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The Final Stand of Kauria

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DeletedUser37114

Kat was getting tired of this Shade. He climbed up into her tree, started addressing her as if he were some witless kid who'd never seen a Kitsune before, and now was playing with magic as if it were a toy. She knew first hand how easy it was to treat it like one, and at the same time how much danger there was in doing so. The burns on her back knew more than enough about that. She took her time after the Shade finished using whatever cues she'd given him to figure out that she had been curious to let the silence grow between them, then crossed her arms across her chest and spoke, evenly and quietly, refusing to let her growing rage show. "In my culture, it's the guest who normally introduces themselves first, not the younger. I don't care how old you are, I was here first, you play by my rules. You've earned no rights from me except the ones I give to strangers. Which you've gotten. So you can introduce yourself first and quit insulting me or go away." Her curiosity was done. If she wanted to be insulted and demanded to give respect where none was given in return, she'd have stayed in her village.
 

Apelatia

Well-Known Member
The response that returned Tekki's way was amusing to say the least. Hafren seemed to be extremely nervous, illustrated by his rapid speech and the very fact that he managed to miss out the first question which she had asked, and instead skipped to informing her about lodgings in the city. That part, at least, she managed to understand, although it was a hard enough task trying to discern what the Drinden was saying from his blabbering. It seemed that lodgings in the city were filling up fast, but that they would allow her to stay if she was willing to work for them. According to Hafren, one such lodging lay a few streets away, recognisable by the moon and sun on the signpost. She had not originally intended to have to work to stay somewhere, as she would much rather have paid for the convenience. Addressing Hafren once again, she said, "I'm glad to know of the lodgings. I'll be sure to head over there once I'm finished here." Casting her eyes back towards the sculpture another time, she continued, "I would like to buy the sculpture, regardless of what it's supposed to be. It strikes me as both mysterious and well-crafted, and I am glad that my homeland is being represented in such an interesting and unique way by someone outside of my race." She smiled warmly at the Drinden opposite her, before gently picking up the sculpture and placing it before Hafren. "How much do you require as payment? Oh! ...and I would still love to know what the sculpture is meant to represent." This said, she continued to smile whilst waiting for a reply.

Once her business here had been concluded, Tekki intended to make a quick tour of the rest of the street, before heading briskly to the 'inn with the sun and moon sign'. Working would not be that rough. After all, it could potentially give her an opportunity to gauge the current state of relations between the many races of Kauria, how they interacted together and the like... Of course, she would have to ensure that she was given a fair offer concerning the room before agreeing to work. That said, she would also have to visit the Games themselves! So many things to do, and so little time to do it in!
 

DeletedUser13682

It has been said that currency is the universal lubricator; allowing even the most tightly bound system to operate smoothly and quickly with the minimum friction. As always, this saying proved strong and true, for the offer of payment cooled the Stillblood’s boiling temper and reinvented her into a more manageable and pleasant person to be around. Uwe’s grin widened as she accepted his terms and conditions and agreed to help him get his cart to Wolsingtons before the food became unfit for human consumption. “Yeah, don’t worry. He doesn’t spook,” Uwe said, slipping the silver coin back into his pocket at the Stillblood’s suggestion that he pay her afterwards. True to her word, the Stillblood managed to complete the task most efficiently, utilizing a unique ability to cover herself in a metal coating representative of a giant, and loud, bird.

The giant, loud, metal bird had the desired effect in clearing the road much better than Uwe could have done himself. In almost no time at all, the card had reached its final destination and Uwe got out to announce his arrival. “Took you long enough, Uwe. Rain delay you?” Wolsingtons himself walked out from the store, handtowel running through his hands. “A bit,” Uwe shrugged and pointed to the food in the front of the cart. “Managed to get some local delicacies. Hadn’t seen them last year; figured they might work well this year. They’re real good in a stew, or even by themselves. You’re sure to make profit with them.” Wolsingtons looked at the mentioned food; after a moment he shrugged. “Sure. I think I can do something with them.” After a few minutes of negotiation, a new price was agreed on and Uwe received his payment and one of Wolsingtons’s helpers began unloading the cart. Uwe turned to the Stillblood and presented two silver coins. “That’s a pretty good ability there. Thanks for your help. Here’s your payment as promised. I’m Uwe, by the way.”
 

Lord Regal

Well-Known Member
They reached their destination in good speed, and the human busied himself with haggling. For her part, Feronia returned to her usual appearance, stumbling slightly as her legs became mismatched again. It was only now, when she had a moment to think, that she realized how dumb she'd just been. If a Stillblood had seen her bird…they'd know it was her, as it was kind of unique. That would be bad. Very bad. The odds that one of her people was on the route they'd taken were somewhat slim…she remembered from last time that they didn't send many delegates to the Games outside of the athletes, and tended not to send people not interested in staying the whole time, but even so…

She was shaken out of her musings by the human turning his attention back on her, proffering two coins as he'd promised, and introducing himself as Uwe. "Feronia…and the job's not done yet…you asked me to take you to a place to spend the night, and I don't leave jobs halfway through, or accept payment until the work is completely done." Her voice, while still not exactly friendly, had left both anger and sullenness behind in favor of a neutral tone. "It would likely be best to leave the cart here, just take us and the horse…I''m against using my power that frivolously again. Shouldn't be an issue to grab it later." The Stillblood rubbed her hair, clearly unsure how to conclude, finally deciding on, "So…ready?"


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Srilm nodded graciously as two Dramora sat themselves in the next aisle over to her. "Good day to the two of you…I'm glad misfortune did not befall you on the road, I was beginning to be concerned. I know that your people don't send many representatives, but it's good that they send younger members. When we pass on, it will be up to people like you to continue the peace we've had for all this time." The Head Matriarch, somewhere around her mid seventies, still had roughly ten years left in her lifespan, give or take a couple. Drinden had frail enough bodies due to being so in-tune with nature, and thus didn't make it into triple digits almost ever. "Tell me, if you wouldn't mind, are things well out in your lands? Both with your people and the land itself?" Normally Srilm didn't add the clarifier, as most people tended to know that's what a Drinden meant when they asked, but she could tell that the Dramora were younger and didn't want to create a misunderstanding.
 

DeletedUser31931

Interesting... this Kitsune was angry now. It seeped through her skin and the rage was barely contained in her voice. The Cycle mattered not to the Kitsune it seemed. His interactions with that race had always been brief at best especially considering where he had spent most of his life so far. He held up his hands in an uncharacteristic show of surrender and bowed his head. "You interest me and I will admit that my Cycle has had little to do with your kind. I am by no means the best ambassador of my kind and would advise you seek out a better source in the long run. For now, however, my name is Jokir Azal and my Cycle has continued for 82 years."

This interaction had not played out how Jokir had expected it to, this girl was certainly much more interesting than the Dramora in the street below. Although a leashing would most certainly have been interesting to watch and even more interesting to stop (bringing a fool down a level or two was always a challenge Jokir relished), this chance to experience a culture he had never pierced before, it excited him.

"Now then, since my curiosity is piqued, I will play by your rules, tell me... how would your culture play out in this situation? What laws dictate your Cycle?"
 

DeletedUser28032

Hearing the Drinden Matriarch's greeting Drael offered her a brief smile in return once he'd decided that the wording had not been intended as a threat as it would have done back home and was merely a turn of phrase "We would have been here sooner only the streets are packed with so many wishing to attend, as for our elders...I am afraid they are all a little too caught up in the glory days to be pleasant company" he finished feeling not for the first time that he should apologise for the beliefs and behaviour of his elders many of whom felt that the other races should still be serving them in chains. Personally Drael felt that just because you were a superior being it didn't give you the right to enslave the entire continent, besides which some of these other races had useful skills and commodities "The hostilities between clan Mori and Tanaida have ceased with honour having been rectified to the satisfaction of both parties, so trade within our lands should return to normal soon" Drael responded to the question of how the people of Dramor were doing deciding that the end of the most recent vendetta was the most note worthy news from his homeland "...as for the land..." Drael wasn't all too sure how to respond the land was just the land it didn't change, did it?
Thankfully however Draenor seemed to notice Drael's floundering for an answer and so responded for him "The land is well Mother, the number of gazelle within the realm has risen allowing plentiful hunting and food for our people" being almost pure carnivores the Dramoran's didn't cultivate much in the way of crops seeing fresh fruits and vegetables as more of a garnish than a meal in its own right.
Giving a mental sigh of relief Drael promised himself that he would make it up to his sister later before speaking to Drinden matriarch "forgive me, I believe I have been remiss...allow me to present my baby sister Draenor Ve'Naharis of clan Naharis, and I am Drael Va'Naharis, heir apparent of clan Naharis, it is an honour to make your acquaintance" Drael spoke formally with his fist against his heart in the Dramoran gesture for respect, although he couldn't help but tease Draenor by calling her his baby sister, knowing full well there was nothing she could do about it in the Matriarch's presence "...so tell me, how is life within your lands?"
 
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DeletedUser13682

Huh… that was strange. A person who didn’t accept payment for each job as it was completed. Course, sounded like that the Stillblood Feronia considered the two jobs to be as one. That was fine with Uwe; though perhaps next time he should be more clear in job division. “Well, alright then. I guess we can save the payment ‘til after we find a room.” Uwe went back to talk with Wolsingtons to inquire about any open stalls. The only one with room that was any reasonable distance away was going to cost Uwe quite a few coins; such was the price of being delayed. “Alright; we should be able to leave the horse and cart nearby. It’ll take a bit, less you want to use that trick again.”

Uwe shook his head and put on another grin. “I’m only kidding, of course. You don’t have to do that again, though that metallic bird was really horrorshow. You ever consider a job as a caravan guard?” Uwe shrugged and began to head towards the free stable. “Haste isn’t necessary anymore. Wolsingtons got the capability to keep those delicacies fresh. You should try one.” Unfortunately, Uwe hadn’t saved any of the fresh food from the cart, though he did have a few during his time in the village, and they were very good indeed. “So, Feronia, what’s your story? Why are you here in this great city at the time of the great games?”
 

DeletedUser37114

Katarina
Thankfully, the Shade didn't seem to want to press and opted to back off and let her take the lead, which was good. Of course, this could all be some sort of ruse to gain her trust and get her to lower her guard, but she didn't particularly want that to be the case. Fire in a tree was risky in the first place and besides that, she didn't want to hurt someone like that if she could help it. Her burns ached at the thought. So instead of thinking about things best left unthought about, Kat focused on the introduction and her interaction with the Shade sitting across from her. "Kat, seventeen years old," she responded, more curtly than she really should have. Then she stopped to consider Jokir's question about how her culture would handle the same situation and chuckled, uncrossing her arms to adjust her hat.

"With my people, there would have been tea, elaborate rituals for greeting a stranger, formal talks that took forever and got nowhere... but I came from a village out in the forest, a long ways away from here. And besides, those traditions are stupid anyway. Most of the Kitsune I've seen out here are a little easier to deal with, but there's still a hint of formality there. Whoever talks first should introduce themselves, the other one introduces themselves, and... well, you get a conversation." This was how most people Kat had met greeted each other, but she wasn't exactly going to rub the Shade's face in it. If he was eighty-two and didn't know how things were around here, he either had to be a hermit, only interacted with his own kind, or was just nuts. Regardless, they had just gotten to a semblance of civility, no point in ruining it with a snide comment when the Shade had made an effort to get along.


Hafren
The Nuseni just wouldn't go away even though Hafren had done his best to hurry her along. If she'd have been another race or looked poorer, he'd have been outright rude, but for now, he was stuck. Surprisingly however, the woman seemed to really like the sculpture and he settled himself, thinking quickly and preening in the rare praise, which seemed to be quite genuine. "It's inspired by a piece of driftwood I found on one of the beaches," he lied. "I knew from the kind of wood that it had to have drifted many, many miles and I wanted to show that with the twisting and roughness you see here." In reality, the wood had simply fought him, twisting this way and that until it looked nothing like the shark he'd begun crafting. "And for you..." Hafren named half the price he'd intended to sell it at, relieved to be able to get this clingy customer. It wasn't an especially high price in the first place, especially compared to some of the works that actually had done as he'd wished, and the Nuseni's smile didn't even break as she handed him his money and he thanked her for her business, glad to see her disappear into the crowds.

The Stadium
Three Kitsune in their natural forms, a mother and her two sons, climbed up the stairs into the box on the other side of the Dramoran siblings. The two little ones were rowdy, one being just old enough to get into trouble and the other being just old enough to know better. They had quite a bit of room to play in, with the box being large enough to contain ten or fifteen seats and spacious enough for the occupants to stretch out comfortably. The mother was content to let them move and play, right up until they started a shouting match about the rules of whatever game they'd been playing. She shushed them, indicating all the people around them, many in private boxes. Appropriately chastened, the two went back to running around, though much quieter than before. Walking over to the edge of her box, the mother bowed to the two siblings, saying "My apologies for my sons' behavior. They should have been left with the rest of our group, but they wanted to see the games beyond the opening ceremony and they would have disturbed folks there, too. I'm Ota, with the Kitsune representatives. Pleased to meet you."
 

DeletedUser31931

Jokir smiled in interest as the Kitsune began to speak. She was still being curt with him but he figured that this was understandable since the initial colours of the joining of their Cycles had been discordant. As she spoke of her society and left the slightly unsubtle undertone that this was something he should have been aware of, he felt the need to explain himself which was surprising. It was a while since he had spoken with one outside of the Shades... perhaps he had missed it more than he cared to admit. "I should explain why I am so far removed from your culture before you think me a crazed hermit who knows nothing of the outside world. I was birthed in the land of the Dramora and there I remained for the majority of my Cycle, my occupation..." Jokir paused for thought and then, appearing to reconsider his words, spoke again. "There were certain things that restricted me from leaving that country until ten or so years ago and even then I had an obligation to fulfill which has left me with little opportunity to interact with people outside Dramor. Those lands are not exactly known for their kindness to strangers so it should be of no surprise that I never have had contact with a Kitsune before this day. That is the essence of my Cycle. I have talked of myself but what of you? What events have passed your Cycle?"
 
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Lord Regal

Well-Known Member
Uwe was willing to leave his cart, and apparently his horse, in a nearby location so as to expedite their trip to the hotel Feronia helped him get to…she had already decided to bring him to the one she was at…the rule for those staying via labor that if they brought business to the place they didn't have to work for their stay that night, and after the day she'd been having, she figured it was best she avoid doing things with people tonight.

Uwe joked that she could use her bird form again, before claiming she'd make a good caravan guard. "I would consider it, the issue being that particular use of my power is rather unusual…possibly even unique to me. As someone trying not to be found, hiring myself out as a guard with that as my primary selling point…it'd be a bad idea." Her tone was still neutral, not implying scorn or derision at the suggestion…he'd been legitimately nice this whole time, and truth be told, she had been the one to run into his horse, not the other way around. Least she could do to make it up to him was be polite.

He then inquired as to her story, how she'd wound up here at the time of the Games. "Idiocy, mostly. If I'd've realized the Games were this year I'd've stayed far away. No desire to watch, and it's dangerous for me to be here right now anyway. Long story short, I decided traditional Stillblood life was not for me, and I left. There're laws though that say you can't do that, so technically I'm a fugitive from my own people." Feronia paused, frowning. "Only reason I'm telling you that is if a Stillblood saw or hears about my bird stunt they'll know I'm here anyway, and I'd rather at least one person know why I get arrested." She irritably kicked at a loose stone with her metal leg, the joint bending as easily as a flesh and blood leg would. "I don't care what the law says, I'm not going back. I'll kill myself first." Her voice had lost all traces of emotion as she said that, her expression deadly serious. After a moment, she shook her head. "In any case, let's get your cart and horse taken care of so we can get going…no sense hanging around if we don't have to."


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Srilm smiled amiably as the Dramoran gave a report of how things were, a twinkle flashing as he stumbled on answering the portion about the land, forcing his sister to fill the gap. He then realized he hadn't introduced himself, doing so for both him and his sister. "I too, forgot to name myself, so there is no offense taken. Srilm, Matriarch of the Drinden, at your service. I would provide my family name, but until I abdicate the post all of my people are my family, so I cannot tie myself to any one portion. Our lands are flourishing…my sisters in the north have successfully prevented a rare snow flower from vanishing from our world, bringing their number to a good hundred thousand blooms. In other areas, all is-"

Srilm was cut off by the appearance of a trio of Kitsune, two children and someone who was their mother, judging by her appearance. The young ones were rowdy, forcing an end to her conversation with their arguments. Their mother shushed them, then moved to introduce herself to the Dramoran, apologizing for their behavior. Srilm nodded graciously with a smile, not wanting to raise her voice or possibly interrupt the Dramoran as they responded.

With a wet smacking sound, a Drinden woman, visibly ancient particularly by her peoples' standards, pried herself from the fruit salad she'd been slowly picking apart from its place in her lap. "Srilm, why in the world are you letting them walk all over you like that? You're the Matriarch of our people, make them show you some respect! I assure you I would have never let those suckling brats be so arrogant and rude to me! Show some spine, girl! Seriously, how you haven't let our nation fall apart yet is a mystery to me!" The crone spoke in a carrying voice, easily echoing to those around them.

Horror filled Srilm's face as she spun to her companion. "Plissora! That was out of line!" she exclaimed, still in control but clearly upset at what had been said. "Did you not hear her? They're part of the Kitsune Representative! They have just as much of a right as any of us here, and I will not have anyone attacking them, particularly not those who should be able to enjoy their youth while it lasts, understand?" She rose and gracefully moved to the edge of her box while Plissora scowled and turned back to her snack. The Matriarch bowed deeply to Ota. "I am so, so sorry for that. Plissora…it is a tradition for our people to keep the previous Matriarch as an advisor when a new one takes over…it's typically a formality since we Drinden don't have the longest lifespan. In this case, she's lived far beyond the normal length, and…" here she lowered her voice. "Quite honestly, I think she's a good example of why we don't live that long…her mind is falling apart, it's quite sad to watch, actually." Returning to her normal volume, she bowed again. "I apologize profusely for her words. I personally delight in seeing children enjoy life. After all, the heads of the races work so that future generations might have it just as good as we do, if not better. Seeing their playfulness eases my mind that perhaps I have indeed done my part in that regard." She smiled at the two young Kitsune as she waited for the reply, hoping that she'd been able to smooth over her predecessor's harsh words.
 

DeletedUser28032

As the Drinden Matriarch; Srilm began to speak of flowers Drael came to the horrific conclusion that perhaps he had made a mistake with the phrasing of his polite question and that he would be forced to listen as she recited the welfare of the varying flora and fauna of her homeland.
Thankfully however she had only gotten a few minutes into her discussion when she was cut off by the arrival of a pair of rowdy Kitsune children for whom the mother apologised for "My name is Drael Va'Naharis, heir apparent to clan Naharis and this is my sister Draenor Ve'Naharis, and do not worry yourself we were all young once" Drael replied failing to point out the fact that Dramoran children of their age would have already have begun to learn sword craft and as a consequence would have been far better behaved that their Kitsune counterparts and more respectful of their elders.
It would also appear that their behaviour hadn't gone unnoticed by the Drinden as a truly ancient woman spoke up; scolding the matriarch for allowing her to be walked over, a sentiment Drael silently agreed with.
Listening to the explanation provided a small smile appeared on Drael's face as he discovered that he wasn't the only one that had to apologise for his elders "rest assured mother that is nothing...my great uncle once loudly announced that all Nuseni were slimy carp botherers that couldn't play fair right in front of the Nuseni delegation" how a war or vendetta hadn't started that day was a mystery to him but one thing was for sure, his great uncle wasn't allowed anywhere near foreign diplomats after that.
 

Apelatia

Well-Known Member
As Tekki made her way away from the stall, she gave the occasional glance down at the sculpture which she now clasped tightly in her left hand. The price which Hafren had asked for it had been significantly lower than she had expected, and for that she was grateful. Any opportunities to save money were highly valued by herself, as she knew well enough from her many encounters with those less fortunate than herself. Unfortunately though, that was the way of things in their land - some possessed funds, others did not, and little could be done to solve that issue, so Tekki generally resolved to ignore the problem and continue with her daily tasks unhindered. The sculpture itself, she had discovered after what had seemed to reach the borderline extremities of polite inquisitiveness, was in fact supposed to resemble a piece of driftwood. The problem with driftwood, as it were, was that it could take so many different forms that artists seeking to replicate it in the form of sculptures and even paintings often did not realise that the piece just might not be entirely recognisable by interested onlookers... This was certainly the case here, however Tekki found herself to still be captivated by the sculpture, so she would endeavour to keep it in her possession and return it with her to her homeland after the Games had concluded.

As she continued to be barged to and fro by the jostling crowds, Tekki gazed upon the other wares being sold in stalls down her side of the street. There were many separate shops, each selling different products, from groceries to precious stones... However, nothing proved to be as exciting as Hafren's shop, so after a short time, she endeavoured to make her way to the mysterious 'inn with the moon and sun sign'. Following the steady trickle of races down a side street, Tekki spent the better part of an hour trying to locate the inn which was supposed to be just 'a few streets over'. In reality, the inn was more than just 'a few streets over', and so Tekki found herself in a rather tired state as she finally spotted the elusive signpost over an open doorway. After letting out a sigh of relief, she made a beeline for the doorway and promptly found herself inside the building. She made her way over to what appeared to her to be the inn's owner, and introduced herself in a polite, cheerful tone of voice. This she did with some difficulty as a consequence of her tiredness, "Good day to you! My name is Tekki, and I am interested in acquiring a room to stay in for the duration of the...Games! I was informed by a Drinden shop owner just a few streets away that if you were lacking in available space, that I could potentially work to make up for the trouble." She stopped speaking at this point, casting a quick look around the area to gauge the general atmosphere of and number of people currently residing in the place. "Of course," she continued, "...if you're lacking in rooms entirely then I would appreciate some direction to another inn which does have space. That's only if you're full, of course..." Well-spoken and generally friendly, it would be difficult to assume any natural form of unfriendliness in Tekki's constitution, and consequently no offence was clearly meant by her final remark.
 

DeletedUser13682

The journey to the stables was a fairly long one, despite the short distance. Luckily, Uwe didn’t have those pesky perishables with him, and they were able to take their time. During their long trip, Feronia explained a bit about herself. Apparently she was a self imposed exile from her culture. And she was right; Uwe hadn’t heard about Stillbloods generally up and leaving their culture. Something about the lifestyle being engraved into them from birth. But then, what had happened to Feronia to drive her from her home and culture? Course, it wasn’t always advantageous to pry too deeply into someone’s past. Best to just let them reveal it. “Still, I think it’d be a good job for you,” Uwe continued. “If you ever decide it’s safe enough, I know a few people who can get you good starting jobs, good pay for starting out.” Of course, Uwe was being honest, but he was a merchant. He wouldn’t have thrown out help like that if he didn’t think there would be profit in it. Depending on who you brought, finder’s fees could be very high indeed.

After a short while, they arrived at the stables, where Uwe was able to negotiate a good price (for the current economic situation that is) for keeping his horse and cart until it was time for him to leave. “You know, the games aren’t really all that bad,” Uwe said once he returned, after ensuring that Jackson Sky and the cart would be alright. “I was here last time the games happened, though I was only a young, inexperienced merchant back in that day. After making some profit, I managed to slip away to the games. It was pretty fun watching them; saw some pretty horrorshow events.” Uwe shrugged. “Guess they’re not for everyone though.” Uwe didn’t know how far away the inn was that Feronia was taking him to, but he felt that there would be time enough to talk. “Can’t say I quite know what it’s like to be a fugitive from my own culture. I was raised for most of my life to be a merchant, though my mentor is a town merchant. I had some sense to make it as a traveling merchant, but I still had much difficulty getting started. I only managed to buy Jackson Sky and that cart a little bit ago. Should be able to establish myself in a small town in maybe a couple years if things keep going the way they’ve been. Not sure I want to settle down yet. There’s still so much to see, you know? So I probably won’t settle down until I see all there is to see.”
 

Lord Regal

Well-Known Member
Feronia shrugged non-commitedly when Uwe restated that she look into being a caravan guard. She didn't know what career she wanted to go into, though she did doubt that something that required her to proclaim her name and skills was going to work out in her favor in the long run. She didn't really see why it was any of his business, but at the same time didn't feel it was worth flaring up about…odds are he was just trying to make conversation.

The merchant then launched into his own past, saying how he'd been groomed to be a merchant for most of his life, and how he could likely establish himself in a small town somewhere, but wanted to hold off until he'd travelled everywhere. "I'd have to agree…traveling is in every Stillblood's…erm…blood…it's a large part of the reason we're nomadic. Though I may reject the rest of my culture, I can't deny the wanderlust. Came here because I figured I'd check out the grand hub early on before striking out elsewhere, and…kinda got entrenched here by accident." She didn't elaborate on this point, lapsing instead into silence.

Not too long afterwards Feronia turned down a side street away from the crowd, leading Uwe to a building that bore the sign "Dawn to Dusk Inn", complete with a sun and moon. "Here's the place…" the Stillblood intoned, limping into the place. "Hey Adin, brought you a customer!" she yelled as she entered. A middle-aged slim human appeared behind the welcome desk, a tolerant smile on his face.
"Well well, it's been a while since you've taken advantage of my policy regarding that, Feronia. Why the change?" "Had a pisser of a day is why, I could use the time off," came the sullen reply. Adin rubbed his short, graying hair, a wry grin on his face. "Well that's too bad. Luci's sick, and I was going to pay you to work waitstaff tonight, because I know how much you hate that. With you bringing a customer, I'd be paying you in full plus that extra…" The Stillblood's face twisted in a mix of emotions. "Damn it Adin, you really know how to twist my arm, don't you? Gah, fine, you win. I'll be down at six." With that, she stormed off, the innkeeper chuckling at her back.

Adin turned to Uwe, pointing at the stairs that Feronia had disappeared up with his thumb. "I hope she didn't say anything to offend you, seeing as you apparently followed her for a bit to get here…she means well…she came in here about a month ago asking if she could work for a room…well, my policy is to not turn away people who can work hard, and I'll be darned if she's not the hardest worker I've ever seen. She'll complain the whole time you're asking her to do something, but the quality's top notch when it comes time to do it. Dunno what's got her so defensive all the time, but she's more than earned her keep here. Dawn, my wife, hasn't had to work half as hard in the kitchen with her around, and apparently Feronia's a tolerable person under the sass…least that's what my wife tells me. In any case, room's a silver a night, includes dinner. I'd offer you work in exchange for the room if you don't have the coin, but judging from your apparel I'd guess kitchen duty's not something you want to busy yourself with?"
 
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DeletedUser13682

“Events happen, I guess. It’s not the worst place to get stuck in, though.” Uwe spread his arms out and continued. “This is one of the largest cities in the world, filled with all cultures and races. Almost anything you could ever want can be found here. Almost anything. For the rest of anything, that’s what the traveling is for.” Uwe put his hands back at his sides, left hand resting on his sword’s pommel. As the conversation lapsed into silence, they turned a corner and entered a small alleyway. Was this it? Would Feronia try to rob him? Would he have to fight a giant, metal bird over a few (dozen) coins? He felt he could successfully fight her off long enough to get back to the main street, maybe. Luckily, it wasn’t a robbery, just an ordinary inn, named Dawn to Dusk. That was a, well, it was an interesting name. But Uwe had been to places with worse names. And the quality (or lack thereof) of a name didn’t necessarily indicate the quality of the place within.

The inside of the place wasn’t too bad from first impressions. Hopefully it lived up to its first impressions. Uwe’s first conversation with the owner seemed to match his first impressions. The owner, Adin, seemed like a fairly good man, and at least somewhat observant as well. “Pleased to meet you, Adin. I’m Uwe. I may not be the most familiar with a kitchen, but I can cook fairly well. I’m a traveling merchant, so I’m familiar with campfire cooking. Maybe I’ll be able to get your inn something new to sell. Here’s payment for the first few nights.” Uwe placed three silver coins on the counter and flashed a smile. “You know, I see what you mean about Feronia. She was a bit crass when we first ran into each other, but she’s very helpful. Saved my food from spoiling.”
 

Lord Regal

Well-Known Member
Adin smiled as Uwe said he was indeed going to stay, handing over three silver coins while saying he could look into finding something to add to their kitchens. "You do that, I'll pay you for them…else you'd be paying for your room twice," came the easy response. "I'm more than happy to add to the stores…Games are always busy, though we tend to fill up slower than most of the inns due to our location…still got a couple rooms free, even after we house you. People don't tend to look for places to spend the night down a side street without much else on it, eh? We will fill up though, only a matter of time now that the Games're under way."

The merchant then turned the conversation back to Feronia, mentioning she'd been crass, but saved his perishables. The human innkeeper nodded, wry smile coming back to his face. "Yeah, she's about the opposite of my girl Luci…mouth full of curses but the most dependable person in the world if you convince her to help. Though," here Adin's smile dropped, an unclear emotion replacing it. "Can't say I know why, but she's really strange when it comes to payment. She won't ask for it, or take it until she feels things're squared away. You saw me 'bribe' her to work waitstaff, which she hates, with money, right? She's not going to come to collect on that. I'm going to pay her, don't get me wrong, but I'll have to track her down and give it to her. Most people work for money, I mean heck, much as I enjoy talking to folk who come through here if I didn't need the coin I'd retire in a heartbeat. She doesn't. Tried asking her why, got yelled at for my trouble." He sighed, scratching his head in consternation. "Which is how she deals with most personal questions. Even Dawn, who she seems to hold back on her nastiness for, can't get anything out of her. She's more than earned her stay here with how hard she works, I wish I could clear that debt by helping her with whatever took out that chip on her proverbial shoulder, but…"

With visible effort, Adin tore himself from his musings. "I'm sorry, I got carried away there. Don't want to drive you away with my ramblings, eh? In any case, you're going to be in room 219, up the stairs and almost at the end of the hall. I'd have my girl Luci show you the way, but as I told Feronia, she's sick. Kinda hard to get lost though, so-" "I'll take him." The gray Stillblood limped into the room from the door she'd vanished through previously. She'd changed, her torn pants and loose shirt exchanged for a suit bearing the inn's crest of sun and moon. Her previous clothes were draped over her arm. "I figured if I'm working tonight anyway I might as well help Dawn in the kitchens until dinner comes around. Gotta throw my stuff in my room first though." Adin frowned a bit at this, but seemed to not want to pursue it. "Alright, works for me. You take care Uwe, and feel free to come and ask for anything your room may be missing…provided it's something we've got, I'll procure it for you." As the innkeeper strolled back into the room he'd been in prior to their arrival, Feronia finished adjusting one of her cufflinks, then motioned for Uwe to follow before making for the stairs.
 

DeletedUser13682

Adin the innkeeper did get one thing right. Everyone, at least everyone Uwe knew, worked for the end goal of profit. But if the innkeeper was to be believed, here was a creature that was not fueled by the quest for profit, but by… something. Who knew what Feronia was actually guided by, what was motivating this woman, who seemed to be stuck here for some reason. Maybe he would find out sometime, or maybe he wouldn’t. Didn’t really matter, probably wouldn’t affect him in the long run. “Don’t worry, you won’t bore me with stories,” Uwe said, after Adin finished with an apology for his ramblings. “A good conversation at the end of a journey is always welcome. Especially if it’s after a long journey, traveling alone. Sure Jackson, my horse, is a good listener, but he isn’t much of a talker.” Halfway through Adin offering to show Uwe to his room, Feronia popped back in and offered to take over that duty. “Dig the suit,” Uwe said to Feronia before turning back to Adin. “Thanks. You too. And don’t worry. I’ll get you some things your kitchen doesn’t have yet.” Uwe followed Feronia to the stairs as he fished out three silver coins. “Well, here’s your payment,” he spoke, as he held out the coins. “I think you’ve completed the job. Won’t let you argue this time. Gotta make sure my word still has purchasing power.”
 

Lord Regal

Well-Known Member
Feronia scowled slightly as Uwe complimented her suit. "Can't stand this fricking thing…when I work kitchen I can wear whatever I want so long as it doesn't interfere with the food. Waitstaff has to be presentable though." Adin's disembodied voice rang out from the room he'd disappeared into. "I've told you countless times there're dresses there too." Glaring mutinously at the door, the Stillblood shot back, "and I've told YOU just as often I'd rather be dead than in a dress! Suit's the lesser of two evils here…" she added in a softer tone as good-natured chuckling emanated from the back room. "In any case, let's get moving."

Much to Feronia's chagrin, she'd only limped a couple of steps before Uwe held three silver coins out to her, practically demanding she take them. "Oh. Yeah. Thanks." She accepted the coins without ceremony, dumping them in her pocket before continuing on. "Adin said you're in room 219, right? Dunno why, we've got open rooms closer to th-" she stopped midsentence, an incredulous expression flashing across her face. "That…no, even he wouldn't…" Grumbling to herself, she exited the stairway, leading her human compatriot down the hall, stopping almost at the end in front of a door bearing the correct brass numbers. "Here's your room…from what I've seen of you thus far I don't expect it, but try to keep any and all noise a step below obnoxious, alright? If you need anything, you can either go to the front desk, or, if it's not the middle of the night and I'm in, I'm next door." So saying, she limped in front of room 221, pulled a key out, and proceeded to unlock the door before simply throwing the clothes she'd been carrying into it before relocking it. "Dinner starts at six, runs until eight. Small menu, but it's decent stuff. Now, unless you've got anything pressing on your mind, I'm going to go have a…chat…with Adin…" Feronia's expression was clearly somewhere between irked and angry, though her frustration didn't seem directed at Uwe at the moment.


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(OOC: I'm really sorry Apel, I completely misread how far your post went. For continuity issues I'll just assume you arrived at this point…you mentioned wandering for a while so it fits)

Adin found himself in front of a Nuseni wearing a garment on her head just as Feronia took the merchant upstairs. She asked if there was any space left for her, and that she wished to stay for the duration of the Games. "We do still have rooms, you're in luck. If you don't mind my saying, you look rather tired…Games are a bit of a drain on everyone involved in any way, so I can hardly fault you for that. As for payment, it's a silver coin a night, though if you can't pay or would rather not we're more than happy to have help in the kitchen. Either way you get dinner included with your room. Let's see…you'll be in room 203, that's still open…let me grab the key. In the meantime, if you don't mind my asking, how's Nuseni territory doing? Can't say I get too many of your kind in here, and an innkeeper needs to keep up on the latest news." The middle aged human was friendly throughout, nothing in his tone suggesting his question or rationale for the question was anything more than making idle chitchat, and certainly not intended to be at all offensive.
 
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DeletedUser13682

Uwe didn’t know what had happened in Feronia’s life to cause her to dislike a good suit, but he wasn’t one to pry into those sorts of things. He also wasn’t one to pry into what would make someone hate a good dress even more than a good suit. As they walked to Uwe’s room, Feronia mused about the reason why Uwe wasn’t placed in a room closer to somewhere, when her cart of thought suddenly halted with a dreaded realization. Adin had placed Uwe right next to Feronia’s room, which prompted a snide comment from his guide when they arrived at room 219. “You know, Feronia,” Uwe began, a smile forming on his face. “Normally I’d have a clever response, but there’s just something about you in that suit. Can’t quite put my mind to it, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I’ll let you know tonight. Have fun with your chat, and never lose your way.” Uwe opened the door to his room and looked around. It was a simply furnished room, a bed, desk, and dresser with a lamp on it. Uwe walked over to the lamp and shook it. The sloshing proved that it had at least some naft was in there, providing him with at least a night’s light. Uwe then left and headed back to his cart to pick up his luggage and prepare for an afternoon of discovering new trade opportunities.
 

DeletedUser37114

(OoC: Apologies for how long I've been out, responsibilities and a lack of will to write held this up a good bit longer than it should have.)

Katarina
Responsibilities. That was the core of that Shade's, Jokir's, story. His job kept him in the lands of his birth, then responsibilities afterwards kept him from interacting with people... He'd said he didn't want her thinking of him as a hermit, but what else was she supposed to think? Drawn into a single thing and hiding from the world through it, hermit was putting it pretty politely. Kat briefly debated asking if he also referred to Nuseni that he passed in the streets by fish that they resembled, but decided against it. She thought she'd stopped antagonizing people for no reason years ago when she figured out how much it could hurt her. Well, she didn't really like hurting others that way either, but she wasn't exactly going to admit that, even to herself. But Jokir had asked a question, for her to trade her story for his. He wasn't exactly gushing to her, so she kept hers short, avoiding any memories that burned or that gave too much away. "I was born in a village of Kitsune to parents who had this picture in their heads. My life as a pretty, obedient little girl who'd do what she's told, not ask questions, and be a happy, giggling ball of ribbons until the end of my days. I ran, ended up here around the time of the last games, and I've been here ever since." No need to mention the fire, or her magic. Best to keep those things under wraps, for both of their sakes.

Stadium
Ota bowed again, to the Drinden and Dremora as they graciously accepted her apology, the rituals of polite society observed without incident. Right up until a particularly wilting Drinden seated beside the Matriarch interrupted, chiding her for accepting Ota's apology without reprimand. Not prepared to suffer an insult to her children without a defense and irritated by the sort of "advisors" who leeched off their betters like a particularly vile parasite, Ota opened her mouth to respond. However, before she could get her chance, the Matriarch herself reprimanded her companion, and walked over to have a quieter conversation with her, out of earshot of the rest. That not having done enough to take the edge off Ota's anger, the Matriarch then bowed to her, twice, explaining that her companion had been growing too old for her position and that she thought of her job as an effort to ensure that their children would be at least as well off as they were. She even smiled at the children, who had stopped their play to watch the grown-ups argue and now smiled back, returning to their game satisfied that they were safe from punishments from on high.

Ota bowed back in reply. "You flatter me, ma'am. But personally, I think that if the world is only as good for our children as it was for us, we've failed them. That's one of the reasons I'm part of the representatives, that my children are part of this. To make things better than they were." Embarrassed a little, Ota looked away, focusing on the preparations for the next event down on the field.
 
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