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Memey (played anonymously)

It’s high noon and the little village of Windiga, who people know as Little Denga, is rarely noisy. The only blacksmith of the town is working hard, as always, by the outside furnace of his shop. Some villagers gather in front of a large house, the owner famous for his hunting skills and good meat sold only at this time of the day. Women gossip, kids run around and some elders can be seen already entering the local small inn to drink at the bar inside.

People come and go, the little village lively in the middle of the summer. The crops almost ready to harvest sawing with the breezes, making the visage of the far away forest the only things notorious in the horizon.

In the middle of the road that connects the humans to the green piece of intact nature, a little girl is messing with the dirty pathway. One stick in her tiny hands and furrowed eyebrows show her concentration on the task at hand: Drawing.

“If I came from there… And I’m going there… No, maybe it’s better if I go that way?”

The stick scratches her head, messing the pinkish hair even more. But by looking at her dirty clothes and bared foot, it is obvious she doesn’t have any worries regarding her looks.

“Hmm.” Crossing her harms and sitting in the middle of the roadway, Memey pouts while thinking hard.

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Memey (played anonymously) Topic Starter

"Maybe I'm lost?" The child asks herself, looking back at the village. She did look for someone who could help her, but most of the adults were busy. Those who were lazing around didn't want to talk with her and the kids had been really mean, yelling for an outsider like her to go away. Memey didn't cry, she isn't playing around like those kids are, she is doing an errand. A very important one at that! She is a big girl now and mom had trusted her with this! She didn't want to play with them anyway...

Digging a hole on the ground with the stick, the ten years old pour her ugly feelings inside it. There is still some time until the night comes, so she doesn't worry about the time passing. Having inside her pouch a piece of dry bread, her mind also doesn't worry about food for supper.

"I followed the directions mom gave me. But the road isn't straight to Iferium city, it can't be helped that I'm confused about where I'm going!" She shouted out to the ground, shortly after laying down. Her mind told her to remember how dangerous is to lay in the middle of the road. Groaning, she rolls to the edge of the pathway.

The dirt attaches to her clothes and skin, but there is no discomfort about that or from how the sun is still shining brightly over her, radiating its fever and making everything hot. A soft breeze mitigates the hot air while the sound of a working village makes her want to go back home.
Dorian Estienne (played by iltheyn)

Dorian limped along the long dirt path, slowing to a halt in the village to adjust a large sack he carried over his shoulder. One of his hands clung to it while the other securely gripped an ornate-looking cane. The man stuck out like a sore thumb in the village, entirely for reasons opposite to why Memey might. He was tall, pallid, with a scarred face and wearing a long, full leather coat. Were it not for his slight lean towards his cane, one might think the man a cold-blooded mercenary or bandit.

After making his adjustments the man continued his journey along the path. He hobbled awhile before hearing the exclamation of an excited child on the road near him. Estienne squinted at Memey with scrutiny. As it stood, he knew the directions to the city she so sought... but was it any of his concern that some brat got bad directions from their mommy? The jaded man snorted a bit. Of course it wasn't. He had his own business to attend to aside from babysitting.

So he started to walk again, hoping that the girl was too distracted by her musings to notice him (like the rest of the village did.)
Memey (played anonymously) Topic Starter

The sound of footsteps woke the girl from her daydream. Perhaps she only paid attention to the sound for its three paced stomps or else she would have closed her eyes to take a nap. Looking in that direction Memey see an old man with his walking stick --of course, it wasn't a three-legged person like her imagination briefly though for a second. She doesn't remember seeing his face at the village, one hard to forget so quickly by how his nose appears to be broken. Is he a traveller then? Carrying a bag like that over his shoulder, it must be his stuff for travelling like most people she met on the road have.

Getting up fast, she pats her yellowish dress while a smile made its way to her face. She dashes to get near him, not holding back her newfound excitement.

"Hello! Are you travelling too?" She asks while looking at him over again, her eyes gaining a curious gleam about the stranger's cane before looking at his face again. "I'm going to Iferium, are you going there too? I'm Memey, what's your name?"
Dorian Estienne (played by iltheyn)

Dorian stalled as he heard the voice of the previously confounded girl address him. It had to be him, nobody else dared get too close to either of them. The gunslinger mentally cursed his luck, wondering if the gods above had done this to him on purpose. Still, he wasn't about to leave this strange child without a response. Knowing the energy she already practically emanated, that would only prompt more questions in his direction, and Estienne was starting to get a bit of a headache.

The old man grunted as he adjusted the sack slung over his shoulder, grimacing before turning slightly towards the exuberant ten year old. He managed a weak, largely polite and disingenuous smile as he finally addressed the girl. "No. I'm going to Greystone. Most boring of all towns in the world." It was a bad lie, but he had to try, right? As a matter of fact, he was going in the direction of the city she sought, but he wasn't stopping there. Would it be better to just take the girl along? He still wasn't certain, and the uncertainty made him even more irritable. Judging from that gleam in her eye, he suspected she might take his cane anyhow. Couldn't have that.

For the moment he neglected to say his name, hoping she'd take his answer.
Memey (played anonymously) Topic Starter

“Greystone?” She asked out loud, trying to remember if she heard about the town. It did sound familiar, but probably from overhearing somewhere she can’t remember. “Ah, is that the same direction as Iferium? I need to go there, but I got a bit lost.” She laughed at her own problem, as if being lost somewhere far away from home didn’t seem like the problem it actually is.

Her eyes glanced over to the villagers. Those people didn’t do anything but ignore her, but this old man actually answered her questions! She can’t lose the chance to get directions, or even better, someone to travel with!

He does resemble a bit the grumpy grampa who lived at her home village. The thing he carried look a bit heavy, should she help him? Would he then like her? Memey held back her hands from trying to grab the sack, putting them behind her and just smiling to cover it up.
Dorian Estienne (played by iltheyn)

The many inquiries made by the child were not anything that the jaded old man didn't expect. Children were naturally curious, especially in instances that people like Dorian would rather they not be. He didn't think much of the questions, but offered an absent-minded response. "Hm. No. Its through the, uh... Pass of Hissing Spiders, and... over the Mountains of Treacherous Goblins." Of course, both of those places were made up as well, but he hoped that Memey would be inexperienced enough not to know that and to assume traveling alongside him would be unpleasant enough to leave him be. Little girls hate spiders, after all. Right?

Then the girl looked around and tucked her hands behind her back, which to Estienne was a far more suspicious behavior to exhibit. He turned towards her again and narrowed his eyes once more. Perhaps she was hoping to steal from him after all! Perhaps he should be blunt, then. "Buzz off, kid. I don't need your sticky fingers." He grumbled.
Memey (played anonymously) Topic Starter

"Eh? Ah, no no!" Memey desperately shook her head and hands, as if that could stop the man from getting displeased by her. Sticky fingers-- She started wiping her hands on her dirty garment again. "I- Maybe-- Sorry if I made you angry, I didn't mean to." She bowed her head like her mother taught when apologizing.

Biting her lips, she thinks about what he said before while looking down. He isn't going where she needs to go. And yet, and yet, he is her only chance of at least reaching another village or city. The people here, if she decides to stay, won't help her and who knows when another traveller will pass by! It already felt like she stayed here for months when in reality it only has been two days.

Green eyes look up at the man again, her determination is even stronger.

"Please let me travel with you! Just until the next place you pass by! I promise to not touch anything yours, sir. You can even check me before leaving me there." He tiny hands gesture to the small pouch on her person before she made a pleading gesture with them. "I'm not scared of spiders or goblins, so you don't have to worry too much. So please, please take me with you!" The child stepped around and stood on his way, trying to make him take her along with pleading eyes and sticky fingers. (Although she doesn't have sticky fingers? They are just sweaty.)
Dorian Estienne (played by iltheyn)

Dorian quirked a brow when Memey started wiping her hands on her garments before closing his eyes and grimacing. At the very least the grumpy old man had the patience to let the girl speak, but once she was done he was quick to state, "I don't mean that your fingers are literally sticky. Its an expression. It means someone who's steals. Thusly, 'sticky fingers'. Anyway..." He grumbled under his breath a bit.

"Alright, alright." He sighed, cursing what remained of his bleeding heart. "You can come. But don't get too comfortable; the road to the next town is winding and treacherous, and you will need to stay close if you don't want to get lost." He let his cane rest against his side and dug through one of his coat's pockets before retrieving a small coinpurse. "And take this. You'll be working for me on the road, and you're going to need to pack now if you want food. Choose your purchases wisely, pipsqueak. They need to last on the road. I'll wait here until you're ready, but don't take too long."
Memey (played anonymously) Topic Starter

The smile appears to stretch wider than physically possible on her tiny face. "Thank you very much!" Memey exclaimed, bowing in respect to the kind man before dashing towards the village to do Dorian's request. An old bakery is her first stop, old bread bought at half the price instead of fresh ones. But she couldn't only eat these for days, so Memey's next stop is the tavern. Sneaking past some drunk man, her head almost doesn't reach the balcony when asking for salted meat. The owner, an old-looking guy, eyed her dirty face and the coin-purse on her hands for a long minute before selling salted venison. He clearly remembers shooing the brat away yesterday, she had no money and came asking for scraps. His eyes observed the coins, it looked real enough, with a huff the shop-owner counted the extra money he got from selling overprice to such a naive thief.

Outside, the passing villagers could see a child struggling to use the water well, her foreigner pinkish hair a clear sign that no one should worry about it. Or help her. It took some time, but Memey finally pulled a bucket of water to refill her worn-out canteen. She had just opened it when the bucket is pushed by a hand into the well, a loud sound coming from the wood hitting the water down below.

"What are you doing here!? We told you to leave already!" A high pitched voice screamed on her ear making her body flinch. Beside her is a boy she recalls seeing before. It's the leader of those mean kids, two or three years older than Memey.

"Can't you hear? Maybe you are dumb and don't know what leave means?" He pushed the girl and the canteen falls from her hands. The four kids behind him laugh, making her hunch over; Memey doesn't see what is funny about pushing others. "Hm?" With mild interest, the boy picks it up from the ground. His eyes look over it for a second before a mischievous smile appears. "It's yours, right?" She nods weakly, trying to see what he was about to do. "Very dirty like you. Hey! Take it back!" He demanded, extending it to her as if disgusted by holding it. Memey hurried to take it back, but her canteen is tossed into the well. She still tries to catch it, going at the edge of the stones with flailing arms.

It takes a moment for her to hear the laughter and notice her bare feet leaving the dirt. It feels like time slows down. She felt those hands again on her back for a second, body soon falling inside the deep hole while she shrieked.
Dorian Estienne (played by iltheyn)

The older man set down his burden as Memey grinned broadly and ran off to retrieve her own supplies. He waited on the edge of the village, cold blue eyes scanning the place with a vigilance perhaps unjustified for the setting he was in. Unlike Memey, Dorian was well aware that small villages did not take kindly to strangers; in the faces of the locals he saw only mistrust and, in some, restrained malice. They don't know how well they have it, he thought as he reached into one of his coat pockets to withdraw a cigar case. The man languidly placed a cigar from within the case between his lips as he collected a match safe for the purpose of lighting it. A match struck against a flint side-plate on the safe; it ignited, and Estienne cupped it as he brought the flame to the tip of the cigar.

He waited for some time, watching as the girl enthusiastically went from the bakery to the tavern, before she emerged and walked further away to the town well. Though his eyesight wasn't what it used to be, Dorian could see the older children gather near his potential travel partner and knew that the small-town ragamuffins likely did not have good intentions. The man grunted as he heaved his bag back on his shoulder and started approaching them, anticipating some sort of confrontation but not expecting that they would do what they inevitably did.

Dorian was many things but he was not patient. And after he'd already waited for a girl he did not want to travel with in the first place, the reckless actions of the small town boys had drawn the older man's ire. Without so much as a warning, Estienne calmly withdrew a flintlock pistol from his belt. He deftly primed and loaded it before pointing the weapon skyward and firing it; the resulting noise was cacophonous and likely to ring in the troublesome youths ears, but unlikely to hurt anyone. He shouted at them afterwards, his voice harsh. "OFF WITH YOU!"

The locals were not likely to appreciate his treatment of their children but the man didn't care; he needed the brats out of the way so that he might gather Memey from the well in time.

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