Explorers of Ariqua. Rated R
Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:23 PM
As they got closer to Niobia, he watched Elizabeth a bit more. As small as she was, she was still very capable. While the females in his village were as large and strong as the males, and some were even larger, it seemed the females of her people were on the small side, not that it meant they were less-able to do things. If she was leader of this group, it meant that she must be able to do the job. He didn't know what it took to make maps, but she seemed to know what she was doing. He couldn't wait to see what her ship looked like, and to sail on it sometime, he'd never sailed before.
Tevyn stayed near the rear of the group as they set off again, to keep an eye out on their flank. He didn't think that they would run into any more trouble, but he didn't take that for granted either. He could tell that the trouble they'd had earlier had left Kylen shaken up and he hoped their doctor was okay. If it was one thing they needed on any trip, it was a healer. If he was too nervous to go with them anymore, they might have to find someone else. Not that Tevyn blamed him, it took a lot of nerve to brave places that had never been explored before and some people just weren't that adventuring.
Aveline walked with Elizabeth as they started walking along the river again. She'd finished her calculations and drawing, so they were heading into Niobia. "I can't wait to get back." She told their leader. "It'll be nice to relax for awhile." And maybe a few other things too. Maybe Elizabeth and Demiriz would get to know each other. She didn't know what her friend's parents would think about him, but she did know that they wanted her to find someone 'worthy of her station'. Hogwash, station didn't matter nearly as much as love did. She was pretty sure her parents would have looked at Nick with some suspicion because of his pirate background, but once they got to know him and saw that he put that behind him, they would warm up to him.
Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:56 PM
The sun was going down by the time Elizabeth and her Explorers made it back to Niobia. The route Demiriz had used to get them there had shaved about an hour off their journey and discovered a new river that flowed into the sea only fourty-five minutes' walk from Niobia itself. They walked through the arched gates that marked the town's latest border and down the main road to the marketplace. All around them shops and stalls were closing and the owners were preparing to go home for the night. Finally Elizabeth stopped in the middle of the main Market Square next to a statue of the explorer that had initially found the natural Niobian harbour. "Good job, team."
She praised them with a warm smile. "You all have time off until tomorrow lunch time when we'll meet in the conference room aboard Voyager. I'll speak to the Arl in the morning about the Ruhalia tribe and their request." She informed them. Then she looked up at Demiriz. "You're welcome to stay in the guest bedroom of the house I have in Niobia, or I can assign you a set of quarters aboard my ship." She offered. "One way or another I have to return to Voyager briefly to let my second in command know what happened." Elizabeth glanced at Aveline. "Unless you're going to see him anyway and can save me the walk if Demiriz wants to remain on dry land for now." She suggested with a wink.
Kylen acknowledged Elizabeth's orders, relieved both that they had reached the safety of Niobia without further fighting or violence, and that they had free time until the following lunch time. That gave him plenty of time to locate and talk to his sister. By now she would likely be at her house preparing dinner, so after bading the other Explorers good evening he headed towards Arlene's house.
His shift having ended an hour ago, Nick had left Voyager and gone to the dockside bar for some food and a few drinks. He liked the food aboard the ship well enough-indeed Elizabeth had gone to considerable trouble to hire two cooks that were actually good and made an effort to ensure that most of the time they had fresh meat and vegetables as part of the crew's diet. However she had absolutely forbidden any kind of alcohol on board. Not that he was being negligent, despite being off-duty he was sitting in full view of Voyager, at a table in front of the bar where he could easily see if the Captain and her shore team returned. And so, Nick lounged in the chair and sipped his first ale of the evening and kept an eye out for their return.
Edited by Mikoto, 02 March 2013 - 10:59 PM.
Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:42 AM
In her Werewolf form, Eru was easily able to push aside large branches, uproot bushes and bend over small trees to clear a path through the jungle. "You always do the same thing," she said. "You have no sense of time. How could it be only seven years when Thoro's daughter Thara was born, grew up and graduated from Emilsia's Existential Arbor Group while we were there? Man, it's hot in the jungle when you're furry. I need a break." She stopped and turned back to the Professor and transformed back into her Human self, wiping sweat from her forehead. She was about to say something else, but she didn't get the chance-- her petite Human body, which was completely naked, didn't weigh enough to hold down the bent-over sapling that she was standing on. It sprang back to its full height, sending her sailing into the air to disappear among the trees. A moment later there was a loud splash.
The Professor sighed, lifted his machete and began hacking through the underbrush in her direction. A minute later he reached the bank of a slowly moving river just in time to help Eru pull herself out of the water. "You're the one who loses track of things, my dear," he said. "You're confusing Thara with her aunt Thiera, who had a tendency to change her path and living quarters quite frequently and who was a virtual twin of Thara."
"Thiera had a large beauty mark on her left cheek, so it would have been impossible to confuse them," Eru replied, shaking herself dry and making sure her long wet hair smacked Arjhay in the face because he deserved it. "We spent more than seven years in the Yulamese catacombs alone. Anyway, when I was above the treeline, I saw the rooftops of Niobia in that direction. If we get you across the river, we can make it by sundown."
"Marvelous," said the Professor. "I could do with a spot of real tea for a change."
Edited by RJDiogenes, 03 March 2013 - 11:44 AM.
Posted 03 March 2013 - 03:10 PM
Tevyn smiled and went off towards the ship, where he had his own quarters, and where he stayed most of the time. He walked just behind Aveline and smiled when she diverted to the tavern, knowing Nick was probably there. He continued on to the ship and stopped by the galley to grab some food to take to his quarters before settling for the evening.
"I would like to see some of this town, if you are not too tired." Demiriz said to Elizabeth after Aveline agreed to report to this Nick. He had noticed several stares aimed in his direction and he assumed that it was because he was so different from them, from his multi-toned skin to his jungle dress. He also noticed that small females were very common to these people, as most of the ones he saw around him were smaller than most of the males around. It was a bit of a shock to see such size difference, but that was the way of people, he supposed.
Posted 03 March 2013 - 07:02 PM
Elizabeth thanked Aveline then turned to Demiriz. "I don't know about you but I'm hungry." She admitted. "How about we go to one of the more civilised establishments here for dinner, then I can show you around Niobia?" She offered. She knew that the town would be a big change for him and it would be useful for him to at least know his way around. Since he had no currency of his own she made a mental note to pay him this week in advance so he could afford food and clothing at least while he settled in.
Posted 03 March 2013 - 07:15 PM
"Actually, I am hungry as well." Demiriz said, smiling at her. "I will follow you now, since you know this place better than I do." He wasn't sure what kind of food that people in this place ate, but he wasn't averse to trying new things. As long as it was palatable, he would be happy to eat it. "And I may take you up on that offer of a guest room, too." He would feel more comfortable if he was somewhere that people weren't constantly staring at him. He was starting to feel a little uncomfortable from it.
Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:17 PM
Elizabeth smiled as she began walking towards one of Niobia's Inns in the market quarter. "Truth be told if I did arrange for you to sleep at an Inn, you'd be stared at by curious locals and the drunk ones would probably come up to you and ask you stupid questions, which isn't the best first impression of my people to give you. My guest bedroom will at least be quiet and private." She explained. Up ahead she could see the 'Travellers Rest Inn.' It was one of the more expensive Inns in Niobia but the food was good there and the patrons less rowdy due to them mostly being wealthy merchants or nobles. When they entered there were many curious looks at Demiriz then most of the patrons returned to their meals. They'd heard about or seen the odd Zapiyan whilst trading with the other tribe. Elizabeth nodded to the owner with a familiar smile then went straight to the bar before ordering food for the both of them. Finally they sat down at an unoccupied table. "Oh while I remember, the Arlessa will want to meet you when we go see her in the morning since you're representing your people. Just be polite and reiterate Taneea's wishes and you'll be fine." She assured him.
Posted 04 March 2013 - 10:38 AM
Demiriz walked with Elizabeth to the place where they would get something to eat, and he let her order for him since he had no idea what they served, nor could he have read it if they had it posted somewhere. He could see what she meant about curious people, as he noticed everyone stared at him as he walked with her, but at least the patrons of the place they entered went back to whatever they were doing after a curious look. He sat down and listened as she told him that the Arlessa, presumably the leader of this place, would want to meet with him as a representative of his people, and he nodded. "I will be happy to meet with her." He said. He would also be happy to use her guest room if it meant not being stared at as if he had two heads or something.
Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:49 PM
Time Stamp: 11:19 am
After dinner at the Traveller's Rest, Elizabeth had shown Demiriz around Niobia, showing him each district and giving him as much information as she could about Sandesinan civilisation and technology as much as one person could in one evening. She would learn about Ruhalia and the Zapiyans later as it was Demiriz that needed to adjust to his new surroundings quickly. Finally after night had fallen she went to the house that she owned in Niobia. In comparison to the mansions of the Couslands and the one she'd lived in as a child, the three bedroomed house seemed small. However it was enough to suit her needs. She could store supplies, equipment and personal belongings here. It was also nice to be able to sleep on land away from the constant roll of the sea. The wide windows could be opened to catch every sea breeze. She had settled Demiriz in one of the guest bedrooms then gone to bed herself.
In the morning after breakfast they went to see Laura the Arlessa and between them, she and Demiriz had explained to her what Taneea wanted, and that she was willing to trade and enter a formal alliance with the Niobians. Meanwhile, Nick and the rest of her exploring team were sitting outside a cafe in the Noble's District, having tea or juice drinks while they waited for their leader and the Zapiyan representitive to finish their meeting...
Elizabeth sat in one of the many rooms of the Arl's Palace in Niobia. Like the rest of the palace it was lavishly furnished with expensive furniture, wall hangings and other decorations. It wasn't a formal meeting as she was sitting comfortably on a plush, soft sofa with a coffee table in front of her, sipping fine Rhalian tea. Laura sat in an armchair and a servant stood quietly by the door in case the Arlessa or her guests needed anything else. "Well then." Laura said after Elizabeth had finished explaining. "It looks like we need to be rid of these slavers. They attacked you as well as the Zapiyans so even if they hadn't requested it, we'd have to deal with it because anyone who ventures outside these walls would be at risk." She explained. "So Elizabeth, what I think I will do is post a generous bounty for the heads of the slavers and their leader. You'll have some rivals going for the pirates." Elizabeth nodded. "All right. As you've inferred, I'll take the job. Has there been any word from the crown about their next job for me?" She asked and Laura shook her head. "No. We're hoping that the next ship to arrive in five days or so will have a message for you." Elizabeth nodded. "We'll get started on hunting the slavers after lunch then. Demiriz, did you have any questions you wanted to ask the Arlessa?" She asked.
Nick sat with Aveline and the others in the cafe opposite the Arlessa's mansion, waiting for Elizabeth to finish with her meeting. Personally he didn't like the noble's district. He had never been a noble, and indeed usually the only time he was found in one was when he was robbing some wealthy snob's mansion. Actually sitting out in the street in the middle of the day sipping overpriced tea, didn't suit him at all. What he did find interesting was that Kylen had brought his sister, Arlene along with him. The two were sitting at the table talking quietly. He recognised the looks Arlene was giving Tevyn. Not that he could say much given the way he often looked at Aveline. A smile touched his lips as he remembered their frolic in the stream outside Niobia last night. He wasn't going to forget that experience in a hurry. Nick allowed himself to dwell on the memories of last night for they were far more entertaining than the overly posh cafe they were currently sitting outside.
Edited by Mikoto, 04 March 2013 - 05:40 PM.
Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:38 PM
"Uh, no, I think everything is very clear." Demiriz said, then glanced around when a young girl, presumably the Arlessa's daughter, walked in and greeted him. "Hello." He said politely, then turned back to the others. She appeared to be studying him, but it was nothing like the staring that had been going on the night before. He'd been eternally grateful for the privacy of the guest bedroom, and had been much more relaxed the next day.
"Aw." Louise thought to herself as she went to sit with her mother and sipped the tea that had been poured for her. "So, anything good happen?" She asked. "Besides a new man walking in?" He was certainly the most interesting thing she'd seen in awhile, maybe there was another one wandering around somewhere.
Aveline sat next to Nick at the table while they waited for Elizabeth and Demiriz to finish their meeting with the Arlessa. Places like this were not her favorite, but it was the chosen meeting place. As she sipped her tea, she couldn't help but smile as she recalled the frolic she and Nick had in the creek the evening before. They were going to have to do that again next time they had time. As it was, she had a feeling they were going to be busy over the next few days, hunting down the slaver groups that were scattered around, hoping to ambush unsuspecting Zapiyan, Salaran or any other traveling group unlucky enough to encounter them.
Tevyn had spent the night before in his quarters on the ship and had met up with the others at the cafe to wait for Elizabeth and Demiriz. When Kylen showed up with his sister, Tevyn couldn't help but stare at her. She was beautiful and he wondered if she had anyone back home. She and Kylen were talking quietly, so he sat back and watched them, wondering what was going on and admiring Arlene. He hoped she was still single, but a woman that pretty probaby wouldn't remain single for long.
Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:40 PM
He joined the group, acknowledging each individual with a mostly perceptible nod, paid up front for his coffee since he was too scruffy to have a tab or even sit down without parting with some money and sat down. He studied his coffee carefully wondering what made it cost twice as much as the shop 5 minutes away. He pretended not to notice as the romantic pairs did their best to admire each other subtly or not so subtly in some cases and confronted the problem of not letting his coffee go cold while not wanting to pay for another one. Life in the city brought such difficult choices.
Edited by Balthamos, 04 March 2013 - 05:40 PM.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:57 AM
"Hello Louise." Elizabeth politely greeted the teenager. If things went well for her in Niobia it was quite likely that in years to come she would end up working for Louise as the new Arlessa. With that in mind she was polite and friendly towards the girl although her own diplomatic nature meant that she would have been nice to her anyway. She saw little point in antagonising anyone unless it was really necessary. "We hope to develop an official alliance with Demiriz's tribe, and trade with them. It would benefit both our peoples. But we can't really do that until the slavers are dealt with." In truth Elizabeth wasn't entirely happy that Laura had put up a general bounty on the slavers rather than granting her an exclusive contract. However she did understand it from the Arl's perspective. Multiple armed groups tracking down the slavers stood a higher chance of getting them dealt with quicker. Still, she believed in her competence and that of her team and was confident they could find and eliminate the slavers first.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:51 AM
Elizabeth blinked at Louise, momentarily surprised then shook her head. "No." She answered. "He's the first of the Ruhalia tribe to leave their lands." She explained.
"Well, darn." Louise said with a mock-pout. Despite having several Elviri males to choose from, she wanted a Zapiyan too, but she knew this one wasn't interested, at least not in her. "I want one." She said to her mother. "Demiriz isn't interested, though."
Laura regarded her daughter for a few moments as she weighed the pros and cons. "They appear to be Hume. There could be consequences to you having one." She cautioned, then looked at Demiriz to include him on the conversation. "Your people take relationships seriously I presume?"
Demiriz didn't know what to think about Louise and the way she asked about his people and he regarded her mother as she asked him about relationships. "Yes, we do." He answered her. "But I am sure that one of my younger relatives might wish to...see more of the world than our village has to offer." He offered.
Louise perked up at the mention of a younger relative and she regarded Demiriz thoughtfully, finally smiling when she realized why he wasn't interested in her, but she wasn't going to spoil anything for Elizabeth. "Well, if you can talk one of them into coming, I'd love you forever." She said.
Laura nodded. Well then Louise, it's up to you. So long as you're aware there may be political.... and biological consequences. They seem closely related to Humes."
Louise nodded at her mother, then glanced at Elizabeth and smiled. "Well, 'Liz, I have to say that I find the Zapiyans more appealing than most of the humes that I've been in contact with. Who knows? Maybe I might really 'like' him."
Elizabeth nodded. "Then once we have the slaver business dealt with and I return to Ruhalia, I'll talk to their Chief about it." She agreed. "But if she asks that it has to be a formal arrangement, still want me to bring one home?"
Louise gave what Elizabeth said some thought and she nodded. "I'm sure we can come to some sort of agreement on the matter." She said. She was as practical as her mother in most matters and she at least hoped that they could come to a suitable arrangement.
"Okay." Elizabeth said. "I was just making sure I knew how much I'm authorized to do." She set down her tea cup and stood. "We'll be seeing you in a few days then."
Demiriz listened to the back and forth between the three females and he was pretty sure that some kind of arrangement could be made. In fact, he had an idea of which relative might be open to meeting her. When Elizabeth stood, he also stood. "I may have someone in mind, if my mother agrees to it." He said. "He is just a little older than you are, in fact."
"Sweet." Louise said as she finished her tea. "I'll be waiting to hear from you and I hope you find those slavers before they do any damage."
Laura also stood and shook Elizabeth's hand, then Demiriz's. "Good luck." She nodded to the servant standing by the door to show Elizabeth and Demiriz out then turned to Louise. "Elizabeth and her crew are amongst the best in their business. I'm pretty sure they'll be the ones claiming the bounty."
Louise smiled and hugged her mother as she waited for Demiriz and Elizabeth to leave. "I don't have any doubt about that." She said. "And I hope whoever they bring back likes me as much as Demiriz likes 'Liz." She said, winking at her mother before heading out to go find one of her Elviri consorts.
Laura blinked at her daughter's perceptiveness, having missed any particular interaction between Elizabeth and Demiriz, then chuckled and went about drawing up the bounty.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:09 PM
She noted that Kylen had brought his sister along and made a mental note to ask him about it. "The bad news is that it's such a top priority she's going to make it an open bounty, which means we'll have every able-bodied mercenary, adventurer, explorer and off-duty Guard out hunting for them." Despite herself a slight hint of annoyance had crept into Elizabeth's tone. "So, we'd better get started if we want that money. We have an advantage in that it'll take several hours for the Arlessa to post the bounty and even longer for word to get around. We can get a head start." Nick raised his hand to get her attention. "There is a second advantage in that I'm an ex-pirate. I know just the kinds of places a group like that would look for." He added helpfully.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 12:22 PM
Tevyn glanced over when Elizabeth finally joined them and he listened while she explained everything. Having to compete with every cutthroat mercenary group and their brothers was going to make this interesting, but given they would have a head start on them, hopefully it wouldn't be that bad. "I'm ready to get started then." He said.
Aveline made a face when Elizabeth mentioned that the bounty wouldn't be theirs exclusively, but an open one that every mercenary in the city would probably go after. But, at the same time, they had a head start since no one else knew about it yet. Plus, with Nick having a good idea where they may be holing up, maybe they could get out and get it done before the others could get organized. "So, we can take Nick with us then?" She asked hopefully.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:34 PM
As it was she was dressed in the similar green clothing that her brother was and they shared very similar facial features as well as eye and hair colour. She was armed with a pistol holstered at her waist, but also with a sheathed pair of deadly looking long-bladed knives. "Well, can we?" Arlene asked. "Ridding of some slavers sounds like a job for the benefit of all the community." After a moment's thought Elizabeth nodded. "Very well." She agreed. "You can have Kylen's old quarters aboard Voyager." Arlene grinned. "Thank you. I won't let you down." With that sorted Elizabeth nodded. "All right, we stop briefly by my house to collect the gear we stowed there this morning and we set out straight after." She decided and led them down the street.
Posted 05 March 2013 - 07:44 PM
Demiriz sat with them while Elizabeth told them what went on, and he was a bit surprised when Kylen asked to change places with his sister, though the sister did look like she could handle a jaunt into the jungle. "I am pleased to meet you." He told her. "I am Demiriz." He then stood and walked with Elizabeth as they headed back to her house to pick up their equipment.
Tevyn sat back and listened as Elizabeth outlined the plan, and then he blinked in surprise when Kylen asked to switch out with his sister. Well, if he didn't think he was up to the task, then it was a wise move. He couldn't say he was too terribly disappointed in the change, and he wished Kylen well, but he was happy that he would get to know Arlene better. He walked beside her as they headed for Elizabeth's house and smiled at her. "I don't think we've ever formally met." He said. "I'm Tevyn."
Posted 05 March 2013 - 08:54 PM
Her stomach growling, Eru replied, "The years flow differently inside your ancient head than they do out here. Come on, I'm starving." Taking their meals on trays up to their room, they ate heartily and then bathed in a large claw-footed tub in the communal bathroom at the end of the hall. Exhausted from their long trek through the jungle, they turned in and fell quickly asleep.
Eru awoke shortly before dawn, as she always did, no matter how tired she was, and went out for a run through the jungle in her Werewolf form. When she got back, the Professor was up and dressed and had already gotten some cornbread and tea for breakfast. "I must go out and have our remaining coins appraised," he said. "They may be quite valuable. And then I must see to arranging transportation back to Delmi."
"While you do that, I'm going to get something to eat," said Eru. "And find out what year it is."
Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:09 PM
OOC: RJ, that be Eru Elizabeth just collided with and the Professor accompanies her.
Edited by Mikoto, 06 March 2013 - 07:10 PM.
Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:29 PM
Aveline chattered happily with the others as they went to pick up their stuff from Elizabeth's house, talking mostly with Nick and telling him about what they'd encountered in their last trek through the jungle, so that he would know what to expect. When they reached the Market district, she shifted her backpack slightly to get it more comfortable, then glanced around sharply when she heard a thump. She saw that Elizabeth had run into a young girl...a lycan, of all things. Well, she seemed to be a well-behaved one, who was traveling with an older man, and it was unclear who had bumped into the other. But since Demiriz helped Elizabeth up, she stayed next to Nick and waited while the two brushed themselves off.
Tevyn had walked with the others to Elizabeth's and collected his things, then waited while Arlene donned Kylen's equipment. He then walked with her and gave her an abbreviated rundown on what the jungle was like as they walked. When Elizabeth suddenly ran into another woman and they both went down. He was relieved when they both appeared to be all right as they stood and dusted themselves off. He wasn't sure who had run into the other, but he was glad no one had gotten hurt.
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