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[IC] Confessions {Sihphae & illirica}

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:28 pm
by Sihphae
_____ Medieval ; Fantasy; Adventure ; MxM ; Drama ♚}}

The balks were greasy and stained dark with decades of candle smoke but from each hung a grisly trophy of some successful hunt, an aging boar’s skull, a giant stag’s antlers, a time-worn cockatrice tail, and other chilling reminders of the unique hobbies of the owners. A lanyard with dozens of elven ears gone leathery with age used to droop threateningly above the doorway but Gavin, the owner’s son, had taken it down to protest his father’s discrimination. Surely, one day he would get round to taking it all down but aging warriors with grim tales and fancies bought more ale than academics.

Meretricious laughter and arguments rang inside the presently crowded tavern, as it always was come evenfall. Men who either sold their sword or stole with their sword, scarred and battered with openly worn swords and armor, filled their tankards with ale, gruit and mead and barked about their adventures as the bard rid them of their dirty coin with songs of beautiful women and their rescuers. A small group had drug heavy oaken tables and chairs toward a rear corner beneath the blind gaze of a wolf’s skull, gambling away their valuables in a drunken stupor by rolling dice.

Arhan was one of them. He had no heavy axe or onerous longsword strapped to his back or a suit of armor to stay the sharp tip of a seasoned sword. He donned light leather clothing, half finger gloves, a threadbare hooded tunic, and hide boots with fronted rivets. A layer of dirt covered his face. He was grinning ear to ear as many of his companions, stout axe- and sword- wielding free-lances hawked and bellowed at him,

“Arhan, you arse,” one slammed his tankard onto the table, spilling half the ale.

“Yer’ cheatin’, we knows it,” one spoke with a lisp, giving his knee a hard slap. The others nodded in agreement.

Arhan shook his head ardently, seemingly offended by their senseless accusations. He had rolled the hazard chance for the third time in a row now and the men weren’t pleased.

“That hurts, ye know.” He said in a high-pitched voice, shamming offence. He too stank of ale, bright-eyed and swaying sideways as though he were about to collapse. “I’d never…” he gasped as he prepared to roll the dice again. “Honest—work, Ualdir smite me,” he hiccoughed and threw the dice on the makeshift pile of coin, daggers, herbs, liquids and other sundries. His bright, hazel-hued and green-tinted eyes flickered as the dice rolled another chance and he fashioned a white-toothed grin and threw his arms in the air in triumph.

The men were up in arms, cursing and throwing away their loot. Some stood up and made for the door, stumbling over their own feet and pushing through the crowd as others looked for a refill. Two stayed, laughing and patting Arhan on the shoulders as he gulped down on his drink to celebrate.

“Ye think he’s good for it?” One asked. He was a tall, burly man with a receding hairline, half a brow and a battered lowered lip. The other was a shorter, bearded fellow with a strong paunch and fewer teeth. They were both seasoned warriors, abound in stories and coin. They had just arrived to Agras, they’d said, weary from their travels and looking to unwind with a game of dice. Arhan was not one to refuse to unburden their purses. Alas, he’d never suspected they’d had plans of their own.

“Aye, let’s do it,” the other replied and stood up, inching closer to the incognisant, intoxicated thief.

In a matter of moments, a sharp, sudden pain rendered Arhan’s senses numb and he passed out unknowingly. The last thing he’d seen was the coin, the last thing he’d heard was the sound of laughter ringing in his ears.

He awoke in a dark, stale cell with a throbbing pain in his head, a pungent smell of muck and piss wafting in the air and arousing sickness. A single strip of sunlight fell on the stone and dirt floor through a barred crack in the wall as Arhan groaned and hissed. To stand up was no easy task. Blood rushed to his brain and his vision doubled before he took in the sight of his surroundings. It wasn’t the first time he had got blindly drunk and awoken in strange places, but it was always a nuisance coming to inside a jail cell.

“Look at ‘em. Crasmere lumps, those are. Don’t think I coulda fetch’ a better price for ‘em,” a familiar, gruff sounding voice startled him as heavy footsteps closed in at the door, the sound of metal grinding the stone quieting.

“Liana’s gon’ knee ye in the balls, Twins,” another one said in a scratchy tone of voice that shook with laughter.

“You two,” Arhan gasped, wide-eyed at the sight of the lot of them. He pointed a scarred finger with a cracked nail toward them before spitting on the floor. “I knew it!” he asserted, pulling his brows into a frown. He, truth be told, had not known it, but he was not going to give them less pride than he deserved and allow himself to glance over them with a worried expression.

“You did not!” one of them huffed in a dismissive tone of voice, crossing his bulky arms on his armored chest and clicking his tongue. The two men, donning city guard armor, were the same two ruffians from last night – one battered lip and a paunch. Gods be damned, Arhan cursed inwardly. They had pulled a fast one on him.

“Never would’a guessed the city guard were mummers too,” a smirk graced the edge of his full, chapped lips.

“Glad ye liked it, thief,” Arhan’s attempt to provoke them fell on deaf ears. The battered lip started up and opened the jail cell. Arhan cautiously took a few steps back, unsure of what they were planning to do with him. Escaping had already crossed his mind, but it wouldn’t be breezy. The men had already come to study his face long enough for him not to be able to disappear easily and avoid recapture. But how had they known he was cheating? And had he earned a few nights in lockup just for that? His mind was abuzz with questions as the paunch exited his line of sight for a moment and came back holding a bucketful of water.

“Wait,” Arhan exclaimed but it was to no avail. The paunch casually sauntered in and drenched him. The water was ice cold and the chill that shot through him worsened his headache. He shivered and cursed, shooting daggers out of his eyes as the paunch burst into laughter and the battered lip joined in merrily.

"Can't go before the Lord smellin' like horse shit," one of them said, as the other grabbed him by the arm and yanked him to unwillfully follow.

"Ou, can't ye be more gentle... and what ar'ye sayin'? What Lord? I thought you'd cuffed me in, ye brutes," Arhan protested trying to squirm his way out of the man's tight grip.

"The Lord of Islesbury, ye lil' prick." The paunch slapped the back of his head, "he's got a job for ye."

It had dawned on him then that he was many a stone's throw away from Agras, the heart of Olitaea. Yet, instead of wondering what might happen to him next, as one thief should, all he could think about was whether or not Gavin had even noticed he had gone without saying farewell.

Re: [IC] Confessions {Sihphae & illirica}

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:20 pm
by illirica
“Sir Cantrill?”

The inquiry came hesitantly from the doorway, a young man’s voice that cracked on the last syllable, which made the boy flush with embarrassment. Cantrill, remembering those awkward days himself, didn’t mention it. He was staring out the window, noticing that his memory of those awkward years was an improvement on the memories he’d been contemplating just moments ago. Perhaps he should thank the boy.

“Just Cantrill, lad.” It was a truth, but it was nothing to be thankful for. He was a Knight of the Holy Order no longer, not since Carra. What good was a Knight who couldn’t follow the Church’s doctrine, who brought ruin on the people of Olitaea by his own hubris? Dark deeds, masquerading as compassion... no, Cantrill was a Knight no longer.

The difficulty was that he did not know how to be anything else. He’d been brought up in the Church itself, raised from an unwanted infant, trained in the sword as soon as he could lift one. He had been their glory, their shining one. No longer, though... no longer. Now he was only a man, with no knowledge but the sword, too old to learn a new trade and too proud to beg or live on the Church’s charity - which presumed they would even offer it.

He’d made his way as best he could - there were enough inns here and there who were willing to offer a meal to a large dour man with a sword if he stood against the wall and glowered at people enough that they didn’t get out of hand, or tossed out those who did. A meal - usually the endings of the stewpot, mostly turnips and potatoes, little else. A place on the common room floor to sleep, woken by every stumbling drunk looking for a place to piss.

Cantrill told himself, during these times, that he had certainly borne worse - yet the scars of battle pained him less than the indignities of mankind. When he’d been summoned to the manor of the Lord of Islebury, he’d had no place to refuse, though he wasn’t sure what an aging failure of a Knight could offer the lord. Once, the Lord would have sought to curry his favor, and with it the favor of the Church itself. Now, though, it was as likely as anything that his Lordship merely wanted to gloat.

Cantrill had gone anyway. He’d been taken to a waiting room, another mark of his changed status. There would have been a time when he would have been ushered into the Lord’s presence immediately. The boy had brought a meal, though - food and drink, and while he’d not touched the ale, Cantrill had found that he wasn’t too proud to eat - actual fare, not pot-leavings. Meat and bread, and apples. Cantrill hadn’t had apples since the season for them had passed. Some bastion he was turning out to be, that it took only a bit of fruit to sway him.

He’d left the plates and retreated to the window, staring out with a delicate cup of strong tea held in a hand that was too large for it, scarred and looking liable to crush the porcelain at any moment - but his grasp was gentle, and the teacup survived his ire. The boy had asked if he’d needed anything, but what Cantrill wanted wasn’t something that they could offer him - and he was too proud yet to ask for what he needed.

And so the hour had passed, and the better part of the next, and Cantrill had stood at the window in stony silence, looking out because it was better than looking at the comforts within, that reminded him only of what was gone.

His reverie disappeared, and his pale gray eyes found the lad once more. “Yes, Sir.... er, sir.” The boy swallowed, as if he could possibly be more uncomfortable with this turn of events than Cantrill himself. “Er. Milord will see you now.”

So. It came to it at last. Cantrill nodded and left the windowsill, returning the teacup to its place on the table. Something, at least, should remain where it belonged. He followed the boy to an audience, knowing nothing of how it might shape his future.

Re: [IC] Confessions {Sihphae & illirica}

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:16 pm
by Sihphae
They moved quickly out of the dimly-lit, malodorous dungeon, astir a seemingly never-ending flight of stairs, the shadows cast by flickering candle lights chasing after them. Loud and heavy were their footfalls against the uneven, narrow stonework as the battered lip and the paunch trudged onwards, their disobliging prisoner struggling to slow them down and barraging them with words in a snappish tone of voice.

“I’d be a terrible pageboy,” he’d assert further, “Gods’ truth.” His captors weren’t quite forthcoming when it came to explaining what they had meant by ‘job’. They seemed to be content with keeping Arhan in the dark, for the most part of their journey to the upper floors of the Lord’s manor, jesting at the thief’s nervousness. An arched, wooden door led them inside a storeroom clustered with fruit crates, leather sacks, and shelves heavy with assortments of jars and tight-lidded pots mounted on the walls. A queasy smell of rotting fish tickled his nostrils. Past the storeroom were the servants’ quarters, a grimly small space to accommodate many serfs, judging by the number of wooden beds with straw mattresses in the corners.

It wasn’t a typical route a thief headed for the gallows would take, Arhan recalled, having been threatened by a noose many a times before. The feel of solid rope against his skin, the numbness in perched toes that fought for the chair’s balance, the sound of the lever being pulled and the chair disappearing beneath his feet… the memories were far from fond.

He was released at last when the battered lip and the paunch secured the storeroom door and a house servant, a fair-skinned, timid maiden, entered the quarters to deliver some clean rags.

“Take yer clothes off,” the battered lip said firmly. “And put these on.” The maiden left the rags on the bed and retreated as silently as she had appeared.

“The Lord expects sum… pro-per-ness.” The paunch made special effort with the word before throwing a broken toothed grin toward Arhan who wasn’t so pleased. He was soaking wet head to toe, unnecessarily so, and now he was to undress in front of them, too. Unwilling as he appeared, he still complied, although with a lot of complaint. He’d accused them of deriving too much joy out of watching him try to wriggle out of his leather pants into a new pair, all on sticky naked skin. The tunic they’d given him was very gentle to the touch, though and at least provided some relief. They promised he’d get proper attire for the job and any other tool he so desired, but they were still reluctant to speak freely about it. Arhan began to wonder whether he’d be forced to dance to his Lord’s privy as his personal jester, or some other wicked perversions a nobleman would fancy.

He thought about running away, breaking free, but he had no weapon at hand, for they’d made sure to relieve him of any. He was no match to their brute strength. He couldn’t even pull off a full breast-plated armor, let alone knock a man donning one off his feet. Instead, he forced a terse smile, quelling any sign of dissent and waited until time was proper for talking shop. The Lord wouldn't see him until the weather cleared, he was told, for whilst Eifdir's lover played in the rain, no good would come out of setting out on a quest. Foolish beliefs, Arhan noted to himself.

When the time finally came and the sun chased away the clouds, he was summoned to the Lord's solar quarters.

It was a room of comfort and status, with a crackling fireplace and decorative woodwork. The walls were painted green with gold stars burdened by a plethora of oil paintings and tapestries depicting raging battle scenes and contradicting landscape tranquility. The stone floor was replaced by wooden work and animal hide rugs, the arched windows were high and draped, and a single roughly polished wooden table perched before it. At the table sat a grizzled old man, with his hair swept back and coiffed, and a pair of stone-cold grey eyes one had difficulty evading. A full body armor brooded by his side, stiff as a corpse, inviting one to wonder whether it was a living thing or a lifeless shell.

"I should offer my apologies for the wait, gentlemen," the man cleared his throat, his accent undeniably cultured with crisp diction. No apology was issued, however. "Please, do step forward," he instructed. Arhan barely moved as he took notice of another matter at hand. Another man, stocky, well-built with a well-trimmed week's stubble and a pervasive air of peculiarity around him, had joined in as well. He spied him from the corner of his eye, giving away no noticeable expression, but inwardly already wary of the possibility of the job involving more than the acceptable number of men he'd work with. He started to feel the throbbing pain in his head more prominently now.

The Lord shifted in his seat and drew Arhan's attention again. He leaned in to open a drawer and pulled out two bags heavy with coin. The bags shook and the coins clinked together as he placed them gently in front of him.

"A bag of coin each for your talents," he said as he peered solemnly at his guests, an attempt to sway them with riches before addressing what they'd have to do to earn it. "Interested?"

Re: [IC] Confessions {Sihphae & illirica}

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:06 pm
by illirica
The Lord of Islebury was much as Cantrill remembered, only more sharply so. He had to admit he’d never paid too much attention to the various Lords in the past. They were faces on the periphery, and he knew them only so much as not to embarrass the Church by confusing them with one another, but he had always politely declined invitations before. Now he stood before the man, eyeing him critically as he might the mayor of a besieged town, wondering how much trouble he was likely to be.

He had no answer to that question, nor did he have any answer to the question of the identity of the other man who had been ushered in. Younger than Cantrill, certainly - but these days, most of those who weren’t remained shut up indoors. The young man’s clothing was of decent quality, but did not fit him precisely. An approximate match, not a tailored one. Cantrill didn’t know what that meant, as far as things went. Whatever the younger man was, he didn’t have the build for a swordman. An assassin, perhaps? Cantrill didn’t know that he was quite ready to work with one such as that.

He also didn’t know that he was going to have any other option. The other man seemed wary, so it was likely that he wasn’t one of Islebury’s close friends, certainly. He expected trouble. Cantrill was much more relaxed. He knew there would be trouble as well, but was secure in the haphazard knowledge that things simply could not get worse than they had been. Islebury set two bags of coin on the table, not mentioning whether they were filled with gold or copper. Cantrill wondered which it was, because it was of interest to him to know how easily Islebury thought he could be bought.

Cantrill’s examination of his own thoughts, interestingly enough, suggested that he would have been less offended by the copper. He said nothing of this, standing still instead. The other young man didn’t seem eager to answer first. Cantrill wasn’t either, but if they both stood there in silence, then no one would get anywhere at all. “Be some things money can’t buy,” he commented, slowly, “And other things it shouldn’t.”

The Lord shifted a little at this denouncement - not quite a flinch, but it was evident that whatever he expected, it likely hadn’t been a sermon, short as that one had been. Cantrill met his eye, unbreaking. They could take the Knight out of the Church, but it wasn’t so easy to take the Church out of the Knight.

Former Knight, he knew. His regrets did nothing to beseige his faith. He didn’t fold his arms, because that made it harder to draw a blade - not that Cantrill expected to draw one here, but some habits never died. “What is it you ask done?”

Re: [IC] Confessions {Sihphae & illirica}

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:23 pm
by Sihphae
At the sight of a bagful of coin, Arhain instinctively threaded lightly, a single hushed step forward, a clenched jaw and twinkling interest. The battered lip and the paunch’s talk of a ‘job’ rang true, whether the reward was copper or gold, it was still a bagful, likely great in proportion to whatever dangerous endeavor the Lord was about to propose. The other man, keen of caution, talked of should and shan’t as Arhan held his tongue, looking down at his light elkhide boots to hide his smirk. He’d made the Lord uncomfortable, although the Lord did manage to hold onto decorum and dignity.

The Lord heaved a deep breath as a brooding frown fell on his face. He laced his fingers together and began in a solemn, heavy tone of voice, “A fortnight ago, we’ve begun receiving complaint about a thief who would come at night and rob my people of their belongings. Those things were of little value, some entirely worthless. My guards barely took notice. No thief would be foolish enough to storm a Lord’s keep, guards at every corner…” the Lord paused, coughing slightly into his balled fist. Arhan listened intently, a tad bit awkward at the mention of a thief’s endeavors. “Although there’d been tales of such farcical nature, if one ought to believe,” he added and cast a sneaky glance at Arhan who, recalling one such adventure in the near past, froze instantly, his heart hammering in his chest. The Lord knew, he freaked inwardly, the sound of his heart drumming in his chest filling his ears. How was that possible? He’d made sure to brag about that as little as possible.

While Arhan worried he might truly be thrown in the arms of a merciless executioner, the Lord moved on, focusing on the more relevant parts of the quest he was about to offer.

“Alas, there came a night when it happened. He… no, it came out of the shadows and stole a most precious item… my Lady’s prized mirror, amongst other valuables. She is heartbroken.”

It?” Arhan sounded off at last, unable to move past that particular word, breaking the Lord’s train of thought.

“Yes. We knew it would come back, for it seemed to be attracted to shiny objects. We set a trap, thinking we’d imprison a man, but we were defeated by a beast… a fiend. It was twice as large as a man and it used no weapon. Just brute strength. We managed to track him down to an abandoned outpost in the nearby wildwood. One of the farmers spoke of a beast’s nest he’d encountered. We sent guards to confront it again, yet, each time, they’d only come back wounded or not come back at all.” Another dramatic pause followed as he swung his gaze to get a look at them. Arhan was entirely invested in the story, waiting with bated breath to hear what would happen next. He adored spooky tales of mysterious beasts and men who ventured out to find them.

“Why I have summoned you here, you must be wondering,” that was when Arhan shook out of it, and focused once more. If the brute force of the Lord’s guard could not withstand the beast’s power, what good would a thief such as himself be? He’d never been interested in taking up swords, although a dagger or two he had grown to find handy. He wasn’t brawny or much of a fighter. He was a thief, he took whatever he wanted, trying his best not to get caught while doing it.

“I need a thief to steal back my Lady’s prized possession and a warrior to make sure the thief lives through it,” he finally said in a strong, confident tone of voice, standing up to make more of an impression. Before Arhan could say anything on the matter, the Lord briskly continued. “I’ve sent scouts to track its movements, its habits. It does not do much at sunlight, most likely it is asleep. That is when you would do best to act.” He stepped aside his desk and took a few steps in Arhan’s direction. “A thief who cannot be caught,” a lopsided smirk grew at the edge of his lips, “and a warrior who cannot be slain,” he threw a glance at the other man, the smirk morphing into a smile, “presumably.”

“What say you? I offer nothing but gold and whatever else you might find of value at the beast’s nest. In return, I would like silence on the matter," his smile faded, "it would be bad if the words on everyone's lips were of my guard's incompetency to deal with such a matter."

Re: [IC] Confessions {Sihphae & illirica}

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:37 pm
by illirica
The other man had seemed all too eager to take the coins, Cantrill had noticed. When they’d broken to speak, though, the Lord’s words followed a tale - a mirror stolen, by some monstrous creature. It seemed simple enough, but Cantrill couldn’t help but notice that from the interplay between the lord and the other man, there was likely some history between them, hinted at between spoken lines, never fully brought to light.

Well. Another man’s tale was his own to tell, Cantrill supposed - and there were certain aspects of his own story that he didn’t care to go over in uncertain company, either. The wiry man could keep his secrets. The Lord of Islebury, though... he, too, was keeping secrets, and Cantrill’s brow furrowed as he endeavored to figure out what they might be.

“You’ve not told the Church.” He had been silent for quite a time, while the story unfolded and the others skirmished at each other with words and with unspoken things. Cantrill was no fool, though he had noticed that people often mistook silence for stupidity. When he spoke, it was a statement and not a question, but the statement itself implied a great many questions - why, for example, had the Lord of Islebury not asked the Church for its help? Its Knights could be discreet if they needed to be, and killing monsters and retrieving possessions was exactly the sort of thing that the Knights ought to be doing.

Islebury had not asked them to, though. Instead, he’d contracted Cantrill as the closest thing to the Church he could get without troubling them, and this other man, who was... perhaps not likely to ask too many questions. There was more to this than the Lord of Islebury wanted known.

Cantrill decided that it was likely in the best interests of the Church not to ask too many questions right at this time. It might also be in the best interests of his own continued life, for that matter. Islebury didn’t necessarily have much interest in Cantrill’s survival, did he? He needed the monster dispatched, but if his chosen hero didn’t live to tell the tale, then that was one last concern. Cantrill didn’t believe for a moment that it was the competency of his guards that the man was worried about defending the secrecy of.

About these thoughts, he said nothing. The less it was assumed he suspected, the better in all cases. Islebury had no reason to believe that Cantrill would tell the Church his plans, though - nor that Cantrill would tell the Church the time of day, after they’d cast him out. He stepped forward, taking the pouch of coin and hefting it in his hand, as if gauging the sum by its weight. “I’ll say nothing of the misfortune of your guards. You’ve my word on that. And I’ll see the beast killed.”

It was about all he was good for, after all.

Re: [IC] Confessions {Sihphae & illirica}

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:44 pm
by Sihphae
Watching the Lord’s face change like a shot at the other man’s unlooked-for straight-forwardness was incredibly amusing. Oh, the Church. Arhan did not care for it, or its glorified foot soldiers, although he had made it a habit of avoiding their companionship. Not that they would care for a common thief to bother to make their acquaintance. The Lord wished to remain inconspicuous, that much was obvious and Arhan did not wish to pry. Whatever the man’s reasons, he was willing to pay good coin for such trivial work. Even if he was as concerned about their interference as the worried expression on his face.

He was quick to mask it, however. It was replaced by a hollow, wide smile, the same hollowness reflected in his dried, dull eyes which only lit up when the sword for hire accepted the offer. The sword for hire looked like one only in appearance, perhaps a bit much of age. He did not speak or walk like one, not the kind Arhan had come across at least. They were all always such loud, burly men, quick at temper, mighty with the sword. Their accents not nearly as cultured. Arhan watched him with the care a thief might opt for when observing a precious object he could snatch, a smirk twitching at the edge of his lips. He was sure he had quite the story to tell.

“Wonderful!” The excitement in the Lord’s voice seemed quite rehearsed. “How about the thief?” he turned to Arhan next, flashing that same smile. “Your talents are key. Can you do it?”

Arhan looked up, brilliance in his eyes, and smiled back. His was not hollow, for he always smiled genuinely, in so far as the situation allowed it. “I believe I might be able to do such a thing,”

“And are you willing to?” the Lord knew the word game well.

“If ye promise t’keep my talents a secret, as I’d naturally say nothin’ of ye…” he paused, fumbling for an appropriate word. “inadequacy.” A trace of a cultured accent was in him, too, though he was little fond of it. “Of yer soldiers’, that is.” The Lord was far from pleased at the jibe, but he pressed on, eager to witness the return of his Lady’s prized possession.

“It is settled then. You shall journ on the morn, it is not far from here but you shall take horses. I’ve arranged for a guide, and some provisions. You shan’t need many. And tools, I assume. I’m afraid I’ve robbed you of yours.” A chuckle followed. Arhan greeted it with a sour smile. He gave him a simple yes.

“You should find whatever you need in the smithy outside. So shall you find a shed to sleep in, should you wish. I most advise you not to stray in my quarters, it would displease me much.” He moved to the door behind them, most eager to relieve himself of them, and opened it. There stood that same young maiden, her hands clasped in front of her and her eyes downcast. “Elen shall escort you out.” Her name was Elena, but she’d dare not correct her master.

As he was about to exit, he stopped to remind them of one privy detail. “Oh and do leave behind the coin purses. One’s reward is always due after they’ve done what they’ve promised.” With that, he left them to their own devices. Arhan looked up, swinging his gaze between the young woman and his companion, as he gestured and did a curtsy, a tad bit silly bow, saying,

"After ye."

Re: [IC] Confessions {Sihphae & illirica}

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:03 pm
by illirica
Cantrill stared at the man for a moment, his eyes calm - not calm in the way of people, but calm in the way of the ocean, with the gods' own terrors lurking somewhere beneath. His gaze was measuring, a priest weighing sins, and his hand still held the coin purse. He gave a little nod that was caught somewhere between a soldier acknowledging his orders and a king acknowledging his court, then upended the coin purse upon the table and tossed the empty sack to the lord.

"Your purse. Lord Islebury." Nothing cut so deeply as a break in a sentence where there shouldn't have been one, did it? Still unflinching, Cantrill's hand deftly divided the pile of coin, and swept half of it into a waiting handkerchief. "If you want the job done you'll understand we'll need to supply ourselves." If the Lord wasn't willing to agree to it, then he could find himself someone else to do his task. Cantrill was becoming more and more convinced the man didn't expect them to survive this. After all, why waste good coin on dead men?

He folded the handkerchief and tucked it away, then turned on his heel before anyone could object to what had just happened. He was no thief - he'd stop for a guard and hand it back if need be, but then Islebury would be on his own - and Cantrill didn't think he was going to do that.

No, the real question was going to be what his apparent partner was going to do about it - whether he'd take the same step, or leave without bothering about a purse, or take one in its entirety. Cantrill waited patiently with the young woman to see it sorted out, greeting the other man once again with a measuring look and a truncated inquiry: "Name?"

Re: [IC] Confessions {Sihphae & illirica}

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 6:52 pm
by Sihphae
Displeased was too weak a word to describe the black look on Islesbury’s face when the sellsword, with all the temerity in the world, allowed himself an upfront. The Lord’s habitually cold eyes grew colder, the air around them heavy with dissent. Arhan craved a stern, glowering reaction but the Lord showed great restraint and proceeded to disappear silently into the ornamental shadows of his manor, taking whatever grim thought he had with him. Arhan also had thoughts, perhaps not as grim or sinister, but entertaining their fancy brought him joy. One of them had the battered lip and the paunch, his captives, bruising like peaches at the hands of the sellsword, a most delightful sight which made him grin like a child. He wasn't sure whether he felt some respect for his companion's actions or was merely intrigued by them. Either way, they made him muse over his own options.

He threw a glance over his shoulder to size up his portion of the reward, torn between reaching for it in its entirety and grabbing a smatter. The third choice, walking away empty-handed, for now, was as difficult as it was inviting. The Lord had promised them tools, after all, provisions as well, and whatever else he might need, he could easily acquire.

He stepped away from the coin purse decisively and as leisurely as he could and in steps the footfalls of which could not be heard, he approached the sellsword and the servant, a blunt expression hanging on his face. He followed the man’s measuring look and smiled at his terseness.

“I’ve a few,” he said, holding his gaze. “Might let ye call me Yer Grace, if ye insist. But if yer too shy, Arhan will do.” It was a joke, but he spoke as though he meant every word. "And ye? Should I be usin' 'Sir'?" He added, prying, brow half arched, eyes flickering.

The young woman, who was standing by the door, sheepish and stiff, finally looked up, peering at the men she was to escort out and fumbling with the hem of her dress sleeve.

"If you would please follow me, dear sirs," her voice was a feeble whisper as she gestured towards the hall. She wasn't even sure they had heard her, but she pressed on, stepping outside the solar into a long hallway and taking a sharp left turn.

Re: [IC] Confessions {Sihphae & illirica}

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:16 pm
by illirica
“Arhan.” Cantrill’s repetition was solemn, and he didn’t include the jestingly offered ‘Your Grace’ - he’d had enough of lords, for the time being. “Just call me Cantrill.” Not ‘Sir,’ not any more. Strange how much of one’s identity could be tied up in such a little word, wasn’t it? He motioned with his arm for the young woman to lead them with a brief but courteous “Thank you, miss.”

For a few moments, he focused only on following sedately behind her, thoughtful. He wasn’t one for speaking, not often... yet if he did not speak here, who would? He walked in silence through a few corridors, then cleared his throat with a hesitant awkwardness. “The high priest of Aerine in the temple at the end of Market Street is a good man, miss.” He made no accusations, not in the Lord’s own manor - and yet there was an indication of understanding there, if there was aught to be understood. “If you’ve need of a good man.” Aerine held dominion over injustice, among other things, and if there was injustice here... well, She would certainly be willing to intercede on behalf of a young woman.

Cantrill fingered the pocket where he’d slipped the handkerchief of coins. Perhaps he’d stop by the temple tonight, and offer one to the goddess. A gift, made in good grace, perhaps to draw her attention to the situation. Cantrill had a feeling that there would be more injustices here than it seemed. Keep them safe who are closest to the center of it, Lady of the Orchard. This, I ask of You. If by my hand You may accomplish this, let what is mine be Yours.