Beacons of Hope: Wrath of the Righteous!

Game Master JohnnyBlack

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It's Armasse eve!
Armasse is a city-wide celebration was traditionally when priests and scholars would study history. However, over time, however, it has taken a new role focused on training the men and women of Kenabres to fight and defend themselves. Knights take on the roles of mentoring new squires, and those called to the priesthood graduate and are ordained. In-between all that is a plethora of competitions! There is jousting, Crusade reenactments, and even mock duels! Defender's Heart, the largest tavern in Kenabres, is in an excited buzz about tomorrow. The festivities begin at noon and even though the patrons appear calm, and perhaps even stoic, there is a charge of excitement hanging in the air. This is the one day where the masses forget the woes of war and finally let loose! Even the three blonde, bouncy waitresses flitting about the floor like hummingbirds have gotten into it and have deepened their necklines in hopes of larger tips. While the muscular Gaston is on a ladder getting the decorations in order. Crazy ol' Maurice is seen mingling busily, collecting bets for the games and players for his Fantasy Crusade league.

Tonight the special today is breaded halos, better known to us in the real world as onion rings. It's an appetizer the Defender's Heart is known for, not because of the rings themselves but because of the dipping sauce it comes with. It's like a honey dijon, a sweet mustard flavor with the zing of horseradish hiding in the aftertaste. Priests belonging to orders that are used to bland foods have dunked their heads in barrels of water to clean the heat off their tongues. It's a funny thing to watch.

Welcome to the recruitment thread! It is an IC, in-character, thread where you play as your character, mingle and get a feel for how your character operates. That's one of the reasons why I use IC recruitment options. It's nice just in case players need to make tweaks and concept changes. Also, IC threads allow me to see how characters interact and what playing styles click. Feel free to interact with the environment, especially within that 5 foot square your PC operates in.

Lastly, you'll see me use a lot of OOC tags like this. Above will be the fluff and action text while below in the OOC tags will be the main points players should take note, rolls, and other miscellaneous things I will want you to know. In fact, this is how I want players to write as well, just so I don't misunderstand intentions, actions, and can answer your questions.

That's about it. Take charge! And, have fun!

The Defender's Heart tavern is doing a brisk business this evening. That was obvious enough to anyone with a working pair of eyes and ears; patrons were busily dining on the place's finest dishes, drinking their cares away, putting their fortunes on a roll of the dice...

...and some of them might be plotting something wicked.

The tavern's newest arrival shook her head to chase the thought away. Not in front of Miles. This is supposed to be a happy occasion.

Alexa glanced down at the young, freckle-faced boy of thirteen winters next to her and sighed in irritation when she noticed his goggle-eyed look, staring at the waitresses (or rather, their generous cleavage) like they were some manner of exotic creature. Part of her was wondering how long it would take for puberty to finally come along and snatch up her youngest brother.

"Miles, don't stare. It's rude." She whispers in the young boy's ear, causing him to wince and give her a sheepish look. She takes him by the hand and leads him over to a free table, patiently waiting for one of the waitresses to come by and take their order for the evening.

She casts a suspicious eye on the other patrons as she waits...

Kelly sat on a tall stool at the bar, her wild mop of brown hair hiding her face as she hunched over, focused on carefully filing three small notches into a large chef's knife. The quiet halfling wasn't fond of large, noisy crowds, but she'd promised to meet some friends here for the celebration. She glanced up every now and then, hoping to see a familiar face.

Her friends can be anyone with the Stolen Fury campaign trait, fellow survivors of the demonic ritual.

Silver Crusade

The large Keleshite sat at, and with his back to, the bar smiles at the boy's staring eyes. He lets out a deep rumbling laugh

"Boy has eyes of Hawk. Be great bowman, if arms grow! Ha!"

His accent is thick, his common halting, it is clear that the language does not come naturally to him.

He bangs his elbow on the bar and turns as the barkeep approaches.

"More wine. More Haloes."

A chance lull leaves the bar quiet for a moment, Bahram hears for the first time the scratching coming from along the bar, before a fawning woman draped over a mercenary in the corner breaks the peace with a scandalous giggle.

"Why dull little knife little woman?"

Aberus stepped into the Defender's Heart, squeezing past a small crowd of patrons that had gathered just inside the front entrance. They were talking excitedly among themselves, and as he passed by he caught fragments of their conversation. Like most people in the city who were out tonight, it sounded like they had begun their Armasse celebration a little early.

Unsurprisingly, the tavern was doing brisk business on the evening before the city-wide festivities. All of the tables were full and only two wooden stools along the bar stood open. As he took in the room, he could see the waitresses darting between tables, trying their best to keep up with the crowds. Aberus suspected they had a motive beyond just maintaining the excellent service that the Heart was known for: they probably wanted to turn the tables around as quickly as they could, as the more patrons they could seat over the course of the evening the more money everyone would make. This urgency didn't stop them from engaging in a little innocent flirting, however, almost certainly in pursuit of larger tips.

He worked his way over to one of the stools and sat down, albeit a little awkwardly. I'll get used to this thing eventually, he thought to himself. Though he had been trained in the use of the scimitar that training had focused on combat, not on wearing it around the house like a fashion accessory. Learning to sit down with the thing jutting out like that was something he'd been working out on his own. It still felt strange to be carrying it around everywhere he went, but he knew better than to leave it behind when he left the temple. You just didn't walk around Kenabres without a means of defending yourself. Not with what lay just beyond the city walls.

He looked over at the table next to him and saw a woman dressed in black, her dark hair tied up into a pony tail. Seated with her was a young boy perhaps 11 or 12 years old. He kept staring at the waitresses as they darted past, and even more intently when one came up to their table. The woman looked mildly irritated by this, which made Aberus smile in spite of himself. He remembered what it was like to be that age.

It was then that he noticed something odd about the woman's skin: it seemed to glow ever so slightly. Aasimar? While not exactly rare in Kenabres as they were elsewhere in the world, they weren't exactly a common sight here, either. On closer inspection, the ends of her hair seemed to have a reddish tint to them. Something about the whole picture suggested Shelyn, in spite of the black, but that was admittedly just a guess. Regardless, there was probably a fascinating story there.

His thoughts were interrupted by a very loud, deep laugh, followed by a booming voice in a thick, Keleshite accent.

"Boy has eyes of hawk. Be great bowman, if arms grow!"

Well, he thought. This should get interesting.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to assume a history with him.

Silver Crusade

"You carry Talon of Sarenrae like a stone man! Here..."

The big Keleshite rises from his perch like an unfurling sale, ornate silks covering him from toe to neck, an iron symbol of a blazing sun hangs there. He reaches to the Taldan patron and makes several slight adjustments to the mans sword frog, oblivious to the man's personal space

"There. Now scimitar carries you. No? Ha!"

He returns to his seat and his wine chuckling and muttering under his breath in Kelish

Excited, but slightly afraid, to be back home, Merlin walks around the town, enjoying the sites and sounds of...false peace.
He knows that this is only a short relief from the constant fear and nervousness associated with living on the border.
He slides into the Defenders Heart.

apologize but difficult to really post long at work...

Baleon stepped into the Defender's Heart, tip-toeing through the group gathered around and inside the tavern's entrance. With one hand, he kept a soft grip on the gold wedding band that dangled from the fine chain link around his neck.

After exiting the throng and entering the tavern proper, he relaxed his hold of the ring - though the tavern was busy, Baleon would be able to spot potential thieves better here than in the crowd outside.

His dark eyes scanned the crowds and tables of the tavern from beneath the brim of his dust weathered hat. His gaze lingered over three noteworthy individuals - A brown haired Taldan, a broad chested, groomed Keleshite, and a raven haired woman accompanied by a boy - around the age of 12 at Baleon's guess.

His eyes passed over the bar - and fixed on the halfling sitting with her back to the tavern door, whittling notches into a kitchen knife.

Baleon's frown softened as he recognized Kelly's mop of brown hair. He strode toward the bar, and stopped just behind Kelly.

"Who left this Littlekettle out of the kitchen?" He said, grinning as he swept off his hat and opened his arms, inviting an embrace.

Bahram wrote:
"Boy has eyes of Hawk. Be great bowman, if arms grow! Ha!"

The large Keleshite's cheerful words cause Alexa to flinch from how loud they're spoken. The boy, on the other hand, grins and flexes his nonexistent muscles.

"See, Alexa? He believes in me!" He beams at her.

"So why don't I ever see you practicing then, Miles?" Alexa wrinkles her nose and runs a hand along her twitching ponytail. The tips of her hair start glowing slightly.

"I do it when everyone else is asleep. Don't really wanna wake up Mom and Dad."

Alexa was about to reply when one of the tavern's waitresses approached to take their order. Miles was more than happy to order the breaded haloes, but Alexa opted to order something light instead. She wasn't especially fond of the haloes--something about the way they were cooked always caused her stomach to churn when she ate them. Miles, on the other hand, loved them.

Once the waitress had left, she looks around the tavern again and notices someone in the crowd. Oh, that clergyman is here? I wonder if he holds a grudge against Hulrun for prying into his business... She looks a bit uncomfortable at the thought, even if part of her wanted to walk over and say hello.

Stepping into the bustling tavern, Merlin recognizes a few faces from town. He waves at them before taking a seat at the bar.

Hello. I would like some tea if you could and a piece of bread and cheese please.

Having never been able to afford anything before his military time, Merlin savors the food.

Wandering into the tavern was a rather weary, if relieved, looking tiefling undoing the leather thong holding her dark hair back. Part of the relief was just from being home for the first time in a few years, having only returned a couple of days ago.

She quickly made her way over to the bar as she saw two people she'd never forget. Sure, she knew them from what was perhaps the darkest and most horrifying part of her past, but that didn't make them any less worth keeping in touch with.

"Kelly, Baleon; wasn't expecting to run into you guys so soon after I got back."

As Merlin enjoyed his food and tea, he lazily looks around the common room.

That man. He has the same symbol around his neck as my scimitar. I wonder what it means?
Merlin finishes off his meager meal. He then picks up his cup, tenatively approaching the human.

Excuse me sir. I was curious abiut that.
He points to the ankh and his scimitar.

Aberus, Merlin is a freshly returned from active military duty and he has an unexplainable affinity toward that symbol.

Following in after Luciana is a tall and burly young man, his face already craggy despite his young years, as evidenced by the dark red whiskers just coming in. A black eyepatch is tied around his left eye, and his dark red hair is long and woven into braids. It's hard to tell where his rough, green clothes end and his rough hide armor begins. Then he recognizes the group forming near the bar, some of whom he hadn't seen since he was a boy.

"A merry meeting to you all! It's me, Arloric!"

He takes a seat with Baleon, Kelly and Luciana. It's obvious the Kellid lad's grown like a weed in recent years.

"A round of mead for my friends, please!" he says, plunking down a gold measure on the bar.

...well, this just got more interesting.

Alexa keeps a wary eye on the rapidly growing gathering at the bar. She recognized at least one of them--the Kellid boy (Arloric, that's what his name was) looked like he was doing well enough for himself, even after that wholly unpleasant business with that demonic rite.

Come to think of it, they all look familiar. Of course they would--I was there myself.

It was a gathering of men and women from many races, some of whom couldn't walk away from that affair without scars on their soul, be they victim or rescuer. The two tieflings at the bar were especially affected by it--Alexa had no way of knowing whether they were normal people before the rite, or if the Damned had spread their corruption into their lines before they were born.

And the Prelate ordering me to spy on them for signs of possession or ill intent didn't make things any better. At least he wasn't fanatical enough to order them all to be put to the sword.

She slips a thick book from her backpack, along with a quill and inkwell. Flipping it open to a blank page, she takes in the group at the bar once more and starts sketching...

Craft (Paintings): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24

Normalcy. That sounds like a good working title until I can think of something better.

She only looks up briefly to acknowledge the waitress bringing them breaded haloes and some stir-fried noodles. Miles doesn't stop staring at the waitress until well after she disappears back into the crowded tavern.

Silver Crusade

The gathering at the bar only makes Bahram feel alone. With a scowl he collects his Halos and wine from the bar, scraping the bowl on the heavy, stained wood. He wanders over to the child, dropping the bowl of fried onions onto the table with a chunk.

"Rabbit beats tortoise boy. Speed beats strength all times."

He takes a seat at the table

"Be quick here. And here"

He pokes the boys chest, where his heart lies; then, more gently, the side of his head.

"Then feast not just with eyes. Ha! What do you draw lady?"

The latter was aimed at the boys companion, to his eyes and outlandish sort, outlandish meant interesting.

Miles giggles as the Keleshite pokes him, causing Alexa to look up from her sketching. Her grey eyes harden for a moment, but when she sees Miles enjoying himself, they soften again.

Oh, let him. At least he's interacting with other people now.

"I was sketching that gathering over there." She nods at the group of people at the bar. "It looked like something Kenabres is in dire need of--just a bunch of people getting together and having a good time. Being normal for a day, if nothing else."

And they need all the normalcy they can get.

Arloric cranes his neck and spots the gathering at the table. Then he recognizes Alexa.

"Dorne! You're here too! How goes that picture you were doing of the Park? Come on over! Bring your friends!"

He raises an arm, elegant blue lines painted down it, to wave them over.

Alexa purses her lips as Arloric calls her over. " minute, please."

She glances over at Miles & the Keleshite before putting her book & ink away. "Shall we, then?" She asks as she picks up her bowl of noodles and starts walking over to join the gathering. "By the way, my name is Alexa. Alexa Dorne, and the boy is my little brother Miles."

Arloric wrote:
"How goes that picture you were doing of the Park?"

"It's coming along, although slowly." Alexa takes a spoonful of noodles and gulps them down. "Combat drills and research don't leave much time for art, I'm afraid."

"That sounds familiar," Arloric replies. "The way Crocris has me working the trees and flowerbeds in the Park, I can barely get time to spar. He's been acting weird lately, even for him. Says there's a storm on the wind. Red-Branch has sensed it too, I think. Seems more nervous lately."

He eyes Bahram's haloes and then looks up at him.

"Well met! Arloric's the name, of the house Dziergas and the clan Highbough. From where do you hail?"

Silver Crusade

normality indeed, except that you know these people, there is more here than meets the eye

"'bunch of people' know your name it seems. You are famous maybe. Or maybe just wanting to be alone with boy. To forget 'bunch of people' know you. There is much sadness in you Dorne. This is sadness for all."

Bahram leans back in his seat, drinking deep from his goblet. Then gets to his feet and heads over to the group. Ordering another wine from the bar as he arives.

Bahram Alhazred. Kelish. I have come from katapesh, Arloric Dziergas Highbough. What ashak calepta* have I stumbled into here?"

*Kelish: den of snakes. Bahram is suspicious but not menacingly so, he suspects there is a story here, not that anyone is evil

Luciana Moretti wrote:

"Kelly, Baleon; wasn't expecting to run into you guys so soon after I got back."

Baleon turns at Luciana's greeting. Smiling, he claps her on the shoulder and clasps her hand.

"That means it's been too long." He says with a chuckle. He steps back, nodding.

"You look like you've been on patrol. Or have you been traveling?"

Arloric Dziergas-Highbough wrote:
"A merry meeting to you all! It's me, Arloric!"

"Tonight is fortuitous it seems! All of us here after all these years!" Baleon says, clasping the young man's arm immediately after Luciana. Looking just past Arloric's shoulder to the newcomers, Baleon's smile falters, and he leans back as Arloric welcomes them to the bar.

"And a welcome to your friends as well - I am Baleon." He says, extending his hand to the two new arrivals.

A pale, gaunt figure enters the tavern. Once adjusted to the light, his eyes scan the room

Aberus said he would meet me here

Once his friend is located, a smile traces its way across Arthur's face.

"There you are, Aberus!"

Arthur weaves through the crowd to join Aberus at his table. Once seated, he asks a passing barmaid for some bread and water.

"Y'know, however much I enjoy these festivities," Arthur motions around the room "I am more eager to finally put our training to use out there." Arthur's gaze drifts to a tapestry on the wall depicting demons and knights locked in battle.

Grand Lodge

Dragz sits in the corner of one of the booths in the tavern. he had ordered a plate of those halo's, then he learned that they where simply fried onions... he hated onions. he should have asked what they where before he got them.
sit next to him was his greataxe, resting against the wall. it was well polished, but not of any notable make. Drag's himself is covered in hides of various animals, but under the fur you can see the flash of scale-mail. his skin is a lighter shade of green, tinged with a hint of standard human complexion.
he watches the room, all the other obvious adventurers around. all likely to be awarded a metal or two before deciding to give up against the horrid ranks of demons.

Dragz sees the maid and asks for a tankard of beer.

The bartender, working a pace as furious as the wait staff, doesn't skip a beat. "What'll you have?" he asks Aberus while prepping a pair of drinks in some clean mugs for someone else. "A bowl of the stew, and hot tea to drink." The bartender grunted an acknowledgement and was off as quickly as he had arrived. He then became aware of a large figure standing over him.

Aberus turned back around to see the Keleshite man, now uncomfortably close, looking right at him. Before he could say anything, the Keleshite reached down and grabbed his scimitar, saying something that didn't quite register in his head through the shock.

Normally, Alberus would find something like this incredibly alarming, but the man was obviously not being threatening, and he was positive he heard the name "Sarenrae". Though he hadn't seen the Keleshite around the temple at all, it couldn't have been more obvious which deity he served. And a Keleshite? Once an angel and empyreal lord, harnessing the light and fire of the sun in the grand fight against evil, Sarenrae had elevated to a full goddess when Rovagug was defeated. It made sense that her faith began in the lands where the sun shone hottest and brightest. Qadira, Osiron, Katapesh...all places were where her church was strong (and Taldor, of course, though that was complicated). You couldn't get much more stereotypical than a Keleshite follower of Sarenrae.

"There. Now scimitar carries you!" he said with a big smile and a chuckle.

The man had adjusted the scabbard's positioning on his belt.

"Uh. Thank you? They teach us to fight with them, not sit..." he started to reply but the man had already returned to his seat.

What was that about? he wondered. People were funny.

Speaking of people, he was expecting to meet Arthur here. I should watch for a table to open. Arthur won't want to stand all night, and neither will I.

His gaze met the woman's by chance as he glanced back to the room, and they locked eyes for a moment. Definitely aasimar. She looked like she wanted to talk to him, and he almost got up to approach her table, but then he was interrupted again. That was the thing about taverns: they were filled with people. Lots of them. Stuff happened quickly and you either kept up or you didn't. He like it though. People were also interesting.

"Excuse me, sir. I was curious about that."

A young, half-elven man with long, white hair was pointing at the ankh around his neck.

Aberus gave him a warm, inviting smile. He took the ankh in his left hand and held it up.

"This is the holy symbol of Sarenrae, the Dawnflower. Goddess of the sun, the birth of light and truth. My name is Aberus." 

At the table next to him, the aasimar woman had opened the book and was rummaging for something in a pack. He could see illustrations on the pages as the curl of the spine forced several of them to flip back. And definitely Shelyn.

At the table next to hers, a middle-aged couple got up to leave. He knew better than to wait for it to be cleared. He gestured to the newly opened table, and asked the half-elven man, "Shall we sit? I am waiting for someone but there's plenty of room."

@Arthur: I'll catch up to you sitting down at the table soon.

@Alexa, Aberus will keep glancing over in your direction as he's talking to others.

Dark Archive

Adriala enters the tavern, making sure her hooves don't clop loudly on the wood floor. Her fox was wrapped around her neck, and held still enough to pass for a fur. she scanned the room, noted a few familiar faces, but otherwise kept to herself. she drifted to the bar where she sat on an available stool. she ordered a small glass of wine, and sipped gingerly from the glass.
she sat waiting for someone to recognize her... she never liked starting conversations. She noted an orc in one booth, but didn't move to acknowledge him.

for any who don't know, i'm applying with both Dragz and Adriala,so i don't want their stories mixing...

Darya strides into the Defender's Heart in a rather good mood. After all, it was the Festival of Armasse, her favorite holiday. All around, the festivities gave momentary respite from the grim reality of life at the Worldwound.

In her well kept armor, and with her massive hand and a half sword strapped to her back, the stunning redhead cuts a rather striking profile, her fiery mane living up to her nickname, her body language that of one accustomed to a wary existence, a tigress caught in a moment of lounging.

Today was a day to celebrate survival, drink with old friends, and generally pretend that everyone around her weren't part of the thin line between the world most people knew and complete and utter chaos. The waitresses were definitely conducive to that, the lowered necklines providing a view that definitely made her glad for her height. Moving through the crowd she catches sight of something that has her pry her eyes away from one particularly generous set of cleavage. Over by the bar she could see Baleon, Kelly and Luciana, and it looked like Aloric was approaching them. The sight made her smile, a warm welcoming expression as she heads toward the group.

Grand Lodge

Dragz saw the fire-haired woman enter, and he shivered. ever since that faithful day, she'd been everywhere. it's like Dragz couldn't avoid her. He stood and drifted slowly towards her. but then he saw the others and froze. why had he not seen them before?

Merlin gazes at the ankh with a far away look. He immediately snaps back as the human addresses him.

Merlin. Merlin Brokencrown, sir. I am a blacksmiths apprentice. Well i was until i signed up for military duty a year ago. I have been drawn to that symbol for some reason.

Merlin blushes.

Apologies i tend to ramble.

Merlin takes a seat.

Grand Lodge

Dragz pulled himself together and approached the group.
I'm sorry, I mean not to interrupt anything, but I'd like to introduce myself. I am Dragz Titanhammer. you, the lady with hair like fire, I know you. I know not why you are everywhere to me, but a time ago we were in a... Event... you may remember ?

Dragz shifts nervously as he askes his qusetion.

"Take your hands off me!"

The front doors open to reveal a a thin, wiry man being hefted into Defender's Heart by two others who have clearly had too much too drink.

"You need to get some fresh air Cyril!" one cheers happily as he orders a mug of alcohol for his unhappy captive.

"You've been spending too much time with you're beakers and bottles," the other one says. He proceeds to pull a sack of coins, silver and coppers, and pushes it into the doorman's hand. "Payment to make sure that this man doesn't leave until he's reeling like the rest of us."

Cyril's two companions leave, arms around each other, congratulating themselves on a job well done. Cyril attempts to follow suit, but is blocked by the rather large doorman, his pocket bulging with recent payment.

Grumbling, Cyril stalks off to the bar.

"Some water, perhaps a plate of that breaded ring-like dish. And for heaven's sake, leaning over to portray your ample bodice will not incite an increased tip. Good service will, so off with you."

So Cyril is a bit of a jerk...hope that's alright.

Dark Archive

Watching the commotion with the wiry man, Adriala chuckles. she'd known many men in her life, many of them far worse than this one. She turned to the man and smiled "excuse me, but between the drinks and halos, i'd like to ask you something...Do I Know you? you seem familiar. perhaps a different bar some other time?"
trying to start some connections here
Adriala let her long black hair fall over her shoulders as she asked this. she kept her mouth closed, so that her sharp fangs would not scare the man.

Bahram Alhazred wrote:

normality indeed, except that you know these people, there is more here than meets the eye

"'bunch of people' know your name it seems. You are famous maybe. Or maybe just wanting to be alone with boy. To forget 'bunch of people' know you. There is much sadness in you Dorne. This is sadness for all."

Bahram leans back in his seat, drinking deep from his goblet. Then gets to his feet and heads over to the group. Ordering another wine from the bar as he arives.

Bahram Alhazred. Kelish. I have come from katapesh, Arloric Dziergas Highbough. What ashak calepta* have I stumbled into here?"

*Kelish: den of snakes. Bahram is suspicious but not menacingly so, he suspects there is a story here, not that anyone is evil

Arloric gives Bahram a quizzical look.

Because he doesn't understand Kelish. LOL!

"I've no idea what you stepped in, but I'm more than happy to welcome new crusaders to the front. You've admirable conviction for coming so far north. For most like us the demons are but a fact of life. Trade you some mead for a halo or two?"

Then he notices Darya and Dragz.

"The fellowship reunited! Come, sit! Mead is on me this eve. Titanhammer, you look like you could use a stiff drink!"

Grand Lodge

Oh, Arloric, i didn't see you there... I've been busy being disappointed at the special they serve here, and the low cut shirts... Dragz sits next to Arloric and orders a glass of the hardest drink they have. when the bar tender gave him a strange look, Dragz smiled. I can take it, Trust me. you've never tasted Barbarian swill

all we have to distill is... well it's better not said

Cyril frowned. It was not out of displeasure, but rather just the default face he made when thinking. His mind was always a jumble of ideas, recipes, concoctions, and inspiration. But people...well, the ones important to him he remembered.

"Possibly," he finally concludes. His meal placed before him, he does his normal spit inspection (his mannerisms did tend to make staff unpleasant at times) before trying a piece. One chew. Another chew. Swallow. Satisfied with the quality of food he places a very generous tip by his meal. Efforts are recognized, honest work is rewarded justly.

"I was commissioned to install a mixing station at one of the local establishments in the lower districts. A few knobs here or there would let the server mix drinks to exact specifications. I believe it was "The Cat and Fiddle," but I could be mistaken."

He gives her a once over.

"Tell me, do they allow animals in this establishment? Or perhaps you enjoy your accessories to still be alive?"

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The white-haired, half-elf replied, "Merlin. Merlin Brokencrown, sir." He was a blacksmith's apprentice, or was until signing up for military duty last year. "I have been drawn to that symbol for some reason."

Aberus smiled in return. He knew that feeling very well. Very, very well. Sarenrae was just like that. She drew people in with a warmth and kindness in a manner that almost none of the other deities could. Shelyn, for sure. Desna, too. Maybe Cayden Cailean. It was a short list.

"I, too, felt the pull to Sarenrae a few years ago. I wasn't originally raised in her church, but I came to realize it's where I belonged."

Just then he heard Arthur call out from across the room. Even above the din of the room, his voice was crystal clear.

"There you are, Aberus!"

Athur's thin frame was weaving through the crowd. Aberus didn't want to be rude to Merlin so he said, "My friend is here. Please, join us!" as he quickly moved to the table to sit down. Merlin followed and took one of the four empty seats.

Arthur was kind of a walking contradiction. He wasn't just thin: he was gaunt. It was a rare, but not unheard of, sight in a church where perfection of both mind and body was the goal, but Irori did teach that each person has their own path to perfection. Some sects were just a little (or a lot) less flexible in their interpretation of that message than others. Here, they were as liberal as they came. Understandable, given what was next door.

He and Arthur had met in the main library last year, shortly after Aberus had come to Kenabres. Arthur was obsessed with outsiders, and was almost a fixture there doing research of some sort. He viewed demons as a scourge to mankind--which they most certainly were--and soaked up every bit of knowledge about them that he could find. And he didn't just read and memorize: he assembled fragments of knowledge scattered across multiple sources, organized it and consolidated it, cross-checked it, and tried to build a complete picture of the various denizens of the Wound, doing his best to separate rumor and story from hard facts. It was a staggering amount of work, and Aberus didn't know where he found the time. Their friendship started because of Aberus's fluency in celestial and abyssal, something which made Arthur's research a little easier, and as they spent time together they talked, and they shared a little more about what had brought them here, and they learned they had quite a bit in common.

Like aasimars, many tieflings are products of how they are treated by their parents or their community. Arthur bucked the trend. He was abandoned by his parents, but he felt the call to Irori early in life and that brought him along a better path. As he had said to Merlin, Aberus knew what that call felt like, even if he didn't recognize it until much later. It's something that is difficult to explain to others that haven't personally felt it. He tried with his mother, and she hadn't understood. Already unhappy with his return to a church--any church; they were all the same to her now--she just stared at him silently when he told her of her plans. Just stared. And then she shook her head and left the house. She hadn't said a single word to him. When she returned, she didn't acknowledge that he was even there. He tried to explain, tried to talk to her, but it's like she wasn't there. Their relationship would need time, a lot of time, to heal.

He caught the black-haired Aasimar's gaze again as he sat down. They both looked away.

Arthur sat down in one of the remaining chairs and flagged down a passing waitress to order some bread and water. 

"...eager to finally put our training to use out there" was all he caught as Arthur turned around to face him. Aberus was not good at tracking so many things happening at once. But, he got the gist of what Arthur had said, and it was the only thing about Arthur that actually worried him: he was eager to put theory to practice in the Worldwound. Too eager, perhaps? He knew how badly that could end. But he brushed that thought aside.

"Arthur, this is Merlin. Merlin, please meet my good friend Arthur, orator and scholar extraordinaire!"

The elf walks in confident, yet not prideful, into the inn. Slipping her her white robes and purple cloak seem to gently sway around her, gracefully, though there is no detectable breeze, her beauty, like that of all elves, in unearthly. Her hair blonde and her eyes green take in the scene before her and with a smile she will order a glass of wine and a bit of fruit and bread and cheese to break her fast.

Smiling at the keep who delivers her food, she eats it in a dignified manner.

Dark Archive

Adriala blushed and stroked her fox, What? you've never seen a mage's familiar before? flex here is a kind little bundle of joy, you just got to get to know him. and if they don't allow animals, they haven't said anything about it yet. besides, I'm not the only mage in the room, just look around.

Adriala sipped from he glass and looked down at the Halos. iv'e always been fasinated with what people decide to fry. first it was just meats and such. now we decide to bread onions and fry them. what ever happend to plain old bread and steak?

she sighed and looked back to Cyril. besides that, I'm sure i would know you fro somewhere. "the cat and Fiddle" sounds more like a nursery song than a bar...

Smiling at the half-elf she simply states You worship the Dawnflower. May her compassion always guide your way and her fiery scimitar be used to defend those who cannot do so themselves.

"If your memory is failing you, then perhaps it is best that we treat this as a new meeting. My name is Cyril. And while I enjoy a bit of festivities," he looks to the doorman who gives him a knowing smile, "it appears I am forced to partake in them until further notice."

"Forgive me. Magics are a complex study, foodstuffs aren't. People will enjoy the sparks of flavor, though they'll regret the effects of them after. In a way, lavish foods are another route to enjoying life. Who knows how long they'll have left to enjoy it?"

Cyril coughs harshly, taps his knuckles on the counter hoping the server would get the message that he would like more food and drink.

"So what brings you here to Kenebras?" And tell me how does it feel to have hooves? Do you ever find balance a problem?"

What Cyril finds interesting conversation, other might describe as probing. React as you see fit.

Acknowledging @Telerin

A beautiful elven woman in white and purple addressed Merlin from a neighboring table. Everyone turned to look at her as she spoke. Elves had that effect on people.

"You worship the Dawnflower. May her compassion always guide your way and her fiery scimitar be used to defend those who cannot do so themselves."

It was a lovely speech, perfectly describing everything about Sarenrae that was important to him and her followers. It made Aberus wish he had that sort of gift for words.

She did not appear to receive Aberus, in spite of the ankh that was prominently hanging from the chain around his neck. He supposed that was to be expected and he didn't take offense. Elves tended to be a little distant with humans for a variety of reasons, many to most of which were probably valid. He acknowledged her with a graceful nod, not necessarily expecting a response.

Feeling the Taldans gaze on her. You too worship the Everlight but I sense a pain in you. she states sadly. May her light shatter your darkness and lead you in a way that brings glory to her and your name. The light of the gods of good illumines it does not blind

I took the liberty of linking her to other characters with the Chance Encounter trait... Her background is still very much a work in progress, so if that doesn't suit you, I'll be happy to retcon that away ;) Hope you don't get overwhelmed by that much attention, Alexa!

A lithe, leather clad figure walks through the street of Kenabres, almost instinctively keeping herself close to the shadowed parts near the tallest buildings. Her paces are quick and soft, as if she's trying to actively move unnoticed – more of an acquired habit than a real necessity.

If there's a place on the wide, naked surface that has seen it all, this is it Ithilwen thinks as she spots Defender's Heart in the distance, the unmistakeable aroma of breaded halos leading her to her destination. The witch-burning days of Kenabres are over. I'm far from the weirdest thing around here she tells herself, as if reciting a mantra.

It is nice to finally see the city in a time of celebration. Kenabres stands at the front-lines of the demonic invasion, which has played no small part in making it what essentially amounts to a big military camp. She's been enjoying the festivities so far, the chaotic, gregarious atmosphere a far cry from how such things were handled in the depths of Sekamina.

She slips through the sturdy wooden doors and dances her way through the commotion. A first look around tells her she was right in not worrying too much – other than her dusky complexion, she was far from the most unusual sight around, just a pretty half-elven face in a crowd. She sees the waitresses come and go, their attires obviously tailored to attract the gazes of warriors on leave and regular patrons alike. Though in Zirnakaynin, they would be considered outrageously prude. Which, of course, would make them scandalous in its own right. Still, her keen elven eyes can't help but notice they are proving quite effective in their purpose. A female could have had a male whipped raw for noticing him look at her in such a way. There was a game she played with her sisters, finding the right attire to elicit such a gaze from one of the males, and the first one to yield to the temptation and raise his gaze...

A wave of rage and disgust pervades her. That's not me. Not any more. That's Gworneth, and she's dead, gutted by some demon in the Worldwound as she deserved.

She spots some familiar faces in the crowd, which is in itself quite an uncommon occurrence for her, as other than the time she spends training with the recruits (and trying to feign the level of competency expected from a former slave, though many have marvelled at how quick she's learning – much to her chagrin), she has kept mostly to herself during her stay in Kenabres. Many – among them a hulking half-orc, an almost as hulking red-haired warrioress, and the park caretaker – were rumoured to be involved in some kind of demonic ritual gone awry; which seems to be a good thing, she mused, as those who go well rarely tend to leave living, not to mention partying, witnesses. Still, she had heard a similar rumour whispered in awe from the demon themselves during her brief stay in the Worldwound, so she can't help but feel sympathy for them. If it's enough to scare a demon, I shudder to think what they must have gone through.

But her attention is soon captivated by a couple of other faces, faces she knows intimately. A serendipitous gathering is occurring her. Goddess of Travel and Fate, where are you leading my steps? Alexa and Bahram shared her perilous journey out of the Worldwound, and now share her duties as scouts and infiltrators. Among everyone in Kenabres, they're the closest to knowing my secret, and ironically enough, among the most talented at finding out either way. If her past were ever to catch up with her, she likes to think it would be one of them leading her to justice long overdue, at which point she would thank them for a job well done.

"Alexa. Bahram" she whispers softly as she nimbly moves next to the woman – nay. Aasimar. Surface-dwellers aren't all alike. I should know that by now. And Bahram's a... Keleshite? She likes Bahram. He speaks of redemption, and of a sun goddess worshipped in empires far away; one would be hard-pressed to quote two things further than those from the reality of the Darklands. "What a fortuitous coincidence finding you here. May I?" she asks as she makes as if to sit.

I Like your image of E'li strategy

Dark Archive

hooves? Adriana asked, well, let me start by saying my name is Adriala. and as for the hooves, my balance is actually quite normal. in fact i think it's better than having soft feet. i can step on hard thorns and stones without much of a problem due to the hard base. as for me being here, i don't know. My... patron, if you will, has drawn me here. the worldwound seems to be festering, and I somehow feel obligated to find a way I can help. whether that be using my spells to heal or to kill.

Losvarlinth entered the Defender's Heart tavern and her eyes immediately teared from the bright lights inside. She moved to the right just inside the door and waited for her eyes to adjust to the light.

I waited the three days at the temple as the oracle directed. I have “ventured into the city” like she asked.

Her eyes began to clear and she saw the inside of the tavern for the first time. Her eyes widened as she looked around the room, her eyes still a little teary.

I didn’t know so many people would pack themselves so close together by choice.

Losvarlinth is 6'1" with silver-streaked white hair and white eyes. She wears scale mail under a gold-trimmed blue tabard, an embroidered holy symbol of Sarenrae displayed prominently on the chest. She currently wearing sungoggles on her head above her eyes.

She has spent the last three days at the temple of Sarenrae regularly praying for redemption as she had been taught by the Oracle that had brought her there. The priests had graciously assigned her a room so she could sleep there.

"I must admit, I'm somewhat jealous. Hooves seem so much more convenient."

Cyril skips over the mention of a patron entirely. He assumes she means some religious deity, which disinterests him.

"But I understand your motivations - a responsibility of sorts. I find myself drawn to do my part as well. But do forgive me. These -holier than thou- types get annoying after a while. I hold no ill-will against them, but I do wish some of the more persistent evangelists would wait until I can make up my mind about religious matters."

Cyril ponders for moment and examines the materials he had on him. He had already concocted a few extracts, and wondered if a burst of speed would be enough to get past the rather large doorman. Then again, the new entrant was just as likely to assume he was fleeing the establishment without paying and stop him rather forcefully.

He scowled at her, not aware that his expression was based on assumptions and suppositions.

Dark Archive

Adriala noticed the scowl and chuckled. I understand why you are jealous. i do admit, i can run a bit faster than most normal people. having hooves isn't bad, it's horns that get you. and sharp teeth, in case you haven't noticed. i can bite a man's throat out with them. and my horns always get in the way of my hair, hats, hoods, anything on my head!

Adriala sipped her wine once more. it's not like i can shave them or anything, there's bone inside. it'll feel like i'm drilling into my own skull!

she sliped a sip to flex, and the fox happily lapped up the wine.

and as for religon... the gods exist but they are picky on who they help...

Alexa kept mostly quiet as more and more patrons entered the tavern. From the redheaded heavenborn paladin (because, really, with a figure like that and outlook to match, I doubt anyone could mistake her otherwise), to grumpy, socially-awkward intellectuals (myself likely included), and even a couple of dark-descended half-elves.

When one of them addresses Alexa and Bahram, the aasimar flinches and her eyes dart around before seeing who it was who spoke. "Oh... excuse me. Go ahead."

She points to an empty chair and glances over at Miles. The boy seems quite enamoured by Ithilwen's hair.

Grand Lodge

Dragz downs the tiny shot glass of very hard whisky and looks at the barkeeper. Seriously? one tiny sip? my gut is barely warmed by such a tiny amount! I have an idea, give me a tankard of beer and drop about two of these glasses in it! as he is waiting for the bartender to get his concoction, he turned and saw Dorne... another ghost from his past. before he had gone wild, lost and alone...

So, Alex was it? it's odd seeing you here... Dragz paused to set his greataxe down from his side.

"Of course I remember Dragz, we all do. How could we not? I've seen you around a few times but figured you didn't want to be bothered.And yet here we all are together." Darya says pulling up a stool. "Bound together no matter what eh?" she says with a chuckle.

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