It was a river side tavern with a water wheel in full speed. Fights were a common thing, but more so with O'Malley around. Most beasts had the sense to just ignore him, though was always one. The one who got steamed at the blood thirsty, dead looking assassin wound up severely wounded. No one knew why he did such things, they just assumed it was just his nature, others thought he was evil made real.
This day had been relatively quiet, O'Malley was counting his profits in a corner. On thoughs days, he left with out incident. Only thing that would make him get aggressive was another beast picking a fight with him.
Most eyes were on the Whitedeath trio as they entered the riverside tavern. Albino beasts were not a common sight, and to have four of them in a building at once was a strange occurrence. The three strode up to the counter and Vikenti began to talk to the bartender. Vladimir and Verusha left him to order as they began to look around the tavern.
"I hate those beasts who stare at us just because we have white fur," Verusha whispered to Vladimir.
"Look at that one in the corner, is that not Stephen O'Malley?" Vladimir indicated the beast to his sister.
"You mean the beast that should be dead?" Verusha asked in surprise, "he does look rather as O'Malley was described. Let's go see." She walked to the table where the strange beast sat counting his money with Vladimir close behind her.
"Is it Stephen O'Malley that I have the pleasure of addressing?" Verusha asked the hitbeast, "or do you happen to a beast that likes to disguise himself like O'Malley?" Verusha lazily rested her elbows on the table, looking intently at O'Malley.
O'Malley looked up and looked back down quickly. "Well well, if it isn't the Whitedeath trio. What's a bunch of fresh bloods like you doing here?" His soft chilling voice spoke. "It's been quite uneventful this evening."
He finished counting his money and placed it in his fish skin pouch, he then placed both paws on the table and gave the three his blank look of inquiry.
"If by calling us fresh bloods you mean to suggest that we are armatures to mercenary field," Vladimir said coldly, "then you are far from correct Mister O'Malley." He stared back at the other weasel with a look that was completely unreadable. There was an uncomfortable pause for a second before Verusha spoke.
“We are here simply as a stop along the road we are traveling,” she explained, “we intend only to stop for a short while and then be on our way.” Suddenly Vikenti broke into the conversation, having finished getting a drink.
“Who is this, a friend of yours?” Vikenti asked Verusha, “it isn’t good to keep secrets from your family you know.” He took a swig of his ale with gusto.
“No, this Stephen O’Malley,” Verusha explained, “remember the mercenary lists we had?” During a run in with a certain mercenary group they had come across lists of beasts for hire. Apparently the group liked to keep track of its competition, as did the trio.
“So, you’re the beast who almost died, well I’ll commend you surviving,” Vikenti paused to take another drink, “but what weakling would let themselves be captured and hung like that? You’re lucky they were so stupid.” The leader of the trio laughed spitefully and raised his cup to his lips yet again.
Tristin St. Caens pushed the empty pint pot away, leaned back, and put his paws up on the old wooden table. Yawning, he closed his eyes and sighed contentedly.
For a busy pub, this one is surprisingly quiet. Lots of tired woodland gardeners, prob'ly…
He half opened his eyes as his ears caught the hum of several smooth voices, ones that were completely out of place with the homey accents which produced most of the quiet conversation in the tavern.
He recognized one of the voices as belonging to the dangerously silent weasel who had been counting money in a corner by himself all evening…
_…But those other four voices... Simply chilling!_The slim mustelid didn't remember seeing any creatures who would have such silky menace in their voices enter the tavern. He half shrugged to himself and slouched further back on the creaky chair.
What is it to me, anyhow? May as well enjoy the quiet, while it lasts…__
Stephen gave a slow, creepy grin. "Now children, when I was captured I didn't have backup like you three weak links do. All of my jobs are solo, and when I say 'Fresh bloods' I mean just that; Fresh blood to spill." O'Malley stood and walked slowly to Vikentai and stopped. The weasel gave a disrespecting smirk to him.
"Best hold your liquor, soft skull, I have streak for," Stephen thought for a moment, "for removing drunkards in the up most violent ways. And if know what I do to the targets I hunt, I suggest you do." Stephen gave a short, fast, soft laugh.
(Sorry to skip ahead of you Marsh, I just wanted to keep this going a bit since I have to leave.)
"Being alone doesn't mean you're any better, it just means you're stupid," Vikenti replied, "I'll drink all I want and when I want old fool, you aren't my dad." The weasel took another swig of his drink just to make his point.
"I wouldn't go on like that if I were you," Vladimir took over where his brother left off, "you are not in the best position to argue. If it comes to a fight, you're the only one who's blood will be spilled."
"Hey buddy, don't go bragging about your methods," Verusha growled, "we got some pretty brutal ones ourselves." She placed her paw on her sword hilt, much readier than her brothers to get fighting.
"I suggest you buy yourself a few drinks to calm down mate," Vikenti said to O'Malley, "it works every time! Maybe you'll even forget what a friendless loser you are!"
Stephen laughed again. "What you don't understand is, ale slows the body's time to react. It's suicide basically." The pale weasel whipped his sword out and flicked the cup out of Vikentai's paw. "When I'm hired, it's the message of the kill my client wants."
O'Malley's three sided blade whisked around with the greatest of ease. "I use to be just like you three. Relying on others to get things done, but somebody gets greedy. Somebody always gets greedy. That's why I'm a loner, I'm not stupid." He placed his sword back into its holster, and grinned.
Vikenti snatched at his cup as soon as O'Malley had knocked it from his paw. He managed to catch the mug just before it hit the ground, but already half the remaining ale had spilled out in a golden arc. "That wasn't very nice sir, I do believe you have dipsophobia," the cocky weasel finished the rest of the ale in a single drink and plunked his cup loudly onto the table.
"You may be correct about other groups betraying each other, but we are siblings," Verusha said, "we have our arguments, but none of us would ever do anything to severely harm the others."
"Let us depart, I grow tired of this conversation," Vladimir said suddenly. He seemed rather uncomfortable with the new direction the talk was heading in.
"Wait a minute Vlad, what's the rush?" Vikenti asked, "you and Verusha haven't even had a drink yourselves, and I think I'm in need of a bite to eat as well." Ignoring O'Malley rather blatantly, Vikenti walked back to the bar counter to order some food.
It had been a long day.
Well, a long week actually; days just seemed to run together as of late. Running off of literally no sleep did not help matters any either, but that's just how it was sometimes.
Being a stubborn and relentless beast had it's pros and it's cons. At this moment in time the cons totally outweighed the pros.
When you're determined to find your adopted child's birth parents though, the stress and discomfort of going without sleep for days at a time and searching literally high and low, one prides oneself in their ability to press on. Even if all you can think is I'm gonna kill them when I find them.
Temperance sighed wearily as she pushed through the door of the tavern, exhaustion weighing heavily on her shoulders. Despite how she felt, you couldn't tell she'd been on the road for nearly a month, and that she'd only slept about a day the entire time. On the outside, she appeared to be a confident and determined creature of great strength and skill. She regarded others with a respectful nod, a friendly front fixed on her lovely features.
However stubborn she was though, even she knew her facade was wearing thin and she'd collapse soon.
She made her way to the counter and managed to order some food and a drink, pushing her gold coins towards the tender behind it. As she waited patiently, she took the time to peruse the occupants of this quaint little country tavern. Everybody looked friendly and homely, most of them countryfolk conversing amongst themselves and carrying on avid discussions about their farms, crop yields, families, the like. In short; they were her kind of beasts.
Her attention though, was drawn towards three weasels in the back, a fourth one coming towards the bar, a cocky and haughty air about him. Her ears could pick up faint wisps of their conversation, and from the sounds of it these weren't your average farmers. No not at all. In fact, she was pretty sure they were mercenary's or assassins, if not both.
She thanked the tender for her meal and made her way through the tables, spotting one with yet another weasel sitting at it. Well, partially sleeping in at it that is; it looked as though if he were to tip that chair back any further it would break. Only this weasel looked more down-to-earth than the other four, and something about it him automatically won her approval.
The wolf stood in front of his table for a moment, watching the three carefully. "Hmm, methinks this does not bode well for yon occupants of this tavern if things get out of hand. What say you, Sir Weasel?"
Tristin started out of his snooze as the Temperence addressed him, righting his chair with a bang.
"Hmm, methinks this does not bode well for yon occupants of this tavern if things get out of hand. What say you, Sir Weasel?"
He nodded at the vulpine and grinned courteously.
"Ah, what ho, wolf! I say that if yon wastrels start Anything, I am going to be most displeased. I came here to rest, not to be affronted by brawls…"
Beckoning for her to seat herself, he continued.
"...But that is immaterial. If they fight, we shall deal with it. Until then, I'll enjoy myself. What is your name and business in these parts, friend?"
She took the offered chair with a slight smile, resisting the urge to sigh in utter bliss. The chairs weren't top quality or cushioned with the finest materials, but it sure was a nice change. Parking it on a rock or using a tree to lean up against for an extended period of time grows rather irksome after a while.
"No doubt the two of us are qualified for that adventure, given present company."
She held out a paw politely to the weasel. "You may call me Temperance, good sir. I have no business in these parts, I am merely returning back home after a rather disappointing errand. To whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?"
"No doubt the two of us are qualified for that adventure, given present company."
Tristin nodded in mock-solemn agreement.
"I'll drink to that… Though I should prefer to use the flat of my blade than the edge. 'Twould be a shame to sully this fine tavern with the likes of their blood. I never could stand assassins."
Winking at the wolf he reached forward and grasped her paw warmly.
"A fine thing to make your acquaintance, Temperance!"
He half turned and motioned to the female otter at the bar.
"Another two pints, if you please, goodwife…"
Facing Temperance again, he coughed and scratched his throat thoughtfully.
"...A disappointing errand, you say? Dreadfully sorry to hear it; one has enough trouble in life without Disappointing Errands springing up every which way one turns... As for me, I am called Tristin, or Tristin St. Caens for short. Like you, I have no business in this fair region other than that I am just passing through. To where, I do not know... I rather like it that way, if I do say so myself."
Stephen's smile had disappeared and a rather serious look took it's place. It was bad to start something with O'Malley, but it's worse when you turn to leave him. "I never said you could leave. We are having a discussion." His words seemed sharp as the blade he carried.
"You see, greed and envy are the two most powerful emotions to push the tightest of knitted groups to turn on each other." The weasel looked upwards. "Two summers ago, there was litter of wildcats, 3, they said they would never turn on each other. Then a ten rubies came as payment. Hmhm, the stones weren’t the only red thing hitting the floor that night."
The vile weasel's grin reappeared as he targeted Vladimir. "What’s wrong Vlad? Can't stand the talk? Dose it bring up any doubt you have?" He looked at Verusha, but didn't say anything, then he chased back after Vik. "We aren’t done, fresh blood
Vladimir listened to O'Malley with a blank stare. He didn't agree, but he didn't say anything to refute Stephen either. "Come on Vlad, why are you acting like that?" Verusha asked as O'Malley went after Vikenti, "you don't really believe that weasel, do you?" Vladimir just stared at his sister without a word.
"Come on, let's go after Vikenti," Vladimir finally said. He turned away from Verusha and walked towards the bar counter where the others had gone.
"You didn't answer me Vlad," Verusha said in a harder tone, "what are you thinking?" She grabbed her brother by the shoulder and forced him to face her.
"Listen Verusha, I'd like to believe you and Vikenti would never betray me," Vladimir explained, "but I'm not going to take any chances. I never have." He faced away from her again and walked towards the counter. Verusha followed with a downcast look. She couldn't believe Vladimir was turned so easily by a few words from a stranger.
"In fact, he might be the one who is willing to betray us," Verusha thought to herself, "he never did seem to like me much." She tensed up a little, afraid that her brother might be up to more than he let show.
Vikenti had just finished placing his order when O'Malley ran up behind him. The leader of the trio drew his blade and pointed it at Stephen as he turned to face the dead looking beast. Vikenti didn't appear at all bothered by any of the talk and leaned lazily with one elbow on the bar counter as he kept his sword in O'Malley's face. "We are done Stephen O'Malley, and if you continue to bother me," Vikenti said in a bored tone, "then I will be forced to do something about you."
"A pleasure to meet you as well, Sir Tristin St. Canes."
Temperance laughed lightly and nodded appreciatively to Tristin's words, politely eating some of the food off her plate as well.
"I do apologize, 'tis bad manners to eat in front of good company, but I'm famished." She thanked the otter for the drink as the goodwife brought them to the table. Temp sighed slightly, absentmindedly playing with her fork. "Aye, though methinks this particular errand is always going to prove to be disappointing. 'twould be better if I gave the notion up, but I'm far too stubborn to do so. Where are you from then, if I may ask?"
"I do apologize, 'tis bad manners to eat in front of good company, but I'm famished."
The weasel waved a dismissive paw.
"It causes me no offence, wolf. Eat your fill. I finished my own meal not a score of minutes before you came in, and most excellent 'twas, to be sure."
He nodded and winked at the female otter and sucked a large mouthful of beer from the new pint.
"Now, as to where I come from… I consider that I come from just about everywhere. I was born in on the coastlands and have spent my life scudding from pub to pub, alternately fighting, adventuring, and heart breaking. I like it best if my life doesn't have a plan to follow. I decide what to do with myself each morning when I wake up... Makes things frightfully interesting, you know?"
He narrowed his eyes in disapproval as the voices behind him became truculent and edged. He looked at Temperance and shook his head.
"Blasted annoying, beasts like that... I frankly don't want to meddle in their stiff-necked affairs, but if any of these good woodlanders gets threatened, I feel that we should interfere rather forcefully."
Stephen took out his chain and ratteled it. "You've made the worst mistake of your life child!" He started to swing the chain at his side.
OOC:Sorry, it was all I could think of putting right now.
"Is that how you want it? Bring it on old man!" Vikenti said with a evil grin, "I'll cut you apart piece by piece till there isn't anything left of you!" He stopped from leaning on the counter and began to slowly circle O'Malley, his blade at the ready. Verusha and Vladimir sprang up to join him, drawing their own swords.
"So O'Malley, you think that you’re better just because you've been on the job longer?" Verusha asked mockingly, "well you've got another thing coming!"
"Why would you allow yourself to be surrounded anyway?" Vladimir asked, "a real assassin for never do that."
Stephen didn't talk, he extended the chain and swung the metal around him. It was fast, a grey blur and would tangle around anything it hit. The chain hit a mug and it and its contents hit Vikenti. "You really think I care about how many surround me? Even if you do succeed in striking me down, I'm taking one of you with me." O'Malley aimed at Verusha's legs and gave a hard swing at them.