The Evening Before the Dawn

Taurus sipped from his glass, likewise ignoring the Sorcerer. He grinned and answered the Halfing.

"Well I should probably start holding off on the wine, I'll need to be fully capable for the morning. I'm nervous yet excited - we'll finally have the chance to do something to reclaim what is ours."

He finished his glass and set it down, firmly pushing it away to avoid its sweet temptation, and looked ove at where the jovial monkey-man was doing his thing, Taurus flashed a quick smile

"Well, at least some of us can keep on singing a jolly tune, Amaunator knows I wish I had some of his merriment right know."

He glanced over at the arriving Caladaq.

"Evening Cladaq, how are you holding up, comrade?"
Edit: at the moment Taurus is a bit Tipsy, about a 3 on the 1-10 drunk scale

Caldaq nods back at Jacopo and Taurus as he approaches . He glances over at the mages and shakes his head slightly. They were all very clannish and usually looked down their nose at him (an impressive feat since most were a head shorter than he) and rarely dialoged. He had been trained to support them, knew common spell ranges and blast radii and was taught to raise is shield to receive touch spells or cover for others to do so. But he had never fought alongside one. You can't spar with fireballs. It was always buckets of ice water tossed on you when you crossed an invisible line after the 'mage' yelled 'burning hands!' or some such nonsense. Burning hands... what a stupid name.

"Well, I got my gear laid out and polished it all twice. I don't know if there's much else to do but get a little drunk and pick a fight. This reminds me of a story I read of the night after the Time of Troubles began. Magic was dead, the gods were silent and the Knights of Suzail gathered their forces expecting the final battle at the end of the world. They waited and waited. Dawn came and no great battle happened. They had stayed up all in full regailia and had drunk all the wine only to stumble around in the morning light as the peasants went about their morning rounds. There eventually were battles and a great mass of death and torment, but it came on it's own time and not when it was expected." He scatches his fuzzy but not fully bearded chin, "I wonder if the moral is that evil is a terrible house guest?"

Genuinely laughing at the final joke of Caldaq, the halfling turns his attention to the ape. For all the staring his limp gains the boy, Roscoe really has nothing to complain about. Who would want to live their lives as a freak of nature? Not at home in the wild, not at home in the cities, no people to speak of.. It was saddening really. Still, sometimes Vaki was a fool, and other times there needs to be a fool. Forcing his eyes and attention back to the conversation at hand,

I understand that all to well Japaco.
My family will get along just fine without me, so long as they remember the important of training these hounds properly.
As for myself, as long as I have little Grey here, I believe we will be fine.
After all, we can't fail, this place needs a hero or two.
Am I right?

“We'll get our chance to make a difference,” agreed Jacopo as he leaned slightly towards the Wolfhound, holding out his hand as Roscoe had taught him to do so that Grey could get a get a good sniff “... though I can tell that mother would prefer if I came back safe, sound and still in one piece; rather than as a hero.” Jacopo and Grey had already been introduced, so the gesture was more akin to asking permission to give the hound a scratch behind the ears.

The red-haired youth threw the Halfling a curious look. “What's the first thing you would like to do once we are out, if leisure served?”

Vaki pads his way over to the congregating group. When he walks, he walks on all fours, his knees bent and his hands and feet making little noise as they make their way across the rough stone floor. He settles down in front of Roscoe and Grey, looking into the hound's eyes. Truth is, Vaki quite likes Grey, having a natural affinity for animals, and although when they first met he feared the dog, soon they had bonded. He never really got to know the dog's owner, though. He reaches out and one hairy hand pats the dog on the top of the head, then his face turns to the rest of the group as he pets the dog. "Hey guys! What's with all the serious talk? Come on! Forget about tomorrow: It'll come when it'll come, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. Instead we gotta live in the now! Don't be all stern-faced like that!" After dispensing his wisdom, he looks around at all of their faces, as if expecting them to act upon his advice immediately.

Glancing around as Zeph realizes he is no longer alone, but rather there are a number of individuals nearby...He had barely even registered the fact that time had passed as he was absorbed in his thoughts. Shaking his head at his own foolishness, Zephilonious lets out a soft sigh before smiling once more, it was his responsibility to appear confident and strong for everyone else. "As for the wine...I think there shall be more than enough head-aches come morning as it is. I have much studying I will have to do this evening before I sleep, I believe it would be in my best interest to avoid alcoholic intake. As for the ladies...There will be plenty of time for such dalliances when we have returned victorious."

It was not something Zephilonious thought of often, but during these troubled times he remains uncertain whether he wishes to risk the possibility of a child. Better to wait and see how the world is shaped by the upcoming events, he is young yet and has plenty of time to decide such things. Offering a smile to the Dragonblooded man he'd look in the direction of the Soldiers before looking back to the man. "You will have to be careful, we both know you have a tendency to take wild risks, remember that many lives are on your shoulders my friend."

Looking up at the approach of Vaki he'd offer the stange monkey-like man his polite smile as he did everyone. Being a scholar in many fields, Zephilonious found the man particularly interesting in his studies of the Planes and different Realities and numerous other theories, his mentors would on occasion mention the monkey-man. "My apologies good Sir, it can be difficult to live in the 'now' when you must always be thinking of tomorrow." The way Zeph said it was quite literal, he had been a part of the Wizard's group in charge of making sure there was always enough supplies for everyone, having to know when they were running low and how best to compensate...Every day Zephilonious was responsible for helping make sure there was another day.

“You cannot stop it, but there's much to be gained in preparing and being as ready as possible for it Vaki.” Jacopo did not have the full breath of logistic responsibilities that fell upon the War Wizards, but as a Purple Dragon he was expected to be able to bivouac in the field for a few days. That meant ensuring equipment was always kept in good state, that provisions were rationed properly and a myriad of other things... of course, much of it had been simulations and war exercises, yet the practice had very real reasons to it.

Despite the fact that everyone knew almost everyone else in the shelter (by sight, at the very least), the red-haired youth had not conversed much with the sentient monkey, mainly due to conflicting duties. Once Grey had given his still outstretched hand a long, wet lick with his tongue, Jacopo proceeded to give the wolfhound a good rub behind the ears. “What would you do, if we come across others of your kind and they clamoured for you to join them?”

The question was addressed to Vaki, the tone a mixture of earnestness and curiosity that hinted at no hidden implications, merely a reflection that out of everyone present, he might be called to make more difficult choices than the humans.


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