Closed A Change of Pace (Aoren)

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

A Change of Pace (Aoren)

Postby Arend on July 20th, 2014, 10:14 pm

51st, Summer, 514 AV


Too much to drink, Arend decided as he hobbled out of the Kelp Bar, yawning and listing to the side. It was a packed night with loud voices and thundering laughter that drowned out the poor musicians who were unlucky enough to be the entertainment tonight. Barely a soul had paid attention to them as they tried to serenade the raucous patrons. Someone had gotten it in their head that it would be a good idea to hold a drinking tournament, and things grew quite lively. Arend lost halfway through. Now he made his stumbling way down the street and in the general direction of home, red in the face and smelling like beer with a considerably lighter purse.

A fat full moon hung in the sky and he could hear the faint roar of the ocean on the nearby shore. Even drunk he could appreciate the beauty of Zeltiva at night. And the beauties in Zeltiva. A pair of young women sauntered by on the street, going the opposite way. He smiled crookedly and turned, walking backwards to appreciate them.

"Beautiful night, ladies." One turned and gave him a dirty look, and the other ignored him. Arend's smile broadened and he feigned hurt. "You wound me! Here I was trying to be kind." He tsked quietly and she scoffed. When they disappeared around a building he turned back the way he'd been walking, only to stumble on a loose stone and fall hard. Arend grunted as his feet slipped out from under him. He threw his arms out to catch himself but jarred his wrists and shoulders in the process. With a groan, he rolled over on his back. He could feel that he was laying in something wet, and his nose wrinkled, but the world spun too much for him to get up.

He realized now how much his head hurt. It pounded like a drum at the temples, and he threw an arm over his eyes to try block out the bright light of the moon and the firelight lamps lining the street. "Gods," he exclaimed quietly. Arend wasn't sure how long he laid there in the mystery puddle, but it felt like the entire night. When he finally pulled his arm from his face, the moon was still staring down at him. He groaned and rolled over, climbing slowly and awkwardly to his knees, then sat. "I'm never drinking again," he promised silently and cursed the violent music in his skull. In time with the beat, boots were approaching, but his attention was turned inward so intently that he didn't notice the two men until they spoke.

"Need some help there, boy?" Arend didn't move quickly. He lifted his head out of his hands and looked over and up at the pair of men standing in the middle of the street. The one who'd spoken was older by years. His black beard was peppered with gray, and he wore a grimy leather cap. The rest of his clothes weren't much better. The other one could have been his son, but they didn't look anything alike. Blond hair and a nose that looked like it had been broken recently.

"Thanks, but no. Too much kelp beer. I'll be fine." He assumed that would dismiss them, but they just stood there looking at each other and at him. The younger one smiled, but the older man killed it with a glare. Next thing he was smiling and offering Arend a hand.

"We insist. Nothin' would please us more than t'help ya home." The Inartan frowned, and before he could protest the two of them were hoisting him to his feet. The world spun and rolled, and his knees buckled but they kept him upright. "Up we come!" Arend tried to get his feet under himself, but they were walking too fast. His toes drug along the cobbles, legs kicking feebly. By the end of the street their less than gentle toting had his stomach churning and his head sagging.

"I think he's goin' to lose his beer, Bran," the youngest laughed.

"Drop him if he does. I don't want'a go home smellin' like kelp and ass."

"Let me g-," Arend tried to protest, but an elbow caught him sharply in the ribs. He fell silent with a wheeze and a fit of coughing. His stomach rolled threateningly and he groaned. "I'm going to be sick," he mumbled unintelligibly.

"Quiet!" the younger man threatened, and he received another sharp elbow.

A nasty gurgled escaped him, and instantly they dropped him.

"For the love of the Gods, quit elbowin' him!" the old man shouted. "Lest he gets sick on us! Ya' silly fool."

Arend rolled onto his side and peered at the men standing over him. "What do you want?" he growled, then gagged on bile.

The younger man shrugged and the old man frowned. With surprising strength he fisted the Inartan's shirt in both hands, picked him up, and drug him into the nearest alley. "I'm a little tired now, so I'm done playin'. We'll be takin' your coin. And your boots."

Arend had cold stone against his back, holding him upright. His toes were all that touched the ground. When he glanced at the other man, he saw the pale glint of a sharp dagger clutched in one hand. His mouth went dry.

"That's right," Bran said. Apparently that was his name. "You be nice and quiet, and nothin' will happen."

"But he's seen our faces. What if he squeals?" the blond complained, nervously glancing over one shoulder, as if now that he spoke the words aloud the Wave Guard would come running down the alley.

"You ain't goin' to squeal, are you boy?" Bran asked calmly. When Arend didn't say anything, he shook him hard. "Are you?" His skull bounced off the stone behind him his head reeled and he tried to push the man away. He pushed at his face and twisted in pain, trying to get away. The hands on his shirt released and Arend dropped like a stone to the damp alley floor. Before he could try to right himself, a heavy boot stomped and cracked two ribs. Arend cried out, sounding alien to his own ears. A hand closed roughly over his mouth to silence the yell, and he felt cold iron pressed hard against his side. The edge cut through shirt and flesh, and he felt hot blood against his chilled skin. That sobered him up quickly.

"We might have to shut you up now, dumb boy. Maybe cut your tongue out like that Silencer who's been huntin' them mages. Tear you up nice and throw you off the docks. Bet they'll think it was him."

"Or her," the youngest chimed in, sounding excited and scared at once.

"Or her," Bran agreed. "What d'ya think, boy?"

His mother had been right, he realized now. He was really regretting not learning how to use that dagger of his, currently tucked safely under his damned bed.
Last edited by Arend on July 25th, 2014, 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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A Change of Pace (Aoren)

Postby Aoren on July 24th, 2014, 3:42 pm

Image
A low growl echoed in the alleyway just behind the two lowlifes. From the shadows out stepped a large black dog easily big enough to topple an average sized man. The canine was hunched over glaring at the two thugs. His fur was standing on end, his teeth bared. It was from this dog that the growling was coming from. A gentle tap echoed off the wall of the two buildings forming the alleyway. The sound sliced through the darkness until standing beside the dog was a man. The tapping, as could be seen by the two ruffians was likely emanating from the quarterstaff he carried in one of his hands. His face obscured by shadows.

Aoren reached down resting a hand atop Isikai’s head. Aoren gently ran his fingers through the dog’s fur though the gesture did nothing to relax his posture. The hound was poised and ready to strike which was something Aoren made a mental note to try and get a handle on. The dog had become increasingly agitated when he sensed danger was near. Ever since the run in with the ghost Isikai had been fiercely protective. When the Drykas man had turned down this particular alley believing it to be a short cut to the University he had been unpleasantly surprised to see two men ganging up on another. The victim was presently on the ground quite obviously in pain. Leveling the two lowlifes with a stare from within the cover of the dark Aoren spoke to them.

Were we in Syliras, gentlemen, the Knights would have you chained and shipped to the mines. Or perhaps in a more merciful gesture they would just lop off one of your hands.” Isikai edged forward growling low. It seemed only Aoren’s hand upon the dog’s back was keeping the hound in check. He took in a breath speaking as he exhaled.

As it stands we are not in Syliras. That leaves us with two options. The first, is you decide that the odds are in your favor and attempt to subdue me.” Aoren quirked his head adopting an amused smile. This was of course all an act. He had no idea whether or not he was skilled enough or lucky enough to convince these two thugs to simply back down and be about their business.

This will of course end badly for you.

Aoren adjusted the grip he held on his staff straightening his posture rising to his full height. He’d always heard that sometimes a difference in stature could aid in intimidating supposed opponents. Maybe it would work now?

The second option is that you can back away from the man on the ground there. You can take your leave and we can all call it a night.” Aoren looked from one ruffian to the next. He gauged how well equipped for a fight they would be searching for armaments, any signs of movement that might mean they were advancing. He narrowed his eyes as he studied them.

What say you?


NoteSorry for the delay! You can totally have this ploy fail if you like. I only have +2 in Intimidation. It's up to you.
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A Change of Pace (Aoren)

Postby Arend on July 27th, 2014, 10:21 pm

Arend's complete attention was on the blade pressed into his belly. He tried not to breathe too deeply, for the edge cut deeper when his abdomen shuddered. It was hard to calm the erratic gasping through his nose, but he tried to close everything else out. He could smell his attacker's breath on his face, and heard his words, but it was garbled and unclear through the wall of fear. He'd never been in a fight in his life--not that this was much of a tussle. They had him poised under the edge of a dagger, and one plunge would end it right here.

He'd never been so close to death. He could almost feel Dira's fingers on his trembling shoulder, cold and patient. The growl that caught the attention of the muggers registered a little late with Arend. He felt the knife's pressure lessen on his skin and the weight of the man pinning him lift a little--enough for him to breathe a deep breath then wince as his cracked ribs protested and the gash on his side burned like a hot iron against his skin.

When he finally opened his eyes, he saw that one of the men stood in the middle of the alley, back facing him and the other who was crouching with a hand firmly pinning his chest. The threatening snarls pulled his attention down to the inky shadows near the other end of the alley. A ]monstrous black dog prowled toward them, snout quivering and white teeth dripping. It snapped the air once, and a red tongue lolled out of its open jaws. When a hand emerged to rest on its black shoulders, Arend wanted nothing more than to be far away from here.

Then the mystery man spoke his hushed threats and warnings. Arend closed his eyes again, waiting for either a knife to plunge into him or the dog's teeth to tear apart his leg.

Gods help me.

The youngest of his attackers laughed. It was an ugly sound with no humor in it. He scowled at the man half hidden in shadows, and spat at him and his dog.

"There's yer' answer! I ain't afraid of some dog and a piece of shyke hero with a stick. Come over here and I'll open both of ya' up."

He heard the older man's voice next. The hand left his chest as he stood to confront his partner.

"Shut up, ya' fool," he growled, eyeing the dog with unease. Then his gaze flickered the young man. His lip curled and he offered a cold glare, knuckles turning white around the hilt of his bloody blade.

"Y'eve both seen our faces. Can't let you run off to the guards. I ain't goin' to be strung up on account of runnin' like a craven. Open the mutt's gut. I'll take the boy."


OOCHa, let's give you some combat EXP!
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A Change of Pace (Aoren)

Postby Aoren on July 29th, 2014, 5:15 pm

Image
Aoren sighed. He had been hoping to convince them to back down without a fight. It looked as though that was not going to be possible. In the palm of the hand he had resting upon Isikai’s fur Aoren conjured his Res. The instrument of his reimancy coalesced there whereupon he made it tighten and condense becoming near solid. The process took mere seconds. Aoren grasped the disk between his middle and index finger.

Pity.” With that he quickly flicked his wrist sending the disk spinning through the air toward the nearest thug. It took only an exertion of his will to influence the disk to speed to its destination rapidly. Knowing that the two lowlifes would not have suspected him as being a mage the element of surprise was still on his side. Just short of impacting the nearest man’s chest Aoren caused the surface of the disk to ripple as he transmuted it to wind which he forced forward. The resulting gust of wind would be strong enough to offset the thug’s balance. Using the shock factor caused by the sudden appearance of the wind Aoren darted forward sprinting as fast as he could.

Closing the distance between himself and the nearest man Aoren jumped up aiming not for the man himself but the wall of the nearby building. As the side of his foot touched the stone he flattened it then followed through with the impact pushing off of the stone. As he bounded through the air he careened his body at an angle bringing his quarterstaff up to swing in the direction of the nearest thug’s chest.

Aoren was normally a peaceful man but he was no stranger to fighting. From being raised in Syliras around the knights, having a sister as a squire, he was taught how to defend himself. The years he spent foraging into the Bronze Woods and the journey to Zeltiva itself had helped to toughen him up. As he jumped into the fray taking on the first man, Isikai charged forward following through alongside Aoren. With a vicious snarl the dog sprinted forward leaping straight for the second lowlife holding the blade against the innocent man’s body. Isikai opened his maw, his teeth seeking purchase on the man’s arm.
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Aoren
Of things long forgotten...
 
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