Flashback An Encounter [I]

[Solo] A flashback where Vequil encounters Taryen during his younger years.

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

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An Encounter [I]

Postby Vequil Alieare on May 16th, 2015, 8:20 am

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47th, Autumn, 508 A.V.
Vequil stalked his target, bare feet padding each step as he slowly inched towards the man. A pouch of Mizas clinked as they swayed with the man's walking figure, music to Vequil's ears. The autumn air carried a slight chill, receding warmth having mostly travelled somewhere else. In summer, the sun cooked the dirt roads. Back then his feet were able to feet the rising heat from the ground. Now it was different, the warmth replaced with cold, and it began sending chills through his body. By winter he would need warm meals and shoes. By winter he'll have need for coin.

More than half a season had passed since Vequil's entry into the city. He soon learned that Sunberth was a place of little compassion where people had to look out for themselves. On the very first day three boys chased him down into the end of an alleyway and robbed him clean of all he had, leaving him to rot away like the rest in the city. He survived. A few days later Chir was taken away, and a few more days later he lost the shoes he had just managed to buy. He still survived. Now Vequil still had his life and his dagger, now they were all he wished to keep.

Vequil followed behind the coin purse, waiting for the opportune moment. The man wore a shirt of cotton, embroidered in a weird pattern of blue and dark yellow - the type that would pass for gold at a mere glance. One learns to recognize the color of gold quick in Sunberth, before he would learn the glint of steel, and eyes that bore ill will. Maren once told him that every man relied on but one of a few things. Either gold, cunning, his sword arm or his friends. With but a single one a man would be able to make a stand for himself. With but a single blunder in another, and a man would be doomed. For Vequil, he only wanted quick silent hands and quick silent feet. His first act of theft was at a stall by the Seaside Market. A skinny, red faced guard caught him just as he was slipping the cut of salted ham into his sash. The guard punched him in the gut and sent him so far for a moment Vequil thought he flew, just like Chir. Redface then let him off with a warning that he'll chop his hand off the next time he catches him. "Caught red-handed." The guard joked, when he saw Vequil's right arm. He then began laughing at his own joke as if it was the most amusing thing in the world. The pain in his gut hurt, but the fear of losing a hand bit deeper. He stopped stealing the next day, and stopped eating. By the next day again the hunger was too much to bear, and he managed to swipe a few strips of of dried bacon when the guard wasn't looking. He ran out of the skinny, red-faced man's sight before he turned back around, and he went on to try his hand for the other stalls. It must've been his lucky day. By the end of his little trip he had a side of bacon, an apple, half a chunk of bread and a slice of cheese. The only time he came close to being caught was when he turned a corner and ran straight into one of the stall owners. His heart thumped as the man walked toward him...and passed, mind occupied with something.

That day he had a feast, and the next day as soon as he reached his arm out the red-faced guard shouted and came running after him. Vequil managed to slip past his grasp and lose him after running past a few corners. Every stall he went after was the same. As soon as he tried anything funny he'd be spotted and chased. The pattern repeated days after, and he couldn't manage to steal a single thing.

Days slowly passed, and weeks, months. He started off trying to slip things from stalls into his pockets, and by now he could clumsily snatch away a thing or two, or at least know when to give up and run. Just yesterday he managed to slip his hands into a woman's basket while she was bargaining for a few onions. He took her bread and made off with it, his feet carrying him well beyond her chase before she screamed in realization of her missing food.

Now that Vequil thought about it, the bread was likely for the dinner table. Her kids probably had to go to bed hungry that day. He tried not to care.
Last edited by Vequil Alieare on May 17th, 2015, 8:09 am, edited 3 times in total.
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An Encounter [I]

Postby Vequil Alieare on May 16th, 2015, 11:08 pm

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Vequil's azure blue eyes watched as the man stopped by a potter's stall to examine a few of the goods on display. The clanking music of the coin at his waist came to a stop along with his steps. The man's hand gently raised a small, ceramic jar up and toyed around with it, rings and gems on his fingers while he asked the potter about the jar.

"Sir the quality of that precious jar you so happen to hold would be exquisite, I personally spun it so that..." Faintly, Vequil could hear the owner dance his tongue in praise of his wares. The man gave no sign of interest in his talk, or if he did, he gave no hint of it.

This is the moment, he thought to himself, and ran down the road feigning a fall, crashing straight into the man's side knocking him down onto the ground. Vequil made sure to catch the falling jar before it landed into a dozen pieces. Having broken his momentum on the crash, Vequil stood and gently tossed the owner the jar while the man sprawled to get back up onto his feet. Before he could get up however, Vequil broke his step into a dash and let out a plain, practiced apology while running off. He ignored the curses that faded as he ran further away.

As soon as he turned the next corner his feet picked up pace. By now the man would know he'd been played for. Vequil could imagine it - the man dusting himself off, swatting the dirt and dust off his shirt and breeches...and realizing that his coin pouch was now missing, and in place there is now only cut string. If he was unlucky he would even find cut fabric and a shallow wound... When he brought White's edge across the string the little flick might've went too deep and grazed through skin. Vequil had to clutch the pouch tight to keep it from making noise while he ran. Though practiced, his movements were still quite clumsy. No doubt by now the man sought to chase him for his coin back...but it was too late. Vequil knew he was well beyond their catch. Running faster was only a precaution, it never hurt to be cautious, especially in Sunberth.

Maren once told him that stealing was acting against the order of god and men. Thinking back, he failed to tell him how just mere hunger could drive men mad, and desperate. Between starving and remaining just, Vequil chose to be fed. The gods who judged so could watch him steal for all he cared, they never answered his prayers when he was too weak to walk from his hunger, why should he follow their rules now?

He passed another few corners and brought himself over a few more alleys, twisting and turning. A body lay somewhere, the stench of decay still fresh. Today he wouldn't need to go through that body again. Searching rotting bodies for trinkets was one of the things he disliked the most.

Another corner passed, and the view expanded into that of the castle commons. The streets grew crowded, filled with people of all sorts. Grown men with steel plate around their bodies, carrying axes, spears and all manner of weapons sharpened and polished. Girls who beautiful and flaunting about the men. Here, Vequil was just another street urchin, a youngling of Sunberth doing his share of petty crime. As long as he wasn't caught, he was fine.

The coin he took was enough to buy a pair of shoes and feed him for a few days. To keep warm for the upcoming cold he'd need a pair of shoes and a cloth to wrap around his feet...and meals. His appetite was growing, and he was eating increasing amounts of food by the day. His body's growth was recognizable... Maren had told him long ago that boys began to grow bigger and stronger suddenly around thirteen, and by then the commonfolk's sons will usually be eating their families even poorer. For Vequil, coin had little use elsewhere, he wanted to be fed, and to be warm and to be alive, and those were all he wanted at present.
Last edited by Vequil Alieare on May 16th, 2015, 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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An Encounter [I]

Postby Vequil Alieare on May 16th, 2015, 11:14 pm

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Vequil was thinking of the coming winter when he heard loud screams and wails coming from the road. He glanced toward the source and saw a man dragging a skinny boy through the cobblestone street. He made the baker out to be Fat Mond, with a barrel of a belly and a face shuddering with fat. The boy in his hands in comparison seemed tiny, his hair auburn and dirty with filthy. His rags most likely haven't been washed in...Vequil didn't know how long.

"No, no please I beg of you kind ser...I was hungry and the bread-" He let out a pained wail as the baker swung the back of his fist over his face. "You shut ya' pie hole! Stealin' from me was the last thing you'll do with those pretty little hands of yours!"

The boy in his clutch was crying. "No no I didn't steal...My brother's gone away and he hasn't come back. Please don't cut off my hands please... He'll pay you once he gets back he always pays what he owes I swear it...!" Fat Mond only scoffed. "If I 'ad a copper for every promise t'at people broke I'd be richer than Goldfinga'." He threw him down. The skinny boy was helpless as he tumbled onto the ground. "Please, someone help..," Fat Mond struck him again. The boy wailed. People passed without giving so much as a second look, just another normal sight to them.

Vequil looked back to the coin in his hand. He looked toward the boy and back to his bare feet then the food in his arms. Something stirred inside. Stepping in, he held the baker's arms before he could land another strike onto the boy.

"What in fuck?" Fat Mond turned to him, "I'll have ya' bloody-"

"I'm his brother." Vequil cut the baker off. He was taller than most of the boys his age and his arms were just slightly thicker. He'd slimmed down after being starved but the strength mostly remained. Before the boy could make out the situation, Vequil tossed Fat Mond the pouch of coin he "borrowed" from the man at the pottery stall.

"Wait who..." the boy started, bewildered. There were tears in his eyes.

"Let's go back." Vequil cut the boy off. He grabbed the boy's hand and helped him up to his feet. The baker counted the coins in his hand, and before he could finish Vequil had lead the boy into an alley away from sight.

"Who are you...?"

Good question, who am I now?

"Don't get caught again." was his answer. He must be hungry, and with that thought Vequil handed him half his bread with a large piece of cheese from earlier, and the boy's soft weak hands received them before he jammed a piece of each into his mouth. His question remained unanswered while he chewed and swallowed. Evidently he was famished. He himself ate as well. The bread was stale, and the cheese hard, but he had learnt that any meal was a good meal. Vequil had only the courtesy to wait until the boy finished his food before he made way for leave.
Last edited by Vequil Alieare on May 16th, 2015, 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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An Encounter [I]

Postby Vequil Alieare on May 16th, 2015, 11:21 pm

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The boy stood still for just a moment before he opened his mouth. "No please don't go. Please..." He followed behind in small steps. Vequil kept walking. Something clutched at him, same as the stirring from before; he tried to ignore it. "My brother...he hasn't come back. I don't know what to do."

"Neither do I." Vequil kept walking.

"No please, you don't understand...He's my only family now."

"You don't understand"...Vequil repeated under his breath, he understood better than anyone. His family lay dead in the gutters, and even the simplest knowledge of what had occurred was beyond his grasp. In his mind he knew he understood better than the younger boy who still had family to look for - he had nothing left. Everyone was dead.

"If he's been missing for so long, likely he's dead."[/i] Saying that somehow gave Vequil relief.

"No he's not. You're lying." The boy said, unable to accept.

How naive. "Believe what you will. He won't be back."

"No...No, no, no, no..." the boy stared into the ground, looking into something beyond the dirt trail. "He always came back after dark, with food and...He can't be dead. Tarwen couldn't be- He was fine just that morning before he left..." His voice grew smaller and smaller, almost a whisper before he could finish. his mouth kept opening and closing, but nothing came out.

Tarwen, Vequil rolled the name around his tongue. He might've heard it somewhere in the past few months, but names of those unknown were worth as little as their lives. Vequil kept walking, and the boy kept following. He probably spoke, but no words came out his mouth.

"Your name?" Vequil asked, breaking the silence. They both kept walking through the alleys, Vequil leading the way.

"Taryen." He answered, the reply no louder than a hushed whisper. "My brother calls me Tary...What's yours?"

"That's not important. Taryen, listen." Vequil said as his steps came to a stop. "Raise your head, look at me. Yes. I don't know where your brother is. I know nothing about him. If it's been days and he hasn't returned then he's either dead or dying." It felt ironic that these very words were coming from him, just half a season back he was much worse than the boy before him.

"No, he wouldn't. He's thirteen and he's strong and fast and-"

"...and dead." His own words felt unnecessarily cruel. What is he? Eleven? An orphan with his last family dead at eleven. How can the gods be so cruel? "He's fast and strong and dead." Vequil repeated.

That brought Taryen to silence. They kept walking. His steps felt heavier than before.

"He said he'd protect me..." the boy whimpered. "Why did you have to leave me too...? Why why whywhywhy...?"[/i] Vequil looked away, unable to take the sight. Was I also this weak when my family died?

"He's gone now. Learn to survive." Vequil bit his teeth together. [i]They're gone now. Survive. Those thoughts seemed to have gone through his very mind just the night ago. He clung onto them and lived, but the pain of those thoughts...the pain.

"How? I'm only a child and I'm weak..."

"Whatever it takes to keep that heart of yours thumping, do it." Whatever it takes. "Stay with me", It's hard being alone, Vequil wanted to add, but he held his tongue. Moments of weakness was not something he could afford. Neither were the cotton shoes he had wanted earlier.

Tary hesitated. A chill breeze of wind swept by, and his hair ruffled slightly.

"Carry your own weight and we'll be able to feed ourselves, at least. You won't be hungry any more." Vequil hoped that his words were true. Sometimes he still slept hungry at night. I need him, he realized. It never occurred to him before this moment that he could still make friends here...friends he desperately needed. Loneliness got to him at times he'd least expect, and it'd make him shrink up and cry. He needed someone to share the burden.

Taryen's pondering seemed an eternity before he finally opened his mouth. "...I'll do it. One week, you help me look for my brother, and then I'll go with you. One week."

"You have my word." Vequil didn't know what his word was worth in Sunberth, but A week was a small price to pay for the presence of a companion.

"And you mine. Call me Tary, and you still haven't told me your name." he said.

"Vequil." Vequil answered, short and crisp. "Tary seems awful girly."

"That's because I am a girl." Was her reply.

That explains it, he thought to himself, trying to conceal his surprise. He asked where she lived, her brother's appearance and a few simple questions, and she gave a few simple answers. On the street. Strong, tall, kind. Three days ago. No. Yes. Vequil had a rough idea of where to begin looking after that.

Little did he know they would find Tarwen's corpse only two days later.
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An Encounter [I]

Postby Shakune on June 27th, 2015, 5:48 pm

Grades Are Up!!!!

Vequil :
Skills
Observation +3
Stealth +2
Deduction +1
Intelligence +1
Acting +1
Running +1
Larceny +1
Rhetoric +1

Lores
The clinks of coins: pure music
Sunberth: A place of little compassion
Chir: The lost hawk
Deduction: What money looks like in Sunberth
Location: Seaside Market
Larceny: Required quick hands and quick feet
Hunger: Drives a man to do terrible things
Fat Mond: Barker of Sunberth
Sharing charity with a fellow hungry boy
Taryen: missing a brother
Taryen: An orphan
Tarwen: the missing brother

Other
Just a minor thing: in the first post, you mentioned that a guard stopped Vequil from thieving. There are no formal guards in Sunberth, due to there being no laws. A merchant might hire bodyguards or mercs to protect their wares, but it's unlikely that even hired men would bother to stop someone from being robbed if they weren't the person the mercenaries were hired to protect.

Also, if you plan on featuring Taryen in many more flashbacks, it's probably worth applying at the HD for him to become an NPC. It might save someone asking you to do this at a later point if he's going to make several appearances :)

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