70th of Zi’da, 716
Location: A Room at an Inn, Ne’Haer
Avrae heaved a heavy sigh as he closed the door of his room behind him. He was covered in mud from head to toe, back from chasing a bounty that had inevitably escaped from him. When he thought on how the man- a thief wanted for stealing from someone a little too important- slipped from his grasp in that alleyway… Damn, it made his blood boil. He had to clench his jaw and take a deep breath just to stop from growing even more frustrated. It was a loss of a day- trudging around in the wet streets, losing the bounty, having just enough money for food. It turned out, as wealthy as Ne’haer could be, Vhalar and Zi’da was slow months on bounties, and so far, Avrae had no luck. Listening to Ailluin’s soft snores, he gently eased her out of his pocket and onto the tiny matchbox they had made into her bed. Stripping his jacket off, Avrae made his way to a couch in the corner, groaning as he sat down and propped up his feet. As he mentally went over the events of the long day, rubbing his temple, his eyes caught on the candle burning slow in the corner of the room. It was red, and a smile curled his lips as a memory surfaced. Quite a good memory, at that...
12th of Vhalar, 713
Location: The Bronze Boar
”What kind of mystery man would I be if I told you that now? How about you get to know me a bit, and then I’ll answer that question.” That was how it started. Of course, Avrae knew the hot bartender would get the hint- he didn’t have a date. He was, instead, wasting time. Over the course of the night, the two made small chatter, Avrae avoiding the question. He steadily sipped his vodka, watching the waning of the red candle that sat in front of him. Over the course of the next hour, patrons slipped in and out, but Avrae remained in his seat. His amber eyes studied every movement of the room, but he never changed his position, nor ordered more drinks. It wasn’t until the night had dwindled, as had the candle, that Avrae stood. Moving, he sat more at the middle at the bar, bringing the candle with him. The bar was pretty much empty by now, just a few drunks left, and Avrae lifted his head to watch the bartender, leaning his chin on his palm. “Okay. Mystery over. I owe you an answer, barkeep.”
Taking a deep breath, Avrae’s gaze drifted down to the candle. It was just about midnight, so he leaned down and blew out the candle, watching its smoke curl up. Closing his eyes, Avrae inhaled deeply, almost wistfully. He always did love the scent of smoke. “...The name’s Avrae. And you have just witnessed the end of my twenty-third birthday.” He pursed his lips in a tight smile, “Silly tradition, isn’t it? Celebrating a day no one even remembers. I find it to be… almost unmeaningful.” Almost.