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Hollow Woods Inn and Mercantile

Date: 01-02-09
Poster: Lorcan O'Domhnaill
Post # 1

Opening Up

The mercantile area was opened first after stocking it with imports and normal everyday goods people needed. So far, so good. Tonight the tavern was opened, smaller than the one they use to have but easier to manage. Enough tables to keep the two barmaids busy and the bar itself, set slightly apart, was made of solid oak extending twenty feet, taking up most area down along the back wall. Lorcan was tending it himself this night as the others were still working on the rooms upstairs as well the continual updating of the mercantile area. The steady beat of the waves washing in against the rock barrier outside, was a comforting sound to him.

She did not enter willingly. But she was no match to the tall, broad man with dark shaggy hair and hard eyes. He, apparently, didn't know what else to do with his find, other than get her warm and try to get a few answers. His name was Jed, maybe short for something, or maybe not his name at all--it was the one he was simply known by. As far as the woman: Her hair was wild and in tight curls, her clothes? They were not really hers and it didn't seem she knew how to wear them correctly. The too big pants were on inside out and the large shirt half hung off of a shoulder. Not that any of that could really be seen, yet, considering she had a cloak on backwards. She looked as if she dressed in the dark, in a drunken stupor. The man thrust her on a barstool and cleared his throat. "I found this not too far from here. She's either crazy in the head or don't know a thing about clothes." That was Jed. Narobi, still struggling with English, barked out the only thing she knew--something she heard over and over on the first ship she'd been hauled onto. "Stop wench!" Well!

Lorcan had a glass in hand inspecting it to see if the dish washer they hired washed them well. Sparkling, as it was held up to the light. Lowered immediately to set with a dull thud as Jed struggled in with what appeared to be a stowaway. Obviously he knew the wild and unkempt look about the lass. Probably would smell very ripe if one got close. Jed might not notice over the ordinary being use to it. He was over and though some might fear a man his size and bearing, there was a kindness to soften intense eyes bearing down on hers as he got closer. "I'll take care of her from here Jed," probably a great relief to the sailor whose home was on a ship going here or there to be burdened with a stray. "Thank you for seeing to her." Which the lass might have done a lot worse alone even in this port. "What's your name?" Trying not to chuckle for a repeated command often heard in the dregs of humanity.

She was, no doubt, scared as all get out. And yes, probably a tad smelly! It didn't help with her struggle with English. Words were jumbled together and she could hardly make sense of any of it. Jed let out a sigh of relief and seemed to make his escape rather quickly. She must have been quite a handful. Her arms were somewhere beneath the cloak all turned around backwards and her eyes, nearly feral they were so wild, turned to the man that approached her. She stared as he questioned. "What you name?" Kind of repeated, and all hissed out. She wasn't sure where her destination would be next or if she'd be thrown right onto another ship. It took a while, but she appeared to finally comprehend the question. "Narobi." Under the cloak, there was a quick motion. She was patting her shoulder, indicating herself.

"Narobi," doing the same with his hand to touch against his chest, "Lorcan." Hand then in a gesture to the room as a whole, "safe here." Using only a few words in the hope she might know or at least understand them coupled with the body language. He held up a finger for her to wait as he was around to pour her some coffee that had been brewing. Beans he got from Alex that had a touch of mocha in it. He was back to set it in front of her. A tray with some cream and sugar close by if she wanted to sweeten it some. He was obviously giving the drink to her for there was no indication she had to pay for it.

"Lower-can." She was close? The name brought a strange expression over her features and she canted her head so sharply that dark curls bobbed over her face. "Lower-can safe here." Calming, calming. Which meant her mind was clearing itself from all of the possibilities to her near future; which meant it was easier to think, to understand. "Aaaaaah," she breathed out, then lowered her eyes to fuss with the cloak that just.. didn't feel right. This was done while he prepared her coffee. When it was set near, she tilted her dark eyes to the mug and leaned over it to sniff. Then, she looked up at him, suspiciously. "Cup of death?" Blurted out of nowhere. She meant to ask if he was poisoning her!

"Lor-can," as that 'wer' in there had him almost laughing but didn't wish to give the wrong impression. Or scare her. "Narobi, safe here." He shook his head, "coffee," which he took the cup and drank some of it to prove his point before setting it back in front of her. "Good coffee." A grazing glance was given her features as he tried to determine her plight. The language barrier was not going to be helpful in this.

And if no one around had heard the Bantu language, they might be in for a surprise. She murmured some of it to herself and there was no telling what Narobi was saying. She watched him with the coffee and considering he took a drink, she was sure all was safe. She mirrored him, lifted the mug for a hefty drink. She wasn't expecting such heat, even though she felt it through the mug on her fingers. And the taste of it had her sputtering. She set the mug down and coughed. It didn't really taste bad. Just.. different. "That is hot, Lorcan!" She said his name without making it all Lower and what not. A step for her, surely! The cloak was becoming a problem. She pulled it off suddenly, revealing the fact that the pants, very, very large, were inside out. The bottom of them pooled over a pair of equally large boots, untied. At least she got the shirt somewhat right, even though it was very long, almost looking like a night shirt. "I.." She started, but had to think a good bit on how to phrase what she wanted to say. "I am lost."

She also stated a sentence in English! Brows had lifted as he indicated the tray with sugar and cream then motion to her cup that she might add some, hand moving so that forefinger and thumb were about the same thickness of his thumb apart to indicate the amount. He gave a nod, "lost.." then was over to get one of the maps that showed the continents. Returning he laid it out aside where her cup rested, turning it to face her that she might show him where she was from.

She was somewhat familiar with maps, but this didn't mean they still were not confusing. She leaned over the map when it was spread out, requiring her to stand up. She stared for long moments, her eyes nearly blank. Then, her hand reached out, her index finger landing in the southern region of Africa. She looked up, her brows furrowing. "Zimbabwe, I live .. on. Zimbabwe." She meant in.

"Zimbabwe," not an area he was real familiar with in particular but had been to Africa in general. He gave a nod and then showed her the distance, that included a vast amount of ocean, to where she was presently. "Heathfield," indicating the coastal area which also showed the dip in where the port was. Tapping approximately where the Inn was as well.

That was... a long way. She looked like she completely deflated and her hand withdrew from the map. She stared at it still, though, as if she were trying to memorize it completely--the path, the distance, everything. "I am far from home," she stated with a bit of a struggle. She looked up to him then, falling momentarily silent and after a brief watch, she stared towards the door.

"How?" Curious as to what happened that got her from Africa out on the sea to here. "Yes, you are very far from home. Safe here. You can stay here for now." Until they got her situation straightened out. He had another question but it would wait for her reply on the first.

The elf had been restless as usual this time of night it seemed, and had decided to try a new tavern that had been mentioned, the usual one being empty. So she bundled up a bit, and headed out, arriving at the new place, a smile on her features as it looked like a nice establishment, and pushed open the door, closing it quickly so as not to let in the cold air. She went up to the bar and perched on a stool, ordering a mug of cider for the night.

How? The question rang over and over. It was a long story and she wasn't sure if she could explain. "They came. There was blood. There were iron sticks and iron bodies. Um.." Trail! She glanced over the bar top, looking for something close to what she was trying to describe. Seeing a small spoon on the tray, she picked it up and touched the blunt end to his chest. "Blood? Blood. We ran. Some were not free. Some taken, large boat. Narobi -- I --- went to other large boat. And other. And other." She went ship hopping! She beamed, proudly, then frowned and dropped the spoon on the tray. Her gaze shot to the door when it opened, and she tracked the woman to the bar, watching.

Lindsay had been upstairs helping out before coming down into the tavern area as it was to open up this evening. She wasn't sure if it would get crowded or not, but she would see to any tables so Lorcan did not. "Evening," bright and cheery in greeting those within while she tied an apron about her waist as she headed for the bar down the one end where the serving trays were.

Noticing the door opening admitting another he greeted, "good evening," serving as well with Lindsay coming down from upstairs. "All goes well?" Question turned on her a moment before back to Narobi. Listening to the story, one not unlike far too many. Giving a nod to show he understood the iron part as well. "Slavers?" Wondering if she knew that word or at least heard it said on such a ship as this one sounded.

"Evening to you... to everyone." She said with a smile as she pushed down her hood, perched on the stool.

She narrowed her eyes, but not in a threatening manner. The word sounded odd, yet not. She nodded, though, thinking she'd heard it mentioned. "Not all." She said. One of the ships, one that she had sort of... hidden away on, held more cargo than anything. She watched the women quietly, more than Lorcan then. They were new, after all. And she was unsure of them.

Avalon was not one adverse to giving a hand when needed and since she had become part of the extended family, she had learned to do several things. She had tended to some important correspondence from home, seen to a delivery and finally was able to make her way to the inn. Stepping inside, she lowered her hood and smiled warmly. "Evening Lorcan, Lindsay, ladies." Nearly laughing at all the L's. "Lovely night to be inside."

"You escaped." Then the next question which he would indicate by hand motion to get his meaning across clearer. "Do you want to go back?" Moving a finger from where they were in Heathfield back to Africa. He had the means to get her back home if that was her desire. "Evening Lindsay, Avalon, this is Narobi and I've yet to learn the lass' name," goldenized bronze eyes turning on Pyper with the statement. "I am Lorcan."

She could tell he was quite busy so only added in an answer when there seemed to be an opening. "All goes well although Mac got in a tizzy a time or two." Which was humorous to see for the man usually went unfazed. "Evening Avalon," turning a smile her way before she caught sight of a few sailors filling one of the tables and was over with one of the trays to get their orders.

She eyed the map, thinking over his question. "Home. Yes." She wasn't sure what to say to the women, but she thought she ought to greet them somehow since Lorcan gave them her name. She lifted up a hand hesitantly, almost like a wave.

Date: 01-02-09
Poster: Lorcan O'Domhnaill
Post # 2

"Nice to meet you Narobi," quietly when she was back to have five tankards of ale filled and some cheese with bread to deliver. Her smile was kind but she kept the distance as to not spook the woman more.

She chuckled, deep sapphire eyes twinkling. "It is indeed. Pleasure to meet you all. I'm Pyper." The elf said with a warm smile.

"Well met, Narobi." She smiled in the dark skinned woman's direction before she was donning an apron and taking care of a few tables. She was still in the process of learning so she wasn't as quick as Lindsay. "And Pyper."

"Would you like something to drink Pyper?" There was a charge here for drinks and food unlike the Thistle, although his pricing was moderate. Reasonable.

"Just a mug of cider for tonight I think." She nodded with a smile.

"Well.. met." She copied the other words, said them a little slowly, mostly to make sure it all sounded right coming from her.

He got the mug of cider for her and the cost was only a ha'penny for it. This was set in front of her. "You are a citizen of these lands?" It was a good guess being she didn't look like one that hung around the dock area.

She reached into her pocket to pull out the required coin from her pouch. "Yes, newly made so." The elf smiled at him with a dip of her head in thanks for the drink.

"I am fairly new here as well. We were located in another place called Reefers Bay but it went downhill and some of the ones that have become as family, have family to take care of." Rough didn't do young ones well. "I have found this land to be peaceful even here in the port more than other places. Most actually," coming to think on it. Although there had been a few brawls in some of the other taverns down this way he and Mac helped the proprietors out. Did well to get along with others if possible.

"Then welcome to Heathfield yourself, Lorcan."

"Thank you. What profession are you in here or of such?" Being conversational as he got a wet rag to wipe down the bar since Narobi needed some fresh air. He didn't try to detain her from it as he didn't think at this point she'd go too far. She would stay where it seemed safest and he had gotten that point across.

She spoke to a couple after serving them then headed back to the bar. It wasn't an extremely busy night but one that would continue to keep herself and Lindsay moving.

"Profession?" She still wasn't that good of the language yet, and some words still confused her.

"What keeps you busy, as I work here," realizing there was another language barrier to deal with although this one might not be as bad. A tracing glance was given over Avalon and Lindsay as it was natural for him to keep an eye on them. Make sure they were treated properly.

"Oh..." she nodded, understanding now. "I don't have one so much as of right now. I'm to be running a.... a... greenhouse?" She hoped she got it right this time. "Once the weather warms up and they can build it."

She had collected the monies from the small group of sailors, avoiding any wayward hands. Lucky for them! Smile was quick as she was back over to put the coins in the till minus the tip. Those she got to keep.

"A horticulturist, keeper of plants. I heard there were some greenhouses so summer's bounty could continue through the winter." Least some of it, he wasn't sure exactly what they were growing.

"Yes... that's right. That is what I will be doing."

He considered that with a nod and a smile to follow. "I wish you the best with it then when it gets built." Putting away the wet rag as he took up the ale he had for himself with a drink to follow.

"Thank you." She beamed, deep sapphires twinkling as she changed her perch on the stool. "How long have you had this tavern open?"

He set the tankard down with a discreet swipe of the back of his hand so froth didn't stick to the whiskers. He'd been teased before about foaming at the mouth. "This tavern part, tonight. The mercantile has been open a couple weeks. The rooms," with a brief glance up towards the ceiling as a thud was heard then some hammering on cue, "are still being worked on before we rent out."

She nodded as she listened. "You lost me again... a mer-.. mercantile?"

Being the sailors were content for the moment, she came up near Avalon. "Have you been upstairs this day?" Words quiet but one voice sounded like Mac growling again.

"Mercantile is where we sell a lot of ordinary, daily useful goods. Like shovels, brooms, teapots, dishes and so forth. Nothing too fancy. We have gardening tools as well and packed garden soil."

"Earlier." She laughed softly. "I noticed Daniel and Gawain both hightailing it out of there though they were back in a short time, carrying lumber.

"A kind of store then," she wanted to make sure she got it right. "Good to know if I even need to get those things."

"I think it is some of the lads that were hired and have a hard time following simple instructions. Wore on his patience." Bottom lip tucked a moment to keep from outright laughing. "Once it is done," as it seemed that was left to Mac as each of the Partners got a project, "I'm sure he'll mellow out again." She was glad to be down here tonight but she had been helping as she could upstairs earlier. Mostly decor so the rooms looked nice even if not fancy, she went with a country cozy style. Quilts on the beds and such.

"I'm sure he will too." She chuckled as another growl sounded. The Mercantile was where she had mostly been helping but she was glad to help where needed. "The rooms that are done look lovely by the way." She knew Lindsay had been helping with them.

"Yes, exactly that. There are many stores up in the commons here for things in particular or imported merchandise. We decided to accommodate for the ordinary things people need. We'll have some more exquisite imports as well but the bulk will be useful things." He was new to this area himself but at least he didn't call it ... stuff.

"Thank you, I think the growling is due to the last few rooms being worked on." Giving a glance to the ceiling then down upon Lorcan with a slight smirk. She couldn't help it this time.

She had to chuckle as she heard the pounding... and grumbling... from upstairs. "Sounds as though you are going to... how do they say it.. have your hands full?"

"I don't think I'd know what to do with my hands if they were not full." Obviously he was use to it, expected it. It was fodder to tease his friend with later. "Mac, Gawain and Daniel are up there. If Solitaire shows up it might become even more entertaining." Giving Lindsay a wink for he had acute hearing or at least figured out what they were talking about for her glance alone.

She nodded with a smile. "Then you have found your perfect place it seems."

She beamed a smile his way while keeping an eye on the group she was serving. She could tell a few tankards were needing replacing as she had them filled then was over to the men to replace the ones done, putting the empties on the tray and collecting the monies for the new round.

"Aye, I believe we have indeed." They had come a few times over the past year to check it out and meet with certain ones until a final move was agreed upon by him with his partners, then the move. "So maybe you can tell me some about these lands?" He had not explored them yet and hadn't really met many other than ones at the port and other captains of ships, some of their crew members.

She offered Lorcan a dimpled smile before she was off to wait on a new group that had entered. The holidays had put most in good moods.

"I can try. What would you like to know?" She was by no means an expert but would answer his questions as best she could.

"Whatever comes to mind. How the other citizens are, general things that have impressed you one way or another." In short, nothing she didn't want to say but left it wide open.

She sat for a minute thinking, one knee brought up under her chin. "Well, the citizens is an easy one. They are all very friendly, eager to help someone out when they need it. I find the land itself beautiful. So many places to see, the royal gardens were wonderful this summer and fall. There is a majestic waterfall, nearly frozen now, down at the lake that is gorgeous...." she could go on and on.

He would fill the tankards for Lindsay and Avalon and anything from the kitchen needed set through the open window between. All the while listening to Pyper with keen interest on what she had to say. "It sounds like I should take a day here and there and explore. Find some of these places." Get to know the lands by foot or riding.

She nodded. "Yes... that is what I have been doing. So much to see. Even go strolling by the shops, one can learn a lot."

"That is something I have in mind as well, meeting some of the other ones with shops." Get himself known amongst the others and make friends if such came along. "I hear they have an excellent bakery," which he was partial to such sweets on occasion. Well made doughnuts from time to time with his coffee in the morning.

Date: 01-02-09
Poster: Lorcan O'Domhnaill
Post # 3

"I have heard that as well, but have not been there yet. Many say good things about it however."

"There's a candy shop too." She said as she collected the drinks ordered. Lorcan's sister had told her about it. Off she went again.

"I might get one of those cuckoo clocks I've seen in the window of a shop for here." He had been through the commons a few times, just didn't have the time to explore or meet the shop owners. "Candy too?" With a look up and over to Avalon. "Maybe I'll get you some chocolates then." If he went into a shop, he'd feel obligated to buy something.

She shook her head again as Lorcan lost her once more. "Cu...cucu clock?" She butchered that... but couldn't help it.

She laughed, giving him a look. "Chocolates are a grand way to a woman's heart, Lorcan." Teasing before she headed back to the tables.

"Chocolates would never go to waste around here." Turning a look Lorcan's way then a peek towards Avalon with a grin as she headed for the bar with the empties to place where they were to be collected then be washed.

"I will commit that one to memory," called over to Avalon with a chuckle before back to Pyper. "You almost have it lass. It's what the little birdie says when it comes out on the hour, cuckoo, cuckoo, as many times as needed in counting."

"No they wouldn't." She agreed as they passed. Neither would pastries.

"Best stick to the chocolates, Lorcan." Teasing him with him mimicking the cuckoo bird the clocks were named after.

"Possibly, Lindsay, I think if I said it just right there are some who would not mind." Wagging a finger her way in warning he might well show her what he meant.

They wouldn't go to waste with the elf around either. "I'm afraid I still don't think I understand. I will have to go and see one for myself I think." She smiled, not afraid to admit what she didn't know. She smiled as the ladies teased Lorcan, tucking a brown curl behind her ear to get it out of her face, a habit.

"Wouldn't that be more a coo, then a cuckoo?" She pursed her lips as she drew out the coo, then she placed the tankards with those Lindsay had collected.

Which brought a tint of color to her cheeks as she was well aware Lorcan could make cuckoo enticing if he put his mind to it. Still, she couldn't help a flash of a smile his way in almost a dare but not too much. She would take heed. "I think Ava would like you to demonstrate." Trouble she could be! She hung around Charlie too much of late, blame it on her!

"You should," in answering Pyper before eyeing Lindsay with still that glint in his eyes that turned on Avalon next. "You do that rather well." Charlie was trouble, of a good kind.

All this talk of cooing had the elf confused and curious at the same time. She chuckled though and sat back to listen.

"Thank you." She smiled then gave Lindsay a wide-eyed look. Don't do that to her!

He crocked a finger in a come hither his way if Avalon wanted a demonstration. If she didn't, she would pay it no mind and that would be fine.

She set her tray and waited to see if Avalon was that daring!

At one time, she might not have been, but she had been away from home long enough. Placing her tray down on the counter, she walked over to Lorcan, tipping her head slightly. A hint of smile played over her lips as she watched him and waited.

He was tall enough to lean across the bar, one hand cupping her left cheek with the graze of a roughen thumb against soft skin as he leaned in to her right cheek. All Pyper and Lindsay would hear was the cuckoo part. The rest unseen. Once done, which only took a few moments, he straightened away to study her expression.

The elf watched in fascination and amusement.

Oooo, that was so unfair. When he lifted, her eyes were closed and her cheeks were a soft rose. He might have even felt a soft tremble before he moved his hand away. "Mmmm, I think you've made your point." Oh yes, very well!

Did Ava hear her snickering? Trying to cover it up by a hand then glancing away as it was lowered.

A little boost to his ego as he'd not really done such in some time. Reasons why but he enjoyed the look! "Watch out for Lindsay, she will get you in trouble." Words came low then a wink Lindsay's way with her snickering. "Your day will come lass.."

That had her looking right back with such a smug smile. Not a word. Yet. She started humming the wedding song under her breath instead. Ava was going to pound her later!

"I don't mind this kind of trouble." She laughed then gave Lindsay such a look. She'd get hers eventually! Ava didn't pound! But she might talk to Charlie soon.

Lindsay was looking for trouble and would probably find it. Good kind over the bad. Bad, they would all rally together to protect each other.

Luckily it was all in fun, and yes they would from Molly right up to the Partners. She grinned at Lindsay and picked up her tray again. Back to work!

The group of sailors were up and heading out. Probably to go find a card game somewhere not knowing if such would be allowed in here. She was over to collect the empties and the tips left. Once more the money was put in the till minus the tips she got to keep.

"You are use to ones teasing each other, Pyper?" Not wishing for her to feel left out and it was done in the spirit of how the night went.

She nodded. "Yes I am... and glad to see it when it happens in fun. Always good."

He was relieved she understood, he would not wish to make her feel uncomfortable over such. There were high totties, as he called them, that easily took offense to normal things. So far he had not met any here. Then again this was a port tavern in a better section even if near on the water. He was close to the portmaster's place.

She was around to wash up the used tankards in helping out being the place was emptying out. It was getting late. Once done with those she was back over to wipe down the table.

She placed her mug down as now it was empty. "As it is getting late, I will allow you the peace to clean up a little early. It was a pleasure to meet all of you." Said with a smile as she hopped down off the stool.

Once the tables she waited on were empty, she was over to place the money in the till. "Good night, Pyper. It was nice to meet you." And she set to helping with clean up.

"It was nice meeting you Pyper, next time, the first drink is on the house." Cider or whatever she chose to have. "Have a good night." Pleased to have met her and looking forward to meeting some others as it got around they had the tavern open.

"Good night Pyper," smile her way as she finished up the table and turned. "Take care, stay along the lighted road up to the commons." Figuring she would be safe as she noticed guards making their rounds. The window came in handy.

She smiled. "Thank you. Have a good night, and safe travels wherever they take you." She pulled the hood of her coat back up, and went out, a lovely night, if a bit cold. She didn't mind too much, and went about her way.

She finished up with a glance given Lorcan and Ava, "I'll check on the progress upstairs then I'm heading for bed and some sleep. I'll see you tomorrow." Giving a wave with a smile before she headed for the back hall and stairs.

"Good night, Lindsay." She hung up the apron and smiled. "I think you're going to do well here, Lorcan." It was turning out to be better than Reefer's Bay. "And I think I'm going to head to the manor now." She was pleased to be part of it all though her parents were worried about her.

"I'm pleased you got to come down and help out being the holidays." They had not really talked on her working for him in any capacity. Which brought that to mind. "Have you an interest in working for us?" He was offering her a job. "There is the barmaids needed or sales in the mercantile."

She looked at him and smiled, nodding. "I would love to, yes. Though I might be better in sales." She had to laugh as she admitted, "I'm always afraid I'm going to spill the drinks on someone when I help here." And she never was sure what to do with the tips.  With what her parents sent her, she didn't need the money.

"I could use someone in the mercantile area. I have Lindsay and Beth to work the bar and should be able to handle it. If we start getting many, I will consider hiring on extra then. Or would have now if you wanted." Making an exception in her case. He had finished cleaning up as he was out and around from behind the bar. "Permit me to see you back." Which then he could visit with the others staying at the manor as well.

"I'd enjoy your company back." She collected her cloak, pausing so he could help her with it if he so wished.

Which he would grab up his cloak after seeing to hers and escort her out. The walk this night would be nice and help to wake him up some more after being caged in the tavern for a while.


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