Old April 9, 2013, 06:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Milk on the Rocks [Loelir]

Spring XX PF

The doors into the Lingerer's Inn and Tavern came bursting open without ceremony and with it came a breath of cool moist air - a courtesy of the sudden spell of rain that was not uncommon during this season - and a flaxen-haired lady who staggered inside. On a single glance it was quite obvious that she was soaked from the top of her crown down to the socks hugging her feet. Now normally the half-elf enjoyed these cool rainy days and absence of the oppressive sunlight... but only when she was dry and didn't feel the wet fabric of clothing clinging stubbornly over her body in what was culminating into a gross experience which reminded her of how it felt to be in a dress at the height of summer as a child. The memory made her shiver more than the chill of the air and moisture did.

Frowning she hand-wrung her hair dry just a few feet from the door and hastily claimed the closest vacant table in a fashion that bordered on apathetic. The girl seemed to be content with her table or too exhausted to care about appearances at the present. She merely deposited herself in the chair and rested her arms and head upon the table's edge at an angle. She noted despite the haze in her head the crumbs still present on the table and the still damp circular impression upon the dry wood which suggested that the table had only been recently vacated.

With nary a care for the world Charlotte raised a hand in the air with visible strain. She couldn't be bothered to lift her head from where it rested and she merely waited for someone to attend to her and take her orders.

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Old April 10, 2013, 05:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The rain hadn’t disturbed Loelir’s work routine in the slightest. The morning was spent hunting for cooking ingredients at the Private Trade Circle, the afternoon cleaning the upper floor room by room, lunch and dinner times in the kitchen chopping up vegetables, working pans and pots. Same as always.

After sufficient amounts of food were prepared, Loelir settled at the bar with a glass of water. Sometimes she’d chat with Bev, the bartender, but most of the time she observed others. The Lingerer’s was brimming with interesting personalities and odd races, a perfect little world within the bigger world that was Nexus Prime. She had come to love the place for the colorful variety of people and stories mingling within. Sipping water, she sat and watched: just a girl, clad in grey, black feathery hair falling over narrow shoulders, dark eyes wide with child-like curiosity.

Such was her expression when she spotted the next customer: A girl stumbled in, weariness oozing from her every move, and actually left a trail of wet in her wake. Rain had colored her hair darker, but Loelir guessed it was a beautiful pale blonde when dry. Despite the sluggish movement, there was a certain beauty to her features and statue. Loelir’s gaze followed the girl to the next table where she simply slumped down and, after a moment, silently raised a hand.

A quick glance affirmed the assumption: Between brightening and darkening, serving maids were always busy. So Loelir snatched a wet cloth from behind the bar, walked over and started to clean the table of crumbs and sticky spots. Without any experience, she just wiped until it looked right, but it was the good will that counted, yes? “Welcome to Lingerer’s… What would you like, miss?” she asked in a soft voice, hoping not to disturb a customer. The girl hadn’t fallen asleep, or had she?
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Old April 11, 2013, 06:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Charlotte's head did not rise from the table, but she did open the one eye to the side that Loelir's voice came from. "Would it be too difficult for you to prepare me something soft and tender... lamb perhaps? Baked potatoes smothered in cheese, a glass of milk and cold champagne... if we still have ice I would have it even if it costs me." the half-elf tried on a weak smile, one that quickly vanished as she fished out some coins from her pouch. "I hope this will suffice, I am only asking for enough for a single person. I've no desire to stuff myself full." she could afford the fifteen golden crown's worth of food that was readily available on the list of things they offered, but she wouldn't be able to finish all of that alone.

There were thirty golden crowns stacked on top of the table in stacks of five coins a pile. The effort of assembling them had drained the girl and once more she closed her eyes and seemed to be in such a state of weariness that she might as well have been sleeping. She seemed pale too... her skin was of a creamy complexion on her better brightenings, but now it was clearly evident that something was off, she was almost white. Not only that, the girl was also warm - almost hot to touch and her breathing was short, ragged if one were astute enough to notice.

When the girl returned with Charlotte's orders she would find the half-elf difficult to wake, she seemed in such a deep state of sleep that a gentle nudge would prove insufficient to wake here. More than a half-hearted effort to rouse her was going to be required to break the spell of sleepiness weighing heavily upon her.

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Old April 12, 2013, 03:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Loelir bent down and leaned forward a little, rag in both hands, trying to understand the orders. “Of course, I shall see to it at once”, she replied with a little bow, although the girl didn’t seem to notice. Instead she was piling up crowns on her table. After that, she sank back into her former position. Loelir counted and discreetly cleared her throat. “Excuse me, miss, I believe this is too much.” No reaction.

After giving the customer another long glance, she took the coin. If it was too much, Bev would tell her to return the change. When in doubt, it was best to ask a more experienced colleague or superior. She didn’t want to rob the girl of her money, certainly not! However, as she was no waitress, Loelir didn’t have the prices memorized like they did. Eventually she returned to the bar, forwarded the request and entered the kitchen to the side. Her customer was lucky: The lamb was just ready to be taken off the fire and one pot still contained some leftover potatoes in cheese. She filled a plate with a reasonable portion, not as much as the sailors and guards needed, added cutlery and returned. Bev pushed a glass of pale liquid into her direction. With a thankful nod, Loelir picked it up and walked over to the table. It felt freezing cold to the touch.

“Here you go, miss.” Setting down plate and glass, however, did nothing to wake the girl. “Miss? Here is your meal and iced drink. Is something wrong?” Only then did she take a closer look and nudge the girl at the shoulder. Hair still damp, skin unusually warm, fast breathing even though she’d been sitting for a while already. Loelir’s words didn’t reach her. For a moment she simply stood there, thinking.

When spotting Gale at the bar, she hastily made her way towards him. At her suggestion, he gestured for two waitresses to come and help. Together they lifted up the slender girl and half-carried, half-dragged her up the staircase and through a narrow corridor. Loelir came behind, plate and all. In an empty room, they carefully laid her down on top of the sheets. Loelir placed the meal and drink on a small chest and approached the bed. Perhaps the journey upstairs had woken the girl? Anyway, what could she do to improve her condition?

The waitresses left quickly. It had been Loelir’s idea, they understood, so it was her responsibility now.


OOCI hope you're okay with being carried and all that.
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Old April 14, 2013, 02:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Charlotte was vaguely aware that she was being carried somewhere, she wasn't one to pass out right away, but diminished as she was she could not truly tell where nor resist. The effort it took to keep her eyes from closing was already straining her, fatigue was taking it's toll on the half-elf. She was paying the price of abusing her body now... but what choices did she have? She was given a grand task, only effort to match it could allow her to succeed.

She closed her eyes, relaxing a little and the throbbing in her head and the weariness seemed to ebb. A change in posture did her a world of good and she was finally able to speak. "I appreciate your help... miss...?" she couldn't really look at the other person, not since her face was tilted towards the ceiling but at the very least Charlotte recognized Loelir's timbre to be female. Undeniably so.

"I have inconvenienced you a little I fear... I will compensate for this in coin." what good were words of thanks between strangers after all. "I would not wish to trouble you further, but if I am ill as I suspect... there is even greater reason for me to eat. Would you bring me my food and talk to me so I might not fall asleep?"

"But only if you can afford to... I understand you may have responsibilities that require your skill."
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Old April 16, 2013, 07:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Upon hearing the voice, she moved closer to the bed and bent down a little. Strands of black hair fell into her eyes. “Loelir is the name, miss.” There was no question mark in her tone for it wasn’t her place to ask the customer’s name. If the girl felt comfortable sharing it, she’d appreciate that, and if not, she’d continue to call her ‘miss’ like she did every other female customer.

At the mentioning of coin, however, she waved her hands in an attempt to politely decline. “No, it’s not a problem, miss! In fact you paid too much earlier. The inn can keep the rest as compensation if you wish.” Of course, it had been Loelir who had noticed and reported the girl’s condition, but she’d never admit it herself. Modesty and obedience were a servant’s virtues, she’d learned very early in life.

Out of the same instinct, she sat down at the edge of the bed while leaving enough space for the other girl. Hoping that she was strong enough to eat, Loelir pushed the food into her direction while still balancing it on her lap. “My duties in the kitchen are finished for this brightening, so I’ll gladly keep your company while you recover, miss.” Then she added, almost as an afterthought: “If you don’t mind me asking, how did you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation?”
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Old April 19, 2013, 07:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A small smile that reached her eyes blossomed on the half-elf's small pink lips, she was grateful for the genuine concern that the other girl showed. It was a rare quality, especially in these dark times. Since the girl had introduced herself it was only proper that the half-elf follow the same suit, she placed the tips of her fingers over her collarbone, head dipping slightly forward - as a sign of respect - causing a ripple of damp hair cascading down her face in a rather comely fashion. "I am Charlotte." she said, introducing herself while trying to flick away the damp clusters of hair getting in the way of her eyes. "Once more I apologize for the inconvenience."

She was satisfied with that idea, they could keep the spare change if that was compensation enough. If the half-elf felt like it she was certain she could charge it to Alexis if she bothered to go through the winding conversation... though twenty or so crowns didn't seem worth it. "I would not have it any other way... if you were to find yourself in trouble because of this please, do not hesitate to inform me in the future and I will speak to your employer about the circumstances."

Charlotte started eating, carving the meat and potatoes into small chunks with exquisite precision and she popped it into her mouth, chewing slowly so she wouldn't choke and she washed down every spoon full with a sip of wine. "I took on a task which I believe I could handle. I did not realize the gravity of the situation before I was too deeply involved in the affairs of the legion and the city..." there was a deep sigh there. "I volunteered to join the legion because I believed I would have an opportunity to hone my martial abilities and be paid for it. Ironically I managed to put myself in a position where I am playing secretary and manager again - the occupation that I left behind for soldiering."

"Unsurprisingly, it seems many soldiers are unfit to do the job of secretaries and since I've experience in the field one thing led to another and I've found myself mired in responsibilities... perhaps there is a lesson in this. That your talents will dictate your career instead of your choices in life... though I would rather it not be so."
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Old April 20, 2013, 05:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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OOCI should probably point out that you've ordered iced milk with champagne, not wine.


Charlotte. Loelir simply shook her head. As far as she was concerned, there was no inconvenience. She’d helped a customer. Wasn’t it the duty of a good servant and employee to tend to customers? The fact that the situation was out of the ordinary didn’t occur to her.

When the girl said more about financial matters, Loelir didn’t dare to protest, not anymore. Charlotte seemed stubborn in that matter, so she simply nodded. “That is kind of you to offer, although I hope there will be no need to get back to it.”

It relieved her to see the slender girl could eat and drink without assistance. For a while she watched in silence. Even if Charlotte had asked for it, she wouldn’t have been able to come up with a conversation topic. Luckily, the other girl started a monologue instead. Loelir slipped into the role of the listener, something she had done countless times before, felt comfortable with. Listening to stories, asking for details, making encouraging noises – somehow doing those things made her feel at ease.

That said, she didn’t quite understand what Charlotte was saying. Legion. City. The words made her hold her breath. Although they probably were of similar age, a rush of awe for that hard-working person filled the humble servant. The last statement she was able to comment on. “Still, you can choose to utilize your talents… or not. It is hard to believe that your superiors would want to drown you in responsibilities though. A drowned secretary wouldn’t be a very good secretary, I believe.” There spoke the inn employee, although there had been other times and convictions too. They had been buried since.
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Old April 23, 2013, 11:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"I imagine they do not wish to burden an officer with too much responsibilities, but it is more likely that they cannot find too many people to delegate the tasks I've been given." she sighed, self-pity and melodrama should have been something she'd long since been able to root out of herself, but it stubbornly remained like weed. A small part of her would always be a spoiled girl who ever sought the good graces of others. "There simply isn't any other choice."

"Are you new to the city?"
she tilted her face, squinting a little to be better able to percieve the cook's face in the glow little candle light which warded off little of the dimness of the room. "Or are you a local? I would like to know how things have changed here - if such has happened - since the fog... a comparison of life then and now would doubtlessly help me better able to accomodate the needs and wants of the men serving in the city's defences." she was an outsider, an ignorant foreigner who was playing at soldier in a city who's story she didn't know. The least she could do in her spare time was to learn about the history of Nexus Prime beyond what was written within books.

"I hope my inquiry isn't too personal, I do not mean to ask about your past... it may be exceedinly rude of me to ask so suddenly."
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Old April 24, 2013, 04:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Loelir merely nodded, although she didn’t really understand the problem of lacking employees. Some sort of reaction would be adequate though, or not? As far as she was concerned, Charlotte was telling the truth, for she had no other way of knowing.

A bit of relief trickled through her body as the other girl asked a question, thus changing the topic. It seemed like Charlotte was examining, judging her out of narrow eyes. Surprise wiped her thoughts and made her hold her breath. But an explanation followed suit. Loelir sighed: So the girl hadn’t been eyeing her suspiciously! Although she knew it was stupid, sometimes she couldn’t shake that vague sense of paranoia. No matter how much time had passed… Her expression was apologetic. “I’m sorry, miss, I cannot assist you in that. Although I was born in Arium, I only entered this city recently. You could even say by chance. If you wish to learn more about its residents and their situation, however, I recommend talking or listening to the tavern’s customers. Bev has also been working as bartender for a while, I think.” Falling silent, she watched Charlotte eating. It wasn’t a lot, but all the advice she had.

Then she shook her head, black hair flying. “Please, I do not mind. Ask as much as you want, miss.” Loelir meant it, more than with others. She enjoyed talking to Charlotte, although if asked why, she wouldn’t be able to explain it.
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Old May 1, 2013, 08:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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"I see..." she sighed, abandoning that course of thought. How silly it was that even bedridden her thoughts would drift to work... something was wrong with her. If she continued on this course it was not unlikely that she would mentally snap. "Do you truly not mind? Or are you concerned refusing my request might put you out on the street? I assure you, I would do no such thing. Your business is your own and besides... I've been left to fend off for myself once before, many moons ago. I would no sooner put you in trouble than I would slit my own throat."

"Perhaps that sounded a trifle morbid I suppose..." she hastily said after her last statement. Perhaps she was going at this the wrong way, she wasn't interrogating the girl after all. It was a conversation, light and easy. She took a deep breath, a large chug of her drink and she did not look at the girl but instead closed her eyes and nursed the cold drink between her hands. "Do you have your own questions to ask? It would make me feel better if you asked me your own questions before I did you. A fair trade, don't you agree?"
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Old May 1, 2013, 02:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Charlotte continued with a different kind of question and in the same breath explained herself. Loelir hadn’t thought about her own words in depth, not as much as the other girl assumed, and her eyes widened at the absurd image in the last words. “No. It is my duty and my call to serve others. I am good at it”, she offered, although there was slight hesitation in her airy voice. Part of her sensed it wasn’t quite what the other had asked for. But I enjoy it.

As Charlotte drank, Loelir’s gaze wandered through the room and lingered at the wall or, more precisely, the wooden chest. The next idea offered made her freeze, locking her dark eyes to it. Ask questions? When she tried to come up with one, her mind went blank. Fair trade? The concept was so foreign to one such as Loelir that for a moment she didn’t know what to say.

Finally she spoke, voice thick with Linn Feanii accent, a sign of doubt and hesitation. “I do not know anything about fair trades… but I guess I’d like to ask questions.” Yes. A nod confirmed it. Most customers didn’t mind her asking questions, after all. “Where do you come from, miss? What is your home and why did you come here of all places?”

After a few cycles in Nexus even the peasant girl understood what it meant when they said: close to the fog. Also, Charlotte didn’t strike her as a native, too petite to descend from sailors and northerners.
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Old May 4, 2013, 10:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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A harsh laugh escaped the half-elf's throat at the other girl's statement. It seemed to her that Loelir might have been less naive or more cunning that she let on. "Is that so," she smirked and forced down a chunk of food down her throat. "The world is far from fair... I suppose its a given... it is the truth, but then again some people are blind to it. I was, a long time ago." but Charlotte knew nothing of the girl's past, it was likely she was underestimating the other girl's familiarity with the cruel lack of fairness of this world they shared. She was a priviledged person despite her situation and she would never understand Loelir, not truly.

"Jaedaxia." the furthest end of the empire from fog in the north, barring Demios that city was safer from the xet threat than most. It only added to the foolishness of being in Nexus Prime in these most trying of times. "My home is... well..." what was home? Her ancestral home? Was the place she spent her happiest brightenings still her home... she had no clear answer, but it was a fair enough compromise. "...it was a mansion, I suppose you could call it that." in poor condition perhaps, but it was one nevertheless. "I came here because of the fog."

"I came here because they needed people to make a stand here."
she said grimly. "The rest of the kingdom can forget about the fog but if the ones who are responsible for it aren't stopped here our chances of living through this will grow more slim. With each city lost the collective power of the empire to oppose this threat becomes more diminished, eventually, unchecked it will reach my homeland... that's why I'm here. To protect those dear to me... I suppose."

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Old May 16, 2013, 03:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Loelir blinked as Charlotte broke into a laugh. The meaning was lost to her, although a hint was revealed in the next few words. A long time ago. It was hard to tell whether she meant the distance of memory or decades. As a human grown up among her kin, Loelir assumed others to be human at first sight, but the girl could be an elf all the same. The way she spoke and held herself, something made her stand out from the crowd.

Jaedaxia. The story she told sounded unbelievable, ridiculous even, but Loelir kept her respectful silence until she was sure Charlotte had finished. Her reward was the strong statement that turned her voice to steel.

After that, Loelir was hesitant to reply. What did she have to offer in the face of such determination and nobility? “You are valiant to do so. Now I see why you give to others so much”, she began eventually. The embarrassment, the stupidity, she swallowed all that. Even so, fingers folding into knots in her lap told their own little story. “You think ahead, more than most people. I really wish you success.” But she didn’t speak of joining Charlotte’s cause. Why? Inside her head, thoughts were racing. Through that storm, it was hard to force out more words.
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Old May 23, 2013, 02:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
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"I have the means, its easier to make the choice to uphold something when you do." the half-elf's eyes swept down to the woman's fingers but he made no comment of it. It was not her place to ask nor was it the right time to pry into this woman's past. "Its not so much as noble as it is selfish... in the end I'm only trying to fulfill my own desires."

"Does not everyone think ahead? Do you not?"
Charlotte leaned forward, smiling a little. She was interested in finding out how this girl's mind work, what was fundamentally different with them - if they were that different at all. "I would be surprised if you had no plans of your own. Surely you have a dream, something you wish to accomplish if you had the means."

But there was the rub. Not everyone had the means... and some people were afraid of disappointment. Would it be worth it to work their way into a position where they could finally play their hand and change their lives, or would all their efforts be in vain and their time wasted.
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