Safe Haven

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

  1. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    Isa had followed Rath's gaze towards the paladin. He'd yet to draw his fill of the rooms energy and her presence was a complication he wasn't sure his current control could handle. as she approached he stopped feeding and smiled at her greeting.
    "No apologies are need gods blessed." He fingered the stones of his pouch, finally finding the only bind rune it the collection and drawing it out. "I offered you this on the trail today as a courtesy. For both our sakes would you please hold it for the time being? while the cheer of the room makes fine food I'm afraid my nature may be a hazard to you. I'll pay for your drink and food in exchange for the favor" he held the proffered stone, barely bigger than the last joint of a mans thumb in an open palm his arm extended to her. If she took it he could continue to feed without worry that she would be harmed, he wouldn't need to mention that with a portion of what he took in being invested in her he'd have to take a bit more from the men in the tavern, though he'd likely have to explain to her later why she felt like she could run for a year with out rest. "My word you'll come to no harm, and nor will anyone else for your accepting of this. After all the Aesir and Vanir have used these same symbols for protection and strength a long time with no ill effect."
     
  2. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    The Paladin's form stiffened as the jewel was once more offered to her; there was a glare in her eyes which had suggested a great insult – and she was loathe to take such an object. She had never met the man before and there and then, had felt exposed. She didn't reply for a moment. She had stood, prepared to leave swiftly – but then reconsidered. It was clear that in one quick movement, her pride had been poked at quite severely.

    Then, mutely, she took it loosely. She was obviously not taking it in permanence, for it remained in her palm and never was it held with a closed fist. She didn't look at the giant, her eyebrows creasing as she tried to recover her surprise. With a repeated attempt manifesting in the form of a giant, the half-elf was not feeling entirely comfortable.

    'I am neither. Once you are sated, this will be returned,' she said softly, 'I meant what I said before. I am not to take enchanted trinkets from strangers. I shall recover without them. It's simply a... minor setback.'

    She now found herself with the courage of looking the giant in the eye.

    'That is not to say that I am not grateful. I simply do not intend to keep this.'
     
  3. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    The rogue blocked out the silent rage and indignation that seemed to be palpable between his companions. He wondered if the giant knew he offered gifts to a lioness. His eyes fell upon the bloody stain of the wine that soaked into the cracked wood of the bar's floor when the Paladin had dropped it. He poured more brandy into his glass and slid it silently across the rough wood of the bar until it sat before her, a cloud of smog wafting slowly from the corners of his slight grin. His intoxicated mind focused on her beauty while his eyes inspected the bar. He was nothing if not sly. The voice in the back of his mind said something about Dain and the Paladin being good friends and then it focused on Dain, trying to banish any other thoughts he might have, but he was slowly drowning that part of his mind with ale and the voice had faded considerably. He had forgotten how lonely he had been since the last time he saw Dain.
     
  4. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    I take no insult Paladin. Your life and energy bear the stains of the divine and I have no desire to take that from another, the cost of such things is far higher than most could imagine. Thank you though for accepting it and my company for a time. he sliced another morsel from his steak and resumed his habit of drawing energy from the room around him. Hopefully the flood of energy to the woman would not surprise or offend her.
    "I wonder if you'd tell me how it is that a gods blessed and a roguish godling come to know each other? Souls like yours are rare to come by even by the standards of one with my past, too find two so close and whose past have the feel of a knotted ropes is even less common." His brow creased for a moment as he noticed the girl pulling more of the energy towards her than he'd intended, shifting his focus a bit he shifted the flow of energy into him, letting it first strike the enchanted band he wore and then split to him with a lesser amount going towards here, though he was careful to make sure that what little she got was mostly clean of the taint of the place and himself, it would not do to let to much of his own natures slip into another soul.
     
  5. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Paladin's remained on the giant's warningly – she took his protection, but desired nothing more. The poor man was clearly trying to help her, but it was not the help that was needed. She wasn't as he was – and did not want to be a part of it. It was not like the Orb which the Dreamers had fought so hard to protect. There, the connection to the Whitelands was so ... pure. So untainted – and so alive.

    The warning forbid the vampirism which he so needed to live on – and for her, she did not desire to wreak havoc between them. Her eyes held no hatred or loathing, but they were stern. The feeling of exposure only became weariness by his given name for her. Quickly, her dark eyes had flickered to the glass slid towards her from the rogue. She picked it up and stared, just like before, but now eyed the content, rather than the reflection in the hard shine of the container. She rested it against her forehead and closed her eyes.

    This is no blessing.

    'Please. Stop. This does not help me. You need it more than I,' she murmured softly to the giant. She could feel her mind reeling quicker than she liked – and the flashes of white were not helping. She looked aside once again at Rath.

    Something was missing from him. He seemed lonelier. She had not seen him quite so down – she hadn't even seen him look at another woman. So much so that the term 'roguish godling' had almost eluded her. Her features momentarily softened, even looking a little sad, before she sat up, peering at the table. There was an unfinished carving of something obscene – but try as the half-elf might, she could not fathom it.

    'We are old friends,' she agreed gently, 'circumstance – and rooftops brought our links together as children.' Her voice was like the soft, fresh snow upon ancient branches. She chuckled softly at the memory of apprehending the youth, but allowed herself no indulgence within it. That past seemed an abomination now. The brighter thing about it somehow, was that not all those that she had encountered had truly left her. The glass still contained the brandy as her hands embraced around it, intertwining her calloused digits together on the table.

    A sage smile spread across her lips.

    'He kissed you?'

    'Shut up. I ... gah, shut up. It was complicated.'

    'Nothing was ever simple with you, my friend.' There was laughter in the little hut.

    'Look, Nis, I...'

    'Don't worry. The soil here is very potent.'

    'I just don't want it to die. I don't want to see that stupid grin on his face vanish. It's in my head.'


    'I find it even stranger that Rath there has befriended another person of our acquaintance. She approached me a month ago with a very odd request – and gives him her regards.' She tilted her head to eye the rogue before looking at the giant and offering a slight smile. 'Suffice it to say that we know each other for a long time – and that I've yet to arrest him on charges of being too pretty for his own good.'
     
  6. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    "Godling?" Rath's voice was a mumble, "You've got me mistaken for someone else. I've nothing to do with gods." He continued to chew absentmindedly upon the end of his cigar, letting the old scent bring back other memories, perhaps more favorable than those that had been plaguing him. However, Niscar's response caused him to look up slightly. The tournament. It felt like it had been ages since then. His eyes widened as she spoke further, the cigar nearly tumbled from numb lips as he struggled to remain composed, swaying slightly on his seat before turning aside, replacing the cigar with a mug of ale and drowning his surprise with the frothy liquid. Dain saw you? He wanted to plead. What was the request, what did she say? He cast a glance at Isa. "It's a small world. Most of the people I've met in my travels somehow already all know each other. You could call it fate, if you wanted," his eyes traveled slowly up to meet Niscar's, sky meeting dusk, "Try something like that and you'll see the entire female community rally in protest." His jest was quiet, in his drunken wondering he had forgotten the proper voice for a joke.

    "Dain," he stared at the ale in his mug, "She saw you? She was here? What was the request? Her... her regards." A smile touched his lips. Her regards, huh?
     
  7. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Paladin's smile was warmed to the sight of his reaction. She tilted her head to tilt the glass one way and the other absent-mindedly, watching the concoction within sway and ebb like water spray against a rock. The poor man sounded so sad. It was unlike him – such a bittersweetness that she would never dare speak aloud before her old friend.

    She closed her eyes, yet the smile remained, pensively trying to collect the right words to smart no feelings in the swirl of emotions, tepid though they were, seemed almost too delicate to touch. Yet the flow had to continue, lest the silence shatter the fragility of conversation.

    'She came nowhere near the Haven, but to my home. We left together, not long after the Dreamers returned from Nikolai's-'

    She stopped herself. Darkness filled her eyes as the desolation of that sordid place of horrors shuddered across her memory. This was not the place to speak of such terrors. The snowflake expression returned fluidly across her pallor.

    'Once rested, she told me her version of what happened in the quest to kill her father – and what happened afterwards. Oh Rath, if you could only have seen what I had in her eyes...'

    The warmth in her voice was like a summer wind – it had obviously uplifted her. A sight of a friend in proud remembrance. She was obviously about to continue, before an idea had struck her – the bard's muse had struck within her – and her eyes opened, falling to gaze at the rogue. The tone of her song was soft – barely a whisper – and yet, as such abnormalities were, it seemed to fill the whole room with improvised melody. She hummed it at first, but then, when her sagacity returned, so emerged that quiet tune, with lyrics imperfect, but every syllable true.

    'A golden heart,
    A silver wolf,
    Made into bloom.

    Calling a voice,
    Golden, pure and strong,
    A heartfelt melody.

    Love's crystal burn,
    Fallen to her,
    Made out of stone.

    Roses of light,
    Glisten with the dawn,
    Forces of virtue might.

    Rainbow curtains,
    In his dreamsong,
    Gaze and smile.

    Gentle partings,
    Of a daydream,
    Blossoms of truest love.'

    She stopped herself for a moment before laughing softly, tilting her head slightly. 'This is not an appropriate place to tell you, old friend. Only that her regards are not so base and as simple as you believe. She has thought of you – and would kill me if she knew that I had told you.'
     
  8. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    Isa sipped his ale in silence, he was no reader of minds to pluck the words of anthers thoughts from their minds, all the same he watched the play of emotions through them as they spoke. It seemed as if they pulsed through the full spectrum of emotion to his eyes.
    "Godling I name you and godling you are, though the ancestor that left the mark may not no you nor you he it is there all the same. The paladin is marked as surly by the divine as she is by tragedy, and you just as strongly, but while she bears the marks like a canvas bears a masterpiece, yours was already there at birth as surly as the grain of a beautiful sculpture. Though I can't speak for whom or what the touch came from." He stared at his hands for a moment then took the knife he'd been holding and held his hand in his lap as he concentrated on his intent, there was a tradition he was fond of that called for a gift of art intended or not to be repaid in kind if it pleased the recipient, he couldn't remember where it had come from, the tradition appealed to his concept of balance in all things and he had followed it as best he could when the situation made it reasonable. holding his right hand in his lap he deftly split the pad of his thumb open with the knife he'd been using on his steak and cupped it, letting the blood flow into his palm as he placed his uninjured hand over it. As he focused on his work he looked at the paladin seeing her nature, her spirit, and her heart as if they were tangible things and he put all that into the object forming in his hand. He noted as a small rim of ice formed on the table edge beside him and felt the prickling across his arms as the working took form. After a few moments he opened his hand and looked at what his intent had made. The small statuette seemed to be of cut crystal opaque enough to show it's for but clear enough that it seemed to shimmer as it cast back the light it caught. the woman it depicted had a passing resemblance to the Paladin's physical look, though the differences were slight. The result was quite breathtaking to his mind, and well it should be he felt.

    Old Jerric had called these works true sights, they were a display of the sum of a person and not just the outer shell that others saw, his strange sigh that was a result of his cursed nature allowed him to make them, and while warm to the touch he knew the thing to be ice. Ice formed of an elemental blood, it would break only at the death of the one it was made for and would never melt. Gingerly he set it on the table before the Paladin, the statuette stood perhaps a hand high when he released it.
    "A gift, in return for the song you gave me intended or no I was raised to believe one gift of art deserved another, my parents would skin me if they knew I had forgotten my manners when it came to art. I hope you find it to your liking. the last one I did was... hmm well I can't recall I'd say it's gone now but my years and lives have bleed together I can't tell you if what I recall is from a month ago or a thousand years anymore.
     
  9. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Paladin’s eyes left the dawns that watched hers to look at the statuette on the table. Her face fell faintly; she seemed almost weary once more, but there was a tinge of sadness in her eyes. Had he not listened the first time? The sight of his efforts could only encourage a heavy touch of guilt – she could not accept it, but did not want to shun the man; he meant well, even though his stubbornness encouraged little gladness in her tired soul. It was beautiful – it was precise – and that was just the problem.

    She picked it up carefully, her kestrel gaze observing carefully the machinations which marked the little piece. She looked at the giant with a faint smile and deftly, but gently, picked up his hand, resting the gift into his palm. Her dark eyes rose to meet his unflinchingly as she spoke. Within them, it was clear that she took no pleasure in her words, let alone her refusal – but it was the right thing to do. The weight in her words was heavier, the truth made harder by the point that she seemed to endlessly repeat.

    ‘A bard speaks riddles as she does tales. She would sing of truth, where it can be found, even if she does not believe it herself. But it is truth nonetheless. If you found my song truly so beautiful, then use this as a memory for the bard that you had listened to, Sir. I do not do this often… just as I am sure that you do not forge these figures often. In doing so, consider these objects to be the sum of both rarities – and therefore, I beg you to keep it.’
     
  10. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    What happened afterwards...

    The words echoed in his dulled mind and a silly grin touched his lips slightly before it was replaced with a look of surprise as she began to sing. He could make no sense of her words in his current state but he had a sneaking suspicion that the song was in reference to himself and Dain. He could have listened to the ex-bard's song forever and a sad smile hung upon his lips when it ended. The blunt between his teeth flared as he took another long drag from it, letting the old smoke fill him with a sense of nostalgia and longing. "I miss those eyes," his response was quiet, reserved. He wanted to talk to Niscar, but didn't want to interrupt the pair, though their conversation seemed less than savory and probably needed to be interrupted, he needed an excuse not to reveal more of himself louder. Dain wasn't the only one embarrassed by the Paladin's knowledge.

    "They seem cold, but their range is impressive," he mumbled into his mug, "sadness, rage, and the ever so elusive, beautiful, happiness. I had my suspicions, when she started to look happy, when she forgot how to hide herself and let the truth out. It was slight, and difficult to find, but I must admit I was paying attention to everything. She would kill us both if she knew we talked about her even a little. Me especially, because I think I know more than she wanted me to know."
     
  11. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Paladin gazed at the rogue in silence for a few moments, her features momentarily solemn. The Mantaris had countless sides, all of which, judging by her stiff moments, she was loathe to show any, as if she refused to be human. The deep self-loathing in her countenance seemed frighteningly incomparable. Yet the man beside her and the giant…

    ‘You know what love is, old friend – but it is one thing to love, another to understand. She is a child thrust into a world of adults. You are a man tossed into an indecisiveness that you fear to touch again.’

    She rested her arms against the bar table, closing her eyes. How ironic it seemed that in their first meeting, it was Rath having placed her in an awkward position. Now it was as if she were getting him back, but it was the half-elf’s hope that at least in this case, nothing terrible would occur, save for the never-ending streak of Dain’s wrath. It was, she suspected, a small price to pay for the obvious affection held in the rogue beside them.

    ‘When you have a moment Rath, I shall show you her request. For now however, I might strike up another tune for the both of you.’
     
  12. Nevermore

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    Rath's smirk was rueful as he inspected the Paladin's face slowly, smoke tendrils wafting from the corners of his lips, "Contrary to popular belief I don't know love. I know women. I'm clumsy when it comes to love, clumsy and awkward. I've only loved tw- one woman," he stumbled slightly over his words drunkenly as he tried to avoid Niscar's gaze, "Love confuses me. And Dain, I don't understand her. I try, and hope that I can understand, but she's so closed off. I know... I know she kissed me back, back then. She didn't fight me off. That means something. Ah," he looked at Isa before downing his ale, "Yes, when I have time I would love nothing more than that. But for now, I'm not sure if Dain told you that I became a bard of sorts after our journey, so if you wish, I might join in on your song."
     
  13. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    Isa barely managed to limit his laughter to a soft chuckle.
    "Love as though you can love no other friend. No matter how many lives you live or how many faces you must wear the only success in love is to give the one you love everything you have of value, and in the end you will understand her no less and no more than you do her. To Hel and the abyss with death, the greatest mystery and most harrowing adventure is always to love without limit and pray for the same in return. he gestured to the bartender again and set a smaller coin pouch than the one he'd been emptying so far on the wood in front of him. "Whatever these two want they can have until that's gone if they don't spend it all then keep the rest. I'll take two of your finest bottles, one of scotch, one of brandy. and another of these steaks" He eyed his empty plate a moment "Make that whatever stew you have instead. The man left them clutching the small bag of silver coins, real silver this time, not more of his spelled copper and wooden coins. "you would think in a thousand years people would change, maybe get a bit wiser, a bit more clever, or just plain smarter, but it seems to me that when it comes to love no amount of wisdom or experience can keep you from making a fool of yourself to someone or another about it.
     
  14. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Instinctively, Paladin raised her hand to wave away the intentions of the approaching bartender, offering a humble shake of the head before leaning back and staring at the ceiling in thought. She knew little of the rogue’s changing professions; it was as if he was a chameleon at the best of times. Part of her realised that though she knew him, there was a blurred line between his background and the drive that demanded his every sinew to walk the extra mile. She knew the latter – and barely the first. She looked over her shoulder, offering the giant a faint smile.

    ‘Love is primitive because of our lack of knowledge about it. The closest a person, mortal or immortal, may get to is the notion of carnal intrigue – and we often mistake it for its purer sibling. Yet we are curious. It’s the drive which keeps the romantics romantic and the cynics cynical. We continue making our mistakes in the pursuit of cherishing something dear – even if it means that mistake being a costly one. An example of how curiosity kills and how intrigues leave us lost in games we can’t afford to play any longer.’

    She was not aware of how the casual lilt in her voice and the beam of her smile were suddenly sinking into dejection. She waited for a moment, drumming her fingers against the table before she stood up, showing nothing but quiet knowing, her lips parting as the understanding dawned on her, involuntarily taking in a breath of air. She recovered quickly and, as if nothing had passed, returned to her calm demeanour.

    ‘We shall play.’

    She walked swiftly towards the stand, approaching a fleeing band of players. They had been attempting to play over the chaos of drinking, gaming and cheating all evening. Now, Paladin carefully offered a few coins to the lute player, a faint nod of thanks given towards him. Pulling up a chair, she sat, resting her foot on the opposite knee, followed by the barrel of the instrument. Carefully beginning to strum carefully, her calloused fingers pressed deftly against the strings, a rivet of sound flowing from her mouth like fire, her eyelids shutting out the vision of those who watched and those who ignored her.

    M: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu2PU5Oc82w

    She started swaying as she sung, her foot twitching to the tempo of the song, a beat forming in her head as she tilted her head, the sea of hair over her shoulders swinging gently as she moved.
     
  15. Nevermore

    Nevermore Stately

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    Rath watched her for a short time, mesmerized by her voice and the music she played, before quickly joining her on the stand. He looked over the various instruments before taking up an aged guitar and eying it careful. The rogue grinned, the intstrument looked like it was in rough shape, but it seemed to be well taken care of despite its apparent age. He took a seat on a stool near Niscar, watching her carefully and tapping his foot to the beat of her song until he understood the song and began to strum the same notes on the strings. He swayed slightly as he lost himself in the music, playing the guitar passionately as Niscar continued to sing. It had been a while since he had played an instrument, but he was quickly gaining his knowledge back and matching her beat. She wasn't looking at him but he offered her a grin no less.
     
  16. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    The half-blood continued, ending with one song and continuing with another on her road to escapism. If you’re going to be a warrior-poet, Massal once joked, you have to be two people. To pretend you are as dead as the one you kill.

    And the other…?

    M: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOFMatY2uwU&feature=related

    The Midgardian words left her mouth like a hand grazing against silk; she never understood the meaning until Brandr told her one drunken evening. She recalled the expression soberly on his face when she strummed, albeit clumsily, on a lute that felt twice her size, the smile she achieved – and the wetness on his cheeks when she finished. He was a Njord, yet it seemed that his heart belonged in the distant country of wolves and bears, not the one of snow tigers and dragons.

    Gellard listened in fascination, finding the sound pleasing to his ears and, like the tavern was right now, had fallen silent to the sound of the mournful lulls. When Dain heard it, part of her seemed as broken as Brandr was. It affected all but the brusque Korm – he found nothing in those hollow words. They were the lyrics cooed from the tit of a woman he never knew. His thoughts of home were bitter.

    She smiled warmly, losing herself in the plucking of strings and the disappearing scents of beer-soaked floors. It was Midgard; a nation of misfits. Beyond their mountainous barricades, they were outsiders. Brusque, hardy – they did what they had to. No compromise in the absence of it elsewhere. Confusing people. Misunderstood. Agalatharians snarled at the Mercenary Country. Dal-Gren tipped their nose at the Barbarian Land. Svjarrs and Njords saw them as rivals.

    She remembered. She remembered it all.

    And sung softly in her sentimentality as water dripped from her cheek to chin.
     
  17. Nevermore

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    Rath, caught up in Niscar's passion and skill, the beauty in her voice kept playing without pause. He wasn't sure how but it was as if he already knew her song by heart and his fingers gave way to the sound. His voice also seemed to leap from within him, bass and surprisingly passionate. It was as if the Midgardian language was made for him. He sung with her as his fingers strummed the strings, spit words he didn't know, didn't know he knew how to say, and had never known before that night. He couldn't fight it. The rogue was in love with the language before he even knew what it meant and then he remembered, as the words left his lips, that Dain was Midgardian. He was singing in her language and Niscar knew it. He would have to ask her to teach him later.
     
  18. Isa

    Isa Dovie'andi se tovya sagai

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    Isa relaxed as he sank into the melody of the song, drawing the rest of the small dingy tavern along with him. His own mind retreating to another time as he recalled a half made bargain between a man and a hunting party. He and his friends taking pity on a man that was punished for fighting what he saw as injustice. Each promising him a share of their power in exchange for an oath, Wyrd beautiful, always withdrawn, and ever quite the last of them to approach him where he hung on the tree drawing her knife and cutting his ropes so he fell. He recalled watching her bend to whisper something and the knife flashing.
    He shook his head and downed his drink trying to chase away the ghost of the memory. locking the echoed pains it brought with it behind a wall of intoxication.
     
  19. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    When the song finished, the Paladin looked up, as if she had been entranced in her playing, looking around with curious eyes before smiling faintly, resting the butt of the lute against the ground. She eyed Isa in silence for a moment, a look of concern passing her features before she looked away stubbornly. She raised an arm, sweeping at her eyes with a chuckle, looking at her accomplice with a guilty smile before nodding faintly.

    ‘Forgive me. You adapted well – I am very surprised. Well played.’
     
  20. Nevermore

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    The rogue rested his guitar gently against his knee and looked around the bar slowly while he caught his breath. Isa seemed troubled by something, his clutch on his drink was not that of a casual drinker. Niscar's voice brought him back from his observation, "I don't know what came over me," his voice was modest, "I don't even know that language. You're quite talented but do you mind if I sing an old song? There's something on my mind."

    (( M ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjX-DbEJTYg ))

    The words started to come before he could give her time to respond, his fingers played the notes like old friends greeting each other. The passionate timbre of his voice adding an underlying quiver to each word, as if the song could be sung with no more truth.