Open Chronicles Everything Has a Price

The Vagabond

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Elbion, what a wonderful sight, what a wonderful feeling. After a long hard month of travel Zane finally arrived at the great city. It was a busy day at East port or perhaps it was always this rowdy and full of life; after all this was Zanes first time visiting Elbion. He would usually be more than happy slowly taking it all in; having a wander down different streets not looking for anything, talking to locals about nothing in particular, just experiencing this new world. However sleeping on the cold hard ground for a number of weeks tends to dampen ones sense of adventure.


The East port was the place to be if one wanted to trade and that’s exactly what Zane intended to do, he didn’t have any coins to speak of on his person but he did have a few interesting trinkets and treasures that he had acquired during his travels, if he could sell something to one of these merchants hopefully it would be able to cover the cost of an inn for a couple of nights. The thought of an actual bed to sleep on forced Zane to suppress a childlike giggle.


“Alright” he said to himself “let’s make some money” he tried his best to look somewhat presentable using the reflection from a cracked window of a small rundown building, It was a losing battle; his sandy blonde hair was now a tattered mess - overgrown in all the wrong places and absolutely filthy, his crimson red cloak that he hid most of his body in was more brown that red at this point and he looked tired, oh so tired. Zane sighed ‘Oh well, poor, hungry, tired, down on his luck traveler is the role I’ll have to play whilst bartering’ as he made his way through the crowd towards an empty stall he chuckled to himself ‘what am I thinking? I don’t need to play that role, that’s exactly what I am.’


“The finest gemstones and crystals for low low prices!” Shouted one tall dark merchant who was obviously having trouble attracting costumers, another trader was having much better luck; an elderly women who was selling a variety of materials from Elven silks to leather hides. Zane chose to do his business at a quiet stall that was selling a bunch of mismatching items; some expensive looking jewellery, rusty weapons, books and what appeared to be alchemic ingredients. The man behind the stall was a large individual both in length and width, his skin was tanned and hairless, his bald head shone in the sunlight and he was covered in small piercings; it would take a few minutes to count how many he had on his face alone. His gold and silver robe glistened as it caught some of the suns brightness, everything about this man was designed to attract attention.


“Good afternoon young man, you look like someone who’s in need of some new clothing” his manner of speaking and disarming smile made it difficult to take offence, Zane returned a playful smile of his own “I probably do but that’s not why I’m here. I have some rare treasures in my possession that I’d be willing to part with for the right price” the merchants smile faltered for the briefest of moments, he quickly composed himself “I’m afraid that my stock is more than full” he gestured to his merchandise “it would be bad business to spend any coin before I’ve sold at least a few items...now, trading goods for other goods seems like a much more profitable option” it was Zanes turn for his smile to slip; he didn’t really care if he undersold one of his treasures, he just wanted enough money for a hot meal a bath and comfy bed to sleep on, acquiring more items wasn’t going to accomplish that any quicker. Zane searched one his may pockets sown to the inside of his cloak until he found what he was looking for, he pulled out a small glass bottle, brilliant blue light trashed around inside glass container. “What...what is that?” The big man asked not even trying to hide his curiosity. A sly smile appeared on Zanes lips “why this...is lightning in a bottle.”

“Where did you acquire such a thing?” Asked the merchant.

“Oh it’s a long and extremely interesting story but one that I can’t get into right now.” The truth of the story was that he shared his campfire and some food with a desperate traveler and out of gratitude he gave him a bottle of lightning.

“Surely this is worth at least a few zoldo, let’s say...7?” The merchant laughed

“5 Zoldo” Zane responded with a sigh, he knew he could get a lot more for it but he was too tired for this “fine.” Just before handing over the bottle he heard something, a voice, no, he didn’t hear it he felt it in his very soul. A voice, calling to him from an old coin; it was sliver, twice as big as a docatto the markings on it had faded. The merchant didn’t seem to feel anything he was fixated on the lightning. “I’ll take that coin too.”

“Yes yes fine, now if that concludes our business do you mind moving on? Your smell is scaring away potential customers I fear” after an apologetic smile Zane moved away from the busy market place heading towards an inn, he was focusing intently on the coin; Zane didn’t posses any magical skills but even he could tell this was brimming with magic - dark magic at that.

“Erm...can you hear me?” He asked the coin feeling a little silly.

‘Yes human, but I do not wish to hear from you again until I require you to speak.’
The voice was a lot clearer this time, a cold shiver ran down his spine, however he was more curious than afraid. He threw his head back in a comical fashion and laughed.

“You’re very rude considering you basically begged me to buy you back there” the coin did not respond. Zane continued to head for an inn throwing and catching the ancient coin as he walked.
 
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Aeyliea

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"Let go," the woman said in tones that very definitely had a warning in them.

She stood with the ruffian's hand on her arm, tight enough to make the flesh around his fingers white. She stood a bit shorter than he was, long white hair done up in an intricate braid with the bones of small animals and feathers woven into it so that it looked like a headdress of sorts. Her eyes, a stormy blue-grey, were fixed on the fellow, face stern. The stylized talons tattooed below her eyes, on the high cheekbones of her face, gave them a certain level of weight they might not otherwise have possessed.

The man that had hold of her was a burly dock worker, or at least looked the part. Plain, rough woolens despite the heat of the day clad his stout frame, crooked nose a fine addition to a face that was otherwise unremarkable. He outweighed her at least twice over, was taller, and had a greater reach than she did. All things noted casually by the mercenary captain as she tried to tug her arm back out of his grasp without any success. The blade on her back should have been warning enough that she was not to be bothered or harassed, anyway. It wasn't as if women adventurers were uncommon, and it was absolutely common enough for most of her like to be utterly capable of handling themselves in a fight.

"I jes wanted t'have a friendly chat wiv you," the cretin replied, the smell of sour beer washing over her face as he spoke. The people within the common room were moving back in a very subtle manner, many of them making for the door. There was only one way this was going to go, and in a tavern like this it was bound to be something both violent, and that would bring the city Guard in for certain. That was a prospect many here did not relish.

"Your attention, I need it not," she said in a low growl, her words thickly accented common. "Unhand me before I stake you out in the sun," she added, switching to her native tongue. The No'rei language was not something that many here would know, but the tone of her words indicated quite succinctly her intention.

He yanked her closer, almost into an embrace, opening his mouth to say something.

And she kicked him square in the crotch. Or rather, tried to. For as big a man as he was, and as drunk, there should have been no way she could have missed. In a single motion, he hurled her away, and she crashed into a table, toppling it and the mugs on it into the laps of the people still stupidly seated there, the blade on her back digging in between her shoulders painfully.

"Ai, ye daft cunt, what y' do 'at for?" he roared at her, and without really thinking what he was doing, charged her.

And that was all that was really required to sanction a good old fashioned brawl.

--

The door to the tavern burst open into the street, splinters of wood flying through the air. A shape with white hair landed amidst the pieces of broken wood, and a behemoth of a man stumbled out, blood dripping from his nose, one eye already black. The woman herself already had a few solid bruises starting to form on her arms, and if her shapely body hadn't been encased in leather died black, red, and gold, there might have been more to display.

She was up on her feet quickly enough, back in a ready stance as the bull of a man charged her. From behind, within the closed confines of the watering hole, the sound of breaking crockery and men brawling could be heard clearly. Somewhere else, the whistles and bells of the peacekeepers could be heard, heading this way. Perhaps not too quickly, though.

Best to let these people get it out of their system and pick up the pieces once they were tired, right?

She tried to sidestep him and instead go caught around her narrow waist, brought in close with an arm around her neck. She was familiar enough with what he was trying to do, and drove her elbow into his guts multiple times, noting how it was like trying to hit a rock with an egg. She could feel consciousness beginning to turn grey when she finally made an impression, earning more than a grunt for her efforts as the man staggered back, rage in his eyes.

Then she kicked him in the head.

It was an elegant thing, impossible indoors but quite possible here. She leapt, spinning as she did so, and caught him across his jaw. The giant of a man staggered sideways from the force of it, but kept his feet. Spitting blood from is mouth. It was perhaps not the wisest move, she thought as she tried to do it again, to be too predictable.

Because when she leapt a second time to do him the same, he caught her foot as she lashed out. With a strangled gasp and a cry, he hurled her at some passerby with unkempt hair. There was no way to avoid this collision, at least on her part.
 
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The Vagabond

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The crowded streets eventually thinned out as he walked further and further from the marketplace, a relief really as he could now completely focus on the bizarre coin he had acquired; the hushed conversation between passerby’s and pointed glares that accompanied them were beginning to irritate Zane, sure he looked a bit worse for ware and the scar covering a noticeable part of his face weren’t exactly a pleasant sight but people could at least pretend to have some manners, it quickly dawned on him that they were staring at him because he was having a heated conversation with a coin. Embarrassed, irritated and still so very tired he thought it best to put the conversation on hold until he got always from the crowds.

“Alright Mr.Coin what exactly are you? Some kind of evil spirit that’s possessing a coin? Perhaps you’ve been sealed inside this thing? Oh! Maybe you’re an undiscovered species that can change its appearance? Or maybe-“
‘Cease your incessant ramblings fool! You couldn’t begin to comprehend what I am nor the manner of violence and pain I will inflict on you if you do not silence yourself!’
“Wow.”
The threat from the piece of silver didn’t have the required effect as Zanes curiosity only intensified, he knew he could get answers from whatever this being was he just needed to pull the correct strings. After a few silent minutes of walking he was getting closer to his destination, he could see taverns, inns aplenty. He stared at the silver coin for a few seconds “Don’t think I haven’t noticed that you’re trying to posses me” silence “I can feel your toxic presence trying to claw your way in here” he pointed at his temple “I’m not well versed in magic and I don’t think I’ve ever met a spirit before but I’ve done plenty of reading about possessions, mind control and that occult stuff, I knew that you were something I couldn’t let my guard down around.” More silence “give it up, your not going have any luck getting inside my head.” It’s a strange thing staring at an inanimate object hoping to spot some sort of reaction, if a coin could look guilty Zane was sure it would look like this. ‘Why did you purchase me knowing my nature?’ It was Zanes turn to be silent. ‘You may know my nature but I know yours human. You’re too curious for your own good, you knew that I would try and take your soul but you couldn’t help yourself because you have a need learn what you can’t and posses what you shouldn’t, well fear not for this is the reason I chose you and not that money hungry merchant, I can only do so much with what I have and you and I are a very good match.’ A long silence from Zane gave the spirit enough encouragement to continue, its tone was softer now ‘Curiosity is not a bad thing human, seeking what is not readily available is a quality most admirable, i would not have nearly as much distain for your race if more were like you. Now drop your defences and allow me to share the great secrets of this world with you, I will grant you power as well; enough that you will be truly free from these human constraints. Let me in Zane.’

With a casual flick of the thumb he sent the coin a few feet in the air before catching it, Zane continued his journey to the inn “wow, when you get going you can sure talk huh? Well it’s a nice offer and all but I’m going to have to pass, I may be reckless and a bit of a thrill seeker but I’m not so stupid as to let something take over my soul just for a little bit of power and knowledge.” As expected the coin was silent now, it was probably regretting not taking over that merchant when it had the chance. At this point it would be wise to destroy this thing when an opportunity presented itself or maybe hand it over to whoever had authority on these matters, the college perhaps? Any fool unlucky enough to handle this thing without a reasonable defence could be taken over by it.

The inn was close now just a few hundred yards and he could finally have a warm bath a hot meal and a well earned rest. There was a sudden explosion of wood and splinters as what appeared to be a women flew out of a tavern. Curious, Zane approached to get a better look.

What he saw surprised him at first; a women who cut an intimidating figure with her headdress of animal bones and feathers and a sharp looking blade fastened to her back, the man she was fighting was taller and bigger than her by a significant amount, but the way she carried herself made her seem much larger than the drunk. Whilst they both had gotten a few good hits in during their exchange it was pretty obvious who would emerge victorious; the man had the size advantage and the alcohol he had consumed would numb the pain somewhat but that would only get him so far against a skilled fighter which this woman was. If he was fully rested Zane would have probably stayed to watch the fight unfold even if he already knew who was going to emerge victorious, he turned towards the inn once more.

Before he knew what happened he was on the ground, red hot pain was the first thing he noticed, he gingerly touched his nose; it wasn’t broken but it was bleeding. Somehow the woman flew quite the distance to collide with him. He sat up and looked over at the grounded fighter “hey are you okay?” Zanes heart skipped a beat as he realised he was no longer holding the coin, he must have dropped it when he was hit, he spotted it almost immediately it was on the ground, right in front of the drunkard, this was bad. The coin drew the mans attention just as it did Zanes earlier today. “Hey! Don’t touch that!” Too late the brute picked it up. His face twisted in pain and then he screamed as no human could, intangible power wrapped itself around the man. Physically nothing had changed but those eyes, they weren’t human anymore. “Er lady it might be a good idea to draw that sword of yours” Zane threw two of his hidden knives at the charging monster they hit their intended target one in the upper left shoulder and one in the lower abdomen but it didn’t seem to do an awful lot as the man was quickly closing the distance, Zane quickly armed himself with his two short daggers and jumped further back to avoid the mass of power speeding towards him and the woman.
 
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Aeyliea

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The collision was violent enough that it drove the breath from her lungs, leaving her in a heap on the ground. The position and situation was unflattering in every conceivable way.

She got up on hands and knees, choking a bit as she regained her breath, blood dripping from her nose and a superficial gash on her arm. "Son of the beget of pigs," she snarled in her thickly accented common. She sparks a mouthful of blood on the street, and got back to her feet in time to see the giant fellow reach down and pick something up off the ground. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end as something happened. Something supernatural in nature.

The inhuman scream cut through the street like a knife,causing passersby to look towards the looming figure. Something was clearly happening there, although the mercenary captain could not see the argent magic swirling about her for. She could feel it though, vile and dark.

"Spirits fend," she said in her own native tongue, coarse language rich. She made a warding gesture with her hands, quaintly tribal gesture against evil. "What manner of demon is this?" She looked profoundly uneasy at the damage the thing that had been a human toom without any response, and spit as another warding gesture, as if that would be enough.

And then he charged.

She did not draw her great two-handed weapon yet, and she did not leap aside either. She stood definently in the demon's path, and only at the last second moved with terrifying speed, sweeping its legs out from under it. It was like kicking stone, and she grit her teeth at the pain even as the thing gave a grunt of exasperation,careening forward to land face first in the street.

From afar, the sounds of whistles and bells was rising,but not quickly.
 

The Vagabond

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Panic swept over the street, the air was heavy with malice and power, even the most oblivious individuals could feel the wicked energy radiating off the brute, people began running away from the scene, the smart thing to do really, Zane would probably join them in any other circumstance - despite being quite the skilled fighter he always tried to avoid the act of fighting if he could help it, but due to his carelessness he allowed the coin to slip from his grasp and take control of someone, he would have great trouble sleeping if someone was killed as a consequence and considering the demonic being took two of his knives to its body without flinching, killing the thing seems like the only way to stop it.

Maybe it was fatigue or the throbbing of his bloody nose but Zane knew something was wrong with this scene he just couldn’t figure out what - and it wasn’t the fact otherworldly power which had been residing in a magical coin had possessed an angry drunk who now wanted to kill him.

He watched with bated breath as the silver haired mercenary stood stubbornly in the path of the charging madman, he couldn’t see too clearly from the angle he was standing but the woman was making some intricate movements with her hands but it didn’t appear to do much as the charging man was now on top of her, Zane quickly began to dash towards the pair to assist the woman, he gripped both of his blades tight and steeled his will, whilst the fiend was distracted with the mercenary he would have an opportunity to kill it.

The female warrior was quick, unbelievably quick; she expertly grounded the man with a powerful kick. He fell at Zanes feet, face down. No matter how tough this thing was surely plunging a knife into the back of its skull would be enough to end this, he spun the small blade in his hand with remarkable grace to angle it correctly and then proceeded to sink the dagger into the mans head, but he hesitated - Zane had never took someone’s life before and the thought of it turned his stomach however this was not the reason he didn’t administer the finishing blow. He finally figured out what had been bugging him about this whole mess after he caught a glimpse of the mans bloody clenched fist in the corner of his eye.

During his conversation with the demon earlier he took note of its demeanour, whilst it was undeniably tainted with evil it was cunning and even somewhat charismatic, so why then did this man turn into a mindless raging beast when the demon took over? Perhaps it didn’t completely posses this person; there was a reason it didn’t posses the merchant at the stall and there was probably ample opportunities to posses others in its long existence as a piece of silver but it chose not to, it said to Zane earlier that it can only do so much with what it possesses, so maybe it didn’t want to do something so permanent as merging with a ‘subpar’ human, this would explain why the man hadn’t let go of the coin since picking it up; he was holding that thing so tight that his closed fist was leaking with blood where the silver must be digging into the poor mans skin. If Zanes theory was correct the coin was just feeding the thug a huge amount of magical energy which his mind obviously couldn’t handle causing him to snap. All that evil magic in his system was just amplifying the rage and blood-thirst he had at the time of picking up the coin - at least that was Zanes thought process.

Not missing a beat Zane slammed his heel on the grounded mans fist, there was a sickening crunch as the bones in his hand were crushed, his grip loosened enough that a swift kick sent the demonic coin a few yards down the street. The suns heat could be felt again, everything seemed brighter, the air was clean and easily breathable once more as the cold, twisted energy quickly dispersed. The relief was short lived however as whistles and bells that he had been hearing for the past few minutes were getting closer and closer, no doubt it was this cities authority figures. Zane had no interest explaining what had happened here, mainly because he knew he would get the brunt of the blame for this; which wasn’t completely unfair. Who knows if the now unconscious man would still be himself when he wakes up, Zanes carelessness could cost this stranger dearly, and it could cost himself a trip to prison or worse.

He made his way over to the coin and pocketed it quickly, he purposely didn’t look at the woman as he tried to hide his growing guilt “That was crazy huh? You sure can fight” he forced a chuckle as he started to move away from the area trying his best to look casual and unassuming “you probably didn’t even need my help, I’m sure you would have an easier time of it if I didn’t get in your way.” He tried his best to wipe to blood from his nose as he increased the speed of his walk in the opposite direction of the whistles and bells, he didn’t look back he just hoped the woman wasn’t following him, she probably wanted to ask some uncomfortable questions or worse; drive that sword through his back. He kept himself armed just incase.
 
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Aeyliea

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"Get in my way, that is a fancy city way for saying break my fall?" she asked in her accented common. Her voice had a lilting quality to it, even if the cadence of her words was a bit...different.

Up close,she looked exactly like what she was - some plains tribal woman, of a warrior bent. And despite the boy's best efforts, she was easily keeping pace with him, grim expression on her face. She was pointedly looking at where that coin had gone as if she could sense it, somehow.

She worked her arms as she walked, and moved quickly to get side by side with the young man. 'Hurryinh you should nit," she said quietly, in a conversational tone. "At ease you must look, or stole you the guards will." She indicated the sterl caps bobbing in the crowd ahead with a cheerful grin on her face. She was also moving in a way that made it u comfortably obvious she was a woman. Advertising, after a fashion.

If the coin she said nothing, though she kept glancing at where he had pocketed it, unconsciously making the sign against evil spirits as she did.
 

The Vagabond

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The silver haired warrior matched his pace with ease; which was impressive considering if he went any faster it would be more of a run.Quickly and quietly he sheathed both of his small blades when it became apparent that she wasn’t going to immediately attack him.

It was easy to forget that she was, in fact, a ‘she’ after watching her fight, her pretty voice reminded him of this. Though she was speaking in the common tongue it did have a twinge of something foreign. At his side now, she was making conversation, her accent was more striking than before, it took half a second to understand what she was saying but he immediately heeded her advice and slowed his pace and wore a somewhat lackadaisical expression. It seemed to work as the peacekeepers made their way past the pair without so much as a glance. “Thanks” sighed Zane, the adrenaline in his system was slowly dispersing, he finally looked at the lady with a grateful smile. She was pretty, very pretty and she moved in a way that wasn’t unpleasant. He could feel his cheeks heat up; luckily the dirt and specs of dried blood on his face hid his blush.

Awkward silences were torture for Zane, luckily he had a gift for talking about inconsequential matters to fill the vacuum of quiet they had been walking in for nearly a minute “I’m Zane by the way, Zane Silver. I’m a vagabond of sorts, I just wanted to find a place to sleep when I ran into you and that guy brawling, he had some serious magical power huh? I wonder if he was human?” He didn’t really know why he was trying to hide his involvement in the incident, destroying the coin or handing it over to someone who dealt with these sort of matters made the most sense, it was the right thing to do but it would be such a waste to not at least try and learn something from it right? He knew intellectually that it was a weak justification but this is what made Zane who he was, the unknown fascinated him, no danger was too great if he could momentarily quench that eternal thirst for knowledge.

There was an inn not too much further down the street, old and rustic but perfect. All he needed now was to avoid the mercenaries suspicions that he was some kind of evil sorcerer and then he could finally rest.
 
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Aeyliea

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She could still feel that dark stain, the one that had consumed the spirit of the drunken brawler with little effort. Unlike Zane, she had little problem with silence. When speaking, one should not waste breath or energy on idle nothings. Even small talk had a purpose for her, and that was generally getting a man to doff his pants and roll in a bed with her.

Silence was also useful for getting information from people who could not stand it.

"Aeyliea," she said in response to his name. "I am...a sword for hire, as you city dwellers call them." She was also a bit more...closed mouth. She never told lies, but the truth she spoke might not be the one you thought you heard. She was a mercenary, but more than that, she ran a company. A small one, sure, but highly specialized. This was something the boy did not need to know, even if her particular specialty was dealing with mages.

And Aeyliea really did not like mages. The shamans were one thing, bonecasters in tune with the world they lived in. The vile sorcery she had born witness to not long ago made her skin itch. In fact, she was of a mind to dig at this particular problem.

If Zane thought he was going to avoid her suspicion, he was grossly mistaken.

"Well, that is great," she said brightly. "Getting drunk I was in the process of. That watering hole not friendly anymore, perhaps." She grinned in a disarming way at the young man. "I'll buy," she added. Her intentions were clear enough.
 

The Vagabond

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Zane was completely on the back foot during this whole exchange and he knew it; and now this woman, this deadly sword for hire wanted to grab a drink with him. “Alright, a drink sounds good.” This was a terrible idea.

The old inn had seen better days; tattered rugs were unceremoniously placed around the room, probably to cover up broken floorboards or stains of one variety or another, the smell of grease and stale alcohol formed a subtle but sickly scent that would stick to a person until they scrubbed their skin thoroughly. Fortunately the place seemed deserted apart from the hefty woman wiping down the counter where they poured drinks and sold their wears.

It was about time Zane started taking control of this situation, he didn’t like being on the back foot for long. The woman behind the bar gave the pair a quick examine before she put on her hostess facade; she was good, welcoming and disarming, she showed no obvious sign that she was uncomfortable despite Zane and Aeyliea’s appearance.

“Two mugs of your cheapest ale please” he gave the lady an apologetic smile and made his way to a table at the opposite corner of the room, he didn’t wait for his clingy companion in an attempt to get Aeyliea off balance “your name is liable to get me a little tongue tied after a couple of drinks, do you mind if I call you Liea for short?” He kept the forced smile on his lips as he sat down.

Quickly and skilfully without so much as a rustle of his cloak he switched the coin into another one of his hidden pockets. He wasn’t sure why he done this.
 
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Aeyliea

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Stormy blue-gray eyes regarded him, unreadable. "You may not," she said flatly. She did not understand the need for shortening the name of a person. It made no sense; a name was a very intimate and personal thing. Names had power, after all, something the people of the cities did not know or had forgotten. "You may call me Captain, if my name is too much for you."

Mugs of ale set on the table, and she picked hers up without a second of hesitation. And then spit it out after a single swallow. "What swill is this," she declared angrily. She set it down with a look of disgust on her pretty face, and fished around in the linen purse until she came up with a thick silver mark that she tossed carelessly on the trailer. "Something better," she demanded.

She had the distinct impression that this young man was up to something. She didn't buy that the situation she had been thrust in was as he had claimed it to be. The oaf that she had been fighting (and losing to) had not been bright enough to use magic of that caliber. And she had killed a few mages, enough to know.

The hostess came back with mugs of thick, yeasty ale that had a distinct dream-like flavour to it. Ut was much more to the captain's liking. She drained the whole thing in a single go, then slammed the empty mug onto the table. The grin she gave the boy was friendly enough, and inviting.
 

The Vagabond

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The drink was flat and didn’t have much of a flavour to it; this didn’t bother Zane too much however, cheap is usually all he could afford these days and cheap food and drink tends to be pretty tasteless, as long as his stomach was reasonably full and his thirst was quenched he was content.

Aeyliea didn’t seem to care much for his casual manner “aye aye captain” he mumbled in between small sips. The mercenary obviously didn’t share his philosophy on uncostly refreshments as she demanded something of higher quality, not one to turn down free, well, anything, he didn’t object. He had about half a mug of the dark tasteless ale left before the server brought two more mugs to the table, even at a glance they were obviously superior to what he had been drinking.

Zane watched with an arched eyebrow and an amused smile as the sellsword finished her beverage whole, she slammed the now empty cup on the table and gave him a look that indicated a challenge. A few scenarios raced around Zanes head; if he could get the woman drunk perhaps she’d be more open to believing his story but considering he hadn’t eaten since last night and Aeyliea seemed like a woman who could handle her drink whilst Zane himself was not much of a drinker, it would be much more likely that he would either let something he shouldn’t slip or he would simply fall asleep. He could probably handle this one drink without too much trouble but much more and his head will be swimming and he wanted to keep his wits about him. So he decided to tell a story of half truths and use a few underhanded tactics to cloud her suspicions.

“Cheers” he too finished the mug of rich ale in a few gulps, he placed the empty mug down with more grace than his partner as he wiped the excess beer off his chin with his free hand. “So, Liea” purposely ignoring her request for a more formal tone “you’re obviously not one that can easily be fooled” he leaned back with a sigh, looking defeated “the truth is, i’m somewhat of a collector, I go from place to place looking for certain items, items that have been tainted or stained with evil magic” he produced the demonic coin with a flick of the wrist and held the piece of silver between his two fingers so she could get a good look “I collect these things to keep them out of circulation so they don’t end up in the wrong hands” he was starting to feel the alcohol go to his head, maybe he was more of a lightweight than he originally thought “I learn all there is to know about the treasures I acquire which usually ends up revealing a hint of sorts on how to fight similar evils and then I destroy said item, it’s tough but rewarding work.” He placed the coin in the centre of the table and crossed his arms trying to think up a number of responses to potential queries or questions the mercenary could throw his way.
 

Aeyliea

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She stared at the coin, eyes veiled. She waved down the hostess again, not feeling any need to explain why. Should be obvious, by this point, that the warrior woman was in this for the long haul.

"Evil, this thing is. Tainted by spirits of the netherworld." She made a gesture of warding at it, and spit on the floor, heedless of the hostess's disgusted look. She wrinkled her nose as if from a bad smell, which was more or less truth. "The maker's blood on my hands, a sweet thought indeed," she said. There was no bravado, only resolute statement of truth there.

Fresh alcohol arrived, and she took half of it at a go. If the drink affects her in any way, it did not reflect in her stormy eyes. Unless the softening of those hard eyes counted for anything.

She did not buy that he was a collector of anything. She did not call him on it, though. Wouldn't do to offend his sense of self if she planned on bedding him, although she might have to kill him before that ever became a thing. She was not particularly tolerant of liars, nor were any of the people in her tribe. Especially after Vel Anir, and their deceits and the deaths at their hands.

"This should be destroyed now, not later." The words were clearly a statement. "Does not matter, though. You must be well tavelled," she asked, interest in her words.
 

The Vagabond

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Her face was hard to read, how much did she believe, did she care? “Yes, well I fear the creator of this coin maybe long dead, but don’t fret I will destroy this thing as soon as I know how to safely do so.” He casually reached for the piece and removed it from sight.


The mercenary clearly had distain for this brand of magic; not that he could blame her really, after seeing the chaos it could inflict on their fellow man. More alcohol seemed ill-considered but by the tone of Aeyliea’s voice she was done talking about demonic coins, at least for now and Zane was looking for any excuse to end this topic of conversation so he latched onto the question posed by the woman.


“You could say that I suppose, I’ve certainly had some bizarre encounters and frightening trails as I’m sure you have.” He took a of large gulp of the smooth alcohol, it only took a few short moments before he was feeling the effects of the liquor work its way to his head, suddenly everything seemed a lot more interesting, funnier, he met Aeyliea’s stormy eyes, and prettier than originally thought; or perhaps he could see more clearly now without the distraction of the demonic coin. “But I guess I could tell you a few of my favourite adventures.” Zane eagerly recounted tales of his travels; he was in his element now, few could match Zanes gift for spinning an excellent story, as he tended to do when he was entertaining a group of drunken men, a lost soul on the path or even a few children who were simply bored, he would base the premise of the tale on a truth and then romance it up somewhat, the drunker he got the more outrageous the story, the taller the tale. With glee and awe he told the warrior of the time he rode a dragon high above the clouds. He chocked back laughter as he recalled the time he saw an elf eat some colourful mushrooms and then attempt to seduce a tree. With a heavy heart he described an encounter with a vampire that had been abducting children right out of their beds in a small village, using the guise of a priest. Werewolf mare maids, castles flying through the sky and worlds inside mirrors were on the more ridiculous end of the spectrum but Zane was having too much fun weaving these narratives to care.


He didn’t keep track of how much he was drinking but his mug was never empty for long which probably wasn’t a good sign. “Anyway, that’s errr those are some of my most me-memorable moments, it’s kinda crazy that only a little over year ago I had only ever been inside the walls of V-Vel...Vel Anir” he laughed as he finished off his drink, his now heavy head swaying from side to side.
 

Aeyliea

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Vel Anir.

There was a deep history between her and this city state, dark and blood-drenched though it might be. One day, she hoped, she would return to her people and lead them, along with a sizable force of specialized mercenaries, against the city itself. She could hear the screams of it's people fleeing the thunder of the horsecwarriors, cut down to bleed to death in the streets. She could imagine the trophies adorning the warriors that killed with the sweet taste of vengeance in their mouths...

Today was not that day. This boy was of this city, but at this moment it was that coin he had displayed that had her attention. she did not trust him to dispose of it as he said - either to keep it himself, else sell it on to someone else. The Norei woman did not believe that magic such as that belonged in the world. That which was practiced by the shamans was one thing, but this and so many others...

She could certainly feel the alcohol coursing through her veins after what she judged to be an hour of him spinning tales and her listening attentively- if not believing- to his words. He was obviously getting the worst end of the drinking game, which was just as well.

Bed him or at least let him think he is getting lucky, then slip that coin free. Destroy it myself. Sounded like a reasonable plan. Now, if she could only execute it, and after a gallon of ale that was a solid question to ask.

"You seem to have seen a thing or two," she purred at him,a crooked smile in her face. "Werewolf mermaids, to think such a wonder could exist in this world..."

She leaned across the table in a particularly...provocative fashion, cheeks faintly flushed, eyes glassy. Perhaps nowhere near as far gone as she was making herself look, though. "I would love to hear more..but perhaps a bit more...privately?"