The Long Days Ahead

Submitted by Sheila on Fri, 11/3/2017 at 6:39pm

Claudia brushed her hands together, frowning down at the dust that coated her dark leggings and smudged the hem of her crimson tunic.  With a sigh, realizing that there was no help for the mess, but deeply desiring a cup of the Corners' lovely tea, the First of Avaren stepped through the doorway and into the cool, dark interior.  Smiling at the waitress, she made her way to the back of the tavern,  brushing her hands along her tunic in an unconscious act to rid her clothing of the dust.  Shaking her head, she settled into a chair as the girl brought her favorite, chipped tea cup to her table and left to fetch a pot of Rican tea for the Ixifar healer.

As the girl left, Claudia turned slightly in her chair, eyes gazing about the tavern.  As the girl approached with the tea pot, the Ixifar turned back, settling comfortably into her chair as she lifted the tea pot to fill her cup.  She smiled, slightly, as she realized that the waitress had left extra cups on the table before her.  


[OOC: This is open to everyone who wishes to roleplay and share some tea, friendship and conversation at the Shady Corners]

*Esgir wasn't sure exactly why he ended up at the Shady Corner, his mind preoccupied in things. he simply knew that he was now there. Setting foot inside, the dwarf smiled as he saw the familiar form of Althena, now Lady Claudia. Approaching her table.*

"Lady Claudia. Aye have t' say it's nice t' see ye. Aye'm nae sure why, but Aye was actually jest thinkin' o' yourself, an' tea. May Aye join ye?"

The Ixifar smiled and then glanced up at her friend. Waving toward a nearby chair, she reached for one of the empty cups by the tea pot and, pouring the steaming liquid into the cup, she replied, "I would be more than honored to have you join my table, good Sir Esgir."  

*Smiling, taking the offered seat, as well as the offered cup.*

"Thank ye kindly. What brings ye out t' the Shady Corner t'night, if Aye may ask?"

Tipping her head, waiting as the dwarf sat down before responding, she replied, "I had been at the site of the Warren," she picked up her own cup and took a quick sip, lips turned downward at the heat.  "I had contacted some dwarven architects, who were surveying the site to..."  she tapped a finger to her chin before responding, "cap, I believe the term was, the crater.  There was a concern of it filling with water and other run off, causing erosion to the foundation, before we could rebuild," she smiled, putting the cup down.  "What brings you to the Corner, my friend?"

*Nodding as you explained how things were proceeding at the Warren.*

"That- is a very good question. One Aye dunnae have an answer f'r. Aye've been researchin' o' late, an' needed t' step away from it f'r a bit. My mind was just wandering a bit as I walked, an' before Aye really realized it, Aye'd ended up outside the Shady Corner."

Chuckling slightly, Claudia picked up her cup and took a sip of the cooling tea.  "Then, it seems it was my fortune that you ended up at the Corner, then.  I have realized that I have been rather solitary as of late, and should spend more time with friends."  She gave the room a quick glance around, but turned her attention back to her companion.

*Taking a sip of my tea, smiling.*

"Then Aye am glad fate brought me here when it did."

Placing her cup down, she looked up at the dwarf, her features serious and sorrowful. "I am sorry, truly, my friend, about the tower.  Strange as this may sound, Ling and those of the Wolves did try very hard to prevent any damage and mayhem from occurring.  Things got a bit out of our control,  however."

"Aye've actually yet t' hear what happened exactly. Aye know it's still on fire, an' causin' all sorts of din, but what happened?"

Glaring at the deeply grooved wood of the table, Claudia then lifted her eyes to stare directly into Esgir's.  "It is a strange accounting, my friend.  Nobles who serve the Berryline Syndicate had come to the Tower, with the hopes of meeting with the Docents. The last word, apparently, they had heard of Jastrey was the formation of the now - and thankfully - defunct Council.  One of the nobles was apparently addicted to Drift, and found somone's supply in the basement, along with a strange candle that pulled from the planes.  We found more candles, throughout the tower, along with denizens of the Pits. When a candle was extinguished, two more appeared, and with those, more creatures of the Pit. There was one," here her voice trembled slightly, and she closed her eyes momentarily.  "Esgir, the creature was exceptionally powerful and did not seem to tire, no matter how many of us sought to bring it down.   Eventually, there were too many, and we were banished from the Tower. Avaren could not assist in any way against it!" She paused, hands clasped tightly about her cup. Without raising her eyes, she asked in a soft voice, " You may have noticed the barriers that surround it?  No one can enter; but I fear what may be able to exit."  

*Esgir sat, listening to Claudia recount the happenings at the tower.*

"If they're as powerful as you say, that is most concerning. However, for whatever reason, they appear to be staying within the tower. Even more so than fearing their exit, Aye wonder what they're there for."

With a heavy sigh, Claudia shook her head. "Unfortunately, my friend, I have no idea for what purpose brings the fiend to the Tower.  I fear it cannot be for anything good.  And, just to make things even more interesting, the Syndicate is holding Jastrey accountable for the nobles' deaths," she looked up, above the dwarf's head, frowning again.  "It would seem that Jastrey always finds itself in trouble with one group or another, despite our very best intentions." 

"Especially after the night before." Ling commented quietly as he paused at the table. He had a mug in one hand and bowl in the other. An eyebrow slightly raised as he continued "What with the vault looted by something else, and then destroying the majority of the important things in the tower... its little more than a defensable foothold in Jastrey now." He looked tired, and had a book under one arm as he stood there.

Claudia glanced over at the elf, taking in his tired demeanor and the book tucked under one arm.  She offered him a small smile.  "It is recoverable. The items taken..." her voice trailed off slightly, glancing over at the dwarven Docent seated at the table.  "Those may be a little more difficult to retrieve.  At the risk of sounding overly optimistic and cheerful, there is always hope."

Ling shrugged, rose his tankard to his lips and had a short sip. When he was finished he let out a short sigh. "Yeah, lets hope thats all we have to worry about." he turned to walk away. "My shift to watch the tower is almost over, then off to the forge to work on my project, maybe some reading about the info as well..." he just seemed to ramble softly, more to himself... "you know where to find me if you need me. The winter grows cold... oya."

Watching sidelongs as the elf moved away from the table, the Ixifar simply shook her head, pouring some tea to reheat the liquid in her cut.  Shaking her head, she glanced back at the dwarf.  "Esgir," she softly said, settling the cup down, "Should perhaps the Docents set their own wards and guards outside the tower?  While I do not doubt the Wolves' prowess with blade, they are lacking in other...areas of strength," she glanced again at the departing back of the elven warrior.

Gworin let off a huff as he casually eavesdropped on the ongoing conversations, taking a sip of his Ale and combing the froth from his beard with his fingers with every 'swig. He overheard Claudia mention the Docents, as well as Wolf Clan, and decided to chime in.

"Y'know, I figured th' whole situation 'prolly wouldn'tve happened at all, if th' Docents had Guards an' Wards ta' begin with. Y'know, maybe someone -outside- of Jastrey's Run-n-Gun population ta' see somethin' afoot an' go "Oh 'ey, somethin's fucked over 'ere" and warn someone. But y'know what they say - Hindsight's 20/20."

"An' as fer' Wolf Clan? Oy-vey. 'Yah, they're pretty coarse when it comes ta' Public Relations, an' can be pretty crude regardin' problem-solvin'. But get 'em involved in some'n that might jus' motivate their asses - Then 'yah, they'll get some'n done. An' needless ta' say, that Tower might be somethin' they're willin' to get motivated with."

"Aye c'n ward the area f'r alarm, but whate'er they found in th' tower was strong enough t' overcome what wardin' Aye had put intae place. Somethin' about a strange candle? That was multiplyin'? P'rhaps the candle acted as a wedge o' sorts, each time forcin' the barrier b'tween this realm an' the pit wider an' wider til it all came spillin' through? An' seein' as a goodly portion o' Jastrey's able bodied population was already there t' handle it - Aye dunnae see what good hav'in' Annaeone else about wouldae done. Th' whole ordeal was o'er b'fore annaeone couldae responded t' it."

*Stroking my beard a bit.* "'S a pity we cannae ask th' Brotherhood about it, given the rumours that've been floatin' around since b'fore Aye arrived there's no real accountin' f'r what's true or not annaemore. But th' vault's empty, th' dungeon's half collapsed, Aye hear, an' I figure felfire's nae good f'r what magic was left within th' tower, not t' mention th' greenhouse atop." *Shaking my head.* Pity tha', Rune worked hard assemblin' quite a collection up there. From th' sounds o' things, e'en once we banished th' fiends, it'd still be rebuildin' from scratch at this point."

Claudia frowned at the unknown dwarf, letting her displeasure show slightly.  "The Docents are, of themselves, some of Jastrey's more powerful and able citizens," she replied before taking a sip of her tea, "Having an outside group oversee security within Jastrey?  That is how you invite even more trouble.  Jastrians, on the whole, manage to care for themselves."  She looked over at the unnamed dwarf, tapping a finger lightly upon the rim of her cup, "These foes - both the thief and the fiend - would have been beyond anyone's power to stop.  I am more focused on what may exit the tower now, and into the town, more than what historic theft has come about." She tilted her head slight, lifting her eyes to Esgir. "It is a shame, thought, to lose whatever the vault held.  However, those items were also not being used and merely held for holding sake and, I will admit to being concerned with what use those items may be put to by some less-then-friendly entity."  Her head tilted as a thought came to her. "Esgir, had Rune an inventory of what was in the vault?"

*Shaking my head.* "T' my knowledge nobody had an accurate list. Th' Brotherhood was known t' take most annaethin' an' throw it in there, an' they were but one o' th' towers inhabitants. Aye agree tha' our primary concern now is makin' sure tha' Jastrey is protected from annaethin' tha' tries t' come out. Luckily th' Wolf Clan is nearby t' keep an eye on thing's- strange though- Aye dunnae remember the Noz bein' so close when those warp crystal golems were in town awhile back." *Shrugging.* Whate'er the reason f'r it, keepin' an eye on it 's th' best we can do f'r now."

Gworin scratched his head at the comment, giving himself a few moments to let the info soak in. "I'm still tryin' ta wrap my head 'round th' idea that, despite th' Docents bein so "Powerful an' Able", they still ended up gettin' their own Tower blown ta' pieces. If'n I were th' one writin' the stories here, I'd say that'd be part fate knockin' some folks down a peg, an' other-part legitimate concern. Now, th' part that concerns me the most is th' fact that 'ya mention that these entities were "Beyond anyone's power to stop", an' yet it sounds like 'ya have zero faith in anyone -besides- the Docents ta' handle the issue."


He took another sip of his drink, giving the mug a solid thump against the counter. "Which brings me full-circle: If th' Docents can handle it themselves, then why th' 'feck is their Tower in pieces right now? An' seein' as that's th' current situation at hand, PLUS th' Broken Noz bein' oh-so-conveniently located a short distance away, welcomin' Docents wit' open arms ta' seek refuge, resupply an' plan out their next move wit' no ill-intentions in mind...What options do 'ya 'got? Don' exactly see any OTHER bands of Jastrian locals jumpin' outta their shoes ta' come help 'em out, seein' as 'ya said it best: We care for ourselves."



Ripper, roused from one of her not unusual daytime naps up in the rafters of the Shady Corners called downward in a yawning drawl. "Ey, dummy, she wasn't sayin' she didn't want the Wolves to help. Just pointin' out that they might need some backup on the magical front since most of them are swordsmen." The fae aimed carefully, one eye closed, and then released a butter-candy to plummet into the dwarf's cup with a little spout of droplets and a 'plop'. "Love ya~"



*The older dwarf sipped his tea.*


"Y'r beard's showin' Gworin; ye find insult where none be present. The Docents are strong, just as Wolf Clan is strong, in diff'rent ways - an' in this case, neither was able t' stop th' fiends. Althena says Avaren couldnae assist them either, an' Aye've heard tell of Avaren ' s radiant flame wiping out an army o' undead in one go."


*Glancing to Ripper.* "As f'r things bein' beyond annaeone's ability t' halt, Aye imagine Ripper could tell ye a tale or two; she's been here longer than Aye have, an Aye've only heard tale of the armies of Ressik marchin' intae Jastrey, or of Skorch th' Shard Eater. Aye was 'ere when the void itself swallowed up Jastrey, so yes, Gworin, there are a great many things that cannae be handled, an' require dealing with after an' initial loss."

Gworin looked down at his drink a moment, watching the new addition to its flavor profile bob about for a moment. It took him a good bit to process info through his thick dwarven skull, and today just seemed to make that more apparent.

"... Oh, well then. Yer' right, beard's showin' bright as day today. Figures."

He took another swig of his drink, brow furrowing at the newfound flavor.

"Happens t' th' best o' us, Gworin. Althena could tell ye about a rather- loud exchange- Aye had in this tavern, after Forgeholme fell... Aye was hurtin', an lashin' out at those who'd done me no wrong. Luckily, they didnae hold it ag'nst me." *Smiling to the ixifar.*

Claudia sat quietly, allowing her initial annoyance to slowly subside as the three spoke.  She glanced at the fae, thankful for her words even if she, too, misunderstood the intent behind her words.  She flinched slightly as Esgir recounted the devastation at Trinsburrow, closing her eyes briefly as she once again thanked the Immortal she served.  Her ears perked slightly and she turned a grin toward her friend.  "Gracious, Sir Esgir.  It would seem as though you, too, will have difficultly with my resuming my given name." She offered him a slight wink, lifting her tea cup to smiling lips, allowing the final vestiges of her annoyance to slip completely away.  She nodded at the dwarf as she then set the tea cup down.  "You are most fortunate, my friend, that Marloff has such an easy-going nature, difficult to rouse to anger.  We were both taken aback by your harsh words, although they were completely understandable and easily forgiven."