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Author Topic: Knight in Tarnished Armour  (Read 2757 times)

Líknví

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Knight in Tarnished Armour
« on: November 11, 2014, 01:49:00 AM »
Bree was its own cesspit! There was no getting around that fact! Yet, Líknví was still making it. More or less, she knew her stop point wasn't ideal, but ideal was a dream! She just asked the same as before, she be able to hide, better now and amidst as much self sufficiency as the damaged Fourty-Nine year old could hope to pull (her special Fiftieth would probably be spent on these drenched streets!)

It was a normal-ish day around the Prancing Pony, (about the only tavern hiring and not too shady except that everywhere here seemed shady). That didn't always mean good, but minimal trouble with understanding and reading types of brew ordered from the tables without having to reduced the patron to pointing to a neighbor was a day Líknví felt she didn't annoy too far and did rather well. Refills were easy, usually a whole other round of whatever the current stuff was.

Also selection was not too problematic. Bree had brews that you could smell and keep down your lunch as well as the cheaper vile stuff and unfortunately Líknví wasn't nose blind to any yet. Being deaf and needing her other senses, she had a dull suspicion she never would be. Still...it was better! Better than the primal scents she grew around.

Her opinion of males hadn't been aided by this place, but at least degradation was not the name of the job, Líknví was firm on this and repeated it to herself when dealing with glances and unasked for touch. She'd got the same back home even from a shamefully young age but at-least here men's minds weren't already thrown close to the gutter!

Drunk was a dangerous state though, she knew that even from before in the Grey Mountains when most of the clientele's morals were loosened by a hearty night and they stopped by.

Again, Líknví wasn't sure if it was good or not that, if she tried, she could avoid the initial depraved compliments perhaps thrown her way. One particular customer seemed set for more trouble than usual. A Dwarf, of course, Líknví wasn't sure if anything about a Dwarf maiden would draw Men's attentions. Mostly she hoped not.

This one Dwarf, with a few others of his companions, had nudged her arm possibly every chance he got when she delivered their tankards and it was to the point that Líknví was pondering asking someone else to handle their next. She...she didn't want to go over there anymore. Oh! Why hadn't she kept the small blade that smith had gifted her with her! This was Bree after all!

They were still reveling and drinking at the moment, and their tankards didn't need refilling thankfully, Líknví went over and removed away the pints from a table of two kind enough looking Hobbits. If there was one good thing in Bree; these were interesting sorts.

Their perplexed stares at even her modest side-burns were innocuous and interesting, as was there smooth-faced lack of anything to not make them look Dwarflingish!

Two more of the same was easily enough communicated and requested. Líknví nodded and went to get two more from the bar-keep, soon disappearing again into the steadily growing crowd in the tavern, but with enough buffer that she wasn't uncomfortable...yet.

Sig made by wonderful Cass ~

(azure)

Fritz

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Knight in Tarnished Armour
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2014, 03:57:00 AM »
It was quickly becoming apparent to Fritz that the almost always rain soaked streets of Bree were still the best market a Smith of Ered Luin could have. Sort of almost too much so. Fritz quickly learned investigation, of a sort, was not a bad idea when selling off knives and swords around here. Lying seemed a past-time and you never knew what dastardly deed they were truly planned for!

The young Smith could not abide the thought of one his blades being used for harm! Crime anyway, battle was a different matter.

Probably the quickest sale made here had been to that young, deaf, bar-maid, Líknví, he'd met a trip or so back. He'd "spoken" to her in Blue Mountain dialct Iglishmêk while she threw out the more "generic" of her home (thank Mahal for Bofur's lessons!) and own random lessons, her hands flying beyond her own ability to track in both that and their scrap paper noting as utter joy of having a full blow "conversation" of signs with someone lit her face with a smile (or maybe it was enough attention to care out of someone, a sad fact).

Fritz himself enjoyed the sort of comparing and picking up more of the other dialect signs from the source as it were! He was sure his motives were wondered on, and even after a bit her face clouded with doubt. As if she caught herself.

Fritz was quick to reassure, he just had a sister and was proud of his signing ability. Her giggle seemed to catch the slight lie but not mind.

In the end, he'd traded a blade to see her safe, such as he'd hoped someone would do if Dags was in such straights, for a refreshing pint. Her genuinely stunned expression at such innocuousness was a sad thing!

Hopefully it had served her well. Settling his pack on his shoulders, Fritz turned from this wondering to his companion and other Smith on this trip, Kvasir. It somehow felt more important to be selling blades alongside him. Of course Fritz couldn't be sure, but that the ex-exile had a message to deliver to, but it made little difference.

After a day of said selling, or other, and after meeting back up, the time of night a tavern sounded good steadily approached.

"Well, I don't know if there's any other taverns about, but Prancing Pony worked before, how about now?". He didn't say this to check up on a new acquaintance, the other bars about, if any, were not as tried-and-tested. Plus they had lodgings and travel back may come to prove unwise in the night and rain that opened up as they made their way towards shelter.

Pushing open the door, the two entered and made their way to the bar. Fritz running a hand through his hair as he dropped his hood, to rid what water he could and put it back to order...near as it ever went.

The man at the bar they approached seemed friendly enough, but gave the youngest dwarf a slight look, no doubt for his previous behavior. Fritz flashed a winning smile as he found a stool.

Ordering the sort of brew that would take the chill out, and since he was the one of them that could talk easiest, Fritz next gave a glance about just in casually taking in the room. His gaze then found Kvas' again and, as their tankards were slipped before them, the still-all-but-lad made a small toast.

"To making it home with some money to our names!", he chuckled as he next took a sip.

{I was just trying to leave it open for whatever Kvasir might find/be doing while in Bree <3 *squees for this thread!*}


(olivedrab)

Kvasir

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Knight in Tarnished Armour
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 02:11:00 PM »
(OOC:  *joins in with the squeeing*  Well, after much threatening, my reply is finally here.  I hope there is enough for you to work with and, as usual, if not you need only let me know! ~ *flails*)

A large daub of inky blue wax concealed words of sentimental value.  Onto its rough parchment was scratched carefully chosen encouragement and a long-awaited apology, to be carried in the pocket of a quiet smith from the rolling Blue Mountains to the streets painted with shades of grey and brown, from one brother to another.  Not that the exile knew the contents, recognising only the coins that were pressed into his open hand, his ears greeted with the tremulous farewell of Be swift, be safe.  It was meant for the absent sibling as much as Kvasir, though he claimed the utterance for himself and wore it all the way to the godforsaken town.

The road between Ered Luin and Bree was all but committed to Kvasir’s memory.  Every valley, hill, stretch, turn and milestone greeted his eyes with easy familiarity.  He and Fritz – it was so nice to have company – travelled with confidence, armed and braced for trouble that didn’t come.

Once safely behind the stone walls, stirred seamlessly into that soup-pot of varying races and creeds, they had parted ways to take care of their respective business.  First Kvasir busied himself with trudging through the mud (and worse, most like) until he found the stonemason he had been directed to, placing that ever so important letter into the hands of the surprised and grey-eyed recipient.  Another coin, a tip for his trouble, fell into Kvas’ grasp with a hushed blessing of Dayamu Khuzan-ai menu.

If only all his contractors were so pleasant.

Following this, his small collection of daggers and knives that were quickly sold off – how Men hungered for Dwarvish iron and steel! – before Kvasir’s feet carried him to his planned rendezvous with Fritz.  By that stage the damp was eating into him, chilling his flesh, and the roaring banter and comforting warmth of The Prancing Pony sounded like bliss.  An eager nod told his young companion that the choice was agreeable.  Almost anywhere in Bree would have sounded appealing in that moment, save perhaps The Quiet Lady.  Though the memories of Men were blissfully short, Kvasir was not confident eight years of drizzle and drama would have be sufficient to wash away the recollection of the chaos and carnage himself and Nori had wrought.  His ban was likely still in place, which was a feat in itself given how salacious and fearsome the clientele of that disreputable tavern were.  Perhaps that was to be expected of a place that chose to emblazon a beheaded woman on their creaking and chipped wooden sign.

Indoors and out of the rain, they wasted no time in approaching the bar, Kvas pushing back his hood to allow his thick fingers to fidget with his short and untidy brown locks before climbing – literally – onto a stool designed for Men.  The arrival of their twin tankards was a welcome sight and the exile returned the small toast with a smile and a brief nod, grateful Fritz could act as his voice and order for him, saving him from his usual clumsy charades.  A gentle knock of pewter to pewter and then the taste of mead filled his mouth, settling easily into his empty stomach and spreading warm fingers throughout his body.  Settling the flagon down, wiping the back of his hand over his mouth, Kvasir turned in his seat to angle his body towards his companion, talking with his hands in the broken signs that Fritz had developed a fluent understanding of.

Good selling?  Leave morning?

~.~.~.

Translations:
Dayamu Khuzan-ai menu = “Blessings of the ancestors upon you.”

Fritz

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Knight in Tarnished Armour
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2015, 04:09:00 AM »
{How do you find this awesomeness of full statements? ~}

Fritz was becoming more and more use to brews, but that did not translate to exactly finding most of the stuff around Bree unflinch-worthy. Still, he'd chosen right this day and the tankard was tolerable if watery (probably because of it!) on a travel weary stomach.

Though he should see about food or some bit of bread maybe just so his stomach could settle on actual substance too, but that could wait a bit.

Good selling?  Leave morning?

Kvas turned to ask and a smile graced the younger smith's face. Mostly in the mixed of his first answer and how it wasn't as bad a flop as last few visits ago...

"Well enough", he answered around a sip, lowering his voice though more riling statements passed between feuding patrons and such than just the lad's comment on a client and he didn't really have to worry about someone who knew the woman and would avenge hearing. "I was a little suspicious of the elderly woman who needed no less than seven knives and wouldn't tell me what for. In the end she left it at two though and...the others seemed normal sales", Fritz's smile turned half amused at himself and as he perhaps needlessly explained.

"I just...I don't know, what it's going to be...used for, is...important", he shrugged, reminding himself he was talking to one whom Ered Luin had tagged a cut-throat and worse when he arrived. Fritz didn't believe those tales, though, and whatever Kvas did or had done he knew honor and was good. That much the lad was sure on.

At the table not so much behind them but near enough to the side of the bar, and where Fritz was unaware a trouble maker sat, a dwarf tolerated among two Men for his good steel, one of the Men returned and sat.

"Two seconds, but then old Resinda's learned to see me comin'", he didn't shout it for the bar to hear exactly, but Fritz still distractedly caught the words. Whatever they were talking on, he had a feeling he should turn a deaf-ear (if certain acquaintances would pardon the expression), but then that was just it! Fritz had always strove to treat all with respect, but bar-maids had been focused in his thoughts as being someone's sister or daughter now and since that trip or so back and an actual conversation. He'd...just tried to ignore before.

He just grimaced and went on, using probably hidden sign to continue along the conversation, not that it mattered or the Men were probably interested in the two Dwarves' talk.

"Yeah. We leave morning[/color]

"And I'm probably gonna get bread then and now or I'll probably regret it later", the lad was just pulling anything to say he could, sort of! The Men went on.

"Betcha you'd have more luck", the dwarf's companion at the other table grinned over at him. The called out dwarf just watched his companion steadily, not speaking and thus Fritz found the atmosphered lighten and could go on with more actual conversation until the table at back and the Dwarf specifically spoke again.

"I'll beat your two seconds, Butch!", he stood and took a sip of his drink, not that Fritz was watching.

"Aw, now you can't tell me...that's cheating!" the other one protested even as the Dwarf strode off.

If they'd kept talking, if Fritz had caught what it was all really about...he'd of course have never let it happen, but he didn't know or put two and two together. He should have, he'd later tell himself!

"Think it'll rain then too?", the lad asked Kvas. Again. Anything.


(olivedrab)

Líknví

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Knight in Tarnished Armour
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 04:14:00 AM »
{I'm risqué tagging this post too, just assume with this one unfortunately and even if her brother's gonna fix that or try. Hehe, if they are too much to deal with, Cass, let me know and I'll bring in the bar-keep for the Men or something or you can ~}

"I am gonna take that Man's...", the ranting bar-maid, Resinda, who was not old by anyone but perhaps Líknví's own equivalent standards, but then the Dwarf-maiden was young, noticed the girl and cut herself off. "Close yer eyes honey, I wanna say bad things", she said not truly jesting.

Líknví just smiled from over by the back bar where the sort of complaining huddle was had. She probably couldn't shock her if she tried she wanted to try and tell the woman.

Maybe moving after such a talk was not wise, but then talk and such as this was the normal occurrence or for the others to complain and exagerate, Lí didn't really think there was danger. Not in moving to a back table for a discarded tray any way.

She noted the shadow straight off. The one at about her height and hoped against hope it wasn't...but of course it was, the one who had nudged and even groped once inappropriately yet subtly every time she went over there.

Líknví froze and just stared as he picked up the tray she'd been going for. "This yours?". Unidentifiable hurt and as near insult as could shone in the dwarf maiden's eyes. It was the same question she'd been asked by a that kind smith, but the smirk told her the tone was not the same and she could already tell anyway!

Mostly she just looked scared, though, and backed even as the dwarf held out the tray. She glanced back, but the other women had moved off, complaining with Resinda. But didn't they see the trouble-makers weren't done and...

Lí shook her head; no, she didn't need the tray. The others would understand. She turned. Please oh please, just let me get to the back and.... She wasn't given the chance to make even dartingly for her corners and shadows because her wrist was gripped. Sickening fear welled up and, turning her shocked gaze his way just to get better leverage than with her arm behind her as it were, Líknví yanked with all she had in her, not caring if she bruised her wrist in it. His grip would probably see she did anyway!

"Woah, woah, what ye fighting for sweet thing", unfortunately she caught a few of those murmured words as he tried to pull her in closer. Lí turned to try running again, and yet found it harder as his other hand found her waist.

No! This couldn't be...she had left to escape all this and....

Líknví tried to shove with her hand she still had at her disposal, yet his lips roughly, and every hurriedly by even her sizing up of a too sized up situation, found hers. Shock and fear gave her the adrenaline that always seemed to aid her even if just shortly and her shove worked at moving him back a bit and...freedom was within her grasp, she felt his grip let go in his own surprise...she darted for a good second before feeling her arms grabbed.

"Na....!", she was unaware her unregulated voice cried out, though maybe it did no good in a crowded tavern anyway and...with this set...Lí knew hope was perhaps thin.

She was spun about and he tried again, much to Líknví's mounting despair and horror. She also didn't recognize that they were gaining attention but in his friends having left their table to "get an accurate count".

"Three!", the one who had ragged their Dwarven companion the most crowed out the other's showing them up and before Líknví found it in her to shove again, thankfully missing this vile explanation of her torture.

"Ge uff!", her voice exclaimed again with as much strength as it had ever had.

Surprise flickered on the dwarf's face and then she saw more warning signs coming with his hard frown. "Talk to me like that you ungrateful...", the adjective was missed, not read, as Líknví turned aside from the slap delivered. Nor did she catch his mocking smirk after, "If talkin's what you call that anyway...".

Though it was so very familiar of a response, if most times the girl hid before they got the chance (for any of it!), tears bloomed and came as Lí huddled in defensively and after everything, burying her face amidst her pulled in form.

She even missed the glimmer of hopeful attention they'd gained (missed so much!) and the young Smith, Fritz, pushing past the Men after having heard and seen glimmer of semi-familiar brown hair enough to guess and darting unheeding of what Kvas did or where he went even. She didn't hear the shocked exclamation as he made a sort of bubble in kneeling by her.

Sig made by wonderful Cass ~

(azure)

Kvasir

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Re: Knight in Tarnished Armour
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2016, 01:11:19 AM »
(OOC:  I hope this works!  If it doesn’t, please let me know. <3)

Old woman want seven knives is interesting woman.

Kvasir’s grin grew slow and wide as he signed, amused as he was by this peculiar customer of Fritz’s.  He indulged his imagination, just for a moment, by entertaining the notion that she was perhaps the fiercest and most seasoned mercenary in all of Eriador.  The reality was likely much more dull – simply a case of a wizened woman with joints that ached with age who had tired of peeling potatoes and cutting roast meat with blunt knives.  Even if purchasing seven blades for culinary purposes did seem excessive to the point of suspicious.

Distracted from his fanciful thoughts, the exile’s wintry eyes flicked to the nearby table, at which were sat two Men and a Dwarf.  They were planning some mischief, though quite what it was Kvasir couldn’t say.  His attention returned to Fritz then, who was asking for an opinion on what weather the morning would bring.  Kvasir shrugged as he took another sip of mead, peering at his companion over the pewter rim, painfully aware of that fact that he likely made poor company for a spirited and talkative young lad.  For Fritz, this conversation must feel akin to speaking to a wall.  Setting the tankard down, freeing his hands once more, he elaborated by nodding and rolling his blue eyes, the corner of his mouth lifting in a smirk.

Always rain in Bree.  Rain every day.  Rain every night.

“Na!”

That exclamation somehow captured his attention, Kvasir finding there was something about its sound that snagged and wrenched his heartstrings.

No.  It couldn’t be.

“Ge uff!”

Could it?

The exile’s face dropped, simultaneously crumpling with concern and reflecting a hope so fragile that he dare not look at it directly lest it shatter beneath the weight of his gaze.  Fritz’s own features pulled into a frown as he got down from his chair to see what the commotion was about.

Lí?

In an instant, Kvasir was on his feet, steely determination setting his jaw as he pressed the flat of his hand against the backs and arms of those drunkards milling about, guiding them out of his way, and cutting a clean path through the crowd.  The sound of a slap rang out.  A hard one at that, to be heard over the inn’s noisy clientele. 

“If talkin’s what you call that anyway…”

Through the wall of swaying bodies, he caught a glimpse of the Dwarf he had noted earlier.  Evidently he was being rough with a Dwarven barmaid, who had huddled on the floor, folding into herself in a defensive position, brown her falling in a curtain that obscured her face.  The prickle of immediate recognition that Kvasir felt was overridden by fury.  He emerged from the gawking crowd at speed, aware that Fritz had reached the girl first and was now kneeling with her.  Good.  That allowed him to make a beeline for the brute who didn’t understand the meaning of no, to put himself between the predator and his prey.  Reaching him, Kvasir slammed both hands hard against the other Dwarf’s shoulders, causing him to stagger back – he was only saved from falling by catching himself on another punter.  A short distance away, the two Men were hooting with laughter at their companion, the cruel count now mercifully ended, sorely amused by the trouble their pint-sized companion had found himself in.

“Ain’t you got your own business to mind?”  The Dwarf squared up to Kvasir, coming almost close enough for their brows to touch.  The exile didn’t budge, didn’t even blink, his hands squeezed into tight fists down by his sides.  If this was to end in a fight, so be it.  He could teach the thug some manners by knocking out some of his teeth.  Except the barmaid had other ideas, knowing that spilt blood was bad for business.

“Oi!  Enough!”  Resinda shouted, her hands perched on her hips as she glared between them but especially at the cur, it seemed to Kvas. 

The moment stretched, pregnant with tension, until at last the Dwarf broke away and laughed rudely, gesturing for his companions to fall into step with him.  “We was leavin’ anyway.”  The trio went laughingly, bickering among themselves about who out of them would buy the next round.  It was only when the door opened, a blast of fresh air cutting through the heavy heat of the tavern, that Kvasir relaxed.  His shoulders rounded, blue eyes coloured with concerned as he looked to Fritz and the girl.  With lips moved soundlessly, shaping a single word as he stepped closer, that delicate hope blooming into something more solid – or was it yet wishful thinking?  Surely his little sister remained half the world away.

Líknví…?

Líknví

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Re: Knight in Tarnished Armour
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2016, 01:45:04 AM »
Look up! You don't have a chance of seeing trouble come prior if you don't...

But trouble had already come, not that he couldn't just haul her up again, or...or any number of worse. Lí tensed, trying to tell by that intuition that had served her behind chairs and drapes if she needed to make a quick dart again. It was never fool-proof though...

She rubbed at her cheek, which still hurt, scared but also...frustrated. It was suppose to be better...why had she been foolish enough to think she'd escape any of it? Barmaid? She'd known when she took the job it was only a small step.

Someone bent nearer (she noted the movement in the gap her arms were slowly allowing for) and Líknví flinched, but they didn't touch her. Not at first and not harshly at any rate...

A hand came over to rest lightly on one arm as Lí remained trying to hide in. She cautiously looked up, into concerned brown eyes.

The...the kind young noble...Fritz, Líknví instantly recoqnized him out. Young Master Fritz, off what little he'd said written of his postion on his first visit where she'd seen him (before the other where she'd also helped Kophas also locate him) and also what he just exuded, as it were. As she stared, coming to terms, the young Noble removed his light touch and she noted his hands went on to form around also speaking his question. Two mediums, to probably ensure.

"A-are you alright...", he winced as if he felt the question naive. Still stunned, she nonetheless nodded, brushing back some of her hair from out of her face and where it it flown in her rush to almost use it also to hide inward. Lí noticed the slight crowd and recalled the Dwarf. I-if Fritz was knelt as he was beside her...where was the one who had...she couldn't even think over the events again! Light as they perhaps were, but still...nothing was light in her experiences and just because she avoided fully degradation.

Líknví gave a glance, spotting out the reassuring form of Ressinda, glowering after the retreating form of the other Dwarf. She breathed a further sigh, coming to realize, to believe, it was all over...for the most part...for now. Lí glanced down thoughtfully, yet brushed aside and straightened more of her hair, a Thankyou forming to give Fritz's way, and her hand coming to her mouth to begin it before she glanced back up...and noticed that within the retreating crowd, one didn't. Retreat that was.

The girl glanced up, curious, that curious that held mild concern such as she lived with until she knew what a situation held. His boots were worn, and there was nothing that was suppose to make her think for any second that...

Finch...

Her mind spoke the word, in that clear, reading, way that was so much clearer than her tones came out, before Lí was even fully aware of it. Years had passed, and a haggard sort of look seemed to have come, but still, Líknví would recognize that face anywhere. Kvasir! Kvasir?!

As if she needed more, his lips were forming out a stunned inquiry of her own name. He...he could just know it...maybe young Master Fritz... the vain thought tried to form. No...but she knew...there was no doubting!

Utter bewilderment took over her countance and Lí was frozen for a moment. For two moments! Her breath that she'd controlled from her panic starting to come in rasps again. She pushed up, making her way to her feet but startled and unsteady, almost looking like she would fly, her hands brushing the wall, her gaze not leaving his. Fritz rose as well, she noticed in peripherals, watching, more stunned than either of them perhaps.

"Va-vaz...?", Lí didn't sign; her startled voice went on and she didn't care but that it was still low as ever, partly due to shock. "Tha...tha sad! Tha saa yow waa...". Different tears had already broke free and yet...she looked almost scared. It...it couldn't be! The hope was like a painful vice!

Slowly, one of Líknví's hands moved away from the wall, she stood, stunned gaze still trained on...her brother?!...maybe part of her did believe too firmly in ghosts or such, for her hand lightly came over, as if to touch and see if he was real, yet she never made contact, the hand just as quickly dropping as she realized she didn't need such a silly thing as ghost stories rebuffed.

It was him, she knew it was! Even this handful of years later! Líknví broke next, moving with a swiftness even she was unaware of, flinging her arms about him as he'd ever requested of her on leaves and squeezing tight, as if even now he could turn out to be just a figment.

Nevermind why or how he was alive, he was! And he was here!

Quote
Translations: (though maybe you don't need 'em ^^)
"Kva-Kvas...?"
"They...they said! They said you were..."
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 05:20:21 AM by Líknví »

Sig made by wonderful Cass ~

(azure)

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