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Author Topic: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)  (Read 450 times)

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Offline TalverinTopic starter

Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« on: July 19, 2013, 01:01:16 AM »
The skull gleamed, dully, from within the chest, as the lid finally slid shut. For the first time in a while, there'd been a nudge. A thought. She could've sworn she'd heard a rumour, somewhere - Hadn't she? - about a demon that had set itself up, nearby. Terrifying the local populace, summoning and enslaving minor demons, causing untold amounts of chaos and mayhem. Somewhere near the forest, she was quite certain. The forest, west of Wutai, which was south of the capital, Midgar. It was a bit of a journey from here, but it was a compelling one to make. The road was not hard; many trade routes covered the distance, and wealth often bought safety.

The compulsion was a bit odd, and unusually specific, but the thought of the wealth that awaited, both in the form of the coin and plunder it's likely hoarded, and the gratitude of the locals, which was a bit harder to measure. If she were wary, she might notice a slight warming in the air, as soon as the chest closed, but there could be any number of explanations for that.

The gold jingled, heavily, in her coin purse, but not as heavily as might have been liked; it'd been a few weeks since the last real contract, and the more minor things - Small theft, intimidation jobs - didn't pay nearly so well as blood money. Even with the lid closed, somewhere in the back of her mind, that skull lingered. Maybe someone down there would know what it was really worth.

Offline Eri Oni

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Re: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 01:04:21 AM »
She would give the leather strap that held small chest in place another pull, making sure it was secure to the saddle once more. An action that made her horse move a bit uneasy. Yet, like the warming in the air, she brushed it off. There where a number of things that could easily make a horse uneasy after all. It was when all was fixed and secured the half-elf once more mounted her mare. Making herself stable in the saddle before spearing the horse forward.

As she continued on her journey, Eri once more found herself thinking about where she had heard the rumor of this demon. It had not been from a fellow cultist she knew that. Maybe it had been at one of the local bars or taverns? To much to drink one night might explain why her memory was so fuzzy. Yet, why could she recall such details? Her thoughts quickly interrupted when horse once again started to act startled -making a tight round about before snorting and driving a hove into the ground.

“What’s wrong with you?” The question asked as she pulled at the reins, leading the mare back toward where the needed to go. Once more spearing the mare forwards towards there destination.

Offline TalverinTopic starter

Re: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 01:08:28 AM »
The road was long, but clear enough, and the trip passed smoothly. The wildlife was unusually passive, and other travellers had buttoned up warily at her approach; another easily explained circumstance. When one looked to the north, on a clear day, they could still see the distant smudge of lingering smoke. There was a war on, after all, and though most of the rumours were probably only rumours, there was still the possibility that some of the orcs could sneak a small party across, somewhere. It wasn't unheard of, in the past, but exceedingly rare nonetheless.

The time almost seemed to flow, and a feeling of something like anticipation would arise, provoked by proximity to the forests. Wulai itself was a small, bustling place. A small community, mostly permanent citizens, a bare handful of transients. Her ashen skin drew a few odd looks, but no comments. The town itself was serviced by only one tavern, and an inn, a separate building, slightly down the road, just outside of the town proper. The forest, not a half-mile distant, was lush and bright, verdant, in the cool, crisp, late-summer air. At the time of her arrival, there was roughly two hours until the sun set, and the small groups of guards had begun their cheery patrols, talking and smiling as they walked. Their weapons were held at a relaxed guard, as if they expected no trouble. Even the lone arrival hardly drew notice, beside her appearance; the lands, here, were tame and populous enough that it wasn't unusual for people with errands to travel alone, especially on horseback.

Offline Eri Oni

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Re: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2013, 01:27:39 AM »
She had long grown use to the odd looks others often gave her when she came to a new area or place. To those that often stared to long she would return their stare with a light smile and nod -more often then not the greeting would be returned and the two parties would go along their ways. Slowly she would find herself making her way to the small inn so she could stable her horse and get a room. After all a nights rest would do her good before heading out in the early morning on foot to find if the rumors of the demon where true.

Once she had her mare secured, she unlatched her pack from the saddle and started to head in. But something pulled at the back of her mind, making her look over her shoulder and at the chest still strapped to the side of her horse. For a moment it seemed like she fought war deep within herself, only to make her way back to the chest. Opening it slowly, she took a long look around before removing the skull and set it on top -within- her pack…quickly covering it with a light blanket before securing her pack once more. The war within seeming to be settled the half-elf finally made her way into the inn to pay for a room. Maybe after that she would head to the tavern to find information on her so called demon and maybe new about the war.    

Offline TalverinTopic starter

Re: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 02:20:31 AM »
The Inn was a simple enough affair, and rather cheap for the accommodations; it seemed as though they got few visitors, for it only had a handful of rooms for rent. A room, however, did come with food, cooked in their small kitchen, and served at the dinner table, where patrons ate with the family.

The tavern was a boisterous, but small place, made to fit the needs of their small village. A dozen tables lay scattered about, primitive, well-worn, but comfortable stools stood around them; similarly, most of the patrons stood, talking and drinking in small knots. The main topics discussed seemed to be fairly pedestrian; the weather, crops, game hunting around the edges of the forest, the war to the north, families, pregnancies, marriages, all of the usual talk of a small town, where everyone knew each other. The words were well-worn, old trails, as grooved and weathered as the stools they stood next to, but they seemed more warmed by the companionship than by the subject; and whatever warmth that lacked, the roaring fire in the hearth made up for.

Offline Eri Oni

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Re: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 02:43:18 AM »
It seemed as soon as she got to her room, she would make sure her pack was put away -out of sight and out of mind. After all the place looked “safe” enough, still as she left the room to join family for dinner she could not help but feel a pull at the back of her mind. A pull that made her gut turn and twist, the fear of “it” being stolen from her almost sickening. Still, she would do her best to brush such thoughts aside. She would not be long after all, and no one knew of what resting bundled up in the worn and well traveled blanket in her pack. A soft smile pulling at her lips as she left the room and made sure the door was locked behind her.

At dinner she did her best to be friendly, even if thoughts pulled at the back of her mind, conversation being made with the family when she could. Question answered, and tells told…though no all of them were completely true to a point. After all, some things were best left unanswered, and some truths untold.

At the tavern, she would do best to get some work done. Drinks bought for both herself and any patron who’s conversation she wanted to join. She curiously asked about the spread of the war to the north, seeing such a open topic the best way to get herself into more personal conversations. Soon touching on the topic of how the hunts where going, and once locals became comfortable and open around the new comer she would question the rumors of demons that roam the forest.

Yet, even if talk was plentiful and both the companionship and tavern warm she could not help but feel a cold chill run threw her body. Worry always finding its way into her mind, often making her mind wonder back to the item in her room. And once she got the information she needed, she would bit those around her a good night and head back to her room.   

Offline TalverinTopic starter

Re: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2013, 02:44:21 AM »
On the war, talk was vague, mentions of large numbers, clearly exaggerated, but spoken as if it were gospel. They all seemed to spit out the same bits of information, well-chewed, like an old piece of jerky. On the topic of the hunt, however, things were more concrete. There were concerns about the forests not being as safe. A man vanishing, some weeks ago, and his body hadn't been found; they had checked their usual hunting areas, but still had not found him. It was widely believed, they said, that he had simply wandered somewhere beyond their usual range in search of more game, and that his remains would be found, some day. Few seemed concerned with any real depth; accidents and injuries happened. Their concern seemed more for the game. It was mentioned that some almost agreed with the idea of ranging farther for game - They had become unusually scarce, and flighty, in the past few months. Without even needing to be asked, one mentioned the possibility that a demon roamed the woods - It was said that he knew a man, who knew a man who had seen green fires burning deeper within the woods, and another stated that he knew a man who had witnessed witches dancing naked around a fire.

As the topic continued, more people gathered around the table, chiming in with their own takes and tales, things they had heard from friends, or friends of friends, or men they knew in passing who also hunted the woods. They seemed excited by the prospect of a newcomer, who might have tales of places beyond this little hamlet. Finally, one began inquiring about what demons she had seen, and if she knew whether witches really lured men into the forest to sacrifice them? This rapidly became the most popular explanation for the missing hunter. Witches, clearly. Perhaps demons had some hand in it, too.

Offline Eri Oni

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Re: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2013, 02:46:32 AM »
She listened to each of the tails that had been told, taking each with a grain or two of salt. Taking what information she knew might be useful for the journey she would be taking come morning: a missing man, how the game had become more scarce. Tails of green fires and naked witches did little for her. Though, she did make it know that she had heard tells of such a demon, and that she had plans to find the rumors true or not. Now asking for less information about rumors and more about the forest itself. Where they hunted, where the man had been last seen, paths -both old and new- any useful information at all that she could use.

Information that would be rewarded with tells of adventure from the city of Midgar, after all who did not like a tail of a necromancer being found dead and his army of undead being defeated before it reached the walls of the great capital. And other “lighter” topics of jobs she did -for the city- of course. They did not need to hear such stories of blood money.

Offline TalverinTopic starter

Re: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2013, 01:26:52 PM »
As the topic slowly switched from rumours to facts, most of the younger hunters went quiet, as the older hunters debated the utility of various trails, and the perks of each. One with harsher climbing, but crossing three streams along the way, and a small glade that was good for rest and deer. Another was an easy walk, but only crossed one stream, and the ground tended to be too damp for camping or even taking a break, but with more opportunity for wild fowl. Another chimed in that an old game trail was the best route, as it offered the middle of each, a not as difficult climb, with two streams, and an alright area for rest, though it delved more shallowly into the forest proper, and tended to cling near the edges of the forest, instead. When she began on the topic of Midgar, however, her words evoked sighs of wonder and envy, and she was immediately bombarded with dozens of questions, regarding everything from the clothing of women, to the price of bread, to the size of houses, and even to the comparative number of women to men. They asked about other races, and other creatures, for non-humans were few, in this particular encampment. They inquired about jewelry, tools, weapons, and the weather, while discussing how short of work the city guard would've made of the undead army; and the army grew, in their retellings, and in their questions. Thousands, it must've been, clearly; and only a handful of men to resist them. They asked, vaguely, about the men, and about the fighting, about the size of the castle, and what the Necromancer's treasure-room looked like.

The night grew later, and their questions became incessant; the topic was almost impossible to steer back toward discussing the forest and its' potential dangers; instead, the men were fixated on glory, and the far-off city of Midgar.

Offline Eri Oni

  • When you hit your lowest point, you are open to the greatest change.
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Re: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2013, 12:22:22 AM »
The half elf made sure she took a bit of time for each question, answering each in turn while allowing for light chatter in between. In doing so, she made sure to gain some favor with the town folk here. Yet, as the night grew later her mind seemed to only drift back to her room, her pack, and the skull with in. A feeling and pull that would become so strong she would find herself apologizing, “Well it seems to be getting late and the last thing I need is to head into those woods tomorrow tire and with a belly full of your fine wine. So I must bid you all good night, though upon of my of finding out such rumors and return I will be more then happy to drink and talk you all again.”

With her apology said, and talking her way out of staying the half-elf would drop a small but generous amount of gold to the bartender. Telling them to allow the men to drink until the gold was gone, then they would be back on their own.

---------------

Back in the room Eri would light the candles and dropped her red vest onto a near by chair with a light -thump. The coat itself heavier -though still very light- then one might think, the inside of it lined with a thick but maneuverable leather. Grabbing her pack she threw it at the bed, allowing to land off to the side of it near the night stand. When she took a seat on the bed she took her boots off, kicking them near the chair and her vest. She would sit there for a moment, thinking, watching the pack as if it might move at any moment. Finally, moving to take the skull out, holding it in both hands as she laid down on the bed. Looking it over a few times before finally speaking as if the skull could hear her, “Why do you always linger in the back of my mind? I would do best to sell you…I could do with out the dictation you cause and the gold you would put in my purse. Yet…” Her mind would drift and her words would grow silent and after a few more moments she would  place the skull back in its resting place. Blowing out the candles the half elf would curl herself into the bed, closing her eyes in hope of a good nights rest.

Offline TalverinTopic starter

Re: Small Steps (One on One with Eri_Oni)
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2013, 12:24:51 AM »
The words almost added themselves to the end of the sentence. "I would do best to sell you... But I can get so much more for you, in the right place." The sensation like gold coins brushing against her fingertips, cool, and smooth, with coarse edges, trickling between her fingers.

The next morning, the sun shone brightly, filtered hazily through dirty glass, giving it a slightly yellowish tinge. Outside, the sounds of conversation had already gathered. It sounded worried, or upset. Excited. There was an undercurrent of concern. The words themselves, however, were indistinct. A few moments later, a light tap on the door announced the innkeeper's wife, "Excuse me," she said, from beyond the door. "Breakfast is ready, if you'd like to come to the table." Her voice sounded distracted, and worried, but she moved off before any question could be made.