Varian Sigmund- Dalenham
Varian walked casually through the streets of Dalenham. For the most part, the people of the city paid him no heed. It was not so unusual to see a Highmen in Eveamoor. In fact, it wasn’t highly abnormal to see pretty much any race in the country. Its reputation as a frail nation caused many to travel here and exploit it, and thus travelers from Vanaheim, Falke, Ethora, and even Miracyia was a customary sight. For the most part, many did not care either way, and those who did were usually in no position to do anything about it. Thus was the fate of Eveamoor.
But Varian cared neither for the political or economic situation of Eveamoor nor its citizens. What he was most concerned with presently was receiving the reward promised to them for the job. He turned right on the corner, exiting from the Market Street and heading down a smaller, shabby street. The buildings which stood here were even less impressive than those on the main street. Most were old and looked like they stood upon their last inch of life, on the verge of collapsing. Horse manure was all across the pathway, no one bothered to clean it up. In fact, no one bothered to do anything on this street. It wasn’t like many people bothered to venture here. Varian walked into the second door from the left into an old, wooden tavern. The inside reflected much of the outside: old, filthy, and for the most part vacant, except for a few men on the second level, drinking, and a the tender of the tavern, who stood behind a wooden table who wiped the table, acting as though he was cleaning. Varian noted at the odd paradox of this, seeing as it was painfully obvious the place had not been clean since the Occupy Dalenham movement.
The man at the bars was a short one, at least to Varian, probably not coming up to his shoulders. He had long, black hair he kept in a ponytail and an untrimmed beard. His face was covered with grime and dirt, to such an extent that Varian could not tell his true skin color. His clothes were modest for the area he occupied, but he would probably look like a beggar if he traveled anywhere beyond it. The man’s supposed name was Edward, but Varian was certain that was an alias. But Varian didn’t care. To him, he was just his contractor, a middleman between the client and the sellsword. The contractor would hear the requests of folk for certain jobs that needed to be done, and the client would deposit the gold with them. Mercenaries would then seek out these contractors for potential jobs, and if fulfilled to the best of the client’s demands, the gold would be given to them. Varian always preferred receiving his money from a contractor rather than the actual client. With a contractor, it’s a simple checklist to see if every task assigned is complete, and the exchange commences. When handling an actual client, it becomes more personal. Jobs wouldn’t be about rescuing a man or a woman, but rather rescuing ‘my brother’, or ‘my betrothed’. You feel that you’re not working to get paid, but to help someone. And while that might sit well with others, it gives Varian a feeling of added responsibility which he doesn’t want placed on his shoulders. Making sure his men (or in this case women) are paid and alive is dependability enough for him.
Edward looked up from his cleaning job and acknowledged Varian’s entrance with a wave of his hand. “Ah, Varian! Back so soon. Is the job complete?”
Varian nodded as he lifted up the sack he was carrying around and dumped the contents of it on the table. It was the head of an orc, or the chieftan of the orcs to be precise, the ringleader in the attacks. The head rolled out of the sack and landed facing Edward. Edward made an aggravated face back at the head and sighed.
“Gods, I hate it.” Edward said, shaking his head. Varian looked up at him, wondering what he meant. “I hate it when they look at you when they die. Makes sleep much harder.”
“It’s just an orc.” Varian replied casually.
“That does not make him any less alive. It doesn’t make his eyes’ last sight of he who killed him any less damning.” Edward retorted, placing his hands on the table as he continued to gaze at the head.
“If you are so worried about the damned eyes of every creature I fell, the next time I bring one in, I’ll pluck them out before entering.” Varian retorted, a hint of impatience able to be detected from his tone. To this, Edward snapped into a smile and removed the orc head from the table, placing it into the sack and putting it below.
“Right, the money. The money.” He said, searching for a particular bag below. Varian noticed he marked every one of them with something different. He assumed each one applied to a different job. “How fares the village?”
“Sabamin still stands.” Varian said, crossing his arms as he waited for him to bring out his bag.
“And your company?” Edward said as he brought a bag with an ‘S’ labeled on it. Edward dropped the bag onto the table, with the sound of coin being heard when it impacted the table.
“No casualties.” Varian said as he opened the sack and dumped the silver onto the table. Edward sighed and rolled his eyes in response.
“Must you always do this?” He inquired, clearly irritated by the act. Varian began counting the silver, now lifting his eyes from his task as he monotonously answered back.
“Thrice before have you tried to swindle me.”
“Those were innocuous jests!” He said. Giving up, he threw his arms up in the air and leaned back on a table behind him, crossing his arms as he watched Varian count. “Bah…do what you want.”
For about a minute, the two remained silent, Varian busy counting the gold while Edward wordlessly observed. Of course, Varian had just cause to do this. He had known for some time that Edward had some tie to the Shadowfox Guild in Eveamoor, and Varian knew as such their reputation as thieves. Eventually, Varian concluded the count and separated each stack into four equal portions, fitting them all into separate sacks he carried on him.
“All in order, then?” Edward asked, to which Varian nodded, turning around and heading for the exit. “Excellent. A pleasure doing business with you. Pass on my regards to Cass.”
Varian waved a hand back as he exited the tavern and went back to the street. He turned the corner once more, and proceeded down the Market Street, people still walking down, busy tending to their own affairs. Varian stayed his course as well, heading into the “Broken Keg” tavern. It didn’t take long for him to spot the others, who sat at their own table next to the wall. He acknowledged them with a nod of the head before proceeding to the table. He took out the sacks which contained each of their silver and dropped them in the center of the table.
“Your payment, miladies.” Varian said slightly mockingly at them with a slight bow of his head akin to that of bowing to nobles, before sitting down and joining them at the table. “Ten silver for each of you. Job well done. Especially the two of you.” Varian said, motioning to Alys and Ava. “Perhaps you’re not as green as I initially thought. Now then…” He said, as he turned and whistled at the bartender, a stout man with a rather thick mustache.
“Orbrigg Ale!” Varian yelled at him. The bartender went to fetch the drink, groaning as he went. “Highman Brew, Raelus Ale, Ethorian Liquor, Falkan Wine! Makara help me because I'll never understand! Why is it that every foreigner that passes through Eveamoor never orders a drink that was actually made in Eveamoor?!”
“The good folk of Hyrus will buy goods of Eveamoor the day Eveamoor makes something worth buying.” Varian replied calmly and coldly. The response was an eruption of laughter across the tavern. The bartender flicked his arm in Varian’s direction and continued to prepare the drink. Varian turned back to the others, and eased into his seat, finally able to relax after a hard day’s work.