Minding Business

Lashander goes looking for someone... at the bottom of a cup

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

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Minding Business

Postby Lashander on June 20th, 2015, 4:21 pm

The Silver Sliver, 4th Day of Summer 515 AV


When the ferry spat him back out into Ravok, he'd marched straight for the Silver Sliver. Now Lashander sat in a corner with his second bottle of wine and stewed on his predicament. No Ebdon meant no money and no money meant he couldn't pay his debts to Lesken. Luckily for him, Lesken was a Soldier in the Ebonstryfe and didn't need the money. The downside was that Lesken was a Soldier in the Ebonstryfe. Nobody he cared to get on the bad side of.

That and it was a sheer point of pride for Lash to pay his gambling debts. He always paid. If not on the next day, then the day after, or when he got his allowance. Nominally a retainer for services rendered to his uncle, but really it was more of an allowance while he played at solving problems for the dear old man. Lash wasn't entertaining illusions right now. Clearly he hadn't had enough wine.

Drawing and emptying another cup failed to make an optimist of him and, seizing the decanter and turning it in his hands, he doubted the rest of it would. Rhysol! He thought. Am I growing up?

Luckily that thought served to brighten his mood. There was no petching way he would grow up anytime soon. He was still his mother's son and -more importantly- his uncle's nephew. Money would come, sooner or later, one way or another. And Lesken had better things to do than chase him down, much less try to murder him over a bag of gold-rimmed Mizas. At least he hoped.

Besides, Ebdon was no fool -unlike his investors- and certainly wouldn't have left anything or anyone of value in the city. Good thinking. That deserved another cup of wine, he thought and then so rewarded himself. As he sipped from his cup, it did occur to him that he'd still lost a lot of money and would need to find a way to raise some. Crawl back to his uncle? Neither his combat skills nor his magical training would allow him to make an appropriate amount of coin in the time required. There was always gambling, but games of chance had the innate problem of being games of chance.

He sat there and thought and drank, and then he thought and drank some more. It would come to him in time. For now, he still had some coin on him, enough to keep himself entertained. Maybe make some money gambling with a willing victim, put it towards repaying that debt. Or at least find some good company.

His gaze rose from the cup in his hand and swept the room. At the very very least a nice buzz. Thank Rhysol, he wasn't growing up anytime soon.
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Postby Lashander on June 22nd, 2015, 7:54 pm

As it always was with taverns, there were dark corners, even at this Akajia-forsaken time where the sun was still in the sky. And as it always was with dark corners in taverns, there were people doing things they didn't want others to see. Some were worse because they might draw the Ebonstryfe's ire and thusly always harsh punishment, and some were not so bad because they were mostly a matter of privacy. No matter which of the two categories a particular game fell into, gambling for anything of value usually happened in those very same corners.

But, as Lash's petching luck would have it, not today. At least not right now. There would be no quick coin coming at the end of a die anytime soon in his life, but neither would he lose any. There were worse fates. So either he would have to crawl back to his uncle and ask for more work, real work even. Maybe. Something that paid and paid a lot fast and... Rhysol, he was petched. Not beyond recognition but well and truly at any rate.

"Rhysol, I am petched." Lashander muttered into his cup. "Well and truly petched." he reassured the remaining wine before it was drained. So he wasn't growing up. That was good. And he was getting that buzz on. Also good. Not so good was the bit about still needing hard coin, or something similar. On second thought, petch the similar stuff, he needed hard coin and that was it. Maybe he'd change his mind about the Ebonstryfe. Wouldn't stand to show up and owe everyone there Mizas, would it?

While there was absolutely no need to grow up, yes, money was a necessity if only so he could stop petching thinking about it and go back to enjoying the simple pleasures of drink!

If he ever got his hands on Ebdon... but he wouldn't. No point to dwell on that.

Lash sighed and rose from his seat. The fun had gone out of drinking in this state. He either needed more and harder stuff or had to get out there and do... something about his predicament. And since he was bleeding coin today already he settled for the second option. He counted four silver from his purse and left them on the table, then walked -rather unsteadily and with the help of anything he could reach along the way including a diminutive patron he mistook for a stool- to the door.

The bright sunlight that struck his eyes as he exited the tavern was enough to completely ruin the day. "Petch you, Syna!" he yelled across the walkway outside, loud enough for people to start at the volume, though not at the words themselves, here in Rhysol's city.

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Postby Kalla Whitevine on June 23rd, 2015, 7:09 am

Kalla walked down the street, frowning a bit to herself. The office for jobs and citizenships had to be around here somewhere... But the streets were so confusing that, by now, she almost thought she should give up. No, she couldn't do that. She couldn't just go home and tell her parents they were right.

She let out a puff of air, looking up to the sky and shielding her eyes with her snowflake marked right hand, her eyes still a mix of gold and silver though violet was finally finding its way in there, too. The blue shine to her braided hair reflected a bit in the sunlight, too. There were just so many buildings and people. She was used to being around a lot of people, yes, but this layout... She definitely made the right choice for 'different than Avanthal'. Maybe she should have started out simpler.

After a moment of looking around, she spotted the sign for the tavern. For what felt like the tenth time. Maybe that was a sign she should just go and ask someone. Though, from what she had seen, the people here were something else. But she would manage. Somehow. Mostly she was just sick and tired of being lost. All she wanted was to know the way to a few places and then she would be fine. It would take some time to adjust to the city and the pathways, but otherwise? All she needed were directions.

At that affirment, she allowed a smile to her lips, her eyes slowly shifting to hold more violet even though some specks of silver were still to be seen. Directions would help to get her life back on track.

Directions, a job, and citizenship. That's all, she thought to herself, clasping her hands together over her chest at those thoughts. It seemed so simple when she listed it out like that. And simple it would be.

Kalla focused back on the tavern's sign and the doorway, blinking as she saw a man stumble to the door. Brushing a piece of hair behind her ear, she was almost tempted to walk over and offer assistance...until he shouted. She looked around as no one else seemed surprised at the words that came from the man's mouth, though her surprise soon faded as she remembered what else she had seen since her arrival. This really wasn't odd behavior, was it?

He looked young, or at least not older than her, which probably meant it wasn't good for him to stumble about alone. Then again, if he lived here.... She shrugged to herself, starting off, before stopping and turning back around, walking closer. At least he didn't look like a threat, so she could ask him for directions and ease her conscious by making sure he didn't get kidnapped on his way to wherever.

The Vantha cleared her throat once she was close enough before asking, "Are you all right?"
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Postby Lashander on June 24th, 2015, 10:05 am

Slowly, the young man blinked away from the sun he saw as being so overly bright he needed to curse at it and trained his gaze on the young woman who'd snuck up on him while he was busy suffering Syna's untoward advances. Lashander looked the helpful young lady over with a measuring gaze. The kind one would give a slave before deciding on whether to buy it or not, maybe. Lash hadn't actually gotten to buy any slaves of his own, but he'd gone to the market often enough with a retainer tasked to find a new household servant.

She looked... exotic to him. He hadn't ever gotten out of Ravok, so he couldn't have placed Kalla if his life depended on it. All he knew for sure was that she wasn't your average Ravokian. And she had pretty eyes.

"You got purdy eyes." Lash chuckled, more at himself not coming up with a better thing to say at a stranger's unexpected offer of help. At least he wasn't slurring. At least he didn't think he was slurring. With that last cup of wine in him, he wasn't sure he'd know if he was slurring his words or not. But then again it wasn't like this was an official introduction at a society function. He didn't need to slur his words here just to make a point of how disaffected he was. Or whatever.

The point was, he could afford to be nice, and this girl was obviously trying to be nice first. What was the harm in being nice back? So while Kalla was just blinking her eyes as she considered a response to that initial statement, he quickly amended his words. "And uh, thanks for asking. I'm good, the time of day is just wrong. Syna has no business being so petching bright at two pitchers of wine in the afternoon."

For a moment, he stood there and just ruffled his hair unsurely while the woman graced him with a smile of relief for his assurance of his well-being, or maybe she found humor in his explanations of Syna's faults. Or maybe she just smiled because she wasn't sure what to do about how the boy flirted with heresy. How would he know? As he mused around in his head, he considered another option. Maybe she wasn't just a helpful stranger, maybe the girl was some kind of bait.

"So... thanks for asking. You mind if I ask you something back? Are you one of Lesken's?"
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Postby Kalla Whitevine on June 24th, 2015, 8:58 pm

She offered a smile as he looked to her, though that smile quickly faded as he looked her over. Actually, she looked somewhat insulted since, while she couldn't even guess it was anything like how one would look at a slave before possibly buying them, she knew that it wasn't just a normal look. She opened her mouth to say something but promptly shut it, brushing it off with the explanation of 'this man is clearly drunk'. She couldn't blame him for acting like that when he had one too many, could she?

She could. But she would let it slide for now. Especially since she wanted to be helpful and pointing out that it was rude, to her at least, to look at someone like that probably would not give her any points. Not to mention, if she said something, who knew what would happen?

At the man's compliment, she blinked once, seeming surprised. No one had ever mentioned anything on her eyes before...but she also never really left Avanthal until she decided to come here. At home, her eyes were very run of the mill. It only took a few ticks before she let a smile play with the corners of her lips. When he spoke again, she raised a brow, doubtful. "Right. He has no business doing so, of course. Two pitchers is far too late for that," she replied, a corner of her mouth tugged up as she tried to keep away her amusement. Though the violet color of her eyes had only become deeper due to that, but there was still a ring of silver around her pupils due to her concern for the man. Concerned as she was, she had to admit she found him a bit amusing at least. Of course, drunk people were either amusing, concerning, or a mix of both. He was still swaying in the middle as she still wasn't convinced he should be let loose on his own. For all she knew, he might fall into a canal.

Her smile faded once more at the question, changing for a look of confusion. "One of who's what now?," she asked, then frowned, "If you mean do I belong to someone; no, I'm only belonging to myself." Her brows knitted together for a moment. Her wording sounded off somehow, but... She shrugged it off, deciding it couldn't be too bad considering she was rather basic in common. The Vantha glanced around, just to be certain that there was no one about to jump out, since if the man was asking on someone it was likely that person was looking for him.

She wasn't exactly pining to be in the middle of it, either.

There was a brief pause as she considered something, curious as to why he was worrying about if she was someone's whatever he thought. "Why? Spend the last of your mizas on your wine pitchers?," she asked hesitantly, the only thought in her mind being that whoever Lesken was wanted something from him or, perhaps, the other way around.
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Postby Lashander on June 25th, 2015, 4:24 pm

"Nah, I still got mine right here." The young man laughed and unconcernedly patted his purse to underline the statement about his coin. Clearly he wasn't expecting the violet-eyed woman to rob him anytime soon. Continuing the line of subtly slurred speed, he raised his gloved left index finger as if to point out something sublime and worthy of attention. "Now Lesken's Mizas on the other hand, well that's an entirely different story. No idea where those might be by now.

He laughed again. For a moment, Lashander paused in his speech but left the finger raised. Once that moment was past he seemed to discover said finger anew and cast a bewildered glance towards it before quickly dropping the entire arm again. Somehwere in the recesses of his own mind, part of him was laughing at the rest of him and how be behaved and wondering what to make of the exotic young woman. Clearly she wasn't from around here, but she wasn't a slave either. What was she then to Ravok?

If Lash was to see his curiosity satisfied anytime soon he'd need a clearer head and soon. Jumping into the water might have worked but there was no telling how the girl might react to that. He could walk it off, but if she remained here that would clearly work against his wants. Maybe they could walk his buzz off together? "Right then. Now Syna may have the time wrong, but I don't. It's clearly time I properly introduced myself... I'm Lash. Hello."

That opportunity for a good second impression utterly wasted, he touched his right hand to his heart nonetheless and performed a somewhat courtly bow towards the stranger. He barely wobbled as he snapped back to his full if unimpressive height and added, "Wastrel, layabout and general nuisance to Ravok, but more importantly, very local. Which, pardon the assumption, you don't seem to be. If you'll allow me to repay your kindness by showing you around, it'd be my pleasure."

"Especially if you're really not a slave, you probably want a citizen by your side until you get matters settled. You do kind of stand out. Lash added in a more private voice. And, alcohol aside, in that one moment he hoped he managed to convey the seriousness of his point, if not the potential sincerity of his offer.
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Postby Kalla Whitevine on June 25th, 2015, 10:31 pm

Kalla nodded at his assurance he had his own mizas, her gaze moving to his hand as he raises it before back to his face, sighing. "Ah, so that's why you're worried about him. Was it really that good of an idea to use someone else's mizas?" Her look was doubtful as she asked, though soon enough she was pressing her lips together to keep from chuckling as he only seemed to realize his finger was still raised after some moments.

As silly as this man seemed, which she still could only attribute to his being drunk, he did seem friendly enough. Which spoke for him in her mind, at least compared to what she had mostly been seeing from the sidelines so far. As curious as she was about life in Ravok, and by default trying to learn all she could so she could fit in better, she was a bit nervous about just approaching people. It seemed she had made the right choice with speaking to this man, even if he had some problems of his own going on.

When he spoke again and introduced himself, she smiled in return. "Any chance your name was decided by someone knowing what would happen to you for spending Lesken's mizas?," she asked, her tone light and joking, before she actually introduced herself as well. "I'm Kalla. It's nice to meet you, Lash." Though as he bowed, she seemed uncertain if she was supposed to repeat the gesture or not. After a moment of thought, she does, deciding to be rather safe than sorry, before straightening again. She didn't really think much of his height, if only because she was only but so tall herself. "From the Whitevine Hold," she offered in exchange for his self-description, biting her lip for a moment. She had tried to blend in as best she could, but, well, she couldn't really hide what she was nor did she particularly wish to. "That obvious I'm not from here?," she sighed a moment, glancing around, "I thought I at least saw one other Vantha, though I'm not certain now... But if you wouldn't mind showing me around and maybe pointing me in the direction of the citizenship office, I'd be very grateful." She gave him a smile, seeming to relax at his offer and her reply. As far as she was concerned, she didn't have to worry about any threat from this man. And that made her feel at ease for once.
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Postby Lashander on June 26th, 2015, 6:07 am

When Kalla questioned Lash's wisdom in borrowing money at all, Lash just had to respond with a dramatic shrug and a wide grin. "It did seem like a good idea at the time, but please don't dwell on it. I take care of my debts... sooner or -more likely- later." Despite his brief bout of suspicion from before, the young man seemed entirely at ease with the concept of owing Lesken by now. In truth, he kept going back and forth on his opinion on the whole unwholesome matter of his failed big investment Right now he wasn't worried.

Grinning at the young woman, he chanced another look at her eyes. Maybe what she said was true and there were other... Vantha, whoever they might be, in town, but he definitely didn't remember anyone with eyes quite like that. And their violet seemed to flare up at times which was quite dazzling on top of the unusual color of their makeup. A thought crossed Lash's mind: Maybe he should just march her over to the slave market and sell her off. That would cover his debts and then some and was a much shorter trip than getting her to the Registration Office. On another day, he might have done so, but today, he was happy for some company and the distraction. The girl didn't even know how lucky she was. And he didn't plan to let her in on that secret. No need to scare her off.

"Now then, Kalla from the Whitevine Hold,"[shadow] he continued instead, [shadow=#b59033]"My proper name is actually 'Lashander' but that's a mouthful and sounds far too grown-up for me anyway. 'Lash' is... better. So let's stick with that, alright?" That grin refused to fade from his face as he stood outside the public house in the middle of the petching docks and chatted with a complete stranger. Sometimes it was the little things in life that made or broke the day. An unexpected friendly encounter wasn't all too rare in Ravok, but where it involved complete strangers... well, it actually was.

Lashander poffered his left arm to Kalla to take or leave while his right made a sweeping gesture out towards the canal, "For future reference, if you end up needing to go somewhere and haven't got the faintest clue how to get there -and believe me, it happens to the locals at times, as well- what you really want to do is get on one of these flat-bottomed boats. The Rasolava are the fastest and safest way to get around, really. Apparently Rhysol frowns on piracy."

He took a few steps towards the edge of the canal, then pointed down its length, ignoring the Rasolavaman trying to offer them a ride, and continued. "Where you want to go is actually juuust down there. Couple platforms down where the buildings part to form an open square? That's where the Registration Office is at. Buuut since I'm trying to walk off the wine here we'll take the scenic route."

Leading Kalla back from the water's edge after she'd had a moment to look around and get the bearings he'd indicated, maybe another moment to appreciate the Rasolava and have an idea of what they looked like for future reference, Lash moved to round the platform they were on. At some point he had remembered that he'd set out to learn more about this girl and not just rant and ramble in his besotted lilt. Maybe he'd need to slow his pace overall. Certainly he needed to slow all his talking. Still, there was more to be said.

"Now, as for how I know you're not from around here, it's simple: Ravokians don't get involved. Doesn't matter what it is. The locals -we- know that if there's a problem sooner or later the Stryfe will crack down on it and then we don't want to be caught in the middle. Well, some of us do. I don't mind but then... Lash paused in his walk, turned his head towards the girl and showed her that his grin was still right where she'd last seen it. He made sure to underscore the next few words with a wink he hoped looked playful enough and not like he was trying to catch flies with his eyelid.

"I'm trouble. I'm sure you can tell by now."
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Postby Kalla Whitevine on June 27th, 2015, 12:50 am

"I'm surprised people keep lending you money, if this is a normal thing," she replied, tilting her head slightly. Of course if he paid it back, it made sense for people to continue lending...but if he only paid it back after he was worried of someone coming after him, well. By now her eyes would fully violet, no trace of silver to be seen, since she had relaxed enough and wasn't quite as worried for Lash. As he took the chance to look to her eyes, she looked to his as well, trying to glean something from them. It was rather difficult, for her, to tell much from people who had eyes that stayed one color. Kalla just couldn't understand how people did it so easily. So all she could assume from his constant grin was that he was a generally happy person, or drunk, or faking it. She preferred to assume he was just happy, at least until she might be proven wrong.

She gave a faintly embarrassed smile as he started to speak again. "It's not really 'of', more just Kalla Whitevine...I just said it that way since I wasn't sure if that's just how you introduce yourself here or not..." She fell silent as he continued to speak, nodding in understanding. "Lash it is then. You're right, Lashander does seem a hint too grown-up," she agreed, her tone a bit teasing.

The Vantha took the offered arm with a smile, deciding it was probably in her best interest to seem connected to a citizen in some way, Lash's prior words having confirmed as much. Whatever anyone nearby might assume, she wasn't going to mind, so long as nothing would happen to her until she could get a citizen's protections. "Rasolava, I'll remember that," she murmured, going with him to the canal and looking to the Rasolava nearby. A hint of wariness found its way to her face as she eyed the water. One of the reasons she hadn't gone to see if she could use one of them, besides being uncertain of how public they were, came from the fact she couldn't swim and didn't want to risk trying to learn fast. In retrospect, entering a floating city while lacking the ability probably had not been her greatest of ideas. "Wait. I would have thought Rhysol, of all gods, would be the one to enjoy people stealing...," she looked to him with knitted brows at her words, clearly confused. While she knew quite a bit of Morwen and Rak'keli, most other gods or goddesses she only knew of, not exactly what they wanted of their followers.

Nodding her head as he pointed out the directions to the registration office, she gave him a smile. "The scenic route sounds good to me. Maybe I'll even learn where more things are this way," she replied, an optimistic tone to her voice. After all, exploring and taking the long way were usually the best to become familiar with some place. Even being lost sometimes worked out for the best. At least it had seemed to in this case.

Even as they walked from the water, she still gave it a wary look, almost as if she expected it to grab her, pull her in, and drown her all in a matter of moments. But as Lash speaks, her attention quickly returns to him, a light frown on her lips. "So no one helps anyone out of the goodness of their heart? She seemed rather taken aback at that. Kalla knew not to expect any city to be like Avanthal or her Hold, but for no one to help anyone? That was a rather big surprise.

The frown fades quickly enough at his wink and last words, a faintly amused smile replacing it. "Well, trouble is the most interesting by far anyway. So that gives you some points."
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Postby Lashander on July 8th, 2015, 4:06 pm

"Rhysol. Good old Rhysol." Of course he'd jump on that statement as he guided the girl down towards the boat that would ferry them off. "You people -outsiders that is, all of them really- don't understand. But that's just because you haven't lived here. Rhysol, Rhysol is our protector. Without him the marvel that is this beautiful city of mine wouldn't exist."

"And the only way it can continue to exist is if there are rules. Which is funny cause this is me saying that and I kinda look at rules just to go the other way. But, bottom line is this: Rhysol wants a city for himself, and he makes sure it remains a proper city and doesn't turn into Sunberth or whatever." Pausing in his somewhat aimless tirade, Lashander took a moment to direct the Rasolavaman to their destination. He bade the young woman sit down in the boat because even though Ravok was situated on a lake, not an ocean, the waters could get somewhat shaky nonetheless in a flat-bottomed Rasolava.

Theirs quickly entered an intersection where no less than six canals met but remained on the grandest of them as their Rasolava tried to cross it. Other boats seemed to enter this particular spot exactly at the same time and all aimed to meet in the middle, neither giving the other the right of way. The boatmen quickly got into a heated argument. One which Lash pointedly ignored. Apparently that too was part of the local scenery. "That's where the Stryfe comes in." he expanded instead. "They keep the laws of Ravok, and enforce them. Hard, swift justice. Sometimes a bit overzealous, though. Which is why you don't want to stand in their way when they swoop in."

"Which is why you don't want to get involved in things that don't concern you. I don't know what they tell you elsewhere, truth be told, but this is our system and it works for us." While the whole thing had at times sounded defensive, the delivery had been easy enough. It should have been clear that the boy was not truly offended. Still, it seemed to have dimmed his mood just a tad. Their boatman resolved his issues with his peers and pushed on across the intersection.

The remarkable thing about the canal they entered was the noticeable difference between both sides of it. The left-hand side's facades were much richer and finely constructed, with mosaics and stucco laid into the plaster. "The noble quarter begins here." Kalla's host explained. "Now, we don't actually have nobles, but we call it that anyway. All the rich people live there, and you can find the finest wares in the land in its shops."
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