The Fires of Revolution

Conversation between Elizerra and Fliuch (Highwaymen Campsite)

18 Sarenith 4715

our scene is the highwaymens’ camp. the current quest is over, everything is resolved, and the group is recovering from the last major encounter, preparing to head back to Riverton. We start with some lost script in which Elizerra asks about Fliuch’s quest, Fliuch gives minor detail, and Elizerra pursues it. Eventually Elizerra picks up on the case of her wanting some privacy, and softens her questions, letting them fall.

(spoken words are in Varisan)

The girl tightens her lips, and plucks at her lute idly as she speaks. “Nevermind? If that’s what you’d prefer.” She looks up at her companion and smiles. “Thanks, though. Most people are really caught up with their own problems, and don’t listen much.”

Elly blushes harder. ‘I mean–’ She finishes in Draconic, all soft fricatives and quick throaty pops and whispered vowels. She sighs.
’I try.’
’What was life like before?’

“Sorry, I didn’t catch that.” Fliuch remarks as she pauses in playing. “And, before? You mean, when I lived with my family?”

‘Yes ma’am, if it’s not prying’

“Certainly not.” The girl’s demeanour softens, and she again takes on a smile. “It was.. Very comfortable. I lived with my clan, which is quite large indeed. We own land and a keep, in which we stay, and we were usually very close.” She picks up playing notes again as she recounts. “We worked the land and kept animals,” she says, muttering ’mostly sheep’ to the side, “and traded with the nearby cities and towns.”

The city girl gets a sort of wistful half-smile. Her shoulders relax, but slowly. ’Sounds idyllic.’

“Sort of, I guess.” Fliuch replies, shrugging and smiling sideways. “It was a lot of work most of the time. There was a lot to do, keeping everything running and everyone fed, and a lot of training for combat, since we were so close to the Land of the Linnorm Kings’ border. We dealt with a lot of reavers and less-than-kind travelers, y’see.” She leans back against a log and makes strong eye contact with Elizerra. “But.. What was your life like, if you don’t mind?”

’I used to look out over the Jeggare and wonder what it was like out there with all the green.’ Her smile flattens. ’Then some redshirt would hit me cross the head with a spear-butt and I’d have to find somewhere less open to avoid the other children. Mother’s home remedies stopped keeping up with the rent and “insurance”. I went to work for some pointy-eared slumlord when I was fifteen.’

Fliuch’s smile tightens empathically. “That’s.. Hard.” She breathes out slowly, gently putting a hand on the woman’s arm. She smiles reassuringly. “At least it’s passed. Right?”

Elly puts her hand over the one on her arm. She closes her eyes and breathes. A moment passes and she looks at the bard next to her. ’Yes and no. Korvosa’s far away, but Cheliax is everywhere, and technically I’m wanted by the Sable knights.’

Fliuch smiles brightly. “It’ll be okay. You’re really strong and able-” She pauses, cutting herself off, and tweaks Elizerra’s arm reassuringly. “If you were going to.. Ah, stay with Arsenau and me, I think we could travel through these lands safely.” She considers for a moment, and again smiles. “As long as you aren’t wanted for something.. Actually bad? But you don’t seem bad.”

’You’re very nice to say so, but everyone’s a mix, I think, and I’ve certainly done a lot to muddy the waters’

“I know. Nobody’s really just one or the other.” Fliuch straightens up her back and, withdrawing her hand, plays a sweet melody on her lute. “That’s why I try to not kill people, y’know?” She bites her lip, switching key and going on. “Not that I’m telling you what to do.. Sorry.”

Elizerra watches fingers dance over the fretboard. ’I don’t think I can apologise honestly, Ms Flamespear. Not for killing him. He understood the risks when he got involved in highway robbery, and he paid for it.’
’Wait–is that a dirge?’

“Oh, I’m.-” Fliuch pauses in her playing, and strikes one cheerful chord before setting the instrument aside. “I’m sorry, I play it with what I’m feeling when I’m not thinking about it.” She breathes another sigh, and smiles brightly. “I know what you mean. We’re from different backgrounds, and you had to hurt people a lot more than I did. I’m more or less still a child.” She shrugs, watching the fire. “I’d just hate to be responsible for someone’s death when they’re.. Someone’s family? Someone’s spouse even, maybe. I wouldn’t want to die just because I made a bad choice and tried to steal things. Y’know what I mean, ’Zerra?”

’It’s not just one choice, Fliuch, it’s a whole string of them. Eventually someone gives you what you’ve been paying for.’

The girl tightens her lips and nods, looking back at Elizerra. “I know. I know what you mean.” She shrugs. “I might just not have it in me to actually kill someone. It would bother me too much.” She makes eye contact again and, picking up her instrument, smiles wistfully. “You’re strong. Y’know that?”

Elizerra meets the smaller woman’s gaze. ’Am I? Doesn’t feel that way. Do you?’

Fliuch shrugs again, pulling up a knee. “I, I dunno.” She looks back at her companion, her expression falling. “This whole expedition’s been a lot. There’s a lot to do, even besides what we’re already doing. I get lost a lot.” She says quietly, again making eye contact. Her tone waxes melancholy. “Don’t you?”

’Sometimes. Some of the greybeards in the taverns used to say that you never actually go home; home changes, and you bring change back.’ Ely gives a small smile she hopes says ’helpful’. ’Then they say something pithy about making everywhere home so you’re never lost.’

“Yeah, things change.” Fliuch loosens and re-knots the tie on her skirts. “It seems like some people are better able to deal with it, though.”

’I mean, I’ve had more practice.’ Elizerra giggles. It’s a weird, choked sort of chortle . ’I got out three months ago, give or take.’

“You’ve only been traveling for that long?” Fliuch remarks, smiling. “That’s amazing. Things must’ve been so tough. I’ve been on the roads for about a month now, and it’s already really big.”

Comments

Always fun to see the more relaxed moments in the character’s lives. :D

Emptus lilithstheno

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