A bard in time saves...

Shops, street merchants, taverns, brothels and inns situated along the busy Main Street that runs through the middle of the city.
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Metarie
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A bard in time saves...

Post by Metarie » Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:22 am

Late March, 122 PW

Metarie sat at a desk with her hands covering her eyes. Giving her eyes a rub, she gave a sigh. Today had been her day off, which meant she brought her dog Kona to visit with the children in the Children’s Ward of the hospital. The children loved Kona. He was a hairy, grey, gentle giant of a dog. He was also comparable in size to a Shetland pony. The children could pull on his ears, his snout, his fur or his tail. They could ride on his back, if they could convince him to do something other than lounge on the floor. During story time, the children would use him as a pillow. In the mean time, Metarie would often be coerced to help in emergencies. Several times a day, if not more, people from the industrial district would need care. Tomorrow was another day off. Tomorrow, she vowed, she would not spend her whole day at the hospital.

“Come on, Kona.” Metarie pushed away from the desk and stood. Leaning this way and that, she stretched to relieve sore muscles. “I think we’ll go to the Drunken Rat. One stiff drink and we’ll be on our way home.” Kona gave a slight huff of sound. He rarely barked or growled. All in all, he was an unusually quiet dog. Metarie just assumed that was part of his gentle demeanor. On the plus side, Kona meant she walked home in relative safety. Kona was not a trained attack dog, but he did have a protective streak when it came to Metarie.

Metarie unclipped her hospital ID and tucked it into the courier bag she always had with her. The evening was only slightly chilly, so she didn't bother with the sweater she also kept in the bag. The Rat was not far from the hospital or the brothel; a layout Metarie did not find unusual in the least. At least if someone were stabbed at either place, they might have a chance of surviving. A man yelling, “Johnny!” was escorted from the place by a friend. Metarie stepped to the side, letting them pass. Something else caught her attention, though, causing her to pause in her intent.

Coming down the street was a guardsman, his horse, and a red-haired woman who looked as if she couldn't decide whether she was terrified or ... Metarie's eyes narrowed as she focused on the woman. There was something not quite right with the way the woman held her body. Years of experience gave Metarie the insight to realize the woman was in pain. A full glance to the guardsman would identify Captain Camulous Smithson. Metarie's mouth turned into a thin line.

"Come on, Kona," said Metarie with a no-nonsense firmness to her tone; not that the dog needed to be spoken to in such a way. More that, Metarie and the Captain had had numerous encounters over the years. These encounters usually resulted in Metarie becoming passionate about the Captain's one-dimensional view of the world. Really, it was almost enough to make a normally genial, soft-hearted elf become an activist. The man was... thick-headed, closed-minded, and Metarie couldn't explain to herself why helping the Captain obtain a more open-minded view of the world was so important. A twitch developed in Metarie's jaw as she walked towards the Captain. Her tone of voice was like the bark of drill sergeant.

"Captain, that poor woman has no business on a horse. Can't you see she's in pain? Couldn't you have gotten a carriage or other conveyance?" Metarie shook her head and looked at the Captain as if he were a dolt. Turning her gaze to the woman found the healer in her taking over. "What happened?" The question was directed at both at both of them.

"Where does it hurt?" Metarie's voice changed, becoming gentle and filled with concern. Warmth and compassion suffused her features as Metarie stepped towards them. Metarie was tall, nearly as tall as the Captain. Her eyes were a deep green flecked with gold and her skin had a healthy, golden tone. Her auburn-brunette hair was cut to rest just above her shoulders. It looked soft, as did Metarie. She was willowy and delicate-looking; possessed of the natural grace of her race. She wore a white lab coat over a snug green top and brown pants. The animal beside her was large, grey, and had a solid build. Intelligence showed in its gaze as it stood patiently and waited.
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Lanya Caliope
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Lanya Caliope » Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:48 am

((Lanya and Cam are continued from http://www.tharshaddin.com/rp/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=838 ))

The silence wasn't comfortable but she let it sit. He didn't want to chat; she didn't either. She was too busy considering his words. How could he know her for innocent? He hadn't actually been present when the old man lied. Had he perhaps known before? Again, she found herself confused - if he'd always known she was innocent, why had he brought her in as a prisoner?

The trial.

He hadn't come in any earlier than the trial itself. It wasn't that he'd brought her in that he protested - it was the sham of a trial. This man believed in true justice, the sort that actually spoke the truth and wouldn't condemn an innocent to their fate. So he had done his duty and then protested when something fell out of line with said duty.

It had nothing to do with her as a person. Only with her innocence.

Watching the ground move by without actually touching it became unnerving, and she closed her eyes and focused on the pain jolting her knee. It wasn't a pleasant sensation but it was better than fear.

In a moment a woman's voice filtered through and Lanya opened her eyes in confusion. The initial words actually gave the bard a bit of an uplifted spirit; she didn't particularly care for the captain's treatment of her, and felt validated by this person.

The bard eyed the slim stranger with active interest but the question remained unanswered. By this point Lanya couldn't begin to narrow down the pain; she could only feel that her knee was the worst...though the pounding headache was far closer and therefore more prominent for the moment.
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Camulous Smithson
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Camulous Smithson » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:35 am

As they neared main street the crowd began to bustle around them. What was first the odd person every block became a light stream of people flowing back and forth between the shops. A few horses, alone and with carriages, traversed the center of the street. The people, most of them human but many with skin tones ranging from green to blue, all recognized Camulous when they could see his face. When his visor was down he was indistinguishable from the other guardsman save for the small shield he preferred and the blue gnomish pistol holstered on his right side.

An inch shy of 6 feet tall and only of medium build, he was not the largest of the guardsmen by any means, many of whom were veritable giants. His boots and helmet gave him a couple of inches height, and the plates he wore made him look more threatening than normal clothes could. He didn't often wear a helmet, and wasn't this day. Curly dirty blond locks cut short enough to stay out of the way covered his head. His skin was smooth, devoid of scars, but he hadn't bathed in days. Nor had he had a chance to shave. Looks were not important to the man. Fortunately he was handsome enough to make up for it.

As the people on the street passed him he returned their acknowledgments in kind. Some nodded, some shied away, and some gave him dirty looks. The latter was rare, but not everybody in the city liked having him around.

He noticed a familiar face approaching whose voice cut through the general murmur.
Captain, that poor woman has no business on a horse. Can't you see she's in pain? Couldn't you have gotten a carriage or other conveyance?
She was exactly the person Camulous was looking for, but he couldn't help but roll his eyes when she started talking. Metarie was as elfish as they came in Marn. She didn't understand that his job afforded him none of the luxuries she was so used to. How could she?

"I'll explain later." He looked past Metarie, down the street, scanning faces. "I need a place to take her. Not the hospital."
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Metarie » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:38 am

For a moment, Metarie returned the woman’s look. The captain’s response caused Metarie to focus her gaze on him. She knew enough to see the he seemed wary. Metarie flicked her gaze to Lanya and it almost seemed as if her pupils were a little larger than would seem normal. Before the change could be fully registered, Metarie looked away and surveyed the area around them as well. There were no outward signs of unusual magic use or essence that Metarie could detect.

Metarie flipped open the satchel she carried and pulled a small, hard-cased box from her bag. The box opened with a click as the hinges snapped into place. Inside there were three vials of a semi-opaque, sunny-yellow liquid. Metarie plucked one of the vials from the box. She uncapped the vial and slipped the cap into her coat pocket. Metarie stepped close to the trio of woman, horse, and man. Metarie ignored the smell of unwashed man, though her nose did wrinkle slightly. Seeming to be studying Lanya’s leg, Metarie closed the box with her other hand. The closing snap of the box to masked her softly spoken words in order to keep her comment between the three of them.

“Take her to my house.”

Metarie busied herself with placing the little box back in her bag. As she did so, she resumed speaking at a normal level. Metarie felt as if everyone were looking at them and every word and second heightened the feeling. But, acting normally was the only thing that made sense to her.

“I am Metarie Sehkhara. I work at the hospital.” Metarie gestured with her head to the squat, functionally built building not far from where they stood. The style and design of the building was reminiscent of the guard house. The large sign reading “HOSPITAL,” also gave one certain knowledge as to which building Metarie referred. Metarie looked up to meet Lanya’s eyes and held out the vial to her. A soft, pleasant scent wafted from the tisane.

“Drink this for me. It will taste slightly sweet and then you should feel a warm tingling. This tisane should help with the discomfort during the remainder of your ride.” Metarie inclined her head to Lanya, then stepped back to give Camulous room. Metarie kept her eyes on Lanya for a while longer to confirm there were no adverse reactions to the willow-bark and arnica tisane.

“Captain, you can move her now.” Metarie then patted Kona on the head and moved off through the crowd, heading to her home. The large, grey dog followed and fell in beside Metarie as she moved through the crowd.
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Lanya Caliope
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Lanya Caliope » Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:21 am

Any healer would see how very injured and tired the woman atop the horse was. Her hazel eyes were dark and her hair hung in scraggly strands about her head, clearly in need of care and upkeep. Circles enhanced the sunken and tired look of her face. A bandage was wrapped around her left hand from a treated cut, and the portions of her arms visible had semi-healed bruises dotting along her upper- and forearms. Underneath the shirt and trousers lay more bruises, far larger and worse than what was already visible. Two other bandages also lay hidden - one against her back where she had been stabbed, the other covering her entire left knee. This particular bandage was thick enough to bulge the trousers where they fell across her leg as it dangled and bounced lightly against the horse's side.

The bard jerked slightly when the captain stated they were not heading for the hospital. She'd already spotted the building as they moved and had been hoping for this to be their stop. She could feel in her bones that her body needed rest and care, and a hospital was a welcome change from the sterile environment she'd spent the last 24 hours in.

It was not to be. Again she felt the temptation to scream rise within her throat. The desire to jump from the horse and run away from these people blinded her for a moment; but her leg was still bad and she was scared of the fall. No matter how much she hated having decisions made for her, she wasn't going to argue like a petulant child. And even if he didn't care about her directly, the captain seemed to be trying to help. He'd found a hospital employee, after all.

She didn't trust the captain but a healer received a certain assumption of consideration. The problem was, the last healer she'd met had put her to sleep with a drought. It hadn't looked a thing like the one offered, but the bard felt her fingers clench even harder against the pommel as the fear that she would wake up hours later with no concept of what had been done to her awakened. Naked, alone, under a scant bedsheet in a room full of strange men...

The bard took and drank from the vial with a clenched jaw, swallowing her fear along with the liquid. It didn't matter how much she hated having to do it, the fact was it needed to be done. And she would not cry.

The woman hadn't lied; the stuff tasted vaguely sweet. As she lowered the vial she could already feel warmth spreading along her back and extremities to settle in spots where the pain was the worst...and begin to gently lift the pain. It even rose up along her neck to moisten her dry throat, soothe her tense shoulder muscles, and ease the headache. Her eyelids lowered as the sudden drop in agony made her drowsy. She swayed forward a bit, her grip loosening under her own tired weight, but snapped herself up a moment later with a light snort. She readjusted her grip and shifted in the saddle; she was not about to fall unconscious yet again. It would mean falling from the horse.

She looked at the healer and a faint smile twisted her dry lips upward. She looked ready to fall asleep, and if given the slightest opportunity would do so. Nonetheless she tilted her head in simultaneous greeting and thanks.

"Thank you."

Her voice was quiet. Although naturally husky, it was downright grating through her abused throat and she winced and looked away to watch the people in the street. She hated how she sounded; she liked her natural voice and was a singer besides. If she couldn't sing again...
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Camulous Smithson
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Camulous Smithson » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:48 pm

Camulous nodded when Metarie suggested her house. He had a vague sense of where it was, but didn't know the exact building. It would do for at least a day.

The exchange between the ladies after the elf produced the vial was not something the captain watched, either because he was uninterested or too busy keeping his wits about him. He kept looking around to see who was in the street, making notes of the faces he saw. There was no outward display of urgency, but he was looking for something or someone. Even the large dog, which he almost liked, didn't get a second of attention.

He saw nobody important and glanced Lanya over a few seconds after she was finished with the vial. He couldn't tell if she looked better or worse, but it didn't matter really. No tisane was going to help her if Dennison showed up.

The healer started walking and he followed, leading his faithful horse by the reigns still.
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Metarie » Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:45 pm

Metarie stepped forward to place a cool, firm hand over Lanya’s as Lanya swayed slightly. Metarie’s eyes darted back and forth as she quickly assessed Lanya’s condition post consumption of the pain reliever. Lanya’s hoarse effort at a reply was thanks enough. A slight curve of Metarie’s lips and warm look was Lanya’s reward for now. A paltry reward at best considering the state the woman was in. Metarie patted the woman’s hand and retrieved the vial. This was placed in Metarie's pocket containing the lid to the vial.

“Shhh, save your strength. I need you to stay awake a while yet.” Metarie gave Lanya’s hand a soft squeeze and another pat. An additional pat, in a sort of kinship, was given to the large, white horse on which Lanya sat. “Please keep an eye on her as well. It won’t do to have her fall.” Whether Metarie spoke to the horse or the captain was anyone’s guess.

Metarie’s figure was easily kept up with despite the bustling crowd. With Kona at her side, most people either gave way before the pair or greeted them. Metarie would respond in kind, usually saying something about coming back for a follow-up or that she was glad to see the person up and well. Normally, each person would be given a touch of some kind to establish a connection between them – either a hand on the shoulder or shake of hands – but Metarie was concerned by the captain’s wariness.

Metarie’s steps led them down the Main Street, away from the City’s center. They passed the Smithy’s shop and the stables next to it, until finally they reached Metarie’s home. Her home was near to the water tower. The house sat on the corner of Main Street and another street, unimaginatively named Water Street due to its proximity to the water Tower. The further they walked down Main, the more the crowd thinned. There was still a good number of people, just not the heavy, bustle associated with the area near the Rat, the brothel, and the city center.

Kona disappeared as they neared the house, veering off towards the stables. He’d return later. Having the guardsman near to Metarie gave Kona confidence enough that his person would be fine for at least a minute or two. Kona did like the guardsman. He was smelly, but in a good way, and solid.

Ree’s house was a building made of the same mortar and stone as most of the buildings in Marn, but the building had been given cottage-treatment. Approaching as they did from the Smithy side, a neat little fence could be seen delineating the line between the stable yard and the boundary of the property. Ever-green trees lined the south-east side of the fence, giving a natural privacy barrier between the two. The fence became an archway and gate, that led to a backyard, the dimensions of which were unseen by those that passed by. Over the chimney and roof of the house, the water tower could be seen.

The front of the house had two small windows on both sides of the door. The windows looked more like arrow slits than anything, as if the place had once been a fortification of some kind. The doorway was arched, as was the door itself. The wood of the door was thick, solid, and held recessed iron hinges and other metal work. The door was stained a deep cherry. Metarie dipped her hand into her pocket and retrieved a set of keys. Unlocking the front door, she disappeared inside for a moment. Inside the doorway, the flooring was wood. Metarie then returned with a small three-step ladder.

“Captain, could you get her off the horse without having her put her weight on that leg and carry her in? Be careful, the hallway is a little narrow. She’ll need to go into the second room on the right.” Metarie’s brows had furrowed and she was obviously thinking. She paused and finished with, “Please.”

Inside, entrants would find a narrow hallway that ended in another door. This door was twin to the one at the front. There were four doors in all coming off the hallway. All four doors were open. The first doorway on the right led to what appeared to be a bathing room and an adjacent water closet. A quick glimpse would show that much had been spent on the facilities, indeed the whole of the house. Within, it was obvious the owner felt a kinship with nature. Clean, straight lines were soothed by an array of plants.

The first doorway to the left led to what looked like a library or living area of some kind. The walls were covered from floor to ceiling with books. A large fireplace was the centerpiece of the room. Mounted on the wall above the mantel was something curved and wooden. A case of some kind sat upon the mantel itself. To the left of the fireplace was what looked almost like a suit of armor, on display as if at a museum. Lanya was probably too tired to notice the details of the place as yet. One can assume the captain did not care to look. He would recognize both armor and wood. The second doorway to the left seemed to lead to a continuation of the room passed by in the first. There was the fireplace again, but this time against the back wall, fixtures indicated a kitchen-area, including a table and chairs. There was obviously a window, though the dimensions of it were not easily discernible at a glance.

The last doorway, the one Metarie had indicated led to her bedroom. The same kinship with nature continued here. Two glass-paned doors led from the room to the backyard. Another large window was to the right of the bed. A closed door indicated the bedroom and the water closet were interconnected.

Currently, curtains were drawn on both the doors and the windows, so the full detail of the yard was not clearly visible. The curtains suffused the sunlight, making the room seem golden and peaceful. The bed was large. In contrast to the warm golden-yellow, the duvet was a warm red, while pillows covered in a dark, chocolate brown fabric lined the headboard. A side table holding a hurricane lamp and stacked with books indicated this was a favorite spot for reading. An armoire and a chair were also in the large room. Metarie led the way in and pulled back the heavy bedding. The sheets were the same dark chocolate color. All were soft to the touch and held the subtle scent of sweet grass and sage.

“Put her down here, please Captain.” Metarie considered things for a moment and rearranged the pillows so that Lanya would be propped at an angle. The bulge of bandages on her back had been as noticeable as the rest. Metarie left the bedroom. There was the sound of cabinets opening, water running, and then soft footsteps as Metarie returned. Metarie carried two glasses of water. The first was placed near the captain for him to drink should he want it. The second Metarie retained as she sat on the bed. The solid, large bed did not move or creak.

"You look tired, Cam." It was the first time she had used his name during the whole of the encounter. Her tone was the same one she used with Lanya: compassionate and kind; even the look she gave him was a kind one. "There is food in the kitchen, a bathing room, and a couch. I’ll need to hear the whole story and I will need your help to move her while I work. Can you stay?” The look was a beseeching one as well.

“Now,” Metarie smiled then and turned her attention to Lanya. The transformation from her usual serious demeanor to a smiling one was dramatic. When she smiled, Metarie became suddenly, luminously beautiful. Metarie reached out a hand to brush red hair back from Lanya’s face with gentle, cool fingers and then slipped her arm around Lanya to raise her up slightly. Cuddled against Metarie’s chest and held in her arm, Lanya would feel a cool glass filled with cool, pure water placed against her lips. “Ahh.. not too much at once. It would not do to have you become suddenly ill as well.” Metarie allowed Lanya to take small sips.

“What is your name? You can whisper it. Don’t worry, I will hear you.”
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Lanya Caliope
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Lanya Caliope » Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:18 am

Lanya remained docile and didn't speak as she was manhandled inside of the house and onto a bed. She looked about her surroundings each moment, taking in everything she could and evaluating the situation. The captain of the guard himself felt that she needed to be hidden and here she was secreted away in a healer's home. She had watched him observe the streets earlier for any signs of danger. He was afraid for her - and the only reason she could think of was the assassin.

Fear bubbled in her belly, trying to rise and force the tears she'd been holding back to burst forth, but she refused to ease her own strain with such an outburst. She already felt weak and helpless; tears would just cement her own self-doubting emotions.

She wasn't used to feeling this way and pushed the thoughts aside. It wouldn't help a thing to break down in front of these two semi-strangers. She would feel worse off and all of her injuries would be the same.

On her first real bed in over a year, the woman felt the drowsiness from before struggle to force her eyelids shut. The sensation of a cushiony surface was almost foreign, something her body didn't immediately recognize. It was a close thing - the healer's words alone kept her awake, digging and nagging at her to stay concious just a little while longer. The healer had asked her to and she was not a person who wanted to disobey a healer.

She opened her eyes wider when the cup came to her lips and swallowed in the small sips the healer encouraged. She knew what her body would do if she tried to drain the cup quickly, but still she fought to remain still and take the smaller sips until she felt satisfied. She tilted her head to the side to indicate she was done.

The healer's question gave her pause. She still wasn't positive about trusting the captain, and even this healer earned some suspicion while she debated with herself. She finally just gave in; it didn't matter if they knew her name. The captain knew of the assassin. Soon this woman would know; it only delayed the inevitable not to say.

"Lanya."

Her voice wasn't quite as hoarse as before and relief brought a small, tense smile to her lips.
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Camulous Smithson
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Camulous Smithson » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:13 am

Niceties like the use of the word please weren't something Camulous needed or noticed. When she brought the step ladder he led his horse over to a good position where it remained obediently. With one foot on the ladder he reached up and assisted Lanya down, strong enough to lift her up with ease. He helped her down and into the house with Metarie, but continued to pay more attention to his surroundings than the two of them.

Into the house he led her, letting her walk under her own power with his hands hands on her shoulders once more like he was leading a prisoner. He did it partly out of force of habit, and partly because he was afraid she would either fall down, freak out, or otherwise try to run away. She did none of the above, and went in quietly.

Once she was in the bed he began inspecting what he could see of the house from where he was. He looked over the windows and seemed to approve of them, but didn't take note of much else. It was all very elven. Foreign enough that he didn't feel at home.
There is food in the kitchen, a bathing room, and a couch. I’ll need to hear the whole story and I will need your help to move her while I work. Can you stay?
"Not long. I have work to do." He didn't move for the food or the bath. More luxuries when lives were at stake.

He looked anxious to leave and felt out of place. It made the man feel guilty just standing in such luxurious surroundings. Impatiently he waited for her to get Lanya's name, and then spoke up.

"There isn't much you need to know. Someone is trying to kill her and I need her safe until I can deal with him."
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Metarie
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Metarie » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:29 am

“Lanya…” Metarie repeated as she smiled a little dotingly. “Always good to know who is sleeping in one’s bed, isn’t it?” A light of amusement lit Metarie’s gaze and quirked her mouth as she assisted Lanya back onto the pillows.

“I’m going to put the water here, on this table. Just remember to drink it slowly.” Once Lanya was sufficiently settled, Metarie turned towards Camulous. His voice sounded edgy as if he were feeling impatient and uncomfortable. Metarie searched his face with his gaze, and then she nodded. Their inability to connect on other than a professional level was disappointing. She knew his prejudice against elves well enough. She could hear it in his voice and see it in the way his eyes looked around and in the set of his mouth. Like most others in Marn, the tolerance was only a thin veneer. There was also a hint of disapproval. If this had been another time… internally, Metarie gave a shake of her head. This was not the time and if circumstances were different, the captain would never have set foot in her house in the first place.

“I hear there is a warrior in town. He and his retinue are told of doing great kindnesses. If you can find him, send him here. I think she will be safer if there is an armed warrior in the house. I will pay him, if I need to. In the least, I think they will not have ties to hired killers...” Metarie almost said “I feel…,” but had stopped herself. He made her feel like a child again. It was a wonder sometimes that she could talk around him at all. Metarie fell silent, a muscle jumping in her jaw. Her back stiffened slightly. It was no wonder she was so sharp with him.

“That way you can go. I think it is better if you do,” she said brusquely and turned her attention back to Lanya. “The door will lock behind you; just make sure it is closed fully.” With that, Camulous was summarily dismissed or at least being ignored. Metarie looked down at the duvet with her eyes and gave a small, fast sigh as if to shake off the feelings. An extra set of hands to get her supplies would have been good, but sometimes it was better to be on one’s own. She needed to gain clarity, to become centered, and to focus; things she found hard to do with him nearby. He had a way of getting under her skin, where many did not. Here, in this house, was the perfect layout in which to draw energies. Her skills would be bolstered by the environment and the placing of the home. This was why she chose such an unusal place for her house.

“Lanya, I am going to check your injuries. This means I will be touching you.” Metarie peered into Lanya’s face to confirm the woman understood and then began the process of assessing Lanya’s condition. First, there was that shift in her eyes, pupils seeming to expand leaving more gold than green in its wake, as she began the initial process of healing. The assessment would identify what needed immediate attention. Although there were obviously large injuries, Metarie wanted to make sure there were not others.

“As I am sure you already know,” again that warm humor came through as Metarie focused on Lanya’s leg; fingers smoothing over the flesh and pressing slightly here and there. “You have two rather serious injuries and looks as if you have numerous small ones. Your clothes are loose enough, I can treat without you disrobing, but I believe that we will need to do that eventually. You should not feel much in the way discomfort while I work on you, but if you do, tell me.”
The tisane she had given Lanya was still in effect, so Lanya should only feel pressure, but no pain.

“What you should feel, is me removing the bandages, some slight pressure, and some warmth.” Metarie peered at Lanya again. Her hands were gently kneading and touching the leg which had dangled awkwardly as Lanya rode the horse. The thick bundle of bandages was carefully unwrapped, then discarded into a bin by the bed. The ridiculous layering of bandages looked as if someone did not have sufficient time to do what was needed. This concerned Metarie, because once healing magic has been applied, the same laws apply in the physical world. To correct a hasty job, the repairing of it would be more painful that doing what she could to make it better.

Beneath the bandage the knee area was swollen and distended. The loose legging of Lanya’s pant barely went up past her swollen knee. Carefully, Metarie checked the rotation capability and used her fingers and a certain healing sense to determine the extent of the damage. The kneecap had been dislocated and the connector keeping it attached to Lanya’s shin bone seemed to be torn as well. To top it off, there seemed to be stress fractures from older injuries, probably not even noticed or ignored at the time. The primary thing to do now was to repair the damage and get her knee whole and working well.

Metarie seemed to stare at Lanya’s knee as if transfixed by it. Auburn-brunette hair fell across Metarie’s cheeks. Metarie’s hands were splayed around Lanya’s leg. Her thumbs rested just below where Lanya’s patella and the torn ligament rested. Her fingers were touching the back of Lanya’s knee. As she stared, her pupils dilated further until only gold ringed the black of her pupil. Metarie’s breath slowed and she began to breathe deeply.

A warm, almost friction-like feeling began to originate from Metaries’ hand. The feeling was followed by a soothing, green, ambient light that seemed to emanate directly from Metarie’s palms. Metarie concentrated, focused on moving the parts of Lanya’s knee through the healing magics to their proper positions and then binding them together. This was not something that was easily done. Normally, Metarie would have used more mundane means to reset everything, and then applied her healing magics. This often reduced the time spent recovering from the injury and ensured a better healing as a whole. For Lanya, though, Metarie had little time to be methodical. Someone was trying to kill her. It seemed they almost succeded. Metarie threw herself wholly into healing the woman, taking parts of her own essence and life-force to bulk up Lanya's healing process.

Beneath Metarie’s hands, the skin color of Lanya’s leg seemed to lighten from an alarming black to a more yellow-tone. Where, before, the skin was distended and swollen, it was regaining the curves of a shapely, feminine leg. By the time, Metarie had finished, she felt a little light-headed. She had already exhausted herself at the hospital, working in the emergency room. Now, she was pushing herself for more. Metarie reached for the glass of water she had originally brought for Camulous and took several sips. The water was cold, chilling a path down her throat, and refreshing. Beads of sweat dappled Metarie’s forehead. Her color was a little more wan than it had been before.

“I need to see your back. Can you roll over for me? I’ll help.”
A story is like a tapestry; it is never finished until the final thread is sewn.

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Lanya Caliope
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Lanya Caliope » Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:36 am

"Captain..."

Lanya stared at him in silence for a few moments after she spoke, gathering her thoughts. Her voice was stronger than before and she was comfortable enough speaking. Though her throat rasped because of her previous screaming and crying.

"I do not understand why you are helping me, but I thank you. And please - be careful."

Honest worry entered her tone and lined her face. She understood that he was a trained fighter and could handle himself better...but the assassin wouldn't fight fair.

She made a decision then, as the healer centered herself to begin working on the knee. She met his eyes if he would look at her and tilted her chin up.

"The assassin manipulated shadows, when he attacked me. I think he can...blend with them somehow. And whatever weapon he threw at me...I couldn't see it."

She raised her cut hand now to illustrate a point.

"I cut my hand on it and never saw the weapon."

This is when the healing began. Lanya dropped her hand to stare at her knee as the woman touched her hands gently against the skin. The bard winced reflexively but felt no actual pain as the healer's touch began rebuilding what was inside the knee. She watched in blatant wonder and fascination as the swelling visibly shrank to a more normal-sized knee. The sudden relief - the gratefulness - the drowsiness and this woman's random kindness became too much for a moment. Emotion swirled to bursting against her temples and tears welled. She fought them back just as furiously as before. No matter this woman's kindness; Lanya hated to cry in front of others.

With difficulty she began turning herself at the healer's request. The earlier comment about disrobing had led to a light blush on her cheeks, but she blocked those thoughts out for the moment. She needed to focus on the task at hand - the awkward business of turning one as tall as herself onto her belly against the cushioned bed.

It was at least a comfortable experience. The healing concoction as well as the cushions served to dull any pain she might've felt, and the collapse from the perpetual pain she'd lived in for so long was more of a relief than she could possibly express. She felt that she at least owed this woman a dinner.
You're wearing your anguish again.

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Camulous Smithson
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Camulous Smithson » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:05 am

"I hear there is a warrior in town. He and his retinue are told of doing great kindnesses. If you can find him, send him here. "
Camulous narrowed his eyes. He thought he knew who she was talking about, but it left too much in the open. There were so many things happening that he hadn't had any time to look into this new guest who was quickly establishing himself in the city. Perhaps it was coming time to rectify that situation before things got out of hand. Just thinking about more work, when everything was already hitting the fan, put him in a dark mood. Strange warriors wandering into town and making names for themselves were nothing but trouble.

Metarie continued talking and then dismissed him immediately. He thought nothing of it, and was going to let himself out when he was finished. When he was finished and when he had made sure things were clear.

"No. No strangers. I don't know how many people are looking for her. There are people all over who might want her dead, that's why she's here. Alone."

He looked to Lanya when she spoke up for perhaps the first genuine time since he'd met the woman. She thanked him and he gave a slight nod, about as trite and formal as a response could be. He was doing the only thing he knew how to do.
"The assassin manipulated shadows, when he attacked me. I think he can...blend with them somehow. And whatever weapon he threw at me...I couldn't see it."
The captain's jaw set tightly. She was confirming his suspicions. If only she, or anyone else, could have reported this to him or the judges officially, in good order, the whole situation would be different. Part of the reason Dennison was free was that there were few legal grounds to hold him. Combat magic was a death sentence.

All he needed was a witness. One who wasn't tainted by scandals and wasn't a stranger to the city.

"I will return. I may send someone. Trust the guard alone, nobody else."

With that he left, closing the door firmly behind him, and headed for headquarters.
Soldiers live.
And wonder why.

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Alibi of Tyrants
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Alibi of Tyrants » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:30 am

"Sir, your nine o' clock has arrived."

Profuse swearing and a groan later, the voice that was in his doorway was suddenly draped with what could only be described as a therapeutic warming towel.

"Nine o' clock?" the thrower of the towel muttered. "What in the blue blazes are you talking about, Watson? I didn't have a nine o' clock today!"

Of course, the thrower of the towel is of a very forgetful sort. When you're considered highly intelligent amongst your peers (and of average intelligence in comparison to elves; one can't forget that they take the cake when it comes to just about everything. Brains, brawns, looks, and pointy little ears), small details are of little consequence. So it is for Everett Young, who prioritizes what sort of liquor he should ascertain over a Guard-sponsored meeting in which he must be present at. Appointments didn't scale well in comparison to the liquor.

Ah, the storied life of a detective! Filled with booze, monkeywrenching, booze, the occasional lay, and out-and-out snooping. Oh, there were a couple of exciting cases in which to test his mettle against---things that really challenged his highly intelligent noggin---but they all ran dry as soon as he did the math and started pointing the fingers (sometimes quite literally. It's hard to believe that the ratio of clientèle that files these investigations against others for money laundering and extortion would end up being the ones to blame. Everybody needs a scapegoat, however). This week was an especially dry week when it came to crime that involved his expertise. Everett always enjoys it when his workload is light and virtually nonexistent; the only real problem it presents is that the revenue he receives from the government proper for his work is small and the gross income he nets from cases it exponentially better. If he were to say, get some GOOD booze, he'd need a little more than what the Judges of Marn are forking over to him.

He swung his bare legs off of his rustic, almost Victorian-esque desktop (succeeding in knocking a few things over in the process, prompting a curse word for each item that hit the hardwood floor below. His most crude comment was directed at his favorite coffee mug, which took on a mind of its own and tumbled to the floor). Everett was in his Sunday's finest---a pair of plaid long johns and nothing else. He thrummed his hands on his chiseled little tummy (which, surprisingly enough, is tempered with vigorous exercise on occasion). Everett flinched a little at the sudden metallic cool of his prosthetic right hand, subconsciously dismissing that 1/8 of his body that was nothing but cold iron, copper tubing, and many other Gnomish knick-knacks. On the bright side, it woke him up a little bit.

By the time Everett had stood up, the therapeutic towel that he had draped over Watson had simply fallen off his face. The short, squat Gnome remained impassive and didn't even so much as twitch his daintily trimmed eyebrows. Watson was Everett's assistant (or housemaid), hired on by Everett himself in the unlikely event that a case somehow gets too much to bear (or if he doesn't feel like going through the requests of his services). He was an older Gnome and it showed; thin lines of age creased what could be considered "child-like" features to a fellow human. The lines of age were especially apparent above his round blue eyes (Everett swears that this is because eyes stay open all the time---even when he's sleeping---creating a lack of structural integrity on that part of his face due to the strain). The only patches of hair left on his whole body were fuzzy patches of white creating a valley of balding skin on the top of his skull and wispy pirouettes along his eyebrows and upper lip.

"Of course you didn't, sir," Watson replied, as cool as a cucumber. He didn't even seem disgruntled by the fact that a towel that could possibly be laden with somebody else's filth and sweat (especially with somebody as potentially unhygienic as Everett) would be repulsive by any stretch of the imagination.

"Are you agreeing to disagree, Watson?" Everett sighed, bracing his left arm across the small of his back and arching backwards over it. "Because you know that pisses me off."

"No," Watson said. "I was merely pointing out a fact. You couldn't possibly remember anything after your drunken revelries at the Rat." There was no disdain that seemed to be present in his tone nor his features.

Everett's eyebrows furrowed at that, creating a narrow tic around his temple. Sometimes, he honestly thought the man didn't have an opinion of any kind---just a treasure-trove of obvious facts regurgitated for him to deliberate on. "I'm sure you were, Watson. You always do."

Everett sighed and performed some more small stretches to relieve the tension of sleeping in a chair from his joints and bones. A couple of pleasurable "pops" later, he looked up to Watson and waved his prosthetic hand at him pointedly. The soft whine of the minuscule turbines seemed as agitated as he was. A nine o' clock? Now? Gods, what could it be? Another little kid bawling "Wahh, wahhh! I want my puppy back! You have to find him, mister! I'll even give you my favorite button if you do!" or (even better) "That cheating bastard-for-a-husband! I want my alimony!"

"Well, go on," Everett intoned, annoyed. "Don't keep my nine o' clock waiting on me. I'll freshen up a bit and meet her out there in a minute.

"Oh, and Watson? Make sure she doesn't step on the---"

Watson cut Everett off with a small shaking of his head. "I'll make sure she doesn't step on the plank, sir."

Everett looked a little relieved and also incredulous over the fact that even to this day he harped on something that Watson knew with the surety of his own breath. Stepping on the plank that was right smack-dab in the middle of the room was a big no-no. Watson had designed the infrastructure of this particular part of the building with Everett's genius backing him. Let's just say that if a thief thought he was some slick shit and tried to meander about as if he were Scot-free, a little piece of "jailtime" was going to spring up all around him---with nasty, Gnomish results.

Everett combed a hand through his hair and brushed it back, giving it the appearance of care but in reality haphazard training. He took a look around. Unlike most offices, Everett's humble slice of business did not exactly ooze comfort or even a sense of fluid stoicism. The walls were set with dark planks of wood rowed together so tightly that it seemed to be seamless in some places; it almost mirrored the floor. A couple of things were tacked up on the wall, little insignificant reminders of academic accomplishment that didn't really amount to anything more than scraps of wasted trees in his eyes (it wasn't self-esteem that dredged the value of these awards to little more than pulp, but rather an overweening sense of pride. After all, Everett is just that good). The window was just a square in the wall at some distant side of the room with thick glass and plain, pearl white curtains sloshing around in a small draft. Various filing cabinets and shelves were situated according to what would look the ugliest but the most practical way for piling tons and tons of crap somewhere without buying more stuff to put it in.

The strangest thing about this room was a bizarre construct tethered to the ceiling by a chain and some electrical wires (right where a ceiling fan SHOULD be). It seemed to be little more than a fanciful cube decorated by a whole mess of gears and two prehensile arms (which ended in three-pronged pinchers) that seem to branch out of nowhere. A thin, tube-like structure that ended in a crude, handled wheel dangled down to the floor like an afterthought. This handy little device was actually a dryer-in-miniature, designed for those occasions where he was caught with his pants down when a client came strolling through his doors. He always had a robe handy in there, ready to be tumble-dried and thrown on at a whim.

Everett walked towards the machine and reached up, giving the wheel a couple of turns clockwise. The seemingly useless gears were prompted to life by the rotation of the wheel, smoothly purring as it sprang to life. Small arcs of electricity flickered around the chains and the conducting wires. Then Everett twisted the wheel counterclockwise at this point and made a couple more rotations in that direction. The whole construction began to shake lightly and small gouts of steam shot out from the back, making a small sound akin to a bird peeping.

Unfortunately for Everett, though, things don't always go this smoothly.

The prehensile arms twitched for a moment as the electrical current got to them and then came to life. They reached down for Everett. Before he could even mouth his terror, he was assailed by the arms. They poked and prodded at him, and occasionally swatted him upside the head (with gentle force).

"Gods' damn it!" Everett castigated, flailing his arms about and batting the prodding limbs. As it turned out, Everett had "accidentally" activated one of the dryers' prototype "protocol"---he had originally intended it as a defense mechanism against people that get THIS far into the house, but he had told Watson to scrap it. Unfortunately, though, Watson decided that this feature was most prudent and kept it in there (probably to the silent laughter of Watson, too). Much to Everett's chagrin, this was probably the umpteenth time that this has happened.

Deciding it would be a good idea to deactivate it before it gets serious, Everett stepped in and started twisting the wheel clockwise while he was getting pummeled. After about five orbits around, he stopped immediately to knock away one of the arms that had grabbed at his prosthetic hand by shaking it off with the lumbering, metal mass that was his right arm. Unknowingly, he exerted a little too much strength and nearly ripped the arm right of the socket that it was fixated in. A small shower of sparks clued him in to that.

"Hells," Everett muttered. The machine snapped back with a small shower of sparks and a whirring of disapproval. He gave the wheel three more spins counterclockwise with his left hand to get it back on track. There were a couple of clicks and stillness; then the machine sprang back to life. The one arm that wasn't nearly knocked out of socket reached up to a hidden hatch in the cube and opened it up, pulling out a steaming morass of white wool (which was his robes).

Everett snatched the robes from the robotic arm and slipped them on.

"Damn thing," Everett muttered to himself.

If this was an indicator, today was going to be pretty interesting.
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When? Only then!

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Metarie
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Metarie » Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:55 am

Metarie turned her head slightly while she drank the water; cutting her eyes towards the captain as he spoke. Alone? Fine. She would do what she could should the time come. Setting the water glass on the table, Metarie cast her glance now between them as the woman gave an account of the one who had attacked her.

Metarie turned to the captain as he spoke. She rested her hands in her lap and looked at him, standing there in her doorway. His expression darkened and a muscle twitched as his jaw tightened. The Captain issued orders to her just as easily as she did to him. He would return was said. Metarie heard, "I can handle this."

Trust no one but his guardsmen was the command; this had no room for interpretation. Metarie nodded and turned away from him and back to Lanya. The captain's steps fell heavy and masculine down the wooden floorboards. The door, too, was shut strongly enough to nearly make her jump. This wasn't just an Elvish domain, but a woman's - sensual, warm colors; soothing, cool colors; fabrics and designs to stimulate and encourage the senses. Luxurious, even? Yes... The only masculine thing in Metarie's house was Kona, who pricked his ears up and watched the captain leave.

“I need to see your back. Can you roll over for me? I’ll help.”

Metarie began to help Lanya roll over. The assassin manipulated shadows. The assassin used a weapon one could not see. Well, a weapon that some could not see. In her house, Metarie had an advantage. She was aware of the level of magic within and around her home. Magic use would be obvious providing she made sure to keep her senses open. Waiting for the captain to return would be a long and arduous task.

It seemed Lanya had settled. “Are you ready? If you are, I’m going to lift your shirt up over the knife wound then remove the bandage so I can begin healing there, as well. Do you have any questions related to what I will be doing?"
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Lanya Caliope
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Re: A bard in time saves...

Post by Lanya Caliope » Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:42 pm

Trust the guard alone, he'd said. But the guard - no, their captain - had gotten her here in the first place. She reminded herself that the man was trying to help now and that she should be grateful...but she doubted she'd ever trust a guard again.

Her own body heat raised the temperature of the bed underneath. She moved her arms up and out of the healer's way, layering her palms beneath her head for a small pillow rather than using the actual pillows on the bed. She laid her cheek against the backs of her hands and closed her eyes, trembling slightly as the healer spoke of lifting her shirt. She understood that it had to be done; she understood that she needed the help and that this woman was a trained healer who had seen all manner of injuries and flesh. But she still felt the light blush coloring her cheeks.

"No, m'lady."

No questions; she was being healed and she would accept whatever this woman felt was necessary. She would also stay awake. The bed was so warm, her body was so comfortable. The dulled or missing pain had made her drowsy. Now lying with her head down, breathing quietly, this drowsiness returned and she dozed. She remembered that the healer had asked her to stay awake and fought to do just that, tensing and shaking her head a bit to jar herself back to reality. But it was a failing battle. Already her limbs felt heavier as her eyes remained closed and she drifted.

"Stay awake. Stay awake."

She thought she spoke the words aloud, a personal mantra to remind herself that she had a mission. But she was beyond this goal; the words only drifted through her head, unspoken save for in her waking dream. Lanya was already asleep and didn't realize it.
You're wearing your anguish again.

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