Completed A Bird at the Bakers

Sparrow attempts to dig through the trash at the Baker's shop for anything edible.

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

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A Bird at the Bakers

Postby Adriana Sparrow on January 28th, 2019, 4:33 am

Winter 21, 518 AV


The Gallows. Sparrow often passed the place, however hurriedly. She never understood why it was such an entertainment for the citizens of Sunberth to gather and watch the death of a man. They flocked like angry birds raging at the unfortunate victim of the day. The place smelled only of death, and no good would come from lingering nearby. Today, especially, as she noticed a small grouping of people in the area, no doubt waiting for whatever execution lay ahead.

Ducking her head, she power walked through the square. Running would attract attention, and that was always the last thing she needed. Prying eyes had no business here, she would think and could only hope they agreed. She was just another boy, roaming the streets, or so she hoped they would not look too closely.

Her destination was not far from the Gallows. It was one of her favorite places, though it was not free of threats. She was headed to Baker's, the butchery and bakery in town. On normal days she would be able to find a few bone scrap in the trash, something she could break for her brother to suck on for the night. On great, and very rare, days, she might find a piece of bread, whether stale or burnt, it did not matter. Bread was an unheard of delicacy for the siblings.

The owner, Baker, seemed a kind man, though you could never know what lie beneath the facade. His wife though, a Myrian, Sparrow had heard, a people who thrived on blood and violence and murder. She must feel so at home in Sunberth, Sparrow would think, the city of death. She could only hope that if she had the unfortunate event of being caught digging through the trash, that is was Baker who found her, rather than his savage of a spouse.

The shop was located at the riverside in the Castle Commons, a great luck for Sparrow and other scavengers. The trash, located out back, was in great cover because of the river so close by. Only those fishing on the water, or the ferrypeople on their boats would be able to see her, ideally, and usually they were too far or preoccupied to care.

Dressed in her ravaged burlap attire, Sparrow carried her leather sling bag with her today. It was empty, as usual on the beginnings of her raids through town. She could only dream that is would be somewhat filled by the time she returned to her so called home.

The trick, at least her trick, was to get in and out as quickly as possible. Less time for wanderers to happen upon her, and less chance of one of the owners stepping out back and catching her in the act. She wondered, sometimes, if they really would care, they were throwing the stuff out anyway, but it seemed frowned upon she she saw it happen elsewhere. She could take no chances.

Sprinting the last few steps around the corner, she spotted the trash, just a box set outside the back door, and scurried quickly to its side. She was hit with the foul smell of rotting meat and death from the contents, but she did not gag. It was a smell that was all too common in the city, and in her specific lifestyle. Quickly, quickly, she began rifling through the box, looking for anything even remotely edible.
Last edited by Adriana Sparrow on March 6th, 2019, 12:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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A Bird at the Bakers

Postby Taris Orlanith on January 29th, 2019, 1:41 am



Taris watched the kid for a few minutes. The boy looked to be his age, though rather thin. Even thinner than he himself.

Probably from hunger, he thought. Which is probably why he's rooting in the garbage.

The boy was filthy. His torn clothes were stained with dirt and looked more like strips of rags wound around him than an actual shirt and pair of trousers. Taris wasn't much better off than the boy, and he well remembered the days when he rooted in garbage, hoping for just a scrap of food.

Years had passed since that time. Then, he had made friends and they had taught him how to pick pockets. Things had gotten so much better since then. Food was difficult to get, but it could be gotten. Clothes too, and any number of other things.

He shivered as a cool wind blew along the riverbank. The boy searching the garbage was lucky. Winters had been the worst when Taris lived on the streets, before he could pay for space in the Drunken Fish's common room. This winter was so much warmer though, it might as well have been spring already.

I should help him, Taris thought. All his old friends were now either dead, or had joined up with the big gangs.

Stealing is a lot easier when you have a friend to run distraction for you, he told himself. He grinned at that idea.

Taris crept forward. The boy looked the anxious type, ready to run at a moment's notice. He approached slowly, swinging wide around the boy so he had plenty of time to see him coming. As he did, Taris held his hands out to his sides, fingers spread wide so the boy could see he wasn't a threat. It was how his old friends had first approached him.

"Hey, uh, hey there," he said to the boy. Then he quickly said, "Wait! Don't run. You look hungry and I know where we can get some food. Free food. And my name is Taris, by the way."
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A Bird at the Bakers

Postby Adriana Sparrow on January 29th, 2019, 8:40 pm

She hadn't seen him watching, but she aw him coming. He was far enough, when she spotted him, that she knew she had enough room to run. She froze, instead, watching him watch her as he continued his route towards her. She took him in, quickly, no time to waste. She saw her opportunity to bolt quickly fading. She saw the boy, he seemed about her own age, nearly as ragged, nearly as skinny, she thought, though perhaps he looked a bit more well fed. There was no doubt he was poor and on the streets, just like her. She saw many like her in this city. She rarely spoke to them, but she had come across her fair share of run ins. Some were fine, where the other did not seem to be interested in her, knowing she had nothing, just like them. But others, well, the city brewed violence, and some children seemed to enjoy the suffering of others, even when there was no gain otherwise.

He spoke then, and she hadn't decided on her next course of action yet, she was stuck, frozen to the ground, her hands still absentmindedly rifling through the box of stinking remains of carcass. She felt something stiff and coarse run across her fingers. Possibly a bone, the thought startled her out of her staring of the boy, but she could not take her eyes away from him, he was still talking.

'Don't run,' he said, and it made her want to bolt more, but he was too close now. She needed more time to think. There was only one way out of this alley, he was blocking the secondary exit. She could turn and run out the way she came, but she was unsure of the boys ability to catch her. He offered free food, it was possible he simply wanted to help? But even within the richest of communities, giving wasn't a common practice in Sunberth.

Sparrow hadnt been on the streets for too long, but she started scavanging before her mother died and she thought she knew the best places to get food. Bakers was one of her favorites, even on the worst days it had some sort of scrapping that Sparrow was sure would eventually get her or her brother sick, but the risk was better than going hungry. How could this boy know something better?

It was possible he was on the streets longer. Most of the street kids have been there their entire lives, Sparrow and her brother were lucky in that aspect, at least. But ti did not make it easier for them to survive. The boy in front of her looked a bit healthier than her too, perhaps, he did know something she didnt.

Slowly, she straighten up, keeping her hand on whatever rough thing it had found in the box. She was still wary, but she could give him a chance... see what he had to say at least. "What do you know." She said to him, it came out quite offensive and she realized if he was actually being sincere, she should probably be a bit kinder. "Taris." She added, in a slightly softer voice, hoping the familiarity of his own name would calm him, while also continuing to attempt to conceal the slight feminine inflection of her natural voice.
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A Bird at the Bakers

Postby Taris Orlanith on February 1st, 2019, 8:34 pm


Taris smiled at the boy. He had expected the boy to snap at him. After all, he was interrupting his search for food. As far as the boy knew, Taris was there to steal whatever he found.

But Taris had better plans. Plans that would benefit them both.

He stepped closer. "I know it's easier to find food when you are part of a team," he said, answering the boy's question.

Taris had to be careful about this next part. It seemed like everyone in the city was a thief, but Taris knew that wasn't true. Some people just weren't comfortable with stealing, or they were too afraid of getting caught to try it. Especially the ones who were new to the streets. Gods, he had been terrified his first time.

Scavenging was so much less dangerous. Yet, it was harder, too, because you never knew what you would find, or if you would find anything at all. You could scavenge all day, check every spot you knew of, and still come up with nothing. Stealing wasn't always successful, but it was much better odds than scavenging.

Taris pointed in the direction of the Commons. He said, "There is a ton of food just over there. If we work together we can get enough food to fill both our bellies."

He grinned. "What do you say? You hungry?"
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A Bird at the Bakers

Postby Adriana Sparrow on February 3rd, 2019, 12:19 am

She squinted her eyes at the boy before her, who inched a bit closer with each sentence that flowed form his mouth. Sparrow was wary, but Adriana knew that her brother needed food, his little cheeks looked more shallow every time she returned home. Her own stomach, too, did not grumble anymore, it simply ached constantly. The boy, Taris, spoke of being a team... Such companionship was unknown to her, and she did not know if he spoke the truth, of scavenging being easier in groups. Her could be lying, she thought, but there was kindness in the world, was it standing before her now?

Her heavy grip on the item in her hand caused her bones to begin to ache. She quickly stuffed it in her leather satchel, hoping the boy had no interest in her meager prize. She would examine the item later, and pray it was something edible. Especially if this boy was, in fact, wasting her time. Retrieving her hand from the bag, she flexed it to stretch the tense bones. She heard a crack.

She scoffed, inwardly at least, when Taris pointed towards the Castle Commons. It was true, technically, that there was more food there. In fact there were stands and shops that had fresh food, good food. But that involved stealing... something Taris did not mention. In fact, he specifically mentioned scavenging for more food...

Of course, there were other trash heaps somewhere, but within the Commons there were also more people, more peering eyes to catch you in the act.For some reason people didn't like it when someone sifted through their garbage. But she was curious... Perhaps she could give the boy a chance, she could always run for it if it started to look bad.

"You lead the way, then." She started, watching him carefully.
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A Bird at the Bakers

Postby Taris Orlanith on February 5th, 2019, 3:09 am



Taris was careful to keep eye contact with the boy. He saw him stuff…something, which even he couldn’t tell what it was, into his sack. Taris would love to fill that sack. It could hold so much food. Fruits, vegetables, breads and meats. That wasn’t possible though, so he pushed it out of his mind.

“Alright. Let’s go,” Taris said with a nod.

He turned and led the way toward the Commons. He looked back after a few feet and saw the boy behind him. He grinned and hiked a thumb at himself. “I’m Taris. Did I say that?” He laughed. “By the way, I didn’t catch your name. What is it?”

He kept walking. The noise of the Commons grew louder. Merchants calling their wares and haggling with buyers. There were the neighs and squawks and barking of animals. Beggars pleaded for coin and food.

Taris stopped at the edge of the Commons and waited for the boy to catch up. “How long have you been on the streets?” he asked. “Learned any tricks yet?”

He surveyed the nearest market stalls. The foods he saw looked delicious. His stomach growled and he couldn’t help licking his lips. Yet, too many of these stalls had guards. It wouldn’t do to steal from one of them.

“Come on,” he said, waving for the boy to follow him. He stepped into the crowd and walked south.

He glanced around as they neared the Temple. This would do nicely. His eyes fell on one in particular with eggs and cheeses. There was a guard standing beside the stall. Taris caught the boy’s arm and pulled him across the street from the stall. He pointed to the stall.

“See over there?" he said. "The stall with the cheese and eggs. If we can get some of that, and some bread, then we’d have a good meal. Now, I’ll get rid of the guard or, at least, distract him. And I’ll take care of the merchant too. All you have to do is grab as much as you can and stuff it in your sack. If something happens, run as fast as you can. You know the Pig’s Foot Tavern? I’ll meet you behind it. Alright?”
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A Bird at the Bakers

Postby Adriana Sparrow on February 6th, 2019, 3:03 am

She followed as the kid led their way towards the Commons. She was curious about what he could know that she didn't. He looked back at her a few times, and with the first glance he introduced himself, again. Then laughed at his own mistake. The sound startled her, and her eyes went wide with shock for just a moment. It was a noise of happiness and contentment. She couldn't remember the last time she heard herself or her brother laugh. Before their father disappeared, she was sure. How could this boy have so little cares? He looked about as worse off as she did. She wanted to feel that way again, just for a moment.

"Sparrow, like the bird." She replied to him. It was a fake name, but she used the same one anytime someone asked her her name nowadays. It wasn't safe to use her real one. Not anymore.

They were coming upon the center of the Commons now. It was bustling. The noise made her nervous in some ways. More eyes. But it could also be calming. The crowd meant people were paying less attention the a random child on the street -- or two in this case. Around them were all kinds, she could see. From beggars, who always made her feel uneasy, to the servants of the rich that shopped for them. She looked at the beggars, a life she was only one step away from.

She looked up as Taris spoke to her once more. He had stopped, and she joined him at his side, though a safe distance away. If she decided to run, he could not reach out and grab her. He asked how long she'd been doing this sort of thing. If she learned any tricks.

She scoffed, "I've been here long enough to know that that" -- she hiked her thumb at a nearby beggar -- "is not worth the attention is grabs."

The pair had reached the market. She often attempted to pickpocket here, or grab a piece of food of a cart. The real prizes always lay with stealing, but there was also too much of a risk. She didn't take it that often, especially with town guards milling around. What could the boy have planned here?

They started walking through the crowd then, and suddenly the kid grabbed Sparrows arm, and pulled. she almost yelled out, but caught herself just in time. She snatched her arm away, quickly and harshly and stared at him with shock, plans of escape running through her head and across her eyes.

If her alarm was noticed by the boy, he did not make much of a scene from it. Instead he began talking, whispering frantically, his eyes looking at a spot in the distance behind them. She looked back, to see the stall he had located.

Eggs and cheese. She hadn't had such things in a long time. She could only image her brothers little face lighting up if she came home with such a meal. Sparrow was certainly interested, and she listened intently into his plan.

She had never even considered teamwork before, but as Taris laid it out, it almost seemed like it could work. It made sense, a distraction... It could open up the stall and she could just be there, ready to take what she needed. But how was he going to manage it?

"How are you thinking you can get the guard and the merchant away? How are you thinking you wont get grabbed?" She was worried for him, another shock. It seemed she had the easy job here; grab and run. Where had had to have all the eyes on him.
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A Bird at the Bakers

Postby Taris Orlanith on February 8th, 2019, 4:58 am


Taris grinned at Sparrow. He could hardly believe his luck. The boy was up for some theft after all.

He opened his mouth to answer Sparrow's question, but no answer came to him. He closed his mouth and bit his lip in thought. Sparrow watched him expectantly and, finally, Taris couldn't take it anymore.

“Well, I, uh…” Taris laughed. “I hadn’t, actually, uh, thought that far.”

He usually just walked up and snatched something from the stall while someone else distracted the merchant. Someone who was actually willing to pay for their goods. Most people--most adults, that was--didn't react when you pointed over their shoulder and said 'Look at that!' Kids, sure. But not adults. Yet, that was most of what he had in the way of distractions.

Sparrow. Sparrow like the bird.

The boy’s name came unbidden to his thoughts. Now that he thought about it, Taris couldn’t help wondering if it meant something. Maybe the boy was fast?

Taris shook his head. Speed would help the boy escape, but it wouldn't help with the actual stealing. They needed something else. A plan, definitely. But something else, too. Charm, perhaps. Like he had that.

Think. Think, he told himself. If he was to make an ally of Sparrow, let alone a friend, then they had to pull this off. Which meant he had to pull it off. It had been his idea, after all.

“Alright,” he said. “I don’t know how I am going to distract them. But I’ll think of something. I’ll, uh, pretend to be buying for some rich lady.”

Taris nodded to himself at that. “Yeah,” he said, “that could work. I’ll pretend she is really picky about her cheese.”

He rubbed his chin. That would work for the merchant. Now what about the guard? That was going to be the hard part.

His stomach rumbled and Taris clasped a hand over it. It wasn't like he was the only hungry one. It was just instinct. Sparrow was clearly hungry too. The boy had a gleam in his eye that Taris knew all too well.

He licked his lips and swallowed. Cheese and eggs were starting to sound really good. He wished he had some bread, too, or some meat. What a meal that would make. That was the kind he could die happy after eating it. Eggs and cheese, though, was a good start. And, maybe, if they could steal enough, he could take some to his older sister Tairi. Not that he needed to bring her food, because she had a job and could buy her own food. But it would be a thank you and maybe they could make something together.

She would like that, he told himself while firmly ignoring how much he would like that, too.

“You know, let me think about the guard,” he told Sparrow. “But you, you should not go to the stall with me. If you do, they will watch us both. So, instead, you should go around that block and come up on the opposite side of the stall from me. Then they won’t be able to see you as easily. Sound good?”
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A Bird at the Bakers

Postby Adriana Sparrow on February 8th, 2019, 10:45 pm

So the boy didn't actually have a plan. Had he even done this before? Stealing in a team? Sparrow hadn't, obviously, but the way Taris explained it to her made it seem like he had some experience. She was beginning to lose hope in this adventure. The egg and cheese merchant had hired a guard for himself, a smart thing to do since people like her and Taris existed to commonly within Sunberth. But that not only meant there were two people to distract, but that one of them was potentially dangerous. She doubted the city would care if a hired guard killed or otherwise harmed a street urchin like these themselves.

She watched him, it was clear he was thinking pretty hard. She was thinking too, but she had no idea how to distract a guard. the merchant was easy enough, simply act like you wanted to buy something... but a guard? Anything less than actually stealing something and forcing the guard to give chase was out of her league. She did feel a bit bad for not being any more of help, she felt the need to explain herself.

"I'm sorry I don't have any ideas. I have never done this in a group before. I usually just sneak up and steal something. If it helps I do have some experience in sneaking around without being seen or heard. I don't know if that will help you plan, but it helps me steal in general." She said, offering what little she had to the pool.

The boy was still thinking, but he seemed to want to get a rush on. She understood, she was hungry too, and the food was so close, it was hard resisting the urge to simply run and grab something and bolt. But a plan was better. There was more chance for a higher reward, and if everything went okay, less risk.

She nodded to Taris when he explained how he would distract the merchant. That was something simple. Most merchants would push off someone who looked like they did, young and dirty, but if he claimed to be working for someone of higher status, the merchant might feel an obligation to make the wealthy happy. They are the ones who had the money after all.

"Pretend you're a slave or something." She added.

She hoped the boy would be able to figure out how to gain the attention of the guard as well. Her pack was pretty big, it would be able to fill a lot of food in it. Hopefully the eggs wouldn't break in their haste, she thought off offhandedly. She shook her head, she was looking to far into the future, to hopefully, this would have to work first.

Giving one last nod at Taris along with a glance she meant to say 'good luck', she ducked around a corner to make her way to the other side of the stall. They should not been seen together, the merchant or someone might be suspicious when Taris approached the stall.

It took her just a moment to come out on the other side of the block. She saw the stall a good number of feet in front of her, and on the other side was Taris, still standing where he left her. She crept a few feet closer, but tried to act like she was shopping too. She didn't want to stare at Taris or the stall, but she kept them both in her line of sight. One Taris seemed to be in action, she would rush the stand and grab as much as she could and bolt the other direction. She looked now for the best escape route.
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A Bird at the Bakers

Postby Taris Orlanith on February 10th, 2019, 1:57 am


Taris waited while Sparrow went around the block. Alright, he thought, what are you going to do?

The slave idea was a good one. So good, he was going to use it. A rich lady…a rich old lady—he grinned at that idea—was a lot more believable than someone paying a street kid to buy their food for her.

What to do about the guard? he asked himself. That one was a lot harder than the merchant. The guard was a mercenary and, looking at him, Taris could see the sword on his left hip. He had no doubt there was a knife, too. Probably several knives. Then there was the armor.

Nope, can’t attack him, he thought. No, no, no, no, no.

He groaned in frustration and pushed his hands roughly through his hair. Why did I offer to distract both of them?

He gasped as inspiration struck him. What if… Yeah, I can do that. That will be great!

Taris waited until he saw Sparrow come back into view. The boy began browsing the items at the stalls near the cheese merchant. Taris waited until he glanced his way. He nodded to the boy, then took a deep breath and squared his shoulders. It was time to start.

He marched across the space separating him from the cheese merchant’s stall and went straight up to the guard. “What are you doing here?” he demanded.

The guard blinked at him. “Excuse me?” he said.

“You heard me,” Taris said. He put his hands on his hips. “I said, what are you doing here? You’re supposed to be guarding my lady today.”

“What’s going on?” the merchant asked. He was a tall skinny man with curly hair and a thick, brown beard.

Taris thrust a hand at the guard. “This man is supposed to be guarding my lady today.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, kid,” the guard said. “But you need to either buy something, or leave.”

Taris wanted to look around the guard and merchant, to check on Sparrow and see if the boy had begun his raid on the opposite side of the stall. However, the merchant and his guard would notice if he did that. Focus! You are an angry slave, he told himself.

“You gonna buy something, kid?”

“That’s why my lady sent me,” Taris said. “She wanted cheese and eggs, bread and, uh…”

The merchant raised an eyebrow and began to look away.

“It doesn’t matter!” Taris shouted. The merchant looked back at him. “Because when I walked up here I saw him!”

He thrust a finger at the guard. The merchant and the guard shared a look. The merchant pointed at the guard. “He’s been working for me all week.”

Taris opened his eyes as wide as he could and dropped his jaw. “You! You told my lady that you would guard her today. You took her money!”

“I didn’t take her money. I don’t even know who your lady is,” the guard said.

“Yes, you do,” Taris said. “I was in the room when she hired you.”

The merchant laughed. “Sounds like I got the better end of this deal.”

The guard grinned and turned to him. “Heh. You sure…" The guard froze. Then his eyes widened and he shouted, "Hey! You! STOP!”

The merchant whirled around. In the gap between the two men, Taris saw Sparrow staring at them with huge, wide eyes. In his hand he held a block of cheese halfway between its place on the stall table and his open sack.

“Run!” Taris shouted at the boy.

He darted down the length of the stall. Grabbing an egg, he whirled and raised the egg to throw. It flew out his hand as he drew back, though, and went flying. The guard rounded the edge of the stall. Thinking fast, Taris grabbed a second egg and threw at the guard. He hoped to catch him in face with it, but he didn’t stay long enough to see. Spinning as soon as it left his hand, he ran for it.

When he caught up to Sparrow he said, “Remember where to go? Don’t go straight there! I’ll meet you there in twenty minutes! Bye!”

He kept running and turned right at the next intersection. He ran a few more yards, then stopped and looked back. The guard was standing in the intersection. “Hey! Egg face! Come on!” Taris shouted. He spun and ran.
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