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Legends of Taltos:Crusaders

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A sudden thoughtful look passes over Aridwyn's face, and she carefully sets down the elven book. "Ernesto, did you happen to come across any books on Reptus prophecy?"

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Ernesto pauses a moment, thinks, and answers, "there is a folio manuscript in the left hand stack that covers some detail on the Reptus beliefs.....millinerianism, dualism, a rival school teaching of an outsider who will bring change....."He looks up from his book."Ohhhh, you meant he incident with young Bhogmur. Very applicable, yes indeed. "He now stops and finds her the slim volume.

 

Janara flushes full-magenta as she finds a tinted illustration of Gragg Elf-slayer in full battle rage. Nothing said for the next few minutes registers with her.

 

Bootknife, Guillem and Jasmine stare in wonder as Joe, Bhogmur and Freen ferosciously move pieces on the board, knocking figures aside, making mock warcries, and dissolving in childlike laughter. Bootknife finally finds some appetizers.

 

*****

 

Khong-to gestures his guests to be seated, then with the help of Khowloon, begins a thorough interview, most of it directed at Rune(Khowloon whispers to the dwarf that his greeting had greatly pleased the tyrant).

 

"Are you empowered to negotiate on behalf of Your Most Compact Excellency, King Thorgram? And if so, does he seek a trade aggreement, may his beard grow ever long?" Khowloon's smile indicates that he has passed on a great complement to the Dwarven king.

 

To Rai, the Tyrant asks, "As leader of the party from Denelspire, how did you find your dealing with the Most Interesting Freen? did he behave as a gentleperson?"

 

Food is brought forth on huge trays, by servants both reptus and human. Never has there been such a collection of rare spices, outside a Nefsokar mortuary.

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Aridwyn eagerly takes the manuscript from Ernesto and begins to search it for information on the Child of Harmony, pausing only to snicker at Janara's slack-jawed admiration of Gragg Elfslayer. "Looks like Joe has some competition..." she whispers to her friend in her lowest voice, hoping Ernesto won't notice.

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Rune smiles back at the compliment to his king before replying, "No, Majesty, I am afraid I am not the negotiator here. Lady Rai has power over the bargain. I am here simply as representative of the Dwarven people."

 

He keeps silent about Marcus Freen, knowing that his prejudice will most likely trip up his tongue. He instead takes a bite of someting that looks like a chicken leg. His eyes immediately begin to water, but he takes two more huge bites of the spicy meat. He washes it down with a gulp of beer, grins, and says, "Wonderful!"

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"Looks like Joe has some competition..." she whispers to her friend in her lowest voice, hoping Ernesto won't notice.

 

"No he don't.", Janara whispers defensively as she quickly turns to the next page. Though she knows full well that Aridwyn already knows at least part of what she is thinking, she does not want Ernesto to think she is being anything less than serious and scholarly.

 

She picks an arbitrary paragraph and tries to concentrate on her reading. After plodding through half a page of the names of the descendants of some Khan called Yongha, her thoughts wander and she clears her throat to stifle a laugh. She leans over closer to Aridwyn, pretending to look at a page in the book concerning Reptus prophecy, then whispers when she's sure Ernesto's aging ears cannot overhear.

 

"That'un ain't nothin' like Joe. He don't even have tusks."

 

She closes her book, discreetly marking her place with a fold of fabric from the sleeve of her borrowed robes. "Zeek would prob'ly wanna see all these books too. He could help Ardywen look for stuff about Bhoggy.", she says loud enough for Ernesto to take notice. "Maybe Mal an' Bootknife-Ben'll wanna help too."

 

Holding the book about orcs under one arm, she excuses herself from the library and heads back toward the sitting-room where Joe and the others were, hoping Zeke will turn up there.

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After getting some food in his belly, Ben sits again and is obviously in a bit better mood. He watches the proceedings of the game with great interest chuckling to himself ever now and then.

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Rai nods at the inquiry regarding Freen cautiously. "Though we have had ill dealings with Marus in the past, he seems to be quite genuine on this journey."

 

Even though she is quite hungry, Rai is able to keep to her manners, eating slowly to thoroughly enjoy the new flavors of the foods.

 

"This is lovely," she compliments after Rune.

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*raising the dead?*

 

------

 

Janara wanders through several of the rooms of the legation looking for Zeke or anybody that might have seen him. The legation appears to be only staffed by human servants, none of whom are able to provide her with any real helpful information regarding the halfling beyond asking if she has tried looking outside yet.

 

Still toting the book about orcs, she decides to put aside her personal dislike of Marcus Freen and ask him if he will help her since he speaks the language. Not wanting to be solely at the mercy of a man she does not trust, she also asks Bootkinfe Ben to come along.

 

"Come an' help me an' that Marcus Freen hunt for Zeke.", she says to Ben loudly, then adds on more quietly, "I know that Marcus Freen don't like me an' he knows I don't like him one liddle bit. If you come too maybe he won't get up'ta any tricks."

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Khong-to gestures his guests to be seated, then with the help of Khowloon, begins a thorough interview, most of it directed at Rune(Khowloon whispers to the dwarf that his greeting had greatly pleased the tyrant).

 

"Are you empowered to negotiate on behalf of Your Most Compact Excellency, King Thorgram? And if so, does he seek a trade aggreement, may his beard grow ever long?" Khowloon's smile indicates that he has passed on a great complement to the Dwarven king.

 

To Rai, the Tyrant asks, "As leader of the party from Denelspire, how did you find your dealing with the Most Interesting Freen? did he behave as a gentleperson?"

 

Food is brought forth on huge trays, by servants both reptus and human. Never has there been such a collection of rare spices, outside a Nefsokar mortuary.

Erik listens as As the others of his party speak with the Reptus leader. It is much easier for him to enjoy the scenery when he is not the focus of Khong-To's attention. He still marvels at the garish colors everywhere. The food is still as spicy as he remembers. He cautiously tries everything that is served to him. I don't even want to know what it is! Once your mouth gets over the shock, it's not too bad.

 

Rai nods at the inquiry regarding Freen cautiously. "Though we have had ill dealings with Marus in the past, he seems to be quite genuine on this journey."

Hm. That's surprising. I didn't think a leopard could change its spots. We'll see how it turns out!

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Rai nods at the inquiry regarding Freen cautiously. "Though we have had ill dealings with Marus in the past, he seems to be quite genuine on this journey."

 

Even though she is quite hungry, Rai is able to keep to her manners, eating slowly to thoroughly enjoy the new flavors of the foods.

 

"This is lovely," she compliments after Rune.

Waiting until Khong-To's attention turns to Rune, Erik then leans over to talk to Rai. "Lady Rai, I only now realized that in my shock and surprise at seeing you again, that I did not answer your question. Halbarad was very clear, telling me that you were the leader. I should have answered you first." His face flushes a deep red. "It will not happen again. I am your man, and will follow your lead until our mission is finished."

 

Embarassed at having said so much, to such a beautiful woman, he finds himself suddenly flustered, and turns back to his meal.

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Somewhat irritated at Ben's lack of concern over Zeke, Janara decides to ask Joe to come along. In spite of the fact that two half-orcs and a known scoundrel prowling about town will arouse suspicion from the locals, and in spite of the fact that it will involve leaving Ben and Bhogmur alone together to resume their game of bite-the-human, and in spite of the fact that it is highly likely that Joe will end up punching Marcus Freen in his pasty face, Janara can think of no better way to go about locating the halfling.

 

"You stay here an' put back all the game pieces the way you found 'em, an' when I get back I'll read to ya.", she tells Bhogmur. "Me an' Joe gotta find Zeke."

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Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs, Ben realizes that he's zoned out again. The long trek must have taken a much larger toll on his energy than he thought "It's ok, Joe, I'll accompany Janara and Freen. You stay and finish up your game with Boggy, wouldn't be fair if you left while he had the advantage on ya."

 

Ben stands up, stretches and trots over to join Janara.

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Waiting until Khong-To's attention turns to Rune, Erik then leans over to talk to Rai. "Lady Rai, I only now realized that in my shock and surprise at seeing you again, that I did not answer your question. Halbarad was very clear, telling me that you were the leader. I should have answered you first." His face flushes a deep red. "It will not happen again. I am your man, and will follow your lead until our mission is finished."

 

Embarassed at having said so much, to such a beautiful woman, he finds himself suddenly flustered, and turns back to his meal.

 

Rai smiles and replies in her soft tone, "Sir Erik, I know you did not mean to disrespect. The events upon our arrival were swift. And though the leadership of this quest has been bestowed upon me, I will gratefully listen to any insight you may have on future endeavors."

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Janara grins at Ben's willingness to help, though the idea of having Joe as her escort and bodyguard had already begun to appeal to her.

 

"I ain't seen him since we had that trouble in the street thsi afternoon, an' I wanna make shure he's not got himself in more trouble."

 

She speaks quietly so only Ben hears. "Zeke use'ta be a crook. He use'ta climb up walls into folks' houses and steal. I don't b'lieve he does that kinda thing no more, but then again.. well... these reptusses look like they all got lotsa money an' fine things an' I shure hope Zeke ain't in one of their reptus jails."

 

Suddenly recalling the large book still tucked under her arm, Janara trots over to Joe and gives it to him. "It's about orcs. It's got a few pictures in it you can look at." Still blushing, she returns to Ben's side.

 

"Hurry up, Marcus Freen! If we don't start lookin' now, by the time we find him he won't even be lost no more!"

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She speaks quietly so only Ben hears. "Zeke use'ta be a crook. He use'ta climb up walls into folks' houses and steal. I don't b'lieve he does that kinda thing no more, but then again.. well... these reptusses look like they all got lotsa money an' fine things an' I shure hope Zeke ain't in one of their reptus jails."

 

Ben smiles back at her and whispers, "Trust me, my dear, I know exactly what that sort of trouble is all about. I may have experienced some of the same one or two times in my day as well."

 

While Janara delivers the book to Joe and motivates Freen in her unique way, Ben takes a quick inventory of his small arsenal of weaponry. Satisfied that all is as it should be, Ben puts his best grim expression on his face and eyes Freen warily.

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