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    Chapter 2: The Outsiders
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 10:17 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Outside Fireheart's Sanctum / Njord Reply with quote

    Was the timing a coincidence? Njord didn't want to intrude on his fellows with a guest, but since she was on the list, and it might be productive for all to chat with this odd woman-bird, he decided to invite her.

    "Crow Jane, we are in luck. There is fire up ahead with guards. Do you see? That is where i stay. I invite you in to talk with my fellows about expedition that you have volunteered for. There is good fire. Will you come? I am called Njord. I am among leaders of expedition."

    He tried to be as cordial as possible while addressing her. He felt none at ease communicating with the crow-woman. Hopefully, his new companions had returned so that he wouldn't be alone with her.
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 10:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Sævil: The Howling Reply with quote

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    "We will see which one of them finds you worthy."


    Sævil follows Milleen on his hands and knees. As they travel he asks, "Milleen your people look like lizards and what little I know of lizards is that they survive poorly in the cold, often even with fire. My friend Daela once told me this is because lizards only take warmth from what is around them, while elves and men and the like produce heat within themselves.

    "If am I to see that we all survive in the lands of my people and beyond, it would help me to understand your needs."
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 10:58 pm    Post subject: Njord: Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night Reply with quote

    "Crow Jane, we are in luck. There is fire up ahead with guards. Do you see? That is where i stay. I invite you in to talk with my fellows about expedition that you have volunteered for. There is good fire. Will you come? I am called Njord. I am among leaders of expedition."

    He tried to be as cordial as possible while addressing her. He felt none at ease communicating with the crow-woman. Hopefully, his new companions had returned so that he wouldn't be alone with her.

    The crow-woman nodded. From Njord's perspective, the gesture looked like a simple up-and-down bobbing of her slender, sharp beak. It look like it could cut the very night with its blackness and make it bleed shadow. "Aye," she said in her strange tone. "If your fellows will have me."

    He led her in the direction of the headquarters, all the way struggling against the force of the wind and the snow. Even with the benefit of the salve the the Town Guardsmen wore on their exposed flesh, he found his cheeks beginning to burn from the cold. Thankfully, they didn't have far to go to make it to their destination and the promised fire, within.

    As soon as the Guards outside realized who it was at Njord's side, he saw both stiffen. He saw something in their eyes change dramatically, reflected in the fire dancing in the pit at their feet. Was it fear?

    Evidently, Crow Jane thought so. "Hmph," he heard her offer as her only remark on the matter.

    Disapproval, it seemed, transcended notions of language.
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 11:12 pm    Post subject: Sævil: The Howling Reply with quote

    Sævil follows Milleen on his hands and knees. As they travel he asks, "Milleen your people look like lizards and what little I know of lizards is that they survive poorly in the cold, often even with fire. My friend Daela once told me this is because lizards only take warmth from what is around them, while elves and men and the like produce heat within themselves.

    "If am I to see that we all survive in the lands of my people and beyond, it would help me to understand your needs."

    Milleen laughed. "You are wise indeed, Son of Dag," she replied. "And your friend Daela was correct: The scaly folk have no love for the weather when its face 'comes cold. We become tired easily and our limbs become heavy and slow. But you should know that I have traveled to many strange lands in the service of the Kalistis," she said. "Very many of these were quite frigid in nature. So while it is true that I detest the cold, I am not unused to it. And I have learned many ways to protect myself against it, too."

    The two of them left the comforts of Milleen's home. Immediately, Sævil was struck by how cold it was. The tight confines of the miniature mine made it so much hotter, damper, than even the comforts of the headquarters. The snow and the wind hit his exposed flesh with the mercy of a hammerblow. "You know, though, Son of Dag," she went on, "though wise in the way of my kind you may be...you have much to learn about the proper way to speak to a lady of refinement." Milleen snickered to herself with a wry smirk. "You look like a lizard, indeed."

    They swiftly found themselves standing before the open rock faces from which Sævil had felt the weight of several sets of eyes heavy upon him, as he approached the kobold's home. "Do you have any fear of wolves?" she asked him, raising her voice so as to be heard above the roar of the wind.
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 12:19 am    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Njord Reply with quote

    Quote:
    Evidently, Crow Jane thought so. "Hmph," he heard her offer as her only remark on the matter.

    Disapproval, it seemed, transcended notions of language.


    Njord noted the discomfort of the guards. He understood their unease, and was curious to witness their interactions with Crow Jane.

    "Crow Jane, may i introduce Pol Yrnigaard and Resti Sargath, members of Town Guard." Njord indicated each guard with a hand gesture as he said their names. "Gentlemen, this is Crow Jane."

    [* He then waits a moment for a reaction. If it's clear to proceed, he continues... *]

    "Crow Jane, please wait moment. I must first check with my companions -- make sure they are decent. I will return with haste." With that, Njord entered the headquarters in order to check with his fellows (if present), to make sure they were ready to accept the dark-hued kenku as a visitor. He also wanted to make sure the place was presentable and the fires were well-supplied before admitting her.
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 12:49 am    Post subject: Njord: Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night Reply with quote

    Njord noted the discomfort of the guards. He understood their unease, and was curious to witness their interactions with Crow Jane.

    "Crow Jane, may I introduce Pol Yrnigaard and Resti Sargath, members of Town Guard." Njord indicated each guard with a hand gesture as he said their names. "Gentlemen, this is Crow Jane."

    "Indeed," the former nodded. "While we have never met, I certainly know of you. You are well-met," he said with a slight bow.

    "It is as my fellow Guardsman has said," the latter tried on an awkward smile. "You are welcome." It was quite clear to Njord that, while the two men tried their best to be gracious, neither truly knew how to approach the dark-feathered stranger. That made them nervous.

    "Crow Jane, please wait moment. I must first check with my companions -- make sure they are decent. I will return with haste."

    "Please, dark lady," Pol gestured, smiling. "Share our fire while Tholjorsonn is away. The cold is noplace for anyone, this eve." Crow Jane seemed as if she wasn't quite completely at ease with the idea, but slowly approached the roaring flame, the same. She said nothing at all, in any case.

    With that, Njord entered the headquarters in order to check with his fellows (if present), to make sure they were ready to accept the dark-hued kenku as a visitor. He also wanted to make sure the place was presentable and the fires were well-supplied before admitting her.

    Opening the door...the entirety of the headquarters was empty, save for Ohrin. He was seated at one of the desks in the room, maps and legends aplenty spread across its expanse for his perusal.

    He had, it seemed already warmed to the task at hand.
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 1:08 am    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Njord Reply with quote

    "Hail, good Ohrin. I hope your quick journey was success!" As Njord greeted Ohrin, he noticed the absent Kahss (or had the sleeping one, perhaps, fallen under the table?). He looked to his cot to make sure Olivia still held her post.

    [* Njord smiles if she is still "at pillow." *]

    [* If Ohrin gives a general greeting, Njord then asks... *]

    "Did Kahss wake at last? Has he gone to get things?"

    [* else, redact. *]
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 2:13 am    Post subject: Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather Reply with quote

    "Hail, good Ohrin. I hope your quick journey was success!" As Njord greeted Ohrin, he noticed the absent Kahss (or had the sleeping one, perhaps, fallen under the table?). He looked to his cot to make sure Olivia still held her post.

    Njord smiled when he saw the plush owlbear still seated where he'd left her, ever the watchful sentry.
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: Sævil: The Howling Reply with quote

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    Milleen snickered to herself with a wry smirk. "You look like a lizard, indeed."

    They swiftly found themselves standing before the open rock faces from which Sævil had felt the weight of several sets of eyes heavy upon him, as he approached the kobold's home. "Do you have any fear of wolves?" she asked him, raising her voice so as to be heard above the roar of the wind.


    After gaining back the breath stolen from him by the return to the cold air, Sævil laughs and retorts, "I see lady, but to you we're called fleshlings? You begin to show just how like a human woman you really are.

    "And no, not afraid of wolves - we often hunted them - and we respect them as fellow survivors on the Strand. Not to mention all they provided to us for our survival"
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    aurdraco
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ohrin looked up from his maps and notes to see Njord hailing him from the open doorway. Some voices, one of them very strange, could be heard behind him. It sounded like the two guards were speaking with someone.

    "Hello, Njord. I have learned a great many things about our petitioners and am eager to share that knowledge with you as soon as Sævil returns. Why don't you come inside and shut the door? And who are the guards speaking with behind you?"
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Njord raised a hand and finger, singnaling Ohrin to give him a moment. He then turned around and shut the door. Looking back at Ohrin, he continued:

    "I, too, have gained knowledge of...petitioners." That last word was still new to him. "In coincidence, i have...petitioner...outside. I meet Crow Jane walking in snow as i return from Captain's quarters. I invited her inside to warm herself and have chat about expedition. Okay with you if we do this? Seems like good time. Too bad Saevil is yet gone..." Only skipping a beat, Njord went on, "...and Kahss has waken? Did he go to get things?"

    Njord spoke with more pace than usual. Unbeknownst to himself, he was actually in a pretty good mood.
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    With a small, almost undetectable sigh, Ohrin replied, "Well, I was hoping we could interview the petitioners in an orderly manner once all three of us had discussed our thoughts on the list. I say 'three of us' because, when I returned, Kahss was gone and so was all of his gear. I guess he will no longer be joining us. I know nothing more on that topic.

    "However, since she is already here, there is no sense in keeping her out in the cold if you have already invited her to this place. Don't get me wrong, I am curious to meet her. Hopefully, Saevil won't be too long."
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 3:31 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord Reply with quote

    Njord nodded in understanding. "Yes, i did invite her, but i warned her i would have to check with companions. She seemed very cold. I, too, hope Saevil returns shortly to meet Crow Jane. Too bad about Kahss. I liked his enthusiasm." What Njord truly liked was that Kahss made up for Njord's lack of enthusiasm. But, for now, he had a good deal of energy for preparing for the expedition. He was still speaking rather rapidly -- maybe even a touch faster than normal for most people.

    Njord quickly scanned the room again to make sure it seemed presentable. It did, and the fires seemed well-tended, so he turned around and opened the door. Walking outside and smiling, he indicated the open doorway with an outstretched arm. "Crow Jane, please, come into expedition's quarters."
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 7:35 pm    Post subject: Sævil: The Howling Reply with quote

    After gaining back the breath stolen from him by the return to the cold air, Sævil laughs and retorts, "I see lady, but to you we're called fleshlings? You begin to show just how like a human woman you really are."

    The kobold shrugged her tiny shoulders. "Perhaps. I believe that the Kalistis was a lonely man. I think some part of him," she touched her chest, just above where her small heart beat, "yearned for the companionship of a woman of his own kind. Thus, my...education was conducted in such a way as to bring me as close to that standard as was possible. Aside of," she glanced down at herself, "for the obvious differences."

    "And no, not afraid of wolves - we often hunted them - and we respect them as fellow survivors on the Strand. Not to mention all they provided to us for our survival."

    Milleen nodded. "This is good," she said. "Your first lesson -- respect -- in how to bond with a wolf is already complete. You won't make the most foolish mistakes I've seen many fleshlings make, in their presence."

    She led him in the direction of the row of squat caverns. "Come," she said. "Lower yourself, then extend your hand outward." Her smirk returned.

    "And when come the wolves...show no fear."
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 7:45 pm    Post subject: Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather Reply with quote

    Njord quickly scanned the room again to make sure it seemed presentable. It did, and the fires seemed well-tended, so he turned around and opened the door. Walking outside and smiling, he indicated the open doorway with an outstretched arm. "Crow Jane, please, come into expedition's quarters."

    The dark-feathered creature nodded, stamping her feet twice to rid the wrappings about them of the snow. It was only when she did so that Njord noticed that her feet were clawed, like a bird's. Only the heavy swaths of thick cloth she bound them in protected her from the bitter chill.

    Crow Jane entered the headquarters shortly behind him. He watched her head dart back and forth, taking in the whole of the open room in that way, in the short, abrupt movements shared by all of nature's birds. Her utterly black eyes betrayed nothing of what she might have thought of what she saw.

    Eventually, those jet eyes fell upon Ohrin, sitting at his table. Before him, the creature that he knew to be Crow Jane was remarkable to behold: An anthropomorphic raven-woman. Her dark feathers glistened with the melting snow that clung to them as she took him in, striding deeper into the headquarters.

    She said absolutely nothing.

    She simply watched them both. And listened.
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Sævil: The Howling Reply with quote

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    "And when come the wolves...show no fear."


    Sævil settles onto his haunches in the snow, smiles, and reaches out with his right hand.
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ohrin rose from his seat to great Crow Jane, "Hello and well met. Please, make yourself comfortable and warm yourself at our hearth. Njord, perhaps you would be kind enough to offer her a drink? But, first, let me ask: 'Crow Jane' sounds like a name humans might have given you and, to be quite frank, I have no idea whether you find it offensive or not. Is there another name that you would prefer we use?"
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    PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 8:17 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord Reply with quote

    Njord gave a smile and nod to Pol and Resti as he shut the door. He moved into the room as Ohrin spoke with the corvid visitor. He awaited her answer about her name, grabbing the back of a chair.

    [* He plans on seeing if she'd like to sit (if she sits at all), before continuing to the drink, as Ohrin suggested. If it comes to that point, Njord will ask, pulling out a chair: *]

    "Would you like to sit? Please forgive, but i know not if the kenku use chairs."
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    PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 2:02 am    Post subject: Sævil: The Howling Reply with quote

    Sævil settles onto his haunches in the snow, smiles, and reaches out with his right hand.

    At his side, Milleen likewise lowered herself. Already so close to the ground, the act had the effect of practically burying her in the snow. Her face just above the drifting plain of winter white, the kobold wolfmistress put two fingers to her thin black lips and offered a sharp, shrill whistle that cut through the wind and its icy bounty like a knife of flame. To his surprise, she punctuated the gesture with a low, growling noise at the back of her throat. It sounded feral, primal. Perhaps it was reinforcement of her status of the alpha of their pack? It was impossible to tell.

    All that Sævil could say for certain is that the wolves began to come from their hiding places. Each one, different in size and color, emerging from the stony caves. Each one, slow and deliberate in pace. Each one, with their eyes fixed directly upon him.

    "They're used to this," Milleen turned in his direction, too. She had a delighted kind of grin on her reptilian features. "This is how things are done."

    Sævil watched as the wolves stood there in the snow, more or less forming a single file line in front of him. Each one would approach him, their incredible eyes meeting his momentarily before beginning to sniff at his fingers. The first did so very briefly, then walked away. The second did the same. The third sniffed at him, rubbed the side of its muzzle against his palm once, then seemed to lose interest, following the others. All the while, the other wolves stood patiently. None of them growled or snarled at one another. They simply waited their turn in utter silence. It was nothing short of unbelievable.

    He watched the first three make their way back to their homes. The fourth inspected him carefully before following suit. "Hm," Milleen posed. He expected her to say something more, but she never did. She simply watched their procession with keen interest.

    The fourth passed him by. So did the fifth and the sixth. Sævil was noticing that, as each one passed in turn, the wolves seemed to get younger, smaller. It was a very defined order. Given what he knew of wolves, it made sense.

    Finally, the seventh approached him. It was a beautiful grey wolf. Its coat went to black at the end of its tail and ears. Its chest was a pure white. Incredible sapphire eyes regarded him intently. They were different than the others. These ones were completely blue with no with in them at all. Only tiny black dots lie in their centers, giving them an eerie, unearthly quality.

    It sniffed at Sævil's hand. Carefully, it started at the fingers, then worked around to the turn of his wrist. For a moment, he thought it might withdraw, like the others...but then, all at once, it began to rub its face all over his hand, licking it intently when it could.

    The act seemed to upset the wolves behind it. Collectively, the other half dozen began to growl and snarl at the wolf in front of Sævil. In response, that one whipped around in a grey flash, returning the sound with a menacing gutteral noise of its own.

    Milleen laughed her sly snicker. She stepped forward quickly, causing both the single and the group of wolves to scatter back. Clearly, their respect for their mistress was absolute. "It seems you've been claimed, Son of Dag," she chuckled again, while the remaining wolves started back to their homes.

    The one before him began to roll back and forth in the snow on its back, right at his feet. "And by a very special bitch, too."


    [Please roll 1d20 and give me the results at the conclusion of your return post!]
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 2:22 am    Post subject: Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather Reply with quote

    Ohrin rose from his seat to greet Crow Jane, "Hello and well met. Please, make yourself comfortable and warm yourself at our hearth. Njord, perhaps you would be kind enough to offer her a drink? But, first, let me ask: 'Crow Jane' sounds like a name humans might have given you and, to be quite frank, I have no idea whether you find it offensive or not. Is there another name that you would prefer we use?"

    Njord gave a smile and nod to Pol and Resti as he shut the door. He moved into the room as Ohrin spoke with the corvid visitor. He awaited her answer about her name, grabbing the back of a chair.

    Resti raised his brows, a nervous expression set upon his features. Good luck he breathed out, without a sound.

    The ebon-feathered creature strode deeper into the headquarters. Eventually, she ended up directly in front of the fire, near where Kahss had rest before. After he'd asked his question, a silence settled upon the room. The raven woman stared at the stuffed owlbear placed upon Njord's bed, for a long time before she finally offered. "I am Crow Jane," she said, her voice a strange kind of rough, coughing caw. "Your tongues cannot make the sounds to call me by my name. So this you have given me will do."

    Njord made his way to the casks at the rear of the room. In the interest of caution, he began to fill a tankard with fresh water for her refreshment. "Would you like to sit? Please forgive, but i know not if the kenku use chairs."

    She looked over at him for a moment. "No," she said flatly. It seemed an answer to both questions.

    Then: "The gnome-hatchlings have been here," she said. "I can smell them." She looked at Ohrin with her eyes, darker than night.

    To Njord, that she could sense their presence in the air was startling.
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    PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ohrin looked at Njord. "Gnome children?"

    Ohrin then turned back to face their guest, "'Crow Jane' it is then." Ohrin spun the chair at his desk around so that he could sit while facing the hearth. He then sat down and briefly studied her (OOC: any weapons, holy symbols, spell component pouches, etc. visible? I do not read the other's posts as Ohrin is not present).

    "Saevil should be along shortly. I hope you don't mind if we wait until his return before discussing why you wish to join us. Until then, please let Njord know if you require anything."

    Ohrin then returns to examining his list of petitioners, looking up if spoken to.


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    PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 10:12 am    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord Reply with quote

    Njord placed the tankard on the table near Crow Jane. "Here is water if you wish, Crow Jane." Her "No" had seemed to dismiss the water as well the chair. "As for name, perhaps you prefer, simply, Jane?"
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    PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 10:14 am    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters / Njord Reply with quote

    Njord placed the tankard on the table near Crow Jane. "Here is water if you wish, Crow Jane." Her "No" had seemed to dismiss the drink as well the chair. "As for name, perhaps you prefer, simply, Jane?"
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    PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:26 pm    Post subject: Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather Reply with quote

    Ohrin looked at Njord. "Gnome children?"

    Ohrin then turned back to face their guest, "'Crow Jane' it is then." Ohrin spun the chair at his desk around so that he could sit while facing the hearth. He then sat down and briefly studied her.

    A brief glance at the kenku revealed nothing. That was strange enough, really. She wore nothing at all besides the dark cloth wrappings about her body. Ohrin saw no sign of a holy symbol. She wore no jewelry at all, in fact. Neither did he see any of the usual trappings he associated with magery. There was nothing in the way of personal effects at all. To look at her, one would think she might have been completely bereft of belongings: The settlement of Corus’ only beggar.

    It made little sense. And that made Ohrin look harder. Only upon very close inspection did her see that the fine-boned structure of her body was incongruous with the manner her swaddling hung upon her. He realized that she likely wore some sort of light armor beneath that dark cloth. Likewise, at each of her hips, when he paid close attention, the grips of two, slender blades rest. He supposed they were short swords, each one with the thinness of a rapier.

    "Saevil should be along shortly. I hope you don't mind if we wait until his return before discussing why you wish to join us. Until then, please let Njord know if you require anything."

    Ohrin then returns to examining his list of petitioners, looking up if spoken to.

    “No,” the kenku said in her odd cawing of a voice. Ever was she direct and minimalist in her retort. “I care not.”

    Njord placed the tankard on the table near Crow Jane. "Here is water if you wish, Crow Jane." Her "No" had seemed to dismiss the drink as well the chair. "As for name, perhaps you prefer, simply, Jane?

    She watched Njord for a moment, meeting his eyes with her ever-dark stare. "You may call me what you wish," she said. The northman watched her pause, then lower her head in such a way to dip her sharp bill into the tankard’s mouth. He could hear her tongue flicking water down its hollow in the same manner much smaller birds drank.

    When she was finished she straightened, continuing to look around the room in silence.

    Her way was ever odd, alien…and off-putting.
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    PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 10:11 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord Reply with quote

    Njord examined the strange corvid-woman. The Flanaess had exotic beings aplenty, but Njord, from his own little corner of the land, had never seen any so odd as this one. He realized, now, that his fear concerning her was only a fabrication of his own mind. She was no more a true reminder of his homeland than any other woman, or creature. He would work to view her as a being worthy of consideration and respect, despite how otherworldly she seemed. After all, she might be joining them on their journey.

    "Very well, Jane i will call you." He preferred the single name, as the other seemed almost rude, and reminded him more of his homeland. Njord made sure his voice could be heard by Ohrin, to fill him in on the young visitors. "It is amazing that you can sense the gnome-lings. They came here earlier today -- the Ruddyfoot children: Hoddy, Goodwin, Marta and Matildya. They bore gifts. Food and drink. And brave, dear Matildya was kind enough to give me warrior to help in battles." Njord had moved toward his cot and held out a hand to present the owlbear-doll that sat at station against his pillow. Smiling with full-heartedness, he introduced the creature. "This is Olivia Owlbear. I am told she is fierce fighter!"

    Njord stepped back toward Crow Jane. "Speaking of food, if you are hungry, perhaps we have something you like?"
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