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Simple Pleasures, Willow | Vigil's Keep
Posted: Jun 20 2018, 11:52 AM
It had been four, maybe five weeks, since Oisin had been banished from Orzammar - since he had walked out of those massive doors, supposedly to the surface, and woken up in strange Deep Roads. Upon discovering that he had in fact travelled, somehow, to the past, and that the dwarves of this time were strange and near incomprehensible (to him) - and that he was nowhere near Orzammar anyway - he had decided to brave the surface.
Breaking out into the sunlight and that huge, massive, disorientating sky had been petrifying; for a good amount of time he refused to go anywhere without holding onto something that would keep him anchored lest he fall into the sky - a tree, a tough weed, buildings, anything - and even now if he took his eye too far up away from the path he was on he was struck by a terrific feeling of vertigo. Nevertheless, he was persevering. He wasn't absolutely certain what these ancient dwarves thought about those of their kind that went up to the surface, but he wasn't keen to find out that, once again, he was on the lowest rung of society. Besides, something was clearly afoot - he'd met another cast out of his own time - and Oisin was keen to find out what and why. It wasn't like he had a life to go back to in his own time, but it was more than a little disconcerting to suddenly find oneself hundreds of years in the past.
If that was to be his noble quest, however, the whole 'noble' part would have to wait. This casteless dwarf hadn't a copper to his name in his own time, and unsurprisingly he didn't suddenly have a coin purse full now. Thus when he'd reached a port fortress town by the name of Vigil's Keep, he'd decided to stick around for a while - until he had found out more information if he could, or until his thieving attracted the attention of the guard. He figured he could stay undetected for a fair amount of time - stealing was what he did. Besides, he wasn't looking to get rich off those passing through, just stay alive.
That day he had been through the weekly market, ignoring the stands of expensive imported cheese and wines that no doubt tasted as foul as they were expensive. Instead he slunk through the crowd, pocketing some dried meat hanging over the stand of a butcher, and some ships' biscuit piled high on the stall nearest the working dock. And he was going to leave it there until one of the easiest marks he'd ever witnessed sauntered by, coin purse flapping in the breeze. It barely took a second for Oisin to feign a distraction and relieve the idiot of his spending money, then ten minutes later he found himself with a mouth-watering pastry, filled to bursting with soft potato and fresh (ish) meat.
The urchin in him drove him around to the secluded side wall of the local tavern, where he held the pasty in two hands and prepared for one of the best meals of his life. The best thing was that the purse had had enough coin to buy him an ale or two after he'd finished. For a dwarf who could count the number of solid, hot meals he'd had on his fingers, this was an event to behold.
Posted: Jun 26 2018, 05:41 AM
Vigil’s Keep. She was making a habit of docking in places that existed in her time.
Willow wandered through the market, further inland than she would normally go. For the first time in years, she just needed to get away from the docks for a little bit. Just a few hours break from the crew that was growing more fractured with every passing day, from the increasingly rough seas and the... the ease of piracy. It wasn’t meant to be easy; it was meant to be a challenge. How could she be getting bored?
So, she found herself falling back into her old habits – habits of two decades ago and more. She still had a knack for pick-pocketing, for eyeing up the best targets. And the market was the best place to relieve some dickhead noble of their pocket money.
She could afford to be patient. She dawdled through, pretending to check out the stalls, leaning over shoulders to look at the wares while cutting the strings of a purse of a noble she’d seen slapping their servant – or, this technically being Imperium territory, slave – three streets back.
She’d already waylaid the unfortunate elf a minute earlier, stuffed some gold in their hand and told them to get to her ship if they wanted to escape. She’d left them without looking to see if they’d accepted the offer, then continued after their master to make his day even worse.
She couldn’t save someone who didn’t want saving, but she could give them a way out if they chose to take it. Besides, she needed fresh blood on her crew. People who were loyal to her, rather than to the lifestyle. People who would support her, not whatever choice she made should the option to get home arise.
With her well-gotten gains, she bought yet another trinket to braid into her hair – a dragon ring, pre-Blight the merchant had said, made in the image of the Old God of Beauty. A beautiful ring for a beautiful woman, he’d said.
It was a load of bullshit – the ring was small, cheap, and far too shiny to be that old. It was a sales pitch, nothing more, and merchants would charm the feathers off a griffon if it netted them a sale, but she wanted a souvenir from this age. A little bit of proof of her adventure for when she got back home.
There was enough left over for a solid meal and a few drinks. She headed back towards the docks and was browsing the local taverns when something caught her eye.
A dwarf. Orzammar-born from the casteless brand on his cheek. Well, Roads-born, since there were more thaigs surviving right now. The empire hadn’t crumbled yet.
What interested her were his clothes. Old yes, tattered, yes – but she’d bet her ship they weren’t Ancient Age clothes. Too modern.
Willow had wasted no time in updating – or down-dating, as the case may be – her wardrobe to better fit in when she wanted to barter, but she’d kept her Dragon Age gear when she wanted something reliable, and her short swords stayed with her wherever she went. She’d lost track of the number of blacksmiths who’d tried to buy them off her, or begged her to let them study them. Since she didn’t want the guards called on her for being crazy, she’d not let any of them touch them in case they asked too many awkward questions to which the only answer was ‘I’m a time-traveller’.
So while she may look like a local at first glance, in her recently bought breeches, shirt and coat, she still had something to identify herself as a Dragon Ager, if one knew what to look for.
Just like she was looking now.
It had been his movements that drew her attention. Or... no. His attitude. She knew a fellow thief when she saw one, and now she was watching – following him from a good few metres back, hidden in the crowd – she saw his target. Food.
Food, and easy marks. She laughed as the noble’s coin purse vanished between one second and the next, its owner none the wiser. He was good.
She continued after him, keeping her distance. She’d not ran into many other time-travellers outside of her own crew. Only one, actually, which had left her wondering if there was any kind of pattern to who had been moved. This broke that pattern – she doubted he was a pirate if he was stealing to eat – but it meant far more people could have been transported than she’d originally thought.
She watched him buy a pastry, then hurry off to find a reasonably safe place to eat it. Maker, that was familiar. Getting an actual meal, and trying to find somewhere where no one would take it off you or you’d be expected to share.
She hung back, letting him savour it. Once he was on the last bite, she moved in, pacing herself so that she could catch him after he finished, but before he took off again.
‘Fancy something to wash that down with? The rum here’s not as good as Llomerryn’s, but we’ll have to wait a few centuries for that,’ she asked, idly swinging her coin purse in a circle by its strings. ‘I’m paying, of course,’ she added, smiling.
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