[Open] Week: --: In The Absence of Enemies

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Seeing Ioannes was a pleasant surprise for Aeria since she’d last seen him before all of the insanity of the Black Portal. It was heartening that he’d managed to survive everything that had been thrown at him. It also seemed as though he was about to be overwhelmed by a flirty Aelflead. Seeing the redhead in that state was bizarre for her. It had never occurred to her that the warrior woman could be anything other than violent. Aeria decide to try and lower the tension level. She also concluded that perhaps it was time he knew her real name.

After pushing off from the counter, Aeria sauntered over to Ioannes with her drink and after excusing herself (so she didn’t get punched by Aelf) she stuck her hand out and grinned. “Nice to see you Ioannes! By the way, the name’s really Aeria. I was wanted by the Conexus before all of this. Now I’m not so I figure you deserve my real name. Sorry to cut in, Aelflead, I just wanted to say hi to Ioannes!”


While Diamantus waited for Deni to slug the brandy down his throat, she gave a nod to Dante and shouted to draw him over. “Oy! Kinchaa Man! Remember me?!”

As her fellow velen finished his tot of brandy, Diamantus took up the bottle and slugged some down before she nodded at Deni. “Pelagia’s home alright. I know Vallo Caerulo, I used’ta spend some time down there. Nice place!”

Handing the bottle back to Deni, her sharp grin went from her mouth to her eyes, warming them. “Let’s refresh yer memory ‘bout exactly how a proper Pelagian drinks!”



Staff member
While greeting Aeria, Keydis tried hard not to laugh outright at Ignis. "You know, when you're a bounty hunter, it's bad to think of 'targets' as 'enemies.' Matter of fact, I'm pretty good friends with some of my former targets. It's just work.

"Start taking it personal or noble or shit like that, you'll make mistakes." Without really thinking about it, she was running her hand over the long glove on her left side, feeling a painful itch where her skin was scarred and deformed. "I got some nasty rifle holes punched in me when I forgot about that." She kept her attention on Ignis but leaned over toward Deni before pointedly adding. "Didn't stop me from putting the shooter in the ground, though."

Deciding to change the subject to something more fun, Keydis ordered her first drink. Once it arrived, she grinned and called out, "Heyyy, is that Dante? This place really brings in all types, huh!" As an avid kinchaa fan, she was almost certain she had the right guy. When no one seemed to bite at the conversation hook, she quickly downed half of her drink and slammed the tankard to the counter. "Ah, you know what we need?"

Pointing over to a man in a booth minding his own business, Keydis yelled out, "You in the yellow hat! You know how to play that thing?" He had a lute or something on the table.

"What..? Of course I do!" he spat back, flabbergasted. The woman he was sitting with tittered quietly as the enlil's face turned red.

"Let's liven this place up, then!" Without waiting to see if he agreed, Keydis gulped down the rest of her drink, then held her tankard up and started belting out a well-known bar song. "Give us a pint!

"I'll pay for this round, And do it without a fight.
We left behind the battleground, So let's get drunk tonight!"

Although caught off-guard, at the urging of the woman with him, the musician picked up on the song and started playing along.


This is roughly adapted from a LOTR fan song. Feel free to change it up, mess it up, or make it better.

Give us a pint
I'll pay for this round
And do it without a fight
We left behind the battleground
So let's get drunk tonight!
Let's get drunk tonight!

The time had come to leave the city
and roam the wide world green
I'd heard the tales of broader dales
and things I'd never seen.
I had no taste for soldier life--
I left that to my brother--
I wanted to roam far from my home
and maybe find another.

I went to see the towers afar
that rise up to the sky,
and see the dells where farmers dwell
and give ghost beer a try!

I was not made for hearth and home
I've known this from my youth.
I've a restless soul with no fixed goal
if you wanna know the truth.

So let's all drink till we are drunk
let beer flow like a fountain--
I'll soon be gone--travelling on,
o'er hill and dale and mountain...
It should not have surprised the athlete that people would recognize him outside the kinchaa fields, but he still got shocked by it every so often. And so as he was about to respond to the laicar woman who had called out, she had already progressed to a completely different topic and Dante merely shrugged to himself and decided to wait until she would quiet down a notch or two to confirm.

Was she always like this? He wondered to himself or was it merely the atmosphere affecting her behaviour he couldn't tell. The athlete was never a big drinker, the beverages never meshing well with his strict diet but occasionally he loosened up and today certainly seemed like a proper night to do so. Getting a drink for himself and downing it almost the second he got in his hands, he left the tankard on the desk and joined in on the merry singing, loudly as well.

”Let's get drunk tonight!”



[Insert rimshot]
"Just so long as you're not trying to steal him away from me!" Aelflead's smiled widened to reveal a flash of her teeth and partially shutting her eyes. Then she turned to Ioannes. "This is the Laria you meant?"

Beneath her jovial expression, the spurii was counting the number of new bodies in the bar. Keydis made ten counting herself, and her shanty was sure to draw more would-be drinkers into the bar soon enough. The wary half of the woman's mind was reluctant to relax, even in such upbeat conditions and partially distracted with keeping up her false personality. At least the music's alright, the redhead thought and found herself mentally humming the tune to herself.

The time had come to roam and see the wide world green, as I've heard tales of broader dales.

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Lobster Mobster
Play nice, she said, Deni thought to himself as he ignored Keydis’ comment. With an effort, he managed to push her to the back of his mind and focus on the reason he was there. To get drunk. Deni gladly took a healthy swig from Diamantus’ bottle of brandy. His everpresent smirk deepened as he passed it back to her.

“Who says I forgot how to drink like a real Pelagian?”

The bartender returned with his short of alatichryso, a velen whiskey infused with seaweed, adding a hint of green to that amber colour. He leaned over to the bartender and said something quietly in his ear. He nodded and began to take a few bottles off the illuminated shelves. The velen reached one long arm across Ignis and grasped Keydis’ pile of exa, pulling it closer to him and merging it with his own pile while she was busy singing.

Play nice.

“I think we need to show the rest of this place how we do things in Pelagia,” Deni laughed, grabbing his fellow velen’s shoulder. He took a sip of his alatichryso as the bartender juggled bottles around, crafting a multitude of concoctions as he added glass after glass to a large round tray.

“Hey I know this one!” Deni said suddenly and turned away from the counter.

“I had no taste for soldier life, I left that to my brother!” he belted out, close to being in tune.

Diamantus took one more pull on the brandy and smacked her shot glass down on the table. "I'll take some a that alatichryso too! Hit me!"

Once the bartender had poured the drink, the muscled velen lifted it in salute to Deni and pounded it down, indicating that the bartender should pour another shot for her. She raised it again and this time allowed her voice to carry over the din. "Let's all raise our glasses to fallen comrades and to those who made it out!"

She tossed the drink back and joined in with the next chorus, although she wasn't sure if she had it exactly right. It didn't matter under the circumstances anyways. The idea was to finally let all of the stress, anxiety and rage caused by the war leach away.

Across the room, Aeria had decided that she found this kinchaa player named Dante quite interesting. He was a nice looking specimen if she did say so herself, but she decided to try and keep a lid on flirting. It would likely just get awkward with booze involved. Instead she tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention and smiled. "Hi! The name's Aeria Luxus. I don't believe we've ever met. I can't say I'm a major kinchaa spectator, but it looks like a challenging game. Who do you know here? I'm just…uh…curious!"



Active Member
"Impressive," Ignis replied to Keydis' anecdote a bit flatly. She turned her attention to her drink, draining the last of the fruity wine with relish. Withstanding bullet wounds wasn't a feat that impressed the rust-feathered woman or made her feel threatened. Sure, her and Deni's abilities relied mostly on gunfire, but no amount of toughness could overcome a well placed attack. Fortunately it wouldn't come to that, not tonight. The avian chuckled.

From his place on her shoulder, Amicus twisted around to glare at Keydis warningly. Only Ignis' hand idly stroking his leaves convinced the bushy woodland spirit not to chance pinching her.

"Another one, please!" the pale enlil shouted over the din. "On his tab!" the avian gestured towards Deni.

Once Cicely slid her another glass of wine, Ignis took it and slipped through the crowd. She made her way over to where Aelflead appeared to be flirting with a vaguely familiar man.

"Aelf, I didn't get a chance to say hi to you earlier!" the enlil greeted cheerily. She didn't get too close, leaving the spurii plenty of personal space. Despite the conversation they'd had just before the final battle, she was wary of getting too close for her or Aelflead's comfort.



Staff member
”...and see the dells where farmers dwell and give ghost beer a try!” Keydis sang on.

One bushy brown eyebrow lifted when Keydis noticed the little nature sprite glaring at her. “Heyyy, you look kind of like Pico!” she exclaimed, thinking of Annora’s familiar, a mons infans. “Bigger and bushier, though.” Keydis didn’t want to start worrying about Annora or her holy quest, so she followed after Ignis. While the little enlil was talking to the others, Keydis dipped her fingertips into her whiskey and then held them over Amicus, letting the potent alcohol drip onto its leaves. “Drink up, little guy!”

Snickering to herself, she looked over at whoever it was that Ignis was speaking to. “Aelflead Kirastes,” Keydis stated, easily recognizing the face from the bounty posters. “And… who’s this?” The man was a mystery to her.

This place was way above the places she used to frequent, so she wasn’t expecting to know anyone, but she was curious about the heroes of the Black Portal as much as the pardoned outlaws. As hard as she had tried, by the time the news reached her out in the desert, she wasn’t able to cross countries in time to join in the assault. The fiery young brunette was dying to know how she measured up against them all.



Lobster Mobster
The man beside Cicely at the bar wiped sweat from his forehead with his arm as he finished up the last drink. He carefully brought forth a large tray of glasses to the counter and then returned for the second tray. The short glasses held an array of five different colours: a deepening orange, blue, red, green and cream. Deni was lucky that the bartender knew exactly what it was he had asked for. Some clever barman in Pelagia had created five drinks, each one named after each of the Vis.

“Alright, the five Vis-shots are here!” Deni shouted. A group of patrons that clapped and sang to the lute player didn’t hear him, but he still managed to catch the attention of some of those near him. “Help yourselves! Courtesy of myself,” - he pointed to Keydis - “and that burly teenager over there.”

A few adjacent to him already reached across and grasped whichever drink they liked the look of best, smiling, nodding or winking at him in appreciation. Traditionally, the shorts were made to be taken one after another in a particular order as a game. There were too many unfamiliar rules with that game, however, so it would be best to just let everyone drink whatever they wanted, especially since Castus, the creamy looking one, was to be taken last and had a tendency to curdle stomachs after the other four.

The pale velen moved off his stool and out of the way of the trays so others could access them. Then he slipped one hand into his pocket and leaned across Diamantus to give a few extra bigats to the bartender.

“Man, you guys are working hard, you deserve it.”

After barely a moment of deliberating, he took one of the orange drinks and placed it in front of Diamantus.

“I think a bit of Bellator will be to your taste,” he grinned. Then he threw back his head and let the rest of the alatichryso burn the back of his throat.


Im no bartender, but here's a rough write-up of what the Five Vis-shots contain:

Occultus - Blueberry vodka, blue curacao, grenadine, lemon juice

Bellator - Scotch, Drambuie, grenadine, orange juice

Aquila - Raspberry vodka, blueberry vodka, strawberry puree, sugar

Serpens - Apple vodka, sloe gin, apple puree, sugar, green food colouring

Castus - Chocolate liqueur, coffee liqueur, milk


[Insert rimshot]
Right after Aeria left and before Aelflead could turn her focus back to Ioannes, her ears twitched at the sound of her name over the bar's din. When she turned she found Ignis approaching with a disarming grin and struggled to respond, even with her mask still in place. The Black Portal had been more than just a battle for the two of them, or at least her since more than blood had been spilled.

Inwardly, Aelflead frowned with uncertainty. She hadn't quite decided how to deal with her dirty laundry being in the cheery enlil's hands. Regardless, she was wearing a mask now, she had to say something if she wanted it to stay intact.

She raised her hand in a wave and tried to hold her mask in place, mimicking the enlil's light tone. "Oh, hi Ig-"

"Aelflead Kirastes."

The spurii stopped short and her eyes locked onto the stranger dripping alcohol onto Amicus. Who is this chick? she thought, and a mixture of Confusion and wariness slipped past the woman's syrupy sweet expression. It was rarely a good thing when someone you didn't know knew you, at least in her line of business. "Do I know you?"

Aelflead turned her body to face the young woman and lackadaisically leaned against the counter to keep up her processed casual demeanor and her left hand brushed against a cold glass filled with blue alcohol. "You don't look like someone I'd forget." She added, pulling the glass of Occultus close while she seized up the bushy-eyed brunette.

Wc: [255/1,030]
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As someone tapped him on the shoulder, the athlete turned around to see who had wanted his attention, meeting Aeria's gaze and smile with his own, he responded.

”Dante. Yet you know enough to recognize me or was it her shouting that piqued your interest?” nodding towards Keydis, ”regardless, I know the rowdy velens over there,” as he nodded towards Deni and Diamantus, ”worked with them both in the past I did,” he finished calmly.

Aeria smiled at Dante again. “Her shouting drew my attention, but I have friends who follow kinchaa as well. Mind you, I’m also acquainted with Diamantus although I didn’t know you worked with her..”

”And I would prefer it to be so,” the athlete interjected.

She furrowed her brow at Dante. “What do you think of her anyways?”

Disregarding her question by waving his hand as if tossing it aside, the athlete leaned in closer.

”I'd rather learn more of you.”

“Me? Oh there’s not so much that’s special about me. I’m an engineer from Repertum basically. Only somewhere along the line, I ended up being associated with terrorists, being put in jail and escaping from said jail. I also fought in the Black Portal battle, nearly died and have now been pardoned for my supposed crimes.”

She sighed and shook her head. “I never thought that I’d do any of that. Right now, I still don’t know who the hell I am, but at least I can come and party right? Booze makes a lot of stuff easier at the moment.”

Dante was unsure if she would be this talkative about the past without the booze, but he certainly could relate to her experiences, the fights at the pass and onboard the Hydrus had both been near lethal for the athlete.

”When you are faced with hordes upon hordes of daemons, nobody really sets out of their bed at the morning and says that today they will slaughter a bunch of daemons, atleast I hope so,” he remarked with a voice full of personal experience.

Aeria chuckled. “I’m surprised you haven’t just run across the room after I said that.”

”Why would I when there is such a beautiful woman next to me?” the athlete flirted calmly.



Active Member
Ignis' smile tightened when she heard Keydis' boisterous voice next to her. She ran her claws through her short, black head feathers.

So much for escaping, the avian thought, glancing at the way Aelflead bristled.

"This is Keydis, a bounty hunter by profession. Fortunately we're off the hook, eh?"

Amicus shook himself off in a dog-like fashion and gave Keydis a reproachful look. He turned away and began to preen his leaves until they were positioned just so.

Ignis held back a sigh and looked towards Keydis again. "Amicus prefers fruity drinks and usually takes them in a glass."

The next set of shots drew the leafy woodland spirit's attention. The large mons infans clambered off of Ignis' shoulder and onto the bar. He reached out a spindly hand to take the Aquila and sniff at it. He pulled the glass into the confines of his leaves in order to drink it and deposited the empty glass on the counter top. A bit more clumsily than before, he climbed back up Ignis' arm.

The enlil laughed and petted her companion.

"I knew you'd join the fun, eventually."

Amicus performed a short jig on her shoulder.

"You don't have to say it like that," Ignis replied, though no one else seemed to understand what the dance meant.



Staff member
”Teenager? I’m twenty-two, fish-face!” Keydis shouted over the growing din, laughing. Turning back to Ignis and Aelflead and their friend, she nodded. “I hunt bounties, yes, but more importantly I’m the guildm… master of the Aimless Blades!” At the puzzled look over her hesitation, she shrugged. “I’m not into whips and boot-licking so I avoid ‘mistress’ when I can.”

The song continued on in the background, picked up by many of the patrons. Keydis watched Amicus swipe a shot -- the one she’d been eyeing, actually -- and nodded with surprised approval as the little tree spirit finished it off. “Nice, little shrub! I don’t think Pico can hold his liquor like you, s’why I was being all dainty with it!”

Grabbing a shot -- Serpens -- before they were all gone, she threw her head back and dropped her hand back to the bar, leaving the shot glass rattling. Keydis looked back at Aelflead, holding her arms out to the side. “What’s the deal? I’m not sure if you’re coming onto me or looking for a go. I mean, I came here for a good time and to see some of the heroes of Krevati. Don’t be so edgy, ‘hero!’ Live it up!”

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Aeria tried hard not stare at Dante. "I don't think I've ever been called beautiful before. I am going to assume you're being charming. I do appreciate it though!"

The truth was that Aeria had no clue how to respond. She was not accustomed to dealing with men flirting with her. She was drawn to trying, but her experiences in life hadn't really prepared her for social niceties. In an attempt to move on from the awkwardness, she backtracked to respond to what Dante had said immediately before. "No, you're right, no one does get out of bed and think about fighting daemons. I just never expected to be seen as a hero. I mean, people come up to me and treat me like I'm special or something. All I did was fight for something I thought it was worth fighting for."

Meanwhile, Diamantus had thrown back the alatichryso, shaking her head as she did so. "Vis-DAMN! That's good stuff!"

Her attention turned to Ignis and Amicus. "So the little shrub's enjoying himself too I see! Good! He saved lives out there!"

Her meaty hand reached out and ruffled the little mons infans leaves after he was done his jig.

There seemed to be something brewing with Keydis and Aelflead. Having seen the redhead's temper firsthand, Diamantus hoped that she wasn't going to have to try and hold the warrior back from making a bloody mess of everything.



[Insert rimshot]
"Well aren't you clever?" Aelflead tilted her head to swallow Occultus and then stifled a mild cough. She hadn't had a chance to drink since the Arx heist from trying to keep out of sight and the mild blush already spreading across her face showed it.

"How long ya been sitting on that one?" She retorted and slapped her glass onto the counter with a hollow *THUNK* before reaching backwards for the unclaimed Bellator still resting on the second tray. "I can't imagine it's been too long, ya' look like you just rolled out of primary school."

Wc: [97/1,127]
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Lobster Mobster
Deni glanced towards Keydis after putting his empty glass on the counter. His mischievous grin deepened at the bounty hunter’s remarks. He took a Bellator of his own from the tray as the drinks rapidly disappeared. His blue eyes looked over to Ignis and the others as they stood in a rough circle, though they widened as he caught a glimpse of Aeria and the kinner talking. It could have been the lights from the bar, but it looked like she was blushing.

So she likes sporty guys, huh? It wouldn’t be decent of me to intrude on that conversation.

Deni suddenly caught ear of whatever was happening between Aelflead and Keydis. He flinched as she slammed her shot glass down and then caressed his forehead with the fingers of his free hand.

If that pair decide to fight, they could bring the whole damned bar down. I can’t let that happen, I’m nowhere near drunk enough yet!

The velen slunk into a gap between Aelflead and Keydis.

“Hey, Red, it’s good to see you’re as… zealous as ever. I’m glad you could make it, near enough the whole damned gang is here! I see you’ve met, Keydis was it?”

The velen clasped Keydis’ shoulder in a friendly manner.

“A guildmistress, eh?” Deni emphasized. “What a coincidence, I’m also the master of a guild. The Societas. Sometimes I feel like I’d enjoy the grunt work more, but somebody has to do the paperwork.”

He raised his glass slightly.

“And that’s one reason why I drink.”



Staff member
"Oh. Ha ha." Cicely let out a dry chuckle as she looked out at everyone. With such a busy and crowded night, the huge amount of alcohol was making things lively. She had just gotten her tavern fixed up following the attack, but she was glad to see it was getting put to good use.

A good bar had character. Things shouldn't be all in their place being pristine in condition. They needed to be used and stand up to the foolishness brought out by drink. Though sometimes, too many rowdy people in too small of a space could be problematic.

Cicely decided to just let things happen. Things tended to work themselves out. She spread out her arms and proclaimed to the patrons, "More drinks for all. This fine gentleman is paying for it, so be merry. The spirits are supposed to raise yours. Don't hold back." If her tavern was going to end up a mess, she might as well make as much exa as possible during that time.



Staff member
Keydis was eyeing Aelflead while Deni spoke, not entirely clear what set off the redhead but trying to decide if her flippant jibe deserved a response. It’s too early, Keydis finally decided, turning and reaching for another drink, less fruity this time. I would tear her apart, anyway.

Turning her attention back to the velen, Keydis lifted one foot and tugged her boot off, setting it on the counter next to Deni. “If that’s hones your bone, knock yourself out, but don’t expect me to buy a whip or anything.” He was the one who insisted on ‘mistress,’ after all. “Tell me about it, though. I had someone to help with all the paperwork, but she’s off on some holy mission right now, one that doesn’t need the likes of me around.”

Keydis downed half of her newest drink and grinned wryly. “Paperwork doesn’t stop me from getting down and dirty, though. I’d give up the position in a heartbeat if I thought I’d miss out on all the action.”



[Insert rimshot]
Keydis, huh?

Aelflead met the brunette's gaze with narrowed eyes, not breaking contact with Keydis until she went for a new drink, then followed suit, pulling Serpens towards her with noticeably less coordination than her first two drinks had.That's what I thought.

Before the redhead could mentally comment further, Cicely made her announcement and Keydis took the azure-haired woman's declaration of freedom to heart. Did she just-? Aelflead's face concealed the look of disgust her mind was trying to push to the surface, but the influence of Occultus and now Bellator working on her system turned nullified those efforts.

Instead of a mild annoyance, a grimace of disdain plastered itself across her face while she strained her vibrantly colored drink.

Wc: [soon-ish]
Deni regarded Keydis’ boot with a perplexed stare.

“You realise that when you put guild in front of mistress, it loses its sexual connotations, right?” he informed her, surprise still obvious on his expression by his lifted eyebrows.

The velen shook his head and sipped his cocktail.

“At least we got one thing in common. I’m more comfortable in a firefight than an office. Probably more useful, too.”

A pounding noise that grew prominent caught Deni’s eye. Someone had bought the lute player a drink and he had ceased playing for a moment to take a long chug. When he began playing again, it was a different tune. His fingers changed positions quickly as he strummed, matching the quick pace of the song. People began to tap their hands on a table or stomp in time to the beat. It must have been contagious; Deni didn’t even realised he was nodding his head.

A few of the most inebriated patrons began to clap and dance to the tune, and that too seemed infectious. Within moments, some men and women joined them in their jigs until it spread through the room.

“Already?” the rogue muttered, tilting his head back and finishing his drink before leaning to place the empty glass back on the bar. With a forced sigh, he shifted away from the bar and towards the group that swayed with the music.

“Anyone joining me?” he asked, glancing between the array of familiar faces consecutively. “I need to see if my years of Pelagian ballroom lessons paid off.”


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