71st of Vhalar 719, Evening
Woe took a long pull of his cider as he regarded the biqaj woman across the way. Sy was a strange creature, the Webspinner thought. World-weary for one so young, she teased him with the practiced ease of one who'd dealt with many anonymous callers. At any rate, Woe kept drinking with her and thinking about what he would say to get her to open up more.
She seemed to warm to him with every sip he took of the cider and leaned into his space, "Do you have a name?"
"Your name, you already have me at a disadvantage, don't you?"
"Oh... OH! Yeah, my name is Wolston." Woe remarked, adopting the false name with some ease. He watched Sy for signs of her distrust or disbelief but saw nothing there. She'd bought it. Not that she had any reason to doubt him when it came to giving a false name. Woe was a reasonably competent liar, albeit not one practiced at it.
"Hello, Wolston." She smiled at him.
Woe's inclination was to drive right for the point, but he knew well enough that would be awkward, and likely drive a wedge between the two of them. So he asked the next most banal question he could think of, "So, are you from Lysoria, or Ne'haer?"
She hid a yawn behind her hand. Woe was losing her interest, Woe could see. His mind scrambled for ideas to keep her interest piqued. "Ahh, yeah, I'm from Treth originally."
Woe drank down the rest of his cider, as she seemed to enjoy watching him get drunk. A little tilted at this point, Woe asked for another round, one for himself and the lady. This time he asked for something a little stronger. In a short time, the bartender arrived with a small bottle of liquor, with a couple of shots.
Without missing a beat, Woe filled the shots with the dark fluid, an exceptional distilled liquor of rum. He lifted it to his brow, "To your health, Sy." And so he drank. It burned on the way down but was somehow smooth.
His mind was swimming at this point. Yet, he could see Sy was indeed intrigued by his attraction to the drink. As long as he was drinking, he had this minnow on a hook. Perhaps he was falling into a trap, rather than trapping her, but he found himself not wanting her to leave him alone. He'd hate to think of what Emma Heen would do to him if she didn't get what she wanted.
The odd thing, Emma hadn't spoken up since he began drinking. Perhaps there was something about the drinks that forced her out of his mind or made possession less effective.
"To your health, Wolston." She smirked, lifting the shot and taking a swift drink. They had another couple of rounds of the liquor before they got to talking some more.
"So... I need to get into Ne'haer." Woe said, finally, thinking he might have her on the hook. "But, I have no guide to take me there..."
She was too intoxicated to get bored and just giggled at him. Even with his superior understanding of the way a human mind worked, Woe couldn't tell what she meant by that laugh. But he decided that he liked the way she laughed. "Well... I could take another caravan hand. But I'm afraid my fellows will get jealous if I start letting lame travelers join our train." She said with a nod toward Woe's cane.
"Oh... that." Woe said, shaking his head, "Yes, I injured my leg a while back, but it's already on the mend. In fact..." Woe picked up the cane, and with a twist and pull, showed her the hidden blade within the rod. He smirked his mirthless smile at her then and nodded.
Her eyes went wide at the sight of the grave gold blade revealed by the Webspinner and reached out tentatively to touch the cane, "Ohh... What a nice toy." She teased.
He nodded at her with a final smirk, before snapping the cane-sword shut again. "I assure you, it's a capable weapon. Grave Gold. You can tell how well used the weapon is by how dark the metal is..." Of course, Woe neglected to tell her that he hadn't been the one to use it and that it was an heirloom of sorts. She needn't find that out until he had gotten what he was after.
And what is it that you're looking for? Emma let her question be known in Woe's head. Come on, don't you think she's just adorable? I want to scoop her up, put her in a cage, and keep her till she's old and gray.
Woe twisted his mouth as he received the thought, People are not playthings. That's the attitude that landed you in an early grave. Still, he had to admit this girl had a certain charm that only grew with each taste of strong shots of rum. He had another.
We don't have to keep her if you don't want... Listen, I can get her for you; you need only...
You will not have control of me.
Aww, but Erastus got to...
A fluke, that I wasn' t prepared to deny. I had no idea he would guide my hand like that, but I'm not going to repeat the performance anytime soon. Least of all with you.
But I know what girls like, what they want, I can get her to bring you south. I can get you into so many places if you would only loosen up?
Woe shook his head as he took another shot, at which Sy quirked a brow, but paid no mind. It was then he noticed she was merely sipping her rum. Last, I will hear of it... Woe thought, though he could feel his will fleeing with each sip and every gulp of rum. It was then he realized he wanted this little woman, this Sy. In a way, he hadn't wanted a woman since Emma Heen had snared him that Cylus night so many arcs ago.
He spoke to her then, "Listen..." Woe said, slurring his words, "I want to come to Ne'haer with you. I'll owe you a big favor if you'd just let me..."
Sy tsked, "You're starting to loosen up, at least. But I'd prefer to know if you're someone with whom I'd like to be friends. Someone that can entertain me and keep me company. That is, if you're not much of a fighter, being lame as you are, your utility seems limited. I'm failing to..."
"I'm an excellent read of people." Woe confided.
Are you looking for a job, Wolsty? Emma mocked, and then fled from his mind, back to whence she came. At least he wouldn't have to contend with the thoughts pouring through his mind.
Sy shook her head, "I don't know - "
Woe could see what she was doing by now, even as drunk as he was getting. She was playing a dancing game, he gave a little space, she took a small space, and vice versa. Or so it was supposed to go. One didn't play the game of seduction by pushing their partner out of the circle. They won by playing within the lines.
"I suppose I'll find someone sooner or later. Perhaps the next caravan that happens through will need a brain." Woe shrugged and turned toward the bar while pouring another shot for himself. Once it was full, he slid the bottle back toward Sy and had himself a few sips.
He watched Sy out of the corner of his eye, looking at her mannerisms. He could see her fidgeting. He wondered if she had been enjoying her advantage over him too much. Woe pondered whether she had landed in the cold. That wouldn't do, but he'd already pushed her so far. Now he had to see if she'd swing back toward him.
"Well..." She began and then polished off the shot she had been nursing. Once it was down, she took the bottle and poured herself her second, or third. Woe hadn't been keeping count. "I think that might be a good idea, for you, I mean."
Damn, Sy, you're good. Woe thought to himself with a wry twist of his mouth, giving himself another sip of the rum. He shrugged wordlessly.
"Of course, you say you're a brain? What kind of brain, what kind of skills, other than 'reading people'? Can you bri -- can you negotiate with a gate guard?" She'd let slip that her operation wasn't on the up and up, and Woe's intrigue increased. So she was in the business of smuggling people into Ne'haer? What luck. She smuggled people, and he needed smuggling. It looked like a love match.
He finished off his shot. Putting the glass on the table again, he turned to Sy, his eyes starting to glaze from all the alcohol. "Perhaps I can find my way once I hire on some mercenaries or bodyguards. What is there to negotiation, other than to show the proper inducement? I have some means to change minds if that's what you mean."
Sy winked at him, and lifted her shot to her lips again, smiling, "Well... Maybe you do."