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No pain, no gain

Tags: Steafan,  Brev

Short Summary: Or how inflicting a little pain can earn one a nice studded leather jerkin
Date (real-life): 2010-11-02
Scene Location: Trollshaws: Shepherding Village
Date (in-game): May 3051
Time of Day: Afternoon/evening?
Shepherding Village

This is the home of a small, proud, and independent people who live primarily by herding sheep in
the open lands south of the Great East Road. Once driven from this region by troll depredations,
they have returned and appear to be prospering, perhaps because they can also profit by trade on the
Great East Road.

Or rather.... we should say it /was/ the home of these people. The many sturdy houses and smaller
huts clustered on a hill here have mostly been burned. Some are yet standing, more are nothing more
than charred timbers. Once, they were safely ensconced behind a deep ditch and wall. The ditch is
filled with the ashy ghosts of thorn bushes ... and the gate hangs crookedly, black as charcoal.

But a stone wall is being built by a group of industrious dwarves, and many of the buildings that
were still standing have been repaired. The village is now a mixture of the charred, skeletons of
houses, and shiny new ones.

A long, low, smoke-stained building, sprawling along the hillside below the caravanserai, appears to
the south. Its thatched roof has miraculously escaped burning - though there are black patches
across it. Thick lead-paned windows are dark. A group of industrious men and dwarves and a few elves
are camped in the open area.

Obvious exits:
Gathering House, Caravanserai, and Great East Road

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                           | Yfelwydan Time (YST) |                           
==============================================================================
** Real time is: Tue Nov 02 15:39:17 2010, GMT -8 **
Elendor time is: Late Night on a Cloudy Hevensday, Day 3 of May 3051.

Note: It's nighttime out, so it's safe to wander outside.
==============================================================================

[Steafan(#30362)]     Late day or early evening is it over the Shepherding Village, and the people are
going about their evening business, which is mainly still building things. Coming in from off the
road is a Man, looking a little worse for wear and with a bulging pack upon his back, over his axe.

    Looking a little pale, the man, Steafan, seems to be favouring an arm as he looks for a place to
sit that is out of the way.

Amongst the builders is Brev. The outsider has found odd jobs aplenty to do; today's task appears to
have involved repairing the fence to someone's pig-pen, judging by the general odour coming from him
and the muck on his boots. He runs a hand through his hair, not improving it any, and eyes the
newcomer curiously. "Looking for something, were you? Or someone maybe ..." His Common is sing-song.

[Steafan(#30362)]     Steafan's head snaps around as he is addressed, narrowing briefly before shaking
his head. "A place to rest. Tired, walking all this way," says the man, words thick with accent of
somewhere further north. "You would not happen to know of a healer of some type around here, would
ye?"

Brev snorts at the first words. "Well, there's always the cow-byre," he offers magnanimously. "Or
the floor in the Gathering House. Least, that's what I do."

The other question is answered with a shrug. "I might do. Why? Met with trouble on the road, did
you? What was it - goblins? Goblin-men?" His amber eyes are narrowed as he scrutinizes the other -
and in particular that favoured arm - closely.

[Steafan(#30362)]     "An old nail. Under a bridge. It might have been dipped in something foul,"
replies Steafan, carefully moving his arm. "The scratch looks like nothing, but... I have felt
rather ill." That said, he takes his pack off his back and sets it down, something inside it ringing
quietly. Of course, this also frees up the axe upon his back.

Brev frowns thoughtfully at that. "Likely you got muck in it," he offers carelessly. "That, and
carrying a loaded pack can't have done you much good. Times like that, a pony comes in handy." The
pack is offered a cursory glance; the axe a rather longer one. Then he simply stands surveying the
other in silence.

Eventually he offers, "Want me to take a look at it? Could, if you like - might need a fire though.
'Sides, if you faint right here you'll get trampled when the livestock are brought in." He grins
briefly.

[Steafan(#30362)]     "Ponies are expensive," says the man, "and easily stolen. Harder to steal
somethin' from a man if he's got it on him." He shakes his head slightly. "Nah, that I didn't do.
Besides, muck don't cause pus," mutters Steafan before he nods. "If ye've any skill in it, I'd
appreciate it."

Brev arches an eyebrow at those words, then snorts. "Definitely a fire, then," is his assessment.
"Come on, then - round here. Gathering House is too crowded." He jerks his head and indicates the
place round the back of the building where a fire has been lit, likely to burn rubbish. He holds out
one arm to Steafan; the other hand reaches for the discarded pack. "Where's this to go?"

[Steafan(#30362)]     "With me," says Steafan, voice low and eyes hooded as he reaches down with his
good arm to take the pack. "Not gonna lose that." His eyes flick to the back of the building and the
fire there; he jerks his head in a nod before he begins to move that way, steady (enough) on his
feet, though he does look a tad pale.

Brev frowns, whether because of Steafan's words or the briefly felt weight of the pack is unclear,
but replies amiably enough, "Fine, you can lean against it, then. This should do." He gestures
toward a bale of straw, then tells the other, "You'll need to get that jerkin off. Hope you're less
coy about it than the last fellow I asked. I'll be back in a few moments, want my things." He
disappears in the direction of the Gathering House without waiting to see whether the other man's
going along with this.

[Steafan(#30362)]     With a grunt, Steafan moves over to the straw bale and sits upon it; the pack is
set at his feet with quiet ringing. Carefully, he removes his jerkin, setting it aside before
rolling up the sleeve of his shirt, revealing the gash upon his arm. And thus he waits.

Brev emerges from the Gathering House with a small satchel slung over one shoulder and a small
kettle of steaming water swinging carelessly in his hand. A few drops splatter here and there, but
he somehow seems to avoid scalding his own person.

He sets the item down with a thump, then squats beside Steafan. "Right then, lets see." He frowns as
he attempts to assess the gash, then demands,"How long?"

[Steafan(#30362)]     "A few days, maybe?" Asks Steafan after Brev speaks, shrugging his good arm. "It
was near the river westward," says he, gesturing with his good hand to the west. "Came this way
because I knew I'd find someplace relatively secure that I might recover."

Brev is scowling fiercely at the injured arm. He peers without touching, takes the hand and turns it,
 prods with a finger at a point well away from the gash itself, testing the tautness of the skin.
"Hrm." He would appear to be lost in concentration, but at Steafan's final words a sharp bark of
laughter breaks from him. "Kiern, but you have a strange idea of safe. Out there's goblins, trolls,
goblin-men - never quite sure they'll not choose tonight for their next attempt at burning the place.
 Still, beggars can't be choosers."

He gets to his feet suddenly, and pulls the dagger from his belt, thrusting it into the flames. "And
you don't have much of a choice. Cut's infected - I can try to burn the worst of it out now, or you
can wait and lose the arm. Up to you." Coolly, he awaits the response to that assessment.

[Steafan(#30362)]     "Burn it out," says Steafan without hesitation. "And, nah, cannot be picky. There
are folk here, and that means saftey. I know the paths of the forest out there well, so I know there
are few truly safe places, and this is amongst the safest. For all that means." With a shrug, his
eyes dart to the dagger, watching it heat.

Brev balances the dagger on a stone at the edge of the fire, so that his hands are free to rummage
in the satchel. A couple of fresh-looking roots, a couple of lengths of cloth ... "Got something to
bite on?" he asks without looking up.

[Steafan(#30362)]     A curt shake of the head. "Nah. Never does much good. The sooner it is done, the
better, and the pain will be welcome. It has been dreadfully numb, the arm," replies Steafan,
steeling himself for what is to come.

They are reasonably out of the way, but a couple of villagers who happen to pass stop, staring. One
makes an unheard comment to the other, who shrugs and turns away. Apparently community welfare is
not of great concern here.

Brev scowls anew and fixes Stefan with a piercing glance. "It'll do /me/ good. You start screaming
in my ear and my hand might slip. I've had an arrow cut out before, hurts like the fires of the Pit.
Humour me." He thrusts a piece of cloth at Steafan and without waiting to see how it's used turns
back to the fire to lift his dagger.

[Steafan(#30362)]     The cloth is taken, but set aside. "Nah, I shan't scream, no worries," says
Steafan, shaking his head. "Forge-hot iron I've had fall upon me; this cannot be worse than that."
Indeed, there seems to be an old, faded mark on his forearm that might give truth to the words.

Brev answers that with a grunt. The southerner angles himself so that his left shoulder is toward
Stefan's chest, ready to pin the man if need be. A quick swipe with a swab of material removes the
worst of the pus (the cloth then being tossed carelessly toward the flames), and then Brev is
applying the dagger-blade with the same care as a housewife might show in sealing a joint of meat.
He is not gentle - but at least he is swift.

[Steafan(#30362)]     A hiss of pain comes from between clenched teeth; Steafan stiffens some, exhaling
rapidly through the nose almost as soon as air is taken in through the mouth as the flame-heated
blade is applied to his arm. Still, he does not scream, those his eyes shut against the pain.

Brev's lips tighten a little at that hiss, but he shows no other awareness for the feelings of his
'patient'. At least the man isn't thrashing about. He pulls the dagger away .. but only to thrust it
in the fire again. "Nearly done," he offers as he returns to his task.

[Steafan(#30362)]     Steafan offers a curt nod, taking the brief respite to breath deep; a slight
shiver passing through him before he readies himself for the touch of hot steel once more.

The searing of flesh goes on a little longer; but this time when the dagger-blade is withdrawn it is
set aside to cool, then reversed so that its hilt may pound one of the roots to pulp. "This stuff's
supposed to draw out poisons," Brev supplies to the unfortunate Steafan. "Used it before on cuts
from goblin blades. Mostly it works. Should be cooling, at the least." With that less-than-
reassuring statement he slaps some of the pulp onto the wound.

[Steafan(#30362)]     Two hisses come from Steafan: one as the blade returns to flesh, and another as
the pulp is applied. After a moment, the man nods his head. "That is all one can ask. What payment
shall you take?" His good hand reaches into a pouch on his belt; jingling of coins can be heard.

Brev chuckles suddenly. "Not going to wait to see if I've done any good, eh?" He lifts the remaining
piece of cloth and winds it carefully about Stefan's injured arm to keep the pulp in place. "And I
don't usually take coin. Like you said earlier - carrying overmuch of the stuff makes a man a target.
" He does not look at the pouch, though no doubt he's heard its jingling perfectly clearly. "But
I'll make an exception if you don't have anything more useful as payment."

[Steafan(#30362)]     "I shall not lay a king's ransom on ye, nah worries," says Steafan; he pulls out
his hand and lays some copper coins upon the bale of straw. "And you can take the jerkin there," he
jestures to the set-aside armour, "too, if ye like. I shan't be needing it."

At that Brev lifts his head to stare at Steafan. "And why in Kiern's name not?" he demands suddenly.
"I've not killed you yet. Folk I help mostly recover. Not that I can't find a use for it, mind," he
adds hastily, recovering the casual demeanour of earlier. He picks up the dagger again and gives it
a final fire-cleaning before wiping and sheathing it.

[Steafan(#30362)]     "I have come into something better, and shall not need it," says Steafan, arching
an eyebrow before he shrugs. "If you want it, take it. Do ye want the coin, as well?"

Brev gives Steafan another odd look. "I'd hardly refuse it if you're so free with it," he tosses
back, then shakes his head. "Back where I come from, stuff like that has value far above a few coins.
 Where are you from that it does not?" There's a slight hoarseness to the singsong words; suspicion,
mayhap, but likely also envy.

[Steafan(#30362)]     With a shrug, Steafan collects the coins; back into the pouch they go. He
chuckles quietly, eyes gleaming briefly. "No doubt you shall see in the near future. Let us say that
there are hardier things than leather to wear, if you can find them."

Brev snorts. "If you mean those metal skins that the Strawheads wear, and some of the Dwarf-folk,
I'll warrant they're none so easy to move quick and quiet in. I'd rather stay out of sight and sound
and outrun trouble when it threatens than be weighed down. Still, each to his own. Need a hand
getting your stuff to the Gathering House, traveller?"

Perhaps it is a measure of those who choose to frequent the Shaws that he has neither asked for, nor
given, a name.

[Steafan(#30362)]     "I can carry my own gear," says Steafan, voice deceptively mild. "And I suppose
it would take skill to move quietly in the metal. Elves, if you believe in them, are said to be
quiet, and they must wear it." With a shrug, he stands and, after rolling down his sleeve, picks up
his pack.

    "I am sure there are some around here, once I have recovered, that shall need a guide through the
forest. And that is what I am good at." A brief, perhaps unsettling, grin is flashed by Steafan
before he heads towards the House.

Brev lets out a contemptuous puff of breath. "Not all Elves do," is his own comment. "Least, I've
seen some skewered." He makes no move toward Stefan's pack, but merely suggests, "If you're still
here in a few days, and I am, come back and show me the arm. Want to see how it's doing." Then, with
no more than a nod in farewell, he's off on some errand of his own, slinging the little satchel
across his shoulder as he goes.

Is he unsettled by that grin? Most probably, but it's hard to tell by looking at him. His swarthy
features are inscrutable.

=== Steafan's DESC ===========================================================
    Coming in at six foot, it certainly looks as if this man has seen better days. Hair, dark brown or
black, with an occasional red highlight, falls to his shoulders and is unkempt. Hazel eyes look out
of the face, a cold, calculating gleam to them. The face is thin, almost gaunt, with a sharp,
hawklike nose.

    Indeed the whole of the man's frame is thin and wolfish, lean more from build than from lack of
food. He is dressed in dark, weather-worn clothing: a black or dark blue or brown tunic covers his
torso, with a high collar and sleeves falling to the wrist; it falls to the knee in length and is
split up to the groin. Trousers, black, cover his legs, and are tucked into dark brown leather
riding boots. A simple leather belt is wrapped around his waist, the buckle tarnished.

    Over this is a suit of studded leather armour: the cuirass is near black from weather and stains,
and much the same can be said of the pauldrons, rerebracers, vambraces, greaves and other armour.
Leather gauntlets cover his hands. A weapons belt is worn over the first, with a whip hanging down
the right side, while a sheathed dagger is upon the left. Secured at his throat is a great cloak of
dark, worn green; on the back is a long axe, ancient but still sound.

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Date added: 2010-11-04 16:30:30    Hits: 68
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