iresse was impressed with the
amount and intricacy of metalwork the dwarves produced. Each metalworking stand
she passed was alive with dwarven men working at the anvil
- the clanging chirp of the hammer against the red-hot metal as it was
warped into the shape of beautiful armor and weapons could be
Some worked on a smaller scale- small intricate pendants and all sorts of
dwarven charms. Stonemasons chipped away at stone and
jewelers appraised and chiseled massive nuggets brought in by the
gruffest, strongest dwarves she had ever seen, covered
in sweat and dirt and getting their pay as they brought
the fruits of their hard labor to be priced.
What seemed to stun her the most as that she didn't see any women. She had heard
rumors that the dwarven women were bearded too
- which meant that if they were - she'd never
be able to tell. But if they weren't- then she hadn't seen one. Maybe women
stayed home. Maybe they worked in the mine,
maybe they didn't like the town. Viresse wasn't sure.
All she knew was she hadn't spotted one, at least
- not that she knew of.
Thergerim was all she heard as she wandered around
town. It was weird to her, for as long as she had been
alive, which was a long time, she had been able to
understand words. She was born into an elven family and knew
Ifer'hém, and while studying at the School of
Ames she had learned Tharian
and the elven Styrásh -
different from her own but with enough similarities to be easy to pick
up. But she had never been able to pick up Thergerim -
perhaps it was her elven roots, or the lack of
dwarven teachers. The latter made more sense, but as
the words swirled around her like a haze of sound, she listened
- it didn't sound hard. It sounded rough to the tongue with all the sharp
sounds that made the words audible, but it didn't sound the least bit as
intricate as Styrásh, which she admitted could be a
pain at times, especially writing.
She could see well down the streets due to her
excessive height and the dwarves' lack of it. She
openly greeted those that were taller than dwarves- there
were few around and it felt almost as if they were a small community of tall
folks though they have never met. Some did give her the shocked drow-stare she
was used to, but it wasn't very shocked or very long. That made her comfortable,
despite the fact that the dwarves took no notice of her.
did not buy anything, mostly becuase she had no money, bust she did enjoy
observing all the goods that were availiable. Perhaps some day she would come
back to Tyr Thromgolin. When she had money. Which she was not sure of when that
would be. About the whole of it, however. She'd get money some time- but again
being able to pass through Tyr Thromgolin? That would probably be a great
Another idea hit her. She owed a dwarf twenty san. Where was she going to get
that? She quickly realized her blunder and tried to get back to Rube as quick as
she could while trying not to stick out like a sore thumb. She didn't want to be
confronted by the dwarf without any cash. That would
just be absurd of her. Would Rube allow her to borrow the money? She hoped so.
Otherwise she'd be in a jam.
While getting lost only by turning down a dead end twice, she made it back to the
large, beaufiful stone carved house in a corner of town. There were some men
unloading the wagon - they seemed
much taller than dwarves, but still had the
build of them. Whoever owned the home had a fair amount of money to throw
around. Viresse wondered who lived here.
She walked up to the door, and pulled the bell-cord. A cheerful chime rang
throughout the house. She instinctually expected the bell-sound to reverberate
more as the house was made of stone, but it fell flat after she stopped pulling
the cord. There must be a fair amount of fabric and cloth inside the home to
kill the sounds, she thought.
Tapestries and rugs... Viresse boredly imagined the lushness inside the home...
The same man that answered the door before answered again. He was dressed in a
velvet burgundy jerkin, quite expensive clothes for a
manservant. She shrugged it off.
"Can I help you?" He asked politely, though he was unsure how to address her.
She probably didn't look like someone who was dropping in for a visit, and as he
looked her over, she probably seemed more like a threat than she really was.
"I'm looking for Rube. The owner of the wagon,"
she asked, being straightforward and unimposing as she
possibly could. She looked to the wagon behind her. The servant
followed her look, and he made an O with his mouth as if understanding, yet
The page thought a second, his eyes rolling as he tried to think. After a few
seconds he looked at Viresse and answered, in a timid voice. "Could you wait
here?" He slowly closed the door, peeking out the crack of it as he did so. It
was kind of amusing to Viresse as he did so, but she held her humour until the
door was closed. Then she snickered to her heart's content.
Sometimes, she did enjoy scaring people - especilly if
they were irrational in their fear. It was something she missed,
for so long she was so determined not to stick out. And now that she stuck out
in all the ways Coór intended she didn't much mind it.
Especially if many others didn't - just the irrational
A couple of the large men unloading the wagon looked over at her during her
giggling fit, and when she looked up
- while still giggling - she
noticed the men staring at her. She stopped giggling for just a moment. The men
just stood for a moment then quickly began working again. That only made Viresse
laugh even more.
Finally the door re-opened and Viresse quickly silenced herself. The burgundy
dressed man servant looked at her oddly, but opened the
door wide. "Enter, Viresse. I will lead you to him."
Viresse stepped in and was surpised to feel that her feet sunk rather than
clacked heavily. She looked down and noticed that she was standing on an
elegantly tapestried carpet. She smiled to herself. A very nice carpet. When was
the last time she had stood on a rug of that caliber?
"Viresse?" A voice chimed, and Viresse looked up.
The man servant was standing a few peds away, waiting for her to follow. She
smirked at herself and stepped in line to follow the servant.
The house was intricately carved in the doorays with
built shelves carved into the stone walls. Tapestries
of warrior scenes and fantastic animals and sculptures and ironwork decorated
every room - majestic pieces of armour
and delicate glasswork. Viresse allowed her jaw to drop as she walked through
the rooms, simply awed by the amount of treasure in
this house. And it were ony a few rooms, on the first
level. She could only imagine the second floor,
or even hidden rooms that she was sure this place had
as well. It was a mysterious building with many
secrets as she assumed from the way Rube had talked about it.
"Lady Beth, the drow
Viresse, guest of Rube Marques, the Trader." The man servant announced, and
stepped aside as Viresse entered a new room.
The room had the most elegant tapestries she had ever
laid her eyes on, such works were fit for even the
Santharian king. It seemed this room was filled with the greatest tresures
- probably the best pieces in the entire house
- if not the whole of Santharia. Viresse tried very
hard not to be in awe, but it was difficult.
There were posh loungers situated along the walls, and several people were
seated within them. All were dressed immaculately in the most beautiful clothes
with elegant cuts and sewing. Virese wondered if these
people were actually royalty - or just very rich
"Viresse!" She heard a familiar voice call. She looked
into the direction of the voice, and found Rube. He was dressed the same way he
was when he had entered, but
for some reason he seemed very comfortable among the aristocratic patronage of
the Lady Beth.
She moved toward Rube to sit near him, but an auburn haired woman in a burgundy
dress whose cut and fabric were clearly superior to those that surrounded her
arose from her seat. She walked toward Viresse, her hand extended. Viresse
instinctively recoiled. These were the kind of humans she hated. She simply
waited for the woman to reach her and react - that was
all she could do in these kind of situations. She
glanced at Rube for just a moment, hoping she didn't
offend him with the situation that was inevitably to occur.
"The drow Viresse,"
she said, her voice clear and resonant, but with an
icy edge. "The Trader Rube has not told us much about you
- at least, not until you arrived." She cut her crystal eyes in his
direction, her red painted lips curling into a smirk.
"I don't know why - I myself have never
truly seen a reason to hide one's alignment with such a murderous vile crerature
such as yourself. Nevertheless, you are welcome to sit
with us for as long as you like, so long as you don't eat any of my guests." She
swept her arm wide and Viresse, without a word, took a
seat beside Rube. Rube glanced over at her, his face conveying nothing.
"So. How had Tyr Thromgolin treated you so far? I hope a bit more like an elf
and less like the dog you
truly are," she asked as she
sat down across the room from Viresse and Rube. She regally leaned back onto her
seat and watched Viresse with a cold, scrutinizing stare.
"...It's not like the surface,"
Viresse said, kind of stuck for words. Every word this woman said seemed to cut
like a knife - and worst of all, she meant them that
way. It was as if she was trying to make Viresse angry,
just to see what she would do. Viresse felt very
pressured to do something elven, and she tried very
hard to not do that. She knew that she was just an interesting trinket for the
moment to these people - and she disliked it. Very
"Defenitely not! For you see - we are
underground," one man
to her left said, and the others laughed in a teasing manner. Viresse looked at
the floor for a second - this was already not going
The Lady Beth looked to the laughing man. "Oh, Samor! That's not right. It's
amusing, but not right! Picking on the small-brained dark elves isn't kind
- why she probably doesn't even get it so she can join in the laughter!"
She swatted teasingly at him and then looked to Viresse. "Is that all? Have you
met any of the inhabitants? Surely you must- for the swarty ranklings are all
over the place - egads. Some dys, I can't even leave
my home, the thought of having to commerce with
the rifraff disgusts me."
Viresse nodded slowly. " Yes... they're very straightforward. No
- nonsense and very easy to persuade when pride and money is brought into
the fold." She looked to Lady Beth.
Lady Beth leaned forward and nodded slowly. " Many people are. Not just
dwarves..." She looked around the room at the folks in attendance, and laughed
smugly. "I am sure, even a drow can be bought."
Viresse furrowed her brows. "I can assure you that some can
- but not where I come from." She blinked slowly, and finally pulled down
her hood. She hoped her appearance would define her tribality
- a few of the people in attendance gasped slightly, and Rube turned and
looked at her, then sighed. He then turned around and
pretended not to notice.
The Lady Beth tittered loudly in amusement, though
Viresse was unsure why she laughed, but was almost guaranteed to be offended.
"Oh, Viresse! Surely you know of your own tribe's
indiscretions in the world beyond the Paelelon. More than one of us has hired a
Hound to do our dirty work - and let me assure you
- while they like to kill, the money is a large part of it!"
More laughter erupted from the patrons from the room, and a few of them raised
their glasses of wine and chimed them together in a toast of agreement. Viresse
closed her eyes, her blood boiling. She should have known...
Viresse glanced to Rube. "I'm sorry,"
She stated simply, then rose form her seat,
which had suddenly become very uncomfortable. "Lady
Beth. Let me advise you now that whatever I say has no bearing on Rube
- for I am not a friend or an acquaintance -
just a weird black package he has to take to Elsreth."
She cleared her throat. "I feel very sorry for you and
your supposed knowledge of drow. Apparently all you
know is just what you come in contact with - I doubt
you have even researched our kind. I doubt you care. From what I can tell I am
just an amusement to you. And I despise the comment you have made about me, and
your assumptions. I am not an Eophyrhim, I
don't even know what a Hound is, but have been called
it twice in the past two days. I'll have you know I was not even
born on this continent, and for fear of being an
eventual story to be told in a low voice at another, similar aristocratic money
- wallowing get - together... that is all I am
going to say. You all have a good time with your posh,
boring lives, and I hope your demises end by the hands of an Ifer'hém
- they would not stand for this in the least."
Viresse looked to Rube, her brows furrowed and eyes
like burning chunks of coal. He looked up at her, his
own eyes wide - for the first time since she met him,
he looked scared.
She quickly turned around and left the house, her dank old drowish ways seeping
into her already-boiling blood. She silently admitted it to herself while she
slammed the heay door to the house - that it felt
liberating... the visit to the Paelelon would be a vacation.