"We're... you want to go to a tavern?" the youth ask as you make your way out of the palace courtyard, thousands of eyes following you out before Sveinn's powerful voice recaptures their attention. He seems bewildered by the prospect, and from the way he is currently outfitted; in a leather breastplate and skullcap over his shoulder-length dark-brown hair, with a sword at his hip, and a bow almost as tall as he is slung over his shoulder, he looks ready to leave on a long journey, lacking only a significant bag of belongings--likely left at his lodgings.
As you arrive at the tavern he simply settles into a seat and looks between the two of you, the enormous figure of Tupilek dwarfing him, and... he swallows noticeably as he turns to Zooi and she looks at him like that.
"Well, there is not much to tell... I am from the Swifthorn clan of the Elk Tribe who live upon the flanks of the Garusian mountains. I was raised there and ventured forth as I approached maturity to learn the skills of our people amongst the Bull tribes. Rather than returning to my clan after that time however, I was honored to be chosen by one of the Bull's warriors..." he pauses, looking between the two of you again, hesitating over some thought, but eventually he pushes on. "He taught me to use the sword as well as my bow, and I journeyed with him to Blood Castle, where I joined the combined forces of our peoples. As the High King said, I have spent much time alone upon the plateau, but I am uncertain why I was chosen even so... I spent more time counting the trow-blud than anything else, but..." he shakes his head then to clear it, leaving the thought unfinished.
"I have bored you enough." he says after a moment with a weak smile. "Perhaps we should make ready our preparations, and I will try to find out more about our mission. These are most unusual circumstances but there must assuredly be someone who is meant to brief us..."
"Well, I have spent most of the last 4 or 5 years up on the plateau, but I don't know what we're meant to be doing there specifically... We weren't really told anything before the gathering, I think they're trying to keep the information on the missions from spreading too much." he observes with a shrug, before offering "Most likely we'll be heading to Castle Blood, and ascending from there."
Zöoi's lips purse at Maruk's mention of his sword training, but her eyes don't start gleaming until Castle Blood is named. "I have never been to Castle Blood. The rumor I've been told is you Kellids guard it with our lives & it got the name from all the blood that stains the stone & plain around it."
"All... alright. he agrees, glancing between his two new companions, before standing up, leaving his wine untouched. "They're likely all still back at the palace."
Just waiting for a post from Zooi and then I'll move things back to the palace.
Also the skill you were looking for probably would have been Bureaucracy :p
Maruk leads the way from the tavern back to the palace. Little seems to have changed as you approach, though the powerful voice of Sveinn, and by the sounds of it several others is muffled by the thickness of the palace structure. You are prevented from the need to track down Maruk’s superiors as you are intercepted by a harried looking clerk, who you recognize from the stage behind the High King earlier.
”There you are! By Torag’s Beard!” he exclaims sounding exasperated as he hurries up to the three of you.
”Where have you been, you should have—No, nevermind that, just follow me.” he instructs before you have a chance to say anything, turning on his heel and heading into the palace proper, before turning down a side corridor—his heels ringing on the stone floor with each step.
”I have enough work to do today without having to chase you lot all over Kalsgard.” he mutters to himself, verbally working out his frustrations, not even sparing a moment to look back and check you are following, possibly leaving the lot of you behind unless you hurry to catch up.
The clerk, still muttering to himself, though inaudibly so now leads you through a maze of corridors that slowly curves it’s way around the building to a point you estimate about 90 degrees around from the main entrance, the décor slowly growing a bit more ornate. He finally stops in front of a relatively simply looking door on the second floor and offers a perfunctorily knock on it’s surface before turning the handle and opening it for you, gesturing you all inside.
The room is a fairly moderate size; for a palace anyway, with an 8 foot wooden table surrounded by ten chairs. A large fireplace with a small fire warms the room from the right-hand wall, while windows on the wall opposite the door overlook the gathering below.
Ga-Pilu sits in the only occupied seat of the table, whose worried face relaxes into a smile as he looks up to find Tupilek maneuvering his way through the doorway. He is not the only occupant however, as Berta turns from the window, likewise giving Zooi a grin before she turns back and draws the curtains, muffling the sounds of discussion from below.
”Alright, if everybody could be seated please.” instructs the clerk, adjusting a set of spectacles as he settled into the end seat of the table. He unfurls a roll of parchment and unstoppers a pot of ink, dipping his pen before starting to write.