03.18.3017: Target Practice
Summary: Nitrim and Ephraim meet for pints and knife-throwing. Cyrielle has a secret she isn't telling Nitrim.
Date: 09 December 2013
Related: None
Cyrielle Ephraim Nitrim 

The Mott Taphouse — Arborenin, The Spine
The taphouse is burrowed out from the heart of one of the various elder trees that surround the Heartwood. It is dark, warm, and inviting no matter the time of day. There are not a lot of hard corners, and it feels as though the walls blend in with the ceilings that curve high above. The interior wood has been stained a honey gold, which is offset by the rosewood bar and tables. There are a couple of circular windows that have been carved from the tree trunk, though the glass is stained a soft green to continue to maintain a particular atmosphere no matter the time of day. Scattered throughout the room are tables of various size and chair arrangement, and the aforementioned bar runs along the left-hand wall.

The taphouse only provides ale. Order a whiskey, you get ale. Order a martini, you get ale. The menu is also very simple with a set series of meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — that change from day to day. It is common knowledge that special orders or requests are always ignored.

March 18, 3014

The day has come back to the Heartwood of Arboren and Nitrim has drug his lengthy dark shadows back to its halls. If he hadn't already altered the mood by force at Mott's Taphouse the night before, he has returned to do it again. This time, he comes dressed in a coat that is suspiciously in a Hollolas seafaring style, for warmer weather. With sleeveless fashion that bares his tattooed arms for the room to see, he orders a round of mugs for a table near a target-board near the wall and unwraps a roll of throwing knives. Ale and throwing knives: What could go wrong.

"So…the over under on the truth, Ephraim, is I think your father is going to make me crawl over glass." Nitrim says to his company, the equally rakish Ephraim Hollolas, whom he motions to for the first round of three knives. "Your old man is a good man. Is it a good sign when he keeps hitting your back?"

Grinning and moving to the knives, Ephraim gets the concept well enough of boards and throwing knives but its rather evident he doesn't spend his free time training. If one sticks, that would be good - Mott's woudl be lucky if its the board he sticks it too. And he hasn't even started drinking, bu they will be hefted and heaved down range at the board; at least in the right direction. "Aye, that is a good sign, he's warming up to you. Its when he's silent you have to watch out. If you catch him telling a few good jokes before he realizes you're after his daughter, even better." Looking to help with the mugs, at least one to his hand then to his mouth, he grins, "Well, depends, if its the one about the duck, that's his business joke … but if its bordering into the glorious limmericks he enjoys, you're golden."

"Fuck, he has a business joke?" Nitrim growls over the mug of ale. "I was going under the impression he was the type that wouldn't have some sort of business-warm up-icebreaker nonsense, so he'd think my self-depricating humour was funny." Nitrim adds, scooting one cheek's-worth of hip onto a tall barstool. Boots to the rung below, he settles in for a watch. "But he's put chaperones on your sister, so it's either he's aware of my reputation, at least enough to believe I'd chase your sister, or he knows. Either way, I hope he sees that I'm something different."

Chuckling mildly, Ephraim shakes his head. "No, self-depriacting is good, if he warms up, by all means give him a good humerous jab - if its good and he hasn't heard it, he'll love it. If you get the business joke, it means he doesn't like you at all. Its not even that funny, sort of the he mean's business and if you laugh he'll hate you for it." Walking down range to get the two knives that missed and the one that stuck, he ponders teh chaperone business for a moment. "Depends who the chaperone is too. If its Stewart, one of the staff, he really really doesn't trust you, that rat will tell him everything while taking you out for drinks. But if its a cousin, or one of the household knights, you're better, he likes you, he's just going with the protocal."

"It was Lady Alix, your cousin." Nitrim clarifies as he cracks open his case of cigarettes. Leaving it open near the pints for Ephraim to choose one, the Khourni nobleman lights his own with the strange, Eldritch powers that he's been born with. The red-orange wash of flame springs from his hand, a hissing serpent that swims up his arm. "But I know trouble when I see it Ephraim. He wasn't entirely happy to see me around, but he seems to want to meet with my father. This could go both ways. Fate will what it will." Nitrim adds as a final, his eyes whiting over as one of the knives seems to lift itself from its case and hover, ready for throwing once Ephraim clears the way.

"Enough about me and your sister, though, unless you insist." Nitrim offers with a wave of his cigarette and curled cloud of exhaust. "How are things with you and yours? She put me up in her stables after Reena died. I was very grateful for it."

Considering the cousin and the meeting of the father, Ephraim turns over the idea putting the knives down and reaching for his mug. Little thought given to the cigarettes at the moment. Instead he grins, "Good, could be better. She's put off a little by some of the humor out of Beacon, so she thinks my sister is out to get her, protect our family name, that sort of thing. Forget all I've done to mar it myself. She seems to think nobility implies respectability, almost like a fairy tale. I'm worried if she's put off by my sister, how she might react when my father or mother act just the same."

Then in a more conversational tone, Ephraim amends, "Truth be told though, I sort of like it, its a different sort of accountability. Keeping me straight - its been good for business even."

"I can't fault your cousin in the least." Nitrim replies, rising from his seat to turn his all-white eyes downrange to the circular target. With a flick of his fingertips, the hovering knife launches towards the target and sticks just left of the center target. "There's a way to do these things and clearly creatures like you and I have eschewed the status quo. We'll be long and dead and replaced by more impressive figures in history that gave enough piss to be golden." Another flutter of fingertips comes and the next knife rises, hovering into place. It flings with equal accuracy. "But when the Cantosans come to our door, these perfect individuals are going to fall all over themselves to be the solution and people like you and I will be getting the hard work done. Your father sees that and someday, so will Lady Alix."

Watching the man workd, Ephraim has more of late been coming to appreciate the Awakened, as if suddenly his life is more full of them. Simply watching as knives are hefted and flung with delicate accuracy, he drinks and turns the ideas over in his mind. "Indeed, working to get it done without tripping over protocol and etiquette and whos vanity has been insutled." Setting his mug down for the moment then. "Its a matter of time and place, for Hollolas, that's on the deck of a ship, the running of a home in some instance, but then, after that, the Wave-Mother drown them all. And that history, anyone after that sort of legacy is no good in the books by my accounts. And I know some math mind you, my accounts aren't half bad." The mug it taken again, Ephraim sends the rest to his belly. "Just time, that's all father's doing with you, giving it proper time. I imagine all protocol aside, he figures if you two remain serious enough about it after whatever length of time he's settled on in his head, he'll be willing to agree to anything. We'll have to see what comes of the meeting he has with your father, that will be more telling then sending Alix out with Cyri and you."

"I shudder to think whether or not my father would insult me to yours." Nitrim replies grimly as the third knife is self-thrown, landing below the center circle with a loud clap as it sticks in nice and deep. Seemingly proud of his handiwork, the aura around Nitrim fades and he turns back to his mug. Two blokes, getting their piss on. "But given my reputation that's really it, isn't it? If I'm willing to commit myself to one thing for a length of time then clearly I'm not fucking around with it. If I can be arsed, I might put in a bit of show. All I know is that as of now, my father is far from a happy man. He might not want guests. The Blackspyre is a tomb with one less resident." Nitrim sets back down, looking over to his friend for a lift of his mug. "But I think he intends to bring you to Volkan with Cyri, Alix, and all. I trust I can keep the visit from being shit."

Lifting his mug at the look, Ephraim grins, "If it comes to that and your father is accepting guests, we'll make a go of it then. Just let me know if we're flying straight … I mean, if Alix is a bit of a bother, we can work on a distraction, get you and Cyri some alone time during the visit even. Your father might not want the guests, but mine may be persistant. Putting you through the fire is his job, but if he thinks you do make Cyri happy, well - she's his baby after all, he'll do what it takes to get that meeting regardless. He'll even be on good behavior and all, when he really has something in mind, he'll hit it with determination."

Reaching for three knives himself finally, after the nice display, Ephraim prepares to dent the wall some more. "Didn't you mention something about a club of yours back home?" As if curious about the night life as an aside.

Shrugging the coat off of his shoulders, Nitrim is left in a simple, black tank top in which the red-and-black of his serpent tattoo disappears. Scars and old war-wounds outwardly visible, the young drake becomes an open view of his tale in the war. Trading tobacco for drink, and drink for tobacco, he turns to watch Ephraim's turn.

"No time alone. With your house at Volkan, there will be eyes on the two of us. If Cyrielle and I were caught alone while your father and mine were visiting it would be my head, and your father would have the right to demand it; not that he would. Or would he?" Nitrim smirks, elbow propped against the other as his cigarette is held aloft to smoulder. "But I'll show you this club, a keen bar named the Public House. We're not a seafaring people but I've patrols to make as well, and if you've armor I'm sure you'll be free to come along at your own risk. The trouble in this is the politics. This is Arboren, the seat of your banner lords. You'll be at Volkan. The houses are already a mess, but I will be sure to show the Hollolas children Bethe and I's little perch over the dance floor. Who knows? Alix might enjoy it."

Either he's better, or the hint of alcohol obscures his judgement enough that Ephraim catches the board once at least. Then the wall, then a bouncer that flops onto a nearby table with the odd angle it departs from the wall. Not thinking, he talks to Nitrim while he throws the knives. "You're right, politics. Secretly, I think my father might enjoy such a marriage. The rise of a few merchants out of the Black Wastes is reason enough to strengthen the line with such ties himself. The concern would be any gain for your family. Unless father goes with the respectable spin, given the press you had in the last few months. Cyri's Awakening nad her seclusion has kept her out of that light. But I'm golden, so long as we find more of that brandy you brought to the treehouse and there is some dancing, I'm good. I'll just have to watch my behaviour, I doubt Lorelei would be interested in making a quick trip to visit for the evening because she thinks my family disapproves of her."

After a very exhausting visit to the Royal Tower — her first — Cyrielle returned to the Hand and actually, for once, allowed the household staff to dote over her. So worn she was that she forgot to send a message to Nitrim that she had gotten home alright; eating a light meal and passing out asleep instead. The following morning brought more weariness. She'd pushed herself too much. Her leg aches, which while a good sign (because the ache goes the whole length of it), also means she's less mobile. And cranky.

What was a welcome sense of being cared for the night before becomes swiftly overwhelming. Cyrielle gets a lift to the Beacon ways and finds herself… in Arboren. Sometimes, you just need what's familiar. The trees are as familiar as a ship's cabin for her these days. A trio out for some light fare stop to hold the door for the Hollolas noblewoman who makes it through on the crutches. She's dressed simply in attire certainly meant for a ship; dark grey pants with dangling straps around knee-height, for gathering up the fabric when in water. Her top is a dark green, the fabric bearing a slight sheen as it forms to her torso; wrapping at an angle across her chest where ties shape in a bow at her side. The coat she wears is the same she had worn on the sailing trip and it billows behind with each forward movement on the crutches. Her hair is in a simple and messy braid; fallen over her shoulder as she stares more at her feet than the path before her.

"And there's the Valta." Nitrim replies, his aura rising once more and his eyes glimmering over in white as his turn to throw comes around. Mug in face, he downs a generous portion of the ale and rises, foating a knife to the center path. It spins and CLANGS off of the board in that glorious, metal sound. With a cringe, Nitrim looks to the next knife. "With our vassals already a sea-faring tradition, we wouldn't want to slight. It's just familiarity and your house are good people. We'll all have to be careful as there's been enough whispering out Lady Brienne and Lord Kieran. If our fathers were to ally through your sister and I…would it seem a statement?" Nitrim shakes his head and the second knife rushes to the board. It sticks, but in poor placement. "Fuck, distractions and the like…" Nitrim laughs, turning to catch a shadow from the door. His head nods Ephraim towards Cyrielle. "…and her ears must have been burning or she's a bloody stalker, aye?"

Ephraim is listening, about to comment perhapson the statement that might be made with the union mentioned via whispers. Not mindning much about distractions but grinning at the excuse. As his mouth opens, he turns and follows Nitrim's eyes to Cyrielle. "Exactly, she's a stalker, not like I sent a message saying we were hear or anything." Which he didn't but it doesn't hurt to fake a little suspicion, his mouth turning up with some mirth. "Besides, maybe its me she was stalking. You can talk the salt out of the scene, but you can't remove the scent, probably wasn't heard to track us either." Rising he'll offer a bow, more than he would for anyone, flourish and all, "A pleasure for the company," As if he was proper and he is.

Also, since everyone else put it out, Ephraim is dressed for the sea as well, his coat/cloak was far more winter, full sleeves some sable fur - perhaps fuax fur. Thoguh underneath, loose clothes and dangles a plenty. A few of the necklaces even have recognizable images, seabird and leaves and such, all mix-mashed to good affect. Boots on feet where he might wear lighter far at Beacon, cause one doesn't know when some late spring snow might dust the trees and he doesn't want to be caught cold in it himself.

Old habits die hard and Cyrielle's feet are booted in the same old, sturdy, and worn things she's had since well before her return from her time with her mentor. She could certainly try some more variety, but sometimes… one must cling to what they know. The woman finally looks up upon hearing her brother's voice and she blinks a few times, taking him and Nitrim in.

"And here I thought to drown myself in somewhat familiar. Instead I fear I'll be having to ensure the taphouse remains standing." The jibe is awkward, lilting in all the wrong ways. Even the smirk Cyrielle offers is a pale echo of what might be. She leans heavily upon the crutches as she closes the distance, coat falling about her with each pause.

The last toss from Nitrim is just as unimpressive, as the throwing blade hits the target at a poor angle. Frowning, Nitrim walks towards the board and pulls the knives free, as his green eyes return for Cyrielle's approach. His aura dissipates into the a vision and scent of falling ashes, and the knives are set before Ephraim. No one, as it seems, is keeping score.

"We were just talking about your father wanting to visit Volkan." Nitrim steps over to offer an arm to Cyrielle, a suggested hug and a comforting arm to help her the rest of the way to the tables. "We figured we'd finish that conversation before the arson; maybe get a few pints in first." Nitrim looks between the two Hollolas main-line. "I brought up the war to your father, I thought Cyrielle and Alix were going to strangle me for it, but my father will bring it up. I wanted you to be prepared."

Reaching for the knives the old fashioned way, with his hands, Ephraim nods. "Its a fair topic, after evidence of their capabilities in waters, a few ship modifications have been in order as well as drone escorts with some of the improtant non-military ships even." He is apparently the sort that wouldn't strangle, visually or otherwise. "It good to be prepared, I suppose for my concern, not that I will have room to speak, but it would be good to know your father's stance on war issues." Take the fight to them, better defense, etc. "You've looked better," says Ephraim to Cyrielle, being the brother he has some leverage to speak candidly, "Something gnawing at you?" Of course, he doesn't assume its the leg, and pain, and that sort of thing cause - cupholder weapon upgrades.

"I looked at you that way because I was afraid you would begin to delve into your conspiracies and that would be a quick way to get under father's skin. He's not as much a…" Cyrielle leans into Nitrim, accepting both the hug and the aid to the table. She'll sink into a chair, lifting one hand to wiggle fingers by her head as the other gets the crutches propped up, "thinker as we. He wants solid problems with solid solutions."

She casts a gaze towards Ephraim, lips twitching in a wry expression. "I've felt better." It's a non-answer. Cyrielle has become better and better at the like. Not knowing which is which when it comes to the drinks the two have on the table, she simply reaches for one to take a sip. Something to wet lips gone dry from the effort of moving around.

As Ephraim turns to his throwing, Nitrim offers Cyrielle his stool to sit on as he drags another into place. The CLANG of Ephraim's misses at the board bring a cringe to Nitrim's lips and to some of those around, as falling knives are never popular things. That's why the wall has been chosen for darts and knives.

Making sure he's well out of the splash zone, Nitrim seats himself and turns his eyes to Cyrielle. His eyelids narrow as he detects something, and he begins to trace her features with his perceptive little green eyes. The cigarette comes to his lip for a drag, and then is offered over to her. "Is this about the tabloids, or…is something else going on? You wanted to speak?"

There's a flinch from Cyrielle with each of the misses her brother makes. "Remind me to never walk in front of him again," she stage-whispers to Nitrim as she settles onto the stool more comfortably. No half-assing (pun intended) it here. She accepts the cigarette with a grateful smile, taking a long drag before passing it back.

The smoke is held, allowed to burn her throat and lungs until… Cyrielle lets it out in a rush. Arms cross on the surface before her and she leans in on them. "The tabloids? Oh. Right…" Brows furrow somewhat. "Fuck. I nearly forgot about those." Which means it must be something quite much that's eating at her. Features fall after another moment of reflection. "I forgot to call last night."

"Yes, you did." Nitrim replies to Cyrielle quietly, head tilting with just enough eyebrow to suggest that he was waiting. No telling how long the man was waiting, but the offer that she was going to call was something the man had taken to schedule. "I made it home later than expected. After my little speech I walked a friend home to her waiting husband-thing-not and then snuck back into the Spyre." Nitrim pauses, signaling for another ale to be brought over for Cyrielle. "What time did you make it out of Landing?"

"Sorry," Cyrielle murmurs, her features falling. She looks to her arms as if considering how well they may serve as a place to rest her head. "I could barely think straight when I got back to Beacon. I don't even remember getting to bed. I woke up on top of the covers." Which indicates she likely also passed out clothed.

There's a gesture for the man tending bar today; too far away for some quip about bourbon or the like. She'll have to settle for just receiving her ale. Cyrielle looks towards Nitrim, head tilting slightly. "Should I be on the lookout for more incriminating photos?" It's a joke, but her tone is too dry and her expression too flat. Weariness, yes, but it may not come across well nonetheless. "I…" She frowns, squinting off somewhere over the Khournas' shoulder. "I don't remember. Late."

Nitrim, being a seasoned ferret of information and lies, takes notice that Cyrielle is growing uncomfortable. His shoulders stretch as he turns on his barstool to face the Hollolas woman more directly. Elbows pressing into the wood of the table, he sets his mug down and reaches for the cigarette in her hands. Letting his suspicious, ever-curious eyes do the talking, the cigarette is brought to his lips for a long drag. The cherry on the end flares, and through a small hole in the corner of his lips, he blows the smoke away.

"I wouldn't expect anything of the sort." Nitrim replies, one of his eyebrows lifting gently. "Should I be on the lookout for the same from you? What's gnawing at you?"

Hands freed, Cyrielle leans in on her arms for a moment before her own drink is delivered. Fingers wrap about the mug and she leans forward to gaze into the amber depths of the ale contained within. She lifts it for a long drink, snorting into the vessel. Once lowered, she casts a sidelong look towards the Khournas. "Not unless the Sauveur's have decided to start selling their own security footage…"

There's a slight turn, keeping Ephraim in view enough to make sure she knows if there's a need to duck. Her voice comes at a slightly different volume, to Nitrim, as a result. "Always thought my first visit to the Royal Tower would be a bit …"

The skin at the corner of Nitrim's eyes harden to match the concerned lowering of his brow. Blonde eyebrows nearly folding over his eyes, the Khournas glances sidelong to Ephraim's target practice. The many claw-rings of Nitrim's hand rise to the front of his teeth to cough gently as he leans in closer to Cyrielle, searing her with the look that he sends across the table to her. There's no going back now. "What happened?"

The way Cyrielle's shoulders round in, pulling the coat tighter across her back is all Nitrim- she's been around the Khournas lordling enough that some of his mannerisms have rubbed off on her. And it's all subconscious; the woman isn't of a mind to notice in the least. She grasps at her mug, lifting it for another drink. A fairly long one, at that.

In point of fact, Cyrielle puts off answering Nitrim until it's wholly finished. "Did you know Lord Advent Sauveur was Awakened?" Her voice is kept quiet; pitched to be kept to their table.

Another non-reply. Question answered with a question, the edges of Nitrim's features are far from the satisfied creature he wishes he was. The serpent in Nitrim's nature is to slither to places unknown, and questions answered with questions leave only loose ends to be chased. For the first time, with all of his digging into the secrets of their society, she becomes the archaelogical site of his choosing.

"No, I did not. At least not until now." Nitrim replies, turning the cigarette over in his hand to allow his index finger to tap the ashes into the tray between them. "Though there are other Awakened in his House; Lady Sophie at that. It must be quite an honor to be called to assist with his Awakening, an outsider like that."

"He seems to hate that aspect of himself. I gather he was a latecomer to it, like myself, yet…" Cyrielle draws in a slow breath, lowering the mug. It's an odd thing to talk of and her weariness sets in further. "He sent me a message. Said he needed my help. Asked me not to tell Lyrienne." The sidelong glance indicates that, at this time, the Khourni ought to keep it to himself as well.

As for honor, she laughs softly. "Well, I wasn't dragged off by the Watch and thrown in a deep dark cell. Seems he's caught up in Lady Brienne's issues as well. Fell in love with her and according to him, she never even noticed him. He…" Cyrielle lifts her hand, pressing thumb and forefinger into her closed eyes for a few breaths. "I don't know why he called on me. I'm not sure I'm best suited to helping someone regain control of themselves."

Listening quietly, Nitrim nods his head slightly as he understands that some conversations are meant to be kept private. If the Sauveur doesn't wish for it to be a known topic, then Nitrim will comply, though he doesn't seem surpised that more have been caught in the recent web of romantic intrigue.

Still, the tip of his claw-ring over his index finger scrapes over the wood of their table. Something still seems wrong to the Khourni as his eyes lift to the way she pinches around the bridge of her nose. His cheek tugs into a faint, brush-off of a smirk. "You don't know why he called you?" He repeats her statement, head turning as he openly shows a small grade of disbelief. "Is there something you're trying to tell me, because you're fidgeting, Cyrielle." Nitrim glances back to Ephraim, checking in on the man before leaning in closer to Cyrielle. "Should…I just take a walk?"

Their conversation took something of a more personal turn, that being the awakend business perhaps and the inconveince of who should of called who. Ephraim knows when to leave well enough alone. Good thing knives are to be had, along with more ales. One of the locals took to giving a few pointers, Ephraim seems to have picked it up a bit, or he wasn't carrying about his throwing before and hitting the board or close enough without clanging the knives around may be done now simply to get the other off. He mutters something about bringing a trident next time, then he wouldn't miss. A joke is had that it would be hard to miss anything on the wall throwing a trident at it. A smirk is given from Ephraim to the jokester local, then a round of Mott's Ale is bought for the good spirited folks just the same. He buys himself some more time to let Cyrielle and Nitrim talk.

"I'm just… tired, I think." There's a similar air to Cyrielle as after the training exercise. A weariness that goes beyond a lack of sleep or the haul to get around on those crutches of hers. "I really am sorry I didn't call," she murmurs in an aside to the drake. "I was looking forward to talking to you…" They've had so few chances lately. There's always people. Or situations.

Lifting her ale, Cyrielle partakes of another long drink. Letting it soothe its way along her throat, into her belly. "I really don't know," she adds at last. "We've only just recently met. We had a physical therapy session at the same time, realized some shared connections."

Since the conversation between Nitrim and Cyrielle no longer finds itself seronaded by the sound of CLANG and THWUMP from the knife-board, the silence grows on Nitrim. It reminds him of the setting. With one final, life-scan of a look, Nitrim presses up from his lean on the table and brushes his hand over the front of his shirt. "It's alright. It was just a call."

Turning his attention away from Cyrielle with no lack of tension and awkwardness, the noble does what he does best: He changes face. Smiling towards the joking crowd and Ephraim, he takes up his mug and salutes the man, inviting him back over to the table. "So did you get the hang of it them, Ephraim? I'd offer to teach you to throw like I do, but I don't do it to show off. I might need it someday."

Grinning and turning back, assuming whatever they were discussing is over perhaps as he was brought back in, Ephraim nods. "Enough, though I'm still convinced if it came to the thick of things, I'll be happy with a cutlass or a trident all the same. Even if I could manage a knife at a distance, I fear it would be just enough to send a pincushoined enemy my way, full of impromtu weapons." Taking a drink from his latest mug of ale, "But you can show off for me, we'll label it 100 Ways to Skin a Squid, no one will think of it as showing off if we use obscure names." He turns an eye to Cyrielle, seeing how she's taking all things now that he come back around.

When Nitrim redirects his attention to Ephraim, Cyrielle buries herself in her ale. She downs the rest of it and shifts on the stool, turning to regard the two men. The woman seems content to watch the two of them for now. It's a withdrawn, almost sedate demeanor that takes her. Something much more like the Cyrielle of the previous summer; before a certain drake got enough under her skin to make her open up more. Introspective and restrained.

"I'm sure it comes in handy when fishing." Nitrim says, comically as it were, as a knife lifts itself and flings towards the target. This time it catches in the bull's eye, embedding itself loudly into the target. "But it's cheating." Interesting use of the word. Still, the noble is all smiles and cool manners as he turns back to his mug. "It won't stop a Cantosan, though. Maybe if they were weakened enough for it, but if all you have is a knife, it'll cross the distance quick." His eyes dip to Cyrielle for a quick moment, smile widening. "So what's fighting with a trident like?"

"Sort of like a sword, without an edge but three tips," says Ephraim with a grin, as if the explains things. Watching the knives fly again, he corrects, "Its actually sort of fun, I might spend more time learning the trident. Its defensible with the prongs, instead of using a hand guard, you can catch a blade at a distance and if you're good enough, you can easily disarm an attacker." Then a shrug, "I'm not quite that good, mind, but father is devillish with a trident. I knew I'd never be as good as him, got jealous, stuck to the cutlass. Not to mention if your interested in spear fishing, its a good place to start as well."

"I've been considering asking father to begin teaching me the trident." Cyrielle hadn't quite begun that part of her upbringing when the Incident occured. So what little she knew… she lost. The woman gets to her feet once her ale is finished, grabbing for the crutches. "You two have your fun," she offers to the two, glancing from one rake to the next. "Please don't burn down the plate. Mott would be so displeased." Putting on a smile, casting a wink, and leaves little room for argument before disappearing.

Looking up to Cyrielle as she makes her exit, Nitrim's eyes quiet on the woman. Nearly opening his mouth to reply to her as she begins to hobble off, whatever he is about to say to her is cut short. She makes it out of earshot and the Khourni frowns. Tongue running over the front of his teeth, he brings his mugs to his lips to finish off the pint, and sets the mug down before him. "Maybe in a few weeks, we'll see if she still wants to take me out on a ship." Nitrim offers to Ephraim, casting a negative-seeming smirk to the man as he reaches for his datapad. "Something's up with her. I'm not sure what it is."

"We don't, not without preparing our escape first at least," responds Ephraim to his sister. As she makes it out of earshot and Nitrim turns to him, he says with all honest, "You know, my luck with Lorelei running hot and cold, I'm probably not the best person to offer advice on Cyrielle. The only thing I can say is, thus far, since she has returned to Beacon, you're the only person I've known to put a real smile on her face. Don't hunt after the ghost whale. I'll save you the time, I can see if she wants to talk to me?" Not that he's suspicious either way, but with Nitrim asking him, he's more curious.

"You can only ask a girl a few times what's wrong before it's clear she's avoiding the conversation. She was supposed to call last night. Instead she had a late night at the Palace Tower in the company of a Lord." Nitrim replies flatly to Ephraim, his words very low and very quiet to the man. Though, for the Khourni, there's no seeking sympathy, merely the lift of a shoulder that senses the smoke alarm on the horizon. With a freshly lit cigarette, his index finger points to Ephraim. "Lorelei is all about you, but she's a poet. She wouldn't be a poet if she wasn't emotionally earthquake-like, but if your sister goes another direction, we're still mates…occasionally…when it warrants, aye?" Nitrim huffs. "You and I earn our troubles, don't we?"

A grin, Ephraim nods, to the other as Cyrielle has left. "Aye, they are earned, and half the time I wouldn't complain about the process of earning it. The past is waiting to catch up, but its not like it was meant to be avoided either. I don't know about this other lord. I think she sees something of a kindred spirit in you. When she first mentioned you and the possibility there, she said she knew she would always be second … and that didn't matter, what mattered to her was how well you two seemed to understand each other." Lefting his mug towards Nitrim, "No matter what happens then, we'll still go sailing; you need to get on a hydroboard and there is a new model coming out soon - coincidence, I think not."

Snapping his fingers to order a third, the bartender drops off a fresh mug for the Khournas just in time for a returned salute. Frothing mug in hand, Nitrim taps the edge of his mug to Ephraims and shrugs into the sip. A salute it is. "The things I place second, intentional or not, are for a reason." Nitrim murmurs quietly to the man with a dry smirk. "Honestly, mate, I've moved on from chasing skirts. I'm chasing far worse things now. Murderers at the center of the war. I've been considering stopping, but tell me this: if you saw something wrong, would you stop chasing it, too?" Another sip is poured down the Khourni's gullet. "Fuck my nonsense, you're right, I should just get to the waves and learn to calm my shit down for a spell. Maybe I'm just being paranoid."

Shaking his head with the hint of a laugh in his throat, "Nah, I'm not saying don't be paranoid, the myth of paranoia is that which insures surival instincts. I've stopped chasing skirts cause someone saw something good in me, and I'm hoping they're right. But then, if I saw something wrong, I don't know how long I'd stop chasing it. I'm learning to temper my suspicion's though. Lorelei's hanging out with Benedict Orelle, they used to have a thing. I hate that, but I'm trying to learn this trust thing too. If I believe in that idea of good, I have to believe her when she says she loves me. Maybe I'm giving myself advice too … maybe its not wrong to be suspicous, but its could be worse to chase something good away by being overly suspicous. Besides, nothing beats a good wave - no matter what kind of day you're having. It could be the end of the world, and I'd still make time for a wave."

"Are you certain my father didn't deliver milk to your house at some point, mate?" Nitrim laughs, a bit more light forming to his features as he makes his little joke, and like all good jokes it ends in that shameful oh the horror shake of his head. "Because I chase things. I'll chase your sister and if there is some business with the Sauveur, I'll break his fingers quietly. This Lord Benedict? He can't think to chase Lorelei. No offense, mate, but you're a vassal of a Paramount, but he's a Paramount; a Young Lord at that. He's got a good grasp, but no way his folk would let his reach stretch that far down low, status-wise, even if she is a fair girl."

Pausing over the rim of his mug, Nitrim's eyebrow twitches and he shakes his mug just a little. "You're a bloody LORD, mate. Just invite her to the Hand, accuse her of a crime, and black bag the girl. Stolen to the high seas." It's a joke. A JOKE.

Ephraim is nodding, in agreement with the assessment of Benedict as well as that he comes from a vassal; one that thankfully is more at one with the citizens around them. When he makes the joke about black bagging her, Ephraim laughs a good laugh, "Its been thought about." Maybe not the exact extent he went to, but stolen away, some small Hollolas Island that few now about. "The problem is I was warned by Lorelei herself I can only kidnap her if I bring Hubert. I'm learning to ride horses and all, but that one, he's jealous of anyone close to her. I took a good bite a few weeks back because he didn't like that I was getting too fresh with her. That was a only a kiss too, we didn't even get close to the hay."

A shake of his head, "If you chase down this Sauveur, you'll have to give me a little warning. I can't imagine such a game between two of the awakened."

"Oh that fucking horse." Nitrim laughs, eyes lidding closed as the rim of the mug turns his laugh into a distorted helmet-breather sound. "I slept in the hay loft one night, ONE NIGHT, and that bloody thing would have lashed me if it only had a whip. It's a smart creature and, be aware, with enough time she'll be able to speak with it. When she's as strong as I, she'll be able to understand it like I understand my Dahlia. That horse would be your second wife. Congrats."

Setting the mug down, Nitrim pulls out some currency to leave on the table as a tip as he rises with a flash of aura to float his roll of throwing knives into his hand. He tucks it away quickly and offers Ephraim a hand for a shake, apparently readying his exit. "There's few Awakened that have seen as much war as I have. It's not confirmed if this noble she's seen is an Awakened, but your sister and I have dueled. It's a show. If it happens, make sure to bring a welding mask or you'll leave with a sunburn, mate."

Taking the hand, Ephraim grins, "I'll take the advice, if it happens, I'll have the mask. I'll still probably do my best to avoid the situation, even if its a show, doesn't seem to pleasant to watch." Then again, maybe it could be, the new jousting - two awakened in a duel - randomized environments from floating islands to zero g to multi directional gravity. Then again, again, maybe Ephraim watches too many movies. "Good to see you again, best of luck with the chasing." He lifts his own glass, preparing to stay for a few more, he has some new friends, maybe they'll be throwing tridents at Mott's byt the end of the night.

"Well, if it takes her a while to get to my power-level, maybe I could give Hubert a pep-talk that he won't be able to explain to her for a year or so." Nitrim releases the hand, then shrugs his coat into place. "I joke, because it's a bad idea and I'm sure that horse would find a way to hold a sword." Coat in place, Nitrim's fist taps against his chest in a salute, and then he turns to disappear through the door. "Cheers."

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