A Fire Giant In Alexandria
So, there's that airship. It's descending towards the air station and a great deal of space has been cleared. They've been anticipating the arrival of this delegation for some time, actually.
Yelrona steps out of the shadows, suddenly visible, not far from the edge of the cleared space. She is mostly not looking at the descending airship, though. Rather, she is carefully scrutinizing the surrounding crowd, as though looking for something specific.
The late night activity at the airstation has drawn more than a few gawkers and hangers on, and a certain little Gobbo is part of the crowd. Murder makes her way to the front, covered in head to toe in furs and cloaks, keeping her warm and dry. Spying Yelrona, she sidles over. "Mmh, mhat is mmppening?", she says through a thick pelt serving as a scarf, to the Elf.
At the edge of the crowd Rhyn stands a bit impassively, glaring at the crowd when it threatens to surge forward and holding her bow more like a staff than a bow. She glances toward the ship, keeping half an eye on that and half an eye on the people she's supposed to be keeping in line. Which is easier said than done.
Yelrona smiles a greeting at the cozily bundled Gobber. "Some late-night activity," she explains, sharing with Murder what she's heard thus far about the ship.
Between the ship and the people, was Rondel. Well, Rondel and a number of other riffraff who've been hired as guards and potential muscle, but he was definitely among them. The figure stands there in black leather, walking cane in hand and spear folded up across his back in case it needed to be used. He's paying close attention to people, quickly eyeing the little goblin, but they're determined not to be a possible threat at the moment. He's passive and stood very still, but ready to act the very second he needs to.
Murder snots and cackles. "Obviously some late-night activity!", she says, her eyes glowing red. "Who're the uppity ups coming in?" She moves to Yelrona's side and peers up at the ship moving in.
Rhyn eyes the various people who stand out. Particularly the man standing next to her who had also been hired to keep the people in line. She nods to Rondel but doesn't say anything at the moment. Not until someone shoves forward and she's forced to use her bow to shove them back. "Blood and bloody..." She curses like a sailor and those people closest to her blanche but seem to decide that pushing closer to her section isn't a very good idea.
It is indeed late night activity.
The enormous Bludguni airship descends, finally landing, and the two alexandrian ships flank it. It isn't long before the airship is settled in place in a locale strategically cleared of a traffic for it and an honor guard of Arvek Nars seems to be filing out in front of it.
There are Alexandrian militia on the scene, too, as well as a representative from the Council, a half-elven man, it would appear.
He's waiting patiently.
Yelrona continues to share what she knows about the incoming Bludguni dignitaries, much of which is scurrilous rumor... though if history is any guide, the most outrageous stories are the most likely to be true. "The last Bludguni airship I had to deal with was a much tenser situation... this one at least seems peaceful. As long as they aren't undead," she winds up, "I'll count that as a victory." She approaches the pair of guards doing crowd control as she does so, casually helping them push back the crowd and appreciating Rhyn's blistering vocabulary. "Good evening, gentlefolk. Anything in particular you're keeping an eye out for in the crowd?"
The Gobbo eyes the Elf with the bow, then watches as the ship lands, and the various guards and honour guards roll out. She trails along beside Yelrona, and listens in on what can be heard. She looks to Rhyn then. "You're going to need a bit more vocabulary artillery for this lot.", Murder says with a toothy grin.
The man in black looks between Rhyn and Yelrona, regarding them cooly as he stands his guard. For his part, there is very little physical contact between him and the people. It seems the common rabble know instinctually to give him a wide berth, and the few who think to get 'clever' end up losing their nerve when they meet his gaze. Still, he notes the help that the wood elf is providing, and is thankful for it.
"I am keeping my eye out for trouble. In whatever form it might be taking. This was the contract, and I shall fulfill it to the letter."
He briefly glances over at Rhyn, and nods in return.
Rhyn's lips quirk at Rondel's words, and she actually smiles at Murder's. "I agree with him. We weren't told what trouble to look out for." Thankfully her cursing has left those nearest her unwilling to try again. Or perhaps it's the way she's grimly holding her bow as though she might use it as a club should it come right down to it.
Darius huffs as he makes his way up the mountainous path to the airship dock and pants, "Should... have... rented... a horse..." He bends forwards and puts his hands on his knees as he tries to catch his breath. He then looks around, wiping the sweat off of his brow and says, "Has the guests arrived yet?" He asks, peering around as he tries to straighten up and look a little bit more like the professional mercenary for the Guild that he is.
"I'll help out and shout a warning if I can." Rae says as he wanders back towards Rhyn, Rondel and Murder, then looks to Darius. "It's good for you, Darius. It's also good for sucking the wind out of you."
Yelrona nods approvingly at the man in black, and looks around at the sound of Darius' voice. "I'm glad you didn't," she chimes in. "Can you imagine what this crowd would be like if everyone had brought a horse? And it certainly looks as though they have," she observes, indicating the airship and the Arvek Nar honor guard.
Murder grins at Darius. "If you do this run every day, after a bit, you won't need a horse. But, if yer spending money on a beast, get something that flies." She grins at Rhyn and nods. "So basically, just look out for your typical threats. I'm betting undead, this time. Though, it could be demons." The Gobbo taps her chin with a pointed finger-claw, and looks to Yelrona. "What do you think?"
Raethon says, "Or learn to fly yourself." he then chuckles before looking to Rondel. "new to Alexandria?""
Darius swears then and says, "Well, at least I made it on time... the Guild would dock my pay if I was late for the arrival." He looks at the familiar faces around him and then nods to Rae and says, "I had to run all the way up here because someone..." He side-eyes Rhyn, "Decided to pull a runner on me and didn't tell me about this until the Guild representative hailed me from outside the Tavern about it." He then rolls his eyes at Murder, "Yeah, me and flying don't mix... I got airsick the last time I went on an airship and I'm no mage to be able to use magic to fly."
Yelrona tilts her head to one side at Murder's question. "If I had to guess, I'd guess this delegation is here because we're trying to negotiate an alliance between Alexandria and Bludgun in common defense against undead invasions by Dragonier. But that's just a guess."
Rhyn gives Darius a short look. "I didn't know you were supposed to be here. Why do you think I left so quickly when I noticed what time it was?" She shakes her head at him and then turns her head to ignore the man entirely. The elvish woman sighs and watches the ships come down. "Undead... demons..." Suddenly she grins light flashing in her eyes. "Sounds like my kind of gig after all."
Rondel has been standing guard, eyeing the people curiously. Yet when Darius speaks...the tall man can't help but turn and speak up.
"You mean, 'flying and I do not mix.'"
He was silent after that, awkwardly so, even as he twirled his walking cane idly just to keep himself focused and ready. He didn't seem particularly happy to be here, but then when was he ever?
Darius turns to Rondel and says, "I just said that..." He gives the man a quizzical look, "What's with the grammar police?"
Morgan walks towards Rona, Murder and the rest. She gives a hello wave without saying anything until she hears about flying "I would fly all day but then I would not get exercise at all."
"You could carry heavy weights with you while you fly," Rona suggests casually.
Murder glances at Yelrona a second, before breaking out into giggles. "Lifting weights when flying?" She shakes her head, and then rubs at her cheek. "I figure they are working towards some sort of alliance, Bludgun's been here a few times, lately." The Gobbo looks to Darius then, "Well, you could buy potions of fly. Or a ring, or something. And I mean, you don't need an airship. A griffon might not make you feel sick. Worth trying, anyways." Murder shrugs to him and looks over at Rondel. She chuckles at the man. "You must be a hoot at parties."
There is no gangplank on this ship.
And it's... big. Why, it's big enough to fit figures that otherwise might not fit on an Alexandrian one. It has to be. Bludgun uses ogres in its armies, of course, and ogre mages and hey look, there's one of the blue-skinned giant humanoids now, emerging from the sihp and taking a moment to blow a single note on a very, very loud horn.
"OVERLORD ALTORIK EXPRESSES HIS GRATITUDE FOR THE WELCOME HE IS RECEIVING HERE IN ALEXANDRIA. GENERAL ALTORIK, A MMEBER OF THE COUNCIL OF THE FIREBORN! An example of strength to one and all!"
There's some eyerolling in the crowd, here and there, but the figure that emerges from the rather excessively large airship next is all the explanation it's huge proportions requires.
With his flaming -- yes really -- flaming beard and hair, it is obvious to one and all that a Fire Giant now towers over the Alexandrians present as the 12 foot tall humanoid makes his present known.
Darius makes a face at Rhyn and says, "I guess our burning pas... TALKING ABOUT BURNING?!?!?! WHAT THE HELL?!?!" He stares at the fire giant and says, "What in the name of the gods... talk about having your own personal flame brulee maker around your mouth!!!!" He then closes his mouth and palms his face, so much for being polite... yep, never have Darius be your diplomatic envoy, because war would be inevitable with his foot-in-mouth disease.
"WHOA! A giant!" The Gobbo moves a little closer, staring up at the massive man. She waves enthusiastically, and waves frenetically. "HEEEEY! WELCOME TO ALEXANDRIA, LORD ALTORIK!!" Murder hops up and down, and lets loose flames from her fingertips.
Rhyn leans toward Rondel and murmurs something quietly in his ear before rolling her eyes at Darius who... only serves to prove her point.
Morgan was about to say why weights are bad for flying spells but cant speak when she sees th man that is 4 times taller than her "Wow never seen a real giant before." she does forget the half giants in the area when she says that.
Rae whistles as he spots the airship...it's hard to miss really. "Now that is an airship." he then chuckles. "I'd love to take a look at it's design sometime." he then chuckles at Darius. "Fire Giant. And it's OVERlord Altorik. We don't want to insult him." he then looks up, and up and up at the giants. "Well...I'm going to assume spices are standard for their dinners."
"I do not, 'hoot'."
Rondel sounded almost offended at the suggestion, his voice raspy and deep. He was about to say something else...when the arrival of the ship caught his attention. The shrillness of the horn, the man on fire. Rondel was no dummy, he'd read up on species and creatures and knew that humans were very far from the most impressive things out there. But before today, he'd never seen a twelve foot man, much less one who seemed to be made out of living flame. The surprise showed on his face, the crowd around him momentarily forgotten.
Yelrona looks the Fire Giant over curiously, seemingly unimpressed, then returns to watching the crowd... especially Darius. The last time she saw the warrior greeting a diplomatic envoy he gutted them open, so she's rather curious how he's going to deal with the giant.
Like the others Rhyn is impressed by the stature and creation of such a being as the fire giant, but she doesn't pay him much mind. She's here to watch the crowd. Though they seem to be as enthralled as some of those around her at the moment.
A somewhat intoxicated Arvek Nar in the crowd puffs up his chest and says to whoever will listen "Ah, he's not so tough. I could take 'im."
Darius debates yanking out his greatsword, but then remembers how badly the earlier diplomatic fru-fru he started went, removes his hand. He clicks his tongue, "Damnit, where's the fire brigade when you need it? I hope he doesn't touch anything wooden or we could have problems!"
Morgan hears about being able to take him but she starts to pay more to the people around here hoping no trouble will start.
Rondel spoke idly toward the rowdy drunk 'tough guy' in the crowd, and that's what caused the blackclad adventurer to finally take his eyes off of the Fire Giant and focus on the Arvek Nar. Rondel was glaring at the creature, using body language to warn him to stand down and back off. He doubted the massive flame-touched man would be in any danger if things went sideways. But his job was to try and keep order.
One would need to be crazy to start trouble around a Fire GIant and a bunch of heavily armed Alexandrians to say nothing of his Arvek Honor Guard.
The half-elf approaches him.
"On behalf of the people of ALexandria, we welcome you to the city. We trust that you will abide by all previously spoken of rules and regulations."
"Right! My ogre-mage has prepared the height-reduction so that I will be less terrifying. Also, so I can have some fun while we're busy discussing the important things." Altorik waves his hand, leaving traces of distortion in the air from the heat generated by his very presence.
Rhyn has a hard time keeping a smile from her lips at the sound of 'reduction spell'. She manages it somewhat, her eyes flickering around the crowd particularly at anyone who might be considering a stupid decision (like attacking a twelve foot tall fire giant). Or whom thinks they can get past her to do so.
Morgan says as she hears Rae talk. "Only problem with a spell like that is they do not last long sadly. A polymorph spell is better." She keeps a eye out on stupid drunks or anyone that looks shifty.
The Gobbo continues to yell and jump up and down. "HEEEEY! LORD ALTORIK! WOULD YOU SIGN MY SWORD?", she shouts, letting off more gouts of fire from her finger tips.
Yelrona watches Murder's ecstatic pyrotechnics with amusement. "You're a fan?" she asks mildly.
Rondel looks down at the 'Gobbo', while trying to ignore the fact that he was just poked in the side of the head. That indignity shall have to be addressed later. "One should not yell at a Lord or a Lady, unless one is of equal station."
The red-haired elf looks pained as she stares at Murder. "Look, I don't know you... but I rather like you, so don't make me whack you over the head okay?" Rhyn hefts her bow.
Raethon stares at Rondel. "By Eluna....even the eldest and snottiest elves would call you a tightass. Loosen up, wouldja?"
Murder giggles and looks to Yelrona, "I'm a follower of Angoron. That guy there is probably the strongest thing for thousands of miles. Yeah, I am going to cheer him on." She glances at Rondel then, and sticks out her tongue. "He probably can't hear me if I don't. And he's yelling also. I highly doubt he'll be offended, or even care." She eyes Rhyn then, and grins toothily. "Lady, I ain't no danger. You hit me with that bow, I'll shove it somewhere an' guarantee you'll be walkin' funny for weeks."
Murder yells out more, mostly cheering loudly, but some requests of his Lordship.
Morgan chuckles with what Murder says but keeps looking around.
Yelrona laughs. "There are stronger things, probably, but you wouldn't want to cheer them on, I suppose."
There's a lot of Alexandrians here who don't look terribly pleased by the long-rumored arrival of Altorrik. and who can blame them? It wasn't that long ago that Bludgun and Alexandria were at war throughout Sendor. Plenty of people lost loved ones to the so-called Monster nation, to say nothing of the Sendorna refugee population that remains in the city after all this time, even if they've largely been displaced by the arrival of Dragonieri refugees.
Still, they know better than to cause trouble. The city guard is watching intensely.
Altork himself soon seems to... /shrink/. There's no 'as if by magic'. That's totally magic.
"Anyone have any coal? If we do, shove it up his ass. We'll have a diamond inside of a day." Rae then looks to the Firegiant as he shrinks. "huh. Wonder if he's using an item..."
Serraphine has a leg of some sort of creature in one hand, and the other a leg of... goat? Beef? Pig? It's anyone's guess. But she's dual wielding them (Does she have the feat for that?!) She pulls it up and takes a bite as she looks at some of the other Alexandrians, ripping off a chunk of poultry-esque creature.
Mayra takes a bite out of the non-poultry leg while Serraphine is busy.
"'EY!" Serraphine pulls that away from her chuckle-pup, raising that up and taking a bite out of the non-poultry one.
Mayra chuckles, ducks around and bites out of the poultry one now.
Rhyn gives Murder a short dangerous look that only bleeds to even more angry once the goblin has turned around. The fire giant doesn't seem to have noticed however so for the moment she stays her bow, though one hand does rise to her brow; rubbing it fiercely.
Murder nods to Yelrona, "Still, he's here to talk to our guy, and hopefully we shall have an alliance. I'd rather he be on our side." When the Fire Giant shrinks down, she cheers noisily and at length once more. She peers at Rhyn, and cants her head to one side. "Yer taking it too seriously. Ye wanna threaten me, I'mma growling back at you." The Gobbo shrugs. And goes back to shadowing Lord Altorik, cheering noisily and asking for his autograph. Or a lock of his hair. Cause fiery hair is cool!
"There are easier ways to get diamonds. I understand you might not be aware of that, little one."
Was that humor? Was he being serious? With the deadpan delivery it was impossible to tell. In any case, he finally continued.
"The job we are doing requires a heightened state of alertness. 'Loosening up' would be a terrible decision to make, when we're on the clock and being paid for this."
"They tell me," Rona says lightly to the deadpan guard, "that it's easier to react to a chaotic situation when you aren't tensed up."
"And you will pass out from your heightened state of alertness if you remain that way. Even the hardest piece of steel will succumb to fatigue if bent for long enough." Rae then takes a deep breath. "You're definitely new. You can only tense a muscle for so long." He then looks to Yelrona. "She's right. I am Raethon, Abjurer."
"How about you guys leave him alone. He's just trying to do his job. OUR job." Rhyn sends a quick glance around. "We don't need harassment because we're trying to work here."
Yelrona chuckles. "What do you need then, ma'am?"
Murder chuckles and shakes her head at Rhyn. "You and he don't need to worry about Yelrona, Raethon and most of these others. They've saved people, the city, the nation... in bits and pieces, here and there, multiple times over. They aren't about to cause an incident with Bludgun. And getting hit by a giant is probably not high on anyone's to do list, yanno?" She chuckles again. "Besides. You know how adventurer types get. Lettem have their pissing contest. If you don't let them get it out... they'll be like this all the time."
By this time, Rondel has already moved to a different part of the room, keeping the growing mass of people there contained like he had been doing previously. One person took a step too far. A snap of the tall man's fingers, and the person looked up and sheepishly stepped away. Tensions were running a bit high in this area, it seemed. Rondel didn't know, his upbringing had kept him indoors for most of his life. All this was new.
Serraphine steps away, trying to move around in a circle as she's eating the non-poultry one.
Mayra follows around in a circle just behind Serraphine and continues to eat the poultry drumstick.
"NRRRG!!" Serraphine yanks the poultry one away and starts to eat it instead (it's been reduced by a good few bites by now). She tears off a chunk of it while trying to step further into the crowds to stop Mayra from getting behind her.
This does not stop the chuckle pup the size of a a horse. No, she weasels between people (bumping a couple) and starts tearing into the non-poultry chunk of meat in Serraphine's other hand.
Rhyn flushes, but shakes her head. "Maybe we don't need to worry about you, but I don't know you from that guy over there." She points to the Avek who had been saying he could beat the giant up. "Maybe you're right and that we haven't been on the job that long, but that doesn't mean you have to be disrespectful." Her eyes have gone stormy and defensive.
Yelrona nods. "That's fair," she agrees. "If you want to know me better, ask after Yelrona in the warehouse district. I'm a useful person to know," she observes, before wandering off.
"We're not trying to be disrespectful. We're trying to help." Rae says calmly. "Combat is nasty, specially for a defense mage. And I'm pretty sure we're all on the same side here. So there's a lot more eyes here than just yours and his. but don't expect a fight in every situation. Not fair to the diplomats." He then winks to Rhyn. "We're here to help....really."
Murder tilts her head the other way. "So sayin' you'll smack me upside is respectful?", she asks with a toothy grin. "Okay. Well, might want to think that one over. 'Cos sayin' that.. well, you have to follow up. If you ever say that an' don't follow through, you're going to get mobbed." She suddenly turns and steps into the crowd, waiting for Serraphine to be distracted, and then she takes a huge bite out of the chicken wing, hopefully Serra is hollering at her chucklepup. The Gobbo cheers on the Fire Giant once more, with gusto, before slipping deeper into the crowd.
One of the Blarites in the crowd says, "Serraphi--,"
Altorik's head perks up, "Did someone say 'Serra'?"
"No, I said Serraphine,"
"Oh thank the Gods.."
Altorrik then begins to move -- carefully guarded -- through the crowds with the others.
Rhyn is satisfied to let the women leave, nodding once to Raethon though her eyes are still moderate. It's clear she doesn't trust this situation. Perhaps if she wasn't working... but she is. She watches Altorik move through the people with one eye and the crowd with the other. With her senses so finely honed and with so much going on she's glad for the conversation to be over.
Deak arrives just as the ladies are leaving. When he sees Altorik, his eye bulge in unabashed wonder, but he simply gulps and walks toward Rondel. They met only hours ago, but now Deak is dresses in his usual armor and priestly robes.
The blackclad man is dressed much the same as he is earlier, the collar from his coat reaching up so high that it doubles as a face-covering at the moment. But the man is dressed so distinctly that he's identifiable almost immediately. The tall man looks over and notices Deak. While he doesn't make any effort to wave, it seems that he's not overly bothered by the approaching optimist. When Deak gets close enough, Rondel will say as warm greeting,
"I have been hired to make sure no one gets too close to the proceedings. I ask that you keep your distance from the airship."
Serraphine took a bite out of poultry one, then turns to look at "OI!" And she's back to trying to take the non-poultry one away from the horse-sized hyena. Just in time for Murder to take a bite out of the poultry one and then Mayra is trying to bump Murder out of the way to do the same. Mostly because Serraphine is now eating the non-poultry leg.
And then... "SERRA?!" Serraphine perks up and starts looking over at the crowds. She had heard Altorik say it and now she too is wondering if the other Bludgun native is in the crowds somewhere. "The agent of chaos is here! WHERE ARE YOU SERRA?! I KNOW SANDY IS HIDING YOU!"
Mayra thinks this is the best day ever as she quickly starts trying to devour the poultry one while Serraphins is distracted. The non-poultry one is near Murder - and at her height since her arm dropped down to her side.
"What?!" Altorrik looks around again.
"The /one/ time I met her -- I was told she was here -- she caused crashed an airship into Blar. I was there on a diplomatic mission at the time and..."
He coughs once. Apparently, someone named Serra crashed an airship into Blar. This makes sense.,
Still, he's back on his way through the crowd, taking a moment to stop and eyeball some of the mercenaries present.
"Adventurers, eh?" He asks, hopeful tone.
"If the cause, or the pay, is good enough," Rona agrees.
Rae sighs a bit and looks to Rhyn, then Rondel.....then looks to Altorrik. "it is not often a fire giant comes to alexandria. So I had to come and see it for myself." he then bows. "May your visit to Alexandria be fruitful, pleasant and free of Serra induced airship crashes. Even if I have to stop it myself."
"From the Adventurer's guild in fact." Rhyn seems to be entirely uncertain that she should speak.
Rondel says, "Yes, I do unsafe, ludicrously dangerous things for a high enough amount of gold. If you need vermin exterminated, you should hire me to do this."
"I'd hoped to meet some of Alexandria's famed adventurers," says Altorik, letting out a laugh. The half-elf stands nearby to him with asigh, and his guards part to let him have a better look at them.
"Tell me, how many sewers have you fought through?! Have you faced a dread otyugh? Airship pirates?"
He's... a giant fourteen year old boy, it seems.
Deak looks a little stymied, but says, "Uh, yeah. I mean, I've fought zombies and skeletons, and been the victim of an acid attack recently by a black pudding that made you look small, sir."
The tall blackclad man speaks with that raspy, distinctive voice of his, even as he continues to look uncomfortable in his overly intricate garb.
"A pig on a farmstead had slain its former master, ate its master's children, and had been slaughtering the other animals over the course of three days. When I arrived, I laid it to rest, before cremating it for fear of it returning. It was very large, and made a very large mess."
He still remembered the way the thing squealed, and its horrific giant size. And the way it smelled like something already dead and rotting. The servant girl who hid and saw it all had a look in her eyes that Rondel would never forget.
Rae holds up a hand. "Undead, hordes of barbarians in the defense of rune, an ettin." he then shrugs.