A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

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A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:43 pm

The last stack of firewood was hurled into the corner, splintered pieces of wood tumbling over each other with a hollow clatter. The man that had brought them gathered up a few loose pieces that had fallen especially far from the pile, tossing them into the fireplace. The fire responded with a grateful crackle, eagerly setting to work devouring this new offering. He grumbled something about appreciating the firewood under his breath - he'd spent what felt like half the day out in the freezing cold splitting logs for that wood.

The innkeeper looked over at his 'guest' from behind the bar, scrubbing a tankard clean as he did so. He was an odd one - normally when a lonely traveller sets down a sword when they come in during a snowstorm they've got something dangerous to hide. The fact that he was a fellow Argonian didn't exactly do much to help either - the stranger had simply barged into The White Marsh without a word of the traditional greeting. Rakeem-Na grumbled to himself as he set the tankard down and grabbed another. Maybe he'd picked up his manners from the Nords - he'd come from the northern road. His work ethic too, perhaps. No innkeeper wants to hear a customer explain that they have no coin, but honestly he'd snagged enough labour from the man to pay for ten rounds of drinks.

Rakeem-Na's gold eyes narrowed slightly. The stranger hadn't tried to haggle over his services in the slightest, grateful for the promise of a single meal. He could have been a worker, or some sort of slave, but neither of those had the coin for a sword like that. A criminal, then, on the run for some crime or another in Skryim. Brave or foolish to test the roads at this time of year, all alone. Rakeem-Na silently prepared his usual excuse as to why he was so sorry but they just didn't have enough beds.

And then his daughter decided that the brooding mysterious and possibly dangerous stranger was just perfect to serve first, and most likely flirt with. A sudden stab of fear was all that prevented Rakeem-Na from pounding his head against the bartop right there and then. What if he was violent? What if he was one of those types with... needs? He finished cleaning the second tankard with rather more tension in his body than he'd started with, hoping that his daughter wouldn't do anything to set the criminal off.

"Hi!" Jessun-Na greeted the stranger the same way she greeted all patrons - with the sort of bubbly cheer that seems completely unreal yet impossible to possess without being born with it. She smiled warmly, leaning over the table just a fraction to see if she could get a peek under his fur hood. One foot was fractionally off the floorboards, her tail lifted slightly and wavering in a clear sign of curiosity. "Can I get you anything?"

"Beef stew and bread." The black-scaled snout that protruded from the hood replied, but it sounded like no other Argonian Jessun-Na had ever heard. The stranger sounded hoarse, incredibly so, almost sick. It took him clear effort to simply raise his voice above a murmur, each syllable scratching against his throat as it was spoken.

"Are you okay?" Concern lacing her voice, Jessun-Na crouched down a little more.

"Fine," the gravelly-voiced stranger coughed. "Food. Please." The final word sounded forced, as if he had only remembered at the last second that manners were a thing that existed. Jessun-Na paused, but eventually decided to obey. The stranger didn't move one inch the whole time she was gone, staring into the fireplace as if hypnotised. He flinched ever so slightly as she returned to set his tray down on the table, startled from his reverie. He set to work wordlessly, tearing the loaf of bread apart without even bothering to remove his gloves. Jessun-Na remained where she stood, clutching a tankard. The stranger had already stuffed a stew-soaked hunk of bread into his maw when he finally noticed. He finished his mouthful, unhurried, and looked up at her.

Green-yellow. Not as pretty as I was expecting, the young Argonian thought to herself.

"Can I help you?" The stranger asked.

"Oh. No, I just... I heard your voice and I thought I could help out." She tilted the tankard, letting the stranger glimpse its contents. "To help your throat."

He lifted himself up slightly as he studied the brew. "Garlic and juniper berries. Bolsters the body's natural healing capabilities. Already tried it."

Jessun-Na looked a little downcast. "Oh. Sorry. Um... Is there anything else I could do?"

"Yes. Go lift your tail for someone your age and let me eat in peace," the stranger snapped, a sudden tide of anger flowing from him. Jessun-Na blinked, taken aback for a few seconds. Then she dumped the contents of the tankard right into the other Argonian's face and stomped away. Rakeem-Na's heart rose into his throat as he stared, waiting for the stranger's inevitable retribution. But it never came. After approximately five seconds of remaining completely motionless, he simply went back to his dinner.

He shook his head. So many strange types near the Skyrim-Cyrodiil border.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:25 pm

The door eases open silently, and closes silently behind him. It's become habit from so much sneaking, but he has money, they can't just throw him out. Atleast that's what he hopes.

32 gold pieces foraged from travelers on the roads who had made camps in the night. A few gold pieces from each of them should be enough to buy him a night inside instead of out in the cold.

Lupin enters uneasily, trying to remain calm, and approached the innkeeper, taking one hand and lowering his hood. The black fur all over his body was short and wet from the snow. The two white patches on his cheeks stood out in stark contrast, as did his sunken in amber eyes. It wasn't hard to figure he was young. The clothes he wore were baggy and soaking, but relatively clean for road standards, though the legs of his trousers were muddy and ragged. He had cut off the bottoms after they had dragged too much. The ears are lowered and the tail is wrapped around him in a semi defensive position as he he speaks.

"Could I get a room for the night please?" he asked timidly, the Elsweyr accent prominent in his cant. "And...something to eat and drink...please?" He gives a semireflexive cringe after speaking, almost ready to be ordered back out the door and into the snow.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:31 pm

A slight turn of the hooded head was all the acknowledgement Lupin got from the stranger. Rakeem-Na, on the other hand, leaned over the counter and smiled as warmly as he could.

"It's ten Septims for the night," he replied. "And food-"

"Awwwwww, he's so cute!"

"... I'll let my girl handle that." He slid himself down the bar to serve another customer as Jessun-Na crouched down beside the wet and malnourished Khajiit.

"What would you like? I've still got some beef stew bubbling, want a bowl of that?"
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:45 pm

Lupin gave her a smile before quickly bringing out his purse and placing the ten septims on the counter infront of the argonian, counting each one out carefully and double checking his purse before tucking it back into his clothing.

"Yes please. I would love some. What kind is it?" He asked, turning to face her. His ears perked up, and he took in a deep breath of the inns air. It was a heavenly scent, and he had to keep his mouth closed to keep himself from drooling. He settled for giving the argonian girl the biggest smile he could, and an almost involuntary purr rose from his throat when he took another deep breath in. He could practically taste the stew now.

It was at that moment when his pack's strap gave up the ghost and snapped. A worn out bow and quiver clattered to the floor, and his pack fell open to reveal a change of clothes, and one rather well kept book that someone might find rather familiar.

"Sorrysorrysorry!" Lupin scrambled to pick up his belongings, tucking the book back into his bag, and taking the bow and arrows and placing them so that they stuck out of the pack. The pack was now held to his chest.

"...Sorry..." he mumbled.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:50 pm

"... it's beef, kitten. You know, the kind you get from cows? The big things that go 'moo'?" She chuckles softly, though this quickly turned to a yelp of surprise as Lupin's archery gear went everywhere.

"It's no problem! Looks like a miracle that rotten old thing lasted as long as it did!" Jessun-Na laughed. "Do you shoot? I've tried it myself, but I'm hopeless at it."

In the background, the hooded stranger slowly turned in his seat. It was only a trick of the light, the contrast of his pale eyes against his black scales and the flickering firelight, but his eyes seemed to glow as he watched the pair.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:29 am

"Father taught me to shoot so we could hunt on the road. This was his bow." It was also rather worn out, and it didn't seem like it would be lasting much longer. The arrows were mismatched, from multiple sources, some well made and some crude. He held the bow with fondness, and...it was hard to tell if it was just melting snow or sadness that made his eyes water, but he blinked it away.

"I can get a buck from halfway across the meadow." He said proudly, remembering the hunting trips up north in Skyrim. The grin came up again, and his ears flicked slightly...and he glanced at the man in the hood momentarily, the hair on the back of his neck standing up. It settled, and he focused again on the woman.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:11 am

"Wow! When I tried all I hit was the dirt," Jessun-Na admitted with a conspiratorial grin. She saw him glance at the stranger, and her grin crumbled. "Oh. Don't mind him. He's just crabby today. I think he's sick or hurt, but he didn't want to talk to me."

"Sweetheart, there are other customers!" Rakeem-Na called in an almost sing-song, teasing tone. The young girl rolled her eyes. "Sorry, I have to serve other people. I'll be back with your stew though, okay?"
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:22 am

"Okay." He said cheerfully, and found a seat near the fire, where he sat. His tail wove back and forth, and he listened to the idle chatter. It was nice to be around people and neither have to hide from them or kill them while they sleep in order to keep them from killing you. Variety. The spice of life.

He closed his eyes and let the heat of the fire warm him. Already he was beginning to dry off, and he self consciously began wiping off his head fur with his hood. His pack went underneath his chair, and under his feet, so that he wouldn't lose track of it. He did, however, bend down and pull out a book from the pack, and opened it up.

It was a spell tome that he had found on a dead man to the north. Lupin had never used magic before, but his mother had the talent for it. From what he remembered, this was apparently a tome of fire. Maybe if he could learn that, he could keep himself warmer on the cold nights. He read on, eyebrows furrowing every once in a while when he came across something difficult to understand.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:27 am

"Interesting book you have there."

The gravelly rasp seemed to come from nowhere, the once-silent stranger suddenly taking an interest in the young Khajiit. He dragged his chair over to the youth's table with a loud scraaaaaaaaaaaape, not stopping for a minute to ask. He sat down, tugging the tome over to his end of the table and spinning it upright so he could read.

"A book of flames. Just like the one I had when I was small," he murmured to himself.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:35 am

The Khajiit's fur stood on end for a moment, before he forced himself to calm down. This was the middle of a tavern, nothing bad was going to happen here in public.

"I...I found it on the road north of here." In a dead man's bag after he knifed the man who had killed it's owner in the throat from behind. "Momma could use magic, and I figured it might be good to learn some to help keep warm." He said, trying to sound more confident than he really did. "You...your a mage, sir?" he asked, changing the subject.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:47 am

"Not so simple as just reading it." The strange Argonian slowly leafed through the pages, quickly skimming them as he passed. "You have to feel the power in these pages. Feel it inside you."

He closed the book one-handed with a loud 'snap'. "Either way... I wouldn't recommend starting with fire. Fire is... unpredictable. You serve it just as much as it serves you. Wouldn't want to lose all that lovely fur, would you."

He paused, turning his head to cough.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:52 am

The raspy voice, the burned face, the warning against fire...Lupin suddenly glanced at the tome on the table, with a new, heavier feeling in his stomach. He wasn't entirely sure he wanted to pick it back up now.

"Umm...so...how do you? Feel the power, that is? And...what should I start with?" He asked, letting himself relax more and more. "Is it something I can learn, or...do you need to be...born special?" his head cocked to the side with this question, the ever curious cat.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:13 am

"It's not something I can describe. It's like you were wearing a blindfold before, and it's suddenly ripped off you. Once you manage it the first time, it gets a lot easier."

The Argonian shrugged. "I'm told I was born under the sign of The Mage, but I don't think that's strictly necessary. I don't even know if it's something that can be measured."
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:17 am

"Oooh..." He said, not really understanding. As far as he could remember, he was born under the sign of The Thief...which was appropriate, all things considered.

"So...is it like archery? At first it was hard to pull and aim and fire all together, but then things start clicking together and you start hitting things?" he asked, trying to put it in a context he could understand.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:40 am

The Argonian shrugged. "Maybe. I've never used a bow in my life."

For the moment he seemed content not to continue the conversation. Instead, he swivelled in his seat and reached over to retrieve his bread and stew. He resumed munching on it happily.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:51 am

Lupin paused, sitting silently, waiting for his stew. He considered starting conversations up again, but every time he opened his mouth his nerves failed him and he wilted.

He took his book back across the table and put it carefully back in his pack, as though afraid it would explode. Instead, he pulled out another book, this one a well kept ledger, which he opened up and began reading.

The unusual thing was the variety of hand writings within this book, as though multiple people had used it as a diary at some point.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:02 am

"No need to be so nervous," the stranger piped up again. "The book itself is utterly harmless. Even less so in your hands, from the looks of it."

"Here you are!" Jessun-Na reappeared, setting a bowl of stew down in front of Lupin with a fresh loaf of bread. "Enjoy!" She shot the black-scaled Argonian a dirty look as she left.

"What's the story behind that one?" the Argonian asked, the look utterly failing to register.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:09 am

"Thank you!" He called to Jessun-Na, before taking a first tear of bread and dipping it into the stew. He popped it into his mouth and murred at the flavor before he registered the argonian's question.

"I dunno...It's weird. I" stole it from a man in Whiterun and I don't know why but it called to me and the people said not to tell what it was because people would hurt your for it. "Just picked it up on the road...it's um...about daedric artifacts." He lied.

"So...are you...why do you smell like garlic and berries?" he tried to change the conversation now, sniffing twice to identify the scent wafting off the argonian.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:15 am

"I see. I just thought it was strange, because-"

Thump.

"I found one just like it."

The Argonian sniffed once, resting his gloved hand on his own book. "Because the waitress that gave you your food threw a potion at my face," he answered simply.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:20 am

"oh." Well, he felt stupid.

"Um...I found it in Whiterun." stole it. "Where did you find your...copy?" he asked, glancing down at it. and at his own. He experimentally opened the other tome, and carefully pulled a quill and ink bottle out of his pack. He then jotted down a sentence in the tome before him.

It appeared on the copy across the table as it was written.

"...Wow." The moment might have made more of an impact if the sentence hadn't been "The stew is delicious"
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:33 am

"I have a sneaking suspicion it found me," the Argonian rasped. "Was looking for a new spell tome. I'm a bit of a collector in this particular school of magic. When I picked it up I know with absolute certainty it had a different cover than it does now. I tried to take something from the whole affair later and tried to disenchant it. It tried to eat my head."
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:40 am

The bread in his hand dropped gently into the bowl of soup as the Khajiit processed that.

"...Um...did it...how did it...um..." He picked up the bread and stuck it into his mouth to stop himself from stammering, and looked at the argonian.

"Did it...did it stop on your own or did you have to make it?"
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:49 am

"First I tried to burn it to ash with my magic, but it was warded against that. So I picked up another book and beat it until it stopped moving."

In the background Jessun-Na, who had only heard part of that last sentence, dropped a pair of empty tankards with a loud clang.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:32 am

"Oh."

A long, long pause.

"Um...what's your name?" Lupin finally asked, the only other question that he could come up with being 'what's with the burns' which seemed rude.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:03 pm

A slight pause, as if the stranger was considering the question.

"If you're asking for the name my mother gave me, that's a mystery to the both of us. The first twenty or so years of my life I was 'you' or 'lizard' or 'come here, boy'. If you're looking for something to call me, use the name other people use."

Resting his gloved hands on the table, he stared back at the fireplace. "The Salamander."
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