Lost in the sands of time

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Satanic Goldfish, Oct 1, 2013.

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  1. Years had given way to the aging detail of crumbling mortar and stone alike, making it appear as if she hadn't seen the city for centuries rather than a couple years. Though it wasn't too surprising to see how this place was deteriorating honestly. The district was never a favour of the council that controlled the elder city, rather it was left to those who slummed here to upkeep it's vision. Clearly that was only half assed.

    While the appearance of the slums were less than appealing to most, it certainly held onto its righteously acquired title of high selling jobs. Taverns acted like guild houses, often purchasing or hearing of a wealthy investment for people such as herself. The ones wanting to get their hands dirty, to rummaging through the filth to find something that could easily be worth twice its weight in gold. Though it wasn't just about finding missing pieces of artifacts or possible relics, there were many jobs that required a being with the dispassion to rent a life for the highest bidder. The place was shady as much as it was beneficial.

    Straightening the bow string crested across the diagonal length of her torso, she had made sure before entering the poor side of town, to refill her quiver with oridecon arrows. A pricey pay but worth it in the end. Their legendary strength and hold proved eventful in those sticky sort of situations.

    Now was she merely had to return to the tavern in which she heard of something prattling lips speak of a high paying and possibly rare mission. Something about a lost civilization that the capital was actually going out of its way to hire run of the mill bodies to find. Of course they wouldn't send out their own men, that would mean having to weaken the guards around the council hall. Pretty pathetic if you asked her. But in the side view it meant a bigger benefit for herself. If she could get it and IF she was capable of actually finding said civilization.

    One thing at a time to think about. First was going back to the Iron Knuckle Tavern. She knew it was somewhere on the south slope, closer to the barrier wall of the city, but she was never always a hundred percent good with her directions. Especially when she was getting acutely distracted by other things that managed to catch her eye. Not many bodies lurked around in the morning daylight, this place screamed nightly affairs and business. It was not used so much in the day time, that didn't give true meaning to shady dealings.

    A few twists and turns here and there, backtracking over there and eventually she managed to come upon the old tavern. It looked like it had seen many better days, but as long as it was still standing without the fear of the roof caving in, what did that matter?
    It was silent on the inside, the soft hiss of torch light gave the ambience a glorified feel. Some beings were sitting in the common room though most didn't seem to care that she had entered. Neither did the tender standing behind the bar looking as if he was sleeping standing up, a hand boredly polishing a glass with a semi clean rag. This place just screamed lively.

    Well she wasn't here to watch the scenery, she had purpose. Sidling up to the bar top, leaning overtop to perch her elbows neatly upon, the human male threw a lazy blue eyed gaze to her. "Bar isn't open." he sounded enthralled, absolutely enthralled.

    Waving her hand aside trying to clear that momentary air, lips pulled back into a causal whatever grin. "Actually," she leaned forward a wee bit more, "I heard you have one of the contracts for the Council Search." that managed to raise a brow bringing a renewed life to his wrinkled face. Though what he was thinking wasn't all that clear other than a brief smirk.

    "It's not a solo endeavor " he responded on cue, "Unless you have another in your party little lass, I can't hand out a thing." A hand shooed her away, "Don't go announcing such a mission and wanting it unless you've done your research of its basic requirements."

    Well that was insulting. "Who needs others to find a lost city," she huffed nosily, "You make it seem like it is suppose to be dangerous, it's just trying to find something that is lost. How hard could that be."

    Shoulders shrugged not bothering to give her a proper answer. Well this was already starting off grandly.
  2. The tavern wasn’t a particularly nice place – it never really had been, but that was hardly the point. The walls held up, yes, but that wasn’t to say that they were in more than a barely passable state. Said walls were practically crumbling apart, and quite frankly, they looked like they would collapse into a pile of fine – if horrendously dirty and insect-ridden – rubble. In fact, judging by the components of the wall, it didn’t seem as though it would have been any better in its prime. The wood was cheap, as were the stones and the mortar used. The sad thing was that it had gotten to the point where you got your money back if you drank without reacting to whatever part of the tavern had gotten into your ale.

    The furniture was hardly in any better shape either. Back when each piece was first made and bought, perhaps they were decent specimens of whatever they were. Now, however, the once-satisfactory chairs, tables, stools and whatnot were little more than firewood shaped to be something a little easier on the eyes. Not that they were actually anywhere close to it, however. Over the years, whether due to time, vermin, or patrons, the furniture had fallen into disrepair, and nobody had really bothered to fix it. And, where it had been broken, the spots where each piece had been fixed looked to be able to hold up for the best part of three seconds when someone began to use it.

    The smell lingering in the air wasn’t really much better, to be frank. Some would say that it was actually worse. Needless to say, however, it was disturbingly fitting for such a sleazy establishment. The perpetual stench of cheap alcohol and dirty water hung around like a bad habit, and was just about as pleasant. The smell was sharp, and though one could get used to it, newcomers likely wouldn’t be so accommodating. Then there was the pervading ‘aroma’ of whatever was being cooked in the back. Some say it was human flesh – it wasn’t, but that wasn’t to say the actual meat was any easier to swallow.

    To be fair, the noise level wasn’t particularly loud. But, considering how well most of the patrons actually got along, this lack of noise was more tense than it was relaxing. Men and women alike usually just looked suspiciously at each other, with only the most inebriated of the lot daring to do anything remotely aggressive that wasn’t called for. The tavern was even quieter, given how few people had actually been allowed to stay, and any of the words being spoken were not ones of friendship or camaraderie. It was business – cold, rarely simple usually logical, and always with mistrust.

    And then there was the matter of the people themselves. Though relatively few in number, they were still varied, as far as the inhabitants of some backwater tavern in the rougher part of the poorer part of the city could be. You had your standard humans, of course. Dirty, grumbling, and drinking themselves to an early – and particularly flammable – grave. They were usually rejects from some bandit gang or other, and now just took work wherever they could get it. Some got lucky, but for the most part, this was where they ended up. There were, of course, other races, but they tended to keep to themselves, as this sort of scene was most commonly associated with “lowly humans.”

    In one corner, however, sat a fellow that stood out from the crowd. Clad in steel plate armour, with a hood obscuring his face completely, he kept himself to himself while he sipped on the strongest tankard of whatever was on the menu that day. It didn’t seem as though eh particularly liked the taste, but then again, nobody did. He was likely just passing the time, waiting to be hired once more. He was, after all, a mercenary. Some would point it out, some would likely be able to deduce this from the armour he wore, and the weapon at his hip. It was obscured, however, much like his face – he preferred to keep his valuables out of sight.

    Upon hearing someone call out to have someone else in their party, he stood, and paced over to her, weapon still obscured somehow, but now he had a helmet fixed over his head. The clanking of steel boots stopped, and he looked to the newcomer, standing as if to attention. His tone, however, was remarkably flat.

    “You obviously don’t know what you’re getting into, miss. Not that I doubt you, though. You’d have to be an idiot or an expert to be confident not to waste those arrows, and you don’t look like the former. But I do know what you’d be getting into. Name’s Gabriel. I’m a mercenary. Dirt cheap.”
  3. Metal scraping upon metal was an all too familiar sound resonating across the walls and her ears, forcing her attention across the seam of her shoulder. The tender himself was smirking privately at the suddenly raise of appearance the gent - from how rigid and shaped the armor was she deduced- her brow rose in mild amusement. It often did this when well she was amused.

    Eyes narrowed before letting her words slip across her tongue giving the once careful look over. Dressed in armor in such a place in the city only brought upon one thought. Was he thinking there was going to be a fight that there was a constant need to be ready with plate and weapon alike. Though looking him over, a weapon did not seem to be in sight. Whether or not she believed that fact to be true did not play privy upon her face. Rather she turned fully around finally perching the back of her elbows to the bar and clicked her tongue at him.

    Mercenaries, worst than thieves. Worst than whores, they were always ready for a perked ear and a quick tongue to get themselves hired for whatever pay. Apparently this one was no better, hell he even made the mention of being cheap. He was either very desperate for work or very terrible at his job to be advertising such a low nomination for his services. "Look here silver tongue, what makes you think I'd be willing to hire you willy nilly just at this moment's notice." he was pretty smug to believe that she would, again mercs were like a dime a dozen. There were always more. "Perhaps I may be the latter of your statement, a pure true blood idiot but would it not be a bit presumptuous to think that I, an idiot, would want to hire you?" a smirk pressed upon her lips, "I'm not buying your sudden jumping to my damsel in distress call here, what's your aim?" she wasn't so apt to just go accepting things thrown into her lap. There was always a catch.
  4. Though seeing under his helmet was likely impossible, from the way Gabriel just stood there without so much as moving a muscle, it was easy to tell that Holi’s outburst did not faze him in the slightest. Mercenaries were looked down upon, certainly, and it was no different for him. Obviously, he would have gotten his fair share of abuse over the years, and this little tirade at the hands of some archer with her head too far up her backside to see that people were now interested in what he was doing – not because he was some guy, but because of his status.

    In manner as flat as the drinks being served, Gabriel spoke, though the effect was somewhat lessened by the slight muffling of his voice posed by the helmet.

    “I think that you’d hire me because I’m the most capable of the people here. You’ve got a selection of backwater cutthroats who couldn’t handle terrain rougher than a muddy field, mages who can’t even set something on fire, and bandits who couldn’t take food form a child without risking being beaten to a pulp by them. I’m the only one here with enough experience to navigate the paths you need to cross. I have the skills and the knowledge. And that’s not all.”

    “If you really wanted someone capable, you’d have gone to a guild or you would have looked on an advertisement board for someone who was actively seeking work. You’d either have gone for someone skilled in fighting or magic, or you would have hired someone experienced with archaeology and exploration to make your trip easier. Instead, you’ve come to some seedy backwater tavern where the average patron is too drunk to even drink properly. You’re obviously scraping the bottom of the barrel for a good reason, otherwise I’d still be in that corner drinking terrible ale while eating worm-infested biscuits. Which is why I want you to hire me. You’re exploring. There’s the possibility of riches. Quite frankly, I want out of here as soon as possible. But it’s your choice, when all is said and done.”
  5. Finger tips drummed on the open air without a sound listening to the almost practiced sound of his resolution and giving her exactly what she wanted to hear. If it had been a simple answer of, 'I'm the best in the business,' she'd roll her eyes. Lines were easy to come by, arrogance even more. Helped his matters when he pointed out her lack lustre approach to coming here instead of some high ranking guild.

    The open end deal was only sealed further upon the uttering of his honest and true statement of wanting the hell out of this place. Where a smirk was present on her lips moments prior blossomed into a full blown grin.

    A hearty chuckle interrupted the grin, elbows dropping down that she extended a open hand to the gent. "You've got your details down to a tee there Gabriel. Can't fault you for that, rather I ought to be obliging you with a job with such words." Eyes drew back to the tender, "Pull up the contract would you?" The man rolled his eyes slowly making it far more dramatic than it needed to be, before she would pull back her hand that she had offered up previously. "Name's Holi," she returned to perching against her bar top, "Don't think I've ever seen a merc as fashionably gussied up, such as yourself. Will you be able to travel long distances in such a getup?"
  6. Throughout this all, Gabriel remained stoic, not showing any sign of emotion as he stood there. It was hard to tell if he was reacting at all – he was like a statue, seemingly unable to do much more than acknowledge what was being said. He did, however nod as he was being spoken to, in order to show that he hadn’t just died on his feet, and was just standing up through defiance of the laws of physics. He took her hand and shook it, doing so firmly, the distinctive sound of steel armour clanking as it moved about on his arm.

    When it came to him answering how he would be able to move about in such a get-up, the answer was fairly simple.

    “I’ve been wearing the armour long enough. I don’t feel a thing from it anymore.”
    What he said was mostly true, natch. Its weight meant nothing to him, and he had gotten used to how it limited his movement – to an extent. However, there would be no mistaking that venturing through hot terrain would likely cook him alive, lest he have the armour enchanted to keep him cool in hot weather. But that wasn’t his primary concern, at that point in time.
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