Going Away for Awhile [Merlana, Gauss, mzipser, MzNurse, ShadowRidley]

Astaban shrugs, then says, "Just throwing ideas out. It would be helpful to have those maps."

"Well, I sure don't look rich myself", Karn says,"Wouldn't like to be wearing any fancy clothes either. Gets in the way."

He throws a combination of very fast air punches.

"Need to keep myself free. You know?"

He smiles, "But I don't look like any woodland guide type either so I better keep to a story about my being some poor city guy who hooked up with the rest of you when the army came through."

The portly young man leans back and takes another long swallow, finishing his goblet. He immediately pours another large drink from the jug, then holds it up.

"Anyone else want a drink?"

A minute or two later, the halfling returns to the room. Trailing behind him is a young human woman; as soon as she's full inside, the halfling closes the door. "This is Talia. She's been to River Forge a few times, though not on company business. She should be able to help you out with some of the finer details of your plan. As for maps, the quartermasters are assembling them now."


Talia is a short, beautiful young woman, with short, stylish brown hair, and wearing a simple, if expensive looking red dress, chosen to show off her slender build to best advantage. She followed the halfling into the room, swaying slightly as she walked, obviously a little drunk. When he spoke about her, she frowned, and gave the others in the room a quick once over. "Did you have to tell them my name?", she hissed at him, furious. "They didn't need to know." She scowled at him for a second more, and then turned back to the others, smiling apologetically. "Forgive me, all of this cloak and dagger stuff makes me nervous, especially when people I don't know are just given all my secrets as though it were nothing." She took a deep breath, seeming to work up her nerve, and introduced herself.

"As short-stuff here mentioned," she smiled disarmingly at the halfling, "I'm Talia Callow. I don't much like talking about my past, but I've been to River Forge, and spent some time there. I was led to believe that would be important. Little-bit has asked me to accompany you, and while I suspect that I don't have much of a choice, you look like a capable bunch. May I know your names, and something about you?"

The halfling's mouth curls up ever so slightly, but he says nothing.

A heavyset young man with bowl cut straight black hair pours some wine into a goblet, stands up surprisingly gracefully for someone of his girth, and hands it to Talia. He wears no armor, just standard, loose clothing and carries no obvious weapons.

Taking up his own goblet, he takes a drink and says. "I'm Karn. Karn Lee. You want to know something about me, huh? Well, until recently I was a student at the school of my Uncle Chan where I learned to use my fists, my feet, my whole body as my weapon. I left because we had some ... disagreements .. about my hobbies."

He pats his belly, "Hobbies like eating ... alot."

He drains the goblet in one go, "And drinking ... alot."

He bows and says, "Welcome to our little group."


Talia leaned forward to accept the goblet and lost her balance, clutching the offering hand for support. "My goodness, but you're a big man aren't you?" Talia almost purred as she looked Karn up and down before slowly and reluctantly letting go. "I think I'll be sticking near you while we travel. A girl can come to some harm out there without someone big around." She looked down at the halfling, "Present company excepted of course!" She lifted the goblet to her lips with a grateful smile before lowering it again. "And so thoughtful!"

Karn blushes as Talia leans on him, "Uhh ... sure ... I ... ummmm"

A tall, lanky man, with messy brown hair, extends his hand and says, "Astaban. Pleased to meet you."

Astaban looks to be holding in a laugh as he watches Talia interact with Karn.



The name sounds like it is being caressed in her mouth. When she saw him offer his hand to shake, she stepped forward a little too closely for comfort, and lightly placed her small hand inside his handshake, trilling her fingers against his palm. She held his hand and looked into his eyes, seeming to ask a question, give a challenge, and a welcome, all at the same time.

"Astaban, my mother always told me to watch out for the men who don't brag, and don't talk about themselves. For the first time, I get the impression that she might have been right about something. I'm going to have to keep my eyes on you," she smiled again, a little wickedly, "but I wonder if it will do me any good."


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