General Experience Earned
79 – Stamina Use
A groan of discomfort could be heard in the barracks as Rain was woken by blue light shining directly into his brain. The dialog didn’t care about the fact that his eyes were closed. He blinked them open and shut a few times, but the dialog didn't dim at all. Angrily, he freed himself from his blanket and swiped at the box, dismissing it. He laid back and sighed, but wasn't able to get back to sleep as the others in the room were moving around and making a racket.
Mandatory 8 AM alarm clock. Yay.
Looking for his companions, he noticed that Brovose was still asleep, or seemed to be. Now that is some dedication to sleeping in right there. That, or he knows how to... oh. I can probably customize this dialog somehow, can't I?
There was a thump and Rain noted that Brovose was no longer asleep, having been pushed out of his bunk and on to the floor by Hegar. After a bit of complaining, Brovose got up off the wooden floor and followed Hegar and Anton out of the room. Ameliah was nowhere to be seen. Rain quickly got up and followed to avoid being left in a room with a bunch of unfamiliar dangerous-looking people. This world has healing magic but... I seriously don't want to know what happened to that guy, Rain thought, passing a man who looked to have more scars than he did skin.
Following the hallway back to the main room, Rain saw that there were a few more people here this morning. A man and a woman dressed in matching black leathers were staring at a board on the wall covered with posted notices, speaking softly to each other. Two of the counters were staffed, but the old man from last night was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Ameliah was talking to a bored looking woman with salt and pepper hair wearing a modest navy blue dress. The portly man at the other counter was wearing the same shade of blue. From what he could remember, the old man from the night before had been dressed similarly.
Ameliah motioned to the others, then followed the woman in blue into another hallway. Rain followed behind Anton as they made their way into a small room with an oval table surrounded by six chairs. Taking out a notepad and pencil, the woman said a sentence Rain couldn't make out.
In response, the others each fished out a plate like the one Hegar had shown to get them into the city. The plates were about the size of two fingers and had rounded corners. A hole was punched at each end, and the fashion seemed to be to wear them like a necklace. Rain could now see that the plates were inscribed with the same sword and quiver that had been on the sign to this building. Belatedly, he noticed that the same symbol was embroidered on the shoulders of the woman's dress. It was done in black thread and it didn't stand out against the deep navy of the fabric.
The woman was copying something down from the back of the plates onto her pad. As Ameliah handed the woman her plate, Rain noticed that it had a silvery color to it, unlike the bronze of the others' badges.
So this is some sort of guild, and those metal plates are like IDs. Ameliah has a special one, or at least, a different one. Silver is probably better than bronze.
The guildswoman turned to him and gave him an expectant look.
“Sorry, no,” He said, trying to convey that he didn't have a plate. She looked slightly affronted, but then her expression softened as Ameliah spoke to her. She nodded and left the room, saying an unfamiliar word and indicating with a wave that they were to wait there.
“Word?” Rain asked, pointing at the plates sitting on the table where the woman had placed them. Ameliah told him. Then, as they were just waiting anyway, he pointed at more things and learned the words for ‘bronze’, ‘silver’, ‘table’, ‘chair’, and ‘shut up’. The last had been supplied by Hegar.
The guildswoman returned in short order and set two ledgers down on the table along with a leather bag and a scale. The bag looked to be full of something like sand and the scale was the sliding weight type that he had seen in science class back in high-school. Instead of a flat plate, it had a bowl mounted to the end of the arm.
She opened the first ledger and Rain could see that it was filled with lines of incomprehensible text. The woman flipped through it until she found a page about halfway through, then asked Ameliah for something. Ameliah handed her a slip of paper similar to those that had been hanging on the board out in the main room, along with a sealed letter. The woman took the paper, read it, then exchanged a few words with Ameliah before opening up the leather bag and counting out 10 Tel. She passed them across the table to Ameliah, who added them into a smaller leather pouch that hung at her hip. The woman made a note in the ledger, then closed it and opened the other one. Hegar slid two slips of paper across to the woman, who examined them briefly, then, pointing at the first, gave Hegar a waiting look. She said a few words, one of which Rain actually caught. She had said “where...” something.
Anton, who had been digging in the pack, pulled out a bag, which he dumped out on the table to reveal a pile of obsidian arrowheads. The woman quickly checked the paper and counted the arrowheads. Nodding, she made a note in the ledger and looked at the second paper. This one apparently didn't require any proof, as she just asked a question and wrote in the ledger when Hegar replied with an affirmation. She then reached for the bag, but Hegar stopped her with a raised hand, then nodded to Anton. The archer lifted up the musk wolf pelt and placed it on the table, smiling. Examining the pelt, the woman nodded. “Wait,” she said, or at least something to that effect. She used the same word she had before when she went for the ledgers. She left, taking the ledgers and the bag but leaving the scale.
She returned with a third, much thicker ledger. Flipping through it, she found the page she was looking for, wrote down a note, then looked up. Hegar shrugged and she flipped the ledger closed, setting it aside and pulling over the scale. She weighed out a quantity of Tel from the bag, then poured them out onto the table. Brovose started dividing it into three piles. The woman stood and left the room, taking the bag, scale, and ledger with her.
While the others argued about the relative size of the piles, Ameliah walked over to Anton and reached into the giant pack. From it, she pulled a smaller more well-made pack, which she slung over her shoulder.
Noticing this, Hegar glanced up at her and asked a question, to which she replied with a shake of her head.
“Bird,” Hegar cursed, his shoulders slumping. Sighing, he swept up his pile of Tel and laboriously lifted the huge pack. He settled it across his back with considerably more appreciation for the weight than Ameliah had shown. He led the way out of the room, Brovose and Anton quickly collecting their own earnings and following. Rain looked at Ameliah with a questioning look.
She pointed at their retreating forms, saying “They,” then at herself, saying “I not <something> they.”
Ah, so she isn't really with them, they were just traveling together. How did she end up with the pack? Couldn't have convinced me to carry that thing.
Following the others out into the room, Rain saw that the three were arguing over by the board. They didn't spare Ameliah and Rain a glance as Hegar shouted at the others. He grabbed a slip of paper from Anton's hand, pinned it back to the board, pulled down a different one, then walked over to the portly man behind the counter.
Rain stopped watching them and followed Ameliah over to the board. She perused it quickly and selected a slip of paper which Rain saw was marked with a drawing of an open hand. There was also some text which he couldn't read.
She turned to him, frowning slightly.
“Rain,” she said, getting his attention away from inspecting the other papers on the board.
She indicated the paper, saying a word which Rain decided to assign to ‘quest’, given the tone of the world he had seen so far. It seemed to fit. He nodded, to show he understood.
“I <something> quest. You <something> stay <something>.”
Rain paled and shook his head. “I go you?” he asked hopefully.
Rain's shoulders slumped. Shit, she is leaving me here. Fuck. Maybe I can go with Hegar and the others? … Crap, where did they go? They left? They didn't even say goodbye?!
Rain took a moment to consider, Ameliah watching him silently, clearly uncomfortable. Well, I might be fucked. Though... I guess it is better than being alone in a forest. At least I have a spear now. Shit, I hope nobody stole it, I left it in the bunk room. Ok, Rain, calm down, this isn't so bad. This is some sort of adventurers guild and you can do quests for money.
Rain gestured around at the building. “Word?”
She told him, and he assigned the phrase to ‘guild’ in his head, even though it seemed to be more than one word. He would parse out which meant adventure and which meant guild later. Unless she had taken him literally and said ‘big room’ or something. Shit. Seeing Ameliah shifting uncomfortably, he quickly tried to explain what he needed.
“I ... food. Sleep. Tel. I no Tel,” he said, pulling out the vial containing the single Tel he had gotten from the slime, shaking it to show his meaning. He looked at Ameliah, then at the board. I'm not begging, I have my pride. Gesturing to the board, he stated his intention.
“I quest. I guild. You help... I guild?... I... guild...?” Struggling, Rain pointed at himself with one hand, swept another across to indicate the room, then brought his two hands together.
Ameliah seemed to struggle with this for a few moments, then, laughing, she smiled and clapped him on the shoulder.
Good, she gets it. Yes, I want to join the guild. He thought as she turned back to the board. Looking over the items, she selected one from the very bottom and pulled it down to show it to him. It had a picture of what Rain recognized as a slime scrawled in the middle. There was also a sword drawn up near the text at the top of the posting.
“Quest,” Ameliah said, pointing to the title text of the posting. “Slime,” she named the monster, then pointed at the sword and mimed stabbing with a spear. “Kill,” she said, Rain assigning the word as she said it.
To the left of the slime was drawn a large character. She pointed to it, then held up her hand, raising one finger at a time until she had all five fingers raised. “Five.”
Down at the bottom of the image was a tiny drawing of a Tel, next to the same character.
“Five Tel,” she said, then gesturing with the slip to the counter, she said “You five slime kill, you guild five Tel <something>.” The word order was a bit strange, but Rain thought he caught the important bits.
Eagerly, Rain smiled and nodded. “Yes.”
Taking the slip from Ameliah, Rain walked over to the counter. She followed him. There was nobody in line, so he walked straight up to the portly man and placed the quest on the counter, saying “I quest.” The man replied with a fast sentence that Rain had no hope of understanding. Ameliah held up a hand, then had a quick back and forth with the man, who looked a bit shocked, staring at Rain before continuing his questioning of Ameliah. Eventually, they seemed to reach an understanding. Ameliah dug out her pouch and placed a handful of Tel on the counter while the man retrieved a ledger from a shelf behind the desk area.
The portly man placed a ledger on the counter, as well as a bronze plate inscribed with the guild's symbol. Flipping it over, he copied the number down into the ledger, then looked expectantly at Rain and asked a question. Before Ameliah could reply, he guessed what the man wanted and stated his name, “Rain.”
He watched as the man scratched his name into the ledger next to the number from the plate. The characters made no sense to him, but Rain tried to remember them anyway. Speaking first, writing later, still, I should be able to spell my own name. Damn it, why is there no translation spell?
The man handed Rain the plate and Ameliah fished out a length of cord from her bag so he could hang it around his neck. The man then picked up the quest paper and, glancing at it, selected another ledger from the shelf. He flipped through it, checking some numbers on the back of the quest paper against a list. At least, Rain was assuming they were all numbers. One of them was a five, that he knew.
Finding what he was looking for, he read out the text near the string of numbers to Rain. It went straight over his head, of course. Ameliah was frowning slightly. She turned to Rain and tried to explain what the man had said, but whatever it was, he wasn't able to make heads or tails of her gestures. Under... something? Are the slimes in a cave? No, wait, what the heck does that gesture mean? Ugh.
Sighing, Ameliah turned and spoke to the man. The two argued for a bit before she reluctantly opened her pouch and passed the man another handful of Tel. Shit, how much was that? Way more than 5, that's for sure. The man smiled and accepted his bribe, clapping Rain on the shoulder.
Ameliah made to give Rain a handful of Tel as well, but he stopped her with a raised hand.
“No.” I owe you too much already. I'll be ok.
She tried to push it into his hands, but he refused to take it, shaking his head. The man laughed, but Ameliah shot him a look, then, acquiescing, returned the Tel to her pouch. Turning to the man, she presented her own quest paper and plate, causing the man to duck into a back room and return with a stack of ledgers bound by string. Ameliah took them from him, depositing them into her bag as he wrote her plate number down in yet another ledger.
Ameliah pulled Rain away from the counter, making sure that he had his plate as well as the quest paper. Releasing him and stepping back, she nodded, then frowned again. She pointed at the portly man, who was standing behind the counter watching. “Gus,” she named him.
Rain nodded. “Thank you, Ameliah.”
“Rain.” She smiled. Then, without another word, she turned and headed towards the door. Halfway there, she hesitated for a moment, as if she was going to turn back. Instead, she shook her head and continued. Just like that, she was gone and Rain was alone.