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RE: Yulgar's Inn: The Legend Returns!

 
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1/13/2021 15:01:55   
  Chewy905

Chromatic ArchKnight of RP


Miu had never been a big fan of rainstorms. It’s not that she minded getting wet; she didn’t, even as the wind around her plucked each drop from its path and guided them one by one to the soaked ground rather than letting them plop onto her clothes. No, it was mostly just the cold and dark that came from the clouds blocking out the sun and leaving people closed up in their houses. It was so much harder to find a story when no one was willing to step outside.

Stepstepstepstepstep

Her feet fell one after the other, over and over in a high-speed pattern that drew her across the ground and through the storm at a breakneck pace. She wasn’t sure where exactly she was going, she just knew that there was a story to be found, somewhere in this cold, wet world. Her eyes sifted through the sights that blurred past her as her pace increased even more.

Rain.Clouds.APathThroughTheWoods?NoThat’sNotTheWayToGoI’dJustGetLost.OhLightsUpAhead!

Her eyes lost in the warm light of the building ahead, Miu’s foot fell onto a soaked stone, its slick surface providing no true purchase for her foolish step.

“Wha-!”

Her leg shot up, and her next step never came. Instinctively, she curled into a ball, the wind guiding her form through the air and allowing the ceaseless drops of rain to break past and soak her as her previous momentum caused her to continue flying forwards at dangerously high speeds. She slammed into a wooden door, its frame buckling under her weight and swinging open to admit her.

With her momentum stopped, Miu crashed down to earth in a crumpled-up heap of gray and white, the door swinging shut behind her.

LovelyHardwoodFloorHere.ThereAreAFewStainsButISupposeThatsToBeExpected,WhatWithTheSmellOfDrink.ATavernThen?No,AnInn!

“Owwwww…”

Miu Fabula picked herself up quickly, the small amount of professional dignity she tried to maintain already shattered by her incredible entrance. She glanced about, smoothing out her shirt and blazer with her hands as a small gust of wind lifted her black hat off the ground, wrung the water out of it, and placed it atop her head. The storm around her kept her clothes from staying perfectly flat, but she didn’t mind.

Most of the patrons of the place had already gone back to their conversations, her intrusion serving only as a small break in whatever excitement they were already engaging in. There was a sound off to the side though, a large man clearing his throat.

Oops.

A hulk of a man stood behind the bar, his eyes hard as he stared right at her. Miu crossed the room in a flash, a harsh gust following her wake as she skirted uncomfortably close to a few patrons that had chosen the wrong moment to stand up. Still, she didn’t crash into any of them, which was always a good sign compared to some of the events that had occurred on her other days of work. A small, blossom scented breeze pulled a card from her shirt pocket and carried it to the table in front of the man as Miu clasped her hands together and bowed, spouting a hasty apology.

Miu Fabula
Journalist, Reporter, and Storyteller
Falconreach Office of News and Editorials


“Please excuse my entrance, sir. If there is any damage to your establishment please put in a notice with my company and they will reimburse it.”

Miu spun without waiting to hear a response, her eyes already flicking about the room as her storm unconsciously lifted her journal from her side and her quill from her pocket. The quill scritched away at the paper as fast as her mind ran while she stepped from table to table, taking everything in.

Lovely place here, really. The tables are kept generally clean, even with all the food and drink that gets spilt on them. Whoops, there’s a spill right now, hope that won’t stain. That stage back there is rather large, could fit an entire band or orchestra up there, shame there’s no one currently playing. Atmosphere is smooth but energetic, with multiple conversations happening all over the room and no one causing trouble. Like those two by the bar. Their outfits could use more color, and they seem to have hit a small lull in their conversation, but they seem to be having a good time.

Is that a cat over there? I suppose as long as it wouldn’t get its way into the food, allowing animals wouldn’t cause any health code violations.


A stray gust pulled away from Miu and swept up a singular forgotten fry from a patron’s plate, carrying it up to her lips, where she took a satisfied bite. Her quill’s speed increased as the flavor shot through her.

Oh now this is excellent. Far better taste than usual, wonder what magic the chef is tossing into it.

Miu took in a deep breath, the scritching of her quill growing ever more frantic.

Gorilliaphant? Smells like zard, too. I’ll have to order something later to get the full experience.

Her storm pushed her rapid steps away from the other tables and over to the counter. The gusts slid her journal and quill into Miu’s pockets as they spun one of the stools next to the other patrons around a bit before Miu took her perch on it, the ball of her foot falling into its regular, rhythmic, constant bouncing. She waited for a break in the conversations to speak up, her words flowing out like a wildfire.

“LovelyWeatherWe’veGotOutThere!”

She coughed into her hand, her storm wrapping gently around her throat for a brief moment. Breath. Slow down. And try again. Miu cleared her throat as the storm loosened, and spoke again, slower this time, though there was still a hint of energy underlying the now methodical speech.

"My apologies. A little too excited, today."

And every day. It was difficult to remember not everyone moved as fast as she did. Both on foot and through life.

“Does anyone have any recommendations? No wait, more important question first. I kinda missed the sign when I entered, where am I?”
Post #: 26
3/28/2021 8:06:27   
Kellehendros
Eternal Wanderer


"Flawless, as always." Alex rested an elbow on the counter, bracing a hand against his lips as he blew out an exasperated breath. His master had meant well; any other student would have been overjoyed at such praise: To have their spellwork called flawless - perfect in every detail. The scholar fought the urge to growl into his palm. What good was it if he could cast any spell 'perfectly' on his first try? He didn't want to mimic, to iterate. He wanted to-

Metal scraped against wood and light flickered along the curve of Sara's spoon as she ran it through the course of scattered droplets. But more than that, it was the anchoring touch of her hand - gentle but firm on his shoulder - that jarred him from the malaise. "I..." The mage colored faintly, lips twitching as he lifted his eyes to his dinner companion, and his own hand rose to rub self-consciously along his neck and shoulder.

He took a deep breath, focusing on her, on the lingering warmth where her touch had been, and Alex willed himself back to the inn - to now. The quiet tension eased from the young man’s shoulders as he released the breath and nodded to Sara, reaching gingerly for his tankard.

Raising the mug to his lips, the scholar took a meditative sip from the cider within before setting it back on the bar. "You're right." Alex chuckled wearily as he spooned up another bite of his stew. "You're absolutely right." He was silent for a moment as he enjoyed a second taste from the bowl and then carefully dipped his finger into the moisture atop the counter, drawing Sara's lines into a faintly luminous circle. The water quivered, rippling into a single pool before elongating, lengthening, and thinning into a rod perhaps as long as Alex’s little finger. Between one breath and the next frost spider-webbed over the surface, accumulating in a tight knot at one end of the rod and feathering its way down. The bead of ice unfurled slowly into the faux leaves and false petals of a perfect, miniature replica of a flower: a frosted rose.

Crimson touched the mage’s cheeks when he looked up from his work, consciously stilling a faint tremor in his fingers as he slid the piece over to Sara. “Thank you, truly. It’s easy to lose sight of things sometimes. You start thinking about what’s wrong and you just… You lose sight of everything that’s right.” His eyes flicked away from her, to the grey mouser enjoying her own meal on the bar. “I’m lucky, really.” The young man’s expression softened, his voice rising. “I’m here, aren’t I? That’s more time than some people have.”

Alex turned back suddenly, his smile full and guileless. "Tell me something, Sara: If you could do anything - anything in the world - what would you do?"
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 27
5/9/2021 14:42:40   
  Starflame13
Moderator


The door slammed, the chatter and warmth of the room ebbed and flowed about her, yet Sara's gaze remained fixed on Alex. He started slightly at her touch, visibly pulling himself back to the inn and their conversation. Scholars… always listening to lectures only they can hear.

Sara took another deep gulp of her cider, watching the mage over the rim of the tankard as he gradually relaxed and began eating his stew. They sat in comfortable silence, broken by the excited jabbering of one of the patrons behind them. Rainy days seemed to be good for business even if that gave poor barmaid double the work to keep damp at bay. Motion before her caught her eye again, and the young woman lowered her mug in time to see faint sparks of frost leap from Alex's fingers to the moisture puddled on the counter between them. She barely had time to process the faint chill creeping across the wood before the spell ended, and the scholar was pushing a delicately frost-form rose across the table with cheeks a scarlet to rival the crackling hearth fire.

Rough, calloused fingers gently lifted the frozen bud, a soft smile finding it's way to Sara's at the gentle chill against her skin. Resilient little thing… She raised her silver eye's up to meet Alex's blue ones - smiling growing slightly broader as he glanced away from her and towards his furred companion instead. The silence between them stretched out a beat - Sara watching Alex, Alex watching the cat. . .

Here and living in the moment.

The young man turned back to her, smile full in his face once more - and Sara could not help the peals of bright laughter that escaped at his question. "Oh, for a wandering soul like myself, there's countless of adventures where I'll get to go anywhere and do almost anything! But right here, right now?" Her smile turned slightly mischievous, and she twirled the rose delicately between her fingers. "Pet a cat, probably! Would you believe I've never done so before?"
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 28
7/25/2021 14:49:00   
Kellehendros
Eternal Wanderer


Some detached part of Alex was certain that he was grinning like a fool. The rest of him didn’t care. Sara’s laughter was electric, infectious, and the scholar couldn’t help but chuckle himself as her mirth rang through the common room. He felt... light, easy. It was nothing like any of the fumbling conversations he had had with beautiful women previously. Rather, it hadn't stayed that way. Maybe it was the inn. Maybe it was a very different kind of magic, but despite the strangeness he was enjoying himself. It just felt right.

The young man took a draught from his tankard, smile growing as Sara skillfully spun his gift through her fingers. He glanced up and met her silver gaze, and the impish smile below it. You're staring again. Alex shifted in his seat, half-intending to say something - apologize, perhaps - only for the woman to suddenly answer his question.

He sputtered, half-inhaling a mouthful of cider. “You… You’ve never,” he broke off, covering his mouth as he tried desperately to clear his throat. The spasm earned the pair a glance from the grey mouser on the bar - who had finished her own meal as they spoke. Alex stared at his dining companion, and there was something almost indignant to the incredulity of the mage’s tone. "Never. Never once?" With a frown, the young man glanced at the feline down the bar from the pair. "In that case-"

The cat, for her part, shifted to return Alex's regard, her "voice" a ripple across the tide of his own thoughts as she commented to him tartly. --I am not a house pet.--

"No one said that, but your appearance is-"

--I was under the impression that I taught you rather some time ago about the importance of seeing beyond surfaces. My appearance is immaterial. I am not a cat.--

Alex's frown faded into a faint grin as he shook his head, warming to the subject. "That's a hair-splitting distinction, not a matter of settled fact. Master Coenvald's treatise on familiar composition clearly concluded tha-"

The little mouser made a soft noise, surprisingly similar to a person clearing their throat. --I am well acquainted with the literature, Alex, but aren't you forgetting someone?--

He blinked, staring for a long moment at the feline before his eyes went wide. His mouth worked, but no sound came out; the scholar paled, struggling to say something, anything. "I mean... I was just..."

--Give her some credit, Alex. She’s smarter than that.--

The mage closed his eyes for several seconds, reaching out for his tankard and taking a slow drink. Stupid. Just… blurt it out, why don’t you? Stand on the bar and holler it for all of them to hear? Alex exhaled slowly, his expression smoothing to careful neutrality as he opened his eyes and looked back at his dining companion. So what's it going to be then? The truth... or the door? The young man watched Sara, and the familiar watched the mage, before he finally set his drink heavily on the bar. "Come here, Slash."

From her place on the bar, the ‘cat’ padded over to sit primly before Alex, bowing her head fractionally in a strangely deferential gesture. His hand rose, working gently over her head, back behind her ears, and then lightly down along her spine. “She… Slash is my familiar.” He looked from the apparent feline to Sara, voice soft. “Some people don't understand," the young mage stroked slowly down Slash's back again, "and we've had some... problems in the past."
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 29
11/2/2021 22:14:34   
  Starflame13
Moderator


Sara raised a hand to thump Alex on the back a few times as he coughed, her laughter subsiding to soft chuckles. The young man regained control of himself, still sputtering in as he began to reply when he cut himself off mid-sentence and looked aside. Sara’s eyebrows furrowed slightly. A quick glance about showed no major threats or changes, and she turned back to Alex to ask if he was ok just as he resumed speaking - but not to her.

“No one said that, but your appearance is-” Cut off again, the mage now frowning over at the cat, who was regarding him in turn with cool detachment. No, not just frowning at it…

He’s speaking with it, Sara realized with a jolt, silver eyes darting between Alex and the, well, probably not a normal cat, then. Whoops. Maybe she shouldn’t have spoken of it - them? So casually. Then Alex turned back to her, and Sara struggled hard to avoid wincing at his carefully closed-off face, his one-sided conversation clearly put on pause. Some quiet debate warred behind now-guarded blue eyes, fixed on hers. Sara began to shrug, a half-formed apology already making its way to her mouth, when he set his tankard down with a hard thud to gesture to his companion.

Golden eyes with a dark, slitted pupil - the same hue Alex’s shifted to earlier, I see now… - watched her as the mage introduced his familiar, voice much softer than before. Keen intelligence glinted out from them as they stared, unblinking, even as the young man continued speaking. Sara bet that anyone with only human eyes would fail to notice the ever so faint trembling in his hand as it traced against long, gray fur. Oh, Alex… ignorant people never make life easy, do they?

“Forgive me for the misunderstanding, Slash.” Sara kept her voice equally soft as she inclined her head towards the feline. “I will freely admit to my ignorance - of both cats and of familiars, in this case,” she added, shooting a small smile in Alex’s direction. A slight feint at lightening the mood but… not quite what Sara really needed to do, at the moment. She hesitated for a beat, rolling her shoulders slightly as the small of her back prickled. The ever-constant reminder of her oft-hidden wings.

With a soft chink, Sara carefully set the frozen rose beside her bowl of stew. She leaned her elbow against the counter, hand turned up before her eyes, rough and calloused and bearing the weight of years of training. A single lick of argent fire wove between her fingers before sinking down into her palm. Brilliant silver flames, glowing even in the inn's bright light, curled out across her skin in broad strokes, moving in graceful swirls up her arms and across her exposed neck and face before twining down her opposite arm. They faded just as swiftly as they appeared, although a faint outline of where they last marked remained alongst her forearms. “We may walk quite different paths, but, well. I’m also used to encountering those that do not understand.” She gave a half shrug and turned to take another few bites of her half-eaten stew, fingers idly playing with the blossom lying beside it.
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 30
4/26/2022 19:05:25   
Sylphe
Member

The seed of Ahamocius.

A flower attuned to the Dark that has the power to dispel any curses of insomnia, no matter how powerful. A flower that has to be planted upon a single lonely hilltop surrounded with nothing but the night skies.

For the flower to attain its powers, it is to emerge from its prison in the darkest night of the year, and will only bloom in the brightest of nights, as the sky shines with galaxies and stardust.

What a finicky flower. Oh, and the worst part? The flower senses all ill thought, so you can't even say things how they are.

A dark, hooded figure waded through the meadow of waist-high wildflowers and dew only to finally rest atop the hill, with the skies open and the flower in sight. A cool raindrop fell on the mage's pale hand as he took to pluck the flower. He shivered, but quickly recovered. The flower was wilting under his touch. He quickly glanced at the sky as the clouds came chasing in to cover the stars, far faster than he expected.

Deep breath.

The night is still there, even if covered.

In spite of his shaking hands and pounding chest the mage managed to secure the bloom within an enchanted vial before his thoughts and the lack of stars would eat it up.

With the vial in his hands and pressed to his chest, Milo fell on his knees, buried his face in the grass and screamed. A black shadow blazed past the clouds, blocking out the last of the stars before the clouds ate them up. A weight nestled itself next to the mage, and a wing protected him from the heavy rainfall.

Milo raised his face from the ground, frowning, and spat out a few petals of enchanted dandetigers. "One more close call, and I'm using the brew to sleep forever," The mage mumbled before resting against the Wyvern's warm scales. The dragon huffed in dissapproval and moved Milo's hood off his face, his hot breath ruffling the man's hair. "I don't think the stars are coming back, Peregrine." Milo whispered, his eyes trained at the clouds above. "We missed them."

He realized he had been holding the vial to his chest the whole time, his hand all stiff. He held it up to the dragon. "Barely, but we made it. All it needs now is the..." Milo reached for a book by his side, and frowned. It was too dark for him to read anything.

Peregrine opened his jaws. There was a faint, warm light somewhere in the dragon's throat. "Nope. No. You're not setting the meadow on fire so I can read."

Peregrine hissed and shook its tail in dissappointment, but the mage was already out of the safety of his wing, taking the full brunt of the rain. Cape billowing in the wind, flower to the chest, he squinted in a direction. "The last town we passed?"

The dragon gave him a black eyed look, as if staring into his soul.

"It had lights," Milo mumbled, as if enchanted. "It had an inn, perhaps?" He blinked, and the cloudy look vanished. Barely any sound came out, and yet the dragon understood.

Lights. Inn. Let's head there.

With a roar, they took to the sky.



Crash.

I didn't say on TOP of the inn!

No! I'm nesting here! You made noise, so now you have to nest somewhere else!" Milo muttered at the dragon, this time out loud. His voice softened a little bit when he saw the dragon's stare though. "Besides, you wouldn't have much space inside."
Peregrine huffed, and settled next to the inn instead of on the roof. The mage ran a hand against the scales on its head. "Try to get some sleep, will you? We've flown far."

Once outside of the dragon's reach, Milo exhaled, and stared up at the doorway. He rested his hand on it for a moment, noting the iron bolts and claw marks, before pushing. To his surprise, it opened with unexpected ease. Mages of the dark art variety tended to have an ominous energy around them, and Milo was no exception. And besides, people with feathers were probably a little uncommon. His eyes darted around the warm room for a moment, trying to find any sort of indication that he'd be better off leaving. But there was no animosity just yet, and the keeper seemed to be warm enough. Milo gave him a thankful smile, and then opened the pin that held his cloak together and placed it with other coats and cloaks to let it dry.

Milo sat down in a corner. A leatherbound journal and a set of vials found their way onto the table. One contained some sort of a small worm-like creature, the other the purple blooming flower. Here, under the bright lights, it looked almost embarrassingly ordinary, with a green, slightly decayed stalk, thorns and a purple bloom. Milo took his journal and pen, and started scribbling notes, then glanced a few pages forward before going back to writing.

So the next step would be... dipping it in an axolotl pond.

He frowned. Where on Lore would he find that? He looked up, as if thinking, and finally went to remove his glasses and set then on the table. They were too clouded for his liking at the moment. So while he waited, he took a look around the tavern with his pale eyes. There was a slight pit in hus chest, a feeling of being watched. Almost instinctively, he ran a hand through the feathers on his arm, recoiling a little when one ended up accidentally plucked in his fingers.



DF  Post #: 31
5/3/2022 11:33:01   
Ronin Of Dreams
Still Watching...


Making a supply run was never the most fun of tasks. It was great to stretch one’s legs and take a bit of a vacation from the wild and zany activities of the Business. Connen-Nuete would never argue that a silver lining didn’t exist, and that was a big one. Yet given the voracious appetites of the Business, a supply run meant having to trade for quite the wide variety of very heavy materials. Materials which frankly bulged within an already oversized pack, causing it to constantly click and clack and clank on his back. Bowed despite using quite a bit of telekinetic cheating to keep carrying it along rather than fetch the services of a carter. And it felt like a very long, long way back to the shores of Vizier Lake by foot.

That meant, with the shopping done and the pack fit to bust its stitches should even a single extra coin attempt to be shoved inside, Con felt that he deserved a bit of a break. Some food for Fatima, himself, and particularly for the kits. A few moments of blissful silence that, were he lucky, might even lull them into sleeping most of the trip back home. Lady Luck herself wouldn’t touch that pipedream with a universe long pole, but the thought comforted all the same. He vaguely recalled that the famed Yulgar’s Inn was a few blocks away, so why not there? Well…

Crash

Such an auspicious sound as it roused the lot of kits into an excited cacophony of dooking nonsense, with each trying to poke their ferretine heads out of their respective pockets. It was enough to make Con sway slightly in mildly annoyed amusement. “Oi! Settle down. Settle down.” He shook his head, freeing his braid from where it had been curled up in the pocket of his hood, and pushed kit after kit back down into their ersatz dens with a finger. “We’re in Battleon. If it’s a problem that’s what guards and adventurer’s are for, not trumped up kits still at odds with their Traits.”

The second, only marginally less loud peal of pertinent percussion completely undermined any efficacy in that notion.

With an elaborate, full-body sigh, Connen-Nuete rolled his shoulder and let the kits have their banter for the moment in favor of heading towards the inn. He wanted a break. It should have been as simple as heading to a door and getting some grub. What he got as he cleared one avenue for another was the sight of a dragon roosting on a rooftop. Right next to the inn. The cacophony redoubled in short order, with even Fatima’s claws digging into his shoulder as she hissed at the draconian entity.

’Okay. I said ENOUGH. Battleon has no shortage of types who can handle dragons and I have absolutely no desire to play Peel The Scales today. Or any day. It’s resting and behaving, so you lot leave the sleepy dragon be.’ He stood there for several minutes until the kits gave up the ghost of spurring him into action, and only then did he stride towards the door of Yulgar’s Inn. Though Fatima privately chided him as, despite his words to the kits, he used his good arm to point at his eyes then back at the dragon several times. Warily watching all the same no matter how disgruntled the dragon might find itself at such a warning gesture. At least opening the door gave him no trouble.

It took him a few moments to ease the pack in through the portal, but that was just physics at play with its oversized nature and full load of contents. He stepped off to one side, then let the pack slide off his good shoulder to land against the wall with a much lighter thump than it should have. The joys of telekinetics, saving him from a bad back and the assorted customers from a third crash in a handful of minutes. Then he straightens with a stretch, putting on a bright smile as he glances around the room to take in the assortment of characters within.

“Good day! Good day. Ah...now...hm...who do I need to talk to for a bit of vittles? Oh, and do you all know there’s a dragon perched on the next building over? Battleon. Always the experience!”
AQ  Post #: 32
6/4/2022 18:30:30   
Sylphe
Member

The stranger's words went right over his head as a tavern's usual background mumble, but a single word rung sharper in Milo's head, catching his attention.

Dragon.

The feather he was holding was crushed now, when did that happen? The mage's eyes flicked from the feather back to the person.

As per usual, his plans to stay low liked to throw themselves against the wall he made any real attempt to make them happen. But if the alternative was any adventurer or such alerting the authorities on Peregrine's presence, he'd have to take the hit. With a deep sigh, he cleared his throat, and stood up. Immediately (oh gods above) catching the attention of tavern-goers. There was an awkward pause as he glanced over them, words momentarily lost somewhere along their way, but he managed and locked eyes with the speaker. His voice was somewhat gruff as he spoke.

"The dragon is with me. He won't be causing any trouble-"

That is a lie and you know it is.

Maybe he'll behave this time. This one time.

Dream on.


Sometimes it takes a while for realizations to arrive, and this one sure felt like a rock to the face. Milo slapped a hand over his eyes, letting it slide down.

"You said... He's next building over? Oh for- I'll deal with it."

Now, Peregrine was usually a pretty smart dragon. Never in his life would've Milo thought that the wyvern would take "so now you have to nest somewhere else" as literally the next building over. Unless, of course, the intelligence wasn't the issue. Milo grumbled as he swept his items into his bag and hastily threw it over his shoulder. He did a pretty good job of not letting his eyes wander to any of the looks that had to be on him right now, heading straight for the door. This was very much a petty dragon issue, and he wouldn't have anyone incinerated, snacked on, or used as claw target practice. His eyes caught on the man he was planning to squeeze himself past.

His eyes and hair and the faint glow about them had him pause, questions swarming his mind for a moment. They didn't look... organic. Were they perhaps magical implants of some sort? Was this man a machine? He wouldn't know for sure without touching him. Or, you know. Asking a question.

He seemed oddly familiar to Milo up close, in a passing way. Perhaps he could have caught a glimpse of him sometime ago. Interesting, very interesting. But not enough to stop him from solving an immediate threat of a town on fire because of someone being a bullhead.

"Excuse me," He said to the man, his voice soft, though with quite a lot of masked exhaustion. All he wanted today was to rest in a warm place. Read his notes. Maybe dribble with the orb a little and then mop it up.
DF  Post #: 33
6/17/2022 15:01:57   
Ronin Of Dreams
Still Watching...


Connen-Nuete blinked and tilted his head to one side at the mention of trouble. Trouble? The dragon wasn’t causing any trouble. Beyond sending the kits in his and Fatima’s care into a bit of a furor, but that wasn’t because the dragon was doing anything. That was just deeply ingrained prejudice at an instinctual level – and a well-deserved one as far as the Business was concerned. Dragons did horrible things to settlements. Or shiny little F.E.R.R.E.T.s. The more bestial of dragons kept mistaking them for treats for their gullets AND their hordes, which caused all sorts of problems and ingrained animosity. But this wasn’t home and the Business' rules didn't apply. So Pax Battleonia.

For whatever that was worth between invasions.

"You said... He's next building over? Oh for- I'll deal with it."

Con snapped from his line of thought as the Responsible Stranger offered to deal with the issue of their…companion? The youth shook his head and grinned, holding up a hand to gently forestall the man from squeezing past. “Nothing to excuse, nothing at all! In fact, there’s no trouble either. It’s just being a big ol’ sleepy thing, for all its scales and fangs and stuff. No one’s calling for adventurers or those Guardian types. It’ll be fiiiiine.”

The gentle stir in his pockets, however, presaged how things might not be fine if he didn’t get the kits fed prompt-like. Con grinned brightly and regarded Milo directly, appearing not at all apologetic despite the words that rushed out of his mouth. “Look, obviously I disturbed your relaxation with my announcement. I just meant it as…well. Doesn’t matter how I meant it, does it? How about I treat you to a bite of something, mn?”
AQ  Post #: 34
7/18/2022 17:52:02   
Kellehendros
Eternal Wanderer


Slash returned Sara’s gaze for a long, inscrutable moment, and then dipped her head slightly in acknowledgement of the apology. For all that the familiar might protest her… un-feline status, she certainly purred like any other cat as Alex continued to stroke gently along her head and spine; the sound was a quiet, soothing rumble amid the general background chatter of patrons and clatter of cutlery in the common room.

For his part, the mage let out a slow, relieved exhalation at Sara’s words, and smiled weakly in reply to her swift smirk as he leaned against the counter for support. Reaching out, Alex lifted his tankard and took a steadying draught, wrapping both hands around the battered wooden mug as he set it back onto the bar. Thank you. The scholar swallowed heavily; the words unable to find their way free of his lips. She… Sara… didn’t hate him for it. She wasn’t suspicious of what he was. That realization stung at the back of his eyes for a breathless moment, and he took another slow breath, released another focused exhalation, and willed the tension from his posture. Thank you for… seeing, for understanding.

A grateful smile and a returning nod was all the young scholar had time for as Sara gently laid the frigid rose next to her and lifted her hand once again. The mage and his familiar watched as their dining companion conjured a lick of flame as silver as her hair to dance between her fingers. Sterling fire twined, flickered, and then soaked into Sara’s skin. Alex’s eyes widened, and he gaped like any country rustic might at such a display of unexpecting ability. Rather than being lost within her flesh the flame spread; evidence of its fiery torrent scrawled her skin: delicate silver tongues that traced up her arm, her neck, and for a moment shaped a radiant diadem across her forehead before gently dimming back to nigh invisibility. The scholar stared; his mouth worked in an abortive attempt to say… something. But the words simply weren’t there as he met Sara’s gaze.

He looked to the little mouser, a mute appeal for support, and received only a faintly amused retort, --This is the part where you say something.-- Sara shrugged helplessly, turning back to her meal, and Alex glared at Slash for a moment. Winding his courage up, the mage reached out to place his hand on Sara’s arm lightly. Perhaps it was only the mage’s imagination, but her skin seemed warmer after the demonstration. He blushed reflexively as her silver-eyed gaze turned to him in question. “Sara I…” Just spit it out. “Thank you. Truly, thank you for understanding.” His tone was earnest as he very gently squeezed her arm. “That was… one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.”

From her place on the bar the young man’s familiar stretched slowly, claws flexing into the wooden countertop before she settled into a relaxed posture. One ear flicked as something - something substantial judging by the volume - impacted the sturdy roof of the inn - though the familiar did not look away from the conversation at hand. --Of course,-- Slash commented, her “voice” brushing lightly over the pair with the faintest hint of a wry indulgence, --I am the most beautiful thing he has seen.--

Alex snorted, releasing his gentle grip on Sara’s arm to dip a pair of fingers into his tankard and idly flick a few drops of cider at the familiar. “Rude. Narcissistic and rude. Mind your manners.”

Slash ignored the spatter of liquid, which plashed harmlessly off an unseen barrier an inch or so from her fur before pattering to the counter. --Unlike many, I speak only the truth.--

The mage rolled his eyes, but couldn’t quite keep a hint of fondness from his exasperation as he looked back to Sara. “You can ignore her, really.” He spooned up the last of the stew from his bowl and slid it to one side, gaze landing for a moment on the frozen rose before returning to the silver-haired beauty. “This path that you’re on, where is it headed?” Alex smiled sheepishly. “That is, if you don’t mind me asking.”

--Smooth. Very smooth.--
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 35
8/16/2022 15:12:37   
Sylphe
Member

The mage regarded the other with a somewhat hollow look of exhaustion and irritation combined. He didn’t even notice he must have been holding such a stare until he heard the apologetic words thrown his way.

Damn. This person sure was a fast talker.

“Are you sure?” Milo asked, his voice sounding way too tired to put anything else behind his words. Threats, contempt, anything like that at this carefree one’s equally carefree words about what could easily be a catastrophe. “The… adventurers and Guardian types aren’t too fond of seeing black robes and black dragons, we’ve learned.”

Or just a little too fond. The weaponized kind of fond.

Though he had to admit that his fears liked to make threats towards Peregrine bigger than they seemed. And ever since watering the crimson sands with his own blood last year, people seemed to regard him with a smidge more of respect. It was a different kind than he knew before, too - there was no longer just fear and resentment in their eyes, but… intrigue? Slight careful fondness?

The same looks you’d give a village witch. Quite spooky, very possibly has poisoned at least fifteen husbands in her prime, but she’s also publicly wrestled a bear.

Perhaps it would help here, too. Perhaps there was truly nothing to fear here. Perhaps he could rest. He’d like that, the day was long. The week was. The month, year, life. Lives.

Though the mage pretended to keep eye contact to stay polite to this energetic stranger, his mind was somewhere far away. As far away as the next house over.

Pery?

The thought brushed past a kind of warm almost-absence, and he caught the echoes of snoring.

Perhaps the stranger was indeed right about calling Peregrine a big ol’ sleepy thing. Though he had to make a note for later to warn them to not call the dragon that to his face. Even if it was pretty funny and accurate.

Except for the big part.

Milo’s eyes refocused, and he seemed just a little bit calmer about the whole ordeal. A little less irritated. But still a whole lot tired. Also, hungry. Getting treated to some food while he’s in, you know, a tavern, didn’t sound too bad. Especially when it was free. The thought must have ignited the spark that usually liked to sit in his eyes.

“Ah, you’re kind. I won’t refuse that after today’s journey. Though I do have to warn you, I eat a lot.”

He gave a quiet, awkward laugh.

“Even if I don’t look that way!”

Taking a step back to give them some space, he motioned towards the table he was sitting at before. Thankfully, no one has thought to fill the space he left yet. He’d lie if he said he wasn't happy about that. It was a nice quiet spot in the corner of the tavern, and if he was to make a new connection, he liked to do it on his own terms.

Before making his way there, though, the mage paused and offered the stranger a hand. He gave them a warm smile, though there was something to the curiosity he regarded them with. It wasn’t usual for him to do the introductions out of dark corners. But perhaps he could learn something of their possibly inorganic nature with a handshake. It wasn’t much time, but enough to get a sense.

“My name is…”

Many names. Though after all this time, he finally chose one that was here to stay.

“Milo.”

It felt different to introduce himself clearly and without a hushed voice. Hey, everyone saw him and heard him speak. He’d have been recognized at this point, anyway. If it brought Peregrine more safety in this town, he’d bite that potential bullet.

“And who am I grateful to for such a kind offer?”

< Message edited by Sylphe -- 8/16/2022 15:23:03 >
DF  Post #: 36
9/18/2022 20:51:06   
  Starflame13
Moderator


Beautiful. Sara resisted the urge to rub her arm against the lingering warmth where Alex had gripped. Beautiful. That’s actually a first, for her abilities. ‘Unnatural’ is the most common, when people try to be polite. ‘Monstrous’ if they’re brave enough to be rude to her face. Panicked screams for those feeling particularly frightened. Not that she expected a mage with the amount of intellect in Alex’s blue eyes to be a wilting wallflower, but, well. It made for a nice change.

“I will yield the title to you gladly, Lady Slash.” Silver eyes tracked the arcs of the droplets, noting the sudden cessation of their flight. “Although I think we’re all aware how deadly beauty can be. The dance of lightning is more awe-inspiring than any sight I’ve found on earth, yet even I would hesitate to fly in its embrace.” Not without a few more years of proper training, at least. Supposedly one of the tribes of Steppe Furies had mastered the dance of the storm, but they rarely agreed to teach outsiders…

Sara shook herself slightly and took another few bites of her stew, watching the familiar out of the corner of her eye as she did so. That explains the lack of… objection to her presence, at least, from the cat-like creature. She’ll take what she can get. Although I’m not about to push my luck and try to pet her!

Her spoon hit the bottom of her bowl with a clank - did she really eat the stew that quickly? She felt far more full than she should be after only a single bowl, although she might put that down to the magic of the staff. Her attention was promptly distracted, however, by Alex pushing his own bowl aside with a question.

“This path that you’re on, where is it headed?” Ahh, there’s that smile again. Managing not to blush this time, although a near thing if Slash’s comments are any to go by. Poor boy. Sara bites back her grin - barely - and flicks her eyes from familiar to master.

“I go where the wind takes me, these days. Or where there are dangers that an average townsfolk can’t face.” She shrugs idly, fingers once more going to toy with the glistening rose. “I guess you could say my path is meant to belong to war, but I don’t mind the freedom that peace gives me, especially if it means I get the chance to help preserve it.” If not for her own sake, then for other’s who deserve the safety it brings. She has… trouble, seeing the young man before her, wrapped in his scholar's robes, upon the battlefield, even if his magic gives him a better chance of survival than most.

“And yourself? You seem to have traveled far to get here - is it less lonely on the road when you share it with a companion?” However sharp Slash’s barbs and likely her claws, the fact that she traveled with Alex, and the ease of their interaction, must mean they valued each others’ company. Maybe I can get on her good side with more treats…
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 37
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