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SRD - v3.5
Order of the Sword & Rose
Ranaewen looked up, surprised at the low purr from the elf who called herself Whisp. She arched a brow and half-smiled to cover her surprise at being approached once again. "I’m thirsty, that’s what I am!" She stood and stepped over to the table where the bard sat. "And if this ale is just going to waste...well," she shrugged and grinned good-naturedly as she took the ale back to her own table.With a brief nod at the elven girl, she sat and stated plainly, "Ranaewen."Her eyes drifted around the tavern again slowly. There he is, but how did he...? She looked in surprise at the figure now sitting at the bar. He must have slipped in with all the ruckus... She shook her head and smirked to herself. Now to get the opportunity to speak with him...She dropped her eyes back to her ale and cleared her throat. "And you Whisp, do you partake?" Ranae held the ale up toward her.**
Keiri regarded the dwarf quietly, exuding a calm goodness unusual in this part of the land. "Oh..." she glanced back at Ranaewen with a smile, "Ranae agreed to meet me tonight. I’m..uhm...hoping to stay with her for a while." She bit her lip and looked down at the bar top, tracing the wood grain with a fingertip. "This isn’t a very clean place, is it?" She giggled softly, then leaned toward Ralthoin to whisper, "I don’t really like taverns that much..."She smiled easily and looked at him quietly for a moment, then asked, "Are you Ranae’s friend?..some of those other people don’t seem very nice...but you do." She nodded firmly, then winced slightly, covering her expression by reaching toward her staff leaning next to her, and running her hand over the smooth wood.
The dwarf chuckled at the tiny elfs comments, " As long as the ale is cheap the customers dinna worry too much aboot the grime in here, but yer right its noo that nice a tavern, although it usually is mair peaceful than tonight." he shrugged and took a long swig of ale, taking time to have another lingering look round the bar. With the departure of the three thugs the tavern was quietening down again, although by the looks of it some new aquaintances were being made not all of which were wanted. "And aye, Im a member of the Fellowship so Ranaewen is my friend." and hopefully an ally. thought the dwarf to himself as he caught a glimpse of the half-elf again.
Returning his gaze to the elf he caught her in a moment of discomfort, noting that her staff was being used as a support rather than a weapon. The look was gone in an instant replaced with the sympathetic smile she had used when they first met. Maybe no' so much an open book then. the dwarf thought to himself and wondered whether to pursue the matter.
He decided against it, instead finding himself relating his Clan troubles to Keiri. She was the perfect audience, listening attentively, showing concern and sympathy in equal measure to the dwarfs sorry tale. She was the first person he had told his story to and almost immediately he felt better for it, some of the burden that had weighed on him was released in just the simple re-telling of the events and for that he was relieved. As he finished his story he once again looked upon the elfs pale eyes and to his surprise found not only sympathy but understanding. How the girl could possibly understand he didn't know but he saw it as plain as the frothing mug in front of him. As he looked back he caught another pained look from the elf which again was gone immediately, but the dwarfs curiosity and now concern was screaming at him.
" Tell me if its no my place to say," started the dwarf uncomfortably, "but are ye poorly? We have a very capable priestess who could maybe cure whatever malady ills ye? " The elf paused at the question and Ralthoin immediately felt foolish. He had only just met the girl and here he was prying into her personal business. If the roles had been reversed the dwarf knew he would be angry at such an intrusion, so decided to give the girl a few moments to ponder her response. "Err, if ye'll excuse me fer a moment I need to go tae the little dwarfs room, heh." he smiled as he got up from his chair and wandered out through the broken doors to the privy outside.
“Of that watered down rat infested swill,” her nose wrinkled at the mere thought of putting that fowl liquid to her lips, ”uh no. But if you wish to taste a truly divine spirit you must try this.” Whisp produced from what seemed like thin air, an exquisitely and finely decorated flask made of the purest white ivory with what looked like paper thin gold inlays. Unscrewing the delicate looking the cap, sweet scents of jasmine and hip rose wafted out of the flask. Whisp then preceded to poor the delicate clear liquid, that seemed to flow like mists of a waterfall, into the cap, all the time watching her companion to see if her eyes lit up with greed, envy or wonderment. Elven spirits were not common in these parts and definitely not cheap, but it was an indulgence Whisp gave herself, plus the flask and its contents generally aided in revealed the true nature of the unwary. Throwing back her head she slammed back the liquid and could feel its warmth running down her throat and into her gut.
“I see our host has neglected to introduce himself to you, Cloak can be so neglectful in the ways of etiquette,” smiling at her quarry and pouring the clear liquid on more time. “What brings you to these parts Ms. Ranaewan, for no one comes here for the sights. Are you looking for work, hiding from pursuit, or merely passing through?” offering Ranaewan the cap full of elven spirits.
"As you likely have figured out by now, I'm a bard." Jabari says, placing a hand upon the lute which has laid silently on the table top the entire time, "However, I am a bard with no tales. Well, no new ones atleast."Continuing to speak, the bard lifts the expensive looking instrument from the table and begins examining it for any damage during his earlier scuffle. "Unlike many of my profession, I dislike retelling the older tales. Unless I feel the fear of the unknown myself, view the chaos of battle, hear the cheers as the heroes raise their swords in victory, or the cries from the survivors as their companions are buried in makeshift graves... how can I tell the story and know it to be true?"Finding no damage to the lute, the bard appears relieved, "That is what brought me to this region. The pursuit of companions with whom I could experience new adventures that are worth retelling. Updating my repertoire I suppose you could say." Jabari says with a smile."As for Talsor..." Jabari begins to chuckle slightly, "the man is a fool. He discovered I have been staying with an old friend in Stormreach, a half elf widow named Bekki Brenura. Perhaps you've heard of her? She's funded several archaeological projects in the city and surrounding area in the past couple years." Looking to the dark elf he receives no reply to his question, so he continues, "Anyways, Talsor has been harassing her for some time now, apparently infatuated with her from the time he worked on the crew of one such project. He feels that she 'belongs' to him and has been causing her endless amounts of grief. He attempted to enter her home yesterday evening, though I was luckily there and stopped him. I since discovered where he could be found and came to speak with him," Jabari rubs his bruised cheek and adds, "though I didn't know he had any friends... especially not any large ones. Nevertheless, they posed no real threat but I am grateful for your timely intervention. I would have hated to have had to buy the fools a drink."The bard appears appears momentarily distracted, noticing a faintly sweet scent finding it's way across the tavern and vanishing just as quickly. Looking back across the table, he speaks one last time, "So, that's my story. What's yours? You appear quite comfortable here, what is it you do? ...And I didn't catch your name, friend?"
"Oh, but I am..." her voice trailed off quietly as Ralthoin disappeared, "..a priest..." Keiri watched after him, and then stared back down at the bar, thinking about all that he had shared, her arm disappearing within her volumous robes to wrap around her body comfortingly.Ranae's eyes widened slightly as Whisp produced the ornate flask. She arched a brow but her eyes followed the cap as liquid was poured and then offered to her. She reached for it a little more eagerly than intended, and quickly swallowed the contents. Her eyes closed briefly as she savoured the warm trail of alcohol down her throat. As her eyes drifted open, her body slowed by the effects of the many drinks already consumed, she looked over Whisp's shoulder. The man at the bar had turned his head casually and gave her an almost indiscernible nod before turning back to his drink. Ranae blinked and sat a little straighter in her chair. Gods, girl, get your head together. Remember what you came here for...
The offering of spirits seemed to be having the desired effect. Watch Ranaewen’s face, she could almost feel the pleasure the sweet liquid was bring to her, and by her quick acceptance of the offering Whisp quickly surmised it had been awhile since her companion had had anything but rot gut ale.
She started to pour another cap full, when she noticed a noticeable stiffening of resolve in her companion’s posture. So she had some purpose here or near by. “A professional!” she thought to herself. She could not help but admire someone trying to be so disciplined. The question was a professional what? And what or who was she here to be professional with? Something or more likely someone had just now aided her in reminding her of her purpose here. A quick glance around revealed nothing of note and there were too many strangers in the bar tonight to scrutinize anyone person more closely. But the sweet liquor had done its job and at least help tip her companions hand, what ever that maybe.
The consummate professional herself, Whisp quickly took stock of the situation. Ranaewen was here and trying to steel herself for some coming task. Her friend the nymph was at the bar, talking to the dwarf. So either, the dwarf was the mark, which see highly doubted, the nymph was not in on Ranaewen’s plight or Whisp still had some time before the two struck. She could not afford to be caught out of position and so assumed the nymph knew nothing and what was to go down would be doing so very soon. But she would still keep an eye on her, as she could not discount her completely. Finally there was more than likely third unknown person here in the bar. What their purpose was in all this or who they were she did not know.
She needed more time and a little more of an edge. “Ah it always is good to meet someone who can appreciate the finer things in life” she smiled her best hostess smile at Ranewen. “Another perhaps.” As she placed, the now slightly warm, cap back into the hand of her companion. “Drink up. And you will have to excuse me dear I was destracted by you beauty, but I missed why you were here.”
"It is a shame indeed how Talsor acts. Ms Brenura could have been a fond memory of his past, it's too bad he had to ruin that." Jabari says, agreeing with the drow. "I would not be surprised if something were to happen to him either, though I wouldn't be the one to do it. I'm afraid that I'm not one for bloodshed... atleast not when other sentients are involved."Looking momentarily saddened, Jabari regains his composure through a joke, "...though I may be giving Talsor more credit than he deserves in that regard.""It is true what you say of perception. I've noticed this myself when travelling throughout Khorvaire, especially in regards to the tales of events during the Last War. You will hear varying accounts on what really happened depending on where you go, which is precisely why I only believe what I experience for myself." The bard pauses to collect his thoughts, then continues speaking louder, becoming obviously enthusiastic about the subject, "With Xen'drik largely unexplored it's an exciting time for storytellers, like myself. We will be the ones who spread the exploits of the adventurers and explorers. The new legends will be based from our stories, songs and rhymes. Being here gives me the opportunity to ensure those legends are told true... perhaps not the truth others would like, but the truth as I experience it. Quite a responsibility when you think about it."Smiling to himself at the idea, Jabari notices several nearby patrons giving him an odd look. Deciding to change the topic before he goes off on another tangent, the bard looks to the drow, "So a card player, huh? You must be well-known among the patrons here then... anything you can tell me about the regulars?"