Completed Unlikely Cohorts

Noven seeks the help of a rumored animator to deliver a Daggerhand to the Hound.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Unlikely Cohorts

Postby Noven on February 5th, 2014, 2:58 am

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Winter, Day 53, 513AV

Noven stood, hands stuffed in his coat pockets, in front of Sunset as the wintry chill of evening swept by. He gazed up at the multitude of windows and flimsy shutters. A part of him wanted to rail against the fact that he had come full circle after what felt like endless bells of interrogation and wild goose chasing. An entire morning and afternoon wasted on trailing after rumors he would have deemed absolute shyke, had the sheer volume of whispers and bits of conversation not convinced him otherwise.

Poor, hungry, and morally ambiguous his fellow Sunberthians may be, but they were not stupid. If someone had been spending a good deal of time advertising the services of a mystical gadgeteer guided by the hand of Izurdin himself, they were likely doing it for good reason. Money, after all, was just about the strongest kind of incentive--for both business and violence--one could find in this city of slums. All sorts of commodities could eke out a living here. But, if you were ever caught cheating someone of their coin, you'd find your throat slit faster than you could say "sorry."

Nov scratched at the light stubble along his jaw, face drawn in consternation. His most recent informant, a stall keeper at the Seaside Market who went by the name of Erick, had no qualms letting him know where this "great gadgeteer," as the grimy little man repeatedly insisted, lived. The mercenary thought he smelled a trap, but Erick assured him with utmost confidence that this gifted craftswoman would not disappoint.

"And a real looker too, my boy," the greasy stall keeper grinned, waggling his eyebrows. "You won't regret employing 'er services, I swear on me life."

Nov snorted. Far as he knew, good looks were more of a hassle than they were worth, and he was none too eager to meet yet another great beauty who would do nothing but call down a whole world of trouble upon his already heavily burdened shoulders. He kept such thoughts to himself, however, and imparted just one message: if he found out he had been sent on yet another pointless trail, he was going to come back and double the favor.

"What favor?" Erick sneered, ready to call the boy's bluff.

Not two chimes later the dark haired, surly eyed merc was making his way back to Sunset Quarters, long strides carrying him far beyond the incoherent screams of a certain, much enlightened stall keeper. Nov had run out of patience long ago, and though the Hound's shaggy-haired representative had not given them a set time frame for the deed to be done, the cook was eager to get this over with. The sooner he finished this job, the sooner he would be privy to the real deal.

Plus, he enjoyed murdering Daggerhands. Immensely.

Nov ground his teeth a little as he stared up at the windows for a tick longer, then set into motion once more. Trap or no, he needed the help. He could kill a drunken Daggerhand any day of the season, but to be able to preserve one well enough to display out in the open with one dagger speared through each hand...well, that was going to require subtlety. Subtlety neither he nor Seng possessed.

Chilled flesh greeting Sunset's relative warmth once more, Nov climbed the old stairs with familiar ease. Based on what Erick the Keeper had divulged, this so called gadgeteer's apartment was not too far from his own.

The merc stopped mid step, an idea hatching in his mind.

Wouldn't hurt, now would it, to scout out any signs of trouble before stepping into gods knew what? If it was a trap, he could benefit from a bit of uncharacteristic spying. Nov was the worst when it came to intrigue and delicacy. So, he would have to keep things simple and low risk.

Decision made, the cook commenced marching up the stairs until he reached the second floor and unlocked the door to his apartment. Shutting it behind him with another click of the lock, he tossed his coat onto his rumpled bed and combed through his unruly hair with cold fingers. It was pitch dark in the spartan room, save for a few streams of Leth's light trickling through the cheap shutters.

Nov stood in silence and darkness for a moment, running through his options. He knew his plan was feasible, but it made him uneasy. It reminded him too much of the night Sunset had burned...of the night he had scaled the side of the building in hopes of saving Calyn, of how he had met Seng...of wicked, hot flames devouring walls and people alike, small, dirty faces streaked with tears, and the scent and sounds of scorching, agonizing death.

He could almost smell the acrid stench in his nose. He shook his head furiously, squeezing his eyes shut. Focus!

Rubbing clammy palms against his pants, the merc stepped forward and slowly opened his shutters. He looked out to make sure no one but coughing, shivering beggars would be able to see what he was about to do. Then he analyzed the side of the building, counting the number of windows he would have to cross. Ducking back into the obscurity of his room, he planted one boot onto the sill, placed a hand on each edge of the opening, and hauled himself out into the cold, night air.

A tick's worth of panic came and went as he resisted looking down. Nov turned carefully on his heels so that he was now facing his left shutter and stretched one foot to hit the narrow ledge beneath the window. The old wood of the building was as gnarled and inconsistent as ever, allowing him to inch along its side with relative ease.

The first window was a bit tricky to pass by unnoticed. A portly woman erupted through the shutters without warning to empty a chamber pot before slamming them shut again. Nov nearly lost his footing in shock, but caught himself just in time with gritted teeth. He counted to twenty before proceeding with extra caution, moving from one window to the next. At least, he thought to himself amidst this meticulous task, there were no Daggerhands to worry about. Rumors had it that Jillian worked for the Nighteyes, though the presumably Daggerhand-free quarters made up for only half of her unrelenting hardassery.

At last, he had arrived. Nov lowered himself to a crouch along the ledge, straining his ears against Lady Winter's forlorn sighs to hear if there was any movement within. This is stupid, he seethed to himself, but going back empty handed would be even worse. He'd gotten this far. With a defeated sigh, he craned his neck forward, peeping through the uneven slits of wood in hopes that he could discern for himself who this great gadgeteer was.


Last edited by Noven on February 28th, 2014, 2:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Unlikely Cohorts

Postby Amael on February 5th, 2014, 2:45 pm

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The walk back to Sunset had been uneventful, especially considering that she’d just come back from a delivery. With a grateful sigh, Amael turned the knob of her door and pressed her weight against it for a just a moment, before she half-walked, half-fell in. Thanks to Erick’s constant stream of advertisements, she’d stayed up the night before working to fill the demand. It’d been draining and tedious, piecing the same tired little inventions together over and over again.

Tiny gears, broken levers and scraps of metal were strewn across her floor. She surveyed them with interest for a moment before shaking her head. This was not the life she’d come for. Her red, gemstone arm caught the light for a moment, glimmering prettily before she moved away, intent on a small washbasin across the room.

Slowly, she stripped out of her cloak and blouse until she wore nothing but smallclothes from the waist up. It was obvious then, why: her skin was covered with a light film of grease that smeared and smudged in certain places. It was actually quite appealing – especially given that she was endowed in all the right places despite her smaller frame. But it seemed she was keen on washing it off, sea blue eyes so naturally bright suddenly diminished by exhaustion.

Stretching languidly, she seized a washcloth and began to wipe some of the grease from her flesh. Normally, she might not have bothered, but this was the sort that would cake on and never come loose. She’d been too absorbed, too focused the night before to notice how bad it’d become.

That was often how it was, wasn’t it? Having nothing to ground her, Amael tended to get lost, so lost that she actually had to work to recover the day after. She wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t sleep, wouldn’t do anything until the work was done. And the cloth – rag – was cold, as was the water she used to bathe. Everything was cold, dirty and failing.

She just wished quietly that she could make it better.

Something caught her eye at the window, a flutter of movement. It was likely nothing, but for some reason she turned anyway. And for a moment, just a moment, she locked eyes with his acidic stare, expression slightly bewildered, vibrant eyes bright.

A moment passed. Her heart beat a mad rhythm against the barrel of her ribcage.

”Are you mad?!” She half-whispered, slowly making her way to the window so as not to startle him. As she opened the shutters, she made sure to be mindful of his hand placement. ”Don’t even try to go scrambling off,” she continued. ”You’re going to fall to your death out there!”

Oblivious to her own unclad form, she offered him a hand. ”You nearly scared me stupid. Come in, before you lose your footing.” And her tone brokered no argument, especially given the fact he was far too many feet in the air.
Last edited by Amael on December 21st, 2015, 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unlikely Cohorts

Postby Noven on February 5th, 2014, 8:30 pm

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Shyke.

The cook forced himself to halt mid-scramble, heart hammering against his ribs. He looked down and felt sweat tingle on his palms. It was a knee jerk reaction, trying to escape after having been caught spying on a half naked woman like some lowly, peeping tom. But, gods be cursed, the female was right. One wrong move and his insides were going to end up decorating the street, the walls, and some unsuspecting beggar's face.

Staring at the pale hand protruding from the window, Nov wondered which would be worse. Falling to his death, or accepting the help of an Isur clad in nothing but her undergarments.

He sighed and conceded, darker skin meeting fair. Wasn't much of a choice, now was it?

Unsurprised by the strength of her grip, Nov allowed himself to be pulled inside the safety of her quarters, feeling every inch the intruder as he found himself standing amongst what looked to be a hoard of metal scraps and gears. And, as if that wasn't enough to leave him more than a little uncomfortable, his eyes fell upon the small basin. Which, in turn, reminded him why he had been caught in the first place.

She was, thus far, everything Erick the Keeper had said she would be. A woman of her craft, and an attractive one at that. Coy, lush, and confident as they come--magnetic enough for anyone with a functioning set of eyes. He had to admit, getting caught was mostly his own fault. The prospect of watching the red haired creature unclothe herself limb by grease covered limb had taken more ticks than necessary to reconsider. But, all the same, he kept up his guard. What was her game, letting in a complete stranger in a city full of thieves, murders, and bloodthirsty mobsters?

His caustic gaze found itself drawn to her ruby arm once more, struggling not to linger along the way on various curves and silver-veined flesh. Isur...that arm had been the final straw to his stack of mistakes this night. He would've been back in his apartment, alone and pride in tact, had he not glimpsed its glittering surface just as he had been prepared to retreat.

For a moment, Nov wondered if his god touched hand would work against hers. He'd questioned the same when he discovered Jillian's lineage, but so far the only times the cook had gotten a good look at the proprietress's gem-like limb was when it was flying straight for his face. Besides, he'd never go through with it. If the others found out that their five foot nothing landlady had murdered him with a single, fatal beating, his spirit would roil with humiliation for eternity.

Nov clenched and unclenched his left hand, all too aware that its crimson veins were out on a rare display, as well as the inked chains wrapped around his bicep. He had left behind his gloves and coat for better purchase and mobility during his miserably failed recon, expecting to do all the seeing and not the other way around. Well, it was too late now. Even if she hadn't already noticed, he had nowhere to hide. In a sense, he was as naked as she, though the Isur seemed not to mind one fig.

Red arm, red veins. A coincidence Nov stashed away in his head like a nugget of rare cheese to be examined later. Right now, his top priority was to determine what this Isur might or might not have in store for him. In a word, traps. Beauty was as much a trap as physically pulling strangers straight into your apartment. If she was up to something, he needed to be ready for it.

"Why did you let me in?" the merc growled, eyes narrowed, mind over-brimming with suspicion.




oocSo the Shackles tattoo may or may not change...the group hasn't set anything in stone yet so I apologize in advance if we are forced to come back and edit its appearance. Otherwise, things are looking good so far (dare I call it a double entendre?).
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Unlikely Cohorts

Postby Amael on February 6th, 2014, 12:45 am

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”Because you were going to fall,” she answered reflexively, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. ”Why else?”

The reality dawned on her. Naturally, all Sunberthians were mistrustful. Why should this one be any different? ”Oh, you mean why did I let you in, even though you were spying on me?” Eyes warm, she chuckled. ”Because you were doing a terrible job at it, that’s why. If someone wanted to kill me in this city, they could.” She shrugged. ”They certainly wouldn’t bother looking into my window first, anyway.”

In the intervening moment, she took the opportunity to look at him in earnest. Amael’s full lips curved slowly in a shy smile. While she’d seen handsome men, this one seemed to offer something more, something dark and compelling. Blushing, she dropped her gaze from his, a buoyant, giddy feeling gnawing at the pit of her stomach.

”Er, anyway, are you alright?” She seemed eager to put the moment behind her. ”You might’ve scraped yourself against the side of the building.” Her eyes trailed along his compact figure, noting the tattoo very briefly before she glimpsed the red marks that ran the length of his knuckles. God magic. It had to be. Amael knew the look of a mark when she saw one. The question was: from whom?

”Tell me,” she asked, softer this time. ”Did you come here for a reason?” Amael made no move to hide her flesh. Rather, she set a hand upon her hip. ”Or were you just looking?” And her tone at the end was indicative of the fact that, were it to be the latter, he ought to just leave. While she had needs, she also had a great deal of self-respect, and that wasn't apt to change. Ever.

Something told her he was there for a reason. The whole situation was far too coincidental to be otherwise. Plus, if it were that easy, she was relatively certain there’d be a different man spying on her every day of the week.

She made a mental note to close her shutters, next time.
Last edited by Amael on December 21st, 2015, 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Noven on February 6th, 2014, 11:00 pm

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Nov raised an eyebrow in surprise at the woman's practical answer. She sounded innocent of underhanded trickery. But sounding and being didn't always go hand in hand. The merc knew this much from more than a few, recent trips to Happy Endings, though the Daggerhand he had killed some forty days ago had been transparent enough. Too bad his body was long gone by the time Nov was assigned this theatric shyke of a job.

There, she said it. The word "spying" left an unpleasant burning atop Nov's ears, made all the worse by her blatant judgment of his botched attempt at something he was clearly no good at. But he let the shame linger. It had, after all, been a result of his own idiotic doing.

He expected something more scathing to follow, but nothing came. Instead, the full lipped, full hipped Isur was staring at him now, her pretty mouth drawn in a coy smile. Nov stared back, unflinching. He knew that look. And he also knew something was grinding away in that molten head of hers like all the little gears littered across her floor. Gods be damned if he knew, or would ever know, the specifics, but if it had anything to do with clothes on the floor and bodies in the bed, he was, for the sake of his pride, going to take on the bloody Daggerhand by himself. Maybe. On second thought...

The woman blushed and looked away as she inquired if he was alright. Nov considered for a moment of this so called great gadgeteer was also completely, utterly daft. If so much as a rat or bird had accidentally stumbled through his window, said rat or bird would be tossed back out with rocks tied to their feet. Drunks, burglars, and spies would also be shown the same courtesy.

Huh. Something did tingle on his elbow, though. Was the woman speaking sense after all? Nov lifted an arm to check behind it and saw that there was indeed a small, red patch of raw skin. In this momentary distraction, he failed to notice her second round of scrutiny.

"I'm fine," he answered, ignoring the scrape. When he looked up again, there was a strange expression on the woman's face.

And then it came. The million miza question they'd all been waiting for. Nov found it at once amusing and perplexing that the Isur was in her underclothes, blushing only moments before, and now boldly settling terms with naught but a hand to her hip and an imperious tone. The merc could practically see through the thin fabric. He wondered if he should tell her. Give her a chance to make herself decent and infinitely less interesting.

Nah.

"A reason, of course," he responded. Nov rubbed the edge of his jaw, wondering how he could phrase his proposal in the least unpleasant way possible.

Ah, petch it. There was no way around the bloody subject. "I need a certain member of a certain gang dead, but in tact. Good enough to display for a day or two," he explained bluntly. "I heard rumors and advertisements of a great gadgeteer. One who might be able to help me with more...subtle methods. Untraceable, preferably."

Nov folded his arms, wondering what was churning in that head of hers now. "I've the gold to pay," he added. "And services myself to trade. I am willing to do either, or both."

He gazed at her levelly, gauging for signs of a reaction. "Interested?"


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Postby Amael on February 7th, 2014, 5:53 pm

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There was a silence as her expression turned thoughtful. While it was true that he’d surprised her, she wore it well, clearly turning over the offer in her mind. Work was scarce and sophisticated work, even scarcer. It wasn’t often she was tasked with an actual undertaking; here, she could really stretch her legs, really do something. That, and there was the somewhat enticing prospect of his presence. The Isur looked at him appraisingly, as if measuring the weight of his soul. Her eyes were gentle, gaze searching, lips again curved into that fey smile.

After a moment, whatever she was looking for, she seemed to have found it. ”Okay,” she replied at last. ”I’ll do it. But before we go any further, if this isn’t a member of the Daggerhands you’re after, you can see yourself back out that window.” The Isur managed something akin to a scowl, though it looked abstract upon her normally smiling face. There wasn’t a thing she wouldn’t do to the Daggerhands, not after what she’d seen and learned of their depravity.

”Now then.” Having issued her one and only criteria, the woman moved toward the table where the washbasin sat. There laid her blouse, resting in a pool of fabric upon the floor. She considered it for a tick, fingering the careworn fabric before pulling it over her head. It was easier to catch cold when prancing around in the nude and being sick wasn’t high on her list of priorities.

Amael turned to set the ceramic tub aside and were he to assent, she would spread out a fresh sheet of paper in its stead. ”You want to catch him off-guard,” she began softly. ”With his pants down, so to speak. That calls for a trap. We can't afford a struggle.” Her thoughts shifted to the Hound and the madness that followed. Something spoke to her about the similarity of this request, but she chose to set that suspicion aside, at least for now. Best not to ask too many questions up front.

”Do you know this man? Do you know his habits, routines? That’ll give us a decent enough place to start.” She continued arranging things on the table: an inkwell, a bit of kohl and a quill.

And suddenly, she looked up at him, a mischievous glimmer in her eye. ”And,” she added, ”what sort of services do you offer?”

Of course, she was only teasing.

Well, sort of.
Last edited by Amael on December 21st, 2015, 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Noven on February 8th, 2014, 12:20 pm

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It was Nov's turn to flash a subtle grin. "I live to create dead Daggerhands," he answered with a fervor as familiar to him as the telltale stench of Sunberth's slummiest slums.

The mercenary's corrosive gaze trailed after the Isur as she returned to her washbasin, wondering what "now then" was leading to. When she began to tug on hindrances otherwise known as clothing, Nov let out an inward sigh. He had to admit his concentration on matters of business had drastically improved, though it did so with reluctance.

His new accomplice in murder by subtlety wasted no time, replacing the basin with a sheet of fresh paper. As she spoke of catching their target off guard and traps, the woman's tone remained calm, showing not the slightest hint of fear or uncertainty.

Perhaps she was an honest gageteer after all. Perhaps. Nov kept a few grains of doubt tucked in the back of his mind regardless, as well as a quick layout of her humble quarters. For insurance.

At her next set of questions, the merc responded without hesitance. "I do. Several, in fact. Given that Brega's Happy House 'o Whores is basically owned by the Daggerhands themselves, they make up the bulk of her ladyship's customers."

"I know one who's long past paying his dues," he added after a moment of consideration. "A couple girls go missing every season, and it drives Brega mad. But even though she more or less knows who's responsible, there isn't much she can do. And she wouldn't trust a Sunberthian assassin farther than she can throw one."

Nov chose to leave out the part where the goddess herself had offered him the job, once. After, of course, she spent a good deal of time insulting the state of his apartment. Again. And then attempting to sow more seeds of temptation in using his mark for pleasure. Again. Same song and dance, it had been. With the same, predictable ending. A flat out refusal and a pouting business woman sent on her merry way back to her house of false promises and empty bliss.

Up until now, the mercenary had turned down the task of killing that scrap of filth others knew as Torgen the Torturer. Not because the scrawny ilk was stronger. And not because he didn't deserve the bloodiest death of them all, next to the Boss who had killed Nona.

No. It was because Nov knew he didn't have the backing for such a high profile kill. His ultimate goal was the Boss himself, not his right hand lackey. If he incited a hunt before he'd even figured out the Daggerhand Boss's identity, his vengeance would never see the light of day. The full time cook, part time merc just simply did not have the resources and influence that he needed.

Until now.

"Torgen," Nov spat with palpable disdain. "the Torturer, as he likes to be called. Likely the one responsible for the whores that go missing now and then. They don't stay missing for long, but they're also usually only found in bits and pieces. He's the perfect choice to make an example of, and it would be a direct blow to his Boss, whoever the petcher is."

He considered the Isur's last question and met her mischievous gaze with a dead pan one of his own. "Basic mercenary work--protection, strong arming, and knocking in a few heads if needed. I cook now and then at the orphanage, too, though I doubt you'd be interested in that."

For a tick, that seemed to be the end of it. Then Noven crossed his hands behind his head, mulling over a new set of thoughts.

"Not that I have any rules against working outside of my profession, if necessary," he tacked on. His grin returned. "I'll try most anything once."


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Postby Amael on February 9th, 2014, 2:24 am

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She set the quill aside for a moment, steepling her hands, lips pensively brushing her fingertips. They’d have to create something unexpected, something that’d surprise and isolate him at the same time. Maybe a trap door? If there was a place beneath the whorehouse, a basement or a crawlspace, they could make a one that’d respond to a certain command. It was feasible… But it would hinge on a couple of different factors. First, she’d have to put her trust in this mysterious stranger. Second, they’d need an insider, someone within the house who could potentially work with them. Third, they would need bait. That meant someone who was willing to take a risk, someone with loyalty. It might require some bribes… But in Sunberth, blood and gold were kissing cousins.

Amael glanced up. The shadow of a kind soul ghosted across his features. She gave him another of many long looks, uncertainty awash in her eyes. There was the need to trust him and yet... She was exposed, vulnerable and in more ways than one. Even simple condemnation had the power to slay her. Who was he? And why did she feel so compelled by the sight of that smile?

”I need you to trust me.” Which was laughable, given they’d known each other for no more than ten chimes. Amael looked at him beseechingly, biting her bottom lip. How to phrase this? What could she possibly say?

”If I do this for you,” she began, ”my only fee is that you keep my secret.” The woman turned to face him directly. ”I mean it. I have the means necessary to make this happen. Have you ever heard of the ability to make life? I mean, the ability to take something and give it a soul?” She felt strangely, as if she owed him an explanation. ”It’s called animation. World magic. I learned it from my Mother.”

The Isur continued. ”If hypothetically, you wanted a steel box with no lock, a box would only open at your command… I could do that. So if this scum Torgen just so happened to step on a trap door of my design… Well, with nothing but a word it would open, plummeting him into whatever laid beyond.”

There was a lingering silence on her part. In spite of the uncomfortable revelation, her lips bowed upward into a grin. ”Funny. You have my heart in your grasp,” she said softly, ”and I don’t even know your first name.” The Isur moved to rest her chin against her knuckles. ”I’m probably a fool to trust you.” She sighed. ”But days ago, a group of thugs - Daggerhands - tried to corner me and…” Her words trailed into nothing. She closed her eyes, features suddenly twisting in revulsion. ”I would rather have died than… That.”

She paused. When her eyes opened, they held an iron resolve. ”Let's just say we have a common enemy.”
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Postby Noven on February 9th, 2014, 8:52 am

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Noven studied the Isur's pensive face as her mind whirled into action with all of the information he had just fed her. Good. It meant she was as much of a thinker and schemer as Erick had advertised. Eyes roaming from one feature to another, he noted she possessed the trademark brow of her kind, which lent her thoughtful expression an added dose of seriousness. Sultry and studious. What a bizarre combination, he mused.

The woman's gaze rose to meet his once more, and Nov guessed she was now on an entirely different track of thoughts. A flicker of uncertainty, of vulnerability. Was she only just beginning now to question her lack of suspicions towards him, or had she been hiding it all this time?

Of all things to follow up with, the Isurian gadgeteer chose to ask him...to trust her. She bit her lip in consternation, her eyes imploring that he take her proposal seriously. For a tick, Nov felt the strange compulsion to bite her lip for her. Partly in frustration, and partly because they reminded him, strangely enough, of peach skins. She went on to explain her request, that the only thing she asked for in return for this job was to keep her secret.

Before the mercenary could laugh outright at her words, she revealed something about her craft that suddenly robbed him of all good humor. Ability to give things a soul. Animation. Magic.

His first reaction was to leave that very tick and begin plotting ways to get this sorceress evicted. The merc wasn't sure he could survive the horrific loss and death of another fire at Sunset. Admittedly, when she continued to give an array of enticing examples that could, in Noven's mind, lead to cartloads of dead Daggerhands, he found his natural disinclination towards magic subside. Just a little. But it still remained stubbornly embedded in his mind and he could not shake off a feeling of unease at the very mention of the word.

Gods above, the woman was grinning now. Her heart, in his grasp? For a second time that night, Nov wondered if she was simply teasing him, or if she was as off her rocker as she sounded. He went with the former, since he preferred having a coy partner over a loony one. If she was having any reservations about trusting him, they were sound. Personally, he was convinced he looked every bit the wreck and menace Krysus had shaped him to be. He saw how people sometimes avoided him out on the streets. And, honestly, he didn't blame them. Living as a wielder of Vexation was one thing. Being vexed by one was something else altogether. Even with his crimson veins kept mostly secret, the blood thirst was palpable on bad days.

Fortunately for the Isur, he had reset himself only a couple bells ago, courtesy of Erick the Keeper. Otherwise, she might have been facing a very different sort of man. A man who had to resist every tick he was in her presence the temptation of using his mark just to ensure another day of blessed relief.

Nov found himself jarred out of his thoughts as the woman explained her own source of hatred for the Daggerhands. His rust colored eyes found themselves upon her visage once more and noted her closed lids. It was an all too familiar reaction to such memories, he realized. Many of the women in Sunberth responded the same way. A pang of ugly guilt pierced his chest as he thought of Gwen as she had been so many years ago. Before they carved her that mutilated, bloodied face...

"You're no fool to trust me if you hate the Daggerhands," Nov said at last. "And you can have my trust in return...but I confess I have never been fond of magic. No Sunberthian in their right mind is. I will make an effort to understand and accept this animation of yours, if it's used against those filthy petchers."

At his next set of words, the merc's eyes grew hard and his tone a shade darker. "But if you ever use it against me, I will act, and you will lose my trust."

Then his gaze softened a bit and he rubbed at his face, feeling the course of the day wear against his endurance. He had to admit, the thought of seeing magic in person intrigued him. But the whole thing would take time and patience, more than one night could afford. For now, an agreement between them was as good of a beginning step as any.

"The name's Noven, by the way," he added, almost as an after thought. To be honest, he would have forgotten entirely, had she not mentioned it moments before. "Or just Nov, if you prefer"

The merc gazed at her steadily, the smallest of smiles playing against a corner of his mouth. "You?"


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Noven
Taste my fist
 
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Unlikely Cohorts

Postby Amael on February 9th, 2014, 4:47 pm

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Relief visibly washed through her. It was a fair shake. He was more reasonable than she’d expected. Then again, he did get caught looking into her window. There was that to take into consideration.

”Noven,” she replied, tasting the word. It came off the tongue rather easily. ”Nice to meet you.” She looked up at him, having recovered some measure of lightheartedness. ”I’m Amael Shale, though my brother calls me Mae.” Not a fact she’d normally revealed about herself. ”You can call me that too, if you like.” She looked up at him from beneath her eyelashes before slowly tilting her chin toward the light.

”You have my word. We can even blood tie it, if you’re the ritual sort.” She waggled a finger at him playfully. ”I wouldn’t object.” Pricking her finger was the least of her worries. Plus, she’d be interested to see how he would reply. Noven kept surprising her with every little thing he did. She liked to watch the way thought echoed in his face, little gales of emotion flickering hither and yon from the top of his brow to the tip of his jaw.

Another thought occurred to her. ”Also, if you cook, I’ve a mind to try it. I don’t eat much, not that any of us do. But even given the opportunity… I forget.” She had the decency to look contrite. ”If you’re interested, it might be nice.” Now where was she even going with that? For all she knew, this was to be strictly a business arrangement. Here she was, talking of blood ties and calling him nicknames. She was clearly, out of her element.

”I’m sure you want to get some rest. Think things through,” she concluded weakly. ”I’ll put my faith in you, Nov. When you come back, I’ll have the design drafted out and ready.” That was as good a promise as she could make. The only hard part would be the animating. She wondered idly what sort of personality a trap door had.

”I’ll be waiting.” And she would be.
Last edited by Amael on December 21st, 2015, 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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