"The" Fox's Musings

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finneas
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"The" Fox's Musings

Unread post by finneas » Wed May 11, 2016 9:10 pm

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Away an age...at last returned,
The land calls as much as the foam
A green sea, lately churned
calm once more as he neared home.

Old wood, 'neath well worn leather
resonates in his soul, each step nearer
to duty, a mountain, to turn back...a feather
A choice in fog, suddenly clearer.

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A beginning again, anew, if willing.
So many to see... to speak... hasten!
Steadfast now, a heart still chilling
and armored thus, that muscle chastened.

A man, a plan, yet a brother felled
Golden hair, a pyre near ready
His absence is guilt and pain compelled.
Rage, vengeance, wrath...steadied.

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The magic blooded pulls him back
from darkness where demons lie in wait
She bidst a task with wit and tact
Wrath distracted, bidden to the Gate.

To pain deified this most errant gallant
A lady to befriend, in truth a youth
Trust to earn and give, a challenge
Yet relish it yes, ne'er a thought uncouth.

A stranger to temple, the Raven beckons so
the lure of salt e'er his bane
Formerly chastened ice placidly softens
as shriveled verge doused with rain.

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Another purpose offered, counter? I wonder...
Caution now, the soul too bare
Blood gone raucous, venous thunder
Fully enveloped, entranced Raven fair.

Artist? Not quite, perhaps, a juggler to wit
ceaselessly tempting fate, adding ball upon ball
Confident...arrogant? Doomed to repeat yet writ?
To stay aloft is key, but if one drops...do all?




There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter. - Ernest Hemingway
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finneas
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Re: A Fox's Musings

Unread post by finneas » Fri May 13, 2016 6:13 pm

A series of recurring nightmares...

*The man reaches the surface, shaking his head to the side to flick his soaked mane out of his face. He grins at the jeering jibes being shouted at him from the more veteren members raising a hand to them before he begins a fast swim toward the rope being lowered over the side of the gunwhale. As he closes the distance the shots increase in furtiveness and volume but he can make little out through the sound of the waves and the blood pounding in his ears. The barefoot, shirtless sailor is nearly half way to the ship when he is struck from below with such force that he is launched from the salt and sent flying through the air. As he spins, weightless, he loses all sense of direction before plummeting back into the sea, disoriented and terrified. As he rights himself and regains his bearings he swims frantically toward the ship kicking his legs and pulling with both arms.

As the monstrous jaws close around his torso he hears screaming and feels a brief instant of pain before it vanishes. It takes several moments before he realizes that the baritone screaming is coming from his own throat. He looks then, at the dead eyes of the striped shark holding him in its jaws and futilely claws for his deck knives secured in the sash at his waist. He punches at the shark's nose, fighting to get past the jaws to his blades as the tiger begins to pull him beneath the surface. The sea turns crimson and his chest burns with both wounds and lack of air. As the macabre duo descend the shark lets go, preparing to get a more secure hold on its copper-haired catch.

The youth wastes no time, drawing the curved, heavy blades from his sash and ramming the points into the beast's eyes. One is turned by the shark's rough hide but the other finds that dead black orb and punctures into the vitreous humor beneath. He bears into the one blade twisting it viciously, his lifeblood further salinating the now scarlet foam. The denizen of the deep swims off, perhaps in search of easier fare and the sailor kicks toward the lifegiving sun above, desperate for air and salvation. He falls short, unable to even tell his hands to release their death grip on the blades to help swim. The reverberation of several splashes echo in his fluid filled ears, his oxygen deprived brain unable to connect the sound to any cause...


**Fox flails himself awake, one of a trio of recurring nightmares tearing him from any sort of restful sleep. He stands, clad only in smallclothes, his chest bare as he staggers to the washbasin on the rustic stand in his quarters. He splashes water on his face and runs his soaked hands through his copper mane. As the faint candlelight catches in the stand mirror, a semicircular pattern of scars can be seen, beginning on his right shoulder, arcing out to his sternum and then back to his waist. Unseen by the mirror is the matching arc on his back.*
Last edited by finneas on Fri May 13, 2016 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter. - Ernest Hemingway
The Fox's Bio
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finneas
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Re: A Fox's Musings

Unread post by finneas » Fri May 13, 2016 7:54 pm

*He pushes the golden haired lady knight from his side he is dragged from hers. "Be steadfast!" he mouths, shaking his head as she makes to follow him, torn between her desire to go to his aid and her obeisance of the lawmen holding him. He grins impudently at the guards as they drag him from the Song of the Morning, holding him at their captain Antonio's command. As two hold him, a third approaches, flexing his hands eagerly. He begins to rain blows upon the displaced sailor bloodying his face, closing one eye and swelling his jaw.*

*The man spits out a mouthful of blood and saliva, mildly amazed that the abuse had not freed any teeth from his skull. He smirks at the man, teeth sanguine as he throws verbal jabs. "Come on, mate. Hit me with yer purse, next." The copper-haired man laughs deeply as the two hold him tightly. As the third is about to descend with another round of pain Antonio steps to the fore. He announces clearly for all to hear, trumped up charges against the man.*

"You are charged this day with attempted bribery of the captain of the Amnish guard here in Beregost as well as slander, conspiracy and consorting with those meddlers harboring a criminal in the Temple! Your punishment will be carried out forthwith. 10 passes through! Form the gauntlet men!"

*The guards drop the accused to the ground, forming up with the rest, a score broken into two lines, saps held eagerly. Antonio stands at one end, knowing full well that the proud man will not refuse. He is not disappointed as the Fox climbs slowly to his feet, dusting himself off and straightening his ostentatious fox tailed hat. He strides slowly to the beginning of the gauntlet, the Lady Cecilia looking on aghast, one hand covering her mouth. He strides forward confidently, head held high as the blows begin to rain down upon him. He staggers and stumbles but retains his feet on his first pass to the chagrin of Antonio. He turns, striding back through, grunts of pain escaping his clenched teeth as the blunt instruments beat heavily upon his torso.*

*He manages the second pass as well, going to one knee as he gains the brief respite before beginning the third. As his previous aggressor sneers in derision, Fox retorts by winking and blowing the guard a kiss before grinning broadly. He then starts forward on his third pass of ten. The blows are more fierce, his now damaged abdomen unable to endure the continued abuse. Ribs snap audibly, one pierces a lung, blood spews from his mouth. The insulted guard seizes his chance and breaks his sap over the man's head, sending him to the ground, barely conscious.*

*Antonio snorts a laugh, shaking his head at the futile display of pride. He turns to the Lady Lafayette, growling at her. "Get this mess off of my street before I drag him through the other seven myself." With that, the captain calls the group to attention, marching them back to the barracks, leaving the couple to their own devices. Cecilia shoulders the Fox to his feet, taking his weight and half carries him to the Song of the Morning. She takes him below, fortune blessed that a well known priest of Ilmater happened to be in attendance. The man retains just enough of his wits to wave the priest off as he begins to beseech his God for divine healing."No magic, priest, I beg you. Do what you can otherwise, if you wish."With that, the man coughs up a bit of blood before slumping down the wall, finally losing consciousness.*

-The man tosses and turns in his quarters from this second nightmare but does not wake, breaking into a cold sweat at what follows.-
There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter. - Ernest Hemingway
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Darradarljod
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Re: A Fox's Musings

Unread post by Darradarljod » Fri May 13, 2016 7:58 pm

So good.
finneas wrote:A series of recurring nightmares...

*The man reaches the surface, shaking his head to the side to flick his soaked mane out of his face. He grins at the jeering jibes being shouted at him from the more veteren members raising a hand to them before he begins a fast swim toward the rope being lowered over the side of the gunwhale. As he closes the distance the shots increase in furtiveness and volume but he can make little out through the sound of the waves and the blood pounding in his ears. The barefoot, shirtless sailor in nearly half way to the ship when he is struck from below with such force that he is launched from the salt and sent flying through the air. As he spins, weightless he loses all sense of direction before plummeting back into the sea, disoriented and terrified. As he rights himself and regains his bearings he swims frantically toward the ship kicking his legs and pulling with both arms.

As the monstrous jaws close around his torso he hears screaming and feels a brief instant of pain before it vanishes. It takes several moments before he realizes that the baritone screaming is coming from his own throat. He looks then, at the dead eyes of the striped shark holding him in its jaws and futilely claws for his deck knives secured in the sash at his waist. He punches at the shark's nose, fighting to get past the jaws to his blades as the tiger begins to pull him beneath the surface. The sea turns crimson and his chest burns with both wounds and lack of air. As the macabre duo descend the shark lets go, preparing to get a more secure hold on its copper-haired catch.

The youth wastes no time, drawing the curved, heavy blades from his sash and ramming the points into the beast's eyes. One is turned by the shark's rough hide but the other finds that dead black orb and punctures into the vitreous humor beneath. He bears into the one blade twisting it viciously, his lifeblood further salinating the now scarlet foam. The denizen of the deep swims off, perhaps in search of easier fare and the sailor kicks toward the livegiving sun above, desperate for air and salvation. He falls short, unable to even tell his hands to release their deathgrip on the blades to help swim. The reverberation of several splashes echo in his fluid filled ears, his oxygen deprived brain unable to connect the sound to any cause...


**Fox flails himself awake, one of a trio of recurring nightmares tearing him from any sort of restful sleep. He stands, clad only in smallclothes, his chest bare as he staggers to the washbasin on the rustic stand in his quarters. He splashes water on his face and runs his soaked hands throuh his copper mane. As the faint candlelight catches in the stand mirror, a semicirclular pattern of scars can be seen, beginning on his right shoulder, arcing out to his sternum and then back to his waist. Unseen by the mirror is the matching arc on his back.*
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finneas
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Re: A Fox's Musings

Unread post by finneas » Fri May 13, 2016 9:26 pm

*The man limps along the Lion's Way, his deformed torso a lasting travesty from a brutal savaging at the hands of corrupt lawmen. He turns, looking back over his shoulder furtively, hastening as best he can amidst relentless pursuit. Nothing follows that he can see, yet he feels it.... Suddenly the ground coalesces beside him, the living rock rising up, seizing him before his damaged body can move to avoid it. The primal earthen force carries him west, toward the coast, to a henge of ages past. The elemental emits a guttural sound as it lowers the damaged man before one of the pillars, vines creeping up from the dirt to bind him fast. He rails against the verge to no avail, his body failing him still.

*He strains to exhaustion and frustration, little more than a shell of the once robust sailor. Before his eyes the mass of earth shrinks, compacting upon itself and reorganizing to become a being of fire, robed and with flaming hair. The madman approaches, slowly, speaking phrases that are nonsense to all but himself. He promises relief from pain, a restoration to prowess past. He professes knowledge of which the healers of the current age are ignorant. A spidery creature scampers from the madman to the one time sailor, scampering up his entwined form and loosening the bindings on his armor, peeling it away. The tunic goes next and madman shrieks, bemoaning the charlatan healing that the Fox had received.*

*The well known madman speaks, then, in his maddening way, professing his desire to help as none other can. "Bones are healed wrong. We must break them to heal them. It must be, yes. You do not believe but we know we know." The entangled sailor pleads with the madman. "Please, Teris, no, don't! You don't know what you are doing!" The druid chants dweomers of strength upon himself and then starts forward as his prisoner squirms. He bears down on the deformed ribs, snapping the malformed bones one by bone and then, realigning them before calling upon the spirits of nature to heal them properly. As each bone is rebroken the man screams out in deep baritone pain, his mind swooning as it is overcome.*

-The sailor calls out in his fitful slumber, pleading. "No...no stop...please..."
There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter. - Ernest Hemingway
The Fox's Bio
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finneas
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Re: A Fox's Musings

Unread post by finneas » Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:58 am

Through the smoke filled haze of the Broken Goblet the tall, raw-boned silhouette of the Copper Fox can be made out at one corner of the bar top, leaning heavily on its surface. A half empty bottle stands watch in front of him, a nearly empty glass swirling absently in once loosely clasped hand. The man suddenly stands erect, finishing his drink and setting the glass down next to the unfinished bottle, collecting his hat and striding up the stairs toward the exit. He staggers once, catching himself on the railing, brow furrowing at the unexpected teeter. The man looks back toward the barkeep, frowning as the known pirate grins back toothily. The Fox turns back to the door, a mild concern mounting.

He bursts forth into the salt filled night air, drawing a deep breath in vain attempt to clear his head. With what purpose he can muster, the lean sailor moves to the descent leading down to the docks. As he nears the cliff edge a familiar chuckle erupts behind him. The owner speaks, coarse and callous.


"You should've known better than to show your face here, Fox. Sooner or later, everyone's luck runs out. Did you think you could walk both sides of the line forever? Your vanity and arrogance was ever your weakness and the time has come for payment to be rendered."

The voice's owner gestures to the silk scarf encircling the Fox's throat and he grins.

"It never ceases to amaze me how much Tymora's boon has sheltered you. This time, it will not be left to chance."

Without turning, the wiry sailor flourishes his hands in that well known gesture typically ending with blades in hand. His heavy lids betray the assailant's preparation however. One blade comes to hand loosely while the other clatters to the stone walk, cloudy mind unable to command the normally dexterous fingers. The dark chuckle emerges once more. The swing of an arm knocks the familiar hat from his head, baring copper hair in the moonlight. A meaty fist grasps the burnished mane, yanking his head back and baring his scarfed neck. The slender blade slide delicately beneath, severing the decorative garment and baring the thick, rope-like scar it hid. Lips press close and the assailant's whisper lingers in the Fox's ears.

"Goodbye old friend. From the salt you came and back to its saline embrace I send you. May you find more peace in the next life than you ever did in this one."

The slender knife descends across the previously damaged skin, parting it effortlessly. Selune's silver luminescence betrays crimson in the night as the sailor is hurled forward from the cliffs into Umberlees murky depths.

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There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter. - Ernest Hemingway
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Wyatt
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Re: A Fox's Musings

Unread post by Wyatt » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:14 pm

Cold, he feels first. Numbing, wet, frigid. His eyelids flit furtively, desperately, as his primitive mind screams for breath unbeknownst that breathing would be death. Panicked, his arms and legs thrash on their own as they desperately plea for air. Calm serenity then, when the air doesn't come. The tremors slow...stop, lids slowly lift, baring lazy gray eyes. His mouth drifts open, he lies, suspended for now but slowly plummeting.

Through the red misted sea he sees nothing at first, then, as darkness closes in...

...voices?


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Re: "The" Fox's Musings

Unread post by Wyatt » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:59 pm

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"Sisters look. I've found one, different from the others. He still draws breath, though it is a precarious thing. His blood filled the sea though I have kelped it for now. The landsmen do not heal in the salt without help, it seems. Do you think...could we use this one?"

The dark haired sea creature looks to the others, questioningly, eagerness plain in her eyes. She looks back to the man drawing labored breath, his light so faint it flickers as a candle at the end of its wick. The moon, full in her glory bathes the surface where he hangs and shimmers on the placid sea. A rare sight on this clouded eve, the full moon bare to the salt. One of the others speaks, hesitantly.

"Perhaps a trade? He might accept him as debt paid? Our freedom is at stake, sisters. We at least should try! He will not survive the journey in this state, though. Come. Let us see if we can stir the life back into this one first."

The pair wait for the third to chime in, her melodious tones accompanying the duet as she nods her acquiescence slowly, a finger slowly trailing over her lower lip and down her chin.

"If he will not accept the offering, surely we can find some use for this one. Mother will know how best he can serve. What if...might he choose to help free us on his own? I wonder..."

The trio look on for a few moments longer. Finally, after a plethora of hopeful glances pass between them, they begin to tend to the copper-haired sailor, chanting as one while they plea for his well being.

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Re: "The" Fox's Musings

Unread post by Wyatt » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:01 am

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The copper-haired sailor stumbles to shore coughing and spluttering in the unsteady purchase of the damp sand. As he gazes down over his ragged clothing and more ragged body beneath he notices the blade curving from his hand. It still feels foreign, long and unwieldy as do the carapace accoutrements affixed to his wrists and left shoulder. His hands still yearn for the shorter blades of years past and the freedom that the rigid crustacean parts hinder.

He slips the blade into the scabbard absently and gazes about for his hat. After long moments he spies it, fox tail still plumed to the brim. As he retrieves the sole possession remaining from before his trials he stares back at the salt, lost in memory too terrible to remember yet too terrible to forget. The boyish charm, always present on his face is absent, replaced with a brooding, furrowed brow. His grey eyes are bloodshot and troubled as he slips into recollection of recent events.

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Wyatt
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Re: "The" Fox's Musings

Unread post by Wyatt » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:39 am

Hours pass as the sisters kindle the tenuous life threads of the seafarer dropped into their domain, a combination of worry and hope flickering on their faces as they go about their rituals. Eventually they cease their efforts, somber faces betraying their fear at his condition. The three converse in hushed, fervent tones and eventually come to an accord.

"I do not think he will last, sisters. His wounds are grave but there is something deeper, keeping the spark from taking hold. He will not last the tide cycle if something is not done."

"Have we a choice then? He is our best hope for freedom in many moon cycles. We must bring him to her and pray he will choose us, and the price."

"Do you think there is any chance? Look at him, his clothes. He is a warrior. The arcane is not in his nature. He will resist the offer, I think."
Her voice softens as she strokes his pale face and then traces the thick, corded scar at his throat. "Look at him. Surfacers are so delicate. This one has been through much though his years seem short. Come, sisters. Let us hope he is willing to endure a little more, for all our sakes."

The three slowly drift through the water, towing the youth alongside them. After some time they come to an opening in the coral, leading to a well concealed grotto near the sea floor. The trio approach cautiously, gathering themselves before leading their catch into the gloom.

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Re: "The" Fox's Musings

Unread post by Wyatt » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:20 am

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As the trio enter the coral cave, a whisper ensues, followed by movement in the periphery. The cave's sole inhabitant slowly drifts into view, eyes narrowing as she studies the quartet.

"What isss thissss that you have brought me, daughtersss? Another plaything which you have worn out? Ssssurely you don't expect me to fix your broken toysss." She slowly floats closer, caressing the human tentatively, brow raising in surprise. "This one still lives, if only by the barest of margins. Explain yourselves?"

The three exchange furtive glances, then glares, daring each other to speak. Finally, the eldest musters her courage and flits forward, words spilling forth in an attempt to explain.

"M..m...mother... We found this landsman near the cliffs and thought him dead at first. It appears he is not yet ready to belly up just yet, however. Look at him...look at him! We...we hoped he might agree to the arrangement...the pact. Might he not be a champion for you, mother? He must be strong to pull through all that he has. Mightn't he be beholden to us...you...for saving his life? Freedom could yet be ours after so much time."

The queen grasps the man's jaw, turning his head from side to side, studying. Her hands probe his flesh, finding a plethora of scars, trembling at the size and severity of so many. Her tongue flits out, touching the skin of one cheek and retracts as she considers for long moments.

"Look, young ones. Look closer. Thisss one hasss ssspent his life on the sssalt and in it. Note the injuriesss, long past. He has ached for usss, perhapsss, alwaysss on the cusp. He will not endure much longer. It isss half a miracle that he hasss lasted thisss long."

She chants softly, enveloping the man in her many appendages. His eyes snap open and bulge wide as he fervently takes in his surroundings. Her lips press against his, bestowing him breath in a world he is ill-equipped to survive. Her face draws back, giving him space to take in the grotto, the queen and her daughters.

"Landsman, hear me and heed me well. Your body isss ravaged and isss dying. My daughtersss have done what they can but their talentsss are insufficient. They have brought you to me and would have me offer you life, for a price. I can sssave you, ssseafarer, but it will require sssomething on your part...a bond of sssorts. We wish to experience your...humanity...and would have you champion usss. Choose wisely, man thing, but quickly, for your time in this world isss precariousss.

The man looks to the mermaidens, then to their mother and finally down at his ruined body. His gaze rises and he searches her eyes, his own widening as he sees what is truly being traded in the exchange. His eyes close and his head falls as he slowly nods, spirit defeated and pained at the true cost.

As she perceives his acquiescence the queen turns and nods to her daughters. The trio swim forward and surround the man, holding him upright, freeing their mothers many appendages for the rites that are soon to follow. They look on eagerly as the mystical bonding ensues, daring to dream of freedom for the first time in ages.

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Re: "The" Fox's Musings

Unread post by Wyatt » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:33 am

The sailor, old beyond his years, shakes himself awake from the dreadful memory of his perilous fate at sea. For a moment he blinks, thinking perhaps it is nothing more than one big nightmare that he has finally awakened from. As he rises and moves to the basin, he turns and glances over his shoulder.

The tail, spade ended and moving of its own accord brings a sour frown to his face, reminding the sailor of the truth that is now his lot. He grips the vanity that holds the basin, wiry arms taught as it all comes crashing back. His eyes close and he throws back his head, a silent scream through clenched teeth. Through sheer force of will he holds himself up, finally removing his hands from the nightstand. Faint tendrils of acrid smoke wisp and twine from hand prints, etched into the seasoned wood. He holds his hands up to his face, horror plain on his visage.

Hearing movement, he turns; shirtless, he grasps for weapons that are not at hand as he squints in the dark room. His eyes glow red of their own accord, seeking what little light there is and magnifying it. There, across the room, a cold blue tendril, like the arm of a kraken, grasps at the air and snakes around the bed frame. It seems...mindless...reaching out at random. He squeezes his eyes shut against the horror. Then, a thought comes to him, raw and intuitive. He inhales sharply and the tentacle vanishes into mist, drawing into his parted lips. He coughs, sputtering at the consumed magic, a remnant of the lonely deep that he so narrowly escaped.

Knowing he will find no more sleep this night, he quickly washes with the cold water from the basin and pulls a loose fitting shirt over his head. The copper-haired man draws up his breeches and then sits back onto the bed, pulling on his high, turned down boots before buckling them tight. A matched pair of daggers are strapped to his wrists and then he slips into his coat. Finally he turns and looks at the long, slender blade that accompanied him on his return, so new and foreign. He sighs heavily but slips one arm through the baldric and positions it so that it hangs near to hand. Finally, drawing himself up, he moves out of the inn, making for the docks. He asks about until he is able to find a ship that will take him on, work in return for passage. His destination, the captain asks...?


"Baldurs Gate, cap'n, if the sea does will it."

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