• Memory • Find

Founded on the shores of a desert oasis, this city prefers to take no part in the wars around unless directly attacked. Believing firmly in doing nothing if nothing can be gained in return, the city has strict control of the oasis, which is the only major source of water in The Hotlands, not allowing any travellers or visitors to get water from it without paying a strict tax. Merchants will be welcomed, but travellers will have a hard time in this city.

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Saza Moshe
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Find

Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:43 pm

70 Ashan, 718 ‣ Nashaki
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“Overseer said he’d never seen him take more than he’s owed. Well I just don’t see that! Far as I can tell, any one of them’s viable to have taken it, even the overseer! Betcha that’s why he’s coverin’ for his guys!”

“Uh…”

“Checked the docks up’n down myself. All night, I was out there lookin’. Didn’t see a damn thing. And he still thinks it’s out there? It’s a cover-up!”

“Right, right… so what do you want us t–”

“I need that gods-damned ring found! Best place to check’d be their pockets, sure as hell.”

Saza blinked, watching the cantankerous woman before them with bright orange eyes. She’d pulled them into her makeshift shack (it was really just a few tents sewn together and tossed over a couple tall rocks) as soon as she’d heard them approach, which made him wonder if she had been giving every passing stranger the same winding story.

Dressed in long, draped fabrics and various colors, the human had her dark hair pulled into a bun atop her head, and the fried, frizzing strands stuck out in all directions. She was closer to Hyde’s age than his own, but he suspected it had less to do with the arcs and more to do with the obvious sun damage to her wrinkled skin. Her eyebrows, thin little arches, lifted and lowered with the lilt of her scratchy voice.

“Sure,” the young biqaj settled, “I’m... sure we can find your ring. Uh. Right?”

He looked to his left, searching for a more suitable response from Hyde. Saza didn’t know how this kind of thing was supposed to go – he was a soldier. He didn’t usually deal with people losing things, or getting things stolen, or… whatever had actually happened to the woman’s missing ring. With her shack settled just to the side of the main docks, on the beach, she claimed to have lost it at some point during the night one trial before.

According to her, a handful of dockworkers had still been out and about at the time. Staring at her, she said, like they wanted to (she’d mouthed something in Hyde’s direction, but covered it from the younger’s view). The ring had been on her thumb, like she said it always was, and she’d spoken to the workers for a few bits to tell them off… and by the time she’d made it back to her shack, the ring was gone.

“If you don’t find it, I just don’t know what I’m going to do. They took it! I swear to you they did! I’m betting it was Sa’alna, the one with the big hair like–” she pointed to Saza’s clean, fluffy hair. The woman hurriedly sat down after that, dark eyes wild with concern.

Saza reached for one of the cracked mugs she’d set in front of them, on the little table (it was just a couple of flat rocks on top of other rocks). He lifted it to his lips and took a sip of… tea? Was it tea? It tasted like some sort of flower, and he scrunched his nose in disapproval. The expression was wiped from his face soon enough when he noticed the woman’s stare on him. Maybe he should've gotten something to drink when they'd stopped by the tavern...

“Thanks for the tea,” he offered weakly, before clearing his throat and glancing away.

After a not-so-quiet grumble, she looked between them both, and retrieved a small coin pouch from somewhere in her draped clothing.

“I’ll pay you both,” she assured with a rapid nod, “I will. That ring’s all I got of my ex-husband.”

Ex… he wondered if she meant late, or if she was just clingy.

“Whaddya say? Get my Zihmi’s ring back from those sneaks?”
word count: 690
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Ichabod Hyde
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Re: Find

Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:06 pm

7 0 - A S H A N - 7 1 8. . . N A S H A K I
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All things considered, Hyde felt in a chipper mood. For the first time in many trials, his body, hair, AND his clothes were clean. The latter being because they were new, which gave them a different sense of cleanliness. None of the regrets that had seeped into the threads of his old attire that he'd worn from Yaralon to Nashaki. New bandages had been wrapped around his cut-up hand, too. He felt almost proper, cleaned up like he was, and had bothered to scrape over his stubble with a razor before they'd left the bath house so the thick graying hair wouldn't continue into a short beard. Not perfect, but the closest he'd been to clean-shaven in a long while.

Of course, it also helped that he'd gotten some liquor between the bathhouse and the place they now were. Which he wasn't sure what to call it. A home didn't seem suitable as a word. More of a... squatting area? Camping?

He stood to the side, arms crossed, while he listened to Kalba speak with the woman. Since they'd entered the shaded area, he hadn't said a word. Not that he'd said much of all since the bath house anyway, other than quiet noises of acknowledgment here and there. His expression hadn't changed either, while he stared at the woman. Every now and then, his gaze would slide to glance at the frizzy-haired youth then back to the woman.

"...find your ring. Uh. Right?"

The biqaj looked at him with those orange eyes. Hyde blinked. He didn't say anything. The older man hadn't even bothered with sitting down. He had, however, picked up the tea and pulled out his flask to add liquor to it before he took a drink. The taste didn't even register to him.

Hyde's gaze snapped in swift recognition when he saw a coin pouch taken out. He fixed his sight on it, and approximated the weight of the coins within from what he could see.

“Whaddya say? Get my Zihmi’s ring back from those sneaks?”

"How much to find?" he spoke for the first time, in a gruff rumble of a voice stuck in his chest.

Of course, Hyde wasn't picky. He'd accept any amount and so he didn't register any disagreement, but took note. Not much, that was sure, but more than catching mice. If she tried to hand over anything but the agreed payment, then they'd have a problem. The man scratched under his chin, then nodded and said, "What'd y' say it look like?"

As soon as he got the description of the piece of jewelry, he glanced around the tents in a sweep then finished what remained in the tea. He set the empty cup on the rock-table and headed out of the tent without another word but, "Okay."

Back out in the sun, he started to walk down toward the docks and beach. He raised the thin hood that was attached to the new shirt he wore. It helped somewhat. After a bit, he paused to check whether Kalba followed or not. Hyde waited a moment, then asked, "Y' know these people? Think it got plucked?"
word count: 585
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Saza Moshe
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Re: Find

Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:58 pm

70 Ashan, 718 ‣ Nashaki
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Hyde was far more succinct, when he spoke, than Saza could typically manage. He wasn’t a rambler, really… he just had a lot of questions, and then he had a lot of follow-up questions, and then he had even more after that.

He was a curious sort, and though he tried not to offend with his many inquiries, he liked knowing things. Or perhaps that wasn’t the best way of putting it – he liked being in the know. So for every short word that came from Hyde’s mouth, the youth had ten more, and could’ve dragged the conversation on for bits longer if he’d been left alone in the makeshift house.

It was fortunate then that his older companion was of the mind to get the information they needed, and then leave without any more unnecessary chatter. Saza couldn’t say he enjoyed speaking with the eccentric woman, but he hadn’t wanted to offend her either… so when Hyde turned to leave, the biqaj hurriedly stood (floral tea left behind) and followed after him. He dipped his head and offered a polite wave in the woman’s direction, but she dismissed it with a flick of her hand.

Saza stepped through the draped curtains that made up the shack’s door, and out into the sunlight. It was approaching the afternoon, and he knew that his friends would surely wonder where he’d been, but he couldn’t force himself to care. What would he be doing if he was with them? Sitting around and listening to them have more fun than he was?

He fell into step beside the older human, walking towards the docks with his head held high. A breeze blew in off of the sea, salty and cool when it passed over them. His drying curls swayed gently and lifted from his forehead when he looked over at Hyde. Did he know them? He glanced forward again, this time taking a better look at the various men out working the docks. There weren’t many at this break, considering work was best done in the cooler afternoons and mornings, but a few stubborn stragglers kept on.

“I don’t know that… Sa’alna one, so I can’t speak for him. If Mari’s here, I could see him pulling something like that,” but even so, Saza couldn’t say that he knew any of the dockhands well enough to accuse them. As they neared the docks, Saza didn’t bother veering off to the far left, where a few steps led up to the wooden platform. That would simply take too long for the youth.

Instead, he reached up and set his elbows against the dock, and with only a bit of strain, the biqaj pulled himself up. It wasn’t that tall at the point they’d approached it, and he dusted himself off before standing up straight. “Oh – that must be Sa’alna, over by those crates,” Saza pointed off towards a group of conversing dockhands, one of which had fluffy hair similar to his own. “We should ask them about it, right? If they’ve seen a ring around here, or if they remember where that lady was walking?”

Hyde was the one that found things, right? So Saza would trust his judgement. Even so, the youth began looking over the ground, just in case he spotted the missing ring… but he looked back, too, to check if the older man had made it up and onto the docks with him. If he hadn’t, and remained on the beach, he would offer a hand – but if he’d found his way up, the biqaj didn’t bother.

“Although… I guess they could lie about it, if they took it. How do you usually find stuff, Hyde?”
word count: 661
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Ichabod Hyde
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Re: Find

Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:41 pm

7 0 - A S H A N - 7 1 8. . . N A S H A K I
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Hyde waited for Kalba to get on with an answer. He wasn't impatient about it. In fact, he preferred if the young soldier took the time to consider the possibilities. Even so, he took out his flask and drank from it straight. Soon enough, there wouldn't be any mix of the cheap liquors he'd poured into the thing - a blend of whiskey and rum, or something of that sort. Hyde had tasted and sniffed the harsh liquors and suspected it was all watered down spiced vodka instead trying to be passed as this or that through different flavors brewed into it. Or whatever. People got creative when it came to cutting corners and making even more coin on something as profitable as liquid addiction.

Along his nose and cheeks, his skin had started to peel from the sunburn. He scratched at the bridge of his nose, and rolled a thin layer of dead skin from the spot. He flicked the dead skin away, then rubbed his thumb into the stinging spot where the new skin lay vulnerable to the humid sunny air.

Another swig from the flask, then he returned the container to his belt, hidden under the loose hem of his long shirt. He nodded, then followed while he also lifted himself up on the docks rather than bothering with the steps for the platform. He was far slower in getting back to his feet, though, and once he manged, he leaned backward to crack his spine. An appreciative exhale sounded past his lips in accompaniment to the crack between the bones.

He glanced toward the fluffy hair, then back to Kalba. One of his eyebrows lifted in an askew raise. Hyde returned to drinking from his flask while he watched the kid look around the ground while thinking aloud. Least, it sounded like thinking aloud to him.

"How do you usually find stuff, Hyde?"

"Find it," he answered without hesitation or pause, in a flat tone of voice. He twisted the flask shut and returned it to the hiding place again, then repeated, "Y' find it. That's how."

He sniffed as if just waking up, and rubbed his sleeve over his eye to clear away some of the inebriation. Hyde surveyed the area, then said, "Y' askin' would 'elp, then do 'at. ...or ask 'em where to buy a ring like it."

"Not gonna find it," he muttered while he scuffed his boots against the dock while he peered at the ground. His Etzori accent worsened a great deal in his slurred drunkness, "'er ol' man probably took it back. Could find 'omethin' like it, 'ough."

He hopped off the dock, landed in the sand, and started to sift through with the toes of his boot as he uncovered a beer bottle. Hyde picked it up, but the amber liquid inside was not beer. He set it back down. With a quiet hiccup, he moved on and kept combing through the beach with his shoe.
word count: 535
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Saza Moshe
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Re: Find

Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:02 pm

70 Ashan, 718 ‣ Nashaki
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Find it. That’s what Hyde did. He guessed he couldn’t find any fault there. Saza merely hummed in response to the short answer. He continued to sweep the wooden docks and the cracks between the boards with a calm blue gaze, hair swaying one way and the next as the breeze picked up and then vanished again. The sound of rustled fabric pulled his attention back to Hyde for a trill, and he watched the older man return a flask to his waistband.

Didn’t seem like he was going to be of much help, as he was… Saza wondered how he ever found anything at all, or if he just found replacements, like he suggested they do. He had figured that the Etzori would at least have a decent shot at finding the woman’s ring, being a finder like he was, but then… Hyde didn’t seem to have that much nel. Maybe, the biqaj considered then, he just wasn’t any good at his job.

“Definitely not gonna find it down there,” mentioned the curly-haired youth. He raised a brow as he stepped to the edge of the dock and peered down at Hyde, who had hopped down onto the beach again. Saza stood there for a long moment, hands on his hips, and then a quiet exhale pushed through his pouted lips. “Alright, I’ll find it myself.”

Buying some other ring would be wrong, wouldn’t it? They’d be lying to that woman. He might not have been her biggest fan, thus far, but he didn’t want to toss her some cheap imitation and take her coin – he wouldn’t have earned it, and he wouldn’t feel right about it either. So the young soldier turned around and left Hyde in the sand, but he did say, “I’ll be looking over here.”

Saza moved away from the edge. The group of idle dockhands had yet to disband, so he set towards them first. He waved as he neared the older men, with their button-up shirts undone and their sweaty hair pulled back, but only one of them bothered to return the (hesitant) gesture.

“Hi,” greeted the blond, “you guys wouldn’t happen to have seen an old ring around here, would you?”

The fluffy-haired one – Sa’alna – gave a smirk and shook his head, clearly amused with the question. One of the others laughed.

“No, but if that lady comes up here and tries to get me fired again, I just might have to find it,” Sa’alna said, before looking Saza over. “She put you up to this?”

He didn’t like the look they were all giving him, like he was some sort of kid following his parents’ order to go and make friends. “Just asked me to find it for her. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll keep looking,” Saza turned, and though he heard another laugh from the group, he didn’t bother turning around to find out why.

Crates, barrels, ships, boards… so many places for a ring to hide in. It was almost overwhelming, with the noise of birds overhead and working men around. Saza looked all over the ground… and he looked behind crates… and he heard the group behind him disperse and resume their work. This didn’t deter the determined biqaj. They could work around him. After a few bits of looking downward, he turned his eyes to the sky instead. There weren’t many places for a ring to hide above, but he checked all the same, just in case.

He was on his way back over to the edge of the docks when something caught the light. Just the tiniest glint, up above and to the side, and Saza stopped to look over. A few crates were stacked on top of one another, and at the top of them all, there rested… a nest? A bird’s nest? Golden eyes watched the nest for a trill before looking over the crates – they were stacked taller than him, but he had two legs, didn’t he?

Saza reached up and jumped. His hands narrowly missed the edge of the crate before he landed on his feet again. A quiet huff of frustration, and the air pushed the curls away from his face. His wrists had knocked against the crate on the way down, and jumping more would only ensure bruises to his tanned skin, not to mention the potential of knocking the heavy crates right over. Which meant…

“Hyde? You over there?” he called, “could you help me out? I think I found the ring, but I can’t reach it.”
word count: 806
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Ichabod Hyde
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Re: Find

Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:59 pm

7 0 - A S H A N - 7 1 8. . . N A S H A K I
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Find...

...finded?

No, founded...

...found...


No longer using his boots, but his hands; Hyde sifted through the sand, crouched over in a low squat while he made a path along the beach shore. With the fabric hood over his head, shadowing his face and covering his silvery hair, he almost camouflaged with the sand for the similar colors of his clothes. He scuttled along, not too unlike a crab - a drunk crab, but a crab none-the-less - and continued to dig anything that struck his interest while he went along.

He hadn't found anything worth finding in a long while. Least that's how it felt to him. Once, arcs ago, he'd been quite good at finding things. Sharp of eye, and quicker to grab, but that had waned with the arcs.

Now, he combed a beach while almost drunk enough to vomit than sleep with his face smothered against the sandy puddle of bile. Almost. He grabbed his flask and took a swig in ambition to get to that level of inebriation. The water he'd drank earlier helped keep him cooler in the sun, but not for much longer. He already felt a light sweat cling to his skin and stick at parts of the cooler shirt he wore.

He had ignored the biqaj youth before - both on the warning that the beach wouldn't have anything and that he'd be over there. Beaches had all sorts of stuff. He already had found a fishing line, and some splinters of wood, and a crumpled up love note with a lipstick stain on the corner, and a moldy slipper, and a very nice seashell, and... Hyde finished off his flask, set it in his belt, and continued to scuttle and sift his way down the beach, to a neighboring dock.

About two bits later, he forgot what he was doing.

Hyde sat on the beach, to watch the waves, and tried to drink from the flask to find it empty. He groaned, then flopped backward to lay against the sand and watch the clouds in the too-bright sky spin a little.

He shielded his eyes from the sun, and placed his flask over them to shadow them like a blindfold could. The direct light still hit the rest of his sunburnt face, but through the power of intoxication, he ignored the heat.

By the time that Kalba called for him... he slept, heavy and snoring.

Somewhere, he heard his name which resulted in a grumble and a pull to get his hood to cover his ears as if that would block out the familiar voice. He turned in the sand, away from the direction, and didn't budge from his impromptu nap on the beach. Any attempt to gather the drunk man's help would require a physical jostle.

word count: 509
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Saza Moshe
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Re: Find

Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:27 am

70 Ashan, 718 ‣ Nashaki
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Staring down the beach at Hyde’s slumped figure in the sand, Saza waited for a few long trills. Maybe he just hadn’t heard him, or he found something else to dig up, or… the youth called after him again, a little louder, and waited a few more trills after that. His words were left hanging in the air, however, and it wasn’t until he heard quiet laughter from the other side of the docks that he huffed and turned back to the stacked crates.

He didn’t need Hyde’s help then. It would certainly make things easier, or at least less dangerous, but they were just crates, right? He could climb up a couple of damned crates. Saza’s lips were drawn into a pout as he stared at the tall stack. Just a couple of crates…

With another hop, the biqaj tried to grab onto the edge of the highest crate. When this failed (and, as he had expected before, he only bumped his wrists), Saza tried to grab onto the crate in the middle – this he achieved, and though he strained to keep his balance and stay upright, he pulled himself up to climb. He only needed to reach up to that bird’s nest, and then he could get that ring back to the weird lady with the floral tea. Arm extended upwards, he held his slender body close to the stack while he reached up for the nest…

...and the crates began to shift and topple over. Saza was back on the wooden boards of the dock before he could even register what’d happened, with the wind knocked out of his lungs – he groaned and pulled himself to sit, but everything was sore. More laughter from the other side of the docks, but he ignored it. He looked over the fallen crates, to where the nest of little eggs and stolen trinkets surely lay flattened… and to his surprise, it remained untouched. Unharmed.

Sitting there as if protected by the wind itself, the nest and various things inside had landed atop one of the lower crates and rested just on the edge, about to topple over like the rest. Saza rushed forward on his hands and knees to keep it from falling. A heavy sigh of relief escaped his pouted lips as soon as the nest was placed safely at the center of the crate’s lid.

“You’d better be good birds,” muttered the biqaj as he gently nudged the little eggs to the side, “sorry, I gotta take this.”

He pulled the old ring from within the collection of twigs and other materials. After slipping it into his pocket and pushing the crates back into reasonable order, Saza hopped down from the dock, and started his journey back to the woman’s makeshift home. A light layer of sweat coated his tanned skin, and his hair had begun to frizz again in the heat of the trial. He never thought he’d want to go back to a place so crowded, but damn if he wasn’t wishing for the relaxation of the bathhouse right now. Sitting in the shade, having his hair washed…

Saza passed the slumbering Hyde and didn’t bother trying to wake him up. He’d get him after, since the older man didn’t seem like the best choice for speaking with anyone just yet. Maybe it was because he’d seen him almost sober that he resented the drink for making him sleep. Maybe he’d just liked having someone that… knew things. That’d seen things, and done things, and that didn’t think he was annoying for asking. Whatever the case, he wasn’t expecting much of that sort again.

(And he shouldn’t have been expecting continued politeness in the first place, he supposed. Hyde hadn’t exactly… asked him to do any of this, after all.)

The woman in the shack was grateful to have her prized possession returned. Saza didn’t stay long in the shade – he didn’t want to risk getting offered any more of that gods-awful tea – but he grabbed the coin purse and bid her a friendly farewell all the same. He split the nel equally, slipping his half into his pocket while the other half was kept in the pouch. It’d be easier for Hyde to carry and keep track of that way, or at least he figured as much while he walked down the beach to find him.

It only occurred to him then, as he approached the sleeping, intoxicated human, that he didn’t need to give Hyde any of the nel at all. He certainly hadn’t helped find the ring, so he hadn’t earned it. Hyde likely needed the coin as much as he did, though… so Saza stared down at him for a few trills, eyes of a shadowed red, and considered his options.

Hyde, he thought, would probably not remember either way. Whether the little coin purse was slipped into his things or not, the human likely wouldn’t remember how it got there, or why, or that he hadn’t already had it when he’d fallen asleep. Saza glanced down to his hands and the coin purse that rested heavy within them. If he kept it, he could use the other half to buy something to eat – something proper, that would keep him fed for the next few trials until he could scrounge something up from the refuse outside of the food stalls in the markets.

If he gave it away, Hyde could eat. He could get a room somewhere. But more than likely, he would drink. Saza could hope that he’d take care of himself first, but he wasn’t naïve enough to believe it would happen. He didn’t think it was his place to decide for him, either, but the choice of keeping or giving away the coin – that was his. Did he want to provide an option for someone else, even knowing that it would most likely not be taken? That he could use it for himself instead?

Saza knelt down beside Hyde and pulled his hood a little farther over his sunburnt face. He reached for the human’s hand and pushed the coin purse into it, and curled his fingers to hold onto it well. Pockets (and heart) a little lighter than they were before, the biqaj stood up and turned away.

He didn’t see the older man again for the next five trials. Dion convinced him not to try; Malha told him that it was weird to care about some old foreign stranger. Saza didn’t think it was, but he didn’t try to explain. After five trials it didn’t matter anyway, and the young soldier returned to the fortress from his break.
word count: 1172
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Re: Find

Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:28 am

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Hyde:

Knowledge:
Discipline x1
Climbing x1
Strength x1
Endurance x1
Resistance x2
Detection x2

Loot: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.

Points: 15

Saza:

Knowledge:
Investigation x4
Strength x3
Intelligence x1
Climbing x1

Loot: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 5, for returning the cantankerous woman's ring.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.

Points: 15

- - -
Comments: Another Hyde/Saza thread!

I have to admit, I’ve grown rather fond of this duo. They have an interesting dynamic!

I liked the description of the cantankerous woman and her place. She only appeared in the first post (in detail, at least), but she left a lasting impression, and Saza’s thoughts about her and her ex (or late?) husband were entertaining to read. And Hyde is finally clean and has new clothes!

The ending of the thread was … unexpected. I didn’t think that Hyde would just drink until his flask was empty and fall asleep rather than helping Saza reach the cantankerous woman’s ring.

Or maybe I should have expected this outcome!

I’m glad that Saza still managed to get the ring though – and that he shared the money with Hide even though he didn’t have to. I wonder if Saza and Hyde will meet again after this thread.

I hope that this wasn’t the last time!

Enjoy your rewards!

Hyde, I didn’t give you Renown because only Saza returned the ring. Let me know if you think that you should get Renown nevertheless, please!

word count: 259

Mutations

Crimson lines on the back of both hands.

Sesser

Ever Alluring I: The bearer has an enhanced constitution, staying strong and healthy in conditions where others would wilt and fall ill. Scars never remain, disease rarely seems to visibly touch the bearer, and he/she recovers from injuries much faster than the average member of their race. The bearer seems to age more slowly, though the effect is superficial rather than biological. In addition, everyone encountered is subconsciously attracted to the bearer, even those of incompatible sexual orientation. Those of alternate tastes may not feel compelled to flirt or pursue the marked, but the spark of incomprehensible arousal, however slight, is there all the same.

Worn Items

Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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