A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:17 pm

"You were a slave?" Lupin breathed, eyes wide. "Did you...escape, or did your owner die, or...what happened?" he asked.

Then another question. "Why do they call you "The Salamander?"" he asked, taking another bite of his bread as he watched, his eyes not leaving the older argonian's face. This all seemed like something out of one of the stories momma had told him when he was just a kit.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:37 pm

"I was. Of a sort. I was treated well enough, I suppose. My labour was no more difficult than the rest of the sailors. I was fed and clothed like the rest of them."

He lapsed into silence again, as if he'd simply forgotten who he was talking to.

"But what my 'master' asked of me I will not repeat. It's not exactly a subject one discusses in polite company. Know only that I would rather die than wear chains again."

He scooped up a generous spoonful of stew and sucked it down his throat. "Isn't it obvious?" he replied. "I'm a creature of fire. I was born from it, and I carry it with me at all times."
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:04 pm

Oooh. Lupin had thought he meant like the slimy things in ponds.

Probably shouldn't mention that.

"How...how did you manage to get away from it?" he asked, looking at the burned man. "Is that how you got-" nope, nope, stop right there

"...Sorry. I gotta learn to think before I speak more."
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:26 pm

"Yes." No reaction, no offense at the way it was asked. Just a simple one-word answer. He remained silent for a while, the strange contours of the burned side of his face casting strange shadows in the firelight.

"My master killed someone I cared for. And tried to take out his frustration on me later," he said simply.

"I smelled burning flesh for the first time that night."
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:59 pm

"Did you...you know...really get rid of him?" Lupin asked. If his eyes got any wider they were certain to fall out of his head. He watched the strange man for some time before asking his next question.

"So...what are you doing now that your free?" he asked, going back to his soup after asking.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:15 pm

"I had never seen a human skeleton before. Especially one so blackened. The sight was curiously uninteresting."

The hooded Argonian shrugged. "Being free. Doing all I can to remain as such. Taking what jobs I can, finding my next meal, refining my alchemy, expanding my arcane knowledge... What I must and what I want to. I am a simple man."

The door swung open, hitting one of the wooden pillars supporting the roof with a loud 'thud'. A light dusting of snow sailed in with the pale winter light before a small group of large shapes filled the doorway. With the heavy clump of their boots they entered. Three men, wrapped in cloaks, fur and leather armour beneath them and weapons at their sides. Imperial patrol? No, their voices soon disproved that. They were loud and crass, possibly already carrying more than a little drink in their tanks to stave off the cold. They were unshaven, their dirty whiskers rimed with frost. The first man pulled back his hood, raking his long greasy yellow hair back.

"You, lizard!" he called. "I have hungry and thirsty men here."

Rakeem-Na scowled, but the man he had been talking with decided it would be best to just leave the inn while he could. He sidestepped behind the bar until he was level with the three newcomers, his golden eyes narrowed. "Let's see some coin then."

The leader raised an eyebrow, as if surprised that the Argonian had had the audacity to ask for payment. He spied a small pile of Septims on the counter, Lupin's meagre payment. He gathered them up in his meaty fist, letting a single coin fall from his grip.

"There. You're paid." The other coins he simply shoved into a pouch.

"Planning to give the guards the rest?" Rakeem-Na asked.

"Oh no. The guards and I have an understanding. In fact, they might be wondering why you would be denying such fine gentlemen as ourselves your service. What's wrong? Only serve other lizards and cats?"

"Don't turn around," the Salamander murmured to Lupin. "They're trying to bait you. Ignore them and show no fear. They want a victim to use as an example."
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:19 pm

Lupin's eyes had indeed gotten wider somehow. But he nodded, facing the Salamander.

He then placed one arm on the table, and let his sleeve droop just a small bit. The glint of a knife inside. He then hid it away, and mouthed 'just in case' to the Argonian.

When he took another spoonful of stew, the keen observer might notice that his claws were out now, and his ears had slowly begun to creep downward. He waited. He listened. He didn't look, though.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:26 pm

"It's my inn and I serve who I want. Get out."

"Or what?" the blond Nord replied, laughing. "You'll take all three of us? You'll go running to the guards? I'm trying to be civil here. But if you want things to go that way..."

He cast his gaze around, searching for a victim just as the burned Argonian had said he would. Unfortunately, he was too perceptive - or maybe Lupin let his fear on more than he thought. The stomp of his boots came closer and closer.

"Look at this one, for example," he said, right behind Lupin. "Everyone knows Khajiit don't do an honest day's work in their lives. You expect me to believe he paid?"

The Nord's hand came down on Lupin's shoulder, a mocking gesture. "You'll serve a thief and a beggar, but not an honest Nord?"

The Salamander said nothing, did nothing. Simply continued eating, staring at the fire.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:34 pm

Lupin remained stiff, but didn't speak. All of his effort was focused on his spoon. It wasn't shaking. It was just moving slowly.

But something behind his eyes changed, and the sleeve with the dagger went down into his lap. He looked at the Salamander, and then back down at his meal. Don't do anything. You'll regret it. His mother whispered in his ears, warning him away from doing something stupid.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:52 pm

The Nord clapped his hand down on Lupin's shoulder again, shaking the Khajiit's body with the force of the blow. "This can all be fixed quite easily. Feed us and water us and we'll be on our way with no more trouble. And your precious little kitten here gets to keep his tail."

"Okay that's enough!"

All heads turned. Jessun-Na slammed her tray down on the counter, glaring angrily at the three. "I don't care who you are or how important you think you are. You leave him alone and you get out right now. Or I'm bringing every guard in a hundred miles right back here for you."

The Nord chuckled. "Is that so, sweet thing?" His hand dragged across Lupin's shoulders as he began to step away.

Toward the Argonian girl.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:02 pm

The cat whirled around, the dagger already in his hands, and it went into the neck of the man with the greasy blonde hair. The other hand, with claws out, closed around the other side, and dragged across. Deep, open wounds came into the man's unarmored neck from both sides, leaving him to drown inside his own blood.

The Khajiit turned to look at the other two, claws out, dagger ready, backing away. Inside his head, his mother gave him a mental smack upside the head for doing something so stupid. He weighed his options. Fight or flight.

Well, okay, he didn't think flight would work with so little room. Lupin spat out a tiny curse word in his native tongue, and moved around to the other side of the fire place. His eyes glowed in the reflected light.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:05 pm

Well.

The blond Nord didn't even have time to react. His eyes bugged out in shock as he fell, unable to do more than gurgle as his heart attempted to pump every last pint of blood from his body. He clutched uselessly at the handle of his sword, managing to get it maybe two inches from its sheath before he finally stopped moving.

Jessun-Na screamed. Her father ducked behind the counter, frantically beckoning her. The other two thugs swore, producing their own weapons as they crossed the tavern floor. They bracketed the Khajiit, leaving him nowhere to go that didn't leave him close to their blades. Anyone that had been in the taproom fled, screaming for the guards.

The Salamander remained motionless.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:20 pm

Akatosh, Khenarthi, Mara help me, I've made a mistake. This much was obvious. The mistake, that is, not the praying. Lupin is right between the two now, claws in one hand and knife in the other.

Throw the knife, lose a weapon and have a fifty percent chance of actually doing anything. Jump the fire, maybe get to the door, maybe catch on fire.

The salamander wasn't moving. No one would help him. Well, there was a surprise. Him against the world.

"Please." He whispered, maybe to the gods, maybe to the argonians, maybe the the bandits...he braced himself for them to come, tiny and afraid.

But you know what happens when you back something small and furry into a corner? Sometimes it turns out to be a mongoose.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:27 pm

The rightmost man kept advancing, gripping his mace in both hands, his face twisted into a snarl of rage. Then, quite suddenly, a chair was kicked into his path with the scrape of wood. He stumbled, stopping, and turned to the source. The hooded Argonian was just where he had always been, scraping up the last of his stew.

"You want to join him?" he growled.

"Do you?" the Salamander rasped, indicating the dead Nord. That was it. No more lip from the bystander. The thug roared, swinging his mace in a punishing arc that would crack the lizard's skull open like glass.

Only the aforementioned lizard rocked back in the chair, holding the edge of the table in one hand as he balanced on the chair's rear legs. The thug barely had time to register before he saw the flames in the Salamander's free hand.

And then never saw anything else again.

The black-scaled Argonian slowly straightened, politely arranging his cutlery on the table as he stood. The screaming Nord dropped to the floor, pawing and clawing at his burned and blackened face, casting his now sightless eyes around in blind horror.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by Lupin'Vola on Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:33 pm

The Khajiit took this opportunity to pounce to the left man, claws and knife out as the he was distracted by the burst of flames. The dagger stabbed up into the man's jaw and neck, and he pulled it out.

And then his eyes rolled up into his head and he fainted.
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Re: A Tavern In The Middle Of Nowhere (open)

Post by The Salamander on Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:40 pm

The Salamander slowly turned. He glanced from the unconscious Khajiit to the barely-conscious thug, scrabbling and moaning on the floor as his wounds began to take their toll. He approached, slow and measured steps clumping against the floorboards.

He raised his boot and, with great care, placed it over the wounded man's throat and pressed down. He looked up at the Argonian father and daughter, still hiding behind the counter.

"I will take care of the bodies," the hooded Argonian rasped, the man's struggles beneath his boot finally stopping. "Go about your business."

'The bodies' hopefully not being the unconscious Khajiit.
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