Closed Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

A less than safe exploration of a mine…

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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]

Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

Postby Rook on May 2nd, 2018, 7:57 pm

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North Ravok Outpost
Spring 70, 518
Midmorning

“Wer… workers har… have refuss… refused to enter the man… mine despite serval, several kilt… killed for in.. insurb… inhordination?”

Rook wasn’t quite illiterate. He had learned his letters well enough during his time under Ruby, but his skills had slipped seeing as Jessica didn’t seem to find reading a particularly useful skill for a slave or anything. Due to recent events in involving his bond, it had occurred to Rook that reading would be an important skill to relearn. An illiterate spy wasn’t particularly useful.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much reading material to be had at the outpost. The only material readily available was his master’s documents, and going pawing through them without due consideration was an easy way to end up with his head on a stake. Rook had wandered around the outpost a little before noticing with a small bolt of realization that a board was tacked up in the yard, covered in paper scrawled with writing. Trying not to draw too much attention to himself, Rook had puzzled his way through the letters, attempting to draw meaning from them. So far the wolf boy had realized that the parchment appeared to be covered in job offers for the outpost. The outpost buzzed around him, people seemingly content to ignore the wolf boy for the moment, and Rook used the opportunity to study the board with a keen curiosity.

Rook wasn’t allowed to keep money, so the offers of a reward wasn’t particularly interesting to him. However, the mention of slaves dying and being killed made his heart twinge in a way he knew it never would have before he had bonded with Shiress. Frustrated, the wolf boy stared at the sheet a moment before turning away from the board with a frustrated sigh. There was no way he’d be allowed to do such a job anyways. He was just a godsdamned slave after all, and not a particularly useful one at that. Rook walked a slow circle around the board, chewing at his lower lip. Unthinkingly, he raised his fingers and slipped them between the callaused skin of his neck and his collar.
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Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

Postby Belugnir on May 4th, 2018, 6:56 am

''Don't you snort at me, you shortstack, blunderin' bastard. You're hungry, aye? Well so am I. Now try and figure which one of us can't exactly get their daily fuckin' nourishment from chewin' grass, eh?'', Ein had just tied his mountain pony to a pole near his tent, where a couple patches of untrampled grass could still be found. Naturally he had no way of understanding the mannerisms and intent of his horse, for he was barely decent at communing with people, let alone beasts, but made a passtime of talking to the animal all the same. ''Keep your shyke together now, will ye?'', giving the pony several hearty pats across the side of its neck, Ein would leave the creature alone for the time being. It was nigh time he started picking up jobs proper again, for his little treasure hoard was wearing thin.

Naturally, the mercenary would find himself by the notice board at short... notice. Along the way, he helped himself walk with his poleaxe, making mimicry, for no particular reason other than his own amusement, of that Stryfer sorcerer he'd first met at Sahova, the bugger who never seemed to let go of his staff. Ae, mate, I've an enchanted staff of me own right here. Let's find some magic to do with it. Magic, being of course, the endearingly relieving act of bashing a skull or two in.

Some old notice about a shipment gone missing... probably already cockin' solved, with the submitter forgetting to take their notice off, what with how the sun'd bleached the damn thing... Something about the lazy layabouts about camp paying a pretty penny for food, though he hardly felt like sittin' by some rock at the shore, tryna poach fishes outta the saltwater... Then, reading into a bloated brick of text that had to do with the Stryfers here being piss-poor supplied enough to be unable to build a proper, fancy gate at the southern entrance, Ein found out about a mine shaft in need of exploration... Further details mentioned cramped space for approaching the actual thing and slaves that ended up executed for refusing to dwell into the place...

None of the job offers seemed awfully pleasant, 'till he spotted a familiar ginger lad snooping about this corner of camp. It was the slave sent along with his group on an errand for the Stryfers some weeks ago... Now, while Ein wasn't particularly fond of communing with slaves, he figured the little bugger might happen to know an ounce about his ilk's insubordination. He'd approach the lad and without much pardon, proceed to tap his backside with the lighter end of his poleaxe. Intimidation was hardly Einar's intent, he merely felt the least bit mean at the time, and wished to bring the little bugger to attention at once.

''Oi, redhead. I've a question for ye.'', assuming the slave wouldn't outright just bolt like a startled doe, like some abused lads had the urge to, Ein would proceed to talk. ''I hear a bunch of ye sort's been offed for not wantin' to crawl about some mine shaft to the North o' here. You have any idea why? You didn't happen to be intended for workin' there, no?''
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Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

Postby Rook on May 12th, 2018, 8:19 pm

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Rook was so deep in thought that he didn’t notice the sound of footsteps approaching. It was hard to ignore the less than gentle tap on against his backside though, and Rook immediately spun around, bristling with indignation.

Oh. This guy.

Rook eyed Einar Belugnir with a hint of suspicion as the man spoke to him. During their brief interactions during the quest with the Stryfers, Rook had gotten an approximate feel for the man, although he still hadn’t quite settled on how he felt about the mercenary. He didn’t trust him. There hadn’t been enough opportunities for trust. But the kelvic didn’t hate him either. As far as Rook was concerned the man was a wild card and it was anyone’s guess whether he could be an ally or not.

Rook tilted his head at Einar’s question, as though he hadn’t quite caught the man’s words. “The mine shaft?” Rook asked. It was oddly coincidental that the mercenary had brought up the exact subject Rook had been ruminating on.

“I’m mostly meant to work here,” Rook said. “My master prefers to keep me close. I was never meant to work in the mines.”

There were worse things than being a personal slave to the Lady Lazarin. Certainly being forced to work and die in a cramped mineshaft wasn’t on Rook’s to do list. In addition, he didn’t get on with the other slaves all that well. So he hadn’t heard much. Although he did seem to remember overhearing a small detail at a distance, now that he thought of it…

“All I’ve heard is that whatever was there, the slaves all agree that it’s better to be executed than confront it,” Rook said. “But they didn’t say what it was.”

A tiny flare of suspicion flashed through Rook and he looked up at Einar with a frown. “Why are you asking?”
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Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

Postby Belugnir on June 14th, 2018, 8:12 pm

The laddie didn't flee like a startled crow after all. Though from what he had to say, Einar would hardly get to learn anything new... Well, save for noticing the slave boy was wary of him, rather than frightened... And save for the fact that whatever it was cocking up the mine-shaft, was apparently rather dangerous. Instantly did Einar's mind go to some sort of monster or other sort of Sahovan-esque calamity. And instead of instantly calling it quits, the mercenary, hardened by his occasional confrontation with an overgrown carnivore bird and madness-driven corpse-boar, as much as he liked to complain about the encounters, found himself... intrigued.


''Well, the black 'uns have put up a bounty for whoever unplugs their shaft.'', his tone had grown an ounce friendlier toward the lad. ''And whatever pissing coppers they go about paying for keeping their roads clean of shite ain't really enough to keep a bugger's belly full, ye know. So I was thinking I'll go and clean out their shite-pit for a decent copper...''

The cock do you care why I'm asking? He nearly heard the words leave his mouth, realizing he was essentially justifying his motives to a slave for a moment. Yet instead his demeanor remained neutral with a nudge toward pleasantry.

''Don't suppose a little fellow like you has much use for one like me owing you a favor?'', Einar asked. The mentality of Sahovans, where favors were likely traded more oft than food would likely be absent in the mind of a Ravokian slave boy, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to attempt at the very least learning more of the plight at the mines.

''You wouldn't happen to know if there's a slave who's been to the mines with their head still on?''
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Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

Postby Rook on June 22nd, 2018, 3:57 pm

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“You’re planning on taking the job?” Rook found himself instantly intrigued in a way that he knew would have never struck him before he had been bonded. There wasn’t much a slave could do alone. But with a tough mercenary, foul mouth aside… Rook took in Belugnir’s appearance with a slow and deliberate glance and chewed the inside of his cheek for a moment. For all of Belugnir’s raggedy appearance, Rook could tell at a glance that the man was a force to be reckoned with. Armed, tough, and… unconcerned. He could make a powerful ally. He was the type of person Rook would like on his side, not against it.

“Alright,” Rook said finally. “I know someone we can talk to. But if I take you to talk to him, you’ll have to convince my master to let me come along. That’s my favor. I want to find out what’s going on too, but I need permission before I leave.”

Rook looked Belugnir in the eyes, calmly and dispassionately. He had no idea on whether or not the man would agree to take him along or not. He could tell Rook to petch off, for all Rook knew. He had no obligation to take the kelvic along, and even if he couldn’t get the story from the slave, the mercenary could go trudging through the mines himself, and maybe even be tough enough to survive without any investigation first. After a moment of thought, Rook decided to sweeten the pot.

“If you bring me along, you’ll have my nose and ears. Doubly so if you can convince my master to take this collar off. My senses work better when I’m a wolf.” Rook tugged on his collar for emphasis. “I’m not a strong fighter. But I can sneak and hide. And I’m not bad at getting people to tell me things.” After making his statement, Rook waited patiently for Belugnir’s reply.
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Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

Postby Belugnir on June 22nd, 2018, 7:15 pm

''Aye, I am, it ain't as if choppin' timber around here is going to line me pockets with silver...''

This little prick apparently was nowhere as naive as Einar's prejudice led him to consider... as it would take a blind man to miss the slave boy measuring him up from head to toe and evaluating if he'd be fit for the job he wanted to take.

The lad's instant taking up of his offer and following the analogy of favors exchanged also helped perk Einar's interest... though less so than the little bugger's eagerness to come along and outright help him in the endeavor... if not outright going out of his way to do so... and then the boy spoke of himself as a wolf, and the mercenary's brow rose.

''A cheeky little twit you are..., the lad's mention of his necklace gave Ein cause to think back to that scouting ordeal he was involved in several weeks prior... had a slave boy came up to him suggesting himself able to turn into a wolf some two years ago, Einar would have easily laughed it off as childish make-believe nonsense... Yet in those two years he'd seen stranger things.

''Right... before we go about doing bugger all, spill this out for me first... you can turn into a cockin' wolf?'', there was an obvious smirk of scorn hidden behind the man's unkept beard, though he leaned in at the lad in a manner that would suggest his skepticism either way.
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Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

Postby Rook on June 23rd, 2018, 6:28 pm

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Rook wasn’t used to speaking to people who didn’t know what kelvics were, so at the mercenary’s question he raised an intrigued eyebrow. “I’m a kelvic,” Rook told him. “I can turn into a wolf… or at least I can if this stupid thing isn’t around my neck.” Rook tugged emphatically at his color once more. “Otherwise it’ll just strangle me when my neck gets bigger. Our clothes don’t change, just our bodies.”

Rook gave Belugnir another calm, appraising glance. “Kelvics take all animal forms. I happen to be a wolf. I can smell and hear like a wolf does.”

Rook didn’t really have the time or energy to give Belugnir a run down of all things kelvic, so he just decided to leave it at that. “I may be cheeky, but I have things I need to do too. Getting on my master’s good side will help my endeavors. And I think you can use my help. Do we have a deal?” Rook did feel sympathy for the dying slaves, but he had a feeling that was something that wouldn’t interest the mercenary. And he did need Jessica to trust him more if his spying was going to be of any use. Regardless of the reason, the pair’s needs were mutually exclusive. Rook couldn’t see a logical reason why the man would turn him down… but then again, logic was not often expected of a slave’s superiors. Rook could only hope this mercenary knew an opportunity when it knocked.
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Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

Postby Belugnir on June 23rd, 2018, 10:00 pm

''I suppose it'd be mundane as all bugger to you if you did, huh..., hidden behind a beard and a wild mane as it was, Einar's face still attained a clear sense of wonder. He'd expected the slave boy to be a stuttering dimwit, or, by some stretch of irony, to speak to him as if from up high, seeing as that seemed to be the preferred method in which most folk liked to converse with a robust Sunberthian nobody, Ein found. Yet this redhead fellow was... oddly mature and reasonable.

''Well bugger me, I was going to go out of my way to find a runt willing to scout the mines for me, but if ye're that eager to stick your neck out snooping around the mines I ain't going to complain. Suppose I'll talk to your master. Now lead the way... Turning into a sodding wolf... hah, now I have to see that one...'', Ein's tone approached downright cheerfulness as he spoke on. However it took but a moment for him to go from eagerness for following after the slave to adequately, firmly grasping the top of the wolf-boy's head, bending forward with a tick of menace to settle their eyes on an equal field, and get into the lad's face in a manner that completely disregarded any and all human courtesy.

''And before you get ahead of yourself, little man.'', Einar's tone and expression had both gone horribly cold compared to a moment ago. ''I've tracked and strangled worse things than wolves. If you so much as try to run off on me after I'd vouched for you, or otherwise try to make a fool of me, mark my word, I will wring your neck worse than that necklace of yours ever could. Are we clear on this?''
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Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

Postby Rook on June 27th, 2018, 4:52 pm

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“I never really thought about it,“ Rook told the mercenary. “This is just what I am.”

Rook had the sense that he had caught the mercenary somewhat off guard. The expression on the man’s face wasn’t what Rook had expected from him, and in all honesty the wolf boy found himself both puzzled and intrigued by his behavior. As a mirror to Belugnir’s puzzlement to Rook’s maturity, Rook found himself struck by the grizzled man speaking to him nearly as a near equal. It was not an experience Rook was familiar with. Even his fellow slaves tended to talk down to him; Shiress was the only person in recent memory to not talk down to him. For all his gruffness, the manner was refreshing. Rook wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.

Belugnir’s agreement to Rook’s terms was both a surprise and also not. The wolf boy was relieved to find someone reasonable for once. He nodded at the man, then turned to scan the area for his master. As he did so, Rook found himself suddenly seized by the top of his head, and spun around to face the mercenary’s intensely cold eyes. Rook gritted his teeth through the threat. Why did everything have to be like this?

“Trust me,” Rook said, clenched teeth revealing the abnormal points of his canines. “I am perfectly clear on my position here.” The wolf boy's body trembled with indignation, but he held his tongue. Pissing of the mercenary would not get him anywhere.

“Besides,” he added with a growl. “Where would I even go? Into the woods to die? I have something here I need to do. I’m not going anywhere.”

With that, Rook jerked his head out of the mercenary’s hands and turned away from him to scan the settlement for Jessica. By the time he found her, his aggravated breathing had returned to normal, even if his pride was still nicked.

The dark haired Ebonstryfe Commander was overseeing some clearing out of debris along the edge of the outpost. As the pair approached, she raised a discerning eyebrow first glancing to Rook, then to Belugnir.

“Slave. Weren’t you supposed to be helping with some hunting?” Jessica’s sharp, merciless eyes pierced like daggers. Rook bowed his head automatically so he wouldn’t look his master in the eyes, flinging away his independence and replacing it with meekness. Evrrything about Rook was different, from his posture to his now wavering voice. “This mercenary asked to borrow me. He wants to look in the mines.”

“Oh?” Jessica turned her cold glance now to Belugnir.
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Those Sons O' Bitches (Belugnir)

Postby Belugnir on June 29th, 2018, 4:04 pm

It seemed as though the lad wanted to protest, possibly even snap at him over his threat. But Ein had been cocked around with several times too many since having made his way over to Ravok, and he was in no mood to have a slave boy get him into trouble.

Thankfully this lad once seemed to provide an ounce of surprise, as he did demonstrate an awful lot of awareness for his own whereabouts... Quite the opposite of what Ein could recall of another particular young man who had himself end up in bondage... The mercenary thought himself severely familiar with the detestable lengths a slave would will themselves to go to obtain some notion or mockery of supposed freedom... Regardless, with Rook's reassuringly chipped pride rather apparent, Einar's crude hand would have loosened its grip and nonchalantly patted the lad across the top of his head, before getting busy following after the slave.

''Good.'', was the only blunt remark he gave.

Sure enough, he was soon introduced to one of the outpost commanders... Ein hadn't cared to keep track of who was whose boss across the hierarchy, he simply had a mind to keep his vulgarities and his attitude to a minimum whenever dealing with the black ones.

Still, a quirked brow was risen at Rook's bowed head and utter abandonment of the lad's self-aware pride... then he'd locked eyes with the dark haired woman...

The petch do you mean ''Oh?'', ye lout..., there was a moment of incredible effort taken not to speak the words out loud.

''Really, it's as the slave said. I was going to go clear the mine shaft of whatever's been clogging it. I meant to use the lad to help me scout the thing...'', he paused for a moment, recalling the fact that Rook was indeed present for the scouting mission along with himself several months ago. ''...Seeing as he'd proven reasonably resourceful with chores like that back a season or so ago, when we went on the expedition led by that Vlad fellow. That being said, I'd also like to ask for permission to remove his collar during the ordeal so that he be as useful as he can.'', there was another pause, with Einar realizing that an offer of minor share in the reward of coin might not mean enough to one who might as well have posted up the notice to risk loosing a slave over.

''I will vouch to bring the lad back in one piece, and I trust you would be owed a good portion of credit for the mines being cleared due to committing a body to the errand?'' For the 'glory of Rhysol' and all that shite..., an urge came to him to spit a hearty one to the side, one which he barely contained while maintaining a straight face. And as rebellious as his Sunberth-bred scorn of authority was, Ein did his best to maintain a humbled tone and posture while speaking his mind to the woman... Sahova had taught him that much when dealing with those who commanded more power than himself.

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