Awareness came slowly, dimly, and without fanfare. There was no pearly-toothed smiles, no playful roll of the eyes, nor irritated grimace or dismissive sighs. What greeted Zeldryn as he woke was clear, unbroken inky sky, embossed with twinkling buds of blue starlight fighting to blossom in the fading light of the evening. It was beautiful. At least,it would've been, if not for the brain-piercing gale thundering through his skull like a herd of ornery bison. He tried to heave himself upward, but failed, only managing the slightest of squirms upon the gritty cobblestones as his leather-clad fingers pawed absently for some sort of leverage. Suddenly, and without warning, the edge of a pole bopped against the crown of his skull.
"Hey," The voice repeated, echoing dully into his hazy senses. "Wake up."
"Piss!" Zeldryn silently hissed, both hands flying near-instantly to his face to paw at the impact zone. A moment later, after assuring himself of the wholeness of his scalp, he managed a blink toward his assailant.
"Is that you, Vodr?" He croaked. In truth, he didn't really give a damn who was poking at him. His tongue felt like sand, and his throat felt as though he'd spent the greater part of six bells breathing in campfire smoke or eating salt. That being said, everything was starting to click together in his mind a bit more clearly. It was dark, but not too dark, and he hadn't heard the belltowers quite yet. But if he was a gambling man, it was somewhere within the realms of eight bells post-zenith. He could be wrong, though. The headache wasn't doing anything for his calculation ability, nor was the veritable punch to the face he'd just recieved in his slumber.
Before he could continue along that particular road of thought, he felt the ice-cold embrace of brushed steel chilling the flesh of his throat. Without being given so much as a moment to squeal, he wheezed as his neckerchief tightened into a stranglehold around his throat, and the press of gravity abandoned him as he was torn up and onto his feet. An instant afterward, he was wheezing and clutching at his windpipe, hazel eyes boring into the faceplate of his assailant.
"You're a disgrace." The voice's owner chited, shaking his head as he inspected the shorter man from head to toe. He was a tall, lean gentleman, and his tabbard was cleanly pressed and adorned with the symbol of the Western Coalition. Clean cut and official though he might've looked, the tone echoing out of his shiny helmet dripped with anything but humility.
"Handsome, too." Zeldryn wheezed in retort, carefully extracting the patrolman's gauntlet from his neckerchief.
"Any particular reason i'm being assaulted today, officer?" He continued, his drawling brogue unmistakeable. Before the armored man could respond, however, he continued.
"Or do I just have a particularly annoyin' face?" His usual flavor of charm was met with a tilt of the head that expressed monumental levels of irritation. At least, it did to the blurry-eyed sellsword's perception. The patrolman's gauntlet-clad hand tightened around the haft of his halbard, angling it's point over Zeldryn's shoulder.
"You were leaning against their wall in a drunken stupor, sleeping and drooling on yourself." The patrolman stated matter-of-factly. Zeldryn briefly followed the length of the halbard's point toward the finely built establishment at his back, and recognition slowly dawned in his mind. With a slow, purposeful nod of his head, he narrowed his eyes a bit, one hand reflexively moving to rub at his temple as he framed the most measured response he could articulate.
"...And?" He slowly queried.
"And.." The patrolman began, astonishment clearly shining in his voice.
"And... They didn't wish for drunken layabouts scaring away potential customers." At that, Zeldryn could only give himself a brief glance over, appraising one of the faceted sapphires adorning his waistcoat. With a shrug of a shoulder, he cocked his head to one side, drew his half-smoked pipe from out of his belt pouch, inspected it briefly, and propped it between his teeth as he offered up his response.
"Alrigh', that's fair," He started, sparking the pipe to life, inhaling briefly, and exhaling smoke back toward the patrolmen through his nostrils.
"But it ain't like I'm underdressed or nothin'. I mean, I'm a pretty good look for the place. The sapphires, and the silks, and the handsome complexion. I mean. Ya' gotta' admit. There could be uglier, surlier drunks hangin' about the place, aye?" As Zeldryn spoke, he took periodic breaks to puff at his pipe, tap a finger against one of the aformentioned sapphires or silks, or wave his hands about to further emphasise his point. All the while, the patrolmen simply continued to stare on in stunned silence.
"Sir, if you don't leave, I'm going to have to take you in." The clearly exasperated mercenary warned. At that, the shorter sellsword simply shrugged his shoulders.
"Oh, s'fine. 'Ppreciate ya' wakin' me, pal. Their walls sure ain't as comfy as their beds." He drawled. As he spoke, he finished up what remained within his pipe, then, sputtering as he swallowed a mouthful of ash, He spared himself a moment to glare at the pipe's interior, then casually emptied it out onto one of the building's windowframes before stuffing the pipe back into his pouch. With that accomplished, he angled his gaze back toward the patrolman's featureless visor.
"Now what can -I- do fer' -you-, handsome?"
And at that, the patrolmen turned and walked off, shaking his helmeted head and muttering quietly to himself about the sorts of individuals one has to deal with in this gods-forsaken quarantine.
Zeldryn, of course, unscrewed his flask, splashed a mouthful of whiskey into his gullet, and casually swaggered his way toward his usual corner bench in Founder's Square. The night was young, and full of possibility.
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