Solo Bad Timing, My Friend

Wherein Baran sees a man beaten up, and wonders whether he chose the right place to live...

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

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Bad Timing, My Friend

Postby Baran on June 5th, 2016, 11:39 am

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1st Summer, 516 AV


The darkness of the tent was oppressive, hot, sweaty. It was early morning, yet Baran had slept fitfully, tossing and turning in his sleep, with paranoia already setting in. He'd arrived at Sunberth a few days ago, grimy, in sore need of a wash, but nevertheless, happy to have arrived. The others he'd been travelling with had long since departed, with a brief pat on the back. He thought he'd overhead one mutter, "Good luck", but the remark had drifted on the wind.

Pushing aside his bedroll, the man clambered up, and pushed aside the flap of his tent. The weak light of morning filtered through the murk, and he rubbed his face, despising how unclean the place was. A quick inventory check told him that thankfully, no-one had robbed him in the night. At least, not yet. Perhaps the locals were still checking him out, seeing if he would be a threat or not. He wasn't, at least, not yet. Thankfully, they didn't know that.

His pony, Meredith, snickered and puffed steam from her nostrils. Where he was camped was a vast conglomerate of tents, some fresh, others firmly rooted to the environment. Obviously the place was a permanent one. The man wasn't sure if he'd stay here for long though. His tent he would keep, but the evil stares directed his way were beginning to unnerve him. But, the man appreciated a challenge. Whether these people accepted him or not, he would stay for as long as he could.

With only a week of rations left, Baran decided that he should probably get supplies of some kind. Although he was loathe to leave his tent behind, he had to hope that the shabby appearance of the structure, and the vague warning of a kick from Meredith would warn people away. His gamba though, he entrusted to no-one. And so, the man strapped it to his back, and wandered with his coin tight to his chest through the meandering 'streets' of the Tent City.

---


It was some time before he found anything even remotely edible. But the people of the Tent City still needed to eat, he presumed, and soon enough he found a vendor. He watched from a distance for half a chime. There didn't seem to be anything remiss with the stall, so he walked towards the wizened vendor. The man stared at him, his eyes obscured by heavy eyebrows a startling shade of black under a thick bushy white head of hair.

The stall was laid out with bread, for the most part. There was a box of dubiously smelling fish, which Baran avoided, but the assortment of vegetables in the other box seemed decent. He picked up a potato, a wheel of hard cheese and a small loaf of tough brown bread. The man continued to scowl at him, all the way through the purchase. It was only until Baran reached home again that he realised he'd been fleeced a handful of change.

Ledger :
I am assuming that the food comes under living expenses.
Stolen money= -1 GM 8 SM
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Baran
"If you steal my gamba, I will gut you."
 
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Bad Timing, My Friend

Postby Baran on June 5th, 2016, 11:51 am

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Despite Baran's long journeys, occasionally without help (although admittedly not for very long), the man had little to no clue how to cook. The bread of course, and the cheese, seemed easy enough. Slice, slice with his knife and there you go, a meal. But the potato on the other hand... However, he was hungry. And hunger, as well as thirst, wasn't good. He'd have to find an alehouse soon.

The man crouched outside of his tent, aware of his surroundings. He was camped right on the outskirts of the Tent City, with the main city of Sunberth a fair distance away. His appearance a couple of days ago had not been well-received by the current residents near to him, and they glared at him still. Nevertheless, they didn't seem dangerous, not all of them at least. Baran smiled and nodded at them before ducking his head down and gathering a handful of dry tinder to place on the pile of sticks he'd been crafting.

Grabbing his flint and tinder, he struck over and over until a spark caught on the kindling. He blew it, soft but not too soft until the flame caught the wood, and the fire started to crackle. It would be a while yet until he could cook from it, he'd need to monitor it for a while until it was burning steadily, but he didn't mind that. Gave him chance to size up his companions.

There were four tents that all faced his. A space in the middle was scarred in a firepit, and he half-wondered why he didn't use the space already created. So, the first tent. He looked over at the fabric, and noticed it was laced closed. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary with it, so he dragged his glance across.

A firece-eyed woman met his gaze, and he looked back at her. She seemed a challenging one, and the man wondered if she was already taken. She struck a gesture at him, something which he didn't recognise, but understood the meaning. Petch off. The smoke of the guttering fire stung his eyes, and he looked down, feeding it a small handful of twigs.

The next tent was propped open, and was the largest of the four. He couldn't see anyone nearby, but he knew there was someone in there, as smoke idly drifted from underneath the flap, smoke that smelled distinctly different to woodsmoke. Perhaps that was worth investigating further.
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Baran
"If you steal my gamba, I will gut you."
 
Posts: 94
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Joined roleplay: March 4th, 2016, 12:27 pm
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Bad Timing, My Friend

Postby Baran on June 5th, 2016, 12:08 pm

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The final tent was the oddest, in his opinion. It leaned slightly towards its larger neighbour, the ropes that once held it in place were ragged and frayed. But a family lived there, a mother, father, daughter and three identical sons milling outside, seemingly happy and welcomed. Baran wondered what they'd done to be so included, and came to the conclusion that perhaps they'd always lived there.

He wasn't worried, despite the obvious dangers from all corners. He knew he could be robbed, even stabbed. Travelling alone was a dangerous undertaking, and living in a place like that was perhaps even more dangerous. But he vowed he would get on with these people. Maybe he could even share a drink with them. And, as the man that he was, his mind wandered back to that fierce-eyed woman that beguiled him so. But enough of that!

The small fire was burning nicely now, but his stomach was complaining. It was time to get cooking. He leaned over and grabbed a semi-clean stick. His eating knife would have to do as he cleaned the stick of bark, and slightly filed the tip to a point. Doing so, he skewered the potato on the stick, and held it above the fire. He wasn't sure if it would work, and had a feeling it wouldn't, but, he'd bought the thing and had been stolen from for it. He was going to try it, whether it would work or not.

---


It wasn't long until he realised he'd made a mistake with this particular food item. Ten chimes later, he was left with a semi-blackened, uncooked potato that tasted of nothing but hot and ash. He spat it out in disgust, and grabbed the cheese and bread. The fire chuckled, seeming to laugh at him. That was until he realised that he was being laughed at by the family's little boy, who had wandered over.

Baran winked at the lad, who stared at him in a wholly skin-crawling manner, before running back to his brothers to mock-fight. Right, no-one here likes me. Got that. He sighed as he chewed his meal, morosely poking the fire, until 30 chimes later, when the fire was nothing more that a pit of embers.

The man wasn't sure what to do, but was too paranoid to leave the camp. Food having been eaten, and stomach satisfied, the man stood up with creaking limbs to explore the Tent City a little further. Gamba safely strapped to his back once again, the man pulled on his boots, and headed into the city. It was now roughly midday, and the place was a hive of activity. Beggars clutched at his ankles, but he ignored them. Women called from doorways, and fought bare-knuckled with brats that tried their patience. Men swore, drunk, and made trades, or lurked in narrow corridors, eyes darting to and fro. Others lay in small huddles under the influence of something. The whole mass was a mess that Baran loved, so much more than he realised he would've, before arriving here.

Yes, they all hated his guts for being a stranger, but there was a community that was entirely without rules, and he wanted it. He wanted the challenge of fitting in with these people. And it was as he was coming to that conclusion that he rounded a relatively quiet corner, and stumbled over a distressing scene.
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Baran
"If you steal my gamba, I will gut you."
 
Posts: 94
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Joined roleplay: March 4th, 2016, 12:27 pm
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Bad Timing, My Friend

Postby Baran on June 5th, 2016, 12:27 pm

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Quickly ducking out of eyesight, the man hid behind the outcropping wall of a burnt-down ruin. The area was overshadowed by a small tree, wizened and covered with crab-apples. The hard little things dug into his knees as he watched over the rim of stone at the scene in front of him.

A group of men were standing over someone obscured on the ground. They didn't look nice, their faces were hidden and they were dressed in dark clothing that looked bulky, like armor. He could vaguely hear them talking to the stranger on the floor, and he pricked his ears to listen. "Bad timing, my friend. Bad timing indeed. We'll see where this leads you, but it ain't pretty, I'm tellin' ya."

A low whimper from the ground confirmed that it was a man, and he said something that Baran didn't hear, in beseeching tones. The leader of the group replied as he squatted to be level with the man, a dark chuckle in his voice. "Oh, you think we'd like that, huh? I'm not that kind of person, laddie. I prefer to beat your skull in, that way there can't be any kind of misunderstanding with our other clients, ye ken?" His voice was rich and laden with threat, and Baran was faced with a dilemma- what to do in a situation that he'd never been in before.

Whether to help the man, who had no way to defend himself, or to walk away. Or maybe even to join in. Three choices. Baran wasn't a bad man, not always, but he wasn't necessarily well-moraled. He quickly dismissed helping him, as that route would only mean that his skull would be kicked in too, and he'd much rather live than become a pile of bones to be picked over by the crows. He watched as the thugs started to beat him, kicking him in the chest, the ribs, the sternum, and the man on the floor whimpered in pain.

It's wasn't a comfortable sight, or even a comfortable position, but Baran decided to stay hidden, and move when they'd finished. He was at least safely hidden, and if the men spotted him moving, maybe they'd want to make sure there were no witnesses. So, he watched, as the men kicked and beat the man to the verge of death, and walked off into the city, a job well done. His hiding place made him crouch, and his legs were stiff as he stood up, stretching. Someone would soon find this man, and maybe find his family. Who knows, he might make a recovery.

He wandered over, curious despite himself. The man was softly groaning, bloodied and muddied. He could see that there must've been at least two bones broken, and he wondered what on earth he could've done to justify his treatment. But, it wasn't his place to judge. Or indeed help. He turned away, and walked away from the scene of yet another day in Sunberth.

He'd learnt a lesson today. Mind your own business. And maybe, just maybe, learn to cook a potato. A day well-spent, in his opinion.
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Baran
"If you steal my gamba, I will gut you."
 
Posts: 94
Words: 64397
Joined roleplay: March 4th, 2016, 12:27 pm
Location: Ravok
Race: Human
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Bad Timing, My Friend

Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 23rd, 2016, 4:08 am

ImageGrades Ahoy!


Name:Baran

XP Award:
  • Cooking +1
  • Wilderness Survival +2
  • Observation +3
Lore:
  • Cooking: Potatoes Don't Roast Well
  • Sunberth: Doesn't Like Outsiders
  • No Help in Sunberth
  • Wilderness Survival: Sharpening a Stick

Penalties/Rewards :
I checked your ledger and saw you already subtracted the stolen gold, so you should be good to go.

Comments :
I like your writing style. It is very personable, and I never stumble over the words when reading your threads. Keep up the good work. :)

There wasn't much cooking here, but I rewarded Wilderness Survival for starting and maintaining the fire. If you think there is anything I missed, feel free to PM me. Otherwise, please don't forget to delete or edit your grade request to reflect its graded status.
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Rock the boat.
 
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