A Story in TarRaCe

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It's a busy day in the TarRaCe, with many people pouring in and out of the main area. Either headed for the baths or picking up meals, or sitting in for dinning. One such customer is a tall, blue-scale sith-makar in white Daeus vestments. He has a blue cloak slung over his shoulders, and a fluffy white towel folded neatly over his left arm. An arm made of pure driven crystal to match his crystal leg on the same side. He stands for the moment near the bar, trying (unsuccessfully) to occasionally garner the attention of the barkeep.

There is literally /steam/ coming off of Harkashan as he comes stepping out from the bathhouse area of TarRaCe. A towel hanging over his shoulders, and a modest set of comfortable short pants around his waist. For those who know him, this may be the first time seeing him out of his typical lava-rock clad armor. The latter currently being watched in one of the holding areas. He wouldn't let any of the crew shine it or wash it under 'spiritual reasons'.

He was quite adamant on this.

It does mean that the gleam of his oiled scales and the lava-like patterns of his body are far more on display than usual. Aelwyn no doubt is somewhere beating themselves up for missing this. Hardly Harkashan's focus however. Instead, the Sith-makar makes his way over towards where Zeke is seated, and plops his scaly behind into one of the barstools and puts his arm on the table.

He's... noticeable. And he's spotted the way Zeke is attempting to get the barman's attention. So... he seeks to help with a particularly well placed /LOOK/ in his eyes that demands attention.

GAME: Harkashan rolls Diplomacy: (8)+10: 18

Entering the TarRaCe is Jacob Ben-Hassid. For once, he's not wearing his armor and weapons, but instead he's wearing the robes of Serriel in various shades of red, gold, and gray. He's patting his stomach and he has a satchel slung over his shoulder filled with medicinal herbs, no doubt for making potions and medicine. As he approaches the barkeep for food and drink, he notices Harkashan and he smiles big and bright. "Harkashan. A pleasure to see you my friend." It was literally /impossible/ not to notice him! "I trust you had a nice bath?" The steaming scales makes it an easy assumption.

....unless the Sith-Makar was always steaming.

"Any luck with the busy barkeep?" He asks, before he turns his eyes towards Zeke, giving the fellow a friendly smile.

The baths were a popular place to be this day it seems, or something horrible had happened behind the scenes to make everyone vacate en masse. Given the relaxed nature of everyone leaving however, that was likely not the case.

One such person being a relatively tall, brown haired elven woman in a white blouse and brown pants who was leaving the halls. They stopped to for a moment to look at what seemed to be a hunk of walking lava floe, only to realize the steam was likely from the baths. And also, Zeke, who looked like they were having troubles.

There's an inner dialogue between wanting to help and wanting to leave the makari alone, and the former seems to win out, as the elf quietly sighs and walks over, swinging her arms rigidly beside her. Likely due to the fact that other than the white gloves on the hands, the entirety of them were made out of wood. "Oh, hello Zeke, and I don't know the other person there with you, but nice to meet you. Are you having trouble with something here?" They wonder, stopping to wave to the other newcomer.

Zeke nods politely to Harkashan as the other male comes up alongside him and tries - fails - but makes an excellent effort at getting the barkeeps attention. It seems that the three ladies drinking at the other end have his undivided attention leaving Zeke to emit a soft huff of a sound. He then turns his attention more fully on Harkashan, only for a new arrival to cause him to stifle his initial greeting. Indeed this happens twice, for he is about to offer greetings to both the men when Schara approaches. "Peasssce on your nessstsss."

He finally manages to rumble out his greeting, but Schara gets a bit of a suspicious look from the blue-scale. Seems that there might be some small amount of history there? "Thisss one isss known ass Zeke, thissss one doesss not believe that thisss one hass properly met any of you." Zeke nods low then. "Thisss one had a quessstion for the bar-tender, but he isss... preoccupied."

There's this continuous deep growl within Harkashan's chest as he slowly breathes, with no bearing to emotion at this time. Long deep breaths that shift the black scales across his body like ashen rock. The male slowly turns his head towards Jacob as he joins them. He's met the man many times now, but he feels he's not truly spoken to him properly all of this time.

"Ser Jacob." The Sith-makar answers his use of his name, and reaches out with his hands. His heat seeking to lay over both sides of one of Jacob's hands to greet him properly. As always, with a slight bow of his upper body. Though if it's a sign of respect, or simply because softskins tend to be shorter than him, is anyone's guess. It looks regal enough, even with a towel over his shoulders.

"The bath was quite nice. And the oiling offered here is quite pleasant. It has been a long time since my scales have shone this brightly." He admits to the member of the Serriel church.

He then glances back to the bartender who... still refuses to see him. "This foe has bested me... for now." He answers Jacob - referring to the bartender's attention. Then, patiently, he adds; "Peace on your nest as well, brother." There's still this shift in Harkashan's tail when near Zeke. Though he approaches with kindness, there is undeniably still discomfort with him around this one.

At the suggestion that Zeke still has not met him properly though, has Harkashan make for a bow - aimed more towards Schara than the others. "Harkashan." He answers. "Of the Deathsingers." A part that Zeke already knows, as well as Jacob, but would be new to Schara. He has noticed Zeke's slight hesitation or discomfort though. But he will let him speak of this if need be.

"I believe we were about to share... tales." He then notes. "Perhaps over a drink, if we could get the bartender's attention."

The baths are /extremely/ popular and Jacob can't /not/ notice that there's so many people here. Then, an elven woman in white and brown arrives and he turns to look upon her. "Oh, hello there." He says with a kind smile. He doesn't know her, but she seems to be friends with Zeke.

Speaking of Zeke, he smiles softly to him. "Peace on ours." He tells the fellow, before he hears the name. 'Zeke'. "A pleasure to meet you, Zeke. I'm Jacob." He offers Zeke a hand to shake, though he turns his attention to Harkashan as he greets him, hands cover his own and he seems to smile at the fellow, returning the bow (at least he hopes it's a bow). "Ser Harkashan." He returns the title and name. "They do oiling here? That sounds relaxing." He looks at himself.

"I don't think it'd look good on me, but...maybe I should give it a try after a while."

He looks at the bartender, frowning just a moment before he lifts a hand. "Excuse me sir. A full round of drinks on me for my friends with a good tip for you if you do?"

He looks back to the group that was starting to form. "Well, I'm certain we all have great stories. Will they be tales of slaying mighty beasts or destroying ancient terrors?"

GAME: Jacob rolls Diplomacy: (8)+9: 17

The elf tilts their head once in Zeke's direction, and sighs. At least it was only a short thing, and they bow back to Harkashan, arms still dangling with the movement. "Oh, it is good to meet you, mister or miss Harkashan, my name is Schara." The elf greets. "I'm not sure what a death singer is, but, I'm not entirely sure where I would begin to guess what that means, so I'll avoid making any assumptions."

"I believe the oils are part of the massages they have back there, they're quite nice and they're great for overworked muscles and other pains." She adds to Jacob. "Tales sound interesting to here shared but, have any of you tried going over to speak to them? Maybe I should."

ddly, or perhaps expectedly, Harkashan's discomfort is noticed by Zeke, and if anything it seems to deepen the blue-scale's own discomfort. He glances one last time at the bartender before seeming to give up and nods politely to the other male sith. "Sssaharing wordsss isss good." That seems to be the end of his statement, but when Jacob offers his hand, Zeke gently takes it in his flesh-and-blood claw - the only one that's currently free for the shaking. "Sssaa. It isss good to meet you Jacob."

The bartender continues to chat with the three ladies at the end of the bar, and might possibly be actively ignoring the group of them. It certainly seems as though he should have noticed them by now.

Zeke looks at Schara with some interest then. "The Death-sssinging dragon isss the name we of the People ussse for the one you call Vardama. Harkassshan ssservesss Her. Thusss death-sssinger." With that explained he seems satisfied. "Thisss one hass not, doess not wisssh to be rude."

"They do." Harkashan acknowledges, reinforced by Schara's words. He then draws his hands away and leans on the bar with his back, looking towards the wooden-armed woman before him. The way she hangs her arms like that is of interesting note to him. The elfin woman is rather remarkably tall for her kind, he notes mentally.

He is about to explain his people, when Zeke does so for him. So, Harkashan answers a different question; "He, if it would please you." He answers to her matter of gender. "But 'they' is also used to refer to me at times." The Sith-makar adds patiently. It doesn't seem like he's too offended by another softskin being unable to tell his species apart, gender wise. They do not have the radical dimorphism many of them have.

He then bids to Schara. "Please, if you would." In regards to an offer to directly address the barkeeper. It is not that he could not, or would not do it. But it has been offered, and it would be rude to refuse.

"Schara, nice to meet you." Jacob smiles warmly at her, though he tilts his head. "Huh...I'll have to find a way to incorporate that into my healing when I'm off on my travels. Of course, without being so...invasive." Since it'd be good to rub it on sore muscles or even fresh wounds for healing remedies, but he doesn't want to give people full rub-downs.

That's...weird, right?

But he then turns to Zeke with a smile. He gives his hand a good shake, with a chuckle touching his face. "Vardama?" He turns to look at Harkasham. "Vardama is the lover of Serriel, the God I have sworn my service to." He smiles at Harkasham. "I suppose that makes us brothers, in a strange way." He chuckles softly, before he looks back at Zeke. "Share words with me, Zeke. Tell us a story." He chuckles softly.

"Oh, I understand." The elf nods slowly, looking a bit unhappy at the thought of it, but they quickly shake that away and attempt to smile. "Okay, like a cleric, and not killing people by singing, which would probably be strange. Whichever you would prefer Harkashan, I should probably ask first next time with how many sith-makari I seem to meet in this city."

"Nice to meet you too, mister Jacob." They add to them as well, stopping to look away as people were talking about more godly things. "I'll go over and ask them if I can, it's not impolite, and it doesn't look like he's busy at the moment serving them drinks, just being there."

GAME: Schara rolls diplomacy: (18)+0: 18

Zeke stalls at Jacobs request for a story, his tail wrapping around his leg and his eyes nictating. "Sssaa..." He thinks about stories, but he doesn't know that many really. He looks to Harkashan for assistance, silently asking the other male 'what do I do'? But he has no telepathic communication with which to ask such a question and so it just comes across as a half-hopeful, half-desperate look. "What kind of ssstory? Thisss one isss not ssspeaker-cassste. Perhapsss another would be better sssuited to the tasssk?"

Meanwhile the bartender is pouring drinks for the ladies now. Definitely flirting. He raises a hand toward Schara with his forefinger raised. So he did see her.

"Indeed." Harkashan remarks in reference to not singing people to death. He then slips his gaze towards Jacob. A slow nod. It is easy to assume for outsiders that someone like him would pray to some kind of god of fire! But instead, this more well spoken is indeed of Vardama. Jabob, who has recently been part of one of his burial rituals for those wolves, might realize the connection there.

"Indeed, the Bladedancing Dragon is welcomed to join around the fire, and enjoy the song of the Death Singing Dragon." Jacob is answered, though he doesn't speak of brothers. Instead, he notes; "Shaman caste is as kin to me." He bids to the man. That may be easier for this conversation to understand at least.

Harkashan, spotting Zeke's need for assistance, lets out a long sigh and furrows his brow. "Hrrm... very well."

He then begins; "I once met a young Hunter by the name of Hofiba. He was to watch the new eggs that had been laid, in the communal cave. This was deep in the jungles of Am'shere. Close to a dormant volcano, which gave great heat to this cave." The man begins, his voice turning easy.

"Days would pass, with nothing to speak of. No lizards dared come close. No crazed ones lingered. So, in his boredom, he decided to entertain. Crying - Charn! There are Charn at the gates!"

A pause, before he continues with a more grave tone, "The warriors came to aid, and they sought the forest for hours. When they returned, the foolish Hunter laughed and said; 'I had you chasing tails. It was but a jest.'" A pause. "I chided him, but thought of it as young foolishness."

He looks around, then continues. "But Hofiba was perhaps more than a fool, for a few weeks later, he repeated this same. He ran from the cave, claiming an Egg was missing. The warriors turned to the forest. Seeking for devilish Charn. For lizards who might have stolen it. Yet, after a few hours, they returned to Hofiba laughing - declaring it had once more been a jest. And that the egg was safe."

"Once more, I chided him. No longer trusting him, I put another hunter in place, and sent Hofiba with a party into the forests, to learn of the seriousness of the jungles." He looks to Zeke for a moment. For Zeke knows how dangerous the jungles are. One does not joke of the Charn.

"I was not around for what happened last. It is said by the village Shamans that Hofiba shouted within the forests, months later, that the Charn were chasing him. But the warriors did not come to his aid. Not wishing to be fooled once more... that was the last we ever heard of Hofiba."

GAME: Harkashan rolls Perform/oratory: (18)+3: 21

"It would be appreciated, Schara. Thank you. Perhaps you'll have better luck than either of us." Jacob remarks, smiling at her. "Pleasure's mine, my lady."

Jacob feels somewhat bad for putting Zeke on the spot like that. But he's somewhat blunt when he needs to be. Zeke explains that he's not a good storyteller, that belongs to a different caste of warrior. "I understand. Perhaps that another would be Harkashan. Forgive me, I didn't mean to place stress on you."

He turns his attention to Harkashan then with a smile on his face. "Bladedancing Dragon?" Jacob questions, clearly confused by the name convention, but he hears Shaman caste which is...a bit easier to understand. Yet, as Hark tells his story, Jacob is listening closely - like a child fascinated by the tales of ancient days, of great heroes and cruel winters. When he heard of poor Hofiba's fate, He nods. "A terrible fate...and an important lesson against lying."

"Oh, hello- um okay, alright I guess, but we would like drinks in a bit." The elf offers as she steps away in an attempt to get the bartender's attention. It seemed three girls were better than one, and several lizards.

They return in time to catch the story, and the artificer takes a seat on one of the stools where she can listen, carefully. They sigh once, and shake their head slowly. "That is, they should have listened, if it isn't just a story. Or talked to people if they really just needed some people to be friends and help them."

Zeke listens attentively and appreciatively to Harkashan's story. When the male looks at him he nods seriously, but does not interrupt the narrative. Indeed the jungles are no place to joke, and one does not falsely cry that the Charnese are around. The bluescale waits for the end of the story and lowers his head slightly for the loss of Hofiba, who though clearly foolish had been one of the People. The sith then thumps his tail lightly in approval, it's a soft thing but distinct enough to acknowledge the effort of such story-telling.

Then, he turns and pulls out a gold piece, laying it on the counter where the barkeep can see it, and the man suddenly disengages from the women to come stand by him. "Sssa. Do you have private baths?"

"You again eh? No, no private baths. Just separated by genders." The barkeep looks a little irritated with the question and Zeke sags a little.

"Peassscce on your nessst, thisss one will ussse that then." He slides the money across the bar to the barkeep. "Thisss one will want food for kin when thisss one returnsss. No massssage. No touching." He seems very firm on this and the man nods. Once he leaves, Zeke nods politely to everyone. "Sssaa. Thisss one mussst cleanssse sssself. Light of the Dragonfather on you all. Thisss one isss glad to have met you properly." With that he turns and leaves, headed for the baths.

At Jacobs remark of a terrible fate, the crimson Sith-makar slowly nods his head. Indeed, an imporant lesson against lying. But there's something else there. A sense of an error having been made on Harkashan's own part. One that goes unspoken for now. But it is no doubt that Zeke and himself are of similar minds. Though Hofiba had been a fool, he had been one of the People. And in not preventing this tragedy...

If he had perhaps done better.

A somewhat morose tale in a ways. He touches Zeke for a moment, a simple touch of the claws to his arm, and a nod. A silent unspoken communication as he wanders off in an attempt to get a private - or at least more quiet - bathing experience. "By the Deathsinger's song remain silent in your future." Harkashan speaks to Zeke, before looking back to Jacob.

"The Sith-makar have many a name for your gods. They differ from tribe to tribe. Yours - the kind of the Death Singing Dragon - has been refered to as the Bladedancing Dragon in older days." He explains.

He then turns to Schara, who speaks of how Hofiba could have helped themselves. Zeke no doubt picked up on Harkashan hiding the true name of the Sith-makar in question. "There were many wrongs that led to their finality. There is far more subtlety than a short story such as this can convey. You are right to wish to analyze further." He answers the elfin looking one.

"I take it your luck with the bartender was as good as ours?" Jacob asks Schara with a soft smile, though he looks past her to see what the bartender is up to aaaaand he's truly not surprised. "I'm sure we'll get our drinks momentarily." He smiles at Schara warmly. "We appreciate the effort all the same. "It's worth looking into more, worth asking the questions. But mayhaps they didn't want to be tricked again. But when a friend is in danger, you never leave them behind. Even if it's for a prank."

He turns to Zeke as he gets ready to leave. "May the Maiden of Light guide you to victory." Jacob remarks to him with a deep bow of his head in respect.

Then his eyes fall on Harkoshan. "I...I see. Just as we have different names for the Dragon Gods. I understand, I'm as little a way I can. I'm certain Serriel is honored by the name you grant her. Her priests honor your deity in similar ways, though we tend to stick with the more commonly known ones, forgive the triviality of it."

Schara seems to tilt her head once, and she looks to the bartender, who was likely still frustratingly busy, and huffs. "Maybe it's because I don't buy expensive drinks here and they know that. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help." The elf offers in hopefully some manner of explanation. "It was good to see you and not bother you too much Zeke, I hope you have a good day and a nice bath, they are nice here and I'm happy to not have bothered you that much. I'm not sure what peace on your nest means or if I should be saying it in parting so I'll leave that for now and just say goodbye."

They are left with their attention on Jacob and Harkashan, and there's another tilt of their head. "No, there probably is more to it, but most people would feel bad in a situation like that and wonder what could be done differently even if dwelling on the past too much is often bad. And, I'm surprised you have a name for Serriel and things to say about them mister Harkashan. Are they already known in Am'shere? Why would a dragon need blades, they already have really big teeth and claws and various elemental breaths, don't they?"

"Think nothing of it." Harkashan answers Jacob, raising one clawed hand to the towel hanging over his shoulders and drawing it along the scales near his head. That lava-rock hanging between his horns going jingle-jingle.

His gaze slips towards Schara. "I admit, to many, her name became known to us by word of the first ones coming through your gates. But even our people respect the Blade. Many of our warriors use tools of war." Still, even that feels like a long time ago.

The Makari erects his posture a bit. "But before that, her name was sung to us by the Death Singing Dragon." A touch to something near his horns. "Whispered songs."

He then begins to stand up proper, it seems the 'steaming' of his body has ended. "But remember, we are familiar with many Dragons - gods as you say. Even if our people did not use blades, we became quite familiar with those used by the Charn, over a hundred years ago - and the gods /they/ pray to."

Having stood up, he makes for a short bow to the both of them. "I should see where my traveling companion has gone off to. I was under the impression she was out of the baths before me. Do let me know if you see Rune somewhere." He bids to the two of them - largely Jacob.

"A find question." Jacob tells Schara. "Dragons are fearsome creatures. While I've been extremely fortunate to avoid encountering one, not all Gods are dragons and not all dragons are Gods. It's...a very strange thing. But maybe the Death Singer and the Blade Dancer guide us all." Jacob chuckles softly, a low rumble in his throat.

But then Harkashan is standing and announcing his leave. "Indeed, my friend. I'll keep an eye out for her. If you manage to find her before I do, would you tell her I said 'hello'?" Jacob's smile grows fond, before he rises as well. "As it happens, I should return to the temple. I promised some of the younger initiates that I'd help them with their swordplay."

Hd bows softly at the waist. "May you bask in victory by the Maiden's Light." and he turns to leave.

"That's not what I mean I mean, a dragon is a dragon, aren't they? Or a dragon god is different? I don't really know." The artificer sighs. "All the old scrolls and carvings I was reading, most of them went over how the dragons felt no need for the instruments of other races, but maybe it's different and I'm not trying to confuse sith-makari with someone or something else."

"I'm sorry, I don't know anyone named Rune, but if I meet someone named that, I'll look for you to let you know." They answer. "You're probably right Jacob, and there's more to it I don't know or haven't learned. But I guess you're off, it was good to meet you as well." Schara adds with another bow back. "I'll be okay on my own but I should respect your views on them.