Author Topic: The Adventure  (Read 4117 times)

Daycryn

  • Noble Lord
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
    • View Profile
The Adventure
« Topic Start: July 28, 2011, 07:03:49 AM »
I made it. That is what Lokenth thought as he traveled with blistering feet from the shore he had washed up upon nine hours ago. This was the land of Arcaea, he knew. Though his family was from Atamara, tales of the ancient and mighty realm had made their way to the taverns and brothels where he spent most of his time. And, too, he could read and write - he learned from his older brother and sister, who had the benefit of an Academy education - and so he wasn't nearly as lost in this Far East as he felt.

His lord father had made it clear that he wanted no bastards contending with his trueborn son and daughter, or their children, for the dubious honor and wealth of House Daycryn. And while Lokenth had made a good number of friends amongst the common people of the land, his father was tired of "wasting good gold on whores and wine." There was nothing to do but leave, and go conveniently far away.

It didn't get much farther than here, Lokenth realized wearily. He was a stranger here, and the land was strange; the people worshiped strange gods, and worried about recent wars, realms, lords and lands, all of which he was completely ignorant. It would take a long time, he knew, to find his destiny: honor, coin, and recognition for his deeds.

With just four silver coins in his purse, he couldn't afford a whore or an inn. He'd spent all of his coin on the ship; the miserly ship's captain, knowing Lokenth's delicate situation, had robbed him blind, and stuck him in the dank cargo hold along with smelly casks and boxes to puke his guts out on the long sea journey. Then the ship had to go and sink in a storm, leaving him to swim ashore.

He didn't think any of the crew had made it. While he wasn't unhappy about the death of the captain, it made him ache to think of all the good coin that was now on the bottom of the sea.

I have to find a benefactor. Someone who is of noble blood... or at least rich.

Fatigued, hungry, and cold, he found a thick hedge by the road and, after a while, drifted to sleep. In his dreams he was a powerful lord, feasting and whoring and drinking, and all the people knew his name.
Lokenth, Warrior of Arcaea, former Adventurer
Adamir, Lord of Luria Nova

Bedwyr

  • Mighty Duke
  • ****
  • Posts: 1762
  • House Bedwyr
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #1: August 10, 2011, 06:49:47 AM »
Dirty and unkempt, but with a gold coin and six silvers jingling in his purse and a sturdy short sword at his belt, Lokenth arrives at the palace of Remton.

"Good day to you," the adventurer says to a pair of guards, putting on his brightest smile. His teeth are good teeth, white, straight, unbroken and unchipped. Better teeth than one born to life of a common outlaw would have. The mark of my nobility, he thinks dryly.

"I would like to offer my services to the King. Perhaps you kind gentlemen could send word."

One of the guards laughed. "Services, eh? The brothels are full, sorry. Move along." The other guard guffawed.

Lokenth was not so easily deterred. He reached into his purse and fumbled for a pair of silver coins. "Very witty! But I think the King could make use of my services. I am an adventurer. All I ask is that you bring word that I am here to serve him."

The guard eyed the pair of coins with interest. His mouth twisted, and Lokenth drew out another coin and placed the three into his hand.

"Oh... I guess that could be managed. Wait here."

As he stood waiting for the guard to return, Lokenth made idle talk with the other man. "You know the King was an adventurer himself, once?" he said in the hushed tone of a confidant.

"Aye," said Lokenth.

"So maybe he'll see you. But no king likes being reminded of a humble origin. You best have something other than coins to offer."

Lokenth nodded, having figured as much. "Aye. That I do."

"Magic swords, jewelry, books of lore and secrets?"

He said nothing. The guard laughed. "I take it you don't."

"I have eyes, and ears. I have my blade, but it's unfortunately quite mundane. Kills monsters good, though, and puts the undead back to grave."

The guard laughed. "Might be you could join the city watch. If you're good, you might even find work in the army. I hope you're not wanting to have the king sit down with you hisself, though."

Lokenth was hoping exactly that, but he knew how small a chance it was, and how foolish it was to hope for such an opportunity. "I wish to prove myself, that he might recognize my worth and put me to good service."

The guard said nothing, but it was obvious what he thought of Lokenth's worth by the smirk.

The hours passed...
"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"

Bedwyr

  • Mighty Duke
  • ****
  • Posts: 1762
  • House Bedwyr
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #2: August 10, 2011, 08:03:28 AM »
(OOC Check out http://wiki.battlemaster.org/wiki/Bedwyr_Family/Jenred_Appearance normal wear for what Jenred looks like)

Jenred threw his head back and howled savagely.  Oh, if only he had been there...Xarnelf, finally taken down in the sack of Nahad.  And the Aenilians finally talking about real peace terms.  And the day had barely begun!

He was in a flurry.  Letters were flying across the continent, fast-paced negotiations with different parties, slipping a note to the Phoenix Court about the changed situation, scanning maps and reviewing old letters, and it was some time before he managed to get ahead of it all.  But he was pacing, ignoring the pain in his bad leg, full of nervous energy and tightly wound as could be.

"Is there nothing else I can do?  There must be something that needs my attention?"

Normally, he would move to one of the gatherings in Topenah to restore faith in Arcaea, but he knew he might need to be in the palace for further negotiations and, Amriel willing, treaty signing.

One of the nearby scribes gave a waiting guard a fishy eye, but sighed.  It was...Not wise to leave the King without something to occupy him.  Not in this mood.  Normally he would have handled this himself.  Had it been any other day...

"Your Majesty?  There is one matter...An adventurer, Lokenth, is at the gate is seeking an audience.  The guards guess noble birth, but he claims no House.  I would not have troubled you with the matter, but you did ask-"

Jenred's eyes gleamed.  On any other day he would have waved dismissively, or more likely called for a new scribe who did not waste his time with such matters.  On any other day, this Lokenth would have dealt with a minor functionary at best.  But on this day...

"Send for him.  It is not every day that an adventurer seeks an audience, and I am curious."

A few of the scribes looked at each other.  The look quite clearly said multiple times a day, more like but they kept quiet.  When the King decided he needed a new project, in this mood, he often came up with...Interesting...ideas.  Like deciding he needed to train all his scribes how to stab a potential assassin in the jugular.  Or, far, far worse, deciding he would bring one or more of his children to learn.  Very bright, very active, very loud children.  Children who knew enough to cause sheer chaos, and how to judge their father enough to know that in this mood he would use it as a test of the readiness of his servants rather than chastising them as he might normally.

Jenred resumed his pacing, his hawk-head cane clacking loudly on the stone as he waited...
"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"

Daycryn

  • Noble Lord
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #3: August 10, 2011, 11:10:36 AM »
Lokenth fell to his knees and bowed his head.

"Your Grace!" he declared. He had never had an audience with royalty before and the experience was overwhelming. "Your Majesty!"

He met the king's gaze with his own, boldly and hotly before breaking away. It was like looking into the face of the moon; bright against the dark night sky, shining in the black, his eyes like glimmering chips of ice, his hair like swirling wind and rain around them.

He had practiced, in his mind's eye, what to say. But now that the moment of truth had really come at last - had really come - he felt at a loss for words and had to compose himself. "If it please your kingliness. I am Lokenth, recently arrived on the shores of your wondrous Realm."

No, no. Why did I say that? he reprimanded himself immediately. Of course he couldn't care less about your name or when you arrived or how. Think, think, damn you, bastard! He pushed on. "I offer to you my loyalty, life and service! 'Tis true, I am of common birth, but I have uncommon skills. I can find and destroy the undead, and the wild beasts of the land. I can mingle with the common people and inquire after foreign nobles or adventurers. I can scout your lands, I can carry messages and write them."

As he spoke, he remembered some of what he had planned to say, and it flowed through him now like a hot river of wine-soaked wind. His head throbbed. "My King, if it please you, I can serve the realm! Even now, there are many adventurers in the realm, some foreign-born and some local. They all hunt for the monsters and undead, to gain the bounty rewards that your lords have set. But they do so individually, on their own time, disorganized. In my humble opinion this needs not be so. It is inefficient! Duplication of efforts, coverage with gaps, blind spots! What if, (pardon your kingliness!) they were to be organized and marshalled, under the command of you and your own men, to serve the realm...?"

He let the question stand. He'd intended to say more, and better, but he was doing well enough not to stammer and stutter before the cold gaze of King Jenred.
Lokenth, Warrior of Arcaea, former Adventurer
Adamir, Lord of Luria Nova

Bedwyr

  • Mighty Duke
  • ****
  • Posts: 1762
  • House Bedwyr
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #4: August 11, 2011, 06:06:40 AM »
(OOC Icy is not how I would have ever described Jenred, hehe...)

Jenred considered, looking the man over.

"Certainly, a more organized approach would be useful.  But why should I believe you can do so?  Adventurers are notoriously independent.  Perhaps...Show me that you can convince, one way or another, three others to follow you, and we can discuss a royal mandate further.  And by the Aenil, get up, man.  A bow is sufficient."
"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"

Daycryn

  • Noble Lord
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #5: August 13, 2011, 01:30:11 AM »
Lokenth grinned, and stood up. "Three others should be no problem, Your Grace. In fact I recently have worked with two; we would share reports of the enemy and locations of their hideouts. But three you ask, and three you shall have."

Already he liked this King very much. He was down-to-earth, modest, and he had an easygoing manner. He seemed the sort of man who would be just at home on horseback, hunting for wolves and bears with hounds and horn bows, as he might swilling sour ale at a feast and pinching the bar wenches' bottoms. Emboldened, he pressed on.

"There is another thing, less... less of an issue concerning royal mandates and the like. I can offer you my private services. I raid into long-forgotten tombs and ancient crypts, but I might well find usable steel, or gold or other wealth, or tomes of lost knowledge and secret lore, even great items of power. I would be most pleased to pass anything of value I find to you - at no charge. Then too, I might find out what the common folk of your realm think about - if they are loyal, if rebellious, if content, if malcontent. I might find the locations of enemies, of infiltrators and assassins. This too I can provide to you; regular intelligence reports. I will go where you wish me, where I am needed, even where it is dangerous and at any time you desire. I may even be able to spy upon your enemies of other realms. I am yours to command, sire."

He was laying it on pretty thick, but his voice was clear and again his education made itself heard as he spoke of intelligence, politics, and mysterious items of Power. There was clearly more to Lokenth than you might see - or smell - at first.
Lokenth, Warrior of Arcaea, former Adventurer
Adamir, Lord of Luria Nova

Bedwyr

  • Mighty Duke
  • ****
  • Posts: 1762
  • House Bedwyr
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #6: August 13, 2011, 07:16:16 AM »
Jenred's cinnamon eyes grew sharper, more considering.

"An interesting offer.  But one man can only do so much.  Let us start with the organization of adventurers, hm?  Once I am convinced that your tongue is at least silver, we can talk more."

A messenger came running up, letter with an Aenilian seal in hand.  The King's smile flashed, and he gave the adventurer one last look before dismissing him.

"And so it continues...Amriel guide you, Lokenth."
"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"

Daycryn

  • Noble Lord
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #7: August 13, 2011, 08:58:49 AM »
He had hoped the king would be impressed enough to be taken on immediately and sent off on a mission. Noble infiltrators worked alone doing almost exactly what he had planned; surely one man could do well enough on his own.

Lokenth nodded somberly, and bowed his head. "I thank you, my liege. Silver tongue. Aye." But he was already dismissed, and as if possessed he found himself headed out into the bright light of a new day.
Lokenth, Warrior of Arcaea, former Adventurer
Adamir, Lord of Luria Nova

lorduck

  • Freeman
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #8: August 15, 2011, 05:35:36 PM »
Rouen took a deep breath as he walked along the riverfront of Remton.  The air smelled of the day's catch that was being offloaded from the docks and he shriveled what was left of his nose at the stench.  The movement made the large scar across his face from forehead to cheek itched and he idly ran a finger along the jagged mark.  He adjusted the eye patch that covered the space where his right eye used to be and turned south down the road.

He saw his destination ahead of him, the weathered wooden sign with a river boatman indicating the familiar Boatman's Inn.  The two story building sagged slightly from years of settling and the paint on the red door was chipped, but there were places in far worse shape in this district.  He pushed on the door and headed for his normal bench in the back of the room.

The Boatman's was one of the few places where Rouen didn't feel out of place, the normal patrons looking as equally worn as himself and no one looked twice here.  Plus, there was always a drunk river man to talk to and he enjoyed the company.  But tonight was not going to be his normal social encounter.  The messages he had received from Lokenth were intriguing, but he wasn't sure how he felt about the prospect of a partner.  His travels had taken him many interesting places and he was reluctant to give those up.

But on the other hand, he was in Remton for the prospect of earning a significant sum, and this meeting added the prospect of more gold.  He didn't mind the wandering, but certainly wanted to spend a little less time sleeping in the forests.  He ordered a mug of ale from the overweight barmaid and sat back to watch the other patrons and the door.

lorduck

  • Freeman
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #9: August 19, 2011, 10:53:58 PM »
The below is a compilation of RPs between Svetlana and Rouen with a little filler material.  The parts that Svetlana's player wrote are copied with his permission.


Five hours and perhaps twice as many ales later, Rouen was fed up with waiting.  He pushed himself up from his bench and teetered toward the stairs and the straw mattress in his room.  "That bugger Lokenth," he drawled, "makin' me wait.  I'll show 'im a thing or two when I find 'im.  But not until t'morrow."  He locked the door behind him and fell into the bed, hitting his head on the headboard.

He had a fitful night, and dreamed of a strange demon skull, one like he had never seen before.  It lay on a bed of gold and a had a strong, blue aura about it.  When he awoke he had a headache of epic proportions and a lump on his head that smarted painfully, but he could not get the image of the skull out of his mind.

Despite this, he departed Remton after a quick breakfast.  He paused as he passed the city gates, then headed on the road to Salex.  Hours passed, but did not stop to rest.

As he entered the heart of the Salex woods his scar began to itch.  Idly, he scratched it as he came over a rise of hill and saw a woman on the road, obviously dressed for travel.

"Hail!" he shouted.  Svetlana moved one hand to the hilt of the weapon at her side, but then raised the other in greeting.  In her raised hand she held a skull, and Rouen recognized it instantly.  He felt joy rush up in him and gleefully bounded down towards her.  "Where ever did you find such an unusual skull?  I've never seen anything like it!"

Svetlana eyed Rouen suspiciously.  The mix of his gnarled face and his friendly enthusiasm was almost more than she could handle.  "I, er, found it during my travels.  I've never seen it's like either."

"You wouldn't be willing to part with it, would you?" he asked as he began dumping the contents of his pack on the ground.  "If so, I have so many things I could offer in return."  Gems, tools, papers and vials all fell with a noisy crash.

Svetlana looked at the scene with growing amusement until some crystal fragments caught her eye.  Shining, edgy, pretty. She took an instant liking to them. But she also liked the strange skull. Sure it was strange, but that is what made it fascinating.   "Give me the fragmented crystals and I shall in turn give you the strange skull."

"I scoured the hillside for near 8 hours gathering all these up. I hope you take care of 'em," he said as he handed them to Svetlana.

She held the thought of maybe keeping it and running off with the crystal fragments... "But no...a proper noble does not steal", she told herself. She always wished she'd been born as one.

She took the strange skull from under her arm and gave it to Rouen, closing her eyes in the process. He looked at the offered skull and the closed eyes of the lady who offered it. He couldn't decide which one looked stranger, the skull or the wincing face. Did she expect him to bite her? The large scar across the middle of his face began itching more than normal. Involuntarily, he scrunched his face along with her as he took the skull. He reached up to scratch his face and then smiled at Svetlana.

"Thank you, my lady. I hope that we might meet again, it has been a pleasure."  A warmth came over him as he held the skull in his hands.  He stared at it for a few minutes before the sound of Svetlana's footsteps walking away roused him from his trance.  "Or perhaps, you might wish to accompany me back to Remton? I am meeting with a fellow wanderer to discuss matters that would be financially beneficial to us both, and I know he is looking for more than myself to assist him. But I can not go today, I am too tired from my travels here. Perhaps you could at least recommend a good tavern where I can get a cup of ale?"

At first she declined his offer. She was used to traveling alone, fending for herself against whatever came. But by doing so her dirty clothes had blood stains in several places, her left leg ached from the last monster swing that had smashed it and her lack of eating had left her scrawny like a wildcat.

She turned around again.

"On second thought...I can come with you to Remton city. First we sleep, and you can tell me in more detail about what exactly he wants from us while when we walk there in the morning. About the taverns and ale, sorry to disappoint you but this is the deep woods. No tavern for miles and miles.

I have set up a tent a not far from here. Considering that you offered me a tent before, I know you have one too. Come with me, and you can set up yours next to mine. There is safety in numbers I hear."

She almost covered her own mouth when the last sentence left it. "Safety in numbers? That doesn't sound like me at all", she thought for herself.

No tavern for miles and miles. Rouen's heart sank at her words, but then his eyes twinkled as her remembered the small flask of brandy that he had lifted from a passed out drunk in the streets of Remton. Such a fine concoction was wasted on such a man.

Svetlana was staring a Rouen, waiting for a response. "Whassat? Safety in numbers! Yes indeed, it is always better to sleep next to a friend than alone where you could be food for wolves or other nasty creatures. Please show me your camp, I'm sure there will be plenty of space."

Svetlana led Rouen away from the road to a small clearing. He could hear a small brook beyond the trees. Her tent was set next to the remnants of a small fire. Rouen immediately began pitching his tent directly across from hers, an attempt to not be too threatening. It was getting dark, so Svetlana began to relight the fire.

"You look hungry. Are you hungry? I'm famished, could eat a horse if I had one, but I don't so that's not going to help us much now, is it? But I do have some beans and a small pot. That ought to fill our stomachs for a time, shouldn't it?" And before Svetlana could say anything he was off to fill his pot. "Ha! Mushrooms what an lucky find!" she heard him exclaim on his way to the brook.

A few minutes later, filled pot and fungus in hand, he proudly returned to the fire and began cooking, humming to himself as he stirred the pot.

They chatted at the fire for a little while. Rouen seemed, despite his scary face scar, to be a pleasant and odd character. Sure his fingers traveled further than what was honorable at times, but he had not stolen anything from her yet and she had enjoyed getting a sip from that brandy.

Svetlana yawned. Hunting monsters and trading, what exhausting work. Despite the fire, it was hard to keep warm. She ran up to get more and more blankets from her tent. Finally the heat caught up with her and she could relax in the warmth of the dancing flames.

She felt safe enough with Rouen now that she could go to sleep. She bid him a sleepy good night, and left him at the fire.

The night turned into morning as the hours replaced each other. Svetlena had slept like a baby. No monsters nor wolves had dared treat upon their domain.

As she came out of her tent, well rested and ready to go as soon as the tent was folded and packed, she saw that Rouen was already awake and packed.

"Last one in, first one out, huh", she said with a sly smile on her face.

She folded her tent and made herself ready.

"So, shall we go then? And you can tell me all about this mission of ours in Remton city."

"Indeed, my friend, we should make haste for Remton. It is not far and if we do not tarry we can arrive before the heat of the day is upon us."

They began their trip towards the capital city, Rouen talking almost non-stop about everything and nothing all at the same time. Svetlana listened for a time, but soon it became too much. "Rouen, you were going to tell me about this mission?"

"Ah, yes! I will tell you all I know, though it is not much. A man named Lokenth contacted me a few days ago while I was waiting for the Lord Protector to send me a certain item. He said that he had spoken with the king directly and that he had 'a cunning and ambitious plan! - to serve the realm and advance in status, wealth and honor.' Something about passing reports about monsters and such. We had agreed to meet at the Boatman's Inn, a place I frequent consistently, but he did not make himself known to me for a number of days. So I plan to seek him out in earnest upon my return and I am glad you are coming to help me! Remton is such a large place and finding an individual can prove difficult. But the call of great wealth can not be ignored!"

Upon arriving in Remton, they began their search for Lokenth.  Rouen suggested they head to the Boatman's Inn to see if anyone there had seen the man in the past few days.

Daycryn

  • Noble Lord
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #10: August 24, 2011, 04:08:02 PM »
On the way from the palace, Lokenth got lost in the city of Remton. He was no stranger to cities, even large cities, but this was the Far East, and everything was different here. He got turned around five or six times and just plain lost for two straight days, wandering the districts, his hand never far from the hilt of his short iron sword, his eyes always wary and watchful.

When he found the Boatman's, he put in a word with the bartender - a word leavened with a few copper coins - to inform him of the comings and goings of the people. He learned quickly that the adventurer known as Rouen had been there as lately as the day before yesterday but had left yesterday morning.

That bugger, Rouen! he thought, frustrated. Making me seek him out.

So he did. In his mind's eye, he was not just a man seeking another, he was a nobleman of true blood. He knew his Atamaran history, knew of the powerful judges and Arch-Priests, their laws and edicts and bloody wroth. One day, perhaps, he could afford the bribery and generous helping of coinage to pay off informers and tipsters throughout the lands, just like the Mad King was said to have done before being crowned.

But for now he had only the king's word and not the king's gold, so he pretended that Rouen was a monster to track to its lair, and followed the 'tracks' he left behind. It wasn't easy, but the man Rouen had a memorable, though common, face, and he needed no coin to discover that his quarry had left through the north gate, heading for the woods of Saex.

The road was well-traveled and constructed, and before leaving eyesight of the guards at the gate Lokenth decided to head back to the city. Why pursue the man like he were a beast? There's plenty of other adventurers. He knew the king didn't particularly care who they were - His Grace just wanted to see if Lokenth could recruit, organize, and lead. Besides, the condition of the road meant he could not find Rouen's tracks. Had it only been a dirt road, little-traveled, it might be different.

Might as well head back to that inn, he thought. There were sure to be plenty of adventurous-minded people there. As he turned back, the sunlight shone brightly, reflected off something in the bushes. Curious, he headed in its direction, searching in the dried branches, mosses and greenish-grey leaves for the shining thing. Sure enough, he almost strode right over it - a large blue gemstone, half-buried in the layers of sediment and soil beside a dying fern. It had a large crack, like a jagged bolt of lightning shooting through the center of it, but otherwise the crystal was (after some rubbing and shining with his tunic) nearly glass-like, with a deep blue all throughout (except for the white lightning bolt). How interesting. A sapphire.

He searched the area around it thoroughly, on the off-chance that someone had dropped or misplaced the stone along with others, but found nothing. 

It was sufficient.

He found a jeweler around the corner from the Boatman's Inn. The coin he received for pawning the thing was probably less than a blue sapphire, even a cracked one, was worth - but it was sufficient. Whistling, he found his way to the inn and visited the barkeep.

"Find who you was lookin' for?" the pot-bellied, balding bartender asked Lokenth.

"Yes," he replied, surprised that the man remembered him. A bartender with a good eye for faces. He could be useful in the future. "Yes, I found something, alright."

He fumbled open his coinpurse, fetched out six newly-minted silver coins and put them on the bar. He glanced at the face imprinted on the coins, recognized it with a smile. He met the bartender's eyes and smiled winningly. "I'd like a room upstairs."

He jangled his purse. The other silver coins were accompanied by a single gold one, which he hoped not to have to break soon. "I'd also like to know when the man I'm looking for arrives."

The bartender looked at the coins again. "Rouen, right? I can send for you when he comes in."

"See that you do," Lokenth commanded. "Be prompt about it - whatever time of night or day it may be - and you will be rewarded."

The man grinned. "Minute he comes through those doors, I'll have my girl Risa bring you a flagon. My girl Risa. Not my daughter. Serving wench. Buxom girl, freckles and red hair. You'll like her, good master, that I vow."

Lokenth merely nodded. Girls going upstairs in this place usually only meant one thing. At least the poor greedy sap wasn't trying to pawn his daughter off on him. Lokenth had had more than he could want of the unmarried daughters of innkeeps, millers and blacksmiths. His money and his father's good name were sufficient to attract them like bees to honey, but there was no joy at the prospect now. He was a man with a mission.

The bed was well-stuffed with straw, comfortable and covered with a good warm blanket. It was the best bed he'd seen since he'd swam ashore. He fell asleep almost immediately.

The serving wench appeared before him like out of a dream, telling him that the man called Rouen was downstairs. She was plain-faced and her voice was bubbly and high-pitched, and her words almost came out as squeals. Despite the bartender's word, he didn't find himself particularly fond of her. Nevertheless he pressed a coin to her soft white hand and muttered a word of thanks.

Rouen wasn't alone. The woman seated next to him was beautiful in an unconventional, poorly-dressed, rugged and dirty way. He could see that she was strong and alert, and concluded she was an adventurer too. Rouen looked as his description indicated he would.

Lokenth seated himself at the bar, facing the street and the booth where his quarry were seated. He ordered himself a cup of wine and waited to see how long, if ever, it might take the pair of adventurers to notice they were being covertly observed. A good adventurer had an uncanny sense, an intuition about such things, he had learned. How would these two measure up?

[OOC: Sorry for the late reply. RL, always interferin' with mah RP!]
Lokenth, Warrior of Arcaea, former Adventurer
Adamir, Lord of Luria Nova

Kain

  • Noble Lord
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
  • Prepared for both the book and the sword.
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #11: August 26, 2011, 10:34:05 PM »
Remton was as seats of empires usually were; well protected, crowded and endlessly large. But it had it's drawbacks for the likes of Svetlana and Rouen. The plentiful soldiers and guards that seemed to lurk at every corner were no strangers to extorting what they could, especially out of other commoners. They were armed and had the unshaken trust of their superiors. That was all they needed. A simple grab of somones forearm, the mention of the word silver, and most of them just coughed up whatever shinies they had. In the mind of a military man, this was easy peasy. Nothing but a noble would make them hestitate.

So as an effect of Rouen and Svetlana exploring the city while waiting for Lokenth, they were a lot poorer than they used to be.
After some hours they realized they couldn't afford being out on the chilly and cold-hearted streets anymore and ran for good ol' Boatman's. They walked in, words thrown back and forth between them. Everything was significantly louder than last time they were there. As they came in the bartender stared at them and whispered something to the young woman next to him. The woman put one foot in front of the other and one blink later she had vanished.

They sat down at a corner table and Rouen ordered them an ale each. A cold drink in a warm place sure beats lukewarm threats in a cold one, he told Svetlana, and she just nodded. After hours and hours in the city, she felt like she was out of both words and silver. But some sign of excitement could still be seen in the small smile she still managed to uphold. Rouen was even more eager but did a pretty good job of not showing it.

They looked around the place, old wooden tables with plenty of signatures carved into them. A consequence of years of silent service. When their eyes returned to their own table, the ale was already there and so was a man. It had to be Lokenth. It just had to be.
House of Kain: Silas (Swordfell), Epona (Nivemus)

Daycryn

  • Noble Lord
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #12: August 28, 2011, 07:45:37 PM »
Lokenth wasn't disappointed. These two looked like they'd been in the wilds a lot longer than he had, and he knew what was out there.

"I'm Lokenth," he said, by way of introduction. He seated himself next to them as if they were old friends, his wine goblet in his hand. With his full goblet and his full purse he felt almost a noble, at some feast hall.

"You're Rouen, and ... I do not have the honor of knowing your name, lady?"

He nodded at her reply, and kept his voice down as he went on. "The king wants what we can provide. Hell, what we already provide. Killing monsters, and putting the dead back to dead. His lords and ladies, they want their estates safe and prosperous - you know how they are, they already give bounties. Three of us working together, we could take down those bigger groups. I sure don't like facing them alone, bounty or no. But here's the thing. We'd go around, in an official beastie-slaying capacity, sending official written reports to the king and such."

He leaned forward. "But what we really do is act as the king's secret eyes. We're no scouts, in no damn army, but his eyes for the comings and goings of foreigners, of nobles, of other adventurers, potential assassins, priests... we mark them and we remember them, and we report on them. Sure, he can ask his knights and lords to do this, and maybe they do - but maybe it's some of his knights and lords who he wants to keep an eye on, see. Kings are always worried about rebel lords, it's in the blood."

He leaned back and took a long pull of his wine. It was getting better the more he drank of it. He shrugged. "As ever, it's all about trust."
Lokenth, Warrior of Arcaea, former Adventurer
Adamir, Lord of Luria Nova

lorduck

  • Freeman
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #13: August 29, 2011, 04:26:03 PM »
Rouen listened to Lokenth's speech and wondered when he would get to the part about the gold.  That had been what had piqued his interest in the first place, but it also seemed to be the last thing on Lokenth's mind.

He looked over at Svetlana.  He had been surprised when she joined him after their meeting in Saex and even more so that he had enjoyed her company so much.  In addition, she had shown to be an able companion and had talked their way out of paying bribes on numerous occasions in the past days, though much was still extorted from them.  But despite their close interactions, he could never quite tell what she was thinking. 

Rouen smiled and spoke in a half joking manner, "Trust is indeed what it's all about.  But who are we trusting here?  Is it the King?  For I certainly have no knowledge of the man, and from what you say he sounds the type that doesn't trust anyone.  And as far as I can tell he is asking much of us and offering nothing in return.  That does not sound like a relationship worthy of trust, nor a bargain worth accepting.

"Are we trusting you Lokenth?  I seem to recall being left to drink alone a few nights ago.  Right now I trust only in your tardiness and that you are a hard man to find.  Trust is not something that is simply given upon request.  Trust is built over shared experiences, both good and bad.  Trust is gained from work and diligence, hardened with dependency and honesty.  So why is it that you speak of trust, Lokenth?"

Rouen drained his ale mug and set it back on the table.  Svetlana did the same, was she trying to keep up with him?  He shook off the thought and turned back to Lokenth, his tone becoming more serious, "I do not think that trust is something we should talk about at this time.  Instead, I would rather speak of friendship.  Of shared hardship and success.  And I would prefer to do this over a full mug."  Rouen pointedly looked at his empty mug and then turned to Lokenth.  He made the same gesture to Svetlana's mug and again, made eye contact with the newcomer.  His one eye remained fixed, while his eyebrow lifted questioningly, an ever-so slight smirk on his face.

Daycryn

  • Noble Lord
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
    • View Profile
Re: The Adventure
« Reply #14: August 29, 2011, 09:54:27 PM »
Lokenth smiled. He liked Rouen; practical and savvy. Back in Atamara there were nobles who were like lackwits compared to this man.

By way of answer, he signaled the bar wench over. She came promptly enough. Lokenth reached into his purse and pulled out a gold coin.

He gave it to the wench and said, "Two flagons of ale, and a bottle of this wine of yours." Her eyes the size of saucers, she hardly seemed to notice as Lokenth patted her rump on her way off.

"You're right about the king. He trusts no-one, but that only makes him wise. We can 'trust' in him to pay his servants well, because he knows that if he does not, he has not servants but enemies. Even a king can't afford making new enemies when good servants like us cost so very little to him. What's a few gold pieces here and there, to a man who can hand out entire duchies, and does?"

"As for me... our trust will be built on the shared hardships, the experiences you speak of ... the very experiences our work will entail. I know there is good work to be had in Hupar, for example, and the three of us could take on more than anyone out working for themselves. The more plunder, the more bounties, the more wealth. That anyone can trust. Friendship, however - "

The maiden came back with the drinks, sparing Lokenth the need to explain his views on that subject. He refilled his cup and filled his mouth, watching, listening.
Lokenth, Warrior of Arcaea, former Adventurer
Adamir, Lord of Luria Nova