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Tal Volorro The capital city, first of the Asseryan consuls and now of House Vellfyre. Tal Volorro is both a magnificent feat of Asseryan engineering and a convoluted maze of narrow streets and dark alleys that has grown rapidly and unplanned since Kadreth's War.
1M A331 GAME EVENT
Further Information . Tor Vellesca


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Old 01-24-2015, 11:28 PM   #1
(Ser) Kain Vellfyre
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Default 10.08 evening, Inn of the Red Hand - Bastards and Bastards - Kain, Gareth (Open to Anyone)

The scar stood out lividly in the lamplight, but so too did the bruise coloring the other cheek. Kain looked more like a sellsword than a prince's son, his hair disheveled, clothes rumpled though costly. There was a guard off by the door but he was nursing a drink. Kain was more like murdering his, quaffing the mead and wine in equal measure, a girl on each side. He looked away from the redhead as he caught a familiar figure over by the door. He smirked. Looked like Vellesca had lost another inmate for the evening...
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:46 PM   #2
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Gareth was castle-born and castle-bred, but that castle was Oldcastle. Not the royal palace of Vellesca, with its endless towers and stairways, its walls, its cellars, vaults, apartments, alcoves, hundreds of courtiers with their games and their whispers. Oldcastle had whispers, but that was the wind... or it was the ghosts. An empty, ancient place, with rooms shut and undisturbed before the birth of his grandfather, with wings where the tapestries were so old that time alone had shredded them and dust lay inches thick on the floor so it looked like a low fog when one crossed it.

Vellesca was nothing like it, and betimes Gareth had to admit - he hated it. So full of people and their intrigues, of women who politely smiled but would rather be given to a wealthy butcher than to a man with no name. Gareth had a name, but Meadows meant nothing. It wasn't a name, it was a description.

When he grew too angry with the court, he went into the city. There he could disappear if he wished, one more nobleman's by-blow with nothing to do but drink and wait for crumbs of good favor. Gareth was never very good at waiting.

For tonight he'd chosen the Red Hand, which was an ugly tavern with an ugly keeper, often too full of dogs and rushes never changed often enough. There was a kind of sour smoke in the air all the time, like that of a tanner's hovel. It attracted guardsmen, criminals, and fat whores. And it suited his mood.

His steps were heavy as he made his way to a table and sat, equally heavily. It took little time to be descended upon by a barmaid with a smile that might have been pretty, once upon a time, but rows of shattered teeth had ruined her charm. Who had done it, he wondered... A father, a husband, a jealous lover, a pimp... "You've a cider here," he said, barely looking at her. "Strong. That."
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:08 AM   #3
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Kain patted the redhead on her pretty hair and then ambled over to the bastard of Oldcastle. "You finally get out of Aunt Charlotte's kennel, Gareth?" His eyes were bleary and he wasn't walking entirely straight but he could have donned his armor and gone into the field if need be. More was the pity he couldn't.

He looked past Gareth to the barmaid. "The girls here aren't as pretty as the North. Or is it just the wine making me miss the others?"
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:41 AM   #4
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"It may come as a surprise," said Gareth, turning to the side as the barmaid turned back to him, a battered pewter mug full to the brim with cider, "but unlike you and your kin, I escape the royal mews far more than the lot of you even try."

He did not welcome Kain to the table, but he didn't look as if he was going to tell him to leave, either. "You're just missing the skin. Brown as wet sand. The women here look like bread dough in the process of rising, and are just as soft."
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:29 AM   #5
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"They are better fed, on the whole, I give them that." Kain snorted and took a drink of the mead in his hand. "But give me some credit, I have not been back long enough to effect many more than a handful of escapes yet. Though that's likely going to be a fucking lot easier now." He took another drink. "First Vellfyre of the generation to be disowned, if my father can convince my uncle to do it. Cheers."
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:52 AM   #6
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"Cheers, for all the happiness it'll bring you," said Gareth, lifting his cup. "Your father's a hard man, but your uncle's likely not to let you go. Why disown a male Vellfyre who can bring a bride's dowry into the royal coffers? Of course, now you have to live with the knowledge that your father wishes you gone from the family."

There was the slightest of grim smiles on his face before he took a drink. "So you may well wish the king will concede."
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:05 AM   #7
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Kain shrugged at that. "I knew it before, it's refreshing to stop pretending. So much of that fucking palace is about pretending, two days and I'm sick of it." He drank again. "I don't know how you've stomached it the last year."
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:24 AM   #8
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"Because I keep in mind that court is just a game to be played," said Gareth. "You play the game and don't lose sight of what it is you want. Everyone there wants something, it's the nature of the place. They might say they're there for love or duty or family, but it's horseshit. They wouldn't be there if they didn't want what the court could offer them."

He raised a brow, slowly. "It sounds as if you're a man who no longer wants anything."
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:39 AM   #9
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He considered that, then laughed. "You may be right, Champion. I suffer from a complete lack of ambition." He raised his cup to Gareth then downed it. "Barkeep! More-- what was this? Mead? That."

He looked again at Gareth. "And you want one thing, more or less, I suspect. Not that I blame you- it's a fucking lunacy you aren't holding Oldcastle. But my uncle is fond of making people sweat."
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Old 01-25-2015, 07:31 PM   #10
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"Everyone knows what I want," said Gareth, taking a drink, though he kept his eyes on Kain over the top of his cup. "You can say it. I want Oldcastle, it's true. It was my father's, and he died young. And my cousin died much older, but never took a wife. He came close, once. But 'close' didn't give him an heir. And now here I am, all that's left. I might be what remains, but I do - inconveniently - remain."

He sat his cup on the table, his expression blank and unreadable. "Princes and their sons don't have to want things. They're simply given things. Maybe your father's dislike for you is a blessing; for once, you can figure out if you even enjoy being alive."
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:43 PM   #11
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"Maia's tits you're depressing, Gareth. Did this morbid bent appear in Charn or were you always this morose?" Kain only laughed. "Father's ire only means I get to do what I like... a bit of errantry might be worth it just get the fuck out of here."
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:03 PM   #12
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"A bit of errantry means you will have to learn to live hand to mouth," said Gareth, a brow rising. "Unless you find someone willing to take you into their service, of course. But you had friends in the war, did you not? They might not care if your father has cast you off so long as you can swing a sword."
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:15 PM   #13
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"Think it would amuse my uncle to hear I'd turned sellsword?" he asked with a grin. "I could likely make it into the Golden Sons still. Maybe one of the other companies over in Asserya."
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:11 AM   #14
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"I'm not sure His Grace would be amused exactly, though I will put nothing past him. He does have his moods." No sooner than he'd finished speaking did a woman wander to their table, drunk and vaguely disheveled, with fading bruises around her exposed neck.

"No," said Gareth before she even had a chance to speak, his hand rising. "Not interested in half this tavern's leavings. Go peddle your wares to the sellswords in the corner. You're fit for them."

"Fuck you," she slurred, turning awkwardly and abruptly, and Gareth ignored her.

"Tal Volorro's finest," he said, not even blinking. "The Sons may you, though Rhaegar Vayth is a friend of Prince Jason's. He may not wish to incur the Vellfyre's ire by taking on one of their disowned children. Asserya's more likely for you. Meridiez will need hired swords soon - your sister is there."
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:21 AM   #15
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"Meridiez... they need more than swords." Kain's lip drew up in a sneer. "Did you see those perfumed poppets? My sister's likely to come back still a virgin. Half of them couldn't find their way into that girl's cunt." He gestured to the whore who was already halfway across the room, still making her sales pitch.

Kain took a long drink from his cup. "Though it would piss my father off. Your idea has merit in that view, Meadows. Where's your case at, these days, speaking of? Oldcastle still isn't taken into anyone's hands..." Probably because the crown could take a bigger share of its yearly rents and taxes when it was under a crown-appointed steward and not a true lord. He wondered if his uncle's treasury wasn't barer than the whisperers said.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:47 AM   #16
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"Well, if your sister returns a virgin, your uncle will be jubilant. A treaty marriage that leaves no damaged goods in its wake means he can scheme to create another with her as good as the first. I wouldn't count on it, though. The House of Tamor does love the quick production of children." And killing them, so he'd heard. Rumors out of the south, anyway.

Gareth gave a dry chuckle. "My case is no better or worse than it was when Alystare died. I was acknowledged from birth and everyone knows my father would have legitimized me if he'd known he was going to take ill so quickly. But he wasn't even thirty. He still thought to make an advantageous marriage. Alystare didn't appeal to the king for the same reason - he always thought he'd live to have his own children. Your uncle is fond of bastards, so perhaps I have a better chance now that it's just me. He'd probably be more convinced of it if I took a wife with a decent dowry and had a child, just to prove I wouldn't make the same mistake as the heirs before me, but my chances of that are about as likely as..."

He gestured to the whore in the corner. "As that one living to a ripe old, undiseased age."
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:51 PM   #17
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"And making people bleed," Kain added with a dark look down into the depths of his mug. Sometimes there just wasn't enough wine. His eyes slid from the cup to the whore and he tilted his head as if weighing the odds.

"I'd give your marriage prospects at least one in ten better. My uncle's got a set of wards to wed off and fair dowries for each. He needs to do something with Freya, and Kalden would rather get an heir on a sheep than look at Alys twice."
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:10 PM   #18
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"What is your cousin's aversion to the woman?" asked Gareth, fingers drumming against his cup. He certainly knew why Charlotte disliked her, but for Kalden and the queen to have a similar opinion of a woman was, to Gareth, amusing.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:14 AM   #19
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"I haven't a clue. I suppose because she's bedded half the court and is simple as she is pretty. Which, really... I would have thought that was exactly the kind of wife Kalden would want: experience enough to be entertaining, dumb enough that you wouldn't have to work too hard to know she was remaining faithful."
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:30 AM   #20
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Gareth chuckled. "It may be a matter of honor... Considering the extinguishing of House Fairwind, he may feel it a marriage beneath him. But he could have worse; he could be marrying a woman still a child. Something else you'll have to look forward to if they disown you, hm? Your choice of wife, or none at all."
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:33 AM   #21
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"I prefer the second choice. Wives are not worth the bother. The money is nice but they always frown on you for killing them and there's such a problem if you run out of money and take a second one... There are easier ways to come by coin." He chuckled. "At least a child bride you can raise to suit you? It's not much of a boon but... I do wonder if Kalden would accept one of the smaller Fairwinds. I should ask him... see how big of a shitfit he throws."
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:58 AM   #22
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"There's an idea," said Gareth absently and turning a bit to the side to watch two men a table close to them, one of whom noticed him staring and scowled.

"Who the fuck are you looking at?" he snapped.

Gareth made a gesture with his hand towards the two of them. "Someone in need of a thrashing. Kain, you're welcome to that."
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:44 PM   #23
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Kain glanced at the table then looked at Gareth with a smirk. "Afraid of our sweet queen hearing you threw the first punch?" But at the same time he straightened, turning to look over at their new neighbors. Both a bit less intoxicated than Kain himself, but yeoman judging by their clothes. Maybe merchants' guards.

"Hardly Gareth's fault you're too ugly not to notice, friend." Kain smiled.

"There's a jest, coming from you. How'd you come by that scar, boy? Your pimp get upset with ye?"

Kain reacted with a sigh, just before his cup flew, sloshing wine across the face of the speaker as Kain drew his dagger. The other man yelled, wiping at his face as he stood up, but Kain lunged to knock him off balance. Unfortunately that left the other man, who was all too happy to wade in and defend his friend.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:16 AM   #24
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"I don't care if Charlotte hears that I'm fighting," said Gareth, standing. "You just look in the mood to hit someone. Call it an early nameday gift."

Gareth watched the confrontation between Kain and one of the men, the second having decided to ignore Gareth in lieu of the one actually attacking his friend - which was a mistake. He hurled his cup at the man first, watching as it connected with the bridge of his nose, and Gareth rushed in behind it, his shoulders hunched as his fist struck out to connect with the man's stomach.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:52 AM   #25
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Kain laughed as he threw the next punch. He and his opponent had landed first against the table, which had broken and thrown them both to the floor, where they were grappling, hitting... The rush was back. Kain rolled with the other man, slamming him into the next table and sending a bunch of drinks flying, men roaring back....

Somewhere by the door, Kain's guard was swearing and wading into the fray to block someone's blade with his axe. Kain slammed the first man into the floor, only to have someone else grab his arm. That man found a fist flying into his stomach as Kain's attention focused on him instead.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:19 AM   #26
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Since Kain had turned his attention on Gareth's winded opponent, that left Gareth with plenty of space to bring his leg up and slam his foot against the knee of yet another incoming fighter - this one entirely unconnected to the two sitting at the table. Gareth must have judged his angle at just the right place because the man rushing him suddenly screamed as his kneecap dislocated, and he went down, dropping a bottle onto the floor as he did.

Gareth stooped to grab for it, then slammed it against the back of a chair, half of it shattering. Someone else was screaming now, probably the whore from earlier...

Out from the corner of his eye he caught Kain's guard wading in, and Gareth grinned to himself as the sellswords in the corner drew steel and began advancing towards what was quickly turning into a complete fucking mess.

Good.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:25 AM   #27
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He was laughing still, yelling occasionally, but mostly lost in the rush. One hit became three became ten. He shoved the man away, let him fall and didn't look back as he dove at the next possible opponent: some big bruiser with an axe. He ducked the first strike and drove his fist into the man's abdomen before he hefted his sword.... or someone's sword.

Around them the tavern was now in anarchy, and somewhere in the melee the screams started taking on a more urgent note. He wasn't paying much attention at first but the quality of the light had changed and as he glanced past the axe man he saw the reason: flames licking their way up the back wall of the tavern.

Shit.

"Retreat!" He called, more out of habit than thought, just before his sword bit into the axe man's side. The giant howled and Kain skittered back, deciding fate was on the giant's side for this night.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:49 AM   #28
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Gareth was in the process of jabbing his broken bottle into someone's arm when he heard Kain's yell. His head turned to the side, just in time for the leg of a broken chair to breeze past his ear. "Shit," he muttered, jabbing the broken glass further into the man's arm before releasing his hold on the bottle and turning on his heel.

His nose caught the scent of smoke. "Who started the fire?" he asked, urging Kain to follow him as they began fighting their way to the door.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:03 AM   #29
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"No idea. Some idiot...." Kain paused to drive an elbow then a fist into someone's shoulder, "... probably kicked over... a brazier. Or hit a torch... Fucking place. Tinderboxes are less catching..." He lashed out with a foot to trip some fool trying to swing a half-a-chair at Gareth.
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