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Valimar
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Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


The Jester's Hour

August 11th/Tuesday Afternoon
Northern Thollin
The Jesters Hour/Eldarast/Thollin Capital

Though Eldarast still basked in the soft fire of a setting sun, shadows already clung to the corners of the common room of the Jesters Hour like dark cobwebs. The air hung in a haze of tobacco smoke, and stank of ale, red meat, burning wood and sweat. To sooth his already ruffled nerves from their recent shock, Master Hillock was forced to duck into the kitchen where he could gulp down the last few swigs of his flask of very potent Dwarf Spirits. The best remedy for ruffled nerves was to numb them, so he always said!

Returning to his post behind the bar, the tender was just in time to hear the first few notes of the dark bards song. He played no instrument, yet his clear, soothing voice hushed all conversation as it spun it’s way, sorrowful, and eerily enchanting around the common room. Each word he wove settled on the listeners like gentle raindrops, and soaked into their mind with images as clear as a dreamt reality. The door to the kitchen even cracked open, and the shaggy heads of the cooks peered at him in curious awe.

When the song was finished, a brief silence settled over the inn, as if in reverent reflection, before the first, scattered handclaps, like the first drops of rain, led to a storm of applause. Even as the first few shouts of “Encore” rang above the claps, he was stepping down from the dais, and moving to a lone corner of the inn.

Within moments the atmosphere the bard had created had crumbled to dust and was blown away as the drone of conversation that was the norm in common rooms reestablished itself. A young and beautiful barmaid with long, onyx curls and skin as lustrous as the moon approached him shyly and, sitting across from him, lay a small, brass key on the rugged wooden table.

“Master Hillock says you’ve earned your nights stay, but that one song isn’t enough to pay for your companions.”

For a moment she sat, studying him; her head tilted ever so slightly to the side and her hands laying flat on the table. Finally she said in a voice that was sincere and caring. Not advertising in the least.

“You have a sad past, mysterious bard. So do I. Your song brought the first comfort I have felt in a very long time. For that, I thank you.”

With that she made her way to her feet and started back through the inn.

***

As Vilyamar sat like a statue, nibbling the cheese and bread he had been given in an attempt to calm the rush of blood to his face, He noticed that Mahuo was already halfway done with her meal and, without a hint of interest in anything else, was had already reduced the wine pitcher by two mugs full.

Indeed the growl in his stomach reminded him painfully that he had not had a good meal since they left Celeval, and that was several days ago. Yet as he broke off another bit of the unleavened bread that sat before him, he suddenly realized that he had not seen Elandor since they had entered the inn. He felt as his stomach sink; and his ears pricked, as if expecting to hear the screams of women and the breaking of glasses that often occurred in the presence of kenders at any moment.

“Have you seen the little one?”

He watched as Mahuo finished her second mug of wine, wipe the corner of her mouth with a rag, and shake her head. Ill tidings indeed! He was their ticket to Ralnaria! Certainly wherever the kender went, trouble followed; and an arrested kender is a searched kender. A searched kender is usually one who loses all items on suspicion. A blue diamond is a very suspicious item for a kender to possess….

***

“Aye we could do that…..she’s there too much though-“”Not so loud!”

For a second Elandor looked back at the bar, afraid that Scourge would be all alone sitting at the bar. Seeing the bard talking to the big warrior he returned his attention to the secrecy of the dark booth.

”Listen………and then we could take the bag, climb through the window, and we’re there!” “Aye…But the boy! He’s got quite the ears………Then what? We would look rather suspicious.””Perhaps. But, I have my ways of…taking the lad out of the picture, if you get my drift.””Hoho! A regular con-man you are, Erras! A toast!” “A toast” Clink

***
Tion, as was the name of the lutist who sat now at the bar, beside Teros and Scourge, looked at the big man, who nolonger wearing his mask (You can’t wear it and drink at the same time) stared into his mug, lost in the shadows of his hood. “Erenall eh…” The lutist said in a hushed voice. He didn’t seem frightened, or even dissuaded by the big mans threat. “Well if ya aren’t gonna tell me a tale, suit yourself. We have a temple dedicated to Erenall in Eldarast, ya know. Might wanna check it out seeing as you…feel such fervent loyalty.”

Downing his wine and belching in abhorrent approval, the bard stood, tipped his feathered hat at Teros, started to walk towards the dais again, paused, and plopped down 3 stools down the table, now next to Teros.

“Well mate! With yer giant, raven patting companion sitting yonder, I didn’t even notice ye. I say, your also quite a different looking fella. If I’m not mistaken; and I know I’m not, I’d say your from the southlands…The desert no doubt. Perhaps you Have a tale or two to tell a local minstrel. I could turn your tales to songs! Songs to be sung before His Highness Elethorn the Second!”

Slapping 3 copper’s down and ordering another wine, he adds

“Tis just a suggestion. But a mere jester as myself would be greatly appreciative.”

***

As all this was taking place, the old, slightly warped wooden door creaked open, splashing golden proof that the sun was not yet asleep upon the nearer tables, and clearing the smoky air a bit. In walked a figure very much unlike the other occupants of the inn. Yet, she seemed well known, for those that turned to face her either nodded and returned to their business, or ignored her completely.

She was tall and graceful. Her auburn hair cast over her shoulders and hung nearly to her waist. Her eyes gleamed a brilliant green, like a spring field, and her skin was smooth and fair, yet it was evident she spent much time in the sun. She wore no armor or cloak. Only weathered, green pants and a lose, open necked green tunic. Aside from her stunning beauty, she still may have blended in with the other inhabitants, yet slung over her shoulder was a slender, glossy brown bow. Hanging in a black sheath at her side was a longsword. The end of it’s hilt was capped in a gleaming crystal ball.

Standing in the door a moment, her clear green eyes scanned the common room, pausing on Scourge, who sat at the bar, and Vilyamar and Mahuo, who sat nearer at a table…

These where the ones she was told to seek….


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 20:56:45.

Valimar
\m/(-_-)\m/
Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Marie

After the relatively fresh air out side, the sounds and smells of the room made her blink with surprise. –I’ll never get used to it…- She thought with sorrow. She glanced around the room for a moment until she found some of the members of the party she had traveled to join, after all they were rather recognizable. There was one group at the bar, and yet another at the table not far from her. -I wonder where the others are...- She thought.

The door swung shut behind her, and she waited until most of the people had gone back to their conversations before walking over to the part of the group at the table. Her walk was a graceful one, she had worked for a long time to develop it so that she could move quietly through the woods. -They told me find the party and join them, but not how to go about it...-

She reached the table that held the female Satyr, a man in a green robe, and another rather grubby one. The latter could have been more she could see, but for some reason or another he chose not to; and all she could see of the man in green was the reflection of light off his eyes. The satyr was a sight to behold...

She tried to let as little of her emotions show as possible and looked at them each individually. Then asked them, "May I have a word with you and your party?" It wasn’t the most subtle, but it got her point across; and that was the main thing.

She stood there, tensed and nervous, waiting for an answer. -I hope they don't take offence...- She thought in hindsight.


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 20:57:02.

Valimar
\m/(-_-)\m/
Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Vilyamar

Vilyamar's eyes darted across the room, seeking out the missing Kender. Few humans could ever put trust in a Kender, and as such, that left them feeling quite suspicious of the little ones. The half-elf was humble enough to admit that he did not trust most Kender farther than he could throw them, but considering that might be quite a ways sometimes...well...

A large blue diamond however, would not be taken as a normal item for a Kender to own, though where he may have 'found' it would be quite a question. Some might even believe he had stolen from royalty. With this in mind, Vilyamar's thoughts ran in haste. That diamond was to be bartered off for more than just their transportation, for which he didn't think they all had enough to purchase without it.

His search was interrupted as a young female approached the three of them at the table. Vil's eyes flashed uncertainly and narrowed in curiousity as she posed her question. Asking this of people could be dangerous.

"You may speak to I, but one cannot speak for many. You must ask the others as well, before...you can make your plea, whatever that may be." He said to the young woman. "The others can be found around the tavern. If you know of us, then you can seek them out yourself."

He looked at Teros and Mahou, expecting each to give an answer similar to his.

The girl may speak her piece, He thought. Reaching to the table he tore off a piece of the bread, pouring the last bit of wine into his cup before taking a bite.

Suddenly, there was movement through the tables, coming towards them, and short movement, too. The kender he had been so worried about seemed to know what he was about, after nodding to the young human standing before them. He reached up and pulled Vil's cloaked ear down, or at least motioned, for Vil raised a hand to stop the kender from ever touching the hood. It would do no good to keep the secret to only now have it be uncovered.

He obliged the kender by leaning, though he hadn't a need to lean down so much as over, the Kender ended up being about the same height as the monk while sitting.

“Vil, I overheard two men in one of the dark boxes over there.” Elandor whispered, without pointing or making the slightest of indication what he was talking about.
“They are certainly up to no good, and I think we should do something to stop their plans. They spoke of thievery, so I believe. Will you aid me in stopping them, or at least warning the local authorities while they go with their plan? Just act like I’m telling a joke and laugh at it, ok? I’ll hear your answer later on.” Elandor said, giving the dark box a furtive glance before returning a smile to his face.

The kender skipped off to the bar, taking a seat beside Scourge and Orion and left Vilyamar perplexed.

"What a strange little fellow," he muttered under his breath. He would have to learn more later. With that he gave a small laugh and turned back to his bread and wine.


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 20:57:17.

Valimar
\m/(-_-)\m/
Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Elandor

Elandor overheard the conversation with arousing anxiety. Something very mysterious was going on. He certainly wanted to learn more about this. At least he had a name now. Erras.
The kender’s thoughts rushed between running to local authorities and going after this himself. While he wanted to stay and try to overhear more information on the plans of these two criminals he realized that action was required in order to accomplish something against these evil deeds. It sounded like these guys were either up to stealing something or even worse. And stealing was definitely something Elandor detested. To take something from another person without asking… outrageous.

He ducked low, away from the dark box. Though keeping his eyes on the area to make sure the two man wouldn’t run off without his knowledge he dived under the tables and came out right besides Vilyamar. A strange woman was talking to the monk. Startled, because he hadn’t noticed her coming in, the kender mumbled a “hullo” to the lady and then took a hold of Vilyamar’s collar. He pulled it down, if the monk would let him, bringing the man’s ear close to his mouth.

“Vil, I overheard two men in one of the dark boxes over there.” Elandor whispered, without pointing or making the slightest of indication what he was talking about.
“They are certainly up to no good, and I think we should do something to stop their plans. They spoke of thievery, so I believe. Will you aid me in stopping them, or at least warning the local authorities while they go with their plan? Just act like I’m telling a joke and laugh at it, ok? I’ll hear your answer later on.”

With that the kender gave a polite nod to the lady and climbed on one of the barstools near scourge. He ordered a glass of wine and some nuts, to feed to Orion. His eyes never left the dark box for longer than ten seconds.


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 20:57:34.

Valimar
\m/(-_-)\m/
Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Scourge

*Scourge continues to drink his ale*

((there.. that's your post Val))
(but seriously)

Scourge and Orion continued to sit at the bar in silence save for the sound of swishing ale in tankards flowing past the large mans equally large incisors.

Elandor moves beside him a short while later and ordered a drink for himself and some nuts which Orion happily picked from the plate or the Kender's grip. Which his back turned to the majority of the tavern's inhabitants, he leaned over and faced Elandor, his mask hanging around his upper chest and his bandana pulled just low enough to allow drink to pass his lips. From this close, Elandor can see that his skin has a blackish tinge to it and large teeth much akin to that of orcish kind. A toothy smirk splayed across his lips before he replaced the flagon to his mouth and listened intently on everything that went on about him; particularly the new woman's entrance and her interest in his companions. (concentration check if need be to differentiate between her conversation and al lthe other hubbub in the tavern)


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 20:57:55.

Valimar
\m/(-_-)\m/
Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Teros

Teros shook his head at the man. Sure had many a story, but he didn't know how to begin them or if he even wanted to flaunt bravery he had committed in the past. It would seem wrong to those who had died.

"Perhaps if we cross paths many months or even years from now I will have a truly wonderous story to tell you, but for now I cannot say that I could tell you a story. It was..nice meeting you though."

He nodded to the man before turning to see the new woman to came to talk to them. He frowned a bit at the half-elfs answer and then spoke in kinder words.

"I don't think that would be neccissary. Have a seat and explain to us your story. The Bard matters little since all he does is brood all day, and Derrak and the Kender would enjoy the company no doubt, and the big guy over there dosn't seem speak a lot."

He pulled out a seat for her and sat back to hear her story of why she needed to talk to them.


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 20:58:11.

Valimar
\m/(-_-)\m/
Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Update

As the strange woman in the worn, green clothes stood before the table in which Teros, Vilyamar, and Mahuo sat at, Elandor suddenly sprung up from beneith a nearby counter, striking a shrieking reaction from it's occupants. Dodging a few kicks, he bound beside Vilyamar. Waving and muttering a shy "Hullo", he tugged on Vilyamar's cloak, and began whispering to the monk.

While this took place, Teros had politely turned down the lutist's request. With a sigh and a nod, the bard had turned and walked to a side booth, where he began to gently strum his lute. Smiling up at the beautiful yet very rustic stranger, he pulled a chair out for her to sit in, and introduced himself, trying to ignite a conversation.

After a moment, the kender let Vilyamar go and, without casting another glance at the new woman, hopped onto a bar stool beside Scourge, who still hadn't seemed to notice the woman.

Through his constant glances, the kender was able to peer into the dark recesses of the booth he had overheard. Within he could see to large, shadowy forms. Aside from their size and long hair, he could make out no other details. Before them sat two mugs and a clay pitcher. They didn't seem to be intending on leaving immediately.

(Basically, nothing is going on. Marie is standing before the table that has Vil, Teros, and Mahuo. Damien is still in the shadows of a booth in the back left, corner. Marie does not see him. Scourge, Derak, and Elandor sit at the bar right behind the table that their companions occupy)


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 20:58:37.

Valimar
\m/(-_-)\m/
Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Damien

I’ve earned my stay, but was it worth bringing that song back to life? Damien wondered as he looked into the eyes of the woman seated across from himself. Stirring up those memories in the sea of my conscious was not a good idea, though it made the crowd happy at least...

“I...” Damien’s words slipped off of his tongue as he struggled to push the thoughts below the surface once again, where they belonged. “I’m glad I made you at ease,”

The bard watched as the ebon-haired woman strode away from his table, making her way across the inn. Her appearance alone invoked more of his suppressed memories. Aside from the fact that her hair had curls - natural or otherwise, he did not know - she looked remarkably similar to Elena. Her voice and tones were different, too, nothing like the great enthusiasm that his lover had shown.

Without thinking about his actions, Damien pushed himself up from his seat, his hands flat on the table and shaking it on it’s legs.

“Wait...” He called to her in a soft, almost pained voice. “Would you...sit with me...?”

(OOC: Sorry this is so short, but I don’t want to be holding the game up. Besides, it is just filling space to try to lengthen something of this nature.)


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 20:59:15.

Valimar
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Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Marie

She looked at the two who had answered her in each of their turns and then looked around the room for the others, seeing no sign of them. "My tale is not an interesting one..." She replied, but took the offered seat anyway. She turns the seat around and rests her arms on the back. "I was informed of something, something that makes me shiver at the thought." She does just this and then continues with her story, albeit a little shakier than when she first started.

"I was also told to join your party. How these two go together I do not know..." With this she looks down at the table and prays silently that they push it no further.
She was not told to tell them what she had learned and intended to tell them no more that was needed.

After a few seconds she looked back up to see what their reactions were, her emerald eyes missing nothing. "I know this must sound crazy, I would not believe me if I were in your shoes..." She toys nervously with the hem of her shirt and tries to access the situation.

"My name is Marie, I am a ranger of sorts..." She tells them finally, wanting to answer their questions as quickly as possible.


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 21:02:47.

Valimar
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Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Teros

Teros listened to her words, and could only nod his head in acceptance of what he heard although it did not help clear up the situation. Taking a deep breath he thought on her words, but finding nothing in them he let it out and then spoke.

"Perhaps you could go into greater detail about what you saw. If we are on the same page, and you are truly ment to follow us then we should know what you speak of. However if not I for one do not believe that it would be possible for you to join since it could also be possible that you are not here to help, but to act a spy. Excuse me if I insulted you in any way."

He spoke politetly, but with a serious air around him. In truth that was about all he could think of to say, and he hoped it was enough. For now though, he made himself comfortable as he sat back, pusing thoughts of home back for now. He would have to focus at the issue at hand.


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 21:03:05.

Valimar
\m/(-_-)\m/
Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Update

As Marie sat and grudgingly tried to explain herself to Teros, Mahuo, and Vilyamar, the satyr picked at what remained of her already devoured meal. Reaching into her pack, she let Gemmi scramble out, onto her lap. Snatching what remained of the bread, despite Vilyamar’s remaining interest in it, she fed it to the wolverine, and poured herself another goblet of wine.

As she lifted the carven, wood cup to her mouth, she noticed that the surrounding tables had begun to hush, and that several eyes darted at and about her table.

"Perhaps you could go into greater detail about what you saw. If we are on the same page, and you are truly ment to follow us then we should know what you speak of. However if not I for one do not believe that it would be possible for you to join since it could also be possible that you are not here to help, but to act a spy. Excuse me if I insulted you in any way."

She sipped her wine, and nodded at Teros’ question, but added quickly, and, due to the fuzziness of the wine she had already indulged so much in, slightly louder than she had wanted

“Save your answer Misses Marie. Some matters are best left for private quarters. This isn’t the best place to discuss this. But I do wish to hear your reason for seeking us. We may know much more than you think, and I don’t trust so easily.”

***

On the other side of the common room, Damien, already touched by the haunting memories his song had stirred within him, had looked into the clear, green eyes of a still living woman, and had seen more than a weary depression in their reflective depths. He was reminded more strongly of Elena.

Though this girl was not his late lover, perhaps he felt a strange connection with her. Perhaps it was the sorrow he perceived in her own delicate features, or the memories she invoked. Perhaps it was something entirely different, but before he could stop himself, he found that he was on his feet, both palms planted onto the table, calling for her to sit with him.

She heard his voice, and had frozen immediately. She turned, however, slowly, and hesitantly returned to his table. Staring at the bard with large, searching, green eyes, she sat across from him, folding her hands in the lap of her cream colored dress.


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 21:03:20.

Valimar
\m/(-_-)\m/
Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Vilyamar

"Nothing to do about it now..." muttered Vilyamar under his breath. He looked down and shook his head slightly, sighing. He could have been referring to the bread which Mahou fed to her wolverince companion, or about her drunkeness, none could tell.

"She is quite right, child. We must go someplace else, where matters can be spoken of with fewer ears, and more space for meandering volumes to dissipate to." He said, clearly enough now and looking straight at Mahou as he added the last bit.

Some may look askance at him for his reference to Marie. In human years, to him, Marie was but a child, though in the elven lifetime, so was he. As it were, he was simply little older within his lifespan, or so he speculated. He had never met another half-breed like himself, and he never expected to. He was not so arrogant as to believe he was alone in the world, but he was not dense enough to think he should be finding half-elves wandering through cities.

We must be as uncommon among the humans as elves... He thought. He sighed again and looked at Teros questioningly.

"Should we try the booths, or arrange our accomodations for this...meeting?" He asked blandly. "I believe accomodations would be our best interest, the booths are not kender-proof after all."


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 21:03:35.

Valimar
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Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Marie

She glances at the man in green, -Vilyamar...- she remembers, -His name is Vilyamar.- She then precedes to go around the table putting names to the faces. "The room would be better. What I have to tell you is meant for your ears alone..." She meets every pair of eyes at the table and blinks. "It is urgent that we must speak. I have information that concerns your quest."


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 21:03:52.

Valimar
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Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Teros

Teros nodded slowly, in an almost sage like manner. It wasn't wise for them to pursue these things here, in the open tavern where any person might hear and use it against them. The fact that she had information for their quest just made this all the much easier to agree to a talk.

"Ok, the Bard said he was going to try and get rooms for all of us with that performance, I'll go see if he got them or if we have to buy our own. We can talk privately in there so long as we keep our voices down."

Teros stood and headed over to where the bard was sitting after looking around for him for a bit. He nudged the man in the shoulder, slightly surprised to see a woman with him but pressing that aside.

"Did you get rooms for all of us?"


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 21:04:07.

Valimar
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Karma: 57/15
900 Posts


Damien

Temporary warmth flooded through Damien's frozen soul as he watched the
barmaid return to his table, though the hesitation she showed caused a
strange sort of ache within him. Hurt? No...

As the woman did, Damien slowly seated himself, his eyes wearing a sad look
that reflected how he felt deep within. His pale hands folded upon the tabletop,
the bard drew slow breaths, trying to avoid letting his anxiety show through his
calm face. He was talented in many of the performing arts. Could he keep a
straight expression at such a time?

"I..." His voice trailed off as he spoke softly, trying to find words for what he
intended. "Thank you...for sitting here. You remind me of
someone...somebody really important to me...a long time ago..."

Damn it! he cursed himself inwardly. He was fully aware that even
though he felt he was keeping his appearance calm, his voice did not hold true
to his pantomime. He seemed so unsure, so uncertain. It had been a very long
time since he made effort to speak to somebody in civil tones, let alone trying
to sound sincere. The man felt sincerity inside of him, but was having difficulty
expressing this subject that was so unusual to him.

Its been so long...

"I'm sorry..." He said in a low whisper, averting his eyes slightly. Damien pulled
his hands back and crossed his arms beneath his cloak. He was about to
speak up again when he noticed a presence at his side, looming over the table
that he shared with the beautiful maiden. Seeing that it was Teros, the man
who had threatened him time and time again, Damien's lips pulled into a thin
line as he looked up at his companion.

"Do you need something?" The bard asked darkly, suspecting another threat
or shot at him. It seemed unusual that the strange man would get up and
cross the common room simply to do that, though...

"Did you get rooms for all of us?" Teros asked him, which came as complete
surprise to Damien. He tried not to let it show, though he felt his eye twitch
slightly. Blast! He had forgotten that he was to earn rooms for the others!
Slipping a hand slowly into his inner pockets, he retrieved the brass key and
held it pinched between slender fingers.

Looking up slowly, he licked thin lips and opened his mouth to reply. "Forgive
me, Teros." He spoke softly, returning his key to his pocket and beginning to
rise. "I... I will do so..." Turning his head to face the woman across from him,
he nodded gently. "Pardon me,"

Wracking his brain to try to pull forth another song or poem, Damien strode
towards the dais once again, his cloak rustling around him as he moved
across the common room floor.

Reaching the dais, the bard nimbly leapt atop it, drawing attention back upon himself with a flourish of his cloak. As the dark material swirled around him, he reached up to push his hair away from his face, which had fallen around his eyes in the movement. Settling himself into his position and trying to calm himself after his embarassment before the maid, he called to mind a particularly rousing song, one that would work the patrons up into a cheer.

Maybe this'l convince these swine to drown themselves in liquor, and with business swelling, I'm bound to earn those room! He thought to himself as he lauched into song once again, this time, a more upbeat chorus.

(OOC: Damien will perform until he earns enough rooms for everyone. At this point, he will return to the maid, who will hopefully still be present for him to speak to.)


Posted on 2006-09-04 at 21:04:22.

   


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