Author Topic: Merchant Applications  (Read 1633 times)

Balmafula

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Merchant Applications
« on: June 01, 2013, 12:38:16 AM »
Character's name: Nyika
Character's species: Wildcat
Character's gender: Female
Character's age: 16
The category you're applying to: Merchant



"You spend a lot of coin, don't you?" Nyika said, peering atop the glass bubble to the vixen sitting across from her. She had noticed the way she had been teasing with a jeweled ring when she first entered her tent, but that wasn't her only clue.

The fox crossed her arms and huffed. "Who's asking?"

The wildcat shrugged, dropping her gaze back to the ball. It was unnecessary theatrics but it helped beasts believe, and more often than not that made the difference.

"You're here because of your mate."

The vixen sat up in excitement. "Is he here?"

"Oh, aye," Nyika murmured. Her eyes flickered for a moment past the widow's right shoulder. She shuddered and turned back to the orb. "He follows you around."

"What's his name?" the vixen asked, suspicion in her tone.

"Splitear," Nyika said, not missing a beat.

"Wrong."

The wildcat hesitated, her gaze going back above the vixen's shoulder. She didn't lose her composure, but her ear twitched, the one with the nick in it. "Cleave…?"

"No."

"Slitthroat," she said, the trace of a growl in her throat. If she was going to be mocked, at least she could mock in turn.

"You're not very good at this, are you?"

"You don't know the manner of his death," Nyika said, looking at the widow.

"What of it?"

The wildcat opened her mouth, but decided better on it. Sighing, she went back to her crystal ball, moving her paws over it in a feeble gesture. She changed direction.

"Where are the kits?"

The widow fidgeted. "We never had any kits."

Nyika narrowed her eyes. She was lying. "Yes, you did. Where are they?"

"I didn't…" The fox hesitated, casting her eyes to the ground. "I sold them. I sold them to some slaver."

Nyika sat up, pushing her crystal ball away. "Why?"

There were tears in her eyes. "Because they needed to eat, and I did, too. They needed somebeast who could look after them."

"So you sold them into slavery." Nyika's tail bottle-brushed as a sudden draft blew through the tent.

"Yes," the vixen whispered.

"Find them. Buy them back or steal them, I don't care. That's why your mate can't rest."

The vixen blanched. "You can't be serious."

"Why do you think your mate stole? Why do you think he was killed? As I said, you lead an extravagant life, and here you are paying some seer to find the answer to why you can't sleep at night. You're plagued with guilt and if you want to be rid of it, find your kits and live a modest life. They need a mother, not a master."

The vixen nodded, then turned to go.

"My payment," Nyika said.

The widow hesitated. "My mate was no thief. You didn't even know his name."

Nyika had to bite back a snarl. "That's irrelevant. You still used my services. I gave you direction, and that's worth some coin."

The widow placed a single copper on the table. "And you told me to be more frugal. You're not a seer. You're just very, very clever. Don't go around giving false hope to beasts claiming you're something you're not."

Nyika's eyes widened at the vixen's audacity. She made to intercept, but the widow was gone. Throwing the tent flap open, she called to her receding back. "At least send some bread!"

Defeated, she slumped in the widow's chair, pawing at the copper and feeling miserable about it. "Oh, shut up," she growled in the empty tent. "I need to eat too, you know. No, I will not follow her. I have a business here. I won't watch your mate and her sniveling brats for you. A nanny?" Nyika scoffed. "I'm barely past maturity. They'll be fine. No, I can't promise you that."

She was silent for a while, looking askance at her tent wall. Her face was set, but that did not stop the tears building up in her eyes.

"That was cruel of you," she said, turning to the flaps that fluttered in the mountainous breeze. She brought the heel of a paw to her face, scrubbing away the tears. "I do not have a split ear. Aye, but it was still mean. Follow her if you want, but you know it only makes things worse."

Rising, Nyika went back to her seat and rested her head in her arms. Her stomach rumbled. She hoped that widow would come back with some bread.

Balmafula

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Re: Merchant Applications
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 12:39:08 AM »
Character's name: Alder Flint
Character's species: Mouse
Character's gender: Male
Character's age: Mid 30s - Early 40s



Alder Flint flipped the letter over in his paws, letting the parchment become blank to his eyes. It was a gracious sight for the mouse, who had read it nearly six times in the past hour, the bare backside a welcome contrast to the haunting black words on the other. It was a miracle- a curse, rather- they had found their way to him in the first place. He had been in one of Southsward’s market places, haggling with a customer for a decent trade when the Redwall-beast approached him, the letter in his paw and purpose in his eyes.

“My condolences,”  he had said.

The funeral ended before he had even arrived and, with it, came another surprise.

“I’m sorry,” Alder said to the younger mouse sitting by him on the pew they shared in the Great Hall. He was just a child, a few seasons out of Dibbunhood as the Redwall Elders described him, clad in a green tunic that was practically covered by a lilac window curtain he had tied carelessly around his neck and cascaded down his body like a cloak.

The boy spared him a single glance in response, letting Alder take in his eyes. The mouse nearly choked. Glossy and the pale color of mahogany, they were so much like hers.

Alder needed a drink.

“No yer not,” the boy finally mumbled, huddling further into the window drape.

The sound of footsteps interrupted any further conversation, a graying squirrel appearing in the aisle with his paws folded into the sleeves of his habit. “Alder Flint?”

Alder stood up and moved beside the squirrel, following him as he led him around the corner into a separate corridor. The mouse had forgotten how suffocating Redwall could be as they walked, the narrow walls feeling like they would close in on him at any moment. Alder felt like he would faint. Whatever the squirrel wanted to say, he didn’t want the young one to hear.

The beast turned back to face him. “My name is Demetri, I’m the abbot of Redwall. You’ve heard the news, I trust?”

Alder nodded, feeling lightheaded. He reached for a flask he kept at his belt, pulling out the stopper. “Do ya mind?”

The squirrel gave a sullen glare as Alder lifted it to his lips and drowned the alcohol from within. The mouse wiped his snout on his sleeve, turning back to the abbot. “He has ‘er eyes.”

No more pleasantries needed, the abbot didn’t hide the malice in his voice. “I doubt you even remember your wife’s face, let alone her eyes. How long has it been…?” he scowled. “Ten seasons?”

“I loved ‘er.”

Demetri frowned. “I’d hardly consider abandoning your wife in the midst of night, ‘love.’ You’re nothing but a selfish wretch who parades into towns with your wares and an empty flask, with no other intention than to take every coin innocent beasts have to fill it once more or waste on petty gambles,” the squirrel spat. “Then, you leave when you’re weary of them, like you did us… like you did your- “

The squirrel couldn’t finish the final word, his old body yanked forward by the collar of his habit and his face directly in front of Alder’s. “Don’t pretend like ya know me. I loved ‘er. An’ she…” the merchant started, “she didn’t need me anymore.”

“A wife needs her husband, just as a child…” the squirrel spat, emphasizing the last word carefully, “needs his father. Or are you not done lying to yourself?”

“I. LOVED. HER!”

“But do you love him?”

Alder’s claws came unclenched from around the beast’s collar. “He doesn’t ‘ave an uncle, an aunt? Anybeast?”

The abbot rolled his eyes and sighed. “Take a look at him, what’s notable?”

Alder did as he was told, giving a solitary glance towards his son from around the corner. “He looks just like ‘is mom.”

“And?”

“He’s wearing a window drape.”

“It’s a cape,” Demetri informed. “Young ones need heroes; they partake after them, look up to them. Usually, it’s their fathers. His is Martin. He doesn’t need an aunt or an uncle to raise him. He needs his father.”

“But does he need me?”

“No. But second chances don’t come often, Alder, and you’re all he has. You could fix your mistakes, be a family,” Demetri said. “Or will you abandon him too?”

A second chance. Alder gave another look to the cape-wearing child, his head turned so that he didn’t have to look at his father. The flask in his paw felt emptier than ever.

“What’s his name?”
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 01:21:50 AM by Balmafula »

Balmafula

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Re: Merchant Applications
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2013, 12:41:48 AM »
Name: Terrence Wellspiller
Species: Red Squirrel
Gender: Male
Age: Sixteen



A mousemaid bodyguard sat in the hut of Yew’s only barber with her wounded leg on a stool.

“How much longer, Wellspiller?”

The squirrel barber stood by his hearth holding an iron rod in the fire. Ashes flitted about the small home, mixing the scent of cinder with the stale wine soaked into the floorboards.

“Blake, miss. And don’t worry. We’ll have you out soon.”

Blake turned on his son who was kneeling at the guard’s side. The youngbeast was all tail and no torso, covered in reddish fur stained with sunlight. Blake furrowed his brow.

“C’mon, Terry,” said Blake. “Quit fussing and-”

The guard cut in.

“Why do I smell flowers?”

Terrence finished trimming the fur about her leg wound – a shallow puncture – minutes ago and continued grooming as the iron heated. Using pawcarved combs he pulled burrs and tangles from the guard’s leg, sprinkling a few drops of floral oil on the bristles as he worked. He smiled on leaning back and inspecting his work.

“It’s lavender oil,” said Terrence. “Keeps the fleas away.”

The mousemaid turned her leg and studied the fine lines of clean, glossy fur. She hummed with approval, but the sight of Blake pulling the orange-tipped iron from the flame made her flinch.

“Quit with the flowers and hold her leg,” said Blake.

Terrence’s smile vanished, and he took his time replacing the combs and oils into his belt pouch.

“We…we could winewash her wound and apply a bandage,” said Terrence. “It’d be safer, and I think-“

Blake spun towards his son.

“Nobeast asked for your thoughts!”

Blake grabbed Terrence by the tunic, dragged him out the front door, and pushed him into the street. Neighboring villagers watched but not one got between the old squirrel and his son.

“Take your great ideas across town and check on Joseph. Change his bandages and bleed ‘em.”

Joseph’s cottage was clear across Yew and each home Terrence passed had shutters creaking open for a looksee. He found Joseph the vole sitting on a rocker in front of his home. His head was wrapped in bandages, leaving a patchwork cocoon on his shoulders with only a hole for his snout. Terrence took a deep breath.

“Good morning, Joseph. It’s Terrence. Has the pain stopped? Right paw for yes and left for…”

The vole raised his left paw before Terrence finished. Across the street a family of mice stepped from their cottage and watched. Terrence’s red fur turned a few shades darker.

“O-okay. Let me check the bandage and…”

Joseph’s left paw shot up again as the young squirrel touched his cocoon.

“I’m sorry but I have to make sure your head is healing right.”

Joseph lifted his left paw higher. Terrence’s voice cracked as he spoke.

“I’m not my father. I won’t make it worse like him, I promise!”

Terrence reached for the bandages again and Joseph shot from his chair. The vole tried for his door but collided with the frame instead, falling backward into a heap. The paws of the mouse family pulled the young squirrel away as he tried helping Joseph up.

“Back home, lad. He’s had enough of your help.”

Terrence elbowed himself free from the family’s grip and ran, and ran, and ran. Through the blur of tears he did not see the beast on the path ahead until her arm caught him by the stomach.

“Ah, come to make my other leg pretty?”

He’d run clear through Yew and out onto the south path. A familiar guard held him – the puncture on her leg untreated – and by her side stood a molemaid merchan and a silk-laden cart pulled by a strapping otter. The molemaid bumbled forward.

“Gudness! Wot’ve we’m yurr?”

The guard set Terrence down and wiped the wet from his eyes. She did not speak for a moment, but watched the young squirrel as he fidgeted and looked away.

“This is the one who prettied up my leg, mistress. He’s coming South with us to peddle his grooming. Not smart of him to keep us waiting. It won’t happen again, right?”

Terrence looked up the trail towards Yew, spotting the little curls of chimney smoke from his father’s hut in the distance.  He looked back up at the mousemaid, who wore the hint of a grin beneath her hard-lined face. He closed his eyes, put a paw on the tool pouch on his belt, and turned towards the molemaid.

“Right. It won’t happen again.”
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 01:23:37 AM by Balmafula »

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Re: Merchant Applications
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013, 12:42:52 AM »
Character's name: Pollux
Character's species: Stoat
Character's gender: Male
Character's age: 30 or so



It was that deep period when the night was darkest; the path for him was lit by a spray of stars that illuminated his way in small crescents. He did not feel heavy, though the letter in his pocket did; he felt numb and useless. The forests around him were black in the night and they reminded him vividly of Mossflower, his childhood home. That forest had twisting, joyous paths which him and his brother had run through in youthful ecstasy. Those days were long gone.

Soon, he came upon a series of tents, shrouded in dark. Foggy wisps surrounded the moon. He could tell from little bits and pieces that it was a woodlander establishment. Try as he might,he could not muster hatred for the woodlanders. He walked on, pulling a bottle out of his pack and twisting the cap open.

He was just about to lift the bottle to his lips when a sound jolted him from behind.

"Stop there, Vermin!"

The inconvenience unsettled him; he was in no mood for games. The soldier that had stopped him was a woodlander— squirrel —and he was alone, though armed. He stopped.

"I'm not here to harm any of you," he said tiredly, glancing into the squirrel's angry eyes. "Just let me go. I just want to go." He paused, relishing the sight of the arrow, realising in a flash that he wouldn't care if the boy decided to do the opposite.

"What the hell are you doing—"

"Shoot me then," he said softly, "If you think I'm a threat, shoot me!"

The soldier hesitated, and for some reason this enraged Pollux, "Don't stand there and pretend sympathy!" He shouted, "You and I both know that you've hunted down people like me on the battlefield, and Vulpuz knows I've done the same to you!" The letter in his pocket heaved with the exertion of his heavy breathing. "We never cared then, so why should you care now! Shoot!"

The squirrel lowered his weapon slightly. "Is that grog?" he asked.

"Alcohol," Pollux said with some confusion at the turn of the subject, "Cheap."

"Give us a drink." the squirrel said, his weapon lowered even more. "Go on, give us both a drink. Let's sit."

"What?" He was incredibly perplexed now.

"I mean it. You and me; Let's split a bottle."

"I'm in no mood for your games—"

"No games!" The squirrel raised his paws. It was eerily quiet, the darkness pressing down on them. "Just drinks; that's the way it's supposed to be. My name's Sam."

Pollux, who already didn't care, sighed and decided to play along. He gestured to a bit of rock wedged between some oaks a little ways up the road. "Let's drink there, then."

Sam walked behind him and both of them sat at ends of the rock. Pollux glanced suspiciously at Sam, who handed him a flask of his own to fill. Pollux filled about half of it and kept the other half for himself. They stared at each other for a moment before the squirrel drank.

"This is pretty bad."

"Cheap, I told you." He shrugged, and raised his flask to the soft light of the moon. Pollux looked down through the slim neck of his own bottle and saw stars from the sky swimming in the murky liquid.

"Can I go now?" He ventured.

Sam pretended not to hear him. "Tell me, Stoat, what do you dream about at night?"

"Is this a game?"

"No game." Sam shrugged. "We're supposed to be different, you and me; I want to see if that's true."

Pollux decided to answer with the truth, not that it mattered. "I dream of red." He confessed shortly. "Red everywhere; people I've murdered in the name of the Vulpuz." Shifting his gaze, he saw a clump of edelweiss, white, pure and unstained. "You?"

"The same, I guess."

"This is absurd."

"This war is absurd." Sam paused. "You know, before this, I was eager to come out and fight. Then I killed my first man…" His voice trailed off. "But I'd do it again… Not because I want to, but because you've given us no choice. Because it's the thing we have to do." He looked at Pollux. "What about you?"

"There are many things," he said with a sigh, "I've done that I won't do again."

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Re: Merchant Applications
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013, 12:44:21 AM »
Name: Zevka Blackbriar
Species: Pine Marten
Gender: Female
Age: 24



Until recently, Zevka would have never imagined that an unseasoned, rather smokey woodpigeon could taste this delicious -- but then, that was not the only thing that had changed recently. She and Mekad had both cheered like idiots when their crude springe had netted their first dinner in two nights.

"I have to say, Zevka...I'm really regretting that time we skipped a banquet to go watch a fight." Mekad chimed in from his place on the log they were sharing as a bench.

"Add that to the list," Zevka growled. "Right under 'not burning that wretched corsair ship to the waterline and tossing the captain and his stupid magic sword into the deepest part of the bay.' Preferably before your idiot uncle decided to form an alliance with them."

"Don't remind me," the wildcat groaned. "There's a reason the rest of the litter all got castles or giant hordes, and Uncle Stekpo got the lousy improvised fortress." Mekad sighed. "I thought living there meant I was sure to inherit something when Uncky Stekky got himself killed. What a great plan that was!"

"Wel--"

"Damn those Redwallers to 'Gates and back!" Mekad snarled, cutting Zevka off mid-word. "You know what we should do? Go find some warlord who'd like a magic sword and help him burn that place to the ground for conqu-- Oww!" The wildcat yiped as Zevka took a woodpigeon leg she had been about to bite into and proceeded to smack him across the face with it.

"Did you really just hit me with a woodpigeon leg? Wh-hey, quit it!" Mekad yelped and raised his arm against an unexpectedly ferocious volley of blows.

"That's to knock some sense into you, you idiot!" Zevka snapped more sharply than she had meant to. "What have I been telling you since we were kits? The first rule of being a vermin warlord: DON'T TRY TO CONQUER REDWALL! But sure, let's break that simple rule! Then instead of us shaking our heads over Dead Warlord Twelve and asking how anybeast could possibly be that stupid, it can be other beasts doing that to us, since we'll be fertilizing the Redwaller's crops for them!"

The marten sighed, and her voice softened considerably. "We just got kicked out of our fortress, and most of the beasts we know are dead. I can't lose you too."

Both cat and marteness were quiet for a bit. Finally, Mekad broke the silence.

"So, what do we do?"

Zevka sighed. "I've been thinking about that. There are a few little towns if we keep heading inland -- Yew, Briarwood, places like that. Places where a lot of beasts come and go, and nobeast asks too many questions. I lived in a trading town like that before I signed up with your uncle. I think we should go to one of those towns, set up a tavern or a shop or something, and get ourselves established there. The nice thing about towns is that you don't need to build up a huge army or build a fortress to be powerful -- you just need to have enough coin and the right knowledge."

"Oh," she added with a grin. "and of course, you do need to crack a few heads every now and again..."

Mekad thought about this for a bit. "A town? I don't know Zevka...what if we don't find some way to strike it rich? This doesn't seem like much of a plan. We don't really know anybeast in Yew or wherever."

Zevka sighed. "No, it isn't. I'm making this up as we go. But what other choice do we have? I mean, I guess that one wildcat warlord's son became a farmer..."

Both beasts pulled a face.

"Well, that settles it. We find a town, make ourselves into local heavyweights and make out like bandits." Zevka smiled. "And look at it this way -- the age of warlords is going downhill anyways. At least we won't be on the ship while it sinks."

Mekad chuckled. "Can't argue with that. Zevka," he said, turning to face her directly. "I'm glad you're with me."

"Me too."

The two sat in silence for a bit. Mekad hesitated a moment, then chimed in again.

"Are you sure we can't conquer Redwall? OWOW I'mkiddingI'mkiddingZevka!" Mekad spit out the last bit as all one word.

"Now you tell me. I could have eaten that leg.”
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 01:27:06 AM by Balmafula »