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Kaie shares a drink with a curious character.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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A Game of Mischief

Postby Kaie on April 23rd, 2016, 12:46 am

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20th Day of Spring, 516 AV

She should've seen it coming. Just a chime ago she'd parted from her bar stool at nature's demand to use the privy far in the back of the Blue Bull. It was as clean as one might expect from a tavern. The construction of the women's was obviously an after thought, which the Myrian deduced while wandering back into the dark, stubby hall to reach it at the opposite side of the room. A strange sensation had started to pry at her from the moment she left the eye of the public, but it was the sound of the erroneous step of a foot just behind her that alerted her to the presence of her follower. Kaie turned with a furrowed brow just in time to catch the sight of a knife beginning to cut the air in search of her throat. Her forearms shot up to bring the vicious attack to a forceful halt. Her left hand, situated closest to the knife, wrapped the arm down against her hip with a secure grip around the wrist to immobilize the weapon. At the same time her right hand formed a fist that slammed against the side of the man's throat. She used her inner leg to reap behind his closest leg's knee, bringing him down upon the ale-sodden floor.

"Rynos? You petchin' prick!" the savage snarled with a knee applying dangerous pressure behind the elbow of the hand she kept control of. The familiar green Akalak grunted beneath her with an embarrassed, averted gaze. He tried to tug his arm back, but Kaie deterred him with agonizing pressure that threatened to break his limb. "What were you trying to do? Stab me because you're still bitter I found out your girl isn't into what's between your legs?" He continued to avoid her stare and ground his teeth. Her expression of disbelief changed into one of hot anger. She drove her knee into the elbow joint and cranked his wrist back toward her chest. A sickening snap rang out and Rynos' howls quickly followed. The knife was swiftly stripped from his grip and his useless arm dropped. Kaie knelt down beside him as he cradled his arm. She shook her head in disgust and planted the knife deep into the floor beside his head. "You hired me, jackass."

The jungle-born let out another growl as she turned and opened the door of the privy. It was stopped by Rynos' head where he laid. She closed the door and tried again, yanking it with the might she could muster. It smashed into the Akalak's head far harder this time, and his recoil left her with enough room to enter. Within a few ticks she had made more room for ale. The giant green Akalak was gone by the time she emerged along with his knife. The agitated Myrian hoped he hadn't retreated to lick his wounds for another day. Already she had spared his life twice when she had the opportunity to end it. A small part of her feared she'd have the restraint to observe Riverfall's laws no longer. Time for another drink, she suggested to herself as she wandered back from the dark little hall and into the greater tavern room. The patrons present turned in their chairs to watch her. Her amber eyes looked only at her awaiting stool. Whether it be for being involved in some sort of public scene or just her undeniably savage image, they always stared anyway no matter where she was.

"Another ale." The bartender nodded and went to turn, but another voice caught her. "This one's on me, Ann. Make it two." Kaie's eyes moved to peer to her right. Where there was once an empty stool beside her now sat a tanned human-looking man. His dark hair was shorn on the sides and the top was pulled back in a short pony-tail. Even at a quick glance one might notice he was practically perfectly manicured.
"Thank you...?"
"Call me Kesser," the mysterious man said with a wink. Ann returned to place the ale before the both of them. The Mizas she was owed were already seated neatly on the counter for her taking. "The Bull thinks you're trouble, but I quite enjoyed your show." Kaie took a long drink of her ale before she addressed his comment. "It's The Bull's tavern. If he thinks I'm trouble he can kick me out." A crooked grin spread wide across Kesser's face. He tasted his ale and leaned back a bit from the counter, eyeing her with a gleam in his dark eyes she couldn't identify. "Nah. Lucky for you The Bull thinks Rynos is a prick, too. Would it surprise you he doesn't make too many friends?"
"Not in the slightest." Kesser let out a chuckle and returned to nurse his ale. Kaie went to do the same, but found there was something about the man that was just...off.

"You don't have a Riverfall accent," she pointed out without accusation. "I take it you haven't been here long?" Kesser's brow rose and his shoulders gave a passive shrug. "Do you like parties, Kaie?" Her jaw dropped a bit and she tried to cover up the reaction with the gesture of simply lining her lower lip with her tongue. Did I ever mention my name? Did someone talk about me while I was gone from my seat? She scratched the back of her head. "Depends on the type of party."
"How about the type where you can spike the punch bowl?" Her head snapped to gaze at him with wide eyes. Her lips parted and then pressed back together a couple times, but nothing came out. Kesser threw his head back and laughed. "I mean, I thought the punch I bought for my guests was excellent but, I have to say, your touch was game changing." The Myrian blinked dumbly. This is the guy I was laughing about and mocking with that Akalak at the ball? Now she really was at a loss for words. "You were the one that threw that party?" Kesser hummed his confirmation as he drank from his tankard. Her cheeks felt hot. "Yes. I remembered you the moment you walked this way. That was a sick thing you did. I distinctly remember children filling their cups from that bowl."
"I don't suppose you'd believe me if I told you that was honestly a mistake?"
"I might...but that's not nearly so fun."
Last edited by Kaie on June 12th, 2016, 11:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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A Game of Mischief

Postby Kaie on April 23rd, 2016, 1:26 am

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Kaie made a point to turn back to face the bar and look fully distracted by her drink. There was something so alluring about the man and yet her most primal senses willed her to keep her distance. He was an enigma part of her recognized might be too dangerous to crack. After all, if he had seen what she had done and watched kids drink the poison, he too was awfully twisted. Just sit and enjoy the free drink, Kaie. Just shut up and get drunk. The Myrian took another swig of alcohol. "Something wrong?" Her brow furrowed. "What would make you think that?"
"You're shaking," he pointed out rather obviously, nodding toward her hand holding her tankard. Her eyes flashed to the traitorous hand and quickly placed the tankard back on the counter. Anxiety began to creep in. Why is it doing that? The truth was the shakes were only the beginning and they weren't the worst of it. It started in the beginning of the season without warning. Each time it came the confused woman was filled with nothing but anxiousness. The awful energy that slowly built would terrorize her until she found a way to relieve it. "I'm fine," Kaie assured him facetiously and tipped the tankard back to her lips to finish the last of the ale. Out of the corner of her eye she could still see Kesser. His mischievous eyes slipped once more to her shaking hands and he smiled privately to himself. She slide her tankard toward the opposite end of the counter for the bartender. Her lips curled.

"Why'd you throw that party anyways?" He'd dodged her question about his lack of a native accent. If he was going to find some strange satisfaction with her unexplained condition, she was going to have qualms prying into what the guy was about. Kesser remained quiet for a moment. He tilted his head back and and forth as if deliberating what to reveal. "I was hoping someone would show." Kesser finished his drink and help up two fingers for the bartender. Ann swiped the tankards up on her way back through. This guy's cryptic as shyke. Kaie laced her fingers together in hopes it would quiet the subtle shakes. She offered the man a laugh. "A ball to lure someone in? Gods, did you really rip that idea out of one of your people's classic romantic fairy tales?" Ann returned with two fresh tankards. Kesser placed a few more Mizas on the counter, gripped his ale, and turned in his seat toward the Myrian with a coy expression. "Not quite. She owes me. I advertised the party under a different name hoping she'd pop up for me to collect. She's proven...elusive." His face turned foul, and his grip around the tankard's handle began white-knuckle tight.

"Why not hire a mercenary to find her? There's plenty of meat-heads around here that wouldn't mind roughing some people. It's easy coin." Kesser sighed in the same an adult might at an ignorant child. "It's not so simple."
"Come on. How hard could it be? there's not that many women in this city."
"Take my word for it. She's a worthy adversary."
"You're right. If she wasn't drawn in by my punch she must be a rare breed."
"Very true. You seem like a woman who knows a good drink when she spills it," Kesser chuckled with a slow shake of his head. One of his hands came up to rub along his scruffy jaw. His deep brown eyes stared off into space with a tightness she guessed was a product of frustration. "Why does she owe you anyways?"
"You really have no concept of privacy, do you?" Kaie shrugged passively with a gaze that suggested something like, "out with it already, would you?"

Kesser scratched at his chin and relented with a long exhale. "I'll tell you...but only if you beat me in a game." The Myrian pursed her lips. This is sounding a lot like something he might've used to trap this woman into owing him. She arched her brow at the man. "I'm not that interest in your life story," she retorted playfully.
"Oh, but it'll be fun! We'll even get Ann in on this. Ann! Come here." Kesser gestured a come-hither toward the bartender enthusiastically. He waggled his eyebrows at Kaie. The petch are you up to, Kesser? Ann made her way over with a confused expression, but the mischief-maker wasted no time getting the two women involved. His voice lowered in volume. "So let me explain how the game works, listen close. Since Ann knows most every patron that walks through the door, she'll be our game master. Ann will pick out someone in the room, and you and I will each give our best guesses about the person's life. Whoever loses has to complete the winner's dare. Best two out of three wins. What do you say?" Both Myrian and bartender eyed one another carefully before resting their eyes on the game's creator. "Sounds like fun. You in, Myrian?" Kaie reluctantly agreed, Kesser rubbed his hands together, and Ann's gaze swept across the room.

"Okay. Closest table to the door. Older blue Akalak in the dirty tan shirt with no shoes drinking wine," Ann whispered to Kaie and Kesser without looking at the man she was describing. Kesser faked a stretching his back for an excuse to lay eyes on the patron. The Myrian took a quick peek over her shoulder. The single glance was all she needed. Whoever he was, the blue Akalak appeared to be an eccentric guy. She didn't even know one could sit with a posture that demanded respect and shouted prestige, yet dress with such squalor. "Ready?" Kesser asked with fingers drumming with eagerness quietly on the counter. If only she could read minds. "Okay. So here's what I think. Our blue friend was once a man of legend in Riverfall...but he was disgraced. Disgraced by family. Yes! And while he used to drink the finest wines the city had to offer, he settles for the best he can now afford." The mischief-maker turned to the Myrian when he was finished all smug with his arms folded. Kaie glanced at the man again. Now it was her turn to grin. "He used to be a well-respected soldier. The injury to his arm blew his ambitions and he's had trouble finding a trade ever since," she whispered back. The two looked then to Ann, whose face betrayed nothing to either hopeful contestant.

"Sorry, Kesser, she's got you there," Ann replied with some surprise. Kaie took a drink of ale to celebrate her victory while Kesser threw up his hands. "You're kidding! How'd you know, Myrian?" he voiced his disbelief lowly to keep the older blue man from catching on from across the room. Kaie put the tankard down and smirked. "He's cradling his arm awkward and he acts too good for what he's wearing. All the Akalaks I've met are warriors of some kind. His injury occurring in service was a blind guess."
"They say he was of high rank when his accident happened. He was training some recruits when somehow his horse was started. It crushed that arm," Ann backed her. Kesser huffed. "Alright, Myrian. Let's hear the dare."

Maybe this game will be fun after all, she thought with a wicked smirk.
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A Game of Mischief

Postby Kaie on June 8th, 2016, 3:01 am

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That's right. A dare, huh? Kaie narrated in the comfort of her mind with a tap of her chin. Kesser's expression in the face of her smug grin could only be described as completely cool. There was no anxiousness in the way his dark eyes searched hers as though he hoped he might decipher her thoughts. He lacked any kind of unnerving gesture that made Kaie believe he was worried about what she might dare him to do at all. This revelation brought her brow knitting together as time ticked by. Whatever she was about to come up with, she knew it needed to hold at least some sort of challenge. The wicked grin spread wider upon her face. Kesser arched an expectant, if not questioning, brow.

"I dare you to walk over to that table over there and insinuate that...you might've caught something from the whore you saw him go off with right after you bedded her," she challenged the man simply with arms folding back across her chest. Ann nearly choked on the laughter she tried to restrain, turning from the pair with a hand covering her gaping mouth. Kesser was statuesque. The Myrian stared back as he remained just so for a tick or two. Then, without a single qualm, the man rose from his stool. He adjusted his fashionable jacket, smoothed out the fine shirt beneath, and offered her a momentary crooked smile before turning promptly away from her. Proud black dress shoes clicked across the room in the direction of his target. A trio of Akalak sat around the table the daree approached. Red, Green, and Purple were their skin. They were just as masculine-looking as one might've anticipated. Muscles bulged from arms propped upon the wooden surface they gathered around. Fat knuckles protruding from calloused hands gripped tankards with a choking grasp. The purple one in particular was littered with scars that marred his face, and one ran so long and deep it seemed to turn his lips into a permanent, unhappy frown. It was this man in particular Kesser rounded the table to stand behind. The group of Akalaks, disrupted by the presence of the finely dressed newcomer, all looked up from their mugs and silenced conversation to peer at him. The fearless game-player gave one last glance toward his Myrian challenger before the moment of truth (er...dare?) was upon him.

"Excuse me, gentlemen. It was never my intention to disturb your meeting, but I owe it to your mate here to warn him of some...approaching personal troubles," Kesser announced just loud enough to Ann and Kaie to hear from the bar. The bartender was leaned upon the counter beside the turned Myrian lounging back upon it. Doubt and disbelief ruled their stares. The game-player devoured it. He placed a well-manicured hand upon the purple Akalak's shoulder, much to his disdain as was evident in the curling of his lip, and lowered himself so it appeared he might whisper in his ear. Ann quickly found a reason to wander down the length of the bar to be closer to the conversation, while Kaie dared not breathe for fear it might drown out the sound of his voice.

"I saw you at the brothel the other night, friend. Seems we enjoy the same sort of women. I couldn't help but notice my girl led you away after I had finished. Saw you two on my way out, giggling like girls. I was giggling with her like that, too...until I got a wretched itch from Hai the next morning," Kesser continued a bit too loud for his conversation with the man to have been a private whisper. The Myrian studied the expression of the Akalak comrades, and that viewing pleasure was comical enough. Their perplexed expression slowly morphed from annoyance, to absolute horror. Their brows rose humorously high upon their foreheads, mouths dropped like someone had unscrewed the hinges to their jaws. Kesser withdrew from the purple man's bright, terrorized glow of silence. The game-player apologetically pressed his lips together and gave the purple man a good pat on the shoulder. The red Akalak began to beat upon his green neighbor with his half-empty tankard as if ensuring the man was paying close attention to the unfolding scene. "My apologies for the agony you're to endure, my friend. Keep the ale handy." And with that Kesser walked back around the table to maneuver back to his stool. He shrugged toward the Myrian, leaving the sweating purple Akalak to the mercy of the boisterous laughing of his compatriots. Ann came hustling back to their end of the bar to join the Myrian in quiet laughter.

"That was tragic! You're a wicked, wicked woman, Myrian!" Ann lamented as Kaie's victim slipped back onto his stool. He offered the two a flash of bright whites before taking a drink from his tankard. "Wicked indeed! Are you sure you didn't mean to spike that punch bowl?" Kesser accused sarcastically and placed his mug back down. Kaie slowly shook her head. "Well played. I wasn't sure you were crazy enough to do it." The man jumped at that, lifting a finger as if to scold her for her blasphemy. "This is my game, Myrian! I don't fear the rules I created." Ann clapped her hands together and began to search the room again. "Okay. So one point for the Myrian and two more rounds to go...and...there!" the bartender and game-maker finally exclaimed quietly. The three leaned in toward one another as the woman peered into the broader room. "Old woman. Human. Right smack in the middle." One at a time Kesser and Kaie took turns stealing a single glance at their target. The Myrian made a point to seize opportunity with a confident guess first. After all, this time she had experience on her side.

"Easy. She served the city as a breeder. Now she mentors the younger breeders." Kaie looked toward Kesser, half-expecting to see a disgruntled expression but instead she was greeted with closed eyes. The eyes flashed open again after a moment of personal thought, and it seemed as though he cared little for the credibility of her guess whatsoever. "She's a failed breeder. Cursed to life out her life in the quiet disappointment of the city, wanted by none," Kesser guessed in a tone that was somber. Ann turned to the Myrian. "Guess lightning doesn't strike twice for you, Myrian. Kesser nailed this one." Kaie's brow furrowed and she quickly turned in her seat to spy the target one last time. Sure enough the elderly woman, grayed and stooped, stared a gloomy pair of eyes into the depths of her tankard as if it could never truly be deep enough. The familiarity of the look, now that she had recognized its presence, had the Myrian pressing her lips into a line. How could she have missed the look of purposelessness and despair?

"Old Sunni was said to have been a beautiful woman in her youth. Blonde like the sun. Eyes like the summer sea. Story goes she arrived with her sister in hopes of finding paradise among the race of warrior men in their gorgeous city. Both sisters were courted and taken as breeders, as you so insensitively put it, Myrian. Her sister died in childbirth and she never conceived to this very day. Poor old girl," Ann sighed and shook her head sadly. Kesser, on the other hand, only basked in the light of his victory. He spun in his stool to give Kaie a pompous smack to her arm. "Oh, ho, ho! How the tables have turned! My turn." And while Kaie never knew herself to be a coward, there was something deeply unsettling about the look deep in his stare.
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A Game of Mischief

Postby Kaie on June 9th, 2016, 3:00 am

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Oh, how anxiety was beginning to settle in like an old, unwanted friend. Kesser's smug grin and eyes gleaming with ominous, mysterious intent was enough to stir the butterflies within the Myrian's gut. The darer gave his scruffy jaw a thoughtful scratch. "You made it clear the last round that you like to play a bit of hard ball, Kaie. I admire that...but I also have to one-up it," he meandered aloud while both Ann and Kaie waited for his judicious thinking to conclude. His stare shifted from her face to her hand, which has begun to stir despite the tight grip she held on her tankard. She adjusted her jaw and released her grasp so she might hide the hand beneath the table. Her amber eyes tightened upon meeting his gaze, which only made his smile widen. "I think I've got just the thing. I, Kesser, do dare you to spill a drink on the biggest fellow in the room."

Ann must've tried to interject something regarding the trouble such a dare might cause, but the darer silenced her with a gesture of his palm. "Don't be such a dud, Ann! Let's liven the place up. Go on, Myrian. Spill the whole mug." Kaie glanced first toward her empty tankard, waving it for the man to see. Kesser chuckled and slid his quarter-full tankard to her opened, shaky hand. "Off you go." The Myrian rolled her eyes at him but indeed rose from her stool to peer across the wider tavern floor. It was a strange time in the afternoon and majority of the seats in the house stood empty. Save for the old man, the trio, and Old Sunni there were slim pickings. However, among all the burly, muscled masses in the room, one certainly stood out from the rest. Gods...petching...dammit. Exiting the privy was a specimen to behold. He was tall, lean, yet thick like an ox. His skin was devoid of heavy scarring, but bruises were revealed along his midnight blue arms. There was no time to glance toward Kesser to see if he might reconsider. If she were to make her move, she needed to get a move on.

With tankard in hand she crossed the floor toward the privy. The midnight blue man swayed nonchalantly through perpendicular to her path, and with a well timed turn of her head to fake a wave toward her "friends", the Myrian plowed right in the target. Ale soaked his shirt and dribbled down his pants, soaking the crotch area by cruel and humiliating design. He let out a surprised exhale and took a step backward to examine the damage. "Stupid, stupid petching idea this damn game," Kaie growled in her Myrian tongue. The midnight blue man's head snapped up at the brutal, sharp language foreign to his ears. In a tick he was inches from her body, staring down at her with narrowed eyes and lips spouting what she could only guess was angry Tukant. Kaie glanced only once downward, and she very quickly wished that she hadn't. A small amount of ale still lingered at the bottom of the tankard. Shyke. And just like that she looked up at the challenging gaze of the adversary...and promptly turned the tankard upside down to drizzle over his shoes. Her ability came alive to warn her of the growing malicious intent before her.

Female or not, the midnight blue Akalak had no trouble giving the woman a rough two-handed shove, which almost sent her sprawling had it not been for the wooden pole just behind. Myri's blessing burned fiercely upon the back of her neck. The Myrian's lips curled and she rebounded from the support pole to swing the tankard high into the man's jaw. Blood and spit flew with the quick strike that turned the man's head. It was only the smallest of victories. A balled fist found her ribs as the man dipped beneath her following left hook. The jungle-born gave a shout and found herself back against the pole with the Akalak still advancing. She swayed away from the straight-punch aimed at her face, and the man grunted when his knuckles beat instead against the solid wood. She escaped into wider space to square up to the angered Akalak. Blood dribbled from his lips, filling the lines between his teeth when he grimaced during the fray. He lifted his ravaged hand to make up the leading half of his guard. A concerning tenderness occupied a space along her torso. She set the damaged tankard down on the nearby table. By now everyone was turning in their seats, shouting to encourage the sudden fight.

"You should start running if that's the best you've got, jungle bitch," the midnight blue Akalak finally broke his silence with as much pride as a gorilla beating its thick chest. "Is this the part where I'm supposed to be intimidated?" she sighed and placed her hands on the back of a rustic chair. "Set her right, Grenn!" the red Akalak hollered from the earlier trio with a raise of his mug. The brawler needed no more encouragement than that from the slim crowd. He began to storm toward the Myrian, who whipped the chair at him simply out of spite. He turned his head in time as the seat splintered against the wooden pole near his face. It did nothing at all to hinder his advance. Instead he merely lifted a rather large splinter in his path and continued his slow charge. Kaie reached over to grip the tankard's handle again. She could practically feel Kesser's excitement from across the room.

The splinter-wielder picked up the pace to quickly close the gap. He swung the wooden weapon diagonally from above. The Myrian turned and wove her way from its path, leaving the Akalak to turn and execute a forward thrust for her middle. Kaie pivoted back away from the attack and swung the tankard down upon the splinter-wielding wrist as though she meant to send it through the floor. He let out a cry that was cut off into a wheezing when her shin struck between his legs. The man involuntarily dropped to a knee, and when he did, the tankard whipped back up to break against the side of his face. Her foot arrived against his chest to send him on his back, but just before the savage got a chance to mount and pummel him, two pairs of colored hands gripped at her arms and dragged her back. Kesser's entertained clapping rung out behind her. All the while the stirred up Myrian snarled.

"Easy, girl, easy!" the purple man tried as he wrenched the broken tankard from her hand. "Reel it in, you bloody animal," the red tried with far less tact. The midnight blue Akalak was still clutching his manhood and making audible sounds of agony where he was recovering on the floor. The burning on her neck had begun to cease, and her mind began to settle as the malicious intent in the room ebbed with her victory. Once her improvised weapon was recovered, the pair gave her a suggestive push back toward the bar counter. She relented and settled back into her stool with a hand covering the spot the man had struck her. Kesser clapped a hand on her shoulder and chuckled heartily. "Good show, Myrian! Here, sit up and have an ale," he commended her and slid more Mizas onto the table for Ann. Kaie leaned forward and rested her hands back on the counter. "That was one bitch of a one-up, Kesser."
"Come now! You're not bitter with me are you?"
"Bitter? Nah. You just better hope I don't win the next one," she challenged with a crooked grin. The bartender returned with two more ales for the pair. Kaie wasted no time taking a few gulps. "Really? You had to break the chair? And the mug?" Ann complained dully with an exasperated expression. She shook her head slowly at the dare's mastermind, who added an extra Miza in good faith for her to snatch. "One for the Myrian. One for the trickster. Last round. Let's see who wants it more." Kesser and Kaie both looked at each other and then back at the bartender as she searched the room for their final challenge.

If this story isn't worth it when I win, I think I'll have to break another chair.
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A Game of Mischief

Postby Kaie on June 10th, 2016, 5:03 am

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Kesser cracked his knuckles like a proper showman with the wild eyes of an invested gambler. Kaie's gaze was leveled on Ann like a panther studying its prey's most minuscule gesture. Time to bury you, Kesser, right along with your smug little grin. The look of utter disappointment would be sweeter than any barbarian delicacy she'd ever tasted. Ann held up a finger to the pair to disappear to the other end of the bar, much to the dismay of the game-players. Both let out a frustrated sigh before turning in their chairs to peer about whoever remained in the room. Before long the bartender was back from her obligations in time to keep them from formulating any sophisticated guesses about potential targets. She tsked at their searching stares returning home to settle on her. "Got one. Me," she announced to both Myrian and trickster with a pride that could've only come from knowingly foiling their attempts at cheating her. Both players' mouths began to part to protest, but the bartender silenced them with a raising of her hand. "I haven't known either of you until about a bell ago, and I damn well would've remembered a unique bunch like the two of you. So go on. Let's hear your best guesses!"

Both were silence for several ticks. No doubt they were trying to both race each other to the quickest response and the most efficient guess. She's young-ish. Probably the best bartender I've ever encountered. A bit of an accent? Kesser sat up straighter and clapped a hand upon the counter as if slapping an imaginary bell. "It took me some time but I figured it out! You're a Drykas girl. No windmarks though. A pity. I'd wager that's the reason you left your pavilion after a time; off to a place where they wouldn't matter. You make up for your lack of status in the city with knowledge though. It's clever, really. I know men in cities who would kill for an informant with such talents," Kesser spilled all of a sudden in an endless, sophisticated stream of quick-witted observation. The Myrian beside him slowly turned her head with wide eyes. Only one word of profanity entered her mind. Petch. The Drykas heritage she might've been able to come up with after a few more critical ticks. She'd spend a decent amount of time with the horse clans earlier on, yet Kesser's knowledge was greater than hers on their culture and these "windmarks". It was from that knowledge he drew a guess far more superior than one she could've ever conjured. Yet the Myrian would not roll over and die. The game was not yet won.

Ann, with hot cheeks, looked next to the Myrian. She cursed beneath her breathe and shrugged her shoulders. There was nothing to do but win or fail, and failure would come surely if she did not try. "You left Endrykas because...you have a thing for good alcohol and a fetish for broody colored quills?" Kesser had her in a vice and she knew it. She could only pray now to the gods he was dead wrong. All gazes rested on Ann now, who stood there with her solemn pause for the sake of suspense. The bartender suddenly raised the hand closest to Kesser. "The trickster wins! You're too insightful for your own good, you smart little bastard." The game's winner tipped an imaginary hat to the two women with a vibrant grin of bright white teeth. Kaie felt her anxiety build subtly in her gut again. It felt as though the pride was seeping from Kesser's every pore. She grit her teeth. "Poor luck, Myrian! You were so confident, too!" Kesser clapped her on the shoulder again with an expression a fool might take for genuinely apologetic. "Now for the final dare..."
"Do your damned worst."
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A Game of Mischief

Postby Kaie on June 12th, 2016, 1:10 am

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The ticks that preceded the unknown, the Myrian had long ago decided, was a cruelty in itself. Sitting upright on her stool, there was nothing else she could do but anticipate Kesser accepting her foolhardy challenge. The aching on her side suddenly felt more pronounced as she let her unwavering stare rest on the trickster's sinister one. Even Ann was glued to the elegant and poised game winner in wait of his just decree. Come on let's get this over with. Dare me already, dammit! Do it. Do it! Sunkissed hands wandered up to rest on the counter again. Kesser stroked his scruffy chin as though pondering a weighty decision of life and death. She watched his gaze dip to her hands. Then, with a snap of his fingers, the epiphany was all over his handsome face. "I've got just the thing to fix you, Myrian," he purred with a spin in his chair to face her. The last inhale she took got stuck in her chest. "I dare you to...thank me."
"What?" It was Ann that asked the question that burst into Kaie's mind. The Myrian's brow furrowed and she searched his face, waiting for the gesture that would betray him before the inevitable punch-line came. A chime passed as the trio stared at one another. Kaie suddenly broke out in a laughter that she quickly regretted due to her bruised side. "Thank you? For what?" The bartender's frown provided a testament to her likewise disappointment and confusion. Kesser's unrelenting smirk only widened. He gestured toward her hand upon the counter. "You stopped shaking, didn't you?"

Sure enough there was no more subtle quivering when she peered down at the appendage. In fact, the shaky anxiousness had ebbed altogether. The amusement was sucked immediately away from her expression. Since the beginning of the season, the strange affliction she could not understand or cease had plagued her and worsened with each day. Some days there was naught but the subtle quivering of her hands that signaled its return before it faded away after a time for no apparent reason. Other days she would be subjected to an onslaught of pacing, anxiety, and inability to remain in place as adrenaline coursed through her veins without any stimulus. Yet here she was with a complete, albeit mysterious, stranger in whose presence her affliction had quieted. Given that she had also lost the game, the Myrian only wished the explanation was something as simple and easy to come by as alcohol.

Kesser extended his hand toward his Myrian companion in spite of her dumbfounded silence. Her hand took his out of habit rather than thought. "Your company was a pleasure, Kaie. I should go before a woman with your endurance cleans my pockets out. Perhaps if we meet again you'll best me at my own game," he offered as he rose from his seat and brushed off the arms of his jacket. He released her and then offered a polite nod toward the bartender with a courteous, "Ann." Kaie snapped out of her stupor to catch the man by arm as he attempted to pass her. "How did you do that?"
"Do what?" There was no returned humor in her stare in the face of his mirth. He leaned in beside her, hovering his lips closer toward her ear so that he might speak only for her. "Your hands shake like an addict desperate for a fix. My dare merely sated that addiction." He went to move away again, but for a reason she couldn't indicate, she found herself speaking again. "And the girl? The one you're searching for?"
"I recall you losing the game, darling."
"I know." Kesser eyed her for a few ticks before relenting.
"You could say we wagered about people's inherent natures...and I won." Kesser went to move away only to find the jungle-born still gripping his arm tightly. "Kesser." He looked down at her grasp and then back at her face. "Thank you." Her fingers released him, and with a sincere smile and a nod, Kesser disappeared through the doors of the Blue Bull into the wider world beyond.

Deciding it best she too went on her way, the Myrian thanked Ann for her company and slid off the stool. Moving toward the back door, she nearly tore her sword free upon being surprised by a woman with white hair hiding just around the corner. "Sorry," she apologized to the young woman whilst lowering her fists, which had sprung up in a guard out of habit. "I didn't see you there." As if too reluctant to peer out from her hiding place, the odd woman stared at her with wide eyes. "Is he gone?"
"Is who gone?" The white-haired woman gestured around the corner in the direction the Myrian had just come from, and Kaie was quick to follow it. Yet nothing laid there but empty stools where she had once sat beside Kesser. When she turned back, she was met only with space. The white-haired girl was gone...driven off just like the shaking in her hands.
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A Game of Mischief

Postby Skyard Underwood on September 14th, 2016, 8:46 pm

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Grades

Secret :
Unarmed combat +2

Wrestling +2

Brawling + 5

Intimidation + 1

Acrobatics + 3

Lore

Kesser: Daring, Deceptive, and a Jokster.

Sunni: A Failed breeder with a troubled past

Brawling: A Tankard can be a weapon too

Barfighting: Creating Advantages Using Surroundings

Brawling: Targeting The Striking Hand

Rynos: A failed assassination attempt.

Insight: A double edged sword


Additional Comments
As always incredibly well written, and I Really enjoyed the thread. There were moments where I found myself laughing in real life. The combat scenes were incredibly intense, and there you have it. A recipe for yet another masterpiece.
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