Adventuring through twisted time.
The weary traveller rubbed his eyes before he laid them back on the old beaten scroll trembling in his shivering hands. The cold he was no stranger to but the bitter cold was new to him as the cold rainy days of the salty seas were nothing compared to the icy tundra which surrounds him now. He rolled the scroll back up and tucked it away while he scanned his surroundings. Hawk took a breath in but exhaled slowly if only to watch the whiff from his lips swirl into the cold air and vanish into the light of the morning sun. By now he'd have thought he'd outgrown his sealegs having been land-bound for so long but the snow which rose to his knees didn't help his stability.
Hawk staggered through the heavy snow only stopping to check the scroll that lead him here. At this point however he was beginning to question if he had read this scroll right or if the scroll even held the truth. He had seen his fair share of myths that turned out to be just stories and lies of great treasure beyond belief. He thought himself a fool to follow this piece of paper but everything about it seemed to check out and be true. A few more hours passed in the blink of an eye and Hawk looking out at the vast terrain decided this was hopeless. He had been at this search for weeks and hadn't come any closer to it so he dropped his head and turned on his heels to make his way home. He was lost to his thoughts as he walked thinking of his warm bed, the merriment of being with his friends and rum that he didn't notice the thin ground crumbling beneath him.
The ground gave weight and after falling with a holler, Hawk hit the floor with a thud and a groan that echoed through the cavernous temple he'd been looking for all along. "Typical" Hawk murmured to himself from the floor. He forced himself to his feet but leaned against his knees as he cursed and let the pain of his tumble run its course through his body. He began his search quickly becoming aware that this is the temple he had searched for yet he hadn't taken into account how time might have long-buried it and that of course, the scroll he owned wouldn't show that.
Hawk had only searched for a few minutes before he discovered what he had searched for. The old crystal glowed in the darkroom and shined in his eyes and as he touched it there came another hand upon his. Hawk didn't draw his hand away but being met with a pair of eyes that glowed like his wasn't something familiar to him. He tilted and ticked his head from side to side as he began to try and figure her out. "Your eyes..." He said as he scanned her over and back up to her eyes trying to comprehend who she was and how she was here. "...you're like me." He confided to himself but said it loud enough to be heard by her. He looked away for just a moment as he thought "The rat bastard lied-" He growled low to himself again before he laughed in annoyance over his revelation. "Of course he did."
It must have seemed crazy for him to be in front of her and yet still talking to himself. He scoffed once more and cleared his throat."Right... Well." He spoke to Clarice now as he brought his eyes right back to hers "That's mine." He gestured towards the glowing jewel with his head as his hand still laid upon it. "I've touched it first you see and-" He looked away to think of where he was going with his train of thought. "-well that's just... Pirate law so-" he cleared his throat again as he looked back at her one last time. "Mine... It's mine."
Walking around her realm she tried to figure out where the noise was coming from. It was an alarm but for what? She had so many of them set up she couldn’t figure out which one it was. Cursing herself for not giving them different sounds at this point she wanted to rip her own leg away to kick herself. After flipping over her seats in her library she finally found the orb and looked deeply into it. Oh an Artifact? Was someone close to finding something she had hidden? Was this one she had hidden or was this one she was looking for. Who knew anymore with how much time she had messed with at this point. All she knew is she had to go to the location and get the Artifact to make sure it wasn’t in the wrong hands.
She closed her eyes holding on to the orb and before she knew it she was where she needed to be. The glowing item in the room made her heart skip, It had been a long time since she had been in a place this dark and radiating wild magic. Something her soul loved wild magic, it had a mind of its own and it fascinated her. So she reached out and her hand ready to take the stone to study it but her hand clamped down on another hand. She felt the growl build in her throat before looking towards the man in front of her. Her eyes glowing bright orange to display her frustration of having him in this temple with her. “I am like no one.” She shot back to his words as she tightened her hand on his no going to free his hand.
How this fool of a man just naturally looked away as if she couldn’t head his life in a snap of her fingers. “Lied about what?” She questioned him before she locked hues with him once again. When he spoke on Pirate law she gave a roll of her eyes, one that seemed to almost lose her eyes in the back of her own skull. “Pirate Law? Sweetheart I invented Pirate law.” She said but he was currently in her way. So she did the only thing she could do. “Well since I can’t have you running away with this little gem. I will have to take it into my hands with Clarice Law.”
Her eyes started to glow teal as she spoke in a dead language one he would not understand. Before Hawk could comprehend what was happening time wrapped around them. Hawk, the gem and Clarice were now back in her realm. A place lost between the fabric of time itself. Once she was certain it was safe she let him go. “Now let's talk shall we.” She said moving over to a bar that appears out of nowhere. She poured two drinks. Walking back to offer him one. “Feel free to try and run. It would be rather fun to watch my safety nets tear you apart.” She said with a smug smile on her lips as she raised the glass to her lips taking a long sip.
“Now little,” She took a deep breath in tasting the air for a moment. “Oh Sorceri, rare I come across a full blooded one.” She let her eyes rest on him with a bored expression. “Now little Sorceri, I would like to know what power you want this Gem for. After all, I can’t have it fall into the wrong hands.” She said matter of factly. “By the way the whole you touched it first so it's yours really doesn’t matter in life. No one respects Pirate law. Especially not in my realm.”
Just like everyone Hawk had trauma and just as everyone was different he handled his trauma uniquely. His coping mechanisms coming across as quite childlike due to his severe lack of a childhood; he maintained eye contact and kept a straight face but having been tortured and abused by his old conservator, witnessing and feeling time wrap around them and more than anything else seeing her eyes glow the way they did triggered Hawk. He hid it well behind the mask he made and his coping mechanisms clearing his throat right before he snorted.
"Clarice law." He scoffed and shook his head as a smirk grew on his face. "I don't know which sounds worse. That or me making up pirate law." He spoke before he thought which he did often because he'd never been able to speak his mind until the last few years of his life. This got him into trouble more often than not but he would rather speak his mind or follow his gut instinct than let the free moment pass. Hawk knew much better than to drink whatever concoction she poured and only took it out of an instilled compliance he couldn't shake from his days as a slave. He sniffed it but it never touched his lips and his eyes remained on her as she moved around her space.
He had no intention of running not without the gem he came for which his eyes were currently scanning for. He managed to make his way to the bar and set the drink down always keeping Clarice in his viewpoint somewhere freezing at an unfamiliar word. "Sorceri?" He questioned and then looked around when she mentioned a full-blooded one being present because he was sure with just how rare she made them out to be they must be cool. When he realised they were alone though he looked back at her with wide eyes and confusion displayed on his as the first bit of emotion he had shown since she teleported them wherever they were currently. He pointed to himself "Me!?" He questioned with outright confusion before he chuckled with a bewildered nervousness. "I don't even know what that is." He admitted as his eyes darted back and forth between hers looking for answers.
His eyes eventually turned back to the gem which was still in the room with them "it sings." He looked back at her as he spoke cautiously because no one understood what he meant. Each gem did something different for him but this one was overall the most pleasant, you could tell it soothed him as he looked back at it again and a faint smile began to turn the corners of his mouth up. "I don't understand a lot in my life, and nearly no one fully understands me but I understand gems and runes and grimoires and other odd things." He shook and dropped his head believing she wouldn't understand and just end up being cruel but he spoke his truth because again he was free to do so. "This one sings." He chuckled out in a childlike manner as he looked to it again and listened to its joyous croon.
The problem with Hawk having magic as strong as he did, was it made it hard for Clarice to know what was going on his head without tapping into magic she never wanted to touch. So his childlike way of dealing with her. Made her question his age. With a roll of her eyes she just scoffed back. “You know nothing of the world. The information you have is a drop in the bucket compared to what I know. Yet that is not the point of you being here either. It's not like you can escape at this moment.” She raised her glass to her lips taking a long drink from it before watching him sniff the glass and only eyed her. “You have no trust it seems.” She muttered out towards him.
She watched him with a confused look upon her face at that moment. How he looked around for the Sorceri and then became more confused when he questioned if it was himself. “Yes, you.” She let out a huffed breath but then remembered that not everyone was taken from their homes as a child to be raised among other Sorceri. Pinching the bridge of her nose for a moment before trying to figure out how to explain it to someone. “A Sorceri is a being that was born with magic in their blood. Most of the time it's random, there hasn’t been a straight lineage of Sorceri that I have come upon.” She started letting her hand fall from her nose at that moment.
Looking at the gem herself it made her chuckle softly. “Interesting, you must enjoy the water. For it has siren energy trapped in it. For you it sings, for me it screams.” She said as she moved closer to the gem to look down on it. “Magic affects each Sorceri differently but strongly, whereas Thaumaturge and Warlocks are less affected by magic unless tapping into it.” She thought about how to phrase it. “For us it's like filling a bath full of water but water keeps getting poured into and overflowing. We have to learn to control the water so we don’t drown.” She figured that made enough sense in her brain so it had to make sense to him.
“Found grimoires and runes and gems all on your own? How have I not come across you before now?” She wondered before she moved closer to him. “Odd things, often are referred to as artifacts so you know in the future.” She moved her finger under his chin gently to make him look at her. “I want to show you something but I don’t want you to be scared. I think you will find it enjoyable and maybe it will let you think on letting me teach you to use your magic. For your safety and others.” She said in the gentlest tone he would hear from her. Sometimes she forgot that kindness wasn’t a weakness.
She was mean and needlessly at that since Hawk as of right now was being civil and honestly nicer than she clearly deserved. The respect he was giving her was just a form of the abuse instilled inside of him by Ramus rearing its ugly head. A grumbled resonated at the back of his throat as he decided that he didn't like this Clarice before him. His gaze met hers now filled with dislike and distaste as a slight confusion slowly crept onto his features. "Why would I trust you? You've not given me any reason to." You could hear the sneer in his voice as he studied her body language and then returned to her eyes. "Just like the rest of them." He mumbles as he turns away and shoots a sharp breath from his nose.
He does listen as she continues to talk and explain namely because she was speaking of that which he did not know. All these years and he truly knew little to nothing about his own kind and in turn about himself. He was extremely silent and thoughtful the whole time never looking at her as his eyes searched around the room as a result of his ever turning mind. He makes that humming sound again finally getting an answer he's wanted his whole life and that was where did his magic come from if no one in his family before him had. Her words make it seem as though it wasn't heredity and sudden anger and resentment that he had thought was long dead flare up deep within him. His family threw him away and sold him to a monster all because he had won the supernatural lottery!?!
Starting as a low burn deep in his belly and rising up to head; his entire body growing so u unnaturally hot that if you threw him in water it would immediately evaporate. It wouldn't even boil first but just as quickly as this heat and anger revealed itself it was gone with nothing more than a simple deep breath out of his nose. His body quickly slowly relaxed as he cooled and took thoughtful breath; a credit to his time with the Gypsies, Lily in particular. He zoned out for a moment but was never completely unaware of his surroundings and where Clarice was at all times but the vision in his head made him relax enough given the circumstances and even smirk but again it was gone just as quickly as it came.
His gaze eventually returns to the singing gem and he stares at it longer than he'd stared or studied anything else around them including Clarice. "Oftentimes, when something screams it means it doesn't like or want to be with the one who hears it screaming." His voice had gone quite cold since deciding he didn't like Clarice and all he wanted now was to take his gem and go. His eyes hadn't yet met hers again since questioning her about trust earlier but the moment her gentleness came out he entire body snapped to face her. He watched her with a scrupulous look as his eyes jumped between each of hers and he cleared his throat as he sat up straight. "This is a trick." He said plainly and with a shrug but this was his way of testing if she meant what she said since he couldn't use his magic to get her to tell the truth he would have to rely on his skill of reading people organically.
Clarice gave a smirk towards him seeing the dislike and distaste he held towards her in that moment. In a childlike manner much like he had spoken to her she retorted. “And I haven’t given you any reason to distrust me, either.” she tilted her head slightly for a moment and frowned lightly. “The rest of them?” She questioned before moving her fingers along her own jaw slowly. As she had finished explaining what he was and how he could be powerful with some training and some guidance. Feeling the flare of anger caused her to take a step closer towards him. She wanted to know why it was, because it wasn’t directed towards her, that much she could tell. “Hawk?” She questioned softly.
As quick as the anger was to flare it was gone. He had an extreme handle of self control that others with magic didn’t have. She was impressed by him. Though she didn’t want to verbalize it fully. She did soften though towards him trying to make him understand she was not his enemy. Watching the Gem she could see the tether between it and him and for a moment she let out a soft sigh. “With magic it's a little more than that. Just means if I wish to wield it, it would take time to form a bond. Yet your bond with it is already so strong without even realizing what you are.” His cold tone seemed to cut her to her core but she chose to brush it off and moved towards the Gem. She moved her hands in a circle and the gem formed onto a ring before she turned back to him.
“I am going to show you my past, give you this gem, and let you leave. If you wish me to teach you. You will find me.” She said as her fingers moved to hold his face and she pulled him closer pressing her forehead to his. It was an intimate stance, one where he could have the advantage and ruin her if he wished. As her powers allowed her to push her memories into his mind. Playing out was her as a child, then her being taken by Prospero the man who then helped her grow her magic but in return made her his slave. Not leaving out a single detail. He would see that Prospero was a cruel master who was bitter and used her for his ever desires, even sexual ones. Until the day her friend saved her from her bonds but at the cost of her life. Leaving the memory on the day she gained her freedom she pulled back.
“I was once not so different.” She said softly to him. “I understand trust is hard. Just know to protect yourself so you are not used like a pawn against your will.” She said finally as she took his hand and placed the ring in his palm opening the portal for him to go through back from where he was from if he wished.
He was quick to scoff at her reply "Distrust is there for one to lose from the start. Trust must be earned." He spoke with a tone that sharpened his words and his words were a very clear reflection of how he didn't like her. He could have gone on and pointed how she was in fact wrong by stating the way in which she magically forced him here in a realm he can't defend himself didn't do anything but make him distrust her from their first impressions of each other. Yet he would keep this fact up his sleeve for later when he could actually defend himself, even if it were just a moot point since she was clearly far more magically advanced than him.
She was quite a confusing being, her soft tone which suddenly held his name in such concern wasn't muted out by the rage he was feeling; and even though that concern intrigued him and he could suddenly see that her harsh exterior was just a defence mechanism he was too far stuck in his own stubbornness and already airing on the side of caution that he refused to give her the benefit of the doubt. Clarice wasn't the first to suddenly show him kindness out of nowhere and he was aware she wouldn't be the last. He just couldn't bring himself to not see her as an enemy or threat, because all the people who have done exactly what she was doing here and now and acting as though she cared always had cruel intentions. They always got what they wanted out of him and he swore he'd never let that happen again.
Though he listened to everything she had to say that didn't come without a snarky remark or scoff from him. He did however bit his tongue when she said he could leave under the conditions she laid out and before he could even decide that this wasn't what he wanted after all she was before him with her head on his. His body violently seized as if someone had cast a cold spell on him and his heart pounded in his chest trying to get out. He was terrified, at the heart of it all he was always still that terrified little boy whose parents just given him away. He didn't breathe and as her life flashed into his mind he began to shake. Her life was far too familiar to him and that name Prospero grabbed him by the heart and caused him to at last push himself free from her.
He was. Not. Okay!
He stumbled off the seat in which he sat and crawled away. He's shaking now violent tremors that rocked his entire body very clearly"no no no..." He repeated on a weak quivering breath as he staggered to his feet. "That... I can't..." He couldn't breathe deep enough to form a sentence and the ghost of his past he never healed from began to close in around him. With a haunted look in his eyes, he faltered through her portal immediately colliding with a pedestrian as he made it to a local street of 1700s London.
The world was moving normal but he felt so slow as everything viciously sped by. Even a pint at the Dragon Lady with a few other rogues didn't help set him straight and he knew he was deep in his PTSD if booze didn't help. What still bothered him the most besides how her past brought back memories of his he was still working through was that man. Prospero. He just couldn't say why but he swore he'd heard of the name before in a more intimate setting than just casual conversation but for the life of him couldn't remember it. He careened home in a cold sweat unable to stop his trembling or catch his breath.
It had been hours and you could see the marks on the floor from where he'd been pacing back and forth. Faced up against a chest that held items from his past he truly should no longer have. The singing gem, now a ring laying peacefully around his neck on a string. His fingers drummed the top of the chest as he fought with himself to open it after all this time but he knew the answers he sought out were buried within. He avoided everything within trying not to trigger himself any further as he dug out the old book that lined the bottom of the chest. He let a nervous breath whistle past his teeth before prying the old dusty thing open.
More hours had passed and the sun had come and gone and come again and Hawk was still glued to the floor looking for his answer. His face paled beyond his already paying features when he, at last, found that which he sought. Jerking away from it like it were covered in insects. "Their brothers." A pure pain rose up and coated his words as he groaned fearfully into his hands in an attempt to whip his face. "Ramus and Prospero are brothers?" He winced at the thought as his words left a foul taste in his tongue.
Watching him stumble back as he yanked himself free, She watched him with a raised brow. His reaction. Was almost as if he had lived her life also. She didn’t dive into the heads of others too often. She thought about it for a moment to see what was plaguing him. Who had broken his trust in every being so. Maybe she couldn’t fault his reaction, she was sure she was utterly as volatile after gaining her freedom from Prospero especially since it caused her a great friends life. So she took a step closer to try and calm him down. The haunted look in his eyes made her pause. She swallowed hard watching him disappear.
Moving where the portal had once been she held her hand out to it. “Till we meet again, Hawk.” She said softly before the realm around her came alive once again. A chair coming from across the room to sweep her off her feet and take her towards her study. She began to put together a few books that would be important study guides for the young Sorceri. He would have a long road ahead and unless he chose to stay in her Timeless realm for a long time he would have to learn on his own. Looking to the cage she had pretty much created herself, a loud sigh left her lips.
She knew it was for the right reasons and yet. The chair bumped into the table to pull her from her thoughts and she muttered to herself. “Yes, yes I know, no spiraling.” She sighed as she finished off the last of the five starter books. Waving her hand they were bound in leather and she stood from her desk. “I wonder if he will rip me apart like Tristan wants too.” She moved her fingers along the sleeve of her dress before it changed to something more appropriate for his era in time. She slid a glowing ring on her finger, picking up the leather bound books. Crossing the room towards a giant mirror she spoke.
“Mirror Mirror show me Hawk Black, wielder of the Siren Stone.” Clarice watched her reflection shift to the man who was on the ground and looked as if he was in a fit of pain. Panic rose in her chest as she wondered if he was trying to take his life. She didn’t give it a second thought as she stepped into the mirror and into the room he was in on the floor. She dropped the books from her arms with a loud thud as she moved closer.
“Hawk! Hawk! Are you okay?” She asked as she fell to her knees on the ground beside him. “Speak to me!” She demanded as she looked around to see if there was water or anything she could splash on him. Though he was already covered in a cold sweat. Not understanding that he had made a discovery that connected them.
Portals weren't a concept he was familiar with although he should've been. Ramus kept Hawk away from magics of any kind unless he intended to hurt him. So to one minute be alone in the safety of his very private home and then the very next minute hear someone's voice and that voice belong to one whom you didn't currently like was core shocking. It was unsettling and he was already so far from okay.
He shot to his feet as she came in close, dropping the book and back away. "He sent you!" His voice hissed with bitter mistrust as a wild look sparked to life making his eyes glow. He flicked his wrist and to his hand flew his sword, The Sword of Ptah which once belonged to the Goddess Sekhmet but was blessed to him by her. Another story for another time. His movements were quick and precise as the tip of the sword was now gently pressed to her throat. "I knew your life looked familiar. I knew because it was my life you showed me, not yours. You just changed some details to make me feel like you understood but... I knew the Tremblay brothers and how they thought or acted or broke people into loving them. So I don't trust anyone that knew them." His voice was dark and slightly raised and his gaze was locked on her as they began to flow brighter and brighter every second that passed.
He studied her closely allowing nothing to go over his head or get past him when it came to her. After a second of sensing what seemed like confusion from her, he kicked the book which held the Tremblay's family tree and history towards her as he then took one step back. Allowing the tip of his sword to move from her throat without cutting her skin but keeping up and pointing at her just in case. He may not have been able to take her magic vs magic but with this particular sword, he had a much higher chance. "I knew I didn't like you and I couldn't figure out why. It's because you remind me of them. You're just like them." His tone was completely cold and harsh where most times he cared about how his words affected people adversely here he didn't because he truly believed Clarice was up to no good.
Clarice jumped at him jumping to his feet so swiftly after being on the floor limp. How quick he recovered, was it panic? Was it something else? Her brows pulled together at his words, “Who do you think sent me? You in fact came across me due to your own mariets.” She challenged back as he reached for the sword that hung on his hip, she gave a gentle sigh as the tip was pressed against her throat as she knelt before him. She was quiet for a long moment as her heart ached for him knowing he had shared a life so close to hers that even her projecting her life to show she understood only caused more complications.
She stared at him for a long time before speaking again. “If you really believed I was just showing you your own life then you would have killed me.” She said simply as her blue gaze rested on his. “You can’t be self absorbed enough to truly believe you are the only person who was tortured in such ways. I have the scars from my captivity.” She showed her wrist that was scared with X’s and a few other scars mingling there. “Don’t tell me I don’t understand. That man r/aped me, that man tortured me, that man took my childhood and turned me into the person I am today. That man made me fear the world so much that out of my damaged brain I created this realm to feel safe! Yet only locking myself away from the world now.” the pain lingering there for a moment as she looked away.
Reaching for the book in that moment she flipped it open understanding her monster was connected to his monsters. Closing that book as his words cut her deeper than any sword could. You think she would be used to being the monster in everyone's stories. “I AM NOTHING LIKE THEM!” she screamed finally before tossing the book back at him, anger raging as she stood up but choosing to step back and away from him. “Leave my realm, believe what you want. Make me the new monster.” The portal opened up showing his room, throwing the stone back at him that brought him to her attention. “Have a good life.” She kept her back to him as tears flowed freely.
The weary young traveller flinched at the outburst of her anger. Warily watching her and grasping every word she spat out; his heart harmonised with her words and it banged in his chest like a child playing with a drum. He felt so much older suddenly as this topic was heavy and one he never wanted to be reminded of. It felt like he were fifty years old while at the same he felt like he were that five-year-old boy again. Paralysed by the fear of just existing because as long as he breathed he was a threat. He felt the raging heat of his anger rise up and burn deep inside him like dragons' breath. Scratching at his throat and pressing against his lips. He consequently felt as though he burned his tongue keeping his mouth shut as his lips twitched and sneered in restraint.
After all these years he thought he had gotten better at reading people. Telling their truths from their lies but the moment he was triggered he lost all his sense and reverted to the black-hearted pirate who saw all the world as cruel. In those days and moments, there was no good in the world in his eyes because he had been taken back to a place in his life where he knew no good. Hawk had a way of turning off his heart and in those moments, though they were rare he scared himself.
He felt it coming as he stared at Clarice with a cold expression. His eyes staying transfixed on the mystic before him as he picked up the book she threw. Really only retrieving the item to give his body something to do in the instant to keep from exploding. He at least had enough sense to know how dangerous two angry mystics going for each other's necks would be, regardless of the realm and him being the weaker of the two of them. Slowly his cold gaze looked from her to the portal she opened to kick him out. His stone expression only solidifying further as he approached and stepped through, keeping his back to her as she kept hers to him.
"Unlike most, I'm not above my pride to say when I'm wrong. I do apologise for offending you." His dark voice crept through the abrupt silence that had befallen between them. "But you can't say you're nothing like them." He spoke with a melancholic tone that suddenly pierced through his icy expression and his head snapped to the side to side eye her from over his shoulder. "If you were nothing like them, you'd have not kidnapped me into your strange realm or threatened me with your... Superiority in the mystic arts." He turned away and huffed with a heavy heart as he brought his hand to his cheat surprised at the little sliver of light still alive in there. "Even I'm somewhat like them, it's a curse we both must bear."
"You're angry now, we both are but I hope one day you take the time to consider my apology and review my words and your actions. Maybe with a clearer head, you'll find we were both wrong here." He shot an audible breath from his nose as he watched her back. He frowned knowing how deeply upset he had made her and the last thing he wanted to do was make anyone relive the trauma of their past. He never doubted her about that but instead on her loyalty to them even in death. Hawk knew first-hand what Stockholm syndrome was like therefore he trusted no one who knew them. Quietly he came up behind her with the sirens rune in his hand.
He kissed it gently and then whispered something to it while it was still pressed to his lips. He lingered behind her a moment as the rune began to sing loud enough for Clarice to hear rather than the screaming she heard before. He then placed the jewel in her hand without making her look at him as the rune kept singing because he had asked it to; his own anger still lingering in his soul. "I really am sorry." And with that, he left her realm again and this time allowed the portal to close. He rubbed his face and then frustratedly ran his hands through his hair disheveling it completely. He huffed trying to rid himself of this heavy feeling repeatedly rubbing his tears away. He needed a drink and though the rogues and the ladies at The Dragon Lady would ask countless questions about his long journey and why he'd come back empty-handed he still went, hoping a good ale would level his mood.