[OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Beyond the walls of the capital city, farmlands dot the countryside, crossed by roads to all else in the world. Quests go here.
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kotetsu
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[OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Post by kotetsu » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:13 pm

The wind swept across the grassy hills a short distance outside the city as people went about their business. It was late in the day, and while the sun had begun its descent from the sky there was still a few hours of daylight left. One such person was a woman of gray skin complexion and silver hair. A simple blue dress fitting to that of a commoner was draped over her shoulders. A black cloak with the hood down hung down over the dress.

Leaning against a nearby tree was tree she seemed to have left a large burlap knapsack, likely a travel bag leaning up against it. Next to it, as well as a pair of smaller burlap bags, of which each seemed to contain something about the size of a small watermelon. Each bag was twisted and tied tightly closed and further sealed shut with a piece of rope. Both bags were also stained with a tough of brownish red towards the bottom, partially due to being dropped in dirt or mud, though in reality probably unverifiable just by looking. The bags would have to be opened to know for sure. Her knapsack had similar discoloration to it as well.

The woman all in all was unable to sit still, continually pacing, but not going anywhere in particular. Her fists clenched every now and then scratching at her forearm. Every now and then she would seem to look back at her belongings, like someone who was worried they would get stolen. It would seem as though she were looking for someone, a brave adventurer, a travelling merchant, anyone really who she could stop along their way and offer some form of assistance.
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Amalica Taleth (Azuria)
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illirica
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Re: [OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Post by illirica » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:42 pm

Rickard Riordan had finished his business in the city, and was thankfully again beyond its walls. He didn't care for the sense of confinement within Azuria proper. Far too many buildings, far too many people. Most of them pretended that there wasn't a world beyond those walls - building their own little burrow to hide from the great outdoors.

He wasn't in a hurry, so he kept his mare at a peaceful walk, just spending some time being back outside. A black-furred nose peeped out of the folded-back hood of his cloak, occasionally followed by the rest of a small ferret face, before the little creature settled in again. The ferret didn't like the city either, which was about the only think it and Rickard agreed on. Irksome little creature.

He'd been getting far enough away that he was relaxed, when he spotted the woman by the tree. He drew up a little closer to her, noting the bags by her side. Hopefully game bags. Not necessarily. She looked tense, though. "Miss?" A question, in and of itself. Rickard was not a man of many words. "Need something?"

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kotetsu
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Re: [OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Post by kotetsu » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:16 am

The woman Rickard would stop to inquire with was a not quite infamous drow assassin by the name of Amalica Taleth, not in this area yet at least. There had been a few towns where she had overstayed her welcome and gotten the attention of the local guard, but Azuria was a land where she felt she could extend her stay a bit longer than usual, and this man was the potential first step towards doing that, not that she was about to let him know.

She looked the man up and down as she approached him slowly. He seemed pretty much like your average woodsman out for a ride. “Oh goodness, I actually am in a bit of a bind good sir. I could use some help if you could spare your time in exchange for some coin.”

She pauses for a moment; the sudden movement of a ferret peering out from his hood was a bit odd. She’d have to watch the little guy, could be trouble... or it could just be that she is being paranoid. Either way she snaps out of it and decides to continue “I’ve taken a job delivering some important parcels, and I’ve run into some trouble with the guards. One of them took a look at me and spoke of an exorbitant sounding tax for package handlers carrying over a certain amount of goods, yet with the sneer he gave me I believe it has more to do with his feelings towards elven kind.”

She lets out a brief sigh, partially to her distress seem realistic and partially to let the man digest the story so far without overwhelming him.
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illirica
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Re: [OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Post by illirica » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:26 pm

Rickard considered that information. Lot of sighing, that girl did. Lot of words. That, and in his experience, the only way to 'run into trouble with the guards' was to be trouble in the first place. That, and anyone laying it on that thing with the oh goodness, good sir obviously wanted something they probably shouldn't have. Reminded him a bit of one of his little nieces trying to convince him that she really was allowed to have sweets for breakfast.

"Don't need coin." Mostly, he avoided the stuff entirely. He got what he needed through foraging and managing for himself, and the few things he couldn't well acquire on his own, he traded game or pelts or herbs for in town. Coin wasn't something he kept. If he was out in the forest, miles from anywhere, he was much more likely to be able to find a use for a strong rope or a candle than he was for a coin. He considered her a bit longer, then inquired, directly, "What's in the bags?"

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Re: [OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Post by kotetsu » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:22 am

Well shit, hamming up the damsel in distress act wasn’t going to carry this plan. Something about the act seemed to annoy this person more than anything, though Amalica herself couldn’t tell it was partially due to how much she was talking. Either way, this person was colder than she was, and he could already tell by the looks he was giving her. Dropping the act all at once wouldn’t be wise however. She needed to appeal to his sense of logic rather than emotion perhaps, considering he’s more concerned about what’s actually in the bag.

“Perhaps an exchange of services or goods rather than coin?” She scratched the back of her head as she pondered even further what he could want. While the delay in answer could be attributed to not having her story straight, it also felt a natural response to someone who didn’t want money.

“Afraid I don’t even know what’s in the bags exactly. The man at the butcher shop who contracted me said there’d be consequences if even opened the bags.” This wasn’t a complete lie, as her job did involve a shady butcher, never mind that his wife paid to have him killed for cheating on her. Opening a bag to find the requested head as proof of his death would indeed have consequences as well. Either way adding a layer of truth always made it easier for Amalica to sell a convincing lie.
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illirica
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Re: [OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Post by illirica » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:00 pm

"Huh." For a little bit, that was all that Rickard said, but somehow his lack of speech had the quality of a man mulling over the situation, not the quality of someone entirely disinterested in it. He turned to the woman again, looking her up and down critically. "You sure you want to be working for him?"

It was, he felt, a pretty pointed question. He hopped down off the horse, slinging his bow and arrows over his shoulder with the quickness and habit of someone who rarely dismounted without doing so. His horse seemed unimpressed with this maneuver, and flicked her tail at him in a general sort of way. The ferret was actively disenchanted, and popped its head out of his hood to chitter at him in annoyance at the disruption. Rickard reached a hand back and poked the creature's head without looking, and squatted down next to the bag. Since she obviously wouldn't want him touching it, he kept his hands to himself, but inhaled deeply a couple times. "Doesn't smell like pig."

Rickard turned back to her again, his eyes forming the question - Well. Now what? He didn't bother asking it though. Let her talk, and decide how she wanted to handle this.

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Re: [OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Post by kotetsu » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:39 am

The fact that he spoke more than ten words must have meant that she was getting somewhere with this guy. The fact that he could smell the contents of the bag was a bit concerning, but adding the condition that the bags couldn’t be opened should prevent that from becoming a problem she thought.

“Not much of a choice at the moment, works been slow to come in for me lately.” Her eyes darted around a bit as he stood there in silence still. Clearly he was interested and might be motivated to help, but the promise of money didn’t do anything for him. He didn’t seem completely against the possibility of a trade however. As much as she hated to do this, she’d turn her back and head on over to her travel pack. She rifled around in her pack for a while before retrieving two daggers from it, still in their sheaths thankfully. Didn’t need to alarm the guy any more than he potentially is.

“Simple as this, I need someone to carry one of my bags over and make the elf hating guard eat crow about his supposed bulk delivery tax.” She had neglected to mention that such a guard didn’t necessarily exist, as she hasn’t even gotten close enough to interact with any of them.

“In exchange, well… a man such as yourself seems the type to benefit from having a sharp blade or two on hand.” She turns around and starts walking back over towards Rickard, holding both daggers in hand. She’d give an underhand toss of one of the daggers to him so he could inspect the quality of the blade.
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Amalica Taleth (Azuria)
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To Help a Stranger (Azuria)

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illirica
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Re: [OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Post by illirica » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:02 pm

Rickard stepped aside, letting the dagger fall to the ground. Certainly, it had been a slow, underhanded toss - and he probably wouldn't have been able to move out of the way like that if it hadn't been - but he also wasn't the sort of idiot who tried to go around grabbing knives out of the air. That was a good way to lose a finger, and he liked his fingers just fine the way they were.

He got up and moved over to the knife, giving it a looking over while standing over it, not bothering to bend down and pick it up, then returning his eyes to the rather questionable sacks. "Don't like people," he said with a shrug, that apparently being a complete answer as far as he was concerned. He didn't want to get involved in someone else's drama with a guard, because that inevitably meant sitting around talking to guards, and there were many, many more things he would rather be doing.

Rickard left the dagger where it was, and returned to his horse, swinging himself back up in the saddle with practiced ease. "You need a new job, miss," he advised, quite sincerely.

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kotetsu
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Re: [OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Post by kotetsu » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:54 am

The blankest of blank stares formed on Amalicas face when he stepped out of the way of the fully sheathed dagger. It wouldn’t be the first time someone stepped out of the way of a blade she had thrown in their direction, but this certainly had the most anticlimactic result of such an action. Her frustration was growing as this negotiation started to turn into a joke in her eyes.

“Well if you’re that skittish then my apologies sir.” Amalica said as she approached the sheathed dagger that now lay in the dirt, one that would remain hers. This conversation was starting to get on her nerves, and it would show in her condescending tone of voice. “I’m not a people person either but if you can’t even handle that… well…” She turns her head towards the direction of the city walls, and lets the air fall silent for a moment.

“Ya know what never mind, don’t let me keep you any longer. There’s a gentle breeze coming in and I’d hate if some scary leaves frightened you off your horse.” She snickers a bit. Realistically she knows she probably hasn’t actually gotten under his skin, but it felt good to berate the guy a little either way, even if he’s right not to trust her.
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Amalica Taleth (Azuria)
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To Help a Stranger (Azuria)

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illirica
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Re: [OPEN] To Help a Stranger

Post by illirica » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:35 pm

Rickard thought about taking offense for half a moment, then decided it wasn't worth it. It would only prolong things. He shrugged instead. "Okay, lady." He made a little clicking sound at the horse, and turned his back on the woman and her baggage. And her bags. The ferret peeped up out of the hood again, watching curiously, but made no move to do anything other than watch as the horse started up its placid walk across the field again.

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