Sword and Axe Tavern (Pre-game)

Sword and Axe Tavern (Pre-game)

This inn and tavern is a popular hangout of adventurers, run by a retired warrior. The two story building of wood and stone features a large open taproom and private meeting rooms. Lodging is available on the second floor. Other patrons include guardsmen and people looking to hire mercenaries and adventurers. More than a few of the staff are retired adventurers and some of their campaign memorabilia and trophies are decorating the walls. There is a small stage in the taproom for the occasional bard or minstrel to perform.

Tcheperak made her way carefully among the crowd, careful not to bump into anyone for fear of giving offense. She took a seat at the bar, keeping mostly to herself. When the bartender made his way to her, she ordered a small glass of mead and asked if he knew who was hiring.

"There's a few folks around," the aging dwarf replied. "If you're looking to make some easy money, there's some caravaneers looking for guards over in that corner." He pointed to a pair of humans talking earnestly with a scarred, hulking half-orc. "Otherwise, just look for anyone with a welcoming smile and an empty chair."

"Thanks muchly," replied the tengu, settling down to observe the room and enjoy her drink before she approached anyone. If she was lucky, she might be able to pick out a partner before getting hired.

Chirp's belly rumbled. He looked down at it and patted his vocal stomach and then fished into his pockets for some money. Perfect! Enough copper for a drink and some dessert! Chirp quickly climbed on top of a nearby cart to get a look over the crowd. Seeing the sign for the Sword and Axe, he jumped off the cart and darted his way through the legs of the crowd hardly noticed, except for when his bow caught on a woman's dress. He slipped into the tavern before she could realize who had done it, though.

Upon entering the tavern, Chirp began making his way to the bar. Zipping around stumbling drunks, side-stepping waitresses, and taking shortcuts under tables. Finding an open seat at the bar, Chirps climbs it and initially sits down. He soon realizes that the bartender can probably barely see his eyes peering over the bar and resolves to stand on it. "Ummm... hello.. hi. I'd like... uh..." Chirp fishes out his copper pieces. "Could I get a light ale and whatever dessert this can get me? Perferrable a berry pie!"

"Aye, that'll be more than enough," the dwarf replies. He tries to give Chirp his change, but he insists the dwarf keeps it as a tip. "Much obliged."

While waiting for his food Chirp looked around the bar, finding himself 'sitting' next to a tengu. His eyes immediately widened in a slight awe. He'd only seen a few of the tengu before, and he'd never actually been so close to one before. "Um.. hello! I'm.. uh.. I'm Chirp. Your... your feathers... are... pretty?" His intended compliment comes out almost as a question as he soon realizes he is speaking to someone who he not only doesn't know, but may not care to know him. And his social anxiety soon sets in. Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn. Just please don't hit me, just please don't hit me. Not like that big scary human did last time.

The unexpected sight of the Grippli was enough to make Tcheperak hungry, though she seized that emotion quickly and melted it with a concentration technique. She noticed the looks that everyone was giving the little amphibious humanoid, looks of curiosity, and was glad that they were not directed at her for once.

At the compliment, her neck feathers ruffled with pleasure. "Thank you," she replied. "I spent some time on them this morning. I don't always have time when traveling, but when I go looking for a job I try to look my best." She took another swallow of mead, then set down the glass. "Tcheperak Eastbreeze," she said, gesturing to herself.

Oh thank the marsh, she didn't hit me. Chirp's neck swells with air and makes a quick series of chirping noises. "That's uh... that's my clan-name, but most everybody I meet calls me Chirp." Chirp's ale and pie arrive and he excitedly takes a large bite out of it. "Ah sthuppothe ehts eeshier tuh sthay." After realizing he's speaking with a mouthful, he quickly swallows it and asks, "What kind of work do you do?" He then promptly takes another bite of his pie, washed down with some ale, and followed by a croak of a burp. "Excuse me."

Chirp was well aware most had noticed him by now being up on the bar stool for all to see. It unnerved him for so many to be watching him intently, but he had grown somewhat accustomed to it. In his time traveling he had only met one other Grippli after all, and he was a right bugger.

"Well, Chirp," she responded, "I've done a few things recently, guarding caravans and such, hunting bandits, pretty much anything that someone's hiring for. If my blades could be useful, and the pay's right, I'm in." She briefly considered telling Chirp the story she'd invented about killing a pack of robbers on her own, but decided it would be more effective on a prospective employer. Unless...

Finishing her mead, she eyed Chirp's bow and arrows. "I don't suppose you're any good with that? Only, most people aren't looking for just one person to hire. Increases your chances if there's two or three of you already together."

Chirp puts down his ale and touches his bow. "This? Yes, I'm quite good with it. My family makes up most of the clan's trappers and hunters, and my father taught me to hunt." He grips it tightly, looking at it. "He gave it to me for my rite...." After a moment, the reason for the question clicks. "Oh! You mean for a job?" Chirp stops and gives it thought for a moment. "I've done some work with it. Mostly scouting and marking paths, things like that, and I'm a decent shot." He fumbles around in his pockets a bit. "And I could use the money.... That's if you are looking for a partner and I'mjustnotramblingsorry."

"As a matter of fact, that's exactly what I was saying." Tcheperak turned on her stool so that she had her back to the bar, and looked out at the crowded tavern. "If you're interested, I'm a great negotiator. We'll just have to pick the right employer." She smirked. "Neither of us are exactly musclebound, so we can't just hire onto any old caravan gig. Maybe a halfling..."

No prospects immediately caught her eye, however, and she shrugged. "Anyway, we should get our act together before we approach anyone. I'm Tcheperak Eastbreeze, accomplished swordwoman for hire." As she reintroduced herself, a subtle change came over her. Her shoulders squared, making her look tougher, somehow, and her beak caught the light in a way that made it seem sharp. Her hands, casually resting on her belt, seemed eager to pull her blades from their sheaths. Then she relaxed, and chuckled. "All a matter of presentation. And, of course, being able to keep it together when things drop in the pot for real. What do you think? Want to give it a try?"

Chirp took a big gulp, swallowing the last of his ale and pie. Presentation, huh? He gave himself a once over, still standing on the bar stool, and nodded in agreement to himself. Chirp then began brushing some of the dirt off of his pants and feet, straightening his bow, quiver and satchel, and made sure his belt was nice and tight. Then, taking an arrow out of his quiver, Chirp pricked his finger and used the blood to make some quick markings on his face. Letting out a single, low and throaty croak, "Chirp, experienced trapper, tracker and scout," puffing out his neck and putting his hands on his hips. "Uh... how was that?"

"Not bad," Tcheperak replied, hiding her surprise. "I was going to say the blood is a bit much, but actually it works for you. Maybe don't puff up so much, though; scouts should be a tad understated, since part of their job is to be stealthy."

She checked her blades once more, then scanned the crowd again. There had to be someone... there! She leaned in closer to Chirp, gesturing with her beak. "What do you think of that gnomish fellow, in the corner?"


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