Snippet #2244535

located in Skyrim, a part of Skyrim: The Mentor & The Sellswords, one of the many universes on RPG.

Skyrim

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Character Portrait: Sinderion Direnni Character Portrait: Lynly Snowsong Character Portrait: The Representatives
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The witch led Sinder and Lynly into the Dead Man's Drink, a delightful name for a tavern, in her opinion. Her more outlandish garb drew a few looks from the patrons, but she paid them no mind. Maya had other things to think about, the armored Nord behind her, for one. Just as she led the party into Falkreath did Maya recall why the woman seemed so significant to her, though she hid it well from her face. Wouldn't do to have the surprise spoiled. Not that she thought Lynly would care much, but she planned to confront her all the same.

Perhaps investigate was a better word. She had no intentions of taking revenge, or demanding a sincere apology. It took a lot to get Maya to hold a grudge against someone, and perhaps surprisingly, what Lynly had done didn't cut it. Maybe the situation would change once they'd had a chance to chat. To that end, Maya inspected the interior of the tavern.

It was busy enough, but there looked to be few outsiders, judging by the lack of heavier clothes and weapons on most of the patrons. Mostly locals, then, come to have a drink after a hard day's work. There was one hooded and robed fellow by the bar, but Maya paid him no mind. The barkeep was unoccupied, washing out a line of mugs, and there was an open table near the corner they'd come in. It would do. "Sinder, if you'd be so kind, I'd like you to inquire as to the availability of any rooms for us. There's something I want to talk to Lynly about, girl to girl, I'm sure you understand." He probably didn't, but she probably didn't care. He was nothing if not polite, from her experience, but he also seemed to want nothing to do with her. For once, their interests were aligned, and so she assumed he would be willing to follow her order, at least for a little while.

Sinder blinked once, slowly, and flicked his eyes from Maya to Lynly and back again. The end result was a simple nod and an equally-simple statement. "If you wish." He couldn't say that he thought the mercenary woman was one for speaking any more than he was, but then the Glenmoril was likely quite capable of carrying on an entire conversation by herself if she so desired. Turning, he left them with a quiet tread, approaching the bar with obvious intent but free of noise. The hooded man, he did not look at; if there was anything important to be learned there, he trusted his ears and nose to inform him of it for the moment.

"Your pardon," he spoke softly to the barkeep, currently tending to several tankards. He was unfamiliar with this particular region of Skyrim, and understood well that the sort of reception he could expect varied widely. It was best to affect an air of deference with regards to just about anyone, as a servile-seeming elf ruffled far fewer feathers than a proud, brash one. "If I may, I would inquire as to the availability of rooms for this evening? I and my fellow travellers have been long on the road recently." He waited patiently for the reply, the only sign of his social discomfort the small flare of his nostrils as he took in the varying odors of stale ale, washed and unwashed bodues, and damp furs, among other things. It was more or less typical tavernroom fare, and this put him minutely more at ease.

He did his best to avoid listening closely enough to the conversation of the two women behind him to actually hear anything. He probably wouldn't be able to help it anyway, but he felt obligated to at least make the effort.

The barkeep looked over Sinderion for a moment, appearing none too pleased. Even among Imperial-held territories, racism towards the Altmer was a common thing for Nords to have. Fortunately for the Sellswords, this one didn't have too bad a case of it, at least not enough to turn down an opportunity at making some coin. "There's two rooms available, ten gold pieces each for the night. If you can squeeze however many you have into them, you're welcome to."

The hooded man at the bar next to Sinder turned his head slightly, revealing pale, light blue-gray skin of his nose that identified him as a Dunmer. His voice was quiet, but strong and even. "You arrive with interesting company," he noted. "If it is not too much to ask, what is your destination?"

Sinder counted the required coins out onto the table, then added in a couple of coppers for a drink. He didn't have any intention of imbibing much of it, but what he was really paying for was the barkeep's continued limited tolerance of his presence. Sighing nearly inaudibly to himself, he sat one over from the hooded man. "'Interesting' may be the mildest word for it, but true nonetheless," he replied simply, accepting the tankard of ale and trying very hard not to wrinkle his nose at the offensive odor.

It was not perhaps his habit to engage in conversation with strangers, but a comment like that was too pertinent to ignore, and he resolved himself to a delicate exchange of words, in which he'd be searching for he knew not what all while trying to reveal nothing important. He would not have thought to put it past Maya to arrange this sort of thing intentionally, if this man was another of her mysterious associates. The comment almost certainly referred to her, at any rate. "We make for the Rift." It had been some time since he'd last travelled that far; the Sellswords did not often recieve jobs thereabouts, perhaps due to the iron control of some parties over the region.

He glanced backwards only once, wondering what was taking his companions, but they appeared to be in conversation still, seated in a far corner.

"You travel east, I travel west," the Dunmer stated, taking a swig of his own drink, "I ride for Markarth tomorrow. I'm... touring the taverns, it would seem." His last sentence was tinged with no small amount of frustration, but he did not elaborate. "The Rift was most eventful when I left. Murders, talk of giants attacking in groups, the ever present thieves... I even came across a woman of the Psijic Order during my time in the city. I was glad to be gone."

He turned to look at Sinder, revealing himself to be somewhat young of age, perhaps no more than thirty, with red face tattoos trailing from around his eyes down his cheeks to below his jawline. He chortled to himself. "Though from what I hear, these lands are no quieter. Tales of dragon attacks destroying Helgen and raiding the Reach. A poor time to be a traveler."

He's searching for something, was Sinderion's immediate instinctual conclusion. He disregarded it, for the most part, as it really wasn't any of his business, and besides that, something else he'd said was much more interesting. "A Psijic?" he echoed quietly. "That's an unusual claim. Most people believe the Psijics don't exist any longer, disappeared with their island ages ago." Sinder, of course, knew differently, and it appeared that this Dunmer knew even more than he, if he could identify one on sight. Unconsciously, the elf's hand tightened on the handle of his tankard, but he was still quite in control of himself, so the motion produced no distortion in the shape of the thing.

Could it be? It seemed like the unlikeliest chance, and he wasn't even certain how he'd feel about it if it was her. They knew nothing of each other any longer; he could offer not even a distinguishing characteristic to the man for possible confirmation. His memories of her were hazy at best. So was everything before the Change, as if the beast had sought to conquer his entire being. He clung to only a few small things: a low, masculine voice, strands of golden hair, his mother's eyes. That was all. He drew himself from the intruding thoughts and decided that he could do something to make the exchange fair, at least. "There is at least one dragon in the Reach. Or at least, it was there. Take care on the road."

"Now we've both made unusual claims. Dragons were supposed to have vanished as well. I suspect all of this is too outlandish to be false, though." He tossed the barkeep a few more coins and acquired another ale. "I wish you luck in your own travels, stranger. Perhaps we'll meet again on the road sometime."

"Perhaps." When so many more absurd things had happened to him already, it seemed unwise to discount such a mundane possibility.




Lynly watched the back of the elf as he parted ways to glean his information. She really didn't favor the elf. She didn't favor either of them honestly. Knife-ears as her father would have called them. Perhaps it was his doing that she didn't like them. Inherited the trait from him. Either way, the elf was gone, and she was left with the witch, Maya, whose robe looked like it could up and take off at any moment. Though no elf, she was still offputting, though for an entirely different reason. She was chatty. Far too chatty for the normally quiet Lynly. The breton spoke perhaps as many words on the trip to Falkreath as Lynly did in her entire life. The nord woman was a silent creature, unlike her some of her boisterious kin, singing of war song and telling of battle tales. She'd much let her blade do the singing, and experience the tales rather than tell them.

Lynly was quiet to begin with, expecting the girl to hop straight into whatever it was she wanted to speak about. Though the expected stream of words weren't forthcoming, and Lynly gave them a little bit more before it was her own mouth that opened. As come to expect, the words that came were short and to the point, the only reason of them being spoken was the strong sense of curiousity ingrained deep within her being. Talos knows it being a majority of the reason she even accompanyed these people. "What about this talk?" she asked simply. Perhaps the little prodding would get the ball rolling.

It was one of the rare times that Maya struggled for words. The subject matter was going to be... awkward, to say the least, she knew that, and as such, it seemed an awful idea to be talking about it standing up, and completely sober. "Shall we sit?" she offered, though she certainly wasn't looking for an answer. She found the nearest table, towards the back corner opposite the door, and slid down onto one of the benches, waiting until Lynly had taken a seat on the other. The witch waved over a serving girl, procured two ales for them with coin of her own, and took a good, long drink of hers before looking the mercenary woman in the eye.

How to go about this? It was perhaps best to first determine what she herself wanted from this. Maya knew she wanted something, but that something eluded her like a particularly quick rabbit darting through the forest around her coven. She needed to catch it and smite it with a bolt of lightning until it was cooked through, that was what. The image helped to calm her, in any case.

"Have you taken many jobs in this hold?" she asked, preferring to simply wing it, and see where this led. "Any memorable ones?"

It was a while before Lynly answered. Never too much into social contact as she was, she tended to take her time and pick her words very carefully in an effort to try her best to not sound like a complete fool. Sometimes, it worked. Others not so much. She placed herself in the corner of the corner table, far away from the prying eyes of others. She wasn't the distrustful sort who liked her back against the wall so that no one could stab it for her... Rather she intended to put distance between herself and others. Hiding, in a sense. She never did get the interaction part of social interaction. The dungeons and barrows she usually found herself in didn't offer much in the way of conversation, but then again that was all fine for her. No one to look like a fumbling girl in front of in those cold, dark places. At Maya's question Lynly chewed her lip as she thought of all the adventures she had had in Falkreath and how best to put them into words, what scant few she used.

"Jobs? Not so much. Adventures, a lot. Most of them were of my own volition, some were jobs though. A little gold to line my pockets. Cleaned out a nest of skeevers, slayed some awakened draugr, put downs some Falmers, some witches-- Oh.. I.. M-my.. Apologies." And the reason that she didn't talk became blaringly clear. In battle, she could hardly make a fool of herself swinging her blade and hefting her shield, but when she opens her mouth, her tongue tends to cause unnecessary trouble. A coven of witches, she remembered it now. That was a job, not of her own accord not that it mattered in the end. Lynly blushed and looked away from Maya and down into her tankard. She wondered how hard she would have to try to drown herself in it.

Maya had been starting to think that she'd had the wrong woman, considering that Lynly didn't immediately pick up on what she was going for. But her suspicions were confirmed, and then she apologized. What was the witch to do with that? Was she to say no, that's quite alright, my sisters and I are hunted all the time, or perhaps throw the apologies back in her face, and ascertain how she had truly felt as she'd run them through? Or maybe she was just sorry she'd let the word "witches" slip, and made things uncomfortable between them.

"I'd have thought you'd remember," Maya admitted, shifting her weight to lean her elbows on the table, "we put up a good fight. Thought we nearly had you a few times, but you're tougher than you look, I'll give you that. But this was some years ago, perhaps mercenaries simply have short or selective memories. You probably don't remember bashing a girl into unconsciousness who was trying to protect one of her homes."

She let that sit for a moment, for herself as well as Lynly. It wouldn't do for her to become overly angry at her, or to make a scene. For whatever reason, the silver-haired Nord had decided to come along, and as she'd shown Maya in person, she was useful. The witch was nothing if not practical, and she recognized that a warrior woman of her calibur would be most useful in the days to come. That didn't mean she wasn't still feeling inquisitive.

"Your apology has no use to me, so you can keep it. I don't think of myself as the vengeful sort, so feel free to sleep soundly at night. I'm just curious why, is all. Is gold really so great a calling that you're willing to murder us for it alone? Do you fight for nothing greater?" She refrained from even raising her voice, fully aware that her garb alone drew enough attention to her. She reminded herself that she had to be wary, even here. Especially here.

During this, Lynly did not raise her head to meet the woman's eyes. Did she really think an apology would work? Sorry that I killed all of your kin. She wasn't surprised when she rejected her apology, Lynly would have done much the same. The words that Maya spoke struck a cord within her. Back then, she had viewed it as another job, another quest to do so that her pockets would be a bit heavier. Just another infestation to clean out. How Maya had put it, it made it sound like she was just some roving bandit jumping at the chance of gold. That's what it boiled down to, wasn't it. Adventurer or bandit, depending on the point of view they could both be one in the same.

She opened her mouth to speak, but quickly closed it. What was her excuse going to be? That the man who conscripted her for the job believed the witches to be evil. That because they were witches they had to be up to no good. No, excuses wouldn't do either. What did she fight for? A story? Grand tales of adventure? Slaying a witches coven sounded like a far cry from that. So instead of speaking, Lynly kept her silence. Anymore talking would only further harm matters. Better to be thought of as insensitive rather than foolish. She continued to stare into her tankard, quiet as a mouse, counting the seconds until this would all be over.

Maya wasn't sure if she was glad to be proven right. If Lynly's silence could even be interpreted in that way. She obviously enjoyed wagging a sword more than her tongue, so perhaps she simply was keeping something to herself. In another setting, the witch might have tried to extract it from her. She might have tried to kill her had she not more pressing matters to deal with and more sensible risks to take. The stupid and the misguided she could understand. Those who followed the other gods she could understand. The greedy and the selfish, however, eluded her comprehension. Maya wasn't sure if Lynly could be classified as either. Perhaps Maya had just helped to open her eyes to something. It hadn't been her intention, but it would certainly be a satisfactory result.

"It's something to think about, at any rate. I'll leave you to your ale. Feel free to finish mine as well, if you like."

She stood gracefully, sliding away from the bench and Lynly and heading towards the bar to check on Sinderion's progress. He seemed to have just finished speaking with the hooded man next to him. Maya reached out to tap the Altmer on the shoulder.

Her finger never made it there, however, as the stranger turned in a flash, one hand grabbing hold of her arm, the other sending an elbow into her throat. Maya's eyes caught a glimpse of a tattooed Dunmer face before she was forcefully turned and pushed to the side, her back slammed up against the wooden wall and pinned there by the man's force pushing on her throat. His gray eyes studied her closely, his face set as stone. The glint of an axehead shone just beneath the folds of his outer robe.

"For a girl who calls herself a huntress," he said into her ear, "your approach lacks subtlety. Are you here for me?" The witch shook her head as best she could with a forearm nearly choking her. But that was all it took to gain her release, and the Dunmer pulled away, letting Maya fall to her knees below him, coughing and struggling to regain her wind. "And I'm not here for you," the Dunmer continued, adjusting his hood and robe. "I'll be on my way. Safe travels, Blackfeather." He said no more, his cloak sweeping behind him as he removed himself from the tavern.

Maya look flustered and angry as she rose, but she was quick to compose herself as she stood. She waited several moments for the tavern's patrons to return their attention to their drinks, before she turned to Sinderion. "I'll... return in the morning, before first light. Don't follow me." With that, she too left the Dead Man's Drink, pulling her hood up over her head as she left.