The bar at the House of Names is quiet this early in the evening. People will be showing up shortly for dinner. Judging from the smells wafting out of the kitchen, it's going to be pig roast. Experience tells you that Chef Gorman the Wide will be adding sliced pineapples and a honey glaze. Asparagus, broccoli, and assorted other vegetables are also offered for the non-meat eaters. Gorman likes to be sure there is something for everyone.
In a couple of hours the high arched ceiling normally absorbs most of the raucous noise. Now is the hour when the tavern is filled mostly with couples seeking an early romantic dinner where they can eat in peace before the crowds show up. The sound reflectors are lowered for this portion of the evening and the sounds of the lone guitarist on the stage can be easily be heard by the diners. A vibrant laugh rolls out from one young woman who quickly blushes and claps her hands to her mouth. She swats playfully at the man across the table from her, admonishing him for embarrassing her.
The lamp shutters are mostly lowered, adding to the ambiance. An older couple, likely her for an anniversary dinner, smile knowingly at each other as they watch the youngsters' antics. He reaches across and takes her hand. It was a small gesture, one that was once common between them but just the sort of thing that gets lost in the familiarity of passing time. He is grateful to the young man for reminding him of some of the simple pleasures of dating. It seems silly to him that he needed to be reminded of such things, but that's just the way it is. As the server arrives to settle the bill, the old gentlemen has a quick and hushed conversation with him. They share a glance at the young couple and the server nods, a smile coming to his face. He accepts the man's coin and the older couple leaves as some more serving staff come in to ready for the evening. The waiter explains to the young couple that their expenses have been covered for the evening as he ushers them to a booth where they will be better able to people-watch throughout the evening.
The sound reflectors are taken down and the musician packs away his instrument and exits through a door off the stage. The lantern shutters are opened, flooding the room with light. The smaller tables in the middle of the room are moved away and larger bench-seating tables are brought in. After setting up the tables, several of the larger helpers grab a drink from the bar (water, likely) and make their way to stools positioned through the tavern. The keen eye will spot their large clubs set within easy reach.
A grizzled veteran emerges carrying a sheet of paper. He walks to the bulletin board and rips a sheet off before punching the new paper onto the nail that had been hammered in many years ago. As the crowd begins to drift in, one and two at a time, several wearing armor and small weapons walk to the board to read the new notice.
"The House of Names has accepted a contract with the Archeologist Waltrum. The following are to report to Skinner's office at 9 am tomorrow (Threeday) morning: Tim, Graeme, Korb, Kira, Uther, Lin"
Much of the discussion around the Tavern this evening revolves around the selection on the notice.
[ooc: please make your way into the tavern and notice the Notice]
Kira Tanna follows her brother Grayson in for the evening meal. As she enters the tavern, she gives a quick once over to see who all is there, the urge to know all angles, possible danger and the escape routes being second nature to her after nine years in the Guild. Even with Grayson there, as imposing as he is, she doesn't think twice about the habit. She drifts over to the board that he's stopped to scrutinize, and realizes that there is a frown on his face. Well, there's usually a frown on his face, but this is different. I wonder what he's seeing that he doesn't like.
She pushes in next to him so she can get a better look, but as usual, he's not budging and she has to wait. He turns and glares down at her, then curses under his breath and stalks off. Kira makes a face at his departing back, not willing to risk saying something smart and getting cuffed in the ear for it. She turns back to the notice and starts to read. The reason for her brother's anger quickly becomes apparent. My first job!!! Skinner noticed!!! She curbs the urge to jump up and down, realizing that it would be ridiculous for someone her age (a robust, elderly nineteen) to do so, plus it would only piss Grayson off that much more. She notices that Uther has made the list too, and she smiles. Bonus! And that's the other reason Gray's so upset. Best keep quiet...he's gonna be in a mood tonight.
She wanders over to the table that her brother is at and sits across from him, making sure there is plenty of room for her to nimbly dodge if he decides he wants to cuff her anyway. As one of the servers comes over to ask what they'd like to drink, Kira eshews her usual order of water and asks for ale. She winks at Grayson and his scowl deepens. She knows he won't yell at her in public as he's got a reputation to protect, after all. He nods to the server to make it two, then sinks back into his grumpage.
Kira's nervous and excited energy is too much for her to sit still, so she draws out one of her many throwing daggers and tosses it repetitively, catching it by both blade and handle without a scratch.
Just like every day for the past two weeks, since he'd joined the House of Names, Graeme finished cleaning himself after a hard day of training. He dressed in a hurry but carefully, he didn't want to look sloppy in front of the more experienced members of the House. He buckled on his armor, cinched up his sword belt, and shouldered his shield.
It took all his willpower not to sprint to the House of Names, he knew that like every day he'd timed it perfectly to arrive just as they set the long tables out. Still he had to slow to a brisk walking pace several times as he caught himself about to jog.
When he walked in he was pleased to see that he'd timed it right again. He scans the room to see if any groups have gathered yet to talk about old jobs and share war stories, but sees only a few other early birds, younger, greener members like himself. He goes to the bar and orders a pint of milk, taking a long sip as he carries it over to a seat at one of the long tables facing the jobs board, just in case.
He's glad he did so. Shortly after he sits down he spots one of the old veterans heading to the board with a piece of paper. The board is immediately crowded with people, and Graeme tries to hide his own enthusiastic curiosity by taking another long drink of milk. Finally he can stand it no more and heads over to the board, to find himself in line behind a couple of the real veterans. He waits, quietly if not patiently, for them to finish reading the notice, before a smaller woman moves forward to read it. Standing on tiptoes he can just make out the name Archeologist Waltrum, over her head. Unlike the scowling vet before her, she seems pretty happy with the news, and as she moves away from the board Graeme feels a pang of jealousy as she almost certainly got the assignment. He moves closer to the board and now he can read it. He does so quickly, and starts to turn away in disappointment, but then he catches himself and looks at the board again.
It says Graeme! He shouts in his mind. I'm Graeme! Grinning he turns away from the board and heads back to the long table. He thinks about introducing himself to the woman who read the notice ahead of him, but he sees her sitting with the grim-faced veteran and doesn't want to interrupt. When she starts throwing the knife up in the air he winces, expecting all kinds of disasters until she catches it deftly. He turns back to the table as a few more veteran's come in and he hears someone talking about fending off a goblin raid. He tilts his head to hear better, and listens to the story with a new found appreciation, starting tomorrow it really could be him facing such threats! He wants to know how others have done it to make sure he's as sharp as possible.
Grayson obviously can't hold his tongue any longer as he suddenly lashes out, "Great, kid. Don't get cocky. There's a reason that there's room for fresh blood on the team being sent out. This may be the House of Names, but you gotta live long enough to make a name. I won't be there to bail you out. All you have are your teammates to rely on, one of which is just as likely to stab you in the back." Kira has no doubts about to whom he is referring.
"You know what? No. I gotta see Skinner."
Before Kira can object, the muscles in Grayson's arms and shoulders bunch as he pushes against the table. The whole thing slides away from him and Kira is forced to grab the edge of the table to keep from getting knocked over. Grayson continues shoving, sliding the table and Kira's chair across the floor, until the table pins Kira in her chair against the wall. "You're not ready. I know you think you are, but you're not. Trust me kid, it's for your own good."
Grayson storms off to the door to the inner House. He stops and talks with Duncan, gesturing back to Kira, still wiggling out from her chair. Duncan frowns but gives a small nod and Grayson blows through the door. Duncan shifts his enormous Goliath frame slightly in front of the door and offers Kira an small apologetic shrug, but makes it clear by his stance that she is not following her brother through that door.
Dancan is an enormous Goliath that chips in with bouncer duty between active jobs. He is one of the sweetest, kindest people you've ever met. He also has a reputation of being quite vicious when enraged. He even bit clean through a man's throat once during a fight, because his hands where busy literally crushing the skulls of two others. At least, that's the story. Being one of the very few Goliaths in the city, you haven't found a source to corroborate it.
Kira manages to wiggle enough to get room to put her feet on the edge of the table. Using the wall for leverage, she shoves the big, heavy table away from her far enough so she can get out. She knows she'll have bruises on her mid-drift because of the impact. Her face has the look of murderous rage and she drives the dagger she'd been flipping into the solid oak of the table. Damn him!! He's going to ruin this for me just like he does everything else because he still thinks I'm a child!! And I don't care what he thinks about Uther. At least he treats me like an equal.
With a snarl she pries the dagger out of the table. Suddenly she feels eyes on her and realizes that everyone in the tavern was privy to Grayson's little outburst. Her face flushes crimson and she ducks her head while letting the curtain of her long, brown hair fall to cover her humiliation. Sitting back down, she sets the cup aright that got knocked over when Grayson shoved the table into her. Her body is tense, but she forces herself into the semblence of calm. She won't leave until she knows if her brother has talked Skinner out of letting her go.
Sitting back down in the chair, she takes a deep breath, and then starts to flip the dagger again.
Lin Yurenya looks up from where she's just finished making up the last bed in the infirmary. It was dinner time and the healers usually ate together. "Coming Melora." Taking a last look around to make sure everything was in order, she joined the other healers and headed for the tavern.
As she enters, she smells mouth watering scents coming from the kitchen. She's just about to go take a seat when Melora taps her on the shoulder. "Looks like you've been chosen for the healer in the next group out." The older woman points at the notice on the boards, and Lin goes over to see her name in the list. Huh. Well, I guess it's about time. I've been here for a while now.
As she moves to take a seat with the others, she notices that the room is quieter than usual and there is a bit of tension in the air. Looking around, she notices Kira glowering in the corner at a table that is not usually set that close to the wall. She doesn't know the woman well, but she does know that Melora has something of an on-again, off-again relationship with Kira's older brother Grayson, who is one of the higher ups in the House.
Not wanting to intrude, Lin keeps her seat and finishes glancing around making sure nothing untoward is going on. She beams at the server who comes to take her order, then settles in to wait for her food.
Korb comes in for his regular nightly ale--every evening, exactly one hour past sundown. As he enters the tavern he realizes that more attention is on him than is either usual or, for him, comfortable. He avoids eye contact, suppressing the feeling in his stomach--like a small-time siren pulling foolish fishermen down the hitherto-unknown drain-hole of a local lake. He makes his way to what he fears is the source of tonight's unusual interest.
The bulletin board. His only current source of income. At times his greatest friend. But just this moment, to his mind, it was his archest foe.
He sees his name there, and the fishermen in his stomach die a horrible wailing death.
Let's be clear that Korb is no stranger to fighting, nor one to avoid the opportunity for an enjoyable tactical engagement. It's just that, as he now mutters under his breath, "It isn't finished yet."
Namely, the acid-spray-trigger armor attachment he's been working on. Half his desk destroyed by failures--and messy successes--and it isn't even ready for battle testing yet. He'll have to set it aside for some mundane house mission or other.
With a sigh he orders his ale. It's a living after all.