Solo Twist of Fate

Maria begins her journey to Ravok

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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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Twist of Fate

Postby Maria Talwa on June 2nd, 2017, 1:09 pm

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1, Summer, 517

It was cool and the tables in the bazaar had quite a few people sitting at them as another day went by. This was one of the days when Maria wasn't working at Beautiful Things, so she was enjoying a meal and some time off. Seated at a table she displayed the manners of a ravenous wolf while eating, and shot dirty looks at anyone who seemed to have a problem with it. The young woman well knew she had poor table manners, it was merely a matter of not caring. The steak and eggs breakfast was something of a personal treat to her and was being well enjoyed. Near the end of the meal, she noticed that an older Akalak man was staring as well, but it didn't seem to be table manners he was concerned with. It was the short sword at her side the man was staring at. Soon he stood up and walked over to where Maria was sitting.

Normally she would snap a nasty reply, but curious to know what all of this was about, she merely arched a brow and stared him down. The blue man appeared older with streaks of gray appearing atop his head, and a stern look upon his face, but not one seemingly of cruelty. Dressed in everyday clothing the man was the type she likely wouldn't look twice at on the street.

“What, did I just grow a second head or something?” Maria said.

“No, you didn't, though that would be a sight to see for sure,” the man said. “I was actually curious about the sword you carry. Might I ask where you got it?” Maria looked down at the short sword by her side, which was the weapon she'd had since childhood. While nothing spectacular to behold, it as a well crafted weapon that had lasted over the years, and saved her life quite a few times in Sunberth and other places.

“Had it for as long as I can remember, why?” Maria said.

“Just curiosity really, it looks like one of Dovoras' early pieces,” the man said. That almost struck Maria like a lightning bolt, and as the man turned to leave she reached out grabbing him by the wrist. The man looked down, then to Maria, but didn't try to jerk his arm away.

“Do you... know who made this sword?” Maria said, letting go of the man's arm.

“You don't?” the man said.

“No, I don't,” Maria said. “This sword has been with me since I was child, but I never knew where it came from.”

“Well, as I mentioned a moment ago, it looks like an earlier piece made by a friend of mine, Dovoras. If I'm right, and I usually am, it's one of his smithed works. Although... he hasn't used that hilt design in a good... twenty five years?” In a move that was completely out of character for her, Maria unhooked the sword from her belt, stood, and held it out to the man. The man accepted the weapon, then pulled it from the sheath and looked the blade over carefully. He pointed it forward and squinted one eye closed looking down the length of steel. Taking a step back he gave it a few test swings, then chuckled a little, sheathed the blade, and handed it back to her.
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Twist of Fate

Postby Maria Talwa on June 2nd, 2017, 1:10 pm

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“That's definitely a Dovoras piece all right,” the man said.

“How can you be sure?” Maria said.

“Another trademark of his early sword work, they're a bit hilt heavy,” the man said. That was something else Maria had noticed in the past, compared to other swords the weapon was a touch heavy in the hilt, but it was something she'd adjusted to a long time ago.

“Do you know where I could find Dovoras?” Maria said.

“He used to run a smithy up in Ravok, though he retired some years ago. Getting a bit long in the tooth and all that,” the man said. With a small nod he turned around and left, leaving Maria to sit down and stare at sword in her hand. There was truth to what she'd said, about having the sword as far back as memory served. This sword had always been a part of her life, but she also had no idea where it came from, who made it, or why it had come to her. Her earliest memories had been of the back alleys of Sunberth, but surely there was something more than that. The question of who she was, where she truly came from, and others, were something Maria hadn't thought about in years.

For the longest time she'd given up any hope of ever finding out the truth of her own origins beyond that of a Sunberth street rat. Now to have some Akalak walk up out of nowhere and tell her about where the sword came from and who made it, the whole experience had been unnerving and unearthed a lot of old thoughts. The sword had been made by a man named Dovoras and he lived in Ravok. Then that sunk in.

“Damn...” Maria said. While not a travel expert she'd seen a few maps here and there and knew that Ravok was one hell of trip from Riverfall. With the meal nearly finished, Maria stood and looked into the sky for a time and thinking. For the first time in her life it looked as though she might be able to find some answers about her own past, but those answers might as well lay on the other side of the world. To that Maria grinned and started to laugh.

“So fate thinks putting a continent between me and a possible answer will stop me?” Maria said. “Then fate doesn't know me very well.” In that moment it was decided, one way or another, she would travel to Ravok and seek out this Dovoras. Though the chance of him having a solid answer was slim at best, it was still a slim chance and something she couldn't pass up. Yet her biggest challenge would be the one of present, how on Mizahar was she going to get to Ravok. Travel across land was slow, fraught with danger, and though eager to find answers, she wasn't stupid. That was something Sunberth had cured her of at a very early age.
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Twist of Fate

Postby Maria Talwa on June 2nd, 2017, 1:11 pm

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Now with her mind a million miles away, Maria walked through the bazaar trying to think of the best way to get to Ravok. There was no way around the fact the trip would be a long one. Thinking more than walking, Maria soon found herself in the part of the bazaar where most people didn't wander. It wasn't against the rules to be here, but this was where the caravans from other cities gathered to trade amongst themselves and sell goods to the local merchants. That's when the idea occurred to her, caravans. They traveled all over Mizahar and even if she couldn't find one headed for Ravok, there was a chance that one of them would at least be headed toward a city in that direction.

There was a lot of hustle and bustle here as goods were loaded and unloaded, merchants talked amongst themselves and with local vendors. Just like the bazaar there as haggling everywhere as everyone was out for a good deal. Moving through the piles of crates and small crowds of people, Maria kept an eye out for a caravan that looked like it was loading up for a trip. The first caravan owner she spoke to was a bust as he was headed to Claridon to the southeast, and with the man's attitude he almost got busted. Now annoyed an pissed off, Maria continued to search for a caravan that might be helpful to her in this new quest. It was then that a small snippet of conversation caught her attention.

“...up to Kenash and then Syliras from there,” a man said. That brought her around to see two men talking next to eight covered wagons. One of the men was noticeably older than the other but with their facial similarities it was easy to tell they were related, father and son most likely. The pair looked like well to do merchants which was a fair indication that their little convoy was reasonably successful. Along with the mention of Kenash and Syliras being part of their trip plan Maria was now determined to join them somehow. At her approach the younger man tapped the older on the shoulder and pointed, drawing his attention in that direction.

“Did I overhear correctly that you're heading up to Kenash and Syliras?” Maria said.

“Yes, we are,” the older man said. “Might I ask your name young lady? I'm Goreth.”

“The name's Maria, and I'd like to accompany you if possible,” Maria said. The two men looked at her for a moment as if sizing up the offer before Goreth spoke again.

“By the swords you carry I take it you know how to use them?” Goreth said.

“I'm still alive, there's a lot of stupid that isn't,” Maria said. This time it was the younger man who acted. Putting hand to mouth he cut a sharp whistle, drawing the attention of one of the men who was loading the caravan. The man was large of frame, beset by a beard, and something more akin to a mane than a head of hair.

“Hogar, get your staff,” the younger man said.
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Twist of Fate

Postby Maria Talwa on June 2nd, 2017, 1:12 pm

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It became obvious to Maria what was going on. The question about the swords, and now Hogar being told to bring his staff. This was turning into an impromptu interview for a position as a caravan guard. Hogar reappeared in short order carrying a metal staff slightly larger than what most would expect. He stopped some distance away from Maria and the two stared one another down. There was no movement for a time, then when Hogar's hands tightened, Maria drew both swords in a single motion and charged. Without the slightest hesitation she threw herself into battle, blades swinging.

Hogar proved himself to competent with a staff, deflecting her strikes and making several attempts to attack as well, but neither was gaining ground. Maria kicked him in the stomach, he tripped her and tried to follow through downward jab that was rolled away from. A few people from around the area stopped upon hearing the sound of metal clashing against metal, but no one seemed panicked. It was actually quite the opposite as several looked on, likely enjoying the spectacle. After a few minutes of back and forth the two parted.

They were both taking a moment to catch their breath, but Maria also knew something was wrong. The problem didn't lay with Hogar, the man fought well and knew his way around a staff, instead it was her. Maria had felled men larger than him and in a shorter period of time in the past, so why was he presenting such a challenge. Then it clicked mentally. There was no anger, she was fighting Hogar as one person might fight another and not relying on the very thing that had kept her alive for so many years. It was in that instant she realized it was this damned city, it was Riverfall and Maria was becoming civilized.

The city had laws, and rules, and order, and it was starting to make Maria go soft, putting her off her game. The life of peace and tranquility had been slowly lowering her guard like an insidious poison. Then her old companion finally began to stir from its slumber, like a long forgotten memory finally remembered. It started with a low burn in her chest and spread out from there, like the very blood that kept her alive the anger pumped its way through her veins. Now Maria was beginning to remember who she really was.

Unlike the Akalak of Riverfall, with all of their order, she was a being of chaos, bound only by her own wishes and desires. The mask she put on in public and at work was just that, a mask. A face she presented to the public because it was required to survive here. Most people didn't have the strength of will or character to act as they truly wanted, and bowed to the dictates and wishes of others, pretending to be something they weren't so others would accept them. How she detested such people. Maria simply didn't care what other people thought, she never had. Any mask she wore was not to seek acceptance from others, it was merely an act of survival, an adaptation to her surroundings.

“Hogar,” Maria said.

“Hmm?” Hogar said.

“You're in my way!” Maria said.
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Twist of Fate

Postby Maria Talwa on June 2nd, 2017, 1:22 pm

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With the anger that had kept her alive these many years, Maria lunged once more, letting forth a howl that took the larger man off-guard. This time when blade and staff crashed against one another, her blows were stronger and faster. Unlike many who lost their temper and edge in fights, Maria had learned to harness her anger long ago. Instead of taking leave of her senses the anger made her stronger, faster, able to fight longer, and dulled the pain of any wounds that might be suffered.

This time her attack was relentless and she hammered against Hogar's defenses until the larger man stumbled back, lost his footing, and tripped. By the time the man hit the ground she was on top of him one blade was flush against his throat and he other was drawn back to strike, and it wanted to so badly. Her arm trembled with the anticipation of a death blow. To see blade cut flesh, to watch blood flow freely as the life faded from the man's eyes, but alas this was not a battle to the death. To kill Hogar would only hurt her mission and likely cause legal problems in Riverfall.

It took several seconds to put the beast back into its mental box and once again assume a 'public face' for everyone else. With that accomplished she stood up and sheathed both swords, looking over at Goreth.

“You're hired young lady,” Goreth said. “If you have any personal belonging I'd suggest you gather them. We leave tomorrow morning at first light.” With a slight nod she looked down at Hogar, then nodded to him as well. Despite having a distaste for people in general, she did respect someone who knew their way around a weapon. As Maria walked away from the caravan her mind was already making a mental checklist of the things that would be needed for the journey. It also brought a small smirk to the woman's face as this was about the only thing she shared in common with a lot of other women. Maria liked to go shopping.

Even though Maria liked to shop, this wasn't for pleasure, it was for what would likely turn out to be the largest and longest trip of her life. Even without knowing the exact distance, she estimated that a trip to Ravok would take well over a season to accomplish. Then once she arrived there, it was impossible to predict if the man she was looking for was still alive. Most people retired due to age or extreme wealth, and she'd yet to meet a rich smith of any sort. There were so many variables and unknowns to deal with that it made this trip extremely dangerous. As strange as it might sound to some, that's also what made it so appealing to Maria. The chance to get out and see the world, learn about more than just a city and the people who lived there. In her mind this was already turning into a right proper adventure.

Travel Gear :
Backpack x2
Bedroll
Blanket, Winter
Book, blank x3
Case, Map x2
Compass
Fishing Kit
Fishing Pole
Flint n' Steel
Grappling Hook
Hammer, Light
Insect Repellent
Lantern, Hooded
Oil (1-Pint Flask) x5
Piton x4
Pouch, Belt x4
Quill x3
Map, Region, Cyphrus
Map, Region, Syliras
Rope, Hemp (50 ft.)
Tent, one-person
Vial, ink x3
Waterskin
-
Shirt x5
Skirt x5
Boots, low x2
Undergarments x5
Comb (Metal)
Brush (Metal)
Soap
Razor
1 eating knife
Leather Armor
Sword, short x2
Scabbard x2
Deck of Cards
Earrings x5
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Maria Talwa
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Twist of Fate

Postby Grim Ravenwood on July 2nd, 2017, 1:03 am

Your Grades

Skill:
Observation: 3
Weapon - Shortsword: 2
Rethoric: 1
Unarmed Combat: 1
Socialization: 1
Logic: 1

Lores:
Self: Poor table manners
Dovoras: The smith
Combat: Harness your anger
Dovoras: Made the sword
Self: Fate won’t stop me

Grader's Comment:
Don't forget to delete your post from the grade request thread, and address the issue i've messaged you. I would ask that you don't shadow your text, as it is a bit of an eyebleeder. If there is any issue with the grade, drop dead to my graveyard and bury me a pm. Also, enjoy your grades, while you can, they are to die for.

As always, Death guide you swordsman
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