Closed In Enemy Lands

There is no fiercer loyalty than the loyalty to one's own tavern (Rohka)

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

In Enemy Lands

Postby Ambrosia Alar on November 28th, 2019, 5:41 pm

Hand sliding over the gold coin in her pocket, Ambrosia marveled over how smooth it was. She had felt newly or, at the very least, recently minted coins, and they were alive with ridges and divets. In no way though could they compare to the character that worn coins wore. Their contourless sides spoke of the many hands they’d passed through, the numerous goods they’d bought, and they had a life all their own that a fresh coin could never understand. Every emotion had been seen in their changing of hands. There was joy in the acquisition of a gift for a loved one, satisfaction in a meal that filled the belly, sorrow in the soul of a slave who was bought, agony in debts unpaid. There was more life the wear of a thing long-used than in the details of a thing fresh to the world, more beauty and more story. Ambrosia, though still young, felt more akin to the worn coin than the fresh one. Plenty of both had passed through her fingers and over her palms. She was more than familiar with their feel, with their weight and the weight with which they left their owners hands.

The coin in her pocket had been given to her by the owners of the Sliver, though through the hands of Jeb. Autumn liked Jeb. Something about the frown he often wore endeared him to her the way old coins felt more comfortable in her hands than new ones. His frown felt more familiar than most men’s smiles, and the way he cringed at her hug at the end of every night was more intimate to her than what she imagined a lover’s kiss was like.

But the coin was hers to spend as she wished. She just had to spend it in the Malt House. The owners of the Sliver wanted to know what drew people to the Malt House in hopes they could replicate it and draw more customers in it, steal some from that competition, and so Ambrosia’s only job today was to go to a bar, get drunk, and figure out what made that bar so great that it held the loyalty of its patrons.

When she had first entered the tavern, she had lingered by the door, letting the ambiance of the place wash over her, taking in the sight and sounds and smells of the people and the food and the drink. Though it was her first time in this place, it was alive with the familiarity that most taverns seemed to hold. Like an old coin, its rough edges had been smoothed out, and its similarities to every other bar she had worked and frequented made it feel enough like home that she was comfortable enough to call it a temporary home.

Eying the customers, Ambrosia tried to decide who would be able to give her the best information about the place. For a moment, she considered several of the solitary men. A pretty face, a friendly smile, and well-timed laughter were all that would be needed to open their mouths and get them talking, but Ambrosia quickly nixed that idea. There would be only one thing on their minds, and trying to get them to focus on anything else would make getting what she wanted nearly impossible.

Her eyes scanned some more until they came to a woman, sitting at the bar. From the little glimpses, Autumn caught of the side of her face she was young with a chaotic sort of beauty, but the most remarkable thing about her was the long, scaled tail that moved about behind her as if it had a mind of its own. Something about her reminded her of coins, not overly worn but not too naïve either, wise to the world but not yet overly jaded. The way the barmaid on the other side of the counter talked to her suggested the familiarity of regular, and it was in her that Ambrosia saw her answers. Besides, that tale had to have some good stories to go with it.

Sliding up to the bar next to the tailed woman, Ambrosia slid the coin out of her pocket and on to the bar in front of the barmaid, but a bartender farther down smiled when he saw a pretty young thing arrive on the other side of his bar and quickly moved in to poach her tips from the new arrival. If it hadn’t been for the fact that he worked for the competition, Ambrosia would have found him oddly attractive, despite being a little older. Ambrosia remembered a friend mocking her for her preference for older men.

“What can I get for you?”

In a revelation of how odd the situation was, Ambrosia started to laugh but stopped herself quickly when the bartender looked insulted. “I’m sorry, love. I promise I ain’t laughing at you. It’s just that that used to be my line or at least it was before this.” She held up the hand with the slave’s brand on it. Looking over at her new friend’s nearly empty drink, she pointed at it. “I’ll have whatever she’s having and another one for her.” She let go of the coin. “A silver of that is yours. Just keep the drinks coming until that runs out.”

The man raised his eyebrows and filled a mug for her.

She took the mug and held it to her lips, noting as she did that no odor of fermentation hit her nose. One sip told her all she needed to know. “It’s water.”

The bartender nodded.

“It’s water?” Ambrosia looked to her new drinking partner. “What is wrong with you, love?” Her attention returned to the bartender as she pointed down at her mug. “Tell me you have ale and tell me it doesn’t taste like this.”

He laughed. “We’ve got it, and it’s strong.”

“Oh, love, you are goddess sent. I’ll take three.”

His eyebrows raised again, but he filled the mugs and set them on the bar top in front of her. The skeptical look left his eyes as she threw back the first and gulped it down until it was gone.

Sliding one mug over to her new friend, Ambrosia began to nurse her second drink. “Are you really telling me this place is so great that you come here just to drink water?”
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Ambrosia Alar
"The kid's got smiles for days."
 
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