A Noble Tongue
- Title: A Noble Tongue
- Emitter: Andelena
- Characters: Andelena, Skielstregar, Vaughn
- Place: Fernwood Pub
- Summary: Andelena's kicking back at the Fernwood Pub when Skielstregar steps in. She meets Vaughn, a Redeemer of Daeus, and exchanges words with him briefly about their mutual deity before she departs. Skielstregar and Vaughn exchange further words about the Sunguard's not-so-noble demeanor and come to an understanding.
Fernwood Pub, evening.
It's a summer night, and that means it's not nearly so warm as it was during the day. The Fernwood is bustling as a result, plenty of people drinking and dining at the popular Market District establishment.
A Sunguard heads into the Pub for the evening, a white cloak over her armor which announces her occupation. She takes her helmet off and shakes out waves of copper-gold hair, steel-grey eyes staring at the establishment and eventually spotting an empty seat at the bar. She saunters over and takes it.
"'ll take your spiced ale," she tells the barkeep. "Or whatever the coldest shit you've got happens to be. It was fucking hot out there today."
An absolutely massive figure enters the establishment. Heard first, through the metallic clanks of weapons against armor. Seen, not by silhouette, but through scattered reflections of ambient light on the wall. And then finally, visible, through their towering height that peers over most of the crowd, threatening to scrape against the ceiling is that of a hulking, incredibly shiny silver scaled sith-makar.
Perhaps an aura of dread comes from them, the way their eyes emptily scan the place. Unnatural fangs that protrude from their upper maw. One might mistake them as an undead masked in the living, yet-
Their attention settles on a fire headed woman. And he perks up. Speaking of cold things. "Sssunguard!" he calls out cheerfully, raising a hand in greeting as he makes his way over (carefully, with many 'excuse this one's and 'sorry's for bumping into people). "Praise be Hisss light! How faresss?"
Vaughn has found himself by one of the large windows in this particular summer night, conversing with what seems to be a well-to-do merchant in hushed tones. Not that he hasn't dressed up himself - dressed in his asymmetrical single-breasted wool tunic as he is, he looks like he's where he's meant to be. Until he's not.
The Sunguard's woman drew some looks from some in the establishment, and Vaughn follows those gazes. His in particular is accompanied by a raised eyebrow and a further hushing of the tone. Not that it matters much, as he seems to have been at the tail-end of his conversation...
And then the Sith-Makar jostles his way in and towards said Sunguard. Vaughn's gaze widens momentarily to consider the two from afar as his companion bids his leave, and for a beat he simply stares before turning away towards the window in an attempt to feign, but clearly listen in.
"Praise be to His light, Skielstregar!" Andelena says, waving boisterously to him with a grin. "Was about to just down a drink after my shift."
She gestures to a few empty stools next to her. "Take one of 'em and then fling the others off to the corner or something. C'mon. Have a drink. How the fuck have you been?" It may have been a long while, but the Sunguard's mouth is still filthy.
Skielstregar chuffs, a gout of frozen air spilling from his mouth as a rumbling chuckle echoes in his chest, he assembles a few stools, the rest are shoved away as he sits on the collective trio. They creak despite the distribution. "Thisss one isss... rather well, all thingsss considered," his admits in sibilant cadence. "It isss good to sssee you, Warrior Andelena." A word aside to get himself a drink situated before he turns to rest against the bar. "Thisss one hass been running to and fro Mictlan for sssuppliesss and refugeesss. In and out of the city often. Tiring, but rewarding. Yourssself?"
Dead gaze is cast out over the establishment, soaking in the packed evening. Despite his appearance and manner of, well, appearance, most of the patrons seem used to him, as if he stops in rather often.
Vaughn tsks audibly from where he is, and ceases his idle vista-watching-cum-eavesdropping to turn about and take one of the last remaining stools for himself before it too is tossed aside. "...Daeus frowns on disorder, brother.", he murmurs to the Sith-Makar with a slight grin on his features as he takes his seat, gesturing the barkeep for...
"Isobar Red. Cold."
"Sure, He does," Andelena replies, looking to the Redeemer, "but He is not quite so concerned about the order of barstools compared to the fight against evil. Otherwise every damn pub would be the sight of holy retribution."
She smirks at Vaughn. "Good to meet another one devoted to the Shining Knight, though. Redeemer?" she asks. "I know most Sunguards, is why I ask."
Then she answers Skielstregar's question. "Doing fine. Trying to care for the refugees here, too. Make sure they're safe. Trying to find Dolan's parents--we think they're here, too, but there's just so many damn people that it's hard to find specific folks."
Skielstregar blinks at the new voice joining them, him twisting over and look down (he can't help it). "Ah. Yesss. The Sssunuard isss right. And asss much asss thisss one enjoysss a decent fight, they do not wisssh to tackle every brew." A chuckle.
He tilts his head to the side, Dragonfather symbol clacking against his breastplate. "Oh. Do you know what they look like? Thissss one runsss around quite often. They can help keep an eye out."
"You have the right of it,", Vaughn murmurs to Andelena as he accepts his glass and swirls it around. It's frosted, which elicits a smirk from the Redeemer. Just the way he likes it.
"I am Vaughn. And I can assure you He keeps an eye on everything, great or small." A sip. "...pray his gaze falters not due to our lack of vigilance, even in things that seem irrelevant.", he murmurs as he eyes the rest of the bar. There's nobody else, on account of no more stools.
Andelena just... squints. A tiny bit. A little bit. Then she just smiles. "Okay, got it. Happy to leave the organizing to you. I was always shit at cleaning, anyway," she says. "I'm Andelena. Most just call me Andie."
She looks back to Skielstregar. "I honestly don't know. I just have been asking around for them. Haven't gotten the opportunity to meet his folks yet despite the fact that we've been together for over a decade--he got shipped to Myrddion when he was a boy, so."
Skielstregar gets his drink in a massive metal mug, a clawed hand clanking against it as he breathes onto it. The top freezes, and he swirls it around to make a little ice cube with it. He's about to take a drink, but its stymied by the proclamation of His Light's vigilance. He glances aside, rubs his arm, and resumes a big gulp.
"Erm. Well. We do our bessst," he murmbles into the drink. The silverscale straightens up, and thuds his chest twice. "Thisss one isss Warrior Ssskielssstregar. Or, Ssskiel, if that'sss a bit much." No churchly titles on this one.
He nods towards Andie. "Very well. Thisss one will keep it mind then if they find a wayward pair."
He turns to Vaughn. "Redeemer. How fare you? Thisss one expectsss you are quite busy as of late. Consssidering, well..." He gestures vaguely.
Vaughn nods once in apparent mollification at Andelena and Skiel's answers, his eyes closing as he savours another sip of his glass in the interim. "...you are only 'shit' in something if you think you are 'shit' in it. Pray think better of yourself, Sunguard Andelena.", he follows, before affecting a single-shouldered shrug at the Sith-Makar. "Alexandros writhes in chaos and crisis. It has kept my hands busy indeed, and these moments of respite are not lost on me. I know not of any missing refugees, though I'd blame one of the myriads of forces arrayed against the city for such a thing. Simply... follow the crumbs."
Andelena blinks again. "I mean, Dolan tends to just pick up the slack. I was born into a rich family, and I didn't pick up a bunch of practical shit as a result. Speaking of which, uh, you know Dolan? He's my fiance. Redeemer like you--although he's running around with the mantle of Corona these days."
Skielstregar shifts his attention between both humans like a slow pendulum. One that's only interrupted with a heavy siiiiip. "Well, erm. Being... bad at sssomething isss the firssst step to being sssort of good at something?" He's trying. "At leassst you get sssome ressspite, Vaughn."
"Thisss one hasss not ssseem Dolan in sssome time. Are they well?" he inquires, genuine.
Vaughn shakes his head at Andelena's question, and likely her answer as well. But he says naught of it. "...can't say that I do, though we could have also met and I remember not. I was called back to Isobar and only recently returned to... even more messes, I suppose." To the Sith-Makar, he smirks. "You've the right of it, this time. Persistence is ever our greatest virtue.", he murmurs, before returning his attentions to Andelena. "Pray tell this mantle you speak of?"
Andelena nods. "Yeah. White cloak, sunburst on it. He looks official as shit and damn sexy in it, too, but that's just my opinion," she says with a smirk. "Then again, he could probably wear a potato sack and I'd think it was appealing."
She looks to Skielstregar and nods. "Yeah. He's just been busy with so much shit. Tracked some undead in the city lately--some... awful, awful things called totenmaskes. They stole people's faces. I saw some of the victims. It was..."
Andelena pauses for a moment. She gets her drink at last and just takes a large and long swig of it. "Yeah. Needed that shit," she says. "It was awful."
Skielstregar smiles as best he can: though to softskins, it's just an array of gnarly looking teeth and fangs. But, his attitude belies nothing except mirth. "That'sss what thisss one thinksss as well! Though, thisss one hasss never been to Issso... Is... Ice-O-Bar," he tries. Tradespeak isn't his strong suit.
His dead eyes drift as a talon scratches at the bartop. "Ah. That isss... unsssettling. Thisss one isss sssorry you two mussst deal with sssuch atrocitiesss. What... erm, method of ssslaying do thossse require assside from the obvious?" he asks quietly. "... jussst in case?"
Vaughn closes his eyes at the amount of profanity, looking half-way amused and perturbed as he takes a longer sip of his glass. "Right. That fits the description of most of those that serve Draco Solis in an official capacity, but I'll keep an eye out." How glib! Though, teasing in its dryness, at least. "Alright, so. We have problems with infiltrators, wights, and now face-stealers. Mayhap we should all just pit them against one another and let it play out.", he follows up slightly exasperatedly.
To the Sith-Makar, he inclines his head. "Isobar, center of progress and industry in the High Kingdom of Myrddion. Formerly the world, but Alexandria seems to always find a way to outshine our greatest cities.", he opines with a bit of a frown. "It is home all the same, and her sons can only answer the call when it comes. I don't expect to remain here for long. But there is an overabundance of chaos here... and I can only... answer the call." A smile then, now.
"Yeah, I've been to Isobar before," Andelena says. "It's real nice. Wish I'd been there for better reasons than to meet the latest fat sack of shit with a ton of gold that my mother tried to marry me off to, but such is life."
She knocks back the rest of her drink in a long, long chug, putting it down on the bar with a satisfied thud. Andelena wipes her mouth dry with the back of her hand. "I'm from Selentia. Or was. I'll never go back if I can damn well help it, but Isobar? Yeah, I could go there again. Take it as a compliment. And Skiel, my man, I wish I knew--I wasn't there. I heard that Telamon and his fiancee were, though, so you could probably find either one of them and ask if you can't find Dolan's cute little ass around."
She puts her helmet back on over her locks of red hair. "I gotta run back home. Dolan's probably waiting for me. Skielstregar, peace on your nest, and Vaughn, Knight's light on your shoulders," she says, before she walks out of the Fernwood into the night.
Skielstregar hums warmly. "Ah, if only it were ssso easssy..." he muses. "Not to mention the ritessss to keep them down afterwardssss." He stares for a beat, working his jaw to get the syllables correct. Eyessobar. Issso... b... bah," he huffs. "It isss like sssaying the red flowersss for thisss one. Rosssesss. Ro... sss... esss." A snicker. "Perhapsss they will go there sssomeday, thisss one hasss many, many decades left in them.
A little pout (he can do that?), but he nods slowly. "Very well, thisss one will keep an eye out for the Ssshamansss and asssk them."
A big hand gives a parting wave. "Peassse on your nessst and Hisss light on your path, Warrior Andelena."
Now, it was just the two men. Skiel turns on his trio of stools to face Vaughn. He drums his fingers on his half full cup. Talon scratching at the wood on the bartop again. "Sss... oo..." he starts awkwardly. "Thisss one never had the pleasure of ssserving asss a Redeemer. What, erm, isss that like?"
Vaughn finally opens his eyes back up from an apparent moment of denial at Andelena's wake. "...by all rights of noble blood but by attitude born of low standing...", he murmurs as he fashions a squint up at Skiel, before shaking his head. "Fascinating, yet perturbing. Pray she harms not herself and the Faith with her actions." Curling his fingers then upon the bartop, he nods up at the Sith-Makar. "You've an idea now, I imagine. Where there is imbalance, we seek to correct. By whatever means necessary." He speaks slowly and deliberately, sharing that effort with a scan of the lizard-man's features.
Skielstregar huffs, looking at where the Sunguard left. "It makesss her genuine," he offers in a plain explanation. The intricacies and nuances of the upper echelons of softskin society totally and completely lost on the him. But at least his heart is in the right place. "And, more importantly, the Father is forgiving. Where His light searsss, it alssso warmsss."
He seems to be quite enjoying this talk. Even though usually it's hard for most to pick up on lizardfolk's expressions, this one is certainly expressive. And that one is a sobering understanding. "Sssometimesss the Light needsss sssome shade to sssshine brighter," he surmises, speaking from the heart. "Thisss one knowsss well that."
Vaughn eyes Skiel for a long time after his peace, his fingers steepling as he contemplates what was said. "...truth can only go so far to prove one's intentions. Too much of it is also a bad thing, lest we want everyone to know our intentions as a newborn colt would share their day to their friends. The stakes are ever so high as servants of the Dragon. Now and here more than anywhere or ever.", he opines in a confident murmur. "I would imagine that both of you have been redeemed in a way, from your words. And while that is always worthy of praise... some standards exist, and they must be upheld. Her disdain for politics would only be a disadvantage in the long run."
Skiel blinks at the man. His maw clacking once. Once more, he's stymied into his cup. When did this turn into a deep introspection of faith? The last Redeemer he ran into was also just as hardlined. "Having heart and being honest in actionsss isss what He wissshesss. Yess. There mussst be a ssstandardsss. But even if one'sss edgesss are rough, people worth sssaving only sssee Hiss corona at the end of the day. Thiss one knowsss it well."
He shifts some, turning, facing the Redeemer. Lots of little metal clanking. Lights from the lanterns reflected in his scales and being thrown about. "It may lossse her favor with important figuresss, but ssshe may capture heartsss of the layman with it. And they are lifted in ssspirit with that, no?"
The way Skiel speaks. The values. It's rigid, yet not. Has faith, yet claims no titles. A Redeemer could easily suss out the pieces. Is this man a Sunblade whose Light shines no more?
Vaughn rests his arms atop each other as he considers Skiel for an even longer time, quietly, and with a face the most neutral of observers would be jealous of. Then he nods. "You've the right of it. I would hardly be the one a layman would lend their time and ear to, but her? Certainly. I am sure she has as much opportunity to redeem souls as I do." A final sip of his glass then. "...I will simply insist that there is a balance that can be preserved, somewhere in that mess of rough edges, as you say it. Pray you see these things as you seem to, that you can right her course where it goes wrong."
Skielstregar shifts uncomfortably in the long moment, him retreating to his drink once more- ah. When was it empty? Hmm... more must conjure at the bottom if he just stares at it really hard.
Wait, did he hear that right? Skiel perks up, smiling some. "You do well with pushing the ssscale where need be. Ssshe can soothe and lend credence in the faith of the people in our work. And thisss one..."
He chuckles, a rumbling sound in his chest as he rises to his taloned feet. He looms. "... thisss one makesss sssure the bad thingsss don't get too close."
His dead gaze softens. "... in all honesssty, Redeemer. It isss not thisss one who needs to correct her. She ssseemsss to be the one correcting otherssss."
A beat of a pause. Then he smiles, giving a crisp thumbs-up. "But resst asssured thisss one will ensssure we ssstay the courssse!" Chipper.
Vaughn shrugs lightly at Skiel. "We all need correcting, every now and again. All of us, and not one of us is exempt." He flashes a ghost of a smile at this before nodding. "But I will take your word for it, I suppose. And pushing scales is my job, aught I do it well or fail in my purpose."
Skielstregar bobs his head. "Just know it isss okay to fail. He will accept you asss you are," he speaks warmly. "The correcting will then come." A glance outside the window to gauge the time, which causes a major yawn to come from him.
Lots of teeth. Fangs. He points his head away on the exhale, breath coming in a plume of cold. "Oh goodness. Thisss one mussst, erm, what isss it called? Hit the... straw. Yesssss. Hit the straw. Pleassssure meeting you Vaughn. Peassse on your nessst, and hisss Light on your path."
With that, he gives a slight bow, adjusts his pole arm on his back, and carefully picks his way through the crowd towards the rooms upstairs.
Vaughn snorts as Skiel makes his way upwards. "I do not fail.", he simply murmurs and mostly to himself as he gets up, puts on his hat and makes his own way out.