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There are tales of ghouls and the dead rising along the Eastern Allir Reaches. The Templar chapter based of Allria has gone to investigate the matter... and perhaps bring to an end to whoever is at the root of this evil...

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A necromancer seems to be ravaging the Eastern Allir Reaches(near the spine). Some of the Templars are trying to stop him/her. Feel free to join in as a survivor, a passerby, maybe the necromancers servant!

Tales Culture shock

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Hath Charosh, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Hath Charosh

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    Pern Scabhair

    Meat on a stick. Nearly everything about this sprawling human city irked him in some way. From the gutter runners looking for purses to cut to the manure on the streets to the pointlessly large towers and crowded markets.

    Not this. Meat that had been minced, mixed with egg and spices and then grilled at the side of the street on a stick. What a great idea. Overcooked, but nicely spiced and could be eaten on the move without burning your fingers.

    Hath dropped a small charred stick with a clatter and turned his attention to the other two he carried. A pair of peasants looked up at the orcs in their travelling furs in bemusement. Hath had learned to shut that out already.

    Meat wasn't cheap here in the city. Fortunately the stolen spices they had sold meant he had coin to eat properly. He was glad not to have to stomach down the sheep food the humans mostly eat. Grains and bread and vegetables. Scabhair had agreed to take one of the six large coins. He couldn't even remember the name, just that it was worth one hundred of the smallest denomination. Hath had a suspicion that if Scabhair's father could get her a place that the college that she probably wouldn't be short of coins if she had the need.

    The blacksmith was by the corner of a street. There was a large space marked out in front of the building, sheltered from the rain but open to the wind. Anvils and tools too, he assumed so that work could be done outside in the heat of summer.

    A particularly diminutive orc emerged from the smith wearing heavy leather aprons and Hath made the leap of logic to assume this was Scabhair's old friend.

    "Greetings!" he called out, with a slow nod of respect. He did, of course, speak in orcish.
     
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  2. Scabhair

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    Salutations he might’ve called out, but to Pern it would’ve sounded more like uanngha, rife with noises no tuskless mouth could produce.

    Ah. Shite.

    “She doesn’t…” Scabhair grimaced a smile first at her friend, then at Hath. How the fuck did she forget to mention that? “...speak orcish.”

    The crowd had thinned since morning, and so they reached the open yard of the smithy without further incident. (Well, barring that one courier that nearly bowled the both of them over galloping through the street.)

    “Nilli,” she said with a wide smile, reaching out to clasp Pern’s forearm in greeting. “A new job led me round your way and I thought I’d come see if you’re still giving that anvil its due.” Her eyes twinkled as she gestured the other orc over, “This is Hath of clan Charosh. We’ve been on the road together almost a month now.”

    She did, of course, speak in Common.
     
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  3. Pern

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    #3 Pern, Nov 21, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
    [​IMG]

    Wasn't often Pern was permitted to work armor plating, but today seemed an exception. A Small Lord from south of Elbion had rode in to visit his sister and, in what was typical fashion of the water-side marketplace, managed to offend someone. Pern hadn't a clue who had dealt the damage, but this trivial sort of work was a bit below her Master's concern.

    A cracked plackart. A helmet dented beyond use. The man hadn't the coin to purchase new pieces, so a patch job would have to do. She decided to start with the helmet and headed out into the daylight in the yard at the storefront, setting the helmet over a rounded die with a buffered hammer in hand. The day was nice, the weather fair, the roads quiet - perfect for getting some uninterrupted wor-

    UANNGHA!

    She blinked, looking up from the helmet and over towards the broad shadows coming through the side lane and out into the open. The sight of Scabhair drove her eyebrows up. The sight of Hath drove them even further.

    Well this was a rare visitor indeed.

    Pern returned the smile of her friend, broad and bright-eyed, "Shcy," she took her arm in return with a strong grip and nodded, "aye, alwaysh. It'sh been far too long." Golden gaze flickered back to the massive male at her friend's side. Pern was not quite capable of keeping the curious amount of wonder from her face. What with the rarity in which she met Orcs it was difficult to remember that they were her people.

    At least that's what she was told.

    "Alwaysh a pleashure to meet a friend of Shcy. Welcome to Elbion, Hath," Pern offered her hand to the orc.
     
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  4. Hath Charosh

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    There was no hiding the trace of confusion that passed across his face. An orc that did not speak orcish. Hath didn't think things through quickly, but as he nodded along to their introductions he managed to put together a few scenarios where that could have come to be. All of them ended up with an orc baby raised by humans. Left behind by a tribe on the move. Perhaps something worse. Not all liasons between the fairer species and orcs were as respectable as between Scabhair's parents.

    Hath clasped his fingers around Perns's forearm and squeezed hard, giving a soft grunt of welcome. By contrast her expression seemed to show a level of curiosity at meeting him. He had to remind himself that Scabhair had been here as a student of the college. Not many wild orcs around the city.

    "It is nice...to get a good welcome," he said plainly. None had been even slightly pleased to see him here so far. Hath spoke carefully in orcish, he took even more time over his words in human tongue.

    "A blacksmith?" he asked. Never one to skirt around a topic he had been about to move to arrowheads. Instead he settled on a different, leading questions. "You knew Scabhair as a...student here?" he asked, casting a sidelong glance at the red haired scout.
     
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  5. Scabhair

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    The notion dawned on her with the lethargy of a gathamhr in the sun – this would be far more awkward than she’d had the sense to anticipate. Stupid.

    When Hath asked about her student years, Scabhair pounced on the question like a drowning man on a lifeline. Anything to salvage the misstep of a language gap.

    Stupid.

    “We met… oh, must’ve been my first year in Elbion. Pern showed me the ropes around here,” she managed a grin, then, silver eyes flicking from the displayed armors to her friend. “Made sure I didn’t land myself in prison for some pointless blunder of etiquette.”

    “After I helped her track down the thieves who stole Galen’s order of iron, of course.”
     
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  6. Pern

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    Pern placed the helmet down and leaned casually against her workbench, a wry sort of smile peeking out from behind her tusks as Scy explained how they met.

    "They shtill frown upon caving in peoplesh shkullsh with a hammer," her smile broadened somewhat to show white teeth as she brandished a chastising finger in Scy's direction, "even if they are thievesh."

    She had to chuckle at that. Scy had been in the right place at the right time, seen the thieves in their hurried departure, put two-and-two together. They brought the thieves to justice and had been friends ever since. Those were good times that made good stories, but she was more interested in the story of Hath.

    "I wash the only orc living in Elbion until then. You can imagine my shurprishe when Shcy showed up, but she wash the shtudent. I...have alwaysh been a shmith." Were she any other orc she might've been jealous of Scy getting into the college, but in truth it made her hopeful. If Scy could get in, then maybe there would be a chance for her in the future? No such luck, even after ten years. Pern recused herself from applying again after the third dismissal. Too much gold gone to waste at that - sufficed to say she'd lived vicariously instead through Scy during her student years.

    "Sho, how did you two meet? What bringsh you here?"
     
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  7. Hath Charosh

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    "A disagreement about a purchase," Hath replied, giving no further context. Getting into a scrap with some town guards because he was frustrated over currency and they were asking pointless questions about hunting permits wasn't exactly a proud moment. Even if he had got a few good punches in before they dragged him down.

    "We're here to get a...draft...recruits for Steelheart company. Scabhair showed me the wall and the college. Not the ropes though," he explained. He wondered what they might be and whether they were worth a visit too. Getting high up on the walls to admire the view of the city had been like coming up for air.

    "Also...arrowheads," he added, remember why he had been glad that Scabhair's friend was a smith.
     
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  8. Scabhair

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    She let it stay at that. Pern didn’t need any damning details, least of all about their suspect morning visits to a certain part of town.

    Another furrow appeared in her brow. Her mouth curled into something trying very hard not to be a smile. “The ropes…” she puffed out a long breath, then switched to orcish, “don’t exist. It’s a saying. Means you’re introducing someone to a new concept.”

    Confident that the pair would be able to handle a conversation about arrows well enough on their own, Scabhair wandered inside for a little chat with the master smith. They’d been tasked to put in an order for new arms and armor to go with the fresh draft of soldiers. There were few better than Galen Gibbson.
     
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  9. Pern

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    Ropes?

    Pern glanced to Scy before the blunder occured to her. Not one to laugh at others, the orcess casually lifted a clawed hand to her face to itch at her nose, glancing away as she shuffled about her work station to take up her tools again.

    Ting ting ping.

    "We don' keep orc-shized arrowheadsh in shtore," said the smith as she gently tapped out the dent in the helmet.

    Ting ting ping.

    "I'll need to make them. Have you any arrowsh I can shee?"

    She could make an educated guess as to the size he might need, but it was always better to have a good reference. Then, at the very least, she could be sure to do the job right the first time.
     
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  10. Hath Charosh

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    Hath couldn't help but think how useful a talented smith would be to his people. Dwarves worked stone and metal better than any. They were people of the earth after all. The humans were of fire, spreading and consuming. They still worked better steel than the orcs.

    But orcs were of the wind and all places were their home. If Pern was settled and happy here then this was her home.

    Hath dropped his bag to his feet and pulled out an arrow. Balancing it on the point in his palm he gave it a flick to send it spinning. He had made the shafts so he wanted to pass over one of the most straight ones. Even if she was only interested in the point. Content that this was one of the better arrows he gave it to Pern.

    "I need..." brow furrowed in concentration. He realised he didn't know the word. "Wide ones for hunting. Narrow ones for armour. Twelve of each."
     
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  11. Scabhair

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    “Broadheads and bodkins!” came the helpful call from inside the shop, followed by a snort from Galen.

    The master smith lifted his brows at Scabhair, who was presently perusing a collection of plate she couldn’t afford if she robbed and sold a hundred shipments of millerba. She bit back a sigh and leaned against a worn counter, nearly matching Galen’s reticent posture save for the hammer.

    “Haven’t seen you here a while, Ryeine. Wind blow you by again?”

    “Something like that,” she offered, lips curling around a tusk. “Got an order for you.”

    “You need your plate banged back into shape, Pern’s outside.”

    “Mm. Not this time, fortunately.” Swinging the pack off her shoulders, Scabhair rummaged for the leather codex and fished from it a sealed parchment. “Steelheart company in the west. They need some solid armour to survive the inhospitable climate of Amol-Kalit… thought I’d put in a word for you.”

    “Right magnanimous, aren’t you?”

    “Wouldn’t say that.”

    “Yeah, thought so. Arrows?”

    Scabhair hummed, a wider smile now tugging at her mouth. “Arrows.”

    Galen shook his head of shaggy black curls and cracked the red wax of the missive. “Fine, take your discount, Ryeine. You’re a fucking menace, you know that? Taught you everything but manners up at the college.”

    “I’m an orc, Galen. Mere etiquette clearly can’t absolve me of the sin that is my birth.”

    He wagged his hammer at her grin. “Those fancy words of yours don’t work on me, girl. I remember how you talked when you first got here. As for this,” he waved at the parchment, “I’ll take it. You got a—”

    “Letter of credit? Accauoli & Goudsmyd have your coin. Should cover the cost of delivery as well.”

    “And the cost of hiring men to protect the delivery?”

    “It’s an order for a mercenary company, Galen. If they couldn’t protect their own equipment, they probably wouldn’t have the coin to buy it.”

    “Always the smartass.”

    “Someone has to be.”

    His only reply was a grunt as he shooed her back into the daylight and the awkward conversation between two orcs who hardly shared a language between them.
     
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  12. Pern

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    #12 Pern, Nov 25, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
    Ting ting ping.

    "Broa-" Pern began, only to be cut off by her Master.

    "Broadheads and bodkins!"

    Brow flickering in bemusement, Pern gave a sniff and nodded back towards the doorway, "What he shaid."

    She took the arrow and inspected it with the eye of a skilled smith. Good quality wood, solid fletching, heavy. She twisted it between her fingers, switching end-over-end to look at the arrowhead he currently used. The steel wasn't high quality, but the bite was big enough to render a substantial amount of damage given the likelihood of the strength behind his arm. Even a dulled blade could kill a man if swung hard enough.

    Hate to get hit with one of these.

    Golden eyes sideglanced to Hath, "You musht be a good shot if 12 ish all you need," she handed the arrow back and picked up her tools one final time.

    Ting ting CLANG.

    "Come back tonight after the dinner toll. They'll be ready."
     
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  13. Hath Charosh

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    "Broad...head. Makes sense. In orc they're..." he looked off to one side as he considered the word. "Winged."

    Bodkin wasn't a word he had ever heard before. Didn't seem to be made up of other words.

    "I use a heavier point. Better in the wind. Maybe...thirty bodkin. Don't need many arrows to hunt. You miss once it gone. You hit, you get the head back."

    Another pause as he sorted through all the words in human that he needed. The constant three beat cadence of the hammer fall continued.

    "Not in a battle. Their arrows too short and points too small. Arrow..." He took the arrow by each end and bent it back and forth. "Too...straight. No..." Frustration crossed his face. It was easy to see the arrow flying sideways off the bow when it wasn't properly matched.

    He looked to Scabhair in his moment of need as she emerged from inside the smith.

    "How do you say 'the arrow is too stiff with a light point' in human?" he asked her.
     
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  14. Scabhair

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    “The arrow is too stiff with a light point,” Scabhair translated without a hitch. “Humans and their bows can’t handle the same level of draw. Or spine. But you know that.”

    She rounded Pern’s equipment and hopped onto an unused anvil. “His points are about the same weight as mine. You still remember how to make those, don’t you?”
     
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  15. Hath Charosh

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    "Even though her bow is small."
     
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  16. Pern

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    She paused in between the beating of her hammer long enough to hear the hard-spoken words of Hath. He was trying very hard, she could tell, but for as much trouble as he was having to speak to her, she was equally as challenged in understanding the last part.

    Thankfully, there was Scy.

    "Aye," Pern nodded, brows aloft beneath unruly brown curls that had come loose from the tie, "but he'sh bigger than you," at this she smirked at her friend, gesturing to Hath and his arrow with her hammer, "larger bow. Larger arrowsh. 'About the shame' ishn't the shame to a blackshmith. Have to keep them balanshed."

    Tang. Tang. Ping.

    The helmet was taking good shape again. Not difficult work for an orc, even a small one. This Small Lord hadn't the money for good steel, Pern wagered she could smash the thing in her bare hands without too much effort. But that wasn't her job, her job was to fix it. It would look good as new in less than an hour, and the accompanying piece just the same. Then it would be on to arrowheads for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

    "Thirty bodkinsh and twelve broadheadsh,"

    Ting. Ting. Ping. Pern paused to consider the new timeframe for the larger order.

    "One hour after dinner toll. Baring no further interrupt-shuns."
     
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  17. Hath Charosh

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    "Fair. How much will that be?" he asked. He mentally prepared himself for the task of working between the three different values of coin to see how much this would eat into his funds.

    It seemed that Pern had work to get on with. In fact she had made that clear enough that it could not be lost in translation.

    There was a subtle quirk of an eyebrow towards Scabhair. He had tried to bring up a contest of archery when they were South of the city but she had summarily dismissed it. Hath hadn't given up on the notion of goading her into one. The expression was gone in an instant. The two of them could catch later too. With the way people treated orcs and his poor human he didn't think it was sensible to be left entirely alone, but he would also make clear they didn't need to speak slowly enough for him to follow.
     
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  18. Pern

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    Pern paused long enough to give the orc his fee, giving no glance to Scy as she did.

    He wouldn't be receiving Scy's usual discount - he wasn't Scy and that was simply how Galen worked. Scy had earned her discount over long years of business, favors, and good clout with the Master Smith. Hath ... didn't have that history. There was no such thing as a friends-of-friends discount, elsewise they'd been out of business years ago.

    "Enjoy your time in Elbion, Hath," she saluted the orc with her hammer before giving her friend a warm smile, "shee you tonight then."

    And back to work she went.
     
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  19. Scabhair

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    If orcish greetings were brief, then their goodbyes were briefer still. She’d merely tilted her head and then they were gone, Pern left to hammer out her work in peace. It was, Scabhair imagined, quite the therapeutic craft.

    They spent the afternoon wandering through the city centre, one orc playing tourist guide to the other. Certainly they earned their share of odd looks and the occasional wad of spit, but that was as much part of the scenery as the looming College on the hill. In the end they managed to avoid a scrap with the locals – or worse, the guards – and made it back to the smithy as the sun was slowly dipping behind the peaks of Seret in the distance.

    Knowing Galen, he’d already doused his furnace inside and gone home for the night. Only the smaller of the two fires burned still, vivid flames licking at white-hot steel as the broad shadow of her friend moved to and fro about the workshop. Human eyes were useless after dark; an orc could keep working all night through even with the scant light of stars to guide the way.
     
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  20. Hath Charosh

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    Hath had learned even more of the disparity between the poor and the rich. Despite seeing it first hand it had been a discussion of armour that had driven it home. Orcs of greater standing took the best gear into battle, that was a given. If a lesser orc had better gear it was typically taken from them by a better fighter.

    His coin wasn't enough for high quality, fitted armour, Scabhair had told him. A noble brat who could barely swing a swing a sword would be given an enormous warhorse, barding, lightweight platemail of exceptional quality and then kept away from the front lines of battle. If they had an armourer who could make such fine plate then they would outfit the best warriors first.

    "Hello," he called out as they approached the front of the building. Hath had realised that he'd lost several knives during their travels and hadn't thought to ask if they had any made. One could never have enough knives. He had one strapped to his calf and his short sword on his belt left. His axe was well wrapped up, but the runes across the blade had decided to glow a faint green, visible from his pack in the darkness.
     
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  21. Pern

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    "Not seen yeh craft arrowheads that big before," a few hours earlier Gibson was packing up the cart. He'd be leaving shortly to deliver an order down to the docks - some ship Captain come calling for this, that, and the other thing, "Ryeine's bow isn't that big."

    "Noh," Pern agreed as she worked the forge, "it'sh not. Theesh are for her friend."
    "Friend?" Gibson said distractedly, "then they'll be going at the proper rate."
    "He wash outshide while you shpoke with Shcy. Big fellow."
    "Another orc?"
    "Aye."
    "She ought to know better than bringing their kind in here. It'll only cause trouble," Gibson shook his head with a scowl.

    Pern watched him as he loaded the cart through the back door, frowning slightly. Their kind. Sometimes she wondered if he forgot what she was. "He sheemed shivil enough. Shpoke the common tongue..." she licked at a tusk as she turned back to the forge, "...short of."

    "So long as his coin is good. You watch - their lot are rotten, Pern. You and Ryeine were brought up right, but those beyond the city are savages. They'll gut ya just as quick as a blink. Don't trust 'em."

    Brows lofted on the orcess as she sighed, giving no further response to the present subject. She hadn't met many other Orcs beyond those that came to the city for trade or a port stop. Their interractions were always subject to business - short and curt. So long as they got what they needed and she got the coin there was never anything more to discuss. But for some reason she felt the desire to try.

    "Mashter Gibshon," she called over her shoulder.
    "Aye," he grunted.
    "You know shome of their language, right?"
    "Well enough to sell."
    "What'sh the orcish word for welcome?"
    "Mm..." Gibson rubbed at his chin, "rahgbar...I think."

    ~~~

    Pern was often the last one to leave the shop at night, working well into the twilight hours long after Gibson had turned in and the shop had closed for the day. She enjoyed working in the peace and quiet and there was something intimately comforting about having the forge to herself in the dark. Had she the experience she might've likened it to sharing time with a lover beneath the sheets after everything else was said and done.

    But she didn't have that experience so she hadn't a way to really describe why she liked it. Pern was simply content to enjoy it as she could.

    "Hello."

    Turning from the glow of the forge the smaller orcess set down her tools and grabbed a nearby rag to wipe her hands of soot, grime, and sweat before approaching.

    "Ah...rahgbur...?" she tried. Gibson had recalled right, but her pronunciation was off. Instead of welcome, Hath was greeted with the word nostril.
     
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  22. Hath Charosh

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    #22 Hath Charosh, Dec 4, 2018 at 8:57 AM
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018 at 11:20 AM
    Hath tilted his head towards his left shoulder, brow furrowing in confusion. It didn't help that the geographic separation between tribes meant that the pronunciation of the word varied. Eyebrows went upwards in understanding.

    "Rahgbargh," he said, putting even more emphasis on the throaty end of the word than Scabhair's people would.

    "Close," he admitted in common with a slow nod. He slid his pack from his back and dropped it on a vacant table. Hath carried everything on his back, often across great distances. His two bow staves stuck out of the bag, unstrung and wrapped. He pulled out his closed leather quiver, along with his axe. The head of the axe was wrapped but the runes could be see faintly glowing. Hath opened his quiver and pulled out two arrow shafts, one bare and one fully fetched and with a point.

    "Is the...did you make the arrow heads today?Please?" he asked. He assumed she hadn't learned more orcish during the day. Hath had tried to imagine what life was like from day to day. He had found it quite difficult. He could imagine there was a peace in working to the regular rhythm of hammer and anvil. At the same time it was hard for him to imaging staying in just one small building day after day and never following your feet for miles on end just to see where you ended up.
     
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  23. Scabhair

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    “Rahgbair,” she muttered quietly, an amused smile curling her lips. Unless Common proved itself too great an obstacle to surmount, Scabhair would leave the pair to discuss the points amongst themselves.

    Hath produced a bouquet of arrows like a human man might flowers. She suppressed a chuckle at the sight and returned to inspecting the few blades Pern had on display in the back. Gutting, scaling, dressing, hunting...

    As the orcish saying went – ‘You can never have enough knives.’
     
  24. Pern

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    Well apparently she was wrong on all fronts.

    Rahgbargh.

    Rahgbair.


    Pern gave a small, embarassed sort of smile and lightly itched at her nose with a claw, "Well...welcome all the shame." At least she knew that was correct. She tossed the rag aside as the large male set his pack down, her golden eyes giving it an initial cursory glance as he pulled out the quiver and his axe. She paid these things no mind, assuming his next question without fault, but her gaze caught on the faint glow of the axe when the words finally arrived.

    "Is the...did you make the arrowheads today? Please?"

    She was staring. Rudely staring. Several seconds went by while she took in the etched symbols peeking out from behind the trappings before she shook her head.

    "Yesh, yesh of courshe." Arrowheads, right... turning to take up two leather pouches, she moved to set them down on the table by his pack, gaze inevitably trailing back to the axe. Runes. Glowing runes. Just like the sword of Kaelen Silverblood from what seemed a lifetime ago.

    "Ahm...thirty bodkinsh and twelve broadheadsh, ash promished." She loosened the threaded pullstrings, producing one example of each for him to scrutinize. They were crafted of good, strong steel and quite sharp - perfectly capable of rending prey and foe alike.
     
  25. Hath Charosh

    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    Messages:
    162
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Hath had started to think he had entirely garbled his common human again. He took the offered bodkin arrowhead as he was significantly less likely to cut his fingers on that one. Broadheads were typically sharpened to do some horrific damage to flesh. He used gestures to ask for a second of the same to compare.

    They were well matched to both his arrows and to each other. It was just as important to have matched weights at the business end of the arrow as it was to give the shafts the same weight and flexibility.

    Hath paid an extra couple of coins above the agreed price for the workmanship. He wasn't sure of it was something done here. He was rather distracted wondering why Scabhair had never taken the time to teach her more orcish. It was a strange thing to see and outside of his previous experience. Scabhair, despite her education acted entirely like an orc out in the Wilds even if she was half elven. Pern didn't know their languages nor their customs despite being of his kin.

    Following her gaze he pulled the cloth away from the head of his axe.

    "Does that sometimes," he said. "Symbols don't look like orc hand," he said. His brow creased when he saw what Scabhair was looking at.

    "You have knives?" he had also lost several in the escape and had forgotten to ask earlier.
     
    Pern and Scabhair like this.

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