The Facemaker.

January 13th, 2014 by Zundra · No Comments · Character development


Fasimba_Rushkah_001Laikah wasn’t above pushing someone, physically or otherwise, to receive her help when she thought they were in need of it. Ohiska had proven to be a reluctant charge to the ageing Darkspear woman; He picked at the meals she prepared for him and balked at the tinctures she brewed for his health. Exasperated, she dragged him to the Wyvern’s Tail in the hope that someone else could convince him to trust all that she was doing.

When they entered,  the aroma of several species of meat immediately bloomed in their nostrils. Smoke stung their eyes and quarreled with their vision. The scene was noisome, almost intimidating. Garralous Goblin patrons fussed over menu items before a lethargic old cook. Orc men laughed uproariously over a game of dice in the corner. A lone Tauren man was stamping his hoof over a rug that had been set alight. The two Darkspear trolls brushed past the excitable limbs of drunken adventurers as though they were in a dark, liquor-soaked forest. Laikah motioned with her elbow when she finally spotted him. “There. let’s take a seat.”

Fa’simba crouched over a low-set table with his knees buried in sad, withered cushions. He suckled on a barely lit pipe, eyes glazed over as he watched the same tired scenes. When Laikah approached, his face molded from boredom to relief. “About time. This be him?”

“Aye, this be him. You two get acquainted, I be ordering the meals.” Before Ohiska could protest, Laikah began to gesture wildly in a mad pantomime of urgency. She was convincing enough for a runtish Orc waiter to notice, bypassing two other tables full of hungry patrons on the way over to her. Ohiska sat in quiet frustration as she repeatedly butted a finger into the Orc man’s chest and made very clear what was to go into the broth. Fa’simba leaned in closer to distract him. “So. Laikah here be telling me a little about you, Ohiska.”

Ohiska folded his knees up into his chest defensively. “That matters not. Who be you?”

Laikah turned and caught the exchange gently in her hands, turning it from becoming hostile. ‘I be sorry, Ohiska. Don’t mean to be spreading tales – Fa’simba be friendly, trust that.”

“What have you been telling him, Laikah?”

She sighed, as though Ohiska’s senseless need to know about such prosaic details had ruined all of her fun. “I brought you here for two reasons. Firstly, there be a dish they make in this hole-in-the wall that will improve your fortitude greatly. Secondly?  Fasimba here be having a particular gift. He be a crafter of Rushkah. Special ones. You dig?”

“Rushkah…”Will… will a Rushkah be required for our ritual?”

Fa’simba interrupted, clearly offended by the question. “Of course it will. What you and Laikah be doin’ be awful foolish, but brave. I be owing Laikah a favor, and here it be spent. I am here to help.” He sat back against the wall and began to pack his pipe with tobacco from a dirty old tin atop the table. “And I’m very good. You best be trusting me.”

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Ohiska said nothing but his averted gaze told Laikah that he was skeptical at best. As the Orc returned with three bowls of steaming hot stew, she voiced her appreciation as if to stir hunger and excitement in the two men. “Ah, I be famished. And this be just the thing for old, hollowing bones. Eat up!” She took to the bowl with gusto, noisily slurping and mmm-ing.
Fa’simba stirred his spoon in the bowl for a moment before bringing it to his mouth, mostly as a courtesy to Laikah. He wasn’t all that hungry. Ohiska found himself pleasantly surprised by the aroma of root vegetables and spices. It appeared that his meal differed slightly to theirs, and this pleased him. He took off his own Rushkah, a precious heirloom of his former master Zul’huja, and began to eat.

After several minutes of varying levels of appetite, the three looked up at one another. Fa’simba took it as his cue to begin sketching. He unrolled a bundle of tightly wounded parchments that lay beside him and picked up a charcoal stick from the table. He asked Ohiska many questions, all of which seemed to overwhelm the small Troll and expose him to feelings of vulnerability and emotional depredation. What was his preferred colour? What colours did he see when he dreamt? Who was his patron Loa? Who was his greatest defeated foe? What was his greatest fear, and had he conquered it? As Ohiska meandered self-consciously through the questions, Fa’simba sketched imagery across the paper.

Laikah spoke up during a pause. “How long will it take to craft?”
“Oh, a few days, maybe.”
She clucked her tongue. “Too long. This one’s soul-sickness won’t hold out til then.”
A sigh squeezed through pursed lips. A Rushkah is not something to be rushed, but if a life depends upon it, then little can be argued.

“Tomorrow. Come back here tomorrow.”

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