[No Man's Land Tavern] A Sunberth Breakfast (Kelski)

Kelski and Koroshtoph meet over breakfast

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

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[No Man's Land Tavern] A Sunberth Breakfast (Kelski)

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on October 11th, 2018, 11:16 pm

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6th of Fall, 518 AV

A scowl rested on Koroshtoph’s face as he meandered through the Seaside Market. His left hand rested on the hilt of his sword, while his right hand played with the pocket where almost five gold mizas worth of coin had been the day before. His pocket had been the first thing he had checked after a waitress had shaken him awake from his slumber at the bar of The Drunken Fish. Only a couple of silver remained. Didn’t the drummer pay for the drinks?

Memories of the previous night were still blurry in his mind. The only thing that was clear, and painfully so, was the reason for which he had drowned his awareness in ale. It was an emotion which creeped always just beneath the surface of his conscious thought. It had been there when he boarded that ship in Zeltiva, it had been there during the storm, and it was there even now, muted by the pounding of a dull headache. Each time it surfaced, he had done something to push it to the back of his mind, something to avoid having time for reflection. Ale had proven scarily effective, though the aftermath made for a likewise effective deterrent from turning it into a habit.

The downpour of the night before had turned into a gentle shower by morning, so the merchants were out in full force, peddling their wares in a cacophony of sales pitches. The noise grated at Koroshtoph’s mood. He wrecked his head to try and remember the path he had taken the previous night, but Sunberth at day was so different from Sunberth at night, that the market seemed now unfamiliar to him. At least he knew he had to go southeast. Or he was pretty sure he knew. Or it seemed like the right way. The Syliran let out an exasperated sigh at his own state. He had had a plan for the day – he was going to search for steady employment, which both provided an income, and spared his conscience. That was out the window now. Quickening his step, he followed his intuition southeastwards.

***

No man’s land was an interesting name for a tavern. It sounded vaguely ominous to the Syliran, being what such a thing would mean in his city of birth. In Sunberth however, it was perhaps better that land belong to no one rather than to whomever could wrestle control of it. This was a strange thought for Koroshtoph to contemplate. He had always known order as a chief pillar of Syliran culture, and order was not something that was likely to emerge from the bottom up.

A familiar rumble interrupted his contemplation. It was the most hungry he had been in a long time, and it felt like a meal would help with the headache as well. He walked over to a table at the entrance of the tavern and set down to wait for the service. Only a chime after a woman came over to him, a cordial smile on her face. Was it obvious that he had been drinking the previous night?

“Welcome! My name’s Lana. What would you like?”

Koroshtoph gave a tired smile in return. “Whatever I can get for five silver,” he said, putting on the table what mizas he had left.

“Something to help with the headache?”

Apparently, it was obvious. That or the woman was very observant. He wondered if his accent had given away his origin as well.

“Yes. Thank you.”

Her kindness was a reminder that the people of Sunberth were no less people than the Sylirans, but Koroshtoph was not sure he particularly appreciated being reminded of that nuance at the moment. Nevertheless, he smiled again at the woman as she scooped up the money and walked off.

When the food arrived, neither the bread nor the cheese was the freshest he had ever eaten, but he couldn’t recall a time when he was more happy to have a plate of food in front of him.

Ledger :
4gm lost money + breakfast
Last edited by Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on October 16th, 2018, 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[No Man's Land Tavern] A Sunberth Breakfast (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on October 12th, 2018, 4:01 am

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There was a great deal on the Kelvic’s mind. In fact, she’d been up most of the night working and previous day working, but still hadn’t wanted to go to bed. It was possible to work past exhaustion, and she had. Now, well into a second wind, Kelski had set out to wander the city restless sometime when the night was losing its battle with the day and the darkness had lightened slightly to a grey haze that was of neither state.

In that predawn misery, Kelski had slipped out of The Gem and wandered the rainy streets seeking something she couldn’t understand. Wanderlust had never been her nature. She liked to settle and be secure, but the restlessness that seized her of late had no name and nothing she could put a finger on as having ever happened to her before.

And so, she walked… overwhelmed by a sadness she didn’t understand, and minded her steps and stretched her awareness outwards looking with more than her eyes. The rain had driven most off the streets. In a way it was a mockery to call anything but the half dozen thoroughfares in Sunberth a ‘street’. They were simply aisles between moldering half-rotten buildings or piles of debris. The wildlife was well represented in the birdsong that penetrated the drizzle and in the scurrying of scavengers in and out of the crumpled pile of rubble and refuse.

Kelski had good eyes, as a Kelvic eagle would, but she also had well honed senses as a Nightstalker. She was frankly used to noticing things. And since her conversations with Kaltiz and Remmy, she’d made it a point to notice everything she could everywhere she went. Sometimes she even counted steps, windows, fence slats, and looked for patterns in the cracks of walls. She felt… almost smarter, more awake, pushing herself harder to remember details.

And when she could not, it was upsetting. Thus she crossed the city, wandering up one street and down another, visiting places she knew and new places she wanted to know. What was she supposed to be doing? Where was she going? Kelski felt certain there was an urgency to her steps, but for the life of her she could not figure out why.

Turning a corner, she stopped and instantly stepped sideways. She slid into the nearest shadow, letting it enfold her. There, in the street, milling around with a few others, were three brats with bright collars. They were large, far larger in fact than the uncollared ones they seemed to be mingling with. And they were… well kept. Brats were normally mangy, dirty, and usually bore wounds or scars. These looked almost groomed. Kelski shifted her vision, narrowing in on them and read the names on the collars.

Each one was unique.

She tilted her head, watching them curiously. Was someone befriending them? Keeping them as pets? A noisy set of drunks wandered down the street from another direction, obviously trying to stagger home from somewhere … perhaps No Man’s Tavern which was close… closer than she realized. When the pair of men staggered by talking loudly in a debate that wasn’t for once violent, the brats scattered, though the trio which were sniffing around all went together.

They traveled roughly in the same direction of the tavern, but they crossed to a narrow one-person wide alley. Kelski followed them quietly, slipping from one shadow to another in the dim morning light. They came out behind the tavern and she watched in amazement as one slipped into the kitchen through an open back door and was back in a moment with an entire loaf of bread. Instead of fighting over it, the other two looked speculative at the kitchen as Kelski watched, one after the other the remaining pair slipped in and were back out again without any real time lapsing. Thus burdened, the oversized brats retreated at a rapid pace down another alley leading away.

Kelski followed. She in fact followed them quite a while until the trio of them disappeared down what looked like an old air shaft to the mines below that was partially filled with rubble. They looked like they were hunting… no gathering food… for something or someone. The Kelvic stood a long time staring down the rubble strewn half-collapsed tunnel that promised so much information… so many secrets.

But she turned from it at last, noting its location and starting to quietly catalog everything in her mind she might need before she actually followed anything down into the tunnels. And turned to retrace her steps, half hoping to spot more of the collared animals. She did not.

But she did spot No Man’s Land again and the smell of fresh bread brought her through the front door and quietly into the back to a small table near another small table that held a man that looked like he was a bit hung over. She studied him as she sat and nodded to the waitress. Even though it was morning, she ordered wine, and a bowl of whatever they had on the stove in a pot.

Steaming porridge was brought… sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. And Kelski dug in, eating heartily having the first real appetite she’d had in days. Her talk with Kynier was still troubling her. Magic… restrictions… love… a whole host of worries was on her mind. But the brats… the brats were something different. The brats were a nice diversion. Her mind worked on the problem and it gave her something to be curious about… something to investigate… perhaps a secret for Akajia… a duty to fulfill.

While all these thoughts were going through her head, she stared at the hung over young man… without even seeing him. When her silver gaze finally focused on him, she smiled apologetically and muttered a hello.

“Ever had so much on your mind it just…. shuts down? I think I hit that point today.” She said, scraping the last of her bowl clean. She hadn’t eaten well for the last two days so she asked the waitress for a refill and leaned back to sip the wine. After having fresh cold well water at hand, she didn’t trust tepid bar water and didn’t like ale. Wine was a good alternative, even though it didn’t go well with porridge.

“You look like you had one heck of a night. I’m Kelski…. I haven’t slept either.” She admitted, reaching up and pushing a lock of her black and white ombre hair behind her ear. She offered him a smile and then grinned when a new bowl of porridge was placed in front of her. For a carnivore, she sure found the stuff amazingly delicious.
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[No Man's Land Tavern] A Sunberth Breakfast (Kelski)

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on October 16th, 2018, 7:36 pm

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When Koroshtoph looked up from the cheese and bread which he was quite uncouthly stuffing into his mouth, he caught the sight of two gray eyes staring in his direction. They were not averted even as he stared back, wondering what was behind them. Was his hangover so obvious that it warranted being pierced by such a stare? For some reason he had felt almost like a mouse under the eyes of a bird of prey. Something about the woman was slightly unusual. A quarter of a chime passed until she finally broke the mystery by speaking up. Apparently her mind had shut down. That certainly explained the staring! He nodded and gave her the same tired smile he had given the waitress, and took another bite of bread and cheese before speaking up:

“At the moment, I can hardly think through this damn headache.” He pressed his hand to his temple and frowned in a play of exaggerated self-pity.

When the woman ordered the second portion of porridge, Koroshtoph’s plate was already empty. He raised his brow and offered another smile. That was quite the appetite. And a glass of wine so early in the morning! Meaningfully, he took a gulp of hopefully boiled water as she leaned back in her seat and noted his disheveled state.

“Well, I have slept… only I woke up worse for wear. Apparently, all that ale was a bad idea.” He wished in that moment to have a better reason for being as tired as he was. “Last night was almost enough to have me rethink this whole Sunberth thing,” he hurried to clarify his reasons. “Did you know beating a man half to death is apparently a lesser crime than trying to defend him with a sword?” Recalling the mix of condemning and mocking faces of the Pig’s Foot’s patrons rose up in his mind, a bitterness entered his up till then friendly voice as he spoke the last words. He took a short pause to soften his expression before adding:

“I trust your night went better?”

The Syliran didn’t know what had him talking so much, but a friendly face seemed to be just what he needed at that moment. There had been so little of that since he left the ship. Even Gruder had been more sullen the last day of the voyage, after their argument. In fact, the drummer from the previous night had been the first prolonged friendly interaction he had had with a Sunberther. Koroshtoph wondered where that one had gone by morning. Probably off to thank his actual savior some more. The fact that the drummer’s perceived lack of gratitude still bothered him somewhat, annoyed him more than the thing itself.

“I’m Koroshtoph, by the way,” he added quickly, realizing that he had forgotten to return the courtesy of an introduction. Watching her down her second serving of the wonderfully smelling hot meal had him wanting to order it as well. But as he reached into his pocket, he remembered that it was empty. It was a disappointment, but he tried not to show it as he shifted in his seat.
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[No Man's Land Tavern] A Sunberth Breakfast (Kelski)

Postby Kelski on October 20th, 2018, 3:37 pm

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The kelvic smiled kindly at him and gestured for the waitress to bring him a third bowl of porridge. The man looked like he hadn’t eaten well in a while and if he’d drank too much the porridge would definitely sooth his rolling stomach. Kelski chuckled. “Humans and drink is never a good idea. I just have wine because I don’t like the tepid water of bars and the wine is light here.” She said as a way of explaining herself. “At home I have a well and it gushes forth fresh cold water. I love it.” The Kelvic said, leaning back and partially stretching.

Her expression changed from mildly contemplative to stormy. “There are a lot of unspoken rules in Sunberth that seem crazy to me. I know violence is acceptable here, far more than honor or love. It’s astonishing to me that the city still exists at all.” She added, beginning to eat her own second bowl. The waitress was fast at setting down the stranger’s food for him and he too had something decent to eat before their conversation carried on much further.

“I was working all day and that ended up trailing into the night a great deal. When I was done, I was satisfied and sleep eluded me so I wandered the city. Sometimes life is like that… you are tired as you work but when it is time to rest your mind does not wish it.” She said, looking around. “I think I missed dinner last night too. Work has been busy but not overwhelming. There’s no excuse for it. I just haven’t wanted to be anywhere else but at my bench. Life is complicated sometimes, and even the people you care about can make you crazy and you need a break from their madness. Maybe it is the city… as you say… for things here are not normal and I see it changing normal people as well.” She said, softly and thoughtfully.

“It’s nice to meet you Koroshtoph.” She said with a smile, liking his name and even though he was hung over, found him charming. “So was there any reason for your drinking? Were you out celebrating something or is drinking just a common pastime like it seems to be for everyone else in this city?” She asked, looking thoughtful.

“I was up working on masks. I’m a jeweler and for some reason a lot of people in town want jeweled masks soon. I’m hoping there is a party or something else similar going on.” She added, knowing that could absolutely be true. Odds are though it was a Daggerhand party because so far only Daggerhands had asked for them. “Sunberth has such few celebrations. I think it needs more, to be honest. Other cities have festivals and parties on a regular basis, but not this one… this one is like a quiet broody neighbor that yells at everyone for walking on its lawn.” She said, laughing lightly and shoveling another spoon full of porridge in her mouth.
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[No Man's Land Tavern] A Sunberth Breakfast (Kelski)

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on October 28th, 2018, 11:11 pm

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Humans and drink is never a good idea. Perhaps it was just an odd manner of speaking. Either way, “what are you?” seemed a rude question to ask. Especially considering that she had just ordered him food. As he waited for it to arrive, Kelski spoke in affirmation of Koroshtoph’s own impressions. He rose further from his slumped posture as she went on, glad to have someone in alliance against the city of anarchy. “I’m sure I haven’t even seen the worst of it.”

The porridge so kindly give was the first hot meal the Syliran had had since his departure from Zeltiva. If his pride was injured by the obviousness of his need for charity, the feeling was swept away by the inviting aroma of the plate set before him. Before digging in, he looked back over to the patron. “That was very kind. Thank you.” He spoke with sincere gratitude, but also a measure of embarrassment. In the general squalor of Sunberth, Kelski was clearly a woman of above average means and generosity. Nevertheless, Koroshtoph thought it improper to take advantage of that.

“I don’t have anything left on me at the moment, but I’ll repay you when I do,” he added with a smile, though it occurred to him that he did not know where he would find her to fulfill that promise. Choosing not to interrupt their conversation further, he listened intently to her tale of how she wound up at the tavern. She spoke of work, and Koroshtoph reflected that he had no job to speak of. Then she spoke of loved ones, and Koroshtoph reflected that he had none of those either. He blocked out the thought of ones he lost before it had settled long enough to sting. Still, when she mentioned the changing of people, he could not help but draw a parallel with what had happened to his mother.

“I know all too well how it is when people close to you change,” he said with a tone of sadness that he had not intended to betray.

When Kelski asked for the reason for his drinking, Koroshtoph gave a reluctant smile. “Well, it certainly wasn’t a celebration. I suppose I could blame the nightlife here for driving me to drink. It’s not something I’ve done before, and It’s not a habit I mean to nurture. Though food never felt as good as this.” Looking down at the porridge he added the last part in an attempt at levity. Sunberth was a good scapegoat for his embarrassing behavior the day prior, but the Syliran knew it was not the complete story. However, in front of a relative stranger was not the time and place for pouring out one’s soul.

Kelski went on to speak of her job. She was a jeweler apparently. Koroshtoph was not quite sure of what exactly that entailed, and how much of a market there was for such a thing here. Apparently, there was great demand for jeweled masks for some sort of celebration. Koroshtoph could not imagine buying such an extravagance himself, nor did a party among the residents of Sunberth sound particularly appealing.

“A party with masks, huh? From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t know that I would want to be surrounded by masked Sunberthers,” he said with a chuckle in response to her own joke.

“Is there generally much work for a jeweler in this place? Do you have a shop somewhere?”
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