A pair of well outfitted guards stood at the outside of the wall, next to the gatehouse, awaiting the hired help. Each wore nondescript uniform of chainmail with spear in hand, shield on back, and sword at their hips. They eyed all who wandered past through the gate but neither were there to check the incoming wagons. One spat at the ground and took a deep breath.
"Got some weird ones on this job ey?" The taller one engaged with his partner, barely turning his head to regard his ally. "S'long as they git the job done," the other returned at barely above a mumble. The man rolled his shoulders and glanced down the street visible through the gate. "Yeah but... I mean... Some public speaker and then a man who never shows his face?" "You think them bandits pulling a fast one on us?" "Well you never know who's under there. But..." the taller one trailed off. A particularly worn cart had reached them, it's wheels creaking loudly along the well traveled path into Serei. The crinkled wood boards keeping the tarped wares from toppling out banged and wobbled with the oxen's slow progression passed. The driver had given them a light nod. An old farmer from just outside the city.
"Don't think they can do it?" There was no response save for a clearing of his throat. Luckily they were saved any further small talk when they spotted who they were waiting for approaching.
Last Edit: Jan 13, 2016 7:30:11 GMT -7 by The Maven
Post by Clarent Maythorn on Nov 26, 2015 22:24:41 GMT -7
As usual, Clarent was on foot. He had never managed to find a horse that suited him, and it was easy enough to walk from one place to another when you never tired. With no one travelling alongside him to make note of such an odd thing, he was content to take his journey's one stride at a time.
The two guards by the gatehouse seemed like the ones he was meant to talk to. They stood together, chatting as they gave the wagons passing them a cursory inspection. If any knew what had become of the missing goods and where to begin searching for them, it was these men.
He did not yet know that he might be accompanied on his venture. Such was often the case when once answered bulletins and postings; far more often than not, he wasn't the only one to take an interest. Hopefully whoever would accompany him was not one to ask many questions.
"Good afternoon, gentlemen." His greeting was slightly echoed, spoken from within the confines of his helmet. "I trust the day finds you both well?"
Post by Rafik Valiant on Dec 21, 2015 2:02:04 GMT -7
It was a fairly routine sort of task: find clumsy thiefs, bring their heads to town (attached or otherwise), return the merchandise if the price was right, and wash the blood off your hands with your weight in alcohol. Straight-forward enough.
He had asked around the local taverns, markets (some less by-the-books than others), and a couple of merchants who might as well know the local brigands by first name with their traveling luck. Apparently one of the porters had been held up thrice – thrice! – when he went to take the garbage far enough from town as to not attract predators. People had to do what people had to do for survival, but Gods! Were these guys mooning fate, or did they just forget to pull their pants up?
One of the men he had learned was taking the bill seemed to be of some repute as well. Maximillion von Mitternacht: an “advocate” for the welfare of monsters – a self-serving goal if rumors proved true. It had made Rafik think twice about his contract, for vampiric self-control was much like holy water – highly desirable, but in shorter supply than advertised. Speaking of holy water, Serei had damned well better reimburse him for that insurance. A waterskin now sat strapped on each hip instead of just one.
At least Mr. Maythorn seemed normal enough. Rarely seen without his armor, likely never bathed, sounded like a shut-in. To each their own. Rafik was willing to bet this Clarence fellow still smelled better than some walking corpse.
The trod of both hooves and feet would come upon the scene some time after the first mercenary’s arrival. The armor helped to make the shorter man look of substantial size, though Rafik still stood about half a head taller and a full head wider than him.
“Oy!” he’d call a yard out from them to announce himself, sounding younger than one might think a man of his height. “Rafik Valiant 'ere. You the right guys?”
The respectful greeting made the eyebrows on one of the guards to raise in mild surprise; the man slightly impressed with the initial presentation of the full plated individual that had approached. Without a doubt this was one of the men they were waiting for. The taller guard gave a light nod in return. "It does," he responded plainly. "And we hope it'll be better yet after you and the others finish up this job." The second guard mildly nodded his head in a few repetitions following his fellow's statement before adding, "From the looks of yeh I don't doubt it will."
Then there was a call from an oddly man leading a horse. The guards looked at him for a moment, scanning his figure and considering the question he'd posed. "Aye, if you're looking to teach some bandits a lesson." With another quick look around it seemed the learned one of the volunteers was no where to be found. The taller guard, practically bouncing with impatience at this point, decided to start the debriefing with the two that had gathered so far. Even if it was just these two they could probably deal with the brigands.
"Our incoming caravans have been having some trouble on the road coming from the west. We've got our hands full with Serei, but can't just let those blights get away with their raids. We want you guys to find their hideout and deal with the problem. Don't care how, just make sure you can prove it's done. Bring us their heads or something." "Could also return the stolen wagons," the shorter guard piped up with a low grumble. "Right," the other started again. "Our scouts report the recent attack led the stolen merchandise westward, out to the near forested area just over a day's walk from the city."
Post by Maximillion VonMitternacht on Jan 27, 2016 8:51:47 GMT -7
"Oh, wait, you are the guys im supposed to talk to? Ah, pardon me..."
He had blended so well into the scenery, despite his strange appearance. There had been a clan of veiled night striders , assassins by trade, who had tsught him this little trick, which was surprisingly simole, once you had the nuances of ut down. But was that it, or the way hed had his heas buried in the parchment hed scribbled down the details of the Mission onto?
Lavender. And a little of freshly polished leather, that is the smell that accompanied the tall, muscular stranger. He had been standing about five yards away, and turned, striding over to the gathered men. His eyes were squinted, like the light of the day was somehow too bright, or maybe he was just nearsighted. His dark complexion lended to the mystique his dark purple cloaks - and the dark leather armors underneath - lended him, and although he was hardly as tall as a half-giant, or even quarter-giant, he was probably around peak height of a human at 6'7".
"Pray forgive me, I'm not so great at things such as this," he said, his voice quiet and strong, medium-low pitch, speaking with the eloquence and distinguished affect of a man of the Noble class, whether or not he truly was, but with none of the arrogance or snobbiness one usually associated with that group... Or maybe it was that his speech was so meticulate and proper, that he sounded like some kind of Professor.
"I was told where to come, not whom to speak to, and I can't say that isolation has done wonders for my social graces. Ah, here..."
He held out the parchment, as though hoping they would take it, read it, and confirm that this was where he was supposed to be.
He had heard the bit about the missing caravan, although his anxiety around talking to people he didn't know - and the whirlwind of thoughts that always accompanied the anxiety - had sort of drowned out, in his head, the rest.
"Ah, let me introduce myself. Maximillion VonMitternacht. I was one of the Co tractors who agreed to take on the case".
Post by Rafik Valiant on Feb 3, 2016 7:00:28 GMT -7
Rafik was a stocky fellow, seeming rather rectangular in build with his leathers.
"Right you are," he answered simply, thumbs looping loosely into his belt.
Westward... Rafik pulled out his map. Pretty straightforward: bare slightly southwest, and if they hit the Capitol road, go south.
"What's the bonus per wagon?" he asked offhandedly, not bothering to look up from his map. Altruism rarely paid.
His head jerked up when a rather approachable-sounding man's voice announced himself. Rafik's head continued to tilt back with a frown to find this man towered over him. Half-giant? he instantly assumed, for though Rafik was not the tallest of them all... he wasn't used to being dwarfed, either.
This man was not only heads taller than him: he was also darker than him. Damn. How in the hells did he manage to overlook this hulking man who was obviously taking a pay grade drop by the way he spoke?
Confusion shifted to open suspicion when his eyes met Maximillion's strange, unnatural ones, and his hand drifted to his right waterskin. So this was their vampire. His gaze slid to the tin can mercenary. Great. Rafik was officially the most convenient on-the-road meal. Just how much holy water did it take to take out seven feet of vampire?
Neither of 'em brought horses, of course - which meant overnight with a vampire. If he didn't bleed Serei for every damned coin they could spare, then it was only because Rafik was dead.
"We'll be done in no time if you get these guys some horses," he ventured, eager to spend as little time with the vampire as possible.
Worst came to worst... a horse could outrun one, right?
The guards had been told of an odd looking man partaking in this mission but, quite frankly, they hadn't envisioned just how odd he was. His dark skin was a stark contrast to what was normally seen in the area, and the bloody eyes generally not attributed to things they'd like to ally with. Lucky for the scholarly dhampir they had been given very specific and explicit instructions to just divulge the orders and do nothing else. Though, it was up to them to follow said commands.
The silky brown face dripping pleasantries was a help, though one of the guards looked very uncomfortable. It wasn't uncommon for a vampire to play the gentleman. The man kept quiet as he watched Maximillion steadfastly, his taller partner accepting the parchment offered with only a slight hesitation. "Uh yes, yes. This is the right place for you," he confirmed after the quickest of glances to the page. The armor bearing individual swiftly gave the sheet back to Max as Rafik asked about the wagon bonus. The guard turned his head to the awkward man and responded, "That ain't for us to decide. We don't care about the wagons, but the merchants they belong to might. As far as we're concerned the wagons are gone; take whatever you want. Just bring us some heads."
When the mention of horses came up the shorter guard finally broke his gaze from the silver tongued speaker in their midst. "Stable by the Crimson Cellar always finds itself with more horses than riders by the end of the day. The place is the mercenary haunt just outside the city," he paused to turn his head and point at a tall building poking out from Serei's wall like a red zit upon the greenlands.
"Right then, unless there's anything else you guys should be on your way."
((S'all good to continue. We'll just keep Clarent in the background until (if) they return))
Last Edit: Mar 9, 2016 16:28:46 GMT -7 by The Maven
Post by Maximillion VonMitternacht on Mar 9, 2016 15:48:56 GMT -7
((Hopefully, I can get away with observing a 72-day Post Order "Skip", eh? )
Maximillion nodded gratefully, accepting the paperwork back with an appreciative smile - one might notice it was more a closed-mouth smile, showing only the faintest hints of his front teeth, if that - as he pocketed the paperwork.
"Alright, then we shall get right to it, then." He said. Breathing in, holding his breath for a moment, then exhaling it slowly, he turned to face the other two, and clapped his large, ebony hands together, holding them clasped as he eyed the two with both an adventurous gleam to his eye, as well as some apparent anxiety to his facial expression. The uncertainty that seemed to come off of him, played off with a hint of quirkiness and absent-mindedness, was a strange contrast to his tall, muscular form, and his outward appearance, which often tended to prove that people gave way too much stock to fairy tale bad guys, as they confused him for one.
"So! Horses, equipment, and mission specs, looks like we have what we need to get started. Is everyone here geared up, or does anyone need some time to get some last minute provisions?"
He looked from one to the other, cocking his right eyebrow as he did, genuinely wondering if they would have second thoughts, now that they saw him there. He wasn't unused to people being uncomfortable with his appearance, or - if they somehow were not phased or quick to recover - him botching first impressions by coming on too strong, or coming off as too aloof and distant. Either way, he intended to prove his mettle to the people here, while seeing whether or not they reciprocated the gesture. He had traveled with more types of traveling companions than one might imagine possible, from the flippered kind, to the clawed and winged kind, to the kind that ran about on all fours, while chattering loudly and non-stop in barely intelligible Common tongue.
These appeared to be humans, and while he didn't feel like humans were the most accepting of species, he also felt like she should at least try and act like he had something in common with them, since theirs was one half of the blood running through his veins.
"I've got about all I need, and I can forage as we go. You'd be surprised how many nuts and berries hide in the bushes and shrubs when you're traveling, and where you can find some semi-palatable meat in even the most barren-seeming terrain."