Open Stiff Upper Lip, Amongst Other Things

Ealisaid finds a frozen corpse after the blizzard

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

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Stiff Upper Lip, Amongst Other Things

Postby Shakune on January 13th, 2015, 5:49 pm

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It was not just the weather that seemed frosty as Shakune followed the slave woman to her place of employment and residence. Her black eyes flickered to the hulking blue male beside her, as if the half-breed was anticipating him to argue his views. Perhaps she hoped that he did; a good debate did wonders for the mind, she believed.

There was something else though, other than a meeting of conflicting minds that she desired. As women, Shakune supposed that she and Ealisaid would be easier targets for slavers over men, and especially Akalaks. Lo'Campo's position was one out of privilege for his race and build, and his sex. This was not something Shakune would hold against an individual - regardless of his views, and yet she felt it important to portray herself as a realistic woman and not a victim. She would not roll over and allow herself to be enslaved, but nor would she imagine that such a situation was easy to escape.

What a little revolutionary I am! she pondered, bemused at the very thought.

When the party slowed and eventually came to their location, the half-breed was surprised. "A tavern." She commented pointlessly, eyebrows rising slightly. It was not what she had expected: though for reasons the courier could not quite explain. Inspecting the establishment, she guessed that it must be about the only tavern in the city that she had not spent the evening drinking at. It was small, maybe a little shabbier than the others in Sunberth, but a tavern nonetheless.

She liked taverns. She liked alcohol.

"You are more than welcome." She eventually replied, slightly distracted by the warmth and beer that existed beyond those walls, though Shakune managed to give a smile to the other woman before speaking again. "I don't want to cause you any trouble - and I don't mind entering with your or separately - but is there any chance I could come in for a drink?" She swept her free hand to the icy city around them, and Squidgle looked pathetically shivery and cold in her other arm, "I could do with the warmth. Perhaps I could tell your employer that you tempted me to come in? He might actually appreciate you for once?"

She smiled lamely, as if trying to seal a dodgy business deal in a back alleyway. "You'll be surprised how much I can spend at a bar." The promise was perhaps too enthusiastic. Shakune did not want to come across as an alcoholic.
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Stiff Upper Lip, Amongst Other Things

Postby Ealisaid on January 17th, 2015, 3:58 pm

The Akalak returned the cask with little ceremony, setting it down near the back door, and making his goodbye before turning to take himself away and back to his own pursuits of that frost filled morning. The Chaktawe lingered a moment longer, though, and Ealisaid nodded her head quickly, at the request to come inside. The cold had made her own digits numb, and she could easily believe the same for the more southron woman. She gestured, opening the door. “Surely, come inside. My master doesn’t pile on the fuel to the fire over much, but it will be warmer by many degrees, that’s a certainty.”

She smiled at the suggestion of mild deceit proposed by Shakune and nodded again, as she followed the honey hued woman inside. “That’s a good idea. Perhaps he will in fact overlook me being a few bells late in getting back.”

The tavern was s simple place, indeed, with a few tables and chairs, all very beaten and battered, and a short, scarred bar in between what served as the common room and that which served as the kitchen. It was early yet and only two other patrons sat at a far table, slouched over wooden cups and mumbling together in low tones. Ealisaid had managed to heft the cask as far as where it needed to be, on the closer end of the hearth area, and setting it down carefully, and with a wince, she turned and immediately drew a similar wooden cup from a slatted crate and set it on the short plain and grimy counter. She did her best to keep things clean, but her master wasn’t overly interested in that use of her energies, so it was rather hit or miss. The cup she had chosen was clean, however – at least Shakune did not have to worry about that. Ealisaid looked apologetic, saying, “We only serve ale,” as she reched for a pitcher, and proceeded to pour the other woman a cup full. Her glance went to the cask and she said, “That is for a special private celebration.”

With the upcoming ‘festivities’ in mind, she wondered where her master had gotten himself to. But she did not worry, and was only thankful he appeared to be absent for the moment. The chance of retribution for her tardiness thus lessened, and she relaxed a bit. Still guarding her injured wrist, she stood for a moment, regarding the other woman, and then smiling at the antics of the little dog.

“I’ll put some more wood on the fire,” she said in a conspiratorial tone, grinning a bit. “The old bugger counts every stick, I swear. But perhaps in view of it being his birthday, he’ll not rant about it for an hour.”
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Stiff Upper Lip, Amongst Other Things

Postby Shakune on January 19th, 2015, 6:18 pm

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Shakune seemed relieved that the idea of her facilitating the tavern had not been rejected. With a relieved sigh, and the flickering of a smile on her lips, she followed the other woman inside.

The tavern was indeed one that she had visited before, or if she had done it was not within the limits of her memory. Still, the warmth of the place was hugely appreciated by Shakune, as was the seat she selected. Her joints and muscles ached as she sat down, and she considered whether actual clumps of ice had formed in her blood. Squidgle, having also been excited by the warmth, squirmed out his mistress' arms and flopped tiredly in front of the fire. After mere ticks of apparent rest, he rolled over energetically and regarded her with similarly dark, shining eyes.

"Ale is fine. More than fine!" Shakune encouraged happily, hands clasping the tankard as she took a deep mouthful. She was not a woman who appreciated fine wines, but instead the deep yeastiness of ale and the like. Simple pleasures.

As she slouched in the seat, the half-breed regarding the inn, the two strangers in the far corner, and then finally her company. Her dark eyes watched the woman quizzically, as they so often did when confronted with a new face. "If you don't mind me askin'" she started, swirling the ale in her tankard absent mindedly, "-did you come from Sunberth?"

She knew of more slaves that had arrived in the city rather than come from it. Some arrived as free men and woman, but others appeared already enslaved, and ready to be sold to the highest bidder. It was not something Shakune considered frequently; the topic depressed her, but she also knew that her kind - or rather, her mother's kind - were regarded as highly sought after slaves, particularly in Ravok. Their black eyes and strange Chaktawen abilities made them the source of fascination and high costs. Regardless of Shakune's relationship with her mother, she wouldn't like to think of her as a slave. "And--" this question was perhaps more challenging to ask, let alone answer, "do you think it's ever possible for a slave to be... content in their position?" Another pause. She did not want to insult the woman, who had so kindly let her into the inn and shown Shakune nothing but friendship. But the half-breed was well aware of her own ability to constantly say the wrong thing. "The only reason I ask, is that it has long been an ambition to open my own business - a courier service. And, if I did, for the first few seasons, it would be difficult to afford employees...."

Her voice trailed off. For however rough-and ready Shakune was, she still had morals, and ones that she despised going against. The idea of having a slave made her incredibly uneasy, but if she was to ever open her own business, it might be a necessary evil. "And if I ever did have-- a slave, I would want him or her to be happy. I wouldn't regard them as property, more as a business partner. And as soon as I could afford to pay them, I would do. To... give them back whatever they'd lost."

Her sentence ended with another frustrated gulp of ale. She had almost accepted the idea of having a slave, if and when she needed to, but that bloody great Akalak had made her question herself.
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Stiff Upper Lip, Amongst Other Things

Postby Ealisaid on January 20th, 2015, 8:06 pm

Putting action to word, Ealisaid busied herself for a moment, selecting a not overly large piece of wood from the stack by the fireplace, and adding it carefully and skillfully to the flames. It was dry and would burn quickly, so perhaps her master might not even notice its use, though he normally had an eagle eye for such things. When she turned back to the Chaktawe, the woman and her dog both seemed to be getting comfortable, in what warmth the fire would allow. Shakune posed her question, and Ealisaid nodded, not knowing in which direction the inquiry would take them and reading nothing into it. “Yes, I was born here. My mother as well. I never knew my father, so as to his place of birth, I can not say.” Nor to his name nor his profession nor his looks, as not even her mother knew which of her customers had sired the babe on her rented body. It had never bothered Ealisaid too much, though. There were many such as her in this city – paternity unknown – and more being conceived even as they spoke here, no doubt. That was life, in the grinding wheel of poverty.

She moved back to the bar counter, and would have asked the exotic looking woman something of her own origins – though probably more so about the geography of wherever it was she hailed from than the specifics about her ancestry. But her question, half-formed as it was, was curtailed by another from Shakune, and this one was far more difficult to answer than the first had been. In fact, Ealisaid regarded the other woman with a small frown, as she tried to guess why the question had even been put to her in the first place. Her mind leapt, of course, to the brief exchange in the alley, initiated by the Akalak, and his own view towards slavery, and those who endured it. Perhaps her expression showed her perplexity, for Shakune went on, offering up that which Ealisaid sought, although an incomplete explanation, at first. The Chaktawe’s voice died before she had finished her thought, and Ealisaid was left to bridge the gap. That was fairly easy to do, this time.

“Oh,” she said, her voice a bit chillier, as she crossed her arms over her chest – forgetting about her wrist for a split second until the pain of the movement reminded her, and made her grimace. “And you want to buy a slave? I see…”

It wasn’t logical for her sensibilities to feel chafed by this possibility, but they did nonetheless. For a moment, her eyes were hard, as she stared at Shakune. Had she been such a fool as to think this other woman wanted to be on friendly terms with her? Most of the residents of Sunberth were entirely numb to the suffering that went on around them, day in and day out – be they the pains and torments of one bound in slavery, or those of the almost as bereft free people who lived in fear and squalor and misery. The Chaktawe’s kindness in offering to help, when she’d fallen, had no doubt been dismissed once she found out that Ealisaid was a slave. A slave had no feelings, right? They felt no pain, and were not exactly on the same level as other beings. Ealisaid’s lower lip jutted out a bit and her back stiffened, as Shakune began to speak again, but this time, her words had the young slave’s eyes widening in mild surprise.

There was an awkward moment of silence, while Shakune took a swig of the sub-par ale, and Ealisaid’s muscles relaxed. Her expression shifted, a sad look coming into her dark green eyes. When she finally spoke, the hard edge was gone from her voice, to be replaced by one of melancholy.

“That – that would be better, I suppose. To be treated with kindness, and…as an equal? But, really… we are not equals, are we? When choice and freedom are gone. I – excuse me, but – I doubt you would allow the one you paid good money for to just up and leave you? Slavery is still slavery.” She regarded the other woman pensively, biting down on her lip a bit, not wishing to insult her, or her good intentions. Perhaps she should just leave it and say the right thing and make the Chaktawe feel like a good person. She seemed to be that. Yet she had asked. She was wanting an answer, therefore. An honest answer? Perhaps….

“You – you ask if it is possible – if a slave might ever feel content, to be a slave. My answer is that – it would depend greatly on the slave, I think. I know some I met, before I was sold off,” – gods how those words caught in her throat, even now – “some whose lives were so unendurable, whose masters had been so cruel, that I suspect the life you described would seem like the greatest of treasures to them. And those who are born into slavery? How would they know any better? To desire something they never had or knew? Their freedom. But…to be owned…like an animal…”

Her eyes, now moistening a small bit, went to the little dog, laying before the fire. In a low voice, she said, “I doubt you think of him as your possession. Your property. He is your friend. Your companion. If he chose to leave you, would you chase him down? Bind him? Beat him senseless? Kill him even?”

Her gaze swiveled back to the dark eyed woman. “No. You would not do that, I believe.” She shrugged, feeling rather wretched.

“Money can not restore all which might be lost, Shakune,” she said in a whisper, hugging herself closely. “Freedom – the freedom of others - may be bought and sold. But it can not be replaced.”
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Stiff Upper Lip, Amongst Other Things

Postby Shakune on January 28th, 2015, 6:45 pm

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The question had not gone down well. Immediately, Shakune noticed how the other woman's eyes darkened and her expression harden before turning into something else; sadness, the half-breed guessed.

Shakune's gut twisted uncomfortably. She had not wanted to upset or insult the woman, who had been so kind to her. But what else could be expected? It had been stupid to even ask the question, let alone expect a different response. How would Shakune react, if their roles were reversed?

Not well, her conscience told her.

Ealisaid had made a good point as well, one that Shakune had not considered beforehand: how would she feel if a slave she had purchased ran away? She had naively assumed that a slave she owned - Gods how she hated that word! - would not want to run away, but now Shakune realised that it was something she needed to accept was a possibility. "I would be..."

Annoyed? Hurt? Betrayed? Frustrated? Out of pocket?

All those feelings would be accurate in the hypothetical situation, but it was the latter that made Shakune feel the most awkward. She had unconsciously and automatically attached a financial burden to another living thing. It shamed her, but similar thought processes would not stop. She was, after all, a businesswoman who put her work at the forefront of importance. But did that preside over the importance of another person? Her thoughts were mixed. Shakune had delivered questionable things before that were undoubtedly linked to gangs. How many people had died because of a dagger she had delivered, or a poison? But those people did not have names or faces attached to them, so Shakune could not muster an emotional connection to them; all she knew was the profits that she had made on such deliveries had been worth it.

"I guess I would not be happy about the situation." She eventually answered, none the wiser about how she would actually feel.

The other woman's final statement, faint and barely audible, haunted Shakune the most. She had been fortunate enough to have her freedom for the entirety of her lifetime, and she could not even begin to imagine what it must be like to have it stolen. If she bought a slave, she would play some part in taking the freedom of another being.

She had never expected that her buying a slave - should it ever happen, which now she somewhat doubted - would be different to the horror stories she had heard. She would be kind, pay her slave what she could, and earn their friendship. But such a relationship required both parties to want the same thing; what if her slave hated her, just for owning them? Shakune would certainly resent whoever had decided to purchase her, but she had not considered that someone would feel the same towards her.

"I am naive." She muttered with frustration, shaking her head sadly. [/b]"I think I am not, but I am. I like to think I am tough, hardy and weathered against the worse aspects of life. But in truth, I've been incredibly lucky. I've only seen the best of strangers, and so I assume all people are the same. But in some cases, kindness is not enough."[/b]

It was perhaps the most honest she had spoken to a stranger without being drunk. Finally, she met Ealisaid's eyes. "I hope you do not think less of me, though I wouldn't blame you if you did." She truly did care about the other woman's opinion of her, for reasons unknown even to Shakune. Finally, she repeated the words spoken earlier: "I am naive."
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Stiff Upper Lip, Amongst Other Things

Postby Dravite on June 26th, 2015, 10:31 pm

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Shakune

XP Award:

  • Endurance: 1
  • Observation: 2
  • Socialisation: 4
  • Logic: 1
  • Persuasion: 2
  • Rhetoric: 1
  • Intelligence: 1


Lore:

  • Shakune: Fears the cold
  • Squidgle: The dog
  • Lo'campo: The Akalak
  • Medicine: Keep swelling down with snow
  • Ealisaid: The Slave
  • Slaves are likely to be punished if they disobey their masters
  • People are not pets
  • Ealisaid: Works in the tavern
  • Ealisaid: Born in Sunberth
  • Under good or bad condition, slavery is still slavery
  • Self: Taking away a person's freedom does not sit well with Shakune


Penalties:

Ale -4 CM (please make changes to your Ledger)

Loot:
N/A

Notes: Ealisaid, should you ever return to Mizahar and require a grade for this thread, feel free to send me a PM and I will award you asap. Shakune, I am growing quite fond of reading your work! I hope I was able to find all you were looking for. Let me know if you think I have missed anything here and be sure to edit your grading request!

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