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Author Topic: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)  (Read 158 times)

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Offline PixelatedGlory

Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« on: April 03, 2018, 04:55:46 PM »
@Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Arden paid his coin to the barkeep and took a long swig before walking over to the only remaining open table in the small tavern. He wasn't fond of being in Reajh and the sooner he could leave the better. Tonight though, he really just needed a drink. He had returned home to visit his family in Uthlyn a few days ago and while the first two days went very well, his parents had returned home this morning. Upon seeing him playing with his youngest sister and brother they nearly lost their minds. He had tried to explain once again that being a mage wasn't contagious but the current unrest was really bothering them. They had insisted that he report directly to the church of Ansgar in Reajh so there was a record that he was still dutifully wearing his mark and not succumbing to the temptation to use his magic.

Khent and Yora had cried and clung to his legs as he prepared to leave and it broke his heart. “Damn it,” he growled as he pounded the table, I wish I could just visit my brothers and sisters without those two murderers ruining things. At the concerned glance of one of the serving women Arden raised his palms as a sort of wordless apology. It wouldn't do to cause trouble here, especially with that mark emblazoned on his chest.

Arden had heeded his parents' wishes and whispered a promise to his siblings that he would return to see them before long. He told them to be on their best behavior and he might just bring them each back a gift. As soon as they had calmed down he prepared his horse and rode for Reajh. As expected the church was quite happy to take him in for an “evaluation.” Torture was a more apt description. Fortunately Arden had a well-documented history of service as a soldier, turning himself in without issue when his magehood was discovered, and there was no evidence that he had used magic illegally in Connlaoth. He was able to honestly tell them that he was resisting the use of his power so he would be allowed to see his family. They had taken him in before noon and they released him just after sunset. He had come straight here to this out of the way tavern afterward.

Arden focused his attention on his drink to take his mind off of his thoughts and as he did so he took his attention away from his surroundings- his cloak no longer hiding his coin purse.

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 01:17:34 PM »
The nights were chilly in Connlaoth, and Rook's threadbare clothes and skinny body offered little protection. As soon as the sun dipped down over the horizon, she was shivering, and she shifted her focus from finding a meal to finding shelter. With hardly a coin to her name save what she'd pilfered, and what money she had going toward food that didn't come from a rubbish heap, she couldn't buy a room somewhere, and city streets were dangerous at night, some areas only marginally better than others. Her options were slim and generally involved sleeping with one eye open.

She paused between two buildings, sheltering against the chill breeze, rubbing her arms with hands that were ice inside their gloves to try to generate at least some heat. Where to go, where to go. It was either sleep on the streets again and hope she wasn't intruding on someone's space (thieves, as it turned out, could be quite territorial, which newbies like herself had to learn the hard way), or maybe...hmm. She peered around the corner, hand going up to keep her wide-brimmed hat on her head (a new find from a rubbish pile, freshly discarded and floppy from use and abuse). There was a tavern down the road; she could faintly hear the sounds of minstrel music and boisterous voices.

She wasn't really fond of taverns--too many unsavory, rowdy men--but they were warm, and usually open rather late, and noisy, with lots of distractions. Most of the time, no one paid her any mind so she could loiter until they closed, and sometimes she could even sneak a drink of someone's half-finished ale, or pick food from an unfinished plate.

And they were full of drunk people.

Drunk people were stupid. They dropped their coin, or left them unattended altogether, or just didn't notice when she bumped them and cut their purse strings. It was risky, but risk was sort of in her job description. Her life had been risky from birth.

Rook took a deep breath. Beggars couldn't be choosers, and maybe tonight she'd come away with more than just warm hands.

Pulling her hat down low to shadow her face, she headed for the tavern and slipped inside. It was a full house--excellent--and blissfully warm from the fire and body heat. The serving women had their hands full dodging the advances of drunken men while keeping their trays from tipping (true skill, right there), and the barkeep was equally occupied. No one really paid attention to a new young man entering, much less one as scrappy and bedraggled as she looked. Even her scar drew no more than a brief, sympathetic look from the few men that noticed her enter. With the war dragging on, there had been no shortage of scarred, bedraggled people.

Rook lingered near the door where it was easy to bolt, warming herself and watching and trying not to fidget. Being around so many people always made her stomach twist queasily and palms dampen, but she reminded herself that she was no one, and that no one would pay her any mind unless she drew attention in the first place. Everyone was caught up in their own problems, drowning it out with ale--and how many times had she done this already, without being caught? This was far lower risk than some of her previous endeavors.

You've got this. You've done this before. Taverns are nothing. What's some drunkard gonna do even if he does catch you? You're fast. He'll be slow and clumsy. It's fine. Look at that one over there! Face in his booze, back to you, purse hanging out there. Easy mark. Just do it, go, and find another shelter. Simple.

A deep breath in, a slow breath out. Steady nerves, steady hands. Her aching belly certainly helped motivate her. So after taking a moment to scope the place out, locate potential marks, steady her breathing, and plan her route, she made her move.

She squeezed between two full tables on her way to the bar, pretending to grab the table for balance while swiping a coin left there carelessly--probably to pay one of the barmaids. Sorry, but I need it more. She sneaked a piece of cheese from one man's plate when he wasn't looking and slipped it and the coin into her own measly purse, then paused at the bar and leaned her elbows onto it.

"What's your house brew gonna run me?" she asked, keeping her voice low and hoarse--which wasn't difficult to fake, because it had been a while since she had spoken.

The barkeep looked up from where he was tapping a fresh barrel and called his answer, but Rook was hardly paying attention to the price. It didn't matter. What mattered was the act.

She shook her head ruefully. "Ah, shame. Place down the road's got it much cheaper. Thanks anyway, mate," she said, and pushed off the counter, ignoring his affronted grumbling. Turning on her heel, she made to head for the door but took a different route, heading for the lone man with the exposed purse. With a quick, practiced flourish, she drew her small, plain knife from its sheath at her hip and with a quick snip, cut the strings as she passed and caught it as it fell.

Just keep walking, keep walking. Just a little further and she would be out the door and in the clear without anyone the wiser!
OPEN THREADS! HOP ON IN FOR SOME WILD GOOD TIMES. 8D
Dreams of Demons
Blood and Roses.



Adamaris // Aderyn // Aki // Alexander // Anoki // Astrid // Axieva // Aysel //  Beatrid // Branwen // Briar // Cadmus // Cerys // Charik // Chephirah // Clover // Corryn // Dai // Delwyn // Demaht // Durga // Einin/Owl // Fang // Faolán // Faris // Felix // Frost // Gwendolyn // Hatame // Hayate // Hazel // Hyacinthe // Ife // Iris // Jayari // Jirou // Juniper // Katxiel // Khaiya // Khero // Koi // Kota // Kuan // Kuvira // Kyran // Kyori // Liam // Makani // Makoro // Max // Maya // Mei // Misae // Monster // Nakato // Naovi // Nasrin // Nelly // Niaaki // Niamh // Noor // Pepper // Qiana // Qismat // Quinn // Raxta // Riyarin // Rowan // Sachi // Sadb // Sahar // Scarab // Siobhan // Simonea // Sita // Song // Syrae // Taj // Tanith // Tessa // Tiaret // Tikaani // Vahni // Valor // Victoria // Wakiza // Xinyi // Yarra // Yasmin // Yiroa // Yun // Zahara

Offline PixelatedGlory

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 05:10:16 PM »
Arden failed to notice the entrance of the thin, grubby man with scraps for clothes and a hat pulled down over his scars. Indeed the tavern was full of men of varying degrees of poverty and really he only cared to notice if one of them was fixing to start a fight. Getting arrested after just leaving the church would all but guarantee he would be shipped away to one of the camps.

The place was loud and crowded and to be perfectly honest Arden didn't really like it. This tavern had been the first one he found after making sure he wasn't being followed from the church. Arden knew he stood out a bit. He was one of the few patrons that were (mostly) well-kempt and didn't have visible scars. Of course Arden had scars of his own, but they tended to be hidden beneath his clothing. Most of the patrons gave Arden space as they noticed either the well maintained armor or the sword at his hip. Even while drinking he carried himself with a touch of nobility and the practiced ease of an experienced soldier. There was the mark of the Church of Ansgar too. Technically it meant that he had sworn not to use magic, but many people still harbored a very real fear that mages might suddenly destroy a whole building if upset.

Arden had an uneasy feeling, as if someone was watching him, but he shrugged it off. Just being paranoid. Those people at the church wouldn't still be following me here. He took another sip of his drink and glanced over towards the bar, trying to decide whether he should get drunk here or move to a quieter establishment. It would have been good to look for an inn while he could still tell a guest room from an outhouse. The man speaking to the bartender caught his attention for a moment. He seemed to have a little bit of a fidget about him and didn't seem to be drunk at all. With the man's back turned towards Arden he lifted his drink in a silent toast To the painfully sober, starting our nights late. He laughed at his own stupidity and returned his focus back to the table.

He was just settling in to finish his ale when he felt an unusual sensation at his side. His purse was by no means heavy with gold, but he was a traveler by trade and he kept his belt in a certain balance. As his purse was severed from his belt, he felt the faint lightening on that side of his body and his sword-side felt just a little bit heavier. He snuck a glance down and saw that he was penniless. Arden then looked up for the culprit. No one was near him and most of the people around seemed too drunk to have pulled off the maneuver. It was then that he noticed the man with the floppy hat from earlier. He had just been at the bar and was leaving with out a drink?

Arden didn't know if the malnourished-looking man was responsible but he felt like stretching his legs and this was reason enough to leave the noisy tavern. He quietly rose from his table and walked towards the door. He thought about waiting until the man was outside before confronting him. After all Arden no longer had the funds to replace broken tables or mugs. But then if the man was good at his job as a thief he would probably disappear into the night.

Arden quickly came up with a new strategy. He could earn more gold if he had to but he was curious about this possible thief. He made no move to draw his sword but called out loudly, "You there. Thirsty fellow in the floppy hat. Would you care for a drink? If not, say hello to the guards lingering out there watching me for trouble. You know how much they like to keep an eye on mages. Make sure we don't hurt anyone." He grinned. The bit about the guards was a bluff, but maybe the hint of danger from guards or pissing off a mage might keep the man from fleeing immediately. Either way he had drawn unwanted attention to the young man.

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 05:33:25 PM »
...Oh shit.

A chill shot up Rook's spine and she froze, stock still. For a moment there she had been feeling pretty good about herself. A clean cut, a clean break, no muss, no fuss. But the man called out, and there was no mistaking exactly who he was talking to. Thirsty fellow in the floppy hat. Guards outside. Oh shit. Oh shit. Did he know? No, maybe it wasn't even her mark. Maybe it was some other guy. Maybe...

Slowly, she peeked over her shoulder--and the blood drained from her face. Nope. That was him. Had he noticed? Was he onto her? Was the bit about guards a threat? Was the invitation an excuse to get close and lay into her? She shot a look down, checking him for weapons, and swallowed when she sighted his sheathed sword.

Or maybe...he was just genuinely being friendly--in which case, if he hadn't noticed yet, he would notice when he went to pay for her drink!

And a mage!

He was a goddamned mage!

Her heart pounded in her chest, pulsing rapidly in her throat, and for a moment she considered just bolting for it--except for the guards! If she ran, it'd be suspicious, and if he hollered, they'd snag her fast.

She was truly trapped.

"I...I couldn't inconvenience you like that," she called back, and winced at her voice, hoarse but higher than intended in her building panic. She edged closer to the door. Maybe she could still slip out without causing a scene. Except everyone was staring at her now. Shit. Shit. "Th-thank you, though!"
OPEN THREADS! HOP ON IN FOR SOME WILD GOOD TIMES. 8D
Dreams of Demons
Blood and Roses.



Adamaris // Aderyn // Aki // Alexander // Anoki // Astrid // Axieva // Aysel //  Beatrid // Branwen // Briar // Cadmus // Cerys // Charik // Chephirah // Clover // Corryn // Dai // Delwyn // Demaht // Durga // Einin/Owl // Fang // Faolán // Faris // Felix // Frost // Gwendolyn // Hatame // Hayate // Hazel // Hyacinthe // Ife // Iris // Jayari // Jirou // Juniper // Katxiel // Khaiya // Khero // Koi // Kota // Kuan // Kuvira // Kyran // Kyori // Liam // Makani // Makoro // Max // Maya // Mei // Misae // Monster // Nakato // Naovi // Nasrin // Nelly // Niaaki // Niamh // Noor // Pepper // Qiana // Qismat // Quinn // Raxta // Riyarin // Rowan // Sachi // Sadb // Sahar // Scarab // Siobhan // Simonea // Sita // Song // Syrae // Taj // Tanith // Tessa // Tiaret // Tikaani // Vahni // Valor // Victoria // Wakiza // Xinyi // Yarra // Yasmin // Yiroa // Yun // Zahara

Offline PixelatedGlory

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 08:24:42 PM »
He's awfully nervous for just a guy looking for a drink

Arden was very comfortable with all the eyes on the stranger and himself. This was as much a show for the audience as it was a conversation. And maybe a bit of manipulation. He disliked relying on this type of showmanship but it was something he could use and as long as he played this right he would just appear to be an upstanding gentleman with questionable standards for drinking establishments. Though, with how nervous the other man was acting he surely was thinking about bolting. That would such a shame.

Arden stopped approaching the young man. Force would not work here, but personality would have a better chance. "Don't be so hasty, I'm nothing but a gentleman who has had a long day and came here for a bit of ale to wash things away. Can you really afford to run and pass up the opportunity for a free drink? I've heard people get hurt or go missing sometimes out there on the streets. It's such a sad thing."

Arden spoke carefully and moved with enough dexterity to show very clearly that he was not yet drunk and quite in control of his faculties. Occasionally he just happened to brush his hand across the hilt of his sword as he talked. Definitely just a weird habit and not a threat.

He then turned and made a show of walking back to his table to pull out another chair. "Come now, I promise, and i'm a man of my word. One drink with me and you won't have to worry about your safety out there in the cold." He turned to address the rest of the patrons, "I think my offer was fair enough. right? I'd like to think if I was freezing my toes off and couldn't afford a simple drink, someone might take pity and offer one. I hope he's not going to leave and make it seem like he is too good for this place."

Arden was a little worried he might be causing too much of a scene, but there was nothing for it but to play things out. If the nervous man ran then he would see if he could find him on the streets. If he accepted the offer then things should calm down as people lost interest.

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 09:52:40 PM »
Rook swallowed hard, trying to gulp down the lump in her throat that was making it hard to breathe. Oh no. Oh no. The man wasn't the slightest bit tipsy, and the way he moved...her eyes dropped down to that sword each time his hand passed over it, and she felt like she'd been submerged in ice despite the tavern's warmth. No, he was well and truly sober, and he had the build and poise of a soldier despite the mage's mark sewn onto his clothes.

His talk of people going missing and getting hurt only twisted that knife of dread deeper.

Oh shit, oh no, he knows. He has to know. That's why he's talking like that, right? That's why he's calling me over. He already knows. That's totally a threat. He knows.

And worse yet, he was getting everyone else in on this.

Rook wanted to disappear. Just shrink and shrink until she vanished completely, her face no longer pale but now flushed red with mortification as the other patrons chimed in their agreement. It was a reasonable offer! They didn't see why the boy was being such a spoilsport! How strange! How rude, to think he's above them like that!

She was stuck, and with an audience to boot. If she left, well...the threat was implied. If she didn't...

Okay. Just breathe. Maybe there was still a way. Maybe she could still get out of this in one piece. Running was off the table now, so what choice did she have? Breathe. Think.

Shoulders hitched up around her ears with tension, muscles so tight she was trembling, Rook gave the smallest of nods. "Okay." It was quiet, barely audible above the voices around her, and she slowly commanded her legs to work and begged them not to buckle as she trudged toward him and the offered chair.

She sank down into it and hunched, arms crossed, one leg bouncing anxiously. Shit. God. What now? What to do? She could confess. Maybe he'd go easier on her if she just confessed. No, that was a terrible idea! He might not have noticed yet. She could feign ignorance, deny, deny, deny. He didn't have proof!

Unless he did.

Shit.

She bit her lip, mind racing, his coin purse feeling extra heavy where she'd hidden it up her sleeve. She just had to stay calm. Had to say nothing unless prompted.
OPEN THREADS! HOP ON IN FOR SOME WILD GOOD TIMES. 8D
Dreams of Demons
Blood and Roses.



Adamaris // Aderyn // Aki // Alexander // Anoki // Astrid // Axieva // Aysel //  Beatrid // Branwen // Briar // Cadmus // Cerys // Charik // Chephirah // Clover // Corryn // Dai // Delwyn // Demaht // Durga // Einin/Owl // Fang // Faolán // Faris // Felix // Frost // Gwendolyn // Hatame // Hayate // Hazel // Hyacinthe // Ife // Iris // Jayari // Jirou // Juniper // Katxiel // Khaiya // Khero // Koi // Kota // Kuan // Kuvira // Kyran // Kyori // Liam // Makani // Makoro // Max // Maya // Mei // Misae // Monster // Nakato // Naovi // Nasrin // Nelly // Niaaki // Niamh // Noor // Pepper // Qiana // Qismat // Quinn // Raxta // Riyarin // Rowan // Sachi // Sadb // Sahar // Scarab // Siobhan // Simonea // Sita // Song // Syrae // Taj // Tanith // Tessa // Tiaret // Tikaani // Vahni // Valor // Victoria // Wakiza // Xinyi // Yarra // Yasmin // Yiroa // Yun // Zahara

Offline PixelatedGlory

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 11:01:23 AM »
Arden watched carefully and waited for the young man to decide how he would handle this tricky situation. He was clearly not comfortable with all the attention and he kept looking between Arden's sheathed sword and the increasingly rowdy crowd.

Almost feel sorry for the kid, he's nearly shaking in fear and indecision. But he's not calling me out on the threats and he stopped inching towards the door. Good.

Arden had been carefully watching the door as he spoke to the young man and even through all the commotion not a single person had slipped out. That man had to be the one responsible for the lack of coin dangling from Arden's belt. And now the little mouse was caught in this hastily built trap. As far as the young man knew fleeing would just enrage the crowd or bring the "guards" down on him. Arden could see it in the way the man was standing. He wasn't going to risk running now.

It was the tiniest of words but it was all Arden needed to hear. As the scared man practically whispered his assent Arden turned so everyone could see the smile on his face. "Wonderful, I'm glad you reconsidered my offer. Please take a seat, you look very tired and cold."

He was genuinely concerned that the man might just collapse before he made it to the table. He was shaking so much and for some reasons his legs were moving very stiffly. You'd think he was being marched to the executioner's block. I think he really does need a drink.

Arden patiently waited for his guest to sit down and then he stepped back over to his own chair. There was no need to further crowd the man. He stared silently at the gap between the man's floppy hat and the start of his threadbare coat. Just waiting to see if he would break and start giving excuses. When no words were forthcoming he leaned back in his chair, never once taking his eyes off the other man. Sitting this close the hat failed to hide the scars on the mans face or his blue eyes. Though as the man bit his lip, Arden noticed that they seemed a little...unusually full for a man. This mouse was becoming more and more of a puzzle.

Breaking the silence, Arden dropped the smile from his face and spoke quietly but clearly. "I wasn't lying when I offered to buy you a drink, but it seems that somehow my purse has gone missing. You wouldn't happen to have found a poor clumsy man's purse on the floor around here have you? What I said about you being safe was also true. As long as we get those drinks."

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2018, 12:53:26 PM »
Her plan had spiraled completely out of control, and Rook wasn’t sure how to recover from it. She had never been caught before, and she knew all too well that she was now at the mercy of this man and these patrons. Right now he was playing nice, trying to lure her into a confession, but then what? People weren’t usually so nice to people who wronged them, and why should they be?

He couldn’t be stupid enough to believe she had just found his purse. He would see the cut strings. And if she had just found it, why hadn’t she turned it in? Keeping it was just as shady and dishonest, and just as much theft.

She had no time to think this through, no time to weigh her options. She averted her eyes to the table. Tell? Deny? Oh God. If he turned her in...

God, she couldn’t go back.

It was that thought that made her hold her tongue. She might still be able to talk her way out of this, but she’d be a confessed criminal for sure if she produced the purse, and in front of so many witnesses. Looking back up at him, she shook her head. “Afraid not,” she said, and licked dry lips. “That’s a right shame. I was sure looking forward to that drink. Um...have you checked under the table?”
OPEN THREADS! HOP ON IN FOR SOME WILD GOOD TIMES. 8D
Dreams of Demons
Blood and Roses.



Adamaris // Aderyn // Aki // Alexander // Anoki // Astrid // Axieva // Aysel //  Beatrid // Branwen // Briar // Cadmus // Cerys // Charik // Chephirah // Clover // Corryn // Dai // Delwyn // Demaht // Durga // Einin/Owl // Fang // Faolán // Faris // Felix // Frost // Gwendolyn // Hatame // Hayate // Hazel // Hyacinthe // Ife // Iris // Jayari // Jirou // Juniper // Katxiel // Khaiya // Khero // Koi // Kota // Kuan // Kuvira // Kyran // Kyori // Liam // Makani // Makoro // Max // Maya // Mei // Misae // Monster // Nakato // Naovi // Nasrin // Nelly // Niaaki // Niamh // Noor // Pepper // Qiana // Qismat // Quinn // Raxta // Riyarin // Rowan // Sachi // Sadb // Sahar // Scarab // Siobhan // Simonea // Sita // Song // Syrae // Taj // Tanith // Tessa // Tiaret // Tikaani // Vahni // Valor // Victoria // Wakiza // Xinyi // Yarra // Yasmin // Yiroa // Yun // Zahara

Offline PixelatedGlory

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2018, 06:08:40 PM »
Arden waited patiently to see if the mouse would take the easy route and just play along like he had found the purse. It would have been very simple. The "missing" money would have been handed back, Arden would have thanked him for his integrity, and then he would have bought the man a drink and perhaps given him a reward.

Too easy. Since when does a thief just hand over the goods when confronted? Especially when they felt safe and secure that there was no evidence to prove they were a thief. But Arden didn't really need proof. He wasn't a lawman, he was a mercenary. He was no expert in interrogations, at least not from this side of the table, but everything about this person screamed shifty and guilty.

And there it was, the inability to make eye contact. The hesitation and time spent thinking of a response to what should have been a simple question. He met Rook's returning gaze with one as cold as ice. There was no joy on Arden's face and he scowled as he continued at a low volume, "Don't treat me like an idiot. I have no need to check under the table because my purse was cut, not dropped. And you are lying about looking forward to the drink, so what else are you lying about tonight?"

He leaned in a little closer to add to the pressure, but he held his sheath steady in his left hand so it would be ready if he needed it. "Did you realize you were nervous enough that you were fidgeting even while talking to the barkeep over there? Then I looked down at my drink and within moments my belt was ever so slightly lightened and you were suddenly at the door to go. No one goes to a tavern like this and leaves without a drink unless they cant afford it, and if you can't afford a drink here then you would be broke enough to know before coming in. Hiding your face so much does sell your innocence so well too."

Arden went back to smiling as he casually leaned back in his chair again, "I don't need proof that you are the thief. With all the commotion we just made all I need to do is call out that you stole my purse. How hard would it be to believe that you might have stolen it just now, when I stood by to offer you a seat? The staff will remember that I did in fact pay actual coin for my drink and that you did not pay for anything. If they seize and search you, are they going to find anything unusual or incriminating?"

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2018, 09:51:52 PM »
Rook leaned back when he leaned in, throat bobbing in another hard swallow--and distinctly lacking an adam's apple. No. There was no doubt about it now. He definitely knew, and he knew he had her trapped.

Then why the hell hadn't he just cut to the chase and called her on it?

She let out a shaky breath, blinking hard when she felt her eyes start to burn, determined that she was not going to cry--how stupid would that look? But she knew what awaited her if she was thrown to the authorities, or if he called the mob down on her.

I won't let them take me. I could still run. She shot a quick glance at the door as she considered it, thought about how far she could get before they grabbed her--not far. She could fight back, even summon fire--how stupid would that be?--and then she'd be dead for sure. But she might be anyway, once they figured it out. Once they knew who she was.

No good choices. No good options. God, she had been so stupid. She should have been more careful, but cold and hunger had made her hasty.

All she could ask at this point was mercy.

Without a word, she slipped the purse from her sleeve and nudged his leg with her boot to get his attention, then held the purse out to him under the table, trying to be discreet. And as she did, she forced herself to meet his eyes, much as she wanted to look away. She cleared her throat, which felt too tight, and drew in a shaky breath.

"I'm sorry," she said quietly, anxiety writhing in her belly like worms and heart beating too fast. "I...I really am. Please, I..." Another deep breath and she looked down, not trusting the burning blur in her eyes. "Are you gonna turn me in?"
OPEN THREADS! HOP ON IN FOR SOME WILD GOOD TIMES. 8D
Dreams of Demons
Blood and Roses.



Adamaris // Aderyn // Aki // Alexander // Anoki // Astrid // Axieva // Aysel //  Beatrid // Branwen // Briar // Cadmus // Cerys // Charik // Chephirah // Clover // Corryn // Dai // Delwyn // Demaht // Durga // Einin/Owl // Fang // Faolán // Faris // Felix // Frost // Gwendolyn // Hatame // Hayate // Hazel // Hyacinthe // Ife // Iris // Jayari // Jirou // Juniper // Katxiel // Khaiya // Khero // Koi // Kota // Kuan // Kuvira // Kyran // Kyori // Liam // Makani // Makoro // Max // Maya // Mei // Misae // Monster // Nakato // Naovi // Nasrin // Nelly // Niaaki // Niamh // Noor // Pepper // Qiana // Qismat // Quinn // Raxta // Riyarin // Rowan // Sachi // Sadb // Sahar // Scarab // Siobhan // Simonea // Sita // Song // Syrae // Taj // Tanith // Tessa // Tiaret // Tikaani // Vahni // Valor // Victoria // Wakiza // Xinyi // Yarra // Yasmin // Yiroa // Yun // Zahara

Offline PixelatedGlory

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2018, 10:11:42 AM »
Wait a moment. I knew there was something a little off about this man. His throat is too smooth, and there isn't even the hint of stubble on his face. Or maybe I should say her face.

For a moment he thought she might cry, but as she looked away towards something behind him that  brief moment of weakness seemed to disappear. Or at least it had been hidden back deeper inside her. She had apparently gotten the message that she was thoroughly trapped and Arden was glad that he would not have to draw his sword this night.

Still Arden couldn't quite help but feel that this woman in disguise had more tricks up her sleeve. She still seemed to be struggling as if she wasn't quite defeated. But of course there was nothing left for Arden to do but wait and see. He would give her a moment to make her decision and then perhaps escalate things a bit if he thought she was going to resist again.

It turned out he shouldn't have been worried. As Arden leaned back in his chair he could feel something slide up against his leg. At first he thought maybe the thief was going to try stabbing him under the table but a quick glance showed it was just her boot. He was about to ask her what she was doing when a purse, intact aside form the belt strings, was offered to him. He leaned forward again but this time he used one hand to grab her wrist under the table and held it in his strong grip until he had taken the purse. It wasn't necessary, but he didn't want to take any chances that she might try a trap of her own. He released her wrist as soon as he had the purse back and he reclined once more to listen.

As she looked him in his eyes to confess, his icy glare softened again. Rather than respond to Rook right away, he caught the attention of one of the serving women, raising his empty mug, "Two more of these if you would be so kind, Ma'am." Only after he had ordered the drinks did he turn to respond to Rook. "Why would I turn you in? I told you, as long as we got the drinks you would be safe. I have lost nothing of importance and you distracted me quite well from my own thoughts. Besides, I've had enough of dealing with guards and officials for today."

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2018, 10:30:33 AM »
...What?

That was not the answer Rook expected.

Her head snapped back up, eyebrows climbing and red-rimmed eyes wide as she stared at his face. What? Why wouldn't he report a thief? Confusion flickered across her face, mind reeling with a combination of relief and ever-present nerves, and she let out a sharp breath she hadn't realized she was holding and slumped in her seat.

This...felt surreal. She'd been caught red-handed, and now her mark was treating her to a drink?

"That's what most people'd do," she said when she'd composed herself, and she shot another anxious look at the door, as though expecting the guards to come bursting in to arrest her. This had to be another trap; he had no reason to be nice to her. She looked back at him, resting her hands on her knees and curling her fingers into the fabric of her breeches, knuckles white. What was he planning? When would the other shoe drop, and how? "Couldn't really blame you if you did."

A patron rose and exited out the door, and Rook flinched and swung a frantic look its way when it slammed shut. Looking back at the man, more restless than ever, she cleared her throat again. "So...now what?"
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Adamaris // Aderyn // Aki // Alexander // Anoki // Astrid // Axieva // Aysel //  Beatrid // Branwen // Briar // Cadmus // Cerys // Charik // Chephirah // Clover // Corryn // Dai // Delwyn // Demaht // Durga // Einin/Owl // Fang // Faolán // Faris // Felix // Frost // Gwendolyn // Hatame // Hayate // Hazel // Hyacinthe // Ife // Iris // Jayari // Jirou // Juniper // Katxiel // Khaiya // Khero // Koi // Kota // Kuan // Kuvira // Kyran // Kyori // Liam // Makani // Makoro // Max // Maya // Mei // Misae // Monster // Nakato // Naovi // Nasrin // Nelly // Niaaki // Niamh // Noor // Pepper // Qiana // Qismat // Quinn // Raxta // Riyarin // Rowan // Sachi // Sadb // Sahar // Scarab // Siobhan // Simonea // Sita // Song // Syrae // Taj // Tanith // Tessa // Tiaret // Tikaani // Vahni // Valor // Victoria // Wakiza // Xinyi // Yarra // Yasmin // Yiroa // Yun // Zahara

Offline PixelatedGlory

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2018, 02:18:07 PM »
Arden simply smiled at Rook's confusion, staring back at her face. This mouse is exceptionally nervous, how did she even manage to enter this place? Oh, I suppose money is a good motivator for some people. He was very calm as he finished off the rest of his previously purchased drink.

The would-be thief was barely even breathing. Arden was half afraid she might pass out. "I'm not most people. You really don't need to be so nervous. You might hurt yourself if you don't calm down" He gestured to the way he was sitting, reclined and without a hand near his weapon. "Do I look like i'm going to hurt you?"

He looked a little taken aback when she wouldn't blame him if he turned her in. "I told you, I gain nothing by turning you in and it will just ruin the rest of my night having to deal with it." He paused as the serving woman brought over two mugs of ale and paid her from his newly returned purse. He slid one in front of Rook and the other towards his side of the table.

They were further disturbed by the sudden exit of one of the more enthusiastic of the drunks in the tavern. The man stumbled into the door rather than actually opening it and the sound of raucous laughter erupted from the table he had left. The man walked outside and wobbled twice before flinging the door back shut with a dull thud. Arden noticed Rook flinch and act like something terrible was about to happen. He chuckled and took a sip from his new mug.

"What now? Well I offered you a free drink and here it sits before you. If you want to be rude you could ignore it and just leave I guess. I promise I won't make a fuss as long as you don't try to take my things again," he said only loud enough for her to hear. After letting that sink in he added, "and I don't know if there are guards out there or not but the streets are quite dangerous at night." He didn't seem to have the same tone as he had been using during his earlier veiled threats. Now he just seemed just... calm and conversational.

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2018, 04:44:16 PM »
Rook eyed the drink before her and, after a moment’s hesitation, picked it up and took a large swig. Some part of her knew she shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach, but she was thirsty, and hungry, and it was better to have something in her belly than nothing. Besides, it might help her nerves. Liquid courage and all that.

Setting the drink back down, she raised her eyes to him again, hands around the tankard and fingers tapping against it. She might be safe, so he said, but she was still filled with nervous energy and no outlet for it—and was still not convinced this was real.

 “I...thank you? I mean, thank you,” she said, and let out a hoarse laugh. “I, uh, I’m sorry, it’s just...this wasn’t how this was supposed to go. Any of this. So I’m just...er...it’s kind of awkward?”

Another quick sip, gulping it down like water. “Are we just...gonna...talk or...? Should I introduce myself?” She rubbed at the side of her neck. “Hi? Uh. Nice to meet you?”
OPEN THREADS! HOP ON IN FOR SOME WILD GOOD TIMES. 8D
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Adamaris // Aderyn // Aki // Alexander // Anoki // Astrid // Axieva // Aysel //  Beatrid // Branwen // Briar // Cadmus // Cerys // Charik // Chephirah // Clover // Corryn // Dai // Delwyn // Demaht // Durga // Einin/Owl // Fang // Faolán // Faris // Felix // Frost // Gwendolyn // Hatame // Hayate // Hazel // Hyacinthe // Ife // Iris // Jayari // Jirou // Juniper // Katxiel // Khaiya // Khero // Koi // Kota // Kuan // Kuvira // Kyran // Kyori // Liam // Makani // Makoro // Max // Maya // Mei // Misae // Monster // Nakato // Naovi // Nasrin // Nelly // Niaaki // Niamh // Noor // Pepper // Qiana // Qismat // Quinn // Raxta // Riyarin // Rowan // Sachi // Sadb // Sahar // Scarab // Siobhan // Simonea // Sita // Song // Syrae // Taj // Tanith // Tessa // Tiaret // Tikaani // Vahni // Valor // Victoria // Wakiza // Xinyi // Yarra // Yasmin // Yiroa // Yun // Zahara

Offline PixelatedGlory

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2018, 08:53:36 PM »
Arden was very happy she decided to take the drink after all. It meant that he no longer had to worry about watching her for an attack and as long as he didn't let her reach over and grab his money again all would probably be well. As a bonus now he had someone to talk to tonight.

He watched, holding back a chuckle as she moved quite quickly from being hesitant to even taste the drink to taking hearty sips of it. And all throughout she failed gloriously at trying to hide just how nervous she was.I don't think i've been like that since maybe the first week of training? Maybe? If she spills that i'm not helping clean it up.

"Very few plans actually work out the way they were intended. The world is clumsy and complicated and you'll always be missing out on some minor detail that ends up changing everything. The trick is to learn to adapt to it and use what you can to turn the advantage to your favor. Of course this is awkward, but you may leave any time you wish-I'll not hold you against your will." He gestured to the door that she had so recently been watching with longing.

Regardless of how their interaction first started he really would have let her leave without an issue-still would in fact. He might be a man dishonored in the eyes of his parents and the government at large but that didn't mean he had to live up to their warped expectations. No, for now he would simply enjoy his drink and the distraction of someone new. Someone who didn't seem to be entirely focused on the damn mark on his chest.

"If you plan on staying then yes, it would be good to introduce yourself. I am Arden Deschane," he offered his hand to shake, "I would give you my formal title as well but alas I no longer possess those rights." He masked a frown with a sip from his mug. He still seemed fairly sober but the alcohol was starting to have a little effect, calming him and making him a little more friendly.

He was no lightweight, but he also had not eaten much today. They don't really feed you while they tried every trick they could to get you to confess that you succumbed to using the sin of magic. He was one drink in and a partial and the room was getting just a little bit more comfortable.

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2018, 12:43:49 AM »
...Formal title?

Rook froze in the process of taking another swallow of ale, mug at her lips, when he let that bit slip and extended his hand. Formal title? Her eyes dropped down to his offered hand, then the mark on his chest, and then raised back to his face. Okay. So, whatever he had been before, he no longer was--likely due to the mage bit--but...

Who had he been before? What title? Had he been a lord or...?

Oh good God. Just who had she stolen from?

"Uhh...Rook," she answered at last, and took his hand in her own gloved one, if briefly. "My name, I mean. That's me." Wince. She sounded like a blundering idiot. "No title. Er, if that weren't obvious."

She forced an uneasy smile, but she had started to relax a little. Okay. This wasn't so bad. She could leave whenever she wanted, he'd been bluffing about the guards, and awkward as this was, it did get her free ale and a temporary shelter. Already she felt warmer, the ale spreading heat through her chest--and loosening her up. A bit quicker than anticipated, actually. But the last time she'd truly had ale, she'd also had meat on her bones and regular meals. These days...

Yeah. She probably needed to slow down. A quick glance into her mug showed she'd drank more than half without even realizing it.

Welp.

"So, uh...come here often?"
OPEN THREADS! HOP ON IN FOR SOME WILD GOOD TIMES. 8D
Dreams of Demons
Blood and Roses.



Adamaris // Aderyn // Aki // Alexander // Anoki // Astrid // Axieva // Aysel //  Beatrid // Branwen // Briar // Cadmus // Cerys // Charik // Chephirah // Clover // Corryn // Dai // Delwyn // Demaht // Durga // Einin/Owl // Fang // Faolán // Faris // Felix // Frost // Gwendolyn // Hatame // Hayate // Hazel // Hyacinthe // Ife // Iris // Jayari // Jirou // Juniper // Katxiel // Khaiya // Khero // Koi // Kota // Kuan // Kuvira // Kyran // Kyori // Liam // Makani // Makoro // Max // Maya // Mei // Misae // Monster // Nakato // Naovi // Nasrin // Nelly // Niaaki // Niamh // Noor // Pepper // Qiana // Qismat // Quinn // Raxta // Riyarin // Rowan // Sachi // Sadb // Sahar // Scarab // Siobhan // Simonea // Sita // Song // Syrae // Taj // Tanith // Tessa // Tiaret // Tikaani // Vahni // Valor // Victoria // Wakiza // Xinyi // Yarra // Yasmin // Yiroa // Yun // Zahara

Offline PixelatedGlory

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2018, 09:45:03 PM »
'Formal title' might have been a bit over-dramatic but Arden was a little sore on the subject given his experience with his father earlier that day. His father was a low nobleman who owns a small manor and several Inns and taverns in Uthlyn. Before Arden's magic was discovered he had been the official heir to his family's name and assets. He had also held the rank of Sergeant in the military but now both had been stripped away, leaving a nobleman with no claim to nobility and a soldier with no legitimate rank.

Arden was a little confused when the woman paused her drinking to stare at his hand like it was something monstrous. Was she still testing him to see if he was being honest? Nevertheless she did eventually take his offered hand. It's wasn't a long or especially eloquent greeting but that was to be expected given the circumstances. "Rook you say? Like the bird?"

The night was turning out much better than he had expected. If not for his guest he would have probably just drunk himself into a stupor in an attempt to ease his mind. Instead he had someone to talk to and it was less likely one of the other patrons would try to pick a fight now hat he wasn't sitting alone. He took another sip of his ale. If I don't eat something I might come to regret being one drink ahead of my guest here. It would be a shame if after all this she still walked out with my purse.

Arden frowned and looked away, "No I prefer to avoid this city when I can. I'd never come here if I had the choice. Too many Mordecai and too many people who desperately cling to their hatred of mages." His face softened again when he looked back towards Rook to add, "I'd ask you the same thing but with the state of your clothes and your lean frame I bet its been a while since you had a meal or a drink. So instead i'll ask what brings you to your current life of crime?" 

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2018, 04:49:04 PM »
Rook paused in answering him, her gut warning her to be careful. He might be a mage, but that didn’t necessarily mean he was safe. His hinting at an old title, his possession of a fine sword, even the way he stood said he had been someone important once—and she had heard rumors of mages being used to sniff out others.

She had to tread lightly.

“The war,” she said, and shrugged uncomfortably. “Not all casualties are corpses. Some are just homeless.”

And it wasn’t a total lie.

“Ain’t much more to say. Sob stories are a copper a dozen. I’m just...tryin’ to get somewhere safer. That’s all.”

She frowned and lowered her voice, leaning in to ask the question weighing on her mind. “What about you? Don’tcha feel unsafe, marked mage with a war goin’ on where they’re rounding your sort up some places? You heard about that, right?”
OPEN THREADS! HOP ON IN FOR SOME WILD GOOD TIMES. 8D
Dreams of Demons
Blood and Roses.



Adamaris // Aderyn // Aki // Alexander // Anoki // Astrid // Axieva // Aysel //  Beatrid // Branwen // Briar // Cadmus // Cerys // Charik // Chephirah // Clover // Corryn // Dai // Delwyn // Demaht // Durga // Einin/Owl // Fang // Faolán // Faris // Felix // Frost // Gwendolyn // Hatame // Hayate // Hazel // Hyacinthe // Ife // Iris // Jayari // Jirou // Juniper // Katxiel // Khaiya // Khero // Koi // Kota // Kuan // Kuvira // Kyran // Kyori // Liam // Makani // Makoro // Max // Maya // Mei // Misae // Monster // Nakato // Naovi // Nasrin // Nelly // Niaaki // Niamh // Noor // Pepper // Qiana // Qismat // Quinn // Raxta // Riyarin // Rowan // Sachi // Sadb // Sahar // Scarab // Siobhan // Simonea // Sita // Song // Syrae // Taj // Tanith // Tessa // Tiaret // Tikaani // Vahni // Valor // Victoria // Wakiza // Xinyi // Yarra // Yasmin // Yiroa // Yun // Zahara

Offline PixelatedGlory

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2018, 10:28:34 PM »
Of course, why would I have expected any other reason? Whole country is torn apart.

Arden listened to the minuscule amount of life story that Rook was comfortable giving and then sadly nodded, "This war has caused so much pain and suffering. The dead, the maimed, the broken and those who might wish they were dead. The numbers rise each month and yet there is no clear end in sight. As for the homeless? Too many to count. Others who do have a home yet standing might as well have not." He blinked and looked down at his drink- it was down to a third remaining. "Perhaps the drink is making me overly dramatic and melancholy tonight. I apologize."

He cleared his throat and adjusted the chest piece of his armor a bit. "Getting somewhere safer? I know the streets here are quite dangerous at night-I did use them as part of my oh so subtle threats earlier didn't I? However I have the feeling that's not entirely what you meant. Otherwise you'd have chosen a quicker, smaller take and holed up in a cheap flophouse for the night."


Arden was a little surprised when Rook leaned in to ask her more important questions. He was used to people asking him about his mark. Hell many people started right off with the old "So what can you do?" Unfortunately these questions were a little more directed at some very real concerns of his. It would have been lying to say they didn't keep him up at night sometimes-especially when he was in this particular city.

He sighed, placed his mug down on the table and carefully folded his hands. "Of course I feel unsafe. I probably shouldn't risk being in this country, but it is my home and there are people here I care about. So I risk coming back every so often. So far I have been ok because the church has a pretty significant record of me not resisting. I am well known to them. That said I probably will have to give up returning soon. It seems like even the cooperating mages are being sent away now. Punished for something they cannot control."

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Re: Doing the Right Thing (Viscount Rhi-Rhi)
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2018, 12:04:07 PM »
Wait. Risk coming back? Give up returning?

Rook wasn't all too interested in the rest of Arden's speech. It wasn't her business, wasn't like she'd see him again after tonight, and what she really wanted was to be away instead of making awkward small talk with the guy she'd stolen from--it was uncomfortable as hell, which was probably the point, and even if he'd made himself out to be harmless, she still didn't feel safe to leave until he seemed satisfied, just in case. Always best to placate the guy that had the power and proof to turn you in, and best to keep staying small and not make a scene. Especially since he was marked, and that already drew enough attention.

Attention was the last thing she needed.

But those statements grabbed her interest, genuinely, and for a moment she forgot her anxiety and perked up. "Back up. Are you saying you leave Connlaoth?" she asked, voice still lowered. She darted a look over her shoulder, just to check for eavesdroppers, then looked back to him. "Is that what you're saying? Where do you go?"
OPEN THREADS! HOP ON IN FOR SOME WILD GOOD TIMES. 8D
Dreams of Demons
Blood and Roses.



Adamaris // Aderyn // Aki // Alexander // Anoki // Astrid // Axieva // Aysel //  Beatrid // Branwen // Briar // Cadmus // Cerys // Charik // Chephirah // Clover // Corryn // Dai // Delwyn // Demaht // Durga // Einin/Owl // Fang // Faolán // Faris // Felix // Frost // Gwendolyn // Hatame // Hayate // Hazel // Hyacinthe // Ife // Iris // Jayari // Jirou // Juniper // Katxiel // Khaiya // Khero // Koi // Kota // Kuan // Kuvira // Kyran // Kyori // Liam // Makani // Makoro // Max // Maya // Mei // Misae // Monster // Nakato // Naovi // Nasrin // Nelly // Niaaki // Niamh // Noor // Pepper // Qiana // Qismat // Quinn // Raxta // Riyarin // Rowan // Sachi // Sadb // Sahar // Scarab // Siobhan // Simonea // Sita // Song // Syrae // Taj // Tanith // Tessa // Tiaret // Tikaani // Vahni // Valor // Victoria // Wakiza // Xinyi // Yarra // Yasmin // Yiroa // Yun // Zahara

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