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Early morning, by the warehouses

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All in a day

Postby Berend on January 8th, 2015, 8:00 am

Timestamp: 4th of Winter, 514 AV

In the darkness before dawn, he followed behind a man as far as he dared, keeping at what he felt was the right distance to not lose him if he made any sharp turns, but not much closer than that. A man, because he had no name, or more particularly had given none which was fine by Berend for he didn’t care for the man’s smell which was an overpowering mixture of sweat and booze that carried easily on the breeze. Together, their boots crunched in time with another, and creating a single set of prints in the snow’s crust. Others moved along with them, men that he knew but this man didn’t, which was part of the reason he lagged behind on this excursion to the annoyance of his companions no doubt. He just didn’t like the boldness of this stranger.

The man stopped though, forcing him to continue on closer as if nothing was amiss but those behind him would’ve surely noticed his body go rigid. Nameless didn’t look back though, instead preoccupied with whatever had him stooped over and so Berend kept to the fellow’s prints. In moments he was standing just behind the man whom was safely a head taller than him standing up, and thick with muscle. Perhaps it wasn’t just the man’s attitude he quietly admitted to himself, as he looked the man over. Not much time to contemplate that though for a golden light flickered into existence from a crude lump of wax in the man’s hand.

“Aight, hers where ye und yer boys com’n” The man’s accent sounded thicker, and more uh, stranger than ever, but he shrugged the notion away for now, instead choosing to look of the crates he gestured at.

“Move’m?”

The man offered a quick nod, more a jerk of his head than anything that he took as an affirmative, and moving towards the crates he put his hands on either side of one, pulling at it to test it out. Not too heavy, but not really all that light either, he looked into the darkness and nodded towards the crates. It was Grael whom emerged first, taking the other end of the crate, and picking it up they moved it to the side. The others quickly followed the example, clearing the area as quickly and quietly as they could manage. For their efforts, they revealed a hole in the warehouse, with enough planks removed to allow a grown man to crawl through.

Stranger went in first, stopping as he got just in side to set the lit lump of wax on something before continuing forward. Grael followed, then Berend and the rest. Handily enough for them, their was plenty of space for the five of them. The room was mostly empty save for a couple of barrels against the back wall, and one by one they each found their place.

“Wadda ye denken?” Their escort spoke, not really looking at any one of them in particular but instead flickering across their group. If Grael minded, he didn’t show it, instead turning around to get a good look at this rooms plain, square walls while he scratched idly at his chin. “Smaller den I’d thought, for the price ye be asking anyways..”’
“Eh, you just naïve, and can’t be knowing the value of location”

“Yea, except I did”

“Denn their no problem, and we can make sale?” The man’s smile was broad at that, showing off his chipped yellow teeth. Berend got a strange feeling from that gesture, but shrugged it away. Just nerves on a night like this. Grael’s expression was more assuring, a smirk that imparted confidence somehow, and if only a bit, he allowed his shoulders to relax.

“We’ll speak again, morrow, same time n’ place”

“No no no.. that no work, this is kind of a special deal, right now sort of thing”

“No, it isn’t, we’ll see you tomorrow or we won’t, now be seeing you”

“No, you understand not much of what I’m trying to get across, I give you some time to talk, and then you come out, alright? Yes.” The man was much quicker out than in, and Grael didn’t move to stop him, so no one else did. Once he was out, there was a brief awkward silence as they all looked at each other. For his part, he shuffled to lean more comfortably against the wall, and tried to imagine working around here. It wasn’t the most unpleasant daydream. No such time for such now though, he’d have to revisit it later he realized when Grael cleared his throat.

“Not liking the man or this setup, but it’s cheap. Wanna know is cheap all we care bout though. We go this way if that’s what its time for, but I want a vote on it, and later, in quiet, we’ll discuss at length. Raise your hands for” A hand lifted, Liel, the smallest of their little group, two years his junior, but only a head shorter. Of all of those who could’ve raise their hand, it was easiest to forgive him of this misjudgment because he was still learning and hadn’t quite grasped the concept of why they followed Gael. After a few moments of them staring at him, all silent, the kid quit holding up his hand, and Berend sighed, which drew a smirk from Gael.

“Agreed, keep looking. Time we let down our friend”

"Yes, lets"

Grael of course was the first out, and feeling a bit generous tonight, Berend let everyone else out as well before following through the hole. Liel was of course the last, and instead of going right through, stopped at the exit.

"Why don't you like this place? Is it because he doesn't, because if so, doesn't sound very smart to me.."

The question took him off guard, surprise crinkling his features as well as a hint of a smile before he remembered his place, and their setting. He tried to darken his features for what he had to say next, furrowing his brow, and frowning hard. "Don't let him hear you talking like that, or you'll know the why for sure, now get on through, I've a day to start" With an emphasis on every other word while snapping off the syllables he hoped he suitably intimidated the boy, and it almost looked like he did. Then Liel smiled, shaking his head before going through the door, drawing another sigh from him.

Stick to what you know. He told himself, and repeated a few more times as he followed Liel out of the warehouse just as things were about to wrap up with the stranger. Grael and the man were still talking pretty heatedly, but the others had walked off, back to their homes most likely, so he took it as a sign to do the same, offering a brief wave to his friend before disappearing into the gloom of the alleyways. Sunrise was still a bell or so off, and he had so much still to do today.
Last edited by Berend on February 5th, 2015, 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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All in a day

Postby Shakune on January 8th, 2015, 7:22 pm

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It was one of those mornings that Shakune truly hated life. She trudged grumpily in the bleak morning, a single envelope clutched in her hands. There was no addressee written on the front, which irked the courier all the more. Such mystery was completely unwarranted in her opinion. Her client, the bearded gentlemen who had hired her to deliver this all-important letter, clearly disagreed.

"Discretion is absolutely necessary," he had demanded before paying. Shakune had wondered whether hiring a well-known courier was the most secretive means of getting something delivered, but she did not want to talk herself out of a payment. Fortunately, her client's desire to be mysterious had clouded his judgement: she had managed negotiate a payment that was almost double her normal fee, which explained by the inconvenience of having to deliver the letter in the small hours of the morning.

The extra mizas that jingled in her pocket did not help to keep her warm, though. The coldness bit on her face, made her breath hang in the air before her. She disliked the cold, but she disliked early mornings even more.

The warehouses were not exactly the ideal place to make a delivery, either. The buildings created shadows and dampened any sounds that would otherwise stir curiosity and suspicion. Shakune walked cautiously, pausing every so often to glance behind her. When she saw a cloaked figure standing hunched at the corner of an alleyway, she stopped sharply. Her client had specified that the man who was to receive the letter would be wearing a hat, much like the figure before her.

"Shakune, I presume." The voice was raspy with a lisp that made her name sound more like 'Thakune'

The courier smirked in the darkness, stifling a snort of laughter at the unfortunate speech impediment. "Yes." She walked briskly forward, keen to get business over and done with so she could return to her bed. Extending her hand, she passed the letter to the stranger, followed by a slip of parchment. "Sign this, please."

He stared down at the paper, thick eyebrows knotted. "What ith thith?"

It took Shakune a tick to realise what he had said, at which point she coughed back more laughter. "To prove I deserve the rest of my payment."

He grunted, but signed the paper and returned it to Shakune. With a dramatic flourish of his cape, he turned to stalk back down his alleyway. The courier watched him leave through black eyes, and after he disappeared into mist and shadow, she rolled them irritably. Meeting at the warehouses, in a time unfamiliar to anyone other that foxes and rats -- it was all posing, in Shakune's thought. Unnecessary and vain.

"It was probably a petching birthday card, anyway." she muttered grumpily, stomping her way through the dimly lit alleyways back towards the centre of Sunberth.
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All in a day

Postby Berend on January 9th, 2015, 10:06 pm

As he walked, the sky began to light as Leth ceded his place to Syna, and the cycle of day continued. It only served to make the shadows darker, and Berend more comfortable as he walked along, trying his best not to stir up any lose stones. Early morning wasn't except from cutpurses and murderers, especially during winter. Starving bellies might just have kept awake some unfortunate, and desperate soul who'd see him for what he was to them. A means to an end, and at that though, he pulled the hood of his cloak lower, and it's sides tight around him. He whispered to himself silently that it was to fend off the chill, or that it made him look a little bit bigger, a little more meaner, but really, it just made him feel secure. It also made his dagger useless, kept as it was in the waist of his breeches, because his hands were quite occupied with the sides of his cloak.

No matter, never much good with it anyways.. Berend ground his teeth at the thought all the same though, as it only made him more anxious to be done with this part of the city. Too many frequented this place for comfort, and here, he had no friends in the shadows. They had all departed to their respective homes, to a places safer and perhaps warmer, while he traveled deeper into the commons. So be it though, he'd be smart about it, keep his eyes out, and return home tonight no worse for wear.

He slowed down his stride as he neared a corner he needed to take, trying his best to walk softer, and make the crunch of his boots on dirt less obvious. Didn't really work that, but at least it allowed him to hear better. Over the creak of old wood on rusted hinges, and the occasional muffled voice that carried out of the buildings around him, he heard nothing around that corner, but still he was relieved when he turned it and found no one there. If anything would today, perhaps his hearing just might keep him out of trouble.

In moments, Berend returned to his previous brisk pace, walking along on this new high of relief, and though he still kept looking over his shoulders, he allowed himself to forget the dark thoughts to concentrate on the now. After the morning he had, perhaps a beer was in order he speculated as he made another turn, this time with less fuss, and continued on towards a small little shop there he discovered not too long ago.

It wasn't far, and he made decent time picking up the pace. Surprisingly enough to him, there were more than a few people about, mostly merchants and their help getting things ready for the day. None of them were the guy he came for, and the stall Berend had seen the man at was bare. Disappointed, he decided to take a place on the wall, leaning up against it while he thought of what he could do next while he waited.
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Postby Shakune on January 13th, 2015, 6:55 pm

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The closer Shakune journeyed to Sunberth centre, the more people she came across. Merchants, whores, bakers: all of them were apparently early risers, leaving the comfort of their homes in the thin morning to begin their working day. At times, Shakune wished her income came in steady, consistent amounts: the same pay each day, season, and year. As it happened, she bargained for her income and it depended heavily on how stubborn she was feeling that day.

And there were always other couriers. Younger, faster, more efficient in their deliveries. But Shakune knew that the service she provided was a good one, and as steadfast and sure in this city as a courier service could be. She had only ever had one parcel stolen from her, and had only misplaced one as well. On both occasions she had repaid her clients her fee, and contributed towards the cost of the lost goods as well. Neither had returned to her, which had not been a surprise, but at least she had tried to deal with the situation as professionally as possible.

Fingering the mizas in her pocket, Shakune slowed her pace. She was not poor - at least not as poor as some Sunberthians- but neither was she incomprehensibly rich. The reality was that she would never be wealthy per se, but that did not stop her imagination. She was a businesswomen, after all: her aspirations centred around her own courier business, one that had a shop front, and employers, and maybe even security guards to deter thieves.

"Oi! Shakune! You're walking in a straight line for once!"

The brutish voice snapped the courier out of her daydreams. She shook herself, turning towards the man who had spoken to her. It was Lenny, the fat marchant who sold vegetables at the market. "Huh?"

He laughed clapped his giant hands together and bellowed his reply: "The only time I've seen you this early in the morning is when you've only just left the bar. You're normally pissed! Don't tell me you've actually been working?"

She sent him a response that was tainted with colourful language, and the large vendor laughed jovially. He was too busy laughing that Lenny did not see the young lad he walked straight into. Shakune hurried over, scooping up the limp carrots and turnips and returning them to her friend.

"Watch where y'standin' lad." Lenny scolded, as if the accident had not been his fault. Throwing an appreciative look at Shakune, he nodded his thanks to her before ambling off.

"Don't mind 'im." muttered to the boy with a smirk, "worse thing he can do is make you eat one of his mouldy veg."
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All in a day

Postby Berend on January 14th, 2015, 7:05 pm

Standing still for once, he could truly appreciate the chill of the morning, and reflexively he pulled his wool cloak tighter around him. It helped a bit, but he had nothing to cover his face. He thought about starting to move around again, briefly, but for the moment it was easier to lean, and wait to see if the man would come. After all he just might be around the corner, and then he could get today started properly. Only if though, while in the meantime his cheeks and nose were numbed by the breeze.

Watching the strangers hustle, and bustle around the crooked street took his mind of it it, partly at least. Almost none paid him any mind, small as he was huddled against the wall, but a couple dared to make uncomfortable eye contact to which he replied to with a stare of his own. He was in one such contest with an older, stooped fellow when suddenly he found himself jostled from his position by the impact of something big. Stiff and rigged his legs had got, keeping that slanted posture, so he stumbled back under the press, almost falling on his hindquarters if his back hadn't caught the wall, hard. Knocked around a bit, and catching his breath, he remained against it, taking stock of the situation, or more importantly, the large man cursing him. The guy stunk of dirt, and something acrid he couldn't quite place.

Before he caught his breath though, the man was already away, and more than a bit bewildered, he moved away from the wall to face the woman on more favorable ground. "Shoulda been look'n better" Berend shrugged in response, feeling a bit uncomfortable about the whole thing. He could feel heat in his face as he tried keeping his expression calm, and was suddenly very thankful for the cold. That resolve didn't last once he got a good look at her face, with eyes more foreign than he ever seen.

A moment or two of gawking later, he managed to catch himself, and his eyes diverted anywhere else but there. "Uh.. yea, my bad, mean'n no harm by staring. Never met.. um, yea.." He mumbled in response, mostly to himself because he was finding it very hard to address this woman directly at the moment.

"Name's Berend anyways, yours?" His voice was a bit louder now, and he looked at her face again, but concentrated now on her mouth.


OOCSo feel free to interrupt him, or anything as you see fit if you want to while he is fluttering about awkwardly. I wrote in some awkward pauses between the action that might not exist depending on your response
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Postby Shakune on January 14th, 2015, 9:49 pm

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Shakune smiled at the lad's clear nervousness and awkward nature. She guessed that he was not much younger than she, but perhaps he lacked the ruthless cockiness that she had always possessed. It even took Shakune a chime or two to realise what it was about herself that seemed to distress him so.

It was her eyes, of course!

Despite their roughness, the people of Sunberth were relatively sheltered in terms of socialising with other races. Few outsiders wandered into Sunberth (for reasons not understood by Shakune, who loved the lawless city), and fewer Sunberthians wandered out. When she had arrived in Sunberth approximately two years ago, the stares and comments had initially entertained her before becoming a source of annoyance. Nowadays she ignored them, or tried to strike up conversation with whoever stared at her to prove she was not a desert-dwelling savage.

"Shakune." She proffered in response to his name, striking her hand forward in a rough greeting. "So you've never met a Chaktawe before, eh?" Now she grinned, throwing the young boy a playful wink before continuing. "I'm not surprised, few 'ave in this city. I'm only half, mind, but you wouldn't know for lookin' at me."

She had allowed herself to fall into an easy conversation with a complete stranger, as she so often did. Shakune enjoyed the casual meet-and-greet, learning about complete strangers and their lives. And, of course, there was always the potential to recruit new clients. "What're you doing up so early?" The question was casual; she knew all too well that thieves and pickpockets could easily clam up about their careers if they felt they were being judged. "You don't look like a market boy, is what I mean." She added hurriedly, throwing him another reassuring smirk.
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All in a day

Postby Berend on January 15th, 2015, 1:53 am

"Cha-, cha, Chak-owe?" He spoke, attempting to imitate the word she used, but finding it odd on the tongue. It sounded easy enough, but forming this unfamiliar name was surprisingly difficult. Still practicing the shape of it with his mouth, he simply nodded to her idle question, for indeed, it was clear he had never met that name she had spoken. Whatever she was though, she seemed nice enough, and put more at ease, he even managed to shake her hand without trembling too much. Strong too, he belatedly realized at her grip, and reflexively he tried to return the strength of it, but ended up feeling quite self conscious when it was all said and done.

"Eh, couldn't sleep. Been take'n a stroll around commons" Berend managed with barely a waver, for it was true, sort of. Her question raised a few of his own, and got his mind off being so uncomfortable, at least for a few moments. "n'd you? Not that I come here much, but haven't seen you around here before. You just come off a ship?" He asked, but then quickly regretted realizing what season it was. Too late to take it back though, so he settled on to thinking of other things. "Nah, not really a ripe time for that.. going for a walk then, same as me?" He jested with a slight smile, not really sure what to think. Not that he didn't have a few guesses, but they weren't solid enough for him to chance aloud on this woman.

"Anyways, how you like'n the city? You think'n about stay'n here for long?" He blurted out thoughtlessly, asking as the questions came to him. Berend hadn't meet much foreigners before, let alone talk to one, as it was they typically didn't look like her, and he was usually looking to get into their pockets at the time. Right now though, he was a bit too tired from his night escapade to even think about that right now, so it was easier to think of her as someone other than just a mark. That was probably why he felt so fidgety he considered, but ended up attributing that up to the strangeness of his appearance. It occurred to him then though that she might not like so many question.

"Um, don't mean to, uh, ask so much, but.. yea, ya know? I wonder is all" He half mumbled, tagging on the last bit after a moments pause.
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Postby Shakune on January 15th, 2015, 5:26 pm

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"I was workin'." She explained, nodding ahead of them both and starting to walk in that direction. It seemed too cold to stand around in the shadows. "I'm a courier. Had an early delivery." From her low tone, it would be obvious that the earliness of her delivery had been far from appreciated. "I won't be deliverin' at this time of morning' again. Petch that." She muttered grumpily, drawing her coat tighter around her slim frame as she trudged towards the centre of the market. Black eyes turned upon the lad's face, and she tilted her head in curiosity. "How do you earn your livin, if you don't mind me asking'?" The answer she was expecting was 'as a thief'.

As to his question about her opinions of the city, Shakune laughed heartily. "Oh, I love Sunberth. It's a rough old place, but a good'un." She paused to observe the market, and the mixture of people that were beginning to fill the still half-empty area. Most looked ragged, but still decent in their own rag-tag way. "I've been here for years now. Used to live on a boat, with three other sailors. I want to get back on the sea one day." A smile tugged on her lips as Shakune recalled her days at sea, remembering how it felt to know that the closest person was miles and miles away. And that endless body of ocean, lying in front of her and just waiting to be explored...


Again her colourless eyes slid to the young man beside her as she returned from the past to the present moment. "So. Have you always lived here?"
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All in a day

Postby Berend on January 16th, 2015, 4:53 am

Seeing she was moving, he decided to follow along beside, if only to do something in these wee hours before everything really got started. It took him a moment to decide to do just that though, because he wasn't exactly prone to following strangers around the market on a whim. However, he'd also never met a Chaktawe before, and the conversation wasn't a bad change of pace. The moving also helped him feel a little less tense, as now he could glance around without it looking to awkward, and didn't have to maintain face to face contact as much.

"Musta been important I take it? Pay well?" Berend wondered aloud, for the life of a thief was hard, and there had been more than a few times he thought about trying something different. What stopped him each and every time though is he figured it was likely one of those things you have to know the right folks for. That, and he was useful to his friends doing what he did now than some chance job elsewhere. Where would he go without them after all.

"Uh, you know, nothing so stable, just finding things for people, and doing what I can with that" He answered rather softly, unnerved at her earlier irritation of the hour, and about her asking after his employment. Surely, it was only right that he return the favor, but just being straight out with it just wasn't his style. It also didn't seem to wise, for even if he knew her, he certainly didn't know those around them whom might overhear. All of these people were potential marks that might keep an eye out for him if they knew him for a certainty.

"Yea, never even been beyond the city and into the lands. Mostly just stick around here and near actually. Is it nice on the sea?"
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Postby Shakune on January 17th, 2015, 9:43 pm

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Shakune snorted dismissively, "not bloody well enough to require getting up this petchin' early." she grunted, frowning moodily once again. Mornings were clearly not complimentary to the courier's lifestyle.

His description of his job earned a smile. Questionable jobs were commonplace in Sunberth, as were questionable people who were more than happy to talk about their life as a thief, assassin or pickpocket. Others were subtler though, going out of their way to intricately create the illusion that they were a baker or fisherman. "How is that workin' out for you? Finding things for people, and stuff." She smirked and shared a conspiratorial wink with him.

"Being at sea is--" she paused, in a rare moment of speechless and reflexion. How could she describe the sensation of being at sea, let alone to someone who had never experienced anywhere but Sunberth? She lacked a creative vocabulary, but to Shakune all the books and smart people in the world would never be able to truly reflect how it was to be faced with an endless body of water. With a genuine smile and minute shake of her head, she replied breathlessly: "well it's something."

But that wasn't enough to convey her attachment to sailing. She stopped walking, turning to face Berend before she continued speaking. "When you're at sea, you live with the same people, day in and day out. Your entire existence is on that boat. You sleep, eat, play, work, shit -- do everything on that boat." She finally caught her breath. "But I love it. You are nowhere and everywhere all at once. A boat gives a person limitlessness." The passion and excitement in her voice would be obvious, even to a deaf man.

All too aware that she had dominated their conversation for some while, Shakune turned the conversation back to Berend. "Have you ever wanted to leave Sunberth?"
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