Safe Haven

Discussion in 'Archives' started by Isa, May 11, 2011.

  1. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    She left the duo with a soft bow of her head, her feet trudging the familiar steps around the outskirts of the Haven. Her posture was neither pretentious nor arrogant, but for those who ever saw the dutiful paladin, there was a sense of pride in what she did. Her lionhearted vigilance outshone higher ranks, but did not big itself up to be scoffed at. She did her job – and there was nothing more to it.

    In recent times however, there was an air of something turbulent within the warrior’s mind; something which pestered and tormented her, especially when her dark orbs rose to see the repairs done to various parts of the tranquil home. There was a void in her soul which plagued her thoughts away from her beloved land.

    It was this that suddenly gave Paladin pause amidst her duties and challenged her watchfulness. It had been too early to return to work; but she was already in the area as it was, summoned by her distant home. She looked aside to the Wildlands, the outskirts surrounding the Haven, which had ambled hills and fresh fields smoothed with verdant greenery, dotted with barren marks where the chaos before had shuddered across the land. It was a hard thing for the half-elf’s eyes, but it gave comfort to know that the damage could have been far dire than the higher-ups could have realised.

    She eyed the horizon, hiding the Further Reach – lands which threatened to crease resentfully away from the Haven maps, but were recognisable for some of its inhabitants. They came from those places, congregating together in this strange place. Paladin couldn’t help but smile at the thought that it was home for outsiders, strangers, criminals, heroes, villains and in-betweens. It was far from the sweetness and light which the guard captains felt justified embellishing in their lethargic speeches of being righteous to those within their care. Though she could not blame them; she pitied those under her command, for she could not motivate them through such words. She hesitated and pondered. She questioned. Surely that was motivation, too. It was simply… different. It wasn’t correct, but right to allow others to think for themselves.

    Paladin chuckled softly, folding her arms, watching the sun flee from the sharp glare of the moons. Trenorwatha, the Red Eye and Eélon, the White Watcher. Some whispered that between the small, carmine dot and the great, pallid orb, there sat another, hidden behind the two celestial circles, but these could only be fables and nothing more.

    What the hell am I doing?

    She sighed gruffly, continuing her patrol. She had become annoyingly sentimental, it seemed. There was reason for it, of course… who would have thought that he would have summoned her?

    There was not enough time in the world.
     
  2. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    It took Rath several moments to shake off his silent stupor as he watched Niscar leave forlornly, and only when he realized he was staring did he remember that the giant beside him had spoken. "Ah," he started with an apologetic smile, "There are numerous places, but most follow the rules strictly so if you're looking to do what you say, I know of only one place. Follow me." He lead the man to the darker part of Dreamer's Haven. Less people walked the streets and those that did watched the ground as if they feared it would jump up to swallow them. Rath kept his palm firmly on the hilt of his sword as he guided the way through the dark streets. He only loosened his grip when a warm, orange glow fell over the two. A massive fire burned in a large, iron drum perched atop the stone shoulders of a statue that appeared to be pained greatly by his burden, agony was cut into the rock of his face with such skill it looked as if it could burst into tears at any moment.

    The building it was attached to be a stone wall appeared underdeveloped and poorly kept, seeming to slant slightly to one side and missing several stones from the walls. A sign hung above the door that read "Wailing Atlas" in crimson letters that ran in age-cracked lines from when it was painted with heavy strokes that resulted in too much paint, giving it the appearance of having been written in blood. When the rogue pushed the door open more than a dozen weapons lifted free of their sheath. Rath brandished his own and motioned for Isa to do the same, whispering, "Lest they think you weak and unarmed, a prime target for this type."
     
  3. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    Isa glanced at the weapons being drawn inside the taverns dim light and gave a small almost whimsical half smile and accompanied it with flicking gesture of his wrist that brought Andras to his hand. At the same time there was a hallow cracking sound that accompanied the appearance of several spheres of ice and blue flame hovering over his head. the display of power cost him little and if anything chilled the air around him enough that he had less trouble functioning.
    "It occurs to me if they did provide trouble I could simply drain their life, I'm sure it would make an impression and cut down somewhat on crime." The comment was made at a low enough volume Isa was sure the rouge had heard but not loud enough that the buildings occupants would hear more then a quick murmur.
     
  4. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    Rath quickly placed a firm hand upon the giant's shoulder, his tone low but sharp, "We came here for a drink, let's try not to kill everyone in the bar. Look around, they've already gotten bored of us so we won't have any trouble. The bar," he gestured shortly to the squat, splintered shelf that attempted to pass for a bar. The poorly built fixture looked as if it would fall over any moment but the appearance was deceptive because it was supporting the weight of nearly a dozen drunkards. The rogue added his own weight to the slanted wood as he ordered himself an ale.
     
  5. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    "Relax, I only employ violence and harm when it's offered first. Besides the mood in here is so dour I'd probably get indigestion from them." He glanced around the room as he settled at the rough bar wincing as it gave a unsteady creak at his weight, he paid attention to more than the physical aspects of the place in his brief sweep of the surroundings. while the general gloom and violence of the place left a reddish purple hue to it energy in his minds eye it was think, and potent with a lot of current to it, experimentally at first to test reactions he picked a group in the corner and pulled the energy surrounding them into him and changed it so it was more laden with goodwill and cheer than anything else and pushed it back. though not obvious at first he watched the men as the barkeep brought Rath's ale and the bottle of whiskey he had ordered. sure enough the men gradually relaxed. after he'd had a few brief shots and offered one to the rouge he began to repeat the manipulation of energy around the room genteelly urging the group to a bore enjoyable mindset. While he did indeed want to drown the last wisp of memory remaining from the men he killed earlier he also needed to eat food of a less physical nature than what Rath would likely be wanting in a hour or two. and while the energy of the rundown bar would do, he's always found the more positive emotions more filling in this regard and being able to push the group slowly toward such a mood would help him and them in a way.
    "I'll make a wager with you, the price of a new belt knife against the price of a new weapon for you that by the end of the night this place will be the most cheerful and rambunctious establishment in town."
     
  6. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    Rath offered the bar a quick glance as he took the shot of whiskey that the giant held for him. He knew the bar well from his previous visits to the Haven and it was perhaps the worst bar he'd ever been in before. The men were violent and sour, it was a good bet, but for some reason he didn't trust the energy drinking giant, "And how do you purpose that'll happen? I've seen livelier crowds in line for their hanging. I'll take the wager." He downed his ale and called for another, oblivious to the energy transformation happening in the bar.
     
  7. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    "For starters I'll treat them the way I do any group whose good side I want to get on." With a grin he held up three coins. An attentive eye backed by a mind unaddled by liquor may have noticed that he pulled them from a nearly empty bag and the brief shimmer of copper beneath the silver as he rolled them across his hands and grinned. He made it a habit to scratch runes into the sides of a handful of coins of every value so that illusion made them seem a higher grade then they were. To judge by the amount of water in the cheap whiskey it what he wanted wouldn't be worth the three copper blanks, let alone the silver coins they looked like.

    "By appealing to their lesser natures. Barkeep! a round for the house on me!"
     
  8. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    "Heh, lesser natures huh?" The rogue shook his head with a laugh as his quiet response was quickly drowned out by a cheerful shout and the clinking of every glass in the house. The sour patrons quickly drank what they held and accepted the new drinks that were already being passed out by the serving girls. Rath accepted his fresh ale with a grin and downed half of it in a single pull before producing a cigar from within his cloak. He placed the aged blunt between his lips and chewed on it thoughtfully for several moments before striking a match on the bar and lighting its tip. He took a long, slow pull on the flavored smoke, holding it in momentarily before puffing out a thick cloud above his head. "Looks like I've already lost that bet."
     
  9. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    "Not yet you haven't. The initial rush of a free round will wear off soon. But it helps create a sense of gratitude towards me, and that will pay off." He grinned and released the effort of holding the floating orbs of ice in place. With a muffled crack they landed on the floor and vanished in a puff of steam. Isa pushed the sense of cheer and goodwill on the group a bit harder and set the effort of maintaining the push to the back of his mind with a skill born from years of practice. He'd done the same thing in countless bars without effect, though this was the first time he'd wagered on the success. the push would slowly build as the men became more accustomed to it, giving Isa more ambient energy to feed from without harming anyone and sending them home at the end of the night feeling better than they had in ages.
     
  10. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    Rath glanced at the floor curiously before returning his attention to the man beside him, "So wait," his voice held a questioning edge as he finished his ale and called for another, "You control, or manipulate energy, but you also feed off of it, right?" He puffed thoughtfully on his cigar, letting out thick circles of black smoke, "Wouldn't everyone in this bar being happy feed you pretty well? I might be completely off, you still confuse me. Can you just feed off the energy, or can you touch it and control it as well?" He cast a suspicious glance around the bar as he finished speaking. Something was fishy.
     
  11. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    Isa a gave a slight grin as he looked at the rouge, the sudden near torrent of energy after the months he'd spent nearly starving himself making him feel almost drunk from it. Lifting his hand he waved towards the smoke of Rath's cigar and it stopped in place, hanging midair without the usual slow causal slinking that was typical of smoke.
    "That should awnser some questions for you. but People release energy into the world around them constantly emotions tinge and charge that energy, and when it get's far enough from them I can take it without harming them. Groups have more 'ambient' energy to them than individuals, it a curse of my nature I suppose I hate people as a whole they are violent greedy and by and large humanity and it's kin run high towards negative emotions. That's not to say that it's healthier to feed as I try to, it's simply easier on my conscience to nibble at everything than take a full meal. course with how thing were when we came in- well think of it this way would you rather eat a bucket of unripened fruit or a couple hot thick bloody steaks?" Isa stopped as he thought about the phrasing.
    "That sounded slightly more violent than expected, but the point stands positive emotions are more tasteful and generally more filling, negative emotions are just as good but they tinge my personality and perceptions if I feed on them too much. and in truth- those men will feel better than they have in years when they leave simply because I got the energy that was stagnating in them to move. Probably added another 10 years of life to some of them. but the manipulation isn't my nature. Anyone could do it with time and practice now I think before I get too drunk on this group, and before it get's to loud to eat in peace I'm going to get something to eat, you probably should to since I'll pay for it." he lifted his bottle and downed the last 4 shots in one gulp and then laid it flat with the glass upside down and waited for the barkeep.
     
  12. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    The giant had given him quite the earful and Rath was glad to see the bartender returning with another bottle of whiskey and a fresh ale. As he chewed thoughtfully on the man's words he finished his cigar and started on his new ale with a single big gulp before looking at Isa curiously, "So even with all that, you still eat regular food? I was beginning to wonder, even if energy and emotions sustain you, I bet it sucks not being able to eat real food. I'd sure as hell miss it. Speaking of which, your example appealed to my stomach so I'm getting steak. I just hope the food is better than the atmosphere."
     
  13. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    Isa glanced at the rouge and considered what he could do. Finally pulling out a handful of coins he laid them on the bar, paying for another round and food for the two of them.
    "Food has some energy to it, but truthfully I have to feed the body as much as the soul. That and nothing really compares to the taste of a good steak that's been cooked just a bit past raw, but still bleeding. Let me get some solid food in my system and I'll do something about this atmosphere.
    Waving at the silver and copper coins of the bar as the barkeep walked up he pointed at the room again.
    "One more round, a steak for me cooked enough to be hot but still red in the center, a bottle of brandy if you have it and whatever my friend here want's. Waiting till Rath ordered he gestured at the other men.
    "Truth is men like that I could drain will every last drop of life and magic was gone from them and it would be little more than a drop of water in a desert, people like you and the paladin from earlier though are actually a bit higher up the ranks. if I had cause to try it draining one of you could probably keep me going for a year or so. But what I can do is more than that. it has a use, even someone like you whose active has a part of their energy that stagnates, with effort I can draw out just that, force the energy to move about again and it is like getting hit with a dose of youth from what I understand. and you really do replace it over time so there isn't any permanent loss. Had a companion for a while, use to nibble at his energy a bit each day, he staid alive and active for a good five or six times longer than normal for a feline of his breed because of it. Now let's get some more drinks, The memories from those men on the road are still stuck in my head.
     
  14. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    Rath ordered his steak medium before accepting a fresh ale and sipping at it thoughtfully, "So," he said in a thick voice, the comment about his own energy sustaining this man having caused him a slight chill, "You can either vastly improve life, or you can completely ruin it, depending on your mood or feelings towards the target. If you simply pick at surface energy and mold stagnant energy into lively energy your target lives, and even feels better, despite being a food source. Meanwhile if you wanted to you could easily kill anyone and not even feel it yourself. And you're never satisfied?" He chuckled darkly, downing his ale and immediately pouring himself a glass of brandy from the newly arrived bottle, taking a quick swig of the burning liquid before glancing at Isa, "Someone must really have something against you."
     
  15. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    "Or I make a cautionary tale of why seeking power is bad. But your wrong- I do feel something when I take everything from a person. I'm not just eating or drinking in their life. I'm absorbing into myself the very thing that makes their life, and that has everything of them in it, memory emotion, mood, mindset. I've found that being too drunk too stand within a day or two of having to take a life like that give my mind time to blur the memories and bury it under all the others. It's still not pleasant for me, At the end I always see what they do, I always see how they see the man that ripped everything out of them." He poured a shot from the fresh bottle of brandy set it in front of Rath and then downed the rest in a single painful gulp that for a moment felt as though it would burn his throat to cinders.

    " but I've certainly given plenty of divine things reason to wish me ill. I can't even recall my age anymore and it seems me and deities are always at odds. The Vanir and Aesir hate me because I remind them of a time they were mortal, the spirits of nature loath me because my very nature can kill them, dear lord I've even picked a fight with a few of the gods out of spite. I'm surprised I'm able to live at all with the enemies I've made." He gestured for another bottle and placed his money bag on the bar, he could find or make more later if he needed it.
     
  16. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    For Isa's sake, and for the sake of every man in the tavern, Rath was glad it was him sitting next to the giant, listening to his tale because anyone else would have thought him completely mad, and the fate of those that doubted this man and his bizarre powers was one the rogue chose not to think about. He eyed the empty bottle with worry marring the blue sky of his vision like storm clouds in the distance as he kept his silence by chewing thoughtfully on a bite of steak he had just cut from his meal. The ex-mercenary wasn't sure if the man's strange powers improved his resistance to alcohol or not, but he himself was already starting to feel a bit dizzy. Ale, whiskey and brandy had all found their way into his system fairly quick and they were beginning to take their toll on his senses. He was wondering just how drunk the man could get as he took his shot of brandy, gagging slightly at the strong taste. Rath still preferred his ale.

    "No wonder you want to drink," he commented softly, "must be rough dealing with other people's lives. But, I guess that's a good way to teach yourself not to go that far if you can help it. We all have to do stuff we're not proud of at some point in our lives, some more than others, but if you can regret it, then you still have a heart. You're powers are strange, and certainly strong, but you despise them. Perhaps your enemies feel like they don't need to hurt you or kill you. Your powers are curse enough, they'd rather watch you suffer than end it for you and potentially do you the favor. Or maybe that's just the ale talking, dunno."
     
  17. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    While it was not in her intent to do her rounds here in its entirety, she found that it had actually helped her to reach a decision. Beneath the glowing screen of the moons overhead, Paladin watched as vapours of her breath became puffs of white in the cool air. In its dissipation, something had chilled the quiet woman to realisation – and the conclusion was not one that she had desired to make, even though she had little choice.

    They were going to approach.

    And she would not be there to stop them.

    A chill wind was coming.

    Paladin's patrol had led her to the barracks, stationed beside the House of Administration, barely as tall as the large, stone offices which sheltered the Haven's most-treasured as they sought to preserve and rebuild their ruined home. The flame of the barracks' torches roared with vivid oranges and reds, causing hard shadows and lines against the gentle caresses of the half-elf's features as her feet tapped against the rocky floor, her guardsman's cloak nipping agitatedly against her flat heel.

    She pushed the doors open, meeting the eyes of every guard-captain present, bowing her head softly.

    'My friends.' Her voice was low and solemn.

    Kanmet was the next to speak. 'I would imagine of all people, you would be celebrating. A good feat, Milady – and we salute you for it.'

    The half-elf shook her head wearily. 'With the exclusion of any one of us, we may yet have failed. I am grateful to you all. Unfortunately, due to this, I need you to do something for me.'

    'Aren't you on sick-leave right now? Should you even be attempting this?' Sir Roland was second to speak, his thick fingers finding his beard, greying from age, yet still retaining the jet-black. His eyes narrowed, causing wrinkled rifts against the flesh around his lids.

    Paladin smiled sagely, shaking her head slowly. 'No – but this will not involve me – which is why I have the faith to ask you in advance...'

    _

    It had felt like hours before the she-fighter had left the barracks. The captains that she had left behind had matched her natural pallor, when for them, it was induced by the incredulous request that she had given them. It was not a question of lacking in resources or people, but it was the reason which had momentarily unshackled their nerve.

    Yet there was reason. Paladin was no trickster – especially in matters of the heart. And the Haven was central to it. No longer did she wear the armour suited to her line of work. Surprisingly still, her normal clothes were quite plain, in comparison to the extravagance rumoured to match her evident beauty. A simple tabard, blue, while around her waist sat a black cord, which was tied with some roughness, if not clumsy. Her leggings hugged lightly around her form, disappearing beneath a pair of brown, rustic boots. A long, baggy shirt too, disappeared beneath a pair of wrist-length, brown gloves. All of which were hidden beneath a nondescript, black cloak.

    Her eyebrows creased as she stepped away from the military walls, finding herself down a narrow street, following the sounds of a tavern. Eyes followed her as she stepped through the doors, the rugged, rogue-faces stared darkly at her as she narrowed her own dark orbs at them, her lithe form taking on a brusque stance. They tore their eyes from the half-elf quickly as she pushed her way to the bar.

    It was an ugly tavern, certainly. At least here, she did not have to mask herself with a silver tongue and the ale was less likely to be spat in by disapproving pub-owners.

    At the bar, she raised her hand for some wine, to which a bottle was settled on the table. The pub-owner, a pockmarked little man, eyed the young woman momentarily with a grin, showing teeth – or rather a lack of, before opening his palm.

    'Give.'

    Paladin offered a faint smile of thanks, placing a sovereign on the table. The pub-owner's eyes glistened with gluttonous greed and mousily grappled with long, sinewy fingers to place it in his pouch.

    The half-elf remained at the bar, not opening the bottle but instead picked it up, gazing at it with a stoic expression. A reflection in the dark glass presented two familiar faces here, momentarily tilting her lips upwards, but soon enough, her eyes fell upon the faded writing splattered against the black shine, tilting it one way, then another in order to decipher it.

    One more day – and she hadn't the mood to drink at all.
     
  18. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    "I'll admit though, the feeling created by drawing another energy into yourself is somewhat intoxicating, it often seems the more I draw in the richer life becomes, the more vibrant and alive seeming the world around me becomes, and on top of this there is the feel of it inside, of feeling the life pulse in your body as it flows through you.He paused as he took a bite of his steak, by some miracle the cook had gotten it just right to his liking the outside was browned even by fire and it was hot all the way through, but as he sliced a portion of the juices ran out like blood and the solid ruby red of the center could be seen. as he chewed he focus, his brow furrowing with the effort of pushing out a stronger wave of emotion, the beginnings of a fight over a game of cards became a rowdy banter, the whole place was on that narrow edge between subdued enjoyment of good company and the thick atmosphere of a rowdy party. he reached absently stroking the smooth pink tinted crystal of the band on his upper arm.
    "I can even share what I take with another if I have the want or need. I've done it in the past and it seems with others it makes them- well more, what I need to scrap out a barely functioning life seems to give normal people a stronger tie to their life. That's why I tried giving that rune-stone to the paladin earlier, her grasp on the mortal coil is already tenuous. time near me would only make it more so, and I can tell from the scars on her soul that the life she has now is far more peaceful that it was in the past, I think she deserves a bit of life in relative calm before she's drawn back to the plane she's bound too.
     
  19. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    Rath finished his meal quickly, as if he were starving, or the food on his plate bothered him, and pushed the empty dish forward before taking up his ale again. He sipped at it thoughtfully, listening silently to Isa speak, "Speak of the devil," his tone was quiet, almost forlornly so as he caught sight of the Paladin from the corner of his right eye. An indifferent frown rested upon his lips as he drew another cigar from the folds of his cloak. He had not meant to smoke anymore than the one, having felt his emotions calm when the liquor flowed in his veins, but her presence reminded him of two others, and the ale heightened the memories' affects. The blunt he held between his fingers was considerably darker than the previous one and bore an aged, worn appearance to the ragged paper. It was an old gift and Niscar would know it well.

    A match struck against the bar lit quickly before being placed to the rough end of the cigar that now hung from his lips. The rogue breathed deeply, the coal red tip of the blunt flaring to life and allowing him to wave out the match. He sighed deeply, smoke curling from the corners of his lips and letting a familiar scent waft silently upon the stale air. The commotion in the bar caught his attention, if only barely, and he glanced at his giant companion before giving him a questioning nod towards the crowd behind them.
     
  20. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    The scent in the air had changed. Momentarily, Paladin's gaze faltered as she looked up, her face betraying no emotion but sadness. Her previous encounter with the gunslinger had been less than joyous, despite the evening before which had seldom held any despair. Instead, by the lakes of her home, she had witnessed a man emerge from a very cold, cruel cocoon. The memory flickered and burned as quickly as the flames that had incinerated that old hat – and both had the capacity to sting her eyes.

    She knew that scent. It was noxious – she had believed that when they had first met. Yet now, all it seemed to do was make her think of him – somehow, with it serving as a reminder, she did not fret so much about it.

    The great look of surprise was followed by a confused gawp in Rath's direction.

    It was this lapse of concentration that caused her to drop the bottle in her hand as one of the rowdy members of the group shoved her. She blinked in surprise as the glass splattered across the floor, staining the wood in scarlet.

    She groaned in disbelief.

    The man who had shoved her stared at the bottle, then at his victim before he backed off, his face parched of blood as he rose his hands in protest. His eyes already searched to accuse some other assailant for his clumsy actions.

    Paladin simply smiled, knelt, picked up the card that he had dropped. She raised an eyebrow.

    'I wasn't thirsty anyway,' she muttered softly, turning and flicking the Ace of Spades aside. The crowd watched it with an incredulous stare as it fell to the floor, as if it were a phoenix feather, about to evaporate into the red liquid residing beside its shattered container. It only served for the gang to grapple at any limb of their cheating companion before stampeding outside with obscenity springing from every mouth. Those that watched on did so with widening lips and the brandishing of teeth.

    Paladin neared towards the table and pulled an uncertain smile towards the rogue and giant. She felt awkward, pulling up a stool and sitting at the table. She didn't know what to say.

    'Good evening. I didn't ... well. I had an inkling, but I didn't think that...' she cleared her throat. 'Did I say hello? I did, didn't I. Sorry.'