Losing a friend (Meriann)

Carus gets to know about the rougher parts of living in Sunberth

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

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Losing a friend (Meriann)

Postby Carus Nothus on February 9th, 2018, 3:27 pm

Carus Nothus

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Sivah was kind enough to give me to the world, in return he also gave the world to me.



48th of Winter, 517 AV


Opening his eyes and still seeing the roof of the tent was getting pretty old to Carus now. After a few weeks in Sunberth, each morning felt worse than the one before. Arriving in Winter meant every morning was cold and each morning felt more of a pain than the one before. Some days it was hard to get up at all, having no real purpose anymore, just hoping each day that he would be able to make some kind of money. He sat up and moved his blanket away from him, trying to stretch the staleness out of the muscles in his arms and upper body, looking around at the dull, grey color the decorated the inside of the tent. He hadn’t really interacted with anyone since his meeting with the lady in The dust beds. Today would be more of the same, except he had decided the night before that he would try his luck at gambling again. Sure it hadn’t worked out last time, but you just had to win big once. He stood up and stretched out his legs as well, wearing his traveling clothes as he had slept in them.

He pulled off his pants and his shirt, shivering in the cold air. It was always better to look good when trying to play people out of their money, he thought to himself as he picked up his pair of finer pants and pulling them on, limbs still slightly aching from sleeping on the hard ground. After putting on his shirt he even decided to put on his vest today, trying to comb his fingers through his hair, smoothing it out as best as he could. His once wandered to the times he lived with his parents, as it often did, when he used to have a comb, and ways to clean his hair. Now he couldn’t remember he had a real bath and not just a dip in the lake.

When he was done he slowly opened up his tent and took a step outside in the cold air. He decided he’d go to Johnny’s as usual. Best place he knew to gamble that didn’t have any kind of gang affiliation. Carus had managed to stay out of any gang trouble so far, and he was pretty happy to keep it that way. He turned to his right to see Umbra still loosely tied to a piece of wood Carus had stuck in the ground. He smiled as he looked at the big black horse, one of the few things he still held dear in this life. He took a step towards the horse and it looked up at him, almost seeming like it was waiting for Carus to come and cuddle him a bit. It seemed like Umbra disliked this place just as much as Carus, still remembering the warm places and the good food from its youth. Carus out his hand on the horses face, slowly petting him up and down his face too calm the horse a bit.

The first few nights and days that Carus had left the horse in tent city he had been terrified that the horse would be gone when he came back. So far there hadn’t been a problem though, stealing something that size would be problematic and he had no doubt that Umbra would resist if someone tried to take him away, which is probably why he had been safe so far. He took another step closer while keeping his hand on the horse, looking at his mane that was getting dirtier and more tangled for each day. The poor horse had stood here for days without any real exercise now. It was probably time for him to get to move around a bit, Carus thought as he started to undo the knot that kept the horse in place. There was a place to tie up the horse next to Johnny’s, so he might as well bring the horse.

He grabbed the rope and started to walk through tent city, moving slowly at first making sure the horse got to stretch properly. Before he knew it he was slowly jogging between the tents, letting the horse go to a trot as they moved. Umbra seemed happy to be out again, trying to push the pace constantly as he wanted to run more freely. Carus had to reign him in a few times, not to have him drag Carus away by his side. For once, Carus was actually quite content with being out, seeing the large beast happily trotting behind him. The direction was set towards the docs where Johnny’s was, through the sunset quarters.
They kept the trot going between the houses and small apartment buildings as they enter the next part of the city, meeting just a few people on the way. Carus looked around at the houses, even though a lot of them were almost falling apart, he aspired to one day have the chance to live in a house or an apartment again, and not in his cold, dull tent. As they started to get closer to the middle of The slums, Carus noticed a few people running on either side of him between the houses, their eyes constantly on him. Carus kept the pace and try to stay calm, even as they turned in from a street just a bit ahead of him, blocking his path. He slowed down his pace with the horse, moving much more slowly towards the people now standing in his way. There were six of them, all dressed in rags and clearly malnourished. They ranged in age from pre-teen to someone closer to fifty human years. When Carus got just close enough to speak, he stopped completely, just as he was about to speak, the oldest of them spoke up.

“You don’t happen to have some change for a few beggars, do you?”, the old man asked, his voice raspy and old. Carus spirits lifted for a second, assuming the people would only beg for money and then leave him alone. He had so far been very lucky, unaware of how unkind of a city Sunberth could be.

“No I’m sorry, I’m as down on my luck as you are”, he said, his fake smile still on his face as he looked at the old man. The old man now had a wide grin spread across his face, and Carus realised what he must look like to these people. While he was poor, he was still wearing rather fine clothes to be in the slums of Sunberth, and certainly better than these people were wearing. He started to feel dread coming over him, as the beggars started to slowly stalk towards him..
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Carus Nothus
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Losing a friend (Meriann)

Postby Meriann on February 9th, 2018, 8:49 pm

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"Speech"


Meriann had gone out for the morning to the Seaside Market whilst the tides were down. The marketplace was quiet, and that was unusual. A few gulls circled overhead, and Meriann listened to their lonely cries with a weariness of her own. She missed travelling. She missed the open water with nothing around except the clouds in the blue, blue sky. She missed Taren too, who'd swam off on his own for the past three days and left Meriann feeling more alone than usual. She'd tried staying on board the Sunrise, then talking with her family a little, but they each had their own exploits and Meriann was a restless soul. So she went to the market, trying to clear her head and see what she could see. It was a cesspool, but the variety of stock on display was fascinating to the Svefra woman, who saw something new every time she went. Whether it was something worth buying was another matter, but that would wait until she found said item.

She trudged slowly through the twisting streets formed between the ramshackle stalls and boats that formed the body of the market, looking around but staying on edge. It had been a mistake to trust this city. She'd made that mistake and paid for it, more than she wanted to admit to herself. Meriann shook her hair out and ran her hand along the tangled mess. Her left hand lay gently resting on the hilt of her cutlass that was sheathed in the leather scabbard that protected the metal from the harsh environment of the ocean air. Around the market, hawkers and salesmen called out in loud, unending voices, asking for her trade. There were a few casual shoppers too, just like her. Meriann stared at one in disgust as he pissed against an abandoned cart. She couldn't help but stifle a sniggering laugh as the wind became his enemy, and quickly walked away down towards a ragged stall displaying leather goods so as to avoid being spotted.

Maybe she'd chosen the right direction too. Meriann drew closer and the merchant, suspecting a target, perked up and straightened his spine. He was a tall man, taller than most, with a off-white cap jammed down onto his head like he suspected it would run away if he let it. His hands, tanned and withered, betrayed his age. The Svefra woman approached and smiled at the man. He didn't seem a bad sort, not really. She picked up a leather arm guard and fiddled with the laces that were obviously to tie it round your arm. The thread was threadbare but the leather itself didn't seem so bad. Meriann ran a finger along the plain leather. It wasn't fancy, but it seemed sturdy. The merchant spoke then, a touch of eagerness in his old, bass voice.

"That'd be 35 gold mizas for the vambrace, lady. I could even reduce it further..?" He trailed off as Meriann quickly put the vambrace down. It lay forlornly on the cart top besides the rest of the leather armour he had on display. There were other items too, each looking used but well looked after.
"Where did y'get them from?" She enquired politely. But the man's face shuttered, and he said nothing.
"32 mizas and that's as low as I'll go. They're good quality, can't you see? Ought to look'it the other sellers here then if you think these are the worst you're sadly mistaken."

Meriann gave up, and bade farewell to the man who must've sensed she was only looking to pass the time. She walked past several cheap jewellery stores, beggars crouched in the dirt, and sail merchant bent over, stitching furiously. People's faces popped out to her as she walked. A dark-skinned woman with one breast exposed nursed a baby she carried in a sling. She saw a one-legged man with a long wooden walking stick hobbling along remarkably well. Meriann wondered whether or not he fell often.

Finally after a bell of browsing and people-watching, Meriann had had enough. The Seaside Market was beginning to fill with people now, and she wanted fresher air. So she left and began walking back down towards the docks where she would probably go and fish. Except she still hadn't got the terrain of the city. To her dismay, after a half bell of walking, she realised she'd taken a wrong turn and ended up in what she thought was called the Sunset Quarter. It was a no good place where the vast population of the city dwelt. As such it was home to the best... and undeniably the worst people in Sunberth. Meriann walked as fast as she could without looking suspicious, but a few people out on the street watched her as she strode past, and her skittishness increased.

She rounded a corner, and then there in front of her a fair distance away was a horse and a man. They were stopped in the middle of the road, but they faced away from her so she could not see the man's face or what the horse looked like. Meriann was torn between walking past them, an act which didn't seem so bad after all, or turning on her heel and taking the next street to the right which she hoped would lead her onto a busier street and away from danger.

Through the slight haze of a nearby log fire, Meriann squinted and listened as carefully as she could. Then she spotted them. The man and his horse were stopped because they were surrounded. She walked closer, but kept to the side of the nearest building as best she could. Whatever was about to happen couldn't be good. Their expressions became clearer as she neared, shining with desperation and greed. The looks suited their faces; all looked as hopeless as any Sunberther, and hopeless meant they were capable of many, many things. Meriann now stood on the side of the nearest structure, only hidden by the fact nobody knew she was there and so didn't look for her. But as they started to circle in, and the horse whinnied nervously, the woman took a glance at the dark-haired man standing faithfully beside his horse and she reacted without thought.

"Don't you think it's best y'be leaving now?" She stepped out to join the man, but the few steps she managed to take seemed to trigger the beggars who now rushed forwards in a confused rabble, drowning her words as the eldest drew a wicked sword and arced it through the air in a vicious sweep and the others drew whatever weapons they had of their own.
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Losing a friend (Meriann)

Postby Carus Nothus on February 14th, 2018, 9:42 am

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Carus just had the chance to notice the woman as she spoke, fear gripping at him as the men all rushed forward in a scramble, bringing out their weapons. In his panic, Carus drew out his hunting knife hanging from his side in its sheath, knowing as he did that it was futile, hoping only to sway them off long enough to be able to run away with his horse or perhaps jump up on Umbras back, as she was sure to be faster than the men on foot. The old man that swung his sword at him did so in a rush, having no real precision with his slice. Carus took a quick step backward, avoiding his slash. The attack slowed somewhat as Carus raised his voice to speak.

“Oh come on now, I don’t have any money either so there is no point for you too mug me!”, Carus said desperately at the man who slowly moved in on him. He looked around him at the alleyways, trying to see somewhere he could escape to. But he had been caught in a bad place, and the only way he would be able to move forward was by going through the mob. The look the man gave him was horrifying. His grin wasn’t of someone who was amused. It was the grin of man with nothing to lose anymore, and that had something to gain from everything that he could east, beat or kill. He tilted his head a little to the side as he look at Carus.

“Oh son, if you had something to steal you wouldn’t be walking through the slums. We know you have nothing we could steal. What you do have is a big pile of walking meat. And we’re hungry!” He said, letting out a cold laugh. The others who were with him laughed along, desperation clear in their eyes as i they moved in towards him and the horse again. They were all wearing ragged clothes, clearly all down on their luck. There was a boy as young as twelve or thirteen with them, looking just as feral as the rest of them. They were going to tear both Carus and his horse apart if he let them all to close at one. He held his dagger upp in front of him as he started backing away from them.

It was clear that they weren’t after him now, but they wanted Umbra. As Carus tried slowly backing away, still holding the animal by a rope, the horse started to feel the tension and the fear that was building inside of Carus. It stopped moving backwards, rearing and bucking as it grunted, impatient and angry. Carus grip of the horse loosened as it moved around, the horse still clearly unsettled but not yet running away from his side. Carus mind raced, trying to figure out a plan. He wouldn’t give her up to these men. Not without a fight. It’s not like they would steal her and go sell her somewhere. They would kill her for her meat, and he couldn’t have that.

One man’s patience ran out from their slow and methodical approach, rushing forward in front of everyone, A simple hard piece of wood that had been cut down to resemble some sort of fighting stick raised as he charged.. He reached Carus and swung it in an arch above his head downward, probably aiming for his head with it. He wasn’t that quick though, and Carus managed to simply bend his neck so that the wood hit his shoulder instead of his head. It still hurt like hell though, and Carus staggered back for a second, pain tingling down his entire left arm. He lifted his knife with his right and instinctively stabbed in at the man before he managed to lift the stick again. He put a lot of power behind the push and he felt the knife dig into the man's lower stomach.

Carus looked down at the knife, almost surprised at what had just happened. He had never hurt a human more than in a simple fist fight before and this was something completely new to him. He saw the blood start to drip from the wound that the knife had created and with a quick pull that he put all his strength into he removed the knife from the man’s stomach. He fell to his knees, blood flowing out of the wound from his stomach. Carus looked down at him in shock at what had happened, the man looking up at him, his eyes starting to tear up. This is why Carus missed that the one of the other people had sped up. He turned his head to the side as he saw movement, just in time to see a rusty sword move through the whining horses throat, and blood started to pour down from it.
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