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(Archive) An amnesiac guide?

Tags: Brev,  Gidon,  Steafan

Short Summary: Trollshaws guide Steafan displays a remarkable lack of memory of any previous clients
Date (real-life): 2010-11-08
Scene Location: Shaws: Shepherding Village
Date (in-game): May 3051
Time of Day: 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

==============================================================================
                           | Yfelwydan Time (YST) |                           
==============================================================================
** Real time is: Mon Nov 08 14:28:49 2010, GMT -8 **
Elendor time is: Nighttime on a Clear Sunday, Day 21 of May 3051.

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

The Shepherding Village is quiet, for the most part, though from the Gathering House come the faint sounds of merriment. Brev, however, is not in the building. Instead, he has sought the peace offered by a nook at the base of the outer wall, and is seated cross-legged, industriously cleaning his new armour. The darkened leather jerkin is spread out before him, and a torch in a wall-sconce gives him just enough light to see by. Every now and then he glances up at the tread of the fellow on sentry duty or the uncomfortable sounds of the forest.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon comes out from where-ever he has been doing whatever he has been doing, and looks around. His eyes land on Brev and after a minute, he comes over and squats down by the man. "Never said thanks," he says.

[Steafan(#30362)]     There's the snap of a twig in the forest, birds distrubed from slumber squawk. Then, out of the woods and into Village steps Steafan, dull mail glittering in the light of torches. Removing his helm, he seems right satisfied with himself about something or another, a slight smile playing about his mouth.

Brev glances up toward Gidon, incomprehension writ plain on his features. "Huh?"

At the sounds from the forest, that shifts to wariness. Almost instantly he has sprung to his feet; the new jerkin may still be held in his left hand, but his right is reaching for his dagger.

At the sight of Steafan he relaxes - a little. "You seem mighty pleased about something," he comments casually as the man steps forward. "Good hunting? And how's yon arm doing, come to that? Cant've fallen off yet."

[Nob(#16122)] "Th' knife you give me," Gidon persists. He stiffens as Brev jumps up, his good hand reaching for the sling that always hangs at his belt; but even when the other man greets Steafan, the boy remains wary and watchful.

[Steafan(#30362)]     "Me? Nah, I don't hunt," replies Steafan, clipping his helm to the belt about his waist. "Simply pleased with getting another few travellers to their proper destinations." The grin widens; not entirely pleasant. "And you've nah need to fear that; my arm is as good as it was before I got it on that nail.

    The hooded gaze flicks briefly to Gidon before returning to Brev. "I trust my payment satisfied."

Brev snorts at Gidon's words. "Didn't give. I traded some of /your/ herbs for it, remember? 'Bout all I could do given the fellow who needed them wouldn't take off his bloody armour. Worse than a snail in its shell."

Steafan's initial speech is greeted with a quiet, "Ah." Not exactly disbelief, more a studied disinterest. He looks down to the jerkin in his hand. "This? It'll do rightly. You're a better fit than the last donor. Figure he'd been living too long off the fat of the land. Sides, yours has fewer patches." He shrugs his shoulders, currently clad in the old jerkin, and should one be standing at the right angle they might notice that one of said patches is in a telltale position on the back.

The southerner glances behind Steafan, then back to the mailed man, his expression guileless. "I don't see any travellers?"

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon remains where he is, balanced on his toes, ready to dive to either side if necessary; and follows the conversation. He shrugs at Brev then, a swift smile flickering across his face. "S'good blade."

[Steafan(#30362)]     "I didn't say their destination was here," replies Steafan. "I took them to a nice little glade beside the Road so they can find their way easy; they went and got lost in the Shaws. Lucky they ran into me rather than trolls, I say." The mailed man shrugs his shoulders slightly.

Gidon's smile is returned. "Reckoned it would be. Dwarf steel's always good. A lesser man than myself might even be jealous." The corners of Brev's mouth twitch slightly.

At Steafan's explanation, one brow arches slightly. "Not a place I'd care to be lost," the Dunlending remarks, seemingly taking the explanation at face value; but then he frowns. "You been doing that long," he demands, suddenly giving Steafan a more penetrating glance. "A few years?"

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon's grin grows. "Good thing you ain't," he says with a cheerfulness he rarely shows before strangers. But then a frown replaces the smile and he looks searchingly up at Steafan.

[Steafan(#30362)]     "Dangerous plays, the Shaws. Full of people that will take advantage," replies the man with a shrug. At the further questioning and the penetrating glance, Steafan arches an eyebrow. "What's it to you? I know the Shaws well; been in them me whole life. Who're you to question how I make my living? I've helped many a traveller get to their proper destination."

Brev does not respond to Gidon verbally this time; he shifts position as though merely tired, but by coincidence or design it places him a little in front of the youth on his weaker side.

"Because," he says to Steafan, tone clipped as though he was holding his jaw stiffly, "I lost track of some travelling companions of mine round these parts. About .. oh, three years past." He watches carefully for any sign of reaction.

[Nob(#16122)] The boy glances up suddenly, and says nothing, listening and watching.

[Steafan(#30362)]     The guide sniffs. "Don't blame me; as I said, Shaws are dangerous. I've guided lots of folk over the years, so you can hardly expect me to remember them from a few days travel. All I'm concerned about is how they pay."

"All right there, lad?" Brev murmurs to Gidon surreptitiously, sparing the boy a quick sidelong glance.

To Steafan he scowls. "What, none of them looked like me?" He holds the other's glance for a moment, then snorts. "Like as not you didn't see them. Given payment for insolence might consist of a mace to the head."

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon nods, without looking away from Steafan. "Carac?" he asks, softly.

[Steafan(#30362)]     "You and your travelling companions would hardly be the first swarthy fellows I've seen around here, you know," replies Steafan, voice annoyed but eyes hard. "Think you're singular and unique, do you? Shaws have all kinds of folk in them, and travellers more."

Stiffened jaw or not, the muscle in Brev's cheek starts to twitch. He blinks irritably, not sparing a hand to rub the tension away. "He," he murmurs to Gidon, then hesitates. "He might not have had the best of guides." He does not meet the youth's eyes, and his gaze slides quickly away. Just unease at Steafan's presence, or something more?

For Steafan he forces a chuckle. "I /am/ unique." One side of his mouth pulls back in a half-smirk, but it's short-lived. "So you did see them, then?" he presses.

[Nob(#16122)] The boy nods, and stands up. He is a slight youth, about 16 years of age, with dark straight hair. "We never saw 'im," he offers, jerking his head towards Steafan.

[Steafan(#30362)]     "Three years ago? Maybe," says Steafan, words guarded. "As I said, you and them weren't the only swarthy fellows I've seen in the Shaws. All the travellers blend together and I've escorted plenty."

Brev frowns at Steafan. "What, you don't remember names? Or payment, come to that?"

The frown carries on as he looks to Gidon. Didn't ask if he'd seen /us/." He shrugs, then forces a smile and attempts to change the subject as a burst of laughter comes from the Gathering House. "Wonder how Caoimhe's getting on back there? There was a small wager. Didn't want to spoil her victory - or rub her loss in. She's yet to learn that there's some folk out there are more than her match." He sighs, quietly.

[Nob(#16122)] "I din't..." Gidon stops and lets it go. "Wager?" he asks then, curiously.

[Steafan(#30362)]     "I only remember those that pay coin; the rest trade in barter, and that is quickly gone from my mind," says Steafan. After a moment, he starts off to head farther into the village, no doubt to where ever he lays his head. "Pleasant night to the both of you," mutters the man before he's gone.

"Contest of strength-" Brev's speech to Gidon breaks off as Steafan takes his leave. "And to you," he calls after the man, frowning anew. "Damn," he mutters when the guide looks to be out of earshot. "Figure he does know something?" he queries Gidon softly."

[Nob(#16122)] "I - don' know," Gidon replies slowly, watching the other man leave. "Only - figured we'd've seen him, somewheres, if he'd been around then? Never done." Strength? He looks startled over at the Gathering House. "She's.... strong?"

Brev considers Gidon's words. "Maybe. Though we were in here, not out there ..." He shrugs. "He's hiding something, I'll wager that much. Not sure I care to know what."

Eagerly he seizes on the chance to change to a safer subject. "Strong as a wild mare. Trust me, I've the nightly bruises to prove it." He glances back toward the Gathering house, then grins at the youth (if Gidon is still looking at him by this point). "Come on, we'll slip in the back. She'll never notice." The hand that has fallen away from his dagger beckons the other on.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon blushes, and looks away. "Right," he says manfully, still not looking at Brev, but turning to follow.

Date added: 2010-11-21 15:05:23    Hits: 80
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