08.01.3013: Turn on the Lights
Summary: Viannea helps Ephraim around Khar-Mordune
Date: 1st August 2013
Related: None
Viannea Ephraim 

The Ways of Khar-Mordune
Only those not from Niveus will have to take a moment to adjust to the damp, stark chill of the deep, mountain cavern that is Khar-Mordune. Situated on a large, flat, and nearly featureless island at the center of the underground city are the humped arches of varying sizes that greet or bid farewell to various visitors. The city is situated in the twilight zone of the maze-like caverns, allowing some natural light to filter down from the entrance far above and to the west of the settlement. There are a series of bridges that lead out from the island like the spokes of a wheel into the various districts. Plantlife here is sparse, though the cathedral ceiling high above is home to a colony of spotted bats who have shared this cavern with the people of Khar-Mordune for generations.

The city of Khar-Mordune is a combined architecture of cuboid buildings and intricate elfin edifices. Stairways wind their way through the various promenades and tiers of the central caves.


There are those who come to the darkenss of Khar-Mordune and take a moment to adjust, especially those not coming here often and those stepping out of the light, literally. Then there is Ephraim, stepping out of the ways, moving through the process to be officially allowed into the general populace, who is still holding his eyes. "Gods below," he is muttering to whoever would listen to him, "Its so dark, like a cave, just not the cave I am so used to. Don't they offer night vision shades to help those of us used to the light." Then he rubs his eyes, and blinks them with exagerration as if that will help his vision adjust to the darkness. Then he stumbles a little, looks for a hand hold, "No no, I don't know if I cna do it, surely I took a wrong turn at West Landing … this is not the Black Wastes." Mostly he is kidding, as he hasn't turned back, he's most likely exagerrating a little (or a lot). And he's mostly ignored.

"It isn't that dark," comes a teasing reply just before Vi rounds a corner, her expression amused. "Well… maybe it is." She's lived here most of her life so she's used to the lower levels of light and she sometimes forgets that for those used to living outside of the caves the blackness might seem… well, very dark. "Do you need any help," she asks then, her demeanor openly helpful.

"The Nymph chastise me," says Ephraim as Vi steps into his focus for the moment, "Its not that I'm lost, but the Six have claimed me, they have sent a messenger to escort me to the beyond." Though his smile indicates its all a tease, mirth plays at his eyes, which seem well adapted at the present to the dark. "Do you know what they say about dark places at Beacon, no, I should spare your diginity. I could use some help, I need to find a dark place to hide. Preferably with a good meal and a good ale, I have heard Khar-Mordune vintage tastes far better close to the brewer."

Ephraim catches Viannea off guard. There's something about how he's acting that throws her and for a moment she's simply quiet, uncertain as to what to say. Once she does it's with a slight laugh, one that holds quite a bit of warmth to it. "I could point you to the inn if you want good food and drink," she offers. "Or if you want I can take you to the market and you can buy some food and a good brew and show you were the caves are." There's a slight hesitation at the last. The caves really are not the best option and she's hoping he'll not pick that one.

His head bobs, his eyes move back and forth, Ephraim ponders while she speaks. Left eye look, inn, right drink, left the market, right some brew, they settle on her, in the middle, on caves. "Hold a moment, /the caves/, sure you don't suggest we are not already in a cave, but there is a cave within the cave? I do not think that is a paradox the universe could handle." He grins more, "How about we start with, you seem to know your way around in a cave, I'll go where you lead if but to share your pleasant company … My Lady …." Its offered like a rhetorical fill in the blank.

"I should know my way around," is given in reply as well as a warm smile," seeing as how I have calld Khar-Mordune home for as long as I've been alive." A hand is held out and she invites Ephraim to follow along, Vi continuing to speak as she does. "My name is Lady Sir Viannea Peake. It is a pleasure to meet you." She pauses and then laughs. "I think I'll have to suggest the inn over the caves, however. You can get a nice room and a good meal and drink." There's a pause then. "And of course there are caves within the cave. Most caves have smaller caverns and such carved into the stone."

"Oh, the name is rather fitting," grins Ephraim when it is offered, its dark, but his eyes might agree still holding onto some mirthful thought probably. "The pleasure would be mine … Ephraim Hollolas …." Lord is left out, assumed but he doesn't add it on, "One of the lessers of the line, not allowed out of the house much. I see I should attend feasts more often if it is you that will grace the tables." Giving a look around, "This is your home, I am sorry, then again, nothing more gloomy than the storms of Beacon, so you can hold that over me for ransom. Caves withint caves, even they have their heirarchy, that sounds like the dark place to go, within an already dark place. Show me the way?"

"It is very nice to meet you, Lord Hollolas." No, Ephraim didn't use the title when introducing himself, a sign that he's most likely quite a bit less uptight about etiquette than many other nobles, but Vi's manners and training makes it difficult to not address someone properly during conversation. When he says he wants to go to the caves she changes mental gears and, with a nod, takes him towards where the market is, first. "You'll need provisions for however many days you are thinking of staying. And something warm to wear… You say you're from Beacon? I've never been there. What is it like?"

"It is glorious, if you like sailors, drinking, fish, and storms," grins Ephraim, waxing towards sarcastic, but with the touch that its so bad he likes it just that way. "It has its moments, though, you should come out, enjoy the surf, try hydroboarding, its the rage." Then he pauses, blinks a moment, "Wait, days, how many days I'm spending in the caves, its a long walk to find them? The cavern is that big?" He rubs at his temple, brushing the locks of his hair behind an ear in consideration. "Let us start on a new venture, one that involves the meal, at this market. Then perhaps, we converse, and I enjoy your smile, that sounds better than being camping in caves for days on end …"

Viannea hms! Seems she misunderstood. "I am sorry. I thought you were wanting to spend some time…" A light, slightly-embarrassed chuckle sounds and she reaches up, hand finding the back of her head. "Alright. So you just want to see them, then? I can make that happen. They really aren't too far. But food. That's a good place to start." The trek to the market is resumed and Vi continues to talk. "Some of the caves are very large. The one where the Pool of the Fearless is especially huge. You can get lost in there very easily so no going in there without a guide." Her hand falls away from her head then and she ponders. "Maybe someday I'll make it out there."

His mouth twists up more slightly at the chuckle, holding as she ponders the markets and the caves, and the Pool itself even. Ephraim responds, "See, amiable conversation, new sites. Living the life. Perhaps I should stop toying at the metaphorical and take a literal approach?" Then again, who knows with this one. "I see I shall have to be careful around you, leading strange men about in caves. Do these guides just wander the caves waiting to find lost souls to charge them a fee for getting them back." Then he grins more, mirrored again with his yes, "Is that what this is, a little House Peake hussle, get me lost, hold me for ransom, until I or my family pays for my safe return from the wild abandon of these wild caves?"

Another chuckle is given from Vi who at least appears to enjoy Ephraim's sense of humor. "Yes. That's it entirely. How did you figure us out so fast? It usually takes a while before someone realizes our plans…" The scene of cooking meat at a vendor draws her up short and she hmms, sighing happily. "That smells sooooo good, doesn't it? Would you like to try it?"

"You're right," grins Ephraim, "It does indeed, but I have travelled long and far, I hope it was worth such great effort." Because, stepping through the ways is so tedious, but he is grinning as he says it. "Sir, I shall be offended if you do not accept this treat as a token of my undying loyalty to your and your wiley ways. I am vexxed by your treachery and bewitched by your charms. Not to mention a tad hungry." He'll foot the bill easily enough, ordering some for himself, not sure what it even is yet, but certianly it is better than something from the Ring. Letting choose hers the same, he will then afford, "I had to take that initiative, least I come to find you plan to poison me as well."

The meat is some kind of venison, freshly butchered and cooked on a skewer with some kind of sweet-and-salty sauce brushed upon it as it is grilled. Relatively cheap, a lot can be had for a fairly small amount of money. Viannea accepts the generousity with a bow of her head and a few skewers are taken, the first of which is eaten with gusto. Would seem Ephraim's not the only one who was in need of a meal. "Thank you so very much," she murmurs between bites. "Hm. Now we just need some ale and I do believe we'll be all set."

Taking a bite and savoring the food, Ephraim doesn't hold back on that enjoyment. He simply does his best to keep it within his mouth, including the sauce. That is managed, if not with a small show, but he remains clean. "Yes, ale. Then I can put the rumor to rest." He leaves it at that, as if they're both in agreement on whatever rumor has come to his mind. He looks around as if he should know where to go, moves to take a step in a random direction then turns to raise a brow back at Vi, seeing if he's picking the right random direction, most likely not.

"What rumor is that," Vi asks, clearly confused. Sure, rumors are often uttered about the various houses and whatever, some she's even heard in the past, but she's clearly confused. "Hopefully nothing bad," she adds hopefully. A stall where a brewer is selling his wares is not too far, that being where the newcomer's led to, and soon Vi's buying two small earthen bottles, each one filled with a potent, dark drink that smells very strong. "This is one me," she adds quickly, not wanting Ephraim to feel like he has to pay for everything.

Not one to pass up a drink, Ephraim takes it gladly. "That a fresh Khar-Mordune stout beats a good Beacon port hands down, any day." He says simply enough, removing and ridding whatever cork/cap/stopper the bottle has and lifting it to his lips. He swishes it about, takes a big pull and swallow, then nods, "Its arguably close, rich after taste, sits well. I'll give it that the view here is better." A grin, he looks about, "And no, no bad rumors, I avoid them, I avoid rumors all together. Its no fun being caught, let alone publicized about it I figure. Why, have you done something bad that I should know about?" He squirrels his left brow up, higher than mere curiousity as if playing at the thought with a hyperbolic expression.

"Ah! That is a rumor I'm fine with." That being the one about the beer, of course. Her own botle is opened and sipped from between bites, Viannea's enthusiasm not stopping with her food. "Hmm. I will definitely have to go to Beacon someday, try your food and drink." The first skewer is gone and the stick tossed into the trash just before the second is tucked into. "No, I haven't done anything worthy of gossip, I don't think. Well, went bathing naked at the bath house at Volkan once but that isn't exactly something one would have rumors spread about, I don't believe."

Feigning a slight startle at the bathing naked gossip bit, even though, bath house and naked go together, Ephraim finishes his food and takes another drink. "Well, I think I like Khar-Mordune already, it has grown on me. And, as a close friend, I feel I can trust you Viannea. You should, you should definitely come to Beacon," as if confiding, "And meet my father. You see, I need to further express my sentiments over the ship I have lost, and I think your eyes are charming enough it would settle his wrath so that I may live." Playful with a tease perhaps, "And I do not take my closest friends for granted often mind you."

"Are we close friends already?" Vi grins at that, teasing Ephraim for his choice in words. The rest is nodded to right up until the end, the latter causing her to raise a brow. "If I didn't know you were teasing I'd be inclined to think of you as being unsavory." There's a smirk then, she too joking. "But if you need me to come by and help you with an angry father, let me know. I will be happy to help."

"Oh, I am unsavory, but of the clean sort. I bath regularly and practice good oral hygiene," protests Ephraim in mock self defense. "Hey, wait, are you saying we're not friends. I mean, as long as we've been friends, I've held out hopes there might be a spark or something more, but I didn't want to offend your delicate ears or ruin what we already had." A chuckle, enjoying the banter perhaps, "Wait, you're a knight, you won't give an unsavory sort like me a black eye or a night in jail or something will you?"

"I stopped beating up people…" Feigning looking at a timepiece upon her wrist which isn't there, Vi purses her lips and angles her head as if considering the date. "… oh, about a day and a half ago. You're safe." And with that she laughs. "I am sure we will be very good friends, given time. Anything else…? That remains to be seen, yes?" The last skewer of meat is eaten and the stick thrown out like the first, leaving her with just her beer in her hand. "Thank you for the company today, Lord Hollolas. It has been very pleasant."

"The air of mystery, you wear it well, like a thick fog over the Heartwood," grins Ephraim, "Should of went with the, friends, if I'm ever so lucky and do not even think about anything else. Ah, you imagine I will only try harder. Touche Lady Sir Viannea, you have rousted my plans and seen through my foils." A chuckle, "You know, I can talk about pleasant things, moonlight, fireflies, the wind on the waves. But alas, you are right, it was pleasant, I have enjoyed your company and exquisite quidance while I've stumbled upon the darkness. Friends in time, I can call upon you for that then, and the help …"

Fade …

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