God Died

Title: God Died
Time Period: July 27, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Maddock might be proud of his daughter's bargaining skills, at least she's putting more than the spread of her legs to use.

Afanc Armors isn't known for being a friendly place as it was during the reign of Douglas Brown, even if it was in a similar state of disrepair for years now. It was that state of disrepair that brought a couple of teenage boys there to offer some landscaping and gardening duties in exchange for their very own armor. They are in the process of leaving down the overgrown path with disappointed looks on their faces. Blake is in the doorway; lit well by the east-lying sun. "Don't slam my fuckin' door, you cunts!" He sounds angry, but isn't giving chase and doesn't have a hand on the sword he wears. The boys, however, are hurrying as if they didn't expect him to follow even that far; not looking in the direction of the road as they retreat now. Even if they did look ahead, it's rather hard to see in the eastern direction for the moment. Especially after leaving the unlit shop.

As the boys pass her by, Luna's free hand goes to the scarf at her shoulders, pulling it up to cover her neck completely and ducking her face away from either of them. Her other hand holds a few copper pipes. She's grown used to the sort of language spewing fom Blake's mouth, at least used enough to not flinch. The comparison between swear words and bullets has dulled her to their use, Duncan is a genius.

Her sharp eyes graze the overgrown front of the armory, looking for anything that might be of interest, but she doesn't immediately see anything so focuses on the man himself. "Mister Esho, always a pleasure to hear you in good spirits." It's said with a cordial kindness, the fake sort that happens with wealth. The sort that Luna's practiced pretty much her entire life.

Blake lifts a hand at arm's reach to shade his eyes from the sun so he can see the owner of the voice. It be noted he does this with his off-hand, and his right is resting near his belt buckle; thumb behind the leather but quite close to the blade on his hip. He spots Luna and gives her a look over, then glances at the backs of the two boys now not-quite-rushing to the road. He sniffs, spits into the weeds to the side of the path, and then looks back to the woman. "Is it still Miss Owens?" he asks with an indifferent tone, but continues rather than waiting for an answer. "Not like you to cover up. Did someone punch you, or have you contracted leprosy or some other fuckin' disease?" There's not really any spite in the words even though they are quite unkind.

"Aye, it's still Miss Owens, that hasn't changed." Promises made between the sheets notwithstanding. "And if someone had punched me, I'd expect Duncan would have their hands mounted as trophies after he'd cut them off." Still, Luna keeps at the effort to keep the light scarf where it is. As she approaches, the thin material is transparent enough to allow a glimpse at what she's hiding, a nasty set of twisted scars.

The pipes are lifted to point one end into the dirt and held at her side. Like shiny walking sticks. "I've come into quite a bit of metal, I was wondering if you'd care to make some trades— or if you have anything that might be of interest to me at all."

Blake lowers his hand as Luna approaches. His eyes are squinted to nearly being shut, but he still looks at her for several seconds in consideration before turning and walking back into the shop in silent welcome.

Inside, even though sunlight pours in through the doorway, the contrast of the dimness is incredible. The windows are closed and the place is dominated by the smell of metal and (thankfully tanned) leather. Blake makes his way over to a chair that sits in front of the counter rather than behind it. The only thing that has changed recently is the shelves behind the counter appear to have been rebuilt. He doesn't sit like a gentleman at all; slouching and spread-kneed. "Is it like those pipes you carry?" he asks in a less than apathetic manner, and he wouldn't be asking at all if he didn't think himself to have something of interest. Blake hates to waste his time.

"Some of it's pipes, some of it's sheets," she leans the two she brought against the counter close enough to Blake that the floral scents that dust her skin tickle at his senses. Not finding another chair to sit on, Luna leans backward against the counter instead, propped on elbows that allow for too little arm movement to keep the scarf up. When it slips down, the red zipper pattern that winds along her pale skin and down into her sleeve becomes remarkably visible.

She looks around lazily, her eyes falling on the leather, studying it for a time before she gives her attention back to him. "What've you to trade for it, if I were to bring it all? I know how much metal is worth and I know what I have can be melted to quite sizeable ingots. So don't try to win me over with any charm to swindle me." It might be a joke.

Most people have the manners to not stare at or mention a nasty scar like the one Luna wears, especially when trying to negotiate, but Blake looks right at it for a few seconds without any concern about whether or not it makes the woman uncomfortable. "How did you end up with that fucker?" Standing up, he adds a statement that isn't directed at her at all in a louder voice. "Get out 'ere and keep an eye on our guest." He walks through the opening into the workshop; still easily in earshot. As he does so, Pighead hops out of the small bedroom adjacent to it, then hops forward again to clear the canvas that hangs down and covers half his body. The familiar spirit is in its default guise, and has changed very little since their childhoods.

In the workshop, Blake can be heard moving some heavy boxes around to get to something.

"I fought against a god and came out with this as a trophy," it's her new story this week. Much more colorful and heroic than 'I got bitten by a giant bat'. Pighead receives a look of disdain from the former whore and she moves a few more feet in the opposite direction, once again lifting the scarf up over her scars and trying to keep it in place with a fancy knot. The ugly toad might make it worse, by adding a wart, or something to that effect. "Duncan says it's a mark of courage."

Even though Blake's moved away from her, he might still be able to smell the perfume when she moves to follow him to the workshop. He's better company than the toad, if only because he talks back and isn't all deformed. At least as far as she can see, who knows what's hidden underneath clothing. She lingers at the doorway, respecting the workspace enough to not enter it without permission.

Pighead's stare is worse than any mother's. The fire-bellied toad's apparent judgment is only interrupted by blinking, but those jutting eyes never leave Luna's face, even though the mystical creature keeps distant.

Blake, on the other hand, isn't looking at Luna at all. He is on his knees and half under a table as he shifts boxes around to get to a chest. Sliding the reinforced container out, he comments a bit loudly (not realizing she's moved to the doorway), "Duncan's just tryin' to make you feel a bit fuckin' better about lookin' like something tried to gnaw your face off." He opens the trunk and pulls out the item on top. It's a hide, and it takes up most of the container's space. He doesn't bring this to Luna, but instead tosses it onto a table to get it out of his way; revealing the cured skin of an elephant. He then looks back into the trunk. "Hit the light, would ye?" He refers to the button just inside the doorway that'll turn the electric hanging overhead on.

"He is not," Luna's outburst in defense of her benefactor is just as much for her own sake as it is the absent man's. In short, she's had the same thoughts niggling at her. That's where it ends, though, she doesn't give Blake or Pighead any more cause to look by wrapping the scarf double around her throat and tucking it in at the shoulder for added security. It's only after she's through does she push the button.

Because she's curious, not because he told her to.

The sudden illumination on the hide causes her to gasp and rush forward. Her hands skim along the wrinkled surface of the leather, her eyes flitting between the armorer and the skin. "What is this?" There's never been an elephant in Dornie, not that she knows of. "Is it very young dragon?"

"Sure he ai-" Blake stops his digging to lean back and twist to see what Luna has gotten so excited about. He blinks rapidly as his eyes adjust to the light, then lifts an eyebrow at her. "An elephant. They live in Africa and Asia, I'm told. Not sure if there are any in Europe. Never seen one myself. Was goin' to turn it into one hell of a gambeson, but it'd only be fuckin' wearable on days that'll make your nipples freeze off. …Guess it'd make an interestin' rug or somethin' decent to throw down under your sleepin' bag on a huntin' trip." He frowns thoughtfully, and pushes himself to his feet. He watches the woman to try and gauge her level of interest. "I do like to hunt…."

"Oh no," she breathes, obviously in awe of the skin as her gaze falls from Blake completely and gives its entire to the leather. "I'd use it to make a saddle and bridle, perhaps some bags. Boots… Oh could you imagine… I'd be the envy of every woman in Dornie." Her face brightens up quite dramatically, possibly the happiest she's been outside of the bedroom she's been since her little incident.

Then Luna grips a corner of it and stares up at him, expression set into a non nonsense, businesslike thing that may have been practiced for too many years. "I'll take it, in exchange for all of my metal."

Blake presses his lips together at the offer and inhales through his nose in clear consideration. "Aye. All the nose-in-the-air bitches would hate you," is said as if that's a good thing. He knows when Luna wants something she doesn't give up easily, if ever, and he either ponders aloud or pretends to do so. "But I doubt I'll ever see one of these again. This building is nearly a century old and this is the first time we 'ave had a hide like this." He walks closer and runs his fingers down over the unique texture of the hide. "I am sure you understand my reluctance to part with it…." He looks up from it to stare at her eyes rather than the scarf. "I'm interested in your metals, but… I can trade some o' these hauberks I have ready for such things. Maybe you would be interested in some silver instead?" The smith is playing hardball.

"No, the hide or nothing. There's a smith in Dornie that would be willing to make a good trade for the quality of metal I have. It's from the time before, from a city." Herr Hossfeld had mentioned once or twice the difficulty of metal gathering. As a prostitute Luna would take ingots in exchange for her time and sometimes even for her company. "Or Marcus Rowntree might want it for his munitions factory, I've quite a number of options."

She lean in close to Blake, narrowing her eyes, close enough that he can not only smell the perfume but the sweet mint leaves she must have chewed before making her appearance here. "How many options do you have, Mister Esho, for a load of metal and the gratitude of a woman in my position?" Not her position in his shop, she means. "I'm not interested in silver or armor, I've no need for it. I've got Duncan Rowntree."

"Position don't mean a fuckin' thing to me unless I'm fuckin'," he tells Luna without a hint of shame. Turning and raising a hand to his chin in thought, Blake frowns thoughtfully. He sits back against one of the workbenches opposite the hide so he's facing it, and crosses his feet at the ankles. "I imagine Duncan is already rather fond of me on a business level. He knows that I charge militia and guard almost nothin' for chain. They don't need copper at the factory. They need iron, carbon and oil. A blacksmith can't offer you anything this rare." He lifts his hand from his chin just far enough to tap a finger back against it. "'ave anything to sweeten the deal? I'm tempted, but my gut tells me ya need to put a li'le bit more on the scales to balance the barter."

"It's not all copper, just the two pieces I brought," Luna huffs, leaning back again and placing her hands on the hide once more. "I'll throw in a bottle of wine, it's also from the city. The cork's still solid and there's no bubbles against the glass when you tip it, which means it's still good. So that's a load of metal and a two hundred year old bottle of wine." She's never known Blake to drink but there are enough drunks and collectors in town that he might see it as a worthwhile haul.

"As you said, a blacksmith can't offer me anything this rare but there's no one else that will offer you a bottle that rare." Folding her arms just under her chest, Luna studies Blake and then shoots a glance to Pighead in the other room. Then back to Blake. "I think the barter is fairly balanced as it stands now."

This offer is considered longly rather than jumped on, but Blake removes his hand from his chin to extend it towards Luna, stops, and narrows his eyes. "The rest had better be quality. If I end up gettin' a big fuckin' pile o' rust and crumble I am not goin' to be happy. I don't care whose cock ya get wet; I'm not someone to fuck over." He stares her dead in the eyes with that jaw-set, squinty expression for a few seconds and seeks confirmation, "Understood?" Only then does his hand come out the rest of the way to offer the chance to seal the deal.

Pighead takes this opportunity to push back with his forelimbs to expose that warty red belly to Luna for a couple of seconds before falling to his back, kicking back upright clumsily and returning to that blinking, judging stare.

"It's good, no rust, I promise this much." Her hand meets his, though slimmer and not as strong, Luna's shake is firm and businesslike. Too much like her father's. Only when her fingers have slipped away and are back on the hide, which is now hers, she gives a slight grin. "If I were to fuck you over, Blake Esho, it'd be done thoroughly, properly, and most assuredly an experience you wouldn't dream of complaining about." But she wouldn't, because that's all behind her now.

Pighead's assumed threat is given less attention than she gives the floor under her feet. None at all.

The weight of the hide proves too much for someone as slight as Luna Owens to contend with. But she's also greedy and she doesn't want to part with it either. "Will you be picking up the metal and wine? If so, would you care to come with me now to fetch it?"

Blake's own handshake is firm; almost enough to cause pain, and certainly leaving a bit of a grayish smear on the heel of Luna's hand. "Braggin' about the glory of your cunt? I thought you retired from bein' a whore," he comments with half-lowered eyelids. Reaching for the scarf casually, he attempts to pull it down to try and look at the blemish she covers once more. "I 'ave a hand-cart out on the side of the shop." He pauses for a few seconds, lips slightly pursed as if he's going to elaborate on that subject. He doesn't. Instead he stares at her and lowers his hand. "It'll be less angry in time, but Master Brown would say it's God's way to teach you humility." With that blunt honesty offered once more even though he isn't religious, Blake makes his way out of the shop and calls out, "Keep an eye on the place, fuckhead!" Pighead's response is to stare at the smith.

"I wasn't talking about my cunt."

Her words are hissed, serpent-like. It's fairly obvious by the way Luna snatches the scarf from Blake's fingertips that it's not his verbal abuse that she's offended by. Alabaster cheeks redden and she looks away, adjusting it back to its previous position and hiding them away from her own view as much as the armorer's. "God died when magic took back the world."