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The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

The third most powerful nation of Feila, ruled by the Canine. The current system of government is Feudalist/Absolute Monarchy, with the monarch as the control of power and the aristocracy. It's military is fourth largest in number, and weaker than Gawain's or Edwin's. It consists of the Domus Army and Navy. It is geographically one of the smaller nations of Feila. Similar to Earth's medieval France.
weasel
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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by weasel » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:41 pm

Henry replied with a shrug, stuffing the last of his bread into his maw. He chewed a few times, swallowed, and washed it all down with a sip of wine. "Not much of one, no. He was asking around a little beach tavern in Cancun, looking to hire a few mercenaries to protect a shipment of salt on its way north, and I happened to be sitting outside, trying to drown myself in tequila. He struck up a conversation, hired me on the spot, and helped me finish off the bottle. Then he bought us another and... Well, I don't really remember the rest of the night." The leopard took another sip and handed the jug to Natsuki. "That was eight years ago. I've followed him around ever since."

Having built a nice little pyre of sticks and tinder, Aquila finally managed to get a small fire going. He returned to the wagon and gathered up the food he had set out earlier, drew another jug of wine from the cask, and set it all around the fire. All but the jug. That, he kept for himself as he set about unhitching the mule team, leading each mule into a makeshift corral formed of ropes tied to the supply wagon and some nearby trees. Their load relieved, the mules stomped their hooves happily and set about grazing on some fresh grass. By the time he had done all this, he had gone through nearly his entire jug.

Seeing that the raccoon had already set up most of the camp and was returning to the fireside, Henry stood up from the ground and brushed himself off. He offered a hand up to Natsuki. "Well, it's getting late. Let's go have some food, before Aquila hogs all the smoked fish."
Kings get assassinated. Castles all crumble. Forever lives the legend of a poet who was humble.

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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by Asyriel » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:56 pm

Natsuki chuckled. "There still might be a story there, you just can't remember it." She replied in teasing tones before taking another drink from the wine jug. She gave a low whistle when Henry mentioned that he'd been traveling with Aquila for over eight years. "Either he pays extremely well, or it's more than just the pay keeping you along for that much time." She commented "I tend to find myself traveling alone quite a bit." She shrugged "It's not a terrible thing, but it can get a bit lonely sometimes."

She looked up as Henry got to his feet, and offered his hand. Natsuki took the offered hand, and pulled herself up. She smiled at the mention of Aquila hogging the fish and nodded. "Better head over then." She replied as she followed Henry over toward the fire. She stopped along the way to pull her violin from her bag. She sat down next to the fire with the other two, and opened the instrument's case. "Music?" She asked with a smile. She didn't really need an excuse to play, but an appreciative audience always made it more enjoyable.

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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by weasel » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:11 pm

Henry chuckled as he helped Natsuki up. "He pays well enough, he never lets his men go hungry, and he's always on the move. But what's really kept me here is that... He's a good friend. Loyal to a fault."

The snow leopard took a seat at the fire, across from Aquila, giving him a smile. "You should slow down on that wine or we won't have any to sell. Also, sorry for not helping make camp," he said to the raccoon, who looked at him and replied in a somber tone, "And I'm sorry for leaving you to die again." Henry's smile faded. "I'd rather you hide than die. Let's not have this conversation right now. We have company." Aquila nodded, letting out a sigh.

Natsuki joined a moment later, carrying a violin. At the mention of music, Aquila and Henry gave her a simultaneous look. The raccoon's mood seemed to lighten instantly at this. "Music sounds nice." Henry gave a grin and a nod. "Oh, yes please!"


((ooc: Go ahead and finish off this scene, we'll timeskip to the next day afterward.))
Kings get assassinated. Castles all crumble. Forever lives the legend of a poet who was humble.

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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by Asyriel » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:28 pm

"Wonderful!" Natsuki replied as she settled herself into a comfortable position, and drew the bow across the strings of her violin. She paused for a moment to make a couple tuning adjustments before she started playing. She smiled at Aquilon, then Henry as she played. She picked light and cheerful tunes to start off, the kind of musing that would get toes tapping.

After a little while she changed the music to something that was soothing, but was careful to keep it from being melancholy. She continued to play for some time before she released a large yawn. This was an easy signal that the vixen was about ready to try to get some sleep. She offered a sleepy grin as she put her violin away. "Well boys, I think that was my cue to call it a night." She commented before she put her violin back in her bag, and pulled out her bedroll. "Sleep well, see you in the morning." She said as she spread the bedroll on the ground, then promptly settled herself in to get some sleep.

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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by weasel » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:04 pm

Aquila and Henry soaked in the ambient music, occasionally reciting a poem or song to the tunes that drifted from Natsuki's instrument. They conversed very little as the night went on, instead choosing to watch the flames flicker and sway in the campfire, as if dancing to the vixen's music. As Natsuki finished her last song, they responded to her yawn with their own. They set out their own bedrolls, and drifted off to sleep.

===============

Aquila rose very early the next day, having neglected to fix the wagon the previous night. Working by the light of a small oil lamp shimmering in the receding night, he managed to join the broken halves of the axle together. The repair was passable; it would at least hold up until he could have the axle replaced properly. As he worked, he noticed that much of the split was rather clean, as if it had been partially cut through, clear signs of a saboteur's handywork.

Henry rose from his slumber as dawn broke, blinking the sleep out of his eyes and looking around to see Aquila pull himself from beneath the wagon and dust himself off. The leopard let out a big, loud yawn, stretched a bit, and stood up. "Are we set to press on?" he asked the raccoon, who replied with a nod. "Indeed we are. The axle should hold firm at least to the next town. Go do your routine, I'll yoke the mules and wake Natsuki."

Henry turned on his heel, walking a few steps away, and began to exercise. Some stretching, a few katas, and a rather absurd number of pushups with his hands in various positions. Meanwhile, Aquila took a deep breath of cool morning air and set about hitching the mule team to the wagon. Once finished, he packed up the bedrolls and containers from the previous night, moved the wagon to a place where the mules could graze, and then walked over to Natsuki, who still remained sound asleep. He sat down next to her and began to whistle one of the songs she had played the night before.
Kings get assassinated. Castles all crumble. Forever lives the legend of a poet who was humble.

Character sheets.

Asyriel
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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by Asyriel » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:55 pm

Natsuki wasn't typically one to sleep late, but the energy she had expended in fighting the bandit, then playing music well into the night left her sleeping unusually long.

Her ears flicked a couple of times as Aquila whistled. She sound filtered through her unconsciousness, and it wasn't long before she cracked an eye open. She looked around briefly before her eyes settled on Aquila. "Morning." She said softly as she shifted her weight, then pushed herself up into a semi seated position, leaning back on her hands. She looked around again, taking in the fact that it seemed the other two had been up for some time already. "Looks like I overslept." She commented with a small smile. She yawned while simultaneously lifting her hands above her head, and arching her back in a stretch before she climbed to her feet. "back in a minute." She said as she walked off away from the camp and the road. "drank a lot last night." She offered in explanation.

She returned to the camp after a short time, and set to cleaning up her own things and preparing to leave. "well, it seems you don't have near as many guards as you started this journey with." She commented as she swung her pack up onto her back. "Maybe I should stick with you, for a while at least, just in case you run into any more trouble." She said with a teasing grin and a wink.

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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by weasel » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:33 pm

The raccoon watched as Natsuki stretched out and rose from her bedroll, giving a nod and a chuckle as she retreated to a more private spot.
Upon her return, Aquila glanced toward Natsuki, giving a slight nod in reply to her suggestion that she stick with them. "I actually wanted to talk to you about that very thing. Given the situation, I am left with a fairly valuable cargo, and not much in the way of manpower to guard it. You're a rather capable fighter... If you are willing to stick with us, at least until I can hire some mercenaries, I will compensate you for the trouble," he said, a hand slipping into his tunic. He pulled out a small sack and tossed it to the vixen. "A week's pay, up front." He tossed her another small sack, this one filled with salt. "A tribute to your health."
Rising to his feet, Aquila cast a beckoning wave toward Henry, who had just finished his morning workout. "If you'd like some breakfast, help yourself to something from the wagon. We'll be leaving shortly," he says to both of them.
Kings get assassinated. Castles all crumble. Forever lives the legend of a poet who was humble.

Character sheets.

Asyriel
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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by Asyriel » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:38 am

Natsuki tilted her head a bit as Aquila mentioned talking about her traveling with them. "Oh? Shoot." She replied in friendly tones. She chuckled when he paid compliment to her martial prowess. "Just don't go spreading that around." She replied with a grin. "Don't want folk thinkin little ol' me is a threat." She was a little surprised at the offer of compensation since she had basically volunteered to go with them for a while, though she wasn't going to complain about the offer. She caught the sack of coins easily and offered a pleased smile. "Certainly, thank you." She said as she stuffed the coin pouch down the front of her tunic. She caught the second sack just as easily as the first, but this one she opened up as it definitely didn't feel like coins. "Ah, well isn't this a nice deal, thank you again." She replied as she put the second pouch into her pack.

"Mornin' big guy." She called cheerfully to Henry as he came back from his workout. "Looks like we'll be spending some more time together, and if we're lucky it won't be in any fights." She nodded as Aquila mentioned food, and made her way over to the wagon to grab a bite to eat before they set off. With breakfast finished, she settled her pack on her shoulders again, and waited for the word that they were ready to move. "Looks like a fine day for travel." She commented to nobody in particular as she filled her lungs with a deep breath.

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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by weasel » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:44 pm

Henry gave a grin to Natsuki as she addressed him. "Wait, don't tell me. He gave you a sack of gold and a bunch of salt, and asked you to keep with us?" The leopard let out a laugh. "That's a tradition he picked up a few years ago in Kahun. A lot of the warriors there have a custom where they won't consider you a leader unless you fill their palm with salt," he explained. Then, the snow leopard joined Natsuki as she had a go at the provisions. He joined her in eating a fill of fish, cheese, and bread, all whilst sitting upon a bag of flour in the back of the wagon. The two of them had quite a meal, and, after a bit of time, Aquila climbed onto the front of the wagon, grabbed the reigns, and gave a light flick, causing the mule team to start pulling the load. The wagon began to steadily roll down the road, with the raccoon at the reins and the two warriors conversing among the cargo.

Henry regarded Natsuki curiously. "Where did you learn to play like that?" he asked with a tilt of his head. "I mean, like you did last night?" He paused for a moment, taking a drink from a conveniently-placed jug of water. "That fellow, Frederic, he played a mean lute, but you played last night like nothing I've heard before." Handing the water jug to Natsuki, he continued. "I won't lie, your strings had my fur bristling."
Kings get assassinated. Castles all crumble. Forever lives the legend of a poet who was humble.

Character sheets.

Asyriel
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Posts: 2576
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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by Asyriel » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:13 am

Natsuki chuckled as Henry explained the idea behind the pouch of salt. "Ah." She replied. "Well, I won't complain about it. It's good for food, or can always be sold." She explained with a grin. She enjoyed the morning meal with Henry in companionable silence. It was a simple meal, nothing fancy, but was filling and tasty enough to suit her needs; in all honesty it wasn't much different from a meal she would have eaten on her own on the road.

It wasn't long before they were off and moving. She had to admit, at least to herself, that it was nice to not be walking for a few days at least. She watched the scenery pass by with a contented smile until Henry asked about her playing. She turned her attention to him with a grin before she replied. "Well, lets see..." She started. "My first couple years on the road, I didn't travel alone. It was my first time really out traveling the world without my family, and I was still a young woman after all." She chuckled. "My father arranged for me to travel with a performing troupe, have them show me the ropes of life on the road. Well, since the only time I really had anything to do was when we went into towns, they started teaching me to perform as well while we traveled. I was terrible at acting, but I took to the violin with ease. They taught me to play, how to read a crowd, and judge the moods of others. Once I was playing well enough, they taught me how to make music that would impact those moods." She paused in reminiscence for a moment. "I stayed with them for a couple years, practicing and playing, learning new songs" She chuckled. "They even invited me to stay on with them permanently. I didn't though, I hadn't forgotten my primary reason for traveling. I eventually left their company to strike out on my own to travel the world, and find new trade opportunities for my family's business, and my own." She gave a conspiratorial wink as she finished the last statement. "I do have to admit though that what I learned from them had helped me a lot along the way. I rarely have to pay for a room or meal at an inn. I sometimes make a tidy little sum playing. Wherever I end up though, I make a point of learning at least a couple of the local songs to add to my repertoire." She chuckled again. "So long story short, I learned from a group of traveling performers, and according to them, I have a natural talent for music." She finished with a wide smile. "And thank you for the compliments, I'm glad you enjoyed my playing. It's always easier to play for an appreciative audience." She said as she took the offered jug an took a swig.

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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by weasel » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:11 am

The wagon bumped and rumbled down the road as the two warriors relaxed in the back. Henry gave a nod to Natsuki as she finished her story. "I did enjoy it, very much. I've learned to love music and poetry over my years. In fact, I happen to fancy myself a bit of a poet," commented the snow leopard as he relaxed against a sack of flour.

Their conversation went on for a few hours, punctuated by the creaks and bumps of the wagon as it rolled steadily down the winding road, kicking up a thin cloud of dust behind. The morning slowly waned into the heat of mid-day, and the caravan rolled through a very small village, hardly more than a few houses and a roadside tavern which offered ale, stew, and beds to weary travelers. Aquila reigned the mules to the side of the road and pulled them to a stop in front of the little establishment, then hopped out of the wagon and gave a much-needed stretch before walking to the back of the wagon and hopping up enough to lean over the rail and talk to the other two.

"Let's take a break, shall we? We could all use a nice, hot meal and a cold pint after... That whole deal last night." he said to Natsuki and Henry. Looking the vixen in the eye, he added, "Eat and drink your fill here, I'll cover it all." The raccoon then dropped back to the ground and started toward the building.

Henry nodded to Natsuki. "Do you see why I stick with this man? Not only is he a good friend, he takes very good care of me. And every time I fight for him, he spends a few days feeding me like a king," he said, hopping out of the wagon gracefully, a hungry look upon his face. "Let's go have some lunch. We've been to this place before, the food here is exquisite. Domish home cooking at its finest."

Inside the small, smoke-filled tavern, Aquila pulled the barkeep aside and laced his palm with gold, asking him to have the kitchen prepare he and his two friends a hearty meal.
Kings get assassinated. Castles all crumble. Forever lives the legend of a poet who was humble.

Character sheets.

Asyriel
God
Posts: 2576
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:51 pm
United States of America

Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by Asyriel » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:19 am

Natsuki smiled and bowed her head slightly as Henry spoke of how much he had enjoyed her playing. She looked at him and tilted her head a bit when he mentioned fancying himself a poet. "Oh a poet. Well you know you're going to have to recite something for me before we part ways now." She replied with a grin.

The next few hours passed in what was probably one of the most relaxing days on the road she'd had in a while. The time passed easily between comfortable conversation, and companionable silence. Before she'd realized it, they had rolled into a small village, and Aquila popped up over the side of the wagon with promises of food and drink. She smiled when the raccoon mentioned that he would cover the tab. "Why thank you, that's quite generous." She replied before he dropped down and headed for the inn.

She chuckled when Henry mentioned that Aquila's generosity after a fight was another reason he continued to travel with the raccoon. "Gotta admit, a girl could get used to this kind of treatment." She replied. "He's single right?" She asked in joking tones before she hopped down from the wagon herself. She pulled her violin case from her pack more out of habit than anything. "We'll see if they live up to momma's cooking." She continued in playful tones as she followed Henry into the inn.

She followed Henry and Aquila to a table, and took a seat, setting her violin case next to her feet. "You've been awfully quiet today." She mentioned to Aquila as she sat down. "Those mules that good of company?" She teased.

weasel
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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by weasel » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:17 pm

Aquila gave a shrug in response as the three settled into their table. "Someone has to drive the wagon, you know. We can't all sit in the back and have a nice chat. Of course, a certain someone is normally sitting there with me. Way to abandon your friend just because there's a pretty girl to chat up," he says, giving Henry a nudge across the table. The snow leopard blushes and rolls his eyes. "It's not like that and you know it," he replies. Aquila chuckles and nudges Henry again. By this time, a barmaid had delivered a pitcher of ale, several glasses and bowls, a fresh loaf of bread, and a large pot of beef-burgundy stew. Henry wasted no time in dishing out a hearty portion for himself.

Off in the corner of the tavern, a trio of ferrets tuned their instruments; one tapped at the tavern's old piano, giving a note off which to tune, a second listened closely and adjusted the keys of a guitar to match, while a third idly fingered at the holes of a flute. After a moment, the pianist and the guitarist began to play a merry tune, while the flautist pocketed his instrument and made his way around the bar, chatting to the patrons. Eventually, he made his way to the table at which sat Aquila, Natsuki, and Henry.

"Good afternoon, my fine friends," he said in an obviously-recited manner. "And a good afternoon it is indeed! Such an afternoon makes one want to drink, to eat, to hear fine music, and perhaps to have a few pints of delicious, frothy ale! If you wish to hear a certain song, let us know! We can play anything you like, for a nominal fee of course! And if we don't know the song, hum a few bars, and we'll do our best!" The ferret ends his speech and lays eyes upon the violin at Natsuki's feet. "I have stumbled upon a musician, it seems!" he comments to her. "Perhaps you might care to show us what you know... Perhaps you might... Care to engage in a duel of strings with my brother over there?" The mustelid eyes Aquila, clearly noticing the raccoon's fat purse. "Perhaps your friend here might even care to wager upon such a thing?" he says with a wink.
Kings get assassinated. Castles all crumble. Forever lives the legend of a poet who was humble.

Character sheets.

Asyriel
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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by Asyriel » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:02 am

Natsuki chuckled at the short exchange between Henry and Aquila about the riding arrangements. "Sounds like maybe we'll all have to sit up front then, don't want anyone feeling left out." She commented with a grin before pouring some ale for herself from the pitcher. She followed Henry's example in dishing out a portion of stew for herself, and a large chunk of bread as well. She took a bite of the stew, and nodded. "Gotta say, you weren't too far off the mark." She commented. "This is really good."

She took several more bites as a trio of musicians got ready to play. She paused for a few moments to listen when they started. She enjoyed the tune they played, but returned her focus to her meal fairly quickly. She hadn't noticed that one of the musicians was moving around the room, and talking to patrons until he was nearly at their table.

There was something about the ferret's speech that just rubbed her the wrong way, though she couldn't quite put her finger on exactly what about it she didn't like. Perhaps it was the rehearsed, and recited sound to it, or maybe the fact that they felt the need to work the tables rather than just letting people enjoy the music. She raised an eyebrow when the ferret addressed her directly. She swallowed the mouthful of food she was working on, and washed it down with a quick swig from her drink before she replied. "Perhaps." She replied thoughtfully. She hadn't planned on playing once she noticed other musicians in the inn, nothing worse than having someone else step on your toes, and try to compete for a crowd, but if they were going to ask for it. "All right, sure, why not." She said as she opened her violin case, and pulled the instrument from inside.

weasel
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Re: The Silk Road, pt. 1: Domish wine is smooth and fine. (open to all)

Post by weasel » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:39 pm

Aquila and Henry looked the ferret over as he gave his speech, both clearly unimpressed by the display. Aquila's cold stare betrayed a silent, 'What the hell do you want?' Henry, on the other hand, seemed to be sizing the fellow up. The two cast their gaze toward Natsuki when the ferret challenged her to compare strings with his brother, who sat upon a barstool, idly dancing his hand across the fingerboard of his guitar. When she accepted, Aquila gave a shake of his head and slapped a few coins on the table. "Very well then. I'll take your little bet." The ferret grinned, and matched the ante.

"Right this way, Fraulein," the ferret said invitingly, waving Natsuki toward his two brothers. Henry leaned back in his chair and swallowed a bite of his stew, watching them go. Aquila took a sip of ale and leaned over to him. "Think she can win this?" the raccoon asked in a whisper. "Without a doubt. And we both know you wouldn't have bet on it if you thought otherwise," came the leopard's reply. Aquila laughed, and lifted his pint in the general direction of the ferrets.

The ferret approached his guitar-playing brother and briefly whispered something in Gawainian, hooking a thumb at Natsuki before taking a seat next to his other brother upon the piano bench. The guitarist nodded in reply, and cast the vixen a grin, waving a hand at an empty stool. "Have a seat, let us be comfortable when we play." He gave a quick adjustment to one of his strings. "The game here is very simple. I play a simple tune, and you add to it. Every so often my brother over there will play a chord..." he paused, and the ferret at the piano depressed a few keys to demonstrate. The guitarist continued. "At which point I will pick up the pace, and you reply in kind. First to miss a note or lose pace, loses. The audience shall be our judge."
The ferret stretched his hands for a second, and began to play a slow tune. "We will start in a nice B-major key," he said.
Kings get assassinated. Castles all crumble. Forever lives the legend of a poet who was humble.

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