"Well put Mikhail" - Reknar addresses the human by his side - "Let us get you fed and ready to move out - no point in wasting a good, and payed for, steak" - he finishes with a good hearted clap on the man's shoulder.
Drinking as he finishes the toast, he laughs loudly - "I believe the righteous liberation, and civilization to be imparted on the Stone Lands can wait for a few more moments. And on that same note, I'll get another drink"
As he pours another drink to himself, he finishes - "After all, heroes aren't built in a day, or so I have heard. Any one cares for another round?" - he asks, with the bottle in hand.
Shalira silently shoved her chair a little closer to Reknar's. "I am too young to not allow myself to make mistakes." she thought. The way the attraction seemed to work both ways and the mentioning of a steak was just too much to ignore. However, her face was serious, as though something was troubling her.
"Thank you, but I am fine for now - don't wanna get drunk. Well, yet, anyway. I do believe we have a chance for creating something beautiful here as well." She looked around the room while she took a small sip from her wine, trying to discern whether anyone was evasdropping...
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10
Levelling her voice accordingly and covering her lips with her glass in the appropriate direction she spoke carefully: "There is a little detail about me that you should now before it gets out anyway when we apply for the charter. It doesn't make any difference to me, and I hope it doesn't to you. But it might to some other people, who might draw the wrong conclusions from my incolvement in this endeavour. This may not be the ideal place for this, but..."
She took a deep breath and gave Reknar a somewhat distressed smile before she continued: "I am Shalira Lebeda, of the House Lebeda, as unlikely as it may seem given my elven heritage. My mother is Tharea Lebeda. I have no influence of any kind and my being here has nothing to do with the house; other than my mother no one even knows that I am here. And would prefer to keep it low as long as we can. I hope that doesn't change the way you see me..."
She lowered her gaze briefly, and then lifted it again, her fingers tightly wrapped around her glass and her moving around ver your faces and the people in the environment.
Aarya shrugged. "The name means almost nothing to me," the Paladin replied simply, "And so your name does not bother me. If you wish to keep it quiet, I will not mention it to anyone." Aarya didn't bother saying there would be no lying - it was commonly known that Paladins didn't do such things.
But it seemed to be a big deal for Shalira, and Aarya had no intention of seeing the woman hurt. Families could tricky business, she understood, especially in this part of the world. Other than being accepting of Aarya;s true nature the Paladin's own parents had been good people, really. And therefore had no real experience of the game of houses that this lot seemed to play.
"I am fine for drink," Aarya added to Reknar, holding up the barely touched glass of wine in a salute, "But food would be appreciated."
Taking a drink from her glass following the toast, Aleidi lounged some at the table. She had finished eating while carrying out her earlier antics. She didn't seem to bat an eye at Shalira's revelation, but filed it away for future reference. "Doesn't bother me. Let the rest of the members of the noble houses have their fun. I have yet to see the reason attempt to climb that social ladder."
Shalira nodded to Aarya. "Thank you. It's not such a big secret anyway, because I am not going to lie about it when they ask for my name in the town hall. I just want to avoid drawing unnescessary attention to it."
She leaned a little back and relaxed, though her left hand's fingertips played unconcsiously with the fine elven smithwork at the end of her sword's hilt. Silently she spoke the words: "True beauty comes from the inside" as though it was some kind of mantra to calm herself. She directed her attention primarily to Reknar.
Glancing at her glass again, Aleidi debated. Wine was nice and all, but she did prefer tea. A good glass of tea beat out just about everything. Not to mention, Aarya was wanting some food. "Ervy," she called as she waved him over. She waited for him to arrive at their table before she spoke.
"Could I have some more tea, good sir? And I believe our friend here would like to order something to eat." She motioned at Aarya because of her mention of wanting some food. She quite liked the tea she had earlier. Delicious, delicious tea. Maybe she could buy some to take with her...
"Be very careful with that name lass." Ervy murmured from directly behind Shalira. He was already carrying a tray full of hot food of a wide selection from a plate full of apples and strawberries, a large bowl of salad, soups like cream of mushroom and chicken and two plates piled high with meat, one steak and the other pork. Next to that was a stack of clean ceramic plates and wooden utensils. How he had approached from behind Shalira unseen with all that was a mystery but he covered this with a wide smile and expertly opened a folding frame with his other hand that he set next to the table and placed the tray on. "Wasn't sure what ye would like so my wifey made everything! She's got a soft spot for adventurers such as ye."
He began to unload the plates of food onto the large table before handing plates and utensils to everyone. "Stay as long as ye like. Its a few hours more before the evening folk start rumblin' in and if ye want i've a few beds open upstairs and ye can start fresh in the morning."
Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
The name isn't completely strange to Reknar, but he does not really know much about the Lebeda family, so as Shalira shares her secret, he just shrugs and comments - "I am assuming that name belongs to some important noble house? The funny thing about nobility is that people only tend to remember one of its meanings, and that is the social one, usually paired up with so many other interesting titles"
Taking another drink, he adds - "I don't know why you hesitated in offering us your family name, so I take it relates to some inconvenience from its past that has a meaning around here" - he seems to mull something over for a while - "Heck, my past has so many inconveniences that I have lost track of them" - he laughs.
"From my part, I had never met you nor anyone from your family, so the reference has no impact on me. And also, you can make a name, or live up to a name, but a name doesn't make YOU - what we make of ourselves defines what we are - worry about how you handle yourself in your life, or not, the choices are all there, and yours to take girl" - he nods at Shalira.
At Ervy's offer he nods - "Seems like a fine idea to me - I say we finish our meals and take a break. I know I could use some R&R, and for sure will need it even more after the next couple of drink I intend to down" - it seems the man has a perpetual smile on his face.
Meleanda had just relaxed and now suddenly winced so that she almost fell off her chair and pointy ears went blazing red. She turned around to Ervy and saw him standing there with the tablet.
Still a bit shakey she graped her forehead and massaged her brows while answering: "What kind of scout am I? No one should be able to sneak up on me like that especially if they're not even trying. And usually they don't. Thank you, though. Shalira, or just 'Lira will do..." She cast a look on the tray and her face lightened a bit. "That's gorgeous. Let me help you with this. And tell your wife that she's gorgeous too, and should not be jealous about this." She plucked a strawberry off the tray, manuvered around the tray in a display of her inhuman flexibility to give him a kiss on the cheek, put the strawberry straight into her mouth and helped him distribute the rest on the table.
The old warrior had the good grace to blush as he collected the tray and folding table. He paused as the door to the kitchen opened and a beautiful older woman came out. She wore a simple grey dress sinched at the waist with a brown sash. Her wavy hair was a chestnut color so dark it was almost black, streaked through with streaks of silver. She had angular purple eyes with crows feet at the edges and subtly pointed ears could be seen poking up through her hair. "Thats not how you do it my dear!" she claimed with a musical voice and slipped through the crowd to grasp Ervy's face with flour covered hands and plant a solid kiss directly on his lips.
The locals cheered when she made her appearance and laughed as Ervy's face turned bright red. His wife continued to kiss him, going so far as to begin rubbing her hands on his face, getting flour everywhere. She broke the kiss with a satisfied sound and licked her lips. "Hmmm...you had a strawberry on the sly dear, didn't you?"
"Geroff me woman!" Ervy sputtered indignantly and struggled to hold the tray and table as he stepped out of her grasp. The crowd continued to laugh as the old human pushed his way back into the kitchen. As soon as the door opened more laughter could be heard coming from inside the kitchen from the other cooks. "Oh be quiet!!" Ervy yelled before the door swung shut. A few moments later the rest of the customers quieted down and went back to their conversations, a few of them throwing glances over their shoulders at Ervy's wife as she came up to the table while wiping flour from hands on a towel hanging from her sash.
"Don't mind him, he hates it when I embarass him in public like that." the woman said as she gazed at Shalira. "You'll need to practice that a bit more my dear but you've got potential. As do you." she said moving her gaze to Aleidi. She swept her eyes around at the entire group and smiled softly. "So young to be heroes. Or atleast potential heroes. I am Esmerelda, head cook and co-owner of the Golden harp. And the old goats wife." she added as an afterthought. "So where will you heading?"
Mikhail had grown silent as the others talked of important names and destinations, all the while remaining focused on the table, arms crossed and head bowed slightly. He would on occasion look to the tavern door, as if expecting someone, though the expectations did not seem to be one of excitement or eager anticipation but the nervous hawkishness of someone waiting to be ambushed. With the food set out, Mikhail becomes only somewhat more animate, picking up fork and knife in gauntleted hands like some classless barbarian, sawing away at his steak. Mikhail's posture, hunched over his plate with his arms framing the sides, implies some subconscious fear that another at the table would try to steal some of his food. Whether he actually believes that or not isn't immediately clear.
Distracted by his meal, Mikhail remains quiet for a while, hastily eating as though he had only a few scant moments to choke down everything. Little time was spent to savor the meal, and his plate became clear in the time it woudl take for a hound to swallow down a bowl of slop.
"No," has no real context when Mikhail first says it, at least remembering himself enough to dab at his mouth with a napkin and clean his beard. "Not a big fan of rooms like these," is an out-and-out lie. "I'll meet you back here come mornin' if that's how you want t'run things."
Staying in town was too risky for Mikhail, camping out in the woods seemed like a safer choice.
On Reknar's comment:
She looked thoughtfully at him, forced herself to not look across the room again but remain focused on him, to not attract even more attention. "Good." she said and closed her lips, though it looked as though she had to force herself to do that as well.
On Esmaralda's entry:
Meleanda's face lightened up on the entry of the beautiful woman and while she usually didn't peep when others displayed their affection in public she watched the kiss closely and took it as a serious lesson. Her nose tip and cheeks became visibly red in addition to her ears, but she answered smooth and with an open smile: "I shall remember your advice, though it's hard to keep up with a kiss of true love." Her fingers touched the little amulette - holy symbol of Shelyn - hanging in front of her armoured breasts. Shelyn wasn't the goddess of lust but of both love and art. And a kiss could be an artful expression of love - among many other things, of course. "We shall hone our talent, promise... There is more to adventuring than dealing death, after all." she added, following Esmaralda's look to Aleidi. "You seem to know a little about adventuring?"
"Oh, we're..." she had revealed enough secrets for now. But what they were up to was hardly a secret. Still, she'd rather not say anything she hadn't publically announced before."Well, I was looking for adventurers bound for the exploration to the south, as the sign at the door indicated."
On Mikhail's announcement of an exit:
Shalira sat back down. She wasn't hungry anymore, but Esmeralda had certainly created wonders here. Mikhail's comment surprised her a bit. "Don't you want to..." She interrupted herself, arched her head a bit. "Well, let us know if there is anything we may help you with. Otherwise, good luck with..." she raised an eyebrow "whatever your business may be." She was polite and kept a neutral face, apart from the raised eyebrow.
Bluff: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
As Shalira assisted Ervy with distribution, Aleidi gave a mischievous grin."Yep. This is going to be fun." She laughed some as Esmerelda entered the room and proceeded to embarrass Ervy. Meeting Esmeralda's gaze with grin, "Potential is something not be wasted."
Reaching for the fruit, she added several strawberries and an apple to her plate. Taking a bite of one of the strawberries, she took a moment to enjoy it before chiming back in, "Heading south sounded like fun." Aleidi continued to munch on the fruit, seeming happy and content.
She internally shrugged at Mikhail's seeming general nervousness and unease at staying in the inn. "If he wishes to sleep in the woods, so be it. It's his choice."
Aaeya gathered a plate of food, nodding thanks to the barkeep and his wife. And cheered with the locals when she kissed him, clapping gloved hands to show approval. It was always good to see people who so obviously cared for each other, although Ervy was a bit too straight laced if something as simple, innocent and pure as a kiss embarrassed him in public. But then, Arshea's way was not the only way, and they were obviously very happy together.
"There is said to be much to be seen, to the south" the Paladin agreed with Shalira and Aleidi. "And compliments to your fine cooking, good mistress. Everyone shold ear this well." Not that Mikhail seemed to notice. Aarya had rarely seen food vanish so fast from the plate of anyone who had eaten that week. It was almost like seeing a machine process raw material.
Still, it seemed off to her that the man wanted to sleep in the woods, but others had other ways. She knew many were closer to the Green Faith than she was, and prefered a more natural setting. Aarya prefered warm beds, soft sheets and warm baths, but to each there own. "As you will, Mikhail," she added to Shalira's comment, "But we shall keep a bed open for you if your mind is changed."
Reknar raised an eyebrow at Mikhail's silence and the refusal to stay at the inn, but then he thought - The man surely has his own stuff to take care of, legal or illegal - let him - and shrugged.
He didn't really care much for the show put on by Esmerelda, but had no reason to dislike the agreeable woman. Then again, Reknar didn't really trust anyone at first so...
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
In any case, and as far as he saw it, EVERYONE has an hidden agenda somewhere or regarding something, so it mattered not to be honest, and he raised his glass returning the greeting, opening his other arm towards the table - "As my companions have already put it, southbound we are"
Mikhail has been acting furtive ever since he came into the tavern. He seemed eager to get on the road as soon as possible with the team and put as much distance between himself and the town as possible. With the notion that people would be waiting until morning to assemble, he's become antsy and uncomfortable. It's easy to get the impression that he has a pressing reason for not wanting to be in town.
"Why would we go ahead without him?" - Reknar pipes in - "He will meet us here first thing in the morning to take care of all the bureaucratic meanders we need to traverse, as was already agreed Shalira"
"We would not hit the road by night anyway, so that seems to fit the bill perfectly" - looking at Shalira he adds - "Relax, we'll have time to address all this in the morning. Hell, with a clear head, tomorrow we may find that all this is madness, and we each would rather go our own way - sleeping on it is not a bad idea actually" - he jests.
"In the meantime, I will be outside catching some fresh night air, and some damned nice southern tobbaco" - he pulls out an old, well worn pipe, and a small bag, and moves for the door.
Outside, Reknar will take a moment to go over what has happened in the last hours in his head, pondering the nature of his travelling companions, and smiling to himself - Lucian my friend, this is going to be a wild ride - he muses as the smoke rises in the still night air.
"As Reknar said," Mikhail motions with a gauntleted hand to the man across the table, "first thing in the morning." Pushing his chair out with his legs, Mikhail rises from his seat, wiping his mouth one last time with his napkin before tossing it onto his plate.
"It may be too late tomorrow." she looked urgently at him and seemed relatively calm, though Reknar's sudden exit had shaken her somewhat. She wasn't used to being shrugged off like this. "You have to trust me on that one, but those charters aren't going to wait for us, especially now that we're going to get it and all the world knows. And without it we'd be just another band of brigands in Brevoy's eyes. Without it, there is no mission. Every passing heartbeat increases the danger someone else makes their move against us. It's important that we act now, or this opportunity just might be forever lost."
"Relax. Have some fun."
Aleidi did a quick scan of the room seeing if it looked like people were jumping out of their seats to beat them to that charter.
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
"Doesn't look like anyone else is in a rush to leave."
"Given the choice," Aarya said, "I'd say we finish eating, grab the charter, sleep then leave at dawnlight." The Paladin usually prefer to pray that early, but Aarya supposed it wouldn't hurt to rise early and be dressed and ready before the sun.
"Is that agreeable to all?" Aarya asked everyone. It seemed a solid solution that would leave everyone comfortable, except possibly Reknar, who seemed in no hurry. Shalira might be able to talk him around, and Aarya saw no reason to delay such a vital part of there mission. "We can tell Reknar as we pop out."
Squinting at Shalira, Mikhail is silent for a long moment before finally exhaling a sigh and relaxing his posture, one hand on the back of his chair. "That's what I'd prefer," he reiterates, offering a look to Aarya and Aleidi, then turning back to Shalira. Once again, Mikhail is quiet, and this time he externalizes his inner conflict in a mumbled statement.
"Three women," is said a little louder than he'd have liked to. Realizing what he muttered was audible, he clears his throat. "Don't expect any preferential treatment just 'cause yer a woman. Can't keep up an' it'll be on you." Rapping his gauntleted fingers on the back of his chair, Mikhail shifts his posture anxiously.
"So which is it? Go now and get this done, or wait?"
Shalira sighed in relief. This mission was a very important, personal matter to her - sure there would be another way, she could just go to the Stolen Lands alone and try to keep her head low if needed to be. But that wasn't remotely as ideal.
"Thanks, for the Love of Shelyn." The way she pronounced it that wasn't just a platitude to her but the "Love of Shelyn" was something almost palpable and physical to her. She didn't usually bother others with her faith, but right now she didn't really feel like thinking about it.
"That's exactly what I was hoping to do. As soon as we have the charter I don't care whether we depart by dawn or the day after tomorrow..." Of course there were ways to act against them once they had it, but there didn't seem to be a subtle way to deal with it then.
She grabbed her gear, packed an apple for Windmane. She would have had the patience to let everyone finish eating but since Mikhail put additional stress on this point... She looked around for Ervy or Esmeralda and waved to them while her other hand started digging in her purse.
"I'll take care of Reknar's polearms." 'Damn it, that innuendo was actually not intended.' She simply was somewhat familiar with glaives, because that was Shelyn's holy weapon. The symbol of her love for her dark brother. She herself had chosen the elven longsword, for similar reasons. "Or shall we ask Ervy to store our stuff, since some of us will probably be back later?"
Aleidi raised an eyebrow at Mikhail's comment about women. Keeping her thoughts to herself, she grabbed one last strawberry, well make that two, to munch and a couple apples for later.
"Those of us who are are staying here, we could go ahead and acquire those rooms Ervy offered. Then we could easily store our things. I doubt they would appreciate it much if we came in carrying everything. Plus, why carry it all the way to town hall to just carry it back here."
Aleidi reached into her purse as well to fetch her coin to pay.
Aarya coughed lightly. "Point of order," the Paladin said, "I'm afraid I'm not a woman. So it's only two of them here." Of course, Aarya wasn't a man either. But the Paladin considered this a relatively minor detail. It wasn't like it was common to walk around nude...in public, anyway.
Passing over coins to cover the share in the bill to Aleidi, Aarya rose and stretched. "It will be good to not carry my possessions for a time," the Paladin noted, looking at the bulging backpack. It wasn't a light load. Of course, it was at Aarya's own insistence that the collapseable tub was there...
"Let's get it done," Aarya added. "I crave a bath."
While the group had chatted Esmerlda had moved around the room to chat with some of the locals. By their reaction she was well known and respected and more then one man threw envious glances at Ervy when he returned to the common room with a clean face. Ervy saw the group rising and hastened over. "So that be it then? Well that will be twenty silver and...hmm, forget the copper. Twenty silver or two gold for the lot of it, minus the wine." He said to Shalira with a twinkle in his eyes. "That's on the house."
"We'd also like to rent four..." She looked over to Reknar. "You want to stay here, too, don't you?" turning back to Esmeralda she continued. "Well four rooms, which should not be too far apart." She bowed her head a bit and her eyes made a slight motion towards Reknar so that Esmeralda could see it but not Reknar. "We'll be back soon, for now we'd just like to safely store equipment here; it seems some of us are in a hurry." She added an excusing smile.
She turned to Reknar and her smile turned somewhat insecure: "We've come to agree to deal with the 'bureaucratic meanders' now, so it's out of our way and we won't have to worry about it. And then enjoy the rest of the day. Don't worry. You won't have to deal with too much red tape, but it would be nice if you kept your guard and an eye on us." She included not only herself, but also Aleidi in the gesture. She contracted her eyebrows a little as though something worried her and arched her head to the side a little as she looked at him.
"I was hoping Aarya might represent us, as a paladin she...", Shalira cleared her throat - "she" might not be the correct pronoun here, "commands both a formidable reputation as well is an aura of sincerity." she added to the entire group. And she sincerely hoped they'd all just let Aarya speak and act as a team - even though it would certainly take time to grow together, it wouldn't be bad to make a good impression.
Nodding to Shalira, Reknar responds regarding the boarding - "I have found nothing but good times here so I am definitely staying" - he opens a huge smile, then turns to Esmeralda - "You can put me up for a room"
Then, looking back at Shalira, he continues, still smiling - "You just couldn't wait, could you? Very well then, let us take care of business right away, and be done with it. Actually the air outside is quite pleasant, and a walk is good to digest one's meal"
His stare becomes a little more intense at Shalira as the conversation addresses bureaucratic meanders and representation. He lowers his eyes for a second, then turning to Aarya adds - "Take no offense, you all seem nice enough and surely trustworthy" - his eyes start shifting towards the others, then settling on Shalira - "But I neither need nor want any representation. A long time ago I have learned to speak for myself in whatever situation, it took some hard learning, and quite a few bruises, but I think I've got the hang of it now. Also, you would be surprised at how much bureaucracy one has to shove down the throat when you are in the army - I never liked it, but I do not worry about it" - he finishes with a wink at the half-elf.
Turning around, hoisting his gear and weapons, he settles everything into place, keeping the bardiche in one hand and turning to leave, much alike some sort of engine of war - "But rest assured that I will keep my guard, and an eye on you for sure"
His steps heavy towards the inn door, he turns to Esmeralda again - "We should be back soon, hopefully in time for a late supper"
To the others he nods and opens one arm in the direction of the door - "Shall we?"
Since it seemed Reknar had paid for them, Aleidi handed Aarya back the coin. "In just a moment. While my things may not be as heavy as some, I would prefer not to have to carry it all around town if we are coming back here later. I doubt I am the only one." Aleidi gave a small gesture towards Aarya.
'As for being represented, no skin off my back. Never did care much for politics.'
Shalira put her own gear to the stack, pulled the apple back out and said: "Sure, let's go for it." She was obviously enjoying that they went to action and her face had lightened up.
This might have worked better, but also a lot worse. She wasn't sure whether it wasn't a bit risky to play her cards on Reknar all too aggressively. He was nice, surprisingly well mannered when he wanted to... but somehow he seemed a bit more self righteous than she would like. She kind of doubted that she'd be back soon, since there was a lot more things she wanted to do and find out before they departed, but there'd be time for this later.
She wandered how much help Aleidi could be on this. She had been relatively tight lipped so far, but Shalira wouldn't be surprised if she was good at finding things out. Plus, she knew herself too well to not realize that she could be best friends or fierce rivals with a woman like Aleidi, but there was hardly any middle ground. So, she best not wait too long to try and befriend her.
Shalira was just glad that Aarya was around. She had already thought she had lost when the third of the five spoke against getting the charter right now, but Aarya had resolved the issue with but a few words. Sure, probably nothing would have happened if they waited until tomorrow, but they couldn't be certain. Not until they had it, which wasn't the case even now, Shalira reminded herself.
Mikhail remained a big mystery, only time would tell what she could make out of him.
But their little group of adventurers just might work and bring some beauty into the world - and whatever the others were looking for.
"I'll meet the lot of you outside," is Mikhail's only response to the conversation brewing at the close of the meal. Adjusting his tattered traveling cloak, the armored soldier walks back towards the door with heavy, clomping bootfalls and the jingle of belts, buckles and chainmail all the way. He doesn't appear to go far, though, visible through the front windows of the inn tending to a large, night-black horse tied up out front.
All Aleidi really wanted to leave was things that she felt she only needed when traveling. But if they felt the need to rush on out the door, she had said her part on the matter. She did wish to take a look at what all was around town though. Who knew what sort of fun things she could find to do here!
Once the situation with the packs was resolved Aleidi moved to head out the door. "Let's go." Taking an apple and the two strawberries in hand, she headed out the door.
"Well, now that this seems to be mostly settled," Aarya added while moving the huge backpack to an out of the way corner, "Let us get going." Aarya made sure the bag was relatively well hidden, but there was nothing particularly worth stealing from it. Those the Paladin kept close at all time, and now wasn't going to be any different.
Glancing at Reknar, Aarya added, "I take no offence. I am happy to speak for all when one voice is required, but I am not you, and I wouldn't want anyone to think my words were yours. Just as you are not me and your words aren't mine." Pausing for a moment, the Paladin added "Although, honestly, given the things I say when I've had about half a bottle of gutrot too much you probably be surprised at what I can say."
Still, Aarya considered while heading out, it was going to be a bit....difficult to work together if the act of acquiring a writ involved this much discussion, debate and juggling between the various parties. The Paladin wondered how something as important - and life threatening - as a battle plan would work. Badly was the most likely answer, unless they could start working together more effectively. Used to a rigid rule system and structure as Aarya was, it was...odd to see people acting like this. Not bad, but different enough to cause a concern or two.
Shalira stepped out of the in back into the sun, winking the blinding light away while she held the door open for those following behind her. She looked around, trying to figure where the centre and the town hall may be... "That direction I suppose?" She asked around to her companions.
The walk to town hall was uneventful. A couple of hours had progressed since everyone had gathered at the Golden Harp for their own various reasons but the city looked even busier then it had before. Being a folk used to extremely long winter nights the people of Restov made full use of the sunshine while it lasted during the short summer. Reknar led the group through the winding streets without difficulty and most people seemed to recognize the group as adventurers and moved out of the way. After a short 30 minutes they walked up to an unassuming building whose front door was guarded by a pair of very bored soldier's who chatted amiably and payed only half attention to the daily grind around them. They spared the group only a single glance and moved out of the way as everyone filled in through the single door and they were blinded for a few seconds as their eyes adjusted to sudden shade inside.
They stood in a central atrium with several doors in the left and right sides of the room. At this time of day apprentices and messengers ran from office to office carrying everything from boxes to envelopes. Directly ahead of them a waist high wooden guardrail separated the back half of the room which lead up a broad staircase to closed double doors. A desk had been set up directly in front of the rail behind which sat an officious gnome with a shock of emerald green hair and glasses so thick they gave him bug eyes. At the sound of so many boots entering he looked up and blinked twice.
"Ah. Can I help you?"he asked in a surprisingly deep and gravely voice.
Shalira looked a little puzzled for the strange greeting. Either this Gnome had no manners for someone supposed to welcome visitors in the town hall or something about their group had offended him. She became keenly aware that she was still carrying her swords, though - since she was here as an adventurer - she thought that would just fill the role.
She replied in Gnome, not quite sure whether that would seem rather polite or bothersome: "Good day, sir. It has come to our ears that Restov is looking for adventurers for an exploration to the south. That's us." She presented a polite, if not hearty smile and made a gesture to include everyone. "We would like to speak to Magistrate Phillips on that matter."
"Well met Master gnome, my name is Reknar and we are looking for Magistrate Phillips - we were informed that he would be the one to address if looking to purvey an exploration charter"
Getting closer to the guardrail, he continues - "Since obtaining such a document is our objective, here we are - would you be such magistrate?"
Soooo ninjaed :D
The gnome blinked a few more times as if he had never heard such words. "Ah...yes. Aha!" he said suddenly. His entire demeanor changed as life seemed to flow into him and he straightened to his full three feet high. "At last we have adventurers brave enough to travel south for the...glory of Brevoy!" he exclaimed in gnomish, only half choking at the end. He pointed a finger at a stack of papers and books to one side of the desk and crooked it in a come-hither motion. "Yes I am Magistrate Phillips." The very top tome, easily almost as big as the gnome, flew off the pile and landed on the desk in front of him. Without warning the rest of the papers and books slipped backwards and spilled all over the ground. The gnome blinked at the sudden mess before shrugging and opening the book with a grunt. He plucked an eagle feathered quill from an inkpot and looked over his glasses at Shalira. "You have the fee I assume? Ten gold for the charter."
'Next time you'll speak common, if there is something that might involve payment' she told herself. Or she could just let Reknar speak.
"Certainly", she replied, this time in common, longed for her purse and piled up ten gold pieces in two stacks of five on the desk, "here you go. Nothing's too costly for the glory of Brevoy." She spoke well pronounced, but without much conviction.
It seemed things where finally under way. Seeing Shalira setting the gold down for payment for the charter, she made note to check with her later. Aleidi felt she should help at least with the payment.
Shalira looked thoughtfully at Reknar. 'a piece of land'
She liked his positive way to look at things, and he'd been right about the charter being a relatively simple matter to get. Alone, she wasn't sure whether she was able to share this positive way to look at things. She had never been good at history, but she was pretty certain that the word "exploration" played at the same euphemism that the Taldarian "Armies of Exploration" represented. Wherever it said "explore" it might as well say "conquer". Their little group was a miniature issue of an Army of Exploration...
She wish she had learned a bit history so she would be able to tell how many there had been and how successful they had been. Some of them conquered virtually the entire known world. But you can't sell what you don't own.
Or just forget about it and think of it as 'a piece of land', though she was hoping that, if the charter would use the same formulation as the one that Mikhail had presented, he'd go a little into detail about what Rostland expected of them and what they could expect of Rostland.
Reknar had already paid in the Harp... she would have asked anyone but him for a share. Ultimately she hoped that the money wouldn't matter in the end. She took the money, but didn't put it into her pocket. "Thank you", she just said for now. There would be time to discuss this later.