*Varro shuffled in with a bundle in his arms, moving immediately for Uxor.
She didn't interrupt her meal, watching and knowing that he had some tidbit or news... or something that had him darting at her like like an overly stimulated kobold.*
Varro: Look at this...just look at it *he rummaged through the bag pulling out green fabric* can you believe I found it lying around in the Pit no less! A little wash and it's good as new. Better even with some extra care *he was picking over the stitches* Here here, put it on
*Uxor did stop chewing this time. The mute woman raised a brow at his request, angling her head with disapproval*
Varro: No no, seriously Uxor, here, try it on. *he pushed the bundle towards her*
*Uxor rolled her eyes and set her food aside, pulling out the green bundle. She noticed a host of colored cloths in the bag, nodding at them questioningly*
Varro: Don't worry about those. I'll explain in a moment. Just humor me and put it on. You can pull it over your armor if you're not inclined to go change... though I'd appriciate it if you did - I won't peak *he grinned at her*
*Uxor shook her head and pointed towards a side room. She was not about to change out in the middle of the guild hall, and certainly not infront of Varro, to what she guessed would be his great disappointment*
Varro: Fine, have it your way. I'll wait here. Come out and let me see it on you
*After a time, Uxor came out wearing a long flowing green garment, with a tight collar that reached almost the full length of her neck. It was very form fitting. She held the rest of the bundle in a hand and came out, sulking and crossing her arms*
Varro: Excellent. Turn around and let me see.
*though she did as he asked, it was not long before she'd retrieved her wrtiing impliment and was scribbling away on some parchment, holding out the paper to him. It read* "Varro...this...is a dress. These are all dresses" *and she worked her mouth from one side to the other with disdain*
Varro: *reading over her note* What? No...No no no, these my friend are Robes. This one you're wearing fetches quite a heafty price on the market. Robe of Acid they call it. Bit hard to come by. *as she had stopped turning for him, he walked round her in a circle* Looks great on. Here, try one of the others
*She shook her head, writing* "I look silly"
Varro: *he walked back around front of her* Well that's rediculous. You look great. You're just used to that bulky plate and chain. You strong arms are all the same...put something delicate on you and you're crawling and squirming like black pudding. In fact *he rubbed the tuft of hair on his chin* I'd say the true silliness is you hiding that figure under copius amounts of unflattering figure-obscuring metal.
*She gnarled her nose at him, writing* "keeps me alive. Life over fashion any day"
Varro: Yes well, in any event, you've unintentionally brought me to my point. I'm going to be hosting a fashion show for the city. I want to see the finest attire... the most shining armors... the swirls of intricate cloth weavings. Rare, beautiful, and decadant! House Jorasco has agreed to let me hold the event on their grounds...and they've provided an excellent backdrop for it. I'm going to be posting some flyers, but I need you to pose for me so I can get some sketches made up for the flyers.
*She shook her head 'no no no'*
Varro: Oh yes yes yes. You owe me little missy. See I'm rather coming to like this arrangement you and i have. You scratch my back, and I scratch yours. Isn't that how it goes? And it's my turn to be scratched in the initiative.
*She narrowed her eyes at him, stomping her foot*
Varro: Sorry, that's not going to get you out of it. And no, you've not had an end to this conversation. Come, it's not like I'm going to make you actually work in the show...although *he looked up pondering the posibility*
*Uxor's eyes widened a little, and she shook her head no furverently, followed by writing* "I will help with the sketches ...instead."
Varro: Sheesh, you'd think I asked you to dance in a wall of fire. Here, you'll need to try the rest on to make sure they fit. I'll need several drawings to pick from
*Uxor wrote out* "Are you just doing this to somehow get under House D's skin?"
Varro: Me? Never. What's wrong with holding some nice festivities for the city? The Coin Lords shine on such activities. If my doing this did happen to step on the toes of some nobleman, well...
*their conversation was interrupted by the approach of footsteps in the guild hall. A woman was silouetted in the light of the door, then one with the dim of the hall as she closed the door behind her. Neither of them recognized her, so Varro called out*
Varro: Greetings traveller. What brings you among us?
*The woman walked towards them with a smile. Uxor rightly didn't know why, but when she looked on her, she felt a wave of uneasiness pass over her. Fear. Outright fear, and a distant memory welled up briefly, which she quickly suppressed. She didn't like this, and was inclined to slip back for her weapons, which were in the room behind, but Varro didn't seem particularly alarmed by her.*
*The woman seemed to be Drow in nature...a bit light skinned even for one, but the ears and eyes were close enough to distinguish her as not being elven - though her features were quite 'normal' at a glance. Her hair was a vivid red, and her lips matched the hair in tone. What unsettled Uxor the most was her walk. She glided across the floor, almost slinked, in a way that was entirely not drow. Nor was it elven. It was something else. The woman nodded at the two of them and said* You must be Varro - I recogized you. Not familiar with your friend there *she lifted her chin in a sort of reversed nod of acknowledgement* but I am called Mekari.
*Before she'd even gotten to her name, Varro's demenour changed now. He seemed...irritated. He didn't look at Uxor, but said* Uxor, why don't you go ahead and keep those robes for me. We'll find another time to continue. I'll be at my place if you need me. Mekari is it? Please, come with me.
*Uxor watched the two of them go, and she immediately set about changing her clothing to something more combat worthy. She didn't like this. But she realized her armor would attract attention. So she left the robe on, and slipped on her bracers and goggles instead, casting their magics upon herself to be both fast and invisible, and then crept after the two of them. *
*It was uncanny. Neither of them spoke the whole walk there, they simply walked along side one another. Uxor feared it was perhaps an assassin, or at least a hired thug sent to give Varro a 'message.' Varro seemed to be somewhat aware of whoever this Mekari was. She tried to stay in range of them to pick up on anything important. She realized a flaw in her plan. Once they got to Varro's home, there would be little chance of her slipping in behind them unseen. She looked around and considered if she could somehow beat them there. They weren't running...or even walking fast. She had a key to Varro's door, so she knew she could slip inside provided she got there with enough distance between them*
*Uxor dropped back and let them pass a little bit further ahead. Her intended route was going to be less than stealthy... especially in broad daylight. She couldn't take the chance of one of them looking over a shoulder and catching a glimpse of her, or seeing her out of the corner of their eye. Once she was confident that there was enough of a gap, she surveyed the structures around her, and slipping into an allyway, she began clambering on top of the buildings. She lept from structure to structure; shimmied over beams and walkways; shuffled across ledges by her fingers; she was still graced with the benefits of the invisibility and quickness... though anyone with a particularly good spot would notice a transluscent shape flying across rooftops with all speed*
*She jumped down from the roof into the streets before Varro's abode. She glanced back to make certain she'd beat them to it. Confident that she'd managed to work her way ahead of them, she let herself in, glancing round to see if anyone would notice, and tried to find somewhere to crouch down in obscurity. She settled with slipping into the spare bedroom, crouching behind the bed, and praying they wouldn't find need to come in there. If the lights came on, no matter how small she made herself, she was completely liable to be noticed*
*She waited there hunkered down like a scared rabbit for quite some time, until she heard the click of the door opening. She didn't know why, but she felt afraid for Varro. She realized in her rush she didn't have a thing to defend him even if it did come to that. No weapon, no armor... and more than likely this Mekari was a spell caster. She was a sitting duck. All she could hope for now was that she went unseen, and that Varro could defend himself.*
*She heard them moving about the room, and the sound of something scooting on the floor, followed by a 'thud', and Varro's voice, and the reply of the female voice. It took her a moment to focus on what was being said...they were in the other room. She realized they were speaking Quori. Varro had taught her to speak it somewhat...enough for them to communicate with each other. Why were they speaking Quori?? She had only ever heard Varro speak it in hushed tones, and usually when something sensitive was being said that wasn't to be overheard. The woman seemed confident in it, rattling it back. She focused hard trying to understand what was being said. . . *
Varro: [So good of you to 'check up' on me "Mekari"... or whatever name it is you're using these days]
Mekari: [It is my name. Not the name you knew... I've had fewer reasons of late to see the need to hold to my aliases.]
Varro: [Yes well, you'll have to excuse me if I don't exactly have the easiest time keeping them all straight. Nice face by the way - could stand to be a little darker though, you look like an elven drow mutt]
Mekari: [choice words . . . from one who knows so much about illegitimate unions. Though your father and I like to refer to it as 'planar mingling' or something else kinder than mutt, my dear]
Varro: [What game are you onto Elena? You must want something... you never come to spend quality time.]
*Father? Uxor's rapidly translating mind derailed a little on that chain of banter. Was this woman really who she was understanding her to be? If so, why was she so afraid of her? She wished she'd gotten further with her training to push fear aside completely, but that stage of her learning was not yet here. She considered the possibilities, trying to tune back into what they were saying*
Varro: [...nerve. You think you can just shuffle out of my life and return to play games when it suits your fancy. So what was the draw this time, hm? Some Lord send you to spy on me?]
Mekari: [Don't play victim with me, it's not becoming of you. I taught you better. I just thought I should check in and see how you were handling your loss.]
*Varro scawfed at her*
Mekari: [No, it's true. When I heard of it, I needed to find you. To be certain you were doing well.]
Varro: [yes, well, as you can see, I'm alive, I'm eating, and life goes on]
Mekari: [I just know how much she meant to you. When your father died, it was trying on me. . . ]
Varro: [Don't. Don't even compaire your experience to mine. Especially over a man I barely knew of to even speak a name]
Mekari: [Well, in any event, I'm going to be keeping my eye on you for a little while - in a way perhaps closer than usual. Though I've gathered much information in my searching for you. You've made quite the party-man of yourself around town, Minstrel]
Varro: [And just how's that. Planning on rooming with me? ]
Mekari: [better. Hadn't you noticed my attire? I'm a field surgeon now... a cleric. A useful tool to folk of your line of work]
Varro: [I think I liked you better when you pretended to be a bard]
Mekari: [Always the poison tongue] *she laughed a little* [Actually, I think you'll find my services most beneficial to your fellowship.]
Varro: [Don't bother]
Mekari: [It's a little late for that now. You see, I met a lovely man who's already accepted me among their fold. I haven't made mention of our connection in the least, out of kindness. I'll be filling in among your ranks]
Varro: [What? No...that isn't going to be happening. I forbid it. One word from me and you'll be kicked out on the street so fast your body will get there before your clothes.]
Mekari: [Is that so? See, I thought you might say something like that, so I thought i had better remind you that it would behove you to play nice. You see, I'd hate to have to be the one to break it to them about your marriage. Imagine what your little pale skinned lady friend might think?]
*Uxor almost sank through the floor at hearing herself mentioned in the conversation in translation. Her heart sank down as well at hearing Varro's silence. Whatever it was about his past was dreadful enough to silence him over the issue. She heard movement in the room again*
Mekari: [I suggest you keep that in mind should the urge to have me removed from among your fold cross your thoughts. Play nice though, and I won't have to resort to being 'honest.']
*Varro made no reply to that, and there was the sound of the door closing, and then silence. Uxor didn't know what to do...or say for that matter. This woman was blackmailing him? But with something he hadn't bothered to tell her. It unsettled her to think that he was keeping something from her. She'd always tried to be honest with him - even about things she rightly didn't understand.
What was the secret?
Why was she afraid of Mekari?
How was she going to get out of here?
That question stopped her. She was in Varro's house eavesdropping - invisible no less - and now that the situation was over, how was
she to remove herself without getting noticed?*