The shined thru the window. Karrazark's grunting woke Dulthir. He opened his eyes, and Ceri was still wrapped in his arms. He smiled. He kissed her forehead, then her lips, gently. He slid his arm out from under her, and sat up on the edge of the bed. What time was it? The sun shining thru indicated they'd slept for a good while. He walked to the window and looked out. By the sun's position, it was still morning. Dulthir walked over to the basin and splashed water on his face. He dried off, then got dressed. He went back over to the bed, where Ceri was still sleeping. He leaned down and kissed her again. Then he whispered. "Gunna go downstairs and fetch us some breakfast love. I'll have them bring more water up for a bath." He kissed her lips gently again, then her forehead. He looked over to Karrazark, who was munching on the remnants of yesterday's meal. "Take care of her while imma out. She's special ta me. Understand?" Karrazark grunted as if he was acknowledging the request, then went back to eating. Dulthir went out the door and headed down to the lobby. CeridwenSyvisElliot Aldmar[/USER]
Ceri slept through all the happenings going on around her, she felt his kisses, but thought little of it. The lack of his warmth woke her after awhile though. Then, the grunting of Karrazark brought her to full awakedness and she stretched slightly, opening her wings fully as she yawned.
She refolded her ivory wings against her back and rolled to her back, looking at the ceiling idly before slipping out of the bed to move to Karrazark slowly. She reached out a hand to gently scratch him between the ears with a smile.
Dulthir came down into the lobby. The inn keeper was behind the counter. He placed a few coins on the counter. "I need more water upstairs for a bath, good sir... and here..." He placed a few more coins on the counter.. "This is for ye." The inn keeper smiled. "Thank you sir. We'll get that right up to you." Dulthir walked into the tavern and looked at the man behind the bar. "I need breakfast fer two lad. And, some fresh juice, if ye have it. And a pot o coffee as well. And have it brought up to me room, eh? Many thanks." He set some coins on the bar and the man went to prepping for the meal. As Dulthir turned around, he saw Syvis lying in one of the booths. He loaded his pipe, lit it, and walked over. "Rough night, love? You and gray skin tie one one, eh? Speaking of which, were ye able to secure some work?" He puffed his pipe, waiting to see if she even heard him. CeridwenSyvisElliot Aldmar
She saw the dwarf and stretched in a feline like manner. “My night was decent. Forgot to get a room although.” She stopped mid sentence to wink at the barkeep before continuing on in a low tone. “Manager don’t seem to mind. Caught him trying to see if my blouse was see through this morning.”
She motioned for him to give her the pipe. “Elliot said if you’re in need of work today at noon you and the lady could meet with some fellow by the name of Cap’in Marghast in the south market. Apparently he’s the one that calls the shots here.” She put a hand to her head it hadn’t been a great sleep.
I have no desire to steal from you or your company.
"You're breaking my heart," Elliot said with a flat tone and a wry smile.
Syvis cupped his chin and pressed into his cheeks with her fingers and Elliot allowed for this and she said what she had to say. He'd a mind to ask how much to see what kind of answer he would get.
But he caught sight of something and this diverted some of his attention and he looked asquint at the door as a no-shit griffin came in followed by the dwarf and this diverted more of it. Now there was a sight that sparked a furrowing of the brow in bemusement. Dornoch was a place as cosmopolitan as Alliria or at least not trailing so far behind. Still the rarity of it made for strangeness.
Stranger still, turned out the griffin was the winged woman, so implied Dulthir. Some kind of shapeshifter. Setting that aside, Dulthir had his brief words and took his leave and got a parting nod from Elliot and the impetus of the moment for Elliot to ask of Syvis what he had intended to ask passed.
Regardless, he returned his attention to her. Said, "We'll see what tomorrow brings."
Glove in hand, he parted. Went up the stairs. He entered his room and shut the door and then sat on the bed. He crossed his legs, rested his palms on his knees, closed his eyes, and performed his night's self-reflection, a practice he'd followed while among the Dreng'toth. Fifteen minutes later, he stripped down and lay on the bed and shut his eyes.
* * * * *
Mirror to the night's self-reflection, the morning meditation. Elliot sat in the same way and for the same amount of time observed closely the workings of his mind with a focus on the battle and its aftermath from yesterday. He noted what drifted into his awareness, and puzzled out afterward what had not.
Meditation and morning routine done, Elliot dressed. Took possession of his Black Bow and his quiver. And he left his room and headed downstairs and turned in the key. Onager and Perc were likely gone already, out in the city doing whatever pleased them before the noon gathering.
Elliot heard first the Dulthir saying something, catching the tail end of it. Then Syvis. Both from within the adjacent tavern room. Elliot hooked a thumb into his belt and sauntered from the lobby and into the tavern as Syvis was speaking, she in a booth and the dwarf standing.
Apparently he's the one that calls the shots here.
Elliot stopped and spoke a few paces removed from them. "He does."
A look and a question to them both. "Have you got a horse?" And then a look to Dulthir in particular. "I suppose you could say Ceridwen brought her own, of sorts."
Syvis cocked an eyebrow amused. “Naughty naughty boy eves-dropping.” She patted to beside her on the booth. “Come sit.” He seemed to have that elven cockiness about him today. Syvis could match and overcome that with ease.
She started undoing the braids in her hair out of boredom.
A knock at the door startled Ceri and she jumped up, assuming it was Dulthir and he'd forgotten his key. She opened the door to a man she knew not, carrying a large bucket of water, for another bath she assumed. She stepped from the door, ignoring his stunned stare at her nude form. She didn't care about what he was thinking, or not thinking to be honest. She had Karrazark here with her to protect her if he should need it. She stood back while the man poured the steaming water into the tub and headed quickly out. She shut the door behind him before moving to the tub and slipping into the hot water quietly, dunking herself almost immediately fully under the water and holding her breath as long as she could, playfully before coming up and coughing.
Karrazark grunted annoyedly in her general direction and she giggled lightly as she ran her hands through her long crimson hair.
“Don’t be jealous Karrazark… you can be next if you want!” she giggled as he eyed her before grunting, turning his back on her and laying back down. She grabbed a bar of soap and washed her long hair with it, then her body before sinking again fully into the water to rinse off. She stood slowly, letting herself drip off before stepping out of the tub and grabbing a towel to dry off. She looked to her bag with a frown, not really in the mood to run around in her human form right now. She opted to shift instead, feeling, birdy today. She headed to the door, shifting as she exited. She lowered her head under the doorframe, standing 5’8 at the shoulder made her head rest above door height.
She headed down the stairs after gripping the door handle with her taloned hand and pulling it closed, her tail lashing from side to side like a cats. As she came to the bottom of the stairs she opened her large wings and flapped them several times, stretching her muscles. The wind lifted her forebody from the ground slightly, leaving her hind end upon the dirt. She folded her wings tightly to her body as she headed towards the tavern, reaching out to open the door quietly. She tilted her head as she looked to the 2 elves and Dulthir quietly, her long ears perked forward curiously. She chortled a little, fluffing up the feathers along her head and neck before stepping inside slowly. Lean strong muscles quivered as she walked in and came up to Dulthir, bumping him lightly with her beak before speaking.
“Lo” she said softly, looking to him. As she nudged him she noticed a man leaving with a bunch of food…. That looked REALLY good. Her stomach growled hungrily as she lifted her head to the air slightly to take in the scent hungrily, turning her head nearly 180 degrees, her eyes following the man with the food as he left. Once he was out of sight she turned her head back to the group.
Elliot brushed off the comment of eavesdropping. He came forward, the thumb of one hand still hooked into his belt and the other hand laid upon the back of the booth.
"I'll sit," he said, "when you say whether you've got a horse or not." A flash of a smile, perfunctory in nature, and a single tap of his fingers on the booth's back. "Some other kind of mount is fine, so long as it keeps up."
He noted Ceridwen's entrance--more beast than human as she had been when coming back inside the inn last night. And he noted as well the man with the food rounding the tavern bar and heading out to the lobby and elsewhere. That would be good. To get a good meal and to restock on provisions before noon.
For now, the matter of transportation with Dulthir and Syvis. Perhaps more so for Syvis. He might be wrong, but he didn't doubt that Dulthir, if he lacked a horse, could get a ride with Ceridwen and in so doing those two would be set. Elliot's own horse, this one having lived the longest so far, waited in a nearby stables.
"Then you've got a choice. With me or with them." Back of the saddle or griffin feathers, essentially. Elliot was willing to give her the opportunity, and he reckoned there wouldn't be a damn soul likewise in the company. Every man (or woman, there was just the one) for himself in that regard. Not a shoulder among them that'd accept any part of a burden that wasn't theirs, or that they didn't make special and rare exception for.
The frown went away. A deal was a deal. Syvis gave a yank on his arm and his arm and shoulder were nudged in that particular direction, but he did not move. He let a few seconds pass before he agreed with a curl of a smile at the corner of his mouth, "Fair."
He sat down in a languid motion in the booth next to her, keeping an arm on the booth back and spreading his legs and lounging with a certain casually luxurious demeanor. His Bow he had set aside, propped up against the side of the booth.
Dulthir and Ceridwen could figure out their riding arrangement however it best suited them. And the four of them could get a hardy breakfast in them (soon as they could flag down one of the inn folk), discussing whatever needed discussing. Such as...
"Where's your weapon." Spoken to Ceridwen, and it was hardly said with the inflection of a question. Maybe she aimed to use that beak and those talons. Personal, more so than daggers. Surprisingly so if that was her intent--it would run contrary to his intuition concerning her.
Dulthir handed his pipe to Syvis. He turned as Elliot spoke. Dulthir chuckled. "I dunna need a horse lad.. I've got a Karrazark."
He smiled and leaned across the table to retrieve his pipe from Syvis. As he stood back up, he looked again to Elliot. "So, we're sposed ta speak with this Cap'n Marghast, eh? At noon? Well, we'll be ther lad. Now, if yous two..."
Bout that time he felt the nudge from Ceri and her heard her greeting. He smiled. He turned and faced Ceri. "Morning love. Sleep well?"
Then he saw the man with the food walk by. He also saw Ceri perk up. He chuckled. "Well, that'd be our breakfast lass. Shall we go upstairs to eat or have him bring it here?" CeridwenSyvisElliot Aldmar
"Morning beautiful" Syvis waved and Ceri cood softly like the sweetest mourning dove in response to her.
"Morning love. Sleep well?"
"Wonderfully" She said softly as she rubbed the sides of her beak playfully over his scruffy cheek before lowering herself to her tummy, stretching out on the floor of the tavern slightly. She nibbled idly on a talon with the tip of her beak, grooming herself quietly as the trio talked, lifting her head again as Dulthir
"Well, that'd be our breakfast lass. Shall we go upstairs to eat or have him bring it here?"
"whichever" she said absently as she nibbled on her talon, tail lashing from side to side. The male elf Elliot Aldmar inquired of her.
"Where's your weapon." She lifted her head, tilting it slightly as she looked to him through her piercing green eyes. The corners of her beak lifted slightly as her feathers puffed up and she chuckled. "I am weapon enough..." she chortled softly, a slight indignation adorning her tone as she looked to him. Of course, he knew not of her anthro-form which was by far, more lethal then either of the 2 forms he knew she had. She would keep that secret up her sleeve for now.
Dulthir waved the man with the food and drinks down. He motioned for him to put it on the table. The tray contained a covered bowl with scrambled eggs, a platter of sausage, bacon, and ham. There were two pitchers of fresh orange juice, and a pot of hot coffee. Dulthir sat across from the elves. He motioned to the food, more than enough for their party. "Dig in. Breakfast is on me." Dulthir grabbed a plate and loaded it up. Then he poured himself a cup of coffee. CeridwenSyvisElliot Aldmar
Ceri tilted her head slightly as she looked to the spread before them. She pondered in silence before shifting, she didn't care if she would be nude, they'd get over it. Her ivory pelt and feathers melted away into her pale skin as she shrunk to her human form. She smiled faintly, winking to the group as she reached for a glass and poured herself some juice, also grabbing a piece of bacon before moving to sit quietly, crossing her legs (Gotta be ladylike right?) and opening her wings slightly, enough to be able to cover herself up, slightly.
She reached up, brushing a crimson strand of hair from her face as she took a drink of juice.
"Somebody's got to keep the saddle warm," Elliot said in reply to Syvis. Purposefully ambiguous as to whether he was serious or not about that.
He swung a glance over to regard her as she affirmed that she would ride with him. That would do. Dulthir had said that he'd some kind of mount of his own, and Ceridwen would never want for a mount in her life so she was set as well. And that settled the matter.
Weapon enough, was Ceridwen's reply. He didn't expect so direct and terse an answer, but there it was. The inebriated, giggling woman of last night seemed a whole other person. But maybe there was a killer in there for all he knew. Elliot canted his head in a small gesture down toward her talons. "I figured that might be so."
Right as Elliot was preparing to wave the man down himself, once he'd dropped off the food Dulthir had bought, well, to his surprise (again) Dulthir made mention of breakfast being on his coin. If he'd had bet on it, he would have ranked Dulthir last as being the one to buy and share a platter among him and Syvis and Ceridwen. Bygones were bygones, eh.
"That's generous. I appreciate it," Elliot said, and helped himself to some of meats, staying lounged back and relaxed as he ate.
Ceridwen changed back from her bestial form and sat and Elliot spared her a cursory glance and nothing more.
He looked to Dulthir then. Gave a brief ascent of his chin and said, "You got a reason for wanting mercenary work?"
Man like him could get better, steadier pay in a standing army. If he impressed the right people he probably could get a spot as a noble's guard. And there were other options, sword-arm necessary or no. These things applied to several men in the Free Company, but they had their various reasons for going the path of the sellsword--truthful or not, they had 'em, and it was interesting enough to hear.
Dulthir finished his breakfast. He pulled his pipe, cleaned and packed it. He lit it and looked to Ceri. Her confidence and nudity was no surprise to him. He smiled. Then, as he puffed his pipe, he looked to Elliot. "Well, I coulda tell ye it's all about coin. But, yer a smart fella, so I won't. My reasons are me own, and maybe someday, I'll share that reason. But, suffice ta say, I'll do the work required. Should be enough fer ye. If not, let me know now." He leaned back, puffed his pipe, and sipped his coffee. CeridwenSyvisElliot Aldmar
"Very confident." Syvis stated plainly and Ceri nodded. She was an animal, she came into this world nude, she had no problem living her life as such, though she tried to respect others issues with nudity, she didn't think about it this time prior to shifting and it was to late now so she shrugged lightly.
Ceri winked slightly Elliot Aldmar at his announcement that he had guessed that she had her own secret weapons. She turned her emerald eyes to Dulthir as he spoke to Elliot as she took another drink and grabbed a piece of ham. She eyed the eggs slightly, they weren't her thing... being that she came out of one, it just seemed a little... odd to eat them.
Syvis sniffed at aromas drifting to her nose of the food that had laid in front of them. She dipped a polite nod in the Dwarf's direction. "Thank you for the sustenance, but I haven't a taste for human meals and I ate a couple days ago." part of her moon-ef blood allowed her the ability to go a couple of days without food so long as her last meal was more protein based.
Syvis pulled out her own pipe and tobacco and packed a pipe in suit revealing she never actually needed Dulthir's tobacco.
...I haven't a taste for human meals and I ate a couple days ago.
Strange, that, but whatever suited Syvis suited her. Elliot wasn't picky. Couldn't afford to be when roaming. You got what you could forage or kill. But good on her for enduring a fast, voluntary or not.
...My reasons are me own...
Cagey bunch, at least between Dulthir and Syvis. They'd fit right in, even if they only stayed for a contract or two and left. Some men of the company gave their reasons whether true or fabricated and some, probably more, elected not to share any at all.
"Alright. Don't go dying and leaving me with an unfinished book," Elliot said. A perk of his brow. "Then I'd just see who could write the better epitaph--Ceridwen or Syvis--and that'd have to do."
He chewed on another slice of bacon and looked to Ceridwen and then shifted his eyes over to Syvis, almost inviting them to give a mock epitaph each. Hell, Elliot already had one.