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

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Don't Mess with Sunset Quarter's Orphans

Postby Noven on December 15th, 2014, 4:21 am

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Nov sat in the cramped space between a stack of crates and a barrel of refuse, ignoring the various aches his hunched muscles were acquiring as he waited.

"Still don't get why we have to stay in this sodding shyke hole," one of the men grumbled for the hundredth time. "Better anywhere else. On the ship, in a tavern, between some saucy wench's legs..."

He gave Carlyn, whose name Noven had learned early on in his eavesdropping, a lust-filled once over that would have sent any reasonable lass's skin crawling to Hai and back. Unfortunately for everyone present, save Carlyn herself, the sellsword was inclined toward the fairer sex. Which might have made things easier with the plan involving Caela and Jade, but there was still that sniper to deal with. And from what little the cook understood about Arlana's abilities, they needed someone female, someone who would be easier to impersonate.

"No one here disagrees, Floyd," Carlyn retorted, face stretching into a leer of her own as she placed both hands on the hilts of her twin short swords and planted one boot onto a crate. It happened one of the same crates Noven remained crouched behind, and it took every ounce of discipline for him to stay silent, even as his heart lurched in alarm.

"Especially not the last part. I wouldn't mind tasting some sweet, young cunny myself." The female sellsword made a lewd gesture with her fingers and tongue.

"Shut up, both of you," the third mercenary snapped. "We know none of us want to be here and why we have to anyway. I'm sick of your womanly naggin', Floyd, and Carlyn you can keep your girl loving cunt to yourself. I wouldn't petch it if it were the last one in Sunberth."

He turned back to resume guard duty and spat, "Next complaint I hear gets its speaker's throat slit and share split. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yeah, yeah, go petch yourself," Floyd muttered as he, too, returned to doing his job. Though peeved at being told what to do, the shorter and hairier of the two mercs seemed to be in agreement with Robern. There was something decidedly unsettling about Carlyn. Maybe it was the brusque, masculine way with which she walked and talked, her mannerisms completely belying her rather slender and feminine features.

Or, maybe it was the angry scar running from her scalp down the middle of her left eye, supposedly the result of trying to, as Floyd had put it, stick a candle up her late husband's arse. The thing was still lit and dripping hot wax, he'd claimed.

Carlyn made no attempts to deny these accusations. Nor did she deign to respond to Robern's threats. Instead, the merc pushed herself off of the crate, to Nov's immense relief, and started walking off toward a dark alleyway. She hadn't made it two steps past the radius of their guarded vicinity when Robern growled, "Where the hell d'ya think yer goin'?"

"To take a piss. Want to come watch?"

Both of her fellow guards made repulsed faces and looked away. Grinning, Carlyn placed her hands on her belt and whistled to herself as she sauntered off.

This is it, Nov realized as he moved quickly and quietly to follow. This is my chance. And maybe the only one I'll get, too, if her bladder is anything to go by. Strange as it sounded out of context, the cook had been waiting for his target to piss for bells. The bloody woman ate and drank nothing, not even water, and hadn't moved from her post until just then. And now that she finally had, he wasn't sure when the next chance would come. It was now or never.

Noven hated stealth missions. He was absolute shyke at it and couldn't be subtle to save his life. But the situation demanded that he at least try, or risk jeopardizing the whole operation.

They needed this woman's body. Or, specifically, Arlana needed this woman's body. And no one but the cook was supposed to know. The lass had wanted her abilities kept secret; it was hard enough for her to fess up to Nov, whom she'd known for over a decade. Informing the others was simply out of the question. Her ability, as he'd come to grasp, took time, patience, and privacy, and it was a commodity any number of mobsters would love to get their grubby little hands on. That meant the fewer who knew the better.

Nov certainly couldn't fault her, if his gloved hands were anything to go by.

It also meant they needed somewhere safe to make the transition. Noven knew of one place and one place only, so it was to Happy Endings that he would be taking Carlyn's unconscious body.

The cook checked one last time to ensure the other two mercs weren't following before snaking his way after Carlyn. She was cocky enough around her temporary partners, but she was far from stupid. Of the three sellswords, Nov suspected she was the smartest. If she'd been born with a cock like the others, it might've been her giving orders with self-proclaimed leadership, not Robern. Alas, she made due with the cards life had handed her. And they weren't half bad either, as far as Carlyn was concerned, even if they made pissing while on duty a bit of a hassle.

As soon as she ducked into the alleyway and the telltale sound of leathers being undone ensued, Noven made his move. He caught her, quite literally, with her pants down, and smothered her mouth with one hand as he tried to lock her in a chokehold with the other. The sellsword was much stronger than he'd anticipated, however, even without access to her shortswords. She somehow managed to wrestle partially free and knee her attacker in the guts, eliciting a pained grunt. A chaotic scuffle ensued, the scrape of boots and pants of exertion bouncing off the alleyway walls as each struggled to gain dominance. Nov still had her mouth covered, but her muffled shouts of anger were going to be impossible to prevent for much longer.

C'mon, ladies...he urged as he tried to fight the rising tide of panic, any tick now, a distraction would be great!

"Oy, what's goin' on there?" came Robern's gruff voice. "You building' a log cabin or somethin', Carlyn?" Floyd's wheezing laughter followed, the two of them clearly finding the situation more amusing than concerning.

Pinned to the wall and still silenced by Noven's hand, Carlyn stopped struggling for a tick as her expression darkened. Immortal gods above, how she did hate those imbeciles. Her attacker, on the other hand, couldn't give less of a shyke as he took advantage of her momentary lapse and withdrew one of his Tamo's.

"Answer them," Nov hissed, "or I cut your throat."

Carlyn glared daggers at him, but she made no move to object. Taking this as assent, the cook lowered his hand very slowly, though he kept her pinned to the wall and her hands as far away from her shortswords as possible. There was a moment of tense silence before the merc turned her head and shouted, "Why don't the two of you just fuck each other already? You've got the privacy now while I build my cabin."

There was a scoff of disbelief, followed by mutterings like "bitch" and "whore" before both of the guards seemed mollified. "There," Carlyn seethed, returning her gaze to her attacker's. "Now what? Wanna have a go, right here, right now?"

Noven's blank look was all he required to call her bluff. Then he raised his free hand, the motion taking no more than a split tick, and slammed it against the side of her head in the form of a closed fist, knocking her out clean. After that, he made sure to pull up her pants, redo the clasp of her belt clumsily, and then hoist her over one shoulder as he exited from the opposite end of the alleyway. The two other sellswords would come looking for her soon, but if there was any luck left in this gods forsaken city, they would be stopped by two incredibly distracting, pseudo whores.

He still didn't like the idea of Caela and Jade putting themselves directly in harm's way, but it was the best plan they had at the moment. And the Myrian was nearby somewhere too, presumably, ready to lend a hand if things went beyond their control. Meanwhile, his job was to deliver this body up through the secret, trap door to Isme's room and ensure Arlana was successful in her transformation. Then, and only then, would he be able to come back out to meet the others at the back end of Happy Endings.

Nov shifted the body higher up on his shoulder and continued stalking through the shadows. He surreptitiously avoided the crowded streets, choosing to pass through empty alleyways and refuse sites instead, until at last he was able to stop in front of the old, abandoned laundry room connected to Isme's trap door.

The thought of Mae's animated handiwork sent a slight twinge of pain through his mind, but Noven ignored it and focused on getting the body inside undamaged.

"Krysus," he swore as he carried the surprisingly heavy sellsword up the ladder, one rung at a time. The cook was panting by the seventh and he was starting to sweat. "This'd better work, Arlana, or I swear on Calyn's grave..."


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Don't Mess with Sunset Quarter's Orphans

Postby Kaie on December 16th, 2014, 3:36 am

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With her recent discovery of The Quay and its inhabitants, there was a certain pull between the Myrian and Sunberth's coast. Of course she was no romantic. It was certainly not the sweet lull of moving water or its wave-crashing serenade that drew her now and then. The culprit was obligation. As corny as the old Svefra captain was, she couldn't deny how spot on he was as they left Falyndar's shore and he warned her "you could take the Myrian out of the jungle, but never the jungle out of the Myrian." Three years and still that savage mentality thrived well within her. Disconnected from her clan, her Goddess Queen, and the Taloban army, the soldier-in-the-making had none but her recent ties to the Scars to sustain her, and that loyalty earned through camaraderie ran deep. When gangs were Sunberth's version of warring militias, how could she do anything else but prowl past headquarters from time to time?

Akajia's reign was settling quickly upon the city. Soon her temporary quarters at Ruby's would be polluted by the rowdy business beneath it, but it was undoubtedly better there than alone in these brutal streets. Hood obscuring her foreign features and cloak billowing gently behind her deliberate steps, the Myrian began to navigate through the alleyways toward familiar ground. If only her destination was one that would bring her peace. Gods, what I would do for a petching drink right now... She thought miserably to herself until--

"Krysus!"

In a flash a sunkissed right hand flew down to grasp the handle of the gladius upon her hip. Her bicep tensed, arm prepared to jerk the steel blade free within a tick's notice. That's until her amber eyes settled on a rather perplexing image. More confusing was the familiar voice that must've belonged to the sketchy silhouette involved. Her head cocked to the side.

"Noven?" The woman turned on her heel and ventured deeper into the alleyway rather than smartly escaping it. Sure enough there the cook was, lugging an unconscious, bear of a woman up a ladder. And...were her pants down? "What the petch are you doing?" She hissed loudly in an attempt to not draw any more attention than hers alone. Standing at the base of the ladder, she couldn't help but narrow her eyes at him. "For petch's sake, if you liked to play that rough you should've gone to the Muted Maiden. And if she's dead, that is a terrible way to hide a body."
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Don't Mess with Sunset Quarter's Orphans

Postby Noven on April 25th, 2015, 9:25 pm

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He almost missed the next rung entirely and fell to his death at the sound of the Myrian's voice. Fortunately, his fingers found purchase at the last tick. Noven clung to the ladder with an iron vise, unconscious sellsword dangling over one shoulder and heart hammering wildly against his chest.

"Sodding hell," he swore, loosing a relieved sigh as he twisted around to stare into the darkness. If he squinted, he could just make out the familiar contours of Kaie's frame. "You scared the living shyke out of me, Myrian."

The cook steadied his grip on the ladder before continuing. "I didn't--it's not what it looks like. I've got an important job to do and she's...part of it. "

Petch, this was neither the time nor place to explain. Gritting his teeth, Nov climbed up another rung as he called down, "It's got to do with the kidnapped orphans. If you're interested, just keep watch and wait for me, and I'll come back to fill you in. If you're not still here when I return...well, no hard feelings. Cause it's going to involve a lot of kill or be killed tonight."

That was all he managed to say before he ran out of breath to spare for conversation. It was a good thing people rarely came around this abandoned laundry room; if they did, he would have just exposed their basic plan to anyone other than Kaie within earshot. But he knew he could trust the Myrian, and he was too short on time to worry about things like insurance. It wouldn't be long now before the other sellsword guards realized their companion was missing. They needed to get the body to Arlana, quick, so she could return and take Carlyn's place before suspicions rose too high.

By the time he got to the top of the ladder, Noven was starting to pant in earnest. But he merely shifted the weight of the body on his shoulder and pressed on. He uncovered a rotten looking board and dropped through the hole, feet first, and landed in a pile of old, forgotten clothes and dust. The cook sneezed a few times as he picked his way to the other side of the room, where another ladder stood. This one was even longer, but there was comfort in knowing his destination was just overhead.

He was just about to start climbing again when the sellsword stirred.

Nov tried to react first, but she was faster. Later on, when he would look back on how the events had played out, he'd wonder if she had been awake the entire stretch, biding her time until the moment to strike was right. But there was no way of knowing by then, and in the heat of battle he'd never thought to ask.

Carlyn managed to grab the Tamos around his belt and whack the backside of his head. Stars swam across the cook's eyes as he stumbled forward, grip loosening enough for the woman to topple free and scramble back onto her feet, sheathed Tamos held before her. There were a couple ticks of confusion as she inspected the weapon in her hand, unsure of what exactly it even was, before she tossed it to one side in favor of her own sword. The metal hissed as it was drawn out of its sheath, like an ill-boding herald to Noven's impending death.

By the time he turned around to face his opponent, she was ready to strike. The cook held up his hands, doing his best to ignore the sting of a sizable welt across the back of his head, and attempted to employ a tactic he rarely saw fit to use.

He tried to reason with her.

"Look," Nov persuaded, hands held up in front of him to show her he was unarmed, "I don't want you dead or anything. I just need your...help."

Carlyn snorted in a most unladylike fashion. "Right, sounds believable. Now if you'll excuse me I think I'll go put on a gown, marry some rich old twat, and spend my time playing make-believe as well." Her gaze grew suddenly lethal. "Or I could just kill you right here, right now, get paid at the end of the night and be done with it."

"If it's payment you want, I can double whatever they've promised you," Noven countered. He had no idea what he was doing, but he was not keen on fighting a swordswoman in close quarters, and he'd heard the lines enough times to be able to lay them out at will. Carlyn gave him another unimpressed glare. "Like I said, your death wasn't what I was after. I want those orphans freed. Nothing more, nothing less."

Well, that was only half true. He also had full intention of making those petching bastards pay for every ounce of pain and suffering they had caused those children. But he couldn't very well tell Carlyn that, in case she had some attachments to her cohorts after all.

"I don't deal with cowards who prey on women with their pants down while trying to take a piss," the mercenary spat.

Nov sighed. "For the last time, I wasn't trying to--"

That was as far as he got, because Carlyn was bearing down on him in the next two ticks, sword aimed straight for his heart. The cook had all of a breath's worth of warning to react before he leaped out of the way to land somewhere amongst a pile of dusty cloth. And then that shortsword was coming down on him again, this time for his wide-eyed face. Nov rolled as hard and fast as he could to the left and heard the thwack! of metal slamming into moldy fabric.

He took full advantage of the half tick Carlyn spent dislodging her sword to sweep his legs at her feet. She was a nimble one though, and hopped out of the way before making another swipe at her opponent. It caught Nov around along the edge of his thigh. The telltale sting that followed was all the cook needed to know he'd been cut, though fortunately not too deeply. They kept up this song and dance for some time, mostly with Carlyn slashing and Noven retreating, until he found his back pressed against a wall and realized there was no more room to escape.

"Pity," she leered, chest heaving just as much as his from their skirmish all over the cramped, abandoned quarters, "I would have liked to have a bit of fun with you, before I killed you. But it looks like I'll have to make do with that lush little foreigner waiting outside instead."

Nov burst out laughing in response. "You wouldn't get within ten feet of her, and that's a promise."

Carlyn made an impatient sound. Evidently, she was done humoring this lowly cretin of a Sunberthian rat. The sellsword planted a boot against her victim's shoulder to keep him there. Then she drew her sword back, readying it to spear the man straight through his heart.

But the boot had been a bad move. She'd have done better just lopping his head off the first chance she got. Instead, Nov had managed grab hold of her leg, hand moving to push the fabric of her trousers up and expose the pale flesh beneath. Carlyn looked down at him, sword readied, and took a moment to scoff in disbelief and amusement. To her, it just seemed like a desperate attempt to take her up on her earlier offer. Too late for that now.

Except this time, it was Nov's turn to leer. Right before he lunged forward, sank his teeth into her bare flesh, and flared his mark.

The swellsword howled in pain and viciously kicked at the cook to free herself. She managed to tear her leg out of his grip eventually, but it cost her all of her leverage. Because in less than a fourth of a chime, Nov was up again, looming over the woman's agonized expression, before he brought up his fist and went straight for her nose. It cracked on impact, blood spraying. Carlyn's head flew back and she stumbled, nearly dropping her sword. When she lowered her head again to watch the advance of the other man, a look of true fear shone through her hard bitten eyes.

"N-no, please," she begged. "I'll do anything you ask. Anything!"

For a moment, Noven hesitated. He hadn't wanted to kill her after all. But then he caught that subtle change in Carlyn's expression, a minute concentration of grit pulling at her features, before she made for one last swing.

He stopped her clumsy, pain-wracked attack mid air by the wrist, twisting it until she cried out and was sent falling down on her knees. She wasn't going to cooperate...this, he had realized well enough by now, and to leave her alone with Arlana and Isme would be the last stupid decision he made tonight. Carlyn was letting loose a whole flood obscenities and curses now, even as she wept and gasped in pain. Most like she knew as well as he what the final outcome would be.

Nov jerked his hand in a swift, hard motion, breaking her wrist. He flared his mark again for good measure, and for half a chime all he could hear were the soundless screams coming form Carlyn's overtaxed throat, the wheezes accompanied with uncontrollable tears. It seemed a universal reaction, the cook thought distantly to himself. That they always wept toward the end. Man or woman, guilty or innocent. The tears always came. He left her there for a bit to retrieve his Tamos, which had been kicked to a corner in their mad scuffle. When he came back, his face was as expressionless as stone.

Kneeling behind Caryln's hunched, shaking form, Noven placed a palm over her forehead and leaned her head back. He knew from experience alone that she was probably wishing for death right about now. The woman wouldn't even know what was being done until the very last tick.

"I didn't want to kill you," Nov said as a sort of pathetic, useless apology. And then he slit her throat with one of his Tamos. He made sure it was a swift, deep cut, so that she would bleed out as quickly as possible.

There was a gurgle, a look of stunned surprise. And then Carlyn fell forward noiselessly to the ground in a growing pool of her own blood. He watched it all unfold with pity and revulsion climbing up his throat, but what was done was done. The plan had to continue somehow and it wasn't going figure itself out while he knelt by the cooling body.

Forward. That was the only way out, the last sensible option left.

Wiping the blade clean, Nov returned his Tamos to their rightful place and made a quick trip up the ladder. He whispered the command and the trap door flew open. Isme's expectant, lovely face immediately greeted him, but one look at the blood speckled across his hands and she knew. She informed him that Arlana was not present, that she had no idea where the lass even was. In return, Nov told her there was a dead body down at the bottom of the ladder, and if Ade could somehow take care of it before it began to stink up the place, he would be compensated for his troubles.

There was a moment of silence as Isme looked upon him with sad, hardened eyes. Then she said, "I'll tell him. And you do whatever you can, whatever it takes, to save those children."

Noven nodded, accepting a soft kiss to the forehead as those dark, fragrant locks shielded him for a moment like a comforting curtain. Then Isme pulled back and he was descending once more, down into the awaiting darkness. He stripped the sellsword of her gear and clothes, bundled them all with an old bed sheet lying around the dusty floors, and threw them over his shoulder as he climbed up yet another set of ladders. Whatever valuables were left on Carlyn's body, he figured he'd leave for Ade as part of his payment.

By the time the cook came down the outermost ladder, his face was somber and his voice even more so. "Change of plans," he informed the Myrian once he reached the bottom and threw down his pilfered burdens. He never thought he'd admit this, but the foreign lass was a welcome sight. There'd been one too many setbacks tonight and he was glad to have an ally he could trust.

"The person who originally agreed to...pose as one of the sellswords guarding the children wasn't where she said she'd be. So, if you're up for a bit of skull bashing and bloodshed..." Nov knelt to untie the sheets and reveal to Kaie the contents within. There were clothes, a belt, a hooded cloak, as well as some simple, leather armor and Carlyn's shortsword. For the first time since his return, a ghost of a grin tugged at his lips."...you can start by putting these on."


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Don't Mess with Sunset Quarter's Orphans

Postby Kaie on May 8th, 2015, 3:55 am

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Not what it looks like, huh? the Myrian thought grimly, teeth flashing in the darkness. She dared venture closer. Head rose to get a better look at Noven's strange predicament. For the time being, her right hand abandoned her weapon's hilt so that her arms may cross. She shook her head with a mirthful arch of her brow.
"Never is what it looks like, is it?" she teased from below. Kaie's frame swayed for a tick, body half turned so she might glance about her rear for anyone lingering in the shadows. When her careful gaze found no immediate threat, she returned to stare up at the climbing chef.

What kind of trouble have you gotten yourself into this time, Nov?

The woman unceremonious strung up over the man's shoulders swayed like dead weight, yet by the way he hurried along the rungs, the Myrian could guess she was anything but. An ugly wench, and the scars marking her flesh in the Leth's dim light attested to her mettle. She'd forgotten about the business with the poor orphans. Word had it that some had been kidnapped, ripped from their beds. No doubt the little runts were terrified. Kaie might not have yet discovered an obvious maternal bone in her body. Still, ever since she and Matthew had told stories to the children in Syliras, and she taught the Sunberthian orphans a thing or two, she found she carried empathy for them. Imagining the look on their dirty, terrified faces was unsettling. If the man had a plan to put their suffering to an end, she was certainly interested.


"You're talking to a Myrian. And a friend. I'll be waiting. Call if you need an extra sword before then," she whispered just before the man disappeared. A few more paces, a pivot on her heels, and the savage had her back pressed against the very building Noven has ascended. Sharpen my eyes to your darkness, Akajia. It was calm from then on. Few strolled the streets, let alone dared enter the alleyway leading to their position. There was only the cold. Well, that calm was gone when there was some thumping from inside the building. Kaie turned, hand on her sword. Instincts willed her to enter, to clamber up the ladder, to ensure the safety of her friend and comrade.

Eyes hardened. She pressed her back to the cool wooden structure again. Back to vigilance. The cook was tough. Tougher than most. The woman he had been handling was burly, but she had faith in the scrappy brawler. Bursting in with a battle cry would've proved anything but. Besides, she'd told him to call for her if she was needed and the call had not come. The chimes were agonizing with suspense. There were muffled screams and thumps she felt against the frame of the building. The cook's voice brought a snap of the woman's head, and a fiercely proud smile with it. Yet the tone of his voice and the look on his face quickly drew her brow together. She stared dumbly at the mess of clothing upon the earth.


"They smell like shyke," she griped in a whispering hiss, sniffing at the clothing as she lifted them one by one. The boldly suicidal suggestion of rolling in wherever it was they were heading, sword-slinging and fist-throwing, was preferable to the idea of suffocating herself with the obviously dead woman's scent. One look at Noven's face, and Kaie reluctantly nodded. Shamelessly as only a Myrian would, she began to disrobe in the shadows. One by one they fell, cloak, leather vest. Only the bikini-styled loincloth remained for the sake of her sanity. In a chime she'd thrown on Carlyn's clothes, leather armor, shortsword, and all.

Kaie tossed the hood up and spread her arms wide, gave a comical twirl in her new attire. It was all she could do to feign indifference to the subtle smell of sweat and gods-knew-what-else lingered on the fabric.
"Well, what do you think? Not as beefy as your girlfriend was, but I have a feeling it won't matter what I look like for long." She gave a laugh and carefully wrapped her own clothes up around one another. The gladius was respectfully laid atop. "Alright. Let's go save those orphans and pay the bastards back in blood. Here, hide my stuff somewhere safe if you know a spot." The Myrian offered up her clothing and most valuable item, her father's sword, toward her friend. Then she clapped her hands together and set her jaw. Another excited flash of teeth.

"So...what is it exactly you want me to do?"
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Don't Mess with Sunset Quarter's Orphans

Postby Noven on May 20th, 2015, 4:33 am

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There was a moment of amusement as Kaie complained of the stolen clothing's stench, but it passed quickly enough when she began stripping off her own gear, piece by piece. And with impressive speed, no less. Nov turned himself around after a single, stunned tick and preoccupied himself with watching the front end of the alley while the young woman dressed.

Once she was done, the cook gave a cautious glance back before grinning at Kaie's ludicrous twirl. The Myrian was right; she wasn't as built as Carlyn had been--he let the girlfriend bit slide--and was perhaps a fingerwidth or two shorter. But she was fierce enough to pull off the sellsword's haughty gait, at least for a while, and could handle herself much better in the midst of combat than her original predecessor. Granted, Arlana would have been able to lower their guards more effectively with her morphing abilities. But her skills were no longer at their disposal. A slim advantage of the element of surprise would have to do.

Nov stared into the dimly lit alleyway for a few, silent breaths before answering his partner's question. "Distract them. Lower their guard, even for just a tick, and kill the first one you get close enough to. If you can wipe out one, I can handle the other."

He paused, considering. It was simple enough of a plan to start with, but there were so many other factors he had no control over beyond that first, crucial step. For one, he had no idea where the three fake-prostitutes would be. For another, he'd been informed ahead of time of a bowman up in the crow's nest of the ship. There was supposedly one other man and a handful of his helpers ready to assist once the action broke out, but what they looked like and how they planned to join the fray was not something the cook had been privy to.

"There are supposed to be others who mean to help us," he continued, uncertainty coloring his words. "But there's no way of telling them we've had a change of plans now, and I've got no petching idea what half of them even look like."

Nov sighed, rubbing at the back of his head. "All I know is that one of the two sods guarding the docks is named Floyd, the other's got a black beard, the archer up in the crow's nest is a redhead, and their boss is a big, bald fellow watching the runts." He thought for a moment. "Oh, and there should be one last piece of scum crawling about. Goes by the name of...Erik...Derik...some shyke like that. He's the one funding this whole wretched business."

A dark look fell upon the cook's features. "We're saving that petcher for last."

With the plan--or what little remained of it--more or less laid out for the Myrian, Nov accepted her belongings and thought of where he might stow them. It would take too long to make his way all the way back to Isme's room and he had no desire to encounter Caryln's lifeless corpse a second time. Top of the first ladder it was, then.

A quick signal for what he was about to do later, Noven climbed up the ladder one more time and stowed Kaie's possessions beneath an empty crate. It was more ledge than rooftop, as it only reached the second floor of Happy Endings, but it would do. No one except Ade and himself came up here, and the kid knew a pile of belongings he could get murdered for touching when he saw one. It was starting to get somewhat taxing, climbing ladders with only one hand and a bundle of clothes and weapons in the other. But Nov managed, one rung at a time, before he hid the Myrian's belongings properly and made it back down. The return trip was much easier and he skipped the last few rungs with a short drop to the ground.

"Alright," he announced with a nod, wiping his hands along the sides of his trousers. "Your things are safe. Now we just need go murder a few sellswords, free a bunch of orphans, and somehow make it out of there in one piece so we can torture the sick fuck who started this mess in the first place."

It didn't take long for him to lead them back to where he'd first found Carlyn. Quite a bit of time had passed, so he wasn't sure if the other two guards would be swearing up and down the docks looking for her right about now. All the same, he made sure to stick to the shadows and lesser known alleyways, using every bit of obscurity available to their advantage. The cook kept his bootsteps quiet and his communication quieter, speaking to Kaie only when it was absolutely necessary.

By the time they reached the pile of crates and barrels Caryln had first tried to take a leak behind, Nov's ears were strained for any sign of alarm. He crept from crate to crate with Myrian in tow, trying to get some glimpse or clue as to where the other two compatriots of their fake-sellsword might be.

"Oy!" a crass voice suddenly called out, causing Noven to flinch violently. He kept himself still, however, and motioned for Kaie to do the same. "You about ready to get back to work yet, you lazy bitch?"

"Floyd," a second voice drawled. "We don't want a repeat of the last time you called her that, now do we?"

There was huff, then silence. Clearly, they were expecting Carlyn to say something back, most likely with her usual sense of flippant disregard. The cook glanced nervously back at Kaie.

This was her moment to shine, for good or for worse.

"Just say something insulting," he whispered hurriedly. "Anything. The filthier the better."


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Don't Mess with Sunset Quarter's Orphans

Postby Kaie on May 21st, 2015, 5:34 am

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The Myrian's toothy grin widened in the shadows of the night and those provided by the looted hood. It was almost sickening how much it all was a game to her. A bloody, dangerous, amusing game. "Walk like the bitch. Talk like the bitch. Kill like an honest Myrian when the time's right," Kaie mused to herself, slipping the dead mercenary's sword from its grubby sheath. She held it out before herself, eyeing the blade, twisting it this way and that in her hand. Looks to be the same length as my gladius. Weighted about the same, too. Only different is her sword has a crossguard. Meanwhile, the woman listened closely to the cook's instruction. She didn't have a clue what she was walking into to begin with. Deviating from his information or worse, not paying attention to it, could cost her more than personal satisfaction in the freedom of anonymous orphans.

"I'll let you decide just how Dira takes whatever the petcher's name is then. Either way we better get rid of the dock guards first anyways. Looks like we've got one down already." The foreigner's grin turned sinister and she gave a tug at the clothes she donned. The short sword was sheathed again with a metallic hiss. Once her valuables were taken care of, the game was truly on. Noven's comment created a spark in her fiery eyes."Another night in the good ol' Berth. Looks like we think alike more than I thought, Cook. You sure you're not part Myrian?" Another flash of teeth at her absurd jibe before the pair were on their way. All the clothes piled on her body made the Myrian feel uncomfortably weighty. However, her true focus was on the methods of her strategy.

Alright. Two guards left on the docks. One craven with a crossbow hiding up in the nest. Gods, how I petching hate crossbows. A bronze hand shot up to adjust the hood hiding her facial features. The last thing she wanted was to be identified as anyone other than the figure she was impersonating. The disguise she wore was too damn good for a folly like that. The bitch is going to be aiming a bolt at my head the moment I ghost one of the bastards. Even if we end up killing the two, we've still got bolts flying down at us. For the time being, Kaie focused on keeping her boots soft. Heels came down first before she rolled to the balls of her feet to take the next steps. The closer they came to the docks, the lower the Myrian crouched in her night stalk. Following Noven's lead, she followed crate to crate. She swore when the voice of a boorish fellow rang through the evening air the cook was about to keel over. Perhaps she might've snicked if the moment hadn't been so tense...and if she hadn't jerked a bit in surprise herself.

Amber eyes went wide and the hooded Myrian turned toward Noven. Silence wasn't hard considering she was completely dumbfounded over what to do next. Meanwhile the voice and its new companion continued its mockery with enough insolence to make the savage's fingers itch to make a fist. The emptiness in the air, the one that signaled an expected response from Carlyn herself, made the woman's hands sweat. Here goes petchin' nothin'. Her brow tugged down into a scowl.
"Petch these bastards. Use my fight with them as bait to get the petcher in the nest. If you can," was all the woman had time to rush out in a whisper before the doppelganger from her crouch. The figure in Carlyn's get-up began to swagger back toward the docks.

"Aye. Better listen to your bum chum unless you want my fist to petching remind you," came the sharp growl from the Myrian, a cocky ring dangling off her words in her attempt to fit the part of the woman who must've worn the shyke-smelling outfit. Now she made no more attempt at masking her advance. Boots range big and bold against the wooden docks. Floyd let out a growl while the other voice chuckled. "Oy, why don't you go back to squattin' over your log cabin again? We were just enjoying a moment without the smell of your petching cunt." Considering the piss-poor aroma coming off Carlyn's clothes, she could hardly put up a good argument on the dead woman's behalf. Say something! "I'll believe that when you take your head out of his ass, whichever head it is you've got shoved up there just now." She gestures toward the dock guard who's name she hadn't the displeasure of knowing with her left hand. The right settled casually over the short sword's hilt.

"Oh, piss off, you wicked whore."
"Petch's wrong with your voice anyway?"
Kaie wanted to beat herself over the head just then. My accent. I forgot about that. It was only a matter of time before it all broke down. Noven's advice on the nature of her replies had gotten her through thus far. It was never going to be enough. The clothes were enough to throw off initial suspicions but her build was all wrong. Her accent was worse. Soon enough she'd be close enough where they could see her face. Time to drop the curtain. Quickly. The Myrian settled with a pathetic cough to buy time and perhaps provide a weak explanation. Floyd chuckled and shot an elbow at his companion. "I'll bet our girl Carlyn here wasn't building shit back there. Maybe she had a little too much of this, he mocked, wrapping his hand over an imaginary cock with a lewd gesture to his opened mouth.
"Your form's too good for a straight guy. Maybe you two were dirting up the deck while I was gone."

While Floyd was busy getting an angry red in his face, the second man's suspicion was all in his expression. Floyd crossed his arms over his chest while his companion suddenly began to stalk forward with a determined expression. Myrian and mercenary finally met face to face. He reached forward, ripping the hood over her head to confirm his hunch, and the savage was revealed. Too bad he hadn't much time to realize just how much cleverer he was than Floyd, because at the same time he made his discovery, the short sword was yanked from its sheath and shoved through his abdomen. The metal blade reappeared through the man's other side and out his back. A surprised hiss escaped the man's lips. There was a holler from above. The short sword was retrieved at the same time the dying man reached for his own weapon. That's when the exposed Myrian gripped the man's scalp, gnosis burning, and guided the bloodied sword up through his throat. Floyd gave a shout. Amber eyes peered up to find a red head glaring down with his mouth dropped open in alarm. It was on.

The surviving deck guard gave a yell and his boots charged along the wood in hollow pounds. The crossbow above appeared and Kaie found herself staring upward toward a prepped bolt. Move dammit! The short sword was tugged from the man's throat and she found herself gripping the man by the shirt, then pulling him toward her as she ducked down beneath the body. Blood spilled across Carlyn's clothes and a bolt thunked into the corpse's back. By then Floyd was practically upon her. With a shriek she rose with a firm grasp still on the body, which she then flung into the stampeding mercenary before he could crash into her. Floyd was sent hurtling with a groan as both man and corpse hit the docks. Time began to tick. Kaie moved to action. She sprinted by the man while he was down, either leaving him for Noven to finish or creating chase for the distraction to ensue, all depending on what the cook ended up fancying. Another bolt whizzed past her before she boarded the ship.

"We've got a live one! To arms, everyone! To arms!" the red head hawked from above, loading another bolt before firing that one at the savage, too. It wedged into the wooden floor behind her as she sprinted beneath him, out of his range until she appeared out the other side. She could hear movement beneath. If only she knew whose.

Well. Here comes the cavalry."
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Don't Mess with Sunset Quarter's Orphans

Postby Noven on May 23rd, 2015, 6:06 am

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He would've argued against her counterplan, but there was no time. The Myrian was already moving away from the crates and loosing an impressive amount of backtalk. It almost gave Noven hope, the way she was sauntering up to their unsuspecting victims, assaulting them with verbal abuse so convincingly she nearly had the cook fooled as well.

But their good fortune was shortlived. Because one moment he was watching Kaie lull the two guards into a familiar song and dance of derision, and then the next her hood was being pulled back, exposing her true identity to all those within the vicinity.

She took down the first man easily enough, shortsword skewering him through the chest and throat. But Floyd was barreling down on her from across the docks and a crossbow was being aimed right for her head from up in the crow's nest. Nov swore once before he leaped from his cover and ran straight for the surviving guard. There was no time to deal with the ranger up top. A crossbow took a long time to reload, and the cook was going to use every one of those ticks to gut this pig where it stood.

Floyd was just about to give chase after the Myrian when he was tackled right into the wooden planks. An elbow slammed into the guard's wrist, eliciting a sharp cry of pain as he was forced to release his weapon. His attacker gripped the handle of the sword and flung it as far as he could. Right before he got bucked off by the struggling guard.

Another bolt planted itself in the wake of Kaie's fleeing footsteps. Noven growled as he scrambled back to his feet, knowing it was only a matter of chimes before the bowman finally landed a shot. But he needed to eliminate Floyd first. Which was going to be easier said than done, even with the burly sellsword unarmed, and time was not on their side. The one advantage Nov did have was that he'd managed to injure Floyd's right wrist. Which meant if all else failed, he could at least Vex the petcher into submission.

Floyd gave a snarl of defiance at his new opponent before lunging for the first attack. The cook dodged it easily enough, but defense would only get him so far. He needed speed over finesse; whatever would remove the guard as an obstacle the quickest. Another wild swing came hurtling his way and Noven ducked, returning the favor with a punch of his own. He aimed a solid uppercut right under Floyd's jaw. The grizzly man took it with a grunt, but hardly seemed fazed. Just extra, extra pissed. With a roar, Floyd made to grab his opponent, missing him by a hair. Nov felt the wind from his beefy arms brush right over his head.

"You filthy little petcher!" the guard bellowed. "Stand still so I can crush you like the maggot you are."

Nov gave a bark of laughter. "I am, you fat fuck. Maybe you're just too slow, ever consider that? Better give up now before your heart does it for you." His expression grew dark and his words darker. "Or I could beat you to a pulp so so bloody your own mother wouldn't recognize you."

Floyd took the bait. He let his anger seep through, making his next attack more reckless than ever. It was a wild miss of a lunge. The big man stumbled as Noven stepped out of his way, though only for a tick.

But a tick was all the cook needed.

"I was bluffing," Nov hissed as he grabbed Floyd by the hair and yanked his head back. "I don't have time to beat you to a pulp." He raised the gleaming edge of one of his Tamos, which he had unsheathed stealthily behind his back while he and the sellsword had been exchanging insults.

Floyd looked up at the ranger in the crow's nest with wide, desperate eyes. "Arno, d-do someth--"

The rest was just a bloody gurgle as Noven slit the man's throat from one end to the next. He disliked having to kill his opponents this way, but he'd wasted enough time as it was. He still needed to regroup with Kaie and find the runts before alarms reached belowdecks. That, and there was the ever-looming threat of a bolt between the eyes. In fact, he was surprised he hadn't already been shot at least a handful of times, considering...

Nov looked up and understood. The red-headed crossbowman was half-hanging over the edge of his post, blood dripping from his lifeless fingertips. Someone had already gotten to him. Only question now was, who?

"You can thank me later, boy," a gravelly voice floated forth from the darkness. The cook had his Tamo raised in an instant, but lowered it slowly as he saw a ragtag looking trio emerge from the shadows. There was a fellow holding the sword Nov had tossed at the beginning of the fight, a woman in leathers armed with daggers, and some old geezer with one eye in the lead. "We'll explain once this is over. My group will cover yours while you get to the children. How many of yours are still alive?"

Nov gave the group a bewildered once over. "Just one."

"Just one?" Old One Eye echoed, brow furrowed. "The fight just started, didn't it? How'd you lose the rest so quickly?"

"I didn't."

There was a confused, tension filled pause. "Well, I don't suppose there's any point in fretting over the numbers. We've got what we got and we'll make the most of it." The old man nudged his chin forward. "You go on, then. We'll keep close behind, watch your back and flank."

Reason suggested Nov ought to be more skeptical, but he hadn't the luxury. He simply nodded once before dashing off after Kaie. Unsure of where the Myrian had gone, the cook could only assume she would be headed toward where ever she thought the children would most likely be. There was one cabin door open in front of him and a set of stairs leading down into swaying, yellowed lantern light. Commotion could be heard below as well, but there was no way of telling what was going on from up here.

Without another tick of hesitance, Nov dove forth and descended into the dimly lit unknown.


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Don't Mess with Sunset Quarter's Orphans

Postby Kaie on May 30th, 2015, 12:06 am

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Of only one thing Kaie was certain: time was not on their side. The pair of mercenaries were out numbered. Sure, they'd managed to board the ship with Dira in their wake but there was probably far more strength below deck. After all, were the children not the most precious goods being protected by whoever it was who stole them? The sooner the cook and the Myrian could get in, the harder they could strike, and the sooner they could escape with the children in tow. Such details were the very ones being accounted for in the woman's head as she dashed along. The sound of heavy foot steps belonging to the other guard were no longer pursuing her, but why?

Noven.

Just as she passed one of the masts heading toward the helm, the woman turned to take cover behind the passive wooden pole instead. Another bolt thudded into her hiding place before she dared peep out. As she suspected, Noven was in the thick of it with the final deck guard. Vaguely, she could hear the murderous banter between the two. Next, her eyes flashed up to find the crossbowman. That's when she saw the man slump over, the unloaded crossbow slipped from his hands and dropped dead to snap from the fall to the deck. The only thing more red than the slain man's hair was the blood that poured from his corpse. Alarmed, Kaie's eyes jumped down to find his killer. Three strange figures boarded behind the cook. For a tick she had a mind to sprint back toward Noven to confront the new threat, but by the time her ally had killed off his assailant, their stances became far less threatening when they seemed to address him. They were closer to Noven than she was. They out numbered him, too. If they were going to kill him, they surely would've done it already.

We're fighting the same enemy.

Bladed boots turned on their heels and made a stealthier approach forward. Ahead she spotted a cabin door, one much like the sort on the ship she'd taken to Sunberth. The Myrian paused to give a listen to what was on the other side before she opened it. Leaving it ajar for Nov, she ventured below into the darkness as quietly as she could muster. Lanterns illuminated her path, muffled voices of distress could be heard, and the bloodied short sword that once belonged to Caryln gleam a murderous glow. Thinking the better of a brash entrance into the unknown, Kaie resigned to pause before entering into the wider expanse of the lower deck. Only when Nov rejoined with her would she continue to ensure the safety of the orphans and the loose integrity of their mission.
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Don't Mess with Sunset Quarter's Orphans

Postby Noven on June 4th, 2015, 12:45 am

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It was so dimly lit near the end of the stairs that Nov almost missed the final step and tumbled face first into the adjacent wall. Fortunately, he threw his arms in front of him at the last tick, cushioning the impact with his hands and thereby sparing himself from a painful meeting between nose and wood. Only to turn to his left and nearly jump out of his skin at the sight of the Myrian.

"Krysus..." he breathed, forcing himself to calm. It was still possible the guards below deck didn't know they were coming yet. Or, at the very least, when they would be coming, so any amount of leverage he and Kaie still had in terms of surprise was worth maintaining.

"The others are here to help," the cook explained straightaway. He kept his voice low and looked around for clues as to where they might head next. His partner seemed unscathed, though it was hard to tell. Above them back up the stairs, the lanterns still emitted a tawny glow, but it seemed the deeper they descended the more poorly lit their surroundings became.

Noven was just about to ask if Kaie had any idea which direction they ought to head when a chorus of cries could be heard, followed by a rough bellow for the prisoners to shut their traps. It came from their right, behind a sturdy looking wooden door. There was a lock on the latch, but evidently someone had left in a rush only moments before, because the door was left just slightly ajar. He gave Kaie a surprised glance before he began edging towards the entrance, Tamo drawn in one hand as the other slowly, carefully, pulled open the door.

"I SAID SHUT IT!"

The command was so deafening Nov nearly backed away from the door, thinking for one absurd instant it had been aimed at him. But a clanging of a club against iron bars remedied him quickly enough of the misconception.

With as much stealth as he could muster, Noven resumed pulling back the door inch by painstaking inch, until he could at last see what was beyond the other side. The guard who had been yelling was a burly fellow. Bald, mean looking, and sporting several tattoos and scars. He must've been extra cocky as well, judging from how he wore nothing over his torso save a light set of leather straps. Within the straps he carried two daggers, but other than those and the club the guard didn't seem overly armed.

The cook looked around for more guards and was surprised to find there were none. Just one, menacing grump with his club and and angry scowls. Nov supposed that made sense enough. They were merely children, after all, and this lone guard could squash them one by one like bugs. Not to mention the mercs up top had probably assumed they were unwanted children as well. Who'd think people would risk a rescue mission for a handful of ragged orphans anyhow?

One of the runts, a dark haired and dark skinned one named Mira, happened to catch sight of Noven peeping through the crack. Her eyes widened for a moment before she ducked her head and crept closer to the iron door of their cage, taking advantage of the fact that their guard had turned his back for a quick leak.

Nov turned to Kaie and whispered, "We kill him first, free the runts after." A brief pause. "I'll charge him, see if I can distract him, and you get him...however you can."

It wasn't a very good plan, but they'd made it this far winging it. Perhaps luck would remain on their side for a little bit longer.

Without further hesitation, Nov slipped through the door, Tamo in hand, and crept up to the guard, who had just finished re-tying his trousers. The man was too tall and too wide for Nov to simply stab in the neck. He'd have to leap onto the guard's back, but preferred to use that as a last resort. For now, he could still rely on the ever reliable tactics of baldfaced taunting and stabbing people in the leg.

"Oy," Nov called out once he was close enough to smell the stench of the man's piss. The guard whirled around in shock and promptly howled as he received a dagger to the thigh.

"You fucking little shyke!" he bellowed, giving a wild swing of his club before stumbling after the grinning cook in limped pursuit. "I'll smash you where stand!"

Dodging to one side, Nov egged the guard on with rude gestures and more brassy taunting. "What's the matter? Tired already? I would be too if I had a mug so ugly my own mother wouldn't love it."

He led the infuriated and wounded--but still unmistakable dangerous--guard on a bit of a merry chase, much to the horror of the captive children, trying to get the lumbering man to turn his back to the Myrian.


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Don't Mess with Sunset Quarter's Orphans

Postby Kaie on June 24th, 2015, 8:01 pm

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Kaie couldn't help but quietly snicker at Noven's surprised cry. Perhaps it was nervous laughter just as much as it was amusement. After all, the two had just been engaged in deadly battle regardless of their new allies' appearance. Hearts still thumped and brains still worked over-time to work out strategies that ensured survival. At least it was she who had been hiding like a crouching tiger in the dark rather than an enemy. Amber eyes peered around the corner. The dimly lit corridor yielded no immediate solution. It's not like they could've very well expected someone to carve out some sort of giant, light-up sign that said "stolen orphans this way". You've been on a boat before. Anything familiar? Where would you keep little prisoners? Her head swiveled left and then right in uncertainty. Thankfully, it was the cook who quickly made a move and led the way.

The jail guard inside sounded like a real bastard to be sure. There was a scratchiness to his gruff voice, deep and angry like the territorial bark of a large dog. The wrap of what sounded like a club against metal bars only attested to a likewise savagery. Crouched at-the-ready behind Noven, the Myrian fought the urge to peer into the room to spy the man for herself. Once or twice she glimpsed the gleam of dim light rebounding off the back of a smooth head, and the dark contrast of ink upon skin. The most gripping noise she heard that drove her from then on was the surprised, fearing whimper of a scared child.


"Don't petching worry," the Myrian responded to Noven's careful planning with a momentary, firm grasp from behind upon his right shoulder. "I'll get him." And with her dark promise the hand was gone. It turned to a fist and lifted along with the short sword in a readied guard. A conscious effort was made to steady her breathing and fortify her focus. Like a bull at the gate, the Myrian's body was practically touching the door. Her eye was glued to the opened Noven had slipped through, and all her nerves threatened to jolt when the cook chose to strike. Sure enough the howl came and the fight ensued. The tick she spotted the back of a shiny, bald head, jungle-born was set free.

Her shoulder barreled through the door as her body rocked to the balls of her feet. Cook and merc remained locked in a dangerous dance. Children squealed, some out of terror and others out of concern for their beloved rescuer. Kaie couldn't help but admire Noven's gift for taunting and manipulation during combat, which had a clear history of working out in his favor. Where the cook lacked in overwhelming brawn, he made up for it with street smarts. It was all a short, fleeting thought, for the in the next tick, the Myrian with letting free a wild growl as bladed boots thundered across the floor. Noven must've seen the alarm clear on the man's face the tick he realized exactly what kind of troubling predicament he was in. It didn't last long. Shocked, the bald bastard found himself sandwiched between a tigress and a sharp place right when he turned to spy the launched foreigner. The club lifted, but not in time to save him from the short sword that jerked at an odd angle through his diaphragm and up. Blood gurgled up his throat and out his mouth. Wide eyes stared emptily in helplessness. Kaie planted her foot against his chest and heaved, kicking the man back and likewise tugging her sword free. She did well to back away from the dying man. Attention was turned to the jailed orphans.

The gaze of one in particular was more haunting than the rest. A girl with dark hair and skin with eyes to match stared with both relief and fear. Kaie looked down toward her bloody sword, then toward the crowded iron cage. I know that one. Wasn't she one of the little runts I taught at the orphanage? A question for another time. The woman turned back to the cooling corpse and her companion.
"Guess we outta check his pockets, see if he's got a set of keys for this thing?" She gestured toward the iron doors and the wide-eyed children behind it. Some even began to beam and gush over Noven's appearance and apparent victory that would earn them freedom. If only she could've shared their optimism. Something still just didn't feel...right. For all the blood they'd split all over the ship, everything felt far too easy. That feeling along made the woman more nervous than any sword-wielding mercenary they'd faced all night.
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