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Quinn Family

Date: 06-02-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 21

Mary turned to look to where Segan pointed and her smile grew. "What a sweet boy you are, Segan Quinn." She reached up to pat his cheek, much to the amusement of a couple of men standing close by. "I'd be delighted." She added to Eion, hooking her arm through his. She wouldn't admit it, but she may just need a bit of ...  company... climbing those steps. "When your grandfather and I sailed from Heathfield..." And as Eion escorted her away those tales began, leaving Segan to the more important details of seeing them safely to their destination.

His crew might well be amused but he would bet they were jealous too. How many even knew who their mother was let alone know their Grandmama! Most had no family or little left, scattered at best. Grams might find herself being adopted during the two week trip to Heathfield. The port master knew of Heathfield, gave Segan the coordinates and the heads up to head for the Thistle once there for the man that tended it would be able to help them out. He watched his brother and Grams a moment before he was helping his crew get the ship ready, ropes untied, anchor up as well the plank. The smaller sails set to pick up the breeze in a gentle leaving of the slip. The larger ones gradually added as to pick up speed. For her breadth, solid build and weight, the Anaconda took to the waters smoothly. Like a water serpent, hence her name. One of the things that had impressed him after he became its captain. She was good at sneaking in places too, not as sloppy and chopping in the water as most. Grams would find the Captain's quarters with many of his treasures there. It had become his home for a good seven years. There were all kinds of mementos from many diverse places. Ships built in a jar, to golden carvings of Inca gods. Coral and crystal pieces, shells galore but only the most perfect of them were kept. There were a ton of maps of all kinds, those that charted the sea to those that looked like treasure ones to find. Segan had not even the chance to look over most but had separated them when found in their booty.

Eion provided a strong arm for her and gladly so. Then again, she didn't weigh much. He listened to her intently, laughing out right at some of the things she said. Once they had climbed the stairs and were in front of the cabin door, he looked down at her. "Do you want to go inside now or shall I see if there's a chair I can bring out for you to sit and watch while we set sail." A hint of the lad she knew appeared with his grin, "and don't be boxing me ears, Gran. I'm not saying you couldn't stay standing. I'm just asking what you'd like to do."

Good that he clarified that because she smiled, patting his hand. "Wouldn't it be grand if we could just sleep beneath the stars?" But she nodded. "A chair would be nice, Eion. That way, if I get a chance, I will do just that." Not that she needed the chair.

The cook was good so was the food that would be served as the ship was making good time from sunrise to sunset. The days would roll from one into another. The crew efficient and the weather fair. Segan sought Conor out that first evening with a herbal mixture that would help his stomach and uneasiness in sailing. "How are you doing so far?" Holding out the concoction for him to add to his drink. "Use this otherwise."

"Aye, it would. Maybe we can do that when we reach Heathfield. Or talk to Segan about setting a hammock out here for you." He teased then smiled warmly. "We'll have to make sure we contact the right folks when we get there. There may be some old friends left for you to contact." He grinned as he thought ahead, and through the two weeks, he'd seek Mary out often. Not only because she was so dear to him, but she offered him a comfort that he had been too long without. She would be one of the few females he'd be trusting for a while, save for his sisters and cousins.

Mary was always there for Eion. And Segan. And Conor. And even quite a few of the other fellows that she came across during their journey. She had thought of old acquaintances, some may have survived Rath, some may not have. There was only way one for her to find out and she was in the process of that. The trip took more out of her than she would admit, but she was excited to be going...home. And once, she actually did get to sleep on deck, under the stars, with a good number of men watching over her safety and well being. What else could a woman ever desire?

Conor had taken Segan's advice and actually was able to leave his cabin a few days before they made Heathfield's port, feeling none the worse for the journey and for once, enjoying the motion of the ship beneath his boots. Because of this, Heathfield's shores came into view with a sense of hope for what lay ahead for them all.

All in all the trip went quickly once everyone settled into a routine. At least they weren't wearing Conor as an ornament over her side, doubled up over the rails. It was in the evening as twilight settled in that the silhouette of a grand castle set upon the cliffs drew into view. The last streaks of golds and reds giving it an ancient cast that would inspire the dullest of creatures to notice. Segan was at the rail up on the deck where Grandmama was making use of the captain's quarters but outside more often than not, marking off this section to a private sort of patio for her. "There is this feel about these lands I've not witness in any of the others I've been." His voice held the tone of awe as he couldn't even tear his gaze from the sight to look at Grams.

He had been in his cabin earlier, writing in a journal he had decided to keep when he felt that he should be on deck. Joining Gran and Segan on the upper deck, he was caught by the beauty of the sunset. He heard Segan as he moved to stand beside him. "For the first time in my life, I wish I was a painter, though I don't think I'd be able to capture this." No wonder she had wanted to return.

"Segan, these are enchanted lands. Protected by wards set in place by the Prince himself. The Queen, Grugrach, human, elf. The people here were once as magical as the ground they lived upon." She looked out to the castle, not to her grandsons. The magnificent site stealing her breath away so her words came soft, almost reverent. "I doubt not that it is still so." She looked to her kin then, first the closest to her, Segan, then to Eion and then searched out Conor who remained below on deck with the men working there. She didn't miss though that he had a contented smile upon his features, perhaps the first she had ever seen him so. "In truth, Eion, I doubt there is a soul alive that could capture all that Heathfield is. She is ... glorious." She drew in a deep, deep breath, filling her lungs with the air which surrounded Heathfield, then released it slowly. "Now then, Captain." She turned to  Segan, clamping a hand down over his wrist with a squeeze. "When do we dock?"

"You shall soon know how much she had changed or how little. The history I was told, the usurp unseated, killed, and the first born daughter inherited the throne. She had been raised by a Wizard along with her sister until the day the tyrant's reign would end. I think this is going to be a good adventure." Not admitting to anything else that crossed his mind, like finding a home where he felt he had roots attached to his soul. The Anaconda eased into the harbor, the cliffs finally blocking out the castle until through and the back of it could be seen in the distant if one looked back. There were all the lights along the piers and dancing off the crest of the tides lapping in to distract one's eyes there. They were flagged to an empty slip by the port master on the job as his men were like bees in a honeycomb busy to make sure everything went smoothly.   "As we speak Grandmama, your wish.. is my command." Hand curling around to capture hers and bring up to place a kiss to her knuckles before lowered again. "Your things will be taken care of, a carriage hired to bring us up to the Thistle where I was told we should go. Did you know an Alex Flaherty?"

He looked at Gran and Segan, smiled then looked back to watch. Though he had been born in Ireland with its tales of the wee folk and Sidhe, Eion was a skeptic. Far too much had happened in his life these last few years for him to believe easily in magic. He'd not say so of course, not willing to have his ears boxed.  But he felt no draw, just a sense of relief.   "Will we let Mel and Aunt Chandra know we're here or shall we ride up and surprise them?" While he knew the brothers were expected, Gran would be a great surprise for the lasses. "I think our cousin is here too. Davin, isn't it?"

Mary smiled and nodded as Segan recited Heathfield's history, pleased he had done his homework, pleased she had kept up with what was transpiring since Rath's demise. Pleased even more that she had managed the journey and that she was here, with her family, once again. "Sir Flaherty, Segan? Aye, yes, a handsome man as I recall. Probably an old rascal by now." She added, pretending in her way that everyone but herself must have aged. As the sides of the ship rubbed the docks, her heart began to race. "Well, if someone is seeing to my things, let's get to that carriage. I'm eager to see the Thistle again. And speak with Alex." Did she just let it slip she knew the man a tad more than she had originally insinuated?

Conor had come to stand at the base of the steps, calling up to the others. "Is there anyone here that might like to test solid ground again besides me?"

"Probably," which he so wanted to add more but only chuckled under his breath. Old rascal, much like Grandmama. "I think you are going to have some fine reunions. He has a twin brother. The McAndrews and Douglas families are still here." Taking her hand to slip into the crock of his arm that he might escort her down and off the ship to the awaiting carriage. "I think we should stay the night at the Thistle, meet this Alex," more for their Grandmother's sake than anything else. "Send word to the manor, find out where it's located and see to our things there tomorrow morn."

Ah, now that had eyebrows lifting but he just laughed. "I think Gran is chomping at the bit here." He called down to Conor then back to Segan. "What if Gran wants to surprise them?" They might wonder at the possessions of a woman being with their things. "Need to find out if they have any kind of treaty with the English." He muttered, almost to himself. He didn't want to get settled here and then find himself being transported back to England. And he was still going to need to find an occupation once they were settled. "We can likely ask Alex?" In his experience, barkeeps knew much of what was happening around them.

"Mmmhmm." Was all she said to that information about Allan. The daring duo, those two, back when men were men and ladies knew how to tempt and tame them. "Don't fret, Eion, they may just think one of you got lucky enough to land yourselves a bride." She shot him a wink and started from the ship with Segan's escort. "It'll all work itself out." Was that to the arrival of feminine things or ... something Eion may be pondering? Or perhaps even something Conor or Segan had on their minds. Could even be the ship's hand she passed that just got a tidbit of information from her comment. She could feel Heathfield begin to surge through her veins again, her pulses raced, her heart thrummed. Color returned to her cheeks, perhaps even a touch of color returning to her hair, deepening the shade of her eyes. She was home. Had it ever been a question where she belonged? It was evident now.

Date: 06-03-09
Poster: Thistle Tender
Post # 22

Introduction to Potcheen

Segan decided to check out the tavern this evening before they would be moving on to the manor home on the morrow. Word had been sent of their arrival and would give the others time to prepare taking on four more. Rooms to get readied, extra food to buy, probably a quick small feast being Grandmama was with them. It was here he got to taste his first spot of the pure, homemade potcheen. His throat was on fire but oh what a smooth burn. "Excellent," croaked out after the first shot wherein he commenced to pour his next.

After wishing Gran a good night, and spending a little time relaxing, Eion too, decided to make his way down to the common room of the tavern. He paused in the doorway to watch Segan a moment, laughing.  "And what is it that you're drinking?  It made you sound like a frog."   He walked to the bar and took a lean there, motioning to Segan as he spoke to Alex. "I'll have what he's having."

Conor took a bit longer than his brothers in his room.  Despite the concoction that Segan had given him on board the ship, this particular Quinn brother lay upon the mattress in his room, giving thanks for soil not sea beneath his bed.  On his back, he sprawled out over the blankets, staring at the ceiling, which did not move at all.  Not at all!  It stayed right where his gaze fixed!  There was a God and he loved Conor again. Finally.  After about ten minutes of doing nothing but watching the boards over his head, he pushed up and headed out to join his kin below in the common room.

"Have you tried the potcheen made here?" Which for a demonstration, he picked up one of the candles which he exhaled over, sending out a flare of fire that was quickly gone. "So now I am a frog that can torch your backside." Grinning as he gained two more glasses to fill, one for each brother.

The stairs that led to the rooms were no match for Conor.  He made quick work of them, then crossed to take up a place next to his brothers.  "Good Lord, Segan!" He jerked back, making sure that dragon-breath came no where near him.

He blinked then laughed when he heard Conor.  "Bit dangerous isn't he?"  Asking the youngest before he picked up his glass and took a careful drink.  It set his eyes to watering, his throat to burning, and his breathing to wheezing.

Conor cut a glance to Alex.  "She's sleeping soundly.  Thank you."  Their grandmother, with a bedtime toddy specially made by Alex, would probably not even move until morning.   Now it  was Conor's turn.  He reached over for his own glass and sampled the brew.  It took him a minute following that swallow, he just blinked, looking down into the glass.

"I think a bottle of that and you should be cured of anything you picked up in that dungeon over those months." So he topped Eion's glass off. Grams would have been proud to see the flame he could throw on an exhale over a candle.

Hell, Gram would probably attempt to outdo him at it!

"I think you're probably right."  He managed to croak out then laughed at the sound.  Now he understood why Segan had sounded so funny.

Which would have him regretting she wasn't here at the moment. She had, after all, taught him to spit when he was only three.

Conor wouldn't even attempt to speak yet.  He thought to swallow down another gulp to chase the first.  The night was still young.

Wait.  "Gram's is actually asleep?"  He chuckled as he looked at Conor. He could just shake his head if he didn't trust his voice.  And yes, another drink chased the first.  Eventually his voice should sound normal again.

They could always fall back on, one tap for yes, two taps for no if they had no voice, or one that came with incoherent speech after the while.

Did Alex just chuckle when Eion asked if their grandmother was asleep?  Conor cast an amused glance in the man's direction.  But, he just kept working at whatever he was doing.  The man was goooood.

He nudged Conor, "if ever you had any questions, concerns, that is the man you should speak with. A walking history of these lands. Knows Grams too." He had learned enough from the port master back home the one day he spent down at he docks seeing to his ship being made ready for the trip.

"Questions about everything?" He added in a low voice.  Eion had a few decisions to make but there was time to do so.  No rush at all.

Segan noticed that Conor had gone quiet as dark blue eyes lifted Eion's way. "That goes for you as well." Almost daring them to gain the tender in conversation and test this knowledge.

"Well then ...  " He studied Segan a moment before looking toward Alex.  "Any place a man can find a good game of cards? "  Random but it was a start, right?

Alex was over with a lean against the bar from the tender's side. A wry grin touched weathered features, a map of wrinkles that only added to his character. His accent a flowing brogue, aged like a fine wine, one that deceptively had a good kick. "That would depend on what kind of card game you are wanting. There is a respected Casino established by one of the Frasiers with an English partner." Watching Eion for any reactions, fresh off the boat Irishman might well carry a gripe, rightly so, against the English. "If you are wanting a more rough game, then the port has many of those, either within a tavern or outside along the piers on a crate."

He cleared his throat with the mention of a Englishman, looking a little concerned and hoping there'd be no problem here.  After all, Rob was English and a good man.  He glanced at Segan, then a half grin appeared. Glancing toward the stairs to make sure Mary wasn't on her way down, he leaned forward slightly. "What about a brothel?"   He wanted to see how his brothers reacted to that question.  Alex too for that matter though he could hope the man wouldn't say anything to Gran!

Well, the conversation had turned a bit to the interesting side.  Conor leaned over and took up the bottle, adding a splash more to his glass as he studied the tender.

Segan returned his look with a shrug. He was right in that there were some Englishmen as good as another Irishman, Bryson was one as well Rob. Eion had much to be thankful for. The next question posed he was interested in hearing the answer to.

Alex looked between the brothers with a wry grin as he leaned in more. Sacred words to share with the ones. "There is a high standing family here by the name of McAndrews, if you get to meet one of the lads, they can direct you to a certain Flower Garden. Not a brothel but the finest in courtesans. There's a good story behind that but  I will leave it to one of the lads in the telling."

"Flower Garden?"  Conor's soft chuckle was hidden behind the glass he raised, and he touched the rim to his lips.  "Now that's intriguing."  He passed a look from Segan to Eion.  "McAndrews is the name then." 

"McAndrews.  Flower Garden."  Repeating both before grinning.  "I look forward to meeting one of them then. Who are the names of the others here,  high family that is."  He might as well get names so they would know who to not make enemies with.

Segan was an apt listener and committed the information to memory. He'd been right about this tender knowing a godly amount of information. He lifted his drink in a silent toast as to let the distinguished man continue.

Conor actually remembered his father and uncle speaking of the McAndrews. His grandmother would refer to them and to the Douglases on occasion when she told her tales. Still, without her present at the moment, he waited to hear more from the tender.


Alex set to his natural mode of teacher, confidant and somewhat a fatherly image to some. "In these lands there is the Barrett Family. The Queen marrying a King from Luneberg." Giving pause before he continued while wiping up a spot on the bar. Meticulous was his middle name. "McAndrews are of Ballicastle. There is a very widespread and influential family of Frasiers there in Ballicastle as well. One I spoke on that runs the Casino, another runs the Falkirk Race Tracks." Touching some upon that family. "There are also the Clearys from the same lands. There are the Douglas of Tyremoor. The O'Neill of Innis Daingneach and McLarkin of Kildare. These are head family names. Within these lands it would do you well to meet the elder of the McDonough and MacShire clans. There are quite a few nationalities within all these lands, from Italian, Egyptian, English, German to Jews. The point is, that none are judged by their nationality nor belief but the person they are or have become. It will do you wise to remember this and you'll get as fair a shake from the citizens here."

Conor's brows raised. He hoped Eion was taking notes because he sure as shamrocks was not going to remember all those names!

Neither was Eion to be honest. He looked thoughtful as he tried to put his next question into the proper words. "Is there any sort of treaty with any of the lands not associated with the realms?" He didn't want to have to leave because he might be sent back to England. IF they found him here.

The gaze that shifted slowly to rest on Eion showed Conor's understanding of his brother's concern.

Something Eion appreciated. They'd only been on the run for a few weeks but that was enough for him.

"Aye, there are allies, less over the years as kingdoms came and went. The most active is with the Moors, Solurius it is also called. Is there a reason you ask?" Eion looked perplexed in Alex's estimate.

He rubbed at his chin, trying to decide how much to say. Finally, he spoke. "I'm concerned with England in particular. There might be some who come asking questions. Those who might want to force me to go back there. I'm wondering if they'd be able to do so." And it wouldn't be without a fight if so.

"I can answer that."  Conor spoke up, raising his glass then and swallowing down the remainder of the liquid in it.  "They wouldn't be able to do so."  A firm nod as he set his glass on the counter and reached for the bottle again.

"There have been ones coming looking for others here, from many walks and from many lands. We protect our own and that includes a guest that is accepted staying here in the Thistle. If said ones become persistent, they will be up against a force not all human to stop them if persuasion by sword is not enough. You're quite safe here lad. I knew your grandfather. A good man who worked hard, loyal to the Crown. Respected. I feel that the nut doesn't fall far from the tree by the looks of his grandsons." Mary had used her bragging rights on the lads. "So, Conor is correct. Seems he's got some natural instincts."



Date: 06-03-09
Poster: Thistle Tender
Post # 23

Or Irish bravado. But Alex's words brought a twitch of a half grin to Conor's lips.

He listened then chuckled and saluted his brother. Segan had grown quiet but he was sure there'd be questions from him. "Aye, he could at that." He had done well enough when they were lads. "Do either of you have questions, or am I the only one asking tonight?" To his brothers of course.

He was listening while drinking. His body a comfortable numb. "Is there much trade for a Privateer?" He might as well find out if he needed to look for a new profession. "Or one good with a blade?" Which would be Eion, he took pause upon Conor. "One that does fine leather working?"

"There's always a way to fit in these lands if it is honest toil in making a living. One that is a Privateer might wish to speak to Andre Bovee or his partner Pierre Lafayette. Those two have the shipping business down at the port and the same kind of background. The lands could use a few more Privateers especially when Black Beard or Doom are sailing the waters. There are many opportunities for a man good with the blade. Knight, Warrior or Bodyguard, he best talk to Maurice McDonough to set him in the right direction." Which would mean who he should talk to from there as it was narrowed down. "Now, there is a great demand for good leather working, be it a cobbler to finely crafted saddles. We have one leather shop in the commons here that could use another worker for the high demands or the one might wish to be situated on his own in one of our adjoining sister castle lands. The leather shop here has recently been taken over by the MacKay brothers, they're about your ages." Or a touch younger, close enough for one who they all looked young!

"The sister castles? That would be..." Conor paused a moment, attempting to bring back his grandmother's lessons from his childhood. Which, considering the amount of potcheen he had consumed, would be a feat. "Balli and Tyremoor?"  He answered his own question with a nod and one word. "Yes." Potcheen had NOTHING on him! Except, that yes was more of a subtly lisped yesh.

Which ... if truth be told, was likely how Eion was going to start sounding. He was catching up on his drinking since he had been asking questions.

"This possible leather worker would wish to seek out Laird Maurice McDonough also. So two would go to see the respected Ambassador and one to the port."

"Where do those two..." He grinned. "Find the Ambassador?"

Segan would be making a visit to the port once he was settled in at the manor. Information duly noted and a chuckle as Conor was able to remember the names of the sister lands. Though only two.

Mainland, he was staying mainland! If he chose to work in leather, he would stay...mainLAND!

"That's quite easy. I will inform him there are two men wishing to speak to him on job matters. He will contact you in the next couple of days to set up a convenient time. Most likely it will be sent here but if you have moved into the manor by then, I will see that it is delivered out there."

"That's much appreciated." He grinned at the older man. "We're not certain how long it will take for our family to prepare. Rooms." Adding that as an afterthought. Though he wouldn't be surprised if their sisters and aunt, and possibly cousin, wouldn't descend on the tavern in the morning.

"Do that for us then, would you, Alex? I'd very much like to meet this Laird McDonough."

"I am thinking the feel I got when I first laid eyes on these lands out at sea, is correct. That first instinct doesn't lie and we've a great adventure ahead of us. Separate and together." As brothers they would have times together, getting out to some of those card games at the port to expend some of their Irish need to get into a good fight. Barbaric to some but not to those of clans. It was a rite of passage.

"Consider it already done lads. The man is a busy one but he'll find the time for you as he always does. Give you the time to settle in, acquaint yourselves with your family. They are each settling in and have come here to socialize. I'll be letting them tell any news they be having."

He looked at Segan and smiled slightly then he looked back. "Now you have me wondering what kind of news they'll be springing on us." He downed what was left in his glass and blinked a few times. It had been a while since he had done much drinking and it was hitting him harder than usual.

Alex was a good man. Gran was right. Conor stretched up an arm, his shoulder actually popping in the process of that stretch. He blinked hard, cutting a quick look to that joint. "Don't even think uncle Brady creaks like that!" He gave that shoulder a roll to work out the crepitate area. "Salt air..." Anything with salt anymore would be x'ed off of Conor's list.

The glass was placed on the bar ... caaaarefully. Then he started to laugh. "You be needin' oil to take care of the creakin', Conor?" It just struck him as funny that Conor was blaming salt water for his ills.

"We've been through a lot over the past two months, I'm surprised there isn't more popping on you Conor." Which had him laughing as he reached for the bottle and topped off their drinks, this would be the last topping off or they would be crawling up to their beds. Just he was too relaxed and enjoying the moment, first one that he could really enjoy.

"Actually, Eion, I like Segan's idea better." He nodded toward the glass that his older brother had just refilled for him.

And that topping had Eion just staring at the glass. Should he attempt to finish it and hope he'd make it up the stairs. But to waste the Pure would be a sin!

Eion had his brothers here, one for each arm, he'd make it above. Somehow. Now, Conor could never claim to be a saint. But some sins were without forgiveness. Those he would attempt to never indulge in. And so, to avoid the sin of wasting Pure, he brought up his glass as if in a toast, and sucked down half of it. Only so he could make it last just a tad longer.

"To brothers and family." No, he'd not waste the drink and he lifted his glass to both of his brothers. They had his gratitude for something he could never repay.

"Mmmhmm" Conor agreed, mid swallow, then made sure to drink to that toast with the remainder of his glass.

"My compliment to the man who brews this Pure." Raising his glass in salute before kicking back its contents. Because he was a curious soul, he took up a candle as the exhaled breath brought about an even larger, longer, flaming flare towards his brothers. Could have singed Eion's brows if it had lingered. So it seemed from his end as a good laugh followed. Like running your finger through a flame, quick enough one didn't get burnt.

"Holy Fu..." Conor started, his final word not finished out of sheer disbelief more so than anything else.

Eion's balance wasn't too good at the moment so with the flare of fire, he tried to take a step backward and stumbled over a stool. He didn't quite fall but his foot was stuck somehow. "Yae great daft ... " The rest was lost in mumbles as he tried to remove the offending stool.

Conor watched with amused silence as Eion danced with the barstool. The silence only lasted momentarily. "Here but a few hours and already he has fallen for a long-legged thing in the first tavern we enter."

He tried to glare at Conor but instead he started to laugh. The stool was place back in its spot and he leaned against the bar, running his hand over his brows. He could swear he had felt that flame brush his skin.

"Now, let's see if Grams can out do that one!" Jokingly but therein too was a serious note one couldn't be so sure Grams would not rise to the challenge. His laughter mingled before adding, "lest it wasn't a short stubby one like we found in some taverns."

"Ah, Segan. As long as they sit well, it doesn't matter how they are made." He grinned, a waggle of brows. Yes. The Quinns were just ... about ... right ... just ... about ... now.

"Here I thought it would be the way they rocked that would be chosen over stationary.." and he started to half sing mumbled words about stubby stumps.

He was too busy laughing to add his own comments. It was good to be with his brothers again but he'd not be getting sentimental, no sir. His brothers would likely beat him black and blue and throw him outside in the horse trough.

That might happen anyway for old times sake. More like who was the least drunk not to get dunked.

And the scrambling and fighting would commence to keep dry. Yes, life at this particular moment was perfect. Potcheen perfect.

They might notice and they might not, that stubby stumps graduated into a snore. Segan's chin resting on his chest and eyes cast down with his lids almost closed. Spooky if you looked up from below.

Looked as if they would be hauling Segan above, not Eion! Better yet, did Alex have an old crate they could toss him into? Perhaps even large enough to nail him in? "Better get him above, Eion, while he may still be able to support some of his weight."

One long snuffed in snore came as he lifted his head, eyes lifting as well. "Huh?"

"Aye, we best ... attempt to do that." He pushed to his feet then laughed. "C'mon, Segan. Time for us to head upstairs so Alex can close for the night." Use the tender to get Segan moving. Maybe Eion wasn't as drunk as he thought!

Hell, he was drunk...he was just a clear thinking drunk.

He was up, with them all helping each other along the way, hip bumps that landed one or the other into the wall. A step or two missed before rooms and beds were found and instant lights out when their head hit the pillow.

Good thing Gran was out with the help of that toddy from Alex. Otherwise they might have had their ears boxed for waking her up with all the noise they were making.

That was a sobering thought!



Date: 06-04-09
Poster: Melantha Quinn
Post # 24

Clearview Manor

Mel was working with Roxanne and her foal, Shimmer. The little filly wasn't getting a real lesson yet but Mel had placed a light bit less bridle on her to get her used to it. She was laughing as she watched Shimmer and Roxanne who seemed to wear an expression of long-suffering. The mare snorted at Mel , almost sounding indignant. She walked to the fence, climbed up and sat on the top rail to watch the two enjoying the spring day. The air was heavy with the scent of flowers and birds were busy with nests or new babies. The other two foals were in the second field with their mothers having been fitted with the bridles earlier. She kept glancing toward the road that led to the manor grounds, waiting for her brothers and Grandmother to arrive. It was hard to keep from riding out to meet them. They had all been awake since dawn preparing the manor for the arrival. The bedrooms all had fresh linens and the windows had been open to let in the warm air, good smells came from the kitchen, and they had all been trying to keep busy so time would seem to move so slow.

Chandra was working in the garden after having prepared the house and rooms for the rest of the family. She was as excited as the girls and had even sent word to Davin, though she wasn't sure he'd be joining them. The flowers she was carefully selecting and placing in a basket were for the dining room table and various places throughout the house. Though not everything was blooming, there were roses, and some other early blooming flowers.

Gemma was pacing in the house as time ticked slowly by on the grandfather clock in the foyer. She was as excited and nervous as she could be but unlike her sister and Aunt, she didn't have much to do. Finally, she grabbed the basket that held things to be repaired, as well as needles and thread and hurried outside. She was going to sit on the covered side porch and keep herself busy until somebody showed up. Smoothing down her skirts, she picked up an apron that needed darning. It would take her longer than was usual to repair it because she kept looking toward the road.

The last couple of days had been a whirlwind for Concessa. She was elated having been invited to a Ball by a man she had come to respect for not only his skills but his conduct. For having the guts to enter the Joust and unseated a King after he had unseated her, but most importantly, she was setting out on a career. She hoped, that is, and would go with that idea knowing well she might find out it was not her calling. Her boss was devilishly handsome as were a few men she had met, no less the one from the Joust. The first to show her attention was the son of a established family, handsome as well too. Oh she noticed but it seemed she was not affected by it in the same way other girls seemed to be. If shown attention they became starry eyed with wedding bells ringing in their ears. Perhaps there was something wrong with her but she didn't see it that way. Her brothers were finally here and as important, so was Grandmama. Having been away to Finishing School, it had been a couple years since she got to see Grams. She was excited and to busy herself she fled outside to join Melantha with the foals. After all, it was the least she could do in helping out.

It was rough getting up the next day at the Thistle for how much they had to drink but the time had been well worth it. He didn't have the usual hangover associated with wine or ale, just tired and actually finding himself hungry he was quick to dress. He didn't know what time it was but he could pretty much bet his brothers were still in the thralls of sleep or near waking if potcheen had the same affect. So he pounded loudly on their doors as he passed heading down to the kitchen where he hoped to get some breakfast. Hoping he wasn't too late and, even better, he might catch up with Grams there.

Mary Quinn was in the kitchen of the tavern, sipping from a coffee cup and talking with Alex who was actually sitting with her at the table. They spoke quietly between themselves, only the occasion laugh to break the calm atmosphere, either from the woman or the man. As Segan entered, she smiled to him, but continued talking and drinking with her old friend.

With that pound on the door, Conor growled out an "Aaaargh." which was mostly muffled in his pillow. No headache. Amazing. No spinning room. Interesting. No lingering pitch of stomach. Cool. But he still felt as if he had been working all night and had only just collapsed into bed. He flipped over on the mattress, taking the pillow with him and keeping his face buried in it on top of him. "I ... hate ... mornings!" He barked into the softness. But mornings always came no matter what he did! His arm shot out, flinging the pillow off to the side and he rolled to sit up on the edge of the bed. He might take a while coming downstairs.

Eion was awake but still laying in bed when the bang come to the door. Mostly because he was listening to the sounds of the city and wasn't willing to leave his bed. He groaned, knowing there was likely only one person who that would be. Segan was always too damn cheerful in the morning. He dragged himself out of bed, washed up and headed downstairs to join his family. Yep, there was Segan, so he gave him a 'friendly' nudge.

He stopped short coming into the kitchen as a slow smile lit up his features. He would not interrupt their conversation, holding up a hand with a propped up forefinger. Here he thought he made it there by himself but the nudge had him giving Eion a look before he was over to get his coffee and from there he stepped outside to gain the attention of a lad from the stables. A carriage needed to be brought around front and a coin now for him and another to see to their things being loaded. This task would take a few, giving Grams more time to speak with Alex, he was sure there would be a lot of catching up. It also gave time for Conor to show up.

From the corner of her eye she watched Segan, and after he had arranged for their transportation, she gained his attention by way of a wave of hand and tapped her cheek. That's where she wanted her kiss. "Good morning, Eion." She blew a kiss to the eldest of her grandsons.

Conor actually heard Eion walk past his door which only made him groan again. Now it was time to get moving. He couldn't be the one to keep everyone waiting. Conor washed up, shaved, dressed and begrudgingly trudged down the steps. The aroma of coffee hit him halfway down and made him actually hurry his steps. He entered the kitchen to find his family there. And the coffee pot. As he passed his grandmother in route to the caffeine, he touched her shoulder. That was his morning greeting so far. Give him time and a cup or two of coffee, then he might transform back to human and civil.

He grinned at his grandmother and gave her a kiss to the cheek before he found the coffee pot and poured himself a cup. Hazel was bustling about in the kitchen, banging things every once in a while. He greeted the cook as well then looked at Conor as he finally came downstairs. He still was quite surprised that he didn't have a hangover and apparently, neither did his brothers.

No hair of the dog needed for them. Though they could out of habit. He was back in by the time Conor arrived and both were getting some coffee. He caught the motion of Gram's finger as he was over to plant a nice wet coffee one. She use to always say he gave her wet kisses so, here was another. "Shall I get you a plate, Grandmama? Or have you eaten?" He was eyeing the fare and the woman who was continuing to cook and keep all trays loaded until the time breakfast would be over. Luckily he had not missed it. "You're an excellent cook Hazel." Having sampled her cooking last night and in far better condition today to let her know he appreciated a good cook.

The smell of food had his stomach growling but he waited for Gran to decide what she wanted, if she hadn't eaten. Conor was eyed briefly and he had to stop himself from smiling. Apparently he was still fighting sleep but the coffee should wake him. Glancing at Hazel, he nodded agreement with Segan, mostly because he was still drinking the coffee in order to wake up.

Hazel smiled at the three young men and thanked Segan brightly. She glanced at Mary and Alex, then turned back to the food, making sure it was still as hot as it should be.  With her back to everyone, her expression was hard to read.

Except Alex could read the stiffening of her shoulders, the more than bustling movements as he patted Mary's hand. "You'll have to come down in the afternoon sometime soon so we can talk more." There was a lot of ground to cover that spanned a few decades. "If you send word ahead, I can see about getting my brother here." Only a few of them survived Rath compared to how many had not or had left for good after their lives were destroyed. Some were able to rebuild them while others became lost in a time that no longer existed. He was up so that she could eat with her grandsons and prepare to meet the rest of their family. "I bid you all a good day. I see the Pure was kind to you lads," giving them a wink as he was over to help Hazel out. After all, she helped him out plenty with the bar.


"You know I will." She answered Alex, then looked to her grandsons. "You'll be making it quick, aye, lads? I'd be about getting on the road and reaching our destination. No doubt the girls are waiting for you." No doubt, many a girl would wait for these three handsome men and Heathfield had always had its abundance of lovely lasses. She had already eaten a light breakfast with Alex, so she was only sipping coffee until the boys came for her. Her hand had lifted to tap Conor's as he passed. Poor boy. He'd have quite a time of it keeping up with his adventurous and worldly brothers. The lad hadn't traveled far from home before heading out after Eion. God love him.

Conor stayed by the pot, drinking his first cup of black coffee down and then refilling it for a second dose. Through the steam he narrowed his eyes on Eion and Segan. How the hell did they get up so chipper and gay so early in the morning? Changelings. That had to be it.

"The pure was kind," agreeing with Alex as he set his refilled mug of coffee on the table and proceeded to fill his plate with the eggs, sausage and bacon. Purposely walking by Conor so that he got a whiff of food instead of guzzling down black coffee only and burning a hole in his stomach. Least it would feel like that later on. Seating himself next to Grams, he proceeded to dig in with a lusty appetite.


Eion just grinned as he watched Conor and Segan. Ah, yes. Breakfast. He found he had a good appetite this morning and loaded up his plate before joining Segan and Gran. Not a word spoken either, since his mouth was too full for him to speak and be polite. Then again, there'd be plenty of time for talking once they were on their way.

She was pleased to see the boys eating, at least the two of them, and she watched them for a few more moments before she stood, waving them to keep their seats. "I'll be outside." She smiled and spoke softly next. "Gram thu."  A brief glance touched on Hazel and Alex, then she went out the kitchen door to get some air.

"Love you too, Gran." Conor answered back, then walked over to take a seat at the table. He wouldn't be eating. He rarely ate breakfast if he could help it. A couple cups of coffee did him well, it is what kept him going all these years after a rough night of drinking, fighting ... and whatever/whoever else he could get his hands on.

He started on his meal first and was done first. Rising to stand as he finished off his coffee and brought both plate and mug over to the sink to place them in there with the others. He didn't have to but he was being helpful. "Thank you both for being who you are." Addressing Alex and Hazel, not knowing a better way of saying it as their help had been very helpful. Giving them a respectful salute before he was outside with Grams. The carriage had pulled up as he was over to oversee their bags being placed atop and that the interior would be comfortable for her.

"Love you, Gran." He added though his mouth was full still. He finished up moments after Segan and did the same in carrying the dirty dishes over. A quiet thank you given to both Alex and Hazel and he was headed outside. He was anxious to get started before their sisters and aunt became impatient and started for the Thistle.

Segan fastened his horse to the back of the carriage being he would be driving it. None of the brothers had any idea they had race horses that were in a live circuit and doing well. "I'll drive," helping Grams into the carriage and making sure she was situated before climbing up into the driver's seat. Reins taken up as he waited on his bothers. Once they were ready, he would start the carriage forward. He knew where the manor was located and given directions on what streets to take in getting there.

He nodded at Segan, though he grinned. "Ah, should we trust you?" There had been a wagon once and what had happened with it was still clear in Eion's mind. Of course, neither he or Segan had been more than eleven years old at the time of the incident. Good thing too or they likely would have gotten more than being dumped from the wagon. And not too much damage had been done except for one horse being leery of the wagon for a while.

Conor could only laugh when he heard Eion's feigned doubt. He mounted his horse, he'd ride along beside the carriage.

The ride would only take twenty minutes or so about. It wasn't that far and would be quicker on horseback, except Grams was not up to riding horseback and certainly not walking the distance. Though, she might well considering her trips for Gossip sake! Wait until she discovered the stack of old newspapers. He shot Eion a grin, ten years old and they were already setting the blueprint for their years to come. Found out he had a lot of instinctive reflexes and a whole lot of luck. The ride was smooth for the roads were well taken care of. The bustling commons and many stores were passed as the road headed north passing the hospital along the way. Something he took noticed of. "Barrington Memorial," wondering if Grams would recognize the name. The lands stretched out in fields full of flowers and the occasional bit of woods, farms and ranches sometimes seen at a distance from the road had him wondering who lived there and exactly what their product was. The sign for Clearview Stables was curved over a wrought iron gate that announced the lands as he turned the carriage up the long road that eventually brought them to where the stables were, fenced in sections had many horses grazing, the manor a majestic building up further.

The horses knew when strange horses were approaching and Roxanne let out a snort then a whinny as she stared toward the road. "They must be coming." Mel told Concessa as she hopped down from the fence and ran toward the house to alert Chandra and Gemma. That way they could all be outside waiting. Because she had been working, Mel was wearing a riding skirt of doeskin instead of a gown but she was no less presentable. She hugged Concessa, then Gemma and Chandra before taking up a spot where they could see the carriage.

Chandra had just come back outside after taking the flowers in and placing them in vases in various places though the house. When she heard Mel, she removed the wide brimmed had she had been wearing, smoothed down her gown and joined her nieces. It had been so long since she had seen her mother and her nephews that she could barely keep from running to meet the carriage. She'd recognize the brothers just because they looked like Quinns.

Gemma put down the mending that wasn't really getting done and hurried to join her sisters. She grinned for the hug then linked her arms through her sisters', one on either side of her. She was the eldest of the girls after all. "I see Conor, and that must be Segan driving the carriage. Eion's thinner than I remember." She was so glad they had finally arrived. Like Concessa, she had been away and hadn't seen them in some time.

He was interested in the stores of the commons and how the city was set up. Nicer than most he had been through and just as nice as others. He grinned at Conor as they drove by one farm where some teenage girls were herding sheep and staring at the three men with the carriage. "Those lasses are eyeing the two of you up." Falling silent as they finally neared the manor house, he let out a low sigh. "They've gone and grown up while I was gone." He knew they would but it still tugged at his heartstrings.



Date: 06-04-09
Poster: Melantha Quinn
Post # 25

Concessa was like a cat on a hot tin roof at this point. When the horses started responding before they could even see the carriage, she was squealing and running for the Manor. She stood with her sisters on the wide front porch, arms linked, feet dancing even after giving Mel a hug. She finally slinked out of the arm link to be moving around as if that would lend her a better view, she even hopped up onto the rail to see better. "There it is, the carriage!" Shading her eyes with one hand while the other was wrapped around part of the column. She hopped back down before grandmother saw her and boxed her ears later. She might look all grown up and was but there was still the child alive in Concessa. Her smile, if any bigger, would start to hurt her face. She was already dashing down from the porch to be the first one there as the carriage stopped. She would keep out of its way. "Eion, Segan, Conor, you are all safe," relief evident in her voice. "Grandmother!"

Segan was NOT even going to look at teenage girls! "I think it is you they are sizing up Eion, I am just the driver." Like ones would not look at the driver and that was probably true. He started laughing seeing the energy Concessa exhibited. "She still can't sit still," more to himself but it wasn't mumbled. He was careful in drawing up the carriage to the front of the manor, then down from his perch to open the door to help Grandmama out. "You have a reception of Quinns here to greet you."

Mary settled in as a compliant traveler at first, but it wasn't long before she edged up on her cushioned bench to watch out of the window. No sooner had she caught sight of the large manor house did she start waving out of that window. She couldn't see people but she knew a Quinn reception and she was sure they were there! Her arm flapped about in an enthusiastic greeting and when Segan opened the door to help her down, she gathered up her skirts and made quick work of it. "I can think of no finer reception, Segan, than that of Quinn." Her eyes crinkled with her joy as she looked to the gathering of females. "Girls!" Her smile warming even more when she saw her daughter.

Conor had chanced a glance over to the females Eion mentioned, but that was about it. He kept his horse alongside the back wheel of the carriage but when they passed under the gate, he spurred it on to come next to the driver. He shared a grin with Segan, then looked to the house and witnessed a sight far more welcoming than any he had come across this past month. His sisters. All waiting for them. He remained on his horse as he watched his grandmother make her presence known, hugging the sisters, Aunt Chandra, kissing cheeks and squeezing arms. Then he slowly dismounted, handing over the reins to a young lad who had run up to gather the horses from the 'distinguished guests'.

Mel laughed as she watched Concessa, finally unable to keep from dashing down the steps behind her. Her eyes were filling with tears as she watched Mary emerged from the carriage. Of course she would let Concessa get in the first hug with their grandmother "Oh, Gran, it's so good to see you," declared before Mary was even fully out of the carriage. "And the three of you. I missed you so." She didn't bother to hide her tears as she hugged each in turn.

It had been some time since she had seen her mother but Chandra waited as patiently as possible to greet her after the girls. "You look as beautiful as always, mother." She said while she hugged her tightly. "How was the trip? Are you staying or just visiting?" She wanted her to stay but if Mary was just here to visit, she'd understand. Questions about Brady and his family could wait until later. And when the lasses were done, she greeted the three brothers, smiling. "What handsome men you've become. Heads will be turning sure when you walk through the streets." Teasing them lightly.

Gemma tried to keep some reserve as the carriage approached but that proved to be impossible. She was bouncing on her toes by the time they reached the manor. As soon as she could she was hugging someone! She had missed them all so much and she'd never get over feeling guilty about Da. Hardly any talking on her part. She was afraid she'd burst into tears completely.

Segan was quicker than Eion who had dismounted with the intention to help Mary. He just grinned though and turned to the four women. Reaching for Mel first, he hugged her tightly. "I'm so sorry I wasn't there." He whispered then he was swept into the happiness of the moment. Maybe he didn't feel it as much as the others, but being with his sisters, his grandmother and his aunt, he felt like he was truly home. "And look at the three of you. Women and all beautiful. Hello, Aunt Chandra. You're a sight for sore eyes."

It would be easiest being she was heading right for Grandmother and Mel would have to trample her down to get there first. Luckily Concessa was full of energy, bouncing as her hugs were quick, her tears of joy just as fast. "Love you grandma," then on to Segan before each of her brothers. Tears streaming down her face at this point, swatting them wordlessly that they had made her fear they were dead. Only hugging them tighter once more before finally getting enough as the others took their turns too. "Your rooms are ready and a fine meal is planned for you all tonight in celebration." What secret? It wasn't a secret. Wasn't now anyway.

He was overcome with all the hugs, words of endearment fell easily from his lips to each of his sisters and his aunt. "You've been watching over them, Auntie Chan," sounding foreign in the way he made it near one word. He might get swatted but it certainly brought back good memories. "How is Davin doing? It's been some time since we've seen him." Family problems had made it even harder but they had not forgotten their cousin. Once all the greetings settled down, he was over to help unload the bags from the carriage to bring in. "If one of you ladies can point me in the direction of Grandmama's room and ours?" He had her bags first, with one of her trunks balanced over a broad shoulder.

Mary returned to Chandra once her daughter got her hugs in to the brothers, lacing an arm through and patting it where her hand rested. "The trip went well, Segan is a fine captain. And, daughter, I plan on staying until I become a nuisance." It did Mary good to see the siblings all so happy to be reunited. Her heart swelled with happiness and pride. Mary knew that Chandra would probably retort that her mother would never be a nuisance, which meant, Mary Quinn would never be leaving. Yes, the conversation was already played out in the grand dame's head. She watched as her strapping, handsome grandson hefted up her trunk. No wee purse was it either. No, it was full and heavy to be sure. "Watch yourself, Segan, my boy. Wouldn't want you to hurt ..." She grinned over to Chandra before continuing. "my trunk." She stepped back, a flicker of hand directing Segan in through the front door as if she knew where he was supposed to go. Through the front door, that was for certain, so it was there she guided him with that wave of hand.

He gathered up each of his sisters, hugged them, touched a kiss to their cheeks. An embrace to his aunt as well. Then he was over to tug down some of the remaining bags and chests, meaning to haul them in behind Segan.

"We've put the three of you in the west wing while we're in the east." So they could pretty much come and go as they please. "Gran, do you want to rest up a bit first or just head into the kitchen and have a cup of tea and talk." Since they didn't have a cook, the kitchen was where they mostly ate and talked. That would change some now, at least for the evening meal. "And I should warn you that the house is almost always full. We have company most nights." And in spite of trying to act as if that meant nothing, her cheeks gained a touch of rose. "Gran's room is the very first door at the top of the stairs and to the right. I'll show you your rooms after you get her things upstairs." Which might take a few trips from the looks of it.

"Well then, you'll be here a long, long time." Chandra laughed and hugged Mary again. "Because that will never happen." She kept one arm around her mother while she answered Segan. "Davin is doing well. He's the lighthouse keeper here and is usually very busy, but he hopes to be here for dinner. I think he's getting someone to take care of the light tonight."

"I can show them their rooms, Mel." Gemma offered as she watched the brothers with the trunks. She grinned at Concessa again then laughed when Simmer, her curiosity getting the better of her, came over to the fence and whinnied at the family.

"I will help," she was following Segan and Conor to where the rooms were, well, Grandmother's. She would help her put away her things, arrange the room to suit her more. She was going to be at her beck and call. She was also busting with a lot of questions but knew, for once, that they would need to wait until the right time. So she was content to help as best she could. Later she would be down to help with dinner and setting the table.

Eion was right there helping his brothers, though he pretended the trunk he grabbed was heavier than it actually was. "Did you put some furniture in here, Gran?" He teased then followed his two brothers inside. Very impressed with the manor and he'd be asking Gran if it was as she remembered. He found he didn't mind the stairs either. It didn't take long for them to unload everything, and carry everything to their rooms.

"Don't get me laughing Grandmama or I will be hurting something.. though not your trunk." Giving her a wink as he was guided to were her room was. The trunk set at the foot of her bed before he squeezed out as Gemma and Concessa were squeezing in along with Grams. He would leave them to the unpacking as he stepped out of the way as Conor came up behind them. A hand to his shoulder before he was heading back downstairs. "Do you have a bit of the pure here Chandra? Melantha?" Whichever of the two would answer him. He would also see to finding a livery lad to bring back the carriage.

Mary's smile grew as she looked to Mel. "A true Irish home has a door that never latches, lass. The pantry is never empty, the fire never dull. Now...let's get unpacked. If we are celebrating tonight, we have a lot of work to do!" She bustled in after the men, a lowered hand stroking along the wall as she walked. She wouldn't show the emotion of returning to this home she and Jaxon built and had to flee. She wouldn't show the turmoil of knowing that they had both now returned, in their own ways, to this very home. No, she didn't show in her features or her posture that conflicting emotions assaulted her. The grand lady only kept a smile for her kin, squared shoulders, and determination to see them all through this period of mourning that would begin. A period of rebirth as their lives were starting anew.

Conor delivered his grandmother's things to her room then excused himself from her chamber. He paused near Chandra. "Where did they bury Da?" He kept his voice low, his head dipped, not looking to her with his question. He didn't want to ask his sisters, but he needed to know.

Concessa was going to be Gran's shadow for a while and that was good. Mel chuckled as she listened to their banter occasionally watching her grandmother. She had been content from the first day she had been given the position of  Stable Master but now her family was nearly complete, save for Brady's bunch.  And lucky for her, no one noticed that blush. "Of course we do, Segan. What kind of house would we be keeping otherwise? It's in the living room, big double doors to the left of the foyer." She grinned at her  Grandmother too. "We get knights come visiting, and Davin's friends and," she cut a quick look at Chandra then back, impish now. "And others too."

Mary was placing a folded blouse away in a drawer but she stopped, looking over to the girls. "Others? Just enough others to make a comfortable gathering I would hope." She looked from one girl to the next, searching out their faces for clues, but only smiled and turned back to her folding.

"Oh, aye, Gran. Never too many or too few. Some nights there's only one or two. Depending on what's going on during their day." She'd tell them about Gabriel ... later.

Chandra was smiling as well though she gave Mel a warning look. "I think I'll go down and check on the food." She said quickly, then motioned for Conor to join her. Once down the stairs, she went to the door and pointed to a hill  on the grounds, away from the corrals. A large oak marked the spot. "There, near the oak tree. You can see the estate from there and other places." She patted his arm before she made her way to the kitchen.

She was going to stay with Concessa and Gran and listen to their talk and of course, ask questions as well. Right now, Gemma didn't feel like the oldest since she had yet to find her niche but she would in time. "How is Uncle Brady and Aunt Sarah and the girls?" It almost felt like home again. Almost.

Eion went into his room and took a few moments to look out the window, smiling to himself. It seemed that Heathfield would be a good place for a new beginning. He was stepping out of the room when he heard Segan and decided to join him in the search for potcheen. Of course, he'd also want to see where their parents and grandfather were buried but he needed to catch his breath and get his thoughts in order first.

Mary Quinn didn't do well with later. Sooner would better suit her. So sooner it would be, perhaps not now, but sooner. Some underthings were tucked away and Mary patted them in place before answering Gemma. That was so she could turn and look to the girl. "They are all well, Sweetling. So much to tell. We will get all caught up at dinner, yes?"

Conor wandered away from the mayhem, found his saddle and eased out the bottle of potcheen that Alex had provided for him. There was a faint thrumming in his temples, and he drew in a deep breath before walking toward that hill that Chandra had shown him. There, he lowered to the ground next to mound marked as his father's. "Gabh mo leisceal! Ta bron orm!" His words of remorse were softly spoken, he took a long pull from the bottle, then poured as much on the earth near the head of the grave. "We are all here though now, aye? Rest well, Father." He drew his knees up, wrapping his arms around them, the bottle dangling from his fingers. It was here he would be sitting for some time. Just the breeze and the bottle to keep him company while he visited with his kin passed on.

He caught on to that bit of where their father, mother and grandfather were buried. Silently coming up from behind then following Conor out. He had a bottle of the potcheen as well he gotten from the hall cabinet. He didn't encroach on Conor's space but stood at a distance with words in his head rather than spoken. His own silent thunder as he blinked rapidly looking out over the sight before him without really seeing. It was a nice spot, certainly, but he was in the past to the good times shared with his father, shared with family.

The third of the brothers would join the other two, quiet as well. He lowered to sit but not so close that he'd be in either of this brothers' space. He said a silent prayer then spoke to his father in his thoughts, asking his forgiveness for not being there. There really wasn't much to be said.

And down on the porch, Chandra watched the three, her eyes filled with tears. It was good that they had finally come so their healing could begin.



Date: 06-04-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 26

Social Spot

Segan had mentioned to his brothers that after dinner, he was heading into the Thistle. The manor, nice as it was, was a bit crowded. Washed up with a loose fitting poets shirt, black pants and boots, he rode into the commons, taking his time as he noted various places spoken on. Although most were closed, he committed to memory those that stayed open longer. There was a lot to fill the coming days. He'd halt the stallion here and there before continuing up to the Thistle. His brothers should be soon catching up as he dismounted, taking his time in tying the reins over the hitching post.

The night was pleasant enough for a walk, so Conor stabled his horse further down the Commons and took a stroll along the street. For all he was happy to be with his family, it came back quickly to him how a house full of women could get to be a bit ... well ... much. Night sounds didn't strain the eardrums as much. He glanced to the Thistle across the street, squinted, and smiled. Seemed kin had arrived as had the time for a drink or two or even three.

He spotted Conor and waved him over as he started up the steps. There were plans and plotting to be made as they settled in. The port would need to become acquainted with and where to find a good brawl when one was needed. Something Conor would appreciate, Eion use to but he wondered if he still got that fever. It was possible they would each grow out of it. Nah, probably take a woman and having a family and that wasn't something in the foreseeable future by his way of thinking. Door was left open as he continued in, bottle of potcheen collected as well three glasses. Thanking Alex before heading to claim one of the tables near the front window. Better to see who was coming, being the place was quiet at the moment for any going.

Conor glanced up and down the street. There wasn't a lot of traffic at this hour, but he looked all the same before trotting across to join Segan before he got too comfortable within. He slapped a flattened hand to the door that stood open and started for the bar, shooting a look to Segan with a grin. "Raised in a barn?" But he also didn't close the door. The breeze felt nice and if Alex wished it closed, the tender would let Conor know.

Eion didn't find the manor crowded oddly enough and he didn't mind the noise. At least not yet. It was better than what he usually heard and having people around had not lost its appeal, yet. In time perhaps, but after all those months of solitude, it was welcome. So was being able to walk with complete freedom and with no fear of being returned to that hellish fortress. He spotted Segan's horse outside the Thistle and headed for that establishment.

"You'll be having to ask Alex that.." being the door was open when he got here. Slight tip of his chin up as he nudged the one chair out with the tip of his boot. Then the second one as he caught sight of Eion on his way in. "Join me," grin growing as Conor seemed anxious this night. "I'd say you are itching for a card game down at the port soon," as opposed to the Casino where it would be on the up and up, tame.

He spoke with Alex just a moment, a message from his grandmother, then went to where Segan sat and pulled out a chair for himself.

"Evening, brothers, mine." He grinned as he entered and crossed the room. Since their leaving England, he was starting to put weight back on. "Card game or brawl?" Asked as he pulled out another chair and slouched down into it.

"Do we have to chose between the two?" Conor reached for the bottle with one hand, the glass with the other, and poured himself a drink.

"At the port, one comes with the other ninety percent of the time. Question is, are you up for it, Eion? Think you have put back on the weight and muscle yet?"

Conor chortled out a laugh. "Don't fret, Older Brother. We'll see to your portion of any confrontation. You can just press to a corner with the lasses." He didn't look at Eion. He knew better, but he did make sure he kept him in his peripheral vision incase a blow came from that direction.

"I'm not tired as I was and aye, I ... " He paused and narrowed his eyes at Conor, making a jump toward him suddenly, though he wasn't really trying to connect. More to see the youngest's reaction.

"We never got the chance to tell you of our trip to get you out of that dungeon. Conor here was attracting all the wrong kind of ladies. Ones with very big fiancees, none of them liking our Irish accent." The jump had him to his feet in a flash, natural reflexes as there were far more tales to tell before the trip to fetch Eion.

Crap! He flinched back, nearly spilling his glass! It was more Segan's response than it was Eion's! Or perhaps because both of them reacted the way they did. "I think that the salt air has mushed your brain." Afterall, Conor had a vendetta against salt water and air. "To set the record straight..." He checked the inside of his glass, the table near him, even his legs to make sure nothing had spilled. "The rather large bloke was after you, as was the female he turned green about. I was just there to see to your back."

Segan had a hand up to shield the other pointing in a jabbing way behind it towards Conor as he mouthed .. it was all him .. Eion's way before hands dropped away as he collected his drink to kick back. Once set he was topping them all off. "When I get the time, going to go over all those maps I seemed to have collected from various ports and places. If there is anything interesting.." which reminded him of Grams on Eion, "did Grandmama ever give you the map to the treasure here she wanted you to find, Eion?" Of course that was before Grams decided to come with them, though, there too she had implied she had intended to come back the whole time. Taking up his seat again as he dragged the chair over, wooden legs to scrape against the floor before settling down on in.

"Well, the two of you still have quick reflexes." He was laughing as they both reacted then leaned back. "So, what happened with those big strapping brutes?" He took a long drink and placed the glass down just in time for the topping of the glass. "Apparently you weren't injured fending 'em off." Of course, he hadn't seen what condition they were in.

"The lass wasn't so much strapping." He laughed, knowing Eion didn't mean her, but what the felt good to laugh.

"I think she would have strapped Conor to her for the night.." flashing a grin his brother's way.

He paused to point toward Conor, a grin on his face and then he chuckled again. "Now that would be a sight to see. And no, she hasn't yet. But she's still basking in the joy and excitement of the homecoming."

Conor grunted out a laugh of frustration, Segan was always one up on him no matter how hard he tried.

That's why the day he bested him, it would be one to remember and Segan would congratulate him. Until then, he would challenge him every turn because he was his brother.

Conor and Eion still owed Segan for that little prank with Daisy and Liz. They'd have to put their heads together. "I'm sure she'll remember and set us out on the trail soon enough. How did you get away from the fiancee or was there more than one? Was there anything of the tavern left?" Because after all, where else would such a fight take place?

"When is there ever just one Englishman when there is a fight?" Conor muttered, placing his glass back on the table and adding a splash more into it. "They swarm like a hive of wasps. None able to sting without the mass of them to join in. But, I was able to save Segan's hide. Lost my lucky knot and my locket in the process, but we both made it out thanks to my quick wits and honed brawling abilities." He could barely get all that out past his laughter, but he managed, and brought up his glass to drink.

"That's how we met Bryson, well, found another side to the man. We were thrown out, probably lucky we were not shot on the spot but that would have been messy...." words cut out with a dipping glance Conor's way, "I think it was more saving each other's hide that night and stopped before we could lay them all out."

"Amazing how quickly the tables can turn when a flintlock's barrel is staring you in the eye."

He grinned at Conor then nodded slowly. "Too many of them when you're in their home territory, and aye, some can be quick to shoot even at the risk of hitting others with those blasted weapons. So, you met Bryson then. How is the man doing?" One who had to deal with the prejudice because of his wife.

"He's doing well. Helped us all he could to help you. He's the one that turned us on to Rob so we didn't end up in the brink as well. Being we had no idea, we would have gone straight to Bennett's manor. Big mistake that would have been."

Eion's expression darkened and he looked down at the glass in his hand. "Aye, a deadly mistake. Never know what he'll do. He could just send you off without admitting he knew about me, set the dogs on you, or worse, arrested you both and sent you to jail. Then I'd be trying to rescue the two of you." The last was an attempt to lighten his words and he looked up at his brothers again and grinned.

"Well, we would have persisted, so it would leave him few choices to get rid of the annoyance and certainly cover up that which he was doing outside the law. He wouldn't chance us making a stink and going to the local investigators."

"Aye, Segan, that's what Eion is saying. The best way to cover up a stink is to get rid of the source. He may have gotten rid of the problem, us, before we could cause a stink."  He settled back in his chair, comfortable, contented to be with his brothers and drinking.

"Aye, I'm just confirming it would not have been giving us a pat on the head and sending us away saying he knew nothing, no matter, bridges never met to cross and we have our brother safe and sound. I will see about getting a tabloid from the next day and see if any of the others made it out."

"The question is, did our escape cause the King there to take a deeper look or has Bennett managed to cover that up too. The man doesn't have one bit of morals inside him. Nothing is sacred except himself and his gold." He looked at Segan and nodded. "And bless those poor souls who didn't."

All of a sudden, Conor sat forward, his gaze locked somewhere in the distance. He hissed out a "Crap!" He was quick to toss back the remainder of his potcheen and clunked his glass to the table. "I forgot I told Gran that I'd dig her up some spiderwort, belladonna and cut her some other herbs before midnight tonight!" He practically cringed. "What time is it?" His luck the bewitching hour had already arrived and his arse was as good as got! He was scrambling to his feet. He looked to Alex. "What time is it?" He leaned in quick, poured another swallow of potcheen in his glass and drank it, then set the glass down again. "What time is it? Crapalmighty?" He started to the door in a rush, then seemed to remember he was here with his brothers. "Got to run." Up went a hand and he spun around, this time, he was racing for the door, down the steps and toward the stable, even before his brothers could bid him a farewell.

He was up as Conor got up, kicking back his drink before set away to the table. He took the bottle of potcheen for it would be enjoyed. "Eion, how about we go scout out the port. Always best to know one's terrain before getting on the front line of battle." Which alleyways were dead ends, which were not, all kinds of escape routes if needed and where the hot spots were. "Though, maybe we best help Conor out with that task, he might be kidnapped by a nymph who will have her way with him and there will be a different kind of belladonna than what Grams wanted." He shot a look to the cuckoo clock on the mantel. "We got a couple hours," exactly two.

Now, those herbs had Eion worried briefly but well, what harm could she do really? He watched Conor, trying not to laugh and pointed to the cuckoo clock on the tavern wall. He had time yet! But Gran could put fear into any of them. "Aye, let's help Conor, if we can catch up with him. I think he's burning a trail."

He was with his brother as he was out the door as if demons were on his heels, much like how Conor tore out of the tavern. Then again, this was for Grams and she best be appeased!

Date: 06-04-09
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 27

Oranges and Information

Having spent an evening which did not ease until the wee hours of morning, Conor had chosen to remain at the Thistle rather than returning into the house and the possible repercussions of his grandmother for his 'frolicking'. Tired? You bet he was. But he wasn't the type to let that slow him down...well, too much. He sat for now at a table, a cup of coffee and the view outside that window as his company. Alex tended to things behind the bar, in the kitchen, so the quiet interior was more or less Conor's only companion. Whenever Alex returned to the room, Conor shifted his gaze there, but soon enough he returned it to the goings-on outside the quiet tavern.

Lindsay wandered her way up from the port, stopping in the various stores along the way. An off-the-shoulder peasant top was worn as a comfortable choice this warm day. Hair that had been swept back became loose with the constant teasing gusts of wind, especially down at the port. Such seemed to ease by the time the commons was reached. Skirt was black with splashes of color lending them brighter for the stark background. The top a pale yellow lending the entirety of the outfit more subdued. A few oranges were purchased, obviously imported, as she gained the source from the vendor that they might add such to Hollow Woods. Bag slipped into an over the shoulder burlap purse as she continued on, one orange in hand as she worked on peeling away the skin. Time to find out how good the goods were. Quick up the steps brought her breezing into the tavern intent on gaining a glass of ice tea and soon a table to sit at. "Ice Tea, Alex." Smile came swiftly as she approached the bar.

The scent of citrus was a pleasant addition to the common room. As was the vision that accompanied it. Conor eased back in his chair, stretching his legs beneath the table where he sat, and enjoyed both the scent and the sight. He waited for her to make her request, then offered a simple. "Good day to you." His accent heavy, he couldn't help it. His hello, sincere. That he couldn't help either.

That bright smile turned on the one greeting as she collected her ice tea. "Good day to you as well. I'm Lindsay," already on her way over to where he sat, being the only other person in the tavern presently, "mind if I join you?' Already setting her things on the table across from him. She might not be shy in ways but she wasn't going to crowd on his personal space either. The glass set as well the half peeled orange before the shoulder bag was slipped to set and she pulled out another one to roll in his direction. Obviously an offering if he wanted it.

He grunted out a "mmmph" past the coffee he was drinking, then nodded as he placed the cup on the table. "" He rose from his chair, indicated with a motion of hand the chair closest to him. In fact, after the motion, he leaned to pull it out for her, the other catching the rolling orange. His attention went there, turning the orange around in his palm, before looking back at her and her orange. So, you had to peel it. He bit into the bitter outskin, then pressed his finger beneath the layer to begin peeling it. "Conor. Conor Quinn." He lifted the fruit in a toast to her. "And thanks."

She wasn't sure if she was intruding with the grunted sound first made. Head tilting a fraction but soon dismissed as an oddity when words confirmed the accepting, not only accepting but nudged the seat next to him. She didn't mind. Sliding her things down she settled there. "You have a unique technique for peeling oranges, Conor Quinn," working on peeling the rest of her orange which she piled the rind-pectin one atop the other on a napkin. Getting the juicy fruit separated once bare was the trick as she sunk a fingernail where they joined at the bottom. Pulling had a juicy squirt shoot out. "You're welcome. Not often one can get oranges." Slipping a wedge pass lips and teeth as she bit in for her first sampling. It was sweet.

And that juice...burned like fire in the eye! He pressed the back of his hand to his eye, squinting through the other to her as she spoke. "I didn't realize there was technique. It must be rare because I've never had one before." He noticed her technique of eating it and rather than biting right in like he would an apple, he penetrated the layers with a thumbnail then thumb and pulled the slices apart. He set each section on the table before him, not even eating one until they were all free before him. He sat slowly, watching her eat, then collected up one crescent and took his first bite. It was sweet, and juicy, and since he wasn't quite prepared, he coughed as the juice raced down the back of his throat before he was ready to swallow the meat of it.

"Ooooo," quickly standing as she slipped the napkin out from under the rinds to offer over instead of chancing poking him in the eye as well. Except she couldn't help the laugh slipping free either. "Oranges tend to squirt when they are ripe. A good sign though not in the eye." Leaving the napkin there for him as she was back down to sitting. "If you slide in a wedge whole, instead of biting into it, the squirts are contained within your mouth instead of getting anyone close," as what had obviously happened.

"These are very ripe then." He laughed, making use of that napkin not only for his eye, where he wiped, but along his mouth. "Where did you get these? I think my grandmother might enjoy them." As would his sisters and aunt, but his Gran always came first for attempting to please.

"A vendor in the commons. He only had a few left but I got his source that we may get some for the mercantile part of Hollow Woods." She pulled out the bag which had about four more in it and handed it over. "You can have these as I can get some more on the way back and if he has none left, I can see to ordering some from this tropical place." Which made her wonder if the island Lorcan had would have orange trees on it. She'd never been there but knew some about it, that it existed for one and was tropical.

"No, not all, but I will take the one. Thank you." He reached out with sticky fingers and retrieved one of the four, placing the remainder back on the table before her. "Do forgive me, but I know little of these lands. You mentioned Hollow Woods. Is that a forest? Or a town? Is it in Heathfield?" He placed the whole orange for his grandmother aside and took up another sliver of fruit to eat.

"Hollow Woods is the new mercantile, inn and tavern we built down in the port. It's down the furthest end where there was not as much developed. Our group has recently moved here. We first had a place in Reefers Bay up near Rhydin's port. First they were in Rhydin but I wasn't with them at that point. There were a lot of reasons Lorcan O'Domhnaill decided to move and we then offered the opportunity to come here with him. I saw no reason not to. I've no home and the ones I met that comprise this group more like a clan, has become my family." Not getting into how she even got here or that she hoped to find that loop in time to catch up with her father again.

She was a wealth of information, names of places all a blur for him since he knew nothing of these locations, people's names would be remembered and hopefully soon have faces to go with them. "At Heathfield's port? My brother will be frequenting that port. It will be good to know where to get these..." He nodded toward the oranges.

"We shall be sure to start having them in stock when we can." She was sure they only could be gained for a season, though if they had contact with a few different places, that season might be expanded. "Are you from these lands? I've not seen you before but then I don't get up this way on a regular basis." Now and then as needed, usually for supplies for the kitchen. Slipping another wedge of orange past lips and teeth as dark eyes kept trained on his. He had an interesting face too.

He smiled. "My family is originally from here. Way back when there was a fight for the crown. I was born and raised in Ireland. Only just a couple of days ago arriving here." Did she need all that information? "So, no, me personally, not from these lands." He sat forward, fingering a piece of an orange as he continued to speak with her. "So, do you work at this mercantile? I mean, if someone, anyone, wanted to find you again, is that a good place to start?"

"I heard something about a tyrant that caused a lot of grief in these lands long ago. Maybe one day I'll get to hear the details of the story," smile was quick before another wedge of orange was consumed. Next she would have some of her ice tea before it got warm. A slight smack of her lips before answering his last question. "Aye, I work there as a waitress when needed but since the move, more in the mercantile section and making a list of things requested we don't have presently. The idea is to be able to supply the multitude of things people need. From a rake to mops, brooms, baskets, dishes, couplings for harnesses and the like. So, yes, I can be found there at Hollow Woods."

"Well, good." Conor grinned, sitting back against his chair to eat the last of his orange. "I don't know the majority of the history. My grandparents ones that were forced to flee but they are back now, along with my family."

"So you have a long time, ancient, connection to these lands.." more mussed as she reflected on the implications. "How many are there in your family," finishing off the last of her orange before tucking the ones he chose not to take for his family, back into the bag.

"My immediate family? Three sisters, two brothers and living here, my grandmother and Aunt and cousin." He drew in a deep breath. "Beyond that, my uncle and aunt in Ireland and their children." He sat forward again, his arms crossing on the table before him. "You said you had no other home, does that mean, no family as well?"

A wistful sigh escaped before she could curtail it. Family. Could almost bring tears to her eyes if she allowed but she would not. "Family is important, cherish them," not adding before they were gone. "Quinn," finally dawning on her, "one has the Royal Stables.." more a statement than question for it was a fact. Now she was placing them in those tons of information she had gathered in coming to these lands. "I had family, but they are lost to me." Lost in time but that would take a lot of explanation. "I hope to find my father eventually. I know he will be looking for me." Though best if she changed the subject. "So, you are newly arrived with some of your siblings or by yourself?" Being she knew the one had been here for a while. "Are you going to take up some profession once settled?"

He nodded, knowing how important family is, having just found his brother and lost his father. "I do cherish them, Lindsay." His words were spoken low, for Conor Quinn was a family man. His family had been his staying force when his brothers were out exploring the world and he was left to tend to farm and kin. He could almost feel her become uncomfortable with that course of discussion and when she changed the subject, he let it stay changed. "My sisters and aunt were here, yes...just arrived with my brothers and grandmother." Then he drew in a deep breath of resignation. "I suppose I should settle into a profession, aye? To just loiter about wouldn't be very productive, but after several trips by sea just recently." He tapped his hand to the table with a laugh. "None of which I enjoyed." A grin to her and he continued. "I would like very much just to relax for as long as I can without hearing about my idleness from my Gran."

"You may wish to get your land legs back before diving into a profession," smile was easy to return especially once they moved away from touchy grounds, for her that is. "I shall have to make some bets on the horses when they are to be raced towards the end of this month, then go watch." She had not so far but knew they ran them the end of each month. "Have you seen your sister's horses race?" Not being sure of how recent was recent in their arrival for the races were but a week or so ago. "What will you be seeking as a profession?" Next question got in there before she forgot.

"Oh, no...not yet, we only just arrived a couple of nights ago." His coffee was cold, but he didn't realize that until he brought it up to drink and then the liquid touched his tongue. He grimaced, tilting the cup to look inside it, then gingerly placed it back on the table without sipping from it more. "But I fully intend to get involved in the betting as well. Do you know the horses well enough to make an educated guess on the outcome?" He waited to answer the question she slipped in at the end. Smiling over to her after asking his own. Was there such a profession in doing nothing? In truth, he looked forward to setting his hands to leather again, but for now, that brought back memories that were still too raw to swallow. So, idle hands, idle mind...that was his motto for now.



Date: 06-04-09
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 28

"I'm afraid I am not, but I know the man I work for has bet on them and he might. I can make up a list with an inquiry and share it with you." She felt like she had a newfound buddy to participate in some fun times. Races would be fun time in her mind. "I know there are six races and one called a Hometown that anyone can participate in that is there the night of. There are five or six stables," she was not totally certain offhand, "of which one is the one your sister runs." Unfortunately she could not recall the woman's first name.

And unfortunately, he didn't know she didn't know it. "What a treasure you have become for me. Oranges and information! Lindsay, I know none here besides my family. I'm glad you decided to come to the tavern at the same time I did."

Segan wandered down to the Thistle being Conor had still not shown up at the manor. All three had stayed the night here for how much they had consumed. Grams was put out that none of them had shown for the breaking of fast this morning. Though he had wandered in by lunch time! He was quickly in through the side door from the alleyway. Eyes taking the moment to adjust as he spied his brother right off and headed there. "You are alive." Like there was a question if he was not. "If you with to stay alive, I would suggest coming up with something to appease grandmama before you head back to the manor." Straddling up a seat to the other side of his brother and a nod in greeting accompany his words to the lady he was conversing with. "Good afternoon, miss."

She looked from one to the other as the one joined them, obviously he knew Conor so a good suspicion he was one of his brothers. He had mentioned he met few so better chance a sibling. "Good afternoon to you as well, I'm Lindsay." So he had a name for her other than miss. Then back to Conor with a growing smile. "I'm sure you'll be getting to meet many others the longer you are here. I can't say that I know as many of the locals yet myself." The group she came with was fairly large.

"Segan." Conor jerked a head in his brother's direction with that mention of name by way of an introduction. "If she's Irish, Gran will be appeased." Is all Conor said to the threat upon his well being via their grandmother. Actually, Conor's stomach flipped with Segan's statement, knowing he would have to come up with something good as an excuse. The herbs were all there for Gran, but where was Conor? He repositioned himself in his chair. "Segan, Lindsay here works at a mercantile down at the port." He rolled the orange around with his finger. "Lots of good stuff there."

Forewarned was his weapon than wandering home later only to find this out, getting hit broadside. Grinning as Conor gave his name away. "A pleasure to meet you Lindsay and that you have kept my brother company while he still lives." Hamming up that bit of Grams being upset.

The sea air was brisk at Karina's back, pushing her forward and away from the coast by virtue of both its force and its chill. And a good thing too, for she had reason to hurry away from the quay - especially as a shout arose from the tall ship moored some ways off. Karina ducked her head, jammed her hands into her pockets and scurried herself into the next available alleyway. This place was new to her but being no stranger to the streets, she maneuvered the labyrinth of alleys and crossroads and was soon enough, gone and away, out of sight of the sea. Where she found herself next appeared to be a town not much different than any other, though apparently more prosperous than some. That could bode well. Passing by one shop after the next, Karina paused to look overhead at a sign swinging from one doorway. Thistle Tavern. "Hm.." And peering into the closest window, there she gave pause.

"A pleasure to meet you Segan," she was picking up on the brotherly bantering, something she realized she missed so enjoyed it with little interference. Though she could add, "your Grandmother might well be appeased to find out you have been picking oranges this day," adding, "just for her." Smile sweeping with the last of her suggestion.

"Did I mention I love you, Lindsay." He laughed, showing a wag of eyebrows to his brother. He would definitely use that one for Gran. Not that she'd believe him, but she'd appreciate his attempt.

"A mercantile business," he and Eion had gone down that way to scout out the port area of its various taverns and businesses. That and all the streets, where they led or dead in just in case a hasty retreat was needed. Noting someone at the window not far from their table, he gave a wave.

If the woman was Irish she would love the embellished tale. The better embellished, adding dragons and wee folk, the better his chances she would be hugging him instead. "You can weave a good tale, Conor?"

The place appeared quiet enough to suit her needs and rustic enough to make her feel at home. And look, that man was waving at her. A perk of the eyebrow and the face at the window disappeared. But Karina was thirsty and hungry to boot, and so only half a moment later the tavern door swung open. A series of thuds accompanied her entrance as she kicked her boots clean on the doorframe. The lanky and shortish person who entered could, at first glance, be boy or girl. It was certainly dressed boyishly, with loose linen pants tucked into the ankle-high boots, and a tunic that all but swam on the bony frame. A brimmed sailor's cap was pulled tight over the head, with just a few peeps of hair poking out. But as the newcomer looked up to glance around, the young narrow face - couldn't be more than sixteen or so - sparkled with mischief. Though it was a wary sentiment, as evidenced by the way her eyes swung about each
person within.

"I am Irish born and bred." Conor explained, he could weave with the best of them. He couldn't miss Segan's wave and turned to look out the same window.

"I can verify he can weave a good tale." They all learned that early in life as if they carried around the blarney stone in their pocket. "Evening to you lad," first mistaking the one for a boy. Being he only gave a glance for the conversation. The attire attributing to that notion. "You may need to bring Grandmama a bushel of those oranges.."

An uplift of chin was offered to the boy entering, then he looked back to Lindsay. "We don't have a bushel, do we?" He laughed to the female at their table. As far as he knew, they only had the four...and he, the one to take as a peace offering.

Lindsay snickered. The lass might be attired much like a lad but she could tell one of her own gender. "Good evening," as it was heading more towards that time. Realization coming with Segan's greeting, "...Miss." Then watching the faces of the Quinn brothers with that kind of grin.

Sharp-gazed eyes returning to the folks seated at the table, Karina took in their disparate greetings one by one. The fact that the woman was the one to recognize her disguise tickled Karina to no end, and she grinned widely.

"I don't think the vendor had a bushel but your welcome to the other three I have. This way she can eat them all or give them to someone she wants to." She brought them back out from her shoulder bag in the paper bag they had been placed in. "Be my guest if it will help. Grandmothers are special."

"And to ye," And with a bow of the waist, she swept off her cap, waving it in a gentlemanly sort of greeting - except that it loosed her hair, a mop of coppery curls that couldn't belong to any boy. Well, perhaps a very pretty boy.

A double-take was proof that Conor was surprised by the gender of the one who had entered. Granted, he hadn't really looked hard at the stranger, just that glimpse. But that, and Segan's words, were enough to make him think she... was a he. The locks of copper set all to right and he chuckled, thumping a fist to the side of Segan's shoulder. Blind old man! Anyone could see she was a female! He reached that same hand over to gently nudge the oranges back to Lindsay. "You are sweet, and my grandmother would appreciate the thought. But I have always taken my come-uppance when it is due. And if I can't get my own self out of it, then I'm due."

He had been a very pretty boy, then teen. So why he would not notice for having his face to look at over those years. Annoying fact he gradually adjusted to and adjusted another's face if they brought up any teasing on his looks. He gave a shot back to Conor's arm, he might fill Grams with blarney but it wasn't going to work with him. He rose from his seat with a bow of his head. "I stand corrected, Miss."

The exchange between the brothers only had her laughing before caught up and commenced with introductions. "I am Lindsay and here we have the brothers Grimm, or rather, Quinn. Conor and Segan."

"Not at all," the youth waved off Segan's apology of sorts, lifting a sooty hand to rake through that short bright mane atop her head. Ach, her scalp itched. Half-turned towards the bar already, Karina paused to turn back to the group, and after a moment of hesitation stepped a pace closer. What could have been called sharp features softened into a friendly grin as she nodded her own greeting. "And I be Karina. No offense taken for the mistake, for til just now I been goin' by name of Corin." A wink was followed by a decidedly thoughtful air. Scheming, more like. "Although... it did hurt my feelings just a wee bit. Feminine.. sensitivity and whatnot. Perhaps.. reparation could be made though if one of ya's might buy me a drink?" Both eyebrows raised curiously, as if the suggestion were entirely to be expected under the circumstances.

"I can only offer," quiet words to Conor as she replaced the oranges back into her bag once more. One more time coming out and he would be taking them if she had to stuff them in his pockets personally. A warm smile followed. "You're welcome to join us Karina. Though you will need a new thought on a reparation for the drinks are free here." Amused to see what she might come up with on the brothers.

Dang! He was going to offer to buy and look the gallant! He cast a smiling look Lindsay's way but didn't say anything else for now.

"Indeed, the drinks are free here. As well the food and even nightly accommodations." Which if the lad-lass had a need now she knew the circumstances. "Karina, pretty name." He was going to shut up from here on end before he put his foot in his mouth further. Especially after the episode in Ireland he had just escaped from. Didn't need it starting up here for it would give his brothers too much fodder and probably a way to get even with him after the last prank he pulled on them both. Seated again, he settled back to listen.

"Free?" The girl echoed them in tones of wonder, as if they had mentioned that unicorns were the main mode of transportation and manticorns held weekly dance lessons. "Free..." And without another word she spun and hustled to the bar, as if the offer might expire at any moment. A small hand lifted to slap onto the surface of the bar, as she spoke up in tones of authority that were amusing in face of her youth. "Tender! I've a powerful thirst and little enough money in me pocket for ye to quench it," she grinned, going on to order ale and a supper from the straight-faced tender. Free board too, hm... she would have to take advantage of that.

He had assumed the visage of a Inquisitorial Arch-Bishop. Wearing ornate armor with folded black and red cloth over it. At his hip was a broadsword. The hilt was shaped like a golden cross. A gloved hand pushed the door open. From behind that blank highly polished silver face mask his head twisted slightly to look at each of them. The Nameless Bearer of Keys was using those hidden pathways to travel quickly now that he knew Shekhinah was active in these worlds. The Nephilim moved easily towards one of the empty tables. The interactions of the races that populated the Created world where interesting indeed. And others said the Time before the Flood was wicked. Only humans truly understood that. They had such a way of perfecting new torments.

He chuckled watching the lass get all excited over free drinks and food. Not that he could blame her one iota. Distracted to the man coming in and that few seconds to make certain he was not mistaken this time. "Good evening and welcome this fine one." So the one was oddly dressed compared to those he was use to seeing but maybe it was common in these lands. They were told there were many nationalities, beliefs and walks of life that all got along. That in and of itself was oddly different too.

Turning back to the room with brimming mug in hand, Karina was feeling that much better about the world. Assured that her meal would be brought to the table, the lass strolled on over to the brothers and lady. "May I?" And she was already tugging out a chair and flopping her lanky form into it. A deep swig was taken of the ale before it was plunked onto the table, and her cap was lightly flung down next to it. "It means 'pure,'" She said, addressing Segan.

Conor stood as the woman/child approached, offering her a nod that she could join if she'd like. Seemed she took the offer before it was even given, and he chuckled, seating himself again.

When he most likely looked blank, she added, "Me name." He had commented on it after all. That bit of information was accompanied by a smirk. "Me poor parents don't appreciate the irony."

"Certainly," in answer to Karina as she had invited her to begin with when she first was introduced. Sparing the gent a wary glance but was respectful enough to give a dip of her head in adding to Segan's greeting. "That is quite the meaning of a name to live up to."


"So the irony is that the name doesn't suit?" He settled himself back into being comfortable, only an occasional glance to the silent other patron. "Had they had the sight, what should they have named you?"

The Nameless enjoyed the hypocrisy of his station. How he could command the faithful to commit terrible acts in the name of a being of utmost compassion. The perversion and the suffering he could cause. He wore the body of a mortal simply because his semi-divine form would attract attention from the loyalist angels whose mission was to ensure that all the Nephilim where destroyed. And so he walked in the disguise of men. He who had stolen the keys to the Supernal and walked amongst the forbidden knowledge that those libraries contained. Looking to the 4 others who where in the room prior to his arrival. "There is no purity in a world so awash in sin and blood. To believe such is foolish."



Date: 06-04-09
Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 29

"I agree. Though the world could use more purity in it." A slow shift of focus on the male with his comment but he didn't comment back. It never bode well to get into a discussion of religion.

A twitch of a smile pulled at his lips. His fingers were sticky from the orange earlier, he played a moment with that, touching his fingertips together.

Grinning at Lindsay then over to Conor, she parted her lips to answer... only to be interrupted by the dour tones of the strangely-dressed man who'd recently entered. The lass gave the armored man a blink, cleared her throat. "I entirely agree." And then, she leaned over to whisper to Segan, "Is it just me, or does that one look as if he's about to storm the nearest citadel?"

"Aye, well, God watches over children and me in with the fools."


Which had him lean in a touch, head tipped as those quiet words were exchanged. "I almost fear he will get up and start damning everyone to hell thumping the Bible as his right to take God's place in condemning or saving."

There would be no purity in the world if the Nameless had anything to say about it. "God watches over nothing. He sees nothing. Acting on through others," Oh to mention the Creator near the Nephilim was a way to provoke a response. "Cowards and fools pray to a deity in hopes that he manages to save them from themselves. The weak die so that the strong may live and return to his side. So when the time comes they can pronounce to him that I am coming. And when this fallen paradise burns in testament to what he fears I will have burned down those gates."

That got her snickering, though the noise was quickly muffled as the armored one went on, intoning his own personal philosophy. Which, apparently... was somewhat opposite on the spectrum of Bible-thumping. Crossing her arms, the lass just eyed the man, wondering where exactly she had found herself. And then, sensing the others' discomfort as well, she had an idea. Karina jumped to her feet and lifted a hand to point out the window. "Sir! Quick!" She called out to the armored one. "There's a bloke out there. He looks as if he is enjoying this day far too much. I think he's in need of your teachings - Aye, just there!" And she gave another emphatic gesture towards the window, as if to say, Go get 'em!

Conor rolled a shoulder, he felt it coming, and it felt ... good. Too long had passed since he had last engaged in one. "Aye. Sure man. Wish I had it all figured out like you. But...until then. Fool I am. You go right on with your burning and what not. I'm taking a break from serious damnation." At least, until he had to meet with his grandmother later.

"Everyone has their view." Was all she would comment on what the male had to say. Snickering again hearing Conor, she never took these zealot types seriously.

Okay, where were they before? Purity. Ah, that's right. "What name then, Karina? I think I failed to hear or you failed to mention."

It was hard swallowing down the laugh that near escaped as Karina jumped to her feet. It was in his eyes however. From her to the one to see if he took her up on the suggestion.

He motioned Karina to sit again, even though he fell for it at first and looked out the window with interest. "Or the sanity of four...depending on how you consider it."

And, it seemed... out the strange man went on his errand! Karina looked decidedly triumphant as she reclaimed her seat, brushing her hands off. "Another soul saved, all thanks ta me," she commented, reaching for her ale again, though her long gulp couldn't hide the smug look upon her face. And a lift of the mug towards Conor at his comment, Indeed!

Was she avoiding the question or too caught up in her victory to feel obligated to answer. He smiled, waiting, but didn't mention it again.

Which had him finally laughing. "Indeed, though this wee lass may have scared him off with her strong personality in the face of diversity." Which was a compliment to Karina. "I do believe you have just won yourself another drink." He was up as he had not acquired one for himself. This late, he could imbibe of the Pure. Easy stride had him quickly to the bar to gain a bottle and glass.

"Purity, in the end, was his downfall. Talk about ironic."

A tip of the chin towards Segan in thanks, along with a lopsided grin. Then it kicked in, what Conor had just asked her. What name would better suit her, should she have been able to pick it at birth. Though before she could answer, Conor's comment sent her off on a peal of laughter. "Aye, indeed! Will have ta write home about that one," she jested before reining her chortles in. Ah yes...names. "I've always liked the name Nessa. Legend says she spawned a great line of female warriors, ya know." And hey, another drink AND table service. "Thanks!" She called out after Segan.

Which had him stiffening, shoulders squaring. That tale on the Amazons was not made up. Female warriors. He coughed under his breath as he also collected her plate of food to bring over, setting it in front of Purity Amazon with a growing grin, certainly was an oxymoron. "Enjoy, Hazel is a fantastic cook." Another of her drink as well set before he was taking up his seat and pouring himself a glass of the Pure.

"Do you know that one, Segan?" Conor didn't know many tales of far off places and legend. Segan had lived them though...and would know first hand!

"I can't say I know that particular legend though I have encountered a race of women calling themselves Amazons. Much like black widow spiders, they capture males to use then kill once done with them."

Brows shot up...done with them?

Karina might have noticed Segan's curious discomfort, had he not returned bearing food. Glorious food! Karina's eyes widened considerably, showing off their sparkling turquoise hue. And then she fell upon it as if the plate would disappear at a moment's notice. She seemed to barely taste the dish for all the rapidity with which she shoveled it in... coulda been eating sauteed elephant intestines for all she noticed. Aye, it had been a long journey with little protein in between. Still, for all she was enamored with the grub, their conversation bounced into her ears. Pausing for a breath, she nodded to Segan, reaching for the new ale to wash down her last prodigious bite.

Kicking back the shot of the Pure as he turned the question to Karina. "Perhaps you can tell the legend of Nessa?"

Conor settled back, he always loved a well told story.

She was too, enjoying listening to all of this though a glance was given towards the window and the positioning of the sun. She would be needing to get back to Hollow Woods soon. Though this had been the first opportunity to meet others and she was procrastinating giving up the time being spent.

"It's nae a very well known legend, ye ken," Karina finally spoke after swallowing another bite. Now that the edge had been taken off her hunger, she could give the story the attention it deserved. And she did love to tell a tale.

He leaned back in mild surprise at the way she attacked her food. "When's the last time you've eaten Karina?" Before quieting to listen to the legend of Nessa.

Karina just shrugged at Segan before beginning. "It takes place ages upon ages ago, back when the fairy folk flitted amongst us, so they say. Nessa was the daughter of Eochaidh, a great king, and a renowned warrior herself. But as these things go, the need for an alliance soon grew greater tae Eochaidh than her value on the field o' war. And so he married Nessa off tae Fachtna of a neighboring clan." Another pause to shovel some potatoes upon her fork and pop them into her mouth, though she had the good grace to mostly finish chewing them before going on. "Fachtna loved Nessa, for all her independence and wild ways, for she was both strong and beautiful. And Nessa knew he would grant her nearly anything she asked for. And so, she made a vow. She would only marry Fachtna if he gave up his Kingdom and allowed her illegitimate son, Conchobar, tae rule for the first year."
Another swig of ale, which she wiped from her lips with the back of her sleeve. "Fachtna didna very much like the idear, but he yearned to have Nessa as his wife, and so he agreed. Conchobar became King of Fachtna's kingdom, and Nessa his closest advisor. For a year, she instructed him on how tae be a great monarch - how to deal justly with his people, and reap the most riches from the land. The year passed." Here she gave another pause, this one for dramatic effect. "And at th' end of it, the people of the realm so loved Conchobar that when Fachtna tried tae reclaim the throne, there was a great uprising, the likes of which had never been seen. The people stood together an' exiled Fachtna from the land. Conchobar became the permanent King an' Nessa, the unofficial Queen. Conchobar's sons and daughters went on tae be great warriors in their own right. Fachtna's descendents eventually joined Medb in her conquests against th' Conchobans... But that is another tale." And so she concluded, reaching for her ale once more.

So intrigued with the story, Conor could only nod at the pauses, encouraging her to continue and now that it was over, he actually stared at her. "So Nessa did the man she was to marry wrong." He spoke softly as he considered the tale. All for the sake of her son, but still, did the man wrong. He'd have to really think about her choice of names now that she had explained about this Nessa.

"Nessa looked after her own," Karina retorted, and for the first time there was a hint of sharpness about her. Though her frown was hidden quickly enough by the mug of ale which rose then to her lips.

"Bright lass, made lemonade out of the lemons given her." He lifted his glass in respect of such an enterprising lass. "Nessa would be a good name if one had their choice." Seems he had a different view than his brother which only had him chuckling after the pure coated his throat. He was getting use to it.

Conor shrugged. Had she married the man with an honest intention, she may have had several...owns. Each entitled to what was theirs and not taking away another's rite. "As we all do." He commented.

"Fachtna was a bad man and a worse ruler," she went on, almost defensively. "By wronging him Nessa improved the lives of all his people." Her defense was stopped though, by Segan's appeasing comment. Face softening, she nodded agreement to the other brother. "Exactly."

"Aye, there was more to it than stated. I remember such a tale but had forgotten the names. If the man had loved her, he should have courted her properly than having the father make her marry him." She gathered her things as she stood. She was already late but the time had been worth it spent. "I'm pleased to have met you all. Conor, stop by the Inn, first drink will be on me." Referring back to an earlier conversation, "for your brothers as well if they accompany you." Being Hollow Woods was not free like any of the other Inns and taverns about run by citizens.

The youngest brother glanced to Segan. "Aye." The son knew nothing of ruling and Nessa informed him. She mentioned nothing about Fachtna's rule. He spoke the one word but he still held his own. What could of been would never be known, only what was. And that was the tale, so he'd accept it. He could tell his opinion upset the woman, so he'd not press it. He was in enough trouble with females lately. Speaking of! His hand clamped over the orange on the table and he stood. "I missed breakfast and the midday meal. I suppose I should go take care of ... things ... before dinner." Many were forced into marriage. Deceit...was deceit in his eyes. "Lindsay, thanks." He lifted the orange to her and his nod showed he'd stop by for that drink soon. "A pleasure, Karina." He offered her a nod. was time for the confrontation with Gran. "Catch you later, Segan."

Karina glanced between the two brothers, then over to Lindsay. It figured, the other female at the table would understand her point of view... which thought brought a smile to her lips, shared with Lindsay. But then the woman was up and on her way, as well as Conor. Karina nodded her head to both, causing a light bobbing of the mussed curls atop her head. "Hope to see ya's later, goodbye," she bade them farewell.

He rose from his seat as well. "I should be there when he confronts Grandmama." To make sure Conor was left with his ears intact. "It was a pleasure meeting you both, Lindsay, Karina. Perhaps our paths will cross again and another grand conversation to have." He would walk Lindsay part way out being his brother took off like a bat out of hell.

She welcomed the short escort out, their paths parting as they each had different directions to go.



Date: 06-07-09
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 30


Davin had made sure the fire burned brightly before heading into the commons for some time off. He'd been working too hard and heard that his cousins were frequenting the place. Wasn't fun to drink alone. Of course he rode in for the distance, long stretch of cliff was deceiving in how long it took by foot from the Lighthouse and the horse may have to haul him home. Well trained one he was worth his weight in gold. Dismounting as he reached the Thistle and let the horse roam in the field that ran up from where the garden was. There was a vardo or two up there so he heard and had gotten a glimpse of one of them before. Fingers dove through windswept hair as he was up the steps, hand falling away by the time he reached the door to continue right on in.

Today had been...eventful! The majority of the morning he had spent collecting the supplies he would need to begin his project for Maurice. The afternoon, appeasing his grandmother with taste tests of various candies she had made. Life was hard, no? The late afternoon and evening, at the spar field, making an ass of himself and watching as Eion proved he was far from one. So they each had their reasons for sharing that bottle! But one shared one was Eion's success!

The three brothers could probably be heard a mile away as they made their way down from the kings field. Segan had the hindsight, or was it foresight?, to bring a bottle of the pure with him to share.

Two brothers might be heard. The eldest was quiet even if he was sharing that bottle. He was proud of what he had accomplished but there were other ... things to think about, and they caused him to frown.

"Why the dour mood, Eion?" Having noticed, after a while mind you, that his brother was far too quiet. "Hey, is that Davin heading into the tavern?" Their cousin had grown quite a bit since they last saw him. Still, he had Quinn in his blood no matter his surname.

The bottle wouldn't last much longer, but the Thistle was in sight, so there was hope.

He almost made it in complete, turning on the heel of his boot as he heard a ruckus outside. Coming back to stand in the doorway as he looked out down along the street. No one coming up in particular as he leaned out, hand gripping the frame of the door for balance as he looked up the side street.

"You there!" Conor called out to Davin. "You looking for a fight?" If Quinn blood flowed through his veins, the man would answer correctly.

He looked up and squinted toward the tavern before letting out a laugh when he heard Conor. Dour yes, but some things could still make him laugh.

"Aye, you think yourself man enough to give me one?" Taking on the stance of a boxer, for certainly he had been trained in Ireland. That fists folded under the dip of his chin and how his feet were planted, moving in ready from heel to toe.

"I don't know Conor, I think our little cousin is not so little anymore and can take you on." Grinning as they reached the tavern, steps gained as he stepped aside to give Conor room.

"Looks like a challenge to me, Conor. Lad's asking for it." He was grinning openly now. Of course, if his brothers remembered that he hadn't answered the question yet, the frown would return.

Conor laughed, hooting out a yelp of greeting. "You bluidy Irish scumwad!" Conor broke free from his brothers to charge the man on the porch. As he arrived full steam ahead, he pulled to a stop and wrapped his arms around the fellow in a tight embrace. "Davin Byrne!"

Which he stepped aside at the last minute so he wasn't barreled over, but, he also grabbed Conor around the waist in a way to bring them down, rolling on the porch as they wrestled. He was finally as big as his cousins. Once to a certain age they caught up. So the hug was returned in a way boys would always be boys.

He chuckled as he watched Conor and Davin, wincing as they went down with a thud. That made his bruises hurt just to watch.

He was hooting them on before helping his brother up as well his cousin.

A pound or two of fist to Davin's kidneys wouldn't hurt the man, they were more for play than for punishment but Eion and Segan better watch their ankles and shins, because booted feet were flailing about.

He danced out of the way of that kicking, just avoiding more bruises to his shin, and looked inside. "Plenty of potcheen tonight, Alex." They'd all be needing it.

Which he got in a few punches in kind, more sliding off as to not hurt his cousin either. All in fun as next they were being helped up. Feet scrambled fast as he was up. Davin knew all the things they didn't where the family was concern. Not necessarily tight lipped either as the women had been. "I didn't think I'd be staying but I have found a home here. You'll have to come by the Lighthouse soon. Found some rather interesting items given up by the sea to show you." Another time as he swung his arm around Conor to head in. "You have found the Potcheen?"

He accepted his brother's aid to stand, his hair a mess, his clothing not much better and he didn't even care.  And in they headed..."Are you kidding, first night here?" He laughed, glancing back to Eion. He was well aware his brother hadn't answered Segan but yes, all would return full circle as it was needed.

He waited for his cousin and brothers to move inside before following. "I was up to the lighthouse a day ago, but didn't see you there." He was heading right for the bar to collect the drinks. "Table or bar?"

"Glad you're here to celebrate with us, Davey boy. Eion here just whooped up on three of the Heathfield's men and one of their sister island." Conor shrugged to Eion's question, he didn't care as long as he could get his drinks.

This time when the ragamuffin came into sight, it was through the front door rather than down the stairs. As soon as it had gotten dark enough to obscure the details of facial features, she'd ventured out onto the streets. It was a practice she liked to employ in every new town she went to, for knowing the lay of the land early often came in handy later. And so she'd wandered about for the last few hours, enjoying the special quiet that only twilight could bring a place. Enjoying too, the way that moonlight had a way of making any shabby shop or ramshackle house look...almost beautiful. It was the one time such poetic thoughts could run free, though most of her brain stayed attuned to the sounds and shadows around her. As she came back up to the Thistle she'd decided, she rather liked this place. Might even be worth staying a time here. If possible. And so the lass was humming to herself as she came in through the door, accompanied first by the muted thumping of her muddy boots against the door frame.

"Aye, first night I was here too. Knocked me out for the night. Got to surprise my Ma the next day." Obviously he had shown up without her knowing but then there had been strife between them. He was getting over it. Finally. Though one arm was around Conor's shoulder he reached with his hand to give a thud to Eion's shoulder. "You went up against the best. Something to be proud of. You were?" Pausing in his steps as arm slipped from Conor to face Eion. "If I wasn't in the lighthouse then I was down below. There's a way down to the rocky coast. I check it out twice a day at least. Sunrise and before Sunset." A few reasons.

"We'll have to come up and not only see your place but check out the shoreline." He knew what treasures the sea coughed up especially along a rugged one like where the Lighthouse was. Hearing someone behind them as they were partially over to the bar, a look over a shoulder had him recognizing Karina. "Evening Karina." Then upon his brother Eion as he came up alongside him, "you still didn't answer my question."

Then to a table it was, one near the window. "More like they whooped up on me." He winced a little at the thud then nodded. "Aye I was. And I'll remember that next time. " He filled the four glasses before taking one of the chairs and sitting. And that mention of next time had him frowning again.  He let out a long sigh when Segan spoke, picked up his glass and took an extra long drink. Not quite avoiding answering. After allowing his voice to come back, he answered. "I'm not taking a position here."

Conor, of course, would have to pass. Sea...Conor...baaaad combo. He pulled out a chair and joined Eion, but his arse didn't touch wood, he stopped mid sit to stare over at Eion. "What?"

"What? After all that. You will turn the offer down from the King here?" Maybe Eion needed his head rearranged for it obviously wasn't screwed on right.

"Hoy, lads," the girl all but chirped, greeting them with a lopsided grin and a lift of the hand. For those who'd not met her yet, she was... something to take in at first glance. Ratty-tat boy's clothes hung on a frame that was narrow all the way down, though suggested the presence of lean muscle. Not yet past her teenage years, she wore a cap pulled tight over her head, just a few glimpses of bright curls poking out from beneath. Karina had been just about to speak to the Quinns again when the tension in the room sank in. And then Eion's words that he'd be leaving soon.

The entering woman couldn't even be acknowledged yet. Not after Eion's revelation.

"I'm not staying." He didn't look at either of them as he answered. "I'll be leaving first chance I get."

Seems there was something up between the brothers as he gained a glass and bottle of potcheen. "Evening, Karina is it?" Thought that was the name he heard. "I'm Davin." Attired in ordinary clothes, poet's shirt of an off white tucked into brown pants, boots that laced up to his calves.

A brow perked upwards, and her gaze was still curiously half in their direction as she turned to the one introducing himself. "Hallo Davin, aye I'm Karina."


"Hold on a blasted minute." He shot a glaring look to Segan then back to Eion. "What have I missed?"

"Leaving for where and why?" Oh, he was going to talk to Grandmama on this. "You've missed whatever it is that I missed too. I heard him accept the offer." He had didn't he? "Seems there is nothing to celebrate then tonight."


"I'll go to the colonies. Somewhere." He shrugged then looked at Segan. "Because this place is not ... normal." He stood and started to pace. "Winged men, the ground moving, wind coming from nowhere. Are the two of you telling me you found that normal?"

He had no clue to what was going on other than Eion had been tested and it seemed he had done well. He decided to give the brothers some room to work this out as he kicked back the first dram of the Pure, then filled his glass with some more.

Conor didn't continue down, he just stood right up completely. Davin knew the Quinn brothers well and sometimes, working things out between them, ended in punches thrown, noses bloodied, eyes swollen and bruised.

"I've seen other kinds of strange things. Makes this seemed more normal. You going to go tell them they are freaks and you can't fight alongside them?"

Karina was with Davin on that one. Curious as she was, she knew her place enough to know that it WASN'T between a pack of quarreling brothers. She knew so from personal experience. And so, she went straight to the bar to collect herself a tankard of ale.

Conor whistled at Segan's suggestion. The youngest brother had already insulted one of the King's Men. Sure, Eion, go right ahead, get in line behind him!

"I didn't say they were freaks." He threw his hands up in the air. "It's not real. None of it. I'm going to wake up and find meself on the ship still, or worse, back in prison." He grabbed up a bottle and shook his head. "I didn't accept anything, I said thank you. I said maybe I'd take them up on the healers which I didn't. And I asked for time to heal. Well, guess I'll be healing elsewhere."

"Oh, it's real. Better than bats as big as a boat coming after you, leaving a shadow to slink over the terrain below. Better than people barely two feet tall that swarm on their victims like ants over a hill. Boiling them down until their heads could fit in the palm of your hand. Better than snake people whose limbs are too long in proportion and have these plates fixed in their lips to make them wider and protruding like a duck's bill." Deciding he needed a drink before he continued, or should even continue.

"Dang, Man...if you have to be dreaming all this, you could have left me out of the ship ride here, you selfish bas'tid." His final words drifted almost into nothingness as Segan began explaining some rather amazing things.


He might have laughed at Conor if he wasn't so mad, and he wasn't sure why he was mad. "Then you stay here and accept it. I can't. I can accept the men are the best feckin' warriors I've ever seen. But how do I know what I was seeing, feeling wasn't some ... trick ... from some drug? What people do to themselves physically is a whole lot easier to accept then ... magic." He was going to even deny that he had felt anything himself. That he might have these ... supposed talents. "And don't worry about telling Gran and Aunt Chandra and the girls. I will when I go home." Not home. "To the manor."



Date: 06-07-09
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 31

Well, it seemed like Segan had been to a few places. He had traveled enough about once he had taken off on his mother and uncle. He heard about some of those places. He was watching them, listening before blue eyes turned on Karina. "Are you new about town then? I haven't been in town, well here, much of late." He'd been in town to collect his weekly groceries and such needed items.

Karina thanked Alex for the drink, taking it into hand though lingering at the bar a moment to just listen. Her brows lifted at Segan's rather... dramatic exclamations, and she stifled a snicker, because emotions seemed too high for humor right now. She wasn't exactly sure what the brothers were talking about, except it seemed that Eion was leery about some of the folk around here. Well, she could understand that. Some things she'd seen had boggled her mind too, just had to get used to it. But Davin was speaking to her again, and so she crossed the room to join him where he sat. "Aye, fresh off the boat just yesterday."


"You do that, you go tell the King you're afraid of something not of the norm. You go run away. You've lost my respect." He had always looked up to Eion being the oldest, being the head of the family and now he was going to desert them. Just like that. Just like that he was up, taking the bottle of potcheen and heading out onto the porch before he broke the bottle over his brother's head or worse.

Conor threw up his hands, paced away, knocking the chair he was about to sit in aside with the side of his leg. He muttered under his breath as Segan and Eion 'discussed' Eion's decision. Conor just walked the floorboards, grumbling, hand movements to those words, and shaking his head. And his steps...stopped! A disbelieving stare to Segan.

Oops. Probably should've left off that detail about arriving by boat. Karina reached up to give the cap on her head a little tug over her brow. "And ye?"

"He didn't mean that." Conor attempted to smooth over that last comment spoken in anger, glancing to the door that Segan had stormed out of. "Eion, I've never been one much for travel, you know that. I was content to stay on the farm, see to my leather, live my life quiet like. But my family is here now, aye? So here I am." He crossed over to Eion and flattened his hands to the table, leaning toward him. "You think about your decision. You had a rough time of it on that field. I ain't saying what we saw, what you experienced, wasn't a bit strange. But hell, Angie Lipscomb had six fingers on each hand, remember? That's friggin' strange! Six toes on each foot too!"

"I think everyone gets to experience fresh off the boat at least once in their lives," words trailing off as they were kept low as he watched his cousins. A frown starting to mar his features but he still kept out of it. "I came here a half year ago. My mother is here and well, the Quinns are my relatives. I was given a position in taking care of the lighthouse."

"Aye. Or they ought to, at least," she agreed... although her attention was being taken more and more by the scene playing out before them. Her eyes followed Segan as he all but stomped out then returned to Eion and Conor. But then, Davin's words sparked her interest, and turquoise eyes focused suddenly upon him. "The lighthouse? I've seen that. Do ye actually live inside it?"

The day spent traveling around the area in search, but no luck. A stop for a drink and break from horse back sounded good. Leaving her horse near the door, Vanessa pressed on through the door, relieving her hands of riding gloves and pushing them into the pockets of riding coat. A light smile to those inside. "good eve, all." And to the bar to request some cider from Alex.

He grinned. "You still kissed her behind the schoolhouse, Eion." He pushed up and waved a hand.

And because Karina was still half-listening to Conor she about choked on her ale in laughter.

He turned for a moment as someone else entered to nod a greeting to them. His voice lowered. "Just saying, give yourself some time to think, Brother."

"Well, not in the lighthouse itself, the tower part. There is a cottage aside it that was given over along with a cat, gold tabby, that has been there for as long as anyone can remember. It's comfortable and well made against the winter storms. The sight from the tower is breathtaking. If one could come close to seeing what an eagle sees while soaring, it is from the tower."

He listened to Conor quietly, not looking up at him while he spoke. And he laughed, but it was a bitter thing. "Aye, I did but it's still not the same. Look. When you all saw Heathfield, you felt something. I didn't other than aye, it was a pretty place." He stood, shaking his head. "I ruined the night for you all and I'm sorry for that. But the two of you have more right to what Da left then I do." The sword and sheath were removed and placed on the table. "See that Segan gets that. I need some air." He started for the side door. Best to not let his brother see him right now.

Cough. Karina wiped her mouth with the back of her sleeve, turning back to face Davin fully then. The grin on her face softened into more of a genuine smile as he spoke. "Ah," she sighed, "Can't imagine waking up to such a sight every morning. Well, without the deck rocking beneath ya's."

Segan was leaning against one of the pillars along the porch of the tavern. In the shadows as the bottle was lifted as one passed along and into the building. He knew his disappointment was great and bitter words followed, hence the reason he removed himself so worse wasn't said and damage done that would be hard to undo.

Conor blew out air from his lips, causing them to vibrate against each other. "I felt something all right! Relief! I'd had my head in a chamber pot for most of the trip! Do you know what else had been over that pot? Come on..." He looked to the sword, then shook his head. Ahhellno! He chanced a look to his cousin and to Nessa, offered a smile, and without Eion even knowing he was following behind him. He thought he got a workout on the field? Quinn brothers knew how to fight...and it looked as if it was time for Eion to remember that the youngest wasn't exactly always Mr. Nice Guy. He made sure to close the door behind them.

He did stop though to listen to Conor again. Nodding to Davin and the girl as well as the woman who had entered, he continued on out. Not realizing the sea avoiding one was following!

Concern was etched in his features as he watched the other two cousins leave. "I hope it is something a good night's sleep will cure." Spoken to Conor before he was out the door.

Thanking Alex for the drink, she seated herself quietly and took the first drink, idly listening to bits of conversation around her.

'Nessa' nodded to Conor as he passed, her lips quirking in return... though she wasn't sure she liked the look upon his face as he left behind Eion. Looking back to Davin, she quirked a brow, "think one of them will come crashing through that window in a few moments?"

Oh, there was a cure for Eion's ill and Conor was just about to administer it!

So he thinks!

It's a given.
"Do you think I was finished talking?"  He called to Eion.

"It seems not, but I am!" He yelled out and did not slow down. He was heading for the lake.

Even better!  "Well, good, then you shut the hell up and listen to me!"

"I can't feckin' help listening!"  Think they were waking up the whole city?

This wouldn't be the first the youngest and the eldest had come to shouts, threats and finally fists.

No, and it wouldn't be the last though usually Segan was in there with them.

"Hearing, you deaf peacock, you can't help hearing, you don't listen worth a damn!"  His steps had quickened and he caught up with Eion.
"ChristAlmighty, Eion. Stop running!"

"I'm not running and since when am I a bluidy peacock?" He turned to face Conor and nearly ran into him.

"You are running...away! And you are feck'in bloody!" With that, and his brother so close, Conor swung and caught Eion right in the jaw. First blood.

"I can hope so, that would mean they are resolving the problem." Though he didn't know really what the problem was."Evening," addressing the other woman that came in, bad timing but that wasn't her fault.

"Resolving eh? There's a word for 'bar brawl' I've never heard..." Her gaze wandering off to the window.

He could see through the window that his brothers took off through one of the side doors. And, that Eion had returned the gift he gave him. He'd leave it right there. It was no longer his in his mind. Shifting up from his lean, he was down the steps and heading around to the side where they had stepped out.

Segan could probably hear them both shouting like the daft gits they were.

Pale golden eyes turned towards Davin with a light smile. "Good eve." Seemed bad timing was the story of her day today.

Echoed, made it easier to find them, fists clenching at his sides, one around the neck of the potcheen bottle, as he approached the two. "You always faced your problems before, Eion. What happened? Da left you head of this family, you can't shirk that." He was still angry but trying to control it.


Control? What was control? There was no better control then to have at it and get over it! Conor was all about that.

There's Segan and well, he would have answered Segan but Conor caught him with that blow and his head snapped back and to the right. Oh, he was seeing red now but first! He had to put the bottle down so he didn't spill the pure.

"I am Davin and this lovely lady," whether a lady or not, "is Karina. Newly met. What name are you given?" Was there shouts filtering in through the side window?

A nod to Davin and Karina. "A pleasure to meet you both. My name is Vanessa Baltimore."

'Lovely lady'? Well now, THAT terminology had certainly never been applied to her before. Especially when wearing raggedy boy's clothes and smudged with road dust as she was now. A snort was given and she took another gulp of ale. "Pleasure, Vanessa."

"Nice to meet you Vanessa. You would be a visitor then too?" He'd not seen her about either. Though he didn't know everyone in the lands yet.


She nodded lightly and turned on her stool to face them. "That I am. I had hoped to find the imports shop open, but no such luck."

"Is there something you are looking for in particular? Xander might be off with his fiancee." Hell, man could have eloped with her by now. Seemed to be the trend in that family.

A light shake of her head. "No, well...a few things really. I had hoped to buy some of his stock in a few items he had."

"What sort of items ya looking for?" Karina asked, more for curiosity's sake than anything. She was still listening for sounds of the boys outside. You know, like blades clashing or death throes.


Oh, good move, Eion. As soon as the whiskey was safe, Conor used that bent over position of his brother to apply an upwardly mobile fist. At least he got two in before his older brother beats the devil out of him.

Worse, when he was bent over like that, Segan was close enough to do a well placed boot to his arse.

He'll claim a lapse in judgment in a moment. He went down briefly but was up quick enough so he didn't get hit again! "That's two, little brother." He growled, spitting blood out into the dirt before he was charging Conor and taking him down. And Segan helped propel him forward.

"If you make a list and give it to Alex, I'm sure he will see that he gets it." He was trying to be helpful, words fading off as Karina spoke up. A moment taken to look at the door where his cousins went. He had hoped to share a few drinks with them but it seemed that wasn't going to happen. Not tonight.



Date: 06-07-09
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 32

"Oils and dried herbs mostly. Things to make candles from." She took another drink before speaking again. "It's nothing to trouble himself over, really. I never know when I'll be passing through Heathfield, so no sense in having him hold things."

"Well, I can let him know and maybe he can leave some here with Alex for the next time you pass through."


Smile brightened. "Thank you. That would be wonderful."

Which had him smiling again as it had been stolen away with the trouble between his cousins. "I'm pleased I could help." He had edged near the window and what he could see at this point was the three of them fighting. Probably why the yelling had stopped.

Karina was glancing between the two of them as they went about their idle chitchat. Which wasn't exactly this lassie's scene. The argument likely raging outside, however...And as Davin wandered thataway, Karina scooped up her tankard and went to peer eagerly out the window as well. "Ach..." She commented as the three brothers let fists fly, "S'pose we oughta let them... work it out..."

She finished her drink and smiled. "It's been a pleasure to meet you both, but I should be on my way. I have a long ride ahead of me." She slipped from her seat and made her way out.

"Had I been more involved, I'd be in it with them but presently, aye, best to let them hash it out. There is the problem of their father dying recently too and that can be hard to adjust to." Took him many years to adjust to his father's death and he was much younger.


"Ah." Sharp features softened somewhat as she glanced back out the windows towards them. "Must be hard, I suppose." A glance back to Davin. "I mean, I imagine. I've not seen me own Da in a while now."

"They lost their mother years ago and so to lose their father now had to be hard. Like anyone you get to know well, love, it's a hurt of the deepest kind. Sometimes you get mad at them for leaving you when it was not their fault to die."

"Mmm." It was meant to be a sound of agreement, though in truth, Karina was trying to imagine what Davin was talking about. She'd never have the opportunity to experience that sort of hurt. Should be grateful for that, really. So why did the thought make her feel so hollow? One thing was for sure, a change of subject was in order. "So long as they don't kill each other. Then there'd be a whole lot more ta grieve."

Great! That application of boot just gave Eion more momentum! He slammed into Conor with enough force to flatten him to the ground and knock the air completely out of him. With Eion on top of him he knew he was trapped, so he gave a shove, attempting to roll out from under him while he shot out his fists to the side of his brother's head, his neck, anything he could hit with enough force to make a difference in his current positioning.


He'll take care of Segan in a moment. While Conor was pounding him, he was pounding back. Not doing a whole lot better but he'd make every hit count. Conor connected with his eye, and Eion saw stars. He roared out a yell as he grabbed Conor by his shirt. Of course, that might not have been the best place to grab. Riiiiiiiiiip.

That's when Segan picked up Eion's bottle of the pure and started pouring it over the two. Notice, he didn't use his bottle. Least not yet.

Where the blueblazes was Segan? That was the only thought that had time to surface as Eion pummeled him. A shot connected to his ear and a roar of sound followed. Wait...that roar was Eion. GOOD! The whiskey bath that poured down over them only made him madder, stinging and burning in the open wounds caused by the brotherly show of affection. "My friggin' shir..." The whiskey poured into his mouth and he started choking, really giving Eion a shove now in order to breath! He used his forearm and elbow and applied an uppercut, but his hand got tangled in the ripped fabric which caused him to be fighting with his clothing rather than his brother!

That stung and with his head snapping back when Conor's shirt tore, he got some in his eye. Not enough to do permanent damage but that stung! And while Conor was fighting clothing, Eion was trying to see to find Segan.

Oh, Conor had a fist or two to discuss with Segan too now!


Bottle empty, he stepped back to take a swing from his bottle. They were beating on each other pretty good and he had to laugh when Conor's shirt ripped, "you fight like girls."

Oh, oh, oh, now those were fight'n words! Conor rolled to hands and knees and glared over to Segan. "Put the bottle...down...Segan."


There he was. He stood slowly, waiting ... waiting ... fight'n words indeed!

He finished the last swing and put the bottle down, right on Conor's toe. Thick glass didn't break for hitting the boot hard.  "C'mon six toes Sally," making his fingers in a gimmie way to take him on.

He glanced to Eion, then with a nod, lunged for Segan.

And that was what he was waiting for. He lunged for Segan as well. They were both going to get him.

As he lunged he wrapped his arms around his brother in a bear hug squeeze. Though when Eion lunged it had him staggering back and down, now he was grabbing and shoving at anything in his way. Sent him into a frenzy, putting him back in the Amazon River and tangling with an anaconda.

"They wont. Might sport a few bruises and cuts, but they'll stop short of really hurting one another. Blood runs thick." Though now it looked like both Conor and Eion were beating up on Segan.

"Aye, so I can see," she commented... for indeed it looked like the lot of them were bloodying each other up pretty good. "Here's hopin' it ends with handshakes and drinks all 'round."

"Her name was Angie!" Six fingers and toes or not, she was a good kisser. He near shouted into their ears as they went down. Punches flying, even though he wasn't sure which one of them he was hitting!

Conor was holding on just that tight too, using his hard head to pound on Segan's chin. It didn't matter which one received the blows, they were all in it now. Heck, Conor even belted himself once, he knew it because his knuckles cracked at the same time his jaw did. Cut, bloody, bruised, ripped and soaked, Conor actually started to feel better. His blows came slower now, and with less force, although every now and again he'd plant a good on to one or the other of his siblings.

Davin started to laugh. The three were a tangled mess of arms and legs, all swinging. He swore Conor hit himself in the jaw the one time. Which with her words he studied her a moment. "You like one of them?" Why would she care otherwise? That just dawned on him. He was only eighteen so some things like that took longer.


Karina snickered too as the fight deteriorated into a free-for-all on the ground. Ouch, they were gonna feel that in the morning. Davin's question then took her utterly by surprise. "No!" She replied, emphatically. "I only just met 'em yesterday. What do I care if they all beat themselves into a pulp?" The teen scowled at the very idea. "Just like watching a good fight, is all."

He couldn't help but laugh as he watched her, chin tucked as blue eyes trained on her features. "Some would say you profess too loudly against the idea. You can meet someone and be attracted. Which one? Eion? Segan? Conor?" The last had him chuckle. "I think it was more worry they might actually beat each other into a pulp." He was getting better at this?


"No!" She replied again, this time less defensive and more irritated. Though as she eyed Davin, she had the sneaking suspicion that he was actually enjoying this. Crossing her arms, she turned to face him fully. "They can rip each other's ears off for all I care. You're watching the fight too, you know," she pointed out, "though a lady would never suggest anything wrong about that. That'd be wrong in more than just one way." Trying to get Davin's goat now, aqua eyes sparkled as a smirk began on her lips.


He imitated her crossing of her arms by crossing his in like fashion as he faced her off. Even the humph look. "No? Yes." So easy to switch the two and he was enjoying this for she was cute about it. In her own way. "And which of the three would you help first if they were all bloodied up? There's nothing wrong in me watching the fight other than not getting involved in it. You watching the fight, now that is a horse of a different color. There is an interest. Maybe I should pick one of the three. Conor. That's the one you like, aye?"

She opened her mouth to retort but Davin just plowed onward. Even up to the point of inventing his own answer! She stared him down for a second, clearly plotting her retort. "Why, do ye think he's the nicest looking of the three?" An eyebrow arched eloquently as she looked at him expectantly. Well? "I mean, if you had to pick..." And she watched him closely, maybe she'd turned the tables there!


That's when Segan bit his head. Which he had done to the anaconda. His words were incoherent as fists flew, connecting most of the time as he seemed to gain an inhuman strength. Throwing one off of him while sweeping the other one with booted feet.

"All I'm asking, Eion..." Elbow came down to charlie horse Eion's upper arm. He went flying from Segan, rolling to his back to stare at the sky above. His breathing was heavy, his arms outstretched, his legs spread. "Is that you think about this...before making a final decision." He brought his hand up to touch at the bite mark on his forehead. At least all the skin was still there and he didn't have a gaping hole! He looked at his fingertips and the blood there. "Talk about fighting like a girl!" He laughed, wiping that blood to the torn shirt front. Like it even mattered, he was covered in his own and his brothers' blood.

Down he went but this time he stayed there, winded, bloodied and dayam, he hurt. "Ain't ... " He was panting between each word, "going ... anywhere ... for a ... while." He looked at Conor as he rolled to his side and started to laugh and that hurt too!

Segan finally managed to his feet. Sweat pouring down his face, shirt soaked, what wasn't ripped as well but it was his eyes half rolled in his head that might be a touch scary to see.

Aye, he had a few ribs that were screaming in protest of every breath. Thank you Segan who was supposed to be on HIS side! Conor only rolled his head to the side to look to Eion. He smiled, which split his lip even more, so he groaned and grimaced, turning his face back up to the sky. "Nice night." He croaked, his voice giving way to the fatigue of the argument. Good thing it was a nice night. Conor might just sleep here. He didn't think he had the energy to move from that spot.

Neither could Eion though his stomach felt a bit ... unsettled. Potcheen. No food. Fight. Water. Bad combination. He couldn't help Segan as he got up and hands and knees and crawled that way.... Gran might not let any of them in the house in any case!

Which had a brow lifting. "I don't think any of them are good looking. The question is if you think any of them are good looking over the next. I think you're better looking then the three of them." Which was about right. "So, you're better equipped to look at a male and decide who is better looking of the three so you're better to ask. So, which do you think is best looking of the three?"

"My question remains," Yes, she was going to ignore that quasi-compliment of his! "Why ye are so intent to discuss your cousins' features, hm?" Arms still crossed, smirk still there. Davin would learn fast that when Karina dug her heels in, there was no turning back.

"Your question was a twisted bastardization of my question posed to you. I think you are attracted to one of my cousins. Unfortunately there are three of them." He was close at this point. Sly smile dashing over his features for it was done in good humor. "So, is it Segan then?" He was watching her eyes, watching her lips, any nuance to give it away of which one.


He sure as shootin' wasn't going home like this! He'd be staying at the Thistle tonight! Beat up and smelling like whiskey? No. Gran would be locking the door against them tonight! "You are a bloody peacock." Conor muttered, amused, attempting only then to start to get up.

"I got the colors for it now." He muttered then just now realized his bottle was gone. "Segan, whose potcheen did you use?" Just now looking his brother's way.

Sitting on the ground, he cut a glance over his shoulder to Segan. Ahhell...looked like another fight getting ready to start!

He had been standing there just breathing. Long deep breaths until the image passed that was not of the present. He looked at his empty hands. "I have neither."

Conor laughed, even through his pain. "He didn't ask that!" With effort, he struggled to his feet.


"No, I didn't. Well, you had one and I had one. Guess we lost 'em both." He didn't try to stand yet. "I'll tell you what, Conor, I'll .... try it. But if I catch one glimpse of a fairy or ... I don't know what, I'm gone." He still wasn't sure he was making the right decision. He touched his jaw, gingerly. "I think I lost a tooth."



Date: 06-07-09
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 33

"Stick it under your won't even see that fairy when she leaves you your coin." He started limping toward the tavern, attempting as he did to pull his bloody shirt together across his chest.

"What the bluidy hell, they got lost in the fight." There were two empty bottles around here someplace.

Well, one of them had found his toe!

"That's not funny." He pushed to his feet, finally and looked at Segan. "Aye, they did. There's more inside." That was Eion's empty one! 

Conor didn't look back when Eion mentioned the lack of humor to his comment. He just shrugged a bruised shoulder. Was he kidding? He pushed against the door and entered the tavern again.

Yes, he was kidding.

A twisted bastardization! She almost laughed aloud, but caught herself and shot both eyebrows up instead. Clearly this was going to take some finagling to get Davin off the topic. Sea-colored eyes didn't flit away but rather just remained on Davin, smiling now in an impenetrable sort of way.

"So maybe it is not Conor, nor Segan but Eion. He is the head of the family." Eyes stayed with hers and if one's smile could be seen reflected there more than upon their lips for the restraint, it was in his. "Which one, which one, has the fair Karina heart caught up with? Three brothers..." half singing away.

His one ear was still, that was Davin's singing?

"Hoy, now!" And with that singsong of his she reverted back to her childhood self and she reacted as she would have then -- giving Davin a punch on the arm. Albeit one not meant to hurt... too much. For his amusement was somewhat infectious. "Let me put it this way. Eion is a sword, Conor a lance, and Segan a dagger. All of them are grand weapons in their own way." She let a pause linger in the air, and finally concluded with an airy smirk, "But I've always ever preferred me own self to get by."

As Conor reentered the common room, he made a quick scan of the occupants. Just Davin...and the he/she. What a relief. He was smattered with blood. His own and his brothers. His shirt was ripped. He reeked of whiskey which was soaked into his clothing. A fine sight. But no finer than the brothers that followed.

"A sword and lance are used for distances while a dagger is one up close and personal. Though some refer to swords...." well, he stopped short there as it might rightfully earn him a slap. "It's one of them."

They hadn't really apologized but they were talking and not swinging terms. He paused at the comparisons then headed to the table and picked up the sword and sheath, putting them back on without a word. He didn't look much better than Conor for sure. Shirt was in somewhat better shape, pants torn in both knees and his eye was swelling shut.  Or Segan, and lots of blood to boot.

He thought one of the ally cats followed them back to take revenge. There was blood smeared on him and it wasn't just his. He was in on Conor's heels as well Eion. Seemed Conor couldn't wait to get back into the tavern.

He wanted a bed. And to sleep later than daylight. Which an early rise would be demanded of him back at the manor.

And of course, that was right when the infamous Quinns walked back in. And Davin's words earned him another sucker punch to the arm anyway, though this one was to say, Shut up! As she turned to survey the brothers.

Which had him laughing as he took the punch, said a lot as he moved off to the bar. The brothers were back and her attention would turn there, to one, or all, but one of them he was sure. He took up a lean surveying the three to see how much damage had been done. Pffh, hardly any.

"Alex," she called over her shoulder after eyeing them, "Might need lots of whiskey out here. Some for drinking as well. And ya got any scrap rags back there?" She crossed to the bar to collect the requested items. "Hope the other guy looks worse," she quipped with a smirk.

Nah, they knew what they were doing! They were pros at this. Many a fight had come and gone between them.

There were a few buttons missing down the front of his shirt as he tucked it in the best he could. Eion was right, Grandmama would not be letting them in the manor tonight so it would be the Thistle.

Don't make Conor smile, his lip couldn't take it. "Guy? It was a good two dozen of 'em." Conor forced the words past his lips.

He didn't think he could make it to the manor in any case. "At the least. And all over seven feet tall." He was after whiskey all right but for drinking not cleaning up with.

He shuffled his way toward the stairs. "No rags for me here, Alex. I'll clean myself up...upstairs. I will take a bottle with me though, iff'n you don't mind it." He paused by the bar for his much needed, single first aid supply.

"Aye, and we took them all down, a dozen each." Well, they looked the part and each of them could fight. He was over to the bar to get another bottle of the pure. "You missing one of these Eion?" Sure and he remembered pouring it over his brothers.

Conor could tell him where to find it. All Conor had to do was wring out his shirt.

Or Eion only need shake his head. "Aye, I am." He accepted the bottle gratefully. "Conor?" He called out before Conor took off for upstairs.

"Uh-huh." Karina remarked with a faint smirk, nodding to Alex as he brought out some rags. Eh, clean enough. And one of these she tossed at Conor's head. "Take it anyway. Don't wanna spill any," she added by way of reason.

That rag slapped him in the face, wrapping around his head before he yanked it down. "Eion?" The name for a name and he reached out to collect his bottle of potcheen to take upstairs. He tucked the bottle and the rag under his arm.

Davin was watching like a hawk, smirk on his face and all. Drink lifted every so often before adding, "you all owe me a drinking night out. You kin this?"

He started taking back steps, waiting to see what his older brother needed.

"Buiochas." Giving him a lopsided smile. That's all he could manage at the moment.

Karina, too was watching the brothers, the nuances of their speech and postures. Some tension there still but at least there were smiles. And hey, they hadn't even broken any windows!

He dipped his head in order to touch his fingertips to his temple, a salute of sorts to his brother. Eion was welcome. He started to turn but stopped, looking back to Karina. "Oh, and thanks, Nessa." He tapped at the rag, then started, watch him now go very slowly, up the steps toward a room for the night.

Had the fight started in the Thistle, the guards in there would have thrown them out.

He might clean up, he might not. Depended on how far he made it into the room before he collapsed.

Heh. Seemed like that was a nickname that was gonna stick. It brought a smirk to her face and she just waved in return. "Night." And as Conor took baby steps upward, Karina turned back to the other two. They'd only be allowed a split second before she chucked a rag first at Eion, then at Segan too. Yep, directly towards the face.

"Nessa, the goddess," recalling the tale she told. Smile went lopsided a moment as he was starting to slide in his lean and caught himself.

"She wasn't a goddess," she corrected, "she was a warrior. And a queen too. Maybe ya should sit down, Segan," she added, quirking a brow his way.

Good thing Conor was gone for that Nessa conversation. He didn't need another fight.

The rag was caught and tossed aside. He'll pick it up in a moment or three. He drank directly from the bottle then looked at Davin. "Two nights if you'd like."

"Yes, warrior goddess queen. Amazon." At least his feet were moving with the slide as it was taking him gradually in his brothers' direction. "I think I better lay down." Long day, rag caught on his shoulder he didn't even notice. Eyes narrowed. Conor was gone but Eion was still about to lean on. They could help each other upstairs. "Aye, Davin, a night to drink soon."

"Never heard of an Amazon named Nessie. Heard of the beastie in Scotland." He brushed his fingers through whiskey soaked hair and made a face. He'd need to take a bath before going back to the manor. Shirtless possibly but it was warm enough.

They could get him a shirt and pants too before they were to go home to the manor. "So, you are staying now?" The fight better have been worth it.

"Aye, you better, Segan. So should I." After he got the cuts and scrapes cleaned up. He was sure Gran would hear about this and hell, maybe the king too. Eion might not have a position anyway. "Aye, but like I told Conor, if I see a fairy flying about, I'm gone." No two ways about it.

"Nice meeting you Nessa Karina," being it seemed two names were attached to her. Tipping smile that seemed to reach his eyes as he took his leave by way of the side door. A whistled tune to leave in his wake.

Karina just rolled her eyes to herself as they got back on the subject of 'Nessa.' Though she didn't miss Eion's declaration of staying in the realm, for now. Well, that was good for them all. Or at least good for their health so they wouldn't get into any more fights about it. Unless fairies began flying around, apparently. That thought made her snicker. Though, she noticed neither of them were making a move for either the stairs or to sit. And, Davin was leaving so she paused to wave his direction, "Night then," she returned with a meaningful smirk his direction. A shake of the head. And then back to the brothers. "Hope ya lot can clean yaselves up, because I'm no healer."

"Even if the fairy has the most gorgeous face you have ever seen and the body..." well, he cut short there as it was enough to make a point.

"They're three bloody inches high if I remember the stories right." Emphasizing stories. "We've done it before, lass." He assured as he made to "help" Segan to the stairs and up. "And your face is going to freeze like that if you keep smirking." Gran had said that enough to them. Or more to their sisters.

"You can only hope your face doesn't freeze like that!" She retorted, her words pointing out the beaten-up state of his features.

"Aye but they can grow big I'm told, mostly stay small so they can get into more mischief but if they like a mon, well." Which had him stopping on the steps. "Isn't that so, Nessa Queen Warrior? Of fairies and women?"

"What exactly are ya asking, Segan Sailor Brawler?"

"Take more than once to do that." Now the faint scars showing on his back and wrists were another matter. "Don't be gettin' goin' again about that." He was growing tired and the brogue deeper. And he meant about fairies. He didn't believe in them, demmit!

He might not be making a whole lot of sense as he had a flashback during the fight bringing him back to the Amazon River and a fight with an anaconda, biting Conor on the forehead for it. "That fairies are people too and if they are real, Eion would hurt their feelings."

Blink. She eyed Segan for a full three seconds, allowing his nonsensical words the silence they deserved. Clearly, the lot of them were exhausted to the point of drunkenness. Or the other way around. Or just suffering from blood loss. Either way...  ".. I've never met a fairy meself but my guess would be, they can look after themselves. Sure you're all right there Segan?"

"No, I'm not so sure but sleep should help." Too tired, too much fighting and too much of the pure to dream at least. In that it was a saving grace. "Good night Karina." Making a more determined effort to make it up the stairs, with or without Eion's help considering it was as good as the blind leading the blind.

Good enough answer, she supposed. "Aye, it ought." Her lips quirked faintly in amusement as they bumbled their way up the stairs. "Night ya two."

Leaning against one another they could make it. "Good night, lass." He might sleep for two days the way he felt. First the testing on the King's field, then tonight. Cor. ... good thing he was too exhausted to feel the pain.



Date: 06-07-09
Poster: Karl von Rundstedt
Post # 34

To Meet with a King

Eion had managed to clean up some after the 'exercise' of the previous night.  He had found a shop that had clothes that were of good quality and actually fit so he looked less thin.  Though his eye was still swollen shut, and his knuckles bruised, he looked presentable.  He and his brothers hadn't faced Gran yet, but knew that was forthcoming.  Eion, however, knowing that news traveled very quickly here, made a decision.  After breakfast with his brothers, seeing to the new clothes, and cleaning up as best he could, he made his way to the castle and requested a meeting with the King if he was available.  Best to pay the piper right away rather than wait!

Eion Quinn.  Even last night the man was somewhat of a mystery to Karl.  As Karl offered the position, he hadn't missed the fact the man didn't actually accept.  Perhaps it was a good thing that Eion requested an audience today. Certain matters would always reach Karl's ear.  Certain matters need not make it to his office.  The fact that the brothers had come to fists in the street normally wouldn't concern the Black Griffon.  Even that they were newly arrived and already causing a ruckus wouldn't normally be of importance to the crown.  There was, however, the fact that Eion had some concerns that Alex didn't go into detail about but did mention.  So there seemed to be a reason to speak to the head of the Quinn family located here in Heathfield.  He had spent a few moments discussing with the guard who stood always at his door that when Eion arrived, he would be shown in immediately. 

He was somewhat surprised when, after speaking to the guard, he was told the King would see him immediately.  He wasn't sure if that bode well or ill but he was here and there'd be no turning back.   Eion may have been head of the clan but it was all new to him.  As he walked behind the guard, he tried not to stare like some country bumpkin. True, he had been in some magnificent manor houses but they were nothing compared to the castle.  While the guard announced him, he hurried and wiped his hands off on his pants.  Didn't want to greet the King with sweaty palms, that is ... if the King even shook hands. 

When the guard announced Eion, Karl turned from where he stood by the large, open window.  He excused the guard with a nod of head and a  "Thank you, Reece."  He waited until the man shut the door to the hallway before he spoke to Eion.  "Will you sit, Mister Quinn?" Karl indicated a group of chairs to the right of them. 

He nodded his thanks as the guard left, then turned and bowed from the waist, respectfully.  "Yes, your Majesty and thank you."  Moving to the chairs, he waited for the King to sit first.  Well aware of his swollen eye and bruises, he tried appear as calm as possible but his stomach was doing flip-flops.  Right now, he was missing the support of his brothers. 

The king watched Eion, recognized his apprehension, recognized the badges of his night, recognized...this may not be the easiest conversation Conor had ever had with someone.  Small talk first but not for long.  Karl wasn't one to toe step around an issue and an issue there definitely was or Eion wouldn't be sitting across from him.  Karl rested his lower arms to the arms of the chair, easing back and becoming comfortable.  "Your family is well?" 

They'd be a picture of contrasts.  Eion, nervous and sitting slightly forward, elbows resting on the arms of his chairs, and his hands held in front of him.  He kept moving his thumbs, not whirling them but rubbing just the tips together.  And the King, calm and collected, relaxed and watching.  Eion smiled though and nodded. "Aye, Sire, very well.   They seem to be quite comfortable here and happy.  Melantha loves working with the horses.  And I'm sure my Grandmother will be asking to meet with the Queen soon."  Mary remembered the late King and Queen very well, so naturally she'd wish to meet their daughter. 

"From what I've come to learn, the estate belonged to your family prior to Rath.  It is only right that the Quinns make the most of what is rightfully theirs."  His position didn't change.  "The hall of records here in the castle has a great amount of collected information about that time.  About your grandparents and their triumphs, their trials.  It is amazing the sacrifices one makes for those he loves.  I imagine your grandfather had a great deal of apprehension, if not fear, having to endure that which he had never been faced with before."  The Black Griffon was no soothsayer, he did not know what Eion was going through, what he would be required to learn as life lessons in the future.  But this he did know.  Heathfield could be daunting.  The powerful magic and the amazing people who made up these wondrous lands had once caused another man to take pause, reassess, adapt, and eventually live, truly live.  A brief pause was offered to his previous comment before he continued. "As far as you and your brothers..."  Here he drew in a breath, that dark consideration resting on the eldest of that trio.  "I imagine as the months continue, there will be few who have not heard of the Quinn brothers."  Karl did not extrapolate as to how the men would be 'heard of'.  He would leave that to Eion's imagination and better yet, to the eldest Quinn's knowledge of past history where the brothers were concerned. 

Eion's expression softened at the mention of his family, and his grandfather.  He would ask to see those records some time.  Mention of his brothers and how they'd be known, had him smiling slightly but then he became serious.  "The truth, Sire, is when my grandparents talked of Heathfield and all that was here, I thought some were just tales to please us.  When I came to the field, I expected warriors of great skill and found that, but ...  when Sir Gabriel suddenly had wings, and Sir Trevor ...  "  He gave a shake of his head.  "I don't know how I kept on the field. Everything inside me was screaming to run, leave, that it wasn't real, couldn't be real.  That's what the fight was about.  I told my brothers I didn't belong here, that I couldn't handle the ...  the tales being true."  It all came out in a rush and he looked down at his hands a moment.  "I've been many places, though not as many as my brother, Segan, but this ...  Even though I knew it would upset my family, my Grandmother.  I didn't think I could stay."  Looking back up, he gave a slight shrug. "I'd be a liar if I didn't admit I was scared when the ground shook like it did.  I think if one more thing had happened, I would have left right then."  He didn't mention the wind. That hadn't been as startling.  "And I knew when I woke this morning that I needed come talk to you, Sire.  I don't know if you'd be wanting a man like me in your service."  That was probably more than Eion had said to anyone in some time. 

Karl listened with patience and with understanding.  The Black Griffon had never been one that preferred magic over manpower, spells over swords, powers over perspiration and persistence.   It was his love for Honeee that finally made it easier for him to accept.  Even with the Four to back him, he would scowl at their use of their powers and demand them keep them in check unless all else failed them.  He was, in some ways, that same man.  In other ways, he had grown and become more accepting and lenient of those with special talents.  He was the husband of a beautiful and magnanimous elf, human, Grugrach.  The step-father to winged children.  The uncle to a dragon.  The comrade of elementals.  His own children possessed the heritage of mystical creatures.  There was the karma of it.  Full circle. "I've lived to learn, Eion, we find ourselves where we need to be."  Even Adelina had been a necessary lesson for Karl.  "We can fight it, we can deny the true purpose of it, we can run and think we will never have to deal with it again."  The king actually shrugged and what appeared to be a smile touched the corners of his eyes.  "It is your choice, Eion.  A choice only you can make.  Be sure you make it for the right reasons."

He nodded as the King spoke, his expression thoughtful.  How could he run away from what his eyes told him was real when his own grandfather had sent his family into the unknown and followed them?  Could he do any less then face this and with his family there to help him through it?  "If, you're willing to have me, see me trained, I'd like to try.  And I'll do my best to face whatever surprises the others might have in store, this land as well., I'd be honored to serve under you, your Majesty.  It seems, I still have a lot to learn." 

Karl sat a moment as he studied Eion, a slow, single nod following.  "My wishes have not changed from the night prior.  Heathfield would be honored to have you serve her."  He rose from his chair.  "You still have some time to think your decision through, Eion.  I just know I'd rather have you standing with me for these lands, these people, your people."

He stood as well, and nodded once more.  "I've thought it out, and I'll do more thinking on it while I finish to heal, but aye, in the end, I'm sure I'll come to the same conclusion.  No matter what surprises it's holds, I'm sure Heathfield is home, and I'm even more certain that I could do no better than to serve her under you."  He smiled, even if it was a bit lope-sided.  "Thank you for allowing me to speak with you, Sire.  It's helped me in more ways than I can say."

Karl offered his arm to the man, and when Eion responded, he would clasp forearm to forearm.  "Anytime, Eion.  And you will find I mean...anytime."  He glanced to the door then back to Conor.  "Reece can see you out if you've nothing further to discuss.  Or, he can show you to the hall of records.  The ... choice ... as always, is yours."

Warrior to warrior.  Eion appreciated that as well.  "I believe I'd like to see the hall, and maybe visit the healers after.  Good evening, your Majesty."  He bowed  and moved toward the door and out.  And his steps, as he followed Reece to the hall were much, much lighter.than when he arrived.

Date: 06-08-09
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 35

Rabbit Pies

Eion's mood was much improved from last night. He had spent a productive day, had learned some things about their grandfather and Gran herself, and even saw one of the castle healers. He wasn't ready to face Gran yet however, so off to the Thistle he headed for some liquid courage. He talked a moment to Alex, before collecting a bottle of potcheen, three glasses in case his brothers showed, and then he claimed one of the tables. Again one near a window that was partially open.

It was night? Conor opened his eyes and stared into the darkness that hovered over his head. The last he remembered, he had come back to the Thistle, he had washed off the healing poultice which was applied and had sprawled over his bed for what he thought would be just a moment or two of shut eye. That was midday. Now, he couldn't see the hand before his face! And yes, he tried it! Holding up his right hand and bringing it down, down, down until it smacked him in the nose! Friggin' dark in here! He rolled from the bed, landing with a thump on the floor and fought his way back up by grappling with the mattress. At least he was already dressed, even his boots remained on.  With arms outstretched he felt for the door, found the wall, and inched his way around until the latch was found. Blessed light! The corridor of the tavern was flooded with it and at first he was blinded. But that cleared soon enough and he hurried to the stairs and down into the common room. Who did he find there? None other than his eldest brother, who it seemed was also avoiding a grandmother's concern.

Ah, now there was a familiar face and he gave Conor a lopsided grin. "You look like a man who's been asleep." Maybe because his brother's hair was standing up and his clothes were a bit wrinkled. "Come share a drink?"

The hours had gone busy since the encounter at the lake. There were the rabbit pies to see to that the pastry, containing the meat, herbs, vegetables and thick gravy, cooked just right; golden brown with the contents hot. She packed four into a basket she had wove from reeds, packing them in large leaves then cloth to keep them hot. She had not socialized in some time and going to the Thistle for her was a big event. Instead of the plain doeskin shift, she changed into the white one she reserved for special occasions. It had been a long time since there had been a reason to wear the white leather. It too had beads sewn in patterns of butterflies, trees and suns. Dipping out from her wigwam, she noticed the others were not about and so slipped off into the woods making her way to the tavern and avoiding any questions. Basket half held and tucked over her left hip. The rich dark hair had been unbraided for the evening, leaving it in waves down her back. A leather knotted strip encircled her forehead and tied off at the back of her head with a few feathers held in the knot.

"" Conor rubbed the back of a fist to his eye, thinking that's what gave it away. Of course he would share a drink with his brother, he'd share a drink with anyone! Conor pulled out a chair and sat, reaching for one of  empty glasses. "How do you feel?" He had a tale to tell and that would lead up to it!

"Good, other than a few aches and pains, and not being able to see out of this eye too well." He chuckled as he sat up and filled his brother's glass, and didn't spill a drop. "How about you?"

Weeeeeell now, let me tell you! "Went to the lake today. You know, the big one, down the path out back?"

"Aye, I know the very one. Did you spot the huge fish that's supposed to be in there?" Hiding his grin, he took a drink of the potcheen. It was obvious Conor was bursting to tell something.

Moonlight played against the stark white of her shift having her appear like some spectra or banshee floating her way towards the tavern once she made it to the main road.

Conor didn't hide things well at all. What you saw was what you got, it just might take a little while to "No..." He got sidetracked a moment with the mention of that fish. "I looked too..." His eyelids fluttered, he was trying to tell something here! "Anyway..." He even waved his hand as if to pull himself back into focus. "Anyway, I felt like an old dog must this morning, went out there, stretched out on a warm rock. And the next thing you know! A vision! She was dark, and shapely, and moved with the grace of a wind goddess." He paused. "Amazing." He added in a whisper. "She started smearing this mud concoction all over me. All my cuts. All my really missed out, Brother. Not a single pang anywhere now." He swung his shoulder in a circle just to prove the point. "She was there...and then she was gone. Just like that." Okay, so he embellished a bit, he wasn't exactly what you see is what you get!

The white seemed to glow the closer she got before stepping away from the moonlight and up under the shadow of porch. With the tavern door left open, stopper there to keep it so for the warm night, she continued in. Soft steps were silent upon moccasin boots and floor, white as well, as she made her way to the bar. A few words with Alex before she turned as he indicated the table where the two men sat. Only the back of Conor's head was seen by her and had not been recognized.

Vision. Wind goddess? "She did that with mud? Maybe I should have gone to the lake instead of to the castle. So, did she have a name?" Now, from Conor's enthusiasm he had met someone ... or something. And Eion was trying to keep an open mind. He caught a glimpse of white out the window but didn't look away from his brother until the lass came into the tavern. And now he'd be trying to not stare!

The edges of her lips curled as she slightly dipped her head in acknowledgement of the man looking her way. Dark almond shaped eyes didn't avert in shyness or embarrassment as she cautiously made her way to their table, eyes held like a direct line over on the face she didn't recognize. It was broken when she was close enough and to where she could view the other man that a bit of relief came in the exhaling of a breath. Soft like her smile that followed. "I have brought the rabbit pies, Conor." Dark eyes lifting from the one she had met this morning to the other. "I am Kuwanyauma or easier, Kuwan."

Segan stepped in through by way of the side door, only to see the back of a lass in white, the back of Conor's head and Eion staring at the woman. Had him wonder what she might have said to his brother. He was over to the bar to get a glass and some of the pure in case his brother had put a good dent in the bottle on their table already. There was never too much of the pure to have.

He stood as the young woman approached, offering a smile, well as best he could with one side of his mouth swollen. "I'm Eion, Conor's brother. And that one coming to join us is Segan. It's a pleasure to meet you, Kuwan. Won't you join us?" He was stunned! And not quite sure what to make of her.

He didn't get a good look of the lass until he was around to stand between Eion and Conor, drawing out a seat there. Except his hand stalled on the back of the seat. He recognized the Indian maiden's nationality as he'd been to the Colonies a few times over. It was more he had not seen one as beautiful. Had not seen one wearing such a fine dress of her people. Finally he was smiling and well noted the look on Eion. Conor yet to respond. "It is my pleasure to meet you Kuwan," as her full name was a bit of a mouthful he'd rather not slaughter.

Rabbit pies. He looked at Conor then at Segan, who seemed quite relaxed with Kuwan. He'd have questions for Segan later.

He started to answer Eion, but with the look on his face, he tensed...waiting. It was her voice though, soft as dandelion fluff, that had him practically jumping to his feet and turning to greet her. "Kuwan. Aye, the pies." He looked to his brothers. "Rabbit pies." He repeated for their benefit. A subtle jab of thumb in Kuwan's direction marked her as the one he was telling Eion about. "Thank you." Then he fumbled about a bit in order to try to pull her out a chair so she could join them. The aroma of those pies floated from the basket and Conor had to swallow hard.

"Yes. Rabbit pies," her laughter bubbled up as it was repeated again. "You have not had rabbit pies either?" Addressing the brothers as she tried out their names, "Eion and Segan?" Setting the basket to the table  as she carefully lifted out the first wrapped up pie to set in front of Conor.  Like presenting it to the guest of honor. "There are three more," taking the seat that Conor pulled out for her as it seemed to be what was expected. She hoped she was not making mistakes with their customs.

"Then one for each of us." Including Kuwan. He'd share the pies with his brothers.

"If rabbit pie is made right, it is a delicacy," obviously he had the pies and knew the difference too. Good and bad ones. The chair finally out and he down into it. "They smell like the proper delicacy."

Conor glanced over to Segan, but in the meanwhile he was unwrapping his pie. Proper delicacy? To Conor they smelled like...delicious.

A hint of a grin appeared as Conor jumped up and he gave a slight nod. At least Conor didn't knock down his chair when he stood. "No, I've never had them." He cut a look toward Segan. "You've had them before?" They did smell great. Conor was a good brother for sharing. He accepted one as he waited for Segan to answer.

Sure thing! Conor would always share his potcheen, his pies and a punch with his brothers...without hesitation.

She had the other three out but she left one in the basket. "I have eaten and can fit no more. I will leave the last pie for you to share later." She made a lot of the pies as her hands folded delicately upon the table. Though she realized she had not a drink, standing once they all had a pie. "I will return." Usually one to wait on others, waited on herself as well as she headed over to Alex for some of the punch he had spoken on, feeling very brave indeed.

When Conor bit into it, it was delicious! Did he make a sound of euphoria at the back of his throat? He didn't mean to, but a moments like this, there was no helping it. Good thing she had walked away.

"I have been to the colonies. Many of the tribes make rabbit pie but few make it perfectly." Which he had taken the pie offered him to bite into. Just the right herbs and seasonings, cooked to perfection inside and out, determined if it ended up good or not. "It is delicious."

He leaned in to his brothers, cutting a look back to make sure she was far enough away. He swallowed, to clear his throat and spoke low. "What did I tell you, Eion?"

"You were right, Conor." He grinned as he answered. "Everything you said. So, she's from the colonies." Now that was a relief and he took a moment to bite into the pie. Didn't say anything but the look on his face showed he agreed about the taste.

"I'd be willing to let you beat me bleeding have her smear me with mud." Feeling guilty, he shot another look over his shoulder to make sure she was still with Alex.

"They are a warring people much like our clans. Paint themselves before battle though in times of peace which they crave they will have their games of coup, like we have our highland games. She is quite," almost saying beautiful but he might get ribbed so stepped it down one, "pretty," before taking another bite. Then mumbled around his food, "and a good cook."

Alex had to go through the list of flavors twice before Kuwan could make up her mind. She wasn't sure about peach or cherry but she knew raspberry so finally decided to go with that one. This was serious business choosing a drink all on her own that wasn't water or goat's milk.

"Pretty?" Conor hissed, slanting another cautious look back. "She breathtaking, Segan. Are you sure your eyes weren't the ones doused with whiskey?"

He chuckled and eyed Conor. There might be some teasing later in any case! "Conor, you sound .. smitten." Though he could understand why.

It was held like one carrying a crown of gold as she returned to the table. Luckily after the remarks on her looks so knew not of them. "I am told this punch is for the ladies here." Which was the main reason she had chosen to try it. Setting it on the table before taking up her seat then the glass to bring it to her lips and just the smallest of tastes.

Crap. He didn't get the chance to set Eion straight. He stood as she returned and held the back of her chair for her to sit.  "I'm sure you've heard it before, Kuwan, but I'll say it again. These pies are delicious." As she sat, so did he, returning to his meat treat.

He could set him straight later. Without fists, please. He didn't need to be blind in both eyes. "Very. I've never tasted the like."

He had food in his mouth or he would have said something in agreement with Eion's remark and then the very exotic lady was back. So nothing was said but oh what a grin.

"I am very pleased you each like the pies." Though dark eyes were upon Conor being she had brought them for him. He had mentioned brothers as well so why the extra. From there to touch upon each brother then slanted down to her drink that set before her. She was feeling the warmth to linger in her throat. She never had alcohol before. "I was lucky to have the four away in a basket before Yas and Mat return and even more Patwin. Patwin has a fever for rabbit pie. I cannot make enough so I should show Kaliska." Words softening to fade away in another thought. "I did not know raspberry could feel so warm."

Why the extra one? He was her favorite! Two for him of course! Conor smiled. "It isn't the raspberry that makes you warm, Kuwan, but the punch." He reached forward to tap on the bottle of whiskey with his forefinger then relaxed back again.  "Mat, Yas, Kaliska, Patwin...these are the ones you traveled over with?"

Conor was doing well with all the questions and comments so he continued to enjoy the pie while they talked. Though he did want to thank her for healing the youngest brother.

"Yes. Yas and Mat are sons of the chief Xander McDonough. He wished to come to know his sons for he was not told they lived a long time ago at their birth. He had been told they had died. There was a battle, there was judgment passed that Yas and Mat would leave for three years for something they had done. It was to teach them on their path. We were allowed to come with them as we had been with them in all of it. The three years come to fulfillment by harvest."

Conor was chewing as she spoke, listening to her story, and when she stopped, he swallowed. "And then what? After the three years?"

"That was brave of you to leave your homeland, Kuwan." He looked at her thoughtfully, waiting for the answer to what Conor had asked.

He settled into listening, easing back in his chair as he studied the lady. She was a lady in his opinion for the way she conducted herself. One that seem to come naturally for her.

"We may go back or we may stay. Each has to decide for themselves. We may go back and see to those we love and return. We have not seen any since that day. The people here have been very kind, the lands not as wild or wondering if your throat would be slashed in the night by a white man that hates your people or another of a different tribe that has reason. We have set up our own camp outside the walls of Whispering Pines. Chief Callihan had allowed us, he has been to the colonies and has friends Wolf Paw and Downy Feather. Downy has helped us a lot to adjust and learn the ways of the white people here."

Throat slashing in the night? Conor thought barroom brawls were bad! "So have you decided, Kuwan? Have you decided if you will stay or if you will go?"

Chief Callihan? There was another name of another family that they'd eventually meet.

Her eyes lowered with Conor's question, though the blush would be hard to see on bronze skin even if felt. "No. I have not. I feel I will need to engage in a ritual to find my path," dark eyes lifting with the last. It was one of the things that sadden her for either choice would leave a void.

Conor had already recognized the McDonough name. A star for him!

He smiled slightly as he glanced at Conor then he looked back. "It sounds like a hard choice." He knew all about hard choices, didn't he?

In this, Conor may share common ground. To leave Ireland was hard, not to stay here with his kin no easier.



Date: 06-08-09
Poster: Eion Quinn
Post # 36

There was concern to darken blue eyes as he listened to her tale, what he picked up on that went unspoken also. Names also were committed to memory, people to meet yet along their path. "I am sure you  will find in your heart once searched what is best for you. Hopefully it will not bring too much separation from those you have spent the duration with in these lands." Didn't Eion pretty much go through the same, glance shifting from the Indian maiden to him.

Another nocturnal wandering brought Karina back to the tavern door. Thudthudthud went her boots against the doorframe in what was becoming her entrance song. Hey, at least she was conscientious about not muddying the place up. Though this time those thuds seemed to have more oomph to them. In she came through the door, allowing it to slam shut behind her, and with nothing more than a general scowl around the place she started straight for the stairs.

The stomping had Conor leaning back to look to the door. When Karina entered, he smiled and started with a "Evening, Ness..." But he didn't get to finish, she was off to the stairs. Both brows shot up but he didn't say more, just returned to face the table, eat his pie, and drink his whiskey.

"I find it is harder to make a choice than a choice made for you." Though the latter would certainly have a lot of complaining. Hearing Segan gave her some hope as a smile formed. "I hope your words are true."

"You'll make the right one, Kuwan. I thought I wanted to leave here, I wasn't sure I belonged. But I've listened to some advice," he cut a glanced toward his brothers and then looked back. "The only thing I can tell you is to talk  to your friends, to others who you think can give good advice, do your ... ritual and the answer will come." Whoa, he actually sounded like a big brother, didn't he? He glanced toward the door, watched Karina then looked back.

The thudding had him looking beyond those at their table. There was Queen N Warrior with a scowl to share. Brows lifted wondering if she got up on the wrong side of the bed, or even fell out of it.

"Bah!" She grumped in reply, though whether that was a response to Conor or just a general noise of infuriation, was unclear. Either way she didn't so much as take off her cap before vaulting up the stairs two at a time. Stomping footsteps carried her down the hallway, she disappeared from sight, and then from above the slamming of a door.

"It is good if you can have the advice of a wise one." There were no elders here for her to turn to. A glance given over her shoulder as she caught the looks of the brothers to the doorway and stairs. Too late for seeing the one that had disappeared up the stairs. Except she heard the grump!

"It doesn't have to be the elders from your uh ... tribe. It can be someone you look up to." He gave a slight shrug, his expression thoughtful again. "Someone you trust... "

"Dang..." He muttered, popping the last of his pie into his mouth. "Yea, like I trust my brothers to give me advice." Did he always listen. Of course not. But the information was there for him to use if he wised up. He stood then, swiping a hand to the side of his pants. That would have earned him a swat if he had been at the manor's table. "Thank you, Kuwan. For the pie. For the ..." for lack of a better word. "mud. I really need to be heading back to the manor. I've avoided what I'm due...long enough." Might as well get it over with and then he could stop dreading it! Whatever 'it' turned out to be!

Maybe Gran would be asleep?

"There are a few I trust and even look up to. Perhaps it would be wise to seek their counsel." Not being sure what to say to Conor's comment, there seemed to be an edge to his words. She rose as he stood, "I am pleased you enjoyed the pie, Conor. May your sleep be well in healing." Which had her glance to the spots she had dabbed the medicinal pate. Noticing the mud looking mixture was gone.

That's it! He'd climb in through his bedroom window and not risk any squeaky floorboards! 
   The mixture was gone and so was the bruising. Not even a scab marred his flesh where he had wounds. He was more than impressed with her healing abilities.

Better for them to face her together? Hey wait. He wouldn't get chewed out for fighting!

Rising as she had to place the basket with the last pie in it to his hand. "I should get back before I am missed." She had not told the others she had gone out. They might worry if they checked her wigwam. She took her leave as quietly as she had come to the tavern.

And with another pie to boot. He stood as Kuwan did. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Kuwan. Thank you for the pie."

You see? The way she spoke? Who could even answer those phrases? "Coming or going, you're going to be missed, Kuwan. Goodnight, lass." He waited, he'd wait for her to leave and then he'd see to his own which was a few moments later.

Since all were rising, he was up as well. "Good night to you Kuwan, I am pleased to have met you." He was staying a short while longer, not wishing to hear Grams get hold of Conor finally.
Up in her room Karina paced from one side to the other, turned, paced again. All the while making grunts of her anger. Her hat was tugged off and thrown on the bed as if it had personally offended her, a hand lifted to tug at her  mop of curls. She hated it! She hated them! Pace, pace. Her agitated boot steps echoed below.

He watched his brother leave and the Indian maiden back to where she lived. Silence filled the room as he stood there then finally broke it with, "nahhhhhh, you don't think little brother is smitten? Really?"

He was about to ask Segan something else when he laughed. "I'm not sure if it's smitten or just that she's very different from any lass he's seen. Or any I've seen for that matter. Are they all like her?" Well, obviously they couldn't be all like her.

It was the work of several minutes of pacing, jaw gnashing and punching at the air, but eventually, she calmed herself down enough to just stop for a second. Which was always the point when tears stung her eyes. She hated that, too.

"That's like asking if all white women look the same or are the same." Giving his brother's shoulder a slight shove as he laughed. "No, they are not. She is not. Actually I've not seen one as beautiful as she," using the word Conor corrected him on or was it Eion? See how much attention he paid although had remembered the correction. "I've been to the colonies and seen many, just like any nationality, there are ones better looking than others and then there are the few that really stand out as a beauty." He had noticed Eion staring. Conor fumbling around the woman. That usually happened around a beauty.

Conor. Eion didn't bother correcting. "Ah, I see. She healed him earlier at the lake. He was quite amazed." He had taken his seat again. "I was beginning to wonder if he was seeing things."

"If he is seeing things, far better we all see such things!" Taking his seat as well as he topped off both of their drinks. "How did your day go?" They both had a good idea how Conor's day went. Glancing up to the ceiling. "I didn't know there was a herd of elephants up there." Said in all seriousness which made it comical.

He chuckled and nodded agreement. "So we should." He hadn't quite decided if he was going to wait until he could share his news with the entire family. "It was good. Productive." And Segan had him laughing. "It would seem so."

The 'herd of elephants' upstairs seemed to have quieted. Now she just sat on the edge of her bed, pressing her fists furiously against her eyes. "Stop. Stop." She muttered to herself, or more like, at herself. Deep breath in, breath released, and each time it was less shaky. Finally she stood and walked across to the tiny glass that set atop the basin table. Turning her head sideways and touching two fingers gingerly to her jaw, which was already swelling and darkening. Good thing it was evening and it was candlelight, rather than sunlight downstairs. Even so she debated whether to return to the common area, but in the end decided it was better than stewing by herself. And so she stood, took another deep breath, picked up her cap again and headed back for the stairs leading down.

"What about yours? Did you go to the Manor yet?" He needed to get back there if only because of Gabriel.

"Care to elucidate on the meaning of a productive day for you Eion?" Easing back in his seat as he settled in for possibly a long enough rendering of Eion's events that made his day productive. "I've been to the manor, luckily before it got around about who was fighting in the street last night. Though most noticed two others more than myself," being a later addition to it all. "We were lucky the guards weren't sent out on us and Grandmama having to spring us from the dungeons here." Indicating it was his turn to answer his question.

Coming down the stairs much more quietly than she'd gone up, Karina jammed her cap tightly onto her head, the puffy top and wide brim obscuring much of her features. She'd taken off her boots for comfort and so went barefoot over to the bar. "Hullo Alex," she nodded to the tender, then after a moment of thought requested a hot chocolate. That sounded like just the thing tonight. Alex turned to prepare the beverage and she peered over her shoulder at the Quinns, though mostly just tapped her fingers idly atop the bar.

He just coughed at mention of the dungeons, choking some on his drink. No thank you. "Never even thought about the guards. I went and bought myself some new clothes and ordered some boots, had some lunch here and headed to the castle. Did you know there's a hall of records there that is just incredible. I read some about Granddad, and how he worked with the horses so they were some of the finest anywhere. And then he set them all free, nearly getting caught by the usurper's guards." He shook his head to bring himself back. "Saw a healer there too, though Kuwan did Conor a favor by healing him like she did." Gran wouldn't chew him out so bad but then again, when she saw Eion, she might chew the youngest out more!

"No, I didn't but heard they have an extensive library," all the while watching Karina as she was over to approach Alex, and her ordering hot chocolate. That was not like her though only noted and stored away. "I should see about getting some new clothes," being Eion mentioned it, he could use some. "Is that all you went to the castle for?" Distracted back to his brother a moment before greeting Karina once she was served her beverage. "Good evening Karina."

Mmm. Steamy and sweet-smelling. Wrapping her little paws around it Karina breathed in deeply of the mug, then exhaled, blowing across the surface to cool it. Still she was impatient, and started poking a finger carefully into the drink. Then Segan's voice from behind her. "Hullo," she replied, with just a brief glance over her shoulder.

"Is everything all right, Karina?" So a touch of concern edged his voice he couldn't mask. Too many things adding up that was not the usual and warranted such an inquiry.

"Evening." He greeted the girl in a lazy manner and let Segan take over. He and Conor both talked to her far easier than Eion did.

"Aye, sure." It wasn't a sarcastic tone, more of a dismissive one. No reason to talk about it or worry anybody, in her humble opinion. Not like it was that far off the norm either. She nodded over her shoulder to Eion too when he greeted her. She poked a finger into the mug again, and though it was still searing hot she lifted it to her lips and took a careful sip. Good excuse not to talk she figured.

"You are welcome to join us if you'd like." Still watching her in that way he was not convinced by her words but didn't argue them at this point either. He was wondering how hot the chocolate was being she was dipping her finger in it. He had heard hot chocolate requested? Focus swung back to his brother as he seemed to take the out in answering his question. "Was that the only reason you went to the castle today?" To make sure it wasn't just him missing the query.

He laughed, shaking his head, then winced. His mouth still hurt. "I wanted to tell you and Conor together, but I went to speak to King Karl. I thought I should be honest with him about my doubts."

Karina just sorta nodded to Segan's offer, having no real intention to take him up on it. But Alex was starting to eye her in that way too... and hell, even if she wasn't in the mood for chitchat, at least their conversation could serve as distraction. So with just a frown to Alex she stood, mug in hand, and made her way over to the Quinns' table. She pulled out a chair but a little ways from the table, in a shadow thrown by the wall, slowly straddling it.

"I had wondered but if you feel more comfortable, we can wait until we catch up with Conor than repeating." Plus Conor might feel put out if Segan was told before him with he counted just as much. "I think that was a good idea." Blue eyes shifting as Karina approached and was that a shadow along her jaw. His first response, being she said nothing was amiss, "forgot to shave?"

Karina blinked at Segan for a second without comprehension. Then she noticed his eyes lingering along her jawline. Damn, but he was quick. A scowl was her response but there was definite wariness in her eyes. Shifting in the chair she tugged at her cap a bit.

"Not so much uncomfortable but aye, I'd like to share it with you both." Being that Conor had felt it necessary to beat some sense into Eion, well, it just seemed right. He turned intense blue eyes on Karina and watched her.

Except, as the words were out and that shadow area was getting to look more like a bruise, he was up from his seat and over. Hand gently sliding under her chin as fingers were firm in their hold opposite side as he urged the angle so he could see better. "How did you get this? Street fight?" Had he and his brothers start some trend? Fine example they were as his hand ease away. She might not like him touching her but he needed to be sure.

"...Well what are ya lot looking at?" She started, but then Segan was suddenly up and moving at her. When his hand touched her jaw she flinched and had to tell herself to not pop him one right there. She held herself tense even after he'd eased himself away. The bruise was a nice purplish one from chin to jawbone, red and almost split in the center. "Maybe." Sort of. It was a fight, it had taken place on the street, she guessed that qualified.

"Do you want to talk about it or shrug me off?" Slight smile as it seemed her more abrasive way at times. Times like this. He was back over to claim his seat having heard his brother's response as he gave a belated nod. He was in agreement and it was getting late to get into a lengthy story anyway.

"No, I don't wanna talk about it." Her tone final, she replied shortly. And to prove it she fell silent, slowly easing her weight fully back down onto the chair and taking a prolonged sip of cocoa.

He watched for a moment more then picked up his glass and downed what remained. "Are you going back to the manor tonight?" Lips twitched slightly. It was funny that three strapping men still feared their grandmother. Though he'd insist it was respect.

"I am not your guardian and so cannot make you nor would I wish against your will. So be it. I hope at least you heal quickly." Which was saying he respected her privacy in the matter. His brother's comment having his attention to tear from the insolent teen to his brother. Slow smile lifting. "I would need to be there in the morning breaking fast with everyone else unless forewarned I was staying on my ship or taking a short run down the coast." Which had him pause. "You want to accompany me when I do? Get to see the fleet of ships I hear they have in the Ballicastle port."

In truth that response from Segan... respectful, treating her like an adult rather than a kid, took her aback. "Thanks," she answered a little belatedly to his comment about healing. And with a flitter of glances between the brothers she went back to her cocoa.

"I need to be there to get some work done." He chuckled, "and in case Sir Gabriel stops. Aye, I think I'd like to see that. You going to ask Conor?" A hint of a smile appeared. Conor would probably decline. Quickly. He stood, picking up this glass and the empty bottle, though he didn't move away and wouldn't until he heard Segan's answer.

"To consider asking Conor is to consider a crate his size to nail him in and bring him aboard gagged until we are out at sea and then put up with his wailing." Finishing off his drink as the hour was only getting older and not younger. "I will wait until you see Gabriel." As it seemed the man was to meet with Eion. There was time anyway. Rising from his seat as it was that time to be heading out. Reaching over to give a slight tug to a copper curl and fixing her hat with a pull to the front in a nudge down. "Sleep well Warrior Queen. May the other be in far worse shape." That added with a wink before stepping away from the table.

As comfortable, clean and spacious as the rooms in the Thistle were, he wanted his own bed. He carried the empty bottle and glasses over to the bar to hand over to Alex. "Good night, lass."  Glancing over his shoulder at Karina, he nodded at her, said a word of thanks to Alex and moved to the door and out onto the porch to wait for Segan.

Karina couldn't help but flinch again slightly when Segan reached towards her but when the gesture turned out to be harmless, she managed a faint lopsided smile in return. "Four other guys," she corrected with a wink of her own. "Night, then."

"Four," repeated as he was impressed. "Too bad I didn't get to see it." Then again he'd be right in it to help her out so there was no spectator scenario in this at all anyway. "I should say be careful out there then." Being she had been alone, or maybe not? He could hope she had a fighting partner at least. Heading then over to Alex with his glass to set away then to take their leave by the side door, shortcut that way.



Date: 06-09-09
Poster: Gabriel Vaughn
Post # 37

A Talk with the Quinns

Gabriel had already talked to Eion about speaking with him personally and his brothers if they were there. He also sent word ahead to Melantha of his intentions and if she wished to join him when he approached her brothers. After all, it was her choice as well. Neither knew when or if the brothers would come but Gabriel had held off any formal commitment with the hope he could speak first with the head of the family, namely Eion. Truth be told, he had learned about the scuffle in the street of the three brothers fighting and concern the King of these lands held, so had stayed a few days longer before coming to give whatever disturbance there was a chance to settle. He nor Melantha needed anything else negative eating away at the brother when he was approached on this matter. He knocked at the back kitchen door, knowing Mel would be there so that they might go together.

Mel had been trying to keep out of everyone's way but it seemed to be that kind of day. Finally, she had managed to settle in the kitchen not long before he arrived. She opened the door and grinned at him then stepped back. She was in her usual garb for evenings, a gown made of light materials for the time of year, this one cotton in a pale green with an all over design in a slightly darker shade. "I was on pins and needles waiting." Keeping her voice low.

He was quick to step inside, quick to take her up into his arms but slow to kiss her fully after she spoke. That was his greeting first and foremost before lips lifted from the sweetness of hers. "You should know that I met your brother on the king's field when he was tested. I'm not sure how he took the testing but he knows I have wings." So that didn't come as a surprise to her but certainly this all was going to be a surprise for Eion and his brothers, "your brothers Conor and Segan were there to see also." Stepping fully in so the door could be closed behind them. "Are they here?" He heard they were frequenting the Thistle quite a bit though he had sent word to Eion in particular. He didn't tell Melantha about the scuffle in the street. That he didn't consider his business.

For a moment, she forgot where she was but reality set in all too quickly. "I know you were there but he hasn't said much about it yet. I think it unsettled him." She smiled as she added, "Gran's told us not to say anything. Let him tell us when he's ready." She nodded to his questions. "All three and relaxing some in the living room. I think they're trying to behave." And it was nearly impossible not to hear about the scuffle. Gran and Aunt Chandra had talked about that the day after. It was like they were all living back in Ireland. Almost.

Now that it seemed things were finally settled, Eion had asked his brothers to join him in the living room. He made sure they both had drink, and sat in one of the comfortable chairs, watching them. Whether they were seated or not, he was going to start. "I went to speak to the King the day after we had our ... discussion." Offering a hint of a smile. His eye was finally going down so he could see though still quite swollen. "He is very understanding, and probably one of the wisest men I've met. Though I've no doubt he's also one not to put up with a lot of foolishness."

Conor wasn't seated, and he wasn't not seated. He had gratefully accepted that glass and then had gone to a window. The windows of the manor house were large and some reached ceiling to floor, others ceiling to hip. The one in living room where Conor claimed was also deep and he hitched a hip to the sturdy window sill and looked outside. When his brother started talking, Conor looked in his direction. "You spoke with the King?" Yes, he heard him! He just wasn't sure he wanted to believe him!

Segan had kicked back the first drink so filled his glass again before taking his seat. Eion had already started talking but it was a start he already heard and had held him off on to when Conor could be with them. That and the time had not been the best, very late at night and quite a few drinks in them This was the first he drank today. Amazingly enough but then he'd been pretty busy. There were a lot of things for him to work through as well but he had kept this all silently within. He'd work it through, no big deal attitude. "Tell us more so that we can see this wise man through your eyes, in what makes him wise." Relaxing back into the cushions of the chair as he was set to listening.

And that was another of the differences between Conor and Segan. Same curiosity...different way of stating it.

He grinned at Conor then at Segan. "Well, for one thing, he was expecting me. He'd heard about our 'talk'. For another thing, he understood my concerns. He didn't treat them as if they were unimportant or act as if I should just deal with them, no questions asked. He spoke on our grandfather too, and how he had to face the unknown when he left here and went to Ireland. At any rate, by the time he was done, I was certain he was a man I could serve. He told me to take a little longer to think about it, while I healed."

He interjected here before Eion could continue. "Don't bother sugar coating it, we're not teens anymore. All out scuffle, ruckus, brawling fight."

He snorted out a laugh. "No, but he didn't actually refer to it. In fact, he said that in the months to come, he was sure there'd be few who haven't heard about the Quinn brothers." A grin appeared with that. "And anyway, I'm still going to train. Not sure where I'll end up." He chuckled. "Except it won't be a ranger."

There wasn't a single movement from the window area. Conor didn't even lift his drink. He might even have been holding his breath until Eion got to the part Conor was waiting for...the outcome! As soon as Eion mentioned he would be training, Conor slapped his knee with a "good" hooting out. He hadn't had his brothers around for some time, it was good to know that the odds had just gotten better that he would be spending more time with them. Also, that Gran would have two others to ... talk to.

"That could be good ... or bad if our scuffle becomes the way of it." Though they were not really ruffians that spent all their time fighting or looking for a fight in that way. Hearing Conor with a laugh to follow, "I second that emotion. Good." Otherwise there might be more scuffles until he and Conor pounded some sense into their brother or he'd become senseless with enough poundings. "That leaves you and me, Conor." As in finding their path here. Though Conor had taken as step in that direction, Segan had not taken any really.

It became obvious the brothers were talking as he and Melantha stepped into the hallway. Still at a distance to really overhear he stalled there, bringing her in close as he tugged at a lock of hair. "Shall we stomp our feet like a herd of elephants in warning?" His words drawn low as he leaned in, fingers sliding from the silken tress as the warmth of his breath tickled at her ear.

"Oh, aye, that will alert them." Depending what they were talking on. At least their voices weren't raised. Of course, she could stand there all day, held close with him whispering in her ear but someone would find them eventually. If it were her brothers, they'd have some explaining to do. She studied his face then smiled. "Whenever you're ready."

"I saw the saddle Conor worked on. Couldn't resist taking a look. You really have become a master, Conor." He had seen his work before but that saddle was one of the best."

"Thanks, Eion. Now I just need the McDonough Laird to be impressed."

"Aye, and I was right in behind you to see it. I was just as impressed and may see about commissioning you to make me one when you can. Full price." He'd not ask for a discount. Hard work was hard work. "I found out we have race horses, did you know that?" He had taken a trip to Falkirk Downs to see all the race horses and where Melantha had a lot of time invested. "According to the stats, they are doing pretty good."


Whenever he was ready but with the look in her eyes and so close, it was hard for Gabriel to be ready but procrastinate while arms remained loosely around her in case anyone else in the house, such as her grandmother he was hearing so much about, happened upon them. Well, at least his wings were not out, that might startle the elderly woman into a heart attack and what an impression he'd make then! A little nuzzle before lifting his head to speak a few octaves higher as if calling back to her like she was in the kitchen, "you did say the living room, Melantha?" Giving a wink as he straightened up, arms falling from their loose capture.

"Aye, the living room." She kept her voice a little lower, trying not to laugh. "Here, I'll take you." And with that she curled her fingers through his. Oh, she understood the hesitation but if Gran caught them she might take a broom to them both. She walked up to the doorway and tapped, leaning slightly. "Is it safe to come in?"

"We do?  Where did they come from."  But before it could be discussed further it seemed Gabriel had arrive. He looked at his brothers and stood, motioning for the two to enter. "Come on in and join us. We were just talking about the training and other things." He hadn't run off the king's field when Gabriel showed his wings. He wouldn't leave the room now.

"Ah, our guest," rising to his feet as a chance to stretch as well. A glance spared Conor then Eion to linger as it seemed Melantha was showing him within. There was also the part on the fact this was the man with wings.

Mary lifted her head, cocked it to the side, and listened. There was a voice she hadn't heard before. She eased the glasses off her nose and placed them in the basket that held the rest of her sewing supplies. The doll she worked on, she placed to the side. She had already completed four, but she'd like at least two dozen to deliver to the orphanage. The sewing would wait, however, because her curiosity was getting the better of her. The stranger's voice, and Mel's, together? Mary was not fooled into thinking that they were not standing side by side. She eased up, practically tip-toed to the door of the parlor, and poked her head out. Out...and In. They were joining the boys in the living room. A sweep of hand smoothed down her apron, she patted at the base of the up-do Chandra had fixed of her hair, then stepped out as if she meant to just walk right in too. Instead, the matron of the Quinns flattened herself to the wall and inched her way, her head tilted, as if she could stretch her ear inside that room before she ever reached it.

Conor dropped his foot from the ledge, straightening in his stance to prepare to greet this man. He hadn't really had the chance to meet the knight on the field and, considering he had almost charged him down, the youngest Quinn was a tad uncomfortable with this meeting. He was here to talk to Eion though so there must be matters of importance to speak of. Not hotheaded brothers.

Stepping within the room as fingers remained entwined with Melantha's. It would be the first hint what was about to be addressed. "Melantha and I have been seeing each other, properly, for some time." Stressing properly as he released her hand now that they were within. It was more to show he was not hiding their attraction but neither would it be proper to continue holding hands while addressing her brothers. "I came to work here to earn the keep of my racing horse your sister was kind enough to take on for boarding. Now two as gradually I gained another." Though that didn't need any more particulars but more a basis to work off. "In that time we found an attraction. So we have been in each other's company as often as we could. Without the head of her family here, it was all we could do. It gave us time to be sure it was not a passing fancy. Now that you are here, Eion, as well Segan and Conor," addressing each as dark eyes shifted accordingly then back to Eion. "I would, we would," looking to Melantha and back, "like to court."

Conor's brows shot up, looking between Gabriel and Melantha. The man didn't waste time or mince words! He didn't even look to his brothers, just between the two that were properly seeing each other.

Mel smiled at Gabriel then looked at her brothers. Was she nervous, not really. Of course she didn't know how Eion reacted to everything that had happened previously. She watched him but occasionally glanced at the other two.

Eion didn't have any idea what Gabriel wanted to talk about until he saw him step into the room with Melantha and it suddenly was quite obvious. He listened with a serious expression then let out a soft whoosh of air. Rubbing his forehead, he thought a moment then looked at Gabriel. "I don't claim to understand what it is about this land but I do understand that I couldn't say no and keep the two of you apart. I can see how much you mean to one another and I truly appreciate your coming to me. So, I guess the only thing left to say is you not only have my permission but my blessing. Now if either Segan or Conor have any objections, you may have to deal with that. I don't." Karl, Peter and the other knights, had no problem accepting Gabriel's wings. Neither would he, even if he were ... unsure.

Segan approached Gabriel and moved around him before full circle. "You have wings. How? Where are they?" Things like wings didn't bother him one bit, unlike Eion's reaction but then, they knew not of his journeys those seven years away. "Where do you come from, are you human?" He didn't mince words either as he asked all that drove his curiosity. Would Melantha be bedding a bird?

Eion's acceptance caused Conor to blink and he looked in his brother's direction briefly before snapping his attention back to Mel, then to Gabriel. Courting could eventually mean marriage. Conor didn't know how it worked here, but where he came from, that was the usual order of it. When Segan finished circling, and questioning, Conor added his own question. "You are a knight of Innis Daingneach, are you not?"

Court? Mary shot up straight, clamping a hand over her mouth to keep from squealing. She didn't know the man but she'd get to know him and Melantha ... Melantha would be a'courtin'! She pressed her skirts aside with her free hand and did a bit of a jig out in the hall, a swishing, sliding dance that made just a whisper of sound. There she was, in the corridor, feet scooting, hand over her mouth, eyes sparkling with excitement. For now, she'd keep quiet until her granddaughter came to her with any news. Oh, but she would be bursting! Bursting! Until that time. Still holding in her excitement with the palm of her hand, she scurried down the hall to return to her sewing. As if she would even be able to concentrate on it! Maybe...maybe...she'd take a break from it and sew a pretty scarf for her granddaughter. One she could wear when she and her beau spent time together!

Mel grinned when Eion gave his approval. Well, of course he would! Gabriel had done everything right. She blinked when Segan started his round of questions and then Conor added one in. Stepping back just a little, she was over to hug Eion while Gabriel answered. Then she be right back to the knight. She hadn't realized they had seen his wings!

In spite of any doubts Eion might have, it was obvious they cared for one another deeply. He might be skeptical about other women but not his own sisters. He glanced at the hallway then Mel was hugging him and he didn't have time to investigate. Ah well, even if someone was in the hall, it was good news they were hearing. His attention went back to Gabriel and his brothers.

Unbeknownst, their grandmama left at a good time for all the questions he would need to answer and easier to show them some of it. He wanted to reassure them for certainly there would be doubts with the unknown. He would answer the easier question first. "I think it is only right for you to know some about me as I've come to know you all through Melantha before you ever arrived. I was a knight in the lands of Daurenia first along with two others that survived the holocaust. We traveled in search of answers, and in search of those who survived. It brought me here. I am human but one that has wings. This was not something I knew until after being here a few months there about. In fact it started out as an itch I would get, then the first time they actually extended, I thought a large bird had gotten hold of me when I near fell off a cliff dragging my comrade with me." Now he could look upon that night with humor in his eyes. "It seems it comes from an ancient time that holds to my soul. Where what may seem impossible to some today, was commonplace. These lands seem to call to the soul and gifts that are extraordinary are used to benefit and help all, not used for selfish means. After being here a while it came about to add our strength to those of Innis Daingneach. I was tested mostly by Lazare, as Eion was tested. My comrades and myself then knighted under King Peter but to be stationed here in these lands." Since Segan was that curious, "if you will bear with me," as he took off his shirt enough so they could see the intricate tattoo on his back. "I woke up with this one morning after a night I couldn't remember but nothing came of it until about a year ago. An old woman had taken me in when she found me staring and about to give up on ever finding my comrades. If you'd like to see the wings come out, I have learned to control them at will. This was not so in the beginning and I probably reacted much like Eion had."

He gave a low whistle under his breath, "that has to be the best tattoo I've ever seen." It was perfect in color and design as he studied it closer. After all, Gabriel seemed to not mind. He even touched the ink, or what he thought was ink. "This is not inked like other tattoos." Which it was dawning on him it was not a conventional tattoo. Plus the touching had some fibers to be felt under the pad of his finger. "I'd like to see how they emerge." Even if his brothers weren't curious, he was. He was the one that had to take everything apart when young to see how it worked. At least he could put them back together too.

Stationed here, not Innis. The large muscles along Conor's back relaxed a little and to help that along, he rolled a shoulder. "So, the wings ... do they pass down the blood line?" Like the color of your eyes, the length of your nose? He glanced to Mel. She'd probably get pissed at him for his questions. That's alright. He just wanted to prepare himself for possible future nieces or nephews that would be too difficult to catch when they had acted like a true Quinn.

Mad? Of course she wouldn't get mad. Though she did sit as they spoke. That was something she hadn't considered, or what Gran would think of Gabe's wings. There was ... so much to think about  She wrinkled her nose at Conor when he looked her way then watched Segan. He was fascinated, wasn't he?  Oh, and that was another revaluation.  Eion hadn't reacted well when he first saw the wings. She'd be asking questions when she and Gabriel were alone.

And this was why he was glad his brothers were here. Eion wasn't too sure of himself, and hadn't realized he'd be the one suitors would come to if they wanted to court his sisters. He moved around to look at Gabriel's back,  leaning closer, but he didn't touch. Straightening up, he grinned at Conor. Good question!

He didn't mind the questions, didn't mind their curiosity. Hell, he was curious about some of these questions and answers himself. Gabriel was mild manner until someone got him pissed off. The feathers started emerging as he spoke, sliding out forming, growing in split seconds until the wing tips reached out to the ceiling. They had the patch of fire red at the shoulders in marking of the redwing blackbird. "I was not born with wings. I honestly do not know if the tie is through the soul in a ancient heritage or through an ancient bloodline that moves in my veins and then the potential passed to any of my offspring. Anything is possible," which had dark eyes lifting as they turned summer blue upon Melantha. How did she feel about any of this. If courting led to marriage, would she accept the possibility of their children inheriting wings? He didn't draw in the wings just yet as they folded in after the flex out and up.

She might have to tie a rope around their waists if they did when they were babies, if that happened. Otherwise, she might be chasing them all over the realms. The thought of chasing winged babies made her smile as she looked at Gabriel.   She'd have to talk to the Queen about that.

"Amazing, fffffffff..." hissed as he caught himself with Melantha there, "simply amazing." Though he noticed there was a quality about the feathers that made them more like a shield, not quite like a bird's yet had the same kind of fibers and texture. "I wish I had wings," grinning as he'd not bother Gabriel overly more on any of this. He'd been kind enough to put up with all their questions and being put on display to reassure the brothers for his obvious respect, love, fondness, of their sister. He shook Gabriel's hand, "congratulations, treat her good or you'll have the brothers Quinn on your tail, feathery one or not." Next he was over to draw Melantha up into a hug. "If you are happy, this man makes you happy, then I'm all for the union."

He cut a look toward Segan and chuckled then stood, offering his hand to Gabriel. "We'll see how things go but aye, Mel is a wonderful woman and from the way she looks at you, very much in love. And take Segan at his word. We'll be expecting you to treat her well." And for Mel to do the same. He looked at Segan again, wondering what the devil he'd do with wings and that cause another question. "How high can you go with those?"

Conor was the only one that didn't come over to inspect. Instead, he crossed to where the bottle sat and added more to his glass. This, he tossed back. Since Segan asked a question, Conor remained silent. He chose a chair closer to Mel and that's where he sat.

"I will always treat her good. That was how I was raised in respect of women." Which he could say all he wanted knowing it would be proven in time. Wings folded back down into the tattoo before he replaced the shirt, lacing it back and tucking into his pants neatly again. The empowered sword hung at his left him, sheathed. "High as one can still breathe as the air gets thinner the higher you go. Did they tell you, that if you are knighted, Eion, that you will be fitted to one of the hundred swords of Heathfield? Ones empowered by the Druid Prince." If they thought him having wings was amazing... He needed a drink as he was over to fill a glass from the small bar, potcheen of course. "Would you like something Melantha?" Glancing her way as it seemed them courting had been accepted by all brothers though he wasn't' really sure on Conor.

Segan was done as he was back to his seat to claim and finish his drink.

She was proud of her brothers, even Conor, who seemed reluctant and proud of Gabriel. "Yes, thank you." She touched Conor's shoulder briefly as she stood.  Moving to join Gabriel, she gave him a little hip bump. She'd have to talk to Gran soon!

"Good." He blinked at mention of the swords and shook his head. "No, though I haven't discussed much with anyone. Mostly I'm supposed to heal." He touched Conor's shoulder briefly. If the youngest of the three brothers had concerns, he was sure they'd discuss them later. It was also to show him that Eion himself wasn't sure how things were going to play out.

They might notice how his features changed, softened from the more stoic when Melantha approached him. The look in his eyes that were back to the dark hue after his wings disappeared down into the tattoo. "Shall we take a walk in the garden before I need to go?" Handing her the drink he knew she would favor this time of night, some of the blackberry brandy.

"I'd like that." She accepted the glass, watching his face. Conor would come around in time and Eion would see that everything would be fine. Segan's acceptance was only the first. "Good night you three." She'd make sure breakfast was extra special. Once again, she curled her fingers through his as they left the manor through the french doors.



Date: 06-10-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 38

The Sword

Segan had been down to the port and set up an interview with Andre Bovee himself. He already talked to Pierre but being Andre was back, the man suggested he talk with his partner. That though they were set up as equal, Andre was the head of Bovee shipping. More the two had been friends a long time and didn't want some status quo looking down one or the other. After that he scouted out a few of the bars, met some of the captains that frequented the port, so found out in conversation as well sailors and crews that milled about by helping some out with their cargo. It was a big step in getting situated and accepted. Getting his name around, getting names of others. The Oyster Pearl was a dive that he ended up in but they had potcheen and so he had a few before barely escaping a fight. He headed up to the Thistle already a few sheets to the wind. He was singing the distance with looks cast his way but at least snickers or laughs followed a greeting. "I'll sing you a song, a good song of the sea with a way, hey, blow the man down and trust that you'll join in the chorus with me. Give me some time to blow the man down." He paused to take another drink before giving a quick jig with the encouragement of a couple ladies and gents. Applauding he could jig with the best of them before he continued on. "There was an old skipper I don't know his name with a way, hey, blow the man down. Although he once played a remarkable game, give me some time to blow the man down."

Eion's day had consisted of training on the field, and then a return to the manor to finish the wall. He had been working with two of the stable lads so the job went fairly fast. After that, it was back to the manor house for dinner and one of Mary's concoctions to help build him up. Finally escaping, he set out for the Thistle, a few drinks and maybe the company of his brothers.

"EION!" Waving his brother on as he reached the Thistle steps and took note of the one coming down the lane was his brother. "How goes your project? Grandmama content?" If grandmama wasn't content then they all should take care to see things made right.

"The wall is finished, and aye, Gran is content. She's been helping Chandra with the garden and doing a lot of sewing. Dolls for the orphanage for one." As long as she was content, all was well. "And she got a letter from Brady today. Seems none have come around snooping."

Conor saw his brothers at the entrance of the Thistle and hurried his step, dodging around one person or another.

Wrapping an arm around his brother's shoulders as he listened to all he had to say. "Dolls for the orphanage," Grams was going to get her name known fast in these lands. "I've a gift for you," holding up a folded-up Extra from the London Times. "An inspector by the name of Edgar Clarke got hold of this incident and exposed it wide open. Bennett family having their own dungeon outside the law and one of their prisoners a cousin of a high standing family, one they did not disclose the name of for their privacy in these matters. Charges are being brought against him that his lawyers are working on an expensive plea bargain. The fortress at St Olyst 

confiscated by the Crown until further notice. In short it will be lost in red tape and the Crown will keep it. There were more deaths of their guards than the prisoners that escaped. They say three unknown men came to their rescue, rescue of one but decided to have mercy on them all. That they could have gotten away without helping." Standing on the porch by this time as he caught sight of Conor, arm lifted away from Eion to wave to the youngest of the Quinn brothers.

And he lifted a hand to wave back, his hurried step pausing to turn and walk backwards a couple of steps as a gaggle of girls giggled by. A few more steps in reverse as he watched them and they glanced back at him and then he spun continuing his hurry to his brothers. "I'm liking this place more and more each day."

"Did they say anything more about the prisoners? Or our identities to be precise? What are they going to do about the prisoners there?" He was reaching for the paper as he caught sight of Conor and waved, then laughed as he  watched him watch the girls. "I can tell."

He nudged Eion with a grin, "someone is feeling his oats today," low before up'ed a few octaves to normal. "Come to join us in some pure, little brother?" And he continued. "It seems they have no idea who the men were dressed as guards or even possibly guards that had a change of heart. They don't know it was you or us. A number of bodies could not be identified for the fire and a lot of paperwork destroyed as well, or on purpose, who knows. You are something minor in Bennett's life right now and probably has no idea if you lived or died in that fire or cares. Though we can hope with this investigation, as I'm told this man is very good, another Sherlock Holmes they say, they might find out about the murder too."

"What?" He came up at the middle of the conversation. He pressed at Eion's lower arm so the paper would drop some and he could see what his older brother was looking at. "Hey." He whispered as he read a portion of it and listened to Segan's sum-uppance.  Conor whistled, shaking his head as he realized what was going on.  "How old is this paper?" Cool your heels, Eion, as Conor took up the corner of the paper and folded forward and back looking for a date.

"No matter. I'm glad the bast'id got caught finally." He could hope the man would lose all his estates and money as a comeuppance but that would remain to be see. He grinned at Conor, waiting patiently for him to find the date.

Less than a month, wow, he was impressed. He let go, glancing first to the door of the tavern, then to Segan. "Does it say what happened to his ... " He paused a moment, dipping his head slightly as he glanced to Eion before he added. "wife?"

"Day after we sailed." which he pointed out. "There might be more on the matter but knowing the English courts, it will take years and most likely all of Bennett's wealth will be lost on those costs." He gave a shake of his head on the part about the man's wife. "She will probably go to live with relatives unless she really loved him. Not just his money." Which had him looking Eion's way. If the woman was only about the money she would be ruined in the face of society and that was a tragic death to any of the upper class.

"No idea though I doubt if she loved him anymore than she did Henry." He didn't add the obvious about himself. "Come on, brothers o' mine. Let's go drink to Bennett's failure." He had put any regrets about Jane aside when he was rescued by this brothers and he had no intention of changing that now. She made her own bed as the saying went.

Aye, and it had nothing to do with Eion's mattress? He nodded. "A fine reason to celebrate in my humble opinion." He'd be the first to enter the tavern, ready to drink to Bennett's demise.

When the brothers did finally enter the tavern they'd see a familiar figure already at the bar, perched atop one of the stools, overcoat discarded but hat firmly on her head.

"There is the consoling thought that Rob will have his hand in all of this and perhaps vindicate your friend they killed." Herding them into the tavern at this point as he called out. "The drinks are on me Alex!"

"Evening to you, Nessa." He threw up a hand to her, cutting a look back to Segan with a laugh. "You are a big spender, brother!" Conor continued on the bar where Karina played her cards. "Put those away, Lass. No solitaire tonight! We've reason to celebrate and you need not know why. Just..." He motioned to the bottles being set out that Segan was ... buying. "drink!" He added a nod to Alex by way of a thanks then collected the glasses in a group and poured into them with one round about sweep.

He snorted out a laugh as he made his way to the bar and leaned there. "Evening, lass." Giving her a nod before he watched Conor. "You're in a good mood tonight." He had been worried after their talk with Gabriel.

"Evening Warrior Queen," giving a wink as Alex was already setting out their drinks, Conor pouring and he to claim one as well a lean against the bar.

Glancing up from her cards as the brothers piled in, Karina perked a brow at Conor then directed that glance over to Segan. "Segan's buying, eh? What a generous laddie..." A broad smirk at that considering that drinks were always  free anyway. Watching the three of them, it was clear they were in a fine mood. Even Eion was laughing. It just made her grin wider as she obediently reached for the glass Conor had put before her.

He edged the filled glasses one by one to each person then set the bottle aside. "Aye? And why wouldn't I be?" Gabriel and Mel's news still had concerns floating in and out of his mind, when he didn't have his mind on other things. Conor did have a way of keeping his mind on other things most of the time.

"Maybe it has something to do with all those girls making eyes at him.." which he had flaunted outside but of course he would have to add the brotherly tease. "How old is this bunch, twelve, thirteen?"

"That old? I'm slipping." He cut a glare in Segan's direction, although his tone held the humor of his intent. He raised his glass. "To young lasses with long lashes and the know how to bat them." But he raised the glass just a tad higher as his true toast came next. "To justice."

"Twelve and thirteen?" She repeated, directing an astonished stare Conor's way. "Feisigh! He'll be hanging 'round the nursery next..." But she fell silent when Conor announced that toast, and she lifted her glass in turn, though  her gaze was curious as it went between the three of them. "Ta justice."

Which had him laugh out loud for the moment before lifting his glass in a toast, "to justice and may my brother keep one step ahead of protective fathers." Like he should talk.

Conor drank down his toast with one swallow, then reached for the bottle, looking to Karina as he did. "Exactly how old are you, Nessa? Fourteen, fifteen?" He winked to her, almost overfilling his glass because he wasn't watching but he was quick to lift up the bottle to prevent that. He set it to the bartop for anyone else that needed a refill after that toast.

"Justice and may she always carry a sharp sword." As far as his brothers keeping ahead of fathers, well, that was up to them. He watched Conor a moment, then down the liquid in his glass quickly.

Directing her eyes to Conor she scowled, snatching the bottle up from the counter nearly out of his fingers. "I'm sixteen, eejit." Or somewhere roundabouts. That was around the number she'd landed on; it was close enough as far as she could reckon. Filling her drained glass from the bottle, she set the latter back down then wet her lips with the liquid again.

"What a difference a year makes, eh?" He shook his hand as if that snatch stung his fingers.

"Aye." Pointedly. "It does."

It was a shame he wasn't keeping count of the times he set her into a huff. He might have enjoyed the knowing of it. He smiled at her agitated features a moment more then looked to Segan. "What did you find out at the docks?"

He went quiet, settling more to his drinking and listening as the wasn't going to touch the conversation between Conor and Karina. One thing he was noticing, she was very touchy about a few things and that usually meant reasons built up over buried ones that rose to the surface here and there. Watching her features a moment before drawn away with Conor's question. "I have a meeting with Andre Bovee tomorrow. I met and talked with Pierre Lafayette. They are also looking for a secretary if any of our sisters are interested and can handle such work. There is a need for my profession." Which he would leave it at for now.

Had she drank potcheen before? He watched her curiously. It didn't take much to knock a grown man on their arse. What would it do to a skinny lass like Karina. He looked at Conor and chuckled again before filling his own glass.

Karina just returned Conor's smile with a narrow-eyed look, but after she downed the next drink, she was pretty much over it. In truth, she tended to be touchy about everything or nothing, depending on that moment's topic and mood. And right now... "Ahhhh." That went down the hatch but smooth. Karina swallowed and licked her lips, turning slooowly on the stool to watch the brothers talk. Curiosity ever a driving force, she wondered who and what they were discussing.



Date: 06-10-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 39

"Good. You'll be getting restless and then getting under Gran's feet and she'll be chasing you out of the manor with her broom." Always fun to see. Their tiny grandmother chasing one of the brothers.

Which Conor had quickly discovered, and so, he'd press her buttons over everything and nothing. "Aye, and I don't move as quick as you, Segan, so I'll be the one she swats." That grumble came mid lift of glass and he drank. Karina's sigh of contentment shifted his attention for a moment. "Let me know when you need another." He lowered his gaze to her glass and then back up, a low chuckle building with the thought of that petite thing attempting to even keep up drink to drink with a Quinn.

"Yer lucky she uses a broom and not a fryin pan," Karina commented with a sage nod Segan's way. But just as quick her gaze sliced back over to Conor. "I can serve meself, thankya." And just to prove a point.... she reached for the bottle again!

With drink in his hold, up went both hands in the air as if he was backing away from any attempt to serve her. Four? Five? Dang, why hadn't he kept a tally?

"Hmph." That sound was clearly her way of saying she had made her point, as she lifted the bottle carefully and filled the small glass again.

He'd allow her this small victory, even if it was a voluntary retreat and not necessarily a bona fide defeat. With brows raised, he sliced a look off first to Segan, then to Eion. Which of them were going to be carrying her up the stairs to her room. Conor didn't dare, lest she wake from her stupor and rip into his jugular with her sharp complaints.

He was more watching at this point than contributing to the bantering. He wondered how much until she passed out actually. The look back as much flickered to the couch.

Rhett had finished polishing up the sword crafted and chosen as a gift as he made his way to the Thistle. Stetson worn dipped slightly in the front wasn't enough to obscure his vision. Light cotton shirt had the sleeves rolled up sporting the muscular arms of the blacksmith. A few buttons down the front left open for the warmth of the day. Off maze color shirt tucked into brown pants and shorter summer boots. He stepped in with a slight dip of his head, lips somewhat pressed in a thoughtful line. It was Segan's face he recognized and waited to catch eye contact as he headed for the bar. "Evening," cordially given all but not loud enough to really interrupt their conversation. He set the sheathed sword on the bar aside and out of the way as Alex set out a glass of the Pure.

Glass midway to her lips, Karina caught the look exchanged between the brothers. She returned the glance, one by one, from Eion to Segan then Conor. "...What? Ye lot don't think I can hold me potcheen?" She arched her brows eloquently.

"You're sixteen, spending time drinking with in a tavern. You should be in school, or something." He picked up his glass and headed for a table. He wouldn't be carrying her. He paused and nodded to Rhett, smiling. "Evening to you."

"...School?" Had she really just heard him right? "School? Ach..." That sound of disgust spoke volumes for the unsaid. A scowl and shake of the head, like an aggravated horse trying to swat flies from its ears. "And just what would I do in school, eh? Learn readin' and cipherin'? Bah... aye, that'd get me out of loads of scrapes, I'm sure." Another frown. "School." And just to banish the thought, she took another swallow from her glass. Sparing a moment  however to nod to the newcomer in greeting.

"Never said a word either way, Warrior Queen.." lifting his glass in salute before eyes fixed on Rhett. He was over to where he stood and a few words too low for the others to hear before introducing him. "This is Rhett Shawnesey, the finest blacksmith I've had the privilege of meeting. My brothers Eion and Conor as well the lass Karina," not calling her Warrior Queen for the introduction.

An uplift of chin marked the fellow entering before shifting to Karina. Wait! Eion! It was Conor's duty to irritate the girl! Her rampage about an education was placed to the side for now as he offered a more cordial greeting to the blacksmith. "A pleasure to meet you, Rhett Shawnesey."

"Ah," well seems came in the midst of a heated conversation that had the lass in the middle of it by what he picked up so far. "Nice to meet you all." With Eion walking away, he picked up the sword and followed him over to his table. "This is for you. From your brother so you have your own than borrowed." Setting it there with care as he stepped back so the man could look it over.

"Don't mind them," Karina advised for Rhett's benefit, gesturing towards the Quinns with her glass in a movement that nearly sloshed its contents, "They just like ta pester me. Ye, they might let alone for you've actually a name for yaself, I guess." A good-natured grin before she fell silent, peering over towards the sword being laid on the table.

"Nice, Segan." Conor muttered, a tad frustrated he hadn't thought of that idea himself. "Ah, come on, Lass, you've a name for yourself. You told me it first we met." Flash of grin, twinkle of eye, twitch of brow and he brought up his glass to drink again.

He would also find a note attached that read. Until you earn that empowered sword, may this one protect you as would your brothers if not there. Segan.

"You might improve yourself."  He retorted and that was all he had to say to her.  Eion had set down his drink and was in the process of turning so he could greet Rhett properly. And when he held out his hand, it was in greeting, not for the sword. "Rhett. I ... Uh... " Now he was at a loss for words. He would shake the younger man's hand first, then take the sword up and examine it.

A press of a smile came Karina's way as a hand lifted to remove the hat while within. He near forgot. Hair was a mass of dark reddish brown curls. "I can understand why they would like to pester you." Which was a light compliment before attention was back on Eion to see if the sword pleased him. He had finished up sharpening and polishing the blade. He shook the man's hand, eagerly, for he took pride in his work.

"Ye knew what I meant," Karina replied to Conor with a sour purse of the lips. Honestly! That man! She decided to ignore him from here on out. Though under the influence of potcheen, it'd be interesting to see how long that lasted.

He grinned at the smith, then stepped back and picked up the sword. He slid it out of the sheath and placed it aside though he took note of the metalwork on it.

When Rhett spoke up, Karina just quirked a brow for a second, not sure at all whether that was a compliment or just another tease on his part. "Aye well. They're good at it too," she said with another glance swept around the Quinns. Karina stood from her stool and stepped forward to stand just behind the clump of men, glass in hand, looking towards the sword that Eion now held free of its sheath. "It's sure lovely..." She commented, genuinely.

Ignore Conor? That had yet to ever be accomplished! And never would be! Conor could appreciate the craftsmanship that went into that blade and nodded slowly, glancing to Segan. "Very nice, Brother." Then looking to Eion again.

Segan had left Eion and Rhett room with the Sword so came up behind where Karina stood and lightly tickled her one side. She seemed to get into sparring words with his brothers like a bee to honey.

The note was read too after he took his time looking the blade over. "You do excellent work, Rhett. I've not seen one finer." The sword and sheath on his belt were removed, the new one taking his place before he grabbed Segan in a bear hug. He gave Conor a grin though. "You can give me a shield that will hold up to the King's men." Only half kidding. He wouldn't doubt that there wasn't a shield made one of them couldn't break.  And that was after he tickled Karina.

Rhett made those too!

The youngest pretended not to see that tickle, even if he had caught it from the corner of his eye. "Better I get with Gran and see if I can't concoct some super power for you, you ole goat." He grinned, looking then to Rhett. "Do you craft only weapons? Or can you smith bits and stirrups?"

Karina let out what could only be called a squeak when she was suddenly tickled, and she spun to face her assailant. Segan was just lucky that Eion had him wrapped safely up in a bear hug at the moment. Instead she stepped away a bit, holding her glass carefully just so another tickle attack wouldn't spill its contents.

Which he returned that bear hug, stepping aside Karina so they didn't knock her over on top of it all. A hand to pound his back, maybe to make up what he said when angry that time too, about losing all respect for him. Least his brother came around after the fight in the street. A lot of pent up frustrations and hurt over their father's death while they were not there had some release.

Blue eyes turned on Karina as lips pressed into a smile. Just his way of one though there was the rare full grin at times before answering Conor, focus shifting there. "I do what is needed. Bits, stirrups, shoes, wagon wheel spikes," which was replacing wood. "All kinds of armor and weapons."

"Then I've a thing or two to discuss with you at some point." He nodded. "Where can I find you?"

Sipping at her glass carefully, Karina felt eyes upon her, and turned her face up slowly only to see that man Rhett smiling at her. She glanced around a second, shrugged and returned it slightly before falling into listening mode again. Though, characteristically, that didn't last long. "I've some bits o' scrap metal. Think ya might be interested in buyin' up somethin like that?" Directed at Rhett, of course. Because she was ignoring Conor.

Aye, ignoring he had even asked a question first. He glanced over his arm to her. "From your little red wagon, Nessa? Are you sure you want to part with that yet?"

He had decided that Conor was right. What Segan said hadn't been meant. Stepping back he went to the table and sat as he had been about to do before receiving the sword. First though, he removed the sword so he could study it further.

She took a quick breath to answer, paused, and held her breath instead. Closing her lips deliberately and turning fully to Rhett with a tight, inquisitive smile.

He wasn't sure how to take her reaction, more on the quiet and even shy side where women were concern. It seemed reluctant so he would mind his own as his drink was recovered. "If you need anything, you can find me in the commons, down near the end before heading to the port." So that he got business from both parts and neutral territory so to speak. "You wish something made of these bits and scraps?" Not sure in what she meant as focus turned back on her, business kind.

Before port, before was good. Conor turned to address Rhett again, tilting his glass toward him by way of acknowledging his information.


"Nah. I figured more like, ya might be able to use 'em ta make whatever it is ya make. Just small bits really, some silver, some iron." Not even looking Conor's way any more. She was determined to win this one! "Thought I might sell them to ya's."

Just as well she didn't look Conor's way, it was Segan who she should be watching. Conor simply smiled. Drinking his poteen. Listening. And waiting for the opportunity to interject again.


"I can buy them off you if you're looking to sell." He could always use bits and pieces with the various things he made.



Date: 06-10-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 40

He had stepped back to observe and listen. Thoughts his own on some of what he saw.

"Aye, sure. Mayhaps I'll come by your shop ta see ye then, sometime soon too." A nod and she hefted her glass again though only as far as her lips this time, finishing it off and sighing slightly after the swallow. "If ye can give me what it's worth, that is." It was said pleasantly enough though there was almost a sharp gleam to her eye. She was all too aware that she was the sort folks would usually take advantage of in such business situations. Luckily for her, she didn't ever let that happen.

The sword was slipped back into its sheath and he relaxed so he could enjoy the drink. He was also thinking of what he read of the empowered swords and gave out a low whistle. It would be an accomplishment to earn one.

"Aye, I will give you the fair market value of what you have." Which would be by weight and alloy. Rhett was as honest as they came, much like his father and mother that raised him and his siblings.


Deeeeeefensive much? One of Conor's brows arched and he looked from Rhett over to Karina and then back to the smith as he started to speak.

"Good enough fer me." And now that business was over (casual though it had been) Karina granted the man a full grin, sunny enough to light sparks in the aqua depths of her eyes. "Ya stayin' for some drinks then?" A nod indicated the bottle of liquor sitting over on the bar.

Far better smile as he somewhat relaxed around the lass. One that was around his age. Made him even more self conscious but he was slowly getting over that. "Aye, got me some of the potcheen. You're drinking?" Pausing as he tried to determine what she was drinking by viewing her glass. Could be anything.

"Aye, Rhett, if you mean to drink more, then you better have at it before the young lass here." Though he didn't think Karina would be tossing back too many more and keeping her seat. It was by the grace of whatever saint, demon, god she worshipped that she was still speaking clearly, considering the purity of the drink and the size of the female.

All in all, he had one of his best days in a long time in how it played out, lastly with the look in his brother's eyes on the sword. Made it worth every coin spent and he still had a few, coins, a bit on his ship.

"Potcheen, same as ya's," She declared, lifting up her half-full glass triumphantly before, yes, tossing her head back to finish it off. This was followed by a smug smile Conor's way. Ha! They all thought she was some simpering female unable to hold her drink, well, she'd show them.

"Not many can handle the brew but there are some women who can too." Not all men could as he lifted his glass. "Over the gums, down the hatch," which the contents of his glass went.

That though, he finished his glass off and set the empty to the counter. He thanked Alex with a nod and stood, stretching his arms up toward the beams of the ceiling in a stretch. That stretch, paused, as Karina provided that look his way, his arms lowered slowly. "It comes on quick, Karina." His warning was offered in all seriousness, proven by the fact he called her by her name. "So enjoy, and be prepared to hit that skinny little arse on the floorboards when it does." A twitch at one corner of his lips might give away the fact he was attempting not to smile now. He even nodded to that mentioned part of her anatomy just to make his point.

He shook his head then looked at Conor and snickered. "Sure and she'll not be listening, Conor. She thinks she has something to prove."

Dragging her attention back to Conor, she blinked at his words, scowling again at his crude reference to a certain body part of hers. "Ya don' need to be concerned on my account, Conor Quinn. Nor ye, Eion!" She added to the oldest brother as he chimed in. Eion and Segan earned themselves scowls, too. "Just cause I'm nae some... bloody big strappin lad from bloody wherever-it-is-yer-from..."

"You are still staying here, Karina?" So she would not have far to go to get to her room in crawling.

She waved her hand to finish the thought, accompanying it with a  harrumph. "For yerrrr information. I been drinkin' this stuff since... ah..." Her brows screwed up in deep thought, trying to calculate the number of years, til Segan said her name. She looked at him confusedly. "Eh?


"Oh, she'll prove it alright, Segan." He quipped, not taking his eyes from the lass. "It's not your account I was referring to, Nessa." He laughed. "Heaven?" Conor finished for her, knowing she wasn't finished even as he did.

"Should I be then, Karina?"

Rhett had moved back to the bar where it seemed safe in comparison.

"I'm not concerned. Not in the least." He kicked booted feet up onto one of the empty seats and looked out the window instead.  And she had only been drinking that stuff lately. It was made here in Heathfield by one of the Princes of the realm.

"Was gonna say, stinkin rat-infested hole," she answered Conor.

"You're not from England are you, Karina?" Now there was a wondering thought.

"Sounds like she thinks we are, Segan." He was still grinning, but there was a bit more tension in his jaw when he spoke.

Except with that question, he looked back quickly toward Segan and Conor. Could explain a lot.

And back over to Segan. "Eh?" She said again, scratching her neck with the rim of her empty glass. "Ah....No." There was a definite long hesitation before she answered more succinctly than anything she'd said yet.

"Are you telling me, that you would prefer to be some big strapping lad so you can drink as much as you want instead of a bony teen lass?" Just the way she needed to prove herself.

Really, did the lass think she could stand a chance in this room tonight? The Quinn boys grew up with younger sisters for goodness' sake. They could keep her jumping from one comment to the next as if she were a circus performer hopping along a tight rope wire.

A sliding glance was taken from Eion to Conor to Segan to Karina to Conor then back to Segan. Hard to tell whose ball was in the court or a lot of loose balls around.

The way Segan shifted topics suddenly, as well as the length of his question had her confused again. Especially in her slowly-but-surely inebriated state. "...I'm sayin'..." She finally answered, with a hard look directed at Segan, "Don' matter if yer strappin' boy or bony lass. Anybody on God's green earth should be free. Free... tae do whatever they want and no' get beat by other folks fer doin' it. An' free... tae drink!" She finished somewhat less sentimentally, with a big grin and her empty glass held out again.

"Well then, that's a horse of a different color. You're free to do whatever you want, long as it doesn't infringe on anyone else's rights. Long as you don't hurt yourself Karina." Though being free one had that choice to hurt themselves even if by proving a point.

"Alex, get the lass a soap box!" Conor spoke in a loud whisper toward the tender, who, wise man, just avoided the whole conversation and continued to work. "Tell you what, Nessa. You go right ahead. Be free to drink 'cause the drinks are free. Bottoms up! But when it's your bottom's up..." He nodded to the floor. "Then know I'll be free to never let you live it down, aye?" A chuckle, a wink for her, then the drew in a deep breath. "Now...I've got plans for the evening that I suppose I should be getting to." He nodded to Rhett. "I'll be seeking you out soon, Rhett." Then to his brothers he raised a hand. "If Gran asks, I'm sleeping here tonight." Although, his plans had more to do with sleeping in a Flower Garden than in the Thistle. "Aye?" He'd count on his brothers tonight to cover his arse where Gran was concerned when he wasn't at the breaking of the fast come daylight.

"Thank ya!" She said emphatically to Segan, turning that grin onto him now and raising her glass that direction. Woo now, did the floor just shift beneath her? Not unpleasant though, like the rocking of a ship. When Conor spoke she turned suspicious eyes his direction, expecting (rightly so) some teasing smarmy comment. "Lucky for me, looks like ye'll never get ta see me bottoms-up!" She snickered at herself, for that sounded rather ridiculous. "Always runnin' away, ye are. Guess ya start ta miss that dark hole o' yourn."

"Aye, I look forward to doing business with you Conor." Name spoken so he got them attached correctly. There seemed much to do about nothing over drinking but then he also felt he was missing a lot of pieces in this.

"Aye, there are consequences to being free and doing what you want. Remember that too, lass." Though luckily for her the results of a bout of drinking potcheen weren't quite as bad as drinking plain old, rotgut. Oh, they would.
  That's what brothers were for after all, and he could do the same when they took their turns at visiting that same garden.

Conor turned very slowly to look at Karina. He passed his gaze over, just as slowly, from her mop of copper hair on down to her feet, then back up again. "Aye, well, never is a long time, and I'm not so sure I'd be claiming never when it comes to me...seeing you...bottom up." A slight cant of head as if in a modified bow to her. As far as his dark hole, who knew, she might just be subjected to that as well...when never finally came. He shifted a look to Segan and Eion, then started out of the door.

Ah oh! He looked between his brothers as Karina had started to sway. "It looks like the lass has had enough to drink, over the mark of it and we know what that means..."

He lowered his feet from the chair, watching Conor's expression. When Conor looked his way, he lifted his glass in a salute. He'd see him sometime tomorrow.


Karina was having a hard time puzzling out what Conor's complicated turn of phrase actually meant... but that deliberate once-over of her person was clear enough. The scowl on her face slowly cleared as both brows inched fully upward. A clink echoed through the room as she put her glass down hard upon the table. And she walked across the distance separating her from the youngest Quinn, until her short frame was only inches in front of (or beneath as the case was) his.

Except he was quick to catch up to her as strong arm went around her waist before she could reach Conor.

Conor turned, just as Segan caught her up in his arm, dangling her there like a rag doll. He looked up to Segan, down to Karina, knowing full well what the little imp had intended and gave her a full out grin. His brothers always had his back...and his balls...and that was proven even now. He watched as Segan manhandled her away. And don't think he didn't notice that his brother could touch her...even if he couldn't. "Good niiight, Nessa." He called to her backside that was faced to him before Segan turned her away.

Or, not! What she had meant to be a hissing whisper became a shout as she was suddenly grabbed up from behind, and she fought against Segan's arm. "Ya only wish I wouldn't rip yer balls off were ye ta touch me, Conor Quinn! Bloody fleabitten dog, ye, you don' deserve the itchies tha crawl on ye!" She was still shouting out, determined her voice be heard! And the potcheen lending her strong lungs to boot. Segan was all but ignored except to attempt to free herself from his grasp.

Rhett was smartly staying out of this but certainly watching as he drank.



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