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Akira
On 10/11/2018 at 12:50 AM, Neptune said:

Location: Outside the city perimetre, en-route to Rosayia Forest

Daedrin couldn’t help but to feel a little amused at the mans confident statement about being able to take care of the monsters when they appeared. He couldn’t help but to caution, “Don’t allow yourself to become over-confident. That’s how you die.” He said as he tucked the map away again before grabbing the reins. He lightly kicked Daegrin’s flanks as he shook the reins causing the Aelda to start forward at a canter as he didn’t feel like having anymore discussion as he felt himself go deep into thought, only half paying attention to where they were going. But then the route was fairly easy, as long as they kept the river on their right. They would stumble upon the ford soon enough. 

Even he couldn’t afford to be over-confident, especially with the gifts that had been bestowed on him by his father that allow him to take care of most situations. But then again, he had felt something strange about Izanagi that he couldn’t quite put his finger on. Something familiar and yet something so different. It confused him, and he was curious to let Izanagi attempt to take care of any troubles just to find out more about him. Daedrin certainly wasn’t going to risk revealing any of his own secrets unless the situation was that dire. And even then, he may call upon those that were watching over him, protecting him, so that his cover wasn’t completely blown. The appearance of Divine beings was perhaps easier to explain. But Daedrin doubted it would ever reach that point. He was skilled enough in fighting to not need his abilities too much. His gaze moved out over the river which sluggishly flowed beside them, watching as a kingfisher dove into the water before it erupted out of the water and flew to a perch where it started eating its prize. Daedrin turned his eyes away from the scene to keep an eye on where they were moving.

The sun made lazy progress across the sky as the two of them followed the path up the cover, their horses seemingly inexhaustible as the canter easily ate up the miles that were stretched before them. With his sharp vision, Daedrin could see the walls the village of Hermitage long before Izanagi could. It meant that the ford was close by, and he turned his eyes back to the river as they continued to follow its curve. It was unfortunate that the ford wasn’t to the North of the Ildran River, as that would reduce the time of their journey. As it was, they had to stick to the south of the Ildran River until they drew close to the mountains of Enutpen’s Glory before the river was shallow enough for them to cross so that they could pass by Ashaba. 

Due to how dark the river water was, Daedrin almost missed the ford. He was glad that his eyes were far sharper than that of a human, otherwise he would have missed it completely. He slowed Daegrin to a walk, the Aelda snorting in annoyance as he did so. Daedrin patted Daegrin on the side of his neck before he looked up and across the river, “Once we cross here. We’re stepping into the Forests Bounds.” He said, before turning to look at Izanagi, “The Forest isn’t a place to step lightly. It is filled with monsters and other horrors. Even the most hardened war veterans cannot handle it.” He said, trying to get across how dangerous the place was. He didn’t want Izanagi to become so confident that it stepped into the realms of arrogance and thus get himself killed as a result. He then turned back and nudged Daegrin forwards causing the huge stallion to step into the cold river water. He had absolutely no trace of fear as he carried Daedrin across the wide river, the water swirling around his legs. They easily reached the other side and Daegrin pulled them up onto the riverbank, walking several paces before Daedrin pulled him to a step. He carefully scanned the foliage before them, every sense alert for anything that would jump out at them. But all he could hear was the song of birds, however he did not allow him to relax just because everything seemed fine on the surface. He remained where he was, waiting for his companion to join him.

Location: Outside the city perimetre, en-route to Rosayia Forest.

I coudn't help but smile a little bit at Deadrin's statement, it was good to know that my companion was a careful man, even though I already suspected that would be the case considering that he already seemed to have experience in the forest, a careless person wouldn't survive very long in that place, mainly due to the monsters, besides, Deadrin never saw me fighting before, he had no knowledge whatsoever of my powers so it made sense that wanted to be cautious, he would understand eventually. "Alright" I simply said before gently moving Lucky's reins so she would begin to move once again, following Deagrin and it's rider.

As we continued to make our way thought the area the river had cought my attention, it was a bit different from any other that I had seen so far, it's water was dark and the flow was... a bit weird, it was almost like the river was really deep and shallow at the same time, but I refrained myself to thinking too much about it, it didn't seem to be very important anyway. *So, what type of monster do you think we will find inside the forest?* said Odium, actually sounding a bit excited for a change, then again, other than bothering me, fighting and killing monsters was his favorite thing to do and over time I ended up becaming a bit like him in that regard *I don't know, for now at least I think there will only be small ones, but later down the line...* I found myself feeling a bit excited as well, thinking about the upcoming battles *Heh let's kill them all yeah?* I nodded slightly at the statement, in what felt like forever, Odium and I were agreeing in something.

I pulled the reins a little bit, causing Lucky to slow down the pace and keep up with Deagrin. I listed to Deadrin's warnings, simply nodding in response. Once they had both crossed the river and safely made to the other side it was our turn, it was a good thing that the river wasn't as deep as I originally thought it was, otherwise we would have problems, with another gentle move of the reins, Lucky began to walk  throught the water as well, I kept an eye on the water, preparing myself for the possibility of an attack from river's criature which, thankfully, didn't happen. Soon, both Lucky and I made to the other side as well.

Moved to: https://ecchidreams.com/community/topic/1939-side-story-a-quest-for-kraerhil/

 

Edited by Akira
Link for side story
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Chiyako

Location: Along the road heading north between Taiom and Delwore.

Click-clack click-clack click-clack.

For days that had been her life: the repetitive trotting of her companion Lucky. He was good company despite his inability to speak with her. Not that it stopped her from speaking to him and, on some rare occasions, him from answering, but their conversations were one-way regardless. After all it was difficult for her to understand horse. However she didn't really have anyone else in the world. Oh, sure, she had friends here and there dotted about but she didn't know any of them very well. It also didn't help that she was always moving around.

The life of a traveling salesperson was not easy. It was lonely, dull most of the time, dangerous, and uncertain. But it had its advantages too. She had the freedom to go where she wanted, when she wanted, and for whatever reason she wanted. It allowed her to explore the world. Rumors were also easy to come by. It wasn't all that bad! Besides, she had plenty to keep her occupied.

Luna was an alchemist and a healer. She had a lot of talent for both jobs. Still, she was working to better herself in both occupations. Alchemy also required plenty of material gathering and preparation. On top of all this she was studying to become a great witch! While certain aspects of it too required gathering and preparation she was still more or less within the book-study stage of her learning. She'd only been able to acquire one tome on the subject and she had already studied it dozens of times, however whenever she went back to reading it she seemed to always discover something new! Perhaps she was just terrible with reading.

"How am I ever going to get a Dragon's scale? Maybe I could ask for one. Do they shed? Would a Dragon let me carry one off? Jeesh, some of these ingredients are tough!"

An exasperated sigh left the rabbit's lips. Soon came a response from her friend: one brief low neigh. It prompted one of the girl's brows to lift quizzically.

"Oh? Well I say its worth a try! First I gotta find a Dragon though. I think it'd be neat to befriend a Dragon!" she exclaimed, flipping the page of her tome. Today seemed like it'd be another relaxing, peaceful day upon her little blue merchant's cart!

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Neptune

(Due to inactivity, I’m moving Rayvenne on)

Location: Delwore.

Rayvenne reached Delwore, having decided to swing by the town when she realised that she didn’t quite have enough supplies to reach Dragon’s Eye. She had left Liva on the edge of town as there was a family that was in need of her talents and Rayvenne certainly wasn’t going to wait around. Waiting around for other people didn’t tend to fill her coin purse, especially if she wasn’t being paid to wait around. She wasn’t the kind of person that liked to linger in one place for too long. People were uncomfortable with her presence so she preferred to move on, rather than put up with their suspicious glares. She lead Maedoc through the town, not bothering to dismount. Due to the narrow streets, she was taking up most of the room with the horse. The local residents were glaring at her, but didn’t bother trying to confront her when she answered their glares with cool dark eyes that caused the words to die on their lips. Besides, she would be taking up just as much if she wasn’t riding Maedoc. It wasn’t as if he suddenly shrunk when she dismounted him. 

She was heading towards the local tavern, to perhaps purchase a room for the night and to have something to drink. She had spent most of her time here already shopping for food supplies. With it nearing towards the end of the day, it would be better if she stayed the night rather than started out right now. And while the villagers might not want her here, they weren’t currently cursing her out or demanding that she leave. At least, not yet. Raeghan wasn’t with her right now. He was scoping the surrounding area. He very rarely came into towns with her unless she was on a job, or he needed to come with her. Most people weren’t comfortable with familiars, especially with their association with witches. It was even worse when one considered the fact that he was a raven, which was a bird that was commonly associated with death. He was about as welcome as she was in populated areas. 

It was then that she noticed a message board on the side of the path. She pulled the reins, pulling Maedoc to a stop causing the huge black horse to snort and paw at the ground, “Behave.” She scolded him before she dismounted from him, jumping down onto the dirt road. She took hold of his reins by his chin and pulled him forwards to the message board so that she could see if there were any jobs that she could do. Her dark eyes roamed over the pieces of paper that were pinned. Most of it was trivial stuff, like offering a cooking pot for sale, another offering their services as a carpenter and even a father that was advertising for his unwed, virgin daughter to invite a young man to date and marry her. She snorted softly. Absolutely nothing worth her time. She didn’t even find the missing persons or pets interesting. Clearly they weren’t bothered that much by monsters around here, “Well, Maedoc. We might as well continue on our way.” She said softly before leading him further down the street to the nearby tavern. She took the large horse into the stable and into one of the stalls. She had stayed here before, and while the tavern owner wasn’t friendly, he had never turned her away. So she unsaddled Maedoc so that he wouldn’t get any sores before she left him in the stall with food and water to occupy him. 

She entered through the front of the tavern, and walked up to the bar where a large man stood cleaning a tankard with a dirty washcloth. He was also quite fat, his stomach boiling out over his trousers and just barely covered by his dirty cloth top. His brown hair was stringy with oil and grease and he had a messy mustache. Despite his unkempt appearance, he ran a good tavern and his wife was actually a good cook. The man looked up at her with a slight sneer, “Back so soon Rayvenne?” He asked.

“Unfortunately.” She responded in a cold tone before putting ten copper pieces on the counter, “I’ll have a room for the night. And a tankard of ale.” She ordered. The man put down the tankard he was cleaning and picked up the coins. He inspected them for a moment before saying, “Last door on the right is free.” He then slipped the money into his coin purse before turning and drawing her up a drink. He then turned and gave it to her, to which she picked it up and retreated to the table in the furthest corner so that she could attract as little attention as possible. She sat herself down, turning her black eyes to everyone else, who avoided her eyes. She snorted slightly before taking a ship of her drink.

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Chiyako

Location: Delwore.

Two peaceful days passed. She'd met another merchant on the road, a seller of shiny trinkets and assorted baubles. Luna had a tendency to look over other merchant's goods, partially because of curiosity and partially because she enjoyed supporting others in the trade! Ultimately she'd purchased a small jade pendant in the shape of a flame. It was quite pretty. She wore it around her neck. He had also purchased something from her: a love potion! Well, not so much love as lust. It was a simple thing to make. Apparently the poor guy's love life was not going well with his wife and he'd wanted to spice things up. Whether this was true or not was anyone's guess, but because she was so ignorant and trusting Luna had assumed that it was.

Delwore was an interesting town. Many that she had passed through had wide open streets. Perhaps they were just on more important routes, but Delwore's were compact. For most people this might have been an issue. Luna found it advantageous. Smaller areas were easier for her to move around in. However her wagon cart also acted as her home. While it was small it still took up considerable space, but at least people could squeeze on past it.

"Hello! Good evening! Hi!" she responded to people along the street, giving each person a happy smile and even occasionally a wave! She didn't know anybody and most just gave her a strange look. Only a few actually responded as she did. But her lack of an intimidating presence did often make people friendlier towards her! Of course she could have advertised to them along the way too, but she didn't plan on opening up shop until the morning. It was far too late to get any customers.

Luna ultimately stopped Lucky outside of the town's tavern, or at least the first one she found. She didn't need any sort of lodging. After all she tended to just sleep inside her cart. But it did offer food, which meant she didn't need to use her reserves, and it also offered information. There was a message board of course, but she didn't even bother approaching it. Those sorts of jobs weren't the type she took.

"Good boy. I'll be back later. You be good and make friends, okay?"

A carrot was fed to Lucky, hands reaching up to brush through his mane. He was such a good horse. At least now he could stop and get some food and water and, more importantly, rest! With that she turned and shuffled her way towards the tavern. Hands gripped upon the nearest window ledge. With some effort she pulled herself up, peeking through the dirty window. Often times these places had fights breaking out. She'd rather avoid that. This one, thankfully, seemed to be peaceful tonight!

"Good evening everyone!" the little rabbit exclaimed, entering the front door! She was all smiles and possibly was the cleanest thing within the room. Witchcraft was good for that sort of thing. it made cleaning much easier, but then that was also super important for her work. Dirty containers lead to alchemy mistakes, and those in turn could be fatal! Or hilarious. Sometimes hilarious.

Moving over to the bar, Luna hefted herself up onto a stool with some effort. Once she was good and settled she brushed hands over her shorts, smoothing out the fabric. With that she looked towards the bartender, slapping down a few copper!

"Hello mister! May I please get a glass of milk? Oh, and some food! Also I was hoping to find out whether you knew of anybody that could help me. See, I'm a traveling alchemist and rare ingredients are very important for my trade. I was actually hoping to find a Dragon!"


 

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Neptune

Location: The Wretched Rat tavern, Delwore.

Rayvenne was rather enjoying the peace and quiet that had pervaded the tavern since her arrival. Most of the men present were peering into the depths of their tankards, not even looking up at each other, let alone at her. It was something that Rayvenne liked, as opposed to the obnoxious talking and brawling that occured in most taverns she had, had the pleasure of visiting. She herself was staring into her tankard, wondering if there were going to be any good jobs at Dragon’s Eye. It was the only reason she went there, plus it was one of the more friendly places in Craethiel. The Zeta’s that generally ran the town rather liked her, unlike in other towns where people treated her with suspicion and sometimes outright hostility. She took a swig of her drink, putting the tankard down on the table before she leaned back.

It was at that point the door flung open to reveal a small rabbit girl. Rayvenne looked over at her as the other patrons stared at her in surprise as she happily greeted everyone. She got a few grins and greetings in return, people obviously appreciating her rather friendly demeanor and her happy appearance. To Rayvenne though, it came off as rather cloying and her lips twisted a little. Surely no one was that happy. It made her wonder what kind of drugs this young woman appeared to be on. She was just far too happy for the miserable atmosphere of this building. This was a place where people went to drink away their sorrow. 

The bartender looked at this newcomer with barely concealed amusement as he watched her pull herself up on the stool and slap down a few copper coins. After she made her request, he turned his head towards Rayvenne, who was practically glaring at him because she knew exactly what he was planning on doing. While she was after a job, she wasn’t sure if she was desperate enough to accept to help this overly cheery young woman. The bar tender though, clearly enjoying her discomfort, looked back at the rabbit girl,

“Well, you’re just in luck little lady.” He said with an amused smirk before he pointed at Rayvenne with his dirty washcloth, “Just so happens that we have a monster hunter sitting right there. She can help you track down the dragon you want.” He said, putting the cloth down as he drew out a small glass along with a ceramic jug that had fresh milk inside. He poured out a glass full before putting it down on the bar in front of the rabbit girl and saying, “Why don’t you take this and sit by her. My missus will give you some good food. There’s a nice stew on the fire, and bread baked just fresh today.” Rayvenne’s glare intensified as she raised her tankard again and took a sip of her drink, wishing that she was already far gone in drink.

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Chiyako

Location: The Wretched Rat Tavern, Delwore.

Perhaps it was a hidden power, or perhaps she was just that lucky, or perhaps everyone just saw an easy target. Whatever the case, whenever she entered a room Luna typically found it filled with people just as happy as she was! Okay, maybe not everyone's mood was lightened up, but she typically found plenty of friendly faces! Even this quiet, depressing tavern seemed to brighten up with her arrival! Not that she could help it of course. Luna just found happiness to be a better mindset! In her experience it only made everyone's day nicer.

Luck? Her long ears perked straight up! Those behind her, or to the side, would notice her large puffy tail wiggling with glee! Had she managed to arrive at just the right time?! That always made things easier! Luck also seemed to follow her. Well, not always, case in point her parents, but she hadn't run into too many raiders or bandits or slavers. The ones she had run into had been so charmed by her enthusiasm that they had simply let her go! Well, a few had attacked, but those she'd dealt with.

Luna's eyes followed the washcloth, settling firmly upon the woman seated nearby. They widened. Shimmering glittering sparkles appeared within the multi-colored orbs. If it weren't for her ears the woman would have had at least a foot on her, but she knew well not to judge a person by their size. Despite the shortness this huntress' appearance fit the bill: toned muscles, cool black eyes, leather, armor, spikes, claws, and of course a sword!

"Cool" she whispered to herself, the wiggling in her tail no longer contained to that one spot as she started to shift around within her seat!

Instantly her gaze snapped back to the tavern owner. Yay! They actually had milk available! After it was settled down she pulled it close, lowering her head in gratitude towards the man. "Thank you very much sir! Also my name is Luna! I'm a traveling alchemist! It is very lovely to meet you! Also that sounds fantastic, thank you!"

Taking the man's advice to heart the little bunny carefully scooted the glass over in front of the next seat. With a little hop she moved into the empty stool. Then she repeated the same procedure for each other seat until, finally, she was sitting right next to the woman! Her eyes shot right back up to meet the huntress'.

"Hello! I am Luna! I'm a traveling alchemist looking to meet a Dragon! He said you could help me meet a Dragon! I can pay if you can help me!"

 

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Neptune

Location: The Wretched Rat tavern, Delwore.

“You’re very welcome, Luna.” The bartender said with a sadistic smirk as he looked over at the still glaring Rayvenne. The small woman gave him a sneer of disgust before tearing her gaze from him and looking at the small bunny girl as she began to hop from one stool to the other, coming ever closer. Rayvenne wondered why the girl wouldn’t just get down off of her stool and walk the distance. She heard the bartender chuckle darkly before his footsteps retreated, heading into the kitchen to inform his wife that there was a hungry customer to serve food for. Once the girl was sitting next to her, one of Rayvenne’s dark eyebrows rose at her introduction. She had already heard her name and occupation while talking to the bartender. No doubt everyone did. It made the dark haired woman want to question why she was so open about her greetings, but the question died on her lips before it even began to form. She wasn’t interested. It wasn’t her business to know, either.

Instead, she took another sip from her tankard before putting it down again, “Right… That’s very… specific.” She said, her tone sarcastic before she asked, “What kind of dragon are you after? A Forest Dragon? Water Dragon? Ice Dragon? A Wyvern? A Faerie dragon? A Dragon Anthro? A Zeta’muluri? An Eldyr Dragon? There are hundreds of different dragons types. I can’t help you if you don’t even know what you’re looking for exactly. You’ll spend eternity wandering around Craethiel.” She looked away from the girl once again, sipping on her ale. Clearly this young woman was inexperienced when it came to tracking down what she wanted. She didn’t even particularly care why she wanted to meet a dragon. Whether it was to try and slay it, or make friends, it mattered little to Rayvenne. All she cared about was the coin going into her purse, and there was no way she could even try and come up with a charge for this excitable bunny if she had no idea what it was that she was supposed to track down as not all dragons lived in the same area as one another.

Moments after her questions, the bartender came over with a bowl of thick stew that had chunks of meat and vegetables floating around, along with a plate with a generous portion of bread. He put them down in front of Luna, “I hope you enjoy.” He said before looking at Rayvenne with a sneer, “Another drink?” He asked. Rayvenne glowered at the man before finishing her tankard and holding out the cup to him, “Yes.” She said, without even bothering to ask politely. Politeness had been long lost between the two of them, especially after today. She might help Luna, if the price was high enough. She would want the extra money to have to put up with her cheery attitude. 

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Chiyako

Location: The Wretched Rat Tavern, Delwore.

Oh! Shoot! That's right! Let's see. What was it for again? Ah, right! I think it was for a healing potion! Or a health potion? Or was it a firebreathing spell? Or witchcraft?! Maybe an emblem? Okay. Think Luna. Think!

The little bunny sat on her stool, hand prodding at her lips repeatedly. She mumbled quietly to herself in thought. But she eventually figured that she had the right one in mind! And so she spoke up with a cheerful grin!

"I believe it is a red dragon! Yup! I've got no clue where to find one. Or how. Or really anything about how that encounter might unfold. Or, uh, yeah, anything. You sound like you're really knowledgeable on these things!"

As the tavern owner returned Luna turned towards him, lowering her head in gratitude! The stew looked and smelled amazing! And there was bread! Fresh bread! Lots of it! She started to wiggle excitedly in place, even slightly rocking the wooden stool from side to side! How did she have so much energy? The secret: she used some of her own product! Just a pick me up here or there where needed. That and the power of limitless optimism and a love for almost everything in the world! It kept her in a perpetual state of excitement most of the time.

"Oh my gosh. That looks amazing! Thank you so much sir! And please tell your wife thank you from me as well! Oh! And um!"

The spoon was retrieved, dipped into the stew, and brought to her mouth! She took in all the flavors, closing her eyes in order to savor the taste. Her tongue moved the morsels around within her mouth. Then she chewed it up and swallowed the delicious bite! One of her favorite things was guessing the ingredients based off taste or smell, or even just sight! It also felt like practice for alchemy.

"And please tell her that it is delicious!"

A chunk of bread was torn off from the loaf. She scarfed it down just as fast, quite enjoying the freshness. So soft! Another piece was used to scoop up a little bit of the stew so that she could taste them together! Her large fluffy tail was wiggling around behind her with enormous glee! And of course her ears remained upright, the right one occasionally dipping lower or twitching as a specific flavor hit her tongue! Then she paused. How rude of her! After swallowing the current mouthful she looked towards Rayvenne!

"Would you like to share? It's so good!"

Without even waiting for an answer she'd shift the bowl of stew and the bread between them on the counter!

 

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Neptune

Location: The Wretched Rat tavern, Delwore.

Rayvenne frowned a little in thought when Luna finally identified the kind of dragon she was looking for. The closest population in Craethiel was the ones that were living in the mountains of Enutpen’s Glory, near the Rosayia Forest. It wouldn’t be that much of an arduous journey. Not for her at least. The mountains were taller than the Therarr Mountains, and just as hazardous. Even more so, in some aspects, such as its proximity to the forest where monsters ran amuck. The mountains often felt like a mere extension of the forest itself. But it shouldn’t be all that hard to track down some red dragons there, providing that they can deal with the other kinds of dangers that they might encounter like various ice trolls, mountain lions, mountain wolves and other breeds of dragons that lived there. 

She was pulled from her thoughts when Luna began to once again talk excitedly over stew. A simple stew that no doubt took little effort to make. Stew that, quite frankly, didn’t smell all that appetising to Rayvenne. But then she had been spoilt by better quality meals in Craethiel’s Capital. It boggled her mind at how lively and excited the little rabbit got over a simple meal like this. It almost bemused her, and it certainly amused the bartender who grinned toothfully at the rabbit girl, “I’ll make sure to tell ‘er.” He said as he poured another tankard of ale and placed it on the bar in front of Rayvenne before he walked off. The dark haired woman gripped the handle of the tankard, about to take a sip of the beverage when the rabbit girl made an offer to share the food. 

Slowly, Rayvenne turned her head to stare at the smaller woman, blinking a couple of times. She shook her head a little in bemusement before she said, “No thank you, I’m fine as I am.” She wondered why Luna would be so willing to share her food with a complete stranger. Rayvenne certainly wouldn’t be so enthusiastic. But then, it was rare for someone to share their food with her and it always took her back when people treated her with a degree of kindness, because she wasn’t used to it. This cheery little rabbit confused her more than just a little. She was certainly unlike anyone she had ever encountered before.

Clearing her throat a little, Rayvenne then said, “I know where you can find a red dragon. They’re not easy to get to, though. I can help you, for a good price. My name is Rayvenne, by the way.” After introducing herself, she looked back at her tankard again and took a sip from it and swallowing the cool liquid. Sometimes, she wished she could get drunk like most people could, but it took so much alcohol that it wasn’t worth the cost in the end. Often her gifts were more of a curse than a blessing, especially in times like this. 

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Chiyako

Location: The Wretched Rat Tavern, Delwore.

Luna's shoulders were shrugged once. It wasn't as though she couldn't finish all the food she was given. In actuality Luna could put away a lot of food despite how small she was! That energy was used to fuel her mana to an extent, but more importantly it was used to fuel the super energetic girl's natural way of being. Plus it was good to put away food when one was able. After all one never knew when they might run out during their journey. All sorts of things could happen, and sometimes foraging just ended up unlucky.

Another bite was taken. And another! Chunks of bread were placed in her mouth between spoonfuls of stew. A gulp of milk here and there helped to wash it all down. When she ran out of stew Luna used the last of the bread to clean out the bowl, treating the remaining bits as a sort of dipping sauce! When she was all finished the little rabbit relaxed against the counter with a content sigh.

What a meal! I have to come back here again!

The woman finally introduced herself as Rayvenne. It brought pause to Luna's mind. She also had to consider the cost of hiring someone! How was she going to repay her? Well she did have some coin left. And some traveling supplies. Also plenty of potions to sell still. On top of it all: she could totally just live out of her little wagon cart. It actually wasn't as bad as she initially thought! But really it depended on how much the woman might ask for.

"Rayvenne" she mumbled soft, hand moving up to poke once at her lips. Then the finger was held up! "Rayvenne. Raven? Yeah! Like the bird! That's a pretty cool name! Oh! Um. How much would you ask for? I do have some money left! I also have plenty of potions of all sorts!"

She spun on her stool now until she faced the woman, hands settling on her knees in order to help reduce her bouncing! But it was only partly effective. Luna bounced in place regardless! The thought of meeting a Dragon was pretty exciting, but even more exciting was the prospect of traveling with someone again! They would have plenty of time to talk, and get to know one another, and eat together, and camp together, and sing together, and dance together, and hunt together, and to just do so many other things together!

A friend! A traveling friend! I'm so excited! I can't wait to get started!

 

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Neptune

Location: The Wretched Rat tavern, Delwore.

The small, dark haired woman stared at her bar companion as the young woman continued eating, practically bouncing in her seat. Just how did she have so much energy to spare with such useless actions? It boggled Rayvenne’s mind. The other patrons in the bar seemed to find it amusing as well, but not in the same bemused way she did. If anything, they seemed to find it rather endearing, whereas Rayvenne found it almost irritating. She turned her head away, determined not to watch the small bunny girl. How she was able to keep her food down, and not throw it up when she was practically vibrating in her seat was beyond her. Rayvenne could barely stomach eating while riding a horse. How was this woman able to bounce and eat at the same time? She shook her head a little and decided to ignore the girl while she sipped on her tankard of ale, enjoying the taste of the bitter liquid. 

When the girl spoke, she twitched her head to the side slightly as she stared down at the girl, her eyebrow twitching up slightly as she seemed to be trying out Rayvenne’s name before identifying where her name had originated from. Rayvenne wasn’t entirely sure why her mother had given her that name. Not that she could ask the woman. Even if she had not died when Rayvenne was young, she would be long dead now as Rayvenne had long outlived her. But then, if her mother had not died, then she might not be sitting here right now. She would have grown up normally, had a normal life, possibly become married, had children and passed on. That thought really sobred her up, as it had been a life dream of hers to live simply. But that dream was impossible now, and forever out of her reach. She tried to keep those thoughts buried as she returned her attention back to the bunny girl as she asked how much Rayvenne was going to ask for. The older woman sighed through her nose as she took another sip of her tankard.

She then turned her head back to Luna to see that the girl had turned around to face her on the stall, her hands sitting on her knees and seemingly trying to stop herself from bouncing to little success. Rayvenne had never seen anyone so hyperactive in her life, and she really did wonder what kind of drugs the girl was taking. She placed both of her hands on the bar, straightening her back slightly as the corner of her lips turned down a little as her eyebrows furrowed in thought. Factoring the fact that the journey was likely to take more than a week, and it was a dangerous occupation, it wasn’t going to be a cheap deal. Not like most of her contracts which usually involve her finding a monster and slaying it to stop it from bothering a town or village. She sighed again before saying, “I won’t lie to you, Luna. It’s not going to be cheap. I would say… forty gold coins. You can part pay with potions… if you have anything of interest.” She added to make it easier for the bunny girl. She had some experience herself in alchemy thanks to her stint with Maede, the witch that had found her in the Dynx desert, and she was mildly curious as to what this bunny girl had manufactured and if she even had any kind of real skill. If she had some healing potions that would work with Rayvenne’s metabolism, it would be even better as those potions were quite rare and valuable.

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Chiyako

Location: The Wretched Rat Tavern, Delwore.

For a moment the bunny actually stopped bouncing in her seat, eyes widening. That was a lot of gold! She had maybe a little over half that in her lock box. But the little rabbit breathed a sigh of relief when she heard the second part. Potions might work?!

"Oh! Well! Um. If you'd like to come look at my wares then I can show you to the cart! I mean my home! Well it is both, really. A wagon-cart-home-thing! Yup!"

Her head nodded quickly and her body once more continued to bounce within its seat! Then she hopped right out of it, landing on the ground with arms raised up for a full body stretch! Even her ears got in on the action! She turned towards the tavern keeper first, lowering her head in gratitude! Hands even moved to the edges of her coat as she pulled off a little curtsy!

"Thank you very much sir! Please tell your wife the same! I hope I see you again someday!"

With that she spun in place to face the front door, skipping her way over to the door! Upon arrival she stopped to turn, waiting for the woman to follow! Now she stood there in place, bouncing on her toes! Both sparkling eyes focused upon the black haired woman. This was all going to work out great!

Oh I hope this works! I guess it is worth the price though, right? I mean if potions don't work either then I'm sure there is something I can help her with!

 

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Neptune

Location: The Wretched Rat tavern, Delwore.

Rayvenne watched the reaction of the bunny girl with barely veiled amusement as she had been expecting it. After all, her services were not cheap and she would want money if she had to put up with such a cheery attitude for a week or more. She would be going well out of her way to help her, so she wanted to be well compensated. Rayvenne’s eyebrow rose when the girl offered to come look at her wares immediately. She blinked a little before looking at her drink, of which most had been drunk already. She sighed slightly, shifting on her seat a little to lean one of her arms against the wooden surface of the bar. The dark haired woman then saw motion out of the corner of her eyes and she looked over at Luna to see her jump off of her stool to stand and stretch causing Rayvenne’s eyebrows to furrow a little in confusion. She then shook her head, still not quite believing this woman. 

She turned her attention back to her drink as the bunny girl thanked the bar owner and practically skipped over to the front door of the bar. Rayvenne lifted the tankard to her lips and drained the rest of the bitter liquid in one go. She then lowered the empty cup and placed it down on the bar before her, before she pulled out a few copper coins and placed them on the bar next to it. The coins were immediately snatched up by the bartender, who made a small show of inspecting the currency to ensure that it was real. Rayvenne ignored the show of distrust and slipped off of her stool and headed towards Luna, “Alright, lead the way.” She said, flicking her fingers out of the door. Since she had no idea where Luna had parked this cart of hers, she had to rely on the bunny girl to lead the way. She wasn’t worried for her own safety, either. Rayvenne was more than able to hold her own against this bunny girl.

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Chiyako

Location: The Wretched Rat Tavern, Delwore.

Thankfully it wasn't very long before they reached the bunny's home! In fact her blue wagon cart fit right outside of the stables, the very same one that Rayvenne's horse was parked in. The small black horse tethered to it, her friend Lucky, had enough room to get some food and water and, of course, to remain safe and out of the rain. Luna skipped right on over, unlocking the front door. A large open wagon bed had been fixed up to include a small shop, although it also doubled as the rabbit's home. It still held the same worn blue paint that her parents had used, all with white and silver trim.

Luna stepped up and into the cart, disappearing for a moment. Following a series of clicks and clanks the side opened up, a few wooden trays sliding out to reveal her stall! There was even a little hanging sign with a picture of a bubbling cauldron! She felt that pictures tended to work better. After all not everyone could read. Sometimes it did get her painted as a witch. It was kind of amusing considering that she actually was a witch. But then even if she told people that she was a witch most people didn't believe her. After all she certainly didn't look like one!

"Welcome to my shop! And my home! Please browse my wares while I get your coins. Unless you want to keep them here for now. Less to carry. Either way is fine for me!"

She disappeared into the little house, but she could be heard rummaging around within. The potions were separated into multiple sections. One had a picture of a flexing buff person. Another had a picture of a heart. Another had a picture of a piece of pie. Another had the red cross. And another still had a sword. Finally, one just had a picture of a flower. When Luna returned she hefted up a jingling bag of gold, settling it onto the counter! Then she hopped up to take a seat at her stool!

"Okay! So I have all sorts of stuff for relationships, to improve one's self, some that are or enhance foods, some healing and health potions, and even some designed for combat! Also some wonderful perfumes! Uh. I have poisons too but I didn't have enough room to show them off. Also its dangerous to do that! Oh, and I have some that don't fit any of the categories. I could even make something if you'd like! Oh! I'm also a healer! I forgot to mention that. And a witch! Well, a witch in training! I think that was what I needed a Dragon for. Maybe. I have to check again cause I sorta forgot."

With a nod of her head she looked to Rayvenne, bouncing once more in place!

 

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Neptune

Location: Outside of The Wretched Rat tavern, Delwore.

Rayvenne followed the bunny girl outside of the tavern, glancing around at the street as passing people stared at the two of them, as they usually did when Rayvenne was passing through. But then she did tend to attract that kind of attention as her dress and demeanor were not very lady-like and were very unusual in this day and age. She glared right back at them, forcing them to avert their gaze and continue on. The dark haired woman then turned and followed Luna over to her wagon that was sitting outside the tavern stable, with the horse positioned in such a way that it was still able to access food or water. She eyed the creature with curious eyes, seeing that while he had the same fur colour as her own Maedoc, he was a lot smaller in stature and it made her wonder how he was able to pull the weight of the wagon. She turned her attention back to Luna as the rabbit girl stepped up into the cart, disappearing from view. 

The raven haired woman then tilted her head slightly as she could hear clicks and clanks from inside of the cart as if it had some kind of mechanism inside. One of Rayvenne’s eyebrows raised in surprise, as it wasn’t often to come across a mechanical wagon like this. It must have cost her a lot. She then watched as the side opened up, revealing a few wooden trays and thus the stall. She glanced up at the image of the bubbling cauldron, a common sign for witches or alchemists. Not that it bothered her if Luna was a witch. She had lived with one for a number of years, after all. She had learnt quite a lot from her, including her own potion making skills and the few spells she had managed to learn. 

Her dark eyes roamed over the bottles that she had on display, practically ignoring Luna as the bunny girl placed her coin purse on the counter and sat down. Her eyes then moved back to Luna as she began to explain what each potion was for. Rayvenne’s eyebrows rose as she stated that she had potions for relationships. Love potions? The dark haired woman almost laughed at that. Love was not something she was interested in. She had no use for a potion to ‘improve one's self’. She felt that it was a rather cheap way of doing it, by potion. Besides, she was skeptical that it would even work. Again, she didn’t need one that enhanced food, either. She had plenty of money to buy enough food to sustain her, and her metabolism was quite efficient, allowing her to get the most out of her food. The health and healing potions were a possibility, providing that they were suitable enough considering the fact that she had a different body chemistry to other people. The one designed for combat also sounded quite useful as well. At the mention of poisons, Rayvenne perked up a little. Poisons would be very useful in her profession, and most poisons didn’t work as well on her as they did for other humans. Even things that could kill humans very quickly. She placed a hand on her hip, her eyes going down to the potions again, running over them as Luna continued to prattle on, telling her that she could even make her a custom potion if she wanted. At the mention of her being a witch in training, Rayvenne’s dark eyes moved back up to Luna, one of her eyebrows raising slowly,

“You know… you shouldn’t just throw around that you’re training to become a witch. That’s the fastest way to get yourself burnt at the stake, or drowned.” She said, before reaching forwards and picking up one of the healing potions, looking at it carefully. It would be suitable for her, just barely. As would the combat potion, which she assumed would give her a temporary boost in strength. Very useful when it came to some of the monsters that she needed to fight. She put the potion down again before asking, “How much are the healing and combat potions worth? And these poisons? I want to have a look at them as well. Some might be useful to me.” 

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Chiyako

Location: Outside of The Wretched Rat Tavern, Delwore.

She is so cool! I hope I'm that cool someday!

The little bunny's eyes started to sparkle again, wide and focused squarely upon the woman's face! Rayvenne was the sort of cool and collected yet dark and brooding type that made her seem mysterious! She could be a good person or a bad person. One would never know until it was too late! Also she hunted monsters! Heck, she didn't even care about what other people thought! It only excited the little merchant that much more! But then something else made it all even better!

She cares! Awwww! That just makes her super cool!

If Luna wasn't mistaken her new friend seemed just a touch bit worried for her safety! Of course it was probably just an astute observation and nothing more, but to the little bunny it sunk in as being Rayvenne's way of getting close to people! Maybe! Ever the optimist she was! But the black-haired woman need not worry about her.

"Oh, don't worry! I tell people all the time! I think they just don't believe me, ya know? Like, I guess they expect a witch to look different or act different or something! Also I'm a healer and maybe they get that mixed up? I dunno."

With a shrug of her shoulders Luna turned towards the potions that were held up! Luna leaned over the stall slightly, settling on her knees on the stool in order to get a closer look! It was so hard being short! But it was a lifestyle she'd gotten used to. It did help with keeping down rent at least!

"Well that healing potion is just a standard one. Drink it and it'll accelerate the body's own healing rate. Not an instant fix like healing magic, but it'll mend even broken bones far sooner than the body naturally would. Uh, that one runs five gold. I do have some which are more instant fix types. Those are the ones that are more pinkish in color. Those are double the price and fix you up within seconds, but they do have a slight side effect: you'll be unable to put down food for about a day. Nausea and all that. Still, good in a pinch!"

She turned towards the combat one, studying it carefully. It was a bottle with a solid orange liquid within. "And that is your basic strength potion. It'll at least triple it. Lasts for an hour. Your muscles will hurt a lot after, but in a difficult situation its probably worth it. That one runs ten gold. Otherwise we have some explosive potions, and acidic ones, and speed, and stone skin, and, well, lots of different sorts!"

Luna settled back properly within her seat, although her excited bouncing never ended. Reaching underneath the counter she'd pull out a smaller wooden box, setting it on the counter. A lock was undone with a flick of her finger. A simple cantrip. Then it was opened up to reveal an assortment of very small vials. There were a multitude of different colors.

"These are my poisons! Much harder to come by and a lot more expensive. Uh. Also some are kinda maybe just a little bit illegal."

 

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Neptune

Location: Outside of The Wretched Rat tavern, Delwore.

Rayvenne’s eyebrow twitched up, looking up from her potion when the girl told her not to worry, and that she told people all the time. She felt that it was either incredibly naive or stupid for her to do that. She shook her head slightly. Clearly there was no helping either. Perhaps Luna had not seen the worse side of human nature, like she herself had. Rayvenne had seen the worst of the worst, and it left a bitter taste in her mouth. It was why she didn’t like dealing with humans. Unfortunately for both sides, she needed money and they needed someone to help take care of monsters. Rayvenne figured that this bunny girl could only learn by experiencing it first hand, for herself. Because she was correct, in that people mixed witches and healers up. Except she was wrong in how they did so. Healers were often mistaken for witches, and usually ended up dying as a result, especially if they used medicines like potions. 

The dark haired woman pulled herself from her thoughts when Luna began talking, explaining about the healing potion. Her eyes slowly moved down to the potion in her hand. If it worked by accelerating her own healing rate, then theoretically it would work better on her than it would on humans as her own was already accelerated. But five gold wasn’t a bad price, she would happily take a couple of those. She didn’t like the sound of the more instant ones, as she did need to make sure that she ate at least once a day. She remained silent as Luna moved on to explain about the strength potion, which sounded like it would be good for her. She had a high tolerance to pain, so she doubted the side effect would be too much of a problem. Besides, it sounds like it would be something good to use when fighting something that is particularly troublesome. She wouldn’t mind picking up at least one of them. If she took it, along with two of the health ones, that already dropped her price to twenty gold. 

She put the health potion down when the bunny girl reached under her counter and pulled out a small wooden box which was locked which she undid with the flick of a finger. The dark haired woman leaned forward a little to look into the box to see the variety of small vials of different colours. In the act of reaching forwards, she paused and looked up at Luna, “Illegal, huh?” She asked, amusement lacing her words. She began picking up different vials and looking at the labels. There wasn’t much that seemed to be of use. At least until she picked up a black bottle with the label of ‘Sleepers Milk’. It was an uncommon poison that, when consumed, causes the victim to fall into a temporarily coma for a couple of days. The reason for its name, was because while it was gold in colour, it tasted a little like milk. Only a teaspoon was enough to make a fully grown man fall unconscious. A very useful poison. One that she could do with. Without waiting for Luna to speak, Rayvenne pulled out the cork and peered inside to see a lovely gold colour liquid. It was slightly viscous, but it was relatively easy to mix it with food and drink, especially if milk was one of the components. She dipped her little finger into the hole of the bottle, allowing a small amount to coat it. She then brought it up to her lips and licked it off, rolling it around in her mouth for a few moments before she nodded, “It’s of good quality. I would pay twenty gold for that.” She said, unaffected by the amount she had sampled. She had a natural resistance against poisons, thus that small amount would not do anything, not when she would likely need the entire bottle to have some kind of effect. She put the cork back in and said, “If you give me two of those healing potions, one of the strength, and this, I’ll call it payment made. I’ll get you to the mountains, protect you on the way, and help you find your dragon.”

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Chiyako

Location: Outside of The Wretched Rat Tavern, Delwore.

Luna took great pride in her ability to craft potions. Her parents had passed on their knowledge and she'd managed to elaborate upon it, to create her own custom potions, even improve upon some of the classics! Of course training herself to heal and to perform witchcraft was of a slightly higher priority these days, but she did return to her alchemy from time to time, especially when she discovered a new recipe, type of potion, or ingredient!

Rayvenne seemed to be mulling over the selections presented to her. The little bunny bounced with excitement on her stool, but also with a faint bit of worry. Would she be okay with them? Did they live up to her expectations?! Probably! Luna was quite optimistic! But worry was always something that existed, even if only as a slight nagging feeling in the back of her mind. She probably just handled it a lot better than other people, or perhaps she just didn't worry enough!

Ultimately she had nothing to worry about. The woman seemed to be interested in a few potions, even satisfied with the quality! Of course when she ended up sampling some of the poison Luna's eyes widened, first in horror, then satisfaction, and then finally in awe. She was able to just consume poisons without worrying about them? Rayvenne was getting more and more amazing by the minute! It did make her feel however that her poison might not have been strong enough, even if the woman stated that it was.

"So two healing potions, the strength potion, and the sleeping poison?"

She glanced down towards the items, moving a finger to her lips in thought. Then with a wide grin she extended a hand!

"Deal!"

 

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