Old February 16, 2017, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Snakes at our Bosom

Winter Era XXIV

The heavens had opened over Arium. From the skies came a shivering drizzle that lent a miserable air to the city of Aslangrad. It landed in the streets of the fifth prihod like a grey slush, lending every step a disheartening squelch.

These were the slums, where the unwanted and the poor huddled. Only from a very few windows did lights flicker, keeping candles and braziers lit was not a priority when you could huddle inside for warmth.

Rumours had come out of the other prihods, trouble was afoot. Someone had died. The rumours were unclear on just who. The archprelate had died, said some. The master of keys had been assassinated, said others. No, it was Orlov, the magnate who had died and the city would shut down.

For the most part this was not a problem for the people of the fifth prihod, they were not generally the ones who were the first to be affected by the political machinations. Their fate would be proclaimed in some edict or other, perhaps there would be an end to certain freedoms and eventually that would become the new normal and life would continue.

One of the few warm spots in the fifth prihod this evening was the Grub Bag Inn. Filled with all manner of people. A halfling was playing the violin with some measure of success in the back of common room, though she was mostly drowned out by the conversation in the room. Some kind of slop was being passed around as stew. Alcohol was cheap and watered down. But it was one of the few places in the city where all races were welcome.

It was one of the few places where one didn't need to hide what they were in this city.

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Old February 16, 2017, 02:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The half elf was there.

She had not wanted to be. She hated Aslangrad. The city was a stifling cesspit of oppression and she was ashamed to call it her capital. But still, she was here, because business had demanded it. And it was here she remained when word of death had fallen upon its streets.

The captain had come without her company. Aslangrad was a place in which she preferred to keep to the shadows, finding herself far more welcome in the slums than out among the bulk of its citizens. Out there she was reminded every day that she was half a bloodline away from perfect. Nowhere else had she ever felt so unwanted and alone, and so she had learned very swiftly to remain with the others who felt the same. There was no other solidarity otherwise.

She did not like the stirring of whispers that had travelled like snakes across the stones. Somebody had been murdered. Tongues had already wrapped themselves around a name she did not like. The archprelate, she had heard. This had been met with a frown and a sense of fear. None of the rumors had spelled words of welcome for the days that were to come.

The half elf poked at the so-called stew. She had swiftly lost her appetite in the portents of rising storms. Her ears were deaf to the violinist struggling to fight the din. The only thing she could manage to nurse was the watered-down ale in the old weathered mug.

The half elf was seated by herself at a table near the center, garbed in light leather armor reinforced on one side by thin plates of steel. She had not seen fit to dress down in Aslangrad, not even among the fifth prihod. Even here her shortsword was sheathed at her hip, her daggers not far from that. Her hands, their gloves resting nearby on the table, shifted and twitched in uneasiness. She wanted to leave, wanted to discuss things with Faust. But something told her to remain calm... still.

Her eyes danced across the patrons. She took another drink. The hum of the violin edged through to her. In the lamplight she watched and she waited for something... anything, she supposed.

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Old February 16, 2017, 05:16 PM   #3 (permalink)

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What. An. Aggravating. Sound.

Iseult shifted her left temple into the palm of her hand, fingers pressing hard into her skull, rubbing, as she slanted a fairly poisonous look in the direction of the halfling picking away at the violin. She had made the mistake of sitting closer to the back of the inn when she'd first arrived, having not heard or noticed the halfling initially. She was quickly coming to regret her choice and the tables were filling, taking away the open places where she would have fled to, alone, with no one there to disturb her thoughts. (Iseult was starting to regret a lot of things--coming to the Grub Bag Inn; coming to Aslangrad; coming to Arium at all--but that was neither here nor there.)

As the violin drawled further into the song, Iseult abruptly stood up, long legs slamming back the chair maybe a little harder than she intended to. She scooped up her belongings--a simple pack that jostled with its contents--and moved determinedly across the room to a spot at a table that looked fairly innocuous: Rhystlin's table. The half-elf looked like the quiet sort, the sort that kept to herself, the sort that wasn't really going to barrage Iseult with a bunch of annoying questions about who she was, her day was going and what she was doing in Aslangrad.

"Pardon," was Iseult's one word as she dropped her stuff on the ground next to a chair at Rhystlin's table and thumped herself rather unceremoniously into place. The half-breed scooted her chair in and plucked her bag up off the ground, putting it on her lap where it could be more closely monitored--she trusted very few these days (okay...she trusted very few ever).

Iseult shifted her attention fairly quickly away from Rhystlin--indeed not even really making any eye contact with her at all--and sat rather stiffly at the table, shifting around to get the food and drink she really didn't want (judging from the looks of it) but needed, if her grumbling stomach was any indication. Watered down wine and what passed as stew were soon placed at the table and Iseult settled an elbow next to the stew, spoon in hand, and prepared to wage war with the dissatisfying meal.

For her part, Iseult was put together well enough, if in a haphazard sort of way--like someone who didn't necessarily care about making a grand first impression. Brown pants were tucked into brown travel boots and a deep blue long-sleeved shirt made of loose cloth. Both pieces were worn but serviceable. Once she might have accented the outfit with a set of jewelry she'd been fond of but the reason for the fondness was past so neck and hands went bare now. She was armed in the sense that she wore only a pair of kris daggers crossed at the small of her back. What made her stand out was her physical appearance at any rate: tall and rail thin with pale skin tinged blue around her gill markings and the tips of her fingers, black sclera in her eyes were white should have been, and white-blonde hair with wisps of blue at the roots.

She wasn't the sort that looked comfortable in her environs...but that could have been because she was a woman in Aslangrad...or because she was a half-elf in Aslangrad. It was a coin toss.

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Old February 16, 2017, 07:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ilrune would have preferred to eat at a more reputable establishment. Not because this particular tavern was dirty, smelly, or that god-awful bowing going on in the back room--although that was all true. He just preferred a more...traditional crowd. Not that Ilrune was racist! No. He didn't hate elves. Although, he had met far bad elves than good ones. The presence of elves was unsettling, and in such large groups... Sadly he barely had enough coin to feed himself during his stay in Aslangrad, and his selection of places to eat were quite slim.

A quiet corner of the tavern had caught Ilrune's eye which hosted two half-elves. As far as he could tell it was his best option. So the human pushed away his nervousness as best as he could and placed himself near the two female half-breeds. They seemed fine enough. As long as they kept to their side of the table. He couldn't help but throw the occasional nervous glance towards them.

Now he sat, staring solemnly down at the empty bowl. The stew had been delicious, and the wine was strong. He couldn't understand why no one had ravenously downed the food as he had. These people were looking at their bowls as if the bartender had given them what was left in his chamber pot. As for Ilrune all that was left now were empty containers, and his stomach still growled obnoxiously.

Unfortunately that had been all he could afford. He wasn't even sure he would be able to afford a bed tonight...
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Old February 17, 2017, 05:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Keep your head down Kailin. Stay out of trouble, Kailin. Unless you are there with Sir Veleraen himself at your side, then by all the gods, do not return to Aslangrad, Kailin.

Staring into the mostly-empty bowl of what had been an unfortunately watery stew, Kailin pushed an unidentifiable piece of meat around with her spoon as her thoughts spun around the foolishness that had brought her back to this city again, and at least three eras too soon. Either anxiety or something in the stew had formed a sickening weight in her belly, and - as the minutes burned away with no sign of her friends - that weight was spreading out into tendrils of fear.

Making sure there was nothing cryptic or suspicious in it, she'd sent a short note to Ivan and Deanna upon arriving in the city, and she would have thought to have heard back by now. What she and her companion had heard were the rumors going around, and now Kailin couldn't help wondering if something was keeping her friends. If that were the case, then she and Calanon could be in real trouble, too.

So yeah, maybe she was a little paranoid, but after spending one full season and part of another in the hands of the 'priests' at the Velkaklinik, she thought it was a rather rational paranoia. It was why she was dressed as unobtrusively as possible in her dark gray winter cloak and the warmest of her riding dresses, it's color a midnight blue that hid the stains of travel quite nicely. Her satchel was settled comfortably across her shoulder as always, carrying the usual necessities of travel, as well as her paper and charcoal. In the pocket she'd had sewn into all of her dresses long ago, she felt the reassuring weight of the small dagger that she carried, safely sheathed.

Glancing up at the door for the fiftieth time in two minutes, she dropped her spoon into her bowl and then leaned back in her chair to turn worried eyes on Calanon. "This was a bad idea." There. No beating around the bush... she'd said it. Neither of them had fond memories of their stays in Aslangrad, and - now that she was here - she could not imagine why they'd thought returning to the scene of the crime (quite literally on both of their parts) could ever be a good idea.

That they both had a reason to want to help the city's minorities did not change the fact that they were both woefully under-prepared to do so. If not for the strong desire to check in on her friend Ivan, Kailin was certain she never would have come this far on their little fact-finding mission. As it was, she looked to the front again, hoping to see his large familiar frame filling the doorway at any moment. The sooner she checked in on her friends, the sooner she could be gone from this damned city.

A nearby clatter drew her attention sharply, but she relaxed when she realized it was simply a patron who'd stood up somewhat hastily. Having nothing better to focus on, Kailin's green eyes followed the slightly blue-tinged woman to a table closer to the center of the Inn, worried for a moment that she might be ill before her all-too-human brain caught up with her eyes and she realized that the female was a half-elf of some kind. As the woman sat down again, Kailin's mind turned back to worrying.

Triska Brolev... Kailin idly rocked her bowl in time with the rhythm of the violinist. She'd met him once, only four days after Aslangrad had reappeared in a flash of light. He hadn't been Archprelate then... well no one had, really. Everything had been in transition, and the city had been in an understandable uproar. He'd been kind enough to her little party, though, despite the rather cold welcome they'd received at the gates.

Of course, his reign as Archprelate had shown a different face of the man she'd met so long ago. She wondered if he was dead. Then she wondered if she would feel even a hint of sorrow if he were. She took a sip of watery ale, and glanced at her companion, concern for him showing in the tension around her eyes, then looked to the door again.
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Old February 17, 2017, 10:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The elf too was playing with his food rather that eating, finding his appetite strangely lacking. He watched a trickle of thin gravy run from his spoon back into the bowl of slop masquerading as stew, and finally set his spoon down with a sigh. He couldn’t relax, and once the focus was off his meal, his long fingers instead pulled fretfully at an imaginary loose thread on his cuff. His garb was simple, functional and without adornment as was his want these days, a layered shirt and tunic with a leather vest, all covered with a dark woollen cloak. He had lowered his hood out of politeness but he itched to replace it, the tips of his ears sharing more than he thought prudent even in this crowd.

At least he felt the reassuring weight of his sword at his side, and the knowledge that a small dagger was secreted in his boot. That hiding place had served him well last time he was in this hateful city. He supressed a shudder at the memory, his eyes once again lifting to sweep around the room warily.

When Kailin and himself had first talked of coming back here he had listened to her reasons and could understand them, and it had seemed natural to offer to accompany her. He himself had thought that he might be ready to revisit this place where he had finally shaken off the blanket of detachment, and as he now thought of it, rejoined the world of the living, but now presented with the reality he doubted their wisdom. There was still the same prejudice, the lines in the sand denoting the rich, the poor and the lesser, the category which he found himself in once again.

He could feel Kailin’s tension too as she looked repeatedly to the door in search of the friends that she had reached out to, they had not yet come. It was worrying, especially with the whispers that circulated about an assassination in the citadel. Calanon was frowning deeply as his companion finally spoke the thoughts that were plaguing them both.

It had been a bad idea.

His eyes met hers with a small shrug and another scan around the room.

“Perhaps” he said, softening the realisation somewhat “ We do not have to linger much longer though….maybe until this infernal rain stops.”

He peered somewhat grumpily at the window where the source of his reluctance to venture outside could be seen running freely over the glass pane. For one night longer at least he could endure.

He lapsed back into silence then, taking a sip of the sour tasting ale with a slight grimace, and leaning back into his seat. Kailin’s look of concern did not escape him, nor did it bring any comfort. A bad idea indeed.
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Old February 17, 2017, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It was a miserable night.

The streets were filled with slush, his boots squelched with every step he took and yet he kept running. His boots slid this way and that across the slippery dirt roads. His black hair stuck to his temple, his eyes feverishly turned this way and that as he desperately ran and ran. He scrabbled at the door, his numb fingers desperately trying to get the handle to turn.

Finally, he reached his destination. The doors of the Grub Bag Inn burst open as he stumbled into the room.

"The gates!" he shouted over the din, "the soldiers have closed the gates! They're going door to door!"

The violin gave a final, deflated screech as the quiet settled over the crowd. More than a few faces turned pale at the news. Suddenly it seemed the entire inn burst into activity, people were going out into the streets. Desperate to find out what this news meant for them. Desperate to find whatever safe shelter they could for the night. Others just settled into a more thorough drunkeness, hoping that whatever this was would blow over by morning.
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Old February 17, 2017, 06:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The half elf gave a cursory nod to the woman who sat beside her. Beyond that her gaze wandered back to the soup, and then to the new arrival who decided to distance himself from the women. That was well and good. Rhystlin was not in the mood to converse tonight, given the worries that were stirring in her heart.

The inn was steadily filling. The half elf sighed, abandoning her stew, and went to work redonning the gloves she had set aside. She was about to draw her cloak to try and brave the nasty weather, to try and walk off the anxiety that would surely prevent her from sleeping, when suddenly the door burst open.

Her gaze swiveled to the frantic man shouting warnings at the patrons. Her eyes widened. The screech of the violin caused her to start, her hand going to the hilt of her blade as if she were about to be accosted by said soldiers. Her heart leapt into her throat. This was the last thing she would have wanted to happen. And she was the last person she wanted the guards to find. A swear escaped her lips.

Immediately after, the inn seemed to erupt into chaos. All around her bodies stumbled and fled, jostling the table and her shoulders, clambering into the rain. She could feel herself beginning to panic at the growing activity, but she did her best to tamp down on the need to flee into the street with the others. Where would she go?

She drew her hood immediately, sinking into her chair. She felt at her chest, ripping her tunic somewhat in her panic to remove the dracolich pin that was hidden beneath her cloak. Where once it had assisted her in her alliegance to the province's government, it would be a burden to her now. She stuffed it into her belt, burying it beneath the coins.

She willed herself to disappear into the shadows of those who passed her, tugging the hood of her cloak even though it was already where it should be. She willed herself to breathe. It would all be over soon, she assured herself. It would all be over and she would return home where Triska's ghost could not follow her.
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Old February 17, 2017, 06:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The rain pouring outside told Ilrune that he should probably ask the innkeeper if they had any rooms before they were all out. Or he could sleep in the stables and possibly be able to afford a couple more bowls of soup.

He looked up quickly as one of the half-elven women began to move, her soup abandoned. His hunger pushing aside his suspicions he pointed at the elf's soup. "Excuse me, if you're not going to eat that can I--"

His question was cut off by the frantic exclamation. The gates were closed? What did that mean? The ensuing chaos told him that it couldn't be anything good. He was on his feet in a second. His wide eyes watched as everyone scrambled out of the inn, one hand holding the hilt of his sword, wondering if he needed to unsheathe it.

Was he even in danger? Perhaps it was only non-humans that the guards were after. Or they might be looking for anyone at all to lynch. An escaped slave might be prime choice for what they were looking for. Seeing as he still had a brand etched into his back and a collar around his neck there was no fething way he was going to find out.

Ilrune bowled his way through the crowd, pushing the smaller races out of his way. Maybe there would be a dark alleyway he could hole up in and wait this whole thing out.
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Old February 18, 2017, 02:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Calanon had tensed as the door of the tavern had burst open, the voice carrying over the din bearing news that caused his heart to sink to his boots. The gates had been sealed, imprisoning them in the city, which could mean nothing good for Kailin or himself. Whatever had happened the previous darkening had clearly been serious, and he cursed his stupidity for ever setting foot in the place again. He should have learnt his lesson last time he was here.

The small voice of disquiet that had whispered of their foolishness was now postively shouting at him, his own mind's warnings that he had wilfully ignored now painfully clear.

Now he pulled the hood of his cloak up and around his face, though it felt a flimsy protection for whatever the darkening would throw at them. In amidst the chaos going on around him, he cut his eyes to Kailin, reaching across the table to take her hand in his own, wanting to offer some reassurance, though he wasn’t sure that he could find any himself.

“Feitha sinome”Wait here he said from the corner of his mouth, his words loud enough to carry only to her.

He wanted to prevent her from making a move to get swept up in the melee of patrons that were now flooding onto the street. They had nowhere obvious to retreat to after all, so it might be worth pausing a moment and giving their options some consideration. His eyes looked around the quickly emptying tavern, resting briefly on another who sat still as a stone in the tide of people moving, a hood drawn similarly over their own features, before his gaze moved on as he tried to make out if there were any other exits that might lead out somewhere quieter than the main street.

Whatever the soldiers' function was in going door to door, it did not take much to conclude that avoiding them would be a wise course of action. How exactly that could be achieved was something that merited a conversation at least, which would be easier once the initial stampede of people had left.
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Old February 18, 2017, 10:00 AM   #11 (permalink)

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She'd been right to sit near the half-elf and happy enough with the ensuing silence at the table. But not happy with the stew. Iseult poked at it with her spoon, slopped it around. Her stomach churned unhappily, thinking about sticking any more than the one spoonful she'd already consumed down her throat. There had to be better places than this...

On that note, the door burst open and chaos began to unravel around her.

The glassblower stayed hunkered in her chair, shifting looks around the room with a certain wariness about what was now unfolding. People seemed to be in varying stages of panic. The gates were closed and people were going door to door. That meant...what, exactly?

Her eyes shifted to the woman at the table with her. The woman who... Oh. She started to blurt a name out, swallowed it down as Rhystlin shifted awkwardly and tugged her cloak up around her, looking like she wanted to sink into the chair and disappear. Iseult's brow furrowed and she adjusted her placement on her chair, scooting forward to the edge, back straight and stiff. One elbow perched on the table while the other sidled around her back, curling around the hilt of one of the kris daggers nestled at the small of her back. She edged out the weapon, rested it onto of her thigh, the flat of her palm keeping it in place as she scanned the room.

Then she settled her attention on Rhystlin. She wanted to ask the half-elf if the guards were looking for her...or if she was somehow involved with why the guards were poking around. All the same, Iseult had no desire to draw attention to herself or to Rhystlin. So she sat, quiet, still, weapon on her thigh and weighing her options.
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Old February 19, 2017, 03:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Kailin wanted to agree with Calanon that she would leave when the rains stopped. Wanted to, but knew she never would. If Ivan hadn't made an appearance, then something was wrong, and as the man had rescued her from torture and then spent the better part of three eras guarding her back, there was no way she could simply leave without finding out what had happened and where he was.

So at Calanon's words, she made a noncommittal sound and looked away, her gaze flickering from face to face in the hopes of finding one that was familiar to her.

She would, at least, send the elf on his way... there was no need for him to get wrapped up in business that was hers alone. At least, not any more than he already had.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw the doors fly open, and a black-haired figure (not Ivan, then) barreled in, shouting a warning about the gates being sealed, and soldiers going door to door. For what? In which of the five Prihods? And, possibly most importantly, which soldiers? In Aslangrad, those differences would tell a person much of what might be happening.

She'd half come to her feet - though what her intention was she couldn't have said - before Calanon's hand grasped hers. Startled green eyes flew to his, and after a long moment of consideration (in which her mind was simply struggling to stem the flow of questions so she could actually hear what he'd said) she nodded, and sank back into her chair.

Whatever was happening, it would do no good to run into the midst of the riot that the tavern had become, though it was surprisingly hard not to follow the herd as her fear spiked. Better to wait until the panic died down, and see if the man who had issued the warning had any more information to give. To that end, Kailin tried to keep an eye on the black haired fellow.

"Keep an eye on the bartender..." she said in a similarly quiet voice, meant for Calanon's ears alone. The Grub Bag Inn welcomed people of all races, and in Kailin's experience, here in Aslangrad that meant ties to the resistance, such as it was. If someone was going to have (or receive) more accurate information about what was going on, the barkeep might well be it.
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Old February 19, 2017, 06:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The crowd fought to get out the doors, but soon thinned out enough that Ilrune was able to get out into the streets. A man shouldered past Ilrune, sending him stumbling into the street and straight into a puddle filled with near freezing water. From this position, low to to the ground, he could see through the legs of the people. In the distance and with military precision men in uniform were moving through the streets methodically. Entering door after door.

Others were dragging people out and putting them in chains and throwing rough bags over their heads. One man, an elf from the look of him, tried to plead with them and for his efforts he was introduced to a heavy mace. His face was a mangled wreck as he fell to the pavement. Another soldier kicked him, from the looks of things breaking more than a few ribs. Desperate he scrabbled to get to his feet, a third soldier kicked him to keep him down and rammed a spear through his guts. Ilrune had been a guard long enough to recognise a mortal wound when he saw one, but this one would not kill the elf quickly and his cries echoed down the street.

Then the legs got in the way again and he could no longer make out what was going on. The crowd were pressing out but the soldiers were less than two blocks from here and they did not look like they were inclined to treat anyone particularly kindly.

Inside the inn things were starting to calm down as people had mostly emptied out. Those that were left behind were mostly the serious drinkers and those with nowhere else to go. There were several who had gathered by the bar, including the man that had run in with the message, that seemed to have other ideas though. The barkeep produced a large ball of cloth from which metal seemed to be sticking out. Pommels.

They were a collection of mostly young men and women, casting suspicious glances at the rest of the crowd in the inn. They were speaking among themselves, but not loud enough to be overheard. A couple of crossbows were slapped on the table with a thud, they looked suspiciously like they had spent a little too long in the damp environs of the inn. Whatever was going down here, it seemed like it was going to come to a head real soon.
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Old February 19, 2017, 06:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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One did not have to be a soldier to have noticed the weapons finding their ways free of their hidden spaces. The elf's breath became more ragged in her throat as she eyed the crossbows, the pommels, the blades singing free. Her fingers began to twitch. Some of those in the inn were preparing for war. Why? Were they allies or enemies?

She jerked the swordbreaker out of its sheath and held it in her lap, her other hand finding its way to the hilt of her short sword. Of anything she owned, they would not claim that weapon, she decided, gloved fingers grazing the pommel of her prized ardentium blade. She heard a cry from outside, an agonized wail that clearly declared a weapon had found its way into flesh. Her gaze jerked in that direction, her lips twisting in disgust. So that was how it would be?

"Remain together. Partner up if you have to," she said to those around her, catching sight of the half elf next to her and the thinner man somewhere beyond, a cowl pulled over his head. Her eyes grazed over the grip he held on the human woman's hand, and a determination welled up in her. She would be damned if she let those guards storm in and slaughter these people like animals. She only hoped that was not their goal. She didn't want to die here, but she knew that she would if it came to protecting them.

Of course, she had no idea what she would do... not yet. She hadn't planned that far ahead.

"Don't let them push you back into the walls," she advised, knowing that in this crowded space, it would be easy to corral them. She eyed the crossbowmen, taking note of their positions. In this crowded space, bolts could quickly make things a mess, and the last thing she needed was friendly fire among any chaos that might ensue.
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Old February 20, 2017, 08:31 AM   #15 (permalink)

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Iseult shifted her attention over those that remained within the inn. Nearly all of them looked prepared to fight and hold their ground--some more than others, to be sure. The half-elf had nowhere else to go and running out into the night wasn't exactly her style. Flee? Well, she liked to live to see the next brightening as much as any other person but skulking through the shadows had been more his style than hers.

Listening to the noises outside, to the words offered by Rhystlin, the glassblower gave a small sigh and pushed back her chair, feeling that being on her feet was a better defensive position than being in her seat. It didn't matter if it gave her the appearance of someone who was ready to resist--let 'em try--she would rather be on the balls of her feet, ready to move, than trapped in a chair. She shifted a little around the table, ensuring that there were actually tables and chairs between herself and the front door--make them work for it and all. The dagger was held loosely in her hand, point towards the floor. She slid her other hand behind her back, picked out the second of the wavy-bladed daggers, feeling more comfortable with two in her hands rather than just the one.

It was tempting to simply cast a spell, to block the doorway with a large boulder and make it even more difficult for the watch to come in. But, yes, sure...let's be a half-breed mutt, a woman and a mage all in a place that didn't like any of those things.

After a shake of her head, she nonetheless opted to summon a blocky, chest-high rock into place before the doorway. It wouldn't prevent anyone from coming in the back door (or just trying to burn the place down) but it would slow them down at the front, give everyone a chance to get their bearings rather than having to wait with whatever surge came in the front door. The locals certainly thought the guards meant violence and from it sounded like outside? Well, they certainly did.

"Hopefully that's more help than not," Iseult muttered, slanting a look towards the other half-breed. "Rhystlin." She acknowledged the woman with a cant of her cheek, as much of an offer of partnering up as anything. Stick with the person you knew rather than relying on the one you didn't, so to speak. "Small world," she tacked on, tone dry. It wasn't exactly a good time to exchange pleasantries or catch up.
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