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Digging for Roots [Closed]


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For all the shades and unsavoury types Buscarron's Druthers was known to shelter, inside its crude enclosure reigned an air of unlikely peacefulness. Forlorn soldiers, adventurers on the wander and even gentlefolks venturing far from Gridania for a thrill, all clung around the used tables, all clunked their tankards together, all managed to relate and connect in some way, drinking and laughing under the vigilant eye of the owner.


Kahn'a was not foreign to that warm atmosphere. It smelled of ale, of earth, of simple comradery, and it carried enough of his memories that his mind, in just a breath, was transported back in time, to that when he practically lived in the alehouse shadow. He had first been introduced to it by Cant, a friendly Wood Wailer that fate had seen to put along his path. Both foreign to the Twelveswood, the two men of two races easily befriended one another, finding that in a land of suspicion invisible, of crags flung over trees, the compassionate sigh of a stranger brought more comfort than could the warmth of any hearth. So, the two of them had taken to meet out there to drink unreasonably, to talk abundantly, to let go of the part of them that lived and died behind. They were friends in a way that only a sanctuary like Buscarron's Druthers could inspire.


And though that sun Kahn'a sat alone at a battered table of the tavern, his tiny frame tucked in a corner seeking solitude, little had changed. The barrels were swapped away to keep the ale flowing, the accomodations had moved, swept by the landslide of men in need for booze, but the spirit was the same. And Kahn'a could still hear his friend's hearty laugh in the back of his mind.


“...Right on their feet, you dropped it?” The redheaded Hyur cracked up, face and body already altered by liquor.


“Aye!” a younger Kahn'a insisted, enthusiastic. “She kept muttering nonsense, swearing to the Matron that my touch had tainted it, and that she would not accept the delivery. Her face was so white and terrified, 'twas like she never even seen somebody of my kind.”


In his lonely seat, Kahn'a smiled warmly to himself. In good humour, the two men had kept talking about the finer details of that unsettled client's face. He vividly recalled how he did not mind the reprimand that this entertaining mishap brought upon him. Simple man with a simple mind, he had laughed at that refined woman's caprice with all the innocence of his kind, and for it, he was chastised as a man of little wit and little respect, and was promised to remain it.


Then, the reason of their meeting that sun came back to him. Kahn'a had neared the edge of his stool and looked at Cant, hopeful.


“Have you heard of my license?”


Cant however did not answer. Slowly settling down from his drunken hilarity, he had straightened up and stared at Kahn'a longly before shaking his head. Confronted with silence, the Miqo'te deflated, disappointed. The sigh he heaved then, he heard it still. Heavy with betrayed aspirations. It had hardly been the first time he was served such silence. For moons, he had asked that question over and again, the answer never changing. And like everytime he had to let his friend down, Cant slapped Kahn'a on the arm to shake his pout off.


“Look, you're tired of playing errands, tiny one, I get that. Getting you that pass to the Adventurer's Guild is harder work than it looks, given your history in town. So while I slave away to try and convince who I must to let me have an audiance with a Hearer, mayhaps you should allow a chance to the townsfolks to forget you. You said you lived in the wild, aye? Sleeping rough ain't no trouble for you.”


Kahn'a sighed once more, insolently.


“...But if you're set on lingering, I may have something for you.”


In the time it took him to hit understanding of those words, Kahn'a had sobered up. He watched Cant produce a small nothing from the wraps of his leathers. A brown pouch sealed by string. He watched it dangle in the air like an instrument of hypnosis. And when Cant leant in to share a confidence, Kahn'a was all ears.


“You don't hold that from me.” The tone bore grave warning. “If you spread its content upon the ground, you'll be found by folks that'll...know what to make of your likes.”


Kahn'a still remembered the uneasy excitement that filled him in that very moment.

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