Mar. 18. Some snakes cause trouble at the Three Thieves Inn.
(Chiaroscuro) (Envoy) (Fenter) (Rephidim) (Zoltan)
The Three Thieves
The sign outside the door shows a mug and a turkey leg, and reads, "The Three Thieves Inn". It's nestled in with several other buildings in a slightly seedier part of Rephidim, though not quite in Darkside … about two blocks away, if you to guess at an exact boundary. Inside, the main room is warmly lit by a roaring fireplace, and high on the walls hang mounted heads which give the place its name … and a slightly sinister ambiance. Behind a wooden counter, perpetually polishing glasses that rarely need it, is a grumpy-looking hippogryph Vartan. Near the bar can be seen stairs leading up to the rooms. It's a nicely-kept establishment – not fancy, not grimy – just somewhere in between respectable and not.

Jakka, the bartending hippogryph, grumbles for no particular reason, polishing a glass that she just finished polishing a moment ago.

Fenter sits at his usual barstool, polishing off a glass of scotch that was full just a moment ago.

Chiaroscuro sits at a table, dressed now in black, white, and gray robes, all traces of the dye gone from his fur. He sips slowly on a fruit-juice and liquor blend from a glass, and watches the door idly.

A drunk wolf lumbers over next to the raccoon. "Hey (hic) darlin'… " He gives a lopsided grin, threatening at any moment to fall forward on his nose and capsize the table.

Zoltan enters through the front, he pauses to smile at the three mounted heads on the wall before meandering to a table.

Jakka grunts, and reflexively checks to make sure the crossbow is right where it's supposed to be, under the counter.

Fenter blinks at the wolf. "Excuse me, sir?"

The wolf just staggers there for a while, still grinning, the effort too much for him to figure out what he's supposed to say next. Other than to start over again. Complete with hiccup. "(hic) Hey, darlin'… "

Zoltan rests his chin on his fists as he looks over all the pretty bottles to choose from.

Fenter sighs. "You have me mistaken for someone else, my dear sir. Perhaps you should go meet them? I think I saw your friend head towards the lavatory."

The wolf follows where Fenter points. "Oh yah." He staggers off in that general direction.

Fenter thinks, . o O ( WHEW! )

A snake sitting at one of the tables follows the movement of the drunk wolf, then returns to a quiet card game he's playing with a few other unsavory sorts.

Envoy comes in from the street, along with Rawrii the Vykarin (both of them known here, for better or for worse) and the tall dark bat, Vielanika.

Zoltan heads towards the bar, motioning to Jakka. "Hey! Is long time no see? You still gots smelly wine in red bottle?"

Jakka grunts, "You talk too much." She reaches down under the counter, and brings up a bottle that fits the description.

Chiaroscuro raises a paw in the air, and calls out, "Envoy!"

Envoy smiles and waves to Chiaroscuro, heading towards his table.

Fenter pours the remaining contents of his own bottle into his glass and quickly chugs it down.

Vielanika smiles as she notices the "Kavi" acrobat, and waves, following quickly behind Envoy.

Rawrii, meanwhile, jogs up to the bar, holding a coin in his stubby paw. He slaps it down on the counter. "Rotrut!" he barks, then stands expectantly, his tail wagging back and forth and knocking over two stools.

Zoltan smiles beakishly at Jakka. "Is from being with furfolk all time. Suprised you no pick up bad habit yet." He plonks down a couple of shekels and snatches up his prize.

Fenter goes stiff for a moment and glances over his shoulder.

Jakka scoops up the shekels, looking sour as ever, and pours a mug of some foul-looking brew that sizzles and fumes as it pours out of the keg. She sets the mug in front of Rawrii, who eagerly clasps it in both hands and trots over toward Chiaroscuro and the two flying bards.

The raccoon tries to look nonchalant as he waves to the three newcomers. "Hello there! Envoy, I had no idea you were a bard."

Zoltan doesn't seem to notice the three's entrance. He's more interested in his new bottle. Ahhh… such pretty red glass.

Envoy sits down next to Chiaroscuro, and waves to Fenter! "You didn't, Fenter? What did you think I was?"

Rawrii's tongue lolls as he sees Fenter. "Roke-rent!" he barks.

Chiaroscuro smiles at Envoy, Vielanka, and Rawrii. "Greetings."

Vielanika leans over to Envoy. "I forgot to tell you about him. I suppose he's a good enough sort. He bought lunch for me and Rawrii … some of it was even edible."

Fenter says, "Um… Oh, I thought you might be a mage student of some sort. Or perhaps a scientist."

Rawrii licks his chops, and sets down his mug, then leans over it and begins lapping it noisily and messily.

Zoltan wrestles with the cork on his bottle.

Envoy says, "Oh, well I suppose that's a natural assumption. Have you met Chiaroscuro here yet?"

After the Vykarin finishes licking the table around his mug, he happily trots back to the bar, carrying the empty mug and plopping it down on the counter. "Raw ronn!" he barks, then looks over toward the other Vartan. "Rohtan!"

Fenter looks at the mongoose for a moment, wrinkling his nose. "Yes… I believe we 'bumped' into one another at the Bazaar a week or so ago."

Vielanika chimes in, "He's positively talented! Have you seen him perform? Amazing. It's as if he can fly! Of course, not that this in itself is terribly special, but for someone without wings, you know … "

Chiaroscuro nods. "But I don't believe we were introduced properly. Chiaroscuro Themyst."

Zoltan hears his name (or something that sounds like it) and instinctively jerks his head around to see where it came from. He stares dumbly at the Vykarin for a few moments before the realization sinks in.

Fenter says, "Pardon me… mister Vartan. You have a bottle hanging out of your mouth. That can't be good for your beak."

Envoy turns and waves hello to Zoltan.

Rawrii just gives Zoltan a dopey, tongue-lolling grin. "Rohtan!" he barks again, now that he has someone's attention. He likes that.

Zoltan blinks? and takes hold of the bottle… which has been dangling from his beak by its stubborn cork.

Chiaroscuro blushes. "You exaggerate, Lady Viela. It's just simple jumps and dance, with a good bit of showmanship."

Fenter says, "My name is Fenter, my dear Kavi. A pleasure meeting you."

Envoy says, "I've never seen showmanship in the Bazaar before. I've heard it though."

Zoltan squawks, "Envoy? Rawrii? Oh! Is good to see you! Is been thinking about you."

Envoy says, "Thinking about us?"

Zoltan patpats the Vykarin on his head. "Been keeping Envoy out of trouble?"

Fenter attempts to shake the last drops of liquid from his bottle.

Zoltan bobs his head up and down. "Yah! Was a bit worried… heard you were there when Temple place go crazy. Was worried you been hurt. Is glad to see you fine tho."

Chiaroscuro looks up at the bird-horse for a moment, then back to Envoy. "Seems many of your friends meet here; I ought to come more often.", he says with a friendly grin.

Rawrii shakes his head up and down.

Envoy smiles.

"If you don't mind the dull barkeep." The raccoon murmers to himself, glancing at Jakka for a moment.

Jakka glares back at Fenter … but considering that's about as much of an expression as she gives to anybody, it's hard to call that a reaction.

Envoy waves to Jakka, then tells Chiaroscuro, "Jakka let Rawrii and me perform here once."

Zoltan squawks to envoy. "You have to tell me all abouts what happened… " He glances around for a moment. "… sometime later, in more quiet place."

A snake slithers over next to Envoy – one of the snakes from the card table. "Yesssss. I remember you. Sssssso … are you going to do that danccccce again?"

Fenter whisples to Jakka, waving his empty bottle and glass to the Vartan. "How about another refill, my fine feathered barkeep?"

Envoy smiles to the snake and shakes her head. "Vielanika says I should focus on singing."

Chiaroscuro's eyes seem to glint red in the dim light of the tavern as the snake approaches.

The snake's tongue flits about. "You were doing jusssssst fine, lassssst time," the snake hisses.

Zoltan looks at the snake, then back at Envoy. He just shakes his head.

Envoy turns to Vielanika, "Should I practice dancing more too?"

Jakka sizes up Fenter and his likelihood to give a good tip, and shrugs. She sets down the latest glass and heads over to Fenter.

Vielanika's gaze doesn't leave the snake. Her expression is less than friendly.

Chiaroscuro flexes his fingers slightly, clawtips tapping on the table-edge.

The snake's buddies are shuffling cards … and watching the proceedings … from the safety of their table across the room.

Fenter places a few very scuffed up shekels in front of him. "Another bottle of Elamoore Scotch, if you please. Or the Vykarin Vodka if that's still available."

Zoltan pats Envoy's shoulder. "This not good place for little one like you to dance. Should stick to singing."

The snake hands a coin to Envoy. "You do like lasssssst time, bard."

Envoy blinks, "You want to hear 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star?'"

Zoltan casts a sidelong glance at Rawrii, narrowing his eyes and looking back to the snake.

Envoy says, "You should ask Vielanika, she dances much better than I do."

"Bah… who wants to see dancing. You drink enough and everything dances eventually without the help of money." Fenter said from his barstool.

Rawrii barks, "Riro riro ri-ur rar!"

The snake smiles. "Yessssss. That'ssss the one."

Chiaroscuro only barely hears Envoy and the rest, their speech lost in the buzz in his skull. His attention does not leave the Naga.

Envoy looks to Vielanika for direction.

Vielanika says, "I think we should go now, Envoy."

The Naga grins fangily. "No. That'ssssss rude."

Jakka gives Fenter a full mug, and returns to her usual spot behind the counter.

Fenter erks… sensing trouble. He makes a point to scoot down a few stools (taking his mug with him) until he almost crashes into the mongoose.

Zoltan starts to bristle just a little. "Why is chicksong so important? Give you coin to kavi chick… they probably be happy to sing for you."

Chiaroscuro turns suddenly towards the commotion Fenter is making…

Envoy hands the coin back to the Naga, "I'm sorry, but we have to go."

The snake glares balefully at Vielanika. "Are you her keeper?"

Chiaroscuro turns his attention from the drunk raccoon in the cut-rate robes and back to the snake…

Envoy says, "What is a keeper?"

Fenter smiles as best as he can to Chiaroscuro. "My pardons. I just would rather be at the other end of the bar if venom starts spurting about. It's bad for my health you know."

The snake reaches out for Envoy's wrist. "Forget the bat. You sssstay and dancccce. I have more ssssshekelssss."

Chiaroscuro reaches across the table with lightning reflexes, catching the snake's wrist in his hand, claws not yet dug in. His eyes glare red all around.

Envoy blinks at the snake and mongoose, and can only say… "I never forget anything, though."

The snake hisses angrily, his tailtip thrashing about.

Chiaroscuro's voice is suddenly a bass, and coated in gravel. "The lady wishes to leave. And she shall."

Fenter says, "Oh dear… oh dear… oh deeeear… "

A chittering, rattling noise begins building up, as the snake's tailtip vibrates.

The other snakes are standing now (or, at least, what passes for standing, since they haven't any legs), the cards put away … but they're at a fair distance, closer to the door than to the immediate scene.

Zoltan tries to yank Envoy backwards. "Careful Kavi… rattlers usually mean poison."

Fenter tries to worm himself behind the bar, much to the chagrin of Jakka.

Chiaroscuro's head starts a back-and-forth jerking, and a rkk-tkk-tkk-tkking noise comes from his throat. He drops back to speech just long enough to say, "Envoy, go," before resuming his action-call.

Envoy blinks again, this time at Zoltan. "He's not a Kavi… he's a mongoose."

The snake looks into Chiaroscuro's eyes, and his body shakes a bit. There's a flash of something in his eyes. "Let me go," he hisses.

Zoltan frowns… she's talking silly things again. "Go to bat teacher. Is no safe here."

Envoy moves away all the same. She doesn't know how susceptable to poison she is.

Chiaroscuro's voice comes in a strange language for a moment, before returning to familiar Rephidim Standard… "Shrueeena Envoy tuneeeli alone, and I will."

Envoy whispers to Vielanika, "Chiaroscuro will kill the snakes if we don't do something."

The snake jerks again. "Let me go. Forget the dancccce. Forget the ssssshekelsssss."

Fenter peeks out from the other side of the bar. He reaches out and grabs his mug, disappears for a moment. and then pops his head back up again as he redeposits the mug back… minus its contents.

Vielanika looks back to Envoy, with an expression that almost seems to say, "So what?" but then she looks back, and it seems like she's trying to struggle to be a little more reasonable than that.

Chiaroscuro lets the snake go, but does not for one moment turn his gaze or slack in his focus. His eyes still burn red over their natural brown.

( How does he change his eye color like that? Magic?) Zoltan wonders.

The rattler pauses a moment … then shoots for the door. The other snakes do likewise.

Envoy blinks. "Wow, they're pretty fast."

Fenter scoots further down the bar; gee… someone forgot their glass.

Zoltan relaxes as the snakes leave.

Chiaroscuro tracks the snakes with his eyes until they are all out of the tavern, then collapses back in the chair. The red tint in his eyes leaves, and all the adrenaline seems to flow out of his body.

Fenter removes another mug from the bar, dissapearing behind it again. Suddenly, a torrent of choking and sputtering noises erupts from him. "Yeeech! Who put this glass of soap out here?"

Jakka snorts.

The bartender Vartan lowers the crossbow she'd been holding at the ready, and puts it back into its usual spot underneath the counter.

Envoy goes back to Chiaroscuro and rubs the back of his neck. "Thank you."

Chiaroscuro reaches for a small figuine, held on a string necklace. " Rik' Sammarrin, Rik' Tumarin, Rik' Venorin, Selah. ", he half-chants, in a unfamiliar tongue.

Vielanika snaps out of her stupor, and nods assent. "Yes, thank you. I've never seen anyone scare a Naga quite like that before."

Envoy wonders idly if this counts as another riot that can be blamed on her or not.

"Gzuntiet," A pointed hat behind the bar says to the mongoose.

Envoy says, "Racial memory perhaps, Vielanika."

Chiaroscuro leans back into the neckrub… "Chrrr… thank you, Lady Envoy."

Zoltan looks at Rawrii. "This happen to you lots?"

Vielanika's expression as she looks at Envoy is that familiar one that says, "What on Sinai are you talking about?"

Rawrii whine-shrugs, and returns to lapping his next mug of rotgut, droplets sizzling as they splatter against the countertop.

Envoy keeps rubbing, but looks to Vielanika. "I told you, Chiaroscuro is a mongoose. Mongooses hunt and kill snakes."

Chiaroscuro looks upwards to Envoy. "Perhaps we should discuss this some place more… private, Envoy. You seem to know of the war of Rik's children and Nakh's."

Vielanika mouths an "Oh," and leaves it at that.

Zoltan scratches the back of his head. Mongoose… right.

Envoy looks blank for a few moments, then says, "I don't have any information on Rik or Nakh."

Fenter casually walks out from behind the bar. "Mongoose… isn't that what you stuff mattresses with?"

Chiaroscuro hmmmms at Envoy… "Curious… "

Zoltan decides to follow the Vykarin's lead and rips the cork from his bottle. He noisily begins gulping the contents.

Envoy shakes her head to Fenter. "I imagine if there were any mongooses on Sinai, the Naga must have exterminated them millenia ago."

Fenter says, "Ah… I guess the Naga needed lots of mattresses for some reason."

Zoltan glug, glug, glug…

Envoy blinks three times at Fenter.

Envoy says, "What did you do before you came to Sinai, Chiaroscuro?"

Chiaroscuro sips the last of his drink… shvering at the word 'exterminate', but picking up clearly her word for 'mongoose'. "Perhaps we ought head elsewhere to share our knowledge, Envoy… more private, and in case the Naga decide to return."

Fenter says, "I don't see why they would. They probably already have mattresses… "

Vielanika gives Chiaroscuro a dubious look. "Just how private? And is it very far from here?"

Rawrii lap, lap, SLURP, lap

Chiaroscuro looks curiously at the babbling raccoon, then makes the decision it seems most others have: Ignore him.

Chiaroscuro says, "I have an apartment, not very far, Lady Viela. Or perhaps you know or a place more secure."

Zoltan hiccups to himself and leans lazily against Rawrii's side.

Fenter sneaks a look at the Nagas' playing cards. "Oh… five aces. I play with a deck like that all the time."

Fenter pokes at a half empty mug… but decides against it. It's probably not a good idea to drink after a race of people who have poison in their teeth.

Vielanika shrugs. "No, not particularly. Except perhaps the safety of the Bards' Guild."

Rawrii urps, and his wagging tail makes more and more lazy sweeps. He makes a snorting noise, and leans sideways, counterbalancing Zoltan.

Chiaroscuro nods to Viela. "Let it be to your choice."

Zoltan pours some of the contents of his bottle into Rawrii's mug, smiling goofily at the Vykarin. His eyes don't seem quite focused anymore.

Vielanika pauses a long moment, then looks to Envoy. "You're a big girl. You can decide for yourself. I can't hold you by the hand everywhere."

The Vykarin leans forward to lap at his mug, empties it … and then his muzzle stays there. "Snxzzzzzzzzzz"

Envoy blinks. "You hardly ever hold my hand, Vielanika. I would like to see Chiaroscuro's apartment though. I haven't seen very many."

Vielanika sighs. "Very well then." She walks over to Rawrii, and starts poking him, trying to wake him.

Zoltan drains the last little bit from his bottle and likewise passes out. He leans against the Vykarin's side.

Fenter jumps up on the card table as a vermite runs by. "AIEE!"

Rawrii snorts, and straightens up, pulling away from Zoltan abruptly. He sniff-sniffs at the air.

Envoy blinks and looks at Fenter. "Why are you holding your dress up like that, Fenter?"

Chiaroscuro stands up, readying to depart, still seeming a little tense over the earlier near-fight.

Jakka looks across the room. "Down from the table," she snorts.

Zoltan falls over as Rawrii stands. He scrawks angrily.

Rawrii, completely oblivious to the falling Vartan, trot trots across the room, sniffing.

Fenter says, "But… it might climb up my leg again!"

Fenter bounces from foot to foot.

Envoy watches the curious dance.

Zoltan clutches his head and looks about the room. Gee, Envoy has two sisters now!

Rawrii snaps at the vermite. "Rawrf!" His aim is a bit off, though. *CHOMP*

Chiaroscuro says, "Shall you be coming with us, Lady Viela?"

Vielanika looks to Envoy and sighs. "Shall I?"

Fenter glances over his shoulder, and makes eye contact with the lion head mounted on the wall. "AIEEE!" He leaps off the table, landing squarely on the Vykarin's back.

Rawrii YIPES and spins around, trying to see who hit him. The stool that Rawrii chomped is still dangling from his mouth.

Fenter says, "Ahhh! The table's moving! See! See! You drink enough here and everything dances!"

Envoy says, "Yes, Vielanika knows more of this world than either of us."

Zoltan groans and clutches his head.

Fenter clings tightly to his 'table'.

Rawrii loses his balance and falls under the table with a clatter as the stool falls out of his mouth. He whimpers.

Fenter whimpers much louder! He has a Vykarin laying on his tail!

Envoy blinks. "What's wrong with Rawrii? He doesn't usually sleep so soundly, does he?"

Fenter says, "First you bite it then you use it as a mattress! What did I ever do to you? Did I sneeze on one of your uncles or something?"

Vielanika grumbles. "He can usually handle more drinks than that. And I thought he had a full stomach… " She marches over and tugs on the Vykarin's tail to try to pull him out from under the table.

Fenter says, "My dear lady… your friend NEVER has a full stomach. That I can assure you, as can my moneypouch."

Zoltan scoots over to Envoy, the one in the middle.

Envoy smiles to Zoltan.

Chiaroscuro stretches a bit, waiting for Envoy and/or her friends to depart… not paying much attention to them. .o( Nakh-spawned buzzing isn't even driven away by spirits. )

Rawrii stumbles to his hooves, and staggers first one way, then the other, steered by Vielanika. "I'm going to try to get him back," the bat says, grunting a bit as she struggles with the Vykarin's weight.

Zoltan just sorta looks googly eyed at Envoy. He hands her the almost empty bottle.

Fenter peeks at his moneypouch. A Kavi sold it too him moments after his own vanished. Amazingly enough it looked exactly like his old one. Good luck that was.

There are a few clattering noises, followed by a high-pitched "eep!", as Vielanika and Rawrii stumble out the entrance to the tavern. And then there's an irregular clip-clop-clippity-clop down the street.

Envoy sniffs at the bottle and takes a drink from it.

Zoltan hiccups rather friendly-like to Envoy.

Zoltan leans on Envoy's side, from his hitting spot on the floor. Within moments he's making little snoring noises.

Envoy's face wrinkles up. "What is this stuff? It makes my stomach warm."

Zoltan snkzzzzzzz…

Envoy looks at Zoltan, and tucks the bottle into one of his hands. "Maybe we should just leave them here. Jakka will look after them, won't she?"

Chiaroscuro says, "I would venture it is a type of wine, Envoy."

Fenter says, "Jakka has a nice little alley in the back. Yes indeedy."

Fenter says, "I've been there many tim-… er… I've heard about it."

Envoy says, "Will you look after Zoltan for me, Fenter?"

Jakka glowers. "Could save me trouble and go outside while you have feet still."

Fenter says, "Babysit the Vartan? Oh dear."

Chiaroscuro walks out of the tavern with Envoy.

Envoy heads outside with Chiaroscuro.

Fenter pokes at the comatose Vartan. He whistles to himself and nonchalantly walks to the back of the bar.

Zoltan snooores.


GMed by Greywolf

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Today is 6 days before Midsummer's Day, Year 28 of the Reign of Archelaus the First (6127)