A Little Bird Told Me

A Little Bird Told Me

Postby CherryStatic » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:08 pm

"You don't give up, do you?"

The serving girl, a slight thing with hair the color of wheat, huffed as she placed the last drink on her tray before a patron whose face was half-hidden behind a hand of cards. She turned and brushed past Castor, who was smiling like an imbecile as he trailed dutifully in her wake, towering over her small frame.

"Come now, I only offered to buy you a drink." he said amiably. She didn't slow her pace, nor did he.

"Yes. Four times." she said, impatiently, tucking a stray bang behind her ear. He marveled to himself over how quickly she was able to put distance between them on those short legs of hers.

"I would happily buy a woman of your fine caliber four drinks." he declared boldly, earning him a noise of disgust. Either she had heard something along those lines before, never wanted to hear anything of the sort out of a man's mouth again, or quite possibly both; it would take far more than a single noise to deter Castor Montelle. "We can toast to your health and this fine establishment."

"Look." She turned on her heel, and he nearly ran her over in his haste to keep up. "I appreciate the offer, but my shift isn't over for another two hours." She swept her arm across the room in a grand gesture, indicating the many patrons, both male and female, who filled the room. "Why don't you find some other girl to work up into a lather?"

"Because none can hope to compare!" he exclaimed, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Everyone could use a drink from time to time. You can never turn a drink down in the face of blossoming romance."

As if on cue, a man at the nearest table raised his drink to the both of them, uttered some inarticulate cheer in their general direction, and proceeded to slump over the table so fast and hard that his head bounced once with a thunk. The drink toppled from his fingers, off the table, the tankard coming to rest at the barmaid's feet.

She looked far more unimpressed than Castor was comfortable with at that juncture.

"I'll pass." she said, her voice frosty. She leaned down and plucked the tankard from the floor before straightening. "Besides, this is no time for a woman to be fancying strangers. Not with all the disappearances that have been going on lately. First that dancer from the marketplace, now Bern. This place isn't the same without her."

He moved as though he was about to place an hand on her shoulder reassuringly, but the tray in her hand came up like battlements between them. He drooped a bit.

"Honestly. Just take your pick, I'm sure there are plenty of girls here with less sense than me."

"Well, they don't have to be girls--" His mouth closed as she rolled her eyes and stalked off. He wondered if it had been something that he had said.

Seating himself across from the now snoring drunkard, he sighed forlornly. "I miss the flowers back home; the roses here have far too many thorns."
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby Voxx » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:03 pm

It was weird, traveling without a cart. Without two horses and bags of goods.
She'd picked up the merchant habit months out. Decided to give it a go, because she had the earnings to put investment into it. Lost half of what she went into it with, because whimsy was an awful thing like that.

Ash wasn't bad at balancing numbers in her head. Wasn't bad at selling things, buying them. Checking markets and selling high where there was little stock of one thing over another. She did not, by any means, make a bad merchant. It was simply boring.

So she'd started selling her stock off. Slowly whittled it away on the cheap, until she was down to the duffle pack over her shoulder and a single horse. Kept the raven close, until she got to the next town over. Myrkentown. Interesting place. Lots of people, movement, talk.

Horse in the stable, letter written, raven sent off.
She'd stayed one night already. Made the mistake of spending time down at the Broken Dagger. Not a bad spot, but too quiet. Too dull. Come morning she'd wandered around. Seen people, listened to things. Played in the market and pretended to be worse off for coin than she was. Didn't want to attract pickpockets, after all. And her clothes did a good job of that. Road-worn clock, dark brown and dust-heavy. Thick pants, moreso than a farmer's. Something harder, but not armored. Traveler's, but not a mercenary or violent sort. Heavy, tighter shirt under a looser one. Made her flat chest all the more easy to look over. Make wrong assumptions. The nicest thing about her was her boots- black, finely made. Not noble, expensive. But hard-soled, made for walking all over. She definitely looked like an adventurer of one design or another.

People didn't strike up too much conversation, though.
She wasn't gorgeous, like the bar maids. Wasn't handsome, like some of the boys could be. (Unless one was into very effeminate young men.) Wasn't dangerous, but didn't seem overly friendly. She just was. And that was enough, for a while. But restlessness was gripping. In a town like that? There had to be fun around. She knew she only needed to find it.

The Floating Dragon.
Nicer. By which she meant louder. More goings-on. Cards, which she'd taken a hand to.
Her second night spent in one place. Almost felt like she'd set a new record soon.

The night was nice but not great.
She was so-so at cards, she learned. Up until the cheating started. Some black-haired old man with less sense than teeth was trying to be sneaky. She started palming aces, won out a few hands. Stealing his money made her feel better, but only in passing. It was still.. dull. Too easy.

But oh, the would-be prince charming.. Now there was something.
She'd ignored him for a while. Let him pine after the wench with no interest. But after a time, the game was shut down and suddenly the chatterings across the place felt entirely too quiet.

Ash stood, dismissed herself from the game. Smiled, threw a coin the not-so-sly man's way.
"Thanks for the game." She murmured. Let him laugh and throw the coin straight into a pile for a new bet. Idiot.

Her attention turned straight to the playboy, though.
She came up on the end of some mutterance, something of thorns. Didn't read into it. Didn't matter. There was no proper introduction, no sense of real manners. She walked over, turned a chair around in a fluid motion. Stepped in the seat, then sat on the table and looked at the man. Smiled, like it was about being a punk. Not about the fact that if she sat down next to him she'd be a fraction of his height. Didn't want that. This way, she was taller. He had to look up to her, not the other way around.

"Lady troubles, friend?" She looked back, over her shoulder. Making sure the maid in question wasn't about to turn around and scold her for sitting on the table rather than a chair.
"I hear they make a tea for that. Gets them in the mood, as it were."
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby CherryStatic » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:37 pm

"Tea." he mumbled, his expression darkening. "Sky above, if I hear one more thing about tea today--"

He seemed to realize what he was saying and glanced up at the slip of a-- boy? Was that a boy? It certainly wasn't a man-- who had perched on the table, smiling down at him as he made himself comfortable. He blinked, unsure of how to react, but returned the smile in kind all the same. He was nothing if not friendly.

"One might consider that a defeat, of sorts, having to rely on tea to win someone's favor for the night. Though it's certainly not the worst idea I've heard."

Peering closer at the individual with whom he spoke, Castor realized that, yes, she was in fact a girl, one who he thought had gone to some length to incorporate a dash of androgyny into her look. Having initially mistaken her for an adolescent, he felt that there was something more to her than a young face. After a moment of searching, he thought he caught a glimpse of it: a look in her eye, similar to the half-elf's, an intelligence that did not align with her apparent age.

"Are you a traveler then, miss?" His eyes flicked down to her boots, finely made and sensible for a long trek on foot. "I'd wager you've been on the road for some time." Then, ever hopeful: "Perhaps you might like a drink? The Floating Dragon has the best mead in Myrken, from what I've been told."
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby Voxx » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:57 pm

She shrugged. Didn't get it.
Defeat? No. Using everything available to you was how people won wars. And love, as she'd been told, was no different than proper battlefields. Not that Ash understood much of either. She'd never been in a real fight, a real war. Never been in love, either. And had about as much interest for one as she did the other. Still, it was all irrelevant. She wasn't there to curb the man's beliefs on the strife of romance.

Miss. Oh. That was fun.
Not unusual, not by far. Because she was in fact a girl. But people tended to overlook it. Especially the body-crazed ones, after women with assets on display. One look at her, most of those kind wrote her off as something else. Something outside their range of interest. So she was surprised, but not beyond belief. She smiled over it, soft and lazy. Something like a cat.

When it all devolved into an offer for a drink, she couldn't help it.
Her head tipped back and she barked a laugh. Not ladylike, not by far. It wasn't deep but it was rough, less than civilized. Ash laughed and someone took notice. Shouted between other work for her to get her ass off the table. She rose one hand, dipped her head without looking in a passive apology. Slid down into the chair she'd had her feet in. Though it, like everything else, was not fit for a lady. No, she sat backwards in it, leaned against the backing with her legs spread carelessly.

Arms folded over the back, and she grinned at the man. Wry.
Let her eyes scrape him from the bottom up. Interesting. He wasn't careless in his holding of himself. Didn't have the hands of a farmer, or the tongue of some mindless sellsword. So what, then? She could ask, but where was the game in that?

"Not much of a drinker, normally." Sounded like the start to a very polite 'no'.
"But hey, I'd hate to be another name on the list of people to turn you down tonight."

Another laugh, but far softer. More a huffing under her breath as she glanced knowingly towards the bar maid.
"One drink. And don't call me miss. My name is Ash, and I am in fact very much a traveler. One looking for something to travel to, at current."
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby CherryStatic » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:30 pm

"Ash. I suppose that must be short for something?" He flagged down another barmaid, one that he had not yet found the opportunity to prey upon, and requested the decided-upon drinks from her. Turning back to the girl, he waved a hand in apology. "No, never mind. If you wanted me to know your full name, you would have told me to begin with. Forgive me."

He issued her a dazzling smile out of habit. "Castor Montelle, at your service. I am a traveler of sorts, as well. It would seem that the both of us have chosen an interesting time to arrive in Myrken. Though I trust that a woman accustomed to being on the road is capable of protecting herself."

He briefly considered continuing along the branch of that topic, but decided that it was hardly becoming to inquire after a woman's ability to wield a knife having only just met. That sort of talk was best left to mercenaries and soldiers. He switched tracks.

"A destination? I suppose that depends on what sort of locale you fancy. Did you have something in mind?"
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby Voxx » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:31 pm

A snort, a little derisive but not terribly mean.
She blinked. Slow, long. Another feline habit.

She grinned at the man when he spoke.
Cause he was good at covering his own mouth. She'd been pretty close to clarifying for him- that yes, it was short for something: Just call me Ash. But he backtracked and she left it alone, content enough to watch a man exercise his manners without being a twat.

Surprise after surprise, this one.
It looked like a fair appraisal when she glanced him up and down again. It wasn't for aesthetics, though. No, Ash was memorizing. Tilt of his hand, way he ordered drinks. Posture when sitting, the stitching of his boots and clothes. Collecting details, thinking. Tiny little things turning on and on in the back of her head. All with a face like she was steadily building more and more interest in his frame as much as words.

"Not particularly."
She smiled. Found it easy to pick up where he left off, lead and carry conversation. What paths and topics he took and dropped here noted, but not dwelled on. The term, she believed, was 'easy to talk to'. She was just trying to be amicable, nothing outstanding. At least she didn't think so. Surely everyone could do it, if they bothered to learn.

"I go where there's a promise of something interesting, that's all. So far, nothing out of town has really seemed worth heading out for." Ash shrugged, sat up some. Kept eye contact, didn't bat her lashes or act unassuming. She'd make a good young man, with that easy confidence. A bit intimidating, for a young girl, though.
"In town.. well."

She looked around. Not like someone not wanting to be overheard. But just fluid, easy. Pointedly letting the statement hang without a conclusion. Ambiguous.
"So tell me," she turned back around to face him. "What is a traveler of sorts, hm? Exactly what sort are you?"
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby Kestrel » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:29 pm

"The dashing and selfless kind, I assure you," the stately woman drawled from the direction of the door as she wandered in. She gave the man a wink; she had acted as wingman for many a man under her command and she made a small attempt here, as well. Her boots hit the floorboards with sharp noise, imposing as ever in full regalia. She moved across the tavern floor as if she belonged, but the reaction of the other inhabitants revealed how out of place she was. The Broken Dagger, distant though it may be, had grown accustomed to her face. The Floating Dragon was an entirely difficult story. Many a wary eye turned to the Lady Warden; as if her very presence made them ashamed.

The smile she bestowed on Castor was bordering on affectionate, teeth gleaming. "Castor," she greeted, with familiarity. "Is our mutual friend upstairs? We've much to discuss." She seemed keen enough to leave him to his own devices with the woman he seemed to be attempting to woo.

"Gloria and Burnie will be following shortly. Keep them entertained or show them up, will you?," she requested, barely giving him time to answer the questions she posed before she moved past the two.
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby CherryStatic » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:49 pm

"Milady." Castor rose from his chair and gave the Lady Warden a tiny bow as she approached, his toothy grin as radiant as it had been in her office the day before. "I admit that I hoped our next encounter would be one of pleasantry and not business, but I should know better. It is a shame, for I would offer to buy you a drink were you not in such a hurry."

He looked the slightest bit put upon when it became apparent that Michta's involvement would be necessary. "Um, yes. The duchess has spent the better part of this morning trying to transform his room into some luxurious boudoir. That's largely the reason I'm down here." He neglected to mention that, finding the men and women under his command oddly scarce in that time frame, he had been roped into dragging the half-elf's trunks of luggage up the stairs.

Both of them.

"I'll be sure to point them in the right direction. If Miss Gloria will allow it." He had no idea who Burnie was (he also had no doubt that the half-elf did and hadn't informed him for some obtuse reason, possibly a lack of faith in the commander's attention span), but the Lady Warden had hardly paused to speak to him, so there was no opportunity to ask. Instead, he simply maintained his genial smile as she moved past him, heading for the staircase. "His room is the last on the right."

Turning his attention back to Ash, he exhaled, the smile dimming only slightly. "I would prepare myself, if I were you. The woman who's about to walk through the front door is a real firebrand."
.............................................................................................................................................................
Upstairs, in the very same room where the Lady Warden and Bern had encountered a Bloodletter for the first time, Mictha Vess invited Egris inside before she could knock on the door.

It was immediately apparent that Castor had not been mincing words. The curtains had been pulled shut, banishing any and all forms of sunlight that attempted to enter the room, an ambient glow radiating from the candles and expensive looking lamps that were placed in a seemingly casual manner around the room. A sweet scent wafted from a basin on a stand in the corner over which a mirror hung, indicating that the seer had filled it with rose water, and the dingy bed had been buried beneath a pile of luxurious looking blankets and luscious throws, transforming it into one of the most comfortable surfaces on which to sit in all of Myrken. On a small dresser, a vase filled with bright flowers purchased from the marketplace offered a dash of vibrance to the otherwise somber mood of the room.

Michta was seated at a table over which a plum colored cloth had been draped, a sphere of clear quartz resting on an ornate stand in the very center. A tea service, polished until it shone and looking very out of place in that particuliar establishment, was at hand, and the half-elf delicately lifted the top of one bowl, tilting his head ever-so-slightly as Egris entered the room. There were two steaming cups of tea, one placed on the table before him and the other still on the service tray along with two more which were empty.

"Will that be with cream or sugar, my lady?" he asked softly.
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby Voxx » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:21 pm

Startling? Maybe.
And if she was better at reacting normally on knee-jerk, Ash might have looked surprised. As it was, no matter how much the sudden words caught her off guard, she looked smooth. Slow blink, easy smile. Turned to look at the source of the voice. Same kind of look she gave Castor- floor up, scraping in what might have seemed like an impressed appraisal.

The atmosphere shifted. Ash soaked it up.
Quieter voices, some silent entirely. People took notice. How could they not? The outfit, the posture, the tone.. Ash stayed straightened in her seat. Didn't try to turn around to be more proper. But she was interested. Bright eyed, watching the woman keenly. Taking clear interest in the way the woman spoke, in how immediately Castor rose to his feet for her. And, unsurprisingly, subsequently flirted with her.

Gloria. Burnie. Mutual friend.
All things she wrote down in the back of her mind. Now that? That was interesting. Strange and fun-sounding. What would someone so official seeming want with a sort of traveler? What obviously important friend did they share? Ohh, Ash was dying to know.

Duchess. His room.
A slip of tongue or intentional tease? Ash looked back at Castor, rose one brow briefly but didn't actually try to push for information. Enough came on it's own. Friend, male, expensive tastes. So a foreign noble, there? Discussing what, exactly, with some official woman? Guard, given the regalia? Ash hummed thoughtfully by the time Castor looked back at her, and the warning just had her staring at him with a mixture of curiosity and feigned sarcastic concern.

"Oh?" She sounded a very, very far cry from worried.
"I guess I'll just hide behind you if things get too.. heated."

A pause. Thinking. Mulling over how forward or careful to be.
Ultimately, she threw caution to the wind.

"So what exactly is threatening this place so much?"
Segways were for people with more patience.
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby Rance » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:38 am

The Floating Dragon was far from a reputable establishment.

Nights and weekends, the old inn reeked of bad beer and warm piss. The rooms, it had been said, were crude and compact, stuffed with the memories of so much debauchery that it crept into the skin like oil, dragged the sin from a body through vices like smoking and drinking and fucking. Few people came to the Floating Dragon without the desire to blacken their name. Here, acts ignoble and common were worn like banners of pride. Tables were sticky, unwashed, and the gray wood floor was tattooed with spilled liquor, clumps of spit, and the occasional blossom of blood.

Few places encouraged Gloria Wynsee to lift her skirts off the floorboards.

This was one of them.

Discolored teeth gritted between her winter-dried lips. Her eyes -- somehow both astonished and appalled -- swept across the regular crowd, trying to pick familiars out of the faces and silhouettes. Though her bland dress wore the mud of the street and her bonnet was crisp with old sweat, this wasn't a place she would normally frequent. She squeezed her way through the throbbing mass of people. When she saw Castor, she was magnetized to him, not by the merit of his appearance or his approachability, but because she knew him.

But not the woman next to him.

"I'm here with the Lady Egris," the girl said, flicking her eyes toward Castor's company -- those were some fine, fine boots the woman wore -- and the ease with which she lounged nearby. Conversely, Gloria was a misplaced statue, a tall, broad-bodied girl whose four remaining fingers cleaved desperately to a black silk shawl lashed around her neck. "I won't make it a point to interrupt your conversation further, Castor." Conversation being synonymous with liaison, but the connotation might have been drowned by her blistering accent. "Glenn Burnie is right behind me, and I implore you to bring me to -- to the Lady Warden as quickly as possible, else you'll be left parrying words with the man all night.

"Consider this a favor," the girl said, trying to etch a smile onto her face. "I wouldn't force even those I disliked to suffer his company more than necessary."
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby Glenn » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:39 am

He had not spoke much with Gloria on the way from one establishment to the next. That was the problem with honest reactions and honest answers. All too often they shut doors instead of opening them. He had responded to her letters in the most honest of ways and what had it gotten him? More derision. He had spent years twisting his own honesty into a dagger that dripped, if not blood, then the very spirit of Myrken Wood, and people were far more willing to speak with him, soulless and wretched, then they were now when he was mostly complete once more. On some level, of course, he could hardly blame them, but he always blamed her. She could be so much more than that, not in spite of what Myrken did to her on a nearly daily basis, but instead because of it.

Of course, this was a party of sorts, and he would answer the person in front of him much as his predecessors did. "Gloria's not the sort to deftly wield a weapon, be it a blade or my conversation. She's more the sort to step on her own rake and have it fly up and hit her in the face. Of course, it looks like the 'rake' quota is more than filled here, so I'll just follow behind." Burnie was not at all a wingman. If someone needed his help in tryst then something had gone horribly wrong. Frankly, these days, if someone needed his help in general, then something had gone horribly wrong.

This entire situation reeked of being horribly wrong. The Floating Dragon simply reeked. "If nothing else, bringing us where we're going will give everyone an extra oh, five minutes to go about their business before things devolve into violence and fire." Such words said with so winning (and irritating) a smile.
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby Kestrel » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:17 am

Castor rose and bowed and while she appreciated, her smile indicated that it had not been anticipated. His attempts at flirtation, however, broadened her toothy grin. She attempted to reach forward, to press gloved palm to cheek. Her forward momentum would press her into his personal space than he might have warranted. "Ah, Castor. If only there were any truthful gleam to your words at all," she drawled, eyes dancing. "Another time, perhaps, if you've the stomach for it."

She smiled at mention of Michta and glanced towards the stairs. "Thank you," she remarked, giving a polite nod to the woman alongside the traveler. The Lady cut an imposing figure as she breezed through the room and took the stairs two at a time. She could not help but tense as the stares fell from her form and she found herself in the hallway where she and Bern had been attacked. Remembered battle made her adrenaline peak, though it was not altogether unpleasant. Her duties as Lady Warden hardly called for swordplay; the Bloodletters were almost a relief after all that politics.

Michta was at the door as she arrived. Her smile was grim as she stepped into his room and let her eyes sweep over the luxurious setting. "Well, The Floating Dragon probably does not know what to do with you," she mentioned, carefully. "Should you linger here, you must travel to my own holdings," she insisted. She wanted very much to sink into the pile of blankets that he called a bed, but satisfied herself with leaning against the wall instead.

"Yes, please. Both," she requested, without batting an eye, as if she had been expecting him to offer tea all along. "The others will be along shortly. Our Bloodletter friends have sent a letter."
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby CherryStatic » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:24 am

"I may very well do that." he said in response to the invitation, pouring a swirl of cream into his guest's drink, along with two cubes of sugar. He set a stirring spoon on the tiny dish that held the cup and placed it before the vacant seat to his right. "I feel as though I am fighting a war all my own against the dull atmosphere of this place, and the room in which we find ourselves is the last safe haven in the world."

His eye found Egris leaning against the wall, and he smiled in spite of himself. Nobility and officials were the bread and butter of his daily life back home. Not a day went by without some issue being addressed in the court assembly that sent those present into a frenzy of confusion, accusation, and pompous entitlement, leaving him to soothe his liege's frayed nerves when all was said and done. To encounter an individual such as Egris, an esteemed leader in her own right, without also bearing witness to the behavior he was accustomed to from those of similar station, was refreshing, to say the least. Like himself, she seemed the sort of person who counted on certain things happening, but was flexible enough to adapt to the situations she found herself in. He was rarely of a mind to treat himself to the luxury of friendship, especially so far from home, but the woman to whom he offered tea at that moment seemed a worthy exception.

"Have they now? Is it safe to assume that it was not an invitation to the Winter cotillion?" He sipped silently at his own drink, mulling over what such a play on the Bloodletters' part might entail. "My guess is that it was sent by the head of the dragon herself? Crucia always has enjoyed playing with her food."

He glanced up as the door opened, revealing Castor, Gloria, and a man he could only assume was the former governor himself. The commander waved them in, his gaze sweeping across the half-elf's room as if assessing damage done. He stood aside for the other two to enter with a polite smile. "I'll be downstairs. Enjoy your tea party." So saying, he quietly closed the door behind himself, heading back to the commons to sit with his newfound companion.

"Miss Gloria. Wonderful to see you again." He said as much without his usual drawling undertone of boredom. His eye flicked to the man behind her. "And you must be Sir Glenn. A pleasure. Please, sit, both of you. It would seem we have much to discuss."

Like before, he set the place to his left and, being unable to reach the far side of the table without standing, simply waved his finger at the remaining teacup and accompanying dish. It rose as if on strings and floated gently to its designated spot. It touched down with a quiet clink, a single ripple appearing on the liquid's surface.
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby Voxx » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:41 am

Curiouser and curiouser.

Ash watched. Staring, mostly quiet. Smiling pleasantly, if not for the keen look in her eyes.
The warrior woman left. Another woman -girl?- arrived. Proper looking, at least more than Ash personally appeared. Then company. Male, sharp-tongued.

Her lips crooked up into a harder smile at the pair. What had they been called?
Gloria? Burnie? Not strange names, per say. But strange people. She liked that, wondered how they fit into puzzles of danger. What they could do or say or think to make them worthwhile in the clear involvement. Oh, what luck, to talk to a playboy only to walk into something clearly far bigger than just flirting and passing friends.

There was a light in her eyes. Dangerous and excited, a child with a present loomed right in front of their nose. She wanted it. Wanted to tear the paper off, lavish whatever rested hidden inside the box. But she kept her mouth shut. Recognized the situation was not hers, not meant for her knowledge. Yet. So she stayed out of it. Polite, and all that.

Primarily, her attention returned after each development to Castor.
Who was he, to be called on for brief escorts upstairs? Someone close to the assumed noble. A guard? Had to be of high station, then. So a foreign guard with a foreign noble, in a dangerous bar. Talking to high-station women in proper armaments, girls who'd prefer not to drop their skirts to the ground, and men with sly tongues. Oh, what fun. Was it her birthday and she'd neglected to notice?

Ash didn't pursue when Castor left to play guide to the newcomers. She was curious, nosy even, but not so daring. Not yet, with a man easily double her size. She stayed downstairs, waited for his return. Smiled and tapped her fingers against the back of her chair. Thinking. Putting pieces together in a thousand different ways to rationalize the most likely situation afoot.

When Castor returned, there was barely a half second between him entering ear shot again and Ash sitting up. Still with that eager, if not cunning, look about her. She still wanted answers, and no degree of interruptions would sway that focus.

"Castor.." A sweet smile, inviting. Narrowed eyes, just slightly.
A cat crouched, readying. Eyeing up a particularly appealing rat.
"Who are you and your noble friend hunting down?"

A guess. A bit of a bluff. But she was testing theories, sparing the man the full extent of her reasoning. Just asking, aiming straight for the heart of the matter. She wanted -needed- to know. And every second standing between her and answers was near unbearable.
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Re: A Little Bird Told Me

Postby Rance » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:23 pm

Before being led by Castor through the crowds, the girl -- she couldn't have been much older than a teenager, a too-tall figure caught somewhere between the awkward bloom of adolescence and the physical equity of adulthood -- darted her attention toward Ash, the lady with the boots, all that too-crisp leather and confidence, and said:

"Why do people like you keep crawling out of the cracks in the walls?"

And then upstairs.

* * * *

After being led, Gloria entered first; the room, the hall, was a welcome departure from the wild commons. The temperature was cooler, the light more dim. And what she saw as she entered: Dishes lifted as if being moved by ghosts; Egris was there too, and Michta, but the entirety of her focus spilled onto that hovering teacup utensils. "Do you know what happens to -- to people who work dark things around here? Glenn Burnie can tell you. I'm sure he'd be quite happy to do so. First, teacups, then minds. But I believe you've already made that grand leap."

Her nostrils whistled as she sucked in a breath.

"May we sit?"
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Rance
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