Note: The following took place two mests ago, I just haven't had much free time to post it :)
Garen had been spending most of his time the past mest in the archives of the Crystal Fists. Between daily training and research on flesh forging he hadn't given himself much time to explore the wondrous city he had been calling home. After another evening of rummaging through old scrolls detailing second and third hand accounts of the life of Shimosh Rosequartz he decided to call it an early night. He had heard some of the other Knights speak of an establishment called "Honor's Stand". Donning a simple tunic and a cloak to keep the chill at bay while he navigated the streets he set off to buy a much needed drink.
Approaching the tavern he saw that the sign bore the likeness of a grotesque demon face being distorted by a crystalline sucker punch into it's cheek. None too many heads turned when he entered, most of the district had already heard through local gossip that an Uordeq had recently moved in to their city. The tavernkeep retrieved a mug from a rack and set it down in front of him. "What'll it be ..uh ser?" Garen blushed a bit. "No 'ser' yet. And just an ale for now. An amber if you have one". The tavernkeep nodded and pulled a foamy draft and set it down in front of the young paladin. Garen took a long pull and savored the taste of malt and hops.
As Kade wondered through the streets of Huel Vor, she couldn't shake the heavy sense of Deja Vu that followed her down nearly every street. She'd asked every paladinesque individual in the street if they could point her to Garen Veniir, "you know... the uordeq with the red hair?" at which their faces would immediately brighten in recognition before they remembered that an uordeq had joined their ranks. Most pointed her vaguely in the direction of the barracks. She came across another female in brightly polished armor who looks as though she never smiled and never would, but as she closed in on the individual, she saw a familiar head of hair in the crossroads. Thank goodness.
Kade hurried to catch up to her brother. He disappeared into a tavern ahead with a grotesque, demonic sign over the door. The message was clear, but the craftsmanship was lacking. She followed into the low-ceiling tavern and was shocked to find herself confronted with that largest number embroidered, painted, emblazoned, and engraved fists she'd ever seen. Oh shit... this is THAT place. All her previous memories of the city returned: best to keep that to myself.
She approached the bar a few feet away from her brother, "Hey there, Studdly. Come here often?"
Garen turned towards the source of the voice. "Kade?! What on earth are you doing here?", he broke into a huge smile which was lessened somewhat by the foam clinging desperately to the hairs on his upper lip, "It's great to see you sister!" and with that gave her a hug that very nearly toppled them both into the next table. "Apologies", he said to the disgruntled patrons. "Another two ales please", he said to the tavernkeep who he had been idly chatting with a moment ago.
Kade straightened her cloak and bow. "Actually," she said to the barkeep, "Let me get something apple-y with a little burn." She turned to her brother, giving him another hug. "I just wanted to check in on you and make sure you were doing well." A shadow crossed Kade's face. "And after this last year, I don't like to think of family members off by themselves."
Garen nodded, "Indeed. What have you been up to of late? I'm kept busy in the archives. I'm trying to find a way to improve this", he held up his left arm which ended just bellow the elbow in a stump. "The scrolls say I need to prepare my mind for the procedure but I'll not bore you with the details. Suffice it to say I'll be here for a while. How is the rest of the family? Making sure Kresh and the cubs are kept busy I hope? You need to stimulate their minds often otherwise they'll start to get bored" He chuckled a bit at his jest and finished his first ale in a gulp, immediately setting to work on his second.
Kade's beverage arrived and she sipped it as she waited for Garen's barrage of questions to end. When it did, she sat her beverage down, "Oh, you know, the usual: foraging, pit fights, etc. However, it is coming up on market days, so I'm sure there's about to be an upswing in crime any moment now." She chuckled. "Glad I'm safe in a city full of paladins." She took a gulp and continued.
"You've done nothing but study about your arm this whole time? Why? It's never caused you a problem before..."
"That's the odd thing; it's starting to now. I tried to duel a few of the knights shortly after I arrived so I could stay in practice and I could barely keep up with them. No matter what I did the sword I was using just wasn't enough to keep incoming blows at bay. I...I remember the fights with Hagwoulf, Agatha, those undead beyond counting in Tarkalsys as well as I remember what I ate at breakfast this morning. But while my prowess in battle was up to par then, now I struggle to keep up with fresh faced boys who have barely seen eighteen winters. It vexes me terribly. That's why I'm going to come home in spring with a functional left arm. And then I'll get to the bottom of everything that's been happening to the family", Garen paused to take a drink and continued speaking. "It's been a busy year. And what little I can divine from the future [forecast] tells me there is still more to come"
"I assume you're referring to Siska?" Kade looked at him meaningfully, hoping he understood just how much the family had disappointed her on this issue.
"Yes...I still carry her dagger with me wherever I go. Can you imagine? A paladin carrying the weapon used by perhaps one of the greatest assassins in Sirison, if not Orn? It almost sounds like a joke. But the punchline isn't very funny...because I'm going to plunge it into Dreghor's damned heart as soon as the opportunity presents itself"
Until very recently Garen had never taken a drink that he had not poured himself. To do so was considered the height of foolishness in Uordeq culture. As such he had never developed a sense of how much is too much. Apparently for Garen, two and a half ales was approaching on "too much"
Kade finished off her drink and raised her hand for another. She sat silently next to her brother... whom she noticed was looking a little less pale than usual.
After several minutes passed this way, Kade spoke up, "You know what? I came here to lift your spirits not bring them down! What do you want to do tonight?"
Garen pondered a bit. "Hmm...I don't know. We could explore the city more and see what night life is like here. I'll definitely be in my element. These diurnals will be turning in soon so it should be fairly quiet"
The night life here is shitty. Kade remembered her previous night crawling through the city. But instead Kade said, "It's a city full of paladins. I don't imagine things get too crazy." Kade searched her mind for alternatives. "Any cows around?"
"Ha! If only there were...", he replied, smiling at the memory of his "bachelor party". "Let's get out of here and get some air. I feel a bit light headed actually...it's strange. Does my face look funny? It feels funny". Garen fished into his coin pouch to pay for their drinks and set a few silvers on the counter.
"You're an uordeq, Garen; your face always looks funny." She smirked at him and winked before she chugged her final libation at establishment one. As she finished she took a deep breathe and let out a rattling belch. "You're right. Fresh air sounds good."
"Hey now...rude", Garen replied despite his grin. They stepped outside and he breathed in the cool night air. "Now where are we off to? I need to walk this off"
Kade drew her hood up as they stepped out into the moonlit city of Huel Vor. "I don't really know how to 'party' as I've heard people say." She thought for a moment. "Why don't you show me where you're staying, talk me through some of your research?"