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    Itinerant Wanderer

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  1. The path to Malkier was an enlightening experience for Ashar. The farthest north he had ever travelled, the kind weather had failed to deny geography its due, it was getting colder. He'd been glad for the extra layer of furs he had picked up in Merrilor on the advice of those who knew better, even more glad he'd been able to secure some extra clothing for the others on the coin of the merchants who had employed them. Even now it was a welcome respite from the bite of a chill wind that contrasted with the sun that had blessed their path. The wagons at least had travelled well with little hassle. Only one axle had broken a week north of Merrilor, the teamsters had made a quick fix and Jerinvar Alanda, the merchant in charge of the expedition, was even handed and easy to approach. He seemed to have the confidence of years despite not even being thirty. Apart from his Jerinvar's guardsmen, led by a burly Illianer called Nikos, Ashar's group was somewhat settled. In addition to himself, and the trio he had recruited on the first day made up of Kai, Kaylee and Eb, he'd also found two more to round out their crew. Tolin never gave his last name, or contributed that much to conversation, but at least his sturdy frame could keep to the saddle and his chipped mace with its fins looked like it had seen plenty of use. That then left Uno who had come to see him a day later. He'd decided that the call of the road was his to answer, something which had led to more than one conversation with Donal who had eventually given his reluctant blessing. It had been a source of tension given his first meeting with the others, but Ashar wasn't overly concerned. There hadn't been any blow ups yet, and if people kept civil and did their jobs, then that should be enough for the run. Days were spent on travel with Ashar ranging forward with Kai and Tolin scouting ahead while Kaylee and Eb stayed with the wagons and acted as spotters. When they weren't travelling it had been an opportunity to observe their interactions, Eb and Kai had taken Uno under their wing and were providing him training and tips. Tolin occasionally offered an acerbic comment or a grunt, but Kaylee worried him a little more. They'd had a few chats here and there, but she was still guarded, hopefully that would ease over the course of the trip. Things proceeded well up until they crossed the border into Malkier. The sun was shrouded by the clouds more often than not, and the land was . . . he'd heard stories of the Blight, and while this didn't match what he had heard it was still not quite right. The land still had patches where life stubbornly struggled to take root, leaving patches of despoiled and browned grasses desperately eking out their existence. Elsewhere, it was like the land was still trying to decide what it was, patches of trees that lacked the age of the forests in the south like the Braem Wood that he had visited. Maybe in another twenty to thirty years Malkier would take shape, but for now it was still . . . young? Ashar struggled to quite conceive it. One thing Ashar did not appreciate was the way that the morning fogs rolled in, making their scouting difficult but if nothing else, the lack of options for cover and shelter had made their nights easy to plan for. A couple of budding groves and then bare plains occasionally interrupted by hillocks, scouting was no longer an ambling affair as they had to remain alert in case of attack. Despite the road guiding the way and the occasional patrol sighted, much of Malkier was still unsettled. When Ashar had raised the question, Jerinvar's observation was that many of the communities that had been founded had looked for the most fertile places for crops and were mostly self contained. The major highways had been the priority in development along with the settlements themselves, the paths that would normally splinter from the highway would take time to develop. A week into Malkier was when the weather became ugly. The wind that had been chilly now threatened to cut through their clothing even with the cover, the horses were suffering for it as well. Three days away from their first settlement to visit, Jerinvar took the decisiont that they should search for cover and outwait the weather as it was only getting worse with intermittent sleeting that was getting heavier. The clouds had turned ominously dark, thunder roared in the distance, there was nothing to be gained from trying to foray through the storm that was coming. Ashar had led the scouting party amongst the hillocks that now dominated the landscape, but it was Kai who had found them shelter. A large cavern, its maw extending as far as twenty feet high but only ten feet in width, it offered a possibility of shielding themselves against the worst of the approaching elements. A cursory inspection showed that it opened into a wider space once past the entrance, but there seemed to be no end to it as it began to descend. In the absence of any immediate danger and a lack of other options, Jerinvar had made the decision for them to bring the convoy there. The decision had been proven wise when within half an hour of arrival, the full storm struck. The lay of the land shielded them from flooding, but the rain was so thick that it one could barely see ten feet ahead and the thunder reverberated about them when lightning struck from the sky, sometimes close enough that the flash outside was immediately followed by a roar that both echoed and washed over them. They had pushed further into the cave after the first day to mitigate this, but by the fourth day it was clear that the weather was not shifting. It was also clear something had to change. Jerinvar's instructions were simple to Ashar, gather his people and get them ready for plan B. They had spread the wagons out a bit to give space as some had found their current predicament claustrophobic enough as it was with Nikos' people maintaining sentries. With the cavern extending so far, the choice had been made to simply keep themselves safe rather than range out too far and invite further problems. Ashar wondered if that was about to change, but Jerinvar would be able to explain more by the campfire he was seated by when everyone was assembled. OOC: A chance to set the scene for how your characters have been going during the trip and what they might be up to on their down time normally.
  2. Well, it seemed like he had some general assent on this at least. Though it seemed to Ashar that this would either be a make or break exercise, at least they could all make some coin and hopefully walk away happy at the end. He had hoped more would be proficient on a horse, that would have given them options. Still, it would all work out one way or the other. "Good to know, I will make arrangements. Well, if this is so then our business for now is concluded, yes? Be sure to be here on our day of leaving, and if you have any other questions or need help with anything beforehand come to see me. Whether that is a matter of provisions, equipment or resolving any unfinished business you may have. I will find us additional people for the task and if you do not meet them sooner then you shall on the day." Looking to them he stood as he smiled and clasped his hands together. "Light be with you all and best of luck in your preparations."
  3. The additional byplay was making Ashar consider whether the arrangements he was making would last, but perhaps he would simply have to take what he could get. The sooner he could confirm a contingent, the sooner the pay could come in and it had the possibility of being a relatively easy run. If genuine danger had been anticipated, he would have expected more than five to be required. Of all of them, Eb was shaping up to be a good possible second. She confronted the issue but also de-escalated it, mercenaries who didn't keep the peace either had to be too useful or terrifying, otherwise they didn't last. Cocking his head slightly at her as she moved back onto business, he listened to her as she took up the cup while asking her questions and explaining herself. "Pay is always important, yes? Four silver crowns a day at Andoran weight, meals provided while we are on the road but in the settlements it will be up to us to make our own choices. You won't become rich, but for what should be a quiet run it will be a tidy profit. An additional bonus is still to be determined based on how well we perform and in what condition the caravan is in by the end. Don't expect it to be high, but expect it all the same." Looking at all of them, Ashar leaned back a little as he spoke. "Whatever your reasons are, you are here, yes? We look to leave in three days, time enough for you to finalise any matters you have and make any necessary arrangements. We go north and back, and if it works out then perhaps we look to continue on together. If not, we do a good job and part ways a little wealthier. I will be staying here during that time so I will be easy enough to find if you need anything." "But what I need to know is if you are in or not. Also, if you are in, if you're capable of riding a horse. If so I may be able to arrange one for you, otherwise you will be on the wagons." "So, questions? Decisions? Who would speak first?"
  4. Some would have leapt to control the situation as quickly as possible, they needed to feel like they were in control at all times and anything that violated that sense of control prompted quick action. Not so much in Ashar's case, he found moments like these instructive. Kaylee seemed to want to push and challenge, the young man was also biting. Whatever was at the root of it, he wasn't sure but it no doubt had to do with the one punch of the day. It seemed when violence loomed that Kaylee was willing to back off at least, but it did leave him with the question of how to pro- Looking toward the new arrival, Ashar was mildly approving in his appraisal. She was short and had the look of a Domani, but what impressed him was her eyes. She was alert, whether that was natural or learned he wasn't sure but he stood and inclined his head to her in respect as he answered her question. "Fortune is in the eye of the beholder, yes? But in this case, money spends well for most people and their fortunes. As to Malkier, we'll tour several settlements and then visit the Seven Towers before returning south." "Which brings me to our current drama, and my views on it." Ashar turned his attention to the other two. "You come to me interested in work, yet within moments the pair of you were ready to go outside and throw down. I don't need that on a job." "You." Ashar looked to Kaylee, "I don't know what happened to you earlier that required you to punch someone, but that is not my fault, yes? You want a job, leave your past at the door. I want to work and get paid, if you're going to piss on everyone around you because someone we don't even know got under your skin, this won't be a good fit. Do that to the wrong person and start a fight, then I need to wonder whether some idiot you've enraged is going to stick me with steel as a result. Not a good investment for my safety let alone the caravan's. Up to you whether you can do that, but you need to decide." "As for you," Ashar now turned to the younger man, "your principles are commendable, but you've let someone you don't know provoke you to action in less than a minute. We both know that if you were to use every tool available to you, no one in this room could reasonably stand against you. It also means you have other options before it comes to throwing down outside, not to mention it is the proprietor's responsibility to decide what behaviour they wish to tolerate. I doubt the proprietor would appreciate violence, even if it was taken outside of this booth. Not everything requires a fight to resolve and that is how I approach my work. If you are on board with that, then we will be right, otherwise you need to think about what you want from this." Turning his attention back to the new visitor, Ashar gestured for her to take a seat as he sat and poured a cup of water for her as he spoke. "My apologies, my hope is that this is just the nature of a beginning. A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct, yes? My hope is that with the right people this may be achieved." Passing the water over to her, Ashar spoke simply. "Our run is for simple goods, but needed in reconstruction and Malkier has not really stopped in its rebuilding efforts ever since the land was reclaimed from the Blight. The employers see little reason to rush so taking the overland route seems to be their preference. We will provide additional security though the land itself is patrolled by both the Shienaran and Malkieri soldiers. The pay is reasonable and the trip will take some time so it is steady employment for the round trip there and back. If such a thing works out well, then perhaps there will be other opportunities. What skills would you bring to such a venture, I must ask?"
  5. A channeler. Well, that changed things, and depending on how capable the young man was that changed things drastically in their favour. He seemed humble as well, and if he could weave a traveling gateway, well that meant they had an escape route if things became messy. Not to mention healing, or a flinging fire. The fact that he didn't look so obvious in this regard, dressed practically rather than the showiness of one confident in their otherworldly powers, well, that could be very useful indeed. "I have to admit, I did not consider the possibility of one of your stated skills being interested in such a task. You are more than welcome, and w-" Ashar paused as they were joined by a woman who seemed imposing despite her size. Definitely looked more seasoned than the lad before him, Ashar smiled at the mention of being a Captain even as he rose to his feet only to then grin at the comment about a gleeman. "A Gleeman? Well, that was another lifetime but I thank you for the compliment. Please, join us." Ashar moved around the bench so he sat against the wall with the young man to his left and gestured for the seemingly formidable woman to sit to his right. Taking another one of the cups, he began to pour water for her and offered the drink as she took a seat. "As I was explaining to the young man here, I have been contracted to arrange security for a shipment heading north. It will stop by several settlements and perhaps pass by the new capital along the way. The trip will be some weeks and while the areas are heavily patrolled by Malkieri and Shienaran soldiers, the merchants have the money to spare. For me it will be my first time this far north so I am curious to see what it is like. I am recently new to Merrilor, most of my work has been in the southlands so I would like to see more of this land." "The young man," Ashar gestured to their companion, "has just spoken to me of his skills. What would you be bringing to our company? You seem armed and formidable, but what would you say for yourself?"
  6. Looking up at the blond young man whose hair jingled as he walked over, Ashar smiled at the question as he stood and opened his palms upward as he spoke. "One takes a path others shy away from. Come, sit and I will explain this, yes?" Gesturing to the seat across from him in the booth, Ashar waited till the man had seated himself before he did. Reaching for the water and a spare cup at the table, he poured it close to the brim before placing it in front of the man and only then did he speak. "I am currently under contract to help escort a caravan north to Malkier where goods will be delivered. Now I am new to these lands, I had not thought there would be so much work for one whose sword commands a price but where there is work there is opportunity, yes?" Leaning forward so his elbows were on the table and hands clasped just below his mouth, Ashar lowered his forearms so they sat on the edge and gestured with his right hand to the man across from him. "I am in need of people to join me in this task, you could be such a person. The roads are meant to be safe and warriors of both Shienar and Malkier patrol the way, but those who employ me are flush with coin and see little reason to entertain risk when for a small cost it may be mitigated. To that end, I am to find several others who are willing to assist in the escort of the caravan." Leaning back against his seat with his hands resting by his side, Ashar nodded at the other man. "You look young. Tell me, what are you doing now? Does it make you happy? If so, then why come here? I think perhaps that you are not just curious, but want something different for yourself? Why did you come? And if you were to agree, what skills would you bring with you?"
  7. Well, this looked like the place. It was an immense building, calling it an inn really didn't do it justice. A large hall topped with flags of a downward sword upon a shield, it was attended by additional structures on the block, the entire property ringed by a waist high cobble wall. Within those borders lay many benches with covering shade and a number of people who were already enjoying the fruits of hops and vine before the sun had reached its zenith. Not that Ashar was one to judge, but he had chosen the time in the hopes that not too many would be blind as a newt and he might get some relatively sober contenders. He'd agreed to a contract, travel to Malkier providing additional security for a caravan. He needed at least five others to join him, with any luck he'd find at least a couple of willing souls here. It was less dangerous than it appeared, Shienar had its own patrol the way to the nation reborn, but people with money rarely kept it without some measure of caution. For Ashar, this was an opportunity not only to make some money, but perhaps make some contacts doing the work he was born for. Setting foot on the property, the main hall loomed over him by five storeys. In there was a grand interior packed with more tables and chairs and drinks to go with the meals they provided. That was not what interested him though, not yet at least. Instead, as he made his way through the grand doors, he looked to the right to see a counter and a massive cork board. The paper in his hand was made for it, though he needed pins and an open spot that would catch the eye. "May I help you?" Looking to the inquiry, Ashar smiled and nodded as he recognised the livery and symbol on the dark-haired boy that was perhaps no more than fourteen. "I do, would you happen to have some pins?" "Pins I can supply and I can even put it up for you. However, you will need to register at the counter first." Frowning, Ashar's tone was cajoling. "Surely there is no ne-" "No free advertising, it must be registered and paid for same as everyone else." The young boy seemed pleased at the statement as he shrugged, "it isn't my doing, people more important than me make these choices." There was a time that Ashar had been convincing, maybe his boyish charm was fading with age. Sighing, he nodded and walked over to the counter indicated to. An older gentleman in matching livery nodded in greeting as he opened a ledger before him. "Welcome, I am Donal Arvan, welcome to Riposte, where we meet every demand in a timely manner." Ashar smiled as he asked, "who came up with that?" Getting a smile in return, Donal shrugged, "someone richer than either of us I'd wager. I take it you wish to register?" "It seems so, yes?" The man's response was to dip his quill in the inkpot as the questions came. His name, his purpose, how many people he needed and their requirements. Ashar Dovinhald, guarding a caravan to Malkier, five and a willingness to travel north. Getting a raised eyebrow at the last, Ashar said nothing of it as Donal finished the note as he then gestured to the poster he was holding. Handing it over, an artist's exaggerated likeness of Ashar asked if one would care to change their stars, then one might seek their fortune north with him. First come first served, must be willing to follow instructions and commit to the entire trip. Getting a look, Ashar shrugged at the man, "I thought it would stand out." "That it does. Uno," Donal looked to the young boy and handed him the poster, "put that up and find a nice spot at eye level. Your registration fee is two silvers, and with that is also included a lunch and two drinks here while people have the opportunity to come meet you. Anyone who asks we will direct your way." Three stones came from below the counter as Ashar handed the fee over, one red and two blue. "The blue will get you a drink, the red a meal. Our servers will come by every now and then to see if you require anything, be sure to order during those times." "Done." The boy looked ready for another task and Donal already had it in mind. "Take this man to one of our booths by the south wall, purple." "This way." Uno gestured for Ashar to follow, leading him down a corridor that opened into a large hall. It wasn't too packed at this time of day, with the weather being fine without most people were happy to drink there. But the southern wall contained a number of booths, each booth table had a different coloured rock of some kind upon it. The purple made sense as he saw the violet orb set in the middle of the long table and Ashar took his seat as Uno disappeared to return with water and several cups. Settling in, Ashar relaxed as he took everything in. The long bar at the north side, the stairs either side that led to a second level where he could hear some general noise from patrons and a third level above that he could take little in from. Each level's balcony hung a variety of banners, he recognised nations on the second level, the third were flags that meant little to him. He mused on why that might be so even as he poured his cup and relaxed, this would not be a quick day.
  8. "Why do you look so weird? Are you an outlander? Why are you here?" Frowning at urchin who had leapt from the tall grass to confront him, Ashar's eyes could not perceive any others in what was otherwise a sea of grass upon the plains parted only by the muddy trail that the boy stood upon in the morning sun. The path north to Merrilor had once been quiet, but that was before Tarmon Gaidon and before Merrilor was founded. The Caralain Grass had seen new settlements after the war or so he had been told, and this muddy child of no more than eight clearly hailed from one of these new places. Maybe he could make a job of mapping them, his purse was becoming lighter on this trip without actual work to fill it. "I don't recall answering to you, yes? Step off the road and be on your way, child, and go find your mother." "I Don't ReCall AnSweRing To You, Yes?" The child's response in sing song followed by another insightful observation. "You look like you smell. Did you wake up next to the sows of a pig farm or do you just smell like wet dog?" Arching an eyebrow at the mouth on the kid, Ashar considered saying something but bit his lip as he began to walk forward. The child began to backpedal but he had a big grin on his face, his eyes darting to the side being the only warning Ashar had as he heard the grass crunch to his right. As he turned and placed a hand to his pommel several boys led by one maybe a dozen years of age came out of the grass with rocks in their hand. Restraining himself when he saw how young there was put to the test when a rock clipped him in the back of the head. Staggering forward, Ashar caught himself from falling as he held his arm before his face to guard as he confronted a pair of girls who had come out the other side, they were armed with slings and the boys were now unwinding leather straps and loading up as one of the boys called out. "Drop your things and we'll let you walk away!" Anger was the first response, Ashar being accosted by children? Not on his hope of salvation and rebirth was he going to be trounced by feral children. Unsheathing his sword, Ashar growled, "Get away you little scarecrows and find someone else to bother. You try and you'll regret it." "Liar." One of the girls with blond braids was already swinging her sling lazily as she took the measure of him while another boy, the older one whose dark locks were stained with mud. "You won't do that, we're kids and you can't hurt us or our parents will find you! Drop your things or take a rock to the face." Glaring at the impudent infant, the words had left Ashar's lips before he could even consider them. "You need to be careful with that, if you're not careful you might hit your father." The boy's swing faltered as he frowned while he tried to process what was meant by that statement, but as the girls both snickered it clearly dawned on him and the rock was flung from his sling. Ashar bat it out of the air and smirked only to yelp as a second and third rock came his way, pelting his ribs accompanied by cries of anger. Sheathing his sword as he ran, he snatched the boy who'd first insulted him along the way and flung him over his back as a human shield. A plan that worked well until the cries of anger turned to fear and one of his ankles exploded in pain. Spilling forward and the boy rolling free of his grip, Ashar clawed to his feet and half ran, half hopped down the muddy road as rocks flew about him and occasionally were successful in finding his back and legs. The shame only increased as Ashar threw himself off the road and into the tall grass, crawling as fast as he could. The shouts behind him alerting him to the continued pursuit, he kept going until he started to get winded and then rolled down and over, pulling his cloak and some of the nearby grass over himself. The rustling came close, but then passed by even as he heard the children calling out to one another. Waiting a few minutes after they had moved past, Ashar gingerly made his way back the way he had come until he found the road again. His ankle was on fire and his cheek was actually bleeding! Curses for the children, their parents, their entire family line that had passed and the ones that might yet be born howled in his mind as he made what time he could along the path. Sooner he got away, the sooner he could give the ignominious death by child stand over merchants a miss . . . It was nearly evening by the time Ashar saw a hopefully welcome sight. A small village down the path, maybe he could find a place there to rest for a couple of days. His ankle still burned but now there was a sharp pain that ran along the ankle, he'd only dared to make stops every couple of hours in case the children found him again. The thought that he had had to run from infants was horrifying, but he hadn't had it in him to beat them with the sword either. Hopefully they didn't call this place home, if he never saw the stained and tawdry garbage masquerading as people again, he would be happy. Just a bit further to go.
  9. Ashar chuckled as he inclined his head back to the booth as he responded. "You believe the wheel would spin such a kind fate, yes? Most people who wished to see Master Haran have done so, you may as well settle in if you intend to babysit closely this evening. They must exchange pleasantries, no doubt they are still in the midst of the verbal equivalent of the Lion on the Hill and the Leaf Floating on the Breeze. That duel could last all night, yes? Imagine, just waiting here all that ti . . . . ." Trailing off as he sighted new arrivals, they appeared to be travellers but something was unusual about them. Despite their garb which was relatively non-descript, their half dozen were all armed with wandering eyes and one of them had a distinctly foreign look. The sort of face that had been unwelcome in Tarabon for sometime now, why he and his coterie were in Ghealdan was unclear but Ashar had to force a smile as he spoke. "This could be an interesting evening, I wonder if Haran will treat with them. You might get your wish for an early evening after all if that is the case, yes?" Slipping a hand behind the curtain, Ashar looked inside as he addressed the pair who seemed to be in the midst of an exchange. "Pardon the intrusion, it appears we have new visitors that may wish to meet you, Master Haran. They aren't wearing their wealth, but one of them appears to be Seanchan. Should I invite them over?" The frown on Haran's face was obvious, but he shook his head after a moment. "All coin spends the same, regardless of the hand. But perhaps this will be the end of our business this evening." Directing the last at the woman, he pushed a small package across the table toward her. "I'd rather not subject you to their scrutiny depending how imperial they are feeling this evening. You should retire for the evening, I will go to them after you have departed . . . in fact," Ashar felt his hopes of a quiet evening slip away as Haran regarded him. "You know, I believe it would be most courteous if you would escort our guest to their accommodations." Shaking his head, Ashar asked, "is that really necessary? She has her own companion to keep her safe." Haran turned and smiled at the woman but to Ashar's eyes after travelling with him, it seemed a little sharp. "Of course she does, but I would count it as a personal favour. Never let it be said I am not without gratitude. In fact . . ." Haran reached to his side and tossed a small pouch that clinked to Ashar. "They will probably be the last ones I speak with tonight, so we may consider our business concluded with this last task. You have been a good companion Ashar, but I should not require your services any further as I plan to stay here for awhile and I know you wish to continue your travels. Light shine on you and the wheel spin your thread kindly, until we next meet." Well, that was unexpected. Nodding, Ashar smiled at Haran. "So be it. Fortune favour you and may you be richer next time we meet." Turning to the woman, Ashar inclined his head in acknowledgement. "Your man is just outside the booth, when you are ready, I will accompany you to your accommodations and then with obligations discharged retire for the evening. We shall await you outside." At that, Ashar withdrew from the curtain and looked to Aeodan. "Looks like I'm walking the pair of you home and then I am free for the evening. If you are bored, I'm pretty sure we could find a bar an adventure if we set our mind to it, yes? If your lady permits it, that is."
  10. Nodding at the offer after having seen the other man drink from the flask, Ashar took a swig and then frowned as he clenched his throat in an attempt to not cough. Whatever this was, it was something he hadn't come across before, but the sensation did give way to a pleasant warmth. Handing the flask back to the other man after a cursory inspection of it, he looked about at the crowd for a brief moment before appraising the man further. He had over half a foot on Ashar, tall and athletic and he seemed to have a casual air of confidence that seemed at odds with the woman he spoke of as if he accompanied her. "That was new, you were right about the punch. The way you talk of her, you are accompanying her for her safety, yes?" Ashar gave a pointed look to the man's swordbelt and the weapon hanging from it before continuing. "You know her better than I, but I suspect Haran will readily talk with her as long as necessary to make a sale. He is old, but he is tenacious and he will haggle to his last breath, then haggle some more. If his hair were aflame and he was offered a bucket of water for three Andoran crowns, he'd bargain for two and a towel out of principle." His gaze wandering over the people enjoying their food and merriment, Ashar was blunt. "Forgive a plain observation, but a man of your bearing seems a poor match for your companion, yes? I thought her common, yet she has someone of your bearing to watch over her and you follow her closely. It is not my place to pry, but should I be worried that my night may take an unexpected turn? Jealous lover? Jilted husband? I was looking forward to an easy evening but something about you makes me think that perhaps my simple ambitions shall be thwarted, yes?
  11. Give me a bit and I'm sure I'll come up with something 🙂
  12. Actually, if we combine daggers/unarmed as well as spears/staves, you have five categories. 🙂 So it becomes in close, bladed weapons, momentum weapons, ranged weapons and reach weapons.
  13. Yes. System has more latitude than the original, and systems to me for writing are only there to guide. At the end of the day, the writers determine who wins or loses, not the system. The system just guides you on what is reasonably expected of a character's ability, but you can always add environmental or outside factors if you want to win against terrible odds, or faceplant it in the face of what should have been easy. 🙂 If I had to really look for a nitpick, I'd say that I'd up the weapon limits for Master and possibly remove them outright for a Grandmaster. They live their training and experience, someone who has gotten to that stage could reasonably be expected to have trained beyond five types of weapons. I'd also possibly remove shield altogether, using a shield with spear, axe or sword has its own nuances and could just fold into those weapons. That then leaves: Sword Stave Archery (Bows & Crossbows) Daggers Spear Mace/Axe/Hammer Unarmed/Martial
  14. @Arie The draft of trade. Merrilor and Trade Merrilor itself is not rich in natural resources, but sitting upon the Erinin and Mora rivers does present certain advantages. It doesn't dominate the river ways the same way that Tar Valon did before Tarmon Gaidon, but most of the northern routes that are river bound run through it. Both Shol Arbela and Fal Moran have connected themselves to the city by new roads and the rivers also facilitate the transport of larger shipments. Trade from the Niamh Passes also often flows through here, though trade from the east is not what it once was. In turn, goods from the south often come to Merrilor to in turn filter to the capitals of Shienar and Arafel as well as continue on to the reborn Malkier. Where Merrilor shines can be found in their workshops. Many artisans were actively lured to the new city after Tarmon Gaidon, whether it was due to the safety offered by the city's military and channelers, or the chance to make money in such a place where people of power would need and want the finer things. The result was the rapid development of industrial and commercial districts with many guilds while differing from anywhere else in the known world due to two reasons. The academy and its technological advances have opened up new opportunities for goods and production, and while this has at times led to conflict due to these advances drastically changing the nature of the artisan has led to conflicts between the guild and academy. The second is a small portion of the channelers of the city who have turned their eye to using their skills to create goods and services of their own. This has required regulation to try and reach a balance, but it has meant that the production of goods wrought by the power. While weapons are strictly banned from trade, works of art to something as simple as a cup that can never be broken do attract hefty commissions, money that in turn flows through the rest of the city. The responsibilities of overseeing the management of trade in the city and participating in the city council fall to the Magister and Chancellor respectively The Magister oversees the guilds of the city while the Chancellor is responsible for regulations of commerce and coinage for the city. While they are united on most matters, they have been known to be opposed on the matter of guild rights versus free trade. Addendum: Magister: A nominated representative of the guilds, they are their voice on the council and responsible for ensuring all guilds are compliant with Merrilor's laws and regulations. Chancellor: Foremost public servant of the city on economic matters. Their duties include oversight of regulations governing commerce and taxation. They also have oversight of both Merrilor's mint and Bank (to be named).
  15. TRIGGER WARNING: None Name: Ashar Dovinhald Age: 23 Place of birth: Maracru, Tarabon Physical Description: 5’9” with dark eyes, he keeps his black hair short and his beard well trimmed as a compromise between practicality and aesthetic. His clothing tends to reflect little of his homeland, being a mixture of different places he has traveled. Mental & Emotional: Ashar’s easy-going and friendly nature that projects self-reliance and independence both help to cope with and obfuscate a deep desire for stability and trust. His past experiences have taught him that he can hope for such things but not expect them to last. Despite that, he is a product of Taraboner optimism, a new day is a new opportunity and it is this attitude that has allowed him to carry on where despair might have been more appropriate. That said, the uncertainties and never feeling entirely safe can and do lead him into situations that a more risk averse person would turn a blind eye to. Whether this is a manifestation of self-loathing, the bravado of warrior or desperation for his destiny to be something better are open for debate. Likewise, when a rivalry forms, he finds it difficult to step away from and can show a far more ruthless side when in confrontation with another. His tongue may win some people over, but it has definitely created enmity in its own right. Despite travel he retains his Tarabon accent and some of the mannerisms. He also is by nature curious, often trying his hand at new things where he can or learning something new. There is a deep drive within him to not be happy with what he has, that he could have more and if he strives hard enough, he might just make something more of his existence. Sometimes he daydreams of becoming noble through military service, in his wilder dreams he returns to Tarabon at the head of an army to drive out the Seanchan. Talents: He is well-versed in a variety of percussive instruments and can sing. Also exceedingly familiar with every game played in a pub and can even manage a decent game of stones though he is no master. He also seems to possess an almost innate intuition as to what to say to aggravate another person, though that may be more a bane than a talent. Character History: Ashar’s origins were not the most promising. A mother dying in childbirth, a father following six months after to drink and despair, his own chances might have been slim to none if the community had not sought to care for him. Having many mothers and fathers as a result despite none being of his blood, it was an upbringing that led to a social yet cautious child, never enjoying unconditional trust and care the way that those who bond with their parents have. Instead he relied on his boyish charms and an empathy developed through a need to be safe that saw him quick to help and quicker to take what hugs he could get. Adolescence saw his prospects dim. No father to teach him a trade, no inheritance of any sort as what had been left had long since been spent by those who had cared for him. Serving the Seanchan and rising in their service appealed little. He chose to leave at fourteen with an old Gleeman by the name of Timmon who had promised to teach him his trade and show him the world, but was impatient and quick with a switch or the back of his hand. He had quickly become adequate accompaniment with a hand drum for the master’s flute and over the course of two years became relatively proficient in most drums that could be carried on person and passable with a dulcimer. While this gave him a sense of accomplishment, even his natural optimism flagged under the tutelage of Master Timmon who, while slowly relenting as Ashar became more proficient, never offered any real warmth. It was in Illian that Ashar changed his fortune, leaving his master’s service in favour of the military. It was here he began to blossom, learning how to give a blow instead of just how to take one and how to form friendships as an equal. His musical talents and extroverted nature helped him fit in, but at times that served to agitate people as readily as it won over. After four years he was a proficient soldier and in line for promotion to lead his own squad. It was at this point he ‘left’. When asked why the story he tells is rarely the same twice, but he found himself with nothing but the clothes on his back, a pair of broken drums, a shattered dulcimer, not a single coin to his name and a face so bruised that tumbling down the Dragonmount face first would have failed to account for it. Any attempt to wallow in pity was sabotaged by a very real need to be able to eat regularly. Dock work as a laborer was preferable to begging, but within a couple of months, he was a teamster. Within a year working as a caravan guard and nearing his 23rd birthday after a disagreement with the head of the caravan he struck out as a mercenary in his own right. He searches for work where he can, alternating between safe jobs as he looks for work that may change his fortunes. Character Reputation Anywhere Ashar stays for a time he tends to develop a reputation for being friendly but occasionally intemperate where a more cautious man might have avoided conflict. Beyond that he has no major standing or preceding reputation at this time. Connections He has met and become familiar with numerous merchants, mercenaries and, as loathe as he may be to mention it, the army of Illian. Character Goals To do something more with his life, to have something he owns and holds himself. Money is nice but a means to an end, he wants substance and reputation as well. Weapon Score - 9 Trained - Sword Practiced - Spear Practiced - Archery Untrained - Unarmed
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