Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Long Time Coming...

Xein had sent a runner to the mansion the day after they arrived back from saving most of Kusseth. Things had not turned out the way he had envisioned and he certainly had not tought that Nakmander was a flat out terrorist. He had assumed that it was going to be a sneak attack on the government of Kusseth and taking over the city, not total destruction... Things were different now, with the loss of their friend Spineplate. He wanted to talk to D'alton about the loss of his close friend and sort things out between them. It would be unwise to have bad blood within the group at this point, the others already making plans to go separate ways... The Robust Five may be done...

He sat in the basement, the lantern burning above him. The new cask of Ice Ale was done brewing while they were traveling, frost on the edges. He had a glass poured for himself and one poured for D'alton, waiting for him to arrive any minute.


D'alton walked the halls of the Braun mansion, quiet, it seemed, for the first time in ages. Yet, the walls seemed to echo the clang of metal on metal, the laughter and bickering of camaraderie, and the tromping about of his dearest friend, Kethranmeer. The silence seemed all the louder for its absence, Wiping a hand across his eyes, D'alton walked down the street to the Boil, nodding to the greenskin Abraxen as he entered. He went through the kitchen and to basement door, steeling himself for a conversation with Xein, one long overdue.

Xein heard the footsteps coming down the wooden stairs, creaking with each step, when D'alton was in full view, he indicated to the chair across from him, “Welcome D'alton, please... sit down, we have things to discuss.”

D'alton sat down across from Xein, pulling the tankard of ale to him. He looked up. "Yes, Xein, it would seem we do, What's up?"

"I have ordered us food from upstairs, you will find that my chef is a great cook and will be making it personally. Mr. Bordeen has traveled and cooked around the world, but that is not why you are here," Xein slowly shook his head in despair. "I would like to honor our good friend Spineplate by patching our wounds, as it were. This may be very important, as Derf is terrifying me from his seeming change of sanity, and his apparent want to make us go back to prison. Why did he attack that warden?" he mused aloud.

"And John talks of starting a gunshop. It seems our big metal friend may have been the glue that held us together. I do not, however, wish to see you and I drift apart," he took a long pull from his Ice Brew, and started again,"D'alton, my friend... Too long have we been at odds over the ill-fated heist. We would make a far better team together than we do apart. Let's show the Known World a thing or two about who the Robust Five were, and avenge our friend!" he held his glass up to toast with D'alton.

D'alton choked on his Ice Brew, and forcibly removed his own tongue from the side of the glass, for it had become stuck, such was the ice of the brew (really, it's not that cold). "Xein, I agree that Kethranmeer's loss was felt across the group, and I, too am unsure what the future holds for it. But perhaps you are right in that it would be best to set aside our differences. I am not certain that our paths will remain on the same track, at least for the time being. I am planning on departing this city, to find Kethranmeer's progeny, and make his cause my own. It is, however, good to know that I have at least one friend left in this world..."

Xein looked at D'alton, and for a moment, wondered how one could choke on such a smooth drought beer. It's boldness, coupled with it's ability to stay at a comfortable just above freezing temperature was something he figured people in this hot part of the world would enjoy. Well, some people just don't know good beer, he mused.

He cleared his cool throat and began,"Yes, but I would rather we just forgot about the whole fiasco that was the heist. Let's just say it never happen. I mean, we used to get along. We watched each others backs in Beltan and at one time had a strong friendship because of it," Xein took another pull of his beer.

He continued,"I am contacting someone to try and get us pardoned for our past crimes so we can roam Kusseth as free men, unhindered by the fear of apprehension and re-jailing. I will let you know if this goes through. Also, I was wondering, I have hired some mercs of the Nightfowl Claw Clan to help maintain a level of... safety around this district. I need a place for them to stay, and I thought that if we were to allow them to stay in John's room when he vacates to go to Port Brass... It could help offer even more protection for the Mansion."

There was a shuffling of feet down the stairs into the cellar where the table was set up. His cook set down two plates of good looking roast boar with potatoes and some type of grilled vegetable and went back upstairs. "I would also like to talk to you about why you are leaving the city..." Xein stated.

“A full pardon, eh? I can't say that isn't intriguing...” He chewed on the boar thoughtfully. “This is really good, by the way. As for the mansion, I don't have a problem with that, so long as the place stays in once piece while I'm gone.” D'alton's face darkened. “As for why I am leaving...I feel like it's something I have to do; I feel...weak. Watching Kethranmeer repeatedly take those hits, and not being able to do anything other than fire pointless shots at Nakmander, was the hardest thing I've ever done. I've got to do something to better myself. As for Kethranmeer's sons, and the battle they're fighting: I feel like I owe it to them to help them out any way I can. I feel responsible for their father's death. I feel guilty, and lost, and helpless. I've got to find myself again. That, Xein, is why I'm leaving Meroteth.”

He understood his comrade's conflict. He was not as close to Spineplate as D'alton was, but it hurt him as well. "I will watch over the mansion for you, and wish you good speed in your journey and hopeful metamorphosis. Be careful, for I fear we are wanted in more than one circle now... I am going to keep an ear to the ground, if I hear trouble calling, I will send warning to you as soon as I know. I am glad we had this talk," he embellished with his hand and fork, "Now, let us eat, enjoy, and depart..."

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