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Unread 27th of October, 2002, 15:13
Cadrius's Avatar
Refusing to Sow [Epic GM]

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Location: The Emerald City
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Cadrius inclines his head, acknowledging the elf's courtesy, and looks for a barmaid to flag down. However he quickly notices that the musician refuses to leave. Irritation slowly bubbles and rises inside the fallen paladin, and a slight color touches his cheeks.

He asks of Maeko's hairstyle, what business is it of his? Cadrius begins drumming his fingers lightly along the massive club at his side. Not only does he ignore Cadrius' request, but he proceedes to throw etiquette out the window in asking about the nun. Only one grace keeps the fallen paladin from rising and demonstrating proper manners to the entertainer: Maeko's response. She does not seem to take offense and answers the questions openly. Very well, if she is unbothered by the man's presence then Cadrius will merely ignore the man. And he does so, focusing his attention elsewhere until Cadogan begins to speak.

He leans back in his chair, feigning disinterest while listening attentively. At the mention of the wyvern Cadrius nods, verifying the man's account.

"Indeed, it was strange to see the beast."

He frowns at the mention of the man. Who was an Arcane Triplet? Could it have been Whonan and his sisters? No, there were four of them and none really looked to be the identical of any other. Odd.

His fingers that had been drumming upon the club suddenly wrap around the handle, clenched in anger. His knuckles turn white as the man waves his hand in front of Cadogan's face. The water is the final straw and while Maeko and Nicos are restrained Cadrius is not. The three burly men turn and walk away two laughing and clapping their hands on Water Thrower's back.

"Excuse me a moment," he says, rising to his feet and crossing the room.

A cold anger sweeps into the fallen paladin like a gust of winter wind through an open window. He gently places a hand on a nearby barmaid, moving her aside as he strides across the room and out the front door. He is unarmed, save for the dagger in his belt. The massive club would only have served to turn what might be a peacable encounter into a violent one. However going outside alone against three men might end up violent anyway.

His breath comes out in slow gouts of steam as he steps outside into the night air. He makes out the dim forms of the three men only fifty paces ahead of him. Cadrius lengthens his stride as he attempts to overtake them.

The three men take a leisurely route, making lewd references about barmaids at the inn and exchanging crude jokes in vain attempts at humor. Cadrius' lip curls in disgust. They owe Cadogan an apology and he is out to make sure that he gets it.

He comes around the corner and sees them only a short distance ahead. This street is smaller and almost totally devoid of other travelers. The night is overcast but still cold and the crisp smell of fall fills Cadrius' nose.

"Excuse me," he says in a flat voice. The men continue on their way, speaking their rough speech.

"Excuse me," he says again, louder this time with a trace of anger threaded through his bass voice.

The men cease their laughing and turn around. Their eyes assessing Cadrius before he can speak again.

"What're you? A practice dummy?" one asks, the dried blood readily apparent on Cadrius' clothing and skin. The other two chuckle at the remark.

"You insulted a friend of mine back there," he says, "you owe him an apology."

"What? Yer friends with that sorceriousss one? Bugger off," Water Thrower says and is met with grunts of approval from his cronies.

Cadrius walks forward until he's face to face with the men.

"Whether you like him or not matters little to me, but what you did was unacceptable. Come back and"

Water Thrower responds by puffing up his chest and jabbing one finger at Cadrius.

"Ah said bugger off or we'll make yer night miserable," says Water Thrower, the grunts come again only louder and full of malice.

"Last chance," Cadrius whispers, a jet of steam comes out of his mouth as he keeps his breathing under rigid control.

The cronies exchange a look of nervousness between each other but this goes by unnoticed by Water Thrower. He shoves Cadrius with both his arms, driving the fallen paladin back several steps.

"That's it, yer in fer a worl' o' hurt," he says advancing menacingly. His two lackies hesitate a moment before following suit.

"Fine by me," Cadrius says with a grin that's devoid of mirth.

Water Thrower balls his fists and throws a clumsy roundhouse at Cadrius. He ducks to the side and launches a counter attack. His fist slams into the man's stomach, knocking the wind out of Water Thrower and dropping him to his knees.

The other two's momentary caution is dispelled and they both rush Cadrius swinging. He dodges the first and pushes the man roughly to the side, but this momentary action costs him. The second man connects with Cadrius' face, hitting him in the eye. His head snaps to the side under the force of the blow. He turns and lashes out with his fist, striking the man in the side of the temple and dropping him to the ground.

Cadrius turns again looking for Water Thrower when the other lackey grabs him from behind, his arms entwining Cadrius' before locking themselves behind his neck. Cadrius struggles but is held in place as Water Thrower gets to his feet and punches him in the stomach.

Pain explodes in his midsection as he suddenly finds himself breathless. Anger instantly flares up and envelopes his hurt, turning it into fuel for the fire of rage. He slams one elbow into the man's stomach. His leg snaps forward and it catches Water Thrower in the groin, causing him to groan and drop to the ground.

I am not one of them anymore, I do not have to play fair.

He moves forward again, kicking Water Thrower in the stomach. The man rolls with the kick and curls up into a ball. The sound of a blade being drawn keeps Cadrius from following with another brutal kick.

He spins around to see both of the lackeys on their feet with long knives in their hands. His hand flies to the dagger at his belt and answers in kind and holds the blade point down in front of his body with his left arm drawn back in a fist. He inclines his head once, signaling them to come.

They rush in again in the same manner as before. The first one swinging high and missing. The second one thrusts, aiming for Cadrius' midsection. He twists his body and grabs the man's forarm with his left hand as he jams his dagger into his throat. The man gurgles once as he falls to the ground, his lifesblood pouring out of him.

The other stares in shock at his fallen friend and hesitates for a moment. Cadrius does not, he launches a number of brutal slashes that causes the man to backpedal parrying frantically. Cadrius feints to the left and the man falls for it. He brings his dagger up short and drives it into the man's stomach, twisting it once before yanking it out and letting the man drop to the ground.

His breath is coming in and out rapidly, his muscles twitch and flex as adrenaline flow through them. He spins about to see Water Thrower getting to his feet and beginning to run away.

Cadrius sprints after him down a nearby alley. Water Thrower gasps for air as he flees down the alley, the fallen paladin mere steps behind him.

"Please," he begs as he runs, "mercy!"

But there is none in Cadrius as he launches himself the final few feet between him and the man. His arms encircle Water Thrower and they come down in a heap. They struggle briefly but Cadrius overpowers the man and draws the dagger in one quick, neat sweep across the man's throat.

Water Thrower's eyes widen in surprise and terror. He gasps for breath and attempts to speak, but finds no voice. Cadrius gets to his feet and looks down at the man, his face an expression of melancholy.

"I am sorry for what we have both done," he says, his only apology for his actions, but he does take the man's hand and sits with him while he dies. He might be a uncouth and ignorant man, but he does not deserve to die alone in an alley. Cadrius stays long after the light has died in the man's eyes and still clasps his hand. The other hand reaches foreward and closes Water Thrower's eyelids. With a long and ragged sigh he pulls two copper pieces and places them over the dead man's eyes.

He wipes the blood from his blade but does not clean his hands. Chances are it wouldn't come off even if he tried.

He stands and slowly walks back to the inn, the wounds from the previous days suddenly voicing themselves again. He could already feel one eye puffing up from where he had been hit. Was it worth it? To take three lives over a minor offense? No, they had threatened the blind man and Cadrius would not let another under his protection fall due to his own carelessness.

Again the inn seems offensive as he enters it, like it has an overabundance of vitality. He frowns and drops five gold pieces on the counter in front of the barkeeper before stooping to grab backpack and club, and heading up the stairs. He does not speak to the rest of the party, does not explain his black eye, and does not try to hide the blood caked on his hands.

The room is dark and quiet, away from the majority of the inn's bustle. Cadrius welcomes the gentle lamp and cherishes his relative seclusion. The room is a spacious one, and it very well should be for the amount he had given. A maid raps gently on his door, asking if there is anything that he needs. He has warm water brought up for his bath and a mirror and razor to shave with.

A few minutes later he is relaxing amidst the scented water holding a razor in one hand and the mirror in the other. He does not wince as the razor causes a shallow cut on his neck but instead watches, fascinated, as the blood trickles down his throat, across his chest and then dispersing into the water.

It takes some time for the blood to leave his hands.