Billanverthorne is still in shock. "To Jabbar, our single day of friendship held more kinship, brotherhood, and friendship than many people experience in a decade or more. May his spirit always guide us to greater things."Burrai said:He lead the 4 of them down into the basement and dragged a crate out to where they could all stand around it. [...] He took a large pull from the bottle, feeling the raw burn of hard liquor spread down his throat, and placed it uncorked in the middle of the crate.
Bill scowls when he learns of this, but says nothing. He doesn't need to.Burrai said:“...I asked you to follow Ren, but you chose not to."
Bill eyes Aletia with disapproval, but she can tell that his real ire lies with Ersun, for his outright disobedience.Burrai said:“...If Aletia knew more of Cabarda, and our own martial prowess, she might not have felt so threatened as to cast spells so openly once we’d arrived."
Billanverthorne nods, although it is probably unnecessary. "If you're asking us to follow you, then you have my bow and my blade. I shall follow you into the depths of the Nine Hells, my Dwarven brother."Burrai said:"...I’ve seen a lot of war, battle, and many here know that, and respect it. I also know how to survive - which is why I learned to make my own shield and plate - and I try to keep my squad alive, behind me preferably.”
Bill frowns, sighs, and says, "I don't have an agenda, lass. I'm not so fortunate as you. I am in no one's employ; I am alone. I am hunted by the Black Network. The Black Network murdered my father, and his father before him, and now, they seek to do the same to me. I was trying to contact a man named Jarahdrin, who was a friend of my father's, hoping that he could help me set things right. I won't bore you with the details, but Jarahdrin knows much about the Black Network, perhaps even enough to bring about its eventual downfall."Aletia said:"...However, you speak of agendas? Please, do enlighten me as to yours. I will come to no decisions hastily or half-advised."
Bill scowls, "Indeed it is. So let's get a few things straight, right now. I don't care what your reasons for disobedience were. The fact is, that if we fail to work as a team, we die. The middle of a fight is no time to argue tactics. From the way you're talking, you're beholden to no one, you're your own boss, a free agent. You don't consider Burrai to be in charge. Hence, you follow your own counsel, and act of your own, independent accord. Ok, I will accept that. No formal agreement existed before bewteen any of us. THAT ENDS NOW. Burrai is the leader of this enterprise now, as far as I am concerned. If you choose to accept his authority, fine. Join us. But from here on out, you will NOT fail to follow his orders. This has nothing to do with me, it has to do with US. ALL OF US. Our lives depend upon the certainty that each member of the team will perform the duties expected of him or her. If that doesn't suit you, then perhaps you should be on your way."Ersun said:"...Let us not brush it off, communication is important."
Bill nods, and extends his hand. "Forgiveness it shall be," he says, "your apology is accepted."Aletia said:"...if you expect that one day... you can forgive me... once our grieving is done and the taste of justice and revenge is wet on our lips, then I will shake your hand now, as pre-payment for my allegiance and your acceptance of my humble sorrow and apologies at this eve’s horrible end."
"So be it." Bill says, flatly.Ersun said:"...The girl is right." he concurs to Aletia's speech. "This" he gestures at their group. "is what we have now and have to work with, like it or not." [...] "So, bless our group, and our jolly mood."
~ Avar? Why are you giving me Avar's keys? He needs them for...Wha? Where's Jabbar? No. No. ~Avar turned away from the open cellar door with a dismayed expression. He was listening in on the raised voices that now offered little comfort. He steps back towards where Jabbar's body lay peacefully on the table, a smile still present on his face. ~I doubt you would still be smiling if you could hear them now...~ He thinks, wondering if anyone could hold this group together as well as the fallen smuggler.
Elloral looks up from her prayers and sighs. "What are they talking about?"
Avar: "They're arguing..." He grunts with angst evident in the nervous way he fingers the edge of his axe.
Elloral: "It's to be expected. We're mostly strangers to each other after all, suddenly thrust together into a dangerous alliance. It will take time to trust each other and learn how to fight together."
Avar: "I should have been by his side!" He growls with a clench of his jaw.
Elloral: Shakes her head. "Don't do that! Don't blame yourself."
Avar: Frowns and reaches over to pull something out of a concealed pocked in Jabbar's clothing.
Elloral: Gasps. "What's that?"
Avar: "The keys for the smuggling business. They belong to Aust now. Besides, It's time he's heard the bad news." He states with obvious discontent.
Elloral: "Valkauna is especially sensitive to my prayers tonight and sympathetic to our plight. I believe she will grant me the strength to cure Aust after all." She states hopefully. "We need each other now more than ever."
Avar: "Bless the gods for saving our necks!" He states with gratitude, moving up the stairs slowly and purposely, his heavy footsteps softened by tall moccasins strapped around his leggings. Some moments later, Avars heavy hand knocks against Aust's door. When the ailing elf opens it, the normally stern grey eyes of the sundered dwarf are watery and grief-stricken. Jabbars keys offered in his open palm provide all the explanation necessary.
[Aust: What do you do?]
Avar and Elloral follow Aust down into the Cellar. Elloral shares a look with Burrai as if to say, 'Get ready for this...' while Avar crosses his arms.Aust moves to the cellar, speaking to Avar as he moves into it.
Elloral: Looks down to the earthen floor, her face paling at the question. "Raising the dead goes against the edicts of Valkauna. Even if it wasn't, such a thing is only spoken of largely in myth involving powerful relics and ancient spells beyond my knowledge. As for you however, yes I can cure you.""I have much to do and little time to do it. I was to go to the cleric. That must happen quickly. Can’t very well be dead or furry with all this going on. I must at bare minimum look and feel like an elf. First things first, WHAT?!? You kept the Vul?!?" Yes, Avar had shared that with him quietly as Aust had held Jabbar's arm. The small crowd gathered in the cellar was tense, and it was clear they had exchanged words. Aust was simultaneously resentful of their presence and mindful of Jabbar's intentions with them."Well? What now? Surely you royal fools have a plan, no? I didn't think so."
Aust continues, specifically to Aletia, Ersun, Burrai, Elloral, and Bill without looking at them, continuing to contemplate Jabbar’s body while walking around the Vul on the table. Aust speaks calmly, seething underneath at his friend’s death as well as those responsible for it, in whole or in part.
"Aletia is it? I’m unused to restraint; that’s Jabbar’s temperament. It appears that all of you had business with Jabbar. It also appears that none of you are particularly disposed to restraint. It is not my strong suit either, but let me make this clear for you: right or wrong, this place belongs to the Vul; they loathe disruption, and they fear magic, killing on sight those who engage in either. Makes conversation a trifle difficult. Jabbar agreed to assist you, and I will do my best to do the same, as our paths seem to be intertwined. That said, I’ll say this slowly, so you understand; do not start a battle or use magic in the open again, unless you are prepared to die quickly and alone. If you didn't know better before, you do now."
To Elloral, “You are a healer no? Can you heal me?” And a question pops into his mind “Wait, can you heal Jabbar? I heard a story once that an Elven healer could raise the dead if only a little time had passed. Are you that powerful?"
Avar: Scowls towards the bound and gagged rhat prisoner. "It may be blinded, but it isn't deaf. What this little beast has overheard already should never be repeated to Noro or anyone else. I can interrogate it as much as we want, but even rhats are smart enough to know when their goose is cooked. If we can't allow it to leave, a quick death may be the only thing we can offer in exchange for its information.""We shall keep Jabbar's death a secret at the moment. If his body can be protected in this state, and it's within any of your abilities, please make it so. I'll have to share his death publicly it at some point soon, but at the moment, I will do what I think Jabbar would do. Jabbar's family...they are not to be trifled with. And when they discover of his death, it needs to be from me, and it needs to be in a way that they will react against those coming for all of us. The guildmasters fancy themselves powerful, with powerful allies. However, it is my intent to make both the Vul and Jabbar's family their mortal enemies. And these corpses will serve that purpose. When the shop opens in the morning, I want no evidence that this has happened. Move his body down in this cellar and clean up all of it. At some point, the Vulfear will notice this Vul's absence. We should make haste."
"As to the rodents, what happened to Rhen, and what can this rhat tell us? I might well say he should be sent back to his brethren with a message that they are Vul-bait."
The young elf lightly took Bill's hand in hers and nodded. They had an understanding. Not a solid trust or friendship by any means, but they would find a way to ensure Jabbar's death was not in vain, nor Vallio's or a whole host of other victims.Bill nods, and extends his hand. "Forgiveness it shall be," he says, "your apology is accepted."
Elloral said:"...Raising the dead goes against the edicts of Valkauna. Even if it wasn't, such a thing is only spoken of largely in myth involving powerful relics and ancient spells beyond my knowledge..."
Bill frowns at these words, not with disapproval for the speakers, but rather, with scorn and hatred for the Rhat, who was an accessory to Jabbar's death. Bill's hatred of the creature is evident in his narrowed eyes, and seething contempt.Avar said:"...It may be blinded, but it isn't deaf. What this little beast has overheard already should never be repeated to Noro or anyone else. I can interrogate it as much as we want, but even rhats are smart enough to know when their goose is cooked. If we can't allow it to leave, a quick death may be the only thing we can offer in exchange for its information...Who decides?"