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Forums > Fantasy Roleplay Forum > (1x1) Haunting of The Harpey's Kettle

A soft breeze whispered through the leaves of the sparsely dotted trees in the man made city's market district, as humans bustled around their business of buying and selling trinkets. Should one look hard enough, other races (mostly a dwarf or elf) could be found amongst the crowds. One such high elf, standing lean and tall, looked on in distaste as a petty dispute broke out over at one of the nearby stands.

"If you dare threaten me again, sir, I'll call the guards!" A haughty merchant performed in a shrill voice over the dim. The man he was waving his finger at turned a deeper shade of purple at the excessive display.

"If it's a threat to call out a crook on disgustingly inflated prices, then so be it! This is extortion! I was here just yesterday inquiring about that exact same amulet, and it was half the price." The two men continued their vocal assault, until a patrolling guard drifted over to disarm the situation.

Faeranduil shook his head, and moved away from his position beneath a young oak tree to search for somewhere quieter within the vicinity. It was a lost cause though, he knew. The sun was high; it was about midday, and the elf knew that the 'City of Splendors' as it was so often called wouldn't calm until darkness fell. He found a groan escape his lungs. Here as an escort for a companion from the High Forest, his work had been to ensure their safe passage on the Long Road - one of the primary trade routes to the city. Now that they were here, he had a few days of down time until they were ready to leave again. Not one to really care much for the human settlements (much less their cities), the high elf felt very much out of his comfort zone, and irritable at that.

Deep in brooding thought as he walked, Faeranduil found his gaze drifting to a notice on the side of a nearby building that he was sure had not been there the last time he had taken this route (assuming this was the route he had taken this morning - all these streets looked the same), so he strolled over to have a proper look. The handwritten sign looked hastily constructed, though it's words were clear enough up close:


HAUNTED TAVERN: HELP WANTED!
Whether you're a mage, cleric or adventurer
adept at dealing with the undead,
we need YOUR help!

Please see Regis at The Harpey's Kettle
for more information.
REWARD AVAILABLE.

Below the words, a crude map highlighted where the inn was. It didn't seem far, but Faeranduil scowled. It appeared that his doubtful expression was obvious, as an elderly man looked from the poster to the elf, and gave a bemused chuckle.

"Looks like poor Regis really is desperate." He approached Faeranduil, who turned to study the man, his expression softening slightly. "Word went back about a week now, that he's been having some sort of trouble at night."

"It reads like an attraction, rather than a call for aid." The elf remarked, but the old man firmly shook his head.

"Oh, no... No. I've lived in these parts for all my days, and never have I figured Regis for a conman. More likely an elaborate prank at the poor fellow's dispense." The old man gave Faeranduil a polite nod of the head before continuing on his way, leaving the elf to ponder the notice further.
After a short space of time, he pulled the poster from the nail securing it in place, and began following it's sketchy directions towards the inn.

He suspected no ghosts that night, as the old man suggested, but anything was better to pass the time with than listening to more intolerable bickering at the city's markets.

Reita was completely and utterly bored and that was underselling it. She'd already visited the tavern more than once and now sitting there downing her third pint of the day she was beginning to feel she had to do something else with it. After all it was all very well and good, fun even to spend her time in a tavern full of people so drunk they wouldn't give a damn what race she was or that her profession was practically unheard of for her kind. Do they mostly cared about drinking and fighting, both of which she quite excelled in.

And yet ... it didn't feel fulfilling. There was no sense of adventure, no great evil to smite or glory to be won, not that she won much anyway. Most people tended to thank the other members of whatever adventuring group she'd ended up in rather than acknowledge a tiefling.

Still, at least it was something, this, however, just sitting there wasting time in a tavern, was nothing. There wasn't even enough people inside to start an interested brawl either, just one or two other patrons quietly nursing pints off in corners where the shadows seem to cling to every surface. Their tendrils looking like they'd almost taken root and now the light just didn't have the effort to brush them away.

"Hey keep, thanks for the drinks."

She didn't fully mean it, they were alright, nothing startling and she had paid full price for them, but the owner himself was a decent man. One of the only few she knew who didn't care about her race. Probably because she was someone he could trust to pay fully, especially when she'd broken something.

He simply nodded, waving her a short goodbye, before turning back to the almost monumental task of making the place look somewhat respectable. If nothing else Reita would commend him for his effort. Stepping out she immediately regreted her decision as the harsh light of the outdoors slammed into her pupils, unready from the time spent in darkness. Still, there must be something within the market district she could do right? She was certain of it, if nothing else she'd take one or two small odd jobs fighting petty bandits until something else came along.

Heaving her hammer up and onto her shoulder, she began to set off, doing her best to ignore the looks some people directed the way of a Tiefling, all decked out armour that most assumed would belong on a paladin. Most would probably assume she'd killed the last owner or probably stolen it and she was too tired of the same old arguments to try correcting them anymore.

That, of course, was when she overheard two others, a high elf and an old man discussing something around a poster and her interest was immediately sparked.

What's more it seemed to be a call for aid, she didn't quite manage to hear what it was about, but at this point, she didn't really care. Someone wanted help and she was all to eager to offer it, nothing else seemed to be coming up anytime soon, so even if this wasn't much, it was the best she was going to get and that was enough for her.

She didn't get the chance to properly introduce herself before he'd torn the poster off the wall, even further preventing her from reading what it was about. Something which rendered her in a position of awkwardly tagging along behind him, too embarrassed to introduce herself, or just unwilling out of an unwillingness to face the usual spew of remarks from someone who didn't like tieflings.

In the end after what had probably amounted to a few minutes she finally spoke up. "Hey ... you looking for some help with that? The names Reita."

Minutes passed as Faeranduil weaved through the various market streets, which with each passing block began to transform from bustling merchant quarters to a quieter babble of inns, homes and warehouses. The elf, eyes following the various street names and landmarks that were identifiable from the map, grew aware of the seeming echo to his footsteps against the cobbled streets, as his ears picked up the persisting sound of a second pair of footsteps against the cobbles behind him. Unaccustomed to the close quarters of being in a city, he found it difficult to dismiss the feeling as simple paranoia.

Heavy armour? Not worn clumsily. Was he being followed? He moved the niggling thought towards the back of his mind, though remained alert as he turned the corner and spied his destination before him. The tavern, not all that far from the docks, looked weathered in appearance. The wooden door and window frame looked faded and grey from the constant sea air; the little sign above the door creaked on rusty hinges as the ocean wind rattled it. Despite a warm and welcoming glow radiating from within, the familiar babble of activity from an inn near the docks was missing. A calm silence clung to the building instead, broken only by the distant creak and flutter of sails from the many docked ships lining the huge harbour. The elf slowed his pace as he approached.

Close to finally turning on his heels to address the second pair of footsteps that yet continued behind him, Faeranduil was clearly startled when Reita instead made a point of suddenly introducing herself. Emerald green eyes scanned the upfront tiefling for any identifiable features, his stern gaze lingering on her hammer and armour. Despite his graceful and proud appearance, he did not seem particularly welcoming of the interruption. The sun elf stood reasonably tall at about 6 foot, his posture rigid. Stately features were chiselled into his bronze skin, and as expected of his kin he could no doubt be described as handsome despite his cool expression.

"I was not, no." He stated bluntly. He continued to observe the tiefling for a short moment, looking for any hint of motive, before offhandedly passing the map to her regardless. "Though I'd assume the owner would be thankful for any help, judging from the notice."

It was an awkward time for Reita, those minutes which turned into more minutes of almost introducing herself then always backing out at the last second. After all the man she was quite clearly trailing along behind seemed already a bit on edge and from her experience, the last thing most people wanted was a teifling in heavy armour introducing themselves right behind you.

Strangely enough the docks were a more than welcome sight for her, it had been in this quarter of the city she'd received the majority of these tasks, after all, when it came down to it, a lot of operations out in the risker business of travel at sea were far more willing to take people on for their qualifications rather than for how well they'd fare on an opinion poll. That and the sea air which blew in over those cobbled streets felt refreshing, reinvigorating her stride. To her it always smelt like adventure, anything could happen out there on the waves, all sorts of troubles she could get herself mixed up in and most of all, she could feel alive.

It was all she could do to resist just dropping the current quest and just turning out to try her hand at the docks, see if there was a ship heading out that would need a strong hand on board. Yet she already had a lead for something here, she didn't want to waste it. Not now. At least the inn itself looked a friendly place and yet that odd silence felt slightly unnerving like something was clinging to the building, muffling the sounds from inside and out, something which didn't sit so well with her and caused her to take, just that little bit of a tighter grip on her hammer.

When Faeranduil turned around he'd come almost face to face with the slightly embarassed tiefling, almost if it wasn't for their almost head height difference. Her own emerald eyes glancing back with a considerably meeker look, their little pricks quite startling when surrounded by the sea of purple that was her skin and horns. Only the hair, a dark crimson mop which looked like it could seriously do with some tidying before it could ever be called anywhere close to the realm of neat.

She coughed slightly, tilting her head to the side slightly before replying. "Soo ... what's your name? ... Erm, do you know the owner of this place and why they need the help or ... are you here to find out?"

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