[Oakleigh] The road to truth

A settlement east of Rynmere across a stretch of water called 'the eastern trench' broken into three regions: Welles, Oakleigh, and Berwick.

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Sintih
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:58 pm

heir two way class went slowly, as both men were using language they didn't know very well in combination with a lot of other gesturing and, when necessary, some common. The horses also didn't lend themselves well to the classroom setting languages were usually learned in. For a few of his signs he learned the right Rakahi words and pronunciation while others were properly explained to him, how they were broken down and what words made them up. Sin was quite interested to learn that Rakahi seemed to have a lot of ocean based words that where then combined or melded into something land based. That horses were Seahorse-rowboats, more or less, in Rakahi stayed with him for a long time, well into the afternoon when the city of Welles came into sight.

When another traveler got into some trouble with the weather, Hart was eager to stop and help while Sin made sure nothing was wrong int heir surroundings. The break near the little creak provided some well needed cooling for both them and their horses while they looked after the other traveler. By the afternoon of the second trial, the split in the road between Port Town and Welles came into view and Sin became more tense for a while, constantly looking around for the pair of riders from the trial before. While he didn't completely relax after they'd passed the point, Sin didn't believe for a trill that those two were really heading to Port Town, he did relax a little more than before. Their night stop wasn't memorable, except the fact that Hart went to bed almost straight away with a look on his face that told Sin the man wasn't doing well with coming off his mushrooms.

In the morning, Sin observed the change in his travel companion and was glad to see Hart's appetite had returned. It wasn't far until Welles came into sight and both riders seemed to gain a boost of energy, forgetting about the long horse ride over and their troubles on the road. Welles was a big city with plenty of guards and respectable, populated areas they could reside in which would keep Hart safer than Sin could. With Hart's guidance they found a place to stay in town while they would look for Hart's ship. Sin politely refused the bastard Venora's offer to take a load off at the place and went with Hart who went to look at the docks for his ship. About half a break of questioning into their search, Sin decided it best to split up and cover more ground.

He was never far from Hart, asking questions of the people he could find, describing the ship as best he could from what he'd heard from Hart's earlier questions. Every so often he'd look for Hart to make sure everything was alright. At one such time, Hart seemed to be in a conversation with another man and Sin watched from a distance. At first, Hart seemed a little taken aback, possibly by the choice of words of the other person but the more they spoke, the more Hart seemed to lean away from him. Sin knew very little about Biqaj body language but any animal in nature acting like that was either giving heed to an alpha or was about to get jumped by a predator, neither of which were good things in Sin's case.

Quickly scanning around him, Sin noticed some fishermen sitting and talking, working on their nets. What they were doing came second to what they were doing it with. Sin walked over and greeted them quickly. "Sers." He put ten golden nels on one of the crates in the middle of the group. "Is there anyone here kind enough to lend me a few of their knives?" They looked at him, confused for a moment, and then to each other. One of them seemed ready to question him about it when another one turned his knife around and held it out with the handle first. Sin smiled and nodded his thanks as he took the blade from the man. Two more did the same and Sin took their blades as well. None of them were actual fighting weapons but in combination with certain skills of his they were as deadly as a sword in a knight's hands.

He quickly pushed two of the knives into his belt on his back and gripped the other one with his right hand. He walked along the harbor, making sure he approached at an angle, at the edge or even outside of the other man's point of view. With a quick shift of his fingers, the grip he had on the knife turned around and the length of the blade was now pressing against his wrist and lower arm. As he approached the two men, the one Hart was talking to was in the middle of explaining just how their blood getting spilled wouldn't mean anything here. Then his voice seemed to turn even sharper as he all but commanded Hart to come with him.

Another shift of his fingers and the knife was back in the more common grip. "Ser Hart, there you are. I think it's time for us to go." Sin said as he poked the tip of the knife between the other man's ribs, just enough to let him feel the sharp pressure the weapon provided but not enough to actually cut the man. "We can finish the rest of our work tomorrow." While he was talking, his left hand came up and his thumb quickly stabbed towards his chin, or throat. While half the sign was lacking, having one hand holding a knife in a man's side allowed for that. Hopefully Hart would recognize the half sign for Danger as what it was. There were no raised eyebrows to convey a question.
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Hart
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Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:05 pm

"Speaking in Rakahi"
"Speaking in Common"

It must have only been trills before Sintih was there, holding a knife to the man's side. At most, it had been a full bit.

"Danger," the bodyguard said, and Hart stepped away from the Alliance man, pulling out of his grasp; the man had grabbed him hard by the arm, but, with Sintih there now, had to release him. Hart put himself near Sintih, bringing himself out of the other's reach. As he moved, the man's eyes tracked him.

"That friend of yours?" the man asked innocuously. He looked at Sintih and smiled a pleasant smile. "Death to the nobility." But he held up his hands as if not to resist.

"Sintih," Hart urged, not knowing if the bodyguard would hurt the man here on the docks, in plain view of everyone, but afraid that he might. "Let's go." A couple of people had turned to look at them. Hart noticed a group of fishermen standing and watching intently nearby. "Let's go," he said again.

He turned and began walking away.

Hart tried to appear more calm than he felt, to not let it show how the man's words kept replaying over and over in his head. He was walking, walking, though he didn't seem to realize he was walking very quickly, fast enough to be on the cusp of a run. He didn't know where he was going, just away from where he'd been.

When finally he seemed to realize how quickly he was moving he slowed, then stopped as he came to where the docks met the cobbled street. He didn't want to go back into the cramped confines of the city. It no longer felt safe.

There are others of us in this city.

"Sintih," Hart said, as if to make sure the guard was there beside him. If the bodyguard had followed, Hart would look over and, with a measured voice, relay almost word-for-word everything the Alliance man had spoken from start to finish; it was easy because the words still seemed stuck in his mind. He told Sintih what the man had known about them, and what he had said about the Welles guardsmen and the people of Welles and Oakleigh.

And they, like the people of Oakleigh, don't like your kind. Neither do we.

Afterwards, Hart fell quiet.

With each passing bit his nervous energy seemed to calm. But it was just a trick he knew, holding still when he wanted to pace, keeping his hands from twisting and fidgeting anxiously. If Sintih wanted to move him somewhere more secure he would go along, though he was reluctant to step further into the city. He would refuse entirely to talk to any of the city guard.

When he spoke again it was to say slowly, as if he was considering what he was saying as he said it, "I can't go back to the Estate in Oakleigh."

"I thought it would be okay if I stayed with Tristan in Oakleigh," Hart said, still slowly at first but with his words picking up speed and surety, "Because I didn't think the Alliance would contact me. I'm not-- I'm not an assassin. Not a mercenary, or a spy. I don't know anything about politics. I don't know what they want with me. But they must want something--" He seemed to realize the truth of his words as he spoke. "--and I can't, I can't bring that back to Oakleigh."

He really couldn't, could he.
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Sintih
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Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:37 am

he blade poked against the man's side as Hart tried to get away. Whether it was the added pressure of the blade or not, the man released Hart and the half Venora quickly stepped away. The attacker followed Hart with his eyes but he seemed to act cool under pressure. The knife didn't seem to bother him much. Sin cared very little how the man felt in this situation. The blade would make quick work of him and if it didn't there were two more in his belt to finish the job. "Death to the nobility?" Sin smiled back at the man, his joy never reaching his empty eyes. "If you were even remotely competent, there wouldn't have been any nobility left by now."

Sin put his hand flat against the man back and pushed him away and downward, making him stumble forward, away from Hart and him. With a flick of his fingers, the blade in his hand reversed again, the cold steel pressing against the inside of his wrist, hidden from immediate view. "Let's go." He had planned to grab Hart by the arm and pull him all the way back to Oakleigh but the man was already on his way. As they walked, Sintih divided his attention between the road ahead of them and the road behind them, constantly looking over his shoulder. He hated this, being outnumbered and not knowing who was with you and who wasn't. As Hart stopped, Sin stepped up to him. "Let's go back to the inn, alright. We can sit and calm down." By we he meant Hart but he didn't want to put the man on the spot after what had just happened.

Before they could move on, Hart started talking, telling Sin about the conversation. It revealed much to the bodyguard, who suddenly found himself with split loyalties. Hart was a nice enough guy but this alliance business put him at the exact opposite side of the cold war in Rynmere. He quietly nodded and guided Hart through the city, sticking to large, crowded roads where he could, in plain sight of everyone and everything and crossing quickly through small alleys and empty streets. They passed a patrol of city guard and Sin passed them by without a second glance, guiding Hart back to the inn they'd stayed at. Hart suddenly spoke and Sin stopped in front of the door of the inn, turning to listen to the man.

As Hart spoke, Sin found himself weighing his options. He was glad to see that his view on things hadn't been changed by his feelings for Hart. He nodded once more as Hart finished and, without hesitating, answered back. "No, ser, you can't go back to Oakleigh. You'd only put people there in danger." He looked up and down the street they were standing in. "I can find you a boat to Andaris tomorrow, after that you're on your own. I'll return to Tristan and inform my company and his personal guards about this so we can prepare, just in case." He turned and pulled the door to the inn open. "Would you like me to deliver any message to Tristan for you?" He left it up to Hart to decide how much or how little he would tell his brother. Sin was only planning on telling Tristan what he needed to know in order to survive. Any other details he left up to hart to decide on.

The inn was quiet as they were arriving in between two meal times. Most guests were out doing their own thing. The innkeeper welcomed them back. "Do you have any strong alcohol for sale? Whatever your strongest is, one glass for my friend here. He got a bit of a fright." Sin nodded with his head towards Hart while putting his new dagger with the other two. As soon as the innkeeper was out of earshot, fetching glasses or alcohol, or both, Sin turned back to Hart. "When you get to Andaris, you should probably lay low for a season or two, until this blows over." Despite having easily made the decision to cut Hart off from Tristan for the latter's security, Sin wasn't going to simply drop Hart and be done with him. The man had been nice enough, considering he was part of a noble family. The innkeeper arrived a moment later with a small cup of something sweet and strong smelling, placing it in front of Hart. "There you go. That'll be six silver nels, please." Sin waited to see if Hart would pay or not.
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Hart
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Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:23 am

"Speaking in Rakahi"
"Speaking in Common"

Perhaps he'd been hoping that Sintih would insist he go back to Oakleigh. Perhaps he'd thought that because Tristan had extended the guards' protection to him --you are the only brother I have left-- that protection would mean something here. Perhaps Hart had wanted, somehow, to be saved from this.

But that didn't happen.

Sintih agreed that Hart couldn't go back. The bodyguard spoke simply, but in a manner that was like a command, "No, ser, you can't go back to Oakleigh. You'd only put people there in danger."

It was one thing for Hart to suggest it; another thing for Sintih to agree. This was coming from someone who knew about security. This was coming from the head of the guard.

As Sintih continued on about ships and informing Tristan and about him being on his own, the anxiety Hart was supressing rushed into something like panic. Immediately he looked down and away, hiding the expression on his face as he tried to get control of what he felt.

He was afraid.

Sintih held open the door for him and, after a hesitation, Hart stepped into the inn.

The hesitation he needed to calm himself. Something he had thought long ago came back to him: You're alright if you pretend you are. As he crossed the door's threshold he took a deep breath; it was a reset. He looked up, set aside what he was feeling, and tried to just be calm. He could be afraid later.

For now, "Thank you," Hart said, "For helping me." There was a pause as he considered his words. "And for protecting Tristan above all else."

"Would you like me to deliver any message to Tristan for you?" Sintih asked, and Hart thought of saying goodbye.

"Just tell him I'm sorry," he said.

And though he knew he really shouldn't drink, not right now, he sat down at the bar.

The innkeep set whatever it was Sintih had ordered in front of him and Hart handed over the nel without thinking. After a brief pause during which he warred with himself, he handed over more coin, not silver this time, but gold. He knocked the drink back, wincing. After another brief hesitation, he said, "Again."

"Sintih, did you want a drink?" he asked, ever polite. The innkeep refilled his glass with a glance between them, and Hart could nearly read the man's mind. It was only 15th break. Hart knocked the second drink back. It hurt more than the first.

He waited a bit for the burn to settle in his chest. "Another," he said.

When the next drink was delivered, he knocked it back as quickly as he had the other two.

He considered stopping after the third.

---

In the morning he was fine. Hart was up early, dressed and ready, before Sintih came down to the common room. Once they had eaten, Hart said, "To the docks. I want out of this city." He spoke happily enough.

At the docks, he asked for the first vessel leaving for Andaris. A merchant vessel was leaving within the break, and he bartered passage, exchanging work, in part, for board. He put his things on the ship and came back out to say goodbye.

"Oh. Did you want the boots back?" he asked, glancing down at his feet. Sintih had given him the pair of ill-fitting boots because Hart, in his drug-addled state, had forgotten his own. He'd likely be able to get a new pair before the ship made way, if he needed.

"Thank you again, Sintih. For everything."

"Goodbye," Hart said. There wasn't much else to say. Because he could he said it again in Common sign; it was one of the things he'd managed to pick up from Thetfretr because it was so simple.

"Goodbye."

Off Topic
3 drinks at 0.6.0gn each = -1.8.0gn
added to total for the thread = -28.8.0gn
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Alistair
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Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:50 am

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Sintih


Knowledge
Deception: The exact and total opposite of the truth
Detection: When someone isn't acting like themself
Detection: Dangerous people have dangerous vibes
Discipline: Withstanding magical commands with force of will
Fieldcraft: Hallucogenic mushrooms
Leadership: Tell them only what they need to know
Leadership: Using the right people for the right jobs
Leadership: Guiding people who don't really want to follow
Linguistics: Different grammar for different languages
Mount: Horse: Long trials of riding
Mount: Horse: Galloping is not for new riders
Mount: Horse: Move with the rhythm of the beast
Mount: Horse: It'll hurt less the second trial
Persuasion: Handling a high person
Persuasion: Lots of golden nels usually gets you what you need
Socialization: Using sad events to manipulate a conversation
Tactics: Preparing solutions before problems arise

Location: Eastern Settlements: The road from Oakleigh to Welles
Location: Eastern Settlements: Port Town
Location: Eastern Settlements: Roadside Inn
Hart: A drug user?
Hart: Doesn't know how to ride
Hart: A bad past
Hart: Used to be married, sort of?
Hart: Used to own a boat
Hart: Used to own a dog
Hart: Lost a lot in the past arcs
Hart: Possibly under the influence of magic
Hart: A mage?
Hart: May have tried to get in your pants while high

Loot: -10 gn, +3 Fisherman's Knives
Injuries: N/A
Renown: Small (+10)
Devotion: N/A

Points: 15

Hart


Knowledge
Running: Avoid sticks and stones while running with bare feet
Running: Running without proper shoes can cause blisters
Mount: Horse: Press your heels to a horse's sides to make it go
Mount: Horse: A well-trained horse can make riding easier
Mount: Horse: Move with the horse to keep your balance
Mount: Horse: Proper riding posture
Mount: Horse: Use the reins to steer
Endurance: Riding a horse for hours upon end
Endurance: Resisting a magical compulsion
Navigation: Nautical miles are different than miles on land
Navigation: The city of Welles is north and west of Oakleigh
Navigation: The major roads in Oakleigh
Navigation: Three trials on horseback from Welles to Oakleigh
Navigation: Port Town is due east of Pyke
Mixology: Amber moon, a drink that serves as a hangover remedy, made with vodka, hot sauce, and a raw egg
Linguistics: The words used in a language are based largely upon the culture surrounding it (ie a sea-based culture will have a sea-based vocabulary)
Linguistics: Comparing words between languages

The Eastern Settlement: Boasts of a population greater than Rynmere
The Eastern Settlement: Holds anti-nobility, anti-Rynmere sentiments
The Eastern Serrlement: May support the RCA
The Alliance: Has agents in Welles and Oakleigh
NPC: Chelsea
Chelsea: A member of the Alliance
NPC: Marcol
Marcol: A member of the Alliance
NPC: The unnamed Alliance agent in Welles
Sintih: Used a false name, Brada
Sintih: May be yludih
Sintih: His mother taught magical theory at the University of Rynmere
Sintih: Speaks some Rakahi
Location: Oakleigh Town, Oakleigh
Location: Port Town, Welles
Location: The Old Lass, a roadhouse a trial's ride from Dewwich in Oakleigh
Location: Welles City, Welles
Welles City: An old city, perhaps predating Rynmere
Welles City: Perhaps the largest city in the Eastern Settlement
Welles City: Passes through most of the traffic and trade from Rynmere to the Settlements
Welles: The most populated region of the Eastern Settlement
Welles: Has mines in the north
Language: Common sign
Common sign: The sign for help
Common sign: The sign for danger
Common sign: Raised eyebrows turn a statement into a question
Common sign: A stiff middle finger is universal
Common sign: Signs about horses (for example: stable, horse, saddle, etc)
Common sign: The sign for goodbye

Loot: -28gn, 8sn, +A pair of ill-fitted boots
Injuries: Blisters on hart's feet, will last for 5 trials, decreasing in extremity
Renown: Small (+10)
Devotion: N/A

Points: 15

Comments: I like how much thought you both put into the world around you. There was so much detail and emphasis on the culture and feeling of the Eastern Settlements, and sort-of Greater Rynmere too. You even mentioned population at one point, with the ES claiming to have more people than Ryn, haha. Totally false on the part of the locals - they have about 1/18th as many people as Rynmere. :P (As per the Sheor article in the Lore) But of course they'd claim as such, and that was a nice touch.

I enjoyed the dialogue between the two, also. And honestly, don't feel bad about making stuff up - we all do it, the world's got millions of people, we don't need a write-up for every little town. :lol:
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