The Killin’ Ground, named for its position on the sloped ascent between the Trunau’s two inner gates, started as a way for Rabus Clarenston to finance the production of his beloved moonshine. Despite the vocal disapproval of Tyari Varvatos, the local high priestess of Iomedae, and some of the town’s more straight-laced residents, Rabus does a brisk business—with the only law governing his trade being that, should someone show for a patrol or watch duty drunk on his product, Rabus himself must share in the punishment. As a result, Rabus knows the shift schedule better than anyone, and despite his own near-constant inebriation, he never allows anyone to drink in his bar within 4 hours of his or her next shift (or 6 or even 8 hours, for those he knows can’t handle their drink). The Killin’ Ground itself is a strange structure, with walls that begin a foot off the ground and a roof made entirely of canvas. When the furious local storms roll in, Rabus pulls back the canvas and lets the rain and the slope of the hill wash the filth of the bar’s constant partying away—which greatly annoys his downhill neighbors.
It has been five years, since Chief Defender Halgra of the Blackened Blades challenged your circle of companions who had spent the majority of your lives in Trunau. She stated that she had lived a full life well before returning to settle down in Trunau with many of her children. After many beverages, some of you decided to leave Trunau to seek their fortunes and return in five years. Tonight is the fifth year anniversary, and Rabus remembers. You drink for free… tonight.
One of your companions from that fateful night will not be here tonight, Rodrik Grath, the older Grath twin. You remember helping them through the death of their mother Ila Grath who died on patrol during an orc ambush. Their heartbroken father Jagrin Grath is now the Patrol Leader. The twins traveled for a year but returned to Trunau to become the two Patrol Captains of Trunau. Tonight Rodrik is on patrol. Kurst, the younger twin, promised to make it the Killin’ for a drink. Rodrik was always a leader of your companions while Kurst lived in his shadow.
Once your character’s profile is complete, you can start posting here. Feel free to write your interaction with the proprietor Rabus Clarenston who remembers your character taking your first drink of his moonshine and the famous night when you declared to return in five years. Role-play among characters sharing stories and catching up with old friends. I suggest that your character stay relatively sober. Significantly inebriated characters will not continue in the campaign.
Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
It has been one long year since Keltza was last in town. Upon arriving at the front gate she was quickly frisked for any illicit items. She peers under the helmet and shakes her head with a wistful smile. It was one of the young men she helped train. She wasn't surprised he didn't recognize her at this point. She looked quite different than she did back when she was a Captain in the militia. Longer hair for one, and the chain shirt she wore was tattered and covered with the holy symbol of Ragathiel; nothing like the standard regulation uniform that guards were required to wear here in town.
Upon being let through the walls, she wanders about aimlessly, taking in the sights, allowing herself to be filled with waves of nostalgia. I never thought I could miss this place as much as I do now As the day passed on, she noticed some guards eying her, doubtless wondering what the strange looking half-orc was doing observing the town. As much as the people of Trunau appreciated their half-orc citizens, they seemed to always treat outsiders with a bit of apprehension. It was understandable of course, given that they lived in the largely evil Hold of Belkzen, but it was worrisome that not one person has recognized her yet.
Noticing the sun going down, Keltza start to make her way to The Killin' Ground, the institution which she had worked it in her childhood years. Sitting down, she calls over Rabus and asks, "May I please have a glass of water? My throat is a bit parched from my travels." As Rabus pours a glass, Keltza takes a grateful drink and then smiles. "What, you have nothing to say? I thought you of all people, the man who practically raised me as a daughter would have recognized me." And as if to prove her identity to the man she stands up and begins to sing, letting out a tune she had learned many years ago.
Perform (Sing): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Upon finishing, she again glances at her old friend. "Remember me now?"
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Despite the cloak draping over her, any casual observer can tell by the way she moves the woman was heavily armored. Furthermore, her head is covered in a plumed helm, and she carries an impressive array of weapons plus a long, oval shield. Walking into the Killin' Ground, she pauses and turns her head back and forth before selecting a poorly lit table and taking a seat. She props her polearm, bow and shield against a support beam just as a song strikes up from across the bar.
The woman sits rapt as memory surges. Rabus speaks to the singer for a bit after she finishes, then moves over to the armored woman. You should know the rules about weapons here, he starts.
I know. I won't touch them while I'm drinking, Mellisa says as she pulls her helmet off.
Rabus was just as she remembered him. He didn't even blink when he saw her scarred face; Trunau was so used to tragedy that a little thing like a scar was practically a cause for celebration. That's... a new look for you, he says, clearly referring to her full plate, showing beneath her cloak. He sets down a mug of his special drink with a grin.
She forces a weak smile as she brings the cup to her lips. The drink was strong, but good. Better than she remembered, she thinks as it burns down her throat. She stops at the one swallow, not trusting herself to drink more.
She looks around at the place, wide-eyed. She was home. Gods above, she was home.
Knowledge(local): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Beltzer stands just outside of town, looking on through the trees. He sighs "Ah there is no place like home." He bends his head over to the side stretching one of the muscles in his neck. "Dangerous, surrounded by orcs..." Betlzer then spies a familiar imposing figure walking through the village. "and protected by the strongest woman I know. Mother, can't wait to tell you the time I've been having." He chuckles then walks on into the village.
Standing at 6'10" the youngest half-orc son of Halgra was very hard to miss. Strolling past the guards he gives a wave and they give a hearty greeting back. He'd have time to catch up later, he knows their duties are more important than greetings. Betlzer walks the winding path past the second gate into the inner quarter. Taking in each step, seeing some of the young ones he trained now looking that they have seen enough fighting for a lifetime. New faces, many new faces. Though that's always the way here in Traunau.
Beltzer reaches his destination then attempts to enter the doorway with a loud thunk. He rubs his head a little then ducks under the beam, he shouts inside. "Oi! Rabus, I thought you were going to raise that beam! Five years and still nuthin'! Lazy mug." he lets out a raucous laugh.
Taking a little while talking to some of the locals, he catchis on the recent happenings about town. Just to explain the knowledge local check as those seem like quotes from the townsfolk. All the while he eyes the table that his friends are to meet. Beltzer hears a familiar voice singing. Not much of a singer other than loud roars though he adds a few lines of poetry as he walks over to his companions.
perform(Oratory): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
He opens up his arms to the ladies. "What do I need to do around here for a hug from some old veterans huh? The whole crew seems to be in armour but that doesn't seem like it's going to stop him none.
The door of the inn swung open as he put his shoulder against it, ducking under the beam at the door, noting a recent scuff mark on the lacquer as he did. He straightened as he stepped inside, stretching slowly, his shoulders cracking loudly. The large hammer he held by his side swung slightly as he did, almost clearing a table. He smiled apologetically at the man and woman sharing a drink there and hurriedly placed the hammer leaning up against the corner by the door, making sure that it was out of the way.
'Glad to see the place hasn't changed much!' He grinned, unslinging his pack from his shoulder and tucking it behind the hammer, before moving to the bar.
"I suppose you will be wanting the usual?" Rabus grinned before turning and beginning to fill a possibly clean mug with some dark ale. "Was wondering when we would see you. Been home yet? I'd guess not or you'd be wearing a pot embedded firmly in that large forehead I'd wager. Not even tellin your old mum before you left... She was a tad pissed off that is for sure." Rabus set the mug down in front of Varin and raised an eyebrow, smiling wryly.
"Yeah you,"" Rabus laughed and shook his head. "It sure as hells wasn't book learnin you was doin when you were away anyway. Welcome back al'Thine. Your friends are waiting!" Rabus pushed the coins back towards Rin and shook his head before clapping the big man on the shoulder and moving off to serve another customer.
Varin sighed and took a sip of ale before turning towards where Rabus had pointed, not that that had been strictly necessary, what with Beltzer being present and the singing and poetry of it all. He smiled as he walked towards them and clapped a hand on Beltzers shoulder as he spoke.
"I'm sure they would be more than willing to hug you Bel, as long as you promise not to write a sonnet about it!" He laughed, squeezing the mans shoulder tightly and nodding to Mellisa and Keltza.
So much armour and height in one place!
"oh? Sonnet about a hug? That'll be the end of the sonnet my old friend." He leans over looping his arm around Varin's waist and giving him a quick one armed hug. "The rest of tha' Sonnet will be all those grand adventures from the past 5 years! You better have something good to tell me, I'm sure there's a story behind those muscles." Beltzer eyes Varin up and down.
"Oh my now that!" He traces a line with his finger from Varin's right eye down his face. Tracing the scar that now lines it. "That has a story to tell.. and has your nose always been crooked? Haven't noticed before" Beltzer takes out a cloth and wipes it on Varin's fullplate.
"Got it from a sign smacking you in the face? Seems like you haven't even been a single fight looking at that armour." He looks at the cloth without a speck of dust or grim. "Or your blacksmith ways still polishing every tiny speck good enough to impress the Tian emperor?"
Silently a scopes owl swoops though the door following a recent patron enters and comes to perch on Beltzer's shoulder that Varin isn't currently holding. "Huh where ya been? Off hunting mice again?" Beltzer reaches for a small bit of meat on a pouch on his belt and feeds it to the bird.
Varin laughs and returns the one armed hug before resting his arm on Beltzers shoulder, leaning casually up against his friend as he takes another sip of ale.
"Grand adventures? You wont get any tales of the kind from me. Tales of scrubbing in the dirt, repairing weapons and armour on the fly and fighting shoulder to shoulder with the finest of Lastwall, those tales I have. I went to the Capital and enlisted. I spent the last five years on the front lines, doing my bit, Gorum be praised!"
Rin grinned as Beltzer traced the large scar on his face. "Got that off of some minion of one of the big bastards. Giant broke my blade and smashed in half of my armour and while I was getting myself up, an Orc decided to carve a nice deep furrow in my face. Maybe he mistook it for the arse end of a cow and was a bit peckish!" He laughed. "It missed the eye, Erastil be praised, and I jammed the broken hilt of the sword up under his chin for his troubles."
He nodded back over his shoulder at the large Earthbreaker leaning against the wall. "Giant broke my weapon so I took his as compensation. I would have asked him for it nicely but we were a ways beyond talking by then, and besides someone had already gutted the poor thing!"
Rin laughed softly at the comment about the Tian Emperor. "Freshly polished this morning don't ya know?" He took the man by the shoulders and turned him side to side, inspecting the breastplate he wore. "Nice piece of gear you got there. Covers too little for my liking but a damn fine piece. Looks like you did well for yourself," He stepped back, taking another drink of ale and watching with a bemused smile as the owl landed on Beltzers shoulder.
"Speaking of armour... Mel that is a nice set you got there too. Glad to see someone else decided to armour up proper!" he grinned, patting the chest piece of his own fullplate.
Going with short names for everyone, hope that is okay. So far Kel, Mel and Bel. Hahaha That worked out nicely!
Keltza smiles as she sees a few of her old friends walking into the establishment. She embraces her friend Bletzer first and foremost, glad to hear his voice once more after all this time. "Five years, its been since we've seen each other last. And still fluent as ever with your poetry I can see!" She shakes her head, giving a small chuckle. "Ah, if there is one thing I missed all these years, it has been a fellow artist."
Keltza then turns to Varin, giving him a hug as well. "And look at you! Carrying around that oversized weapon like it was no big deal." She looks the human up and down and laughs. "Seems to me like you grew quite a bit over time. Why, I remember when I used to be bigger than you, and I'm absolutely puny!" Keltza reaches for her mug and takes a long sip of water. "And being so small, I think I'll stick to this rather than ale. The last time we all drank together, my hangover lasted for a week! Seven hells, I nearly got fired for that."
The half-orc stares down at her feet, shaking her head clearly enveloped by nostalgia. "I'll tell you what though. I didn't leave right away like the lot of you. I actually stayed for four years and only spent one year outside the walls of the town." She gestures to the holy symbol on her chest. "It's all thanks to Ragathiel that I survived that long. As you know Beltzer, there are very few good full blooded orcs out there. Doesn't matter that we have their blood in us, they saw me as a... what did they call it? A 'halfbreed' they said." She takes another sip and her voice grows quiet. "The hold of Belzken outside of these walls is a terrifying place. Even when out there, I made sure that every action I took ensured the safety of Trunau. Old habits die hard I suppose."
She glances over to the heavily armored woman and smiles. "Mel? Mellisa? Is that you? Get over here and join us!"
Mellisa swallows a lump growing in her throat and finds herself entirely unable to speak. She blinks at the familiar faces as a surge of memory overwhelms her.
She stands up on unsteady legs, not made so by drink but emotion. She steps toward and practically falls into the embrace o her old friends. Beltzer? Keltza? And Varin too! I can hardly believe it!
At Varin's comment, she glances down at her distinctive armor with equal parts pride and shame. Long story.
She can't bring herself to say more. It was too surreal; she expects them at any moment to start leveling accusations at her, that they had to know somehow. She brushes at her moist eyes with her palm.
Varin laughed and draped an arm over Keltzas shoulder, squeezing her tight and grinning down at her. "It has been awhile since I was as teeny tiny as that. And yes I remember that particular night, I woke up the next morning with a headache and about a half dozen stolen eggs, all tied up in a pair of Widow Trelains bloomers. I still don't know where the eggs came from..." He frowned, scratching at the back of his head with a bemused look upon his face.
Varin listened silently as Kel told of her time outside of the village. It sounded like she had gone through a lot and had found something to believe in. He was glad of that. His friends were important to him and that they were here was a big comfort. When she stopped he smiled and tugged lightly at her chain shirt. "This has seen better days. Maybe bring it by tomorrow and I will see about repairing it for you. Always best to be prepared hey?" He took another drink of ale, letting his arm fall from her shoulder as he turned to embrace Mellisa as she arrived.
"It is good to have you home Mel!" As she fights back tears he placed a steadying hand on her shoulder. "You are safe. We are all here for you!" He watched her for a moment more, willing her comfort and support.
"Who else do you think will turn up? The old place sure looks the same anyway, right? It seems like only yesterday we left really, but here we are, back and five years older. Not that you can tell by looking at some!" He shook Keltzas shoulder playfully before laughing. "I dunno about you all but this is a new start for me. I'm happy to be back, though I'll miss it. It all looks a little clearer from where I am standing. Here's to all of you!" He grinned and saluted his friends before signalling to one of the serving men, Rabus being busy.
When the man stepped over to him he ordered a jug of water and some mead, his last drink of the night.
Nem was waiting in a dark corner. Today was the day where her all companions were supposed to reunite. The taciturn Nem was lost in her thought while her hands were using a knife to mechanically and clumsily carving a piece of wood, the same knife she would use to cut her own throat in case she were captured by a band of foul Orc.
The sound of a conversation take her attention away from her ramblings. they arrive, what a surprise...perhaps I should prove if they have not forgotten to stay alert all time
Nem approach silently the rest in order to surprise them, taking 10 for 20.
Perceptive Keltza is not. I couldn't make that roll on... well, a 20.
Keltza smiles, taking a seat in a nearby chair while staring around her friends. It has been so long since they had seen each other, it was almost surreal. Here they were, the lot of them, five years after that faithful night. She raises her mug and laughs. "I propose a toast to that night. I would say that despite our experiences, both good and bad, we certainly do know how to truely live life!"
As the companions clanks teir goblets together and drink, she looks over each companion with a smile. Varin was as friendly and cheerful as always. Mellisa, though seemingly short on words was clearly glad to be here. Beltzer seemed even more well traveled than before...
Keltza snaps out of her thoughts and speaks again. "By the gods above, it is good to be in your presence once again. It is good to be in town once again. And by Ragatheil, may his eyes fall upon us and his five wings shield us from whatever may come in the future."
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
At the proposed toast, Mellisa turns to retrieve her drink, still left at her table. Just then, a shadow of a movement catches her eye. Her hand darts to her waist and her sword is half-drawn from its scabbard before recognition hits. Nem! she exclaims with wide eyes.
She remembers always trying to include her in the group, the secretive girl from somewhere far from Trunau. How she had arrived at the small village beset by orc hordes she had tried to pry from Nem, but mostly she had simply tried to be her friend. That was a long time ago, and now Mellisa too had a dark past of which to be secretive.
How-- how are you? she asks, biting her lip.
Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Nerak waved as he approached the gate. An odd sight even in the orc lands. A tall blonde haired and bearded ulfen atop a bison, swaying as his snorting mean eyed mount as it lumbered forward. As he got closer he pulled Ranon sort and dismounted, leading him forward with him. Even on the ground the guards were sorter, but stocker compared to the lean Nerak.
"It's only been five years, am I that easy to forget."
The guard took a moment to remember him, then clapped him on the shoulder. Causing him to move slightly from the blow. He lead him in and filled him in on recent events before going back to his post. Once he had his mount properly stabled he made his way to the meeting place.
Finally making it to the Killin' Ground he wondered how many would show up. Taking a breath he entered.
I think my owl has a chance of spotting Nem. Beltzer, not a chance.
Beltzer slaps his chest, posturing towards Varin. "Of course there's space left between them. You need it for.." He puffs up, inhaling quite deeply. Bringing out a clear resonate voice saying. ... your lungs!!"
He returns Keltza's hug saying "The Ulfen people I spent so much time with on my travels would've loved to hear your voice. They had some good muses though none meeting the sound of yours." Beltzer ruffles into his backpack taking out a some paper. "Maybe taking notes of our travels we should have a decent duet by the end of tonight." He ruffles Keltza's hair at the halfbreed comment. "Pay them no heed, people just don't know anything different to themselves at times. I've heard quite a few slurs having traveled further afield. Hah, though you just need to show them how little words mean. The Ulfen forgot that fairly quickly when you can show them you can tussle like the best of them."
Looking at Mellisa standing meekly he says "Long stories are often the best ones aren't they!" He leans over the bar grabbing a drink with his spare hand. "And there stands Mel, head held high, sword in hand." He holds the tankard aloft as if a sword pointed towards the sky, then begins to embellish a random story about Mellisa saving a prince locked in a castle. He continues to make the story more ridiculous until the end or until someone stops him.
Varin laughs and shakes his head softly, turning from Bel and Keltzas conversation as Mellisa exclaims in shock. "Nem!" He calls on Mels heels, grinning and holding out a hand, offering her a place in the group. "Come, join us. Will you have a drink?"
As Bel mentions the Ulfen for a second time, Varin gestures towards the door and grins, before raising a hand in greeting. "Speak of the devils and one shall appear. Nerak! Welcome home!"
As Beltzer starts his tale, Varin leans back against the counter and watches with rapt fascination at the story that the man weaves. He laughs along with the rest as the tale builds absurdly.
"By Gorums leathery balls it is good to be home..."
Out of the corner of her eye, Keltza notices a tall, yet lanky Ulfen man step through the door. Squinting to make sure her eyes were right, she chuckles as she recognized yet another one of her allies. "Well then, if my eyes aren't playing tricks on me, I'd say that was you Nerak! How goes it, old friend?" She waves the man over and pulls up another chair. "It seems to me that soon enough, the Killin' Ground will be completely packed. And with a bunch of unpaying customers at that!" She sends a playful wink over to Rabus,who only snorts in response.
She glances over to Beltzer and smiles. "I know I shouldn't worry about names, but words pierce sharper than any sword I know. It was odd. You would think that humans would be the worst offenders, but it was actually the orcs in Belkzen." She shakes her head, finishing her water. "Attempting to live among them for a year... it only confirmed what I thought while growing up here. Orcs are a warlike and brutish race. It was odd having them of all people throwing slander my way."
Keltza sighs. Thankfully she wasn't there anymore. Not since she drove her hopeknife through dozens of hearts, at least. But her friends didn't need to know that story just yet. Now was a time for merriment.
Nerak rolls his eyes at Varin.
"Oh a devil am I, I'll remember that Varin. Can't even wait until I grab a drink. I understand your plight, only slightly taller and a lot less good looking. No need to be spiteful."
He stroked his beard with the tips of his mouth nearly breaking into a smirk, his other hand at his side making a sign as he whispered a word after he spoke. The minor spell taking effect without a sign, at least none that could be easily seen. For his target slightly swirled, easy to mistake as simple motion without proper knowledge. Varin would find his repayment for that little jib next time he drank from his cup. He hoped he liked the flavor he chose. But he gave the man a wink in jest at it all.
"None the less it is good to be back."
Focusing on Keltza, he gives her a deep nod.
"I find things better with each step I take from certain places and their people. Home not being one of them."
As he smiles, anyone looking his way notices a pair of glowing eyes from with in his mane of blonde hair on his shoulder. They seem to stare with intensity at those that notice it.
Mellisa mounts a valiant effort to find no amusement in Beltzer's wild yarn, but ultimately she smiles broadly and allows a chuckle or two to escape from her lips.
Nerak's arrival mercifully brings his tale to an end short of her leading a renewed Shining Crusade marching upon the Worldwound. Enough, please! You'll have everyone thinking I should be taking the place of Halgra of something. She shakes her head and retreats to her darkened corner of the bar.
Knowledge (local: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
At the Main Gate, a loaded wagon with a lone driver enters into view. At close inspection, the guardsmen recognize the driver. "Oi! I'll be! Menas returns to Trunau!" At this, Alabast, resting on his ward's shoulder, cawls up to the guardsmen. "Ay! I see you still go that raven of yours!"
The order is given to open the gates, and Menas drives right through and stops shortly after they close.
"Fellows! Is Halgra still Chief Defender?", Menas calls up from the wagon. " Oh yeah!" says one of the guardsmen. "She's still up at Ivory Hall!"
"Thanks! And keep up the good work!" At that Menas drives the wagon through the streets of Trunau. It's good to see not much has changed, thinks Menas.
When Menas arrives at Ivory Hall, he is greeted by Halgra, who appears to have just come back from a walk. "Well, I figured I'd be seeing you soon, young paladin," says Halgra. 'You just missed Beltzer by a couple minutes." Menas gets off the wagon, and shakes Halgra's hand. "Halgra, great to see you," says Menas, and gestures to the wagon. "A gift, to the people of Trunau! Horse and wagon too. I'm sorry I couldn't bring more."
"Oh, this is plenty! I thank you and Trunau thanks you. Welcome back", says Halgra.
"Sorry to gift and run, but..you know." Will we see you there later?"
"Maybe, says Halgra. "But first, I NEED SOME HELP WITH THESE SUPPLIES!" yells Halgra into the Hall. A few moments later, several of Halgra's children and grandchildren stream out of Ivory Hall and begin to unload the wagon like a well-trained team.
"Well, see you soon," waves Menas, as he lightly jogs down the road to The Killin' Grounds. For a moment, Halgra swears she saw Menas's raven wave one of his wings in goodbye.
Walking up the the front door, Menas is almost filled with glee. He begins to walk in when "BONK!, Menas slams his forehead into Rabus Clarenston's front door support beam loudly.
"Ah,", says Menas in a hushed tone. "It's all coming back to me now."
Varin laughed softly and took a sip of ale, before his face twisted in to a grimace and he coughed loudly. "Erastils eye that is foul. Tastes like soap and cow dung mixed!" He grimaced again before shrugging and finishing the last swallow. "Waste not want not!" He downed the jug of water in one and sighed, placing it on the bar carefully with a nod for it to be refilled.
He grabbed Nerak by the shoulder and jostled him playfully from side to side. "So short and handsome, where have those icey bones been to, during your absence? Somewhere where the women are blind and the ale is free to boot?" He smiled to take the sting out of his words. "Regale us with the tale of your journey, and those eyes on your shoulder!"
Varin watched with amusement as Menas' head bounces off of the door frame. 'Poor Men... Welcome home lad. And a servant of Iomedae by the tabard. Interesting that...' He gestured for the shorter man to join, glad to see him alive and well.
Karrdas had gotten his fair share of odd looks on his way to The Killin' Ground. He could hardly blame them for not recognizing; his transformation after all, had been fairly substantial. While he had always been fairly fit for duty, the Shoanti man's arms were now packed with solid muscle. He had not grown any taller, but he now carried himself as though he were a giant. Gone were his long black locks, and his tan had gotten several shades darker over the years. And of course, there were his tattoos; they were works of art, but their meaning would likely be lost on most of the people in Trunau.
But naturally, Rabus had no trouble telling who he was. The barkeep was quick to speak up when Karrdas walked through the door of his establishment.
"That you, Karrd?" Rabus said, squinting exaggeratedly, "What in the blazes happened to your hair?"
"My head got hot," the Shoanti answered with a grin, running a hand along his smooth crown. "So I shaved it off."
"You coulda just put on a damn hat, boy," the bar's proprietor answers, returning the smile. He fills a cup up with some of his signature moonshine and sets it down before Karrdas. "This one's on the house... if you think you can handle it, I mean. If memory serves, you were still hungover when you rode outta here."
This time Karrdas showed teeth. "Oh, I can handle it."
Keltza looks up as she hears the slam against the door and grins as she sees the pensive look on the young paladin's face. "Well it certainly looks like someome was in a hurry to get to the drink. So how goes it... Menas right?" Keltza frowns, hoping she got the name right. After so many years away from friends, some stick out in mind better than others.
Noticing the symbol of Iomedae on his person, Keltza's smile grows all the wider. "And a holy man at that as well. I am glad I'm not the only one to find faith in these times. Here is to the forces of good and the downfall of all tjat is evil!" With that, Keltza takes her newly filled glass of water and drinks.
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
As Menas steps aside to rub his aching forehead, a tall man with a shaven head walks past him to the bar, nobody he immediately recognizes.
"Yup, I'm still Menas." The paladin walks over the female bard. Hello, Keltza! Menas walks over to her at the bar, and gives her a hug. The hug reminds him of his times in Vigil. He steps back to take a look at the young half-orc bard. "My. Have you grown into a beautiful young lady," Menas gently flirts.
Ah yes speak of the devil indeed." Beltzer raises his mug at Nerak. "Your homeland is a great place, or your blood..land.. I don't know. Heritage place!"
Beltzer points the mug towards Melissa after stopping the story at her request. "Better you than me, I don't want that position. To be fair there are perks to being one of the younger of the litter. Like little responsibility."
"MENAS" The half-orc shouts loudly. He walks up to the man hugging him and lifting him off the ground a few inches. "How is the honorary half-orc doing huh? A full man of the cloth I see."
Beltzer leans in whispering to him, asking: "So er, does that mean you not going to be able to date some of these lovely ladies no more?"
Before Beltzer can grab Menas, Alabast flies to an upper shelf of the bar.
In a low whisper, Menas quickly leans into Beltzer, "I'm a paladin, not a saint. And Menas laughs uproariously! "Yes, I'm a full paladin now, but I'm sure it's not a surprise to most. Hey! I just saw your mother. She's unloading some supplies I donated to the villiage. She said you had just come back as well", says Menas looking up to Beltzer.
Nerak took a moment to steady himself, too late as something jumped out from under his hair and on to Varin's face. For the smallest of moment's it seemed his face was covered in colored gems and rocks until a blinding light robbed everyone close by of their vision. Mentally cursing he yelled.
Just as quickly the light disappeared and the creature was back on Nerak's shoulder. It had the look of some sort of earth elemental, a pair of small glowing eyes upon a vague humanoid like form made up of gems and stones. Floating freely, as you could see clearly through the gaps. Blinking a lot he shakes his head slightly, trying to rid himself of the spots that now blossomed everywhere he looked.
"Apologies. Lorn has a temper or poor humor depending on how you look at it. We found each other during my travels, he's loyal if nothing else can be said of him."
Lorn gives Varin what could be suspected as a "I'm Watching You" gesture.
"Anyways I have been all over Varisia, seen and learned a lot. Mostly by way of varisian caravan's, which is as close to blind women and free ale as your going to find in this world I dare say."
He leans slightly over to Varin.
"I could tell you later the real reason why those varisian women all dance with scarves and such."
Clearing his throat and straightening back up he continues.
"Concerning adventure, besides the dangers of the road. I have had little, mostly poking about ruins and settlements for my collection of knowledge. Speaking of which I would love to take down any interesting accounts."
He reaches for the opening of the small bag he has slung over and resting on his lower back. Pulling out a quill and tome, both of which should not have fit so easily into a bag that size. Something wooden falling out as he retrieved the items, he seemed not to have noticed, it was a simple wooden mask painted half white and half black.
Nem smiles at the good mood in the air, she remembers now why she used to hang around this motley group, they have the unusual capacity of make her forget for a moment her dark thoughts.
Nem nods at the arrival of Nerak, Menas, and Karrdas
"I'm sure your stories will fill an entire tome, Bel will have inspiration for his entire career"
"By Calistrias left tit.. my eyes!" Varin clutched his face for a moment and blinked away the stars he was seeing. He straightened again and narrowed his gaze on the strange little creature.
'Oh it is on beastie... I'll be skipping you across a river by morning!' Varin grinned to himself and turned back to Nerak as he leaned in close to whisper something to him.
He laughed softly and patted the man on the shoulder, careful to keep an eye on the elemental. "Sounds like you have had an interesting enough time of it, even if it was ah... adventure free." Varin took a sip of water before smiling. "And as for stories and adventures, best you talk to Beltzer. I spent my days as a Soldier and a Smith. Nothing interesting or adventury about that, nothing worth writing down anyway."
|Elize 'Lys' Brokenshield|
Knowledge(Local): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
A steed in gallop runs on the road towards Trunau, mane flowing in the setting sun. A nervous figure leaning on the horse's back gazes in the distant town, as torches begin to light. S&@+, s@$$, I'm late. Murmuring, "Come on, you old mule! There's three-legged wolves that run faster than you!" Upon the horse's whimper, she whispers back, "Sorry. You don't deserve that. It's just that I'm late, you know. Please, proceed."
Approaching the gate, she waves her hat at the guard, shouting, "Hey! It's Lys! Am I late?", dismounting the moment she reaches it. "Hey! Uhm. You're new! Wait... Heey! You're the baker's son! Not taking the family business, or just doing something in the night?" she says, looking at the young lad's confused face, not stopping while talking or waiting for response. "I'll go to the tavern now, say hi to your parents for me!", hustling towards the stables.
Reaaally, really late... Wait. Was that a bison?, she thinks, running towards the tavern, satchel flapping behind in the chilling dusk.
Walking towards the door, she glances over the beam, looking at the two distinct headmarks. Someone's grown. Walking in, she hears multiple loud and progressively drunk voices, and nearly trips over a giant maul's handle. Overcompensating for something?
"Lissie! Ha! You're late.", a shout from Rabus is heard, as she takes off her rather large Ustalavian hat, and hangs it on the coat rack. "Finally someone here that can handle their liquor!"
Frowning a bit at the childish nickname, Lys nevertheless smiles back, retorting quickly, "Well, none of them was raised by dwarves, were they? I've been drinking ale since I can't remember! Now give me a double, please." Taking the flagon, she turns to leave, and suddently stops, turning back to him. "Oh! Rabus! I got you something too! It's from Druma, it's a weird wine with small gold flakes in it. The Kalistradeans seem to love it. Never tried it. Enjoy!" Remembering the no-weapons rule, she looks at Rabus, and removes a piece of the crossbow, pulls a lever and extracts the last bolt. "Rabus, you don't have to worry. I'm the only one who shoots The Messenger!", with a grin, despite probably being the hundredth time that joke was said.
Finally leaving for the table, she notices the giant red-haired man with the Lastwall armor, something clicking in her head. Walking over to the table, she turns to Varin and says in a surprised tone. "Rin!", she chuckes, "It's you, I see! I was wondering who's so big and crazy enough to use a giant's hammer as a weapon. I heard tales of you along the frontlines. You're somewhat of a legend, you know.", she says, sitting down next to him and Menas. "To us! May we always come back!"
"Well I'll be... If it isn't little Lissie!" Varin chuckled softly and gave the woman a hug before sitting back, taking a good look at her. "You haven't grown much but you are different. And you are one to talk about legends... You are almost as well known as Bel wishes he was." He laughed and saluted her with his drink when she made her toast.
"Aye to us and to our sweet return home, hard as it may be. But in all seriousness Lys, it is nice to see you back around, I am glad you made it. I haven't seen Karrdas around yet, but I am sure he is here somewhere."
He stopped and looked around at the gathered companions, smiling slightly. "Everyone looks healthy and happy, everyone content in their place. You should talk to Nerak, tell him some of your tale, he is taking it all down. As are Beltzer and Kel, I think they are writing something. Not really my thing, words!" He grinned, taking a sip of his mead, he had nursed it a good twenty minutes at this stage.
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
A very bedraggled looking dwarf walks in to The Killin Floor. It had been a very long day and Torean was looking forward to a stiff drink.
As he approaches the counter, Rabus immediately starts pouring him a glass. "Back from patrol, eh, Torean. What's it like out there?"
Torean takes a sip from the offered glass before speaking. "Quiet. Eerily quiet."
Torean is surprised when Rabus refuses his money and points his head towards the other end of the room.
Well, I'll be. Has it been five years already?
Approaching the group of old friends, he smiles and says:
"Well, well, ain't this just a sight for sore eyes. I hope I'm not too late."
"Shussshh" Beltzer says in a hushed whisper. "She might hear you, yes I saw her when I was walking into town. Need some more drink in me before I see her. Need it to weather the customary slap on the back that I'll feel through my armour."
He drags Menas and himself back towards the table so they can continue drinking. He clinks or rather clanks his tankard with Menas's and greets the people he hasn't spoken to yet as they are fast filing in now. Beltzer raises up his tankard each time giving a big toothy grin in greeting. Nem. Karrdas. Elize. Torean. Greetings to you all."
Beltzer hears Varin saying his life is boring and scoffs a little. "What? You telling me that clank of metal. That crash of light as sparks fly off a sword being hammered is boring? You meet people to sell these pieces to don't you? Each piece of armour, like even that one on you. Tailor made, perfect fit! You are bound to one day make armour for the greatest kings! ... and likely my mother." Beltzer takes a gulp from his tankard. "Every person's story is worth telling. It may be boring to the protaginist of that story but I assure you, the listeners will be most keen. Maybe a few embellishments here and there to keep things fresh. Say your furnace is powered by a lesser wyrm that you pump by cranking his mighty tail!"
Varin laughs and leans back in his chair, lacing his fingers behind his head. "Working the forge is not exciting to me, it is relaxing. Sure, it is nice to see a piece coming together, and it is a pleasure to craft something beautiful and deadly, but it doesn't excite me, it just calms me, centers who I am. I do like the embellishment though. I can use that!" He nodded, taking a sip of water.
"And as for making gear for your mother, no thank you. I enjoy my craft, I am even kind of good at it, but I wouldn't sell gear to your mother for the life of me. What if it failed?" He raised an eyebrow before laughing sharply. "Pharasma herself wouldn't know who I was when I passed on!"
He leaned forward and offered Torean his hand to shake. "Greetings Torean. It is a pleasure to see you again. How goes things in town? Pull out a seat and join us old friend, tell us of the past five years!"
Stunned by the sudden fluctuation of people in the room, Keltza sits backs and watches as some of the conversations go on around her, amused by nearly all of it. Shaking her head at the Paladin's flirting, she raised an eyebrow and responds by saying, "Ah dear Menas. Didn't you know? My tastes run closer to..." As she thinks of a response, Torean walks through the door. She struts over to him and puts her arm around the dwarf, smiling back at Menas. "As I was saying, my tastes run closer to dwarfking. So until you shrink about two feet and grow a magnificent beard, I don't think we would work out."
Amused at her own jest, she raises an eyebrow at Nerak's tale and says, "Though you will most certainly have to tell me that reason for the scarves. I've been thinking about getting into dancing myself once I perfected my singing. Little joke there about my character creation. Originally Keltza was a dancer, NOT a singer. Sounds like you have a tale or two that a bard could write a song about, no?"
Turning to Elize, still with the dwarf in her grip she gives a small bow. "It certainly has been a while since we last saw each other! If I remember correctly, you were out of town before I even managed to wake up from my alcohol induced sleep!" She smiles and gestures to her alcohol free drink. "I've obviousl learned my lesson since then, though I'm not sure about everyone else here."
Finally looking at Torean, who she practically has in a bearhug, she laughs. "Well then, not going to say anything? Bloody hell man, it has been forever since you've seen them! And a year since you've seen me! The Black Blades huh? I'm guessing they earned quite a blacksmith and warrior when they took you in!"
The moonshine burned Karrdas' throat as it always did, but that was how he knew that it was the good stuff he drank five years ago. The difference now was that it didn't knock him onto his ass. He nods in thanks to Rabus before turning to take a look around. So many familiar faces, familiar voices, the occasional salutation from those that recognized him... he was not even sure where to begin.
"It is good to see you all again," he says to everyone, his voice a loud basso. "Five years of stories for each of us... we're coming up on a good century's worth of them in here! One night alone hardly seems like enough to have it all told. But I doubt any of us will get drunk enough to believe any of those embellishments Beltzer mentioned!"
|Elize 'Lys' Brokenshield|
Turning to Beltzer, Lys grins and shouts back, "Ha! Is everyone just grown so much, or is it me that shrunk? Good luck with Halgra, though if she remembers, she'd probably be here at some point, so I'd suggest talking to her beforehand, just so that we all don't have to flee as soon as she starts shouting!" Looking around, and seeing Menas, she says, "Menas the Menace! How's it been? Heard you're a holy man now! I also heard you're around Vigil, never saw you, though. You should've learned, can't hide from me for long!", she finishes, snickering.
Gazing around the room, seeing Mellisa, she waves at her enthusiastically. "Mel! Woah! What is it with everyone and wearing tons of metal? That helmet is pretty nice though, the birds' sacrifice wasn't in vain. Come sit with us! Tell us where you've been!", excitedly waving her hands for her to come.
Seeing Keltza being poured water, Lys shouts, "Come on, Keltza, you're not drinking? Not even a little bit? For old time's sake? Somebody can fix your headache in the morning, I'm sure. Unless everyone spent their days carrying g#*##~n carts on their backs and chewing iron bars like Mel, Rin and Beltzer here.", she exclaims, slapping Rin hard on the back. Ow. Stick to shooting. she thinks, grabbing her hand.
Torean pulls up a chair and takes another long sip of the moonshine.
"Ahhh, trust Rubas' stuff to warm up the body."
Turning to Varin, he shrugs.
"Things go about as well as you could expect out here. Me and the twins have been busy holding the fort while the rest of you have been off on your adventures."
Torean looks around him for a bit.
"Speaking of which, has anyone seen Kurst yet? He said he'd be around. I know Rodrik is on patrol."
As Karrdas approaches, Torean is the first to respond.
"Ah, another old face I recognize. You're quite right, I'm sure there are lots of stories but I'm hoping not just the one night."
Mellisa had been sitting comfortably watching and riding the surges of memory long buried under the queen of Korvosa's brainwashing. When Lys calls her out, she moves back into the light again, the orange-red light of the lanterns casting a cruel glow over her facial scars.
I went west, she finally says, after nodding a greeting to Torean, Karrdas and Menas. Varisia, in fact. Land where my parents were from. She drags her chair over to the steadily growing clump of tables.
Keltza shakes her head. "Haven't seen Kurst once since I got back... then again, I've only been here for a few hours. I'm sure he'll pop up eventually..." She turns over to Lys and laughs. "And no, not one drink. I haven't had one since that night." She points to the holy symbol on her chest. "It's been a while, but Ragathiel's teachings tell us to be wary for battle against evil at any second. To stay vigilant... and other things of that sort."
Catching Keltza's words he stops stroking his beard.
"Sorry but some tales are best left out of song and I enjoy having my head firmly upon my shoulders. So I won't be explaining those scarves to you my dear."
He gave a playful smirk. Anyways Keltza was a lot harder then a silky varisian dancer, not that it was a bad thing. But one was best served to sticking to their strengths, not that he would be overly hurt if he was mistaken in his accounting.
"Ah all this catching up, forgot my drink."
He walks up to the counter and get's himself a half mug of moonshine. He pours some water in, then stirs it with his finger as he speaks a magical word. First it's color changes to deep red, another word and stir changes it's taste. Not that he disliked his first drink but he had tasted others sense then. He could hardly be blamed for favoring another sweeter kind.
|Elize 'Lys' Brokenshield|
Torean pulls up a chair and takes another long sip of the moonshine."Speaking of which, has anyone seen Kurst yet? He said he'd be around. I know Rodrik is on patrol."
"I hear he's becoming quite the poet these days! Maybe he's off to serenade a lucky lady. Still, poor excuse to be late. Keltza and Nerak can write down just as good, I heard!" Turning to Rin, she says in a ironically insulted tone, "And don't you dare complain about words, Varin al'Thine, they pay for my living. Well. Them and the occasional smuggled bottle.", raising her nose in the air, up to about his chest level.
Varin laughed as Lys cradles her hand. "Hey that isn't fair... It wasn't only iron, I ate rocks too. My momma taught me the importance of a balanced diet!"He grinned and shook his head. "Okay your majesty, your precious words are amazing. I shall not mock them!"
"Nil me ag caint aon sceal ach an fhirinne!"
He nudged Lys lightly with his shoulder and turned to Torean.
"I had heard the twins made Captain while we were gone, good for them. It will be nice to see them both again. How is their father doing, if I might ask?"
Rin laughed and greeted Karrdas as he approached the table. 'No wonder I didn't recognize him. He is as bald as an egg!'
"Did I hear Menas was in Vigil? Course I wasn't there long myself but I was back through there on my way home. Must have just missed eachother on the road!"
As he sits down with Beltzer, Menas raises his glass to Elize and smiles. "Not hiding, I may have been cleaning the barracks or in a disciplinary meeting." The raise it against toward Karrdas. "Salutations, Karrdas. And to you, Varin." After the quick toasts, Menas leans over to Beltzer and whispers, "So how long have Keltza and Torean been 'a thing'?"
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6 For some reason, Menas keeps missing Mellisa.
Some people like relaxing tales." Betlzer insists. "Sometimes you want to hear the tale of travelling off the edge of the world. Sometimes you want to hear about the humble baker who takes pride in the dough he makes every morning. All equally valid."
Beltzer gives a nervous chuckle to Elize. As much as he knows his mother is a loving woman to him, he and everyone at this table knows how much of harsh warden she can be. Her kids are no exception.
Retorting to the quip about iron bars he says "Naw, I've been chewing on wood more than anything. Open sea, big oars. Nerak can attest, Ulfen like their longboats. Just like here, you ain't along for the ride you have to be the engine too." All the while he is making some over the top flexing, half showing off, half playing the fool.
Beltzer muses on Mellisa's words. "I wanted to go south to Varisia on my travels but I didn't have much time. Maybe I would've bumped into you!" He cocks his head to the side. "Likely not actually, Varisia is a big place. Did you visit your parent's hometown?"
Just as he asks this he catches Elize saying that Kurst is becoming a poet. He stifles a laugh attempting to keep his composure.