• Open • Warm of Breast, Full of Belly

The Darbyton Derby (Spectator Side)

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks and small villages of note, dotted in and around the island itself.

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• Open • Warm of Breast, Full of Belly

Postby Qit'ria » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:23 pm

Zi'da 93rd, 717 - 6th Break
Foothills at the base of Scalvoris Mountains





Larena scowled as yet another merchant approached to receive her signature on his permit. She looked down at the small, fat man, but signed it anyways. After all, the Rangers took a percentage of the profits of all of these temporary stalls of food, trinkets, and other goods. And there was never enough money to go around. Larena and the other Zone Leaders had no need for the money personally, but because there was offices in Darbyton, supplies for newer recruits, money was a necessary evil. Larena personally gave her entire salary back to the people of Darbyton. She sighed. Civilization truly was a blight on this world.

She waved the fat man away, clearly ignoring his desire to converse, and looked over at one of the many representatives from the Elements. The man stood next to his Enormowl, double and triple checking the rigging to the basket it was harnessed to, all the while patting it on the neck. Larena smiled, at least the Elements didn’t completely forget what it meant to be one with the wilds and the creatures therein. She didn’t agree with the whole basket idea that many of the mounts were being paired with, but the audience would need the help to watch the competition.

And this arcly Derby was so very necessary for the Rangers’ dwindling numbers. If they even got five new recruits from this, it was worth it. Civilization drove down the need for them to exist, and yet it seemed as if the beasts were getting fiercer, and more and more Rangers died every arc. She looked over at Singhar and her eyes grew sad. The mountains seemed to be hurting the worst right now. Preparation for this arc’s Derby took a heavy toll on him, personally. His younger cousin was a second arc Ranger, and he’d been found at the bottom of a ravine, body twisted and broken on the stones. His death put a pallor over the rest of them. It was hard work, driving wild beasts back from the area, finding or building some of the obstacles, creating the path. But it was necessary.

An extravagantly clothed merchant approached her, a woman, slim of waist and ample of breast prominently on display beneath her mink furs. The Gold representative. She was the lead merchant in charge of ensuring the Gold Package Members were treated extra special, more so than those that couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for the right.

“Larena, darling, brooding as ever I see. Keep scowling like that and you’ll never be able to settle down with a man.”

Larena’s scowl only deepened at this insult. As if she needed to settle for any man. “What do you want, Cornel?”

The woman smiled sweetly, clearly pleased at getting a rise out of the Ranger, “Oh nothing, but as the face of this side of the competition, I was hoping I could get you to smile more. It makes the Gold Members feel much more relaxed and safe.”

Larena flushed red, her hands tightened into fists, and she shifted her weight low, readying herself to knock this woman out in a single hit. Then a large hand settled on her shoulder, and she relaxed. She knew that grip. “Be gone with you coinsucker. You have all of your preparations done. Leave us, who make it easy and comfortable for you, alone.” Standing behind Larena was her dearest friend, a mountain of a man, covered in scars, hair, and bursting with muscle. And he was hers. And he knew she didn’t need to settle down, didn’t need to rely on him, just as he was the same for himself.

Cornel’s eyes flashed hot for a moment, before she turned on heel, walking off with her escort of privately hired mercenaries as bodyguards. Larena rested her cheek against Varzin’s fingers, “Let’s get this started.”

Singhar gave his speech, the veteran spectators explained what it all meant to the first timers. Once he and the rest of the competitors began their hike to the starting stage, Lenara shouted over the crowds. “Those of you given a gold or silver sash, please make sure to keep it with you at all times. This is how our fliers know who goes where, how the merchants know who gets what. Please do not wander from the viewing areas as you could very well die doing so. Those without sashes, stick with the Elements, they are providing your transportation for the event.”

The hike to the first stage would take about a quarter break for the competitors. The bronze and silver people were expected to walk, but the gold members were provided the finest of horses and carts to carry them there. Of course this was an option for the others, but at a cost. It disgusted her. All these people selling their food, their furs, their trinkets. She wished she could run them all through, break all their tables. But she sighed. Civilized people wanted comfort. They didn’t want the hardships, the challenge, the true bravery it took to conquer something that seemed as simple as a mountain.

These were city folk. And city folk knew nothing.
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Warm of Breast, Full of Belly

Postby Kura Wolfsdotter » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:59 pm

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The woman running the sign-in was a grumpy sort, but Kura wasn't surprised. Darbyton didn't seem to be home to the most sociable people, and she didn't let it bother. Instead she merely respected the womans lack of desire for conversation and moved to wait where she was directed to wait. As luck would have it, that put her near one of the Enormowls, and Kura had her usual argument with herself regarding the big birds. She knew she could ride one with a unity the typical rider could only dream of, and she desperately wanted the chance to try it out. But she was keeping a lid on her Mortalborn status, so for now she had to resist the urge for airborne acrobatics.

Instead, she focused on the competitors, two of which she knew. Tio was causing trouble most blatantly and she smiled slightly at his antics. Tio had solved mysteries with her and helped to fight off evil moss, but he needed to work on his subtlety. Vega, on the other hand, was a lot of fun to watch for her pure aggression. That woman was as fiery as her hair. Then the competitors took off their clothes and they all got a lot more interesting. After a few moments of watching their bodies in the cold, Kura admitted she'd readily take any of the three to her bed. A few more moments and she had to admit to herself that she'd gladly take all three of them. In the end though, she had to give her first show of support to Vega, purely for how hotly her fire burned.

As things were getting ready to move on, she focused on the crowds around her, looking for those spectators who were elderly or would otherwise need aid and couldn't afford it. Those who could were already negotiating for such, and she noted those who clearly needed help but couldn't afford it. Only one stood out, an elderly man. Once the speech from the giant of a man was done, Kura approached the elderly man. "Excuse me, sir. Would you like a ride? Forgive me, but it seems you need it far more than I do." she said, her tone polite. The man blinked in surprise at her, then smiled and nodded accepting her help into the cart designated for her.

The act of generosity earned her some more surprised looks, but Kura ignored them. In truth, the Mortalborn had no need of extravagance to spent on her at such an event, and she was looking forward to the hike to the first viewing area. She'd even dressed for the occasion, wearing her warm travel clothes as opposed to fancy dress clothes. However, as with so many things Kura did, there was another reason. She was a member of the Scalvoris council, a public figure of importance. And here she was giving away things she had spent money on to those who needed it more than she did. Her actions, like her house, were a statement. She aimed to set the standard for the behavior of those in power.

The walk to the first viewing area was brisk, but enjoyable. She enjoyed the wild, for all that she seemed a creature of civilized environments. The first viewing area provided an excellent view of the first event and she watched the competitors eagerly. She wasn't that surprised that no competitor took the safe route, she certainly wouldn't have. She wouldn't have taken the logs, though, that seemed a poor idea. Unwise and unnecessarily risky. Tio took the route that seemed best in Kura's eyes, the rams. But then there was Vega, taking the ram route but skipping the rams in a show of skill and cleverness that Kura grinned at. Vega, it seemed, still kept her support, though she'd be in trouble if this gambit didn't work.
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Postby Qit'ria » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:34 am

The elderly man that Kura helped was a well known figure among the senior community of Scalvoris Town. He wasn't a politician, he wasn't a famous healer, not a hero, nor an extremely rich man. No, this man had been a simple fisherman. But he was the kind of man that took the saying, "It takes a village..." seriously when it came to raising children around Scalvoris Town. And being one of the oldest people in town, he'd helped raised most of the natives, particularly those on the lower to middle levels of income. And this man was Ted, short for Teddward Fitch. Ted taught stories to the bored, let the hungry work on his boat for fish, smacked the unruly in the side of the head, and protected the bullied. Ted never had aspirations for greatness, and had lived alone for most of his life. The other oldest of the old knew that he'd had a wife in his youth, and she'd died in labor with their first child, who'd also not made it. He never remarried, never sought another woman. His community became his life's work.

So when Kura helped him, it sent ripples through the spectators, in a good way. Some of the people had thought the politician to be of the rich upper crust, but were now thinking a different story. None of the rich were nice to Ted. Hardly any knew of him. And so, while Kura enjoyed the pleasure of the gold section, which really was only a couple meters closer to the action than silver and bronze, the crowd was murmuring, eyes shifting from the event to her, at least among the Scalvoris Town natives.

And so when Vega started the rock slide, the ground beneath the spectators rumbled, and there were gasps, some of the richer, hoity-toity types panicked, fleeing back from the edge to the cheap seats, allowing some of the silvers to move forward. When the rumbling stopped, and the cowardly types moved back to take their spots, only to find them occupied, they complained. But they found some resistance. And no help from the Rangers or Elements standing nearby, many of whom simply rolled their eyes.

When Biffuno took a rock to the head, there was a loud female scream, "No!" A few heads turned, looking at her, realizing she was one of the Rangers, adorned in leathers, with a large long bow strapped to her back and a pair of long knives hanging from her hips. She kept a still face, but the extra observant would see tears streaming down her stoic front. And still, the crowd cheered out their favorite names. And still the awards for favorites were passed out to the competitors. And the competition moved on.

The flights once more took off, and carried everyone over to another ridge, on the opposite side of the gorge the competitors were trying to cross. The priority viewing spots were actually significantly closer, and a lot more safe. A few people in the silver and bronze seats slipped off the crowded ledge. They didn't fall far, and were scraped up a bit, before they were pulled back up. And the cheering resumed as the competitors started to cross.

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Warm of Breast, Full of Belly

Postby Roland Demira » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:49 pm

Roland hadn't been fashionably late to the Derby. Business just always came first, regardless of how important an event was. He was well aware that the Rangers used this event as a fundraising and recruiting promotion. He hoped that his steep Gold Package would do much for those who would brave the dangers of the wilds while he had his feet up with a good book.

Arriving at the competition, he passed his monies over to a striking woman who promptly had a golden sash tied around Roland's waist, marking his status among the spectators. If only there was some way to always be marked for others to know, Roland thought to himself as he sorted the sash out. He opted to take the walk himself, though he was now several paces beyond those who had moved on before. it was good to get a little exercise, though, to be honest, Roland stayed very busy moving between settlements in Scalvoris that his form wasn't an issue. He sometimes considered the benefits of lifting weights are body sculpting, but they were mere diversions. He had plenty to focus on.

Upon arrival, he made his way to the seating, ignoring the pomp of the opening ceremonies and finding a lovely spot with an excellent view. Upon seeing his sash, a servant quickly came to his side and he requested a glass of Egilrun Red. Once it arrived, he watched with glee as Vega was stripped and otherwise humiliated. The other competitors didn't particularly stick out to him as he had little to no contact with them. He did think the blond man was a blowhard, full of crude quips and mostly hot air. there was a man with Vega that was competing against her but seemingly also trying to protect her. Roland hoped that she would be smart enough to use such an advantage. As he had no physical or athletic skills, he didn't fantasize about what he would do. He just watched the carnage with glee.

Sipping his drink, he joined the crowd's cheers for Vega, even more so when she caused a rock slide. Roland took advantage of the thinning of the crowd so that he could stand closer and observe the death of the one man as he floated away. What a sport! It was a shame such bloodsport wasn't practiced more often. Maybe he could have a hand in that changing one day. When they asked him who his vote was for, it could only be for Vega. Her display of utter carnage and grit was too amazing to ignore. he kept his eye out for any Golds who might be willing to make sidebets on the action, while not making the move himself to start it. If he heard of any wagers, he would make sure to move in for it. Perhaps on their leisurely flight over the gorge, Roland would find someone to push.
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Postby Kura Wolfsdotter » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:24 am

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Kura had heard the murmurings behind her, but she focused on the event, letting out a gasp of surprise when Vega caused a damned rockslide to come down on the other competitors. She did get distracted, briefly, when several of the other gold-sashed spectators ran, cowards that they were. Kura was more likely to run towards the rockslide and derby than away from it, and she had no concern that the cowards lost their comfy seats. In fact, she found it somewhat amusing, as she knew that several of the bronze customers would have surged into the now vacant silver seats as well, forcing the golds back into the copper stands without help, and help didn't seem to be on the menu.

Then she saw the rock hit Biffuno and heard the cry, and the Mortalborn looked down and away from the competition. "Reckless, Vega. Reckless." she said, her tone saddened. She knew these things were inherently risky, but Vega's actions had only made that risk greater than it had ever needed to be. Perhaps it was her age, but Kura didn't find blood sports enjoyable, any more than she found spectating a battle enjoyable. Lives cut short were, for her, no reason to cheer. In the dodging that followed, Kura had to give her vote to the man who dodged the boulder. The more she looked at him, the more she realized he was familiar, but she couldn't place it.

With one death behind them, the competition moved on and Kura once again gave her ride to an elder from the bronze section, this time an eldery woman who was looking particularly distraught about the crossing. "Here, ma'am. Take my ride. I like heights just fine, and mine is more secure." she said, her tone gentle, and once again she resisted any attempts to refuse due to her having paid more money.

Once they were across the gorge, Kura found herself seated next to a well dressed man with a glass of wine. "Do you think anyone will try the slide? Have to be completely mad to be takin' that route." she said, her voice forcing a cheerful note she did not feel. Someone was bound to try that route, and most likely, die in the attempt. She didn't think she'd be attending any more of these derbies in the future. Blood sports were just not her brand of entertainment.
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Postby Roland Demira » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:59 pm

Sipping his wine, Roland soon found himself in company. Not one to long for human contact, he raised his glass in a friendly gesture and made room for the woman, should she choose to take a seat on the bench provided near the fire on the opposite side of the gorge. Her eyes were a striking, glacial blue, but they held a strange kind of look to them, almost as if she was one of those terrible winter wolves pretending to be a woman for a day. Though, by her looks, Roland could probably stand being her meal nevertheless.

Listening to her observation, Roland wondered if he had perhaps found someone to wager with over the current bloodbath. "That slide is for acrobats and heroes only, I'm sure of it. though, the competitors so far seem to be quite fitting in their roles. It's all been very entertaining. I am surprised the Rangers' numbers are so thin if they have this kind of event each arc." He took another long sip of the red, looking over to a nearby servant and shaking the glass a bit in his fingers for a refill. When it was refilled, he looked back over the fire to the competitors as they donned their new gifts and started to make their way. Watching as Vega took after Shannon on the bridge, he stood and clapped, whistling sharply toward her. "Come on, Vega! Show them what you can do!" He chuckled a bit, no doubt a byproduct of the Egilrun Red, taking a seat back next to his sudden companion.

"Vega is a real competitor. I am amazed at her grit." Suddenly, he thought of his manners. Turning toward the woman, he said, "Excuse my manners, I completely forgot to introduce myself. Roland Demira, local broker and appraiser. And who might you be?" Whatever she said, his attention was fixed on the action ahead , as not one but two men took flight on the slide, the cocky young man flying to an unbelievable height and then disappearing out of view briefly. His attention quickly flashed over to the now burning bridge that took light once Vega had made Shannon stumble." Pointing out and whistling sharply again, he clapped as best as one could with a glass of wine in hand. "Yes, Vega! that's what I'm talking about!" He sat down again, at least half listening to his companion.
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Postby Kura Wolfsdotter » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:17 am

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Kura nodded her agreement at her companions assessment of the slide. Heroes and acrobats only, but the foolish could still try. His comment about the rangers drew a snort, though. "If it's always this dangerous, most of the ones who would be their most likely candidates to join probably die in the derby." she said dryly, though was a bit of amusement in the irony of that particular thought. His cheering for Vega drew a smile, though. While she couldn't support the redheads recklessness, she knew that she was too cautious to condone such risk taking, and she was glad that Vega hadn't lost all support.

When Roland introduced himself, Kura nodded and smiled. "No trouble at all, with the competition so fierce I'm not surprised we've forgotten to introduce ourselves. My name is Kura Mareth. I'm on the Scalvoris Council as the head of foreign affairs." she said, before wincing as both Arlo and Tio took the slide. Arlo did fine, but she was worried that Tio was a dead man. Then his pick caught the cliff, and she let out a sigh of relief. He wasn't dead yet, at least. When the bridge caught fire, Kura let out a sharp breath. "Damn it, Vega. You'll die young if you keep bein' so bloody reckless." she growled, her icy gaze fixed on the events of the bridge.

In fact, she was so fixated on the bridge, especially as it started to collapse, that she completely missed what Tio was doing until he was already on the other bridge, swinging into the abyss to rescue Shannon from what would otherwise have been certain death. "Yes! Excellently done, Tio!" she shouted, standing up as her occasional ally proved himself saving anothers life. As for the rest of the competitors, the acrobat was definitely not a favorite, and Arlo and Vega had apparently realized that the stakes of this competition were far too high.

Vega once again proved her fire as she called out the entire viewing platform, and Kura smiled at the redhead. Then one of the rangers joined in, speaking directly to a woman in the stands. As it just so happened, Kura and Roland were in the front seats as well, and Kura looked to her side at the woman he was speaking too, her icy eyes narrowing. She had plans Darbyton, and from the sound of things, this Cornel was not only a threat to those plans, but to the people of the island as a whole. Frowning, she triggered Unshakeable Tracker, and to her eyes only, a gold trail followed Cornel as she left. She could follow that at her leisure, but for now, she looked back down at the competition, noting those attempting to continue. When one of the rangers came to offer her a ride back down the mountain, she shook her head. "Give my ride to those who need it more than I. I've hunted in the wilds before, I'll be able to make my own way down." she said, before looking up the mountain. "Is someone going to go retrieve the others?" she asked, her tone blunt.

After a moment, she looked back at Roland. "Well, that was an interesting turn, wasn't it?" she said, with a laugh. "In truth, that was perhaps the best part of the Derby, at least for me. Will you be taking your ride back down, or will you linger? I'm hoping to speak to the man down there who seems to be taking charge of the Rangers, so I'll be lingering a bit." she said, her tone cheerful.
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Postby Qit'ria » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:04 pm

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The ranger that Kura addressed nodded, "There's Rangers further along, at the end of the obstacle. We've sent word to them, they'll take care of it, ma'am."

There were many annoyed grumbles among the gold members. They'd come for blood, excitement, for something to break the monotony of being rich and bored. There were exclamations of anger, of inconvenience. People calling for their money back. The rangers redirected these complaints to the handful of representatives of Cornel left behind. Before the first flights took off, Singhar called out, "Take 'em to the finish. Can't let the food go to waste. Don't worry about the sashes. Everyone eat up."

The Rangers and Elements alike nodded. Instead of flying due south, back to the start of the race, the mounts went northeast, over the corner of the mountain that Tio and the others had just disappeared into. For those who didn't wish to fly, the Rangers led people along a back trail that took a bit longer. There in a valley protected from the wind, on a former glacial flow, smoothed and flattened by the massive ice that had once come through, was a party set up. There were tables upon tables, rows and rows of benches. Each table was laden under food, with help, hired by Cornel and other merchants, scurrying around, cooking, prepping.

The hired help was welcoming the guests, sitting them wherever they so desired. The food options were vast, especially since Singhar opened it up to everyone. There was more than enough for everyone to eat their fill, drink to their heart's content.

Whole Flunny, rotisseried
Mashed Bruised Mashroot
Mixed Scaltoth Fern Greens, Sauteed
A Popfruit
Sn'oh Deer veal medallions with sage & baker's wheatwort
Darbyton Carbonara with Thwarthog bacon
Sharkin Sharkfin Soup
Halfrein and Cheese Soup
Constellion Steak with Greens
Braised Flunny with Blueberry Cherry jam

Mead
Red Wine
Sweetwine Water
Darbyton Dark Porter
Almund's Strawberry Ale
Ishallr Iced Wine
Egilrun Red Wine

And while the hired help was working the catering portion of the event, it could be seen that the Rangers were noticeably avoiding the meal. They were posted upon ridges, outcroppings, not watching over the people, but the mountain itself. Singhar made his rounds among the various Rangers, giving some a word, others a hand clasp on the shoulder. He knew he wasn't the only one among them to feel shame at this. And he wanted those loyal to Cornel that such a thing would not be tolerated in the future.

Once he was done, he made his way to Councilwoman Kura. He crossed his arms comfortably, sizing her up. "I could feel your gaze following me. You're the councilwoman that lives down near Sweetvine yes? The forest rangers there speak often of your... house. So what can I do for one so intent on gaining my ear?"
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Postby Kura Wolfsdotter » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:44 pm

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Kura nodded at the ranger who told her that the participants at the end of the race would be taken care of by rangers posted at the end. She did take a flight to the end of the course, since they were flying and feeding everyone now. At the races end, she was quite happy to mingle with the people from the lower ranked sashes, to the point where she only kept hers on in case she needed it. As it just so happened, she was facing the nearby cliff.

As it turned out, Kura had a rather large appetite, to along with her increasingly large headache. Using Unshakeable Tracker for so long as to have conversations and a meal was putting a strain on her. So she was eating a lot, favoring the Flunny and Constellion steak. Fortunately, her eyes hadn't gone bloodshot yet, so she didn't have to worry about that, but she kept a glass of the Darbyton dark porter on hand. Both because it tasted rather good, and also to explain why her eyes would go bloodshot if this took too long.

When Singhar approached her, she swallowed the bit of Flunny she had been eating, then wiped her mouth. "Yes, that's me. Kura Mareth, in charge of foreign affairs. And yeah, I get quite a few comments about the location and style of my house." she said, grinning slightly before she paused in thought. "And none of them ever seem to think about why I built it there." she mused, before shaking her head. "That aside, I'm curious about the state of the rangers. I heard this was done to both bolster and fund the rangers. Are things that precarious?" she asked, before looking over his shoulder at the cliff.

"There...there appear to be people falling off that cliff. Is there a landing for them or some such?" she asked, pointing at the cliff. Hopefully, there was. People on flying mounts, at least.
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Postby Roland Demira » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:54 pm

Roland found himself sitting among the various groups, regardless of their payments, eating the fine foods that had originally been reserved for those with a gold sash. He was damned sure going to keep the sash, since he surely paid for that. Vega and her lover had quit the competition and Roland was on the fence. His initial reaction had been disgust, much like the other gold sashers. However, unlike them, he was not born into money and as much as he had tried to fool himself into believing he was a cold and soulless turd, when sword came to stone, he actually wasn't.

On one hand, the volunteers for the Derby surely knew what they were in for and should have expected possible loss of life. So, Roland's regrets weren't based on the value of life. It was more that the whole thing had been a fundraiser for the Darbyton Rangers, an organization that Roland appreciated and respected. He could barely manage to build a fire in his house, much less out in the wild. the deaths of the Rangers at their own recruitment event was bad enough, but people cheering the deaths was just bad for all of Scalvoris. Looking up from his glass of wine, he saw the woman he had sat with before and considering she was the only recognizable face, he decided to approach her. It appeared that another man, dressed in Ranger garb, was nearby as she spoke to him. Standing within earshot with his glass of Egilrun Red, he heard her introduce herself both as Kura Mareth and in charge of foreign affairs. Was that a council position? Roland was aware of two spots, Shania's and Faith's, being voluntary. Could this be a salaried councilwoman? What a friend, indeed!

Roland chose to wait until the two had finished their conversation as they were things he was also interested in, save for the falling people. He noticed a small man with a common sash eating the fine cuisine with his hands near where the two were talking. Bending down, he smiled and nodded at the man who looked up at him with bits of food in his beard. "Excuse me, Sir, there is some kind of mixup concerning your reservation, would you mind speaking to one of the organizers over there?" He nodded in a vague way toward the Cornel brigade. The man seemed to think about it for a moment, shrugged and stood from the table, trailing with his platter. With the seat vacated, Roland brushed away the food bits from the table and the seat before taking the man's spot and listening intently to the two.
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Roland Demira
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Posts: 61
Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 12:59 am
Location: Scalvoris
Race: Human
Profession: Broker
Renown: +23
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