(2018-05-09) All For One
YOURSELF!
faraman 
style="margin:0;
Summary:
And he who dies with the most toys and money… still dies.
Related:
Smuggling
Misc Info:
Don't. Trust. Anyone.
carina 

"So I see this kid, standing on top of the most unsteady tower of crates and old junk you'd ever thought could possibly stand. I swear, it was wobbling this way and that way, creaking in complaint and bitter damn disgust at being throd on. And there on top, the kid, trying desperately to reach the second story window of this patrician house." It's getting late in the day, late enough that the pair of Wyvern mercenaries have finally gotten off duty. The blistering heat is not quite so blistering anymore, though that might be as much about no longer wearing armor and the city's cloak of office as the actual glare of the sun. To pass the time between the invitation to have a drink issued back in the headquarters, and actually getting to the inn, the bearded fellow is weaving a story. It comes with all kinds of hand gestures, occasional profanity, and a boisterous laughter at his own jokes. Which may or may not actually have been funny.

"Anyway, so I walk over and think to myself: He's probably a thief, if not a very good one, and I probably aught to kick that tower out from under him. But damn if I had the heart. There was just something, I don't know, oddly noble about the whole enterprise! And I was sort of rooting for him, honestly. So I just stand there and watch." He indicates with his hand how the tower weaves back and forth under the kid's struggles. "And then this beautiful young girl's face appears, beaming down at the kid. And they embrace! Romance, I swear! A most touching moment. Of course in his eagerness to kiss, he lost his balance. Ha! And.." He makes a woosh! Crash! Crumble! Sound, grinning. "Which got the dad of the young patrician girl running out, and well. Had to arrest him anyway." And then here they are, the Porta Del Sol Inn. He starts to push open the door.

It really had been a long hot day and, grateful it was over, Carina had gladly taken up the offer of a drink at the Inn. A free drink was a rare thing in their business, with everyone in it for the money mostly, so she'd been unable to hold back the flicker of surprise at the offer. The remainder of the day had gone fairly fast and the walk she was in no hurry to complete. It was nice enough out and the entertainment was good. Walking along side, she snickers now and again and outright laughs at other times, the story really was funny and with the imagery of the teetering towers and the kid trying to get up there all the while Faraman was watching, well that was hilarious.

Of course when it comes to the kiss, Carina gives him an eye and shakes her head, all sympathy gone. "Romance. Imagine that. It'll get you in trouble every time. Trust my words on that." They get to the door and she pushes it open and walks in before her fellow Wyvern. "So what fate was decided for him, do you know? That kid, I mean." Still curious even if less sympathetic to his plight.

"Got a lot of experience with romantic trouble, do you?" Faraman asks, his thick full beard splitting open to reveal a row of white teeth that are only a little bit crooked here and there. There's some teasing cheek to his grin. "Heh. Anyhow, well, the kid ended up with a few licks of the whip and then the stockades for a few days. Lesson learned, I hope. Can't go 'round kissing girls above your station and get caught doing it. My father tried that up in Bergantine. Thought he could romance his way into title. Ha. Ran him out like a dog. Just as well, or I'd never been born!"

The barkeep eyes Faraman like the mercenary is the devil himself, but they don't even have to order anything. Faraman leads the way to a table, and soon after there's a couple of cups and a jug of wine placed in front of them. All the while the keep eyes him resentfully when he thinks he isn't being watched. Either the mercenary never notices, or he's good at pretending he doesn't.

(>-------<)
| Carina (Awareness) |
| Success |
| Skill: 10 Mod: 0 Total: 10 |
| Roll: 6 Status: |
(>-------<)

"Enough." Carina's words are slightly clipped and unapologetically so in regards to the question about her romantic trouble experience, even if she does respond to his smile with a more hesitant one of her own. "So he wasn't even a noble kid going to steal the kisses of a maiden? Sounds like something fairy tales are made of, kid must have heard too many tales. Fairy tales aren't real, nor to they come true." A bit pessimistic, she settles down into a chair and gives him a smirk. "You were born from a noble?" It doesn't really surprise her if indeed that was the case.

Getting a look at the keep, Carina gestures towards them and their sour faces as the drink and cups arrive. "Looks like you have no friends here. Am I going to die of poisoning if I dare to drink this? Whatever you did, that looks like genuine hate there from the keep."

(>-------<)
| Faraman (Manipulate) |
| Failed |
| Skill: 10 Mod: 0 Total: 10 |
| Roll: 14 Status: |
(>-------<)

Faraman blinks in pretend innocence and ignorance, but its not all that hard to see through the act. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm friends with everybody! Drink! And let's salute your good health!" He casually picks up the jug and pours the wine into each of their cups, then lifts up his own for said salute.

Once he's had a swallow, he sinks back into his chair with a great sigh of contentment, his solidly frame sprawling out everywhere like a puppet whose strings have just been cut.

"Anyway, the Faramans are an ancient lineage. Von Faraman, to be exact. My relatives hold extensive lands in the Divine Empire. Sadly, as you can see, my particular branch was.. ah, rudely cut off from the golden goose. Perhaps one day I'll march up north and seize it back from the pretenders holding what aught to be mine! Perhaps. Or more likely not. Sounds like an awful lot of work."

Carina gives him a skeptical look but can't really bring herself to care much what the barkeep thinks of anyone. Especially her fellow mercenary. "My good health? And yours." Once her cup is filled she lifts it for the toast and the drink. Another drink is taken immediately after.

Settling back, she nurses the drink for a few moments, letting it last. "Von Faraman? I don't think I've heard about that lineage. If you holds hands how did they usurp your line from it? How did they wrest your lands from you?" The drink is again lifted and she downs a pretty good amount. "You act like you're afraid of work or something. Surely there's something in your life worth fighting for?"

"Ah, its ancient history now. My great grandfather's younger brother took his lands and had his head chopped off. Then had my grandfather, his heir again, poisoned for good measure. And my father, well," Faraman rolls his shoulder in a shrug. "Let's just say he liked to complain about the injustice of it all more than he had the ability to do something about it. Me, I'm a realist. If the fuckers killed my great grandfather, and his son, both who actually had both wealth and political connections, well. What's the chances after being third generation exile mercenaries, eh?" He makes a helpless gesture, then takes another swig of the wine.

"Anyhow, didn't bring you here to talk about me! I wanted to see how you're doing. That nick of yours turned out well? No infections or nothing?"

"I figure this here city is as good as any. I've no reason to go back home myself. Even heard my brother was in town now. I haven't ran into him as of yet. His name is Frey, maybe you'll run into him at some point. Maybe I will." Carina gives a shrug but her light eyes move to the inn door, just in case. "What you need is to save your funds and unite your own small army to take over. If you think it's worth it."

Carina finishes off what's in her cup and replaces it on the table before leaning back a little. "Healers sometimes don't know what they are doing. She fumbled it all when trying to stitch it up and poked her fingers inside instead. Hurt like a.." curse word. "No infections so far. Thanks."

"I'm not so fond of saving my funds," Faraman admits. "Might die tomorrow, right? Could've died the other day when that fucking bastard with the god damned crossbow shot at me." Its said with such vehemence you might believe he'd never used one himself, when quite frankly he much prefers to shoot people from afar regardless of the fact he's rather better with the sword when it all comes down to it. He gestures to one of the scars on his face. "This could've killed me. Once saw the best fighter I knew. This way in the east, different company. We were hired by this local noble to siege his neighbor's shitty tower. Anyway, this great fucking beast of a man who never lost a single fight, not even a spar?"

He slams his hands together suddenly for dramatic effect. "SPLAT! Someone up there threw a rock, and it crushed his head, even with a helmet and all."

He finishes his cup as well, and pours a second round.

"Still. Put a dent in that smuggler operation, I guess. Though in my experience, finding people wanting easy coin ain't all that hard. A man.." he pauses, and amends: "Or a woman for that matter, all gotta eat."

"You afraid someone's going to be able to spend your funds before you can? You'd be dead, what would you care then?" Carina muses it over a little. "Hey, you equally shot at each other. When you have a sword, you don't have to stop and reload. Most generally, you're going to have someone aiming for you no matter what weapon you hold in your hand."

"Yeah but how likely are you to be able to tell a story like that? Right place, right time? That so seldom happens. I never rely on dumb luck. I rely on my training and my skill." Picking up the refilled up, she dips her head in thanks before taking another drink. It had been a long and hot day, she needed the drink.

"I wish we could have got the ones with the skiff. And all the merchandise. Haven't found anyone to cipher those pages yet. Still looking though. I turned them over to the boss." A light shrug is returned. "Everyone has to eat, but there are more honorable ways to do it."

"I'd rather enjoy the fruits of my labor, than die and have someone else enjoy the fruits of my labor. I mean, if I'm dead, what kinda use did I get out of walking these dusty streets all day long?" Faraman asks as he sips from his cup. "Ain't like I got no plans or thoughts for tomorrow, that'd be insanity. But when I can, I prefer to live for the day!"

He grunts, and nods. "Yeah, would've been nice. But in the choice between taking out someone trying to kill me, or try to recover goods that'd go to the damn city, I'll make sure the man trying to kill me dies first, every time." Of course, Faraman being Faraman, a not insubstantial amount of goods might've not actually made it to the city. But that's another story.

"Some'll say being a mercenary ain't too honorable."

"The reason you walk these streets every day is to drink and gamble?" Carina whistles softly under her breath. "You have no aims or goals for yourself? I live expecting the worst and sometimes hope for the best. Not that the best ever happens, but I've had enough shit luck maybe something'll look up at some point."

"We have enough leads. I got a close enough look at the thugs that daily through the streets I've been looking for them. My thoughts are they boarded a ship with their goods and got out while they could, knowing they were already identified. The goods are long gone." A concise nod is given in response. "Being a mercenary pays what I need to pay and gives me plenty extra."

"Let's not forget put a roof over my head and fill my belly," Faraman says with a grin. He lifts his broad shoulders in a languid shrug. "Plus, can't say I'm all that good at anything else. Gotta use the skills the Divine has seen fit to grant you, eh?"

He nods, confirming that he too saw the thugs and has been looking for them. As for the rest of them, he shrugs as if to say Carina might well be right. Or not.

"So does being any kind of hired muscle. Or a lookout. If your skills are too limited to do what we do. Or you just don't fancy walking into a real battlefield."

"You should stay in the barracks. Unless you like living off somewhere away from everyone else, I guess. Cuts down on the roof over your head bit. And most of he time the food. Can't say the food is all that good, but it beats paying sometimes. They have to keep their patrols somewhat healthy."

Carina sips more of the drink, putting away a fair good amount of it. Leaning back against the back of the chair, she extends her legs in front of herself and regards him a moment. "There's always training for more," she clarifies first before adding, "And I have nothing against a battlefield."

"What?" Faraman asks with mock horror on his expressive face. "Surround myself with smelly barbarians when I could live in luxury and not be interrupted if I have company?! All the heavens forbid such a terrible decision!" It ends with a laugh, a rumbling chuckle that starts in his chest and then spreads out like a plague. He knocks back his cup of wine.

"True. Anyway, I'm not saying a man can't acquire a skill if he puts his mind to it. My original point is just, well, you and I are mercenaries. Those kids working for those smugglers, they were mercenaries too. A different quality, perhaps. Well, not perhaps. Obviously. We'd gut them in a second if they hadn't run away. But you can't do our kind of business without eventually ending up working for some less than reputable people, too. Currently we're contracted with the city, protecting its people and so forth and so forth. So we're the good guys. A few season from now, we'll be contracted to some noble who enjoys raping peasant girls while ordering us to burn down farms that supposedly owe taxes."

"Have company? Don't you know mercenaries don't have time for company. Why do you think I became one? I sure as hell wasn't going for that church thing." A hand wave of distaste at the idea of doing /that/ option. Her second cup of wine is finished off. "I'd never make one of those nun types either, so a room full of mercenaries it is."

Carina falls silent in thought as she realizes what he said was probably true. "Yeah, noble men can never keep it put away and think they can bed anything that moves." Crossing her arms she leans back and regards him with hooded eyes. "About the time the contract here ends, I'm likely to go back home for a visit."

"Out on a campaign, perhaps," Faraman says of keeping company, amused. "Here, in the sheltering bosom of this filthy rich city, I'd say it'd be a crime not to indulge in such things. As long as you dont' get attached. Attachment is what kills you. Robs you of the edge. Seen it again and again." He picks up the jug of wine and gives it a little jingle to judge how much is left. With a shrug he guesses: "At least one more cup for each!" And so he pours, and what's left he pours into his mouth straight. It's only a swallow's worth. "Best savor this one; it's the last one on me."

"What's home like?"

"Maybe. Can't say I really know anyone well enough to rent a room here for." Carina shrugs, nodding towards the stairs to indicate the Inn they are in. "I don't get attached anyway, no reason to, because it'll always lead to disappointment." Watching as he refills the cup she smirks. "Thank you. For all of the drinks and the conversation."

Making no move to leave though, she uncrosses her arms and reaches for it, hand curving around it to lift the drink for a sip.

"Home is hell. I don't really want to go back and will probably die before I do. I have nothing left there that I want to face." And that's all she gives about it.

"Like I said, Faraman is beloved by all, and for a reason!" Faraman says with a laugh, and this time when he glances sideways, a quick little shifty-eyed dart of his black eyes, its with a bit of calculating shrewdness. The kind that pins down the barkeep and makes it clear he knows that's a straight-up lie. The smiling mask remains, though, shameless.

"Wait. Home is hell, but you'll go back to visit? Don't make no sense to me at all."

(>-------<)
| Carina (Awareness) |
| Failed |
| Skill: 10 Mod: 0 Total: 10 |
| Roll: 11 Status: |
(>-------<)

"It's better than watching some noble raping a peasant woman and ordering me to burn down some farmers field." Carina returns to him in a flat voice that lacks any emotion whatsoever. She doesn't notice the look over to the barkeep or the looks returned, but she does smirk at the 'loved by all' comment. "Is that supposed to sound attractive? Loved by all?"

"Well. You could always shoot the noble in the back and blame it on someone else," Faraman suggests cheerily. He takes his time with the last cup, just small little sips where before he'd been gulping it down in big swallows. "Might backfire, though. Nobles being nobles, you'd better have a good scapegoat. They always want someone to hang."

He spreads his arms out wide, theatrically. "It was supposed to sound true. But I'll take attractive instead! Gotta have something going for me, seeing as I'm neither rich, beautiful or famous."

"Stab him in the back and blame it on the peasant girls father. Or better yet, tip off the peasant girls father and her him actually stab the noble in the back for me. Then I'd just have to go to the next noble for a job." Carina smirks. "Though, honestly, just about anything sounds better than going home."

Instead of commenting further on his looks, she just watches his antics. "I'm sure you've got plenty of bed partners, you don't have to go worrying about me and where I sleep."

"Now you're thinking," Faraman commends her on the various hypothetical ways to get rid of said awful noble. "There's always more than one way to solve a problem. Certainly better ways than running back home to some hell." He closes his arms again so that he can keep drinking from his cup. Even in small increments, its getting shallower and shallower in it.

"Ha. Haha! I wasn't. You're the one bringing it up! Don't worry, I won't tell anyone." He keep chuckling to himself, and the next time he takes a swallow he's forgotten he was supposed to moderate himself. The cup ends up empty, and he stares into it somewhat forlornly. "Bah. Well. That's that, then."

"Moderation." Carina reminds him belatedly as she lifts her own still at least three quarters full cup. She drinks until it's half gone then slides the cup back over to him. "Finish it up, I've had plenty. I should be getting back to the barracks." A sardonic grin finds her features. "Either way, I hope you stay around awhile. It's good to have someone I can trust at my back."

"Never a more trustworthy man than me, either," Faraman assures her, his own grin mimicing her own. He accepts the last dregs of Carina's wine without a hint of hesitation, and drowns that as well. With a grunt he pushes himself to his feet. "You let me know if you hear anything about our friends. I'll return the favor. I try not to be a vindictive man, but let's face it, the fuckers tried to kill us. That's just not very friendly! And I was very friendly, wasn't I? I think I was. Which makes it rude. Can't abide rudeness." A few moments after he says that, he belches. And doesn't apologize for it either. "Well. Next time you can buy me a drink." Speaking of paying, he starts to head for the door rather than to settle any tab. The keep keeps frowning at him, but doesn't say anything about it at all.

"Yeah, I saw what I saw." Carina nods towards the barkeep, "And I'm known to trust my instincts. Just know, if you endanger me or my job with the Wyvern Company and the Wyvern Company's position in the city with your side jobs and greed, you will be reminded of this moment here and now." A nod is offered though, "For now, since I had your back, I trust you to have mine. We're good you and I, until we aren't. I don't trust easily." Watching him go and then the keep frowning, she decides to remain behind and ask them a few well aimed questions.

Faraman pauses, and frowns at her. "Hm. Hmmm! Come now. Let's not say such hurtful things. And we were just bonding over our mutual willingness to risk horrible death and injury for each other! You sort of put a damper on the whole moment. And let me emphasize what a beautiful moment it was, too. Touched me right here." He puts his fingers towards his heart. "And my shriveled heart does not easily stir. Best leave such baseless, quite baseless, suspicions and thoughts behind. I have no desire to hurt neither my standing, nor my Company's standing. Which let's face it, are quite the same currently." Then he sighs, and gives her a wave of the hand, comeradly like. "I'll see you around, Carina. Take care of yourself, Carina."

Watching him, listening, Carina wears a neutral expression, the wine weighing heavy in her stomach for the moment. When he moves towards the door, she repeats something softly. "Don't trust any body. It's a lesson learned once upon a time." Leaning back, she crosses her arms again and shakes her head, kicking the chair. "Why am I always right?"

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