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Legends of Taltos:Crusaders


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"Aye lad! That is much better!" Proclaims McDonald loudly as he finishes fastening the latest fit of the breastplate to George's chest.

 

George is simply stunned. He's stood in the forecourt of McDonald's smithie, dressed in parts of a suit of armour. As he stands there, allowing the smithie to do what he needs to do, he admires the parts he has on.

 

From his nigh on motionless position, George can see one of the other smiths working on his sword, sharpening it and attempting to balance it better for George.

 

I wonder why Sir Halabrad would go through all this palava just for me. George thinks to himself as the sun approaches its zenith. No, I mustn't think like that. Roman and Halabrad believe I can aid them, and in the long run, I am sure a Knight is worth more to the Crusade than a squire.

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Upon seeing Ben, Rai's gentle face hardens and she quickly adverts her attention to the shop keeper. Though she speaks not a word to Ben, he thinks he heard a slightly snorted, 'humph' from under Rai's breath.

 

"Good day," she greets the shop keeper. "I'm in need of a few potions of healing and perhaps a few others that might be of aid on a crusade."

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Having heard the others discussing the various preparations they would be making before leaving, Janara decided to finally get around to looking over her equipment and seeing if anything needed repairing or replacing.

 

Her bow seemed in good enough shape still, though maybe a spare string or two would be nice, and she could always use more arrows. She tried her best to take extreme care of the bow and her sword and mace, as she guessed they would have both cost dearly if she had bought them outright. She liked trading better because it seemed more honest; and also because it did not involve having to calculate the value of the various denominations of coinage, a talent she had a serious lack of. For the same reasons, she usually did not have much gold or silver of her own.

 

Sorting through her other gear, she guessed it might be a good idea to get a bit more preserved foodstuffs just in case the place where she might be going was too corrupted by evil to be fit to forage from. Her best foraging sack had also been spoiled by its last contents, so she got rid of it the day she arrived back in the Spire, and would be needing a new one. Her dagger was still rusty, as it had always been. It was likely not very good steel, since it had been presented to her all-too-freely the first time she left Denelspire over a year ago, but it was excellent as a cooking impliment. A new knife or even a small axe might be nice, but she doubted she had enough gold for even something such as those. She then checked over her rope. A friend from her rangering-days had recommended she take a good length of it, though she believed she would never really need it. Strange how it came in handy though for rigging up quick shelter. It was in bad shape now though, full of knots and splices. Some new rope would be good.

 

Most of these things Janara knew where to find. Preserved food could be gotten at the market or begged from the larder of the abbey. She supposed if she was to be asked to volunteer for the upcoming crusade, the armoury would at least be generous enough to give her loan of a good knife or small axe, but she wasn't sure where to get rope.

 

Then she remembered that halfling that was with Joe. He had a coil of it amoung his own gear the last time she saw him, so she went to look for Zeke and get some advice on where to buy or trade for rope.

 

Joe was easily found. In her wandering around Denelspire, she found him either leaving or entering the Leaky Stoat. His small friend was nowhere to be seen.

 

"Hey Joe! Where's your friend?", she asked him, but as usual, the response was silence with a grin. He then gestured for her to look behind her, and there was Zeke. He had managed to sneak up on her in spite of her instinctive backward-glancing and keen hearing, and was now re-introducing himself with all the enthusiam of a marketplace hawker. Listening to him, she was quickly gaining an appreciation of the tusky-faced halforc's silence.

 

"Where'dya get your rope at?", she asked the halfling. "I need'ta get some new rope, but don't know where from."

 

Soon after, following Zeke's advice, Janara had bought herself a coil of silken rope and pitons, as well as a small hand-axe and new foraging sack. She wasn't even sure what the pitons were for, but Zeke assured her that it was better to have one-too-many than one-too-few, so she bought ten of them.

 

Her money pouch was alot lighter now. In fact, she was left with two silver pieces, which she supposed would not buy much else, so she decided to leave them in Sister Alma's charity coffer for the orphanage.

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Oh how much longer is this going to take?! George thinks to himself as he notices the sun nearing the tops of the buildings.

 

He's standing in the smithie's forecourt still, but now he's almost totally covered in metal plates and small pieces of mail. In fact, now the only parts of his body not covered are his head and one arm.

 

"Okay lad, this should fit like a glove." Chuckles McDonald the armour smith as he holds out a freshly adjusted gauntlet for George to put his hand into. As George flexes his fingers, McDonald attaches the bracer to George's arm and makes sure that there's no gaps in the armour. "Now listen to me carefully lad. Sir Halabrad has said you're to keep this on all through your vigil. The reason for that is simple, you won't have time to grow used to the weight of the metal."

 

With that, McDonald turns and walks back into the smithie and begins work on the helmet. After a few moments, one of the other smiths makes his way out and begins putting a wide leather belt around George's waist while another attaches George's beat up old scabbard to it.

 

And with great ceremony, the smith who'd spent the best part of the afternoon working on George's sword brings it out and slides it into the scabbard.

 

"Not too long now lad." Smiles the smith as he watches George test the blade, and finds it perfectly balanced. "Old McDonald is the best armour smith in the Spire. This is not even close to his record either, he's taking his time with your suit."

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Having finished with her practice Licia heads off to walk around a bit when she has the extreme pleasure of seeing Ben come storming out of a shop. That's.....and she fumbles a bit trying to recal his name Ben! He doesn't look to happy. I wonder what's up? Hurring up a bit she calls out "Ben!?"

LT

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"Would M'lady like to learn the use of her new trinkets?"

 

Janara looked at Zeke, then at her purchases, then at Joe, and then back at Zeke. Wondering to herself just exactly which trinket the halfling was on about.

 

"What? Here? Now?"

 

Zeke looked toward the tower in which the meeting was just held, and went trotting toward it enthusiastically with hammer in one hand and a piton in the other. Janara nudged Joe once Zeke was out of earshot.

 

"That little Zeke.. he ain't got good sense, does he."

 

In spite of it all, she stuck around to see what would happen next.

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After storming out of the shop, Ben is at a loss as to what to do next. As he begins to head down the street in any random direction just to get away from the humiliation of facing Rai after his childish display, he hears a familiar voice call out his name.

 

He turns to see the young, blond haired warrior woman approaching him. Composing himself as best he can, Ben greets the young lady with a slight bow. "Hello...Licia, is it? How may I be of service to you?"

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"I don't need anything, unless you can help me learn to throw knives a bit better." She rolls her eyes a bit "Morena says I am getting better but I need more practice or better balanced knives. Though I don't know what difference that will make." Then looking back up at Ben she gives a crooked smile "But I am wandering here. I saw you leave that shop back there and you seemed a bit put out. And I thought that if the shop keeper had slighted you somehow, maybe I could help. After all not being 'official crusaders' the shopkeepers don't have to be quite as 'honest' with us. Which means we have to look out for each other. So, can "I" help you?"

 

LT

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"Aye, a bit of knife throwing practice would probably be a good idea. It might help me work out this unusual anger that I've been feeling lately." Ben says thoughtfully. "Worry not, it was not the shopkeeper who slighted me. My emotion stems from other affairs actually...a dispute with a wom...er, a friend...well, no, she's more than that...oh, I guess men will just never be able to figure out the minds of women!!!" He shakes his head in frustration.

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Taken aback by Rai's behavior, Ben's anger seethes forth once again. "Good day, MY Lady!" He blurts out as he exits the shop, slamming the door with a reverberating bang.

 

Rai flinches at the slamming door then rolls her eyes and returns her attention to the shop keeper. "Perhaps you have a need for a potion of this nature," the old woman says as she raises a bottle with reddish liquid; a heart drawn on the label.

 

Rai blushes and frowns. "No thank you, that won't be necessary. I'm only interested in potions that will heal mortal wounds." Sighing to herself as her heart begins to ache, she continues to look through the woman's stock selecting those potions that will be a benefit and what she can afford.

As she exits the shop, Rai's heart sinks again as she sees Ben standing off to the side speaking with the pretty blonde that she realized from one of the other groups. Feeling the sting of jealousy, her first thoughts are, Well that didn't take long. She stares probably a little longer than she intends catching the gaze of Ben. The blood rushes to her cheeks and she lowers her eyes instantly. She lingers for only a moment, then turns and walks the opposite direction.

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Licia laughs at Ben's exhasperated Look. "Sorry, but you sound just like my brothers. They swear they will never understand women either. And the worst thing is it isn't a lack of understanding causing the trouble but a lack of communication! " She sighs and shakes her head. "Anyway, maybe I can help and offer you all my wisdom from all my years of coaching my brothers through thier 'female troubles'." She look up at Ben to see his eyes widen as Rai catches his eyes, then looking over her shoulder see's Rai. Licia's eyes widen a bit, "Well I bet this sure doesn't look good." Then seeing Rai's reaction "Nope, it didn't." Then looking back up at Ben "Well, what are you waiting for? Go after her. You don't clear the air now, it's only going to get worse. Trust me on this, I am a woman and I know how we think. And since you both may have to work together again real soon......Best to get it straightened out now." And then raising an eyebrow in challenge she steps to one side to allow Ben to go after Rai.

LT

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As Ben listens to Licia, he begins to calm down a bit. Her words make sense. Indeed, this whole incident started because of a miscommunication.

 

Suddenly, Ben's attention is diverted elsewhere by the sound of a door closing. As he looks up from his conversation with Licia, his eyes lock onto Rai's. The expression that he sees their in the split second before she lowers them is enough to make his heart drop into the pit of his stomach and causes him to catch his breath.

 

"Well, what are you waiting for? Go after her. You don't clear the air now, it's only going to get worse. Trust me on this, I am a woman and I know how we think. And since you both may have to work together again real soon......Best to get it straightened out now."

 

"Yes, I think that you're right." Ben responds. "I guess our knife throwing practice will have to wait a bit. Thank you for your help."

 

Ben follows after Rai at a quick trot and as he gets closer, he calls out to her. "Rai, please wait!! We need to talk...please!!"

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