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Open Rishoka Beast in the Backwoods

I fight monsters, and I became one

Anara Dorn

Character
Old Empire Citizen
Rank
Equestrian
Job
Monster Slayer
Gender
Female
Age
Mid Twenties
Marital Status
Single
Character Profile
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OOC
Wanderer
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Anara strode through the soft rain, her hood pulled up over her platinum blonde hair, casting a shadow over her face that her bright blue eyes pierced as the girl watched her surroundings. The road was long and the rain fell in fat droplets from the leaves throughout the forest in the waning afternoon. The girl’s boots squelched in the mud with each step as she walked the main road, marred by wagon ruts and a myriad of footfalls being washed away by the rain, heading towards the small village still some ways in the distance. Behind her Aldritch plodded through the mood with a soft whinny whenever his hooves sunk too deep.

She breathed deeply, scenting the air for anything unfamiliar through the mist bound wood, summer heat already evaporating some of the rain even as it fell from the sky. The land was overcast and dreary, deprived of any true presence from the Empire as was the fate of the backwater villages in the colder parts of the southern continent Anara had seen since leaving her mentor’s hovel.

Her nostrils filled with the scents of a hundred animals, woodland plants and fungi, the smells of the forest as expected. No large predator stalked her from upwind that she could scent for now, though she always remained on guard, the thick muscles on her arms and legs tense and ready to explode into action if need be, ears perked to unusual noise even through the rain. Aldritch plodded on through the mud and puddles behind her, the tall black horse ready to be out of the rain and free of his saddle after a long day’s travel from their last camp.

Her stride was long, for she was on the tall side for a human woman, with long legs wrapped in a pair of riding trousers she had mended more times than she cared to count. Tears, patches, and magical mends scarred her pants. She wore a red and black coat that extended to her knees with slits in the front and sides that fared better, seemingly well maintained and made from more expensive cloth, bearing ring mail on her torso and brigandine around her shoulders and neck, obscured partially by red leather. She wore a thick charcoal grey cloak over her shoulders to cover her from the rain, though it was clear she was still wet from her travels. Over her back she carried a long sword and at her waist an arming sword. Her bow and quiver were still slung over her saddle horn, carried by the aging black horse she led by the reins. He was large and muscular, clearly well cared for and well groomed, but age had begun to show around his eyes and muzzle, the onslaught of time slowly taking its toll on the large courser.

Outside the palisade walls a few small farms dotted the clearing before the little village, a cottage and pen, sometimes just a chicken coop near the homestead. A water wheel in the creek turned the stone mill situated just outside of town, wheat fields stretching out on the other side of the bank, already being reaped this time of year. No more than a hundred people could have called this place home, so many miles from Myr. Her boots pressed through the mud in the hopes of getting out of the rain and finding some supplies she had for so long lived without. Hardtack, cured meats. Her mouth salivated at the memory of bacon that seemed so long ago when her mentor had last prepared it for her.

The scent of blood and rot tickled her nose as she neared a small farm just before the wooden palisade that surrounded the village and azure eyes darted in the direction of the scent. She could see lumps of white and brown in the small pasture behind it, a destroyed fence near the edges of the forest. Instinctively Anara turned to inspect the scent and the scene, approaching it with her horse carefully. She found a small family, a man in his thirties and wife a few years older than she. Three children helped hitch and drag the corpses of the three cows, each eviscerated into pieces, their stomachs and guts shredded by whatever befouled them. The wife, having noticed the presence of the well-dressed and armed stranger made her way through the small field to greet Anara.

How goes?” She asked, pulling her own cloak tighter. Anara could see the man grabbing his woodcutter’s axe and watching closely but making no other moves or aggressions. Cautiously he waited to see Anara’s intentions.

Hmm?” Anara murmured, turning her attention away from the scene. “What happened?” An odd scent excited her nostrils as she approached, one she had not smelt before now.

Dunno stranger, something got into the pasture last night and got our dairy cows. Calves must have fled into the woods, anything I can do for you?” She held out her hand politely, “Name's Marina, my husband back there is Jakob.

Anara looked at the outstretched appendage for a moment before casting her eyes back to the scene. She tied Aldritch to the wooden fencing, draping his reins over it and back around. He was a good horse, well trained to stand and wait for her or answer her whistle even if he was tied. “Did you see what it looked like?” She asked, her voice melodic and calm, unaware of any faux pas she had committed.

Marina, seeing her gesture was ignored, put her hand by her side. “Fraid not. Look, I’m sure Jakob wouldn’t mind a helping hand if’n you’re willing to. Unfortunately we ain’t got any money to spare with our herd killed.

Anara waved her off with a hand, and turned away from the farm, her attention back to the village. The odd scent intrigued her enough to investigate further, but only after she found a stable for her horse and a tavern to dry off by a fire. The woman seemed to understand the warrior-woman was leaving and frowned, turning back to her family who went about their task, Anara trudging through the mud and rain into the tiny walled village. At the gate, or what passed for a gate sitting between ends of the wooden stakes, a trio of armed guards stood underneath a covering of linen hung between two rods to keep the rain off the gatekeepers. They noticed Anara walk past, but other than a paltry acknowledgement the three of them did not halt their own private conversation to interrupt her stride past them. The scant gathering of houses and stores were largely closed up due to the rain, however some peasants worked at chopping wood or tending small window gardens despite the weather, praying to get extra warmth or another morsel of food for their supper. Blue eyes observed them quietly, stalking past the small merchant’s section, a few wagons and stalls around a single store just before the main square.

In the square, the tavern and stable sat to the west side among the handful of buildings, across from the Judge’s hall where the leader of the town dealt with miscreants and organized his enforcers. The Judge’s hall was the largest building in the village, combining a two story barracks and a small watch tower that rose up above the trees and buildings. No doubt a bell laid within to ring out warnings should the village face danger. A pair of guards stood on either side of the door, visible but not doing much. Anara wondered whether their presence was meant to bestow protection to the townsfolk or simply to remind them who possessed the power in their little community. She turned to lead Aldritch to the stables beside the tavern, passing his reins off to a stable boy without a word.

The tavern was a bit smaller than the Judge’s Hall, but did have two stories. Inside, Anara could smell the cornucopia of cooked foods, something she had not had in some time. Cheeses, ales, meats, vegetables, and stew. The main room seemed to host entertainment from time to time, such as dancers or music, but was largely left bare aside from the bar and fireplace. No merriment drifted from the building for now, just quiet and worry among the peasants and guards gathered within, escaping the rain.

Her ears perked up at a conversation near the bar as she found a chair near the fireplace to cast off her cloak and lay the scabbard of her longsword beside it, hoping to dry her hair and soaked clothes. “Did you hear Jakob’s cows got killed?” The gruff old man gossiped.

Aye, and only a week after Nels lost all his pigs. Place is getting dangerous for animals, must be a lion or a wolf pack. Hopefully Judge Craw gets his lads together soon to do something about ‘em before it's not just livestock that gets killed.

Anara cast her eyes into the blaze, losing herself to her thoughts, rolling a single silver coin through her fingers as she contemplated her next move. Hunt, why did it always seem to be hunt?

A thin smile flitted across her lips, she didn't mind the hunt. She reveled in it.
 
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I fight monsters, and I became one

Anara Dorn

Character
Old Empire Citizen
Rank
Equestrian
Job
Monster Slayer
Gender
Female
Age
Mid Twenties
Marital Status
Single
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Wanderer
Messages
9
Reactions
3
Anara sat quietly near the fire, her blue eyes watching it closely even as patrons around her moved and settled at the table near her to share in the warmth of the hearth. Their presence was little distraction from the girl and her thoughts, dwelling on her upbringing and apprenticeship. Know your foe was one of the early lessons that her mentor had drilled into her while they had lived in the wilderness together. Hunting and fighting wasn’t all about luck or skill, but including knowledge and preparation. Even a poor swordswoman could best a veteran gladiator in the right situation with the right tools. If a foe is weak at a distance but fierce in close quarters it pays to play to their weaknesses and keep them from closing in until the right opportunity to strike. Before she could act on her hunt, she needed to investigate some, unfortunately in the rain, tracks and scent would be difficult to follow even for her.

For now, it was a waiting game. Observe, gather information, and recover from her long journey through the wilds. The girl grunted, lifting her leg up to cross it over her other, placing the toe of one boot at the heel of the other to loosen it and shove the footwear off. It fell to the boards with a thud, followed shortly by the other as the wild woman got comfortable in her chair by the fire.

It was not until food was served to the table behind her that she became distracted from her thoughts. Like a hungry dog, she scented the air, taking in the smell of cooked chicken, fresh baked bread, and sauteed vegetables being placed behind her. She drew in a deep breath, closing her eyes and let a satisfied smile smear across her face. Her stomach rumbled and growled, reminding her that her last meal had been raw rabbit more than a day ago and that it had been empty for some time. The clinking of silverware alerted her to the morsels with more earnestness and the snow-maned girl rose to her feet, padding across the wood floor with just her socks on, trousers still damp from the rain until she found someone holding plates and giving them to patrons. “Yes, I would like food too.” Anara said to the younger girl holding a tray of meals.

The girl smiled, issuing a half-laugh from her throat as she laid a pair of plates in front of two town guards. “Yeah, don’t we all.” She agreed, nodding her head towards the bar. “Go pay up there, they’ve got a few things available.

Anara’s brow furrowed quizzically, questioning the purpose of sending her away when the girl was holding a plate laden with perfectly edible portions already in her possession. Nonetheless, Anara did turn and scamper to the bar eagerly, “Hello, I would like food please.” She said, trying her best to be polite to the elderly man working behind it, in the hopes he would placate her growing hunger pains.

Gruffly, he regarded the young barefoot girl before him, raising an eyebrow. She was still armed and armored, with a long hunting knife on her belt and ringmail visible around her torso. “We’ve got chicken or goat, choice of bread or biscuits, choice of fruit or vegetables.” He responded after a thoughtful moment. “All of it is three sestertius for a meal.

Sestertius?” She asked, looking at the silver coin in her hand, “I would like it all, please. Here.” She handed the coin to the man who took it and eyed the young woman.

Still need two sesterius.” He responded, rolling his eyes at her with exasperation, probably remembering how much he didn’t like foreigners despite her local accent.

Oh,” Anara cast her blue eyes down into her pouch and produced a handful of coins, all that Sir Darrick had left her when age took him last winter. It admittedly was not a grand sum, but a trio of gold coins rolled out along with several other silver denarius and sestartius and a lone copper quadran. “Which of these is that?” She asked, snapping her attention back to meet the gaze of the shopkeeper.

Uh, those ones.” He replied eying the gold but pointing to the small sestartius she had splayed out.

Happily, Anara grabbed two of the small silver coins and passed them to the old man, scooping her other coins back up and shoving them back into her coin purse beside her component pouch and waterskin. “Thank you, food please.

It’ll take a few minutes to cook it. Fiora will bring it out to you when its done. Would you like a drink?” He asked, noticing several other patrons were looking up from empty mugs. But they’d still be there when he was done, and her gold wouldn’t likely stick around forever. “Perhaps a room for the night?

Anara tilted her head, much like a lupine creature might when regarding someone. “Hmm. Yes!” She decided with a simple exclamation, withdrawing another denarius from her pouch and placing it on the bar. “One drink please.” She turned without waiting further, having already been instructed to wait at her seat and without specifying what she wanted. Such was beyond her understanding of social interactions as she padded back across the tavern and returned to her chair comfortably, plopping her feet up on the warm stones of the fireplace.
 
I fight monsters, and I became one

Anara Dorn

Character
Old Empire Citizen
Rank
Equestrian
Job
Monster Slayer
Gender
Female
Age
Mid Twenties
Marital Status
Single
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Wanderer
Messages
9
Reactions
3
The white maned girl curled her sock covered toes against the warm, dry stones contendedly, shrugging her shoulders and stretching her arms and legs taunt to pull the muscles tight and then relaxed again. The other patrons occasionally regarded her, casting glances in her direction but otherwise left her be. She was a stranger and everyone else in the tavern probably lived nearby, or in the little village. Her instincts told her they were wary of the presence of an armed woman wandering into their home during the rainy season.

She supposed the Legions never ventured this far away from the main roads and it was unlikely they had ever seen anything more than small detachments of Speculatores and Equites riding through to check on them rarely, or quartermasters to fetch promised supplies for the Legions located in Myr. To them, this lone woman probably stood out as a mercenary of sorts, which Anara was in some manner, though she usually did not require monetary reward to assist someone in need. And based on her sight of the mauling of the cattle outside the palisade this town was indeed beset by some form of evil the white-haired girl intended to root out.

But not until she had rested and recovered from her journey.

Anara found herself reminiscing about her lessons a few winters back when Darrick was teaching her mathematics, a subject she hated. He had tried his best to ensure she had some academic knowledge as he had told her that was the foundation of a person, but arithmetic she loathed. Multiplication and division especially. But he had been resolute in his lessons, offering her sweets and cured meat when she would suffer through them as well as refusing to continue her sword training until she managed to grind the information into her head. She smiled to herself, remembering her mentor fondly, though there were obvious holes in the knowledge he had managed to pass on to her. Like denominations of money throughout the Empire, which made buying her supplies difficult.

As she sat in silence, the young woman serving food and drinks to tables passed by Anara carrying her plates, though the portions weren’t large it still seemed like a lot of food to the ordinary tavern goer. In addition to the two plates laden with meat, vegetables, fruits, and several pieces of bread, there was a bottle of reddish purple liquid and a cup made from a cow horn on the tray she carried. “Here you are love,” the girl, Fiora, said with a kind smile as she placed the meals and drink behind the young woman on the table.

Incited by the presence of food, her stomach rumbled voraciously, lifting Anara to sit up and turn in her chair awkwardly to face the table where two other patrons had found seats across from her, slowly enjoying their own food. The girl smiled widely and nodded her head, leaving Anara with her plates and what passed for silverware in the town. However, Anara cared not for the primitive stabbing instrument and knife, taking the first piece of fire-cooked chicken in her hands and gnawing on it savagely, only taking a break from the meat to grab up a handful of sauteed vegetables to shove into her mouth, lacking all table manners.

After eating the chicken thigh, cracking bones and cartilage with her teeth and to ensure she sucked out the marrow and chewed off every morsel of edible food Anara tasted the chilled berries, some reddish looking ones she tasted carefully, tearing apart her bread to sop up juice that had escaped her chicken and vegetables off the plate as she reached for the next part of poultry that would be her prey for the night, grinning wolfishly at the two patrons across from her that watched with some horror as the pretty young girl ate like some kind of animal. Anara carefully sniffed the cup of juice, smelling the sweetness of the fermented grapes before downing the entire vessel, some of the wine running down from the corners of her mouth and chin as the ravishing girl tore apart more chicken to continue satiating her hunger.
 
...

Dubh Splinterbane

Character
Cathwa Nation Citizen
Job
Scoundrel
Gender
Male
Age
29
Marital Status
Single
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Tic
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Long peels of thunder rolled outside the tavern's windows, the storm blotting out the stars and celestial bodies entirely. Only during sporadic lightning flashes were the broiling skies briefly illuminated. In contrast, the establishment's interior was remarkably warm and inviting, all manner of exotic aromas wafting from the kitchen and intermingling with the intoxicating scent of ale. Yet despite the warmth of the hearth crackling merrily at one of the room and the barkeep's skill at pouring a draught, the atmosphere inside was subdued, even somewhat tense.

This general malaise finely suited Dubh's mood, which had over the past few days and nights turned just as sour as the weather. It had been nearly a fortnight since they had weighed anchor in Rhisoka, hired muscle for a wealthy slave merchant out of Setasut. Expediency had been a key factor in the job's attractiveness. The journey across Tyrfars Strait and around the Slaver Islands would take a few days at most, and then (as the portly merchant repeatedly avowed), it was a single night in Rhisoka before returning home. Indeed, the old man had promised generous wages, seemingly quite eager to procure the protective services of an orc.

"Won't have to do a thing but stand there!" he had proclaimed after another mighty pull of wine.

Something in his ruddy complexion and eager demeanor had set Dubh ill at ease, but ultimately had proved too generous to pass up and before long, he was marveling at the great towers of Rhisoka as they emerged from the horizon. Once the merchant's barge had docked, things had moved at a dazzling pace. The merchant had led him through a dizzying series of thoroughfares, courtyard and alleys and into a district dominated by great, expansive warehouses.

Their contacts seemed to materialize from the shadows themselves, dark men of grim intentions. Vulpine eyes swept over his foolish employers before landing on his massive bodyguard. Dubh could sense the moving of hands towards hilts and responded in kind. His gloved fist curled around the grip of his great schimitar when their contact abruptly called for peace. Within moments the deal was done and the slaver was clapping him appreciatively on the back. There was talk of riches and wealth, of wine and women as he led the mystified orc back towards the harbour.

No sooner had their ship come into view, than the merchant bid Dubh farewell.

"I'll see you onboard in the morning my good man!" he announced, eyes glittering hungrily. "Tonight I'm destined for more welcoming accomodations!"

Dubh had dutifully retired aboard ship and had waited through most of the next morning. The sun was high above when he and several crewmates had descended into town to find what had become of their benefactor. It did not long to hear of his fate. Dead in a harlot's boudoir, a fine stiletto wedged neatly under one rib. Crestfallen, the crew resigned to return to Setasut without booty or prize. The first mate obstinately refused Dubh passage on the return voyage, citing presence of his "mongrel race" aboard as the ill omen that had caused the entire misadventure.

The orc had briefly entertained the idea of crushing the man's skull like an over-ripened gourd but saw little benefit in such violence. The crew would hardly be moved to compassion by such grisly negotiations. And so he had spent the following week in the city, trying to secure passage home to Cathwa. His fortunes remained as dismal as ever and after several days within the unwelcoming city walls, he had struck out for the backcountry.

And so the evening found Dubh in a foul mood indeed, his great bulk swaddled beneath thick, gray cloak in one of the tavern's far corners. He sat brooding in silence between great quaffs of ale from a wooden tankard. He slammed the mug down on the weathered table's surface, filling the hall with a hollow and resounding thwap!

The serving girl, a mousey blonde thing, clunched her tray tightly and started his way before behind stopped cold by the thick, calloused hand of the barkeep. A stern look passed between them before the barman abandoned his post and approached the massive patron.

"And I 'spose you'll be wontin' anuva?" he inquired, the distaste in remarkably stronger than the ale.

A collective moment of raw terror as the lumbering orc reached into the folds of his cloak was followed by sheepish relief as he tossed a pair of silver coins on the table. Somewhere behind the barkeep, a town guard watched and coughed into his fist. The barman flushed.

"Double for the likes o' you." he sneered.

Dubh's browned face darkened, the wide jaw tensing with cords of muscle. He rose from his seat and towered menacingly over the trembling barkeep. His keen ears could faintly detect the sound of swords being edged out of their sheaths. His narrow, predatory eyes bored into the man's own, violent portents flashing vividly within the wells of his pupils. His broad, thick brow furrowed and cast deep shadows over the lines of his features, splaying his hatred across his face with more efficacy than any artist's brush.

He tossed two more silvers on the table. The bartender's knees knocked loudly enough to be audible, but he scooped up the coins and made his way back to his station. The orc reclined into his chair and his dark musings once more.

Anara Dorn
 
...
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Snow
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Charlie had no particular destination in mind, she just followed her own path. Currently, it was treading through fields during a fierce storm. Luckily she had taken the form of a wolf, and her paws carried her steadily on. Her black fur was drenched, and mud sucked at her paws as she made her way. The howling of the wind and rain did not frighten or deter her.

Farms dotted the darkness, and she knew she would be getting to a small village at any moment, and the growl in her belly fueled her into a trot. She passed through a farm, the lights of the village finally lighting her way. Despite the rain, she stopped in her tracks. The smell of dead animal flooded her nose, and she paused to investigate. Mutilated cows lay in the muck, the farmers must not have been able to finish taking care of the carcasses before the rain. There were a lot, not something a wolf pack or the like would have done.

With a mental frown, she kicked her paws up into a trot again lupine eyes scanning the scenery with a more cautious air. She reached the village, giving her soaked fur a shake. Not that it would really matter. She shifted, smooth as glass. Where a dark wolf hid, out emerged a slender pale skinned red-head. Within seconds she was soaked to her skin.

She jogged to the tavern, it's pale light illuminating her skin as she entered. She stopped herself from trying to shake droplets off her skin, and scanned the tables. A girl near her age sat devouring what looked to be a meal of champions, and not far off a hulking figure graced another table. She could see he was being heckled a bit, and she frowned. Just because he was different, that apparently meant he was treated poorly. Just didn't sit right with her.

Being the rash thing she was. she passed by the feasting girl, and gave her a coy smile and a wink. She knew knew she was about to make some waves, why not encourage others to join in. With the boldness of a girl from the wilds, she slid herself into the seat across from the orc and gave him a sly smile. "Barkeep, I'll be buying the drinks for my old friend here for the night. I expect the same price as any other patron." She made sure she was loud, and assertive, her eyes flashing dangerously at the cheapskate of a barman. He made as if to argue, and she raised her eyebrow at him before he could even start to object. She motioned the barmaid to bring them a few drinks and then turned to her new...friend. "Name's Charlie, pleasure to meet you. What's the name of my new old friend? If I may ask?" She gave him a smirk, quite pleased with herself. She hoped the girl would join them, she seemed intriguing too. She also wanted to know if they had heard anything about the mutilated cattle as well.
 
I fight monsters, and I became one

Anara Dorn

Character
Old Empire Citizen
Rank
Equestrian
Job
Monster Slayer
Gender
Female
Age
Mid Twenties
Marital Status
Single
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Wanderer
Messages
9
Reactions
3
Anara grabbed up one of the biscuits her meal had been served with and carefully peeled it open, placing chilled fruits between the two pieces until she was satisfied with her creation, smooshing the pieces together. Fruit juice ran down the biscuit and onto her hands as the human girl ate voraciously, gnawing on the thigh of poultry between bites of her biscuit and gulps of the strong wine she had been served.

The fermented drink caused her cheeks to turn rosey red, liquid from her chicken and fruit juice dribbling down her hands and chin as she hungrily ate in the manner of an animal. Unfortunately for her now deceased mentor, he had never managed to teach her to eat properly, though usually when she wasn’t as starving or not lucky enough to be served a small banquet of vittles Anara was more careful and more reserved with the act of eating, but her animal instincts had taken over and were slowly receding, giving way to what was left of her humanity. Her ears perked up at the noise, a mug being slammed against a counter forcing her piercing blue eyes to look in the direction of the orc warrior.

She scented the air, her nostrils filling with scents of food, various patrons. She picked one out from the group, searching for the smell of orc. It was a flesh she had tasted and smelled before, though rarely. In these parts they were usually bandits or slaves she surmised. It was a musk that told of muscle, sea salt, and sweat. Grizzly meals, desert sands. She knew the scent, committing it to memory, and though her suspicions were piqued the huntress knew that it was not the smell of the entity that plagued this village. At least not the one that bothered their livestock.

The girl kept her expression neutral as she hefted the leg of goat and brought it to her lips, teeth gnashing the seared flesh from the bone. Anara’s eyes twisted to the door again as a young redheaded woman entered, dripping wet from the rain. As the woman passed her by the fireplace she smiled and did something with her eyes, the beast in Anara flashed her own teeth back at the newcomer, though she did not attempt a wink. Once more she sniffed the air, smelling the sweet scent of the newcomer’s passing. Bright blue eyes regarded her passing figure, but gave way to turn her attention back to her meal, pulling rare meat from the leg bone held in her hand.

Most of her meal sat devoured in a short span, only the marrow and meat of the goat and a few small scraps of bread and vegetables, along with most of the bottle of wine still left to imbibe. Meanwhile she listened to the newcomer greet the orc, confused by the play on words. The wild girl was not certain what was meant, but she knew the woman and the orc were not from these parts and seemingly they were companions.

Still barefoot and without her cloak or long sword slung over her back, Anara stood up. Her hunger wasn’t quite sated however Fiora was now dealing with other patrons elsewhere, some complaining about the presence of the orc and his stench though Anara found several of the locals to smell far worse than he. She padded across the wooden floor back to the bar to speak to the elderly man working behind it, pulling another bite of meat from her goat haunch as she approached. “Hello, yes. I would like something sweet, and more vegetables please!” Anara exclaimed to the man, her eyes turning to redhead and the orc once more, eyeing them closely as she waited for a response.

One denarius.” He said, “Uh, the larger silver coin.” The man explained to the well-dressed woman who seemingly did not know their coins despite her local accent. With a messy hand, the white-maned girl fished out her coins again, passing them to the bartender. “We gotta jam pastry with sugar and syrup or a slice of pound cake.

Anara mused for a moment still looking in the direction of the redhead, boring the woman with bright azure orbs as she considered the gesture the woman had made and her strange scent, before nodding her head. “Just the pastry, I still need to get supplies for the road.

Deciding to introduce herself she tore a bite from her meal once more, chewing it heartily as she spoke, “Anara Calventia Dorn, of Matrica.” The village was not one people would have heard of unless they had lived near Myr most of their lives. It had been abandoned even before she had found it years ago, the only residents going on a decade had been her and her mentor, and he usually had to ride elsewhere for supplies.
 
...

Dubh Splinterbane

Character
Cathwa Nation Citizen
Job
Scoundrel
Gender
Male
Age
29
Marital Status
Single
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Tic
Messages
11
Reactions
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Dubh's eyes narrowed to slivers as his ale-soaked senses sought to right themselves. Suspision and distrust sent one hand drifting beneath the tabletop, where it inched ever towards the hilt of his curved hunting blade. The violence, should it come, would be instant, quick and lethal. Gloved fingertips brushed the knife's pommel where they seemed to linger, considering.

All at once the orc's massive hands slapped the table's edge and a gruesome smile split his leathery features, a curving array of uneven fangs glistening wetly in the lamplight.

"'Bout damned time I met a friendly face in this Granir-forsaken place!" he thumped his chest proudly. "I'm called Dubh. My thanks for the ale Charlie! Barkeep's a bit of a warg's arse if you ask me. Half a mind to feed him his own teeth."

This was followed by a great peel of boisterous laughter and a round of enthusiastic knee slapping. From the tavern's din, a slender figure seemed to materialize from thin air.

“Anara Calventia Dorn, of Matrica.” she announced, particles of pub fare spilling from her mouth as she did so. She moved with the casual confidence of a huntress. Dubh's keen eyes lingered a moment. A huntress or something more...

"Dubh. Dubh Splinterbane!" he replied before gesturing towards his new companion. "And this here's Charlie, as good a human as I've ever met!"

Motioning her to join them, he sized the pair of them up.

"So then, what brings you two to this squalid little backwater on a night like this?" he jerked a thumb towards a nearby window. Outside, rain thundered against the town square relentlessly. "Gods are practically pissing down our necks!"

Snow Anara Dorn
 
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Snow
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8
Charlie eyed her new orc companion, she could understand his reluctance to sudden friendliness. It seemed he accepted her olive branch, and her helping keep the bar keep at bay. She rested her chin on her hands, elbows sitting on the table. Her grin was wide as Dubh enthusiastically welcomed her. "I wouldn't suggest feeding him his teeth, but I do agree he's a pig's ass!" She motioned for a mug, and for his to be refilled. The mousy maid was quick to provide, probably hoping to keep the two quiet for as long as possible.

She took a swig of the ale, not the best she'd ever had. It seemed as if the slight thing of a girl with her voracious appetite had deemed them interesting enough to join. Charlie listened politely to her introduction, and as Dubh had already offered Anara a seat, she merely smiled. Now that the girl had gotten closer, Charlie could smell the wolf. It wasn't the first time she had met one of their kind. Her first run in was with a foul man, and the thought put a bad taste in her mouth. She wondered if the girl had something to do with the attacks on livestock, but she felt it unlikely. The smells she picked up were not wolf.

"Well met Anara! Can I offer you a drink as well?" Dubh question the girls, and Charlie nodded her head as he spoke. "Soaked me down to my skin it's coming down so hard! I was initially passing through myself, I'm on a personal quest of sorts, but the storm drove me in. I was curious about the dead animals around here too, no better place to find out than a tavern." She shrugged her shoulders and leaned back, she took another swig of ale. "What about yourself Dubh?" She motioned for Anara to speak her piece as well. Charlie was extremely fascinated by her new companions. She could feel those piercing blue eyes of Anara studying her, she'd have to show the girl her power later.
 
I fight monsters, and I became one

Anara Dorn

Character
Old Empire Citizen
Rank
Equestrian
Job
Monster Slayer
Gender
Female
Age
Mid Twenties
Marital Status
Single
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Wanderer
Messages
9
Reactions
3
The orc was loud and brutish, his barbaric nature apparent to all in the little tavern. Anara had little dealings with his kind and was wary of unknowns, at least for the time being. Her years in the wild had taught her to be careful around things she didn’t understand as they could quickly blindside her in various ways.

But for now, in this tavern, she felt at ease enough even with a much larger being residing within. Her eyes remained on the redhead however, studying the new scent. “He seems nice enough to the right folk.” Anara said, nodding her head towards the bartender, though she wasn’t sure he had been being nice to the young woman or if he had simply not been intentionally rude to her like he had the orc.

Well met,” she responded, uncertain if such was the proper greeting. Barefoot, she padded over to the table with her own bottle in hand. “No need for drink, I have my own.” Anara responded, taking another swig from the bottle of fermented fruit. Some of it ran down her chin, and she wiped her mouth clean on her sleeve.

Her eyes turned to Dubh, the orc as she sat in a chair, rubbing her feet against each other. “Aye, I came in to eat and dry off some. It has been a few weeks since I’ve slept under a roof or eaten a good meal I’ve not cooked myself.” She didn’t mind the rain terribly, but it had been persistent as of late and the storm made swinging metal weapons around a little less safe. “I noticed the animals on my way in, once I’m warm and fed, I plan on going and seeing about tracking the cretin down. Apparently it has struck before, but in the rain I would not find tracks to follow.” Even with her lycanthropy, her senses were not enough to track a smell from last night through the rain and so many other scents. Perhaps if she shifted, but only perhaps.

Charlie Silverwater Dubh Splinterbane
 
...

Dubh Splinterbane

Character
Cathwa Nation Citizen
Job
Scoundrel
Gender
Male
Age
29
Marital Status
Single
Character Profile
Link
OOC
Tic
Messages
11
Reactions
3
Dubh took another enormous swig from the tankard, wiping the froth from his brown lips with one meaty forearm. The ale was cheap, watered down and tasteless. But it was plentiful. Each belt of the sour beverage turned his thoughts towards his rapidly lightening purse and the dread reality of having to face this blighted land sober.

Absorbed as he was in his woes, his ears pricked up instantly at the mention of the mutilated livestock. At his waist, his coinpurse tingled like a phantom limb. He set his drink aside and leaned in.

"Dead animals is it?" he wrinkled his heavy brow and reclined thoughtfully, the tavern chair creaking loudly in protest. He stroked his broad, leathery jaw. "Killed off farmstock usually throws even the stingiest farmer's coffers open. To answer your question Charlie, I've been stuck in this blighted land for almost a fortnight. My travel arrangements back to Cathwa..." His expression abruptly soured, "...fell through. But this...this has potential."

He cast a sweeping gaze across the patronage before returning ruefully to his ale. Who knew what strange manner of creatures stalked this bizarre land? The animals of Cathwa had proved utterly alien and monstrous when compared to those of the orcish homeland. There was little reason to expect Rishoka to be any different.

Still, if they could be felled with blade or bow they were fair game. And Dubh's abilities as a skilled tracker and deadly hunter set his mind at ease. If a coin could be turned by bringing down some local critter with a penchant for docile prey, the orc figured he had just the remedy. One hand returned absently towards the hilt of his blade.

"Maybe this little backwater wasn't a wasted visit after all." His voice dropped to a hushed whisper as he looked between the pair. "Might be able to turn us a little profit if we play our cards right. Either of you ladies up for a hunt?"

Anara Dorn Snow
 

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