(Part 12) For a complete list of this series, please go here.
Locke’s ears perked up at the sound of footsteps in the hallway. He lifted his head as the shuffling stopped before their door. Twyla knocked, making a sharp rap, rap, rap sound as her bony knuckles hit the wood.
“Rissy, dear. It be mornin’,” she called through the door, the wood muffling her voice a little bit.
Aerissa opened her eyes, not moving from the bed. “Thanks, I’m up!” she called back. She patted Locke on the head. He looked at her, his eyes half closed. They were both quite exhausted from the past couple of days in the woods.
“I’ll tell Rathiel that ye be on yer way,” Twyla responded before heading back down the stairs.
Aerissa yawned sleepily as she sat up. She shook her head, clearing the cobwebs from her mind. Then the words sunk in. Deathstalker Rathiel was already waiting for her downstairs. She cursed under her breath as she quickly hopped out of bed and got dressed.
* * *
“I couldn’t quite believe it, myself! I had to go do a quick patrol of the Dead Scar last night just to be sure,” Deathstalker Rathiel rasped to the small gathering of Inn guests. He looked up as Aerissa and Locke came down the last few steps into the Inn’s common area. “And there she is, Miss Aerissa herself,” he pointed a crooked finger in her direction.
Aerissa looked at him curiously, noticing the hushed mumblings of those in the room. She sat down at the table across from Rathiel. Locke, on the other hand, headed straight for the kitchen. “I trust you have brought my reward, Deathstalker Rathiel?” she said calmly.
“That I did, that I did,” he nodded. “I was just telling the rest of the folk ‘round here about what you did… after I had a chance to check the Scar to be sure.” He drummed his bony, skinless finger tips upon the table. “And you know what I found?”
“Two headless abominations laying in the Scar, but no Knucklerot or Luzran to be found.” He stopped drumming and looked intently at Aerissa. “You really did do it.”
Aerissa nodded slowly, uncertain how to respond.
“Good work, Lady Sylvanas will be hearin’ of your deed.” He placed a coin purse on the table, the coins jingling within. He pushed it across the table towards Aerissa, and then stood up. He tipped his head then walked out of the Inn without another word.
Aerissa sat motionless, staring after him. The buzz of the hushed murmurs throughout the room seemed to get louder. She looked down at the coin purse, a smile upon her lips. Her fingers quivered with excitement as she slowly opened it, silently counting the money within. She gasped; it was more than she had hoped for!
“He give ye wot ye deserve, Aerissa?” Twyla asked as she came in from the kitchen, setting down a bowl of fruit and fresh baked bread. Twyla gently touched Aerissa’s shoulder when she did not answer. “Rissy?”
“Hmm? What? Oh, yes! Yes, Twyla, he rewarded me handsomely.” Aerissa pulled out a couple of coins and set them on the table. “This should cover the room for awhile.” She smiled, closing the purse and placing it in her pocket.
“No need, child,” Twyla protested.
“Please, take it,” Aerissa insisted. She turned towards Twyla, smiling widely. “It’s the least I can do. Now where’s Locke, we have some supplies to get.” Aerissa whistled sharply.
“Thank ye, child.” Twyla cupped the coins, dropping them into her apron pocket. Locke sauntered out from the kitchen, licking his chops. He sat down near Aerissa’s leg and began his ritual “after meal” face and paw washing.
* * *
Aerissa marveled at the response she received from the residents of Tranquillien. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits and greeted her warmly. After weeks of suspicious looks and accusatory stares, everyone, Elven and Forsaken alike, were treating her respectfully. She could only assume it was due to the news of Knucklerot’s and Luzran’s demise.
They appreciate your courage. You owed them nothing, but proved your worth.
Aerissa nodded in agreement. The newfound acceptance was a bit overwhelming, but she welcomed it. It felt good to belong there and not be treated like an outsider. She walked briskly down the path, saluting and returning salutes from the guards she passed.
“Tomber, how are you this fine morning?” She asked, approaching his wagon.
“I’m fine, Miss. I’m assuming you have coin today?” He looked at her sternly, poking his finger into the palm of his other hand.
“Why yes I do. Didn’t you hear? I took your advice on that wanted poster.” She grinned, jangling the coin purse in her pocket.
Tomber’s ears perked up at the sound of money. He motioned at his wagon full of wares. “Well, why didn’t you say so? Take a look, buy what you need. Your coin is good here, just not your puny rabbit skins.”
Aerissa took her time looking through his supplies. She picked out a set of casual clothing first. Then she looked through his leather armor sets, selecting a chest piece, leggings, and boots.
“Those are some fine choices. If you have slightly used items that you no longer need, I’ll give you a fair price or trade.” He sneered, eying her dirty, torn and tattered clothing and armor. “You know, just to keep in mind.”
Aerissa rolled her eyes as she folded the casual clothes, setting them aside in a pile. She placed the leather armor pieces on top, balancing her selections on the side of the wagon. She hummed softly as she scanned the rest of his wares. She picked out a handful of good, sharp arrow tips, adding them to the pile.
“That everything?” Tomber’s eyes twinkled, pleased to be making such a large sale today.
“Hmmm,” Aerissa ran her fingers through her hair. “Do you have any daggers?”
Tomber tapped his chin, then nodded with a look of “a-ha!” as he reached into the side of the wagon. “I have a few, but not many….”
He rummaged around for a few minutes before locating a small wooden box. He set it on the side of the wagon and opened the lid. Inside was a collection of throwing knives and darts and a couple of daggers. Aerissa peered into the box, sifting through its contents carefully.
Then she saw it.
“I want that one,” she said, pointing at a well crafted dagger with a blue jewel in its hilt.
“That is a fine choice. I promise I’ll ask less than what it is worth,” he said as he carefully removed it from the box. He held it before her, the hilt resting upon the fingers of his right hand, the tip upon his left.
Aerissa reached for it, but stopped just before her fingers touched the hilt. “Could you just wrap it up for now? Along with everything?”
“Of course….” He nodded, setting the dagger on top of the box. “I think I even have a sheath that will fit it… ah yes, here.” Tomber sheathed the dagger and packed up her purchases. “That’ll be 4 gold.”
“What? No way! I’ll give you a gold and 50 silver for all this. Some of this stuff is “slightly used” after all,” she frowned at Tomber.
Tomber coughed and scratched his nearly hairless head. “3 gold. Final offer.”
Aerissa shook her head. “2 gold.”
Tomber handed the items to Aerissa. “2 gold, 50 silver.”
Sighing she counted out the coins and placed them into his dry hand. “2 gold, 50 silver it is.”
** Please note that some of the events included in RP pieces are based upon actual in-game role play. Also, some of the events and/or character names may have been altered during the transition from in-game RP to story formation. **
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