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    Default Dusk Eclipse's Eyes of the Lich Queen IC

    With no warning, you suddenly hear the voice of what sounds like a gnome inside your head. “Your services are requested. Come to Kern’s Rest and Revelry tomorrow morningg to discuss arrangements. Be prepared for travel. A House Sivis Service.” For better or for worse you have decided to heed the strange words, making your way to Kern's Rest and Revelry, a humble hostel located in the middle ring of Sharn, it doesn't look much, but perhaps that is the reason you have been summoned there.

    It is a pleasant surprise that despite the less than stellar outside appearance the hostel is operated by House Thuranni and House Ghallanda, the marks of the houses displayed proudly on the front desk, the tavern is almost empty, which is expected considering the day of the time, a few patrons enjoying a light breakfast while a lone bard softly plays the lute on one of the stages set up. Nobody pays much attention to you, nobody except for a perky half-elf girl who had been manning the desk.

    "Welcome to Kern's Rest and Revelry, my name is Jessica, how may I help you?"


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    Sorry for the delays, but at least here is the opening post of "Eyes of the Lich Queen", I hope you enjoy the ride, because I sure will

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    A sudden voice in his head, telling him to go visit a hostel in the middle ring? Could be a trap, could be adventure. A chat with Blake and a promise to keep in touch (and a bit more cajoling than he'd like to convince his protective older brother than he'd ever tell anyone) and Soren Lowell is off. It's a relatively short walk across the sky bridges these days, and Soren makes sure to whistle a jaunty tune as he makes his way among the towers, and to have his scarf subtly stream in the wind.

    The hostel is sponsored by not one, but two dragonmarked houses, which is probably why it could get away with the more rustic exterior, Soren figures. But he likes it. Inside is war and cozy, and it seems like he's the first one there. Which means...ah, perfect.

    Soren gracefully makes his way to the bar and leans over, smiling lazily at Jessica as he rests his chin on one hand. "A cup of your strongest coffee, two creams if you please," he flirts as he tucks a stray lock of dark red hair behind a slightly pointed ear, "Served by nobody else but you, if you could. And oh, where are my manners? I'm Soren."

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    I am not good at the flirting dialogue. Hopefully this is okay and please tell me if I need to tone It down or stop or anything.

    Regardless, I'm really excited.
    Last edited by CoffeeIncluded; 2015-01-16 at 10:52 AM.

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    A message straight into her mind? Kaarna snorts and rolls a lock of hair around her finger. And an invitation to trip, maybe. Oh well... it's not like she had anything better to do anyway. Work hadn't been easy to come by lately, and while the city had its good sides, being surrounded by all these looming towers was starting to feel a bit constraining. Maybe it was time to move on.

    It didn't take Kaarna long to gather the few things she bothered to keep, most of them were scrolls that she had bought from a sale with her last money, and hadn't had the time to feed Veca. Finding the hostel took her a little longer, the directions she first got were obscure, and she ended up taking a wrong turn more than once. When she finally arrived at Kern's R & R, some small clouds of annoyance had gathered over the witch's head.

    Well, the place was cozy at least, she thinks after taking a quick look around, though a little empty. Except... Noticing the young human by the counter causes the witch to freeze for a moment. Then her face goes through a series of emotions, dread, slight embarrasment, annoyance and even uncertainty, before it settles on a bold grin.

    "Well, look who I found.. If it ain't the kid with the silver tongue", Kaarna says and walks to lean on the counter as well, "I'd watch out if I were you", she says to the half-elf girl, "That voice can make a crude ogre brute think he has a old ma at home who needs looking after."

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    That backstory we talked about? Kaarna finds it most embarrasing.
    Kaarna, a snarky evil witch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWater View Post
    A message straight into her mind? Kaarna snorts and rolls a lock of hair around her finger. And an invitation to trip, maybe. Oh well... it's not like she had anything better to do anyway. Work hadn't been easy to come by lately, and while the city had its good sides, being surrounded by all these looming towers was starting to feel a bit constraining. Maybe it was time to move on.

    It didn't take Kaarna long to gather the few things she bothered to keep, most of them were scrolls that she had bought from a sale with her last money, and hadn't had the time to feed Veca. Finding the hostel took her a little longer, the directions she first got were obscure, and she ended up taking a wrong turn more than once. When she finally arrived at Kern's R & R, some small clouds of annoyance had gathered over the witch's head.

    Well, the place was cozy at least, she thinks after taking a quick look around, though a little empty. Except... Noticing the young human by the counter causes the witch to freeze for a moment. Then her face goes through a series of emotions, dread, slight embarrasment, annoyance and even uncertainty, before it settles on a bold grin.

    "Well, look who I found.. If it ain't the kid with the silver tongue", Kaarna says and walks to lean on the counter as well, "I'd watch out if I were you", she says to the half-elf girl, "That voice can make a crude ogre brute think he has a old ma at home who needs looking after."

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    That backstory we talked about? Kaarna finds it most embarrasing.
    Soren turns around sharply at the sound of Kaarna's voice. His eyes widen a bit, and though his easy smile remains there's a hint of disappointment around it. "Kaarna, did you have to? I was busy talking to Jessica. And I'm sure even--" he pauses and checks himself, "you know that ogres have to have parents. Who knows, perhaps those mothers need their help with cooking." He gives both women an easy smile, but when Jessica leaves to get the coffee he leans over to Kaarna and asks in a hushed voice, "Did you...have any reason to come to this particular hostel instead of your normal bar?"

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    Heh, well we don't need to mention it right now. Oh, and Soren's a half-elf too. This is gonna be fun.

    I also figured Soren would guess that Kaarna's parents are a touchy subject so he checks himself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeIncluded View Post
    Soren turns around sharply at the sound of Kaarna's voice. His eyes widen a bit, and though his easy smile remains there's a hint of disappointment around it. "Kaarna, did you have to? I was busy talking to Jessica. And I'm sure even--" he pauses and checks himself, "you know that ogres have to have parents. Who knows, perhaps those mothers need their help with cooking." He gives both women an easy smile, but when Jessica leaves to get the coffee he leans over to Kaarna and asks in a hushed voice, "Did you...have any reason to come to this particular hostel instead of your normal bar?"

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    Heh, well we don't need to mention it right now. Oh, and Soren's a half-elf too. This is gonna be fun.

    I also figured Soren would guess that Kaarna's parents are a touchy subject so he checks himself.
    "Sure, Veca wanted to try something new and had a temper tantrum, so I dragged myself all the way here to appease him." Kaarna leans back and eyes the hostel ceiling. "There was also this other voice in my head that seemed to have an opinion about it. Funny, you'd think one extra source of thoughts were enough." The witch chuckles.
    Last edited by CWater; 2015-01-16 at 11:42 AM.
    Kaarna, a snarky evil witch.
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    This is worth investigating. It's unlikely to be a trap, both because it's so public and because no one would have a motivation to set a trap for me, Scholar figures. Frowning at the telepathic imperative's imprecision, she decides to arrive at the inn exactly midway between dawn and noon. She walks in and sees Soren talking to Kaarna. She stands for a minute, scanning the common room, until Jessica comes back and looks at her questioningly. "Hello," she says to Jessica. I need to justify being here; I don't eat or sleep so why would I come into an inn during the day? "I'm meeting someone here."
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Soren chuckles. "I would hate to be on the receiving end of her tantrums." He looks back at the platform where a bard is performing. "Did the voice say something about meeting here and traveling?"

    EDIT: the heavy sounds of someone in armor make Soren look up towards the door. Much to his surprise, a warforged walks in--one he's seen before. What's its name again? Striker? Sunner? Oh!

    "Scholar?" he asks almost to himself. After a moments thought he raises a hand to get its--her?--attention.
    Last edited by CoffeeIncluded; 2015-01-16 at 11:56 AM.

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    "Hello, Soren." Scholar turns to face the young half-elf. "Were you summoned here as well?"
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    "Hello, Soren." Scholar turns to face the young half-elf. "Were you summoned here as well?"
    "Yeah," he says, looking back at Jessica, Kaarna, and the rest of the hostel. "I wonder why they asked us, ofnall people." Er...does Scholar like being called that?

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    Kaarna raises an eyebrow when the new arrival steps in. She had had to get used to these 'metal people' after she had come to Breland, though they did still make her feel a little awkward. Apparently they weren't just golems, but actually aware, which seemed very strange to her. Then again, who was she to question what was possible in this world?

    "Uh Soren, you know this... uh..." She waves her hand in Scholar's direction.
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    "I saw it--uh, her, she calls herself a her--a few times at the finder guild house. Hired my brother for help a couple of times." He shrugs. It's not like he hasn't seen war forged before but they are still a bit unusual. Then again Karrnath used dead people to fight so he can't exactly use that argument. "She's nice enough for sure."

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    "Hello," Scholar says to the short woman, her voice completely inflectionless. "Who are you?"
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Kaarna stares at the warforged intently for a moment, then spreads her hands and shrugs.

    "Name's Kaarna, I'm an evil witch", she says with wicked smirk that reveals her yellow teeth.
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    "And you got the same message? 'Your services are requested. Come to Kern’s Rest and Revelry tomorrow morning to discuss arrangements. Be prepared for travel. A House Sivis Service,'" Scholar recites, mimicking the tone of the telepathic message. For all the reaction she shows to Kaarna's declaring herself evil or baring her teeth, she might not have noticed either.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Kaarna follows Scholar's reaction, and seems a little disappointed when there is none. Leaning back again, she starts to play with her braid.

    "Yeah, sounds like the new voice in my head this morning."
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    Soren watches the scene but doesn't say anything--he's kin of curious how Scholar would react too. "I wonder who else got the message, and why us."

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    The Sivis sending finds Athard near the bottom of what should have been his fourth and final drink of the evening. But having nearly lost his sword-hand on the last similarly solicited job he accepted, the vagueness of the anonymous invitation warrants the ordering of a fifth drink. It almost certainly does not warrant, but nevertheless occasions, a sixth and seventh drink as well.

    So it is that Athard arrives at the Rest and Revelry with both a severe hangover and an undisguised apprehension regarding the nature of these so-called "arrangements." Grimacing at the bard's music as he approaches the front desk, his eyes look to each of the tavern's patrons before finally focusing on its khorovar hostess.

    "Well, Jessica," he replies, "you could tell me who it is that's trying to hire me and who's coin it is that's going to cover the cup of coffee you're about to bring me."
    Last edited by rypt; 2015-01-16 at 09:43 PM.

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    "...I don't know who he is though," Soren says. He runs his tongue along his teeth, apparently trying to decide whether or not to talk to this new surly-looking man who is grimacing and rubbing his temples.

    "Hey Kaarna, Scholar, think it's worth the risk?"

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    Jessica somehow manages to keep her cheery disposition despite the somewhat bizarre scene unfolding in front of her eyes, she however isn't able to completely cover her surprise at the sudden appearance of the scarred man. "Su...sure sir" she manages to stutter, Athard can see a spark of recognition crossing the half-elf's eyes. Clearing her throat Jessica tries to gather the attention of the newest arrivals. "If you would be so kind to follow me, master Sur'kill is expecting you upstairs."

    The hostess leads the group to a second-floor room, partially open to the floor below and with an excellent view of the stage. The sounds of a lute carry above the faint din of breakfast. A number of chairs are arranged closest to the balcony’s edge, and a low table against the back wall of the room is laden with fruits and pastries.

    A middle-aged human with dark hair and neatly trimmed beard stands near the chairs, apparently enjoying the musical performance. He turns as the door opens, gesturing to the table. “Please, help yourselves. My name is Sur’kil, and we have business to discuss, which is always more pleasant on a full stomach.”
    Just call me Dusk
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    "Of course," Soren says, following Jessica upstairs alongside everyone else. The upstairs is actually rather nice, and Soren heads over to the edge of the balcony to watch the bard. He starts swaying back and forth, humming along to the music. Until everyone's upstairs and he smells the food. Apples and oranges and sliced pineapple and chunks of mango, apple and egg custard and pecan pastries, Soren runs over to the food and shovels one of everything in his arms. He sits at the table and starts eating as quickly as he can, hunched over as if guarding the food from everyone else until he seems to come to himself and realize where he is. The half-elf looks around, then shifts to a more relaxed position and eats more slowly, though he still hols his arms in a guarding position, claiming ownership of all the food on his plate.

    When he's done he extends a hand to the man and says, "Good morning, Sur'Kil. I'm Soren, and were you the one who sent us the message?" no, no r wasn't, Soren realizes as soon as he asks--this man doesn't sound like the voice in his head. Though he could have been the one who commissioned the message.
    Last edited by CoffeeIncluded; 2015-01-17 at 09:43 AM.

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    Scholar sits in one of the chairs and examines the man briefly, noting that he doesn't look much like a gnome, before she goes on to study the room. She waits for the flesh-people with her to eat and doesn't say anything.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Kaarna chuckles. "What is it, kid? Afraid that someone's gonna steal the food from your mouth? There doesn't seem to be a shortage of it." She leans to pick up a pear and takes a few good bites, staining her hand and face in its juice. She turns to Sur'kil. "So what's up with gathering this weird bunch?", she asks and licks her chin and cheek clean, "I'm Kaarna, though I guess you must already know that?"
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    Soren looks a bit abashed at Kaarna's accusation, but there's hint of something deeper in there. He clutches the pastry tighter and takes a few more bites, making sure to chew and swallow before asking, "And why us?"

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    A half-elf boy, a tiny shifter woman, and a warforged that could not possibly have been created for front-line combat. Athard has no idea what kind of job would see him joined with such an unusual trio, but then again, none of the others seem to have any idea why they're here either.

    Reaching for a heel of breed and some butter -- just about the only thing he can stomach at the moment -- the former Cyran assassin reclines in his chair and waits for their would-be employer's explanation.

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    Soren tears into another pastry, barely taking time to savor the flavor. He knows Kaarna pretty well and has met Scholar once or twice, but who's the scarred grumpy guy? He's got a Cyrian accent but beyond that...?

    "What's your name?" Soren asks, polite and friendly as he offers the man a blueberry scone. He also offers the same to Scholar, asking, "I know you don't have to eat, but, uh...are you able to?"

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    Scholar shakes her head. "It seems unlikely. Or rather...most likely it would get lodged somewhere around my throat and while I would not be impaired, I would increasingly smell of rotting pastry over the next few weeks until it had finally decayed completely. But thank you."
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Soren sort of looks at Scholar awkwardly and clicks his tongue against his teeth. "Okay then. Good to know." Actually though, that might be good to know at some point. The half elf turns the pastry back and forth on his hand, then offers it to everyone in turn--even the host. If nobody wants it he shrugs and eats it. No point in wasting food, especially if it's good. Though why were they summoned here anyway?
    Last edited by CoffeeIncluded; 2015-01-18 at 01:22 PM.

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    "As interesting as that may be, I think we should get down to business" Sur'kil says as he takes a plum for himself.

    “I am what you might call an independent researcher. I have recently uncovered hints and rumors of an ancient site dating back to the so-called Age of Demons. I would like to employ you to investigate this location, and to retrieve a relic that I believe might yet remain there.” “This task is not without some degree of danger, which is why I require the services of individuals such as yourselves,” Sur’kil continues.

    “The location, while nominally still in Khorvaire, is somewhat remote, and so I would like to procure your services for a period of at least four weeks. You will have free choice of any treasure found at the site with the exception of the relics I seek, for which you will be rewarded in full. I can offer you each a base fee of 250 gp per week plus travel expenses. I will of course provide half up front.”
    Last edited by Dusk Eclipse; 2015-01-18 at 02:28 PM.
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    Soren finds himself shifting more upright on his seat and paying more attention with every word Sur'kil says. His eyes grow a bit wider and he fights to keep the smile off his face. A treasure hunt, with adventure and riches at the end? The guys at the Finders Guild always come back from things like this with the coolest stories, and a few of the Cyrian plays were about stuff like this. Maybe now he'll have something of his own to sing and dance about too!

    But try not to sound too eager, it's something he's learned. "Where are we going and what are we looking for?" he asks.

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    "Must be pretty old then", Kaarna says and leans back in her chair, throwing her gaze at the ceiling. She quickly weighted the terms of the contract in her mind. One thousand gold for sure and old ruins... who ever knew what they might have. A grin rises to her lips, life was already dangerous to begin with, so why not go looking for it? She lowers her gaze back to Sur'kil and sits up. "Alright, unless you're going to tell the place is at the bottom of an ocean, I'm in."
    Kaarna, a snarky evil witch.
    Alamryn Kven, a druid who tries very hard to not be useless.

    DMing Ljonarian Enigma: Tournament Chaos

    Avatar by Darwin, many thanks!

    I have a DeviantArt account, yay...

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