OneShot Session 2: Friend and Foe
Hey guys back with another OneShot. To be honest, I don’t know when I stream these any more, life likes to throw a spanner in the works whenever I try to plan one of these. But for the most part, I think Sunday 7:30 PM NZST will be our new go-to time for streaming or you can wait a couple of weeks and watch the edited version on our YouTube channel.
You can also follow along with the story on here as I will post up an edited version of the chapter on here so you can see what I’ve taken out or put in. You can leave a comment down below, or on the YouTube videos with your suggestions and I’ll be sure to try and add them in.
Anyway here is the second chapter.
Chapter 2 – Friend and Foe
Sunlight poured out of the open window, trailing across the quaint bedroom, and directly into Obsidian’s eyes. He bolted out of bed with a gasp. Studying his strange surroundings as simple wooden furnishings crowded around him and the young elf from the night before, who was just about to finish packing her belongings.
“Morning,” Ellervine smiled with a little tilt of her head, inspecting the scarred musculature across Obsidian’s exposed frame.
“Morning,” Obsidian said pulling the blankets up to his chest.
“I’ll see you downstairs so we can discuss our previous agreement,” Ellervine placed her backpack over her shoulder and made her way out of the room. But as she closed the door behind her, she gave one last look at the man within, falling back into bed.
“What did I get myself into?” Obsidian groaned as he dragged himself out of the woollen duvet and towards his clothes delicately folded into a neat pile. He rummaged through his equipment, inspecting each piece before either placing it in his own backpack or around his frame. Then once the final piece of the puzzle, his worn-out leather armour was strapped into place he begrudgingly made his way out of his room and down the stairs.
Obsidian paused as he reached the last step, studying the simple tavern, or more the memories of the unnecessary battle from the previous night. His eyes followed the now cleaned up blood from the entrance of the building to the counter, catching Landir’s indifferent stare. Obsidian gave a quick nod, which Landir did not reciprocate as he just watched the man make his way towards Ellervine seated in the corner of the room.
“What do you have for breakfast?” Ellervine said to the halfling waitress, looking up at her with a tray in one hand, while the other rested against her hip.
“Well…” the waitress trailed off, emphasizing how many times she had answered the same question. “We have two dishes today, one is the pickled salmon on watercress and the other is boiled eggs on hazelnut bread. Both are 8 copper each, and they come with a drink of your choice.”
“I’ll have the pickled salmon and an ale please,” Obsidian said as he took a seat.
“Then I’ll have the hazelnut bread just without the boiled eggs and maybe a nice elven wine if you have any,” Ellervine said as she handed over two silver coins. “You can keep the change.”
“T-Thank you,” the small waitress who was a little dismissive at first, beamed down at the two coins placed in her hand. Then realizing she had been staring at the currency for a while, she quickly skipped over to Landir shouting out their orders.
“So, what’s the plan?” Obsidian said turning back to Ellervine.
“Our plan is to walk to the Silent Forest,” Ellervine said as saw a nearby cat, roaming around the tavern as if to inspect his territory. She waved at the cat, trying to get his attention, which she did for the most part until he spotted Obsidian fur cloak, beckoning him closer.
“Walk?” Obsidian scoffed, scaring the cat as he bolted away. “Your plan is to walk?”
“Well yeah,” Ellervine said with a pout as she watched the cat disappear around the corner.
“Why don’t we go by boat it will be quick—”
“No, we walk.”
“We, walk,” Ellervine scowled.
“Fine, but I have a suggestion.” Obsidian sighed, backing away from the unnecessary fight with his new benefactor.
“What is it?” Ellervine’s scowl settled.
“Why don’t we act as guards for travelling merchants making their way to Starvalas?”
“So you want to take on another mission when you’re already on one that is paying you more than enough?”
“Well there is strength in numbers, and it doesn’t hurt to make a few coins on the side—”
“Here you go,” the waitress came into view carrying an array of food and drinks on a couple of trays. Then as she placed the two trays on the table, she handed over the specific items on top to the specific customers. First starting with Ellervine as she placed a plate of sliced hazelnut bread in front of her, along with a dollop of butter and a fancy wooden cup filled with a dark red liquid. “I got the chef to give you a few extra slices.”
“Thanks,” Ellervine smiled as she helped the halfling with the drinks.
“Here,” the halfling snapped as she slid over the plate of pickled salmon on a sea of green in front of Obsidian. Followed closely by a tankard, as she slammed it in front of him so some of the ale spilt over the side. “Courtesy of Landir.”
“Geez thanks,” Obsidian said as he inspected his plate. “This salmon better not taste like pig fat as well.”
“I heard that,” Landir shouted over the counter.
“Don’t worry,” Meri said appearing behind her husband. “I make the food.”
“That’s good to know,” Obsidian smiled at the woman, who smiled back despite the grumbles from the man next to her. But Obsidian ignored the dwarf as he returned to Ellervine spreading some butter on a slice of bread. “So what do you think?”
“Fine, we’ll do it your way,” Ellervine mumbled through little bites.
“Good,” Obsidian said. “Also can I have a slice of bread?”
“Only if I can have a bit of salmon?” Ellervine said.
“Deal,” Obsidian nodded as he broke off a piece of salmon and watercress and placed it on her plate. While Ellervine did the same, as she spread a layer of butter on a slice of bread before handing it over.
The two enjoyed the shared meal in a strange silence. As what was usually done amongst close friends was happening between complete strangers. There was an odd kinship between the two which Obsidian couldn’t put his finger on, but maybe as they adventured together he might be able to figure out the comforting familiarity.
Once the two finished their meal, they said their goodbyes to Meri and Landir before making their way out of the tavern and into the city of Guliene. As grey clouds fuelled by the nearby sea rolled overhead, casting the land in a dull hue. But the inhabitants were not swayed by the tepid skies as they surged through the city streets enriched by the heart of Gothrasea, creating lush foliage around wooden houses and tiled roofs.
“Let’s go, usually merchants trade near the docks,” Obsidian said pushing his way through the crowd.
“O-Ok,” Ellervine said as she grabbed on to Obsidian’s arm so she didn’t lose him in the crowd. But the action accidentally forced him to pause as he looked at the woman who quickly removed her hand. “Sorry.”
“That’s ok,” Obsidian smiled. But as he turned to continue he was stopped by a pair of guards surrounding a petite female dwarf in military attire similar to Obsidian’s. But while his was old and worn out, hers was as beautiful as she was, as long black hair braided into two ponytails wrapped around a tan face holding together a pair of hazel eyes.
“Obsidian,” the dwarf tilted her head up to get a better view of the man.
(One-sided love with Obsidian)
“Kari,” Obsidian said with a bow. “What can I do for you?”
“You can explain what happened last night,” Kari said.
“I thought that was already dealt with?” Ellervine interjected, but Kari simply gave the woman a death stare that forced her to back away.
“I was told that you attacked first.”
“Yes, but in self-defence, ask Meri or Landir… actually don’t ask Landir?”
“I know your relationship with Meri.”
“What about my relationship with you?”
“W-What relationship?” Kari blushed.
“I thought we were friends?” Obsidian raised a brow at the odd reaction.
“Oh that,” Kari said as she avoided Obsidian’s gaze.
“So, then what do you plan to do, Lieutenant?”
“The higher-ups want me to investigate the matter further, but if I do you know that they will find out about you?”
“Don’t worry I will be leaving Guliene by tonight.”
“Good, I might be able to buy you some time.”
“Thanks Kari,” Obsidian said as he placed a hand on her shoulder. “It was good seeing you again.”
“Likewise, now get out of here.”
“Yes Ma’am,” Obsidian said as he grabbed Ellervine by the hand, dragging her into a nearby crowd.
“Who was that?” Ellervine said, giving one last look back at the blushing dwarf.
“An old friend from the military.”
“Why are they after you?”
“No reason?” Obsidian paused as they reached a crossroad. He then turned to face her as he finally let go of her hand. “Why don’t you want to travel with me anymore?”
“I hired you for what you can do not what you did,” Ellervine said as she stepped ahead of Obsidian making her way to the docks. “Now let’s go.”
The salty winds brought the two to a large open space filled with caravans and boats as they created a series of wooden fences around the docks. While an array of product decorated the stalls. Ranging from fine jewellery and accessories to fresh fish and produce that was caught just this morning.
Obsidian and Ellervine pushed through the bustling market, trying to ignore the enticing offers being shouted overhead due to having offers of their own. Until Ellervine paused on one stall as a series of familiar carved trinkets caught her attention.
“Why miss was there anything you were after today?” a plump half-elf man bounced over to Ellervine, his long black hair waving in the breeze and into well-tailored clothes, sown together with similar carvings to his surrounding wares.
“Yes, I was wondering who made these?” Ellervine said catching Obsidian as he tried to make his escape.
“Ah yes, that would be my lovely wife?” the half-elf said as he pulled back the curtain to reveal an elven woman with a tangled mess of white hair, wrapped around equally adorned clothing. But Ellervine was more interested in the symbol of Starvalas embedded in the centre of her corset.
“Where did you get the materials to make these?” Ellervine said to the woman at the back of the caravan.
“I see you have a fine eye for detail,” the half-elf said intercepting her gaze. “We get the materials from Starvalas.”
“Will you be travelling there any time soon?”
“Why yes, we will be travelling today?”
“I am from Starvalas and my companion and I are looking to sell our skills as we make our way back and we were wondering if you needed some extra hands?”
“Sorry no, we already have all the help we need,” the half-elf turned away from her almost offended by her offer.
“Oh, ok thank you,” Ellervine said as she pulled Obsidian away from the shiny objects. “Look for similar stalls selling these items, the material is from Starvalas.”
“Ah, so they will most likely need to return to get more?”
“Correct,” Ellervine said as they continued on until they found another stall selling similar items carved out of a polished white wood. “Hello are you guys from Starvalas…?”
Ellervine trailed off as she caught a young female tiefling tilting her head in an attempt to get her mane of wavy purple hair out of her face, as most of which was caught around a series of black horns. But once the curtain was pulled aside, she revealed smooth red skin containing two black gems, acting as eyes as they inspected Ellervine and then Obsidian with a smile.
“No, but I’m heading there tonight,” the tiefling smile, causing her bright red skin to shine which they assumed was a blush.
“Are you looking for some companions to protect you on your journey?” Obsidian said.
(Feels sorry for Obsidian)
“Sure you look strong enough,” the tiefling purred. “How much are you selling your services?”
“How much are you willing to pay?” Obsidian said.
“The best I can do is 5 gold a night.” The tiefling said.
“Deal,” Ellervine said as she held out her hand.
“Good,” the tiefling grabbed her hand for a shake before Obsidian could even have a chance to haggle. “My name is Aremaya and I’ll be heading out tonight unless I can get rid of my stock a little bit earlier.”
“We can help,” Ellervine said as she grabbed Obsidian.
“We can?” Obsidian said, his gaze bouncing back and forward between the two women.
“I mean we got nothing better to do, and we need to leave the city as soon as possible,” Ellervine whispered even though Aremaya could clearly hear her.
“Fine, let’s get this over with.” Obsidian sighed.
I added a little bit extra at the end than what was initially on the stream. I didn’t like how the chapter abruptly ended. In fact I didn’t like this whole chapter to begin with. I mean it was important to establish how the players travelled to the Silent Forest but that could have been done with a simple paragraph.
However, I did feel it was necessary to build on new or existing relationships around Obsidian. Revealing a little bit more about his backstory without actually giving away the whole story. So in the end I don’t like this chapter but it is necessary to the overall plot.
But yeah, if you have any ideas or suggestions let me know and I’ll see you guys at the next one.