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IC: The Black Shroud (Closed)


Started by Thorfinn
Post #64207
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[Image: TheBlackShroudPreview2_zps6349e691.jpg]

Joscelin Lauret – Played by Thorfinn
Morgan Le'chay - Played by Manarax
Sub Gro-Urb - Played by Idriar
Taren Jucanis – Played by Horizon Seeker
Dro-Xun-Jal - Played by Maxxrocker

The OOC and Signups thread can be found here. Applications are closed.

2E 579, 22nd of Last Seed

Varen Milo sighed. Another peal of laughter rang out from the man across the table.

“Thirty a head total. Not per day”

Another guffaw escaped the burly Redguard.

“Sorry old man, why should we take your job when the pay won’t even keep us in arrows, food or drink?”

“The villagers will feed you for the duration as part of the payment” he replied, knowing it was too little.

The Redguard shook his head.

“Because people will die if you abandon us!” spat Flosi from her seat beside Milo. A hunter, she had come to lead whoever was hired back to the village. Hot headed, she didn’t understand the complexities of real life. In fact, she barely understood the complexities of anything beyond her bow and her belly. Poor fool. She had decided, with about twenty others, to remain behind. Milo had tried to convince them that it was folly, but they either didn’t think the threat was sincere or they were tired of kowtowing to bandits and thugs. He had argued, but to no avail.

So he sat in the Dragon’s Rest, a tavern in western Dragonstar, having received the snarky remarks of half a dozen mercenary spokespersons and leaders. The tall dark skinned mercenary gave Flosi a neutral glance in reply to her outburst, got up and left. He had told them it was too little to hire enough men to help them if the threat was real. But Hera, the priestess had made him promise he would seek to mercenaries and Varen took his god’s seriously. Even so, he was desperate to just leave. He had wasted nearly a week and plenty of coin staying in Dragonstar rather than moving on. So he waited, and took another sip of sour, vinegary wine.

He and Flosi sat in silence, watching the tavern door. But nobody came to see them. Maybe an hour passed before a shadow passed over their table, and a young man lowered himself onto the bench opposite them. He had dark brown hair, cold, shadowed eyes and a boyish look, though Milo could see the hardness in him. He was tallish, well made and armoured in elaborate steel plate which had seen a great deal of action. He looked like a worn out noble, his skin slightly too pale. Probably an exile from the deadly political games common amongst the nobility of Daggerfall. Milo had seen the kind before.

“You need men for a job in the borderlands?” he asked in the accent of a noble Breton.

“Aye, I do.”

“Then you have a man.”

Milo narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “You don’t even know the terms.”

“I heard you before. All I need if food for the duration. My fee can go back into the pot.”

“And why would you do that?” asked Flosi

“Because people will die if I abandon you” he returned, without emotion, without inflection.

This man made Milo distinct uncomfortable. It was true that some men worked for little more than subsistence. He had obviously once been a man of means; perhaps he sought glory in his exile. Many did, they wished to have their names recounted in tales to atone from whatever crime had seen them exiled. It was not beyond possibility. Still, Milo was uncomfortable. But here was his chance to fulfil his promise to Hera.

“Well” he announced, rising from his seat and extending his hand, “I’m glad there are some who still know kindness, master….?”

“I am Joscelin Lauret”

“Capital” exclaimed Milo. “Flosi, I leave you in the hands of this capable young man. He will know the type we need better than me. I really must be leaving; my wife’s cousin was expecting us a few days go now.”

Flosi looked at him in some alarm, but Milo was pulling on his cloak. “I wish you both good luck and the blessings of the divines”, he said. With that, he left the tavern and returned to his rooms, to his wife. He had done his best, and now he would get far, far away from this nonsense. All he had wanted was a peaceful retirement, to spend time with his family. He took his god’s seriously, but his life even more seriously.

----------------------------------------------

Joscelin looked back to the table and the short, slight figure of Flosi.

“I am honoured to make your acquaintance, Flosi” he said, giving a courtly bow. Then he seated himself in Milo’s vacated place, looking toward the door. He didn’t know what they would face, but he couldn’t think of anything willing and able to threaten a whole village that he could face alone.

"What exactly happened to spark this?" he asked Flosi. She still looked uncomfortable to be lumped with a stranger, but at last she relented and began to explain the events of the previous week. As she told the tale, Flosi ordered stew, bread and cheese, with a cup of wine. He had nothing. It was still early evening, and he expected the inn would fill up soon. From what Flosi had told him, he would need several companions. This was no small task.
This post was last modified: January 13th 2014, 02:14 AM by Thorfinn




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Post #64242
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Sub felt a bit uneasy traveling these lands in the eastermost part of Hammerfell. Once he raided the villages and robbed traders on the streets. But his life as bandit had ended long ago. Nearly half a century by now. Still he had the awkward fear that someone in the streets of Dragonstar could suddenly jump up and shout at him, bandit, bandit! This man robbed me once!

But such fears were stupid.

The only thing he had to worry about was that someone could suddenly jump up and shout, orc, orc! Get that green skin!

But also this was unlikely to happen: The orcs were now the allies of the redguards and the bretons, now. Noone would attack him for beeing an orc. And that Emeric guy... He would build up the Empire again, and Orsinium would become a free province, where the orcs could follow the codex of Malacath freely...

Sub Gro-Urb adjusted his heavy Imperial armor, walking up to a tavern called "Dragon´s rest". The armor was for a higher rank but a bit outdated. Still it fitted the orc well, proving that it was smithed for him.

On his back hang a traditional orcish warhammer. The green of the orichalcum was much stronger than the pale skin of the orc.

Infact, he looked pretty unhealthy. Around his mouth and nose there were pale spots and his eyes were of a dirty green with dull orange around the crossed pupil. As he harrumphed the people around him were displeased by the sound of his voice, leaving them feeling a bit awkward. All in all they saw another ugly orc walking down their street.

Finally Sub reached the door and entered the inn. Not that he would need to drink, eat or sleep. But as he didn´t accept his curse, living a normal life with all its needs seemed just the right thing to do.

He took a look at the other guest of the tavern - it was pretty empty except a obviously noble Breton and some other townfolk - before he took a seat at a free table. He still admired "towns". How could so many people live in one place, and nobody had to fight for his life? How was there enough food for everyone, if nobody hunted? It was a miracle.


Who controls the Septim crown?
Who keeps the Allesian Heresy down?
We do, we do

Who knocked Yokuda off the maps?
Who keeps the Dwemer under wraps?
We do, we do

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Post #64310
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Just outside the Dragon's Rest tavern, only half a stone throw away from the entrance, was a rickety prison wagon. Within it's iron cage, upon an old mat of straw sat a filthy Imperial man with heavy shackles clasped around his wrist that chained him to the floor. As there was little to do as a caged prisoner, he simply passed the time with his back against the cage, watching people as they passed by. He was hungry and thirsty, as his captors weren't particularly generous or kind. Currently his captors, two unpleasant bounty hunters, were taking the time to have several drinks within the tavern. The prisoner didn't expect them to return for another hour or so.

And so he remained within the cage; simply watching others go about their lives. No one paid him any heed, not the pretty maidens, traveling merchants, or grizzled mercenaries. To them he was just some scum scraped up from the bottom of society and thrown into a cage.

He watched as some big and ugly orc, fitted in some old legion armor, walked by and entered the tavern. Probably once a proud officer in service to the Emperor; highly decorated and released from service as a respected veteran and hero.

The prisoner merely snorted at the thought, throwing a handful of straw into the air.


Character Profiles:
Endaros Ilmori - Buoyant Armiger
Sunrio - Aldmeri Justiciar

Taren Jucanis - Imperial Deserter (Used for The Black Shroud RP)
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Post #64445
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Do'Shanji had just arrived in western Dragonstar. As the big khajiit walked through the city, many of the bystanders eyed him. He took careful notice of how much he stood out to these people. His tall stature and exotic Elsweyrian armor made him stick out like a sore thumb in Dragonstar.

Feeling the cold stares, Do'Shanji wanted to get inside. He looked up and saw a tavern just up the road. As he neared the entrance, he saw a prisoner in an iron cage. He gave him a glance before heading into the inn.


Sugar + Water + Purple

Do'Shanji - Khajiit warrior
Roac Bellecot - Redguard farmer
Jaree-Tah - Argonian agent
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Post #64450
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The two of them sat in the awkward silence of strangers for over an hour, while Flosi ate and Joscelin's mind wandered. Nobody approached them, perhaps people were still looking for Milo, and not for him. So Joscelin rose from his seat, wandered over to the bar and asked the innkeep to direct anyone inquiring about Varen Milo to him. Then he asked for a cup of wine, adding that if the innkeep could mention the work to anyone he served, it would be appreciated. Joscelin slid ten coins across the tabletop by way of payment, and thanks for the mans assistance.

With the practiced gaze of a man well used to sizing people up, he glanced over the inn. Two figures caught his eye at once, both impressive physical specimens. The first, an orc, was garbed in the armour of a legionnaire, though Jos could see that it was not standard equipment. The second's armour was even more esoteric, and clearly came from the Kajiit's homeland. Neither looked like part of a mercenary crew, there were no markings of identification. But neither looked like the kind to work for so small a fee.

Joscelin returned to his seat and sipped at his wine. Though he had no need for food or drink, it didn't stop him enjoying it. Yet he grimaced, this wine was sour and potent enough to burn the back of his throat. He watched keenly as the proprietor spoke to one of his tavern girls, pointed at his table and then to the orc. She approached Sub with some trepidation, for he was an intimidating sight.

"What'll ya have sir?" she asked, before adding. "and the young master over there is looking for men for hire". She gestured toward the alcove where Jos and Flosi sat.

Meanwhile, the innkeep swept solicitously toward the kajiit, arms outstretched and with a welcoming smile.

"Welcome to the Dragon's Rest, fine sir. Can I get you a room, a meal?" He continued on without giving Do'Shanji a chance to answer. "Another patron is recruiting men for a job in the mountains. Perhaps you might like to join him at his table?" He directed the Kajiit toward Joscelin.
This post was last modified: May 9th 2013, 09:22 AM by Thorfinn




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Post #64471
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A tavern´s girl turned to Sub, asking him to order something. Also she pointed out that someone was searching for men to hire.

The truth was that he didn´t has any specific plans when travelling to Dragonstar. He just heard the rumours about to few warriors, soldiers and town guards in this corner of the covenant. Mostly due to political reason, whatever that meant... Still there were not enough strong arms around, keeping the order, and so there was a need for adventures and merceneries, just like him.

"Bring me some roasted meat. Doesn´t matter what. I just like it bloddy, tell this your cook. And an ale."

He thought for a moment.

"Bring it to the other table."

Sub stood and moved over to the two Bretons at their a little seperated table.

"I´ve heard you are searching for some men to hire?"


Who controls the Septim crown?
Who keeps the Allesian Heresy down?
We do, we do

Who knocked Yokuda off the maps?
Who keeps the Dwemer under wraps?
We do, we do

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Post #64481
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"Perhaps I may." Do'Shanji said as he moved towards the bar. "But for now I would like a drink" He takes out a few gold pieces and sets them on the counter. "An ale will do" Do'Shanji took a long drink and looked over at the table with two bretons and an orc. They were talking about a job, the barkeep said something up in the mountains. Hmm mountains, nothing I can't handle

Do'Shanji took his ale in hand and walked over to the table. He got there just in time to hear the orc ask if they were looking to hire some men. He studied the others at the table while he awaited a response. The male breton looked like someone of great renown. Do'Shanji figured he must be in charge of the operation. The orc had a very old and tired look, perhaps even a hint of sickness. Do'Shanji wondered if he was fit enough for work.


Sugar + Water + Purple

Do'Shanji - Khajiit warrior
Roac Bellecot - Redguard farmer
Jaree-Tah - Argonian agent
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Post #64497
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Joscelin cast his gaze about the inn once again as he waited for things to unfold. He noted two men dressed in practical leathers and bearing all sorts of wicked looking blades. They were scarred, rugged looking individuals and it appeared they too had an interest in taking up the job, for they were casting glances at the table Jos and Flosi now sat behind. Both were dark haired with gray settling in, and one had a crossbow slung over his chair.

But for now Jos would let them approach him; as was the orsimer. As he grew closer Joscelin understood the serving wench's apprehension, he truly was unpleasant to look at. His voice was like an extension of his appearance, too, but Joscelin rose and extended his arm as the mountain of a Khajiit came to join them.

"Greetings. I am looking for swords for work up in the borderlands. I can tell you...

Jos broke off, waiting for one of the two men who he had noted earlier to arrive. He appeared none too steady on his feet, but he managed to make it to the table without falling. He slumped down beside Flosi and awarded her a leering smile.

"You'sh a pretty little thing, prettier up closh!"

Joscelin had seen this happen before. Apart from the serving girls, Flosi was the only female present and although he hadn't considered it right away, she was striking in her way. Her features, though striking, were twisted in a look of revulsion at the slobbering drunk at her side.

He was undeterred. "I think she likes me" he announced to the table full of strangers. Then he placed a hand on her leg. Like a taut bowstring let loose, she snapped. Her elbow broke his nose, and as he swayed back she aimed it toward a far more painful area. Her blow landed with such vehemence that Jos, who had been about to step in, almost winced. The man dropped like a stone, off the bench an onto the floor. He curled into a ball on instinct, which was just as well because Flosi began aiming kicks at him.

But the sound of a man falling off a bench caught the rest of the inn's attention, and his friend was already staggering toward them. Silently cursing the impression they were creating, Jos grabbed Flosi's wrist. It was just as well, she seemed ready to dauntlessly fling herself at the approaching man. In his experience, mercenaries didn't want a volatile employee, and since Varen Milo left, Flosi was Whitewater's representative.

The second man was obviously trying to decide whether the two beast-folk who had just joined them were friends or not. Apparently he decided that discretion was the better part of valor on this occasion. Jos pulled Flosi onto her feet and away from the fallen man as his friend helped him up.

"Flosi! Flosi calm down. I think you made your point." He shot a glance at the Orc and Khajiit. Was it too much to ask that they had found this amusing?

He turned to try and calm Flosi down, but she pulled her wrist free with one swift movement and stalked off toward the door, slamming it behind her. He watched her go, exasperated. Apparently this whole thing was more fraught than it appeared. Nothing is ever simple.

Finally, he turned back to the two newcomers. "Well" he sighed, catching his thoughts. "Ah, yes, the borderlands. Why don't we sit down and I'll tell you what this is about."

As the inn returned to normality after this brief moment of excitement, the serving girl brought Sub a tankard of foaming ale, mostly foam, and some tough, bloody meat on a platter. Jos caught sight of the two men, one limping gingerly, heading toward the door. He could guess what they where about to do.

"You two can stay here" he called in a voice which carried naked threat. "When she gets back, you can leave". After a moments indecision, they acquiesced, and Jos sat, keeping one eye on their corner of the inn.

"Apologies for the disturbance" he offered to the other two after seating himself. "I am Joscelin. That was Flosi".

----------------------------------

Flosi burst outside and slammed the door. Dusk was gathering and the air in Dragonstar was close and thick, nothing like the pure cleanness of the mountains she hailed from. She knew she had made a fool of herself, but this was her first time in a city. She was on edge. Furious still, she kicked the wheel of a cart. Only afterwards, as she cursed and hopped on one leg, did she notice that someone was caged inside.
This post was last modified: September 7th 2013, 03:53 PM by Thorfinn




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Post #64574
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((OOC: Sorry, I had a last minute trip come up and I didn't really have internet access. I'm here though!))

The sun was starting to dip lower and lower in the sky, and Davyn took this as his cue to return to the city. Hunting was difficult in the dark, both because it is hard to see as well as the more dangerous creatures that lurked in the hills around Dragonstar. Ah yes, hunting. Just the fact that he was spending his day doing it meant times were hard for him. He hadn't had a job in weeks, and was forced to spend his time hunting for food, which in turn meant less time seeking jobs. To add insult to injury, he had a terrible day, bagging one single, skinny, rabbit. Anyway, it was enough for the night.

The innkeeper at Dragon's Rest knew him, so after cleaning up, he brought the haunch over to the tavern. Upon entering, he took a quick survey of the place. Near the entrance there were two rugged-looking men, one of them bleeding from what looked to be a broken nose. They were sitting on the floor, and Davyn didn't give them a second glance. This type of thing was pretty common, and being drunk, you could never tell what men like that might do. Besides the serving girls, there was another table of patrons: A Breton, Orc, and Khajiit. A strange combination, Davyn thought, but his focus now turned to the innkeeper.

"Can you roast this up for me? And I'll take a drink to wash it down." Davyn picked out a few of his last precious gold coins to pay for the drink.

"Sure thing, Davyn," said the innkeeper, "By the way, I want to thank you again for taking care of that... problem for me."

Davyn simply nodded. "Any new leads on work?" he asked, knowing that things had been pretty slow lately.

"Actually," started the man, "You're here at the right time. Those over there are discussing a job right now." His hand waved towards the group of three. "The Breton came and asked me to direct mercenaries his way."

Davyn nodded again and took his drink over to the table at which the three were gathered.

"The innkeep directed me your way," he addressed the Breton, hoping his interruption was warranted.
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Post #64622
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Jos was about to begin when he was interrupted again. This time however, he was not irritated in the least, another man who might be interested had approached them. A Dunmer, though Jos didn't know enough about their aging to guess his age, armed with a bow and some eclectic armour. Jos indicated he should sit, and then got right to the point.

"The job is simple enough. The village of Whitewater up the mountains to the north, halfway through the borderlands, has been threatened. Five days ago, a man delivered a message in the name of Lleyandra Meresi."

Jos paused for a moment to allow this to sink in. Meresi was a bandit leader of some renown in High Rock. It might attract some, deter others, but it had to be said. It was one of the stranger things about this affair: Lleyandra never gave warning, she simply took what she wanted.

"In short, the villagers have ten days to leave with whatever they could carry; any who remained would be butchered. Some of the villagefolk have already left, but others sent Flosi to hire men to defend them." Not entirely true, but the whole episode with Milo was neither here nor there.

"They can't offer much, theirs is not a wealthy settlement. There's payment up front of nearly three hundred split between the group. So far, that's you three, but if Meresi is really coming, then we will need more blades to face her and her men."

Joscelin pushed some hair from his face distractedly, still eyeballing the two drunks, who had slumped down not far from the door. He wasn't sure about the next part, but Flosi hadn't mentioned loot so he took the initiative.

"Any spoils from battle will be split evenly between the group. And from what I hear, Meresi herself is worth a great deal to the Jarl of Markarth". Again, an equal split."

He leaned back and took a sip of wine, his eyes flashing over the assembled men, attempting to gauge their responses.




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Post #64632
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Sub had watched the two drunken man approaching to the table. It was clear to him, that they weren´t about to ask for the job. They ignored her male company, courting her in an inept tipsy manner. This was the humans habit of courtship, as far as he knew. He had seen his fellow legioneers acting like this in taverns on their free days... good times, when the legion - and Sub - wasn´t corrupted... he himself had have drinks and wifes for a night, too... sometimes he thought that they just were impressed by his Imperial armor, having had the littlest luck when not waering.

Orc women were sold to the chief of another stronghold, that was far more uncomplicated. Especially when the woman broke the man´s nose... Such manners an orcish woman would never show. While orc men, like him, living outside of strongholds were seen as outcasts, orcish women who stood up against their duties of marrying, leaving their tribes, were considered as especially stubborn and intractable. But this woman was a human, so he couldn´t tell exactly what her behaviour meant.

After the young Breton´s fury was stopped by her companion, she rushed out of the inn. The man began to explain to them what kind of job he was searching men for, after a Dunmer approached to the table, too. Sub Gro-Urb listened.

"Hmm, that sounds seriously."

The orc´s voice ended the silence. It sounded like straigth from the Ashpit.

"And this... Lleyandra person? Who is that? Is it a bandit? An enemy that wants to conquer? Giving the folk there time to flee, but why? They wouldn´t leave anything of value there, and who wants to rule an empty village?"

Sub had the mannerism to ask many question when talking to strangers...


Who controls the Septim crown?
Who keeps the Allesian Heresy down?
We do, we do

Who knocked Yokuda off the maps?
Who keeps the Dwemer under wraps?
We do, we do

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Post #64829
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Khajiit
Do'Shanji sat at the table drinking his ale, it was almost gone. Once the dunmer approached, they went over the details of the job. The pay did not seem bad. 300 split evenly, perhaps some reward from the Jarl of Markarth. The job likewise did not seem to bad. He thought his expertise in melee combat would be perfect for this opportunity.

"I will take up this job." Do'Shanji blurts out while standing up. He quickly downs the last of his drink and goes to the bar to get another. He didn't want to hear the orc babble his questions. The kahjiit sets his mug on the counter and digs up a few more gold coins. "Ale" he says to the barkeep. The barkeep filled the mug back up with some ale. It wasn't the greatest ale he had ever tasted, but far from worst. He took another drink and walked back over, opting to stand and lean against one of the roof supports. He turned his attention to Joscelin, listening to him answer the orc's many questions.


Sugar + Water + Purple

Do'Shanji - Khajiit warrior
Roac Bellecot - Redguard farmer
Jaree-Tah - Argonian agent
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Post #64948
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Morgan Le'chay arrived in the town of Dragonstar. His great black stallion had hardly broken a sweat getting here, but he looked for the tavern and more importantly the stable. As he dismounted in front of the stable a young stable boy came out and took the reins.

"Give him a good rub down and plenty of oats. And two apples, Fairfax likes that and he deserves a treat, but no more than two. The pig will eat himself sick if allowed." As he was saying this he handed the stable boy five gold crowns. "I'm not sure how long I'll be here, but you should be prepared for my arrival at any time."

"Y'sire," the boy replied.

Patting Fairfax once on his neck, and receiving a nuzzle in return, he strode over towards the tavern. As he entered the tavern he nearly tripped over two drunks next to the door. As he walked to the bar he scanned the room. Noting the obvious locals he also spotted a table of people who would most likely be those needed for this undertaking. But first he had to find the man Milo.

Getting the innkeepers attention once he got to the bar he simply asked, "I seek one Varen Milo. Do you know where I might find him?"
This was asked slightly loud due to the ambient noise in the tavern, and was easily overheard by the nearby table of adventurers.

"That Milo character was 'eer earlier sire, but 'e left. 'E did speak wit that there table, an mayhaps they could let you know were 'e's off too."

They table had overheard his comment and happened to be looking right at the innkeeper as he pointed to them. Morgan dropped a gold crown in the bar and said "Thank you good man.?" Turning to the table he began walking towards them.
This post was last modified: May 12th 2013, 01:28 PM by Manarax


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Nwûl tash.
Dzwol shâsotkun.
Shâsotjontû châtsatul nu tyûk.
Tyûkjontû châtsatul nu midwan.
Midwanjontû châtsatul nu asha.
Ashajontû kotswinot itsu nuyak.
Wonoksh Qyâsik nun.
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Post #65143
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Davyn listened intently to the Breton's information, but all the while kept a straight, expressionless attitude. After a few moments of silence, the Khajiit abruptly accepted and walked off to the bar, while the Orc spouted off a series of questions. The Khajiit's attitude put Davyn off. Who takes a job without at least consideration? Davyn himself was desperate, but a suicide mission or a set up would do him no good. On the other hand, the Orc used five questions to ask what he could have asked in one.

Content to listen to the Breton's answers, Davyn didn't move, continuing to sit in silence, only flitting his eyes briefly to register the entrance of a new patron to the tavern, a noble-looking Breton who approached the bar, and then returning his attention to the conversation.
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Post #65167
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Joscelin was careful not to show any adverse reaction to the Orc's voice: though it was a gut retching sound. He asked plenty of questions, and obviously had not heard of Lleyandra. Before he could answer, however, the big Khajiit rose and finished his ale. Jos wondered for a second if he was leaving, but instead he accepted the job and went for another ale.

One.

"Lleyandra Meresi has been harrying the borderlands on both sides for some months. Her men are mostly Covenant deserters, so the Nords say she's their problem, but she herself is Dunmer." He clenched his fist slightly, impassioned by the petty blame-apportioning. "So of course the Covenant claims she should be opposed by the Pact."

He used to enjoy politics, and the intrigue of High Rock. He had been young then, foolish. Death clarified things, especially you're own death. But few enough were unfortunate enough to have to make such a realization.

"Meanwhile, she reaps her reward for brutality and cunning in other people's gold."

He got back on track. "As for your other questions, I believe her intent is to find somewere for her men to stay this winter. From what Flosi tells me, the snows fall deep and thick for months during the winter months, and we aren't far away now. She would be well protected in Whitewater."

He shrugged at the Orc. "That's my belief, and only thing that I can see making sense."

A figure entered the inn and approached the innkeep. There was no mistaking him for a common sellsword, his baring and garments screamed to Joscelin that this man was as he once was: an nobleman. He was Breton too, but although Jos froze ever so slightly on these retaliations, they did not know one another. That would have been..... unfortunate.

He rose and without thinking, dropped into the accepted courtly bow, not too obsequious, not too stiff and proud, the manners drummed into him in his younger days. Only after he rose did he think that he was waving a giant sign to the man that read 'I'm a nobleman'. Given his current occupation, it was bound to raise questions. Questions were dangerous, and he did hate to lie.




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