I was reading. Thanks for being patient, and from now on I should be able to keep up with the one post a day.


    Teeth chattering, Ivellios stumbles to the end of the alley and peers up and down the street. Blinking against the rain, he looks about for someone he can ask for directions, simultaneously searching for an inn or perhaps an unguarded warehouse. His preference is to find a place to stay that will accept him willingly, but he is not averse to breaking a lock or window to survive.
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Stars.

    You look about the darkened streets of Twin Crossings from the agape mouth of the alley, your home until only a scant moment ago when the chill of the night forced you to arise from your refuse pile. Broad avenues span east to west before you, their dark cobblestone accented by the light of a red moon that struggles so valiantly to shine her crimson glory through the heavy clouds and you cant help but start a moment of the urban beauty of it, crimson lacing through the shadow, blood strewn through the ash. The imagery hits you again as your mind reels, no matter where you go they haunt you as even the most casual splendors of nature seem to do naught but remind you of your self-sworn oaths, remind you why you are here. The wind picks up as you leave the protective walls of the alleyway, body shivering ever more violently as you trudge through the streets, to whatever comfort you may find.

    The wind drives you east through winding, wind guarded streets lined with worn torches that have long since sent their last sparks dying into the night. The buildings slowly become more rundown, simple but well-built wooden structures replace the stone and plastered logs and the smell of refuse becomes all the more stronger. You spot through the streets a few sturdy warehouses and a few lit windows but nothing that would constitute an inn until you get to the river streets. It is here were you find your first signs of promise, a large warehouse crafted of stout stone blocks plastered to make it more difficult to reach the barred windows that dot its upper story. But you notice that no windows dot the lower story and it's door doesn't look too terribly complicated. Perhaps a bit too easy one would think but the warehouse is not your only option upon this boulevard. Further down the way you see the colored windows and hanging sign of an inn, though its too far to make out the sign or the name the bright blue light cast upon the red-bathed streets makes it a welcoming place for those suffering of a need to rid themselves of spare coin.

    They are not the only options in all of Twin Crossings to be sure, but for now they are certainly the most immediately inviting.

    OOC:
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    Yeah, text walls might be a more common occurrence here than you're normally used to. They wont all be like this, but there will be quite a few so yeah... You'll adjust eventually, or die trying!

    Combat just makes it worse... maybe.
    Last edited by Ms.Malbolge; 2010-07-12 at 09:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    Dreaming of sleeping once more on an actual bed, Ivellios hurries toward the inn, all the while hoping that they will allow him to stay. He knows his coin is as good as anyones, but he is quite filthy and unkempt from his travels, and even though the rain has helped a great deal in washing away the smell, he still gives off the pungent odor of stale sweat. He pauses briefly outside the inn, surveying the clientèle and the establishment in general.

    OOC:
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    I don't mind the text at all. It's refreshing to see a DM get so into the story and give that much detail, so keep it coming!
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    You stand huddled before the glass window of the inn, elven eyes taking in a scene viewed through a miasma of blue. The inside of the tavern looks simple enough as simple tables and chairs, some rather makeshift, dot the room which looks fairly packed from this angle. It's fairly well lit by a center stone fire pit in the center of the main chamber while two wide iron chandeliers to the pits sides, illuminating the dark nooks and crannies. The clientele seem merry and you notice quite a bit of color in their garb, definitely not simple fisherman and the like tonight as the flash of instruments, pipes, cards and the occasional dagger as well as the friendly ways they seem to cheat each other suggest a troupe of some sort. The wind picks up and a foul smell fills your nose, its a smell that most resembles the mating of rotten fish and stale pipe-smoke and it is that sound coupled with that of leather dragging against stone that alerts you to the presence of someone behind you.

    Sadly you feel cold steel press into your back before you can react.

    You grimace at the feeling but are thankful that pain and blood do not immediately follow. A sickening snicker carried upon breath that smells like a sewer erupts behind you and the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention as the metal object, most definitely blunt, is pushes further into your back. "Hello there boyo." comes the deep, putrid sounding voice of whatever man-thing is behind you as you feel a hand grab your belt, no doubt intending to ease you of your material burdens. "Now just be nice an' still and this'll be all over in a jiffy." Just barely out of your alley and already getting mugged.

    Welcome to Twin Crossings.
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    Suddenly, the world takes on a sharp focus and Ivellios feels his mind stir for the first time in weeks. He moves his hands away from his body and raises them slightly, as though in surrender. Turning his head slowly, he tries to make eye contact with the would-be mugger and appraises him coldly. With a voice surprisingly warm and soft coming from such a cold and world-weary wanderer, he says, "Surely you wouldn't deprive a poor traveler of his last few coppers. Perhaps we could reach another agreement that would be more beneficial for both of us."

    Diplomacy:
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    (1d20+5)[22]
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    The blunt object pushes farther into your back as you try to turn around, making it very plain that to continue to do so would not the be brightest decision you could make tonight and even as you speak his hands are roaming over your waist, searching for anything of value. "Perhaps we could reach another agreement." he says, mocking your words as his hands find your purse and after a simple pat curses. "Bah, ya weren't lyin' about bein' down to yer last bit of coin that's fer sure." he says, releasing a long, drawn out sigh that brings the lovely fragrance of his foul breath upon the wind. At this point he places a hand on your shoulder and while he wouldn't allow you to turn around before now he prompts you to do so.

    The would be mugger is a massive man weighing twice your own weight in stones you would venture to guess while his tall, blocky frame stands adorned in some of the oddest clothing you've seen yet. A black riding coat that is far too small clings to the mans frame, doing little to conceal the broadsword at his hip or the garish violet shirt and green and yellow plaid breeches the man is wearing. As your eyes continue to take the thug in you notice that the thing that was shoving into your back is a very old and very worn musket, probably a hundred years old if it's a day as it still sports a clunky wheel lock design and while once a beautiful piece at one point it is now no more than a rusty head of fiery death. The mans crude and blocky features as well as a rather pronounced jaw lead you to assume that he has perhaps a bit too much Orc blood in him for comfort but oddly enough he is smiling rather broadly, clearly the amused mugger.

    "Well I may be a bit o' a bastard boyo but I ain't gonna rob a beggar of his last coins." he states as he places the crude gun into his waist. He gives you a look over and grimaces at your appearance before looking over your shoulder to the window of the inn and the scene beyond. He sighs and shakes his head, reaching out to pat you on the shoulder before walking past you. As he passes you he seems to roll his eyes at nothing before stating simply. "Oh come in ya overgrown urchin, i'll buy ya a drink if ya don't go runnin' and makin' a fuss."

    (Yeah, a human with some Orc blood... and he has Dakka? Ah the little things you notice after-the-fact.)
    Last edited by Ms.Malbolge; 2010-07-14 at 04:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    "Oh, you needn't worry about me making a fuss," replies Ivelios as he relaxes slightly. "I've dealt with far too many, ah, forceful entrepreneurs such as yourself to get too worked up over one more. Yes, a drink sounds wonderful."

    With that, he follows the mugger into the tavern, pausing a moment on the threshold to savor the dry warmth. Sighing with obvious pleasure, he then walks with his new friend to the bar and orders an ale. His order placed, he turns to the enormous man and says, "You know, if you were trying to do...business with the likes of me on a night like this, you must not be having the best of luck yourself. Are you from around here, or are you just passing through?"
    Last edited by ArcanistSupreme; 2010-07-15 at 09:25 AM.
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    The odd looking mugger opens the door to the inn and warm air laced heavily with the scents of smoke and alcohol hit you square in the face, filling you with feelings of familiarity and perhaps longing for the days when such inns lay at the end of a hard day of trading. Inside music fills your ears but it is not the music of some paid minstrel but instead the music of those singing joyously, haphazardly accompanied by all manner of strings and pipes from those obviously to drunk to truly play them properly. The chamber is warmly lit and the clash of colors from the patrons as well as some fairly garish wall hangings make you squint your eyes for a second, a stark contrast indeed from the cold and dark of the streets. You notice that while there are many tables in all shapes and sizes that most of them are full while those that aren't have at least two other people seated at them and the long bar is full as well, looks like you'll be sharing a table with someone other than smelly man before you. "Have a sitdown where ya please boyo. I'll be there in a jiffy with summa the ol' river milk for ya." he says as he makes his way to the rather crowded bar, leaving you to find a place to sit in the chaos. Apparently you weren't the only man of the street looking to get out of the weather tonight for while not numerous there are a couple others who look as down trodden as you do at the outskirts of the tables, spectators looking in at the goings on, outsiders even here.

    You look about the chamber for a table with a couple of empty seats for yourself and your new-found acquaintance but it proves a bit more difficult than one would expect since for the most part whatever table that does have a couple of empty seats usually has at least one other inhabitant who looks at you with murder in their eyes if you so much as get to close. Though you are in luck for shortly after the search begins you spot a table towards the wall farthest from the door in which a couple of women happen to be sitting and as you approach cant help but take them in. One is human, dressed in simple loose clothing the color of earth with sun kissed skin and hair the color of reddened leather and eyes the color of fresh spring leaves. The other woman sitting at the table is a trifle more exotic, an unusually tall elf with skin the color of ivory, long hair the color of ice, and eyes the color of the sea. Her sharp features are softened only slightly hinting that there is perhaps some human or other blood running in her veins and she dresses oddly as her "shirt" appears to be a single piece of blue silk wrapped about her torso like an exotic bandage while her leggings and boots appear to be made of leather and fine scales. The oddly dressed woman sees you heading towards the table and takes out a pipe of all things, lighting it and smiling as you approach.

    "A young street rat come to sit at my table?" she asks when you are near enough, her voice every bit as thick and perfumed as the sweet cherry smoke that escapes her pipe and she holds your gaze for a moment before nodding to one of the empty seats across the table. "Take a seat then if you're so inclined little street rat, as long as you have a story to tell."

    (Don't forget to bolden or color all your speech A.S., the second paragraph stuff isn't done properly.)
    Last edited by Ms.Malbolge; 2010-07-14 at 06:59 PM.
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    The human with the "sun kissed skin and hair the color of reddened leather and eyes the color of fresh spring leaves" smiles a bit to herself as she sees the street rat. Hopefully this one would be entertaining. It was so hard to find interesting people these days...

    Ryver would chuckle a bit, but figures that it's not her place to. Instead, she looks over the young elf, judging him, as she takes out a worn deck of cards, shuffling them with practiced ease. If he's observant enough, he may see the cards shimmer as she touches them individually.

    Let's see what Fortuna brings...
    she thinks to herself.
    OOC:
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    Meet Ryver, my character.

    She's a Gypsy priestess (Cleric/Monk) and follows Fortuna, Goddess of Luck (Roman Goddess, but I'm using her anyways).

    Careful not to get her angry, she curses.
    Last edited by Wolfbane; 2010-07-14 at 07:59 PM.
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    "Good evening to you both," Ivellios says, with a courteous nod at both. "I don't mean to intrude, but it appears that most of the other seats are occupied. If it pleases you, I would join you at your table and share in your company."

    He pauses momentarily as his mind slowly recalls what is to be done when in the company of others. It has been a long time since he has shared in anyone's company.

    If they allow him to join them:
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    "I thank you for your kindness. It is nice to find that there are still those that wouldn't begrudge a weary traveler a place to sit. So, how does this evening find you both?"


    If they don't:
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    "May you find the evening pleasant," he replies. Though his tone is warm enough, none of the warmth reaches his eyes. He moves on to another table and begins to look around for the man who is buying his drink.


    OOC:
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    Sorry about the earlier formatting. I thought I had done it, but obviously I forgot. From now on I'll post in gray.

    On another note, perhaps we could agree on the power level. Ivellios is generated using a 32 point buy, while Ryver seems to be somewhere in the vicinity of 55 point buy. I have no problem adjusting my scores, but I'd rather there wasn't such an enormous disparity in power levels. Thoughts?
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    The pale beauty takes a long drag on her pipe, seeming to savor the apple scented smoke for a long moment before turning her attention back to the rather filthy elven man before her. Eyes the color of a freezing ocean seem to stab into your own and the smile spread broad across her face becomes a bit lopsided as she places her boot upon the chair opposite her, pushing it out for Ivellios. "I don't believe I stuttered little street rat, for I said to sit at your own inclination." She takes a moment to take another lazy puff of her pipe as well as a small drink from a rather large wooden stein, all the while not breaking her eye contact with you. "So long as you have a story to tell. Now sit and when your friend gets back you can wet your throat and tell me your story little street rat. Because underneath that filth you're no street rat at all."
    Last edited by Ms.Malbolge; 2010-07-16 at 11:42 PM.
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    Ryver nods slightly and lays out a few cards on the table, face up. They appear to be normal playing cards. A Nine of Clubs, an Ace of Clubs, a Nine of Spades and an Ace of Spades. The fifth is of a wheel, a woman holding it, winking. When Fortuna's signature hand is laid out on the table, she smiles mysteriously. "I am fine zis night, and do not mind me, for I am a guest at zis table as well." she says in her husky voice, dripping in her strange accent. The Gypsy waves her hand over the cards, picking each one up without seeming to touch them before shuffling them back into her deck and into a small pocket sewn into her clothing above her heart.
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    "I apologize for my inattentiveness. It has been...a rather long night," replies Ivellios as he pulls out a chair and sits. "As for stories, I'm not sure that the kind I have to tell are the kind you would like to hear."

    He flashes a sad smile at both of the women, and then finishes. "Stories involving me don't tend to have happy endings. However, if you are set on hearing a tale, I do have many to tell that are colorful and interesting as long as you don't have your heart set on the protagonist living happily ever after."
    Last edited by ArcanistSupreme; 2010-07-16 at 09:42 PM.
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    "Real stories rarely have happy endings don't they?" she says, glancing over at the woman seated next to her as she sighs, "And darling you truly do have the worst accent I have ever heard. Sound it all out more a bit, really work on the exoticism." She takes another drag from her pipe, smiling from teasing the girl next her as her gaze once again settles on Ivellios. "What are your names? If we're to be each others companions, even for a night, I think we should at least know that about each other yes?" She stands up then in one graceful movement and takes a little bow and as you see her fully extended you note that she is six and a half feet tall if she's an inch, quite odd for an elf. "I'll start then. I am Talaitha of the northern glades, a liar, a cheat, a Bard, and a sometimes thief. And you are?" After her announcement, not really out of place considering all the gambling and cheating happening around the chamber, she takes a seat once again, eyes moving towards Ivellios and Ryver.

    It is then that the large, brute of a man comes back from the bar, throwing a rather grimy looking stein in front of Ivellios that smells strongly of grain alcohol before plopping down rather hard in the seat next to the dirty elf, causing the wood to protest creakily. "Bit slower than a jiffy my boyo but I came through all right." The large man takes a look about the table and seeing the two women smiles broadly, showcasing his graveyard smile as he takes off his hat, allowing greasy ginger hair to fall about his simple, beady eyes. "And I'll be goin' first on the whole name thing eh? They call me Crocka, don' ask me why me loves. Just a name I've been saddled with fer all me years on the street." After Crocka's declaration he takes a deep swig from his stein, shivering violently as he slams it back down upon the table, sour look upon his face alerting that it may not be the best tasting thing you've ever tasted.
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    Ryver smiles at the woman a bit. "Hyu may call me Ryver." She says as her nose wrinkles a bit at the stench of the drink. "I haff been many things, but in all, I am a Gypsy Priestess and servant ov My Lady Fortuna." Her smile turns into a bit of a wry smirk as she looks at Crocka. "And I am sure zat iz ze only thing hyu haff been saddled with." Her tone is mocking, but far from serious.
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    Default Re: Of Blood and Ash.

    "I am simply Ivellios the wanderer," replies the elf, taking a small sip of the ale and then grimacing. "I have been to many places and done many things, and through it all that is the one thing I may still claim as my own. My specialty lies in remaining alive, though sometimes this ability is as much a curse as a blessing."
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    Crocka laughs deeply at Ryver's comment, nearly choking on the thick brew he drank a scant moment before. Regaining himself he shakes his massive head and smiles at the priestess. "Yer Goddess be a right nasty little girl at times priestess, but I guess I'd rather have her looking out fer me instead of some prissy little boyo." He takes another drink after he speaks and leans back, causing his rickety chair to creak and groan in protest, poor thing is no doubt on its last legs as it is without some big oaf reclining on it. After a loud belch he shakes his head once more at the priestess before shrugging and staying quiet, letting the others at the table have the floor as it were while continuing to drink from his stein.

    While Crocka drinks Talaitha keep looking at Ivellios with a rather cross expression on her face and she lifts her hand to curl her fingers through her ivory hair for a moment, puffing away on her pipe as she does so. "I'm growing very cross with you young Master Ivellios." she says simply, placing her pipe on the table she sits up straight, looking down at the rather short gray elf. "I find myself still waiting for payment young sir and while I am patient the night is not. May I have that story to serve as toll for that chair or not?" She takes her pipe and turns it upside down, gently rapping it against the table so that the smoldering, apple scented ash falls in a small pile upon the table. And even as she places the pipe into a small pouch upon her waist she doesn't stop looking at you, intent to get her story it would seem.
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    Ivellios frowns in concentration for a moment, staring into his mug. Then, he raises his head and smiles at each of his audience members. "As our story begins, our handsome protagonist finds himself in the port city of Caleeya. Here, he quickly found himself enthralled with the beauty and wit of a local seamstress, and he soon found himself employment at a nearby shop so he could be close to her. As their courtship progressed..."

    The story continues for twenty minutes or so as Ivellios describes the colorful courtship of Ivellios and Lorwena, and the passionate and wonderful love he had shared with the elf seamstress. He went into the plans they held for the future: the children they planned to raise, the home they planned to build, and the love they intended to share.

    "...but alas, the stars had other plans for our lovers. Ivellios, in his dealings in Caleeya had trodden on some rather important toes, and he was forced to flee the city," here he pauses, and his eyes gain a distant, glazed look, "without his love."

    Slowly, his eyes regain their former sharpness. "Will that be sufficient payment, or will further installments be required?"
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    Ryver gives a sly smile to Crocka before settling her eyes on the young elf. She toys idly with a gold bracelet on her left wrist as she listens to his story. She has heard many of the like before, of love found and love lost. It was an old story, and one that would be repeated countless times before the end of days. She gives a toying smile at the elf when he asks his question. "Perhaps, perhaps not. But a tale that iz not finished, iz hardly a tale at all..."
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    "Alas, I would tell the end to the tale if I knew it, but that part is not yet written," replies Ivellios, his eyes again taking on a partially glazed look. "But enough about that. Perhaps one of you has a tale to help pass the night?"
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    Ryver leans back in her chair, looking ponderous. "I haff one." She reaches into her pocket for her cards, shuffling their seemingly shimmering surfaces slowly in her sensuous hands (Yay! Alliteration! ). "I used to be part ov a Caravan. A few weeks back, we had taken in a small child. No more than twelve years ov age. We fed and clothed him, but he vould not speak." She shakes her head sadly and continues to shuffle. It seems to be a bit of a nervous tic of hers. "Three days after, the first people started vanishing. One by one, every few hours, someone else would go missing. It waz not too hard to figure out, but even after a few of the...less forgiving killed ze boy, it continued." She sighs tiredly and puts the cards away. "It waz when we finally searched through the belongings ov the child when we found it."

    At the moment, she looks much more tired and in need of a drink. "It appeared to only be a small doll, one ov a bear, one zat hyu'd give to any child. There were only a dozen ov us left by that time, and none ov us thought anything ov it. But then it...changed when found. Becoming a hideous beast. It had ze head ov a lion, claws ov a bear and fangz zat vould rend ze flesh off ov any living thing." She reaches across to try and take Crocka's drink for herself. If she gets it, she'll take a long gulp of it without batting an eye. "It killed half ov us before ve finally put it down, tearing it's limbs off and burning it's body. Afterwards, ve went our separate ways and I ended up here, giving drinks to my fallen friendz."
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    The table goes quiet as the two tell their tales, spinning stories of distant love now lost as well as the deaths of friends once held dear. When the two finish their respective stories they find that many in the massive chamber have began to leave, their numbers thinning as they either head through a door in the back, no doubt to their rooms, or out the front door and into the cold. Crocka unleashes a massive yawn, spilling forth his putrid breath that smells so strongly of sewage and alcohol as he rubs his watery eyes, before shaking his head a bit. "Those were right fine stories alright but ya cant blame a man of being a bit tired after a long day of thievin' can ya?" He begins to stand up, patting Ivellios hard on the shoulder as he does so but stays at the table for a moment, grinning at the girls briefly before placing his rather rumpled hat upon his greasy ginger hair. "Well g'night and g'luck ladies and gent." And with that he turns and begins to head to the door, heading towards the cold night beyond.

    Talaitha simply rests her chin in her palm as she has since the stories truly began in earnest, eyes showing no hints of exhaustion or even enjoyment of the stories she heard, only an odd chill. She smiles a small smile that isn't reflected in her eyes at all as she sits up straight once more, lifting her arms above her head to lazily stretch before folding them over her chest to gaze upon the two remaining at her table. "Good stories one and all I'd say but I have to ask. Why are you here in Twin Crossings? Not really a haven for those wandering about for this reason or that, especially in winter."
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    Ivellios smiles and shrugs before replying, "It is here. For me, one settlement is as good as the next. The fact that it is an unlikely destination for travelers is an unintended bonus. I have had, shall we say, a disagreement with the law enforcement of another region, and I am hoping to give them time to cool off before we meet again. Weather permitting, I don't think I will be staying in this wonderful place for any longer than I have to." He raises an eyebrow at Talaitha. "And what of you, Talaitha of the northern glades? What has brought one such as yourself to this city?"
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    Ryver smiles a bit, glad to have gotten the dark tale out. "I am a mere wanderer without ze caravan. So zis place iz as good as any. And I do believe the young elf is right. Hyu have yet to tell us a thing."
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    Talaitha's smile fades for a moment, lost in thought one would presume as her left hand gently strokes her right arm, index finger tracing little patterns upon the milk white flesh. This goes on for only a moment before she unfolds her arms, resting her right hand upon the stock of her rather ornate pistol while the other rests upon the equally gilded and bejeweled rapier on her left hip. It isn't a threatening gesture you would think as her fingers now gently stroke the jewels embedded in each of the weapons instead of the flesh of her arm. "That is true but now that I think on it I really don't know what to tell you I'm afraid. I can't start from the beginning you see or we would sit here until Ryver was a crone." She presses her lips together and jerks her head to the side, sending her white hair flying over her shoulder as her gaze is once again settled upon Ivellios.

    "But you're right. It wouldn't be fair at all if I didn't tell you something so I'll tell you this. I am of the north and am no Elf, though I share many of their features. I have been... many things in my life, few of them savory but for now I am a collector of stories and have been for some time." She rolls her eyes to the right, taking in the young gypsy for a moment, not wanting to exclude her. "One thing my years of traveling and collecting tales has done is given me... instincts and right now my instincts tell me that you two are worth collecting as it were. The other thing they taught me was the power of perception. You my little street rat carry yourself well, speak well, and were completely unaware of that brute stealing your coin purse as he got up to leave, as were you Ryver. You're new to the roads in a sense but yet I sit here wondering what the fruit of your potential will bring." She puts on her most disarming smile, which is fairly easy from one as beautiful as she, as her gaze once again settles back on Ivellios. "So I think I'll accompany you for a bit if you would have me, or even if you wouldn't really. There is no place you can go where I cannot follow. But I can only follow if I know what you pursue." Her dazzling smile has faded a bit into a smirk at this point though a playful one as she watches the both of you, reading your reactions.
    Last edited by Ms.Malbolge; 2010-07-19 at 04:59 PM.
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    Almost absentmindedly, Ivellios feels his belt where the coin purse once hung to confirm its absence. Just as indifferently, he drops the hand back to his lap. Considering Talaitha, he addresses the tall woman in a businesslike tone, "If you provide me with a room for tonight and perhaps something warm for breakfast on the morrow, you have yourself a deal. As I mentioned earlier, I was hoping to leave Twin Crossings in the near future. And as I also mentioned, I have dealings in Calaya that must be attended to at one point or another. With a few companions to share the road with, I believe that the time has come for me to attend to it." He raises his eyebrows at each woman in turn. "I will not hide the fact that I am a fugitive from Calayan law, and though it has been several years since I left, they may still be searching for me. That said, I would be overjoyed to have you accompany me. Provided, of course, that you are willing to risk travelling with a marked man."
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    Ryver snorts in amusement. "As I haff zed, I am Gypsy. I haff no love ov ze law." She then smiles and pulls out a card at random from her pocket, the one of Fortuna smiling. "I think I vill go with hyu. I haff nothing better to do." She puts the card away. "But yez, tomorrow vould be a better time."
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    Talaitha listens to the dual statements with a bemused smile and while gently caressing the handles of her weapons her smile slowly turns somber as they come to a close. She nods her head once and looks about the increasingly empty chamber for a long moment, her mane of winter hair cascading about her shoulders as her gaze flutters to and fro. Finally after sighing rather dramatically she turns her attention once again to the two guests at her table before shrugging slightly. "I think that the rooms are sold out for the night my little street rat. Winter nights in Twin Crossings bring all manner of living refuse out of the gutters, scurrying to the warm rooms of whatever dwelling would have them, all their daily toils working towards this one lofty goal. Though fear not..." She says as a wicked grin spreads wide upon her features, eyes lit up as she looks at the two of you. "... for I do have a room at this most fine and noble establishment. One I would be willing to share with my new found... compatriots." Her wicked and playful look remains splayed across her beautifully snowy features after she finishes, leaving you no doubt wondering what is going through her mind during such a suggestion. "Though if you find my offer wanting I'm sure the patron of this fine establishment would let you sleep in this chamber for only a few coppers, though I wouldn't bet on having much of your meager belongings intact when dawn whispers its first light upon your brows."

    And so you have choice. Take Talaitha up on her offer and have you all share a room, or seek some other sort of accommodation.

    (Sorry for missing yesterdays post, sickness trumps purple prose every time. )

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    Also, since in my meager dealings with PbP games the times to award XP have always been a little shaky. I'll state simply it will be awarded when objectives are complete rather than right after you cause massive bloodsplosions or the like. Also I give out bonuses at other times as well. Mainly to award creativity in any situation and sometimes a small bonus each time we enter a new phase of the plot. XP will be awarded in spoilers labeled simply as XP: so look out for them. Ill only be checking your sheets to see if you have the proper amount occasionally, I trust you to keep accurate records... OR ELSE!!!
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    Ryver gives a warm and throaty chuckle. "I haff heard that line from many peoples." She gives Talaitha a coy smirk before nodding, her slightly curled hair bobbing with her head. She grins and looks back at the woman. "But I think I vill accept ze offer zis time. It vould be a first. Congratulations." She was used to living in caravan wagons, sharing a bed with one, or even two people was nothing new to her.
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