Sunrise on the Steppe

Loz

TNPer
-
-
-
Nurendir

The days since the end of the Grand Gala in Syrixia had been a blur for the Prince Nurendir. From the time he was invited to Craviter by Tobias and Gaiseric to now, he had thought of nothing else but the days ahead. Having spent his childhood in the picture of order and tradition that was the Imperial Court of Alnaria had left a burning desire in the young Prince's heart for adventure and freedom. He had initially chased this desire through military service, and while he found adventure, freedom stood out of grasp. But now here it was, a chance for Nurendir to find both on the steppe. He had decided to take Gaiseric's advice and begin his journey in the Free Port of Kimbria on the western coast of Essalanea. He had told his father of this, but little else. Nurendir was determined to keep his profile as low as possible while on Craviter. While he had no doubt his father would have agents trailing his every move, the only help he would willingly accept was a guide offered by Gaiseric. He had been given no information on his guide beyond "they'll find you at the port." When asked how, Gaiseric simply replied with "You'll stick out." Nurendir laughed and leaned against the ship's rail as he recalled that night in the Golden Palace. His reminiscing was cut short however by the sight of Kimbria coming into view on the horizon.

The Free Port of Kimbria was one of the more modern cities in Essalanea, and was renowned for its controlled chaos. Behind closed doors the port was "anything goes." However the streets were well patrolled by the famed warrior women of Kimbri clan. Clad in leather, well armed, and riding motorcycles; these women ensured that the port remained open to the outside world, and perhaps more importantly, open for business. Not to violate Kimbri law was another pointed piece of advice from Gaiseric. "You can pay with money or with flesh, but you will pay." As the ship pulled up to dock Nurendir strained to see what he could from his perch on the bow. The buildings were tall, cramped, and largely unadorned save for the odd intricate door, or window tapestry. A group of Kimbri were immediately visible to Nurendir as well. Ten or so seemed to be waiting for the ship to begin unloading. "Must be the guides." Nurendir said to himself aloud. To be truthful he had hoped to avoid any kind of welcoming scene in Essalanea, but he would not pass up hospitality if it was offered.

The Prince waited for most of the other passengers to clear off the deck before making his own way down the gangway. The Kimbri were closer now, and seemed to be looking through the crowd intently, presumably for him, although Nurendir realized they likely had no idea what he looked like. As he steeped off onto dry land he began to make his way towards the nearest of the women, but before he could announce himself another of the Kimbri cried "This is him!" The unfortunate "Him" attempted to make a run for it, but was quickly and mercilessly brought down and dragged away by the group. Nurendir stood for a moment in mild shock. Just as Nurendir was about to say something to himself in regards to the incident, another voice behind him spoke first. "Thought they were for you?" It laughed. Nurendir whipped around and found himself face to face with a different Kimbri. She was tall, brown of hair and green eyed. On her back was an old Skandan rifle, but beautifully maintained. "Welcome to Essalanea." She said. "I am Vivika of the Kimbri." Nurendir straightened him self up and replied. "Nurendir Valarun of Alnaria. A pleasure."
 
Last edited:

Loz

TNPer
-
-
-
Vivika

Vivika stood waiting on the docks for the Prince Imperial of Alnaria. "Nurendir." She said to herself a few times trying to get it right. Not that she cared about him, but she hated doing anything wrong. She cared less and less however the longer she had to wait. She assessed that the ferry must be running late, and then further assessed that as a sister of Anegrette she should not have to babysit southern princes in her own land. She finally gave up with standing and sat back on her motorcycle, she reached down to grab her faithful companion, a Skandan rifle which was her pride and joy. When she was stressed or bored she would disassemble, clean, and reassemble the rifle until it was perfect. Her timing was good today, as right as she finished her task the ship pulled up to the dock.

She slung her rifle over her shoulder and made her way over to where the passenger were disembarking. Another group of her clanswomen were also making their way towards the ship. She remembered something or other about a fugitive being aboard the ship as well. She laughed aloud at the possibility of her and her sisters mixing up their marks. The thought of ten Kimbri dropping a foreign prince on the docks of Kimbria was enough to bring a smile back to her face. She spotted Nurendir quickly coming off the ship, he was one of the last passengers off the ship, and was very easy to spot as out of place in Essalanea. She was about to call out his name, but he started walking rather confidently towards one of the fugitive hunters. She clenched her mouth shut, praying for something hysterical to happen. Alas, it did not come. Although she did take some amusement in watching the dumbfounded look of the Prince after watching the fugitive hunters apprehend their prey.

"Thought they were for you?" She laughed. The Prince whipped around and attempted to compose himself. "Welcome to Essalanea." She said. "I am Vivika of the Kimbri." The Prince finished straightening himself out and replied. "Nurendir Valarun of Alnaria. A pleasure." Vivika was silent at the response, it occurred to her she hadn't actually thought beyond this moment. She had no idea why the Prince was here or what he wanted to do, or why she was chosen to be his guide. The silence between the two continued for an uncomfortably long time. Finally, after an agonizingly long time Nurendir broke the silence. "Impressive rifle, Skandan model right?" He asked. "Yes." She replied. "Its older, but it holds up better and jams less than newer machines." Nurendir admired it for moment, he knew its had to be old but it was beautifully maintained. His admiration was broken by Vivika. "Well come with me, I'll show you where you'll be staying, and I'll try to get you the lay of the land." She said. "Sounds good." Nurendir replied. "Have a car or are we walking?" He asked. "Neither." She said with a laugh while pointing at her motorcycle. "There's our ride."
 
Last edited:

Loz

TNPer
-
-
-
Nurendir

With a kick Vivika brought the beast to life. The roar of the bike was like thunder reverberating off the crowded streets and close buildings of Kimbria. "Coming?" Said Vivika over her shoulder. "If not, I'm sure the hunters will be more than glad to take you too." She said with a smirk. Nurendir laughed and took his place on the back of the motorcycle. "You may want to hold on." Said Vivika revving loudly. "Hold on to what?" Said Nurendir wanting to be polite. Vivika gave the Prince an eye roll. "To me your Imperial Majesty, unless you think I'll tarnish those clean hands" She teased. "No I just..." Nurendir began to say before Vivika let out a laugh and sent them racing into the city. Nurendir wrapped his arms tight around his guide, the threat of high speed death had removed any sense of modesty he had earlier felt. Vivika had lived in Kimbria her whole life, and was as comfortable here in the fee port as she was on the steppe. She deftly navigated the tight streets and called out to Nurendir as they passed landmarks. Nurendir could only help but laugh as they nearly sideswiped pedestrians and cruised over sidewalks and roads alike. "I thought you all only rode horses." Yelled Nurendir to his guide. "This is a horse your Majesty." She yelled back. "You must not have this breed down south." Nurendir laughed again. "I guess not, also you don't have to call me your Majesty." Vivika looked back over her shoulder. "Whatever you say your Highness!"


After they had finished terrorizing the streets of Kimbria, Vivika dropped off Nurendir outside what seemed to be a bar. "Well, here we are." Said Vivika. "Where exactly is here?" Asked Nurendir. "A place with food and drink." She said. I need to go take care of a few things so I need you to stay here and not die." "And if I do?" Asked Nurendir with a smile. "Just don't. I've already got enough to worry about, I don't need Gaiseric asking me how I "lost" a foreign royal in the bowels of Kimbria." With that she sped off back towards the harbor and disappeared. Nurendir collected his bag from where Vivika had deposited it onto the sidewalk. He looked up at the sign over the establishment in front of him. "The Death Adder" was carved into the stone of building along with a roughly hewn snake Nurendir assumed was the death adder. Nurendir nodded towards the carved snake and made his way inside. The bar was dim and close, the smell of cooking meat and strong liquor filled the room making the air heavy and warm. Nurendir made his way to an alcove and took a seat. The bar patrons were few, but distinctly Essalanean. The more he looked around the more out of place he felt, but as the publican came up to him he did his best to suppress the feeling. "Can I get for you?" Said the man. Nurendir thought for second and replied. "What's the house special?" "Get me an adder!" The Publican yelled towards the bar. "What's in it." Asked Nurendir? "I could tell you outlander, but I'd have to feed you to the wolves." He replied. "Starting a tab?" He asked. "Yeah I think so." Said Nurendir "I'm waiting for a girl."
 
Last edited:

Loz

TNPer
-
-
-
Vivika

The soft smoke and smell of sulfur signaled the end of Vivika's task. The man they captured on the boat lie dead with the other men he led the fugitive hunters to. Vivika herself had gotten a bit close for comfort and now wore a thin layer of blood and viscera on her clothes and face which shined dimly in the moonlight. "Do me a favor and clean this up. I don' want the smell wafting out to the street." She said wiping a bit of blood from her eyes and off her forehead. "Will do, we've got a few more targets tonight if you feel like getting a little dirtier." said the head fugitive hunter with a wicked smile. "You know I'd love to." Vivika replied. "But I have to get back to Nurn...Nured....N....I have to get back to N." The hunter stared back at her blankly for moment. "...Right, well good luck Vivika."

The sound of her bike echoed through the quiet city as she tore back to the Death Adder. Her task had taken her significantly longer than she had hoped, but she trusted Nurendir had managed not to die in that time. The barkeep owed Vivika several favors and so she hoped he had been looking out for the Prince. "Oh wait shit I never went inside." She said aloud to herself. She did a hard rip of the throttle and roared through the cold dark towards the bar. As she pulled up she inspected the outside of the Death Adder. "No bodies, that's good." She said to herself as she pushed open the door. The air was warm and fragrant, and chased the chill right from her bones. She spied Nurendir sitting in an alcove sitting with a few locals. He was reclined against the back of the seat, one leg up on the table and a one hand in his bag. Nurendir looked to be the picture of relaxation, but one of his new companions appeared to be yelling. Vivika could not hear what was being said of the rancor of the bar, but she knew she needed to act fast. She started to push her way towards the alcove. She was about half way to the Prince when his new friend seemed to have had enough. The man jumped to his feet knocking his chair back. Vivika started to throw the people in front her out of her way but she wasn't moving fast enough. "Move!" She yelled as the man pulled his firearm. "Nurendir!" She yelled as she made it to the alcove, but it was too late. The shot rang out and brought the chaos of the bar to a standstill. Vivika stood stunned for a moment, and looked down at Nurendir who still remained the picture of relaxation. His legs were still up on the table, but his hand was now out of his bag and in his lap, fingers wrapped around a .357 revolver. She looked down at her feet where the other man now lay crumpled, and finally she looked down herself. She had once again gotten too close and acquired a new layer of red. "Glad you finally made it." She heard Nurendir say as she wiped the fresh coat of blood out of her eyes. "Good shot." She said pulling a bits of skull and brain matter out of her hair. "Well to be honest I was going to let him kill me, but then I remembered you told not to die." Said Nurendir with a sly smile. "That's a good look by the way." He said to Vivika. "Ass." She replied with a laugh.
 
Last edited:

Loz

TNPer
-
-
-
Vivika

"Well, now that that seat is free, can I buy you a drink?" Asked Nurendir with a smile.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The water Vivika dipped her hands in was warm and clear, a surprise given the rustic aesthetic of the Adder. She brought her face down and washed away the grime and blood of the day. The Prince had surprised her with that move, surprised her enough to want that drink. She dried her face, and prepared to socialize. As she made it back to the table, Nurendir was speaking to the barkeep. "Sorry about the mess." Said the Prince. The barkeeper laughed. "Don't worry about it. I always expect death when Vivika is in the bar." He said nodding in her direction. Vivika shot him a disapproving look. "Maybe it'll be you next time." She replied. "Bah, who'll let you drink for free if I'm gone." He said with a laugh. "Alright fine you can live." She said rolling her eyes. The bartender continued to chuckle as he threw down sawdust and hauled out the former patron. "Glad you came back." Said Nurendir. "Only for the drink." She shot back with a smile. She took a seat as Nurendir went back up to the bar. As she watched him she tried to get a measure of the man. If you had asked her an hour ago she would have told you he was in over his head, but after watching him kill, she suspected there might be more to the posh southern prince. In short order Nurendir returned with the drinks. "Two Adders." He said. "Cheers." "Hmm...Cheers." She replied taking a long drink. "So..." She began. "You owe me." Nurendir looked at her puzzled. "Owe you?" "Yes." She replied. "I showed you mine and you didn't show me yours." Nurendir laughed while taking a drink, spitting a bit onto the table. "Did I say something funny?" She asked seriously. "A little bit." Said the Prince still laughing. Vivika stared back at him blankly before placing her rifle on the table. "I showed you mine." She said. "Ah." Nurendir replied, "I see." He deftly pulled out his revolver and flipped it as to offer the grip to her. She took it carefully and began her examination. It was a simple thing like most revolvers, double action, chambered for .357 and medium weight. The barrel was dark gunmetal with a dull gold stripe on either side. The cylinder was further engraved, and on either side of the grip was the rising sun. "Beautiful." Vivika said softly. "It was a gift for valor." Said Nurendir. "Valor?" Asked Vivika. "I take it that wasn't your first kill." Nurendir nodded. "I'm a soldier back home." Vivika looked up at him. "A Soldier, and what do you fight for?" That gave the Prince a pause. Vivika could see he had an answer pre-prepared, but had pulled it in at the last second. He took a long drink before finally answering. "I fight for me." Vivika smiled. "Maybe you will fit in here."
 
Last edited:
Top