Passing Through

Adria wandered the desolate forest road alone. Her cloak wrapped around her tightly to keep the wind from biting at her. Leaves rustled and the trees creaked. The crossroads sign had said there was a town not far ahead, but she had yet to come upon it. It was already growing dark and the distant sound of wolves howling sent chills down her spine.

"Come on." She said under her breath, her tone hinted annoyance. She quickened her pace and soon reached a bridge crossing a small creek. It was here that she met three large figures in brown cloaks. They regarded her with hungry grins and approached.

"Wot's a nice dove like yeew doin' in the forest alone?" One asked, he had teeth missing and an eyepatch over his left eye.

"I'm on my way to the town at the end of this road," Adria said, her eyes fluttering with discomfort. Yet she stood her ground as the three men approached.

"Well lookeet that!" The man from before continued. "Aren't yeeww a pretty thing! Isn't she pretty boys?"

"Yes, a real beauty, Markam. A real beauty." The man on the left said.

"It's very dangerous for such a pretty girl to be alone in the woods with night descending." The man in the middle said.

"I don't fear what's in the woods." Adria said.

"Ooo well innit that just grand? But there are worse things in deez woods den just wolves an' spiders." Markam said after spitting a glob of some sickly brown something or other over the railing and into the river.

"Indeed." The man in the middle said. "A fine lass like you should take great efforts to stay safe..." He reached out to touch her but Adria stepped away from him.

"Now now..." Markam said. "Don't be gettin' any idears now lass. This here's our bridge, an we require a certain... 'fee' for those wishing to cross."

"And if I can't pay?"

"Oh I'm sure we can come to some kind of... arrangement..." The man in the middle said as he licked his lips.

"I doubt that," Adria said, taking a few more steps back, the men continued to advance on her.

"Come now. A pretty thing like you should've known better than to wander the woods alone." The one on the left said.

"Who said I was alone?" Adria said with a smirk.

The men looked puzzled, and then Markam found himself being flung over the side and into the creek below. The other two spun around to see who was behind them and were swiftly cut down. Adria sighed and crossed her arms.

"I hate doing this." She said to Kanan who wiped the blood from his sword and returned it to its scabbard and began to loot the bodies.

"We'll need coin if we want to stay someplace warm in town." Kanan said, gathering the purses from the two men's belts. He then scooped up their weapons and handed them to Adria who produced a large rook sack. "If we can sell this junk we may even get a decent meal as well."

"But killing these men? Was that necessary?"

"You do realize what their intentions were with you, right?"

Adria nodded, "I suppose that's true." She knelt down next to him and helped him sift through the bandits' clothing for anything hidden on them they could use. When they finished they continued down the road.

When they reached the town they first went to one of the local traders to barter their ill-gotten good for coin. The old woman who ran the shop was rather stingy, however Adria managed to haggle the price with a few sob stories and her sorrowful blue eyes. With their coin purses suitably full, the two made their way to the local tavern for an evening meal.

Kanan took a seat at a table in a dark, secluded corner of the bar while Adria went to order some food. It was here she overheard a man speaking with the bartender.

"What?"

"I'm looking for people who may like to go on a...quest. Someone who can accompany me on a journey. A long one. Know anyone like that?"

Adria glanced over to the man and noted the eerie blue glow emanating from an amulet around the man's neck. She regarded it with a frown as a woman, whom Adria assumed was the bartender's wife, handed her two bowls of warm stew.

"Thank you," Adria said with a warm smile.

"I'll get you and your father something to drink."

Adria smiled, "Cider if you have any. Kana... err my 'father' doesn't care for ale."

"Two ciders coming right up, dear." The plump woman smiled and disappeared back into the kitchen.

Adria took the bowls over to where Kanan was sitting and handed him one. "So what are we going to do?" She asked as she took a seat.

Kanan was already in the process of spooning a mouthful of the stew. He didn't even take the time to savor it, just let it slide down his gullet. "We rest. In the morning we gather what supplies we can and continue moving."

Adria nodded and looked over to the man with the glowing amulet. "See that man over there?"

"What about him?" Kanan said not even bothering to look up from his meal.

"He's looking for people to go on a quest. I heard him talking to the bartender."

"No." Kanan said plainly.

"What? You didn't even know what I was going to..."

"Adria, no."

"Oh come on, Kanan! Wouldn't it be better than just wandering from place to place? At the very least he could possibly pay us far better than jumping bandits on the road ever could! And who knows, maybe we'll find treasure, or someplace we could actually call home?"

"I doubt it." Kanan said between spoonfulls of stew.

"You said you'd find a home for me. A place we could be safe and live out our lives in peace. You promised me, Kanan. But that was four years go, we've been on the move since then. When will it be enough?"

Kanan looked at her, for the first time in a while she saw sadness in them. He didn't want to admit it, but she was right. He hadn't been able to keep his promise to her. Every town, every village, they weren't safe enough. The world was dying, and no place in this whole world was safe enough that he'd be willing to leave her. That's why he'd kept her all this time.

The bartender's wife arrived with their ciders, and smiled at them both warmly before leaving. Kanan grabbed his mug and was about to take a drink but stopped and looked at Adria. He hated to admit it, but she was probably right.

"Fine..." He said before taking a large gulp of cider.

Adria smiled. "Thank you, Kanan!"

Kanan shooed her away, "Ah ah ah... Just go. But if I don't like how things are going we will leave, go that?"

Adria sighed. "Fine, okay." She shot up from her chair and sauntered over to where the man with the glowing amulet was still speaking to the bartender. She tapped him on the shoulder. "Err... excuse me? I heard you were looking for people to join you on your quest?"

(OOC: Feel free to fill in the dialogue as you see fit from there)

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