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Firenze moves back to the City of Gangs, running into an unsuspecting Akalak Aer'wyn

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[The Western Heights] Hard Home

Postby Firenze on July 18th, 2018, 2:09 am

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Summer 57, 518AV


It had been years since she’d left Sunberth. The last time she saw the dingy cobbled streets had been in a battle with those she’d barely known alongside her. Although she didn’t do much of the battling, it was more of cowering in the ship. Fire wasn’t ashamed though, it wasn’t her battle to be fought. Eyes roved the walk, skimming over the people who brushed past. The stench of their sweat and odor clinging inside her nostrils. It was not a smell she missed. Hmm… it was a strange feeling to be back in the place that had been all that was known for so many years. However, a few years felt like so much longer to someone of her nature. I wonder if it doesn’t feel the same because I’ve been gone longer than I lived here… the thought crossed her mind, but it was a truth. Having traveled to Zeltiva, Syliras - the capital of all she knew, Kenash, and just prior, Endrykas - the city in the sea of green. And of which, only one of the places would she truly miss.

Puffs of dirt clouded under black slipper covered feet, a green heavy woolen cloak trailing along behind, as she passed by familiar businesses. Fire didn’t have the urge to live back in the slums and had decided instead to find housing in a more suitable accommodation. Passing the packed houses, all squished together as though they were built individually and then smashed together like she’d tend to do with peas on her plate, she kept watch for her available space. The Western Heights was a place she was vaguely familiar with, only because she’d passed through them when younger.

Some of the homes leaned, others had obvious add-ons after having been built. Of those, most looked precariously built. Fire tried to avoid walking under any that looked as though they might fall with a slight cough from Zulrav.

Legs slowed the pace as she came upon a faded blue, tall and skinny house, nestled between two which, she guessed were supposed to be white but, had faded to a dingy yellow. Scanning the building she noted the paint peeling in several places, a shutter hung crooked to the side and a step to the door was half missing. Hefting her pack higher up on shoulder, the pads of leathered feet carried her up the slowly decaying wood to the entrance. With a deft hand, her fingers slipped the heavy metal key into the mortise lock and, with a turn, listened as the gears clicked into place, giving her entrance to her new house in her old home.
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[The Western Heights] Hard Home

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on July 18th, 2018, 4:35 pm


As days passed, Aer’wyn began feeling less and less like a very blue fish out of water in his new role and new home among new friends. A little peace of heaven in this god forsaken shithole. Thing were looking up for him for the first time in years. He’d wake up greeted by Syna’s rays actually looking forward to see what the day brings. Even Vel had kept his presence fairly well withdrawn for the most part.

The Akalak had been running errands that morning, as many of the other mornings. Slowly but surely he was getting a little more used to Kel’s busy calendar. Built like a mountain, dressed in studded leather armour and shrouded by a long black cloak, with a massive sword on his back, there were few souls that choose to mess with the warrior on his way of business. Few were quite stupid enough. Of course he had the off unfriendly glance or a child pointing a finger but those things did little to bother him.

Aer’wyn had been visiting Kelski’s clients in the western heights in person for the majority of the morning, confirming orders, taking deposits and letting them know that their jewels and gems would be on their way within a day or two. Not the most invigorating of tasks but at least it got him out of the house for a few hours. And come early noon he was already looking forward to a successful return and a freshly cooked salmon. There wasn’t enough salmon in the whole of Mizahar to fill the stomach of a hungry Aer’wyn.

It was then that a cloak of green juxtaposed against blue, shabby paintwork caught his eye. The Akalak didn’t quite remember the crooked little ruin of a house on his way though the district. And with such a realisation he came to be a little more lost than he felt comfortable with, even in one of the less savage parts of the savage city.

“Hey.” He called out to the tall woman beneath the cloak. A polite smile on his handsome face. Left hand raised in a gesture of greeting, about as non-threatening as a man his size could be. Large, doe like eyes glistened in the sunlight, making him seem almost innocent. “This here is your place? I don’t mean to disturb you. I’m just in need of some direction. I’ve yet to get my bearings on this part of town a little better.”

There was always a risk bothering anyone on the Streets of Sunberth. For all he knew the woman could be having a particularly bad day and a particularly sharp dagger in need of a blood sacrifice. Somehow she didn’t scare him however. He’d rather take his chances with her than a group of Sun Birth’s any day.




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[The Western Heights] Hard Home

Postby Firenze on July 22nd, 2018, 10:33 pm

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The moment the key turned in the lock a deep yell chimed out behind her. With heavy hood wrapped around golden locks, she dared to ignore the call and skedaddle inside, swiftly slam the door and lock the passerby out of reach. Alas, her curiosity knew no bounds and, despite the unfortunate and exhausting trip from city to city, it never learned its lesson. However, this want to know found a friend along the roadside, caution its name. She turned the key back around in the lock.

The free hand pulled back the edging of the heavy wool set atop her head. A slow glance around the cloth revealed a darkened skinned Akalak standing not far. Her pause gave her heart a flutter of anxiety as she realized the time spent looking gave the stranger time to do what he pleased. Hard lessons were learned in her younger years in Sunberth, anything was plausible. Quite opposite of the innocence she'd once exuberated not so long ago, she quickly replied, “Yes? What?”

Golden eyes, reflecting Syna’s lowering rays, watched carefully the towering man. She’d known an Akalak. The memory causing a needle stab of pain to her tainted heart. Pain wasn’t the only thing she felt, she noted sadness, longing, and anger accompanied. Brows knitted together as she watched him across the way. He’d asked where he was and if the little blue shack was hers. Curious. With a pause, she chewed on whether to share the information of her living situation. The other bits she didn’t mind, it meant that he would be on his way and not a threat to her.

”Perhaps… Where are you looking to go? I’m familiar with the area, though… it seems you may not be. I take it you’re new around these parts?”

Fire hoped that her avoidance of the question he’d presented would go unnoticed by turning the conversation to question him. Why would he be wandering around the residential quarters? Pickpocketing? Thieving? That made sense. With a tilt of her head toward the rather large bastard sword on his back while her eyes skimmed the dark clothing hiding under an even darker cloak.

”What’s that you have there?

She could only see the hilt of the sword, but by the massiveness compared to the body before her, it was noticeably large. It made sense for the size of his stature but, it also made her leery and reaffirmed her assumptions that he must be roaming for things he could snatch and sell.

The sound of rumbling on stone caught her ears and eyes shifted down from whence she’d come only a few chimes prior. It was her things, having paid a man to bring to her new accommodations. Balding, long wisps of hair folded over smooth skin, brown tufts sitting just above the ear. He’d been kind enough… once she’d paid her fair share of gold to ensure that he wouldn’t steal anything, or let anyone else’s fingers slip into the cart on the way over.

It settled her some that the man was arriving, ensuring another pair of eyes to watch the new Akalak standing not far. As the man drew closer it became apparent that he’d used a few coins of change broken off of the gold to pay a young lad to accompany him. The boy, perhaps no older than twelve, had a hand rested on a small plain dagger attached to a ragged pair of britches.

A corner of her mouth drew up, her eyes twinkling at the thought that someone as little as he walked with a chest raised so high, swelled with proudness of feeling like quite the hero to deliver the goods. Turning her attention back to the dark-skinned man she chuckled softly and made a comment she almost immediately regretted, “Well, we have company to join us. A pair of knights come to deliver and protect.”
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[The Western Heights] Hard Home

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on July 23rd, 2018, 3:52 pm

Of course Aer’wyn knew not of her past. How could he have known? And so the sudden burst of aggression wanted by sorrowful memories took him a little off guard. A split second decision to turn around and leave her be, or to stay and assure her that he held no ill will towards her, was made between ticks of the clock. At last; the Akalak wasn’t all that great at running.

At the inquiry of his familiarity with the quarter, Aer shook his head. He’d spent the worst part of the last three years in the city and explored a shameful none of it. When again how could he explore when curiosity punished mages like him with executions in this corner of Mizahar.

Her avoidance of his questions hadn’t escaped his notice. However the must have been a reason behind it. And, polite as ever, the Akalak would not pry upon secrets he had no privy to. Heaven knows, he had enough of his own. It did seem strange to him though that one so set on avoiding questions would ask ones of her own.

“What, this?” A powerful arm grasped the hilt of his sword, drawing it up enough so that the sun could reflect from the sharp steel edge. It was maintained, polished, blood of bandits and anyone who wished to mess with him was cleaned off. Such were the perks of living with Kelvics who often bogarted his things and cleaned them when the Akalak forgot to do so.

Once satisfied that the woman had a good luck, Aer’wyn slammed the blade back down into the scabbard. A sign that he had little intention to fight her - or so he hoped.

A jingling and jangling from afar cut though this pleasant exchange. Soon enough a cart full of boxes showed up, pulled by some odd looking, balding fellow and a twelve year old for company. Suffice to say this was something Aer’wyn wasn’t quite expecting.

Aer’wyn had always been so very fond of children. And the way that kiddo held onto his dagger, as if the weapon was a mighty word, reminded him very much of his own younger years when the Akalak and his brother would battle it out day and night with similarly crude weapons. They fought like fearless tiger cubs till the very day they had been forced to part. Both head strong, pigeon chested with hearts of lions. Seeing the past in the kid brought a warmth to the Akalak’s heart. A hope for the future. A little flower in the densely packed shit that was Sunberth.

“Friends of your’s I’m guessing? Here to fight off the scary big blue man.” replied Aer with light-hearted jest at the comment. A chuckle tickled his lungs. “If my presence here is so very much in your way I shall take my leave. I believe I may not stand a chance against the boy. Looks a real battle hardened warrior, that one.”

The words weren’t meant to disparage. Quite the opposite. He nodded politely to the woman as the two newcomers drew closer, awaiting her decision to keep him or send him away. Surely if he walked long enough he’d be able to find his way out of the maze of crooked houses and abandoned ruins… he just didn’t want to take the chanced with whatever or whoever might hide in them.






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[The Western Heights] Hard Home

Postby Firenze on August 8th, 2018, 2:31 am

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Golden eyes slit ever so slightly as she watched the blue giant lift the large sword slightly. The rasp of the blade against sheath quietly met her ears as he did so. With a nod, she watched as he slid it back into its home. It gave some comfort, knowing that the blade was seated, that perhaps he might not have interest in using the item, hopefully, at least not against her. There was some relief tinged with caution, as weapons could be easily derived from which they sat.

As their attention was distracted, her comment made as she noted that the man had given his own opinion about the boy. Eyes were shifted again back to the stranger, peeping from the corner as his chuckle thrummed. A reply came, “they’re not friends, per se, unless you considered those with pockets lined heavy in your gold, friends?” She tried to match his jest, the corner of her lips turned up at the corner, a soft twinkle of mischief flashing swiftly in her eye, gone as quick as it had come. Despite the past, some of her true self remained, showing its head with the soft teasing.

Glancing back again to the ones that approached, she felt a brief twinge of guilt that flashed in her chest as the large man commented on her rudeness. Perhaps she was being a tiny bit… harsh. Before she could say anything the small lad perked his head even higher, his grip tightening further on the little hilt. “‘Ey! I am that!” His small dirty teeth flashed at the man near seven times his own height. “A real tough one,” he thrust his small chest out and took a widened stance, “best not try anything or else!”

Firenze tried to stifle the laugh that bubbled up from inside but it burst from her mouth before she could catch it. Quickly throwing the back of her hand up against her lips she feigned a coughing fit to protect the young boy’s pride. The older man and lad looked in her direction, this time it was the bald ones turn to speak, “Where ya want the goods lass?”

Eyeing the cart filled with all her things, including those quite heavy, she hesitated briefly. There was no way that the feeble aged man would be able to help her carry anything or the young boy. Her own strength has waned during her travels and it showed in her thinned body, with clothes not quite fit anymore. Chewing her lips she considered a trade with the man who had apparent muscle, that would be more than plenty to carry even the heaviest items alone. Would he oblige after her disdainful introduction?

Shrugging mentally she thought, what harm could it do to ask? With a slight head tilt, hands settling on her hips, she gave an offer, “Would you perhaps be interested in trading directions for aide before you leave? I’ll need help getting my things,” her right arm swept toward the ladened cart, “inside and I think,” she tapped her chin with the same hand as if to ponder, a smile flirtatiously flashing her teeth in hopes to persuade, “that you are quite a strong man. Why… I think you could pick up the whole cart with one hand no less.” She preened and pointed a dainty finger towards his arms, hoping the exaggerated compliment would persuade him to see past her initial impression.

If he accepted, she would turn and unlock the door again, giving a twist of the handle and pushing it wide. Letting the cobs and dust stir from the draft of the door and daring the fresh air to revitalize the worn interior. Stepping down to the cart and grabbing a bag, she’d direct the large man and boy to grab some things, the old man to guard the cart lest anyone try anything while they unloaded. With a turn on a heel, she’d make her way back up the steps, to the interior and point to the corner for everything to be sat until a future time came for her to organize and shift things to their proper spots.

If he declined, she would not take it to heart, but instead, give him a soft nod. Pulling her hood back from golden locks and resting it on top of her shoulders. She would still direct him towards the exit of the living area so that he might get away, and they could be on with task as soon as possible.
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[The Western Heights] Hard Home

Postby Aer'wyn Grisghul on August 16th, 2018, 7:42 pm

Aer chuckled quietly beneath his breath at the wit of her reply. Of course. How silly of him it was to assume that anyone in this shyke hole had friends. Then against he did and that alone made the poor, broke Akalak rich enough for two.

The Akalak raised an eyebrow at the pigeon boy. There was something intrinsically funny about being threatened by a human half one’s size. But he said nothing to discourage the boldness. If the boy needed it to survive, he could have his threats and his ego. Better that than whiskey.

It was the woman’s lough instead that would soon enough crush his hopes of noble knighthood at such a tender age. But what she said next really did surprise him. An offer to exchange help for help and perhaps even a mild flirtation? Could it have been? Or perhaps had he grown so very lonely since the untimely death of his wife that he simply looked for such in her pretty smile and cheeky words. Who could say? Aer’wyn certainly did have a weakness for a woman in need as every man should - or at least in his mind.

It didn’t take much for an easy on the eyes girl to persuade him to do her bidding. After all Kelski had the art mastered already. His kind, soft, mushy heart really was too weak.

Soon enough Aer’wyn joined the other two men as they began to get things inside the house. Whilst they took care of the lighter boxes, he purposefully picked the biggest and heaviest ones that put strain on his musculature; both that of his biological and morphed arm. Though the two were perfect mirror images so to not betray the magic he wielded.

Trips there and back would see him show off a little. Carry a few boxes at once even. She had her flirtatious ways and he had his, after all.

“So what’s your name.” The Akalak asked, wishing to make a little small talk at least, as he passed her with another heavy load, seeming not at all bothered by it when she was looking but then immidietly biting his lip from the effort and swearing silently the moment she was out of eyeshot. Returning outside for yet another load, he figured she’d be more inclined if he yelled his first. After all, suspicion was a rampant plague in a city where such practice was the difference between death and survival.

“Mine is Aer’wyn. I work at The Midnight Gem, down by the port. Perhaps you should visit at some point. My employer could certainly find something sparkly to complement your eyes, I’m sure. Although I doubt any gem could be quite as delightful.”

How long has it been, sincerely? Hearing the complement come from his own lips, Aer’wyn winced internally a little. Perhaps he could have worded it better. Perhaps he should have just kept that damn mouth shut.

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