Fable - Ask Sticks and Stones

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first

Aeyliea

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Are you really there?

There was no answer. There had been no answer from the creature in her mind since she had slipped away from the sacred places out on the great Sea. Even now, still on the edge of the Sea - the euphemism given to the great grasslands of the Savannah by her people - she was unsure whether or not any of it had been real. If not for her ability to see in the dark. If not for her inability to reach out to any of the other deities of the No'rei, as though her singular connection with whatever the shadow figure was denied all the others.

Aeyliea had lay staring into the star-filled sky at night, wondering at what it all meant. She was a Seer, blessed by the Seven with a unique gift that she had not even wanted at first. At first. After years of training, and the realization that the gift was more than simply interpreting the will of the Seven, she had finally - if reluctantly - embraced the training. Among the many things she had been taught was a healthy fear of the things that lurked in the unseen world. That was where the Seven resided, so it was said...and it was also the realm of demons and wraiths that would snatch an unwary Seer's soul and occupy their flesh.

Is that what you are? A demon? The white-haired plains warrior had no idea.

She shook her head, and looked back up and, more importantly, outward.

She did not know the name of this town. It was many miles outside of Alliria - another place she did not really know - and served as a stopping point for trade heading into the city from Fal'Addas, Vel Anir, and points between. Dust filled the air from carts and wagons trundling along the main street with their loads. It was not a quiet place, either, and for that alone she disliked it. Carters yelling at pedestrians and other carters, drovers hollering at livestock in the distance; the hubbub of saloons and inns, of travelers and roughneck workers, merchants, and caravan guards. The thunder rang in her ears, and she wished she could press herself back into the shadows even further, escape the noise and the heat. Early in the season, but on the Sea of Grass the seasons turned hot early and cold late. Spring was well under way, and already the sweltering heat had taken root. The rains had not truly begun yet, either, and would add an extra layer of misery when they finally arrived.

"Well, well," came a voice from her left, and she turned her head sharply at the words. Her hair clicked as she did so; the braid running from head to rump was festooned with feathers and worked beads of stone and bones. They were not merely decorations, although they served as such; among her people, they marked her as a Seer. And among the traitors...

"Looks like they let the savages in town again," the voice said. It belonged to a tall lanky fellow with blade at hip and bow on back. He wasn't alone, either; there were four others, a woman and three men, all dressed in leathers and likewise armed. Caravan guards, the savannah witch' mind provided for her. She scowled at them, but said nothing. "We know your business, savage," he continued, "and it is not welcome round here. Come to town to scout out your next target, eh?"

Aeyliea shrugged in response, and the fellow's face tightened at it. The woman in the group put a hand on his shoulder, and murmured something to him. He shook her off, and took a step forward. "Don't care, May, don't care. If she didn't want trouble, she should have kept to her mudhole in the grass," he snapped.

"Trouble, no need," the pale-skinned witch said, suddenly. It was not the first time she had been subject to vitriol from people on the edge of the Sea. Her people had raided and killed those who trespassed upon the grass for hundreds of years. Thousands. Even now, in an era of ever strengthening city states, none could simply sweep the No'rei into the sandy wastes to the west, and so their depredations continued unabated.

She was of the mind that they were all traitors. The short spears at her back and the leather buckler at her hip were not there for show, and these traitors could not intimidate her any better than any of the others had before them. "Leave, will this one," she added, and got to her feet.

"You ain't going anywhere, bitch. I lost friends because of your friends out there. I can't get at the blokes what did it, but I can get at you." He took another step forward, She did not step back.

"Pitir, you are going to get us clapped in irons again," one of the men warned. It wasn't a particularly strong admonishment, though. He certainly made no effort to step forward to stop what everyone here knew was coming.

I do not need this right now. It was bad enough that she could not return to her home - and that in and of itself was a tale. The very land seemed to rise against her every time she went west; when she went east, the way was always open. Demon, or one of the Seven? Malevolent, or beneficent? Didn't matter just this moment.

Pitir stepped forward, and grabbed hold of the woman. His grip was strong, and he grabbed her left arm, a twisted and scarred thing that was nearly worthless to her. She scowled at the rough treatment...and then drove her knee into his nuts. Pitir went cross-eyed for a moment, dropping to his knees and releasing the savage - who then kicked him in the face, sending him sprawling on his back with a cry of pain and a splatter of blood.

The woman - May - dropped to help her companion, all the while shooting baleful looks to Aeyliea. The men? They advanced.

Great.
 

Varo

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Life was going pretty damn good.

Business was booming back in Alliria, things were going well with Colette, and he finally had the...uhh other half of him under control. At least somewhat anyway. Ever since he'd visited home and had that chat with his father things had really been looking up.

He wasn't sure if that was because of luck or sagely advice, but it really was...nice.

For once in his life he was being chased, hunted, run down or anything of the sort. It felt good. It felt like he was finally getting what he des-

His head turned as he heard shouting, thoughts interrupted by a crowd of people that had gathered around something. He frowned for a moment, trying to raise himself up to his full height to peer over the gathered shoulders. When he couldn't get a closer look, he skulked forward.

The sight that came to home was not a pleasant one, half a dozen men surrounding one woman. They slowly stepped towards her. Two already on the ground.

Eyes darted to the woman, then the men. Well if she's already taken two maybe she can take six...

Varo thought, rather optimistically. Though a fidget ran over him. He didn't like seeing something like this. Didn't like...well, watching something that had happened to him a dozen times over. Especially considering everything Colette had said. A frown flickered over his features, and slowly he pressed his way through the crowd.
 

Aeyliea

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She spit at the feet of the assailants as they came at her, the final act of defiance before the violence began. The No'rei dropped into a fighting stance, but her weapons remained on her back. She knew - all too well - that the people of this place would frown on her quite harshly if she gutted these men for their transgressions on her honor.

Pitir was already getting back up, with help from the woman May. A detail stored in the back of her mind; the first of the trio advancing on her stepped forward, and swung hard. A crowd of people had gathered - a common thing in cities, where blood sport was popular - and someone in the crowd laughed, speaking in the common tongue that Aeyliea understood too little of.

She ducked and wove away from the fellow, and then swept his legs out from under him with her own, takign a step forward and then dodging maladroitly as one of the others tried to grab her. That saved the man she had knocked down from a vicious kick in the ribs.

Another pair of hands seized her bad arm. She twisted to face the new attacker, trying to dodge and failing to escape one of the other men. Together, they held her by her arms in a painful grip. She tried to shake them off, but failed to break free as Pitir got to his feet, his woman helping steady him. She couldn't help but smirk at the awkward step as he came up to her, clearly still pained by her well-placed knee.

"Your kind belong in the ground," he growled. In response, she grinned and spit in his face, her deep blue eyes glittering with some strange emotion. The man snarled, and drove his fist into the soft spot just below her ribs, driving the air from her lungs and leaving her to hang by the arms from those holding her up.

"Pitir...," May said in a hurried whisper. "You shouldn't-"

"Clap me in irons, I don't care," he said. "I am going to enjoy this. You kill my mates, but I follow the law-" ...mostly... "-and won't kill you." He looked at the gathering of people round him. "Shove off, this ain't no business of yours."
 

Zulryn Oknu

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Goddess, it’s so hot. Zulryn is already not a fan of this new type of heat, so different from her own home’s cool and mild summers. The noise around her didn’t help. The people, too, were not…friendly. She moved quickly to avoid their stares.

"We know your business, savage." The distant, aggressive words drew her attention to the group of people surrounding a woman. The one who spoke appeared to be the leader, and he continued, "and it is not welcome round here. Come to town to scout out your next target, eh?"

A woman tried to dissuade him to no avail. People were already gathering to see the commotion, but no one stepped forward.

She tensed when the man grabbed the woman, only to be delighted when he was kicked between his legs. Zulryn silently cheered her on. The other two advanced and the woman fended them off, the crowd laughing at their pain. She managed to push in between them, watching as they finally managed to grab her and beat her down.

"Shove off, this ain't no business of yours." The kneed man spat.

Zulryn looked around for anyone that might step in, spotting one young man with a frown who went to move between them. Seeing this, she finally gained some courage and yelled out, “Hey, leave her alone already!”

Aeyliea Varo
 
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Varo

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Varo locked eyes with a stranger, and in that moment he knew he was well and truly fucked.

Perhaps it was that newfound civic responsibility that Colette had trained into him. Perhaps it was the quiet whisper of what was right and wrong. Maybe it was just dumb stupid luck, but he knew that he couldn't let this happen. Not while he was standing here, not with everyone else just watching.

Well everyone except that other stranger. "Yeah!"

He added his own voice to the fray, something that he knew he'd probably regret later. Still, he did it anyway. Stepping forward and motioning towards the so called 'savage'.

"The fuck are you to pick on someone outnumbered and half your size?" He demanded. The woman had handled herself well of course, better than Varo could have, but the principal was still the same. "Why don't you tr-"

Before he could even finish his sentence one of the other men ran over to him and threw a fist into his face.
 

Aeyliea

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The blow might have incapacitated someone else, someone softer. Someone like the city folk, for instance. She sagged a moment, then forced herself up to her feet, sobbing for breath and fighting the rising bile in her traitorous throat.

She heard the voices of others, speaking in their foreign tongue, and saw her assailants turn to look at the intruders with first surprise, then anger. Well...the men holding her, and the one that got one blow in were angry; May and one of the others - a wiry fellow that didn't look particularly strong - suddenly looked uneasy. The one remaining fellow of their group rushed up to strike the man that had spoken up in her defense - not that she really knew that right then.

It was an opportunity. Aeyliea jerked her right arm - her good arm - from the suddenly distracted man holding it, and then turn and bit the other man on his arm hard enough to draw blood, the saline taste filling her mouth as he cried out in surprise and pain. A blow to the back of her head staggered her for a moment, knocking her loose from the man she had bitten, who stepped back quickly, looking at the blood dripping from the bite.

Ducked to one side, hair clicking as she did; a fist passed through empty air, and she turned and head-butted the bastard that had tried to sneak up on her, breaking his nose. Things went a little grey for a moment for her, though; two blows to the head, nevermind one of them was of her own will, were not to be taken lightly.

Several of the onlookers took off down the dusty street, and already bells were ringing from some distance off. The watch would be on their way - to break up an ostensible barroom brawl, although that was not what this was.

Bitten fellow rounded on Varo, and May turned to face Aeyliea while the bloodied man she had busted in the face staggered back, both hand clapped to his nose. Zulryn, for the moment, remained forgotten by everyone except the white-haired No'rei, but until the girl actually did something she was just considered another non-combatant.

For now.
 

Zulryn Oknu

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Zulryn looked on in alarm as the man who spoke up was swiftly punched in the face, then grew even more panicked when the bells began ringing. She tried to break up the fight first before any authorities got here.

She went for the man who punched the other one. As he tried to go for another one, Zulryn quickly sneaked up behind him and landed a hit on the back of his neck. Having good strength the blow was quite heavy and the man cried out as he fell down for a moment.

She went to fully kick him down, but couldn’t as a strong arm snaked around her own neck and almost lifted her up. Choking, she decided to take a leaf out of the white-haired woman’s book—she chomped on the flesh and was rewarded with the hand loosening up, on which she took advantage and elbowed right into the man’s chest.

Now, she was fully let go and nearly slumped to the ground, coughing and trying to breathe.

Varo Aeyliea
 
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Varo

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Keep control. The words echoed in his head even as the fist bashed into his face.

Pain lanced through him, but all that he could think about was the mantra echoing in his head.

He knew what he'd gotten himself into. He knew what could have happened. There was no question in it, and there was no fault. Varo just had to make sure that he followed the resounding song within his head. He had to keep control.

He couldn't lose it.

If he did everyone in this village would die, or end up worse.

So, even as pain lanced through him. Even as the brawl continued to devolve into more and more and more violence Varo kept control. He let out a roar as he pulled himself back up, suddenly darting towards the man who had lifted Zulryn from the ground.

It was by no means the tactic of a soldier, but Varo wasn't anything close. He leaped from his feet, tackling the with a hard crash and sending him sprawling to the floor with two quick punches to the face. His head coming down a second later to smash his forehead into the man's nose.
 

Aeyliea

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The woman came at her, and her man - an assumption, but likely a good one - would not be far behind. Eyes like stormy skies narrowed, and she sidestepped the woman easily. They might be drovers or carters, they might even be 'van guards, but most people of the cities were soft. Too comfortable by half.

The ringing bells grew louder, and Aeyliea hissed in vexation. It really took little more than a thought, little more than a desire for the thing she wished. This time, at least. She could feel the alien presence in the back of her mind, coiled like a viper and watching with faint interest as the brawl went down. One reptilian eye opened, the impression of amusement -

- and one of the feathers in her hair crumbled to ashes, traces of black soot marring her white hair -

- and she moved. Quick, far quicker than a human should be able to. She danced round her female opponent, delivering a flurry of wicked, knife-handed blows to her ribs and abdomen before sweeping her from her feet, and then stepping into the recovering fool that had started the whole thing. The burst of speed was already fading, but there was just enough of the magic granted to her by Lorien - she thought it was Lorien - to allow her to slip past a half-hearted swing of the fist and drive her own into his face again, and then for good measure her knee back into the familiar territory of his crotch.

"Stop! Stop this madness, stop it right now!" The words were from the man in the lead of a dozen men and women in boiled leather armor, fire-hardened truncheons in hand. They had blades, but those were sheathed at their hips. "The lot of you are heading to the gaol if you don't stand down!"
 

Zulryn Oknu

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Ughh. Next time, she’s watching her back.

The man she had hit in the neck seemed to be getting up, so she did the only thing she could and smacked him on the head with her bow. The man slumped to the ground, this time for good.

Just in time, the watch came over. Zulryn stood up quickly and held up her hands. "Stop! Stop this madness, stop it right now!"

She gulped and looked at the still-standing parties.

Varo Aeyliea
 
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Varo

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Almost as soon as the guard arrived Varo's hands shot up.

That was another lesson that Colette had managed to teach him in their time together. Disobeying the local authorities was almost always the path to the nearest prison. It was usually better to just obey, give some excuse, and then be allowed to walk away.

"Sure thing officer!" Varo said as his hands raised up into the air.

Blood spotted his knuckles, crimson powdered over the white of his skin as he looked up towards the city watch with a smile.

The beast that welled within him roiled quietly, raging. It wanted to come out, breach through his skin and rage within this town. It raged, roared, demanded, but Varo kept it quiet. The Sheer weight of his will pressed down on the creature, holding it in place.

An easy smile touched his face, concealing the anger in his bestial heart. "We were just defending the liberties of the people."

The face offered with a smile.
 
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Aeyliea

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The shaman's head snapped up at the arrival of the peacekeepers and their shouted orders. The look in her eyes was of stark distrust and anger; her eyes glittered like chips of ice. Her midriff had acquired the ache that spoke of a bruise - better than a bleeding wound, for sure, but the singular blow her male 'friend' had delivered while she was held immobile would likely bruise her breasts and sides as well.

"The fuck you are," said the leader of the group. Probably a captain or a corporal or whatever passed for a lead in these parts. The man that delivered it sported plenty of scars and had some age on him, clear indicators that he was both seasoned and not a fool. Men in the line of law enforcement in such a lawless place as this wouldn't live long if they were naive fools. "Breaching the peace is what you are doing. What's this all about, eh?"

"That inhuman witch attacked us!" May shouted the lie with a vehemence that left spittle flying from her lips. Although Aeyliea's grasp of common was weak, she could understand the sarcasm in the guards voices, and clearly understood the accusation from the harlot as well. She bared her teeth in a non-smile, the wicked incisors gleaming in her mouth as though filed to points.

"Sundered whelping hyena lie," she said in a low growl. "Watching road, was. Approach, fight," she said, and then for added emphasis, kicked the son-of-a-jackal that was sprawled on the ground in front of her in the ribs. The man groaned, but didn't move. "Others...help?" She gestured to the half-breed girl and the elfin man, the dark blue scales on her arms catching the light and seeming to glow with an iridescent light of their own.

The other members of the watch were moving round and did not seem to buy any of this. "Dont' care who started it," said the lead. "Rules are rules. No fighting - there's enough trouble round here without inviting more." He looked to the half-breed girl and scowled. "And some of you are too young to be getting involved in the stupid games of bigots," he added.

Watchmen and women stepped forward to capture and restrain everyone. One grabbed hold of the No'rei witch; she tried to shake them off, but that only earned a second and much more painful attempt. The woman that had her arm was deceptively strong.

Another took Zulryn by her arm, truncheon at the ready. And Varo, and May, and two to lift the groaning idiot off the ground, and before long everyone was well in hand. "Now, one more time friends, what the hell are you lot doing? Brawling over a woman? Not drunk, so...something else?"

It would appear they would be getting to spend some quality time together, after all.
 

Zulryn Oknu

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Zulryn peeked up to the men and women—they seemed strong and intimidating. She looked away when one of them met her eyes.

She grimaced as the woman shouted lies. They clearly started it first! The urge to say something was strong, but she was smart enough to push it down. No need to get herself in trouble further.

The white-haired lady gestured to them, speaking in broken Common. The leading officer clearly didn’t seem to buy this; she lowered her head in shame when he scolded her. She didn’t regret helping the lady, but she really shouldn’t have jumped in like that. She meeped out a barely-heard “Sorry.”

She didn’t resist as one woman took her arm—she couldn’t even if she tried. Zulryn hesitated when the officer asked what they were doing, and debated whether she should even speak up at all.

Varo Aeyliea
 
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Varo

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Varo was about to launch into an incredulous rant, shout something about civil liberties and Allirian law. It usually worked on the City Watch, but...well they weren't in a place that had a million residents. This village was small, and the Watch was probably bored.

Irons clasped around his hands, tying in front of him.

Almost immediately a sense of panic spiked through his chest.

Varo couldn't afford to be put in a cage, not now. Not if there wasn't any telling what was going to happen. Two weeks, that was what he had. After that...after that this place would be a slaughterhouse. Lips thinned as they were dragged forward, sat down in front of a gaggle of Watchmen.

"Listen, sir." This time his tone was surprisingly respectful. "Me and my..."

He glanced at Zulryn. "Me and this woman happened upon a crowd forming around a fight."

Better to be honest, he supposed.

"This lot was beating up on that woman." He pointed with his foot at Aeyliea. "And, well, I took exception to that. having faced some of that behavior myself in life."

Varo offered a winning smile. "We were just trying to make sure no one got killed before you could arrive."

It wasn't far from the truth.
 

Aeyliea

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"Maybe you should mind your own business," the stricken man managed to say. He hung in the arms of his captors - a thing that made the white-haired savage smile sardonically - and tried without much success to straighten himself. "The bitch roughed up some of my mates yesterday, and I was just returning the favor," he lied. His companions nodded knowingly, looking about as honest as crooked saints in the process.

"Shut up, Pitir," the lead man among the guards said. "You always were a lying scoundrel. Why couldn't you have the good sense to go die on one of your 'van tours?" The stricken man - and May - sputtered indignation at the words. "Take the lot of them to the southern gate house. You lot, you are coming with me."

The No'rei scowled. "All <<city dwelling scum>> lie," she muttered under her breath, breaking into her own native tongue - a flowing thing with a harsh edge to it. Her handler pushed her forward, and she went - there was no honor in fighting now, after all - and glared at the blue-eyed stranger that had stepped up in her defense. There was something...odd...about him, and she could not put her finger on what it was. The reptilian eye of the intruder in her head had opened lazily whenever she looked upon him.

That, and nothing more.

"Not need help," she said to Varo with a huff. Not only a matter of pride, but of honor; she could have handled all of them if need be. It was only the Sundered injunction against killing honorless dogs that prevented her from spilling their blood. She cast a dark look back at the other group - the instigators being shoved roughly along to their own gaol - and spit.

"Will get you to the northern gatehouse and turn you loose," said the captain after a minute or two. "They will be turned loose, too; if we catch you lot fighting again we'll break your skulls and toss you away in irons," he added. Aeyliea snorted at the idea of a gatehouse - there were no walls or gates here, just dirty, muddy roads.
 

Zulryn Oknu

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She nodded vigorously to the man’s words. “He started it first!” She moved her head to the bandit-like leader.

Zulryn had to hold back a vindictive snort as the man and his followers sputtered at the official’s scolding. Serves them right. The white-haired lady (she needs to stop calling her that) said something in an unknown language—she couldn’t catch it. She did sympathise with her, it wouldn’t be nice to be jumped on as soon as you are in a foreign land.

At least they wouldn’t be thrown in prison. Zulryn sighed in relief when she heard that—her parents would have killed her otherwise. Speaking of which, she really should leave this place, it didn’t seem as welcoming as she hoped…

They soon arrived at the gatehouse.

Aeyliea Varo
 
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Varo

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He glanced briefly as the moment offered a subtle jab of not needing help. Eyes flickered up and down her form, and then he just shrugged. He’d no idea if she could have handled it or not, but at least no one ended up dead.

That was a win.

A sigh of relief left his lips as the Captain began escorting them.

Not getting thrown in prison was about the best outcome for this entire fucking lot of chaos. Getting turned loose wasn’t too bad either. It would be a bit of a trip back to Alliria, but well that wouldn’t come all that badly either.

Something occurred to him though. ”Thanks for being so reasonable.”

He offered in complement, glancing up at the guard for a moment with no small amount of trepidation.

Varo was a thief by trade. Not a pickpocket or anything like that, but a Face as it was called by the underground. He was handsome, and he could talk his way out of most binds. A good thing for a group of criminals to have when pulling bigger jobs.

”Mind telling us who those lads were?” He asked. ”Just so we can avoid where they hang out.”

It was a surprisingly honest question.
 

Aeyliea

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The gate house turned out to be little more than a rickety shack built out of the Seven alone knew what - pallets, bits of old cart. In appearance anyway; likely it had started life in good shape but as was the way of things on the edge of the civilized world, it had fallen into disrepair.

They were not led inside. Instead, their shackles were removed outside. "Not being reasonable, more practical. No one died, and that happens far too often here. Gaol cells are reserved for real criminals, not drunks and ragged grassland waif," he said as he looked to Aeyliea. She stood a little taller, and glowered at him as though she understood half of what he'd said.

"As to who? 'van guards minding one of the 'vans headed out into the waste or up to Alliria." He shrugged. "Plenty of them around this place. Trade hub, see?"

"Watching carts go west," Aeyliea offered moodily. She was looking to the west now, eyes distant. Maybe even wistful, but that was replaced by anger very quickly. "No like the People. Maybe was victim raid? Maybe not. Not know. Not care."

"Eh, well. Plenty of people don't like your ilk. Not my problem, not unless you start fights here." He turned to look at the other two. "Maybe best you leave town for today. Wait until those other idiots move on. If they're 'van guards, they won't wait around to cause trouble if they can find work." It was a subtle hint that they, too, should probably shove off or find something else to do. So long as it did not create more work for them.

After the man had turned to walk away, the white-haired woman turned to both of them, looking up at their faces defiantly. For a moment, at least; there burned a question in her eyes regardless of what she thought of them. "Why," she finally spat. "Not...," she began again, and then seemed to struggle to find a word that meant what she wished to say. Finally, she gave up with a huff of annoyance, and then asked again. "Why?"
 

Zulryn Oknu

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“...Why not?”

Zulryn shuffled her feet and looked down. “You needed help, so I helped. There’s not really another reason for it.”

She looked sheepish for a moment. “Though it seems like you didn’t need it…haha. I don’t regret it though, I am just glad I didn’t go to jail.”

“I think I will leave this town as soon as possible, I don’t like it. Just gotta wait for those people to leave. Does anyone know of a good inn to stay in nearby?”
She considered asking for the lady’s name, but decided against it. She probably wouldn’t give it.

Aeyliea Varo
 
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Varo

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Varo shrugged in answer.

Truth was he didn’t really know why he had helped. That kind of trouble really wasn’t…wasn’t something he tended to get himself into. The chaos of it alone had drawn too many eyes. He should have been picking pockets, not trying to be a hero.

”Seems the right thing to do.” He remarked quietly, though he realized the words were not his own. Maybe Colette was having too much of an influence on him lately. Perhaps he should go out and commit a crime, mayb-

He glanced at the Guard who had just undone his manacles, then decided against it.

Least while in this town. ”You probably don’t want to say in the one here.”

Varo remarked to the other girl. The caravan guards would undoubtedly be out drinking, and if she was recognized…well it probably wouldn’t be pretty. Best not to tempt fate with something like that.

”There’s a town down the road, just an hour or so away.” More farmers, less merchants. ”I can take you there.”

It was on the way back to Alliria anyway.
 

Aeyliea

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"Travel fine," she agreed with Varo. If she sounded a bit upset at the prospect of having to hoof it out of town so late in the day, well, so be it. "Not home, here. Not home, anywhere," she added moodily. And a touch bitterly. She would have loved to have returned to the tribe, but that way had been forbidden to her by the very land itself. Whatever design the Seven had laid out for her, returning to the Sea was not it.

The real issue here, the one she was avoiding, was that these two had sought to step in and defend her without any reason to do so. A certain degree of...well, she wasn't certain what the word would be in common, but whatever it was, she owed them something in return. Even if she hadn't asked for the help. Even if she (probably) didn't need it.

And owing people like these something made her want to grind her teeth in frustration. "Maybe men and woman need heart-stab," she grumbled of the troublemakers that had assaulted her. "Dead make no trouble. Sea big place, lot of place to hide," she added, completely careless of who might overhear. The spear on her back definitely did not have the look of ornamentation, nor the buckler strapped to it.

She gritted her teeth harder. "Will travel with. Strong arm," she said, and gestured with her good, right arm - to the spear at her back. The left arm was a mass of scar tissue below the elbow, twisted and seemingly useless for anything other than holding a shield. "No trouble from other betrayers. Safe in numbers," she added.
 

Zulryn Oknu

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”There’s a town down the road, just an hour or so away.” More farmers, less merchants. ”I can take you there.”

“Thank you! That would be really appreciated.” Zulryn said.
And owing people like these something made her want to grind her teeth in frustration. "Maybe men and woman need heart-stab," she grumbled of the troublemakers that had assaulted her. "Dead make no trouble. Sea big place, lot of place to hide," she added, completely careless of who might overhear. The spear on her back definitely did not have the look of ornamentation, nor the buckler strapped to it.

She chuckled a bit. “They really do. I have never seen people like those before, accosting a stranger like that. Maybe they need to be dipped in the ocean!” This lady before her could probably accomplish that.
She gritted her teeth harder. "Will travel with. Strong arm," she said, and gestured with her good, right arm - to the spear at her back. The left arm was a mass of scar tissue below the elbow, twisted and seemingly useless for anything other than holding a shield. "No trouble from other betrayers. Safe in numbers," she added.

She nodded. “I just hope they don’t search for us. If we leave now we can get a room by sundown.”

Aeyliea Varo
 
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Varo

The Wayward
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"More common than you'd think." Varo said with a frown to Zulrn, glancing at the other woman as she said she would accompany them. For a flicker of a second he considered saying no, the thought that she would just bring trouble sparking through his mind.

A snap of guilt ran through him almost as quickly as he thought it, lips thinning as he took in a slight breath and shook his head.

He knew better than that. Had experienced the same thing this woman had. People always despised him, some even tried to hunt him. That was before they knew what he really was. Lips thinned, and then broke out into a wide smile. "Excellent!"

Varo said jovially.

"Travelings always better with more people." The Half-Elf said with a gregarious smile. "I'm Varo, by the way."

He said as he motioned towards the road. The faster they got moving, the better it would be. Lingering here would only spell more trouble, and they needed get to the next town before sundown.
 

Aeyliea

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Aeyliea offered a grim grin to Zulryn's comment. Despite the half-crippled arm, she was still quite a formidable fighter - not least of all for her connection to the Seven and the boundless gifts they could offer a Seer. "If follow, not fight with hand. With spear, will leave for hyenas." There was a decidedly ugly cast to her face that turned the bronze-skinned beauty into a kind of monstrous parody of itself. One could almost be mistaken for believing that she wanted them to come and track her down.

She had no idea what the girl was talking about, though, dipping people into the ocean. She did not even know what an ocean was; perhaps something like the mountains others had spoken of before. Fables. Myths. There was only the Sea of Grass, running the length and breadth of the world. There was no need for any other place.

"People no like No'rei," she said to add to Varo's words. "No like others. Different is danger. But the People not care. Betrayers no like us, but the People have no need of liking from outsiders." After a moment, spent staring westward, she shook her head. West. Home. Denied to her by natural and supernatural obstacles. The only road left was east, towards one of these 'cities'.

She shook her head, and then patted her ample chest. "Aeyliea. No clan, no tribe," she added sourly. Perhaps a touch defiantly as well. "Is time for leaving?"
 

Zulryn Oknu

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Zulryn had a feeling the lady was confused by her comment; she awkwardly looked away.

She felt curious at who—or what—this “No’rei” was. Was it the place from where she came? Her home? The woman looked away after her comment, her face strange. Zulryn had to fight herself not to ask about it.

“I am Zulryn, I came from near Fal’Addas. Nice to meet you both,” She introduced herself and bowed to them. “If we go now, we can reach before the sun sets. Shall we go?”

She felt a bit anxious to leave this place, so she subtly tried to hurry them along.

Varo Aeyliea
 
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