In "Honor" of Hart (Part 1)

The cities and villages of Melrath are as varied and diverse as they come. The capital of Raelia is the the jewel of this western kingdom, playing host to a merchants, artisans, Aesir priests, as well as a cut throat political landscape dominated by the nobles of Raelia. To the south in the depths of the Myrkvior Forest lies Melrath's second largest, and oldest city, Fensalir. Here people have learned to live alongside spirits and the natural world by maintaining their loyalty to traditions laid down the first Melrathi. To the east lies the small fishing village of Noatun, and to the western mountains rests the Mer city of Verimeer, the brewing town of Alivilda and the alpine village Vormund.
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Soren Kvistson
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In "Honor" of Hart (Part 1)

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"You are free to choose,"



Cylus 4, 720

Soren scooped another cup of the barrel swill for one of his regulars. Feldvin. Feldvin wore clothes with several patches in them, all mismatching in color. His boots were worn and stiff. His hat was lopsided, also sporting a patch or two. But Feldvin still always managed a few coins to come into Soren's tavern and drink the barrel swill. Soren didn't know how the man did it, drinking the mixed cocktail of all the leftover and tossed drinks from the day. It was never good.

But it was cheap and typically strong.

Still, Feldvin was there every day after work, serving as a pest expert, so he said. Soren knew that it was somewhat true. People paid him to get rid of rats, or to carry out wares infested with fleas, roaches, ants, etc, and dispose of them however he wished. He did not make good money, but always enough to come drink in Soren's tavern and talk about his day.

"And tha's when I slapped that fekker with me mallet to get it let go! Finally twas over. Most pain my knob has felt since Gertie's cousin's landlord's wife bit me for sayin her sister's name."

Feldvin was two cups deep, with one more to go. Routine. Soren watched as he emptied the second and already had the ladle ready for the fourth, giving the man a fuller cup than most other customers. A perk of being a regular. And as he always did, Feldvin, smiled, winked and pointed at Soren, "You're a good man, Soren."

Soren smiled at the man, "You get that nest egg of yours built yet?"

The man leaned back, taking a deep swig, "Will be done by end of season. Me and missus finally getting a place of our own. No longer gonna be a rentin' man."

Soren nodded, moving to clean a mug, keeping his eyes on the man, muscle memory taking over so as to clean it properly still. "Hope you don't forget about my poor, humble tavern now that you're movin up in the world."

Feldvin laughed heartily, "You wound me sir! I ain't told the missus yet but I plan on movin' closer to your tavern. Less things to trip over on the way home."

Soren laughed deeply at this, "Well that's good to hear. Where you renting at now?"

The man's face actually darkened just a bit before he spoke. "Total shitehole over near the east gate. Landlord don't take care of it. Heard he's on the ambro. I have to keep the rats out there, for free. Total shite. But anything to keep my Lilly happy."

Soren's head cocked to the side, "That bad huh?"

The man guffawed, "That ain't even the worst of it. Drafty as all get out in winter, I swear it's colder inside than out. The apartment two doors down collapsed in Saun, ain't been fixed. I been complainin about a hole in the floor in me and the missus' bedroom and the bedroom upstairs. I'm shy, I don't need that old lady upstairs hearin' me plowin the missus."

Soren nodded, "Definitely don't want that."

"Ain't no place to be raisin' a kid... I want better for mine," the man said glumly

Soren smiled sneakily at the man, "There somethin you ain't tellin me mate?"

The man nodded, smiling, "Yeah, Lilly's pregnant. Finally. Been blastin her deep for three arcs now."

Soren turned around, grabbed one of his top shelf whiskey's, pour two glasses, one for him and one for Feldvin. "Congratulations mate."

The man beamed, taking the glass, holding it up. Soren shouted over the room, "Skol!"

Every person in the room with a drink raised it, saying Skol in kind while looking toward Feldvin. The man smiled, responding in kind, then everyone drank. "Let's get you home mate, I need some air anyways."

The man paid for his drinks, Soren depositing them in the lockbox, nodded at Harold, and walked out with the man, grabbing both their coats. He was being nice to the regular, as he always was. But Soren knew this feeling inside him. There was a business opportunity here. And he would not miss it. He'd need to find a property soon for the research center that he and Tristan would build. And he was beginning to think he may have found it.


"But you are not free from the consequences."
word count: 770
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Soren Kvistson
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Re: In "Honor" of Hart (Part 1)

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"You are free to choose,"



Soren turned up his collar to the cold air, walking alongside Feldvin, heading for the man's apartment. Soren's bloodshot eyes, with the tired bags beneath them, were still always vigilant, watching the world around him. Though he was mostly looking for signs of the ghost that was haunting him. He never knew when she might turn up.

"Do you like catching pests Feldvin? Or is there something else you'd rather do?"

The man pondered this with the absolute dumbest look upon his face. As though no one has ever asked him this question before, nor had he ever considered it. "Yeah, I think I do. When I was younger, I wanted to build ships. I really liked playing with ships when I was a boy. But now... nah. I like being good at what I do. People do come to me to solve problems they can't solve on their own. It feels good ya know? Would be nice if it paid better though. But that's life here, lots of rich in Raelia, but none of it lands on us working folk, eh Soren?"

Soren nodded, "Everywhere has rats, and everyone wants a drink. We can keep food on our tables at least."

The pair walked in silence until they reached the end of the road, right where it met the East Gate road. They turned the corner, and Feldvin pointed at a surprisingly large apartment building. Soren looked up at it, having seen it before, walking the streets of Raelia. But he'd never really looked at it. It took up the entire end of the block, stretching from Andagatan to Myrkvagon. The stone was crumbling, evident even in the dark of Cylus. Most of the window shutters were closed, thin lines of candle light leaking out of them, but several had no such protection from the elements. It seemed those tenants opted for heavy curtains instead.

"Well come on."

Soren snapped out of his focus, smiling, "Sorry, I was just admiring the view."

The man laughed, "Tha's a good one mate. Wait til the suns come back. It gets worse."

The man just walked right into the front door of the apartment building, and Soren followed, frowning at the state so far. There wasn't even a lock in the front door. It wasn't unlocked, the lock was absent. Stolen he guessed. He followed the man through the halls, keeping his hands in his pockets, his eyes taking in the interior which was far worse. People had painted or etched words or crude drawings into the stone. The lighting was nonexistent save the candle that Feldvin produced. Soren could only assume that he kept a candle on him at all times solely for this purpose. Ridiculous.

They passed a woman smoking in the hall, who stared at them with absolutely no emotion. Deeper in, there was a couple fighting, the woman smacking the man in the head over and over. Soren and Feldvin went up some stairs, passed a woman who was quite graphically advertising her body being for sale, until they reached the man's door. Feldvin knocked upon it, and his wife opened it. She waddled out, quite clearly extremely pregnant. Like ready to burst any day now. The baby would be born here at this rate, according to Feldvin's timeline.

"Lilly, this is Soren, runs the tavern. He wanted to see where I lived, was talking about it, ya see."

Lilly smiled softly, her platinum hair shining in the candlelight. She waddled forward, one hand under her swollen belly, the other outstretched. Soren took it gently in his own, stooping so he could kiss the back of it. He knew it was unnecessary, but he wanted to see the reactions. Feldvin just started laughing, "Now she's gonna make me treat her like a queen all the damn time."

Lilly laughed, smacking the man playfully on the arm. "Would you like to come in? I could put on some tea."

Soren smiled, but held up a hand, "Thank you, but I should be going. You're most generous, Lilly. Take care of him, I would have to shut down without his business." The trio laughed heartily at this. Soren started to turn away, stopping, to make it seem as though it were an after thought, "Do you know where I could find the landlord?"

Feldvin chirped up, "Dirty bastard lives in the basement. Take the stairs by the front door. Lazy cunt."

Soren nodded in thanks and the pair disappeared into their house, Soren hearing the door bolt lock. Feldvin quite loudly said, "Now let's get you double pregnant!" And Soren could only chuckle as he began the hike back home. He'd be back tomorrow during the day, to visit this landlord.


"But you are not free from the consequences."
word count: 819
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Rakvald
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Re: In "Honor" of Hart (Part 1)



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Pygmalion



Soren

Experience: 10 No magic. I didn't see a single instance of Soren using Attunement magic, but you listed magic experience in the review request which I believe was a mistake? Let me know if I missed something.

Knowledge:

Business Management x2
Socialization x2
Intelligence x1
Detection x1

Renown: none

Skill Usage: Appropriate to level.

Loot/Losses: none

Injuries/Conditions: none

Consequences: Knowing that Feldvin got his Lilly preggers, and has been trying for three arcs.

Comments: I'm not 100% sure what this has to do with Hart, but that aside this is a fine slice-of-life story. At first glance it appears that not much at all is happening, but then it becomes apparent that Soren is listening and learning and absorbing information from his frequent patron. In the end, I wonder how Soren intends to use his newfound knowledge of Feldvin to further his interests.

If you have any concerns about this review, please PM me about them.




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word count: 165

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