Closed [The Drunken Fish] I am a disappointed drudge, sir. (Kynier)

Dovey and Kynier meet at the tavern where Dovey is enslaved.

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[The Drunken Fish] I am a disappointed drudge, sir. (Kynier)

Postby Dovey on July 16th, 2018, 4:00 pm

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27 Summer, 518 AV
"Speech"
"Others"


The chance to laugh, really laugh, was hard enough to come by in this place. Laughing with someone - that was still more precious. Although Dovey had retreated self-consciously into a semiprofessional persona, a little smile, irrepressible, lingered about her features as she took Kynier's glass from his hand. "I'll see what I can find." Fruit - in particular good fruit - might be hard to come by, not being really in demand at this class of tavern; so a hint of doubt flavored her voice. But she would do her best. No one here except Kynier had given her so much as a tarnished copper miza since she'd arrived; it was only right to provide him decent service.

She started away, into the milling crowd. The Fish's patrons seemed relatively docile for the moment, with no punches being thrown that she could see, but still they made her nervous. She weaved cautiously between clusters of mirthful, stumbling patrons, avoiding eye contact, hating the moments when she had to make physical contact with anyone in order to squeeze her way past them. One man made a grab at her backside as she edged around him, and laughed when she leaped forward as though stung by a wasp, scurrying the last few steps to the kitchen door. But the prospect of seeing a friendly face again in short order buoyed her; she reached the doorway with that in mind, not nearly so rattled as she might otherwise have been by the incident.

Stepping once more into the smoky heat of the kitchen, she waited a tick as a gaggle of cooks rushed past her, before heading across the room towards the pantry. The doorknob wiggled in her hand as she turned it; she had to duck, short as she was, in order to enter the narrow space, and once she had wedged herself inside she had to blink against the dust in the air. Dovey had only visited the pantry once before - most customers simply asked for prepared meals, which made fetching ingredients the cooks' purview - and she squinted at the labels scrawled on barrel-lids around her, at rather a loss as to where any fruit might have been stashed. Flour...cornmeal...potatoes...what is that word? The light in here was too dim to make out what the longish scribble said. But it probably wasn't fruit; none of the barrels around it were, and anyhow supplies not in high use were likely stored at the back.

Which meant she had better get back there - but practically the whole space was packed with barrels. After a moment of thought, she pushed down experimentally on the lid of one of the barrels; it held without bending. With a little shrug of resignation, Dovey set Kynier's glass atop Cornmeal, got a knee up onto Potatoes, and crawled the scant distance to the back of the pantry.

Here the labels were even harder to read, but she made out 'pickles' on one barrel and - yes! in plain script, surprisingly neatly printed - 'apples'. She fumbled with the lid until it came off, revealing a mass of small and slightly wizened-looking fruits whose details Dovey couldn't discern in the semidarkness. She looked at them doubtfully for a moment. But they would have to do. Snatching up a couple in one hand - two being all that she could carry - she replaced the lid with the other and, retrieving Kynier's glass as she went, edged her way awkwardly out of the cluttered space. Immediately she went to dip up a new glassful of water and then, taking a deep and steadying breath as she reached the threshold, moved back out onto the tavern's public floor.

In good lighting the apples looked horrendous. Puckered and wrinkled, with spots of brown speckling their skin like moles, they had clearly been placed in that barrel and forgotten about entirely too long ago. But as most of their skin was still a pale green, and Dovey did not feel the softness of rot beneath her fingers, she guessed they were still entirely edible. Whether they would be appetizing to the man who had requested them was another question entirely, but she had done what she could - and at least, she supposed, he would have his water.

Dovey picked her way back across the tavern, moving in the direction of the bar. It was difficult to see any distance at all through the crowd, so the first sign she had that all was not well came when she was a scant few feet away from Kynier. She had muddled between the last few revelers blocking her way, and been about to give Kynier his order, when a blond man who had not been present earlier leaped from his bar stool and shoved hard at the other's shoulder.

"Hey! Don't turn away from me!"

Dovey's heart jumped - there were daggers sheathed on the man's back! Tucking her chin down as if to make herself smaller, she attempted to back away into the crowd. But the folk behind her sensed an impending fight, and pressed forward to watch, bearing the frightened barmaid along with them. The blond man glanced over, looking pleased that he had spectators, and his eyes fell on Dovey. Before she could react he had reached out one hard-muscled arm and yanked the glass of water from her grasp. "Give me that, I need my strength!" And he tossed it back.

Immediately his expression wrinkled, as if he had bit unexpectedly into a lemon, and he spewed the liquid out across the bar. "Water!" he cried - "what kinda momma's boy orders water!" Slamming the glass down carelessly onto the counter, he turned his gaze once again on Kynier. He sneered. "Bet it was you."


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[The Drunken Fish] I am a disappointed drudge, sir. (Kynier)

Postby Kynier on July 18th, 2018, 2:18 am

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In all honesty it was just too amusing. The way the other attendees of the establishment pressed in to view a spectacle that could still be avoided. Though it looked like the attention only encouraged the stranger to continue his foolishness. When Dovey approached the man immediately identified her as a barmaid he took the glass straight from her hand. Kynier covered his face with a hand to conceal the smile on his face. As the man spewed the water into a mist Kynier started convulsing with silent laughter. It came to a sudden end when the man delared him a “momma’s boy”.

Only two other souls could begin to fathom how personal Kynier would take the insult. He wished he could actually make that claim. But she had been stolen away and his father murdered by slavers. Where she was or if she was alive where things he would never learn. He would gladly personify the insult, if only to still have connect with his life giver. So at the accusation the humor in his eyes vanished like a bolt of lightning. With burning hatred rolling in as the thunder. No more words were exchanged and Kynier didn’t even wait to get off his stool before attacking.

He threw the first punch straight from the counter in an arch, rising from his stool with the motion. The fist connected across the cheek and got the man to stagger a step. Kynier wasn’t much of a brawler and didn’t really know how to make his hits count. So the stranger quickly recovered and brought a haymaker strike with him. Bending at the legs more than the back, Kynier ducked underneath the wild attack. He stepped back a pace and a half to create distance. The blonde man stepped in quickly and threw a few fast punches. Not knowing out to properly guard allowed most of them to make it through.

It was like a divine comedy. During the period of having no sense of touch Kynier had managed to avoid most fights that had approached him. Then on the first day of his recovery, when every sensation felt sharp and new, he got into a brawl. Hard knuckles scrapped against his face and chin. Like a fool he had fallen into a scenario where his opponent had the advantage of experience. Another fist caused his nose to begin to bleed as he staggered backwards. In desperation Kynier bent low and struck upward at the man’s ribs using his hip. The stranger was so engrossed in the offensive he failed to react in time.

Taking a page from the man’s book Kynier just unleashed attacks as fast as he could. A volley connected with the man’s midsection before he brought his elbows down to protect himself. When that happened Kynier threw a jab at the man’s exposed jaw, making his head snap back. After so few attacks Kynier’s knuckles were already incredibly sore. He needed to pause in order to try and push the discomfort aside. The tavern itself had erupted into a series of hollering and cheers.

His adversary shook off the disorientation. Kynier knew he wouldn’t win in a face off like this so he decided to change tactics. Pajalkich taught him that when you were attacked you should destroy the attacking limb. Drawing a weapon would only escalate the situation to a point he didn’t want. So Kynier brought his fists up closer to his jaw in defense and waited for the man to attack again. It wasn’t a long wait. When the man came Kynier did a crescent step back and to the side where he could easily reach his foe while being out of reach himself. One hand swung out and struck the attacking arm while the other jabbed at the man’s head.

The two rapid inputs of pain seemed to disorientate him for an instant. Kynier tried to take advantage of it with a hook but he wasn’t fast enough and his opponent jabbed him in the face. The interruption made him stagger a step. Kynier’s opponent took a step and attacked again. Ducking down Kynier stuck the man in the ribs again for a riposte. It seemed a more effective hit than the times before. The man staggered a step.

“You little petch!” the blonde man shouted. Kynier saw the hand reaching around his back to the place he had seen the daggers before as the man took a step forward. At the beginning of that motion Kynier also stepped forward. As he did he distended his abdomen and drew the cold iron short sword in a cutting arch. The tip sliced through the man’s throat creating a red mist. Kynier closed his eyes and looked away as the blood splattered across his face. Through the uproar of the spectators Kynier heard the clatter of a dagger on the floor. The blonde man’s eyes were wide from the horror of his reality. Choking on blood the man fell to his knees while making the futile attempt to cease his blood loss. In a few ticks it was over and the man fell flat on the floor.

The audience calmed down to a series of murmurs as they returned to their own affairs. Kynier flicked the short sword in a circle to fling the blood off before sheathing. He cupped his jaw with a hand as he opened wide and shifted his mandible back and forth. He was sure he was going to be bruised if the welts of blood weren’t already forming. Blood still running free from his nose he knelt down to the lifeless aggressor and ripped off a bit of his shirt to clean his face. Kynier went through the man’s pockets and retrieved the all three of the daggers, untying the sheath from the corpse.

When he was done he had a pouch full of mizzas and three newer daggers. Kynier set the triblade harness on the counter as he retook his seat. He looked up at Dovey and paused. Kynier could tell that she had wanted to shy away but had witness the whole ordeal. He took another few swipes at his face with the ripped cloth as more blood trickled out of his nose. He poured out the coins on the bar to count them out. “I apologize for that.” Kynier counted out twelve gold, three silvers, and seventeen copper mizzas. Then he quickly scooped them back into the pouch before the sight of money spurred anyone else into violent action.

“That must be something you witness frequently here, isn’t it?”
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[The Drunken Fish] I am a disappointed drudge, sir. (Kynier)

Postby Dovey on July 29th, 2018, 2:18 am

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27 Summer, 518 AV
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(OOC: So sorry for the delay! Work's been exhausting.)


Dovey saw the laughter shaking Kynier's frame, and it calmed her - enough that she found it in herself to see a little humor in the present situation. A thin, timid half-smile painted itself on her face as the man spat his mouthful of water all over the bar; it was ridiculous, really, and what was ridiculous could not be quite -

frightening -

The thought was not gone from her mind nor the laughter from her eyes before the first punch landed, so swiftly did the fight begin.

She shrank away as much as she could with the crowd at her back, less alarmed at the sudden flurry of violent motion before her than at the sudden shift from amusement to raw hatred she saw in Kynier's face. What had happened? Had he been faking his laughter all along? That disturbed her; she had been sold into slavery by the aid of deception, and it was, by nature, an enemy impossible to see coming. If another pleasant-faced man had successfully concealed his true disposition from her- even if she wasn't the target of the trick this time - the idea made her feet feel unsteady on the floor. It was far too close to Alvadas, and the trust she had placed in that monster Collins.

As she dredged her mind with difficulty from out of her traumatic memories, the fight continued before her. Whatever cunning had been involved in the first blow, it clearly hadn't been enough to give Kynier the upper hand. He was on the defensive now, stumbling back as a hard blow landed against his nose, but in another moment he had shifted his weight forward and began hitting out in wild haste.

The crowd's baying voices swelled behind Dovey, and she was shoved a little closer to the combat by the eager spectators at her back. She could not follow the movements of the fighter's fists as they darted out and back, bloodying one another's faces before retreating to regain their breath, but she thought that Kynier was doing better now. One of his hits landed squarely against the blond man's ribs, evidently to more effect than previous attacks, for the man stumbled and screamed furiously at his opponent.

Now several things happened all at once; she could not follow, for her eyes were still on one motion when the next began, while her comprehension lagged essential ticks behind even her too-slow gaze. The blond man's hand stretched away from the fight, grasping for something on his back - Kynier moved into the space opened before him, twisting his body strangely - and now - a glint of light, circling outward, and the blond man was falling.

Dovey inhaled sharply, more startled than anything, and coughed at the rising smell of blood. Behind her someone cheered, and as the man's knees hit the floor and he pawed desperately at his bloody neck, a new wave of excited, raucous sound poured from the throats of the spectators. Near Dovey a woman shouted triumphantly about having won her bet.

The noise was hollow in the barmaid's ears. He's killed a man.

The mortally wounded thug swayed forward, grasping at his throat one final time before his arm fell limp and he slumped face-first to the ground. On seeing this decisive end to the action, the crowd began to disperse, their boisterous cheers and groans fading into quieter conversation. Dovey felt the living wall of spectators dissipate from behind her, but still she stood frozen, staring not at the fresh corpse but at Kynier as he flicked the blood from his sword and knelt to loot his kill.

She had seen hangings. They were not too common in Kenash, but they happened, and sometimes the city's population made a holiday of them. She had watched her share of drunken fights, cheering for whichever brawler her whims led her to choose. But a brawl which ended in an execution, whose condemned was chosen not by any magistrate but merely by his inability to dodge a sword-strike? A killing which would not even be investigated, to prove it had been in self-defense? In Kenash, in Syliras, in Alvadas, it could never have been. This was all Sunberth.

And here was Kynier, whom she'd thought to be gentle, right in the thick of it all and unconcerned enough to loot the corpse he'd made.

When he made his brief apology, pouring coins from the stolen pouch and beginning to count them up even as he spoke, her lips grew thin and twisted sourly. When he asked his question she took a moment to reply, torn between indignance and newfound fear. At last she stepped forward, extending a rigid arm to offer him the wrinkled apples - one of which had been stained by an errant drop of blood flung from Kynier's sword. "I have only been here," she said stiffly, "since after the summer began. I've seen people fall in far corners at the ends of fights. I haven't had a man's throat cut right the - petch in front of me!"

The oath came out with a gasp; her voice broke, and something tight in her chest came abruptly loose. For a moment she lost her balance, and, catching herself with a short stumble forward, she began most unwillingly to cry.


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[The Drunken Fish] I am a disappointed drudge, sir. (Kynier)

Postby Kynier on August 1st, 2018, 7:50 pm

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An upward glance was all that he needed to get the answer to his question. Dovey’s body language was rigid and her expression was a failing mask to what she was feeling. When she extended the wrinkled apple that had been painted with a few drops of blood he took it, though he didn’t take his eyes away from hers. Then she spoke and he listened. At the end of her words she leaned against the counter and began to cry. Kynier had been stricken of his senses for an instant. Was this the first time she’d seen someone die? He couldn’t understand what it was that was going on inside the barmaid. But he quickly glanced around the tavern and stood up from his stool.

One hand grabbed the tri-harness and the other latched onto Dovey’s arm at the elbow. Fingers firm enough to hold but he was also trying to not cause pain with his grasp. Though she was on the other side of the bar, he dragged her to the side and went to the staircase that led up to the next floor. When they had climbed halfway he stopped and forced her up a step higher than him. She was closer to his height with the added step so that they looked at each other rather than him looking down on her. Both his hands rested on her shoulders. “Listent to me Dovey, for your own sake you need to grow a thicker skin. In Sunberth the only rule to be followed is to survive, however you can. That man reached for his blade first. When that happened he had decided that only one person would survive the fight.”

Kynier took his hands away from her and stepped down a stair. “That man came here looking for a fight. I tried generosity and as well as disinterest to avoid it.” Kynier’s brow drew together, “but then he made a personal insult. One many people could brush off, but it’s wasn’t one that I can.” A pause grew. Kynier wasn’t sure what the barmaid needed to hear. Neither did he know if he should be gentle or firm with her. What he did know was that she was crying, and a crying woman in Sunberth was even more vulnerable than most. Kynier hoped that his explanations would be enough to suffice. Yet as he looked at her he felt that it might not have been. All he had mentioned was the cause, not the reason.

The idea of sharing that reason lingered in his mind. The number of people in the world that knew of it in the world could be counted on one hand with fingers to spare. Apart from a pathetic attempt to alleviate his own guilt, was there any good reason for her to know? There was a pull of sympathy for the barmaid. Being brought to a place like this against their will to live out possibly the rest of their lives. The tendencies of the spy wished to exploit her position, while his human nature sought to somehow help her out of it.

“My mother,” he said after finally coming to a decision, “was taken by slavers when I was a child. And I never learned where she had been taken.” Kynier met her svefran like eyes. Hs gaze was soft again, rimmed with aged despair. “Some days I can’t remember what she looked like.” Kynier turned his head away and started descending the stairs. After a few steps he stopped and spoke over his shoulder. “You shouldn’t be seen until you’ve calmed down. In any tavern, crying barmaids only receive more trouble.”

With that he resumed his descent to return to the stool he had been occupying.

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[The Drunken Fish] I am a disappointed drudge, sir. (Kynier)

Postby Dovey on August 12th, 2018, 5:25 am

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27 Summer, 518 AV
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Dovey's attention had momentarily been consumed in trying to halt the flow of her tears; so the strong pressure of Kynier's hand on her elbow was the first indication she had that he had reached for her. She squeaked a little in surprise, and before she could do more than register that it was Kynier who had grabbed her, she was being drawn round the bar and toward the stairs from there.

Part of her cried out at once to struggle, but sheer disorientation put paid to that impulse. She only followed along in Kynier's wake, stumbling a little when they came to the stairs due to the blur of tears before her vision. Then she found herself pushed a step higher than the man; his hands moved to her shoulders, holding her there, though their pressure was not forceful. "Listen to me Dovey," he began.

His posture, his tone, the intensity of his gaze, made Dovey feel like a child being warned away from an obvious danger. She shifted uncomfortably, eyes cast down, feeling something almost like shame squirm in her belly. But no, she was a grown and rational woman, and what Kynier explained was simply the horror of the thing, she silently protested - survival mustn't be the only rule! It was utterly unfair!

That thought echoed in her mind for a long moment, resounding in the brief silence between them as Kynier took a step away. Even unspoken, the words sounded petulant. Naive. Exactly like a child.

Kynier began to speak again, and she listened. But at the last sentence her gorge actually rose, and she turned her head swiftly away. So the stranger had gone for his blades first - but if Kynier knew any fight could end in death, how could he be so petty as to begin one over a personal insult? He might have tried, he might have - the image of the spray of blood from his sword flashed before her eyes, the disgust of it nearly making her forget that he'd said he had tried to defuse things.

Nearly. But she did remember even so, and the shame in her stomach lingered, whispering that she was naive naive naive to expect still more. Here in Sunberth even morality twisted, bent, distorted itself. Dovey didn't know what to think, and Kynier was not speaking - her tears had diminished, and she turned again to look, blinking hard to see his face with clarity. He seemed absorbed in some difficult thought.

At last he spoke. It took six words to flood Dovey with horror. Of course. She should never have condemned him for a moment, never assumed his anger was shallow. Another kidnapping - and if someone had done this to her own mother, instead of herself - fury shot through her at even the idea. No wonder Kynier had hit the man. She remembered the first punch, now comprehending the hatred that had consumed Kynier's expression, and she was reassured. But memories of the rest of the fight flashed past against her will, and then the image of that gaping neck hung in her mind. Justify the act all she liked, she had let the brutality of it touch her and it would not be easily shaken now.

She fought against the image, struggling to chase it from her head. The more she tried, though, the more vividly she saw it, the red of the blood, the hands clutching and staining themselves. Only hearing Kynier's parting words momentarily banished it, as they pulled her attention away. With that final advice given he turned from her, trudging back down the steps and disappearing into the crowd as she watched.

She hadn't said a word since he had brought her up here, she realized. Perhaps it was the shock of the situation, but she had a sense that the Dovey she had been a season ago would have spoken. Maybe that Dovey wouldn't have cried, either. This place was changing her.

It was good advice Kynier had given; even as her tears exhausted themselves, her face must be blotched and her eyes wild. She'd be preyed upon if she went back to work in this state. She turned to go upstairs, begging the gods that Manowar wouldn't catch her hiding in some empty room for a few chimes. The coins in her boot pressed against her skin and she suddenly feared that her weakness had lost her more income, that Kynier would now not return to hear any secrets she happened to collect. But she could do nothing about that now.

She padded past the quieter, more civilized drinkers on the second floor, doing her best to compose her face so as to be inconspicuous. Entering a small hallway, she found a dusty closet and slipped inside, shutting the door behind her. The darkness of the little space soothed her. She wiped her eyes and nose on her sleeve, took a deep, unsteady breath, and began to try to be calm.


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[The Drunken Fish] I am a disappointed drudge, sir. (Kynier)

Postby Kynier on August 16th, 2018, 12:06 am

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Dovey had said nothing to him in the staircase. Though he could see several conflicting emotions in her expression. Anger, disgust, and even sympathy. When he left her though, the barmaid had seemed to calm down but it was all too evident that she had been crying. As he emerged on the bottom floor he witnessed several men lifting the corpse from the floor. Kynier wondered if it would be best for him to leave. He decided against it. If his actions had been a problem it would’ve come up already.

Sitting back down on his stool from earlier he was about to continue eating the stew that was still sitting there. But as he lifted the spoon he noted a few red blotches on the surface. Blood. With a shake of his head and stabbed the spoon into the bowl then pushed it away from him. It sat next to the wrinkled apple that had also been a recipient of the dead man’s blood. Kynier sighed at the sight. Dovey had been gone for several chimes in order to retrieve that for him. Would she have done that for other patrons? Probably not. He wasn’t going to fool himself in thinking it was because she appreciated him. Silver and gold. That’s what had made her provide extra service.
For several chimes he sat there at the counter. No one else bothered to approach him and ask if there was something else that he wanted for service. In truth, he wasn’t hungry anymore, and the water wasn’t worth staying around for. So why was he here? Probably due to some type of sympathy for a barmaid he had just met. One he could very well need to exploit and abandon. Would he have stayed this long if she wasn’t a slave?

With a sigh he stood up. All his service had been paid for, so he just walked out of the tavern. The stale smell of beer and sweat replaced by the salty air of the sea. For a moment he stood just outside the tavern. Wondering if there was anything that could really be gained from this tavern, or from Dovey.


“If you wanted her body you could have it. Otherwise there’s nothing else she could provide.”

Kynier shook his head to expel the thought. The barmaid had no possessions and probably no place to call home. It was hard to provide anything in those circumstances. Given time. She may prove useful.

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Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

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[The Drunken Fish] I am a disappointed drudge, sir. (Kynier)

Postby Kynier on August 27th, 2018, 3:13 pm

Grades!


 
Dovey
Skill Rewards
  • Deduction +1
  • Negotiation +1
  • Observation +5
  • Rhetoric +1
  • Planning +1
  • Socialization +5

Lores Learned
  • Location: The Drunken Fish
  • The Drunken Fish: Pointless work
  • The Drunken Fish: Safer by the bar than in the crowd
  • Self: What a difference being a slave makes
  • Self: Laughing with someone is precious
  • Kynier: An odd customer
  • Kynier: Looking for information
  • Kynier: A con artist perhaps
  • Kynier: Killed a man in cold blood
  • Kynier: Not as gentle as Dovey thought
  • Kynier: His mother was taken as a slave
  • The Vino: A gang involved with the slave trade
  • Sunberth: Killings won’t be investigated

Rewards
  • +1 gm and 1 sm


 
Kynier
Skill Rewards
  • Acrobatics +1
  • Endurance +1
  • Intelligence +2
  • Interrogation +2
  • Observation +5
  • Planning +1
  • Persuasion +1
  • Rhetoric +2
  • Socialization +5
  • Stealth +1
  • Subterfuge +1
  • Unarmed Combat +1
  • Weapon: Short Sword +1

Lores Learned
  • Location: The Drunken Fish
  • Overgiving: A real Khur-va
  • The Vino: Been asking about ships at Baroque Bay
  • Dovey: A barmaid at The Drunken Fish
  • Dovey: A slave
  • Dovey: Arrived in Sunberth after summer 518’s beginning
  • Dovey: May prove useful
  • The Drunken Fish: Has “Private” rooms
  • Self: Can’t remember his mother’s appearance at times


Rewards
  • +11gm, 1 sm, and 17 cm


Thanks for the thread! We should do another one after the season change. If you have an questions or concerns about your grade please feel free to PM me.
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

Character Sheet
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Kynier
Delves in Darkness
 
Posts: 619
Words: 826264
Joined roleplay: May 13th, 2018, 3:14 am
Location: Sunberth
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