In the Dark

 
Sofia looks from one man to another and a small smile plays on her lips. She could join them if only for the camaraderie those who drink together experience, but she never could both drink and stay lucid, so she just stays silent.

When the sound of the steps comes from behind the door she tenses up, but when the sound starts to fade a frown crosses her face.

"This is ridiculous." Sofia mutters under her nose as she comes to the door and opens it. "Excuse me, when will somebody come to talk to us?"

Looking out the door, you see a pair of individuals from the holding room being led down the corridor by the same robed halfling who guided you to your current location. You can't tell whether he heard you and is ignoring you, or just didn't hear you, but his pace does not slow. One of the individuals, a middle-aged woman with a stout build and ruddy complexion glances over her shoulder, but then hurries to keep up with her companion.

OOCMy unusual posting frequency today is on account of jury duty, which so far has consisted of sitting in a room waiting to be called... for 5 hours.

Annette looks toward Sofia with panicked disdain. She, too, was getting a bit restless waiting like that, but saw no reason to be so confrontational about it.

Annette remembers one time, ages ago now, when she was alone with her thoughts in the woods, her father's bow in her hands. The calming effect it had on her to just aim at fruits and flowers in trees. There was a soothing nature to lining up a shot just right. Somehow, that effect was lost when ever she targeted rabbits, squirrels and other creatures of the forest...

"Well, we now know the names of Sikhandyn and Karn Lee. Before we get further separated, why not the rest of us introduce ourselves?"

She waited one awkward moment before blurting out, "I'm Annette. I...I'm new to the area."

Sofia sighs and turns back to the room closing the door behind her. She obviously isn't happy with the situation but her face softens as soon as she looks back at her companions.

"My name is Sofia. And I think pretty much everyone here is new to this particular area,"
she answers Annette with a warm smile. Sofia was silent for a few seconds, then looks like he just remebers something (that "something" was, in fact, her clerical duties). "Oh my. Where are you staying?"

Sikhandyn only had time to drink a sip of wine before his attention was diverted by the footsteps outside.

The Last Dragon, eh? He thought. He wondered if the owner of the restaurant had checked whether the name he had chosen was valid. One day, they will find his charred body and his restaurant razed to the ground... Sikhandyn thought. And on the sign, the words 'Not Quite' shall be written above the usual name. Good thing Karn Lee here left on time, that restaurant is as doomed as if they were selling misfortune cookies.

"Thanks, Karn Lee - that was indeed refreshing" Sikhandyn said, handing the flask back to its owner with a polite nod and a delighted smile. He then turned to those members of the party who had not yet introduced themselves, his eyes filled with curiosity.

Scanning the room, Astaban looks to be pensive, as if trying to decide whether to stay in the corner, where he was standing after being led into the room, or sit down on the bench adjoining the table.

Astaban, after a moment of indecision, slowly comes forward at the sound of the footsteps. He walks towards Karn Lee and asks, "The name is Astaban. May I have a sip of wine?"

The door opens without warning, and the dark-robed figure glides into the room soundlessly. He glides across the floor and sits in the chair at the head of the table, then takes out a roll of parchment from the folds of his heavy velvet garment. As he unrolls the parchment to reveal a map, you can see his hands for the first time. They are lithe, almost bony, and covered in pale, faded scars.

He begins speaking without any preamble, in the same sonorous voice you heard in the holding room. "The Black Crocus is in need of gemstones, particularly diamonds, to carry out its operations. Our information network has located a mining operation, recently abandoned, in the southwest region of the Principality of Merui. This part of Merui has already been captured by Bar-astan, although it appears the abandonment occurred earlier; we do not anticipate any imperial interference. Your task is to seek out the mine and obtain as many gems of value as possible. Coins and precious metals are a secondary target.

"Our quartermaster will provide you with such supplies as you require, including maps and horses. In payment, you will receive ten percent of the coinage returned, as well as any other equipment you acquire in the venture.

"Any questions?"


The hood rises slightly, though you cannot make out any facial features to see if he is looking at you.

Astaban jumps slightly at the sudden opening of the door. After giving the newcomer a once-over, he slowly makes his way over to the table.

While listening to the man speak, he stares at the man, glancing from time to time at the map. He seems to study the man's hands and robes, as if trying to discern something, anything, about the stranger.

Astaban is startled again by the man's sudden cessation of speaking. He looks thoughtful for a moment, as if to ask a question, then falls silent again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauss View Post
Scanning the room, Astaban looks to be pensive, as if trying to decide whether to stay in the corner, where he was standing after being led into the room, or sit down on the bench adjoining the table.

Astaban, after a moment of indecision, slowly comes forward at the sound of the footsteps. He walks towards Karn Lee and asks, "The name is Astaban. May I have a sip of wine?"
Handing the flask to Astaban, Karn says, "Have more than a sip if you want."

Sikhandyn listened carefully to the dark-robed figure.

"I have a question. Do we know why the mining operations were abandoned in the first place?" the young man asked. "If there are still gemstones to be found in the mine, it seems strange that the locals would deliberately suspend their work there... Unless they decided to abandon the region altogether ahead of the invasion."




 

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