Prelude

 
An Extremely Tall Chap

The tall man walks in behind the others. He ducks his head instinctively passing through the door, and keeps himself bowed a bit as well walking through the room. Inns are not known for wasting money on having high ceilings if a cheap low ceiling will work just as well. Taverns even less so. He sits with the others, though puts himself as far away from the halfling as possible (or at least out of reach, which means at least a couple of feet away). When the waitress comes up he says, "Do you have a menu by chance? I'd like something foreign, spicey maybe. Do you have the spicey beef dishes from the eastern lands by chance?"


Closer to the town crier now, the woman smiles at the barrage of questions the man had to field. She looks up at the sky, considering it for a moment. Figuring that she has more than enough time, she returns to her perusal. Looping the reins through her wrist, she continues to examine the peddler's wares, her face a picture of delight as she runs both hands over the piles of fabric as if she were luxuriating in the weave of the cloth. Her mount stands patiently behind her, his tail flicking away any errant flies as his mistress runs her fingers over the embroidered patterns, now picking up a bolt and draping the cloth over her arm to see how it hangs. "This is wonderful," she exclaims to the peddler as a light breeze catches the delicate fabric, turning it into a white waterfall underneath her arm. "It's so soft," she adds, bringing the gauzy material up to her face and rubbing her cheek against it. "However, I'm sure it isn't practical for where I'm headed," she says regretfully, setting the bolt aside.

"Have you anything that drapes similarly and yet wears well?"
she inquires hopefully. Only the slightest furrow marks her smooth forehead as she specifies, "And if you have some in colors similar to my attire, I would like to see those as well." She gives her slim wrist an idle shake, sending the fine silvery bracelets surrounding it into a faint chorus of delicate chimes. "Actually, wait." The peddler's bulky frame paused as the old woman was just about to reach for a muslin dyed the color of peaches. "Greens and tans perhaps," she amends, "like the colors of the forest."



Itomo

Itomo strides across the market square ready to buy the woman anything she wants, the whole stall if it will grant him just one of her smiles. But then the near weightlessness of his coin pouch drags him back to reality, he couldn't even buy her a roll of hemp string, as this thought settles in he becomes less and less confident. What are you thinking, she is out of your league, she is on a different plane then you Itomo. Get your head back in the game your here for a purpose.

By the time he reaches the stall he is walking with a slight stoop eyes cast towards his feet, for a moment back there he felt like a hero, or like he could have been a hero. Now though, he feels like himself gutter trash, common, barely on the right side of the law, one foot on the stairs to the gallows.

"Uhm....Excuse me my lady." He says speaking to her back. "uh your not from around here are you....and I see you seem to be traveling without an escort....Uhm perhaps I could be of assistance if you need directions or I don't know some protection or information even. I know this town well and uhm well if I can be of any service I would be happy to help.....oh uh I'm Itomo.. Itomo speaks nervously his common accent, usually hidden is clearly evident. Oh you bumbling fool, you can talk the ear off a whore but when it comes to a lady well your tongue falls out and you start to step all over it.







Seeing the ruffian approach the Varisian woman, Missoi decides that a little initiative on his own part is in order; although not silver-tongued by any stretch of the imagination, forthright conversation is as good a place to start as one can hope for.

Excusing himself from the dwarf, Missoi makes his way over to where the woman and the rogue are standing, arriving just in time for the awkward silence following what must have been an equally awkward introduction. Nodding a greeting to the pair, Missoi acts as though he doesn't notice this. "Excuse me...I don't mean to interrupt, but I was just curious - might you three be part of the group interested in making their way into the Stolen Lands?"




Itomo

Itomo is almost startled by the sound of the Elf's voice. He turns smiling towards the man er elf man thankful for the break in the silence. "I am here to find such a group actually....their was a few odd characters around earlier. I think they went into the Golden Tankard over yonder. Why are you looking for such a group?



With her back still turned to both men, the woman smiles at the cloth peddler, thanking her for the two lengths of sturdy cloth now in her arms. Turning slowly, she faces what she now sees is a man and an elf as far as she can tell. The petite woman smiles up at the pair, clutching the cloth to her while trying not to get tangled up in her reins. The grey snuffles softly as he steps aside to make way for his mistress, his shoes clomping on the stone underneath his feet. "You are quite direct," she says with amusement to the elf.

She then turns to the man who first approached her. "I do require assistance," she replies candidly. "First of all, I am keeping an eye out for potential companions to..." her breath hitches ever so slightly in hesitation before she continues, "The Stolen Lands." Her eyes dart away for just a moment as though her mind were pulled elsewhere. Her attention flickers back quickly enough. "And secondly, can one of you tell me which of these would make a good traveling wrap?" She gave them both an engaging grin, holding out a mossy green fabric along with one the burnt color of a sunset.


"I am indeed," comes the half-elf's reply to Itomo's questioning. "I've been working as a guide of sorts in the west and the north for some time now, and when I heard of the opportunity to venture into the Stolen Lands, I figured it was worth a look. Mayhap we should join the others in the Golden Tankard - it'd be nice to get to know some of our future traveling companions." The half-elf turns to go, before turning back to the pair as if remembering something. "I'm Missoi, by the way. It's a pleasure to meet you both," he adds, extending his hand.




Itomo
Itomo thinks to himself she could wear thread-bare burlap and make it look good. But says regaining a measure of confidence "My lady the green would most suit you, the fabric seems a bit sturdier than the ah...other" not sure what to call the other color. Itomo Continues "And if you are truly looking for companions, let me then offer you my services for I too am here today about this new decree and charter. As it would seem is all the lands adventurers and wanna-be heroes. I have some familiarity with the stolen lands between Brevoy and the River Kingdoms and the dangers that lurk there

Then in response to Missoi "Ah yes the Golden Tankard we may find a few others whose interests align with ours within. I am Itomo Baerston, pleased to make your acquaintance Missoi. Accepting the elf's proffered hand.





"A pleasure to meet you as well, Missoi." The Varisian looking woman doesn't miss a beat, shuffling the cloth in her arms and clasping the elf's extended hand warmly after the other man releases it, letting go in exactly the amount of time as is proper for an introduction.

"Please, call me Zarina,"
she implores them both with a laugh. "So, you prefer the green one, Itomo...is that right?" She asks the more hesitant of the two. "Excellent. Thank you for your help." She glances down from one piece of cloth to the other, biting down on her lower lip. She squints ever so slightly. Quickly handing both pieces back to the cloth vendor she declares confidently, "I'll take the green one and a pair of sewing needles and some thread to match if you don't mind."

She hands the woman a few coins, smiling apologetically at Itomo for the time she was taking with her purchases. "Is this Golden Tankard a reputable place?" she asks hesitantly. There was that telltale quaver of worry in her tone.


Itomo
Zarina's lack of pretense and demeaning manner goes along way to helping Itomo regain his full confidence. A rarity that someone of obvious status does not berate so obvious a commoner.

"The Tankard, she's not a bad place it's just off the square here. It's clean has good food and the wome.....er hosts are quite friendly. No the tankards not a bad place at all.....but today with so many strangers about well no telling what the customers will be like, but fear not I am sure with Missoi and myself at your side you will not be in any danger

Seeing Zarina's fine horse reminds Itomo that he needs to get Ferber and figure out some way to pay the Farrier.






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