Old July 9, 2018, 05:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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[ZA] A Warm Winter's Eve (Calanon, Social Thread)

Timestamp: The First Week of the Calendar-Era XXVI; Winter

As promised, Akina had returned to the nice tavern with the friendly barkeep. After they had been so helpful on her arrival to the city, Akina decided it was high time to warm her paws against a crackling fire and treat herself to a little something for all her hard work. It had been a month of exhausting errands, heavy parcels, and not-always-pleasant interactions, but the white dorin felt satisfied with her life thus far.

Akina greeted the barkeep with vigour, ordered a pint of their warm, mulled cider, and quickly scooted over to a chair by the fire. Not that there was much competition - Akina had cleared her brightening so as to be free from work, and thus had arrived when she knew the tavern would be quiet and the drinks would be flowing.
Nobody to be bothersome, and no dramas to behold.

It was at some point mid-brightening when Akina had settled in with a nice drink, a tasty snack, and some light reading in the form of various pamphlets and leaflets which had been handed around the academy in the city's center. Most of them were very boring - the sale of 12 large pigs, some not-very-convincing arguments to join a group of Jalat worshippers, and an infographic about the various uses of hallucinogenic mushrooms - so Akina was open to the prospect of making some conversation.

The female dorin sighed and leaned back against the wall with an air of contentment. She'd found herself a job, succeeded in her various tasks, and had no urgent matters to deal with until the next brightening. She'd even found herself a comfortable place to live that was dry, and had a door! Life was going very well for Akina, indeed. Soon she'd be able to afford luxuries, like soap that smelled of flowers, and a small envelope of tea leaves. Perhaps even a teapot of her very own! Akina mused with her imagination for a little while on that pleasant thought. Would she get a yellow one, or a green one, or perhaps one with paintings of little birds on it? It was a mystery.

As the tavern started to fill, various creatures took their place around the room. A hooded, cloaked figure sat ominously in the darkened corner furthest away from the fireplace's light; a group of Katta took a table by the door, and a handful of merchants decided to have their lunch in the center table. Each time newcomers arrived, Akina sipped her drink and wondered where they would sit. And, each time one of the newcomers avoided her table, her tail drooped slightly.

Was she truly that unappealing to sit by?

She quickly gave herself a cursory inspection. Fur was soft and clean, she didn't smell, she wasn't bleeding or looking otherwise dead. Her nails were nice and short, her nose was healthy and wet, and the Jalat pamphlets had been discarded into the fire so that nobody got the wrong idea. Worriedly, Akina made sure she hadn't appeared silly by dribbling her cider over herself.

Nope, clean and very presentable. Her ears flattened momentarily.
How rude, she thought, to ignore such an acceptable-looking person like myself! Do these people not want friends!?

As if struck by a moment of clarity, Akina realized (drawing on her past experiences) that not everybody wanted friends. Somewhat crestfallen, Akina turned her attentions back to her tasty pint and resolved to just enjoy the warmth of her spot for the time being.
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Old July 10, 2018, 05:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The winter had sunk its claws well and truly into the city of Ziel Aerca, and in turn, into the elf that pushed open the door to the tavern with a hand numb from the cold, even through the leather gloves he wore. He had not long arrived, and the draw of warmth, the light spilling from the tavern windows had put paid to any plans he might have had to be more discerning about where he ended up. Perhaps he might get a room here too?

As he stepped inside, he brought with him a blast of cold air as a reminder to those already safely ensconced within that it was not quite so cosy beyond the heavy wooden door, which the male pushed closed behind him before reaching up to lower his hood. Dark hair, slight unruly despite the attempts to tame it, was drawn back from a face that bore the sharp angles of elven kind, the delicately pointed ears that peeked from beyond the strands of black a confirmation of such heritage. Calanon swept a cursory glance about the place, he did not expect to find any he knew here, only having visited the city a couple of times before. But still, it was always paid to take a measure of one’s surroundings.

The comparative heat of the common room caused colour to crest on his cheeks, and having gotten his bearings, the Sylrosian made his way toward the bar and asked after a room, as well as a whiskey to chase the chill from his bones. Having tugged off his gloves and shoved them in his pack, cold, clumsy fingers handed over the required coin, and one hand wrapped about the tumbler of whiskey. Calanon turned, his gaze flickering briefly around once more before he was drawn like a moth towards the well-banked fire and its promise of warmth.

There was a Dorin occupying the table nearest, but the elf only flashed a look her way as he passed, setting his drink on the mantle and shrugging his pack from his shoulders as a precursor to warming his cold hands in the glow of the fire. Only, it didn’t take long for the heat to call prickles of feeling back into the tips of his fingers, and Cal shook out his hands as the blood surged and let him know that perhaps too close to the fire was not a good idea either. It was a quiet sigh of relief then as he took a sip from the tumbler and gazed into the coals, glad for now just to be out of the cold.
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Old July 10, 2018, 09:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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OOH! A FRIEND!!

Struggling to maintain composure, Akina sipped her drink as slowly as she could. Her feet were feeling tingly - not for cold-related reasons, but because that's what her feet felt like when she was tipsy - and she had to start pacing herself.

Drunk Akina was sometimes a little too friendly for her own good.

So, she quietly sat and behaved herself, tail wagging intermittently. From past experience, people in a tavern did not enjoy being assaulted with excitement and eager greetings until they had settled into their drinks. Even then...calm, Kina, she reminded herself. You'll get to say hi soon, don't worry!

For a few moments, Akina waited until Calanon had a few mouthfuls of his beverage, looking slightly less blue around the edges as he did so. While she waited, Akina ran through a list of acceptable conversation-starters in her head.

Can you wiggle your ears like I can? Didn't feel right. Too personal, too soon. So she thought some more. She always had wondered if elves could do that, but most elves she had met came across as far too aloof to hold a friendly conversation. This one seemed...open to the possibility. Perhaps the way he was sitting, ignoring her and staring absently into the coals, tipped her off.

Yep. That was definitely the sort of person who would love to make a new friend!

Must be challenging, not having fur at a time like this. Was another one.
No, wait. That sounded like she was poking fun at the furless kind. It wasn't their fault they were naked as newborn pups under all that cloth. It was an unshakable deficit in humans and elves, and she wasn't so rude as to draw attention to it now.

Best to start with something vague, and benign, but friendly. Something vague...

"Long brightening?" She queried kindly, indicating at the pack Calanon was carrying. He had evidently travelled from...somewhere. Sharing camaraderie over travel was usually a great way to start, if her experiences in Sancta Nova were anything to go by.
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Old July 13, 2018, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It didn’t take Calanon long, once he had thawed somewhat, to become aware of the regard of the Dorin nearby. He allowed himself a sideways glance but soon regretted it, for a moment later it seemed the stranger had taken it as some kind of invitation to make small talk. He half turned from his position standing in front of the fire, a grudging concession to the attempt to start a conversation that the Dorin had made.

“Hmm?”
The elf tracked the creature’s gesture toward his bag which had been set by his feet, and then looked back into the friendly face of the female before replying. “ Oh….long enough, yes”.

Still reserved, he nevertheless let his gaze sweep over the Dorin. Not a new sight to him of course, but he’d had little actual interaction with any of her kind before, and it was this slight curiosity that stopped him from just turning back to the fire and ending their brief conversation. The Empire continued to hold its mysteries for the elf who had grown up in the somewhat sheltered and isolationist elfhame. And having already decided he was not going to seek out Sliucha until the morrow, Calanon supposed it would do no harm to talk a while with the fluffy white creature.

“You seem to have acquired the best seat for this kind of weather” he offered in return, dark brows lifting a little as he glanced around the common room and coming back to settle upon the Dorin. His words carried with them a slight accent, though his common was flawless, a learning that had served him well after his abrupt departure from his home all those eras ago. He certainly had enough practice with the language anyway.

Deciding that it would be more than presumptuous to pull out the spare chair at the table the Dorin sat at, Calanon waited to see if the invitation would be extended.
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Old July 14, 2018, 12:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Noticing that Calanon noticed the empty chair at her table, she eagerly extended her hand to indicate at the chairs' aforementioned emptiness. Humans and elves did all sorts of strange things - angstily staring at walls, brooding in darkened corners, giving pained expressions to their shoes while leaning against the mantelpiece - so the fact that Calanon had chosen to stand by the fire didn't appear strange to Akina at all. Yet, a chair was there, and she would be remiss to not offer it.

"You're very welcome to join me at this warm spot, sir!" she offered with a smile.

A dorin's smile was usually creepy, with bared fangs and unsettling stares, but thanks to Akina's breeding the fluffy white creature's ears lowered, her mouth opened slightly, and her eyes squeezed shut for a second to indicate a pleasant facial expression.

If the elf sat, that means he would be willing to talk longer! This interaction was going great. Akina's tail wagged as her ears perked up again.

"So, what brings yourself to this particular tavern, in this particular city?" Akina ventured as politely as she could without appearing to pry. To provide context, she offered some information about herself in return,

"I myself travelled from Sancta Nova - which is slowly emptying of people as the refugees all find new places to live. Since I got a job as a mail-dorin, my first mission was to deliver a letter here, and I've been here ever since!"

Akina chuckled to herself, apparently finding the fact that she hadn't left yet amusing.

She had always imagined that mail-dorins were swashbuckling heroes, running across all of telath encountering daring pursuits - so she figured that remaining within city walls was, well, grossly ineffective for her particular set of skills.
(Running. Her best skills involved running).
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Old Yesterday, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Calanon blinked at the Dorin, which for all intents and purposes was smiling at him. And not a grimacey, toothy slightly threatening smile as he might have expected , something approaching a real smile. Slightly bemused, the corner’s of the elf’s mouth nevertheless curled a little in response, and he set down his glass on the table. A nudge of his pack with his boot so it sat a little nearer, and Calanon foldern himself gracefully into the empty chair, a whisper of a relieved sigh as he got settled.

“My thanks to you then…..” he let the sentence trail off so the Dorin might provide him with a name. He’d offer his own in return then. Did Dorin shake hands..paws? Cal wasn’t sure, so he hung back and waited for the other to take the lead in that. And then, before he had gotten much further, there was a question directed his way that at least meant he wasn’t having to fill an awkward silence.

He opened his mouth to respond, but then paused as Akina spoke on, and she hadn’t said much at all before Calanon inhaled sharply, and dropped his gaze to the glass he now wrapped one hand around.

Sancta Nova. It was just a place name, but that, and the update on the state of the many refugees that had fled there, was enough to poke at things that Calanon would rather not dwell on. A reminder that he had made a promise he had not fulfilled, and the elf closed his eyes briefly before opening them again and dipping his head in acknowledgement.

“It has been eras since I was there. I am sorry that you, like so many of us, were given cause to flee there”

He wondered briefly if the Dorin had lost friends, family..but she seemed merry enough that he dismissed it, and also pushed away the inevitable bitterness that made itself known in his own thoughts when he remembered that godforsaken place.

“I had come to call upon an acquaintance here,as I was travelling nearby.” Calanon steered them away from heavier subject matter. “I have only visited the city two..no perhaps it is three times, but I can see that it holds its distractions.”

Pausing to take a sip from the whiskey he cradled, the Sylrosian looked speculatively at the Dorin. “What has kept you here then?”
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