A Sobering Sight

Title: A Sobering Sight
Time Period: August 1, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Drunk pals Jorn and Todd exit the Albatross and find a medium in need of their help.

Coming upon a friendly face at random can sometimes be a miracle, where Jorn Wartooth is concerned. Most people to have spoken to him know that he is not so bad under all that armor and fur and scalding blue eyes- but that is, incidentally, a minority, compared to the rest of Dornie. So when he happened to find a fellow ranging huntsman at the Albatross, it took all of ten seconds before Jorn put himself down nearby. It took slightly longer for he and Todd Blackburn to get deeper into the cups. Before long, the two find themselves roaming about outside- and in the berserker's case, at least- only a vague recollection of why they left the Albatross in the first place. He knows he was content with his fill, when he left. One supposes that is enough.

"Then, he turns to me and tells me to take my mud outside. After I lose a boot going out in the bog, trying to catch that stupidly skittish horse of his." Whatever story that Jorn is telling Todd, it is a tale between complaint and anecdote; he does not sound particularly angry, but it almost sounds as if there is going to be a moral to it. There is not. With the waterfront only as busy as it usually gets in the evening, there are not a great many people around to overhear. A couple wagons, a handful of folk walking about. Lamps sputtering on damp wicks.

If pressed, it isn't likely that Todd could pinpoint the cause of the two rangers leaving the pub either. His breath reeks of ale and his step is swaggered with it as well, but he's walking more or less a straight line. Mostly. The hunter nods along with Jorn's tale, hemming and harrumphing at appropriate intervals to indicate his support of the very unjustly treated Jorn. "Take your mud outside? I hope you pulled him out and tossed him in the bog. The git. What happened to the horse?" The hunter turns curious eyes on Jorn, taking a moment to pause in his tracks so he can readjust the upper lip of one of his boots, almost as if warding off the phantom bog.

Further along in the road stands a tall and lean man, back to them. Normally, the mist that comes this time of night off of the water is just part of the environment, a nightly sight in Dornie, but given the familiar posture of the man ahead, it seems suddenly fitting and a little chilling. Beisdean Skye stands stock-still in the middle of the street; if it weren't odd enough, from his right hand a flask is held canted slightly to the side and open so that there's a drip-drip-drip of amber fluid onto the street below.

A raven circles above, cawing now and then as if to try to shake the man from whatever reverie has taken him over, or perhaps scare away something unseen.
"Ah, I got her out. Practically had to drag her though." Jorn scoffs and sniffs air into his lungs. "I don't know why he keeps her. She always panics off like that. Would make a good pony for a better rider." A firmer hand, you know, does wonders. Jorn chortles at the thought of reciprocation, pausing when Todd slows to fix his own boot. "Almost tossed him, except I'd get flayed good for it. Gods know I love the guy, but sometimes-" He makes a fist, giving it a firm rattle in the air just in front of him, as if strangling something.

"Sometimes I just want to wring his neck. Or punch him right to the moon. Maybe both." The sound of a raven's crackling call in the dark takes Jorn away from whoever he was strangling in his mind's eye, and has him glancing into the air, chin jutting outward. The northman does not see the man standing there until he looks down again, away from the black bird making its circles.

"Hnnmh?" Jorn makes an indistinguishable sound, eyebrows meeting when it is clear the man is more unmoving than even a tree.

Todd shakes his head; "I can't imagine why more people don't use mules. A mule wouldn't get. Wouldn't get into a stupid predicamememement like that. Too clever." As he stumbles over the polysyllabic word the hunter taps at the side of his head, demonstrating for Jorn the intelligence of mules. Go figure. "Put him in the bog. Jorn. No one will know."

And then it comes to the hunter's attention that there is something weird going on, which in Dornie is not all that unusual. He totally ignores the bird in favor of giving the man in the street a very squinty eyeballing, the smartness-indicating hand dropping down to fall onto Jorn's shoulder. "Lookit."

[Help] Banshee has connected.

And suddenly, Beisdean moves, falling to his knees like the proverbial ton of bricks. The flask goes clattering against cobblestone, spilling whatever remained; the newly emptied hand joins the other grasping at his throat, and he gasps for breath, as if he'd been choking.

The raven swoops down to land in front of him; glossy black feathers become sable and gold fur and a marten scampers up the man's legs to his back, curling around his shoulders with a protective "Tch!"

"S'all right, Dubh," Beisdean says quietly — his voice is clear enough despite the choking gestures.

"Everyone would know." Jorn says, aside, with a lingering chuckle. Todd tells him to look, and the Nord looks away from the man he was already squinting at, to give the other man a leveled frown. He may be taller and older, but Todd outdoes him in the Captain Obvious department. Jorn jerks his head back when the man falls downward, recognixing him only when he shifts judt so, and is joined by the familiar little mammal. Blackburn will be able to see the dawning expression best.

"Beisdean-" The bootfalls behind him are quicker than one could expect, insofar as Jorn has been drinking. "-are you alright?" Darklight is in the way of grabbing a shoulder, so Jorn instead grabs at the medium's upper arm to steady him.

Todd is allowed to be Captain Obvious in cases like this, where he is really certain that the situation deserves the full attention of everyone in the immediate area. In this case, 'everyone' is 'Jorn,' but first things first: "No one would know," he sees fit to repeat. The hunter frowns as his companion steps away and starts along after him, though his footsteps are more of a ponderous half-shuffle at this point. "Damn waste of liquor. Man should be put in stocks… Come 'way from him, Jorn."

Beisdean coughs once, as if he might be sick, but nods once. "There was a murder here," he says quietly, eyes glazing as if he's remembering what he just saw. "A woman… strangled. I saw it. Felt it. I don't think it was recent." This last is added hurriedly in case the two men go racing off to find a killer and leave him here kneeling on the damp ground. "I didn't recognize him. His clothing was strange."

The younger man tries to rise but wavers, and in that moment, something changes in Beisdean's expression. He grabs Jorn's wrist, with more strength it seems than Beisdean has in him at that moment.

"Don't listen to him — my murderer! You can find him, you can kill him for me," the man hisses, but there's something off in it — the accent is thicker, more Scottish than Beisdean's, so muddied by his travels, and there's something more feminine in the tone, though it's not pitched higher than Beisdean's low voice.

"This man is a friend, Todd." Jorn looks up to murmur this to the approaching man, mouth downturned and hand still around Beisdean's bicep. He turns his head to listen, hesitant to let go, in case the younger man crashes facefirst into the stone. "Take a breath, now, you'll be-" A bearish noise of confusion comes abruptly, when there is a shift in manner and tone, and the hand latches onto his wrist. It takes a moment longer for Jorn to realize what is going on, precisely. He takes the reins as well as he can, while not so sober.

"You're dead! Leave this boy alone!" Jorn nearly barks this right in the poor kid's ear. "You menace him —"

A sobering sight, to be sure. Todd watches as the young man has his little fit and is quickly tended to by the other ranger, standing a good three yards away from the pair. He doesn't jump or startle at the disturbing sights and sounds, but instead his features darken and his brows furrow. "Bloody hell. Jorn, I've had too much ale to deal with this tonight. Call on me in the morning if he's still babblin' nonsense and we'll throw him in the bog too." And, with that, the hunter starts tromping away, his shoulders hunched and his back stubbornly turned.

Beisdean's eyes narrow, and one hand comes up to slap Jorn across the face with a resounding smack. "I am not tormenting him! He pulls me to him. How dare you!"

The hand falls away, and so does Beisdean, unless Jorn continues to hold him up; the air grows colder for a moment, and then Beisdean slumps; his hands come up to his head and he groans — clearly himself again, and clearly in pain.

"Fucking bitch…" he growls, before his eyes seek Jorn's face. "Sorry, mate."

Beisdean is lucky that Jorn does not try to strike him back; he might be just as like to hit the head off his shoulders as slap him across his cheek. The northman puffs out his cheeks in offense, ears reddening as he is abandoned to a collapsing Beisdean. Todd was right, though. Jorn has had too much ale to deal with this, but here he is anyway, holding onto the other man long enough to sit him down on the road.

"At least she didn't try to punch me in the jewels… are you okay?"

"Aye-nnnno," Beisdean groans out, fingers pressing into his eyes. "That doesn't happen too often. Stumble on a spot someone died and it floods in, y'know? Like I'm them. I guess it's their way of telling me how they died, of making sure someone sees it, feels it. Maybe that way they don't feel so alone. But it's… well."

He drops his hands and looks up, eyes weary and haunted looking. He puts one hand on Jorn's shoulder to pull himself up. "It's like dying."

The words are short and grim.

A shaky breath is taken and he shakes his head as if to clear it. "They don't usually show up after. And they don't usually take me over, either. I'm sorry I hit you." He glances down at his hand, reddened by the impact, and frowns at it.

"You're all right?" Like a slap could do much to the warrior, aside from possibly sting a bit.

He can probably smell the Albatross on Jorn, so it should come as no surprise that helping someone up comes with a haggard sort of stumble in place. Still, Jorn manages to not let Beisdean- or himself- keep tilting over.

"Looks like you got hurt more'n I did, venn." Jorn lets out an abrupt laugh, though it is also his usual subdued joy. "I am fine. My friend less so, I think he was disturbed by it." That said, the nord is not quite used to it either. Just that it is less of a shock to him, to see something puppet poor Beisdean on its strings.

"Where do you need to go?"

"Just to the inn," Beisdean murmurs, a hand wave in that general direction. "I'd try to be manly and say I can make it but that'd be a lie."

Using Jorn as a crutch he begins to move in that direction. "Disturbing others is one of my specialties. Apologize to him for me, would you?"

The marten on his shoulder suddenly flutters into the sky, once more in the dark form of a raven. After a moment of quiet, watching Darklight once more circle above him. "I owe you a drink or a cup of tea if you're at sobering o'clock," he adds to Jorn with a chuckle.
[Help] Idris has connected.

"I'll tell him, but he's a suspicious sort." Jorn nods once, curtly. "And as you can see, not apt to like strange things while he is sloshing about." He looks up after Darklight, sniffing the wet harbour air as he begins the trek back to the inn, now with a different partner in crime.

"I'd take some tea. And just maybe a promise you'll do the same for me if I go flopping about in the road." Jorn laughs again, something wary in his words that makes them less jolly than before.

Beisdean chuckles. "He's militia," he says, as if that's reason enough. "A pot of tea on me, then, and a promise to serve as a crutch if you ever need it. Fair deal."

The sounds and smells of the inn, closer now, are like the beacon promising warmth and shelter from the fog around them that dampens hair, skin and fabric.

"Thank you," is finally explicitly spoken.