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Recoup


Re: Recoup

Post by Chrishton Radu on

There at the jail indeed. Chrishton thought of himself as the mastermind of their escape plan! Her statement puffed him up a little, but for once he remained quiet, content to care for his foot in a warm place that had alcohol available. Alcohol and women, if he decided to take that route.

He took Mydjeken's warning about Dorcas as a threat. A personal, but rather manly threat. Surely it wasn't Dorcas who he was supposed to be afraid of. It was the young barkeep, who probably had something going on with her, establishing his territory.

Chrishton had no problem with that. He smiled back at Mydjeken placatingly, and continued to rub his foot with the cloth until it was tolerably clean. He was eager to get back to his drink. Some salve or a healer could deal with his foot later if it got infected.

I am one-hundred-percent better, no thanks to ye and all thanks t' Kenny.


"Next time yer stayin' in jail, girly." He grabbed his tankard and sat back comfortably again. "I dun care where I sleep..."

Kamar entered and he took a big long drink of the ale, downing a good quarter of the tankard. He answered Kamar's question with a long, resounding belch capped off with a pleased smile. It encapsulated his plan for the evening entirely.
You are confusing bets and marriages, Madam. One must always honour a bet.
- Valmont

Re: Recoup

Post by Dorcas Tansy on

Mydjeken clicked his tongue in his mouth, producing a hollow sound, as he wandered back behind the bar. He gave the impression he was doing his best to seem unobtrusive. From behind the bar a weathered clay jug was produced, and a few inches' depth of cloudy garnet-colored liquid tipped into a clear, stemless wine glass. Mydjeken set this glass on the counter, glanced in Kamar's direction, and held up one finger to indicate a moment's wait.

While he waited, the young man took Dorcas's hands in his--a match for size nearly favoring hers--and placed them palms together in a prayer fold so he could rub his hands rapidly back and forth over hers. "Warm up, why don't you?" He smiled in Chrishton's direction, then pushed back from the bar to pick up the glass of wine, which he carried over to Kamar. The cloudy liquid had mostly separated into a layer of grayish sediment at the bottom and a modest offering of clear red wine above. "Here you are, our finest red wine. And our shoddiest on the bottom. It's the sampler." He returned an exaggerated wink to Kamar, along with the hand gesture used by some in the city--generally those of a more refined class--to indicate epicurean quality: a delicate flap of the fingers in the direction of the drink.

Mydjeken clicked his tongue again as he headed for the back again, nodding to Chrishton and Kamar, but not Dorcas, in turn as he closed the dusty curtain behind him.

"He'll be back," Dorcas said blandly, "in a while. So wot's doin', then? Mister Dennison, are ye stayin' too? Am I t'find ye a friend?" This last part she chirped in a patronizing, nasal tone that brought out her original Manchester accent more strongly than usual, so corrupted had she been by the local language.

She got up from her stool and walked over to Chrishton with a series of small, dainty steps and sat down on the other tiny seat at his table. "I think you all should tell me wot's goin' on with this whole runnin' from the guard stuff. An' why ye'r stickin' together, 'cos innybody knows that's not a sound way t'lie low."

Re: Recoup

Post by Kamar Deythal on

Kamar eyed the glass of wine distrustfully, a slight curling of his top lip telling anyone who cared to look what he thought of a wine that needed to settle. Yet he still took the glass and carried it over to where Chrishton was seated, answering Dorcas' question with a shrug for the first and shake of the head for the second.

He looked at Chrishton when Dorcas asked about why they were sticking together. He had hoped that no one would think of that, for he knew that it was the best way to be caught again. But he also knew that he wouldn't be caught. Kamar was secure enough in his own talents that he could be vain about that. It also helped that he had made a deal with Moryldar to allow him to join the ranks of the battlemages.

A smirk slipped over his face, quickly schooled to a semi-blank look, at the thought of what Captain Smithson's choice words on the subject would be.
You’re gonna find out you’re already dead, and I was the world coming down on your head.

Re: Recoup

Post by Chrishton Radu on

Chrishton sat there with his drink, the complete antithesis of Kamar. He was dirty, smelly, his foot was a mess, his wild hair needed cutting and he needed a shave, but he didn't care. The ale might as well have been alcoholic urine and he wouldn't care one iota. He was actually enjoying himself. Whatever thoughts bounced around in his deranged head were not those of a grounded man.

He listened to Doracs, but his eyes occasionally followed a passing spirit. In doing so he acknowledge their presence, playing a little part in their inside joke. They weren't speaking to him, and though he knew them well, he was as much an outsider to their world as Dorcas was to his.

He waited a while after Dorcas finished asking her question, putting himself and Dennison on the same footing in their silence. How the two of them could possibly be a pair was anybody's guess. Eventually it became apparent that his silence was another belch building up in his gut, which he let out slowly before speaking.

"Welp." He paused again, letting things settle. "They're none too happy 'bout how I went'n escaped jail with ya, an' they seem ta think I killed some people an' used some magic or other, so I figure they're out t'kill me at this point... Him I dunno, I figure he's got magic too'n they dun like that much. So we're hidin' out 'till we figure out what t'do 'bout it all."
You are confusing bets and marriages, Madam. One must always honour a bet.
- Valmont

Re: Recoup

Post by Dorcas Tansy on

Through Chrishton's belch, Dorcas eyed Kamar. Gastronomic feats aside, he was more intriguing in mien at the moment. He wore a montage of facial expressions. While this rogue's appearance and mannerisms were outwardly sly, it had just dawned on Dorcas that he was the less cryptic of her two companions.

When Chrishton began to speak his excuses, her gaze shifted slowly to his bare feet.
. . . So we're hidin' out 'till we figure out what t'do 'bout it all.

Dorcas didn't seem to blink for some time. She looked up first to Chrishton, then to Kamar, her dull brown eyes made bolder with a hint of flinty severity.

"So, magic stuff again," she said in a brisk, low voice, a cold poshness creeping upon her accent. "I'm no stranger to this place anymore. I know what this stuff is and why you're in such trouble. I . . ." Pausing, she shifted her gaze between the two again. " . . . I don't see a reason to exacerbate your situation by any of the many ways I could. But--if I'm going to alleviate your worries any, help with this lying low--I want you to tell me what is going on. Where're you goin' with this stuff you're doin'?" She stiffened her lip, her bargaining chip out on the table as eloquently as she could place it.

She had only a moment to let her ante sink in when the rustle of the curtain at the back of the room interrupted the silence she'd imposed. Mydjeken, having been out for nearly five minutes, poked his head back into the front room. His dark hair was tousled into a fluffy bird's nest and his otherwise clean face bore a rosy dusting of rouge and what appeared to be a smudge of lipstick on one side. The boy, who could hardly be older than Dorcas herself, cleared his throat as he stepped past the curtain. Dorcas's cheeks flushed as rosy as his when he patted his hair flat again.

"Well, Udorl is in, ah . . . fine form . . . tonight." Mydjeken rolled his eyes slightly and fidgeted as he spoke. "My dear sister," he supplemented.

"Sister in law," Dorcas hissed quietly. She refused to meet Mydjeken's gaze and seemed to fidget as well.

"Anyhow--" The boy tried in vain to catch Dorcas's eye, and he sighed before he went on to address the men. He said this in as businesslike a manner as he could muster, given his appearance. "My room shall be free for a guest tonight, which clears up and makes more comfortable the matter of sleeping arrangements. Conveniently."

He turned to leave with haste. Dorcas looked up into empty air for a moment before slowly turning to face Chrishton. Her look was no longer severe, and it was clear that the news did not come as convenient nor did it bring her comfort. Her eyes were saucers in a flushed face. Her raw lips formed a slack, down-turned crescent. Around her face, hair the color of molding straw hung in lank locks, messy with the wisps that had curled and thus tangled themselves in the steam from her drink. She wrapped both hands tightly around her mug and her gaze slid off Chrishton to hang dully on the sleeve of his ill-fitting vestment.

"Not actually . . . real sister . . ." she mumbled almost incoherently.

Re: Recoup

Post by Kamar Deythal on

Kamar opened his mouth to reply, but Kenny interrupted. Disheveled as he was, Kamar barely hid the smirk that came to his face. When Dorcas reacted, Kamar let the smirk show. He made a motion as if to nudge Chrishton, then nodded towards the young lady.

He allowed the little drama to play through, looking as if he were listening while taking small sips of the barely tolerable wine. Really, his mind was elsewhere. He knew he needed to check in with Moryldar soon, which chafed at him some. It had been a long time since he had answered to a higher power, but this was all to the good. He also had to check in with the word on the street, to see what was being said about Lanya, and to see if Moryldar had really taken care of the problem.

When it appeared the awkward moment between the two youngsters was finished, Kamar set his half empty glass of wine down, the clear wine barely an inch above the muddy garbage at the bottom.

"I don't know what we're going to do about it at the moment, but I think better after a full night's sleep. It's been a while since I had one of those."
You’re gonna find out you’re already dead, and I was the world coming down on your head.

Re: Recoup

Post by Chrishton Radu on

Chrishton also had a wisecrack response ready for Dorcas after she so carefully fashioned her application into their secret society of vagabonds. And, likewise, he stopped when Mydjeken came back into the room. Chrishton went back to his drink, which was unfortunately finished with another gulp.

Mydjeken put on a little display of adolescent licentiousness for the three of them. A show which Chrishton found more amusing and silly than Dorcas did. Chrishton gave Mydjeken a pleasant smile, mixed in with only a little of his crazy eye, at the confirmation that there was space for him and Kamar to spend the night. When the boy left Dorcas muttered something to defend the apparently incestuous nature of the relationship. Chrishton outright didn't care. After living with a coven of vampires and then acquiring intimate knowledge of the sexual activities of animals, he was not the kind of guy who gave a rat's ass about who was boffing whom.

"Aye, once we've got a proper plan 'bout what'n the fuck we're gonna do, we'll be sure'n tell ya girly. Do we look like we've got a clue? Let us get some sleep, then bug us with yer theories."
You are confusing bets and marriages, Madam. One must always honour a bet.
- Valmont

Re: Recoup

Post by Dorcas Tansy on

Dorcas sucked her chapped lower lip into her mouth and pinned it between two rows of yellowish teeth. She met Chrishton's gaze again with a sullen expression that was probably supposed to seem grown up.

"Fiiine." She pressed the syllable from her mouth with an outward shove of her lower lip and a small upward contour of tone, something questioning. A heavy inhale and exhale was intended to sound like a sigh, but an underlying shudder gave away the emotion she was concealing poorly. These men were trying to gyp her out of a no-strings room for the night, and she was no longer feeling generous.

"Sure, I igspect ye won't be leavin' then until ye come up with a plan. Overnight, then, ye think ye'll figure it out?" Dorcas directed her gaze up to a corner of the room, tapping the heel of her boot impatiently, her lips grimly pressed.

She flicked her gaze over to Kamar now, raised her eyebrows in a hyperbolically patronizing fashion, and paused her tapping for just a moment. "Hm?" she questioned with a small jerk of her head. The tapping resumed.

Once again, as if on cue from offstage, the curtain at the back of the room rustled with the presence of another. This time, a woman appeared, dimly lit and barefoot. She padded quickly towards the bar and paused halfway. She looked over her shoulder and then turned her whole body to face the guests with a soft, prim "Ohh" of surprise.

This woman, however dimly lit by the oil lamps of the room, seemed to glow with an individual radiance: the skin of her arms, her barely exposed ankles, her face shone with a golden-olive healthfulness; her high cheeks were pink with vitality. Her dark hair fell past her shoulders in vibrant waves that glimmered alternately bronze and mahogany in oil-lit swatches visible between voluminous rolling locks of black. She absorbed the meager light of the room and diffused it impeccably with her presence.

"Udorl." Dorcas addressed her less than cordially.

"I didn't know we had company, Dorcas," replied the woman in drawn-out tones. She didn't look at Dorcas when she spoke, but from Chrishton to Kamar. In turn, she blinked wide eyes slowly at each. After she spoke, she kept her darkly rosy lips parted and let out a delicate sigh. "I was just going to fetch something to take the chill off the night. Not a toddy . . . something more . . ." She paused to inhale and said the next line in a sigh. " . . .Stimulating."

Dorcas made no attempt to disguise a scoff and a roll of her eyes. Udorl pressed full lips into a sweet smile and tipped her chin in Chrishton's direction. "Welcome to my home, dear guests." She lifted a thick lock of hair back over her shoulder to reveal her bodice, a loose white tunic of crepelike material through which a dark areola was clearly visible. The shirt gave no discernible waistline, lifted by her swollen breasts to fall just past her hips. She also wore a long gray skirt of pleated wool fabric, slung unusually low on her hips so it hung oddly over her legs, bowed out slightly in the middle and narrow on the sides. It was not a garment local to the region, and in fact looked rather like the skirts found in the trunk of clothes Dorcas had arrived in Thar with.

"Oh, are you kidding me," hissed Dorcas as Udorl so plainly exhibited herself. Udorl turned softly on bare heels and hummed to herself as she went to the bar and knelt behind it in her search for 'stimulating' spirits.

Dorcas turned a stormy gaze on her companions and nodded gravely, as if acknowledging their agreement to a plan even as she formulated it. "Alright," she muttered so quietly Udorl might actually not hear this particular jab, "so there she is. Now the question is--which of you is going to distract her tonight? I can tell you right now she won't be too choosy."

Re: Recoup

Post by Kamar Deythal on

Kamar's eyebrows lifted at the chilling in the air as the second woman paused to make their acquaintance. There appeared to be some animosity between the two women, although Dorcas' was plainly visible while the other woman, Udorl, was willfully ignoring the tension while unobtrusively adding to it. Kamar shook his head slightly, amused.

None of this refrained the assassin from enjoying the obvious charms of a pretty young woman, however. He nodded cordially, though not invitingly, to Udorl when she welcomed them, keeping his eyes locked on hers after he had given her a long once-over look.

When she toddled off to fix herself a drink, Kamar turned to Dorcas to listen. Again, an eyebrow lifted as Dorcas' animosity appeared just below the surface, simply offering the woman to one of them. Had he not had things to do this night, he would likely have taken up the offer. With a shake of his head, Kamar shrugged off the 'offer' and looked to Chrishton.

"I think a night of rest is in order for me. I have the feeling that 'distracting' that one would not include much in the way of rest," he smirked, indicating Udorl with a jerk of his head.
You’re gonna find out you’re already dead, and I was the world coming down on your head.

Re: Recoup

Post by Chrishton Radu on

Overnight, then, ye think ye'll figure it out?


"I'm sure we will..." He lied. He wasn't sure at all, but the lie slipped past his lips as easily as any truth.

His eyes caught motion behind the curtain, and this time the creature who walked through received his undivided attention. Chrishton had been on the road for weeks before arriving in Marn. Once in Marn it was barely two days before the girl he came with had vanished. Immediately following that he was arrested for the first time, escaped for the first time, and then spent a week surviving alone in the streets, followed by more time imprisoned in Justice hall being tortured, albeit frequently by a woman he found to be quite attractive.

Whatever the reasons, the man hadn't had a chance to properly appreciate a woman in over a month. Now, lightly inebriated and most comfortable, he was at his most receptive. This woman, Udorl, plucked at his hormones like harp strings.

He practically floated off his chair and into her arms when she said the word "stimulating" in such a suggestive manner. When she looked at him, it was obvious what he was thinking. He barely heard Dorcas and Kamar talking, but got the gist of what they were saying after the fact.

"I wouldna wanna be rude." He grinned wryly, staring at Udorl and drawing upon some hidden charm of his own that lay buried deep beneath his unwashed and unshaven exterior. There was a beast within him, and it knew what it wanted now. "Gotta earn our keep somehow."
You are confusing bets and marriages, Madam. One must always honour a bet.
- Valmont

Re: Recoup

Post by Dorcas Tansy on

Dorcas pursed her lips as she looked at Kamar's face appraisingly. He wasn't willing to help her with her request, but at the same time, he had denied her adversary a personal triumph. The paradox of loyalty would apply to Chrishton in reverse, it seemed. She wouldn't look at him. She cringed a little at Kamar, but sympathetically so.

Udorl lifted her head from behind the bar. Her lips, pressed into a rosebud of a smile, were just visible above the horizon the counter afforded. Her dark gaze was focused solely on Chrishton. Fingers gripped the edge of the counter and she lifted herself to a standing position, uttering a delicate noise of exertion. She stepped around the bar empty handed, straightening the hem of her tunic. Pulled an inch or so outward, the white crepe gave no view of the lines of her body, but as it settled back against her bosom that dark pigmentation shone through again. Udorl shook her hair back over her shoulders in display.

After a moment's pause, she clasped her hands and brought them, one index finger extended, to her chin. She toyed with her lower lip. Her forearms pressed up against her torso to again obscure her breasts. "On second thought," sighed Udorl--she tasted the tip of her index finger as if somehow divining information this way--"good company can be just as stimulating as spirits." She approached the party with a slow, pad-footed sashay. "Don't you agree?"

Dorcas had heard Chrishton's agreement to her plan and the hot-spirited tone with which he had spoken it. Without a glance, she was aware his eyes were eagerly taking in all Udorl chose to offer. Dorcas was unworried about her deal falling through, and had thus reverted to her disagreeable mood. "No, I b'lieve booze is 's good 's it gets," she grumbled.

Udorl tipped her head, one soft cheek pulled up in a rueful half-smile. "Awww," she murmured. She presented the fragrant salve to Dorcas's harsh, stone-jawed adolescent judgment, a parcel of soft hues and feminine perfume. The scent of Udorl was tea, cloves, and rose. As she shifted her weight from one foot to the other to sidle up closer to Chris, she briefly gave the clean, salty scent of female sweat.

Dorcas finally gave Udorl a pointed look. The older woman stared back at Dorcas, and then suddenly spotted the dark blemish of a wound on Chrishton's foot. She didn't comment on it, but gazed down at him, eyelashes lowered. "Do you agree, sir, that company can be just as stimulating as spirits?"

Re: Recoup

Post by Chrishton Radu on

Chrishton did not smell quite as good as tea, cloves and rose. The man had been through a lot, but he was a machine that kept going. He needed a bath as badly as he needed treatment for his wounds, and he knew it. He knew it, but he wasn't embarrassed. Udorl was flirting with him after all, and a woman like her in a place like this had to be used to the realities of their conditions.

"Do you agree, sir, that company can be just as stimulating as spirits?"


The spirits laughed. He caught the irony of the comment at the same time they did. He couldn't help but join them aloud. It was a powerful ruckus, and tweaked with insanity. Inari had to be responsible for this. It was a joke, and a damned good one at that. It filled him with delight to see such direct physical evidence of his god's influence on the course of his life. It filled him with love and respect, and made him feel that much less alone.

His answer came all too easily and was uncharacteristically witty. "When yer only company's spirits, ya ferget the difference."

Both spirits were the only real company he had for years.

Arbitrarily taking charge of a situation he had no right to, he pushed himself up out of the seat and turned his attention to Dorcas and Kamar. The laugh lines were still visibly crinkling the corners of his eyes. "We'll be goin' then. I'll find ya 'ere, tomorrow night."

Kamar could have a room to himself, he had no intention of sharing. He made a move to urge Udorl back the way she came, not waiting for her to decide otherwise.
You are confusing bets and marriages, Madam. One must always honour a bet.
- Valmont

Re: Recoup

Post by Dorcas Tansy on

Udorl did possess a particular unnameable quality that could pass for divinity. Her face was given to exaggeration in nothing but the sensuality of her expressions. Each angle and feature was pleasantly proportionate, but each blink of the eyes and twitch of the mouth evoked only one very clear motivation. This woman appeared entirely unmoved by Chrishton's seeping wound, and she likewise reacted in no way to his brief, maniacal laughter. She simply stared down at him with a sweetly prurient smile and followed him up with her gaze as he stood.

"What a fine turn of fortune, to have such eloquent company," said Udorl after a few moments' consideration. Her tone was so drawn-out and syrupy that Dorcas, aside, seemed to choke on the sweetness itself with her continuous scoffs.

Divinity does inspire envy in those not enchanted by it, and Udorl's charms--full and impressively elevated breasts notwithstanding--held no enchantment for Dorcas. The contrast of Dorcas's angsty attitude, ungainliness, and general squalor of upkeep and personality made all the more evident Udorl's particular quality, and could only add to the notion that she was indeed some sort of "Happy Exodus" greeting card from above.

"Tchyeah, wot're they gonna talk about," muttered Dorcas to Kamar, the only one likely to even register her presence at this point. She scowled at the floor. "--Shoes?"

Udorl folded her her left hand--adorned with a pretty wedding band--around the fingers of Chris's right hand and stepped back to the sackcloth curtain. "If you change your mind . . ." She smiled over her shoulder to Kamar as she disappeared past the curtain.

Udorl led Chris down the creaky staircase on the left, which was now lit by the glow of a lamp at its landing. From a room above, at the top of the upward-leading staircase, the muffled laughter of a few women trickled down. At the foot of the stairs was a narrow hallway: there was a closed door on the right and an open door at the end. The left wall consisted of inset shelves of wood set in tightly packed earthen nooks. The hall was apparently underground, and the shelves contained assorted sundries. The warmth of a well-stoked fire radiated from the room at the end of the hall, which Udorl approached.

Visible in the room was a wide bed beside the fireplace. Mydjeken sat bare-chested on the edge of the bed, knees apart, eyes to the ceiling. He idly kneaded at his lap with one hand, closing his eyes momentarily with concentration as he did so. As Udorl approached the open door with Chris in tow, he glanced over and scowled slightly. He pulled a pillow over his lap. Udorl paused in the doorway and leaned against the jamb to allow Chris access to the room.

After staring past Udorl at Chris for a short time, Mydjeken stood up and tossed the pillow onto the bed. He picked up the shirt he'd been wearing and held it at his waist as he appeared to fumble with fastening his belt. He approached the door with a swagger and a sigh in Udorl's direction of the type a parent gives a smart-alecky child. "Well," he said coldly to Chris, "I don't suppose you're just here for the tour." The young man didn't seem surprised in the slightest that this had been the outcome of Udorl's five-minute sojourn, just rather annoyed. He stood holding his shirt in his fists at waist level, hiding his erstwhile embarrassment which was quickly dissipating under the circumstances.

Re: Recoup

Post by Kamar Deythal on

Kamar watched the story unfold before him. Neither Udorl nor Chrishton were particularly shy about voicing their thoughts and opinions, thinly veiled as their intentions were.

Kamar preferred a little more of the chase than either of those two did. So he instead leaned back and twirled the sludge remaining of his wine by the stem of the glass and watched the tale unfold. Dorcas' obvious attempts at an uncaring attitude were humorous enough in their own rights, but coupled with the couple and their veiled talk of coupling, Kamar was hard pressed to keep only a small smirk on his face. With the line that just ran through his head, it made it doubly hard.

But soon enough, the pair were gone, and he was left with Dorcas. A short, uncomfortable silence fell; or, it might have been uncomfortable if Kamar cared about such things. As it was, he didn't and so he let the silence stretch before breaking it.

"First of all, dearie, I need to know two things before I turn in for the evening. One, what are your plans for myself and my companion, and two, how far do you intend to help us or hinder us?" He spoke in a casual manner, remaining leaned back and placing one arm on the chair back Chrishton had not so long ago vacated.
You’re gonna find out you’re already dead, and I was the world coming down on your head.

Re: Recoup

Post by Chrishton Radu on

With a poorly hidden limp and the support of the nearest wall, Chrishton followed Udorl out of the room, but not before giving Kamar one last stupid grin. It was a nice change for him. Out of the torture room and into the love shack. Even a normal man would have lost some of his inhibitions after enduring the past two weeks, but Chrishton had no inhibitions to begin with.

He managed to get down the stares by only using the heel of his wounded foot on the edge of the steps to avoid the wound. Chrishton soon decided he liked the place very much. It was warm, not too posh, and sounded like the fairer sex having a good time.

The sight of Mydjeken at their destination already, undressed and gratifying himself prompted Chrishton to clear his throat. He was polite enough to look away, but did not mask his indignation. The guy could have at least taken some precautions, rather than sit out in the open there. Even Chris would have done that much.

He didn't give the lad another look when he was leaving either. Chrishton was not about to dignify Mydjeken's words or glares with any kind of response. A fight between the two of them would be a sorry beating. If Mydjeken was stupid enough to challenge him he was ready to respond with force, but uneven fights were not something he enjoyed.
You are confusing bets and marriages, Madam. One must always honour a bet.
- Valmont

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