fter arriving back in Falcon’s Hollow and receiving her pay from Laurel, Kieyanna secured lodging at Jak’a’ Napes. Kieyanna wolfed down a huge meal of flank steak and bread, especially enjoying the berry cobbler for dessert, then retired upstairs for the evening. She managed to warm enough water for a pleasant bath and added a few herbs to the water that she had purchased at Laurel’s shop. She enjoyed soaking her tired muscles and ridding her body of sweat and stink. Her armor was necessary for protection, but it certainly encouraged more sweating than regular clothing would. After a leisurely soak in the sweet-smelling water, she rinsed out her clothing and laid it out to dry in her room.
After spending several days adventuring, she was always glad to sleep in a real bed. The beds at the Inn weren’t the best, but they would do. Her healing Firefoot curled up at the foot of her bed, his chin on her feet, and slept.
In the morning, she luxuriated in the feeling of clean clothing then broke her fast in the dining room at the Inn, enjoying her cinnamon flapjacks, then spent time cleaning her weapons. She used some old rags to wipe clean the blades of her sword, starknife, and arrows and played some with her Firefoot. He was growing stronger every day and had taken a liking to her—she supposed if she were caught in a trap as bait and someone saved her life, she’d quite like that person, too. She needed to come up with a name for him, but mulled it over some more. She hoped that D’hohar would help her train the Firefoot. He seemed to be gifted with animals, having two animal companions himself.
At lunch she ventured back down to the dining room and supped with D’hohar and Zandu. Zandu had had an eventful morning, learning all about Droskar’s Crucible and the history behind the dwarven monastery where they’d fought lots of evil creatures. It was fascinating information, but her mind was wandering a bit to something she’d overheard in the dining room the night before. She excused herself from her companions and went upstairs to outfit for her afternoon.
She took with her only her starknife, hidden under her clothes, and went to seek out Ralla Hebbrandan at the Rogue Lady. Kieyanna had heard that Ralla Hebbrandan was the main attraction at the burlesque show, but that wasn’t what appealed to her. In general she appreciated the beauty of both men and women, but had never found herself close enough to anyone of either gender to fulfill any physical desires she may have had.
Her interest in Ralla stemmed from her upbringing in Andoran. She vehemently believed everyone deserved to be free and fought valiantly to make sure people were. Seeing people held against their wills made a rage well up in her. She had heard that Ralla’s parents had died when she was a teenager, and felt a kinship to this woman before having even met her. The story that was told was that Ralla had to support her younger brother and was raped by the owner of the Rogue Lady. She then went to work in the brothel, but was favored above others and now only serviced excessively wealthy clients. She wasn’t being physically held against her will or her body being sold with no recompense for her, but Kieyanna was fiercely angry at the situation…this woman worked in such an establishment only to pay the bills and to care for her brother, but she was still a servant of sorts, to others’ wishes. She stayed because she felt it necessary, not because she wanted to.
Kieyanna caused a stir when she entered the Rogue Lady in the early afternoon and requested to speak with the main star of the burlesque shows. All of the showgirls were in, practicing for their shows. Kieyanna pretended that she was a showgirl from another town and had heard of the wonderful Ralla, was there hoping to get some tips to increase the popularity of her own burlesque shows. She had to try very hard not to lash out at the security guards working at the establishment who eyed her, imagining her with little to nothing on, but managed to keep calm until she was shown to Ralla’s quarters.
Ralla was as beautiful as everyone said, but Kieyanna could tell that behind her facade of makeup and fiery attitude, she was tired and sad. Kieyanna dispensed with her premise soon after meeting Ralla and frankly told her that she abhorred when people were not free, in any way shape or form. Kieyanna told Ralla her life story, lingering especially on the murder of her mother and her father’s leaving her to fend for herself. Ralla confirmed that she would rather be doing anything else, anywhere else, but felt tied to the Rogue Lady both because of her brother and because of Kabran Bloodeye. She was afraid for her life and that of her brother if she ever left, and at this point felt that burlesque shows and pleasing men were the only things she could do to earn money. She didn’t know what she would do or where she would go if she left. As much as she hated to admit it, she was able to influence wealthy men in positions of power in Falcon’s Hollow, which she could use to her advantage if she were clever.
Kieyanna understood her fear of her employer and taught Ralla a few personal defense moves in case she ever needed them. The two hadn’t spent much time together but seemed to understand each other, and the reasons each did what they did. Kieyanna hated the fact that Ralla felt trapped and unable to change her situation, but there was nothing she could do at the time. The two spent all afternoon talking with each other, and felt quite a friendship forming. Kieyanna promised to check in on Ralla whenever she was nearby, and Ralla swore to practice the moves Kieyanna taught her. Ralla had a dagger she carried with her, and enjoyed learning how to better use it for self defense.
Kieyanna slipped out the back door of the Rogue Lady before evening set upon Falcon’s Hollow and walked along the river for a while, lost in thought. It seemed that Ralla could be a good friend, even if one seen only every so often when she came through Falcon’s Hollow for a job. She thought also of her two adventuring companions. One a half-elf like herself, the other a human. She had enjoyed the company and banter among them, and delighted in having Rumble around. She loved animals and was glad to have her own animal companion. She hoped that the trio would continue to adventure together. She felt some kinship with these men as well…possibly because they had survived a bewitched cauldron, a tatzylworm, and all the horrors of the dwarven monastery together. Perhaps in their company she could feel like she belonged.
She made her way back to Jak’a’ Napes and again enjoyed flank steak, bread, and berry cobbler for dinner. She treated herself to a mug of beer and thought over her adventures, both out of town and in.