It was an ordinary morning in the merchant city of Rosa. The birds were chirping, the sun was rising, and so on. Yes, Everything was going as it usually did in White Rise Desert's only port city. However, things aren't what they seem. No, this morning is a rather mundane start to an extraordinary day. Our story begins at the unusually named Deep Crater Tavern. It's a fairly run down building, but it somehow mysteriously remains open despite it's poor condition. It is assumed the proprieter can't be arsed to repair the damn building.
Anyway, sitting at the far left was a man. What, you wan't more? fine, He was a large man, and an armored one at that. he wore mostly leather armor, along with a scavenged chestplate and a set of pauldrons. He had a tattered gray cloak, and over it a simple pack which marked him as someone who at least made frequent trips out of the city. To his left were his weapons; an Axe and a Shield. What's that you say? Shields aren't weapons? Well, you haven't met this man. On the shield were three bladed points, as well as an unusual triangular crest. The Axe was of impressive construction, using high-quality Umbran blacksteel. The man himself was of pale complexion, which was unusual on an Umbran man such as himself. The only thing that was left to unquestionably mark him as Umbran were his violet eyes, or eye rather, as his other eye was presumably missing; why else would he wear an eye-patch? He had short dark hair and a bit of stubble, and in general was someone people tended to avoid.
"Another one." He grumbled, slapping a Terran gold piece (Quarter sized, Terran ones are square with rounded points) on the counter. The Barkeep, a rather unassuming man, moved over and handed him another pint. "A bit grumpy? Or are you just tired?" The barkeep said, obviously referring to the time. It was still a bit too early for business; many of the patrons at the inn down the street hadn't gotten up yet. "No," The Umbran said, taking a swig. "I've just got a bad feeling about today..."
"Using the Patagia Wings along with the hull of the Aerial Transport Cockpit proved to be a bad idea. Seems like something happened with the wings to cause the Cockpit to explode. As soon as I land, I'll have to f-" It was then that Dok Sinatra Urabrask landed in the Deep Crater Tavern. had it been any other tavern, she would have crashed into the place and made a huge mess. However, the tavern already had a convenient hole for her to fly through, as well as a pile of wood and broken furniture for her to land in. The result was a small but controlled crash, which resulted with more broken furniture. For a while, nothing stirred. Then, rising from the wooden parts, Sinatra stood up. Her form was hidden underneath an androgynous suit of metal armor, with light runes carved onto various plants to make them light-weight. Her helmet had an Orcish Visage, but also covered her face. The way the helmet was designed was also made her voice distorted and change drastically, as though it was deep male voice instead of her still deep female voice (Witch between orcs of her kind, was nearly indistinguishable anyways).
Sinatra decided that the first thing she'd do after the crash was get a drink. She had been sent airborn for what she guessed was a few days, either that or she had managed to rotate around RUNE to go past the sun twice. "I'll take a Rock Grog if ya got it." Sinatra took a seat on the rickety stood and pulled out a Ignis Iron Dollar; special arrowheads with the seal of Ignis on it. In a pinch, it could be attached to an arrow shaft and used to kill something, which is a frequent occurrence in Ignis.
Jural walked through the door of the Deep Crater cabin. He assumed the being walking from the shattered wreckage of furniture and the like was what he had seen falling out of the sky. His silver armor glinted in the sunlight briefly, before the door closed, and the duller light of the flames took over once more. He sat down next to a man who had the looks of an Umbran about him. "A water, if you please." He said to the bartender, slapping a Terran coin on the counter top. He preferred to pay other continents with their own coin, instead of the Nova money he carried with him. He took off his helmet, wiping his forehead before chuckling and muttering to himself, "You're to old to be trudging through the desert. Yet here you are. Why? I don't know anymore." He placed the helmet on the counter top. Jural also took off his shield keeping it within easy reach, and all that was left on him was his dagger and sword. He created an imperceptible light shield around him. You're a paranoid old fool. Jural thought to himself. Then he gave a shrug. Old habits die hard.
The sun was just rising, showering the wide desert of Terra in scorching light. People were beggining to wake up and ready themselves for another day of hard work. Soon, streets would be flooded by merchants and people looking for them. But it was too early for that. Streets were calm and void of multitudes. The streets looked much more wider in the early morning than they did in the middle of the day.
The quietness was disrupted though, by the heavy steps being laid by a tall man, burrowed inside many layers of dirty cloaks, colored maroon, dark brown and decorated by golden and pale-yellow designs.
He was completely concealed by the mantles. Only the area around his eyes was discovered, letting one come to the conclusion that he was brown-skinned, white haired, gray eyed and a carrier of a tired gaze. Just like the tribals from the western deserts.
The possibly tribal stopped in the middle of the street. He turned his gaze to a certain establishment that caught his attention. The Deep Crater tavern. A hole filled with dirt and ale, the cheapest one at that. It wasn't a surprise it was so beloved by most men of the area. The towering figure stepped right in, letting the smell of alcohol and dirt reach his nosestrils through his mask.
Without saying a word, he scanned the tavern, only seeing a man drinking by himself , a dirty, armored orc, and another armored man. The thought of drinking with at least one of them crossed his mind, but he just stood in the doorway, unable to go trough with his idea.
He was courageous enough to lead bold political riots in the capital, but he wasn't enough of a man to just drink with a stranger. The man gave himself the excuse that it was too early, anyway. Even though he never slept for more than an hour at a time, effectively making him awake and fully aware most of the time through-out the day.
The bundle of capes nodded at the bartender, as if to greet him. Sluggish steps took him to the counter's corner opposite to the man and the orc, and talked to the bartender with a raspy voice.
“I know... It's early... But, do you have anything to eat?”
Strangely, for a man with such an imposing figure, his eyes looked down, only meeting the bartender's gaze every few words.
Early in the morning, sun up already, though only few people were up by then. Birds flew overhead, some of the only few creatures catching a glimpse of the back alley transaction. The beautiful woman traced the plate armour chest piece worn by the tall man, her lips parted into a smile as she traced lower, giggles bubbling forth piercing through the quiet alley. There was an uncomfortable cough from the man’s elven companion, who leaned down to scratch a stray behind its ear with his long spidery fingers, “You wanted to speak with us?”
The woman looked back up at the man before pulling away, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear as she moved in on the elf. When she was but a few feet away from him, she leaned forward and pulling him closer to her by a loose clasp of his armour, causing him to gasp in surprise as he caught a better look at her cleavage her carefully tailored dress provided, “Yes, lets…just you, and me...?” The elf swallowed and nodded, still staring down at the ‘sights’, before looking up at his companion and nodding, waiting for a returned gesture before leaving with the woman.
With his companion gone with the woman to discuss who knows what, the plate armoured man moved down stiffly to pick up his pack, rummaging through till he pulled out his pipe and a baggie of tobacco leaves. Leaning on a far wall, his face had an impatient look as he tried to relax and smoke his bit. Thankfully, only a few short moments passed before the elf and the beautiful woman returned. The woman walked a little bit closer to the smoking man now and smiled warmly, “We’ve come to an agreement on the payout for the—”
The barrel of revolver hung just above her shoulder, and fired directly beside the woman’s ear. She yelped loudly at this and jumped away to hung onto the armed elven man, before staring back over her shoulder at the smoking man, now laying crumpled on the ground. Her eyes were wide, but she looked up at the elf now, “Good, you got rid of him…now the payout…” There was a glint of metal, the elf falling back quick enough to avoid getting a knife stuck into his chest, the woman was equipped with an exceptionally sharp one.
Before he could recover, she jumped forward and knocked his revolver out of his hands before jumping onto his chest, pressing the knife to his neck, “No payout this time, but thank you anyways for killing my husband.” The smile was sickly sweet, even as her neck bent at and uncomfortable angle, accompanied in sync with a disgusting snap. The large black fingers withdrew its hold on either side of the woman’s neck…and her body crumple down lifelessly. “That could have gone better.” The pipe and scattered tobacco leaves were gathered up carefully, before the thin feminine fingers brought them to the matching face of a woman.
Peering down at the fallen elf, she held out a hand to help him up, “It was a good chance to put the armour claim to the test, the dent is disappearing…!” She puffed out her chest a bit to prove her point, though the plate armour was terribly loose on her now, it didn’t have a scratch or a mark on it from the close shot. The elf looked a bit upset before looking away in a guilty manner, his features melted down and shifted, changing within the minute to become that of a very plain black haired woman, “I can’t believe you convinced me to do that, I can’t believe you trusted me enough to do that—!”
The woman laughed heartily at this, though her shoulders moved rather stiffly, since the armour was rather heavy on her this whole time, “Its fine, it was a good exercise. A good start to us shapeshifters’ day out! Oh, yeah…also, could you bring this to my brother, it’s a little heavy for me…” With this, she finally unclasped the armour pieces, letting them all fall down piece by piece around her. Stretching out a bit, she reached down to the britches she wore and pulled loose the drawstring, letting the pants fall around her ankles as well. The shoes she wore were quickly removed and chucked aside.
The black haired woman picked up the armour, but draw back uneasily, “I…I don’t think I can spend the rest of the day ‘hanging out’ with you anymore, I can bring your brother this armour set, but…you’re bad for my health. Sorry, Chaikin.” The blonde woman pouted at this, but nodded to let the woman go her separate ways. Sheesh, even after spending a week for this fun, dramatic end to their adventuring…boring companions were always so ungrateful.
Now that her schedule was freed up, it was probably a good time to get some food in her belly. Adjusting her loose cloth for robes, slinging her pack over her shoulder, and carrying a confused stray under her arm…she entered into the nearest tavern. There were a few people, but that didn’t matter much. Walking up to the counter, she gave the bartender a lazy smile and a little wave, “Sir, can I get a glass of wine? And…” Pausing for a second, she lifted her head and breathed in deeply, “Can I get some of you meat preserves? I’d be willing to pay for a full ham and a half, my little buddy is starving over here.” Motioning to the stray dog she brought in tucked under her arm, it seemed to sense what she was doing and let out a loud howl, causing her to chuckle in response.
The man jumped a bit at the sound of an audible crash. He whipped around, grasping at his axe. The barkeep decided that things might get ugly if he didn't interject. "Easy Grey, It's about time he dropped in." He said, reaching for his tranquilizer rifle, just in case. "What are you talking about, Dugan?" The barkeep merely pointed towards the wreckage as an Orc climbed out. "Well, I'll be damned, You're still alive. Must have some damn good enchantments." He set his axe down and returned to his spot.
It wasn't long after when another guy entered the tavern, a paladin by the looks. Of course, he decided to sit next to Grey, for some reason. Ah well, He doesn't know any better. "Water? Come on ya pansy, are ya a man or an Elf?" Grey moved to give the man a slap on the back, but his arm was just... Repulsed when he made contact. "Bah! A barrier? This is a tavern, not a war zone! Dick..." Grumbling a bit, Grey decided to focus on his drink instead.
A little while after, some dude in a cloak came in. Grey could see that this guy most definitely did not want to be bothered, so he decided to leave him alone. The barkeep was of course obligated to deal with him, so that's just what he did as soon as he was done getting everyone their drinks. "Uhh... Yes? Would you like something in particular?" Was the barkeeps response to the cloaked ones fairly vague demand.
The barkeep was rather stunned when a woman walked in. You see, this rat-hole of a tavern rarely had female visitors of any persuasion, and he had certainly never seen one this beautiful. She had asked something of him, but the Barkeep code prevented him from serving her until he dealt with his current customer. "J-just one moment, Ma'am!" he declared. "Make up your damned mind, son!" he said to the cloaked one quite forcefully. Hearing this, Grey interjected. "Don't mind him miss, Dugan's a bit of a horndog, Right man?" "Shut the hell up, Grey!" "Of course you are. Anyway, this guy'll probably take a while so you might want to find a seat." Grey said, gesturing to the cloaked one.
The cloaked man jumped a bit when he was hurried. He tried to signal his apologies to the drinker at the other end of the counter, but instead, he nodded while his eyes were accidentally set into a menacing glare.
Turning back to the barkeep, he set his gaze down and talked again, with a subtle stuttering at the start.
“Sliced apple, and... And Honey... And lemonade to drink, would be nice. But... If you don't have them, anything would be fine... Just... Just something cheap... Alright?”
A bandaged hand sprung up to scratch the back of his neck. He was nervous behind the veils that covered his body, lucky for him it wasn't obvious from the outside.
Out of curiosity, he looked back at the newcomer. A woman that looked just how women are supposed to look; Beautiful, full of grace, and eyes as magnificient as galaxies are.
The man felt he had made eye contact with the maiden, making him nervous. His body quickly twisted back to it's original position. The sensation of his blood heating up was strange, yet too familiar to him. Out of all the people so early in a tavern, the presence of a woman like her was the most bizarre. Especially when she was carrying a dog under her arm.
Jural chuckled. "I'm to old to be hitting the hard drinks before a trudge through the desert. As for the barrier," He gave another shrug. "Old habits die hard." He thanked the bartender and took his water, before taking out a small flask. He emptied a single drop into the water, and it immediately took a golden hue, shining slightly. He glanced at the cloaked figure. While from the outside he appeared largely calm, his words betrayed him. "Nervous. Interesting." He muttered to himself before his eyes glanced at the woman who walked in. For a few moments, he toyed with the notion of striking a conversation and seeing where it led. Then, he chuckled at himself. "I'm to old be going for a young woman like that." He muttered. Jural took a sip of his golden water, and sighing quietly as he felt energy return to him. The flask never failed to deliver, and he was always left feeling rejuvenated, and wide awake, ready to take on the world, no matter how much his body looked otherwise.
Chaikin blinked a bit as the man by the counter pointed out another seated man, saying that it’d be a while and that she should take a seat. Tilting her head a bit while looking at the pointing man, it really had been a while since she had last been among others. Bowing her head low, since she couldn’t exactly curtsy with a dog under her arm, she bowed a little lower to give some of the men a better look at her cleavage before she righted herself, “Thank you, my name is ___ Chaikin by the way.” The first part of her name was spoken quite low, purposely, so that her last name was all that one could hear. She smiled brightly before walking over and taking her seat…on the cloak, bandage, and poncho man’s lap, which in her mind, the other guy had pointed to while telling her to take a seat. Men in this town were a bit weird, if not a bit...'kinky', but she wasn’t going to question this, different strokes for different folks and what not. His layers of clothing made for a good, cushioned bit of seating. As she relaxed, finally getting her glass of wine to drink, she set the small dog onto the table to eat the large ham she had ordered.
The man's eye widened as a pair of soft buttocks, and a light back pressed against him. Before feeling any kind of embarrassment, he felt dumbfounded. This woman seemed to be a bit weirder than he thought... Or maybe the correct word was kinkier.
The man wasn't sure how to proceed. In an adventurous, dazed state, he tried to blurt out words.
“Hello...? I'm Hondo... Pleased... To meet you...?”
Peaceseeker Hondo, an active member of revolutionist groups who couldn't deal with people in less numbers than a mob. A peculiar pair of traits.
Hondo's hands were stiff at his sides, and his eyes kept trailing away from her. He couldn't be sure wether it would be okay to relax and rest his hands on her or if he was supposed to stay still.
Hondo was a scholar. A half scientist, half theoretical magus. Hondo was slowly learning every branch of knowledge he could manage to, but unlucky for him, there wasn't a good book about social interactions, especially with females as gorgeous as the one sitting on top of him.
He reached the conclusion that he had the right to loosen up as well, thinking she was probably okay with it if she went as far as sitting on top of him with no prior notice. Hondo slowly began to rest his hands on his own legs, barely touching her's with the tip of his fingers.