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  #26  
Unread 25th of July, 2005, 06:00
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As Cal touches the boy’s ankle he lets out a gasp but managed not to cry out again. Examining it the woman quickly determines that it isn't broken. Instead it seems to be badly sprained and bruised.

"I just need to let it rest for a few minutes," the boy says confidently. "My cousin Remone is outside the city proper at the Oak Marketplace, I’ll go to him."
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Unread 26th of July, 2005, 04:00
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The boy seems genuine enough but something in his words bothers Rina.

"If all you need is a few minutes rest, why do you need to go to him? Can you not simply go home?"

Then there was the matter of the girl. Why run off as soon as he was rescued? Unless she wasn't supposed to be here. She couldn't be a Telpac, or the boy wouldn't have needed to ask if they were from that family.

"The girl - the one with the dog - she is your friend? Who is she, and why did she leave so quickly? Your other friends seem to have disappeared rather quickly when you got into trouble, too."
  #28  
Unread 26th of July, 2005, 05:55
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Shifting uncomfortable under the weight of Rina's questions, Timmy looks like if he could he would have ran.

"Well, umm, it's not really important. But we weren't supposed to be playing here," he said looking everywhere except at the people. "I kinda promised my pa I wouldn't, and I'll be in strife if he finds out I did."
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  #29  
Unread 26th of July, 2005, 11:49
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The boy’s words cause Yavan to frown once more. He may not be a healer, but clearly Timmy’s ankle is worse for wear from encountering those rocks. His mention of strife troubles the elf, but wouldn’t the boy’s father simply be worried that his son could fall in a well such as this one? Perhaps, but the mention of the feuding houses tells a different tale.

“Where is your father?” He holds the reigns of the mule loosely in one hand. The animal is docile enough and willingly stands further away. “We should see you to him.”
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Unread 27th of July, 2005, 00:19
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So the boy doesn't want to get in trouble with his father. Calliste can understand that. But it's not going to be easy hiding that ankle.

"I think that it is only sprained," Calliste says, rising gracefully from her knees to stand by the boy. "But even so, it's not going to get better after just a few minutes rest. You are going to have to tell your father about it eventually.

"But," she looks around at the other two bards, "we will help you get to wherever you want to go. If you want to go to your cousin's place, that's fine." She doesn't understand Yavan's insitence that they take the boy to his father.

"You can ride Homer, here. He won't mind." Calliste indicates the mule already laden with her baggage. Homer looks back at her mournfully.
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Unread 27th of July, 2005, 23:58
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"Careful," he says, slipping into his native elven. "If this boy's family is part of the feud, we would do well not to make any unneeded foes. Those children will talk. We will be noticed. If his father is a Telpac, they will not love us for this. It will be seen as defiance."

He releases the jeweled hilt but his hand clenches his swordbelt all the same. There may not be any immediate physical danger, but a wrong step here could spell disaster. Perhaps the boy fears his father's anger; perhaps they should do the same. Defying a Telpac might endear them to the other side, but the elf would rather stay out of their affairs altogether.
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Unread 28th of July, 2005, 01:17
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Rina frowns at Yavan's words, her eyes directed inward, giving her a distracted appearance. It couldn't hurt to learn more about the situation, though.

"Yes, maybe it would be best if you tell us more about this feud between the Telpacs and the Guenota, and how it affects you."

She smiles at the boy.

"We are new to this area, unfamiliar with its politics. And after all, we did help you out of a tight spot."
  #33  
Unread 2nd of August, 2005, 23:09
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Looking from Yavan, to Cal, the Rina, the boy considers the questions for a moment before answering.

"My pa is working in the city at the moment, but you can't take me to him now! He'll put me on scullery duty for a month and I'll die if I have to do that! My cousin Remone can help me come up with a way to get out of it."

Looking over to Rina, the boy frowns.

"Politics? Do you mean the Prince and stuff? I don't know much about him, he's been the Prince for all my life and I'm already 10 years old. I think he pretty much lets people alone.

"The Gueonta and Telpac families tend to run most of the shops and stuff. I'm a Guenota and we're the more important of the two. The Telpacs are jealous of us and have been trying to start fights recently. My pa says that the Prince is getting angry about it, but I don't know too much about that."
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  #34  
Unread 3rd of August, 2005, 05:14
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Calliste cannot understand Yavan's words, spoken in his lilting native tongue; but she thinks she understands his intent well enough. The blue-haired elf is wary of this situation, and he is trying to warn her and Rina that they should be wary also, and that they should exercise caution in dealing with this boy and his family.

Calliste has to admit that he has a good point. Especially once the boy confirms what she had suspected: that he is a Gueonta.

And here they are, on their way to perform at an exclusive gala for the Gueonta's bitterest rival, the Telpac family.

Well, there's nothing to be done except what has to be done. They can't just leave the boy out here alone in this field with a badly sprained ankle. They need to get him back to his family - to his cousin, in fact, since he is insisting on it. How could anyone fault them for helping an injured boy? Performers are generally well-known for being neutral anyway. At least they are back home, Calliste thinks, although by now she has come to understand that in this land, customs and attitudes are not always what they were back home.

The boy explains a little bit about the ongoing feud. From what Calliste understands, the prince of the city - Prince Ferilotovel - pretty much stays out of it. The boy says that fighting between the two families has escalated recently, and of course he blames the Telpacs. The Telpacs will probably tell a similar tale but put the blame on the Gueontas instead.

"We may as well just take him to his cousin," Caliste tells Yavan and Rina. "And the sooner we get him there, the better." She lowers her voice so that Timmy won't overhear, then continues. "I don't know if our patron the good Lord Telpac will be offended by that, but we'll just have to risk it. We should try to avoid becoming embroiled in any other of the Gueonta's affairs however."

And once we have unloaded the boy, she thinks, we'll have to look up a tavern near the theater and see what the local performers have to say about all this. Nobody knows the local gossip better than the bards of a city!
  #35  
Unread 3rd of August, 2005, 05:28
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Rina smiles brightly at the boy when he expresses ignorance about politics. All she was really after was where his allegiance lay.

"What you have told us is very helpful."

As she stowes her equipment back in her pack, she takes a moment to adjust her hair, removing and then replacing the leather thong that holds it back. The acrobat then examines her clothing and brushes off some dust from her trip down the well, all the while listening to Calliste's observations. She nods her assent, unwilling to discuss the situation any further in front of Timmy.

"Well, we'd best get started then."
  #36  
Unread 14th of August, 2005, 00:35
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Directing the companions, Timmy soon has the group arriving at what appears to be a temporary marketplace dominated by a massive oak tree.

"Here it is," the boy says. "The Oak Marketplace or Oak-Tree Market. I don't think anyone ever gave it a real name. It's mostly people from outside the city who go here so I don't think anymore really cares."

Looking around for a moment, he gestures towards two men standing next to the tree and arguing.

"Those are my cousins Remone and Ben."

The two men are both tall are both, clean shaven and dressed in expensive looking clothing. One has sandy coloured hair, while the other has reddish-brown. Each wears a silver-hilted sword at their hips, seemingly more fashionable then functional. As the group approaches they can hear the discussion.

"We were defending ourselves," the red-haired one exclaimed.

"Like you were the two previous times?" the blond man asked.

"Tyrone is a maniac, there's not a lot we can do to do."

"With the Prince's new decree we're all going to have to find a way or we'll be trying to defend our honour on the headman's block."

Noticing Timmy and the bards approach, the blond one motions the other to silence.

"Timothy," he said walking forward to meet them. "What brings you and your new friends here?"

"They're alright Remone," the boy said of the bards. "They recused me when I got stuck down the old well, but I don't want pa to find out that I was playing around there so can you say I was with you when I got hurt?"

Blinking at the sudden breathless sentence, it takes Remone a moment to understand the meaning of what was said. "You were hurt? What happened?"

"I'm fine, I just fell got my foot stuck. It only hurts a bit and will be fine soon, it's just well ..."

"You promised your pa that you wouldn't play around it anymore, but you tried to climb down it anyway?" Remone asked. Taking the boys silence as affirmation the man continued.

"I thought so. I suppose I could tell him that I was teaching you how to use a sword when you tripped over, but only if you promise me on your honour that you won't try anything like that again. Your pa had a good reason to forbid you from playing there, and you found out how dangerous it is."

Once he extracted the promise from the reluctant youngster Remone helped him down, gave him into the red headed Ben's custody, and then turned an appraising pair of eyes upon the band of bards.

"It seems my family and I owe you a debt of gratitude for the rescue of my cousin, whose bravery seems to out match his common sense. Is there anything we can do to thank you...?"
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  #37  
Unread 16th of August, 2005, 04:04
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Calliste can't help smiling at the well-dressed young gentleman. She knows she must be cautious - this is afterall the rival family of the Telpacs - but Remone is well-bred and charming (and delightfully blue-eyed and fair-haired). And of course he is grateful for their help.

"Is there anything we can do to thank you...?" he asks.

Calliste steps forward gracefully and somewhat theatrically. She has a way of commanding people's attention. "It was no trouble really. Rina was down the well and back with the boy in no time! And we were on our way to Anorev anyway. Perhaps you could recommend an inn in the city?

"I am Calliste of Gelas, and these are my companions, Rinadjmere Semarkhet and Yavan a'Nyere. And you are Timmy's cousin, Remone Gueonta, isn't that right?" She extends her hand in greeting, another exquisitely graceful gesture.
  #38  
Unread 19th of August, 2005, 04:33
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As Cal makes the introductions Remone nods to Rina and speaks a word of greeting to Yavan in badly accented Elvan.

"Yes I am Remone Gueonta, only son of Maraxus Gueonta and heir to the Gueonta family fortune." Giving a small sigh the man smiles ruefully at them. "Tedious isn't it?" Brightening again Remone took Cal's hand and lightly kissed it. "But I must say it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Raising again the man looked at each of the companions carefully. "An Inn? Well the finest in the city is the Golden Swan one of my family's establishments. Most people, myself included, prefer somewhere less ... over the top. There's a place called the Sandy Bat. It's a nice place, clean, cheap and quiet - even if the food is moderately bad and the ale is watered down. The owner is a good man too despite his quirks; he makes quite an issue over the fact that he runs an independent business. That it, it isn't associated with either us or the Telpacs."

Shrugging, Remone gave a 'what can you do' gesture. "My family has made him several generous offers over the years, but he always turns them down."

Quickly Remone gave directions to the inn and how to recognise it, the primary factor being the large yellow bat it uses as a sign.
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  #39  
Unread 21st of August, 2005, 21:30
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"We thank you for the recommendation," Calliste replies graciously. 'Moderately bad' food won't get her vote, but there's no reason to tell Remone that.

"You mention the Telpacs," she continues, realizing that she is about to tread on quite shaky ground. "As a matter of fact, we are on our way to see Ginero Telpac even now." Noticing a narrowing of Remone's eyes, she hurries to explain. "We've been hired to perform for them. Some gala event tomorrow evening. We are bards, you see." She opens her arms, as she would for the applause of the crowd, and bows slightly. As she straightens, she watches Remone's face carefully to judge his reaction.
  #40  
Unread 25th of August, 2005, 00:41
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"The Telpac yearly gala," Remone muttered to himself as he eyes the bards speculatively. Apparently coming to some sort of decision he smiles again.

"Well I can't hold it against you, especially after you saved Timothy," he said. "My family owes you a debt and I'll stand by that."
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Unread 26th of August, 2005, 01:19
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Rina steps forward gracefully, smiling widely at the handsome Remone. Calliste seemed to have kept the man's respect while admitting that they were consorting with the enemy.

"We are glad to have helped. I would not want to impose on your goodwill, but perhaps you could help us better understand the environment we will soon find ourselves in. We know little of this area or the hostility between your family and the Telpacs. Would you share some of this history with us?"
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Unread 4th of September, 2005, 12:49
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"No," Remone said looked uncomfortable. "I don’t think it would be right for me to go into too much detail about that, but you're strangers so I'll tell you what is more or less common knowledge. The Gueonta and Telpac family together own virtually every form of business in the city and surrounding area, half the people and business with us, the other half with them. In this sort of environment it's not too surprising that a rivalry came about."

Throwing an unconscious glance at Timmy and Ben, the man continues. "Of late some of the more ... hot-headed people on both sides have been starting fights in public. That should be a thing of the past now however; The Prince has issued a zero-tolerance policy against armed fights."

Pausing as if considering what that say next, the man looks over the bards instead. "Was there anything in particular you wanted to know?"
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  #43  
Unread 10th of September, 2005, 02:09
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“Are there any other local musicians?” Yavan asks, speaking up for the first time since meeting Remone. “If we are to play a gala, I would know some of your people’s songs.”

It’s true, knowing any crowd favorites would improve their performance, but oft-times it’s the entertainers who have an ear to the ground in terms of an area’s politics and intrigue. Perhaps Remone speaks true, or perhaps he does not. Yavan doubts anything as serious as a feud could be stopped with a royal edict; it would likely take blood and exile to force these two houses to stop, and he would rather not be involved in something like that.
  #44  
Unread 15th of September, 2005, 02:00
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The question catches Remone off guard and he was silent for several moments as he considered it. "Yes I know there is a popular place for musicians and performers, someone told me about it," he said frowning in thought. "What was it called again? Something like the Sweet Harp or the Silver Harp, I can't remember the name." The man quickly gave them directions including a description of the painted harp used to mark the location; even without the name the bards were sure to find it.

"From what I remember it's not somewhere that you can get rooms or a meal, it does just serves drink and provides a place for performers to gather."
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  #45  
Unread 16th of September, 2005, 16:53
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Calliste gives Yavan and Rina a knowing look. The tavern sounds like the perfect place for them to spend the evening soaking up the local gossip. Entertainers tend to welcome their wandering counterparts with open arms, and few in the city would be likely to know more about the intricacies of the merchant lords' feud.

Regretfully, Calliste bids Remone farewell. What a shame that it isn't the Geuontas throwing the gala celebration! As the party continues on the road toward the city proper, she comforts herself with the thought that the Telpacs likely have their share of handsome young men in their ranks as well.
  #46  
Unread 20th of September, 2005, 16:46
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Following Remone's directions the band of bards soon found them outside what looks to be a small warehouse converted into a commercial entity. Painted on the wall is a green harp with the words The Sour Song below.

Inside the companions found themselves in a room with straw on the floor, a long bar to the left, a low stage to the right and benches scattered around in the area in between. Barely a dozen people populated the floor, quietly talking amongst themselves as a half-elf with mossy eyes and glossy hair played a haunting melody on her flute upon the stage. Behind the bar a pale, blad gnome with a light-grey beard slowly cleans the surface, a movement apparently due more of habit then need.

"Yavan?" a voice said. Turning the group finds a man in his early twenties approaching. He was clad entirely in black, slim, long light-brown hair, approximately one week’s worth of stubble and a serious look.

"It's Rohil Ha'bla, we met at the Duke of Kitch's ceremony back last year."

Looking at the man it takes a moment before Yavan can place him. He was one of the performers that had turned up to vie for the Duke's patronage, primarily a storyteller and one of not inconsiderable talent.

"What brings you to Anorev?"
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  #47  
Unread 22nd of September, 2005, 01:49
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The Sour Harp

Rina reads the sign above the door. It wasn't what she would name an establishment dedicated to musical entertainment, but then again, she was far too irresponsible to ever own any kind of establishment. Inside, she is more disappointed in the lack of clientele than she is by the rustic decor. The mischievous bard was hoping for someplace a bit more interesting. Her glance falls on the half-elf flautist currently occupying the stage and she frowns. The woman seemed almost familiar . . .

She shakes her head after a moment, not able to place that ephemeral face. Rina's mouth twitches into a smile as Yavan is recognized by a young bard. Maybe things wouldn't be so dull after all.
  #48  
Unread 22nd of September, 2005, 05:07
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The occupants of the room are situated in clusters of two and three for the most part.

Behind Rohil sits a well dressed and lanky man who looks on in interest. He has short curly hair, long side burns and a patch of hair on his chin that sticks out at least an inch.

Closer to the stage sit young man and another half-elf, both of whom are paying attention to the performer. The man has dark hair and a Van Dyke marks his face. He wears a simple assortment of leathers which looks to be mediocre, the exception being a fine jet cloak that sits about his shoulders. His companion is a dark-haired half-elvan woman ruggedly dressed in buckskins a heavy cloak and boots. The woman's clothing was trimmed with feathers and bits of bone.

At a bench closer to the bar two robed men sit facing each other and talking quietly. One has extremely close-cropped black hair, wears a blue robe and has the look of someone who spends most of their time indoors studying. The other possesses a head of tight brown curls, a simple brown robe and has the demeanour of one used to hard work.

At a table not too far off sits a more curious site. A man with straight pure white hair which falls to his jaw-line. Physically defined, he wears a pair of simple trousers and a fitted, small, brown leather waistcoat. His companion, with whom he occasionally speaks, is a petite woman, wearing a light grey outfit of exotic design, her features are regular, but what is most surprising is that her head is totally bald.

On one of the bar stools a man sits alone. His hair is long and raggedly cut, he is deeply tanned and his clothing has a multitude of patches on it. At his feet rests a sabre, but what is more noticeable is the way he constantly shifts his startling green eyes from one person to the next.

At a bench close enough to the entrance for the bards to overhear their conversation sits an attractive, well dressed, brown haired, and one-armed man who is talking animatedly to a man whose clothing is stylish but well worn, consisting of a pink shirt and blue pants. His eyes are covered with a length of white cloth.

"You won't guess what I heard," the one-armed man said.
"I won't have to when you tell me," his blind companion answered.
"The guards found someone brutally beaten not too long ago."
"Any one we know?"
"Yeah, and you're not going to believe this. It was Emichae."
"Emichae?"
"Yeah!"
"When did that idiot come back to town?"
"I have no idea, but it can't have been too long ago. After the way he was jeered out of town I would have thought he was smart enough not to return."
"Well there's your mistake, you thought he was smart in any sense of the word."
"Man, I still find it hard to believe that he faked his own death then tried to convince everyone that he was his 'long lost niece'."
"I've known some jackasses in my time, but he really does top the list. Here's to what ever bandit did everyone a great favour."
"No, that's the thing. He still had all of his gold on his when the guards found him. It wasn't a robbery!"
"Ha! It seems we have a mysterious doer of good deeds in the city."
"Aye. To our mysterious hero, may he live long and die in the arms of a beautiful woman."
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Last edited by itches; 22nd of September, 2005 at 05:25.
  #49  
Unread 1st of October, 2005, 05:02
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Out of habit, Calliste scans the room for a familiar face. Of course, she doesn't really expect to see anyone here that she knows, but wouldn't it be nice?

The Sour Song holds quite an odd assortment of people. There are faces here with a touch of something exotic about them - like Yavan's face, only not quite so... elvish. The woman on stage has that look about her, and the music she plays has an other-worldly quality to it, much like Yavan's music.

Let's see... who else is here? Her glance lingers on the bald woman and her white-haired companion, then moves on. There's a woman from the wildlands, apparently. (She has that elvish look, too.) And a scholar... a laborer... a mercenary perhaps?

One of the patrons comes over to talk to Yavan, and Calliste smiles a greeting before turning away to allow them to speak freely. She can't help but overhear the conversation between the pair that sits nearby. A man beaten to death? An unpopular man, by the sound of it. She wonders idly if this bit of violence has anything at all to do with the Telpac - Gueonta rivalry.

She smiles and makes eye contact with any who look her way as she takes Rina by the arm and leads her over to the bar. "Come, Rina. Let me buy you a drink!"

Actually, she rather hopes that someone interesting will come up and offer to buy her a drink.
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Unread 6th of October, 2005, 14:40
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“Rohil,” he says, waiting for his long memory to dredge up the facts to go with the name and face. “Yes, it is good to see you again. You performed well for the Duke.”

He lets the events of the previous year wash over him: the performance, his companions, the other entertainers, the duke, and the outcome of everything. Rohil had done well as a storyteller, yet it appeared that the Duke had more of an ear for music than tales.

“My companions, Rina and Calliste, and I have only just arrived. Rina and I recently played at a festival to the north and have taken to the open road once more.

“And what of you? What has the past year held for Rohil Ha’bla?”
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