Mirtoa Mithendair

The bar at the Eldestra Inn was unexpectedly busy so early in the evening. Many of the patrons were sailors by their appearance, having docked for a brief period and wasting away the hours until they set sail again. Others were nestled into familiar wooden chairs and conversing amongst themselves while a single Elohai female tried to accommodate everyone as best she could.

The bar was old and worn, obviously in need of a good polish, but the seats were sturdy and haphazardly occupied by a few stragglers stopping in before heading home for the evening.

A hush fell across the room momentarily as light entered the dimly lit room and two more entered to occupy the entryway and they all glanced over in semi curiosity at the newcomers.

“Looks kind of busy, doesn’t it?” The tanned fellow comments as he trails or rather tries to walk besides the redhead, scrounging the locks of his hair with his fingers.

The bar seems a little worse for wear the last time he’d been here – and when was that? A furrow runs through his forehead as he recalls; six months ago? The ale was not too bad though he does not recognize the hassled waitress who is trying to get everyone’s orders. The booths are all filled and as far as Aranvar glances around, there is no empty table in sight.

He nudges her elbow and signals towards the two empty seats at the bar, near to that bunch of stragglers.

“How about there? At least we still get drinks.” He was not sure if she minded that. After all, now that he’s taken another good look at her, she seems to just be easy with everything.

Kaiyri’s expression is carefully masked as she reigns in her thoughts while standing in that doorway beside Aranvar. She’d just spent weeks on a ship with men like this and was hoping for a momentary reprieve from their jibes. Already she could feel eyes boring into her. What kind of lady comes into a bar like this? Glancing over at her company however, she nods her head and puts on a smile. He did help her with her luggage after all.

Squaring her shoulders, she decides to try out something new. After all, she did leave her home to experience life. Without saying a word, she starts forward to take up one of the seats at the bar, giving the man beside her a long look as he gapes at her.

Pulling himself up the sturdy stool next to the redhead, the tanned fellow gives one rather cautious look around the bar again, its dark and smokey interior and its assorted array of half-drunks. It seems to be a while before he is assured that it looks safe enough and he turns to his companion with raised blonde eyebrows, in question, definitely not in surprise.

“Why don’t you order, your choice. I’ll drink whatever you like to drink.” He matches the smile she has stuck her lips with an equally over-bright one of his own before Aranvar catches sight of her giving some strange male that look and inwardly decides that she is not exactly what he thinks.

He scratches a little at his nose, thinking of what to say and then just decides, defeatedly to call the thin, sour-faced bartender over; the latter of course with a dish-rag and a half-cleaned glass in hand, standing behind the bar, his black beady eyes focused on both customers.

Appearing as if she’s waiting for the man to say something, the patron finally turns his head forward while muttering something under his breath. After a pause Kaiyri merely shrugs her shoulders and turns in her seat to face Aranvar. Grinning again as her grey eyes glance over him, she rests an elbow on the bar.

“I suppose this is a day of firsts,” Kaiyri responds, ordering two pints of ale since he said he would have the same.

Her attention is now completely on the tanned man beside her, curious now that they’re seated side by side and his sudden silence.

“It’s Kai, by the way.” She remarks, “It feels like I’m trouble again when I hear my full name. Obviously I don’t know many people yet, it’d be nice to have an acquaintance.” Wait.. should she have told him that? She frowns visibly for a moment, wanting to take that back.

The tanned fellow lets out a little laugh and does not exactly answer any questions yet. His hands move to nurse the flagon of ale once the thin bartender brings it to the both of them and that is immediately paid with a couple of coins tossed onto the bar-top.

“I was just about to ask you the same thing, um, the part about what you do here.” He angles his finger and gently pushes the redhead’s flagon towards her; the froth over spilling at the brim to wet his fingertip.

“Anyway, Miss Kai.” He continues, suddenly all serious and such, his fingers now folding over the body of his flagon; his own darker grey sights settling on the girl’s face. “I’m a trader, a merchant. I have a few ships and a grandmother whom thinks she knows best.” He shrugs quite helplessly and proceeds to take a mouthful of ale, a frown weeping into his features now that the drink is not as strong as he liked it to be.

Nodding silently, she sort of expected to hear a more adventurous story. Curling her long fingers around the mug, Kaiyri scrunches her eyes as if considering his words before answering with her own. “I’ve just relocated here, my family..adopted family, often spoke of Eldestra so I wanted to see for myself.”

Tapping her fingers against the mug, Kaiyri starts out a tempo without realizing it, her gaze going distant for a brief second. “Have you been to Iniquity in your travels?”

The tanned fellow swivels around his flagon of ale thoughtfully, sensing a little drop of disappointment from the girl next to him. He dearly cannot afford to talk more than what he has spoken of, not in such surroundings. His grandmother would had gladly praised him for checking himself now; owing to the political position of him and his House. Aranvar’s lips thin briefly and he turns to look upon the features of the red haired girl.

“Iniquity? A few times.”

He replies with a small notch of hesitation but since he realizes that she probably has never been there — perhaps she does not really know about their habits and eh, of course the brothel. Aranvar makes a very subdued sound in his throat like clearing a cough.

“I can tell you more about the travels when we are else where but not tonight.” The blonde man offers, perhaps feeling a little guilty for not really being up to any expectation and he continues slightly more interested. “Why did you ask about Iniquity, Miss Kai? Do you have something you want to do there?”

The expressions that run across the young half-elf’s face as he piques her interest and then refuses to elaborate is evident on her face as he speaks. Her brows pull together as he questions her interest and she quickly finds that ale is definitely to her liking as she uses the liquid to fill her mouth and prevent her from speaking.

When she finally comes back for air, she hiccups and places her hand over her lips, all the while shaking her head. “No no… perhaps that is something I’ll share at another time as well.” If I ever see you again, she thinks darkly. ‘

Glancing around the bar, Kaiyri notices that people have gone back to ignoring them, aside from the man still seated next to her who occasionally glances at her when he thinks she doesn’t notice.

“They think I am a witch.” She murmurs, as if not wanting to spoil the secret before hiccupping again.

At the sound of her hiccupping, the tanned fellow gamely raises a hand to pat her lightly on her back, as if concerned, though his eyes lighten considerably, the twitch of irises signifying some sort of suspicion at the way she asks and yet fails to elaborate.

“I suppose you can always tell me another day.” He retracts his hand, placing it on the rounded edge of his stool and follows for a while her guarded looks around the tavern.

“Or six months later.” The tanned fellow adds dryly.

“So.” He continues the conversation, retrieving his gaze and settling it back onto his ale in a rather excessive manner. “There must be some things I’d missed around here, Miss Kai. Why do these people think you’re a witch?”

Very oddly after that question is posed to the red haired girl, the beady-eyed bartender sidles up to the bar near to the both of them; assumingly in an attempt to be friendly and inquires if Aranvar wanted another flagon.

The interruption is met with an equivalently odd look by the tanned fellow himself who shakes his head, him tilting the flagon to show that it is not even finished. The bartender shrugs in a forced show of pleasantry and retreats.

The gentle patting did not make Kaiyri uncomfortable but she stares at him for a moment before laughing at his question. The sound makes the older man jump next to her and as if he can no longer bear it, he stands up with a screech of his chair legs and wanders a bit unsteadily outside.

Raising her eyebrows as if her point had been made, her lips thin into a tight smile. “I never realized how superstitious people are be until I began traveling.”

Her answer is followed with a hand rising to point out the shade of her hair as the answer. “I’ve grown up being told I was taken by the devil.” She remarks in an amused tone, again drinking from her mug, the frothy top leaving a mark on her lip.

“You are not superstitious then?”

His eyes run over the crimson locks of hair framing her face and then he shrugs, a good-natured one, while his gaze flicks across the bar, plying an rather idle, cautious search for the thin bartender.

“I am.” He answers and grins a little, though his mind seems to be distracted about something else.

“Quite superstitious. That red hair is probably the reason why some terrible thing always happens when the two times we have met?”

Then he paused his words, and mentally Aranvar calculates how many mouthfuls he has taken of that ale, something is not quite right.

“Do you know how to use a sword?” He asks, quite abruptly, the question pitched from nowhere, and certainly unbelonging to such a conversation while his gaze grow agitated from a calm grey to a clash of dark and light.

“If you do, I suggest you better find one quickly.” The tanned fellow tells her, sweeping another guarded gaze about the tavern.

Concern begins to cross the woman’s features as she watches Aranvar scan the bar. She’d stopped paying attention to the others some time ago. At first confusion overtakes her as he asks about her ability with a sword and quickly turns into one of outright surprise at his remark.

“I.. yes.. a sword?? What’s wrong?” She asks, turning to glance around the tavern worriedly. Her mind flicks back to the first time they’d met and her bloodied arm. Not really looking forward to another incident in this town, she takes an inventory of the number of weapons visible on the other patrons nearest them and hoping that theft isn’t another on her list of firsts today.

A loud plop and the sound of a flagon over turned and hitting the wooden bar top replied the red haired girl; and Aranvar’s head thumped limply onto the bar, his cheek pressed against the widening pool of ale that now dripped down the edge of the bar.

Something clanged loudly to the floor next; a rapier, the one that was originally buckled around his waist and before he passed out, the tanned fellow has discretely unhooked it from his belt and let it loosen. And a rather handsome rapier, it is, with a white ivory handle and an elaborately-tooled scabbard.

Noises are heard at the door of the tavern; and most of the remaining customers have all but fled the scene; owing to the recognition of the booming voice at the is kicked open.

“Mirtoa Mithendair is much too young to know how things work around here, eh?”

A tall, well-built Elohai steps in, a large sword wielded in one hand and with great emphasis, brings down the blade of that heavy weapon onto the creaking planks of the tavern, making the old wooden boards groan.

In horror, Kaiyri leans forward to check for the now unconscious mans breathing, taking several moments to register just what is going on.

“Aranvar?” She hisses out in a loud whisper, shaking him slightly. “What are you getting me into!” A little more forewarning would have been the decent thing to do.

Glancing down at the sudden clang of his sword hitting the wooden floor, she kneels down swiftly to retrieve it, realizing in the same moment why he asked such a peculiar question as the door swings open. In front of Aranvar now, she wields the borrowed weapon at her side, firmly gripping the hilt while she gapes at the image that comes through the entrance.

Her gaze is forced upward considerably to look at the man and groans audibly. “This just figures.”

“Tonight, the murder of our Lord Ashkera will be repaid with his blood. Aranvar Mithendair’s blood.” The tall bulk of an Elohai smirks, and with that the beady-eyed bartender steps out from the shadows within the bar, eyeing Kaiyri’s slim back with an intense, unpleasant look.

“If I were you, little Miss, I would get the hell out now.” The scrawny man whispers dangerously, his hands procuring a staff as wizened and thin as himself, out of nowhere.

The beady one’s words were heard by the huge hulking half-elf at the entrance and the large man steps in further, dragging his sword across the floorboards and they broke upon the weight of the blade.

“A little girl! And a witch by the looks at it.” The large man laughs derisively at Kaiyri now, sweeping his yellowish eyes over her as she puts on a defensive pose, putting out a huge scarred hand to grab one of Kaiyri’s crimson locks.

“If I were you, I really wouldn’t test me.” Kaiyri responds in a low tone without turning to fully look at the bartender even though her back was to him. “Only a coward would drug a man before murdering him.”

Seething at the larger man, she jerks her chin away from the hand that tugs at her tresses.

“Is that what you are, sir?” She asks in a seemingly sweet girl voice, her eyes looking at him expectantly as she parts her legs slightly and swings the blade around to point at him now. “Doesn’t seem like much of a challenge, a passed out man and a little girl. Besides, you’re ruining all of my fun.”

The moment Kaiyri has retracted herself from his grasp and the man’s large, calloused hand hands in the air, grabbing nothing, the red head’s act of pure defiance rouses a roar from the hefty Elohai.

“Fun?” The large man rages, heaving up a glob of spit and releases it in a vehement gesture on the floor, the spittle barely missing the collapsed Aranvar’s head by mere inches. He swipes his thumb across his rough lips, wiping at it.

“I’ll show you what is fun, little girl. Before we throw you into the river, we’ll have some fun here.”

“You are very stupid.” The beady eyed wizard hisses from behind her and now he begins chanting, the air starts to feel extremely cold, extremely heavy — as whirls of salt-stained sea winds start to creep in and up from the floorboards, twisting themselves around the Mirtoa’s comatose body (or seemingly so) and retching their pale misty tips at Kaiyri’s heels.

The beady one pauses, his breath heaving dangerously at Kaiyri. “You could have just left him and begone. Now, too bad, young miss, you will just have to die with the fool Mithendair here.”

Heaving a dramatic sigh, the young woman rewards the larger man with a disgusted expression as he spits upon the floor. The blade pointed at him falters slightly at the mention of having fun with her, grip tightening upon the hilt to remain pointed at his chest. Kai’s ears prick just slightly as she hears the man behind her and cautiously glances at her unconscious companion.

“I didn’t spend all this time trying to lighten his pockets so you could barge in here and just lop his head off! There’s no skill in robbing dead people.” Now highly irritated by the turn of events, she addresses the man before her, obviously angry and intent upon causing some sort of damage in here.

“Perhaps we can come to an agreement…” Catching herself, Kai frowns momentarily as she poses the offer to him, hoping his thick head wouldn’t grasp at the wrong meaning.

“Wouldn’t you rather reap the reward for his hard work instead?” Then with a shrug, she glances at the sword held in her hand, “Or we could just fight.”

The tall Elohai twists his eyebrows, frowning very deeply now at the red head as she unleashes a jumble of what sounds to him like a deal; a very odd deal. He straightens up but does not relax his hold on his massive sword, which is still pointed in Kaiyri’s direction.

“You talk too much, little girl. Now you tell me you are also here for his head?” A reedy, irritated edge sinks into the gruff tone of the tall Elohai, his expression equivalent now to the sound of his voice. “And you want a deal? What deal? You want to cut Mithendair’s head up so each of us carts home a slice? Who is your boss?”

“Better be truthful, young Miss.” The beady one’s slippery voice moves in accordance as he removes himself from behind the bar, coming to step nearer to the red head.

“Who sent you here to kill Aranvar Mithendair?

You better tell us.” He makes it a grand point that Kaiyri is /outnumbered/

Especially in terms in people still consciously standing with a weapon in hand.

Two eyebrows scrunch together in confusion, “Carve up his head!? What are you… no no.” Shaking her head, Kai shifts her lithe frame to more fully observe both men. “No one sent me. He was quite rude to me on the docks however and I thought I’d take his wallet as payment.” Her voice takes on a pouting tone, that of a young child who hasn’t gotten its way. “It’s a skill I’ve become quite fond of.”

The larger man and the smaller female both holding weapons on the other could have appeared to be some sort of comical face off to anyone else observing. The second, whom she was starting to become more worried about, was getting far too close for her comfort. “Since you’ve obviously ruined that, I was offering to help you in a less… deadly way.”

Her glance shifts to the door as if calculating just how quickly she could get to it. The man was really becoming too much of an effort to try keeping alive.

“You make an extremely poor thief then.” The beady one comments carelessly, and steps right over Aranvar’s laid out body, lowering the bottom of his iron-shod staff over the middle of the tanned fellow’s neck. The chill strands the wizard had summoned earlier, flow along, wrapping Aranvar like as if he is some tasty meat filling for bread. The large hefty Elohai’s face cracks open into a grin now the wizard has made his move.

“Once Thanos here is done with strangling Mithendair, I’ll have my fun with –”

And before the big man could complete his words, the frightful ‘zing’ of an arrow is heard and the projectile sweeps cleanly through the open doors of the tavern, burying its metallic head right into the bulky arm of the large man.

Taken by shock, both of them; the huge Elohai and the scrawny wizard –as more arrows fly in, zipping through the stagnant air within. One lands right in the middle of the wizard’s forehead, piercing a few blood vessels and claret red sprays forth and down the beady one’s face, captured in the shock of death.

Another few more find their mark in the back of the large Elohai; him being meatier and quite strong enough to take more damage — but alas not that much to withstand a cleverly aimed blow on his spine from a sword carving the air right behind him.

The huge man turns around, gasping loudly in gathered pain and before his knees crumple down into a heap before a tall woman with a head of bouncing brown tresses; her mailed hand holding a longsword, one name spills from his bruised lips :

“Dephora, you bitch.”

Barely able to register blinking, Kai stands there frozen with a shockingly puzzled expression. Deep crimson from the now dead wizard is spattered across her person, already staining her clothing with dark droplets, yet still overlooked by her. The sword in her hand gradually lowers without notice, loose fingertips keeping it from clanging rudely to the floor.

Finding it strange that she found this woman far more terrifying than the two men who’d been threatening them before, her mouth opens but makes no sound, her voice fleeing her throat.

Sensing that speaking incessantly as she’d been doing would give no pause to this particular female anyway, Kaiyri merely stands there staring at her in shock. Hesitantly, she glances surreptitiously at the man who lay unconscious beside her in hopes of seeing the rise and fall of his torso to signal that he was still breathing.

“Rude as ever. Ashkera never learns to hire polite ruffians.”

Dephora hefts her longsword back into its scabbard after cleaning off the bloody stains on the dead man’s clothing. Her hazel eyes spread their scrutinizing assessment over the entire expanse of the tavern. Two more slim figures appear, Elohaen youths each holding a longbow, crafted like those used by Elohai archers, with quivers bearing a delicate design of a noble house on their leather surfaces.

The woman appears well endowed; mail and leather fitting over assets that would befit a pampered lady rather than this militant garb. Her hair is set free over broad shoulders and once she seems to have everything in control, Dephora takes a few good strides over to where the red head is standing, her eyes shifting to take a glance at the rapier held in Kaiyri’s hand to the laid out body of Aranvar Mithendair next to the latter.

“In trouble. Again.” Dephora murmurs loud enough for Kaiyri to hear and her mailed boot lifts up, and nudges the tanned fellow’s ribs lightly. There is no response. And now she eyes the red head with her eyebrows finely raised.

“Were you attempting to save the Lord Mithendair, young lady?”

“Not as effectively as you have it would seem.” Kaiyri responds in a rather malleable voice, taking in the woman’s full attire and the young men following in behind her. Still unsure of the woman addressing her, she makes a point of placing the weapon she’d forgotten upon the bar. Taking a step away from it, she glances upon the man with open curiosity, wondering at what sort of person would bring about such a reaction from the people in this town.

Slowly, the initial shock begins to seep from her limbs, and she regards the woman cautiously. “Pardon my asking, but who are you and what just happened?”

Dephore chuckles good-naturedly at the red head’s blunt reply and she crouches down in a crank of mail and leather and her mailed hand goes unceremoniously to grab Aranvar by the collar of his shirt, pulling him upright.

A quick two-fingered signal is given to her twin followers and both come swiftly to take the unconscious tanned fellow away, sliding their arms easily under his.

“I am Dephora Mithendair.” The woman introduces firmly now she raises herself up and stands straight. “Lord Mithendair’s sister-in-law.”

Without really letting the depth of her words sink in; obviously it would raise a few shocking hairs on Kaiyri’s head, Dephora continues to speak at length, “Those two were hired by Ashkera’s heir to murder Lord Mithendair. Of course if you are familiar with the royal politics. If not, it is nothing to worry about.”

Her hazel eyes lighten a little in amusement and she walks towards where Kaiyri has placed Aranvar’s rapier, retrieving it. “You should really leave this place once we are gone.” Dephora chuckles, turning towards the door.

Another glance is accrued to Kaiyri again, this time rather matronly. “If you’re worried about him, he should be fine in another day or two. You’re a pretty one, young lady, he’ll be back to look for you.”

Dephora chuckles again, too loudly and lewdly for this instance and departs, waving her hand as she turns to step out.

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