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Other Lands

Date: 08-14-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 1

A Guest

So far it was he and Alex at the bar. Hot night, sweltering kind that kept one to rub a cloth against the back of their neck. Kind of night clothes were a bother to wear as even with the pulley ceiling fan and somewhat of a breeze through open windows and doors, it was still too hot.  Poet's shirt gradually got opened more and more down the front until it basically was hanging on him like he was a hanger. Boots were off as he need not worry going barefoot on immaculate floors. Alex was meticulous like that. It was cold ale and shots of potcheen as a chaser than potcheen alone.

How did it get so hot between home and here over the course of the travel? was a wonder her poor horse didn't just stop and refuse to go any further. He was fortunate though that their travel, at least for a short while,  had come to its destination and here they were. She'd come with a special request in hopes of filling it, but was told not to feel bad if she couldn't. The horse left tethered for the time being, Vanessa moved quietly through the door to the interior of the familiar Inn. Blonde curls had long since been pulled away and pinned up from the nape of her neck due to the heat. A simple coral dress, unfortunately with full length, fitted sleeves, but at least it weighted for the warmer months. A small wave was given to Alex, and a nod to the man who occupied the interior. "Good eve, sirs."

"Guid eve tae yea lass, want me to throw you in the trough with me to follow?" Teasing tone but then both hands were up in a defensive manner, "I'm only teasing but it might actually be enticing this night." Hands lowering, one to his side with the other to rest on the edge of the bar next to his tankard. Condensation needed constant wiping as it ran down the side of the vessel. A good swipe of his palm over it to rub against the back of his neck. Blue eyes still on the lass as a winsome smile appeared, dimple with it. "I'm Segan Quinn of these lands."

Segan's accent threw her for a loop. Pale golden eyes lacking pupils watched him for a moment, trying to analyze what he'd said. She got it eventually and smile
d shyly. "That is a very tempting offer. Not sure the horses would appreciate it though." She dipped a small curtsey when the introduction was given. "Pleasure to meet you, Sir. Quinn. I'm Vanessa Baltimore, of Eldyn." Her quiet request to Alex was for a mug of cider. "I can't believe how warm it  is here..." Not that Eldyn wasn't warm, but at this hour it wasn't sweltering.

"There is that, we might find them standing or sitting in the troughs if they haven't high tailed it down to the lake." Horses could smell water a mile away. He put on his manners for certainly they were driven into him since a lad for his family, even if he chose to be more of a sailor, privateer. He was up from his slight lean, hand to splay over his chest which made him realize it was exposed down the front as he dipped his head briefly in a bow before straightened. Hand moved down to discreetly pull the one side of the shirt over more to meet the other. "A pleasure to meet you Miss Baltimore of Eldyn." Being all proper too. "We're usually less formal here if that suits you by using my given name, Segan." Brogue was still flowing with his speech but it was not as heavy like at first. That had been for emphasis, more the sailor in the man.

"Smart animals." She smiled and thanked Alex for the drink. It was lifted for a small drink and attention returned to Segan. When the mug lowered, she smiled lightly to him. "Segan, then. You can call me Vanessa." Not much to shorten it, other than Nessa, which she didn't like. The opening of his shirt due to the heat was largely paid no mind to. It was easy for a male to get away with something as simple as that. "Pardon my curiosity, are you from the Eire originally?" Always interested in accents because she didn't have one, and they were insight to places she'd never been.

"I think curiosity is a good trait, Vanessa," though he'd be one to shorten it to Essa if anything, "so I can't be pardoning you for it." Tease still held in a good nature way. "Aye, we are, raised and born there but not so for me grandpapa and grandmama, so a long story to shorten, we are here where they had been born and raised a few decades ago. Would you be asking for your from the land o' green as well?" Though she didn't have an accent that he could place in particular. Maybe it was an Eldyn accent?

If Eldyn had an accent, perhaps. If she had an accent, she didn't hear it. Her voice was soft with an almost lyrical lilt to it though. Just part of her heritage. "Me? No. I'm not from Eire. A friend of mine was raised there though, and used to tell me about it. All the green hills and rolling lands. She made it sound very beautiful." Envious of those who had the chance to travel to far away places or came from such.

Eion had chosen not to go directly to the lake but made a detour to the hot springs, in spite of the heat. He had worked long and hard on the King's field in the morning, then spent the afternoon rebuilding a stone wall so the animals that Herself was beginning to collect would stay out of the garden. A particularly hungry goat she had given the name of Myrtle for one. The many pups for another, since they were prone to dig. The soak had eased aching muscles and he was cooler now that he was out of them. His hair was still damp and there might be a hint of sulphur clinging to his skin. He had lost his shirt early in the day but wore an opened vest, black cotton pants and boots. He stepped inside and smiled to see Segan talking to a lass, though that faded to his usual stoic expression as he crossed the room.

"Aye, they would be the rightful tales then and of the Fae, Fairy forts and misty fields that have you whisked away. Of great heroes that walk the lands and of the mystics and druids. Much like here." Which was why he adjusted so well. Clearview manor was becoming a petting zoo of its own. There had to be at least 8 puppies, a milk cow, goat that ended up having another goat. A couple of sheep because their youngest sister, Concessa couldn't resist buying two lambs, one a ram and in a couple years they would probably have their own flock. Herself would be kept busy! Soon as Eion stepped inside a look shot his way with a grin to follow as hand was up motioning him over. "Eion, come meet the lovely lass Vanessa from Eldyn."

Aw...if she'd been capable, she'd have been all dreamy eyed listening to the description of Ireland with that sense of envy. Rather, eyes just looked like small chambers of liquid gold that turned to the other as he entered. A smile offered to the stoic featured man with a tip of her mug towards him greeting. "Good eve." Chipper and soft spoken. Looking back to Segan, she nodded lightly. "Sounds like a land of fairy tales from the books of children." She'd have to try and find one not quite so fairy tale-ish to read and learn about the Eire.

"Evening Segan." Blue eyes shifted from his brother to the woman. "Evening Miss Vanessa, and welcome. Alex, I be needin' ale on a night like this." His accent wasn't heavy due to his having served in several different places but the lilt of Ireland was still there. He took a lean against the bar, facing them both.

He liked the sound of her voice, the lilting tones that flowed in a unique way, "most of their heritage was passed down verbally than written in books. Later the stories started being recorded in a way children would find favorites. But other cultures have their equivalent of the nymphs called in Deutschland as brownies. Makes you wonder as most fairy tales are based in truths, just how much is true and not so make believe." Though he'd rather hear her talking as he opened up that gate, "so tell me of yourself, your travel here went smoothly? Were you born in Eldyn?" A good few questions to get her started as he lifted his tankard for a quenching drink.

"Hm.." Hummed thoughtfully as she took another drink. "I will have to see if I can find any such tales when I return home." Sariyelle's older child would love them. Ooh..then he went and opened up with a few questions. He must not have liked his ears very much. She often rambled. "My travels went well. I was asked by .. " Pause for thought. " of the nobles? see if I could get in touch with the makers of the cider here. She has a great affection for it. Understandably so." Followed with a gentle shake of her head. "No, I wasn't born there. I was raised there though."

Her talking was fine with Eion. He wasn't much of a talker around any other than his family, and the comrades he trained with. He thanked Alex for the ale and took a long drink of it, then his attention was on the young woman once more with his own question. "Did you travel far?"

That's where he and Eion differed though he wasn't flirting as much as he did at times. Even with flirting he managed to keep not only single but unattached to anyone in particular. He met a few, liked a few, that's as far as he got. Then again he would sail cargo down along the coast or coming up soon, distant places as he worked his way up in the lands and business he started working for. "Now if it was potcheen you'd be meeting with a Prince o' the lands but I do recollect there is one large farm in these lands and it is there where the cider is made too. Draven MacShire. If you needed to meet with him, I'm sure Alex here could send off a note." Not adding any more questions presently as Eion actually joined in with one.

From one to the other, she turned her attention to Eion with a shake of her head. "Not too far. Eldyn isn't too far a journey." Far enough though to recognize the change in temperature. Expression lightened, she looked to Alex, then to Segan. "That would be fantastic. I know Lady Sariyelle has come to Heathfield on many occasions just for the cider." It was because of Sari that Vanessa found out about it. A moment of thought. "I don't know what potcheen is..." She'd heard of it, but didn't know anything more than just the name.

He gave a nod of his head in answer then took another drink of the ale. He cut a glance toward Segan as he lowered his tankard, mostly to see if he intended to answer the question. Though he did pause. "Lady Sariyelle has visited here often then?" Best that he learn these names.

"It's Irish whiskey of the finest made. Very strong but they cut it down for the ladies into punch of various flavors. Some have it in their tea, coffee or lemonade." Words tailing off as Eion asked another. He was doing real good! Grin! He was liable to get a punch to the arm later.

Ah..that's why Vanessa'd never had any potcheen. She didn't drink. She smiled to the explanation though, thankfully and looked to Eion with a nod. "Perhaps not as of late, but she's been a frequent visitor. She has a couple friends here that I know she tries to catch up with on occasion. She asked if I met them, if I would give them her hellos."

Bah. If he didn't show some manners, he'd be working harder than usual on the field. He had heard the stories about Sir Vincent and the King. But, yes, there could be a punch in the arm in store for Segan before the night was over.  "Ah, I see." And it was time for another drink of the ale. He'd speak up again if he thought of another question.

"Who would they be? We might know them though we've been here about a half year now?" Uncertain now that he brought it up himself even. Blue eyes turned on his brother wondering if he kept track.

Nothing wrong with being the quiet observant one. She had to recall the names given to her. "She only gave me their first names. Mikhail and...Armory." She was sure those were the names given her. Another small drink from the mug, she settled herself onto a stool.

"Armory is a knight and Mikhail special advisor to the crown. They're usually on the field so I can give them the message." He gave Segan a shrug. It only seemed like a few months to him but then he had spent a good portion in recovering. For Segan's benefit he added, "Armory Randall and Mikhail MacKay." Though neither had a common first name.

"Ah, MacKay. I met Kaylea and Trevet has the leather shop." So he hadn't met the warrior yet though he spent some of his time on the field when allowed to keep in practice. Then back to Vanessa, "if you need to stay the night, you're more than welcome to. In fact I'd feel better you didn't travel at night alone unless you have some guards with you?" Brow lifting as he leaned up to see past her and his brother towards the open door and if there were any such lingering out there.

She was relieved someone recognized the names since she wasn't sure she'd gotten them right. The travel and the heat did things to the mind. She'd met Mikhail once, but vaguely remembered the brief encounter. She looked to Segan when he spoke of her staying the night there, then followed his attention curiously to the door. No guard had accompanied her, nor a chaperone. She wasn't really in a station to require such. "I suppose it would be wise." Though hesitant since she had duties early each morning.

"You can request an early wake up call if you need." He offered her a slight smile, "and the rooms are comfortable."

"Aye, and Hazel is one of the land's finest cooks. Rooms are clean," he knew for he slept in one before he moved in at Clearview though he spent a lot of his nights on the ship so he wasn't picked on by all the Quinn ladies. Eion staying at the barracks and Conor at the McDonough ranch made it testy to go there as the lone male. Chores got heaped. Just thinking of it had him grinning for what seemed no reason at all. Made the dimple come again. Herself would flush any of them out eventually if they avoided the manor for too long.

She looked between the two thoughtfully for a moment before nodding. "Uhm..Alright." Sari would probably worry come morning, but she wouldn't want Vanessa traveling alone at night. "You've convinced me." A soft smile, she finished her drink and set the mug down on the counter.

Funny that. Even though they had hired men, their Grandmother never seemed to think they could do the work on their own. He finished his own drink and nodded. "Good. Alex will give you a key when you're ready." He looked toward Segan with his next question. "Where you staying the night?"

It was a way of showing who was really boss of the Quinn family. A woman who dared the barracks in a surprise visit laden with food for her grandson and anyone else about. No one was safe from Herself. Though Herself actually had a name, Mary. "I am pleased and perhaps I will get to see you before you leave tomorrow. Is there a way his lordship MacShire can get in touch with Lady Sariyelle?"

A nod given to Eion, she turned to Alex to go ahead and request a key. Rest would be required soon enough. Then looked back to Segan. "A parchment sent to the Castle of Eldyn in care of Sariyelle Darshan. I'm sure she'd be grateful for the chance to purchase some of the cider she all but brags on."

Then to Eion. "I think I will stay here the night being here already and the late hour." Which Alex noted for he was the one that would end up sending out the note to Ravanna come morning. He still had some questions. "Do you have a shop, skill or anything in particular?" Not quite sure how to ask the question of the Lady.

As if  he'd argue with Gran on who was the boss of the family! "All right then I'll be biding you both good night." The castle not being far. "Dawn comes far too quickly." He clapped a hand to Segan's shoulder then nodded to Vanessa. "Good night, Miss Vanessa. Rest well."

It was late and time for him to get some sleep or he would end up sleeping in and should be down to the docks to catch the first bids on cargo carting. A hand clasped his brother's shoulder in turn as he shifted up from his lean. A key being set for him that he took up with his other hand. "When will you be going to the manor next?" Better for them to go in a group.

"You too. It was a pleasure to meet you." To Eion before she collected the key with a thanks to Alex.

"Tomorrow after training is done and I clean up. Gran expects me for lunch and I've not finished the wall for her yet." He gave his brother a lop-sided smile. "And you know how impatient she can be when she wants something done." Thankfully, with the heat, they didn't work late in the afternoon, unless one wanted.

"I will swing by then and perhaps Conor will take a break and come also." His hand having lowered away from his brother's shoulder as he turned to Vanessa. "Sweet dreams Lady Vanessa, it was my pleasure to meet you. I can hope our paths will cross again and the pleasure of your voice." So he paid her the compliment for he might not ever see her again to do so. One never knew what life would bring his way again.

She smiled, nodding to Segan as she moved off her stool. "And to you, Segan. Thanks for your help." Directed to them both. Directed towards the room by Alex, she took her leave for the night.

"Aye, he's not been there for a few and you know how she is about that." He might find Herself coming to find him at the ranch, if only to make sure he was all right. "Rest well, Segan. I'll be seeing you tomorrow then." He gave Alex a salute before he headed for the back door and the short cut to the castle.

Giving Vanessa ample time so he didn't seem like he was stalking her, he finished off his ale and a bit of talk with his brother still. "Aye and she'll be marching on the giant McDonough next. "Rest well as well, Eion," hand lifting with the key as he waved his brother's way as he headed for the hall that would bring him upstairs.

Now wouldn't that be a sight to see!



Date: 08-15-09
Poster: Draven MacShire
Post # 2

A Mission to Eldyn
Evenings across Eldyn were peaceful and for the most part upbeat. After a long day of work for everyone, they enjoyed an evening of spirits and conversation. The markets square had all but cleared out for the night, though around its skirts some of the shops remained open well into the evening hours for those who needed a late night service. The Green Ivy was much the same. The doors stood open, as did windows, to allow the cooler evening breeze of the gradually repairing lands to pass effortlessly. Grady stood behind the bar at his usual station of tending drink and food orders. Sariyelle and her three little ones were there enjoying the company of the gent and a few others that came in. Seated at a table near the bar, the year old twins shared a chair with their own small mugs of juice, Lily in her own chair next to Sari with a plate of fruit, content to eat and prod at her siblings.

Draven had received the note from Alex of the Lady Sariyelle. A name he had heard in passing of one that had been in the lands and made friends of ones he was friends with. A small world it could easily become. Because she was highly thought of, instead of having her come to him, he and his wife would take the ride out in a more friendly than business atmosphere. Eldyn was lands considered upon before by the Crown to see of a mutual friendship being set up. Then, for a while, they were not heard from or those around that had been and such slipped through the cracks. He had a fine custom built surrey which they rode in this evening. the back had an area where cargo could be stored. Ten, one gallon glass jugs of cider fitted nicely with cotton pads woven around so they didn't clash together and possibly break. His attire consisted of a white dress poet's shirt of a kind one could get away with being in a regimented, proper place down to a more comfortable atmosphere as they enjoyed at the Thistle. He was told of the Ivy Inn as being a place to go socially and a good way of finding the Lady Sari. She had been their former queen so most about would have a good idea where she was if not there. The trip long enough that it was good to pull up in front of the place, finally vacating his seat to get out and around to open up the small door and offer his hand to Tara in helping her out. "I do believe this is the place." Bright blue eyes held that tease for of course this was where they were suppose to be presently.

A evening out was always a pleasure, and the reason made it even more so. She hadn't met Lady Sariyelle yet but had heard of her. She was wearing a lightweight summer gown of blue and green cotton with touches of yellow. Marriage hadn't ended her love of color obviously. She laughed when he teased, placing her hand in his. "I do believe you're right." Her hair was pulled back into a braid then coiled into a bun. She had brought a shawl of white Spanish lace in case the night turned cooler.

The surrey would be greeted by a young stable hand, offering to tend to the horses while the couple relaxed or tended business or whatever such they did. It was hard not to take note of the carriage pulling up through the large make of the windows, for the children and Grady at least. Sariyelle heard the approach of hoof and wheel against the recently repaired cobble stones. "Seems you might have a busy night, Grady." Sariyelle was easy to find. Three very noisy, playful, energetic children. It was natural that at the sights of a horse, Lily grew excited and mumbled something about pretty hosey around a mouthful of fruit. "Stay inside, Lily." Sari's own attire was a simple dress of lilac in color made of summer cottons with three quarter sleeves and a sweet-heart neckline. Her hair worn in a braid to keep the teething twins from chewing on it.

After helping her out, he turned to the lad approaching as he released her hand. "Aye lad, but I may be sending another lad or two out to get the cargo from the back. Would you be knowing if the Lady Sariyelle be present tonight?" Taking a few coins from the pouch attached to his belt to make the lad's time worthwhile as he handed the coins over. It was a set of pretty horses, dapple grays with a fine line in their blood that could be seen just looking at them.

She smiled at the lad then studied the building as Draven spoke to him, her arm sliding through his. She looked back then, awaiting the stable boy's answer. She was finding Eldyn to be as charming as she had heard.

The young boy, perhaps in his early teens, nodded to the man and motioned to the woman seated amongst the three children. "She's just there, sir." He'd await any further inquiry or instructions regarding the horses before tending to them in means of water and perhaps a bit of grain for the long journey.

There'd been a certain part in the day when her mood suddenly soured. Nothing of significance occurred... nothing drastic which would warrant such a thing, it just... happened with a flip of a switch. It saw Kedakai brooding as she worked...though managed a pleasant enough smile through the day so as not to scare off her company with strange mood swings! By the time the sun set and all was settling down for another night, Kedakai needed a strong drink. So she threw on a jacket and didn't even bother to take Argai, her loveable steed, before she was trotting off the castle grounds and heading to town. It took but shorter than usual before she was heading up to the door, politely coasting  the couple so that she could enter without rudely cutting off their path to the Inn. Kedakai spotted Sariyelle immediately as well as the three children, which brought a brilliant smile to her lips. Instead of calling out to her however, Kedakai calmly placed her index finger to her lips, silencing Grady when he went to greet her. She was smiling and the man understood. Hopefully Lily wouldn't spot her off the bat... the woman was curious if Sariyelle would remember her scent.

"Aye then laddie," giving him a few more coins, "see that you and another bring in all the jugs of cider once you see to the horses and be careful about it if you would please." He was polite even talking to those younger than him. Knowing too that it would not be right upon their entry that the cider was brought in but shortly thereafter. He made note of the woman in the window surrounded by children. Brought a smile to his features as he had children that were all grown at this point. The lass coming upon them then by gained a smile in her passing, "evening Ma'am." As he stepped from the stable lad to splay his hand against the small of Tara's back. From there he guided her within and to the bar first to order a drink.

She smiled at the boy, thanking him quietly before she was moving out with Draven. "Good evening," said cheerily to the woman who was making her way to the Inn. She smiled up at Draven as they went inside, asking for something cold once they were inside ... lemonade. She didn't think they'd have punch.

As if Sariyelle could forget the scent of her dearest friend. It did take her a moment though. Just as she seemed to recognize the scent, Lily caught sight of Kedakai. "Sias!!" Sari smiled. Foiled again, Keda! "I thought that was scent of earth and ivy I smelled." She stood up to greet her dearest friend with a hug. Wesley was turned around on his knees in the seat, reaching for Saris while Grace and Lily watched quietly.

She'd offer the couple a smile and a pleasant 'evening' of course before walking in, since it was offered to her. Back inside, Kedakai moved out of the way of the door and headed towards the bar where Grady already had a mug of something cold to drink. She'd want something stronger later but for now, ale would do. Well... if nothing else, she was curious to see how long it would take Sariyelle to register the smell. But, as Keda took her drink, she noticeably flinched upon hearing that familiar voice and couldn't help but laugh. Foiled indeed! She moved over to their table, setting the drink down before embracing Sari in a hug. "It is good to see you." She gave her a kiss on the cheek before her attention brightened at the children. "My! Look how big you all have gotten!" She exclaimed happily, kissing Lily on the forehead and scooping Wesley into her arms.. for now, content to croon over them all.

He would order a tankard of cold ale, setting coins to cover both on the bar. "Evening," granted the massive Nordic looking male before he turned enough to witness a reunion. He would wait upon that while their drinks were delivered. They were not in any hurry, well, not pressing for a man such as he. Another coming in was greeted as well, "evening lass." Politely and obviously out of habit for Draven. Vibrant blue eyes turning to Tara with a certain kind of smile and quick wink. If she needed anything she'd let him know.

She returned the hug and the kiss to the cheek, more than happy to see her friend. "It's good to hear you." She snickered softly and released Keda so she could play with the children. If it weren't for Grace's slightly longer hair, she and Wesley wouldn't have been able to be told apart. Both with darker features of their father, and looking much like Lily rather than fair features of their mother. Wesley instantly looked for something.. hair.. fingers, whatever to put in his mouth. "Be mindful of the teeth." Fair warning. Lily climbed down out of her chair to busy body herself to Keda, keeping a close eye on her, with her little brother.

She greeted the others as she settled in to enjoy the evening. It was nice to see friends meeting , especially the children. Smiling back at Draven, she gave a slight shake of her head to let him know she was fine for now. A sip was taken of the drink and she nodded approval.


She felt the tension of her bad mood slip away in such familiar and wanted company. She couldn't help but chuckle at Sari's comment, grinning as kohl lined eyes settled on the child in her arms. "I have missed you guys." She replied while taking a seat at the table. It freed up a hand to take hold of her mug for a long pull. Lucky for Wesley he had gobs of hair to play with and tug on as Keda hadn't bothered to tie up that long mane of hair. Just as Sari spoke her warning she abruptly removed her finger from his mouth before he chopped down on it! "Well that was a close call." She made a silly face at the child and smiled, attention shifting back to Sari. "I trust all is well at the meadow for you four?" Asked curiously... she'd have to go down there and see it for herself one day.


It was then the stable lad and four of his friends came in carrying two, one gallon jugs each. As they piled in he indicated for them to take them to Lady Sariyelle's table, which they dutifully did. It was his cue to approach, tankard in one hand and his wife in the other, though not literally. Hand splayed lightly against the small of her back in escorting her over, stopping within a respectful distance of the group. "Excuse the interruption but I've been asked for by Lady Vanessa Baltimore on behalf of Lady Sariyelle Darshan. Sir Draven MacShire, Duke of Ravanna farmlands. My wife, Tara. I have come with a gift since I am to understand you favor the cider made by my mill."

"We've missed you too." She smiled soft, drifting her hand over the table until she found her own mug to lift for a drink. Lily kept a keen eye on Keda. "All is well enough. It's strange being back in the castle." Another small drink was taken when the male voice was heard. She smiled some and pale brown eyes rose towards the voice inflection, but hazed in dark to never find a face. "A pleasure to meet you, Mr. MacShire, Mrs. MacShire, and yes. Your cider is quite favored." Yay, she was going to have cider on hand! For a little while, at least. "Won't you join us?" Motioning around the table. Grace babbled quietly, reaching for Lily's hair to tug on, which Lily swatted at.

Out of the corner of her eye she could see Lily's wary eye being kept on her. She couldn't help but smirk at such a sight. Attention back to Sari and she nodded lightly, "I imagine it would be. It was for me. I am still not quite use to it." Which would explain why she rarely ever slept there anymore. Perhaps not the best remedy. When kegs of cider started filing in and the couple approached, Keda took in the other customers for the first time. A few at the bar.. just as unfamiliar as the pair standing before them now. She regarded them both with a smile. Oh yes, she remembered that cider, it was delicious. "How kind of you." She replied softly. She might've said more but Wesley had her hair knotted up around his small hands and she had to work patiently to untangle them.

"Beautiful children," mussed in a nostalgic wistful way as attention turned on the three for a moment before back on Sari even if she could not see him, she might on another level. Draven was one of the Druids of his lands. She would get even more than a scent of one with nature, firmly rooted, loyal and determined where needed. "If you continue to wish to enjoy cider and others here, I'm sure we could work out a trade with your tavern keeper or any individual interest. Coin or barter, we do both in our lands." Which left it easier to achieve what one wanted to get. "Thank you, I would be pleased to join you." Dipping glance given his wife as he was over to set his tankard and pull out a chair for her. Chivalry wasn't dead. Blue eyes turned on the other lady, "I believe I have not your name. I'm pleased you enjoyed the cider as well. It is a blend of various apples to give it just the right amount of sweet mingled with tart."

"Yes they are and very lively" She smiled at each, and watched as the woman tried to untangle her hair with a soft chuckle. "Thank you, darling," was said softly to Draven before she sat. She was fond of the cider herself so it was good to hear that others felt the same. "Thank you also, Lady Sariyelle, for the invitation."

Another attempted pull of her sister's hair, Lily turned around and leaned over the chair to tickle her younger sibling. Sari smiled as the couple seemed to take the invitation to join them. "Pardon my manners. This is Kedakai." She wasn't going to give her formal title. They were all here to relax. A kind smile for the compliment of the children. "Thank you." To both of their guests. "I'm glad you would join us. It's so kind of you to bring the cider here. I would have been happy to make the trip to pick it up." Though she was very grateful.

"It is a pleasure, Mr. MacShire...Mrs. MacShire." She smiled and offered a nod to both as they joined the small group. Not minding in the least the lack of formalities used tonight. She actually preferred it that way. Freeing Wesley's hands turned out to be an effort done so vain.. because the moment he was free, he simply plunged his hands back in. She didn't spend enough time with children to have known to save herself the trouble. But she smiled and resigned herself to the tugging on her hair as she sat back and enjoyed her drink.

"Indeed a pleasure to meet you Lady Kedakai, though in our lands we dispense with titles when out socially and not in a castle council or court room where formality is expected by tradition. Draven and Tara will do nicely." Then upon Sari attention turned, "I'm told you're a good friend of Mikhail MacKay and his comrade Armory Randall for a number of years. Mikhail and his family, a brood of brothers and sisters, are well respected. Enough to allow him to join Leoric and Gaidan McLarkin, twin sons of our Queen, when they took back the castle in Kildare, rightful heirs of their deceased father." Yes, it could get very tricky.

"Kedakai, it's a pleasure." She nodded her head in the woman's direction. "You both have lovely names." And while Draven spoke to Sari, she spoke to Lily. "Do you like being a big sister?" She leaned slightly toward the little girl as she spoke.


Wesley would not only pull and tug, but he'd also try to put in his mouth of Keda wasn't careful. Lily turned to the woman with a big grin. "Yes! They pull hair though. And they bite." The downside to being the older sibling. Grace started fussing, so Sari leaned over to the chair to lift her up and set her on her lap while listening to Draven. A thoughtful smile to mention of Mikhail and Armory. "Yes. They are dear friends that I do not get to visit with nearly enough. Though I had the joy of their company a few nights past. It seems things are going quite well for the both of them. I'm very happy for them."

Date: 08-15-09
Poster: Draven MacShire
Post # 3

"Draven and Tara it is then." She replied with a smile. She liked them already. "Thank you." She spoke softly at Tara's compliment, listening as Draven went on to speak. The only name she could recognize in there was Mikhail...  the man she'd met at the castle a few weeks ago. She recalled him well enough though barely knew him. Eyes glanced over to Wesley and back, only to do a double take back at the child who had her hair in his mouth. Sure enough! "No, no, no.....that is not for you to eat." She scolded softly, though you couldn't really even call it scolding by the smile on her face. She removed the hair from his mouth careful now to keep an eye on him. She'd been watching the man at the bar every so often and could only arch a thin brow at his loud departure. Some people.

"Kedakai," repeating her name without Lady attached in a comfortable way. His accent was a blend of Scots and Irish they might notice. A hand slid over the top of Tara's a moment, to remind her he was well aware of her presence as he replied a comment to Sari. "They have been a tremendous help to the Crowns, our own and Kildare." It didn't get past him to notice the Nordic one was loud which seemed on purpose to gain someone's attention that was not gained so left finally as loudly as he could. He was almost tempted to make a comment in a humorous way about rattling wheels don't always get the oil.

"I see that and it looks like they chew hair as well." She chuckled as she glanced at Keda and Wesley then looked back. "And I think they're very happy to have you as a big sister, even if they can't say it yet." She looked at Draven with the touch of his hand and smiled again. It was the little things that he did that made her feel loved. Her attention went back to Lily, the smile never changing.

"I've heard the shortened version of the story. I was pleased to hear that it turned with a better ending than it could have." Grace settled on chewing on her fists since her back was to Sari, and Wesley started grabby hand with his other hand, going for nose and ears. Poor Keda! Lily smiled to the woman shyly. "They is good siblings. Mama says I teach them a lot." So proud of her younger siblings and the praise she got for being a good big sister.

Keda smiled brightly over at Draven, obviously liking that version than the other. She was also keen to his accent... it reminded her of someone. Downing the rest of her ale, Keda sat back again and allowed her face to become a play toy for the child as he tugged on her ears and tried to lean close enough to put her nose in his mouth. Infectious laughter escaped her at the sight but she leaned her head back. She liked her nose the way it was thank you!

He settled in to concentrate some on his tankard before it got warmed. Lifting it for a long quenching draw before set away to the table again. Watching the children with the lady was entertaining. He was almost tempted to ask Lily if she taught her siblings how to bite and eat hair, though at her age she would miss the humor in it, so refrained. It brought back memories of Gerrard and Autumn when they were young.

"I'm sure you do and will keep on teaching them while you grow older." Tara's smile grew wider. "Are they more fun now, or were they more fun when they were tiny babies?" She didn't want Lily to feel left out while Draven talked to Sari.

Sari just smiled softly, listening to Keda's laughter while Lily carried on a conversation with Tara. "Draven, you spoke of an arrangement for the cider. What did you have in mind?" Tara had Lily's full attention. She thought hard about the answer. At six years old, there wasn't much memory of a year ago that she could recall. So she went with the obvious. "They more fun now. They's learning to walk and the fall a lot."

Keda smiled over at Lily when she answered Tara's question. She kept to her silence for now as she listened to the dual conversations and kept all fingers and noses out of Wesley's path.

"That would first depend on if you prefer to pay for things in coin or barter. I have no need for farm goods but something else such as scented oils or materials that can be made into clothing." He had no idea if they could barter or not. The amount would depend on how much they needed of the cider. This was the perfect time of the year too. "Offer me a deal and we can go from there." Smile swept with a glance given Lily with her reply.


"They do that when they're learning, don't they?" She chuckled at her reply. "I think they're funny lucky to have you as a big sister, and your mama is lucky to have you helping her." She straightened then looked at Draven and smiled again, only this time it was softer and more thoughtful.

Sariyelle thought about it quietly. She still had some influence over the resources and exports of Eldyn's materials. "I haven't much in the way of spices and materials." The only Imports shop in Eldyn was Zira's and her shipments were rare until business picked up. "I do have gemstones that I can use to barter if you have interest in those. If not, then coin would work fine." Either or. The gemstones of Eldyn were mined in gross. Seemed to be about the only thing the lands produced, which was to their benefit since it made for good trade for their supplies.

"Gemstones would be perfect since my sister Vanessa, who goes by Velvet, does jewelry. She's very good at it too. She has a flare much like the zest in her personality." He was nodding. "Making new friends is on trust and I'll trust you to know what your gems are worth and what is a fair amount for ten gallons of cider as each set barter."   Which would make a barrel of cider instead of sending it in gallon jugs as he had for the gift.

Talk of trade held some interest for Tara, since it involved her husband. She knew Velvet would be pleased with the offering. Gaze shifted from Sari briefly to the wee one on her lap and she smiled again. Yes, all three children were absolutely adorable.

She nodded lightly to what Draven said. "Excuse me a moment." Standing from her seat, her free arm scooped under Grace's legs to carry her with her. Sari had a bag here at the Inn she kept for specific purposes. Going over to the bar, she asked Grady for the bag. When it was offered to her, she took it and returned to the table. Lily smiled again to the woman. "you's a very nice lady." She looked at the woman thoughtfully and leaned way around (attempting so discretely as possible, which wasn't very discrete at all) to look towards the woman's back. Sariyelle seated herself with Grace on her lap. Once her hand was free, she opened the bag to retrieve a small pouch and offered it to Draven. "Those are tanzanite stones. They are the precious birthed stones of Eldyn, along with golden pearls. I can have the gems faceted as part of the payment for the cider." Like the stones she offered were faceted.

"You see any wings back there?" She asked, almost absently when she noticed Lily peeking around at the woman's back. She grinned lightly before motioning to Grady that she'd like a another.

"Why, thank you. I think you're very nice too." She had to laugh when she heard Keda. Was that what Lily had been looking for? She didn't say anything though eyes of golden brown lowered to the girl again.

He took the pouch as he opened the strap then rolled them out onto the palm of his hand. "You would need not facet them if that is more convenient as Velvet would do it accordingly to a setting. I may well bring back some she sets if you'd like to see a finish product. These would do very nicely as the golden pearls would be too much a payment for cider unless a lot was ordered." Showing them to Tara before slipping them back into the pouch to offer them back. He had given the cider his night as a good will between nations and mutual friends.

Lily smiled to Keda and ran around the table to where she was sitting to whisper into her ear, then looked at Tara again with a giggle. The twins were both starting to get drowsy and it showed as they both settled to chew on their fists and get all sleepy eyed while looking around. Sariyelle nodded with a light smile, unaware that he was offering the pouch back to her. "Then the tanzanite it is. I'm sure between myself, the children and young Miss Baltimore, perhaps Kedakai as well, the cider will go quickly. Perhaps we can arrange for every three weeks to receive?"

Vivid blue eyes watched the girl run around, Keda lowering her head enough so that she could hear what Lily was whispering. Her words aroused a soft laugh as her gaze fell on Tara, "She might be. She certainly is pretty enough to be one. Might be hard to stuff those wings into her dress, though.." She smiled, glancing back at Lily before catching her name in Sariyelle's conversation. Attention shifted to them a moment and she nodded, "I will certainly be  indulging myself on some cider on more than one occasion." Which meant she agreed. Wholeheartedly.

"We can arrange that. Do you wish this to be the payment for the next ten gallons? I will have it sent over in two five gallon barrels." Yes, they had different sizes and they came with a spigot intact. "A note will be sent ahead to alert you of a deliver on a certain day, three to four weeks. If you should need a break from cider, you need only send a note to have the service halted or resumed later." He would make it a workable solution for them both. "If you wish it delivered to another building, I would need to know of the directions."

Tara couldn't help chuckling though when she realized what Lily was asking about her. She gave Draven a impish look, wondering what he thought of the conversation but instead of saying anything, she took another sip of what remained of the lemonade.

Lily looked at Tara thoughtfully before leaning back up to Keda to whisper again, giggling softly. The twins quietly dozed off until they were comfy and fast asleep on Keda's and Sari's lap. Sari nodded. "That would be wonderful if you would accept that as payment for the first delivery. I'm not sure I could ever tire of your cider. I make special trips to Heathfield just for your cider." She laughed quietly, brushing a hand over Grace's head to find her fast asleep. "It would be easier to have them delivered to the castle. It's along the north road from here." It was hard to miss as the only road to the castle.

Grady silently slipped past, replacing her drink with another, lingering long enough to see if anyone else required anything of him. Keda leaned down again to catch Lily's whisper.. smiling broadly at what she spoke. Keda nodded in agreement as her gaze lingered on the child. "She very well could have. Though I should think a fairy would want to show off her beautiful wings... instead of hiding them away." Not wanting Lily to run around believing Tara really was a fairy.. which would be her luck. She took a drink of the cold ale and peeked down to see Wesley dozing off in her lap. No wonder the tuggings on her face and hair had ceased.

"I can hope you will still continue to visit our lands as I know you've been welcome and are welcome there. The same for you, Kedakai," being they had met, conversed and she was a friend of a friend. He noticed the twins asleep and sure it was getting past Lily's bedtime. It was a drive back but one that would be enjoyed with his wife at his side. Their time for talk in well spent moments. He rose from his seat, tucking the pouch into his pocket. "It has been a real pleasure in finally meeting you Sariyelle and to meet you Kedakai. It is late and we should be back," not making it sound like they should be getting the children to bed, he didn't know their routines. "There is a glorious sunrise we don't want to miss having the farmlands. Be they of an impeding storm, cold days of winter or the dog days of summer."

Now she was laughing again. She had been accused of being one of the fair folk long ago but it was sweet of the little girl to think so. "I've enjoyed myself immensely. Thank you both for your kindness, and Lily, thank you for talking with me. You're very bright and a joy to talk to." She would enjoy the ride back, though she might fall asleep before they arrived home.

She couldn't help but smile to the conversation between Keda and Lily. it was too cute. Her smile then towards Draven with a nod. "It has been a pleasure to meet you. Force of nature nor man could keep me from visiting Heathfield." She always enjoyed her time there. If it wasn't for her bonds to Eldyn, she probably would have taken residence in Heathfield. "Know that you are both welcome here, any time you wish to visit. I hope to have your company again." Lily giggled to what Keda said and leaned up to whisper again before big brown eyes turned to Tara. "Thank you. You comes back and we talk again!"

She chuckled and kissed Lily's forehead, eyes flickering now to Draven. "Well thank you, that is very kind." She had been wanting to see more of Heathfield since her and Sari's last visit. She'd stand to see the couple off but Keda was afraid of rousing little Wesley, so simply stuck with offering the pair warm smiles as she addressed them. "It was a pleasure, Draven... Tara. I do hope to see more of your pleasant company often." Well this night turned out a lot better than she'd anticipated.

They should borrow Victor's familiar for the children to meet. He would have the three in stitches. There were some other familiars he was aware of as well, more with wings and small creatures. "I would like that as well perhaps you can visit my home in Ravanna, it's not far from the lake. Up one side is my farmlands, up the other is the double cattle ranch under the McDonough brothers, Maurice and Joe, cousins of mine." He could hear the surrey being brought around by the lad, that would earn him another coin. "Ladies, a fair good night be yours, wind at your back and sunlight upon your path." Offering the bend of his arm to Tara with a smile that said so much more her way.

"Again, thank you both, and I certainly will come again and talk, Lily. I had a grand time talking to you. Sleep well all of you and good night." She slid her arm through his, resting her hand at the crook of his elbow. When she looked up at him, there was a glimmer in her eyes as they started out.

Sari smiled to Lily's giggle. "You both travel safely and I am sure we will be in touch very soon." It was getting time to get the sleeping babes and the one still bright eyed back to the castle for their bedtimes. "Kedakai, would you care to walk with me back to the castle?" The twins could sleep through a tornado. NO worries of waking them now that they were asleep soundly.

"Travel safe." She called out to the departing couple. Once safely out the door Keda snuggled back into the chair and attempted to finish off the last of her drink. She had to stifle back a burp as the near emptied mug was set down on the table. That wouldn't of been very ladylike of her! Her attention shifted to Sari and a nod was given. "Yes... suppose it is past bed-time no?" She asked both Lily and the sleeping child in her arms as she rose from her seat.

They were still newlyweds in most eyes, not a year yet but in his eyes, they would be forever. It didn't stop a year after being wedded. Now was her and his time as cordial farewells were given the promises of having paths cross again if possible. It had been a very good night, and part of it was only beginning. Tara would recognize that glint as he escorted her out, saw her into the surrey, paid the lad then was up and in besides her, reins taken up but the horses knew the way.

Lily yawned and leaned on Keda's shoulder quietly with a nod. She'd been kept busy most of the day. Sari smiled. "Finish your drink first though. We can wait that long." She leaned down pressing a soft kiss to Grace's head. "What a nice night it's turned to be. And I finally have had the chance to catch up with you." And make new friends. It was a good night.

Date: 12-04-09
Poster: Meekel Silvertone
Post # 4

Distant Lands

Meekel had reported back on finding possibly another kingdom of Peoples. One not of the norm of what his initial feel over the distant lands gave way to. He was given permission to pursue what might be neighbors quite a distance from their borders but still where none where thought to be. It was a expansive world out there to explore and he granted to represent Heathfield and sister lands as an ambassador if the community was more than scattered villages. Even as villages a rapport would be established and possible means of trade in helping those out depending what was needed. He had not seen any structures, only the feel the pure octave brought back to him when sung out. If he felt he needed help, the Rangers would be at his disposal or even one of the official Ambassadors. His mission was to find out more and if there was such a nation, if they were friendly or at the worse, foe. He went further this time to a high elevation on an outcropping of rock of one of the many mountains. A pure note sprung up to ring out loud and clear over the lands as a means in which he reached out like others did through a crystal ball or other such means. He wore the atypical Rangers clothing: layering under a tunic of brown was shirt of green and a shirt beneath that of a thin cotton, pants brown as well the boots. A bow over a shoulder along with a quiver of arrows as well the usual knives at his belt of Elven made. Two longer than a knife but shorter than the usual swords. Although armed as one should be traveling uncharted territory especially through forests, he did not give off the feel of a rogue, mercenary or one who killed anything in his path.

What he would see first and foremost would depend on which direction he was coming from. If he came from the north or south along the cliffs and mountains, he would see the entire peoples of the Empire set up along the ocean facing side of the mountains and a massive tree that sprouted from the bay to the west of the kingdom, big enough to house a kingdom within itself. If he approached from the east, across the lands and over the mountains, then he would be looking down upon the palace, the City of Stone below that and the view of Aera Alda (the great tree) out on the waters. Everything was covered in snow, but waters were not frozen yet. The sounds of day to day life could be heard from the city even at a great distance that layered in tiers up the side of the mountain from the north end of the bay to the south. Everything had been built around nature. Only what was required to be cut away was, leaving the buildings to form around what could be left. So there were courtyards and such that were built around trees and gardens, though those too were covered in snow. Rangers patrolled the crest of the mountains and through the City were patrols of guards on foot. The palace secured with a tall stone wall, the gates to gain entrance down a short walk from the palace entry, made as a balcony with large doors in the center leading into the main hall.

The feel directed him to continue more west than south but certainly there was the subtle nudge that way towards the coast. As he continued along the mountain tops, ones now snow capped for the elevation, he got a better view of the distant lands coming to spread out before him. A city in sight along the bay as he took out his note pad to jot down coordinates and a rough layout as far as he could see. His sight was exceptional for his race and his pencil accurate in the rendering. He also made notes of an easier route to follow from his lands to this new civilization. Not everyone could traverse snow covered mountain terrain. The thing that intrigued him the most was the familiar feel to those whose sounds he was picking up like a distant chorus of life working together in everyday tasks. He checked the time then made his way down off the mountain in the direction of the palace. Therein the largest building that could be made out as the center. He would continue in that direction until meeting up with anyone, not trying to avoid any encounters.

Eventually there would be someone to run into. More than likely one of the patrols on rounds. Patrol guards were dressed in earthen colors of greens and browns with the official crest of the palace embroidered on the left breast side of the attire and armed with their weapons of skill. Some bows, some swords. A good portion of the populous was Elven, though varied from one sort to another with a few humans speckled into people here and there. All patrol members were of the majority race though, as were warriors of the various ranks. The stranger was greeted kindly either with a tip of the head or spoken words as he came into the populous and found one of the several paths that lead to the palace gates.

Elves had a universal way about them that it was immediately known if they were friendly or otherwise. Unlike humans who could disguise themselves in those ways. He was met in a friendly way and it was responded to in kind. A few words spoken in Elven greeting as the encounters also had him directly more efficiently to the Palace. He spoke his name, and of the lands he was from. One more efficient captain met in the outer areas was shown the parchment announcing him as an Ambassador in this matter with the Heathfield crest along with the signature of the Queen. He took one of the more direct paths once inside the fortress walls that gradually led him to the palace steps and front doors. Here he presented his parchment with credentials while inquiring if he might meet with the King and or Queen of the lands. Figuring by the building it was probably as such a setup. Though some were High Priest or Priestess, Magician and so on.

Once viewing the parchment that announced Meekel as Ambassador, one of the patrolmen offered to escort him to the palace and see to it that he had no delays in his purpose of visiting the Empire. Passing the gates, a runner was informed of the arrival and set ahead to the only currently present council member of his arrival. Once within the great hall, Meekel was left with one of the maids to show him to the Chambers room. The make of the palace was bleached, polished stone and decorated sparsely with various works of art and tapestries and banners. The Chambers room was a darker room, in shades of gray with a large table put to the center and six chairs evenly placed around it. Statues stood on high platforms overhead with panels of glass that allowed the light in from a domed ceiling. The maid took the chance to offer the man a drink while he waited by either of the hearths, placed to either side of the room.

Meekel appreciated beauty in all forms. Some might consider the Palace quite barren but he found it appeasing, clean, or even cleansed. That which was displayed was of utmost beauty than clutter. Giving each piece its due than crowding it amongst others. He was polite to the maid but was far more interested in the architecture than conversing. That would wait until he met the one that lived in this spacious place. The Chambers room reminded him of the tales of King Arthur and his round table, having everyone placed equally. His eyes were of a bright hue of blue and more-so with everything seen approvingly by him. He didn't need a drink so the lass could be back to whatever duties needed of her as he took a stance by the one hearth. Not that he was really in need of warmth for his resiliency but it was comforting as he took the moment to study some of the statues while he waited.

When the gate runner announced the male that had arrived from Heathfield, it certainly piqued her curiosity. It was only a couple of weeks ago, if that, that she'd found herself within their borders and the good company of some of the people there. Dismissing the runner, Yviene left her study with a casual, though curious air. Meekel would likely have enough time to study the design of the Chambers room before her arrival, at least to some extent. Her arrival was near silent, only the rustle of material to announce as she passed through the wide make that led into the room. Her attention easily found the fair haired Ambassador and ivory gaze fell upon him studiously. Winter complexion was matched with the silver fall of hair and a white Kimono style dressing that donned silver designs across her front on the sash about her waist. "Welcome to the Empire of Tides, Ambassador of Heathfield." Triple octaves spoke quietly, each singing their greeting to the Ambassador before fading away.

He had moved very little from his spot by the hearth in searching out the statues and design of the Chambers. The table and chairs also finely crafted. Something that was appeasing to the eye and helped to pass the time in wait. Time he didn't bother to estimate for it had been used beneficially. It wasn't the near silent rustle of her cloths that alerted him but more the feel of a species close to his own but not of his own. His hair of sun spun pale gold and blue eyes under dark brows was contrasting. He bowed his head as he turned effortlessly in her direction. A hand coming fisted to his left breast a moment before straightening. "Elen sila lumenn omentilmo." If she didn't understand his words, he would translate into the more common tongue used by Humans.

Feet held within unseen slippers beneath the kimono style of clothing she wore, everything about her was near colorless. Her hair held a hint to make it appear more silver than white, dark lines of lashes around pupiless eyes and a hint of color to thin lips. Hearing the greeting, she bowed her head to him in return and motioned to one of the few seats gathered around the hearth. "San sina na i' commae ta naa iva." Returned to him in hopefully close enough to the more commonly used Elven, being that it was something she had to learn since the Fae Edhel spoke their own language. "I must admit, I am surprised that an Ambassador of Heathfield has come here." Curiosity edge all three of the voices she spoke, and now she moved further into the room and nearer the hearth he stood in front of.

Her response brought a smile. One that reached his eyes. Her appearance was unique but not all that unusual for him to see. Meekel had met and seen many different kinds of Fae as well different species within Elf. His was rare, cousin to the Silver Elves but blessed with pure vocal sounds that could calm the Wild Beast to the shattering of stone when one learned the perfect pitch. "We had not known of your lands until recently as I set to exploring beyond the boundaries of our sister lands. I have felt your presence and am here to sate my curiosity and that of the lands I represent. The Queen of which is part Elf, Grugrach and Human. We are lands of peace and allies of kind that is mutually beneficial for all, including all who live within those realms. I was sent to find out if you are of like mind and heart." Her voice was unique and intriguing for one who too held to prefect octaves, purity of sound. One he could blend in layers at will but he didn't speak with more than one at a time.

A full smile was rare from Yviene, but the small, almost shy appearing smile that was gained as she listened was genuine. Subtle, but genuine. It was almost an amusing situation, being that she had so recently found herself within his home lands. "We are of like mind." Peace was all most wanted. Those who didn't sought to destroy everything else. Nearing one of the seats, she eased down onto the edge, folding her hands onto her lap. "I recently found myself visiting your lands. Within the past week or two. Unfortunately, my stay was not as long as I would have liked it to have been, but I hope to return soon." Soon though varied of different things. Pause for thought and realizing her manners. "My apologies. I am Noble Queen Yviene Sadara. I am sorry the other members of the council are not here to greet you as well, but they are not here."

Perhaps it was the very fact she had been in his lands that had left a trail for him to follow being pure of Elven blood and honed as a Tracker. "It is said there are two kinds of People, those who create and build and those who tear down and destroy. You are of the former, it is in you voices, in your eyes and in your aura." Meekel rarely ever touched anyone but for some reason he was incline to hold out his hands before her that she might place them within. Something like one shaking hands but in this offering it was both his hands. "You left residue that had me to follow. You would be most welcome your Highness, Yviene Sadara and it will be arranged to meet our Queen. I am Meekel of the Silvertone Elves in Heathfield lands. Ambassador presently to yours as I requested and was granted."

She was going to comment on the builders and destroyers comment, but the offering of both of his hands took her attention from anything that might have been said. Her own hands were shifted out from beneath the cuffs of the kimono she wore and laid out across the offered palms. Both hands made of only four digits; thumb and three fingers, slender and a touch longer than what looked normal. "My thanks to your Queen for such an offer. She and those of her lands are welcome to the Empire and will have accommodations prepared." Thoughtful for a moment, she couldn't recall having heard of his band or race of elves, but that wasn't much of a surprise. There were quite a few races out there that she'd had yet to find. "The offer stands for you as well, if you would like to stay a day or two to explore."

His hands were warm but there was far more to his touch. One reason it was rarely offered. A feel of tranquility and of an ancient race that transcended time. Her hands were noted, certainly different than his, which were more common, but the feel and look upon his features didn't see them or her as being different in any judgement. It was the feel of self he left to convey through the touch before her hands were gently released. "I am sure she will be very pleased to meet you and establish a rapport that will benefit both our cultures. There is much to be learned from others as there is to teach. "I would like to stay a couple days to explore and thank you for this opportunity. When I return I will report to my Queen and I'm sure she will either come here or have you go there, whichever is more convenient to you both." He didn't see either as being a problem but it would be something between the Queens. "What did you learn of our lands while you were there? I can probably answer most of your questions and if not, then I will seek the answer from any source where it can be gained."

The sensation left by his touch was noted and accepted. Her own hands were warm and soft. Most would not think by the look and feel of her hands that she was skilled with a sword and a bow, which could often be used to her advantage. As he released her hands, she motioned to one of the chairs so that he might find some comfort. "I am sure we will work out something beneficial to us both." Trio of voices mused quietly over the possibility of such a rapport while listening. "Unfortunately, I was not there long. Enough to travel across them, and made only one stop to the tavern near the commons. The people there are kind and were very welcoming." Strange, some of them, but welcoming none the less. "It would probably take another visit, one longer to come up with any questions." She hadn't been there very long and questions were hard to define at that point.

"There are six nations that comprise the lands with Heathfield at the Center. It is an Empire one would say realistically but the Queen considers all equal like a family so foregoes the usual title. In time you will learn of the different kingdoms and their ruling families. Presently we are more concern with the upcoming winter months if you or your people are in need of food or clothing. After the dark years a number of decades ago, once the Queen was returned to her rightful heritage, the lands have prospered very well, enough in surplus for others if there be a need." The two talked for a while before Meekel was shown a room that he might refresh himself before the evening meal. Luckily he had packed enough clothes for the short couple of days stay.



Date: 12-06-09
Poster: Meekel Silvertone
Post # 5

The Next Day

Meekel had awaken the next day to find the palace quiet except for those that served in its upkeep about. He changed into other attire that was not much different from the browns and greens that kept him well hidden in the forests when there. Clean clothing and well stitched. There was some embroidery down the front of the shirt he wore under the open tunic that glistened under natural and torchlight alike. Yviene had said to wander at his leisure and he took first to gardens and such areas about the palace before wandering down to the commons. He would silently greet any that passed him by with a nod and pleasant touch of a smile. He was mostly interested in their daily routine, how they interacted and what goods they sold.

Yviene had woke just before what would have been sunrise had it not been for the overcast skies that still dropped snow upon the lands in light blankets of flakes. Taken out with the rangers to the southern end of the mountains to investigate rumors that had reached them, but thus far were still just rumors. No evidence of what had been suspected, the group returned with Yviene to the main terrace at the front of the palace with orders to keep looking. Once Hariyar was tended to, she made her way into the palace. Black suede coat with fitted sleeves fastened with silver buttons up the front and fur lined hood attached around the priest style collar closed around her neck. Ivory hue took in view of the hall as maids moved about, whispering about Meekel's presence in curious fashion.

If Meekel was noticed in any other way than only another person visiting, it went unnoticed for one like himself. The light snow that was accumulating was hardly noticed as he traveled about. The people seemed to be at ease, not worried or looking over their shoulders as if their lives depended upon it. Such was good to see and said a lot of these lands he was just learning about. One lady had some preserved apples that had not perished, for they had been kept in a cold cellar, for sale. He bought four of the few more she had. Taking these back with him to offer as a treat for Yviene and hoped she favored the godly fruit. He came back into the palace probably twenty minutes after her arrival. His cloak worn this day had caught most of the snow except that which sprinkled upon blond hair and blended in. The cloak was removed upon entering and shaken out there just inside that he didn't leave drippings on the clean floors otherwise.

Yviene was still near the main entrance, speaking with a few of the maids who seemed to be having issues with Daijiro and his games. Though Yviene found it humorous more than anything, the amusement she found in her guardian's younger sibling was hardly expressed upon the winter white features that turned towards the visiting Ambassador. A slight smile given with a bow of her head, she dismissed the maids for the time being. "Nice to see you again, Meekel. I assume that you are enjoying your time here?" She had no fear of anyone mistreating or having ill assumptions about his visit. Unlike Tathar who'd worn a mask upon his arrival.

He folded the cloak over the arm of which hand held the bag of apples. The other came fisted against his chest in cordial greeting of her station coupled with a quick dipping bow of his head. "I have found the people of your lands, friendly and cordial. There is a calmness about them that speaks well." He approached as he took bag from his left hand to his right before held out. "I have brought these for you to enjoy." He knew not of any other intrigues about nor had heard any of the rumors of yet. Perhaps they were not for his ears or at least at this point. As in all places of serenity, there were underlying currents but the currents were not strong threatening ones felt thus far.

Quad-digits of her right hand reached for the bag with a curious peek down in to see what the contents were. Quite delighted to see the apples. "Thank you." She retrieved one from the bag and offered it back to him. "This time of year apples are rare. You should enjoy one as well." She was pleased to hear that the people had been kind to him, though she had faith in her people and their welcoming of most, especially those of their own races. "My apologies that I have not been around to walk with you. I've been a bit busy with the arrival of a couple of others and tending to matters of the land." The trio of octaves was honest in their words. It had been a busy few days with recent arrivals. "A basket will be delivered to your room sometime today, to return with to your Queen. Our invitation to her that she is welcome here any time she wishes."

He took the apple as certainly he would enjoy it later. Taking the moment to tuck it into a leather pouch attached to his belt. "They are rare and why I seized the moment to purchase four." Leaving the rest for another's fortune in gaining. "No apology is needed. You have affairs to see to and I hope that your day has been as pleasant as mine. I am use to being alone even amongst others." Something he was comfortable with. "I shall be taking my leave then after it arrives." Taking that as an indication to do so with the speedy return of invitation and salutations. That was his mission here.

It wasn't meant to push him away from the visit. It was just to inform him that he should be expecting the basket for when he was ready to leave. A nod given though as he spoke. "I would like to send a small patrol with you, if you would permit. There have been rumors of something prowling the woods and a few carcasses have been found from the unknown beast, and I wish no harm to come to you, especially on your journey home." Genuine concern laced the choir, their voices lowered to keep the maids from overhearing and spreading premature rumors.

He was having a dejavu moment as she spoke of a beast in the forest and finding carcasses. "I have protection that I would feel amiss in taking away any of your patrols. Although I am appreciative of your kind offer." Knowing he should probably assure her. "I have speed of foot." Which one minute he was standing there in front of her before the blur and he was behind her near one of the windows. "I also have pure octave of sound that can used to draw," as he opened up the window and sung out in the most beautiful tones. Any birds around within a mile came calling back adding to the melody in a growing chorus of all kinds. When he let the notes fade off, theirs gradually did as well and those that had collected in all the nearby trees flew off again. He didn't demonstrate the next as he closed off the window. "As with any gift it is a double edge sword. I can produce sound that would have another creature of sensitive hearing trembling on the ground with hands over their ears if I need to disable one and if not of sensitive hearing, I can produce one that can shatter an object it is aimed at." Provided that was not enhanced by another force of nature. There were different ways in which he could use his voice. Plus he had the warrior's training of bow and sword.

A simple nod to his decline of her offer, though she would probably send a couple of the patrolmen regardless, just for her own piece of mind. Even if they did nothing but remain shadows to see that he safely made it to the borders. As he showed his use of speed, and then opened the window, she turned to face him, tapered ears rose within the hood she had yet to push away from her face, listened as the winter birds responded to his song. A nod to his assurance. "I am pleased to know that you are well protected on your own. Before you leave, is there anything else I can offer or answer for you?" She hadn't had the chance to really speak much with him since his arrival, which he was kind enough to explain the workings of his own lands to her and answer her own questions.

Which he would understand if she did but more than likely lose them soon near her borders before entering theirs. Meekel would choose to tame the beast in anything evil he encountered but his gift didn't always work on said creatures be they human or not. The other was used as a defensive approach when the first failed. "Tell me of the heritage of your people. Are their full humans amongst them?" He had noticed a lot of pointed ears and so his didn't stand out as being even remotely different. "Not all species I recognized." Leaving an opening for her to tell of her People that resided here. "Do you have questions of our kingdoms?" She had visited but he wasn't sure how much she had learned of them in her brief, or so it seemed, visit by what she had said the day prior. He was sure there would be many questions that would arise as the two nations learned more of each other.

"We have full humans here, though there are not many. As for the variations of elves, we have...quite a few. I'm sure you noted the tree kingdom across the bay while you were out..." Anyone who didn't see the massive, HUGE tree across the bay would have been blind. It truly was huge and housed an entire kingdom within, which included courts, castles, markets, housing and the like. "That is Aear Alda, home of the Kaldorei. They are night elves." Not to be mistaken with dark elves or drow. "Dark elves, blood elves, forest elves, a melting pot of them all really, including my own Fae Edhel." Thinking over his offer to answer her questions, she shook her head gently. "Not at the moment, though perhaps in the near future it would be possible to receive a list of Heathfield's exports? We might be able to establish a trade of sorts."

He listened attentively, giving a thoughtful nod of his head as she explained. Which also fitted with what he saw. He liked gaining confirmation of that which was seen on the surface and that which was felt on other levels. "I have seen it. It is the largest tree I have ever seen. It stands to reason the night Elves would live there. I have not met their kind so far, although I have met forest Elves, Sylvan Elves especially. I have not met your nation before now and it has been a pleasure to." There were other Elves he might not get along with more than just one out of many from said nation of Elves. The Drow would not be ones to get along with although the Drow he had come across were not of the norm, different than the usual hereditary traits. "Yes, I will see that is seen to in having next we meet or those from my lands."

Drow were an odd race of elves, even she had a hard time getting along with them though it was part of her duty to try and get along with everyone. "It has been a pleasure to have you here, Meekel. I look forward to visits from you and others of Heathfield, and will be sure to make it out there as soon as I can and have the chance to spend more than just a few hours." The people had been more than hospitable and she looked forward to her next visit. "Just know that we are in no rush to see you gone. You are welcome to stay as long as you wish." The maids seemed to favor him, at least enough to speak and giggle about him. Such things were generally frowned up, but she saw no harm in their admiring the male.

"If you would like, I will see to being added to the envoy that comes after messages I will carry back are received." He would not necessarily be needed but would be included if he asked in particular. This he was fairly certain of. There was no reasoning against it. "I would like to get to know of your race and some of the others you've mentioned that I've not met." Whether he got along or not, he always strived to, it would be a learning experience. "At this late hour, I can wait for the morning light." Which should ease any thoughts of encountering the beast which such usually struck under the cover of night. "If I may join you later for the evening meal to share." He would retire for a short while to his room before going out again then to the evening meal. He might skirt the palace grounds sending out pure notes into the night to see what they brought back. One never knew what might be learned by his method of tracking. Much as a human used a bird of prey to send out scouting ahead of them.

There wasn't much written about her race. Just a few sparse notes and theories, but the Fae Edhel were a very small and very unknown race for a reason. It kept what few of them in existence, safe. "Of course. I would be delighted to join you for evening meal. Perhaps you will have the chance to meet a few others if they are around." She suspected that at least Saitou would be around, and found it odd that he'd not shown himself thus far. Perhaps Tathar, as well. "I will tell the maids to set another place at the table." A light smile given to Meekel, she'd not keep him from his time to relax before the evening meal if that was what he sought.

Then she would need to come to trust him as only time would prove his worth. Being Elf he was pretty much up front in the kind of one he was. That she should be able to pick up upon but always wise to be certain, to be cautious. "I hope our paths cross of these others." If not on this visit then perhaps another. He stepped back giving a bow of his head and fisted hand to his chest that he didn't detain her from where she needed to be. Certainly the chance meeting as she just returned would have detained her on her way already, although not overly. "Lissenen ar' maska'lalaith tenna' lye omentuva," in the songful sounding Elven tongue as he bade the temporary farewell. Around on a heel as he headed through the great halls to where he was given a room for these few days.

A bow of her head in return to him and his temporary farewell, she watched him go before turning on her own heel to venture into other regions of the palace. She had a couple things to look up in the library and to prepare a couple of the rangers to follow Meekel to make sure he made it to his borders safely, even if he gave them a run for their money.



Date: 01-03-10
Poster: Karina
Post # 6

Karina wasn't much one for goodbyes, so she'd chosen to slip away just after nightfall.  Armed with a bag of supplies, the canteen from Rhett and mounted on Big Red, she was soon nothing more than a shadow in the drizzling snowfall that blanketed the land.  She headed North. There was no note left in her hand, but she had stopped by the Thistle on her way out. She'd asked Alex to deliver this simple message to her friends:  Goodbye.  I'll be back.

Some days later, some miles north of Kildare...

Karina kept her shoulders hunched as she darted from alley to alley, corner to dark corner. She did not want to be recognized tonight, not by friend or foe. Tonight she only wanted to get there, get it done, and get going - for the last time.  How she would ensure that was still unclear but determination set her lips in a hard line as she traveled the icy streets.

The wild towns north of Kildare had a certain reputation and tonight this small, ragged-edged hamlet where Karina spent her childhood was living up to it.  Hurrying along she heard the sound of breaking glass and shouting from the several taverns she passed, and more than once had to dodge a swaggering drunk or a sway-hipped woman wearing too much makeup and not enough clothing.  Experienced street rat as she was, Karina made sure to walk with purpose but kept her eyes just slightly away from everyone. To the few prowlers she passed she appeared as nothing but a gangly boy, poorly clad in torn breeches and a faded, stained tunic.  Her curls were tucked up into that old cap of hers and the shadows helped to hide any feminine lines in her features.  It worked: nobody paid her any attention.

The cluster of sagging buildings that made up the town were exactly the same as they'd always been.  Several were vacant, the windows broken and boarded over to prevent vagrants from seeking shelter there.  It didn't work, of course.  Karina had lived several months in the empty, rat-ridden bakery just across the street, another few months in the abandoned Apothecary shop.  The majority of places open were bars and, while the chaotic sounds from within seemed to say that business was thriving, these too were shabby and poorly lit.  The stink of old urine and moldy hay brought a wave of memories in through her nostrils, but Karina felt no sentimentality for any of those flickers from her childhood.  The hellish overtones of the worst memories always hung over the few nicer ones.

But tonight, she would escape it for good.  Tonight she would leave this festering, sad little town for the last time, never, she vowed, to return.  Rounding a corner she stopped in front of a dingy house that was squashed between its two neighbors, the oatmeal-colored paint peeling and the wood beneath it faded and splintered.  She glanced up, noticing absently that the roof was still unrepaired and the chimney crumbling, then glanced over her shoulder.  Quick breath taken in, she lifted her fist and knocked on the door, twice, and then after a pause four more times.  After a few seconds it swung open on creaky hinges and she ducked in, shutting the door soundly behind her.

It was only a few degrees warmer inside than out, and only a tiny fraction brighter, since the source for both was just a pathetic fire burning close to the coals in the hearth.  She shivered still from the icy wind that cut through her poor clothes like a blade. Karina glanced around only briefly but the moment she lifted her eyes, she was met with a pair of browns that she despised.

"Well well well."
The raspy voice came between chapped lips, which she unconsciously leaned back from.  "If it ain't Karey-rarely-here-'Rina." The words slurred as he hacked out a laugh and Karina grimaced. His breath stank of whiskey even worse than usual. "Hullo Ferdin. Mara," she added to the skeletal woman hunched over the hearth. Mara's sarcastic smile was toothless, her hair unkempt and graying, aging her beyond her years. "To what do we owe the pleasure," Mara whined in a sardonic tone that grated against Karina's ears.

"You know what." She answered shortly.  Avoiding the leer on Ferdin's rodent-like face, Karina stepped over to dump her pack on the greasy, rickety table. Once she'd spilled its contents out, the pair spared no time in scurrying over like dogs to the bone.  Karina stepped back and crossed her arms tightly as she watched them paw through the random chains of gold and silver, the knickknacks and broaches.  It was the last of her stock from the time before; the rest had been spent on presents for the children and her friends but she'd not mention that.  Karina's eyes were hard as she watched them nearly pant in their eagerness, faces lit by avarice as they imagined the coin they'd get from pawning that junk.  She waited only a few seconds before grabbing up her now-empty pack.

"Well, it's been a wonderfully fulfilling five years," Karina could deal in sarcasm as well as Mara, "But this is the last you'll be seeing of me." Slinging the bag over her shoulder she turned towards the door, but suddenly Ferdin's hand was on her arm in an iron grip. It stopped her in her tracks and forcibly turned her back around.  Ferdin might be drunk and prematurely aged but he was strong, and held on with bruising strength as he leaned in closer, wheezing.
"What's this?" He jeered, thin cackles seeping though there was an undertone of threat there too.  "Sayin' goodbye so soon?  Have ya stopped carin' for us..." A mock pout which hardened, "or maybe you've forgotten why we made this lit'le arrangement in the first place."
Karina met his gaze with mutinous eyes, she knew they would bring that up. "I don't care any more. Tell whoever you want, anything you want. I don't care. I can't do this anymore." She gave a sharp tug, trying to free her arm but Ferdin was quicker.  He grabbed her other arm by the wrist and his gaze suddenly fell there.

He drawled in a way that made Karina's stomach drop. She realized, too late that when changing 'costume' she'd forgotten to remove the gold bangle Concessa had given her for Christmas.  The gold one, with the beautiful rose engraved.  Now Ferdin was eyeing it hungrily. "Ah-haaaa.... I bet the person who gave you this wouldn't be too happy to hear what I'd have to tell 'em about ya... eh?"
Ferdin's fingers were reaching for the bracelet and then suddenly Karina had yanked out of his grasp with some strength she didn't know she had. "NO!" She screamed as she took the step back.  Out of the corner of her eye she saw Mara stand slowly from the hearth, and she saw the murderous look creeping into Ferdin's eyes, but she suddenly didn't care.  She was yelling wildly, recklessly, all the things she'd swallowed for so long.
"That isn't yours! It's mine. It is one thing that's mine and you can never have it! And the person who gave me this - the people I'm with now, they care about me! They know what I am, or what I was, and they care about me anyway.  That's more than you ever gave me, more than you could ever give anyone and you're pathetic! PATHETIC!"  She paused to gasp in a breath.  Mara was staring at her and Ferdin's face was so purple that she was dimly surprised he hadn't hit her yet.  Maybe he was too shocked to move but she blazed onward.
"Too long I've let you hold it over my head.  You had me scared to death, you know, that the whole world would collapse if you said what you'd seen me do.  For YEARS! I was terrified to breath or even look at you! At anyone! But I'm through with that.  You know as well as I do that what I did wasn't wrong."  Her voice rang out, almost reverberated and this time she sought Mara's eyes, which were hard. Karina went on anyway in a voice that shook.
"He deserved it. 
Mara frowned and looked away to the floor. "And anybody who knew the whole story would agree."
Karina looked between them both a moment.  They were still silent, immobile.  And Karina felt something she'd never felt in this house before: an unreal sense of empowerment.  Shifting the pack on her shoulder she took a step back.  "Goodbye."  Another step backwards.  "Don't come lookin' for me.  You'd just be wasting your time - "
Her hand was on the doorknob when Ferdin let out a roar that chilled her bones and surged forward. He was so quick she didn't even have time to blink before he was upon her.  He knocked her over easily, pinning her to the floor with his hands against her arms as she struggled.  Karina squirmed, eyes shooting desperately towards the door, to Mara, who still hadn't said a thing but gone to sit with her back towards them by the hearth.  Karina rolled futilely against the ground, Ferdin's rage-bright eyes boring into hers.  He lifted her a few inches only to slam her back against the ground, hard.  Feeling the pain of impact, Karina felt that old wave of  sinking helplessness sweep over her...
And then, from a distance, clarity.
Ferdin leaned back where he crouched over her, lifting one hand and purposefully curling the fingers into a fist - and suddenly, Karina's dagger was pointing directly at his stomach.  Sharp end first.  The firelight gleamed along the Celtic engraving.  Karina's breath came hard but her eyes were like granite as she locked eyes up at him.  "I'll do it." she said fiercely. " You know I will."  For several long seconds they only glared at each other, Ferdin's fist still lifted, Karina's dagger still poised with deadly intent.

"Let her go, Ferdin."  Mara's tinny voice sounded for the first time. She was still sitting, still not looking at them but she spoke clearly.  "She's not worth losin' yer bowels."
Karina's eyes flicked between them and her teeth gritted, her fingers tightened around the dagger, waiting... and then Ferdin unpeeled his fingers from around her arm and abruptly shoved up off the ground.

"Go then. Get out o' here, and good riddance." He spat, and wouldn't look at her but kept his back half-turned as he stumbled over to knock several articles off the table. They fell to the floor with a clang and crash.  "This is just a bunch of worthless shyte anyway."
Her heart hammering enough to clog her throat, it took Karina several seconds to tuck the dagger away in her boot, and another second to clamber up to her feet.  Bending gingerly to retrieve her bag once more, she stepped over to the door.  She opened it, admitting a blast of icy wind that was actually a relief to her hot cheeks.
She paused to give one last glance over her shoulder, and was surprised to see that while Ferdin had gone to chug from his potcheen bottle, Mara was looking at her.  Karina thought she saw something a spark of something in the woman's eyes, something she'd never seen before.  But before she could place the emotion Mara turned her back once more.
Minutes later Karina was walking, quickly, past the pubs and brothels, past the run-down orphanage that was poorly lit and eerily silent.  She didn't stop to look back as she headed for the edge of town, nor did she feel the cold wind which stung her eyes.  She was free.

Date: 04-30-10
Poster: Joseph McDonough
Post # 7

Treaty with Salaria

The carriage slowed to a halt, its surrounding guards taking up proper positions.  From the flags atop each corner and the emblem on the side it was evident the Queen had arrived.  It was known throughout Salaria of her love of the small coconut cakes served at the Kiss.  For a time there was no movement, then a signal of some sort caused action.  The door was open, the guards lined the walkway to the Kiss and Eliana emerged.  Tousled chestnut hair, a gown of shimmering teal wrapped her form.  Light steps had her moving swiftly between the guards, only the glimpse of sandaled feet could be seen to standers by, then she was inside, the door thudding behind her.

Stuart and taverns went together like knights and swords, or thunder and lighting . Stuart spent the past month doing two things. One getting use to his new found position and two trying to find proof of dragons roaming around the mountains.  Stuart  been training to become a knight since he was eight  but  riding with a group of knights and leading a group of knights was two different things.   Now the dragons Stuart refused to believe in large flying lizards  spitting out fire but  if  his queen and the lords and ladies of the land wanted him to investigate then Stuart had no choice.   Tonight Stuart was taking a break from his duties. Rosalie was finally back from Atreyus and he was spending some much needed time with his wife.  The two had already arrive at the tavern and was sitting at a table. Stuart's tall muscular frame was clad in a narrowed cuff white shirt worn under a handsome black doublet made from the finest leather with a noble cut.  His black pants are made from the finest leather as well.  To really give him a dashing look he worn a fine black leather hat with a stylish band with a buckle along with the up-turned side brim. His hand was wrapped around a tankard of ale as his blue orbs glanced to the door.  Along with everyone else he rose to his feet to give the queen her proper respect. He glanced over to Rosalie with a little smile. "That is  my queen."

The trek from Atreyus to Salaria proved to be quite.. Traitorous.  Not with any fault of these people or nation.. Merely unsettled business a handful of Rogues from her homeland had beset upon the young Duchess. Parted from her love only to be newly reunited with the man, she rested a bit more easy upon her chair as right hand slowly stirred the cup while a small smile stretched for anyone who might have shifted her gaze in there direction.. Stuart a loyal general to this nation was well received.  She felt there respect like the warmth of an afternoon sun. When the doors opened and her husband rose quick to his feet a slender brow arched and she too raised to her much smaller height in comparison to her husband. When the other woman was announced her head was quick to bow, lowering her petite frame into a curtsey.  "Good evening, your majesty."

Eliana inclined her head to those within, drifting toward the table where the lovely couple stood.  A small smile curved the full mouth, hazel eyes twinkling in curiosity but exuding a great deal of warmth.  "Your Grace..." she began, then her eyes moved to the beautiful woman at his side.  "It is good to see you out and about, and who might this gorgeous woman be?"  Eliana inclined her head graciously to Rosalie.  "Welcome to Salaria, I trust you are comfortable..."   There came an ease within the tavern then, everyone settling back into their drink and food, low conversations picking up where they left off.    Eliana's voice was that of silk and soothing, the scorpion tongue that was sometimes revealed a rarity for those occasions when order was required.


"Good evening your majesty "  Stuart who rarely smiled couldn't help but to flash a little smile when she spoke about Rosalie. Stuart was proud of his young duchess whose life he had saved twice.  "Your majesty this is my wife Rosalie Whittington, she is the Duchess of Callaway Island in the land of Atreyus. But if her king gives her his blessing she will be moving  here to Salaria with me. With your blessing of course." He turn to smile to Rosalie as he realize he just short of spoke for her. But Stuart was stubborn, bull headed, and very outspoken so it didn't bother him to make decision for other people.

Even though she was slightly nervous she tried very hard to contain her discomfort and instead widened her smile as she lifted back to her height.. Emeralds flickered in the candlelight to mirror the Queen's equally as beautiful face.  Soft crimson swept upon honey silken cheeks as lips cracked a small smile to take in a breath.  "You are very kind, my Queen.. It is an honor to at last meet you. Stuart has spoken so fondly of you."  Words gentle and filled with sincere care. Catching the admiration in her husband's face it granted her the moment to feel proud of her own station.   "Salaria is very beautiful and I am indeed quite comfortable."  All she wanted in life.. Was to be at her husbands side. She prayed for the blessings of both her king and Elaina.

She saw the looks upon each of their faces.  The pride upon Stuart's, the love in Rosalie's.  A brief notion of reminiscence came to her mind, softening her heart.   It was delightful watching Stuart so eagerly speak for his wife, yet it was unnecessary for Rosalie spoke quite well for herself.    The diminutive Queen stepped closer to Rosalie,  the expressive hazel eyes searching into those of emerald green.  Without warning, small hands framed Rosalie's face and a brush of her lips came to each of the cheeks of the Duchess of Callaway.  She paused then, and whispered.  "You are welcome in Salaria to visit or to make it your home, dear Rosalie.  I trust the path your heart chooses may also be that which pleases your liege.."  A soft smile followed before her hands dropped and Eliana was stepping back.  "If you have need of anything, you have only to ask.  Stuart has been a gift to Salaria, we rejoice he has made it his home."    Then she was on the move, a rustle of teal silk, the subtle scent of lavender and Eliana was in the kitchen.  Yes, the kitchen, making the cook's life chaos while she asked if her coconut cakes would be served this night.  Then she was back through the doors and finding a seat at her own table, lowering behind the white draped table filled with roses in brass dishes.


A hand would move upward and wave over a waitress. Once the young girl came to his table a bottle of blackberry wine was ordered. Being a gentleman he would allow Rosalie to sit down first before he would adjust his sword hanging from his side and take his seat. He couldn't help but to watch with an arch brow as the queen hurried into the kitchen. He glanced back over to Rosalie " What do you think of Salaria so far? If you like it then I will have us a house built right away. But if not then we could travel to some of provinces until we find us a place that you would like to call home. I know I am asking a lot of you to leave Atreyus but Salaria is my home and she needs me." The waitress brought back the wine with two goblets. Stuart started to poured as he waited to hear what Rosalie would say.

Light eyes followed the movement of the Queen and, with a held breath her back strained the second the warmth of the other woman's hands dusted against her cheeks. But the words that followed brought her comfort. "Thank you for such kindness.. I shall take your invitation into heart." When as the sovereign moved away Rosalie shifted and gradually lowered herself upon the edge of the chair as her husband ushered for her to do so. "I go where you are, Stuart.. That is my oath as your wife. Atreyus will always be held dear to my heart but if Salaria is where you now call home.. Then I too shall honor it as such." Right hand extended forward only to cup gentle hands within his own.. Finger tips granting a light squeeze. The wine was much needed and when Stuart finished pouring she raised the goblet to her lips.

It was a good night for a trip to lands that were considered friends and possibly an alliance established again. His cousin having a bit of the spring fever too, decided to join him. Once to the lands, they approached the tavern on horseback. Reining in the stallion he dismounted and proceeded to dust off the finer clothes worn this evening.

Travel was sorely missed of late and this journey would help the spring fever that seemed to trouble him. He chuckled as he too dismounted and dusted off his clothing. "Nothing like a bit of dust to cause a need for a drink."

Coconut cakes were being served on large silver platters. They were not a cake, per se, but rather thin fried layers of pure coconut sweetened with Salarian grown sugar cane and a touch of cream. They were rich and satisfying, and were so loved by Eliana that she stood once more when the platter for her table arrived. She swallowed, her mouth suddenly watering and plucked one to take the first bite. A bite that was given her approval. "mmm, perfection as always, Maria." She lifted the cake to the room and then retook her seat. Chewing the next bite slower, she watched Stuart and Rosalie, hoping sincerely the pair could work out their current situation.

"Aye, a tall cold tankard of ale that I can almost taste already." Chuckling under his breath as he headed in. Door to nudge open with the press of a shoulder then all the way as he stepped through, holding it for his cousin. Lazy smile came easily as he spotted a Lady he knew from a long time ago. Since that joust, he had been alerted and here he was. "Good evening Lady Eliana," foregoing titles presently being in a tavern. "Good evening," greeting the others just as cordially.

He nodded his thanks as he stepped through the door then stepped aside so Joseph could move further in. He smiled as he saw those within, and added his greeting, "Good evening."

It took her but a brief glimpse to recognize Joseph and Garath as subjects of Heathfield. Having spent the joust with Honeee that night had given Eliana the edge of comfort she needed to reemerge from her life of seclusion. She rose quickly and made her way around the tables to where the two men stood. "Good evening is right, and it just became better. Welcome to Salaria, it's good to see you here. How is your Queen?" She was already motioning for the wait staff to accommodate the visitors, all while keeping her attention to Stuart and Rosalie should they have a need.

The arrival of two others merited attention and, with a soft smile green depths shifted toward them in greeting before addressing her husband once more to hear what he had to say of the matter.

Stuart notice the new faces entering the tavern at least they were new faces to him he would give polite nods of respect to anyone within his eye shot before glancing back to address his wife. "I respect that Rosalie and I am honor to have such a faithful and loyal wife but I do want you to be happy. Tomorrow we can take a carriage ride to some nice spots that I have scouted out. Unless you wish to live in my castle in Sanjourne? " He hasn't told her about Sanjourne and all of his problems there but sooner or later he will have to.

He held out his hands to take hers within. Held at arms length for a moment as the smile returned reaching his eyes. "Thank you. You are looking well. The years have been very kind, lovely as ever. Honeee is doing well and I believe she hopes to spend an afternoon with you sometime soon, catch up on the passing years." This was obviously relayed to him when they had spoken, more in that he was requested to be advised for his status in the lands.

Eliana's smile broke across her face then. A smile that encompassed the excitement of having Joseph and Garath here, of her sincere honor that Honeee had sent them on her behalf. She squeezed Joseph's fingers warmly, "Come, sit, have a drink and something to eat. The pair of you must be exhausted after the trek to the island." She released his hands to indicate her table, already filled with platters of meat and cheese, servants at the ready with a variety of drinks to pour.

Head tilted to the side as a slender brow arched.. Considering his words with thoughtfulness and ease. Those around them were issued brief glances but the matter at hand appeared to grow tense. "I have no doubt this place is all but close to heaven." Sanjourne? He spoke of his city earlier. "I would remain where ever you see fit." Brows pinched together as she studied him.. "I would like very much to see the lands tomorrow" Eagerness donned her tone.

"It's good to see you as well, Lady Eliana." He gave a half bow in respect then smiled. "And I have to agree with Joseph. You're as lovely as ever." And he joined them gratefully at the table.

His gloved hand wrapped around the bottom of the goblet and he brought the rim to his lips for a long deep sip before placing it back down. "You are easy to please. Is this the real you or are you just being nice so I wont back out of our marriage and a year from now your head will start spinning and the real Rosalie will come out." He laughs a bit as he took her free hand." I'm teasing you." Stuart was himself was in a unusually good mood. Normally he was a bit of a grump.

"At least you are not half way around the world." It was a quick trip by one of Rhett Shawnesey's ships. "You are either very hungry or were expecting company!" Brows lifting at the amount of food on the table. Chuckling under his breath. He would see to her chair before taking one near. "I was pleased to hear you were back out socially," not to pry as to why.

"When two handsome men tell a woman she is lovely, she has no choice but to receive that with grace, and so thank you both." She smiled to Garath, then laughed, musical and dulcet, at the brow lift over her laden table. "A little of both I think.." settling herself and adjusting her gown, she took up a position of attentiveness to her company. "It took a certain amount of courage to emerge once more, but like the phoenix, from the ashes I rose." A heartbeat of a pause. "Heathfield has ever been close to my heart. When I was beset on all sides by those who resented both my and my son's presence, each time I visited there I was welcomed with open arms and given every comfort. Andrew blessed my son in the castle gardens here, despite all those who would try to tear from us our birthright. I am ever grateful for those days."

"I can understand, there were a few times in my life I had wish to retreat. Doesn't last long for family. They will drag me out." He too paused a heartbeat with her comment on Heathfield. "There are some things that weather time no matter what it brings. The fact you have emerged again proves you have the same kind of stamina. I still have not figured out why there are some that would rather cause heartache in others than living life to the fullest. I am sure your days to come will be far better. You seem to be ready for them too." Which had his smile back as he studied her a moment then took up a tankard of ale that had been delivered. If he didn't get the dust from the trail out of his throat he would getting hoarse.


"It would be a great loss if you had stayed hidden away." Garath smiled then looked at his cousin. "It seems people like that are miserable themselves and can't bare to see anyone having some joy in life." He had to agree that Eliana seemed more than ready to face the world again.

Date: 04-30-10
Poster: Joseph McDonough
Post # 8

"Aye, that they are Garath. Trying to live and rule others to bend to their will than allowing them to find the happiness all are entitled to. Such kinds ruin others' lives and then turn from them too, leaving them with nothing at all in the long run. A person is wise to follow their heart and if it loses them some friends, then those that were lost had not been friends at all."

"You both are so kind." She lifted her goblet. "To far better days and facing them full of expectation." A drink was taken, then she listened to Joseph's words. "Here here, you speak truth, my friend. Following your heart is always the better path, and those who truly care for you will see the rightness of it. Otherwise, they were merely unhappy and wish to keep you in that unhappiness."

It did her heart wonders to see him smile so. Such a look upon her face emphasized such and, as he spoke of her agreeable nature a small frown dusted her lips, feline shaped eyes to soon narrow. "This place is new to me.. Were I stubborn I surely would not be accepted by the Queen.. But you know my true nature and the honesty behind my words when I promise you of my loyalty." End the marriage? That was the cause for a chuckle as she slowly rested the goblet on the table top to lean closer to him.. "To what end? No other woman would ever love you as I do.. Nor would they tolerate the gloomy side to your nature." A chuckle was there to prove to him she was only teasing.

"And to friends who are true." He lifted his tankard as well and took a welcomed drink. Family and friends were gifts in life, or curses.

"I will drink to both," lifting his tankard for the toast then a long drink to follow. Once done he set the tankard away to the table. "What are your plans? Do you need anything that we may be of service?"

"Most urgent is to re establish ties with old friends, of which Heathfield is priority. Thus your visit here has been fortuitous. Though..." another pause as she replaced her goblet precisely in the position it was formerly placed. "Reports of disturbances are coming from the mountain villages north of here. Odd, unusual, reports. I mean to have them investigated. At this point, the needs are few, though in future I see consulting with Heathfield could be very beneficial. Your lands have always held peace, no matter what went on around them. I mean to bring Salaria that same peace, from within and without."

The final drop of wine was downed and Stuart placed the goblet down on the table. "Do you know why you tolerate the gloomy side to my nature?" He rose to hs feet then extend his hand out to her. "Come let's go for a walk and I will show you why you tolerate me."

Why did she tolerate him at times? It was an interesting question.. One of which she had not an immediate answer to. Surprisingly enough. Head gave a small tilt before she too rose to her small height.. Only reaching that of five feet even. Stuart much more massive in structure. Remaining silent the lovely smile once again dusted the edges of thin tiers as she allowed the man to escort her out of the tavern and into the chill of the night.. "Your cloak if you don't mind my darling.. It's chilly." Small shoulders gave rise while both hands worked at rubbing her forearms for friction until he complied to her wish.

"Would you be interested in an official alliance again?" Which he had the papers for that he could leave them with her. He had no plans on being pushy but by her words it seemed appropriate to bring it up. "Would you need any warriors to help out?" Not knowing her resources and trying not to assume either way. "Heathfield still enjoys peace but Kildare has had all kinds of problems after the Witch was overthrown. The twins, Leoric and Gaidan, are doing well all considering. Gaidan recently got married so a joyous event for that kingdom." A nod was given to the couple leaving, "have a good evening."

This was Joseph's area of expertise so he enjoyed the drink and a bit of the food while listening. "Good night to you both." A nod was given to the couple leaving then he turned his attention back to Eliana and Joe.

She lifted her head to see Stuart and Rosalie leaving. "Enjoy the evening, and I hope to see you again soon, Rosalie.." Returning her attention to the conversation at hand. "My congratulations to Gaidan and his bride. A wedding an event that soothes a world of woes. It gives hope, to be sure." She smiled at the thought of one of the twins married at last. "Perhaps warriors will be needed, though I have yet to decipher the need there. If it would please Honeee, once I have the full and complete details, Heathfield may have those who have more expertise in the area, for the reports hold grains that hint at powers other than that of simple human conflict." She discreetly nudged a plate of coconut cakes toward Garath. She was always pushing those things on people. At the mention of alliance, the chestnut head bobbed eagerly. "That is my fondest desire, an alliance with Heathfield would bring a great amount of security. Both in my heart and in the simple logistics of having her once more formally as our ally."

At six foot three inches and two hundred and fifty-five pounds, Stuart probably did look like a giant next to Rosalie but that small frame of hers wasn't any match for her seven foot size temper. His cloak was removed and wrapped around her as they headed for the door. He caught his queen words and bowed down to her before speaking. "Thank you your majesty I hope the night treats you well." The two them made their way out.

"It was perfectly timed, held off until the two Keeps were brought back under their rule. One lordship dead, the other no longer manipulated. That was one of their problems, when the Witch ruled after their father died, many of the Keeps took ruling unto themselves and decided they could keep that which was not theirs to start." He chuckled watching her nudge the plate towards Garath. "You did bring your sweet tooth along with your appetite?" Then back to Eliana, "I will leave the papers with you then before I leave. You are still in contact with Devonshires too?"

He'd never turn down the offer of sweets! A grin was given to Joe as well as a nod. "Of course." Luckily, since he mostly had to eat his own cooking, he hadn't put on any weight since his return.

"Excellent, Joseph.." A grin to Garath, happy when food was consumed by the hungry. Or by those who had to eat their own cooking. Perish the thought. "I will return the papers as soon as possible. It is an exciting time once more. As for Devonshires, I had hoped to see Victoria at the joust, word reached my ears she was to attend. Though I still have hope of making contact with her soon. We all used to be so close, the times are now upon us where that closeness is needed and wanted once more. Like minds banded together provide more safety and security for all."

Which he took out the folder that was needed from the satchel he had strapped over his shoulder. "I think you will find all in order." Smile was sincere before he was eyeing a piece of coconut cake. He had worked up his appetite for such and soon had a piece to devour.

The papers looked familiar, seeing the names of the castles of Heathfield brought a faint smile curving the edges of her mouth. "There is no need to delay, what lies between our Kingdoms is not one that must be pondered upon or discussed." She lifted her hand to Maria and soon a quill and her seal was brought. She quickly signed her named with a flourish, then placed her seal upon the papers. "There.." blowing softly so the ink and wax would dry. "What has always been is now once more upon paper." She looked up in time to see Joseph and Garath eating the coconut cakes. She beamed in pride. A thought came to her mind, "Oh, when you return, please send my love to Sarah. She once taught me to make sugar cookies without burning the kitchens to the ground. Philip and I still use the recipe." It was a stained, worn piece of parchment now but it was Philip's favorite to do come the holidays.

It was good to witness the signing of the papers and likely his expression showed it. "I'm sure she'll be glad to know that." Though Joe would be the one to tell her since he'd surely see her before Garath.

"I know my Queen will be very pleased to have me bring back the papers. A copy will be left for you." Which he had a duplicate of. Those papers were set for her to keep. "Prince Andrew has gotten married and has a son. I think his wife is pregnant again too." Knowing she knew Honeee's oldest son. If there were any others she would like any update on, he most likely knew. He would tell Sarah upon seeing her.

She smiled at Garath, then leaned back as Joseph spoke of Andrew and his marriage. "Oh that is wonderful. If any deserved a true mate, it was Andrew. Please send my congratulations, belated as they are." She knew Andrew had his trials in that arena, it was good that he was happy at last. "Tell me of Logan and of Amberlette and Lah. There are so many to catch up with. Their lives have went on as mine has stood still. Yet, it's very encouraging to hear that it can go on, no matter what is tossed in your way."

"Amberlette is still single and still traveling all the lands to help the children in the smaller villages scattered in the wilderness. Logan, is still single and still scaling the highest rock formation he can find. He's a bounty hunter with his brother but his brother has fallen in love and will probably give up the dangerous line of work. So, I'm not sure Logan will continue on his own because it is too dangerous. Lah, she too found happiness. After all her trials and almost getting with Jerome O'Neill, Peter's brother, she got back with Collin McAndrews. It seems neither could find happiness with anyone else."

"Oh that is wonderful for Lah. Amberlette has a huge heart, and her assistance with the children of Heathfield is invaluable. As for Logan, he has that particular gift of needing the outdoors, needing to scale mountains and bond to nature. We often spoke of climbing together, but alas, life and situations prevented it. I could keep you all night catching up, but I would like to ask of Sean. He is well? "

"Sean is well. He is still single, still traveling. A Prince Bard that no one would know the difference. Draven is married again. He married Rhett Shawnesey's sister Tara. Malcolm got married finally again and his wife is expecting. Come to think on it, I believe Tara is expecting too."

"Everyone keeps busy." He laughed softly. "It seems as much a part of the lands that people are like that, as it is that the lads grow tall." He hadn't seen Sean in a while so it was good to hear about him. "Aye, she is."

"So Heathfield prospers, in all ways. I would expect no less. I do look forward to time with Honeee." Eliana seemed to catch a glimpse in the Queen's eyes, a contemplative look that seemed to echo a familiar chord within Eliana herself. "And what of the pair of you? Nothing outstanding to share? No loves, no marriages on the horizon? As I recall, Garath spent time with his brother in the import business, which seeing you here is so wonderful. And Joseph, you spent your days working the family ranch in between your work for your liege?"

"Actually with Alexander, Joseph's brother." He smiled as he made the correction. "I became tired of constantly traveling and came home but, alas, I'm still single with no prospects."

Which is something Joseph would never speak on even if many knew the present hardship of the Queen. That would be for her to speak on directly. "I was engaged for a very short while, it didn't last. I'm not broken up over it. The woman was more concern of her status in life than our relationship. Matters came to a head and I'm better off. Joshua has grown into a man and Tamara almost a woman. I have given up the undercover agent for the Crown after the last rather dangerous mission. My son is interested in me training him. I've the ranch, the Private Investigators who are presently in the Colonies on a mission and I've kept the title of Ambassador as needed. Maurice sometimes comes out of his cave to take over and socialize again." Which had him chuckling.

"Ah yes, Alexander..." there was not even the slightest reaction as Eliana said the name. She smiled at Garath's kindness in correcting her. It had been a long time and things were coming together in her mind remembering her old acquaintances and friends. It brought a warmth to her heart that had long been missing. "Maurice..." Ice. She remembered meeting him maybe a time or two. "I can relate to having a cave to crawl into. My status as recluse, while not healthy, was definitely comfortable, and safe." She did lift a brow, however. "Last dangerous mission. Are you referring to one of the investigations, or your engagement, Joseph?" Her laughter was in her eyes, humor often being the best way to get passed an uncomfortable topic, though whether Joseph was uncomfortable or not, Eliana provided the humor.

"His cave has a name, Guillver's Travels and I'm sure he is dabbling in the black market on goods. Rare items that seem to go underground before above." There was a pause before the laugh was hearty, belly rolling kind. "I believe that engagement may have been the death of me over invading a Keep to rescue the man inside, taking a chance on his sister that she knew her brother well. Luckily my instincts held." Actually that had not been the most dangerous part of the mission but the hour was late to get into such. "We must be getting back but it was really good seeing you again and I'm sure we will in the future."

Eliana rose with her laughter as the pair prepared to depart. "Know that you are welcome to stay should the return journey be too much, though I understand the need to be in one's own land when you awaken. Please give my love to Honeee. I look forward to a visit to Heathfield soon, and as always, you and yours are welcome here any time the desire grabs you." She inclined her head to both Garath and Joseph.

A sister that had been quite lovely. Garath stood and once again smiled. "It was good to see you again, even if I didn't contribute much to the conversation. Thank you for your hospitality, and for the welcome." He bowed as he added, "Your Majesty." Out of respect to Eliana.

"I will let the others know," then on an impulse which he didn't do often, he drew Eliana into a hug. Big ole warm one that was many years worth since they last saw her. "Good luck too," words low by her ear, "remember we are not far away," releasing her with a step back into a bow before straightening again. "A very pleasant night."

Eliana smiled at Garath's use of her title, but then was drawn into an unexpected hug. A much needed one, the words of reassurance received with a soft sigh of gratitude. Swallowing once they parted, she inclined her head once more. There it was, that old warm feeling that Heathfield always gave a person. It would linger on through her night. "Safe journey, gentlemen. May the sea take your swiftly home."



Date: 05-12-10
Poster: Athalia Edan
Post # 9

It was one of those gorgeous spring days that Heathfield was known for.  The sky was a shade of blue nearly impossible for an artist's brush to catch, the air was warm and heavy with the scent of the sea, seabirds flew around the masts, calling out and begging for scraps. On the docks some sailors were making their way into the city after being at sea while some were preparing to leave again.  Merchants hawked their wares while citizens and visitors alike wandered the docks.

From the rail of a frigate named Hedda, Athalia Edan watched all the goings on with feelings of nervousness, excitement and sadness all at once.  She spotted her parents, her older brother and the twins and waved at them, turning her head when she felt a touch to her arm.  Her   middle brother, Gerlach, smiled down at her. 

"You can still change your mind, you know." He told her then he lifted his arm to wave at their family as well.  The sailors were beginning to cast off the lines that would free the Hedda from the docks. 

"No,"  she shook her head firmly.  "I need to do this.  I want to see where Mama and Papa were born and then I want to see Paris and learn everything I can about medicine.  Well, as much as I'll be allowed to learn I guess."  She pouted slightly.  "Even there, I likely will have to fight to be taught because I'm a woman."

Gerlach chuckled as he placed an arm around her shoulder. "And I likely will constantly be fighting duels to uphold your honor because of all the artists and poets and other ne'r do wells about."

"But you're an artist, Gerlach.  Does that make you a ne'r do well?"

Gerlach laughed and nodded.  "But you are my little sister  and because you have the face of an angel, I must protect you.  And insist no one be allowed to paint you but me."

"If that's what I must do to keep you from fighting duels, I will."She giggled, then sighed.   She  leaned against him as the ship began to leave the dock and waved frantically to her family until she could see them no more.    Then she and Gerlach stood and watched as Heathfield too, began to fade. 

She had sent notes to all her friends, except for Angel and Carisa. The three of them had met at the lake for one last time.  She had seen Douglas too though that had been unexpected.  Notes, had been written and sent along with the special pendants she made.

"Are you certain you did everything you wanted?"  Gerlach teased and she nodded. 

"Yes. I wrote to everyone and sent them pendants.  Told them I would be back before they knew it.  I just hope I can do as well as Sara believes."  She leaned against Gerlach again, swiping at her eyes.  This was the first time she had been away from home, and she was going so far.  Her mother had questioned her several times over and though Lia knew Dagmar hadn't been completely satisfied, she had finally given her permission.  It had been harder on her father.  Lia was the youngest and the only girl so it had been hard for Milorad to let her go.  Gerlach's going with her had convinced him to let her try her wings.

"Are you scared, little Doe?" Gerlach asked as finally they turned away. 

Athalia shook her head and smiled.  "No, but do you think I'm being foolish, Ger?"

"No, sweetheart."  Gerlach placed a kiss to the crown of her head. "We do what we must and move on, eh?  Now, I don't want you to think of the past.  We are about to embark on a great new adventure. Just imagine what fun we'll have."  He laughed as a waved rocked the ship. "That is, if we can survive the journey there."

Date: 11-03-10
Poster: Athalia Edan 
Post # 10

Athalia sat at the desk of the apartment she and Gerlach rented in Paris.  They had been here since late August and in spite of the poverty and dirt, Lia loved it.  Their apartment was in the lower middle class section of the city.  The building was a touch shabby though brightly painted.  The landlady lived on the first floor with a daughter and son behind the bakery she ran.  She also had two rooms on the second floor for her children. Athalia and Ger lived on the front of the second floor.  They had two bedrooms, a kitchen and living area and a spare room where Ger painted.   Lia's room overlooked the small park where the street circled.  There was a fountain surrounded by a few fading flowers and a large grassy area with benches.   The third floor was rented by a writer who lived in three cramped rooms.  Luckily for them all the bakery heated the building.

Lia's small desk overlooked the park and as she watched, birds flew into the lone pine tree in the park to settle in for the night and children began to run home as they were called to supper.  Ger would be bringing home supper tonight, likely soup from one of the street vendors.  As the day drew to a close, they sold it for a cheaper price to the students and workers as they wandered home.  She lit the oil lamp beside her desk and sat.  Catching her reflection in the window, she studied it for a moment then closed the curtains.  She stared down thoughtfully at the piece of paper there then began to write.


Dear Journal,

Maybe that's a silly way to start, but it feels right for me.  More like I'm writing to someone other than myself though I'll be the only one reading it.   Ger and I started our journey by going to Armenia to visit the homeland of our parents.  My mother was the daughter of a Rom man and a French woman.  I don't know how they met but I am going to ask.  Papa was the son of a man and woman from the same village.  Kerchut is picturesque and sits at the foot of mountains.  They mostly raise cattle there.  The land is rugged and so are the people.  We were welcomed by family and enjoyed their hospitality.  They have parties almost weekly and during one of those, I caught the attention of a young noble from another town.  It was to say the least, annoying rather than flattering. 

When it came time to leave, Ger, myself and three cousins traveled together to the border.  When we discovered the lad had followed us,  Ger and my cousins hung him by his britches from the highest balcony of the inn.  He was quite safe but we decided it best to leave immediately.  Our cousins went north as planned and Ger and I joined a caravan.   To keep from attracting attention, I wore the robes of the Bedouin.  The journey itself was uneventful and within a week, we had arrived at Jerusalem.  We spent several days exploring before we had to leave.  There is so much history there and I hope to return someday though it isn't the safest place to be.  From there, we made our way to the coast where we caught a ship to France.

There were several stops on the way so it wasn't always out in the middle of the ocean but I have to say I was glad to finally reach France.  We saw several ships in the distance and one was attacking another.   Pirates, the crew said.  Finally, we reached  Bordeaux, France. From there, we rode a coach to Paris, one that was a bit crowded but the ride didn't last forever and we had some guides since there were locals on the coach as well.

In Paris,  Ger's friend had secured a place for us to live.  Madame Kennard has two children, a boy and girl, ages nine and eight.  She's a wonderful lady and her children well behaved.  Widowed, she runs the bakery.  Ger does odd jobs for her and I help in the bakery, when we're not in class or studying.  She sees we're fed and doesn't charge us rent.   I also model for some of the artists there and earn money, though Ger has to be with me and he doesn't allow nudity.   After meeting some of the artists, I'm glad he insisted on it!

Paris is so very different from home.  The contrast between rich and poor is easy to see.  There is some unrest here but so far, nothing dangerous has occurred, though Ger's friends said there have been riots.   We live in what is considered the lower middle class part of Paris.  The street comes off a main one to the park where it circles and meets itself.   There are many families with children and all sorts of shops.  Our apartment has two bedrooms, a kitchen and living area, and a spare room where Ger does his art. I  model for him too.  Sometimes his friends spend time here, or we go to their homes or to the local tavern. They include me in the conversations.  I like being thought of as an equal.  I've become a little sister to many of them. There are other women too and I'm learning much from them as well.  Tomorrow, after class, one of my new friends is going to show me around the city.  The class is early so we'll have almost the entire day. 

I hear Ger coming now and he has Garbure, a wonderful vegetable soup that one of the vendors makes, and Madame has given him loaves of bread and pastry. Time to close now until another time. 



Date: 11-14-10
Poster: Athalia Edan
Post # 11

It was a cold, rainy day as Lia made her way toward the bakery and the apartment she shared with her brother.  Very few people were out and about and they were walking with heads down, huddled in the warmth of coats or cloaks, or shivering in threadbare clothing.  Her own cloak had been a gift from her eldest brother when she had her last birthday.  Waterproof and fur lined, it was warm and she was grateful for it tonight.  She stopped to speak to one of the children who lived nearby who was returning from a friend's house.  After inquiring about his little sister who had been ill, she made her way to the entrance of the apartment.  It was in between the bakery and the house next door.  Stairs led up to a landing.  There were two other doors on the first floor.  One that led to the small backyard they all shared and one that led into the bakery.  Madame Kennard must have heard the door close because she peeked out and smiled at Lia.  Her cheeks were rosy from the heat of the ovens and she had flour on her cheek.

"Ah, there you are, chéri.  I was worried for you walking alone in this weather.  I made a big pot of stew, so you will take some and bread of course.  I told Gerlach this morning so he won't stop to buy.  Now you take it up and put it on the stove to keep it hot."  There was no arguing with the woman and so a few minutes later, with the help of Madame Kennard's daughter, Lia carried the food upstairs, along with her books.  Gerlach would be late tonight so Lia helped herself to a bowl of the delicious smelling stew.  She lit the lantern on the table, opened one of her books and studied while she ate.  Finally, the small clock on the shelf chimed nine and with Lia stretched her arms over her head, then closed the book.

She went to her room, and leaned on the desk, peering out at the rainy street.  Puddles reflected the light of the lamps that had been lit not long before.   The trees in the small park were waving in the wind and she shivered.  Closing the curtains, she made sure the fire was burning and the soup wasn't, then she returned to her room.  Sitting at her desk, she opened the journal and read the one entry she had made. Picking up the quill, she dipped it in the inkwell and once more began to write.


Dear Journal,

Time is moving far too fast.  Oddly enough, it almost seems to go faster of late, though I know that's not possible.  I like my classes and most of my teachers except for one.  He doesn't think much of female students but he's also very dry and boring.   He even puts himself to sleep.  Jean-Luc, one of my classmates, says he's a bit fond of wine and that's why he'll fall asleep mid-sentence.   Then his assistant takes over and class is better.   I'm doing well enough but I wish the class was different.  It will take a long time for me to become a doctor however, so I don't know if I'll stay that long. I'm not homesick though I miss my family but Ger will be done with his classes before I would be half way and I'm certain I won't be allowed to stay here on my own.   I guess we'll see, though if I am honest with myself, I wouldn't want to stay here without Ger.  

I still am amazed, and yes, appalled, at the wide gap in class differences. Yes, there are poor in Heathfield but they can get help, even the women who work the docks should they want it.  Here, there's none.  And though the French consider themselves enlightened when it comes to women, even among the intellectuals there is still an underlying belief that we are all somehow defected, even if a woman is brilliant.  But the nobles are worse, especially when it comes to women of the 'lower' classes.  And in their eyes, I'm one of those. 

I met a lass in one of my classes who I became friends with almost immediately.  Melisende is bright, funny and has a wicked tongue for those who get her angry.  Or at least she did.  She was of a middle class family who saved to allow her to come to Paris with her brother.   Meli is the complete opposite of me in coloring. She is fair skinned with light brown hair and green eyes and thin in build.  We had the most wonderful time together and since she had never been to Paris before except with her parents, we explored together.  Of course, many of the most beautiful places can only be seen as certain times since they belong to the royals.  You would think the gardens would not be beautiful this time of year, but they are.  And the architecture is magnificent. 

It was during one of the times that we mere mortals could wander the Tuileries Garden that I saw what happened to one who caught the eye of a nobleman.  Meli and I were in our finest clothing, though of course, it was nothing like that of the higher classes.   And we were also wearing cloaks since it was chilly.  We had been here before but this was such a rare event and  also one of our favorite places, that we couldn't resist.  I wish we had.  We found ourselves being followed by two courtly gentlemen.  One was the Marquis d'Anglure, or some such.  The other called himself Chevalier d'Arcy.  We allowed them to escort us and even had a peek inside the palace but it was growing late and we had to travel back to Paris.  They offered us a ride home which I refused, much to Meli's displeasure.  There was something about the Chevalier that I didn't care for and I certainly didn't care for the Marquis' familiarity with me.  In fact, I slapped him when he became a little too personal.  Luckily, Ger had decided to wait for us outside the garden and we walked home with him.

The next time I saw Meli was at class and she seemed to have forgiven me though she had excuses if I asked her to go places with me.  When I finally confronted her, she told me she was seeing the Chevalier and that she was in love with him.  I begged her to tell her brother but she refused and made me promise not to tell.  That was the last I saw of her. 

And now, dear journal, I will have to make you wait for the rest of the tale.   Ger has just arrived with some of his friends. The streets are flooding and there will be no school tomorrow.  So we will have guests for at least two days if the rains stop.  Thankfully one is a lass who is also my friend.  Her brother is Ger's best friend.  Until again.



Date: 11-20-10
Poster: Rory McAndrews
Post # 12

Notorious Northern Tavern

A simple nudge to the door, sending it open- drawing herself in from the crisp fall air. A bitter chill rolled in behind her, swirling against the walls before dissipating into the warmth of the interior. Garb of the sand dweller  overlapped the five foot four frame, the head wrap curled against her head- only the slanted shape of silver eyes visible. Not that she was trying to fight out the cold- merely dressing in the cloth of her people. Boots trudged slowly over the threshold, hands smoothing down the tan-colored robes. Palm finally settling upon the scimitar sheathed against the hip. The hint of curves barely noticeable beneath the vast fabric she was wearing.

Rory had left word with his brothers that he was heading north to check out that infamous tavern for himself. Sure it was deserted, a ghost town he was told, but that wouldn't stop him. There were names associated with this place. Names he knew. It was a long trip even by horseback as he rein in the stallion in front of the place. He thought he saw someone go in but was uncertain as he gave the door a squinted eye glance before dismounting and adjusting the saddle straps then took the reins to tie off on the post. He'd worn a hooded cloak for the air held a bitter bite as winter was sure setting in. He headed up the steps and to the door as he gave a glance about, not a soul in sight as he'd been told. This place in Rhydin had become a ghost town and perhaps for a moment there in a vivid imagination he could hear all the noise usually associated with such a popular tavern. Echoes of the past from stories told before he shook his head of the notion and pressed the door open. Even within there was a dusty tint to the air as the moonlight filtered in through dirty windows. "Wouldn't be so bad all fixed up," mumbled under his breath with each step taking him to the bar sounded like an elephant passing between the deserted walls. Wait. Pausing to see one wrapped in strange garb, "are you real?"

Her eyes flickered in the dark of the interior, a small sigh passing her lips. It was nice to get away from the Castle- if only for a short respite. Palm lifted- fingers splayed before pausing. The door was opening again, she could hear the creak of the worn hinges- a door which hadn't been used in ages. She pivoted on the heel of her boot, stepping off to the side with barely a creak of the floorboards. Head shifting slowly- watching the other figure move through in silence. She eased back, pressing her shoulder to the wall... Think... invisible. Ha. Not her gift. She withdrew the scimitar half an inch from it's sheath in the black sash. Thick lashes lifting- those almond shaped eyes of silver locking on the man a moment. Then he spoke to her. She blinked, and from behind the cowl came a mischievous smile. She wasn't her father's daughter for nothing. A mere shake of her head given, no words offered. She eased a little further back against the shadows in the moon-lit Tavern.

Hands were up to lower the hood before he blinked as the one started to withdraw a weapon. "Holy.. lord above lass," or a pretty male. He heard about such ones in this place when it went to hell in a hand basket. Hands before him as if to ward off an evil spirit. He was tall for his age of seventeen, six foot four and still growing. Dirty blond hair hung too long in his face but the back was tied off in a tail at the nape of his neck. "Are you one of those that come through a crack in the air then?" Lowering his hands as she abandoned the weapon. Not that he didn't have a sword hanging from his hip beneath  the cloak, it was more he wasn't here to fight with some lass or anyone for that matter.

It had been a defensive action- a young woman couldn't be too careful when venturing alone. Brows furrowed slightly, and free hand rose up to unwind the cowl from around her face. She stepped into a stream of moonlight which filtered from the windows- youthful face. She was only a year his junior. Sun-bronzed skin- but the odd thing with such a dark complexion was the soft silvery white of brows- and those eyes. She pulled the headpiece off, releasing the half curls of snow-spun silver from their captivity. It fell well past her shoulders and to the middle of her back. She watched him a moment longer. "You could say that." It was barely above a whisper- not that one had to speak loudly in such an abandoned place. The left hand pushed the scimitar back into its sheath, though the palm remained firmly upon the hilt. "... You travel dangerous lands." Not that she wasn't calling the kettle black with that one... but she had her own... abilities.

Too bad his brothers were not here in this moment as he stood there transfixed. Blink. A moonlight vision of a kind he couldn't have even conjured up in one of his wildest dreams and he had some pretty wild dreams. Where did that low whistle come from? From beneath the breath he let out slowly most likely or it was the wind through a crack in the wall. "You have to be a mirage or vision being played as a trick under the moonlight. I wasn't aware it was dangerous here." Then lower under his breath again, "certainly worth any danger.." he needed a drink as he skirted around her giving all the personal space she needed all considering her words, the place and he'd never been here before. "I was told stories about this place," eyeing her from the corners of his as he went behind the bar to see what was left. Most alcohol didn't go bad. Eureka! "We have whiskey!" Pulling a bottle as he set that on the bar, "wine," pulling up a few of those. He ducked down to see what was on the lower shelves.

In her wildest dreams who would have thought that the great tavern, was deserted, well almost, not hard to miss that stallion, though not one she was familiar with right off. She might look at it later, when she was not guiding Ears to the hitching post, first time for everything she decided. It was now or never to start the next adventure of her life, well Kenneth's life, he could be in for a shock of sorts, a few could be, but that was the fun of life, shocking the buggers out of folks just because like life she was unpredictable. Ears didn't mind stopping, he didn't mind pulling the dray cart either, it was light work for the draft mule. NOW to get herself off the dang thing with out falling flat on her face. REALLY how did women do it, bundled up like a burrito ready for eating and expected to walk gracefully.. Her cloak luckily moved well, once her feet touched the ground, she drew a breath, well attempted too. "Damnation how does one breathe?" She mumbled to herself, tossing the reins on the board of the dray cart. "I'll be back Ears, we got a gypsy to find and torture," she mused, clutching her cloak bottom, the hood hiding her face but still allowing her to see where she was going. Ears of course BRAYED like the mule from hell, and well maybe he was at that ...  look who his owner was! Up the steps she went, trying to breathe and well not bust her butt,"HELLO any body in there?" like maybe she was expecting a spook or something, though any likelihood of that was nil with a bellowing Mule. Pushing at the door, that creaked like something from a haunted house,Charlie was born to the realm, the dim interior not a problem, her eyes almost glowing under the hood and a smile unseen as she saw one two behind the bar. "HI HONEY I AM HOME" she called gleefully, best damned entrance she could think of at the moment, scads of material rustled, though her cloak itself was whisper quiet as were her footsteps ...

"Too cold to be a mirage... those happen mostly in the desert." Was that a coy smile on those pale peach-tinted lips? Most definitely. She stood beneath that beam of light, her eyes following his movements. There was a brief hesitation on her part, head tilting back to look across the ceiling beams. She exhaled a slow breath, but unlike most- her exhale cast no vapor from the chill. She turned her attention back to the man, lips parting to speak- Eee-aw She turned to look towards the door, fingers tightening on the hilt of her sword as she moved from the place she'd been standing. Graceful- fluid movements which barely cast a sound. Over towards the bar she went, seemed the man was less of a danger to her then the stranger who'd hollered. "Seems we've company, stranger." Still remaining out of reach, the robes of sand-hue billowing against her form.

Did he hear the braying of a Mule? Wasn't that suppose to be wolves howling at such a moon as borne in the sky this night? He popped back up just as one called out from the door. Maybe they should light some of the lanterns hanging along the walls and candles on the tables that could use being replaced. "Careful there lass (looking straight at Charlie), this lass here is a beauty but armed and dangerous." And there was the beauty far closer as he stared a moment. Blink. Shaking it off as he looked for some glasses. Now that might be a task! It looked like he was tending for moment. The cupboards had some glasses so he brought out a few. A cloth to clean them out with. Never knew. "Welcome home," eyeing the other coming in as it seemed she belonged here?

Blink. Blink. Did he just call me a beauty? Head pivoted slowly in Rory's direction- staring at him a moment. She scoffed, How does he know if I'm truly dangerous? Could be just for show! She rolled her eyes, hand lifting upwards towards the ceiling. A small mutter of incoherency under her breath. Shards of eyes flittered from her wide-spread fingers, cast upon the ceiling, one on the floor in that beam of moonlight. It was a domino effect of light which
filtered from ice crystal to ice crystal- lighting the building with a sparkling vibrant white light. Hand dropped down to her side, unhitching the sash slowly.

HUGE shadow she was, moving forward. "Indeed she is ..well met stranger and lady," she gave a bob of her head, the hood still hiding her face. "Somebody forget how to turn on the lights in here?" Dust scattering at the swift stride even burdened by a corset from hell, and folds of cloth beneath the ever warm bear skin cloak, yep, something could not change. "Seems I forgot to pay the bills eh do you do .." she asked the male first, though she knew of him the face like his father's and his brothers was unmistakable, all the more fun for her to scare the residence with ...

That was when he broke out into a smile, McAndrews dimples and all came in a flash. Some things never changed even passed down to the offspring. "Name is Rory, Rory McAndrews." Pride there in his eyes and the squaring of his shoulders. And in the darkness, let there be light and there was light all of a sudden. Now he was blinking for the change, just when he was getting use to the dankness. "Wow, who did that?"

Then to the lady, well slip of a girl if height and size were any thing to go, "Rory .. my, my tell," one hand coming over the bar, never mind the bear claw mittens, a left over from hallows eve. "My pleasure to meet .." head tilting upwards a smile barely visible. "Nice ... very nice," meaning the lights ... "you?" Absently finished after a side glance to the lights now revealing the long disuse of the tavern itself ...

"Aye, well, I do tell but I could have said Charles or Bryan and you'd not know the difference." Joking? Of course but yet it was actually true. Which had him eyeing the door wondering if either of them would be coming through it. The paw was offered and he clamped both hands over it to shake it well. Shook it too well as it came off. "Err," the thing dangling from his fingers as he offered it back to the lass, "this belongs to you, Missy."

She didn't offer her name, just yet. She did offer a courteous dip of her head, various ringlets of silver falling over her face. A small coy smile settling on her lips at the woman's words. Amusing at the very least. She parked herself on a stool, back pressed to the wall at the far end. Attention sifting between the two slowly. Time to mind her own. She continued easing the vast robes off, the material beneath a shade lighter. The white blouse which was tucked into the sandy-colored leather pants. The knee-capped boots of black. She was dressed for an adventure of her own- not that anyone would miss her at the Castle. She sat back, lips forming a thin line as she looked around the Tavern in thought. No harm to come here, she could feel it- for now.

Charlie chuckled. "oops ... sorry about that ..they are so warm you know," her freed hand reaching to nudge back her hood, revealing a face well sculpted. Long lashes, shimmering cheeks of rose, and lips defined but not overly so, lips bowed into a smile that seldom changed. The other mitten hand taking the mitten,tucking it beneath the cloak itself ...

Once the mitten was taken he clapped his hands together. Sharp sound as he looked between the two, "now, does either of you have a name or will it be Missy One," giving a nod to the exotic beauty and then to Charlie, "and Missy Two," another sculptured mature beauty. "And what would you like? I've whiskey and Rye, wine and schnapps. Ale might be flat unless there is a keg yet to tap." Looking to see what was left. At least there were a few clean glasses.

Again that smile brightening, almost as bright as the lights, give or take, "I have many names, and answer to many more," tilting her head slightly. "Whiskey will do double shot if there is enough ... Dutch courage you know," skipped out of the naming part for the moment, maybe ...

She was trying to blind him with a smile!

He could imagine all sorts of mischievous tales told, and yet for the moment she was well, like every one else, give her a second or two to catch her breath, which she did, rather noisily. "I swear ... I don't know how Lah does it," her hand going to tuck under her cloak, and well push air in sort of ...

"... Names are rarely important unless a title belongs to them." She shrugged a single shoulder at him, her eyes cast to the dirtied windows, then up to the ice crystals which remained firm.. un-melting. Her eyes drifted closed.

He was eyeing her in that way for the cryptic answer, "long as you're called to supper?" Shooting her a grin back. "Well," hearing Missy One, "there is that or a great hurricane, then all titles stand aside." He set out a bigger glass and poured it half way, certainly a double shot times three. "There you go Missy Two."

"Mmm. Boy has a sense of humor." She turned her head a little, eyeing him from a crack in her eyelid.

Charlie nodded her head, mumbling as wayward curl from her mop piled on her head, "there was a girl who had a curl," fingers reaching to close around the glass, "indeed and his Da's good looks." She agreed, let him ponder for a few while she lifted the glass and downed it like water, the glass rapped hard to the bar. "Damn," breath sucked in, through her teeth ...

"Peeper..." he just gave a new name to Missy One. Charlie would have to earn hers next. "Let me see what I can find in the back." Who knew what treasures were down this hall behind the bar. Which he took.  He would mull that over, wait, as they heard thumps in the night coming from down the hall, did Missy Two say something about his Da?

"... Liquor only makes a person act foolishly.." She murmured softly. She gave a slight sniff, and reached for her discarded robes- withdrawing the scimitar from the sheath. She traced the blade up and down along the side of her leg, careful not to cut the leather of her pants. Silver gaze cast down upon her feet in silent contemplation, she wrinkled her nose a little bit- and from the back listened to the nickering of the beast. She settled her back against the wall- legs hitched up so feet could rest on an adjacent stool. Attention wavering from the fleeting figure of Rory- to the woman who remained behind. "Everything dies in time." Cryptic, but true. The small female pivoted on her seat.

Of course she did, or maybe his numerous uncles. Charlie inclined her head agreeing, "of course it does, however compared to my usual ..this is hardly liquor." Reaching to unbutton her throat latch of the cloak .. "hard to believe this was once a thriving business and full every night with people from all over," mused lightly. Glancing about as Rory had done recalling events and times in her memories, never mind the passing of the water trough, she had spent a few times there as well. A sage youth perhaps, "if one is remembered by another, no one truly dies ... " or something like that, she was smart sometimes, though she was about to cut loose. Hitching the hem of her cloak she twisted slightly to sit on a stool. a small ticking sound drawing her attention to lean over, "OH DAMN I busted a bead," colorful beads scatted on the floor beneath her hem ...

"In essence, though memories may serve their purpose." A small blink of those thick lashes- eyes dropping to the noise of beads clattering to the floor. She smiled slightly, shaking her head. ".... Wardrobe malfunction?"

Most likely a busted stitch" hitching the hem higher, revealing knee high moccasins, and sheerling petticoat, "guess I should have done the bead work myself." The beads were of the bear claw, the symbol of her people, "one never knows when something is gonna go wrong I guess," not that she would ever don a real petticoat or shoes ..not those high heeled ankle breaking women killers ...

Something crashed down the hall followed by a few muffled curses. Sounded like he was hopping on one foot too.

The front door swung open, letting in cold air and in came a mirror image of Rory. Once the door was closed behind him, Charles took a few steps inside. A dimpled smile appeared as he looked around. Amazing to see the place he had heard so much about. And it happened not long after those muffled curses.

Blink. Blink. Snicker. She swirled off the stool- full intention of going to help the poor boy out- until the creaking hinges of the door. She pivoted her weight- and twirled the scimitar in her hand. She went stock still- those silver eyes narrowing. "... and he thought I was a mirage." A slight squint given to the Rory look-a-like. Lips pursed slightly, turning an ear to the cursing. Twins. Not that it was rare- she was one of three herself. She stepped back slightly, easing the blade back down against her thigh. Attention wavered, and she... well... sat back down. The cursing lad in the back could handle himself.

Okay Charlie glanced to the crash sound, then to the door that was opened noting the lady with the blade, though she was focused on the young male that entered, "my, my did you do that?" She mused, yeah she knew it was not Rory, because he had given his brothers names as example ..

He was limping a little by the time he emerged behind the bar again. A bucket with a mop in it, sponges, cleaning detergents and a few bottles. Some were liquors, vodka, B&B, sambuka and a few others. "Charlie!" Yelled in a pleasant surprised way.

Same blue eyes, same blonde hair and same grin. "Do what?" He gave a blink and looked over his shoulder. "I stepped through a door." Same McAndrews attitude.

"... Another jester." Mutter.

Never mind Charlie sitting there on a stool, with her hem hiked to her knees, colorful beads on the floor, nor the fact that well she looked like a lady till one saw the boots and sheerling petticoat ... "yeah you did ..and," turned tilting her head, "you rang Rory?" chuckling softly ... and realized that it was the brother to whom he spoke, making her chuckle all the more ..done in by a name ...

Charlie might have answered but this Charlie jumped in surprise. "What?!!" And then he looked at the lady. "Hey, you're Charlie." He had heard her name before and most of the stories that went with it.

Darn, so much for being a nameless beauty that wowed the world and vanished in a gypsy caravan. "Guilty as charged, Charlie One Time at your service ..maybe," if he had heard all the tales he might be heading for safety...



Date: 11-20-10
Poster: Rory McAndrews
Post # 13

"Wait, you're the Charlie one timer my Da told us about in those stories of this tavern." After she responded to his calling out to his brother of the same nickname it clicked. He was eyeing Peeper, "will I find you are one from stories of this tavern too?" That's when he laughed out loud, echoing the woman.

Well. Distraction time. With the trio induced with each other- she was gathering her belongings. She lifted her head, silver gaze sweeping briefly. "This tavern was before my time. Stories involving myself, will not be heard around the ale houses or boarding rooms." She pulled the robes on, tying the sash loosely. Then piling those thick half curls against her head.

"WELL, all depends on what you heard, I had accomplishes I swear " most of the McAndrews were guilty too of rebel rousing ..smoothing her hem down, waggling her brows at all of them ..

"I wish you well in your travels." Wondering if he'd ever see the exotic beauty again or like passing ships in the night. Watching her do her thing as he took up a nonchalant lean.

"Leaving so soon?" she queried, "I am certain you have a tale to add to the many heard here," watching the young woman rebundled ... "mind the mule he bites." She added, not that any one wanted the draft mule, like his mistress he was cantankerous .. and prone to mischief as well ..

He was a McAndrews. Why would he run? "G'night, Miss and safe travels." He grinned at Charlie again then glanced at his brother. Now he was snickering before he looked back to Charlie.

"... It seems you have the boys well in your hand, Miss Charlie." One almond shaped eye cast a wink at the woman. The headpiece being unfolded in her hands. ".... Nur." They could deal with a last name.

Charlie inclined her head, "only because I know their family," literally all of them. "We ran together in the past," and drank, and fell into the trough and erm well just about any thing that could be done they did.. "well met Nur."

He was pointing at Charlie, "you're the gypsy Kenneth's woman!" Like it was a revelation even to him. "You're the one Riley got in trouble with and you chased him and Scott with a broom near back to Ballicastle." Wait, did Missy One aka Peeper just give him another name to use? "Nur, nice meeting you."

"Indeed I did and I would have caught them eventually," not really half the fun was chasing them, because the stories told well they were worth it all ... "could not get the damn broom to fly .." Winking, of course Kenneth's name made her smile even more, "such a dancer is Kenneth."

Ugh. Maybe she didn't like being noted by her last name. Her eyes fell half mast, and she began... to shrug free of the sand dweller's robes. "Korea, I suppose... is better suited."

"Korea .. interesting name ... perhaps you will come again or stay now and share how you came upon such a pretty name .." she drawled, propping her elbow on the bar ...

"Aye, or Aphrodite," dimples were showing as he poured his brother a good drink of the whiskey. So far he hadn't had any. "Nice to meet you Korea, does it have a meaning?" For some reason he felt any name she gave would be one that had a meaning.

".... Are you so silver-tongued with all the lasses?" She tilted her head towards Rory now- locking him in that silvery stare.

Charlie smirked deeply, eyes twinkling, wondering how he would answer ..of course it in was in his genes, they were all like that ...

"No. You're my first," and that was the honest truth! Winning smile swept showing off those dimples for the duration, swift one and gone again. "I found some cider, would you like some of that?"

He headed for the bar and leaned against it beside Charlie, watching his brother and Korea. "What else did you find, Rory?"

Yes. Well. That shut the desert ice up for a moment. She inhaled a slow breath. "Cider would be.. nice. Thank you." Ah, so she had manners after all!

Charlie was inspecting the two young men, amused by their likeness and difference, though in a pinch she would be hard pressed to tell one from the other. Nudging her glass forward, since Rory was in the mood to be a bartender ...

He was over to pour her a glass of the cider which he set before her. "Where do you come from, Korea?" He was actually interested, all the teasing set aside as blue eyes caught upon hers. He reached over and without even looking, poured some more for Charlie.

Amused by Rory, she turned slightly, her finger rising to Charles' cheek, "so tell me, where has your father hidden you for all these years?" Amused that something escaped her notice...  The dimples like all the others real, lucky for Charles she didn't pinch his cheek, just touched a faint dimple line ...

She bit the inside of her cheek a moment, brows furrowed as she looked down at the cider. She lifted the glass to her lips and took a slow drink. "Egypt."

He found a glass and wiped it out then waited to see if Rory would do the same for him, or would make him pour himself. "I think he's been watching Riley. In Ballicastle of course. We weren't inclined to wander until now." He had to laugh though. "Aye, we all have the same dimples as Da and our uncles."

Charlie grinned nodding, "I know them well ... how funny I don't recall seeing you two ..well three I believe .. must have known I was coming and hidden the children from the old witch right?" as if. She was as safe as the mule outside ..

Which had him blink, well, he should have expected that for her attire! "That is a long way from home. I know of some other Egyptians." Which the women are exotic looking he was told. He'd have to catch sight of one or two, maybe three or four.

"Well, there's a lot of us. Ten counting myself with just my brothers. And there's all our cousins." Oh, wait. There was a glass for him. He looked at Charlie and shrugged. Too busy trying to talk to her and watch Rory at the same time.

Again she nodding, taking a sip of the cider, "I know, I stopped counting years ago ... I can usually spot McAndrews by their resemblance," that and she was good ...

"... I currently live with my Aunt and Uncle, I cannot remember the realm..." Brows furrowed a moment, and a small shake of her head. She set her scimitar on the counter, no need for it. Those almond shaped eyes lifted back up to Rory watching him a moment. "Too hot back home..."

"Endless stretches of sand that are as dangerous as they are beautiful upon sunset I'm told." He didn't press when she couldn't remember the realm she was from. "I'm from Ballicastle," not that he expected her to have ever heard of it. Giving a slight upnod to his brother, "and like he said, there are ten of us. Rick is the oldest and heir." Which took a great weight from them with a buffer of two more brothers between. Riley was his hero, one of his cousins, for the trouble he got into.

"What about m'girl cousins?" There were a few of those too, though not as many lads.

One could wonder how hot it got back home, with her ease of holding that knife .. "Umm I think I have encountered several, I think I am too rough for most ..." that and she tended to not moon over men ...  AH Riley, yep, that one had a bit of the devil in him for all that he gotten into, still he was growing up too fast, they all were, made her wonder where all the years were going, and how she missed them ..

"Mmm. Crystal white sands which glisten in the sunlight... and seemed to almost glow when the moon hits upon it." Pause. Heir? Hm. Seemed their blood was thick too. She lowered her attention back to her cider. ".... Dangerous- only if you do not know the land... or are a part of Egypt.. for that matter." She sipped from the glass.

"So what have you seen so far of the realm Charles,?" Like he would confess anything at all. "Been to the docks ..I know a bar there ...erm," yep she did, and a restaurant, and had gotten her whaling boat there, the one that was sank in the lake..

"Times are rough there," or so he heard the two families that fled to their lands had such encounters. They were prospering where they were now located. It was many years ago they came. "Are you newly fled from Egyptian soil or have been a while." At least she had an aunt and uncle to go to.

Idly swinging her feet, beneath her still wrapped cloak, the bear fur rippling as she pondered another sip of cider, some thing were just heavenly ..

"From time to time. As I said. Much too hot, and Mother prefers I not come back until I ... have settled important matters..." This caused her eyes to roll, a small scowl settled on that pretty bronzed face of hers.

"This realm or home? Seen most of Ballicastle. Just started to explore Heathfield. We might do some training with our brothers. Haven't been to the McDonough ranch yet but we will." He was trying to keep his manner casual and easy. He had to work at it.

"Hey Charlie, I heard from Uncle Jon that you got a big holding tank that you use to throw certain kinds of sharks in or was that snarks?" Chuckling as he threw in a tease her way. He was listening to Korea as full focus turned back her way. So there was intrigued buried beneath the beauty. "Hopefully she didn't send you here to get married so and so's son to better their political status or such?" He heard of Desh's story and the contract over her head.

"Hmm yeah I did ... unfortunately the real sharks got sick of the fake sharks .." bobbling her head, "well I am more familiar with here ..and you will love the ranch.. and," well the vardo was there somewhere in the woods, they were never far from the ranch, unless they went to the cabin in the mountains ..

".. Augh.... not exactly." She wrinkled her nose in thought. "I am the youngest of three, and while my brother holds heir to whatever lands my father holds- my Mother sees me as the heir for her lands. It is... complicated." She waved her hand dismissive. Palm tucked beneath her chin. "I think I tire of talking... no point to reveal all of what I am." Her eyes fell half closed, and another sip taken from the cider.

Charles could be himself, Charlie was accustom to that, she saw sides to most that few did, and never told a soul ... not that Ears counted much .. Glancing to the stairs, recalling how many times she had slide down the banisters, almost into that shark tank...

Which had him laugh, good rich sound too. "Lucky there. I think I would rebel if I was set up to marry someone not of my choosing." Pausing a heartbeat, "aye, sounds complicated. "You do well as a mysterious moonlight nymph that could dance with the shadows and moonbeams, weaving her illusions and mysteries."

She lifted her eyes up to him, corner of her lips twitching. "Do not bestow false flatteries upon me, I've heard many which are not heart-felt.. and it is offensive." Many suitors.... which were all.. disastrous. Not that they could stand being near her. She set the glass down, the smile fading slightly. "In due time, I will find a man who can handle my nature." The smile turned almost devious. "Once the Gods decide to create him." She laughed, a soft almost musical sound.

"What happened here, Charlie? We heard tales that it was a lively place with lots of people, lots of trouble." He took a drink of the whiskey after he asked and made a face. Too used to potcheen.

"None of my words come with pretenses. I'm not looking for a lass to get with. I think you're pretty but if my words flatter, and cause you distress, then I shall cease them. But dang, how can I practice especially borne upon truths that make them so much easier? If you were as ugly as a dog, I'd be hard press to say anything at all." For he could not lie and he'd feel bad to say the truth.

Charlie nodded her head, "yeah ... it was good for a long time, then modernistic people bubbled into the realm, and their ways died, quickly.. they are a strange lot I guess," because she had done well in most realms, but not that one ..

Her voice dropped slightly, almost a whisper. "If you wish to practice flatteries for the lasses, please do not practice on me." There was a brief... sadness in her eyes which was hidden from her face. It faded mere seconds later. She lifted a hand, and leaned forward. Hesitant at first. She bit her lower lip and leaned further- her palm caressing along his jaw line. "For even the most handsome of rogues, their words can bite deep on a lasses heart..." Her hand cradled against his jaw line- but her touch sent a sudden bitter chill deep into his flesh.

He was also listening to Charlie answer that posed question from his brother. Had him thinking in one of those distant ways but still here. Blue eyes shifted back to Korea, "I was only saying that for it would be how me uncles are and a tradition to live up to. You're the first I've ever flattered and it falls short. I do think you are pretty, that is no lie. My  lips are sealed." Anything else stilled as her touch was like the tip of an iceberg and he jerked back from her touch.

Charlie tipped her head, "McAndrews don't lie Korea ..if they see a pretty woman, it is their honor to say so .." they had all been gentlemen that way ... a finger poke to Charles, timing every thing it seemed, and like the others they were connected ..

"It's a sad thing, isn't it?" He frowned as his brother jerked away from the woman.. "You can't take a compliment then, lass?" Hey, no poking! He jerked away, laughing. "Don't do that."

And then he stood up for her. "Perhaps it was ones who have flattered her before." He was not angry or mad but he learned a good lesson.

"Ahh sensitive are we ... I shall have to remember that .. and tickle you more." She chuckled, thinking that in the past that had gotten her tossed in the trough.. but dang if she remembered which one had done it, either she had been  dunked too many times, by the same one, or all ...probably the latter ...

She knew it would happen, even before she touched him. She withdrew her hand and smiled.. it seemed to light up her whole face- like the northern lights. ".... Tis complicated... I fear I've overstayed my welcome..." She bowed her curtly.

"If you feel that way... but two things, one, I respect if you don't like being flattered," to each his own and she gave a reason, "and second, this is not my place and anyone can be here." Which had him splitting a smile right back at her, dimples and all. "Now drink your cider." Giving a wink as he decided it was time for a drink for himself. The whiskey was good as a tumbler was filled and kicked back before the bottle could be set to the counter.

"Yeah, but you might not know which one of us you're poking." He wiggled his brow at her then grinned. "What kind of stories do you have on Da? " They knew he had been as much of a devil as his brothers. He was keeping an eye on what was going on with his brother too.

" .... " Which meant he wished for her to stay.. She looked at her cider on the counter, and chuckled softly. "... Rory... you have a kind soul." Her head turned, looking to Rory's brother.. those icy eyes flickering like a candle's flame. She paused, and leaned in- whispering in Rory's ear. Her breath held the same chill- only to a lesser degree.

Which had him lowered his voice, "now don't be spreading that about 'cause me brothers would rib me no end." Except then she was whispering which had him clear his throat, "I plea the fifth." He heard that one used before, a fifth of whiskey no less, then he wasn't accountable if he answered that!

"A simple... yes or no, would be nice Rory. I will not tell a soul." Innocent smile.

"I've not. Not yet." Hell, he wasn't doing so well with flattery and that was a whole step from there.... kissing a lass.

It did seem odd to Charlie that the nexus had dried up, and vanished, the tavern had seemed like a place that would never fade, "on your Da huh, WELL... erm ...if I tell they wont be good secrets ..." and truthfully their Da had been married at the time, if she recalled correctly, no rebel rousing that she could remember, but like most the stories were there ...

Date: 11-20-10
Poster: Rory McAndrews
Post # 14

".... Then, because of your flatteries, which were said with a modest heart, I shall grant you that one bit... if you like." She smiled at him, her eyes locked on his own. "If you cannot handle such a gift, I will understand." She was of course, talking about the cold which came from her very core.

For the first time in a long time he was undecided. Rare for Rory as he eyed her suspiciously. Would his lips turn blue and fall off? Would the heat rising up his neck melt the touch of her lips? Was this a trap of some sort and how she got rid of any men flattering her? Suitors perhaps too? Was she the notorious ice queen and hater of men so would cast them down like a frozen popsicle? Could she read his thoughts?

"Then I'll have to pretend that you did tell me something and I won't tell him what." He winked to show he was kidding. "What about Uncle Seamus then?"

"Erm the kissing freight train ..I think," gawds talk about a muddling of names and events, Charlie 's memories were like a sieve ...

And Charlie using that very word had him doing a double take there!

"It was here I met him, ..though for the life of me, who of the McAndrews I met first ..I would have to question, maybe Joe .. There were several here and I just sort of fell in with them, much to the consternation of the sharks of course."

He was a McAndrews, sneak attack was best, get in fast and out again as he vaulted over the bar, took her up into his arms and DIP, KISS. Charlie would be proud, lips braced for the cold, hopefully it would not be like sticking a tongue against a steel pole out in the cold and their lips never to part again. What thoughts of such a predicament as that. Lasted the duration which was kept to a minimum.

Oh she wished she could read his thoughts- they'd have her laughing no doubt! She inhaled a slow breath, her eyes moving over his face at his silence. She moistened her lips slowly. "... My mother, though born to the Pharaoh- is the daughter of Egypt. Physically.... part of Egypt. She is the morning star, that which heats the desert sands and draws away the chill of the night. She is the very fire and flame, which keeps Egypt burning brightly." She pulled back from him, giving him some space. "I too... am Egypt. I am the evening star, which casts the heat into the abyss and creates a chill unlike any others. While, yes... the desert is most dangerous in the sun-" Her words were cut off as he vaulted over. Though the cloth over her skin kept him from touching cold skin- the sudden flush to her cheeks. Yes, she actually blushed as his lips meshed to her own. They were not warm- but neither cold.. a bit in the middle. Her eyes nearly fell closed, before she neatly pushed back on his chest. Having to gasp for a sudden breath. "... That.... is... cheating!"

And Charlie was cackling softly, seems that the boy had heard a bit too many stories about dipping ...

"I heard they used to fill the tavern and ... " He paused as he watched Rory then laughed out right. "I knew he could move fast but wow ... "

Her words sunk in, believe it or not even with his first kiss. He knew of many with certain powers, elementals, druids, and his lips pulled from hers as he was accused. "I did it badly too?" Charlie was known as the BIG DIPPER.  He was just a little dipper.

Her cheeks turned darker- and an odd heat cast through her veins, he could almost feel it- with how close he was. "I... I did not... say that..."

He still had her in that lean too. Blink, luckily he hadn't let go as he eased them up then parted when there was no danger of dropping her. Now that would have been BAD. He would have to teach the vaulting to Charles.

"Oh they filled the tavern, and every whore and lost love female in heat use to show up right behind them, it was like wore signs that said HOT ..HOTTER and Damn," mused as she pretended that it was all normal, the vault and the dip and such ..and well it was, she had done worse ...

"Your lips are sweet and I cannot be sorry for kissing them. Since you offered." So it was a quick do it or not do it at all for him. What the hell was Charlie talking about! That pulled him from any other thoughts with a blink her way.

His Uncles of course, magnets of animal magnetism, that drew women like starved fiends ...

"... Like pomegranate..." Which if he licked his lips- would no doubt be how they tasted. She smiled- it was almost a shy look on her face. She cleared her throat.

He looked out over the common room, trying to picture it filled with life and busy. "Must have been something to see it all though. The fights, the drama, the drooling." The last said with an impish grin. 
"I remember one night that Seamus and several others were sitting and chatting, and I swear at least 4 females fell into them, or tripped or something .." nodding her head, it had been dangerous for the men to be sitting or standing anywhere ..  "not enough spittoons to catch it all," she chuckled, "though how your Uncles and Da survived it all is a wonder ..."

Oh yes, he was getting that taste as he licked his lips, brows lifting, tasted good.

"Thank you. Rory- for my first kiss." She smiled at him, and eased back down onto the stool. picking up her cider and downing the last of it.

"I suddenly had friends ..I didn't know I had, all of them wanting introduction to whomever I was with .."

"So that is why you got a shark tank for Jon. So it wasn't only Seamus but Jon, Eddie, Michael, Patrick Joe, Collin, Chadrick, Brian and Liam?" Smile was back, half lopsided as focus turned back to Korea, "thank you for my first kiss." So he had one over his brothers!

Of course it had all been a sham, Charlie learned after once or twice, to never heed the other women for that simple fact, and well she was immune to the magnetism of her friends ...  "yep ..every last one of them ..."

"My pleasure, truly." Such a pity. She chuckled softly to herself, and set the empty glass down on the counter. Now she was truly preparing to depart. One must get sleep after all. She pulled on her robes and her head-dress. The cowl left loose over a shoulder. She turned to look at him with an arched brow. The scimitar was left on the counter- it's blade was made of pure crystal. The hilt was solid silver with inlays of sparkling ice dust cast through out it. She picked it up- and handed it, hilt first to Rory. "A gift, to the young Prince." Her head turned, peering over at Charlie. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance as well, Miss One Time."

Bemused by the first kiss declaration, poor brothers would have to play catch up. "It was a pleasure to meet you Korea ... " she drawled, remembering her manners ...

He also got to kiss a pretty lass but he remembered not to say anything along those lines."I will remember you, Korea." For what it was worth, "a pleasure, stay safe, warm and happy." Adding the last for some unknown reason. Which had him blink as she offered the scimitar. He didn't refuse it either for that he felt would have been an insult. Although he didn't feel he earned it. "Thank you, Korea," and he did something he'd seen before and bowed his head forward respectfully to her.

He straightened and bowed to the woman as she prepared to leave. "Travel safely, Korea. It was nice to meet you."  He was protective of his brothers but he had manners too.

"Charlie please, these two make me feel old enough already .." she smiled, meaning it too, another generation to bowl over ...

Her eyes turned to Charles, flashing him a kind smile- before looking back to Rory. Her own head dipped in kind. She leaned over- pressing those pale lips against his jaw line. Neither warm nor cold... She withdrew. "Perhaps, we'll meet again?" Attention wavered to the brother. "A pleasure, Charles." She pulled the cowl over her face, only those bright eyes exposed. She looked up to the ice crystals casting light overhead- palm lifted and fingers splayed. The crystals hardened into almost permanent fixtures overhead... allowing the light of the moon to reflect and light the Tavern. "May Egypt protect you all."

The heat was rising along his neck but the smile from ear to ear, dimples included, said it all. He held the gifted weapon as if it was made of crystal, which it was!  "I can hope that Fate would be so kind. But if not, then this moment will be remembered as a fond one."

"Your flatteries... may one day get you somewhere. Though I hope you do not tryst with danger." She flashed him a wink, and proceeded to the door. "Bid thee all, a good night."

Charlie nodded her head, smiling, the realm was a small place after all, they would meet again ...

His flatteries would most likely get him in trouble but through trouble he would learn and grow. He watched her take her leave as that smile lingered even if not quite as wide as it started.

"There's gonna be no living with him now." He said in an aside to Charlie.

"Probably not, will have that cat ate the canary smile till the next kiss," nodding her head..

And she sifted past the door, a gentle snowfall was visible outside. She trailed to the back of building- looking up at the dark beast which snorted at her. She trailed a hand down along his flanks. "Come now, Tor. We've dallied long enough." She eased up onto the bare back of the dark as night beast. An odd contrast to her bright appearance beneath the garb. Fingers shifted loosely through his mane, urging him onwards into the snow-fall of night.

His brother would have to bear with his moment. Eventually he would have his own. "Hey, look, it's snowing!" Which there was something about the first snowfall too.

"Oh lordie, the vardo will be just the place to be," she mused, maybe she and Kenneth could get snowed in for a week or two, happened before by choice ....

"Aye, it is. I wonder if it is at home?" He was up and over to the window, staring out.

"It is not so far as the crow flies ..maybe they are looking out at the same thing," she suggested, they had to be missing home ..even with family in the area ..

"If it is, I'll bet the younger ones are awake and trying to coax to go out in it." He looked over his shoulder at Charlie. "Hope it keeps up all night."

Charlie nodded her head, "that might be possible, it snows heavily about here ... you will rue the chill after a while."

"I'll be ready for spring, same as everyone else." He grinned then looked at Rory. "Pretty silly grin on
your face."

"It is a long ride back to Heathfield," where the brothers were hanging out for a while. Older now and time to feel their oats, discover what they wanted to do in life and not while under the wing of their family. Rory ran his hand down over his face, the goofy grin disappearing into an attempt at a frown. Except he couldn't quite manage one.

"You will not be the first McAndrews to say that ... probably not the last either," recalling many nights they all wished themselves home ... Charlie reached in her cloak and drew out a hankie, tossing it to him. "You are drooling," indicating the side of his mouth ...

"She is a princess.." which he realized in what she had told him. He caught the handkerchief tossed and ran it over Charles' mouth. "There, better."

Chuckles shaking her head, "silly will have to do ..."

"When I have my first kiss, it's going to be with a lass I care for." He decided aloud then snickered.

"Well practice makes perfect you know .." really at their age, she should not be suggesting things like that ...

"Well, gee, Charles, that will be a very long time then." Teasing his brother but more than likely he was a grump and would rather do without one.

"If that's how it's going to be, then that's how it's going to be." His lips twitched slightly. "Practice too much and we'd likely be slapped as much as welcomed, Charlie."

As her recall was spotty, there were young ladies their age, give or take, she didn't think it would be as long as either thought ...  "Well maybe so ..though getting smacked is no fun ..still I am sure you will have enough lesson before the right girl comes along ..."

"Well, for the record, she offered for me to kiss her and after that chilly touch to my jaw, I worried if my lips would turn blue and fall off, but they didn't."

"Hmm I wonder about that chill and light stuff, doesn't seem to come from the desert .. I think you elevated her temperature well enough."

"You'd be awfully funny looking if you lost your lips." He laughed then gave Rory a punch to the shoulder. "You sure did."

"Well, I'm heading home. Maybe I'll come back here and clean this place up some." Although it would not be something he would continue to do, serve in this tavern. Rubbing his arm with a grin shot his brother's way. "It was grand meeting you Charlie. I'll be telling me uncles." He was walking backwards towards the door.

Charlie slid off the stool, adjust her cloak, "I am going to surprise Kenneth .." though it was always a welcome surprise. "They wont believe you ... I have never been seen dressed like this," she grinned, there was that to consider ...

"I'll join you in heading back." Look like Charlie was going their way too. "Aye, we'll make them worry what you told us."

Seemed like a good time for them all to get back and sleep, well Charlie might not be going to sleep for a while! Around just in time to open up the door and hold it for them.

"Oh indeed," though she had rarely said much one way or another over the years, more fun that way ...  She headed across the porch remembering to say thanks as she went, "tell them we need to get together and go over our notes." Which would be more amusing ...

"We will. I'm glad I came here tonight." Was sad to see the Medieval in the condition it was but he was glad to see it in any case.

"Maybe get some of them to come up here and revive the old place," a thought as he headed out, soon up on the stallion he rode in on.

Charlie managed to get into the dray, drawing up the hood. Ears waited for a word to move, he was ready for his hay and lean too .. "I shall look forward to that might really work .." she mused, clicking her tongue the mule stepped lively, "night boys ..." she laughed ...

"Night Charlie. Tell Kenneth we said hello." Even though they had yet to meet him! He was mounted and ready to go and gave a light kick to the sides of his horse.

Oh yes she would tell Kenneth, eventually, he was her link to all that occurred in the realm, and vice versa ...

"Aye, a good night to you Charlie, you help make the night enjoyable." Mirror images looking her way, with a wave he was off, pulling up the hood of his cloak as he went.

"Night," came the trill of laughter, few would believe her in a dress, and Kenneth well poor man would just grin as always ...



Date: 11-22-10
Poster: Athalia Edan
Post # 15

The day that followed the harvest dinner celebration was bright and sunny though cold.  They had more friends there than expected and Madame Kennard had been delighted to move everything into the back room of her shop.  There was plenty of food and even with what was left over shared, there was some to take to give to a poor family that Alain knew of.  

Lia went to class and came home to find Ger and Alain there.  They had cleaned the apartment  and the back room of the bakery and were relaxing with wine.  Alain liked to cook and had Ratatouille on the stove, ready to eat once Lia arrived. Another of Ger's friends arrived after dinner was over.  Lia did the dishes as the men talked about an incident that had happened between a soldier and several students.  It had not turned out well for the soldier and there was talk that the schools in the city were to be closed for a few days until it was learned what school they had come from.  Ger wouldn't admit it to Lia but he was worried and she could tell as she glanced at him.  "Since tomorrow is Saturday, there are no classes.  If things are still uneasy, I will walk Lia and my sister home when your classes run late."

"Or we will walk in a group. They cannot blame a group of young women for trouble, can they?"  She put away the last of the dishes and hung the cloth to dry before turning to face the three.

"They may not allow more than three to be together, Lia."  Ger smiled though as he looked over his shoulder at her.

"Yes, and may close the shops were we gather." Alain frowned slightly then smiled at Lia. "Besides, don't you want the opportunity to walk with me Cherie?"   Ger leaned over and swatted  Alain upside the head, making both friends laugh.

"Quit flirting with my baby sister."  He warned good-naturedly then grinned when Lia kissed his cheek. "I am going to go write to the family.  Shall I say hello for them or will you write?"

"Tomorrow, Lia, when I wake. "  Ger did write nearly as much as Lia though he never said he was homesick. 

"Good night, Ger.  Good night Alain, Emile.  Rest well when you finally stagger off to your beds."  More than likely both would still be at the apartment come morning, one on the couch and one on the floor.  She closed her door, laughing she saw the black and white cat belonging to the Kennard family laying on the floor in front of the small fireplace.  "When did you sneak in, fiend?"  The cat purred, closing her eyes as Lia lit her lantern after closing the curtains.  She wrote a two page letter, promising herself to post it in the morning.  Then she opened her journal.


Dear Journal,

The dinner was a grand success and became much larger than expected.  November is always so dreary and I think our event was a bright spot.  We even had enough food left over to give to some of the poorer folks.  Everyone brought something, even if it was something simple.  We cleaned up some, then Ger and Alain promised to do the rest.  They only had one class today and had done as promised when I came home.  Ger said something to me that surprised me but I took note.    He told me that he thought Alain, Marcelle's brother and another of his friends seemed to be competing for my attention.  I was surprised to find it seemed that way   After everyone had gone, Alain asked me to go for a walk with him.  Marcelle didn't seem happy at first because that meant she had to walk home with her younger brother but she was fine today.

Alain and I just talked and didn't stay out too long.  Night was falling and it was growing cold.  He is very handsome with curly brown hair and chocolate brown eyes.  He laughs easily and makes everyone around him laugh as well.  I know that many of the lasses in school swoon over him but he is a friend and nothing else.   I did not tell Ger about another young man who has asked me to walk with him and once to lunch, though he'll learn soon enough I'm sure.  Chrestien d'Laffeche is descended from an ancient family.  They own an estate outside of Paris and another in Marseille that overlooks the sea but when Chrestien talks about them or his family, he does so casually, and not in a boastful way.  He's studying to be a doctor and laughs when I tease him about teaching me.   His hair is thick and black and his eyes green and like Alain, he is a dear friend.  There are several other boys also and I think I frustrate them with my determination to not be like some of the French girls.   They don't get insulted though, and always refuse to take back their gifts. I finally gave up trying to get them to.

I suppose it's flattering but mostly, it's sad and funny at the same time.  I'm grateful that we were raised differently.  They take the art of chivalrous love almost to extremes, even the young ones.  They write poetry and sing and, well, I'm glad most of them are level headed. 

Ger just tapped on the door and said they are going to the Taverne Beauchamp and asked if I want to go along.  So, it's time to close and go have a little fun.    Good night, journal, until again.



Date: 11-24-10
Poster: Shaun Shawnesey
Post # 16

Teens: Northern Tavern Adventure
(Medieval Tavern - Continued from Thistle Tavern posts 9-10)


"They have stuff there," including to drink but if Tykir could get a bottle of potcheen, the more power to him. Rory grabbed a bottle too before running out the door and off with the rest of them.

The ride was longer than he would have thought it, but they pressed on with a good pace until their destination was in view. To think their parents, uncles, cousins, siblings made this trip quite regularly added a bit more respect to their histories. Tykir had only been able to beg two bottles from Alex, and a firm word to mind himself and the ladies in their company. So be it. Of course!

Charlie let the young ones pick the pace, Ears could travel at several speeds when he was of a mind too, with a braying protest every once in a while ...

Remember those things, he'd been practicing? Had them go through a decent rift to get them there quicker. Knowing they probably would not know the difference. "Place does look run down," reining in the stallion he rode as feet hit solid ground in his descend. So deserted one could hear that light thud.

"True but the magic will come back ... " she mused, as she dismounted from Ears, who didn't mind that he was going to be outside ..

She had gone to the kitchen and asked, or begged, a bucket and some rags from Hazel, so her horse had to put up with the bucket tapping against her side. "Looks like you couldn't see through the windows if you tried." Too cold to wash the outside though.

Tykir slid from his mount's back, looking at the poor state of the place and the darkened windows that could use a good scrubbing. "Well, standing here looking at it won't get anything done." He shrugged, tucked the bottles under an arm and started up the porch.

Shaun was already up the steps to open up the door and light a few lanterns. Place was dark and dirty. He gave a low whistle as he headed in. "So this is where me Ma tended the bar and table with another woman." Of whose name was either never mentioned or he forgot.

"Not many look out as much as in," she chuckles ..moving up the stairs ..

The porch was the worse, "I hear most of those future ones stayed out here and some Bessie took care of that converted window." Which he was eyeing then shook his head, "why would they want to come back in time to hang out here?" Didn't seem logical to him. He followed Shaun in and was soon lighting candles on the tables and scones along the wall. One could see all the debris and dust combined now.

Tykir kept his wings tucked tight to his back, pausing to pick up a chair, scoot a table out of the way. He moved to the bar and placed the bottles there then moved behind. He tried the water pipes which thunked and groaned, then spit and finally ran with clear water. At least the water was good.  "Hey, Molly, bring that stuff over here." He squatted to look in the cabinets beneath the sink, just to see if anything was left to clean with under there.

"It was a novel experience, to shock the locals," she mused, moving to the stool. Planting her self comfortably ...

"Could they see in either?" She grinned as she followed Charlie up the steps, pausing to look at the porch. "That'll be warm weather work I think." And she headed on it, stopping in the middle of the room. "Bet there's some big spiders in here." And then she headed for Tykir with the bucket and rags.  "Maybe they got bored with future life?"

He was in and helping to at least straightened up chairs and tables until he found a utility closet and got out a broom and waste basket to dump that which he swept up in.

"Most of the spiders are under the porch, they keep unwanted things out .." she mused, recalling the voices that use to rise up and shock people ...  "Some did, others like the simplistic ways ..." she agreed, noting that the hearth had logs just needed to be swept out of mice debris...

Tykir snapped a look Charlie's way. "Are you serious?" He smiled to Molly, reaching to take the bucket from her so he could fill it with water.

"Must be a terrible future we're headed into if everyone wants to go back in time." He didn't want to contemplate it as he gave Molly a dazzling smile with those dimples. He headed for the back where he'd been the other night. Room back there with a stash of liquors and buckets to clean. Coming back in he headed for the front windows to clean them all with a good soapy solution. Water ran black from them.

A nod to Rory, "different yes, some good, not all bad, but this time, allowed men and women to be more themselves." She had matured here, hell she had been here so long another generation planned their futures here ....

The bucket Tykir filled he carried around to the table areas. Molly could start there if she wanted. He moved back around the bar and stuffed a rag in the drain hole, filling up the sink with soapy water. It was the bar counter he started scrubbing down. The wood beneath the layer of neglect still held a deep shine, though it would take more than soapy water to bring out the best of it.

"You might be able to talk Bess into tending and keeping it up again, ..I imagine she could use the work," though by far older then Charlie herself ...

She smiled at Tykir and then Rory before she started on those tables. "We should bring a heavy mop and tung oil next time we come."  They could polish all the wood in the tavern. She'd swear the dust was two inches thick on them.

Shedding the bear skin cloak, Charlie headed to the hearth, taking the whisk broom, starting to sweep the debris into the center, would make a good tender, her leathers creaked as they cooled, a fire would be nice to warm them all up.

"Maybe it needs someone new?" Stuff heard around on Bess was not all that favorable and maybe in the long run it had something to do with it. "Someone like me Ma." It had prospered under Maggie O'Brian.

He rubbed and rinsed and rubbed some more until he reached the bottles. A break was warranted and he saw the bottles opened. Little good that would do them though. He went in search of glasses which he found easily enough. He emptied his water, refilled the sink with clean soap water and washed up enough for them to use. These found a place on the clean part of the bar and he poured their drinks. Just like adults.

"That is possible, just have to find the right person able to keep up, and not go deaf when the future appears .." Or the odd ball Drow and elves ... there were a lot of strange visitors to the tavern over the years ..

He was helping gather up garbage and sweeping where he could. Extra brooms were gotten as well sponges and buckets.

She found it amusing that they wanted to create their own adventures where their parents had been, if she closed her eyes, she could almost hear Ice, and Joe, or even Jon, calling her to join them, knowing that she was full of mischief. She could even imagine Kenneth, for she had met him there, at a table, and fell hard for the gypsy many years it had been she lost count...

Once the insides of the windows were done, and squeegee clean, he went outside to do the outsides, where he could lavish even more soapy water as it dripped down on the porch which didn't matter. He was tall so could reach the tops easily.

They were going to need drinks to clear the dust out of their throats. She lugged the bucket over to the slop sink and dumped it out then went over to the bar to join Tykir. "I'm glad we came here." Even Lorcan and Dorian had their tales to share. "Drinks!" Calling out and she grinned at Josh. "The tables are really dirty, aren't they?"

He was over to help Molly out as it seems the tables needed extra scrubbing and he found some steel wool woven pads to use on the grime. Or maybe not, as she left. He finished up one of the tables then headed for the bar for a drink too. "Aye, near as dirty after a full rainy day with the cattle." He was into a lean as the cleaning equipment was left where no one would trip over it.

Drawing a flint stone from her boot top, she struck the bar to spark into the mousie tinder, creating a puff of smoke, and a flame that was quick to burn, hopefully enough to start the logs..

"Come on over here." He called to the room, passing his hand over the glass of potcheen and then picking up one of his own. "To making our own footsteps even as we follow in the ones of our parents." He lifted his glass in a toast to the past.

She didn't have parents anymore but she had family that had come here so she lifted her glass to the toast.

He lifted his glass to that, he especially had ties to the footprints of his parents to this place! "Here, here!"

The tinder in the hearth caught, though it would be a bit before the logs caught the flame, but it would do, they were making progress. Moving back to the bar, to collect a glass of drink like the others, "to the future may it be as grand as the past," she chuckled, in agreement...

"Aye," and he kicked back his drink with the others.

She was going to be very careful as she took a drink of the potent brew. It still made her choke and her eyes water. "Owwww," croaked out with a laugh.

Tykir grinned to Charlie with a nod, then sealed the toast by drinking down the whiskey. Which, God help him, he was unprepared for in such a large swallow! He cleared his throat, and cleared it again, his eyes watering and burning as well.

Charlie tossed back the drink with ease, but then hard cider had a lot of kick, and this well .. she cleared her throat and grinned, "Damn fine stuff ..don't drink too much .." she warned the others certain that they would develop the same tolerance of their parents ...

Luckily he had it before but he took his time. They would work off any effects more than likely. It felt good cleaning up the place he realized as he took up a lean and contemplated the deed and the place. He was trying to picture their respective families here over time.

Tykir sure wasn't going to be needing that fire. He was burning from the inside out and it provided that umph to get some more work done!

"And now my young friends, I promised Kenneth that I would not be late tonight, so I must leave you for now .." she drew on her cloak again, savoring the instant warmth. "I shall look out for you all when I am about, so that none truly alone here," knowing that a few old timers would get pissy ..and well Charlie had not been in a pissing contest in a long time, she could sharpen her teeth again on a few ...

"It was good seeing you again Charlie, say hello to Uncle Ken for me." Which had a grin surface before he was over to give her a hug.

She hugged him tightly, "I will tell him," eventually, heaven only knew what she planned for the resting gypsy, and with time off, well he would need work again to rest fully, but that was the way of his life, and he still smiled ..

"See you again Charlie," as she said, she was like a bad penny that kept turning up but he'd revise the bad part.

He watched as one of the patrons began to depart...though he was silent.

"Adieu .. my friends ..I will be back," probably with a parent or worse ...never knew about what she would do ...making her way to the door ...


"Goodnight..." smiling her way as Charlie took her leave and he took another drink.



Date: 11-24-10
Poster: Shaun Shawnesey
Post # 17

"Night, Charlie." Her voice was still creaky which made her giggle. Best not to drink more, so she refilled the bucket and was back over to scrub again. "We'll make this place shine."

Never fear, any with Charlie would be recounting their old times together, and the stories that would fly then, would burn innocent ears. It was told, of her leaving, Ears brayed as he trotted off for the vardo ...and the unsuspecting gypsy ...


"So, Shaun, your mother ran this place you said?" Tykir watched as Charlie left, then pulled his attention to the member of their crew that seemed to have the deepest connections to this place.

Hopefully Ears didn't bray like that when they reached the vardo, or Charlie's surprise would be undone!

Distracted a moment then a blink back to Tykir. "Yes. She was a tender here along with another woman. They tended the place for a couple years. Well, me Da came along, quiet type and I guess me Ma liked the way about him. She was very popular and many trying to catch her eye but it was me Da she only had eyes for. It was said many watched the growing, rocky road, romance."

Molly set the good example, so the Winged Prince finished off another swallow, slower this time, then set back to work himself rubbing down the bar.

"I don't know if me Ma was ever here," more mussing on that as he knew his father had been. Of course his father had been here before he met Danielle Douglas.

Scrub, scrub, reach, scrub. "Wonder how long it lasted without her..." He almost spoke the words to himself, but since there were just the few of them, and the building empty, they probably all heard. "Well, we can bet they never did what we're doing here." His wiping slowed. "Except, maybe your mom, Shaun." Then he started at it hard core again.

He stood back up, unlocking his eyes on the woman. He shrugged to himself and stuck his hands in his pockets. "Okay...I suppose no one enjoys speaking to strangers around here" He narrows his eyes slightly.

Dang! There was a voice from the shadows! Tykir hadn't even realized there was anyone else there! "Might as well join us ... " And he used the man's own words. "Stranger."


"Had to last some cause my brother came here." And when she heard a strange voice, she let out a squeak and peeked to see who it was.

"Not much of a set up, to be sure. But there's whiskey up here...and clean glasses." Eventually there may be a charge for the drinks in this place, but for now, the teens had managed to get these two bottles and were making the best of them. No charge! Take advantage!

He looks to these people cleaning and hearing the offer for a drink he couldn't resist "What do you guys have?" He smiled lightly.

"There is whiskey, wines, potcheen and some liquors. There is no ale on tap for I'm sure whatever was on tap has long gone flat."

Tykir stopped his wiping and set the rag aside. "Anything we could find, plus these two bottles of good whiskey. Might want to start here." He tapped the whiskey bottle closest to him with the offer. "Feel free to rummage about for anything you might prefer though." Who were they to prevent anyone from looking around? He wiped the back of his hand to his brow and set to work again.

Kiaan nodded, "Thanks, man" He walked to the whiskey and picked the bottle up gazing at it with a grin. However he glanced back down to Tykir.

"You might want to wipe the bottles clean too." Wouldn't do to pick up a bottle and drink and find out it was rat poison or something else nasty. "Did they ever have a cat here?" She was listening to scurrying sounds in the shadows.

Shaun paused in sweeping up a good size pile of debris to dump in a waste basket. "Evening," giving a slight uplift of his chin the stranger's way before he was back to his chore.

Tykir nodded to the clean glasses just beside it.

"What are you guys doing here anyway?" He opened the bottle and poured a bit into a glass that he had just cleaned.

Tykir chuckled, pausing to look at the others. "Cleaning." Wasn't it obvious? He knew what the man meant, but it was more fun to answer that way.

"That's a long story. See most of our parents use to hang out here and there are tales from those days of this place long ago. We heard it was abandoned so we came to clean it up."

"Yea." What Josh said. "Cause maybe we could make some history of our own here too, you know?" The Winged Prince went back to cleaning.

She sneezed and wiped under her nose, leaving a smudge of a dirt so it looked like she had a mustache. And kept on cleaning.

Kiaan raised a brow and looked towards Tykir. "You are quite a funny one...aren't you. How precious."  That instant he looked to Josh and nodded. "That makes more sense. Thanks. However, if needed I could help,"  he blushed. "Though I don't really know what needs to be done."

Rory was over with a clean handkerchief, with an embroidered M on the corner. "Here, use this." At least it was clean and she'd not get any infection.

Who would have ever thought these particular teens would be spending their evening in this way? "Tell you what. There's clean water in that sink there. If you'd like to start on some more glasses."

"Yeah sure. I suppose I could handle that," he takes the handkerchief from Rory and heads over to the sink.

Tykir laughed under his breath. So much for Molly wiping her nose.

Well, that was suppose to be for Molly after she sneezed but .. he had another, in fact he had three but that was it. He whipped out another in offer to Molly, "here you go."

"Well I'm sure this will be fun." He began to work as he thought to himself...This wasn't the night he had expected, but at least he was around people.

He slipped a guarded look her way, smiling to himself still, then with a shake of head he was back to trying to let the shine of the old counter top through.

"For what?" She looked up, and up and up at Rory and took the second handkerchief. " I didn't get anything on my hands, honest." Said with an impish look. She was trying not to giggle at what had happened.

Josh was snickering as he dragged the filled waste basket to the kitchen and then they heard the yell.. "HOLY HELL!" Place was infested with mice as they scurried with someone coming in. He went straight outside and caught up a few the ally cats and threw them inside. They would make short work of the mice.

"I'm Tykir." He offered to the man who shared the space behind the bar with him. "My friends, Josh, Molly, Rory and Shaun." And fun it was so far. "Just think, you can boast at having helped the MT get back in shape....on down the ro..." He heard Josh shout and stopped mid comment.

Unless they met up with those big ol' sewer rats! Then the cats will run!

He wavered a finger, "there, right there on your nose. You've been marked by the tavern dirt." Brows shot up as he heard Josh and was over to see what caused the commotion.

"You okay in there, McDonough?" He started in that direction, tossing the rag once more to the counter.

Kiaan looked back to Tykir. "It's a pleasure...though I'm sure I would never boast about something like this." He heard the yell and stopped as well..  He watched the two men interact. "Is this what you people do for fun around here?"

"Euw." She wiped under her nose, eyes going wide when she heard Josh and waited for his answer.

"Looks like all in order," as much as one could do about the rats. The lean in to see was taken back as he turned. "Well, all depends. This is the first time doing something like this. Certainly is different."

Tykir looked back to the stranger who hadn't offered his name when the others were introduced. "And, actually, we're not from around here."

He was finally back in and trying to keep one of the cats from escaping into the main part of the tavern, "you stay in there and have a feast with your buddies," nudging the cat back as he maneuvered the empty waste basket before him and slipped back through the door. "Aye, I'm fine. I suggest not going into the kitchen though I've set up a perimeter of cats to offset the mice."

Looking to the two men, he smirked slightly. "I can understand you never doing something like this before." As he hears the comment from Tykir he raises a brow. "Oh? and where might you be from?"

Tykir offered Josh a salute of understanding, then looked to the stranger. "Not from around here." Grin. Raise of his own brow. Cocky teenager. Yes. But good hearted all in all. "A good ways South of here. From where do you hail, Stranger?" And he used the title stranger since the man had yet to offer a name for them.

"Maybe we can get a mage to clean the kitchen." Yeck! Face clean, she set back to work as she listened. And flashed Tykir a quick grin.

Faint wink for a quick grin. How was that trade? Worked for Tykir.

Kiaan peered out through his half veiled face at Tykir. "Well, Tykir, I'm from numerous places. None of which you are fimilar I'm sure," he returns a grin to him and continues washing away.

"Doesn't mean I never will be though." He tapped the wood on the counter next to the sink then turned to start back on the bar. He moved all the way down to where he had left off and nodded with appreciation for what had been accomplished already.

That worked for her too. Oh, stars and stones. "Do you have a name or should we call you hey you?"

He stopped and looks toward Molly with a slight manic smile. "Well, my dear, you may call me whatever you like, however, I am known as Kiaan...Kiaan Shinsumaru."  Kiaan glances down though continues to smile slightly.

If he hadn't answered just then, Josh was going to suggest calling the one Mr Clean. "Well met Kiaan."

He was amicable enough to let her call him whatever she wanted. Tykir tucked the name away for future use.

"Hey'ho Kiaan, nice to meet you." He was back to cleaning another table as he noticed how dark it was outside, "hey, you can actually see outside thanks to Rory."

Time for another drink to Tykir's way of thinking. He walked back up alongside the bar and retrieved his glass. For a minute he watched the others work.



Date: 11-24-10
Poster: Shaun Shawnesey
Post # 18

Kiaan sighed lightly as he looked around at the others. He wondered to himself if he was the only one bored out of his mind. Sure there was alcohol but that would only last so long. "So...besides clean, what do you guys do for fun around here?" He assumed that they traveled quiet a bit from the previous statement made by Tykir.

They were an industrious lot this night as he paused in his cleaning. "What kind of fun are you use to Kiaan?" That would measure where he was coming from.

"Kiaan." She just nodded politely then went back to work. She blinked and looked up. "Don't know what's here to be honest." She wasn't going to repeat they weren't from here.

Slowly his gaze lifted to the rafters, thick with cob webs. He strode over to collect one of the abandoned brooms. Indeed, tonight was about bringing memories back into existence. He moved away from the bar and toward the wall, freeing his wings slowly from behind his back. A downward motion of dark feathers lifted him from the floor upward, a puff of floor dust in his wake. Two more of those had him on the rafters with a "Sorry." for the dirt disruption and he set to work on the cobs up there. "And we venture to deserted islands, battling monstrous birds. Explore castle dungeons. And ...  on nights like tonight, clean up and restore...whoah..." He teetered on that wooden rafter but caught his balance, "old taverns."


"Oh nothing in particular" He grinned widely. "I'm just looking for new experiences, and new people...for somewhat of a new start, if you follow me."

"I'm usually rustling cattle, driving herds, branding calves when not mending fences and riding broncos."  Giving a nod to that, " I whittle in my spare time and tonight, well this one has me here helping me friends with this chore."

He glanced at Molly hearing her vague yet telling statement. "I see," once Josh spoke he turned his attention to him, listening attentively.

"Hey, you just dispersed my pile!" Chiding Tykir but he had to laugh before he was sweeping it back up. "Soon there will be none to send flying about..."

Kiaan stared at Tykir in astonishment. "Well, then my assumption was correct...You do travel quiet often." He grinned. "We all are some what alike in that aspect I suppose."

He walked a balancing act along the aged wood, sweeping the ceiling and along the beams.

She watched as Tykir lifted into the air. "That be a great way to travel." Under her breath and then she squeaked, laughing and covering her head. "Dust attack!"  Sneeze!

"Aye, I was one of the ones that went to Ashford Island for the Halloween excursion." Glancing at Tykir as he brought up about deserted islands.

Yes, unfortunately, dust and all manner of debris was filtering down upon the cleaning crew below. Tykir wasn't used to cleaning. He had no clue what was happening beneath him for his best efforts above.

Kiaan glanced up with the same manic smile on his face. That instant he stooped down as if gaining strength. Instantly, Kia bolts onto the same beam with Tykir, landing directly in front of him. "I don't like to speak to people that I cannot be eye level with, Tykir." He put one foot out balancing on the rafter. "However, it is a lot more fun up here."

Which reminded him of stuff he heard.... except the other fellow was leaping into the rafters with Tykir. Interesting.

Crap! Now Tykir wasn't expecting that! The broom shot up in the air, one leg lifted to keep from falling and he swatted at the air in an attempt to grab one of those beams to keep from falling from his present perch. Wings flapped a couple of times to keep his place as well. And finally, all was righted without that possible plummet below. "Dang, Man..." Was all he said, shaking his head and looking down to his friends. This was only a tavern, true, but the distance from floor to rafters could bring about a need to explain what he was doing in Rhydin when he should be in Heathfield.

She was darting over to the side, swiping dust and debris from her hair and half laughing. "I look like a dust bunny."

"Rina sure has gotten all grown up and very pretty." The one having wings like her brother. He had stopped and gone over for another drink.

"My apologizes...I did not intend to startle you. Though I've never had much tact in that aspect." Kiaan still had one foot out in front of him..  Balancing about. "Please...let's hear more about your little adventures."

A half-crooked grin followed for the man, and Tykir tucked wings, lowering to sit on the beam he stood on. "Yea, she thinks so too." Tykir teased about his sister, allowing his feet to swing for a moment. He glanced back up at one-foot-balancing man. "No need to apologize, just caught me off guard." Then he was looking back down to Josh. "Did you see the bird that attacked her?"

Which he squinted an eye with a glance up to Tykir, "are you saying she is conceited?" He wouldn't know about that but better warned in case he got any ideas in his head.

Oh holy hiccups no! That's all Rina would need to hear, Tykir called her conceited! "No, I'm saying she thinks she's all grown up." No way did Tykir think that about himself. He WAS all grown up! Enough.

Kiaan rolled his eyes as he listened to this conversation. "You people fascinate me...really." He grin and laugh lightly as he finally put his one leg down and sat in front of were Tykir was.

She dusted herself off then after all that headed to the bar for a drink too and poured out what was in there because it was dusty too. The glass was cleaned out and then refilled. "Where is Rina?" She really wanted to meet her.

He'd seen her in the mirror too, checking her hair, her teeth, her smile. Didn't all females do that though?

Well, maybe a little.

"Ah, well that's a horse of a different color then." Which had him grin, good thing Tykir cleared that up or he'd have his sister pounding on him.

Great, thanks Molly! Now he had to say ... "Kildare." Talk about adventure! Oh, and he had received many a pounding from his older sister until he got to where he could fly just a little faster than her and get away!  Because, we all know, he never, ever, EVER deserved any of the retaliation Rina set upon him!

Or he got taller than her. Molly cut a glance toward Josh and hid her smile then she took another very careful drink of potcheen. And found her reaction a little less severe!

He was watching, noticing, how much attention Molly paid on one more than any of them. Windows were all done, he did windows! Whiskey was in order as he was back over to the bar to pour himself a glass. One that was kicked back. It was getting late, probably time for him to head back at least.

Probably time for them all to start back, considering the distance to be covered and what would be expected from them come the morning. Still, they had made a fair dent in the place, almost service worthy.

She'd really like to meet Tykir's sister but that would have to wait. "Oh," was all she said before she emptied the bucket again, then, yes, looked in the mirror to see what damage was done. She did look a mite dusty, but she'd clean up good at home.

Kiaan finally hopped down from the rafters, he yawned as he paced back in forth between each person.

Tykir eased from the rafters next after Kiaan, his wings spreading to gentle the landing. He fought a yawn, but lost, covering the action with the back of his hand. They still had a long way to go to equal the stamina of their parents and family members that used to frequent this place. Well, maybe not all of them, Rory had a dang good start!

He looked to Tykir. "You tired, Kid?" Kiaan grinned and stretched lightly.

"I'll meet you back south!" Taking one last drink before he was heading out. "See you soon for the excursions," which another had been mentioned and who knew where that would lead from there.

Tykir chuckled, shrugging a shoulder. "Just needed more oxygen is all." Bullshit!

With a wave he was out the door and mounting up the horse he rode and on his way moments later.

"You're not waiting for the rest of us?" She blinked in surprise as Rory left. "Well ...   guess not."

Rory was too quick to suggest they all travel back together again, so he looked at the others. "We can follow..." Then he glanced to Kiaan. "It was a pleasure, thanks for the help, Friend." From Stranger to Friend, at least, for now and until any circumstances changed that.

Kiaan lifted a brow and watch as this man left. "I suppose he was in a hurry." He shrugged and smiled lightly with a hand on the back of his head. "Well does that mean the rest of you are off as well?"

"Yes, unfortunately...lack of oxygen and all." Grin. "But we have a good amount of riding back home. But we'll return. Maybe we'll see you here again."

Rory left kind of quick but it was pretty late as that fact became noticed. "Aye, nice meeting you Kiaan. Have a good life if I never see you again." Grin. That happened a lot.

"That is a possibility." Kiaan grinned widely and bowed slightly. "It was a pleasure."

He was tempted to tell his parents where he'd been. For them it was a good reminder. He'd become lost in cleaning and his mind wandering easier with the mindless task but the place really looked near 100%, although that was stretching it for work that would still need to be done in comparison. More how it had been when they first arrived.

"I'm all about possibilities. If you're staying, we'll leave the lanterns lit...if not, blow them out when you go if you would." He touched his forefinger and middle finger to the edge of his eyebrow in a salute of sorts to Kiaan. And as farewell as he motioned for Molly that they should leave.

"Good night, Kiaan and well met." She picked up the bucket and frowned slightly. "Should I take this back to Hazel?" Would the cook want it back?

"Later." He laughed a bit and took a seat on the floor.

"Fair well Kiaan." Saluting him as he collected anything they had bought with them.

"Yes, better bring it back, never know." And he sure didn't want Hazel upset with him for not returning the supplies she provided.

"All right. We'll get tung oil and polish for silver next time and polish everything we can." She shook out her cloak before pulling it back on.

He continued to the door, holding it for his friends and looking back in to Kiaan seated on the floor. "Almost clean enough to sleep on." He called with a wave, then when the others stepped out, he followed behind, allowing the door to close.

He was out, carrying anything else that they had brought and packed on the horses as before. Once done, he was swinging up into the saddle then on his way.

"How does it feel to be here, where your parents met, Shaun?" Curious, yes. And on out she went, figuring he could answer outside.

Kiaan watched them out and smiled as he finally laid on the floor closing his eyes.

"It was enlightening, has me wondering to see those days." Which was spoken as he slipped outside with the rest and packed his horse for the ride back. Next they were all on their way back.


Date: 11-26-10
Poster: Maurice McDonough
Post # 19

A Stop at the Old Haunt
(Medieval Tavern)


Since there was no one to tend the bar, it was a help yourself of anything left. Most likely there would be some as the last woman tender didn't drink that he knew of, just served and didn't always serve everyone. A far cry from the amicable and pretty Maggie that once reign here. Someone had been here, that became clear as he got closer to the bar and the wood actually had a polished sheen. There was not the debris around that accumulated while the former tender manned the bar; Maurice had heard, word got up the line to Gavin's Bay. He was wondering where his partner had holed himself up after a few lucrative deals that were high intensity with the coast patrol trying to track some of it down. They were even more corrupt than the black market. Around to the bar side a bottle of Tullamore Dew was found and that sat well with him as it was set to the bartop.

Patrick's trek back to the MT was hindered somewhat by those who stopped him to talk. A casual conversation provided, short and sweet, and the man continued on to the tavern and stopped in the doorway. Door held open with one hand and a sweep of the place with his gaze before he continued in. "Quite the sight." He grinned, continuing in and allowing the door to close behind him.

Ice blue eyes held that flash as they lifted and a grin to follow tucked within the thick russet beard. "Well, hell, look what the docks spit out. I've been wondering what happened to you but figured you were holed up somewhere comfortably." Not adding how busy he'd been with the cattle ranch to get up this way until now.

"At my age, Old Friend, comfort is as rare as an untouched breast...but just as enticing when it can be found." He crossed to the bar. "Place could use a bit of work. Though it looks as if someone has tried."

He reached for two tumblers that were brought down from the shelf above and inspected to be sure they were clean. Seemed someone also cleaned the glassware. "Aye, seems the way of it." A slight shake of his head with a quick glance around. "Needs some TLC like you and I both," as the tavern was just as aged. He poured the tumblers full and set the bottle aside. "To the days gone by and the days yet to come." Kicking his back straight after the toast.

Any reason to drink was a good reason. That toast would do for now. Patrick accepted the glass and followed suit, tipping back the drink and swallowing the contents down. He growled out a sound as the heat slid down his throat. The glass found counter and he adopted a lean, ledge against side, as he looked over the deserted tavern.

A chuckle rumbled under his breath hearing that growled out sound from his friend and partner. "Been too long and there are pearls to be snatched up now that the heat if off." A habitual glance about but there was no one else here but them and voice lowered habitually as well. "There is always the leisurely pleasure at Gulliver's Travels." Where they had a basement hideaway for the goods and a tunnel that connected to the waterways from the city out into the ocean.

"Ah, there is always leisurely pleasure in many places." Patrick shifted to reach for the bottle and refill his glass. Maitland wasn't as successful at his chosen profession by not having many ins and outs in Rhydin and the surrounding areas. Like a fox, if there was a way in, there was a least another way if not two or three to escape. "How goes things for you, Ice?" Patrick noted the rafters were cleared of dust-layered webs, the floors had been swept up, the tables and chairs righted as well as cleaned. Yes. Someone had put some initial effort cleaning up in here.

"Aye, we've both been known to find it just about anywhere." Which had him laugh outright. They made their own way out of situations too at times. "Got the ranch all settled in for the winter, grains stocked, calves branded, the tavern all squared away that if I can't be around for awhile they will do fine but I've a feeling there will be some business coming in that you'll be interested in too." Topping off their glasses again. "How about yourself? It's been a number of months."

The thief was passing by in one of her many routes through the city, from one place to another, when she caught sight of something that greatly surprised her. Smoke, rising from a chimney that had long been without that signal of life, drew her up in her stealthy passage through an alley. Amethysts narrowed and then widened, a grin forming on heart-shaped lips right after, and then she was heading that way.

"The months all seem to blend anymore. I've no need to fuss over them, and they tend to pass whether I do or not." He thanked Maurice for adding to his glass with a nod of gratitude. His interest was piqued with Ice's mention of business. "I'd be interested in hearing what I'd be interested in."


She paused out in the common area before the tavern, eyeing it up and down, and taking note of any movement outside the place. Nothing seemed untoward. Paranoid elfess, surely, as she wondered for a moment if this was a trap set to catch her in an unguarded moment, but then she realized that was just a wee bit too paranoid even for her. Laughing softly at herself, she ventured to tread the distance to the steps, and then up and over them to cross the porch and then inside. Pausing for a moment to peer around, and let her eyes adjust from outside lighting to inside, she breathed in the air of a place long thought to be closed down.

A waft of air entered with the woman, filling the tavern with freshness instead of staleness for just a moment and drew Maitland's gaze. "Not much of the place left, Lass. But you're as welcome to a drink as we have been. I do believe we're forced to serve ourselves." A shrug of shoulders rearranged the heavy cloak he had donned early this morning when the frost still glistened on the persistent blades of grass. While there was still a nip to the air outside, inside the tavern there wasn't as much need for so heavy a garment.

"A load of weapons, hear they are of the finest make out of China this particular shipment." Ice blue eyes shifted with that residue of a flash for their hue. Someone coming in had him grin. "Well hello there Missy. If you partake of whiskey, got a bottle and a glass." Which was his way of welcoming and invitation to join them.

The scent that came in with her was an odd combination, perhaps. Lilac, honey, elven spice, and then as firm undertones, gunpowder and steel. Short and finely built, she was in leathers, though of the thick, blade-turning sort, but no cloak, as she found that tended to get caught on protrusions at the very worst of times. Fur-lining made such things less necessary, though she was quite chilled. The elfess studied the two males at their various greetings, a polite smile tilting her lips in return. The brief mention of weapons and shipments was interesting, though she made no show of that. Finally she moved, with a grace that bespoke her heritage and skills. She drifted over to them, and eyed the bottle, before eyeing them further. "That sounds good, gentlemen, though I must be saying that if there be any grabbiness, there will soon be following stabbiness." A little grin set the tone of those words.

A rumble of a chuckle answered her threat as one hand lifted in surrender as the other held his glass on the counter. "Sounds fair enough..." He dipped his head, tilting his glass as he looked into it. "For now."

Maurice looked more like a lumberjack this day. Clothed in a quilted vest over a plaid flannel shirt. Pants well made of wool and boots lacing up to below the knee. A sword sheathed at his left hip was rarely ever needed. He was a big man, as big as the man he conversed with. They seemed cut from the same piece of cloth, however different in color of hair and eyes. Ice had been one of those bright red headed lads when young that grew into the deep russet brown as he matured along with a six foot seven frame. Her statement had him laughing as he filled a tumbler for her and slid down the short distance needed. "That might entice some put like that.." giving a flash of a wink before adding introductions. "I am Maurice and this is my partner and friend, Patrick."

The little elf had her own small arsenal about her person, the arming sword between her shoulder blades showing its hilt poised above her left shoulder, and two long daggers graced her thighs. More weapons were upon her person, but cleverly hidden and disguised, the throwing daggers blended into the seams of her leathers. She did a little double take at Patrick for his "for now" comment, a startled flash in amethyst eyes, there. But then she looked over at the other, and nodded to his introductions. "I am Gem." Nothing more, no title, no last name. "Pleasure to meet you both." Taking up the whiskey, she took a swallow, a little shudder following, and then a smile as the heat of it blossomed in her belly after she swallowed. "Mmm. Thank you. I don't believe in false advertising." That for his comment about enticing. "Seems only fair to set the rules from the start, you know?"

Patrick didn't continue with the conversation begun about shipments of oriental weapons. That could wait.

The weapons were not missed by a discerning eye that were not so much hidden but he also didn't feel threatened by the lass. Something about her. Weapons worn in defense which was smart on her part. "Nice to meet you Gem. Are you from around these parts?" They might find out through conversation they had a mutual friend too. "One needs rules to follow if they wish a productive life." Least he found rules to be so helpful.

The rather chaotic elf gave Maurice a little nose wrinkle, and then a chuckle. "Rules...some are fine. More? Not so much." Being a thief, naturally she felt that way about such things. "I have been about in this city for eight years, Maurice. Know a few here and there, aye. Yourself?" She took another little sip of the brew, and again shuddered as it went down.

The rim of the glass touched to Patrick's lips as he muttered. "Never was one much for rules." And then he drank, listening to the conversation more so than participating.

"Well, too many can stifle very quickly." He was known to break certain kind of rules. "So, I agree." He would top off their drinks too, should they want a bit more. Good way to warm up. "Aye, been coming here off and on for over ten years. Our paths have not crossed." Which give him a few moments to think of one many knew that he knew. "Two come to mind aside Patrick here, Patch and Charlie One Time being friends of mine."

Amethysts slid over to Patrick at his comment. There was something approaching approval there, though it was laced with wariness, as well. Those who felt that way generally tended to be more dangerous. At the words of Maurice her eyes darted back over to him with surprise clear to see in hers. "Charlie...Patch." Undeniable fondness in her voice, there. "I am honored to know the both of them."

"Charlie hangs out with a man that works for us, knows my brother Joe better. Kenneth. Patch came to our lands for a while helped out with the Zoo until he wandered on again." Patch was an odd bird in that way.

Dark brows lifted with was undeniably surprise. "You know Charlie, Lass?" A gaze swept over her for the first time, and since this was Patrick, it was slow and with a bit more interest. Head to toe then back up again. Since she continued with Maurice's chit-chat, he just smiled with a nod of approval. Charlie One Time didn't befriend any half-wits. Any weapons he may have noticed or not noticed in that perusal didn't warrant comment. But definitely did warrant some consideration.

That didn't surprise him as much, knowing Charlie and if anyone was known in these parts, it was her. Patrick's surprise amused him as he kicked back another dram of the whiskey. Wasn't potcheen but it was close. "I'm pleased to meet another that is friends with her."

There may have been a bit of rosy color that rose to her cheeks at that long look from Patrick. Mayhap it came from the heat of the whiskey, though. The elf seemed not to notice the look, though. "I had met Kenneth, but not  more than that. Back when we hung out at the Honky Tonk. Couple years and more back." A flicker of sadness for good times lost and more than that crossed her face. "Charlie is a darling lass, and gives one hell of a kiss." She chuckled and sipped more whiskey, letting them ponder that.

Which had the lift of russet brows, "this comes from personal experience?" If she claimed so, he'd had fodder for teasing Charlie next he saw her. "I've heard of the place but never been there myself. I see Charlie every so often, when she comes to the ranch, mostly my brother Joe's place. Last adventure ran to the tune of her bringing a whaling ship into the largest lake. Drew the curiosity of my brother Xander's twin sons, natives and they managed to scare the beejeebers out of her that night."

A ripple of a laugh, low and velvety, slipped from the elf at that bit of story. "I bet that was a fine time. Charlie does love to upset the apple cart, now and then. Many is the time she would sweep into the Tonk and deliver dips and kisses to any she was fond of, gender not taken into account, so yes..." laughing again, "it is from personal experience."

Since Patrick had been away from the lands and tales accessible while in Rhydin, he had nothing to add. He enjoyed the whiskey, the present topic, and the fact this once he didn't need to be intimately involved in what was underway. On occasion, his thoughts drifted to his storehouse, of the work waiting there, but it was easy enough to set his wandering mind to rights and listen once more to Maurice and Gem.


"Ah, yes, the Big Dipper," which was a nickname well earned for Charlie. "I will have to tell her about meeting you once I catch up with her. Between here, her mountain hide-a-way, our ranch, she is one busy and constantly moving lass. She's happy, which is good." That much he knew of Charlie and her gypsy. He planned to head back to said warehouses and discuss more in depth of the contraband he planned to confiscate. Later that is.

The elf studied both men briefly, at this point, one finger tapping on the edge of her glass in delicate rhythm. "Aye, that is one hardworking lass, and she and her man together seem very happy, for which I am glad. Can't think of many that deserve it more." A little pause came, then. "You were in a discussion of merchandise, I believe, when I came in. Am I keeping you from it?" Something like amusement danced in her eyes.



Date: 11-26-10
Poster: Maurice McDonough
Post # 20

Patrick had started to lower his glass to the counter, but it paused mid descent with her question. He slid a slow look Maurice's way, then back to Gem. "Well, of course you are, Lass. Had we wished to continue with it once you joined us, we would have. But here you are, and speaking of shipments doesn't seem as interesting as hearing more of you." Patrick had been on the streets long enough to recognize that she had as well. Anyone as adept at turning a conversation away from talk of themselves, knew a bit of the street and the need for secrecy. All the more intriguing.

"Not at all. It is something in the making and not quite present. There is plenty of time later as I finally caught up with Patrick. I'm enjoying the moment, friend and delightful company." Which had him chuckle hearing how Patrick put it. It also had him reflect how he use to be charming, flattering and certainly he'd become rusty as referring to her company as delightful, which it was, was short of how he once was.

Very definite approval shone in those amethysts at the return from Patrick. She gave a little nod of her head to him, and then flicked a look over to Maurice at his answer. She smiled at him, and then turned her gaze back to Patrick. "I applaud you answering in the affirmative, sir. I brought it up to give you the option of booting me from your midst in case it was what you would rather be doing." She had a pesky streak of kindness and consideration that seriously hampered her exploits into evil. Thus, she was not an evil thief. "Truly, if it needs to be discussed, I can be on my merry way." Nodding to them both, then.

"You seem to be a lass that knows how to defend herself," being she wore enough weapons he could see, which he gave a discreet nod to. "Do you travel the dock areas in these lands?" Which would account for them and their need.

Patrick 'scritched' at the back of his ear as she spoke, following her lips with her words. Hands off, aye, but didn't mean a man couldn't look and enjoy, now did it? He had started to answer her, to remark on the fact that if they needed to discuss matters of great importance they wouldn't be standing in this deserted tavern to do it, so her merriness could just remain with them for the while, if she'd not mind it overmuch. But ... Maurice plied her with another question so Maitland remained silent, just that half-grin, and the spark of visual appreciation in his gaze.

Either that whiskey was heating her up or once again, the appreciation in Patrick's gaze was affecting her, for that rose color appeared again in her cheeks. Her eyes moved from him to Maurice, though, with no other visible reaction to it but the shying away of her gaze. A short pause fell as she considered her words. "I have some business there, now and again, being in the import and exporting of goods, myself." But once more, she turned the conversation. "Do you own ships, either of you?"


Ah yes, there was the blush even if initiated by his friend, he could appreciate how the color brightened her eyes. Would it deepen by another with an appreciative fix upon her? That was the real question. "Then my observation still runs true." Giving a moment's pause, "aye, I've a ship." Which was ported up in Gavin's bay than here in Rhydin. He owned a cluster of islands too and hence the need of a ship.

"Well, intesting choice of professions." Considering she had used the very words he may have if he was pressed for an explanation. "At which ..." He paused, one dark brow arching. "docks do you do business?" He didn't answer the question about ships. Maurice answered for himself, that should suffice. Ships at his command gave too much information to a lass who was just as much a stranger to him now as when she walked through the door.

Gem did a little mental flailing there for an answer...the only docks she knew were the Rhydin wharf and the harbor master's office, from which she had stolen quite a few shipping manifests. Only the slight pause may have given her away, though, for nothing showed on her face but sincere interest and pleasant enjoyment. "Rhydin port is all I have presently worked with, up to now. I deal with more inland enterprises, really."

It was Ice's turn to set in listening as he would refill his glass and any of theirs if needed and wished. Lean was taken as a traveling glance took in this place, so familiar and yet so more past than present. He noted some tables and chairs needed repairing or even replacing.

Experience in the workings of careful wording was the only reason Patrick detected that slightest of pauses. The momentary search and location of just the right phrase to appease the inquisition and yet give nothing away at that. "Making a name for yourself without...the name." He offered her a cant of head, the faintest of tilt to his head out of a respect for her need to privacy. Slowly he pulled his gaze to Maurice. "Think we may want to piss some gold away in this place? Not to own it, but to at least see it back up and running?"

A flicker of relief showed in her eyes as he sent his look over to Maurice, the nod he gave her causing her to relax some. As they conversed over the inn, she sipped the whiskey again, refilled by Maurice. It was starting to make her legs have that warm, mushy feeling. She would need to slow down a bit.

Which had him chuckle under his breath again on the .. making a name yet without one. The phantom thief of Rhydin port. Which the thought had him studying the lass again in a new light. Then to Patrick. "We have spent coin on lesser things and at least seeing to the restoration of this tavern is more worthwhile than some other expenditures." So he was agreeing, there was nostalgia here worth the coin even if one could not go back. One didn't need to for every day was the making of new events and stories to tell another day down in time.

The thief of Rhydin Port had a good thing going. Manifests from all the ships told her who had what coming in, and when, and then where it was being delivered to. It made the ransacking of things before they were set up in heavier security a sweet sort of deal, though less of a challenge. She did love a challenge, too, which is why her hits on the harbor master's office were oddly timed and spaced out. It also made it harder to catch her. She much
preferred finding out which estates were going to be getting a new piece of artwork or a fine collection of jewels, perhaps, and then to hit that estate after the delivery. Far more satisfying, it was. But all this was silent thinking on the thief's part, as she listened, nodding, to the words of the two men. She even put a word or three in. "Get a good tender."

The tavern had been dark for so long that she almost walked all the way past before the slight glint caught her eye and a few backwards steps had her casting eyes over the porch facing windows. Either it was open again or it was being looted. Curiosity killed the cat, but she was no kitty. So she let it get the best of her and on a twist of heel. Took the over grown path towards the tavern proper. It was a home from home. Padded up the steps of the porch, listening to them creak and whine. So much for staying low key and taking a peek in without notice. Door was pushed wide enough to poke her head around the side, no more or no less.

To her suggestion, Patrick chuckled. "Now that I won't be responsible for." With Maggie no longer available to keep the place in check, he'd not be the one for the succession. Then again to Maurice the large man looked. "I'll match you coin for coin, Old Friend." It was a good thing, perhaps, the harbor master didn't know a good amount of what Patrick's shipments contained. Lest the little thief might have made off with some of Maitland's profits which would not have sit well with the bear of a man.

If a thief made a habitual mode of operation, they got caught. Her thinking would have ran parallel to theirs in their extra means of making money. Ice had a few. No one was out on the porch freezing their buttocks off either. They were inside where it was warmer and a bottle of Tullamore Dew to share in clean glasses. Front windows had been clean and most of the interior, he would later find out that it was his nephew and a few others from their lands. The flash of ice blue eyes lifted again, with crinkles to their corners as a smile tucked within the russet beard again, "join us in a tumbler of whiskey lass?" Greeting and invitation combined and then an introduction tagged onto the last, "I'm Maurice, my friend Patrick and newly friendship being forged here with Gem."

Once again that fresh air scent rushed in, causing Patrick to look to the door. With Maurice's invitation, he waved an arm in like, urging the lass in to the warmer climes of the tavern to heat her outsides while the whiskey could 
take care of the insides.

Gem chuckled at the comment from Patrick on the tender...getting a good one was a chore indeed, and one that would stick around even harder yet. She didn't blame the huge man...he was huge to her, certainly...for his reluctance, for it would be no easy matter. The flicker of the flames blazing in the hearth and the inrush of air had her eyes lifting to the door, and she smiled at the sight that met her eyes. " I live and breathe. How be you, lass?"

Patrick got a nod, he was on and already taking stock of what would be needed. Now he alreayd had a name before the one could even open her mouth. Sweeping grin followed as focus stayed there steadfast.

Forgive her, since she took the time to check behind her. Oh the greeting was indeed for her. Couldn't be looters in that case. Unless they were really friendly ones. Gem? Dance of gaze from the two men to the one female with them. That settled it. A tiny shove of the door and she was slipping inside and using rump to close it behind her. "Free drink and wonderful company, how could one refuse. Gem. It has been far to long darling."

The females seemed to know each other. How ... perfect. The threat of a grin twitched at the corner of his lips as he waited the lass to join them. Patrick settled back, using his elbow for support against the counter top. He drank, his gaze drifting from the approach to the approached.

A grin curved her lips as she studied the woman entering. The manner of address made her chuckle, for Fae always spoke so. It made her sentimental for old days. "It's been a coon's age, that is certain sure. I hope all has been well with you? And let me make you known to these two gentlemen. This is Patrick, and this over here be Maurice." But as Maurice had already done that, she flushed, for being so slow.

"And from Gem's ..." He paused, shooting a faint wink to Gem. "Merry...greeting, you are Fae. Come join us as we re-christen this old place." Aye, he had, but to hear his name on her lips...the angels in heaven hushed to hear it spoken so. His crooked grin gave evidence he found his own thoughts amusing at best.

Her coat was being unbuttoned as she walked, shrugging it down over her shoulders and tossing it over a chair back. Leaving her in soft looking trousers that tucked into the high boots and a blue shirt that fell low over her hips. Smile warmed her lips. Normal for Fae who was cheerful to a fault. "Merry met Patrick and Maurice...Oh my gods.." Since as she walked closer the height difference was all too clear. "Gem you are the only one that makes me feel tall." Having a inch on her friend was huge when you were short. " mountain. No offense."

She gave a rather uncertain look up at Patrick, not at all sure just what he found so amusing, though she was glad that he was. She chuckled a little, after he spoke, before her eyes danced over to Fae at her words. "Oh, for the love of little green apples." It never took long for her old friends to bring up her tragic lack of inches, did it? She gave a sad shake of her head. "If only I had another foot on me, and some brawny muscle. I know, they are both indecently huge." She turned to give as intimidating a squint as she could possibly form...don't laugh, please...up at Patrick. "You should slouch or something." Grin.

"Aye, merry met Fae." Flashing her a wink and since he was behind the bar still, got her whatever she wanted to drink. Clean glass too was set out. Luckily he didn't comment on the 'indecently huge' for certainly that could be commented on but his comment could rightfully get him slapped. A certain grin settled instead.

Patrick shivered, playing along with that threatening look from the wee lass. He leaned in, speaking low, in volume and in tone to Gem. Although, Fae and Maurice were both privy to his response. "But, Gem, I am slouching." He made that nearness quick, lest the female get the wrong idea and skewer him in a place he was quite fond of having unpierced. He straightened away, glancing back to Maurice. "Stools are in order, I'd say. Stools should be the first order of purchase." Even as he spoke, he reached out to the other side and drew a bar stool closer, hitching a hip to the support. "And I mean the sort a ... petite ... lass can stand on."

Gem was the only person that was shorter then the imp herself. Waved a hand in the air. "Aye, you'll need steps put in to make those of us not blessed with towering heights feel more at home." Anything she wanted to drink. Cider it was and she was happy for it. Snorted into laughter. Sorry. Very unlady like of her. It was about the stools and not the other comment.

And with that comment from Fae, Patrick wagged a finger in her direction.

Her eyes went a bit wide as he leaned in, her breath catching for a tiny moment, there, until he leaned back. She blinked at the idea that he was slouching and was really even taller than he had appeared. Gods above and below! Amethysts flicked over to Maurice and his odd grin, but before she could comment on it, Patrick had her squinting again. "Petite...bah." She straightened up as much as she could, aiming for a bit of extra height.

Just the slightest sounding of foot falls marked his entrance into the Tavern. Wide brimmed hat shaded his face, and a cloak made of wolf hides hung from his broad shoulders. Behind his right shoulder was seen the hilt of a sword,down next to his left thigh hung yet another protruding from the cloak. His clothes were well worn, dark, and of a animal hide, skin was close to porcelain in color, but the eyes are what named him as something other. The deep red iris, shown in almost a glow from under the wide brimmed hat. Gloved hands stayed clasp in front of him as he moved further in, and took up residence at one of the tables. The only real sound to issue his movement, was the chime of a single spur, on his right boot.

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