Pride, Honor, and a Pointless Death

[Solo] Vequil accepts a boy's duel of honor.

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

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Pride, Honor, and a Pointless Death

Postby Vequil Alieare on April 18th, 2015, 9:38 am

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19th Bell. 47th, Spring, 515 A.V
It was quite unfortunate that Vequil had to walk behind this interesting pair on his way to the tavern. The two only added to Sunberth's commotion, and Vequil had been looking forward to a day of peaceful rest.

"...As I've said time and again, there are none here but thugs, thieves and beggars. Listen to me for once, Roln. The honor and glory you seek does not exist here!" The man was in his middle years, clad fully in plate. and the size of a bear.

"Hyl, listen. We've sailed here all the way from Zeltiva, months on the ship. Throughout the entire trip you've done nothing, Hyl, nothing but repeat again and again what you've been telling me since the first day. That there'll be no honor in Sunberth, no glory. You know nothing of the honor I speak."The boy was blonde of hair, a fist's height shorter than Vequil himself. He wore velvets, and he walked as if dancing some dance that only people too rich to worry about survival would know.

"What did you just say boy? You're merely seventeen years of age and you say I know nothing? It is for the very honor you speak of that I keep to my oath and serve you!" The man was enraged. Evidently the boy he served did not appreciate his company much. "I swore an oath to your father to protect you from others!" The man said, face reddening with anger.

"My father is dead, and your oath along with him. How many times must I tell you the same thing before you understand you stupid bear?"

"How many times must I tell you the same thing before you understand? Sunberth is not the place for you. The vilest of men roam the streets and you are but a pup with hair just grown."

Roln turned, the anger now evident as well. "Pray tell, what are these lowlifes going to do to me? They dare even touch me I'll slice their hand off. Or have you forgotten who taught me how to kill a man?"

"He taught you to protect yourself, not kill. Killing people here won't save you from anything." Hyl said, coldly.

"It'll save me from whatever you're afraid of." Roln responded.

The boy and the bear grew silent for the rest of the trip, much to Vequil's delight. The boy's ramblings reminded Vequil of someone, long lost from the past. The old had at least a grasp of what Sunberth was. The boy called Roln completely oblivious. He'll learn the hard way, eventually, Vequil thought. He doubted even that would be too hard for the boy. From the clothing and equipment the two wore Vequil could easily infer that they came from a more than privileged background. The boy don silks and velvets, his half-cape hung across his shoulder, draping in elegance. Though only a little more than a year younger than he was, he looked as if he had only just matured. A sword with a leather and silver hilt was sheathed at his waist. Hyl's armor was ornamentally decorated and polished enough to reflect a man's own teeth. Vequil hoped the duo wasn't headed for the Pig's Foot, their presence their could only spell trouble, and the last thing Vequil wanted this day was trouble. He set foot out of his home to enjoy himself for a change, and getting swept into some affair that had nothing to do with him would ruin his mood.

Vequil cursed under his breath as the two turned at the tavern and entered. He thought of switching to some other place, but was too tired to bother. He followed behind and took his usual spot at the bar. The two found an empty table a few feet behind and took their seats. A few of the tavern's patrons raised their mugs at Vequil as he entered, he returned nods to those familiar and asked Merv for his usual drink. Vequil wabted to have a refreshing taste of honey then listen to a few stories, and that was his idea of a relaxing night.

Except, even before his drink had come, the boy rose to his feet and began causing a ruckus. Vequil covered his face in frustration.

"Listen, you lowlifes of this pitiful excuse of a city! I am Roln of the Carins, and you had better remember that name."

"[b]What[b] are you doing sire!" Hyl shouted towards him, at a loss for any other action.

Roln ignored the bear. "My companion has been diligently informing me that any single one of you lowlifes would be able to harm or kill me if you wanted. So I hereby announce that anyone here with the intention to forfeit their miserable life may come and prove their mettle, and I'll gladly grant them the honorable death of being slain."

The tavern was silent for at most a moment before everyone broke into laughter. Some were laughing so hard they were in tears. Vequil shook his head.

"I see you all laugh yet I see none who wish to rise up to my challenge. Are you all lowlifes nothing but cowards?" His taunting seemed to take effect on a few people, now visibly irritated. Vequil nod towards Merv as he received the mug with his drink. Today wasn't a day where he cared.

A man rose and stepped towards the boy. Hyl placed himself in front of the man to block his way, staring down at him.

"It's fine, Hyl. He won't be able to do anything to me anyways." The bear moved to one side and let the man pass. Whoever the man was, he was evidently angered by Roln taking him lightly. He roared and charged the boy before Merv could direct them out of his tavern. Hyl simply watched. The boy unsheated his sword and directed it towards the man's neck where the man's armor failed to cover up his flesh, all in one swift motion. It gained him a few looks of awe from the crowd, and the man could only attempt to stop himself lest he wanted steel to impale his throat like a skewer through chunks of meat.

The man managed to stay just out of the blade's length. Except Roln took a step forward and thrust the tip of his blade towards him.

"Hmm." Roln looked bored as his sword went clean through the man's throat. He slid the sword out of the man and wiped off the blood on his blade with a cloth. Blood sprayed out from the gash in at the man's neck."At least this lowlife is a man. Are all of you others cowards with no manhood?"

Merv shook his head, "Wrong move, kid." It was an unspoken rule that people do not kill in within these establishments. Brawls and fights were accepted, but murder...it crossed the line. An obvious anger rose within the room. The dead man's friends all stood up, stares of scorn focusing on Roln as a few walked out.
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Pride, Honor, and a Pointless Death

Postby Vequil Alieare on April 18th, 2015, 9:41 am

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"I'll ask again. Are all of you lowlife scum here cowards?"

"Sure. Cowards live longer." Vequil laughed, the humor in his words grim. He decided that he wouldn't be able to enjoy his night here anyways, so why not? Only a select few laughed along with him, the others grew silent. He took a gulp of the drink in his mug, sweet with honey.

"Truly the words of craven scum." Roln said, disgusted. "I'll cut you down. Men like you deserve to die."

The atmosphere in the tavern suddenly grew tense. All manner of voices quickly died down as faces turned their way, watching. Merv shook his head, "Wrong move again."

Vequil had heard this line more than once during his time in Sunberth. All manner of people used it, and he's more than once been on the receiving end. "Men like you deserve to die." He repeated to himself, weighing the words. The boy struck something deep inside. The boy reminded him of someone he used to know, someone who was dead. Vequil took another gulp of the drink. With his back toward the gaze of the many who wanted to watch a show, he began. Just this one time, he had a strange urge to talk.

"I remember the first time I saw a corpse in the back of an alleyway. Rotting, decaying, emitting an impossible stench. Maggots wriggled between the rotten flesh. You know what I did? I searched it for anything I could sell for a miza. Its chest caved in from the rot, so I dug my hands through the soft putrid mush of flesh to see if there was some kind of trinket he used to wear that fell in with it."

"Do you know the feeling of digging your hands through flesh that's been rotting for more than a week? The sensation stays with you for life. I couldn't endure it and I hurled out everything in my stomach. There was only a foul, yellow mush coming out, the same color as the stale rotting water you see all day in Sunberth. It came from a stomach with no food inside, only the vile, rotting water. Despite that, I kept digging, mining the flesh for gold, and found a copper pendant sunk into the rot around his neck. I pulled it free and cradled it in my hands, rotten flesh and horrible stench all over. Maggots still writhed on my arms."

Vequil stopped at this point, something stirring inside. He took the last mouthful of drink from his mug, savoring the honey as he always did. Bitter. He tilted his head up and blinked so the wet things wouldn't slide down from his eye. With a long sigh, he continued. "And at that moment, I was happy." The words were soft, but all in the tavern heard. Roln yawned.

"I was happy because I knew that the pendant would buy me at least four day's worth of stale bread. After digging through rotten flesh, after the rotten, putrid fucking shit I had to go through, I found a pendant will feed me for a four days. Four fucking days. I thought the gods finally answered my prayers, I thought that pendant to be the best thing to have happened to my miserable, worthless life." His voice trembled.

"But then? I was too happy, on the way to the pawn some thin man saw me holding the pendant and beat me into the ground. He took it then walked off. Anger, sorrow, all of that came later, at the moment I just felt hungry. Before I knew it I was rummaging through rotten flesh and maggots again. For an entire fucking year I lived like that, stripping dead people of their filthy, rotten trinkets so I could feed myself."

Roln's expression remain unphased. He didn't seem to care.

"And so I lived until this day. After all of that I lived, and I thrived, and I continued to survive. Now you have the guts to tell me, that you will be cut me down?" Vequil turned towards the boy, he could feel a scorching flame burning within his body, the rage taking control of him like never before. It had been years past since he felt anger so intense. He wanted to bash his pretty face into the ground, have him taste the dirt that he had been living in.

But anger was one thing, and rationality was another. Anger clouded the mind, and he was not about to repeat the same mistake. Vequil spoke in a voice trembling with rage. "Here's some advice, boy. You want to make a name for yourself? Go ahead. Pull your stunts here and you'll end up like the corpse I was digging through - rotting into mush at the back of some forgotten alleyway."

Hyl walked next to Roln "Sire, this man speaks the truth. Let us be on our way and forfeit this foolish adventure of yours."

Roln scoffed. "Have your balls dropped off too Hyl? This man just threatened me. A man who lived off of robbing dead men just threatened me, and you expect me to take it?" He turned towards Vequil. "Listen you gutless scum, either you kill yourself or I kill you. Your kind should've died long ago."

Fuck it. Vequil slammed his arm down on the bar, his arm red as blood. "Just you try and cut me down." By now Vequil's voice was again composed, the anger turning into a primal desire to murder. His eyes burnt a bright azure blue, staring straight down into the boy's own eyes. Somewhere to the corner of the tavern a drunk patron anticipating a show started chanting his name. "Red, hand. Red, hand. Red, hand..." A few joined in, then more, and soon the entire tavern chanted his name.

"So be it." Roln took a step back and drew. The sword had been polished, more than shining as it slid out of its sheath. Vequil could see faint marks from the steel being folded onto itself over and over, the edge was so sharp it seemed to vanish from the side. "I challenge you to a duel of honor." Roln said, his voice serious, words hard and firm. Vequil thought he saw behind him a shadow of someone long gone "Out." Merv pointed towards the door. He wasn't going to have a fight destroying his tavern.
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Pride, Honor, and a Pointless Death

Postby Vequil Alieare on April 18th, 2015, 9:43 am

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Vequil walked out while rolling up the sleeve of his red arm, cranking his neck. The boy exited first, and he followed. The two readied their stances once the onlookers from the tavern settled in their places. Roln held his sword low with one hand, the handle at waist height with blade tipping down to the shin.

"Rules?" Vequil asked.

"Duel of honor. No mercy, to the death." Roln replied. "Hyl, you stay out of this." he added.

"Well then, shall we dance?" Vequil offered.

The crowd grew louder by the chime, but the sounds were distant for Vequil. Now the confrontation was no longer simply a game of words, but steel. A wrong move would land a severed limb or a fatal gash somewhere across the body. He'd seen the scene before, a complacent fighter being cut down to the bone.

Vequil clicked his tongue in irritation, he wasn't readily equipped for the situation, only a layer of leather and a dagger between standing between him and death. It was a poor decision for him to have left his steel at his place. Without the equipment that usually covered his arms, blocks and parries became impossible. Roln's sword was a hand and halfer, Vequil judged the blade to be midway between three and four feet. His own arms' reach were short of two and a half, and now he had to make sure that they evaded the blade completely. Vequil clenched his fists tight; the odds were against him. He needed to hide his dagger until the right moment. Anger still boiled inside, yet he knew blind anger only lead to a blind mind, and a blind mind only lead to an early trip to the dustbeds.

He needed to test the boy first, assess his skill. Vequil stepped in for an advance but kept his bodyweight on his hind leg. A feint.

Roln took the bait. He twisted both wrists to the side and swung an arc from waist to shoulder. Vequil tapped back, easily avoiding the strike. Swift, Vequil thought, impressed at the boy's swordplay. Flicking direction of the blade, Roln stepped in and aimed a slash across Vequil's neck. Vequil bent his knees, stepping back and bobbing his head down under the blade. Missing, Roln followed through the slash and brought himself to a twirl, cutting his blade upwards towards Vequil's right as he spun back around. Vequil wasn't able to judge quicker, and in the split moment he shifted his body to the side and stepped the fatal strike to the left. The blur of white steel passed right before his eyes as it missed him by no more than a whisker's length. Only then did Vequil realizee the spin was to carry the momentum of the previous swing and more importantly, hide the direction of his next attack. The manoeuvre left Vequil taking a step back to regain his distance.

Roln however, wasn't about to let his chance slip by. The boy dashed in before Vequil could recover, thrusting his sword out with his right, extending the blade's reach to its limit.

Right leg digging firm into the dirt behind, Vequil bobbed his head down left and sidestepped in the same direction, rolling in his right shoulder to slip past the blade. Roln expected his strike to land and took a step forward as the thrust missed completely and his momentum carried him in. Pivoting in a quick turn, Vequil snapped out his left arm and countered with a hook from the outside. Roln jerked his head back just in time for the blow to graze past, but his movement was too quick and for a split second he lost his balance, fumbling backwards to support his shifting weight. Vequil took advantage of the moment and lashed out a right cross to the inside of Roln's arm. The onlooking crowd erupted as his arm, red with anger, connected to Roln's right cheek. Vequil clicked his tongue, unable to cheer himself. The boy had pushed his arm down against his strike at the last second to dampen the blow, and it hit shallow. Roln's left arm came swinging in a panicked flail. Vequil avoided the clumsily aimed strike by stepping further in, threading out his right arm from under his opponent's armpit, and following with yet another left hook aimed towards the back of Roln's head. The boy lunged his body down, lowering himself to dodge the blow. Using the momentum to dash two steps forward, Roln turned around and flicked his sword up again, recovering into his guard. Vequil tapped his feet back into stance, raising his arms; he was unable to pursue from the posture just now. They were back to where they began, except now they both grasped an idea of their opponent, and Vequil had gotten a blow in. Those around them cheered for Vequil, to them it was obvious that he came out on top in the skirmish.

A slight reassurance came to Vequil's mind. The boy was skilled, his form's there, and his techniques are perfect, but he lacked experience. Too headfast and aggressive. Roln was used to fighting against swords, and swords moved differently from a man's limbs and body. If he had been using a sword however, no doubt the boy would've been able to hold his own against him. A few feet across him, Roln felt his cheeks with his hand, sword raised firm in the other. It obviously pained him. Vequil had his fair share of experience against those who preferred swords. Attacks could only come from either an arc or a thrust, and both could be avoided so long as he knew they were coming from. It was similar to boxing - jab, cross, hook and uppercut; anything coming from above could be taken as an overhand. Quick movements of the head and body could very well save everything above his abdomen, everything below however, was much more prone to being cut. It was fortunate for him Roln wasn't aware of such a weakness. The boy was too aggressive, always aiming for a killing blow; and he was lucky to have caught the boy by surprise.

"I thought you were going to cut me down?", Vequil taunted. Usually he would smile while delivering lines like this, but now his expression was a merciless cold.

"Shut your face, scum." Roln said, face red with anger. The crowd laughed, sneering at the boy. He turned towards them, sword raised, yelling. "All of you lowlifes had better shut your faces before I decide to cut them off." The threat only earned him louder laughs. A few of the tavern patrons unsheathed weapons of their own, staring straight at the boy. Vequil wasn't quite sure if they'd be able to kill him, he really was quite skilled.

"Never turn your back to an opponent. Especially one that already has the upper hand." Vequil said, amused at the scene. "Yield and I won't have to kill you, and you'll be on your way."

"This duel is to the death, on my honor. Should I turntail and run then I will be an honorless coward."

"An honorless coward who's still alive." Vequil said. "Your honor is none of my concern." Despite his anger, Vequil knew the boy didn't deserve to die.

"You don't understand, do you?" Roln turned around. "I'll not have some street-ridden lowlife dishonor me! I am Roln of the Curins, and I will not be at the mercy of your kind!" Roln steadied his grasp on his sword and charged Vequil in a crazed frenzy. He swung his sword in an arc.

"Shit." Vequil cursed under his breath, the slash was coming down for his knees. He drew out the dagger he'd been trying to hide and just barely managed to intercept it with a stiff, rigid block. The sound of clashing metal rang loud in the streets, sparks shooting off as both recovered from the impact and swung, steel colliding again and again. As soon as Vequil drew the dagger he had lost his opportunity for an offensive. Roln's swings came one after the other, and Vequil was completely occupied with defense. Now that Vequil was using a blade as well, Roln seemed to be a fish in water, sword crashing down harder with each strike, each blow landing before he could recover to do anything. A slice grazed Vequil's shoulder as Roln's blade slid past his dagger, and another caught Vequil to the side of his thigh. Both cut through flesh, but his dagger managed to fend off most of the force leaving him with only cuts that pained, but nothing severe. The crowd's voices grew as they watched the boy fight back. For them it was just a show, and the unexpected sight of the boy gaining the upper hand against Redhand was all the more entertaining.
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Pride, Honor, and a Pointless Death

Postby Vequil Alieare on April 18th, 2015, 9:45 am

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At last finding an opening in between Roln's attacks, Vequil drove his dagger towards the boy's left shoulder, lunging his body forward. Roln took a step towards the side and with a splendid spin, knocked the blade out of Vequil's hands and into the dirt. Vequil snapped his free arm in a backfist and directed it into the boy's opposite cheek. Roln took the hit but gained the upper hand. With another twist and flourish of his sword Vequil was forced to retract his arms and retreat, just barely dodging his opponent's flurry of slashes. He cursed under his breath for not having worn the steel on his arms. After a two chimes or so, Roln forced Vequil against a wall, leaving him no space for retreat. He saw Vequil hit the back of his right boot onto the wall behind and smiled, thinking he had him. Two more strikes or so and the boy's blade was fixed on Vequil's throat. The two stopped, standing still, both panting for breath. The crowd watched in anticipation as the result of the match seemed to be decided.

Roln laughed, a cruel smile on his face. "Seems like your blind luck has ran ou-". Before he could even finish, Vequil slapped at the flat of the blade and parried the sword to his side. His right leg thrust up, the tongue of his boots digging into Roln's gut before he could react. It went in clean and deep. Vequil could feel it. He pivoted his body and tore the foot free. Roln collapsed down onto his knees, weapon dropping to the dirt with a dull thump. Hands clutching his abdomen, Roln's expression writhed of pain and shock. The crowd cheered, thinking that Redhand had turned the tide completely with a single kick. Only a handful saw what actually happned.

"You were saying?" Vequil kicked his opponent's sword to the side and knelt down to retract the hidden blade back into his boots. Roln lay with his hands covering the puncture at his abdomen. Blood gushed out. There wasn't anything the boy could do to stop it.

"It's over." The result was already obvious, Roln had lost. Vequil's anger had dissipated with the gash he tore in the boy's stomach. He may bleed to death, or die of an infection, but that was not of Vequil's concern. Killing him with his own hands, slitting his thorat, crushing in his skull, was not a thing that Vequil felt like doing.

"You and your cowardly tricks... It's over when I'm dead." Roln spat. Vequil punched the boy again, a right straight hard in his face. It sent him crashing into the ground. "Stubborn right until the very end. Pitiful." Vequil's expression grew cold. He had to do it, both to end his pain and end the duel. He didn't care much for honor, but a duel is a duel, and Roln set the terms in the first place. Vequil had a code to abide to. Picking up his dagger, he mounted on top of the boy, "This is the end. Remember in the afterlife how your stupid honor got you killed." He gently placed the blade of his dagger onto Roln's neck. The boy fainted. Vequil wondered if it was from fear or from the pain. Either way, it didn't matter now.

"Halt!" A familiar woman's voice shouted. A group of well-armed men ran towards him. "The boy murdered a brother of the Dragoons in the tavern. His life is not yours to take."

Vequil was genuinely relieved. He got up and stood to the side as the men hauled the now unconscious Roln away. He nod towards the approaching woman. "Please be gentle. I gashed him deep, and it would be such a shame for him to bleed out halfway after all the trouble."

"No matter, Redhand. He'll live to see judgment by our brothers, we'll make sure of it. Thank you for repaying him in first, I don't doubt the boys would've had a hard time getting him. A lot of them are quite new, and his friend...", she eyed Hyl, standing to the side, "...seems more than capable of holding his own."

"What will you be doing with him?"

"I think you know well enough...but it's no business of an outsider. Unless of course you change your mind on that offer I've made you." Tary smiled, looking into his azure blue eyes. Vequil lightly shook his head.

"Well then, there's business to take care of. Oh and uh...you're bleeding. I'll find you later." She smiled again then went off to join the others. Only now did Vequil notice the blood trickling down his pants. He clicked his tongue in annoyance. Washing blood of his own clothes was one of the more annoying tasks a man had to do. He watched as Tary's figure grew distant; Vequil thought he could use a trip to the Muted Maiden.

Hyl walked towards him as the crowd dispersed, expression rigid. Vequil was soaking a few rags in the strongest drinks Merv had to offer, tying them around his wounds.

"Why didn't you help him?" Vequil saw Hyl approaching and asked.

"It was a duel of honor. My interference would tarnish its sanctity."

Vequil scoffed "The sanctity of two people trying as hard as they can to bloody murder each other?" The idea itself was ironic. "Answer the question. Why didn't you help him?" Vequil tied a knot around his thigh. "Help me with the shoulder, will you? Can't reach it with my own hands." The cut on his shoulder was camofluaged by the red of his skin.

"You just almost killed the man I serve, and now you're asking me to help you?" Hyl looked amused. He didn't move. "I swore to protect him from people who wished him harm, not to help him harm others. He asked for the duel, and he got what he wanted."

"The boy was destined to die an early death, the way he does things." Vequil tried to tie the knot by himself, failing. The bear sighed, taking the cloth and tying the knot for him. "What you're saying...I've known all along. I swore an oath to keep him safe from others, but there was little I could do to save the boy from himself. He's too proud, like his father. Pride and honor killed his father, and now it's taking him as well. It drove him into exile from Zeltiva, and it's getting him killed just a few days into Sunberth." He took a deep breath.

"Torture, then to the gallows?" Hyl asked. Vequil nodded. With what Tary said, that was most likely the case.

"Then my oath is forfeit, Roln would've died in that duel should it continue. I swore to protect him on my honor, but fuck my honor. Pride and honor got him and his father killed, and there's hardly honor in serving that boy...I swear, he killed the man without even blinking."

Vequil didn't say anything. He picked up the sword that Roln dropped and handed it over. Hyl shook his head. "Keep it. He was the last of their family, and that was an heirloom. It holds no meaning now that the last of their name is dead." Hyl stood up. "I'll watch his execution, then I'll be on my way. This city's bad enough without him."

"One last question. You don't seem to be the type afraid of death; why value your life so much? I'm curious."

"Because they'll win if I die." Vequil said, nonchalantly.

"Hmm." Hyl looked as if he understood. Turning his back, he waved and walked off down the road, carrying his helmet with him.

Vequil sighed. "Pride and honor..." he muttered to himself, laughing and shaking his head. His night was ruined and he'll be walking with a slight limp for the next few days, and the little shit he almost killed reminded him of some memories he'd rather forget. He picked up whatever was left in the mug of alcohol and chugged it down. The burning sensation going down his throat did little to lift his spirits.

Vequil looked up to the sky, whispering something to himself. He walked towards the direction of the Muted Maiden, carrying a bastard sword in his hand and taking his steps slow so as to not aggravate the wound on his leg.

Living - that was all he cared about.
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Pride, Honor, and a Pointless Death

Postby Shakune on June 26th, 2015, 7:09 pm

Grades Are Up!!!!

Vequil :
Skills
Deduction +2
Observation +3
Rhetoric +1
Storytelling +1
Intimidation +2
Tactics +1
Acrobatics +2
Weapon: dagger +2
Endurance +1
Brawling +1
Unarmed combat +1
Interrogation +1
Philosophy +1

Lores
Deduction: Recognising wealth
The uspoken rule of the Pig's Foot Tavern: no murder
Roln of the Carins
Cowards live longer
Storytelling: Including the gruesome details
Tactics: Recognizing one's own weaknesses
Intimidation: Taunts to distract a foe
Tactics: Using a foe's aggression against them
Brawling: A kick to the guts
Acrobatics: Pivot!
A duel of honour: the rules, the expectations.
Location: Pig's Foot tavern
Philosophy: The pride are destined to die young
Living: the most important thing

Other
A wound to the right shoulder and to the right thigh. Will heal in 15 days, but both wounds will leave a scar.


If you have any question about your grade, please don't hesitate to PM me :)
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