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Concentus World
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20th-Jun-2006 11:09 pm
Matrix Style

Chase would not forsake his post, especially after giving his word to hold it, and so he settled in, as comfortably as possible, to wait out the night before the doors of The Shepard's daughter. Pulling a piece of wood from a pouch at his waist, he continued an age old habbit of carving and shaping he had developed. It seemed that making flesh from wood calmed him, or perhaps it was the fact that he felt more confident holding a weapon. Shrugging off his line of thought, he simply wittled away at the wood, carefully watching the goings on in and around the Inn.

Rain had been chatting with Janus when Kichea walked throuh the door. Understanding that her actions had been preventative of helping keep the ones Rainé cherished safely out of harms way, she threw a welcoming smile in Kichea's direction. Moving gracefully out of her seat, she went over to the stew and poured out a generous bowl, following with a large chunk of bread. Setting the bowl on the small table where the family usually sat, she offered her seat to the young woman before leaning against the wall near the kitchen's back door.

"Thank you, for what you did today," she said quietly. Her voice was smooth, and high pitched, but lacking the usuall uneducated drawl of a farmer's daughter. "My husband can be a rash man at times, and when he gets in those moods, it's hard to slow him down. Even I do not have full control over the things he does. But truthfully, I would not have stopped him from going out those doors, as my feelings for this place and it's people are as heartfelt as Chase's. You were a voice of reason, and for that I am more than thankful. I am in your debt."

Nodding her head once, Rainé smiled again, an innocent grin which portrayed a hint of beauty. Janus walked over and placed an arm around her shoulders and they both shared a simple look of relief and joy that came with those who were family, even if they were not blood. As Janus lifted his arm, Rain turned to the door, to continue to stand her watch. Janus headed back into the commons, as there were now guests within, and he still had a job to do.
21st-Jun-2006 12:17 pm (UTC)
Kichea returned her smile hesitantly. Aside from Nurse, she had little experience with other women. "I have a vested interest in maintaining calm," she answered quietly, accepting the food. She had already eaten once this night, but that seemed a lifetime ago. She stood by the door with the woman, sipping at her stew and looking up at the stars. Of all the people she'd met upon her journey thus far, this woman was the first with whom she'd felt a sort of kinship. Of course it was clear that she was a woman of experience, compared to Kichea, who felt herself less equal to the task she'd undertaken with every passing moment. Still, she was polite and honest. Kichea decided she liked her.

The kitchen was fairly quiet. Janus instructed the serving wench periodically, when she ran in to refill her pitcher, or fetch food, but everyone's speech seemed hesitant, as though they were waiting for the other shoe to drop, but unwilling to give up the common room in the meantime. She thought that was a fairly wise outlook, as the Fire Mage would have to come out of the room eventually.

As she was pondering all this, she heard Tordek's voice, unmistakable, and still chattering as though his very teeth were frozen. She scowled to herself for a moment. Trust him to Shift to something that would leave him uncomfortable for the rest of the night. Although, for the life of her, she could think of no other way he could have prevented both Chase's death, and the burning of the inn. With a nod to Rainé, she went to peer out the doorway, and saw him for the first time in the light. He was as red as though he'd spent days lying on the desert sand in the full sun!

More than a little ashamed that she had failed to notice the extent of his discomfort, she set her bowl down distractedly and threaded her way through the room. It was not as full as it had been earlier, but many people seemed to have returned. She was thankful NOT to see the man with the wandering hands.

When she reached Tordek, she grasped his hand, perhaps a bit too firmly. If, as she suspected, he was burned all over, it would likely hurt him to be touched. Nevertheless, she didn't let him go, but instead whispered a spell to begin the healing. She kept her eyes on the floor, knowing that they might betray her nature as she cast. She hadn't paid any mind to his words, and wasn't sure whom he was addressing, but it didn't hurt to be careful, particularly now when popular opinion was probably very much against Mages.

21st-Jun-2006 01:06 pm (UTC) - Aftermath
Not knowing what to make of the duo's silence, but expecting that his feline eyes and the incongruous combination of deeply sunburned skin and incessant shivering might have them slightly shocked and at a loss for words, Tordek just stands still for a moment, clutching his cloak tightly around him with one hand and holding the bowl of stew with the other as he leans against the table.

Abruptly, he flinches and almost spills the bowl all over the seated lady as a small hand grasps his cloak-holding hand rather firmly, sending a small measure of pain through his currently sensitive skin. He glances to his side and spots Kichea there, head lowered as she concentrates on healing him - and he can feel the cool energy flowing over his skin, drawing the heat exuding from it back into his body, where it is needed most. Incidentally, this triggers another rather violent shiver as the healing magics attempt to deal with two opposite body conditions simultaneously, and this time he DOES spill his bowl, just slightly. Fortunately it just spills on the table, missing both Ichtus and Farah.

Tordek puts the bowl down and looks at the two seated mages, and speaks in muted tones. "Icthus, and... f-friend, this is Kichea. Kichea, this m-man here is apparently whom you were l-looking f-for. And I repeat, it's not as dire as Liluael s-said. The hunters here will not act t-tonight as long as the inn is not in danger, and t-truly have no desire to see mage-born dead as l-long as they prove no danger to them and theirs. Grace is seen as a p-potential threat, and at the moment I am in agreeance with them - if I could not shift as quickly as I can, there might well be no inn st-standing here now. If you could see to going up to our r-room and speaking with her..."
21st-Jun-2006 07:07 pm (UTC) - Re: Aftermath
Kichea smirked at the ground as Tordek sloshed his soup. She'd known he would flinch. She hadn't thought he'd try to pull away quite so hard, however.

As he introduced the man at the table, she allowed herself to look up. She knew her eyes tended to glow golden when she was healing (as opposed to their usual green). If these were, indeed, the revered leaders of the Osia, then she should have no reason to hide her nature from them. She curtsied shallowly, distracted by her effort to heal Tordek. It seemed to be taking longer than she'd expected.

"Chase seems an honorable man," she offered quietly. "Even now he guards the front door, to ensure that no one who returns tonight gives thought to harming your friend, and this in spite of her treatment of him." There was enough rebuke in her voice that she chose to fall silent, then. She had no wish to offend these people, as she needed their help to learn to control her magic. Neither did she think that they should have allowed such a dangerous individual to roam the world unattended, however.

For the first time that night, she missed Galvoor acutely. HE would not have had so much fear of a single Fire Mage, as she had. Indeed, considering the volume of water he could condense out of thin air, it would possibly have been an evening of entertainment rather than angst. She suddenly felt the weight of her decision to leave him and the others behind, and her shoulders sagged. How easy it would be to just give it all up and go home! How she missed Nurse, and her father, and Connall!

She shook her head abruptly at that last thought, and looked up again at the Mages of the Osia. It was for their sakes that she had left, as much as for her own. It did her no good to regret it now.

26th-Jun-2006 06:10 pm (UTC) - Outside the Inn
As Chase leans against the door frame, a familiar voice wafts from the growing darkness outside - if the inside of the Shepherd's Daughter wasn't so brightly light, he might be able to see the face of the man whose voice is barely audible to him over the growing din inside.

"Chase, ol' boy. How gen'rous of ya ta wait t' share the motherload o' bounties ya've got. Or don'tcha know 'bout them? I ken na 'member seein ya in Remon fo' some time na..."

The thin, grating voice brought back memories of earlier days - That speech with that voice could only mean one thing: the Weasel. An ugly dwarf with the uncanny knack of finding his quarry no matter what it may be, he is notorious for using his prey to satisfy his desires.

Then the man stepped into the shadowy light, allowing Chase to see him again. Standing just shy of four feet, and with a bulk that could easily tip the scales at three hundred pounds, his rolling gait belies a speed surprising from one with such short legs. A dull black mail covers his bulky frame; a greasy, patchy black growth of hair he calls hie beard grows from his neck and jaw bottom, reaching halfway down his chest. His head is bald, but covered with ugly scars and strange green tattoos that seem to glimmer and writhe slightly in the moonlight. His face is mis-proportioned - his eyes far too large and his nose long and thin, helping to provide that voice that irritates so many people.

The Weasel's broken face breaks into a horrid parody of a smile, and chuckles an ugly and razor-thin laugh. "Don' look s'happy t' seein me, me boy. Word travels fast in our world. Me bein so close an' all, I hads ta check it out a'fore more could show and steal some o' me fun. So tells me, what's we got? I knows about the fire witch. I also knows there's more, but me info's sketchy there."
26th-Jun-2006 10:08 pm (UTC) - The Common Room
Kichea felt a tremor from the Earth beneath the wood floor of the common room and shivered in response. She didn't know what it meant, but it worried her. The last time she'd felt such a thing, Tordek had been Shifted against his will. It was a warning of some kind, but it couldn't concern Tordek, for he was right there beside her!

"Excuse us," she said, with another curtsy. She pulled Tordek away from the seated Mages. When they were back at the bar, somewhat closer to the door, she let go his hand. He was as close to being healed as he was going to get this night. If there was trouble approaching, she would need her strength and couldn't afford to squander more of it on sunburn.

"Something's not right," she whispered. Janus, shining a glass behind the bar, overheard her and narrowed his eyes. She noticed, and turned to include him in the conversation. "There's something wrong. I can't explain it, but -" She shook her head.

"You should see to your family, good sir," she added quietly. She knew she had no real proof to support her premonition of danger, but she hoped he would heed her advice. The earth rippled again and she sensed it. Unconsciously, she turned toward the front door, waiting for she knew not what.
29th-Jun-2006 12:56 am (UTC) - Re: The Common Room
Looking down at his still red skin, although it's not as red as before, Tordek looks quizzically at Kichea. He then fetches hos boots from aside the fireplace, before returning to the bar. Putting them on, he decides to try his voice again, this time willing the chill out of his voice. He's still cold, but not unbearably so.

"What do you mean, not right? Do you have premonitions? That's unusual for someone solo-trained in earth. Wait. Let me check something..."

He glances around, scanning for sometehing, before settling his eyes on the orange tabby resting on the mantle. a low rumbling, almost like a purr issues from his mouth, almost unnoticable over the noise of the crowd. The cat looks up, arches his back and imperiously leaps down and struts out the door. Once there, it threads between Chaase's feet, rubing against his legs a few seconds before returning insode, this time jumping up on the bar and pushing Janus' mugs out of the way of it's free back rubbing, meowing toe get the innkeep's attention.

Tordek looks it square in the eyes, nods and glances around again, this time spottign a fat rat calmly waltzing out o the kitchen. The cat instantly takes off after it, and the two dart up the stairs.

"There is an ugly dwarf outside, who reeks of metal and murder. WE must be prepared.
29th-Jun-2006 02:35 am (UTC) - Re: The Common Room
"Not premonitions," Kichea tried to explain distractedly, "warnings from the earth, ripples -" she gave up abruptly. Then shook her head, and tried again. "Like when you were Shifted against your will. I felt it when you hit the ground, half-transformed." As she spoke, she hardly noticed his communication with the cat. She fell silent and looked back toward the fire.

She looked back at him upon his declaration about the dwarf. "I've never seen a dwarf." She craned her neck a bit, trying to catch a glimpse outside. She wasn't truly concerned. If the dwarf was out front, then he was with Chase. She didn't think that he would allow anyone violent into Janus' inn.

27th-Jun-2006 05:45 am (UTC) - Outside the Inn
Chase smiled as he heard the voice through the gloom. Forever trying to weasel in to someone else's business is how he earned his name, and the Weasel hadn't changed in the months Chase had been away. Pocketing the half carved figurine, Chase turned to the Weasel, and cocked his head to the side.

"And why would I be happy to see you, dwarf? Every time we've met, you've gotten me into trouble. Even your presence here now does not bode well. I've given my word today that no harm will befall any in this in, mage or no, and I intend to keep it. Do not attempt anything this night, or you will deal with me. And you know how that went last time."

Chase deftly replaced the dagger back in it's sheath, a sinister grin lifting with his lips. The last time the two had crossed paths, Chase had left Weasel in a prison cell while he walked away with the same bracelets he wore now.

Taking a moment to reajdust his gloves, he made sure of that the dwarf was aware that he still carried the bracelets.

"Besides, there is only one mage within, the fire one who started a commotion earlier. Do not trouble yourself with her, she would probably fry you without a second thought. When she is on her way, you are more than welcome to try, but while she is here, she is under the Inn's protection, which means she is also under mine."

Leaning back against the door post, he waited for the Weasel to make his move, as he knew that the little dwarf would hardly give up on so much money when it was so readily available.
28th-Jun-2006 10:20 am (UTC)
The Weasel's left eye squinted in anger at seeing the braclets; his right eye remained fixed on the interior of the inn.

"They were mine by right, ya horn swagglin coon dog! The bounty was on me horse when ya sicced th' guards on me, right outside the temple too! I still owes ya fer that one. Speakin of which... where's that little slice o' heaven that's all'ays next to ya? Nothin' happene ta her, did it?"

The anger passed, and he scratched absently at his scruffy neck-beard, revealing slightly a once-beautiful necklace, a blue energy flowing in the multitude of sapphires, dirty and grimy as it may be now. This must be the necklace that was meant for Raine, from a bounty Weasel had stolen from them a year before. Weasel's ugly face broke into a grin.

"An unless the witch is might powerful, say class 9 mebbe, there's more'n one here. Tell ya what. I kin be res'nable. Lemme take a tour of yer inn, an' see what's here, and I'll let them be 'till mornin. 'Kay?"
29th-Jun-2006 07:27 am (UTC)
Chase's eyes narrowed in caution. There must be another reason the Weasel was here if he wanted in so badly that he was willing to discuss the matter with Chase. The little dwarf hardly ever took the time to converse with those he wanted something from.

The comment about his wife didn't phase him as much as the dwarf hoped it would have. He knew that in the time they'd been together, she'd gained as much skill as he could teach her, and while Chase was protective, he knew that Rainé could take care of herself.

Grinning wickedly from the shadows of the doorway, Chase let his voice sound pleasent as he addressed the Weasel.

"You know these bracelets are more mine than yours. If you hadn't gotten greedy, I wouldn't have had to call the guards. But I was young, and that was a long time ago. Besides, if there's a bigger thief here than me, I couldn't name one better than the 'almighty' Weasel."

"And if you want into this in, you go through me. No discussions. I've told you, there's one mage here, take that or leave it, but you do not come through these doors. Ever."

The last word came out in a snarl, a direct challange from the younger Chase to the vetran dwarf. Chase made no mistake to the Weasel that to get into the commons, he would have to take down Chase. In a last insult, Chase reverted back to the streetwise smart ass that had routinely gotten himself into trouble as a young boy.

"But ya mo' den welcome ta try, shor' stack."
29th-Jun-2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
While Tordek donned his boots, Kichea walked toward the window. She didn't want to be obvious about looking for the dwarf, but she also wanted to see it. Here at last was some little bit of what she'd thought her adventure might be like.

Thinking strictly about the possibility of seeing a dwarf, even a murderous one, she absentmindedly slipped the ring she'd been fidgeting with onto a finger, the better to free her hands. As she felt no change, she didn't even realize she'd done it. There was no change to her outward appearance, either, to indicate to her that she'd done something wrong, and so she felt no alarm, though earlier she'd determined not to wear the ring until Tordek had looked at it and deemed it safe.

She reached a point in the room from which she could gaze through the window and see the little man. She frowned. He was a beast of a dwarf, indeed. Grimy and foul. She determined at once that she didn't like dwarves, but found she was still interested and didn't look away.
29th-Jun-2006 09:53 pm (UTC) - The Dwarf
Outside, the Weasel laughed a hearty if guttural laugh at the sudden change in Chase's demeanor, partly because of the incongruous image of the orange tabby threading through Chase's legs as he slips back into street-speak.

"Ah, that's me boy. An' here I thoughts ye were gettin' soft on me. It were soundin like ye were protectin the witch, but I see, you're worried 'bout the inn itself. Ai'ite, I kin 'spect that, I don't like payin fer repairs meself."

The ugly dwarf takes another couple steps forwards before stopping, thoughtfully scratching a long, jagged scar that runs from behind his right ear to just above his nose. As he does so, he steps out of the shadows entirely, and the snout and tusks of his riding warthog pokes out of the darkness behind him, snuffling the ground, its lead rope loosely tied to the back of Weasel's hunter's harness. He looks up briefly as he stops, and spots the face of Kichea in the window; his gaze travels past her as if he hadn't seen her clearly outlined by the light from inside, having already noted and memorized her features.

"What if I promise ye this - an you know I don' break promises I make: I won' start any trouble t'nite. nor t'morrow in yer precious inn. I kin defend meself, yea, but on'y 'at. I'll try not ta even bother the guests if'n ya 'sist, jes' so's I kin spend one night in a warm bed and get a meal I didn' destroy. Me pig'll be in the stables with me gear. That's me promise if'n ya let me in ta spend the night. I'll even throw in some info - no charge - if ya let me spend me cash here."

He looks Chase square in the face, serious determination in his eyes.

"I ain't 'fraid of ye, bucko - ye caught me unawares last time, that's all - an I don' need te step inside ta see there's three rooms downstairs here, seven up top, an a root or wine celler, an even tell ya where the stairs an room doors are like ta be on each floor, so's I don' need inside ta case the joint. Unlike some, I hunt, not steal; ai'ite, so's I snipe bounties, but I don' steal. Let me in an I swears on whatever ye wish I'll cause na trouble till noon at least."
17th-Jul-2006 01:38 am (UTC) - Hiatus post. Consider me gone.
Kichea continued to watch the dwarf as it laughed vulgarly. She was unaware that her face expressed her revulsion. So caught up was she that she didn't notice the odd feeling that had begun in her ring finger until it had spread passed her elbow.

She looked down and saw that she had accidentally put on the mysterious ring. Her mind seemed to be working slowly, but her shoulder began to tingle as well, and so she half-heartedly attempted to remove the ring from her finger. It was stuck fast, though it had appeared as though it would be too big for her when she'd looked at it earlier.

Turning away from the window, she decided it was past time to ask Tordek about the ring. She took two steps, and then found that her legs felt sluggish and numb. Fighting down a bit of panic, she tried to speak, to call out for him to help her, something was wrong! But she could make no sound at all. She only managed to open her lips, and close them again. Tordek appeared to be looking right through her and didn't see her distress.

With hardly another moment of conscious thought, Kichea noticed someone coming toward her from the corner of the room, and recognized him. The man she'd fallen into earlier in the evening; the man with the roaming hands, who'd acted so easily intimidated. He caught her just before she fell, and she had the distinct impression that no one in the place could see her anymore, or even remembered that she had been there. That was the last thought she had before resigning herself to oblivion.

The man carried her right passed Tordek. If Kichea had still been awake, she might have thought she'd seen puzzlement in his features, but she was quite unconscious. The man exited the inn via the kitchen door, but Janus didn't appear to notice. And so she was abducted, forced out of the minds of those who had known her, until such time as she could free herself from the ring and the man who had given it to her.
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