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The Thistle Tavern

Date: 09-30-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 1

After the Races

The races were done as the Frasier men headed to Falkirk or such and he escorted Vanessa back to the Tavern for a drink. Something to get warmed up with before heading home. Dismounting after the tavern was reached he would help her down once she was ready.

Once reaching the Thistle, Vanessa dismounted with Segan's help and a smile. "Thank you. That was fun at the races." Which it was. She walked with him to the door and pushed it open to hold it so he could pass through.

"Aye, why I continue to go to them aside having my own horse. Fandango did well to Show." His horse came in, he won money, won the bet on the Hawk as well money for the position and rode Thunder Thighs to fulfill his prior losing bet. His luck had changed! He started grinning with that thought and certainly an elated feeling after so many times deflated. He gave a bow as he swept on by as she held the door and ordered the hot cider for her and potcheen for himself.

Karina was tired. Just plain tired and worn through, but while her steps were trudging she pushed forward doggedly toward the familiar lights of the Thistle. Evening had fallen and a chill had come with it, for in her absence Autumn seemed to have set her teeth into the realm. Dreaming of hot chocolate and idly wondering whether her old room was still open, the petite vagabond dragged her now-well-worn boots onward. Such idle thoughts were easier than the ones which lay deeper below the surface.

"The fun alone is worth it. Watching you all scream and yell at the horses is such entertainment." With a soft chuckle, she glanced back towards the outside and spotted what looked like someone coming towards the door. So she waited since it seemed the figure wasn't that far off, to hold the door open.

"The betting makes it fun too, win or lose. Nothing is done so much it would be a real loss." He was around as Vanessa had not quite made it all the way to the bar. "Someone out there?" Wondering if it was his brother.

Her wild amber curls had grown longer, since she hadn't bothered to trim them in awhile, but now she was considering hacking them off as the chilly breeze kept blowing them about her face. A chapped hand pushed them out of her eyes, each of which had the faintly bluish cast of sleeplessness beneath them. Someone on a hurry to get home brushed by her, jostling her with a muttered oath. She frowned slightly but barely took the time to glance back. The tavern was growing larger ahead and before she knew it, a familiar figure was standing there, holding the door for her. But as distant and bogged as her mind had become, it took her a second to place her. "Thanks..." and then she added with recognition, "Vanessa, h'llo." A crooked smile was offered to the young woman, as Karina remembered vaguely their agreement to meet up sometime in her own kingdom.

All work and no play was putting Sean into a sour mood. Something that was not like him at all. So with the suggestion of a friend he decided to get out for a change. Still, he just had to finish that last bed post before he allowed himself the luxury of time to himself to do nothing at all if he wished. That was going to be a project as the last of the sawdust and wood chips were brushed from the patchwork leather tunic. One with a heavier shirt beneath for the cooler weather outside. Steps slowed as another was just ahead and another one held the door. Ladies no less. Slight smile tipped in place as he was up the steps. "Good evening ladies," a hand coming a bit higher over the one at the door to hold it, "here, let me get that." So she could see to the other she was waiting for.

"That there is." She smiled to Segan then looked out the door again eventually to recognize Karina. "Good eve, Karina." She waited for the other to step in and was about to allow it to close when the man came up. It was held for him as well with a smile. "Good eve, Sir." Since he was kind enough to take hold of the door, she stepped in past it. "Thank you." Golden hue lacking pupils held attention on him for a moment before looking to Karina. "How are you?"

as always that struck her as strange, but, even more strangely tonight she finally looked the part. Sort of. Her clothing was female, at least, although the dress she wore was plain homespun and faded to a nondescript grayish-blue. While designed to hug the shoulders and waist snugly, it fit her slim form loosely, and the travel-worn boots on her feet didn't exactly match. With a somewhat surprised glance up she offered the man holding the door a brief nod. Then it was into the (extremely welcome) warmth of the tavern. She took a moment to just breath in the cozy air and rub her hands together before glancing again to Vanessa. "Well enough... how've ya been?"

"Karina, that is you?" Well of course it was her but she had not been around in such an ungodly amount of time he wondered if she had moved on. He was getting so he would no longer be surprised after this. Though the clothing worn had him looking twice. It looked good on her too but he didn't say such, she might clobber him. The boots looked about right though. So in that there was stability. "It is good to see you again," not adding alive!

Eyes were a silver blue that met those golden ones, noticing they were void of pupils rendering them unique. Smile was slightly sheepish having not really been out socially in a while. Smile ghosted before attention was drawn to Segan and Alex, two of whom he knew as he stepped within. The door was closed over securely with the latch to click being it was too cold and a damp chill to be letting in.

He notice the man at the door too, "evening Sean, come and join us. This is Vanessa and Karina," in case he had not met either.


Eion was in the back hall talking to the guards there. While he hoped to become a knight, and possibly a king's man, he could possibly become one of the guards. It didn't trouble him in any case, as long as he had a position. He nodded as he answered a question, head tipping slightly at the sound of voices coming from the common room.

"Good to see you again Segan, how is your family? Grandmother?" Who he had fashioned a rocking chair for to be put on her porch.

"Hi Segan." She greeted the Quinn with a brief but genuine smile, having the sudden impulse to give him a big old hug. But she squelched that idea, knowing its uncharacteristic nature would either shock him or have him teasing her. Instead she just stepped around him somewhat awkwardly. Leaving the men to converse, she caught Vanessa's glance and stepped up beside the other girl, eager indeed for a drink.

"I am doing quiet well, thank you. Settling nicely here in Heathfield." She motioned towards the bar, hoping that Karina would join her for a drink and looked to Segan, then Sean with a smile. "Pleasure to meet you." And would leave him and Segan to converse, looking back to Karina.

She may have squelched the idea but once he kicked back that first drink which was held until now, it was set aside as he was over to give her a hug. Not too squeezing in case she had shriveled more under the clothes. "I am pleased to see you." Which he would not hold the hug too long for he was never sure of her reaction but there it was, nice and warm while it lasted.

Over at the bar Alex was greeted and the yearned-for cocoa ordered - or at least her lips were poised to do so, when Segan came over to wrap her up in that hug. She blinked her surprise but turned towards him without too much hesitation, skinny arms returning the embrace and even squeezing slightly. "Yeah... you too," her words were somewhat muffled against his shirt but she meant it.

"A pleasure to meet you both, Vanessa, Karina," slight grin was growing as he gave Segan the time to do his proper greeting and gained a glass of the potcheen from Alex.

"They are doing very well Sean. You're invited to come up and have dinner with us some evening. Grams is a very good cook and has asked on you. Now I can tell her I've seen you out."

The scent of a friend was coming from this tavern, and he would slowly enter. Being among people normally wasn't something he was comfortable with, but if his friend was in here, then he would check in on her, make sure she was safe. Eyes of a glittering gold look around as he steps into the tavern. Old, beaten bronze armor he wore, with a tattered cape flowing behind him some. His face was aristocratic in appearance, almost seeming to be carved from pure stone. He didn't smile, or give way for any sort of emotion he was feeling. Golden hair was swept back on his head, down to his shoulders. Once he spots his friend, he knows she is there, and moves to a far-off corner to sit himself down.

While Karina was occupied in a hug, she picked up the drink that Segan had requested for her and took a small drink. The fasten of her cloak was opened and the cloak draped over back of a stool. Donning a black dress with red panel down the front beneath the criss-cross lacing that cinched the dress a bit more comfortably. Hearing the door open once more, she looked to the entrant and offered a smile, but didn't recognize him as the dragon she'd befriended.

"Evening and welcome to the Thistle," addressing the man coming in friendly enough before taking a drink of the potcheen that would warm him up inside.

A nod given to the one that greeted him, and a nod given to his friend. He could tell she didn't recognize him, and maybe that was for the best. He didn't like attention being drawn too much to himself. He would just sit there silent for the time being.

"Good to hear and I hope to be up there some evening soon. I will send word ahead." Although it was said he could drop in anytime, he felt it more proper to warn of his arrival at least a few hours beforehand. "Evening," also greeting the stranger as he turned to settling into a lean against the bar, lower back braced against the curved edge.

Once untangled from the hug, Karina flicked her eyes up to Segan with an almost shy little grin, then turned back to order her drink from Alex. The Thistle seemed to be filling up quickly, and while waiting for the cocoa she let herself sink into the familiarity of smells and sounds, the hum of conversation, the sharp yeastiness of the ale. Funny how you didn't know you missed a place, til you got back after a long time gone.

He wasn't planning on staying long but hearing his brother's voice had him biding the guards good eve before he made his way to the common room. He paused a moment in the doorway before moving forward. A clap to the shoulder was his greeting to his brother. "Evening all."

Which had him jump for that rare moment being caught off-guard. "Eion. You missed the races!" First thing right out of his mouth as he gave a shot to his brother's shoulder.

A wave was offered to Eion. "Eve Mr. Mystery." Then turned her attention to Karina with a smile. "Does the wind pester you when it wishes to dance on your curls?" Something she could easily identify with herself.

There were more humans here than he could smell before. More greetings, and once more the man would nod. His ears would look Elven in appearance, except that the lobes would have a fin-like quality to them. He wouldn't order a drink yet, finding liquor didn't suit his insides very well.

"You remember Sean MacGrath?" Not being sure if his brother had met the man or not. One around their age or so. Maybe a couple years younger. He never asked.

Karina was picking at a dark splotch on her dress and had just decided it was a stain when she realized Vanessa had spoken to her. After a second to process the words she gave another crooked smile. Conversation might be a good distraction so she went with it. "Yeah, something fierce. Drives me mad. Been meanin' to chop these locks off."

"Aye, from his delivering Gran's rocking chair." He offered his hand to the man. "Good to see you again, Sean."

He stepped forward to clutch his hand in a good grip. He still worked out after many years of working the fields. "Good to see you again, Eion," releasing his hand in turn before stepping back. "Are you all ready for the winter?" Certainly it was a topic as preserves had been done, harvest in, those that owned livestock seeing to what was needed over the winter months as well so many cords of wood being delivered. He had been splitting logs when he took his breaks.

Listening to Karina, she shook her head. "You have lovely hair." She set the mug down on the counter and reached into a skirt pocket for a small, two prong hair comb decorated with some light colored beads. "May I?" Motioning to help her with her hair.

He hadn't laughed when his brother jumped though amusement could be seen in his eyes. Blue gaze locked briefly on Karina before moving back to Sean. "Aye. Segan and I finished the last of the chores though I'm sure Gran will remember something more."

"Oh." She regarded the comb with some surprise and even a bit of trepidation. "Uh.... sure." She'd submit to the grooming, though those curls of hers were more than a bit wind-tossed. Slowly she turned 'round on the stool so that Vanessa could get at her hair. Segan's gentle tug had that half-smile crawling onto her lips again, though they were surely just saying so. Seemed to be the thing that polite folks did.

"It is said that a woman's hair is her crown of glory. Vanessa is right, you have lovely hair not to chop it off." Which he reached over to curl a curl around his finger giving it a slight tug before letting it go. "I came in second riding Thunder Thighs tonight and Fandango placed to Show. Won money too and a hawk to train." Said mostly for his brother's benefit. When his ship came in, it came in big or so it felt after losing to his brothers months on end.

Sometimes the interactions of people interested him, always the ever-silent observer he was. Perhaps Vanessa was right, this town peaceful and accepting, perhaps he could make a home here at some point. But it would still remain to be seen as to how they would react to him in his normal form.

She smiled to Segan then turned to step up behind Karina. The comb was held between her teeth as she reached up to gently grasp and gather the fall of curls. Once gathered at the back of her head, she twisted the length loosely a couple times and held it up against the back of her head, then wove the comb through. It was loose so as not to pull uncomfortably but would keep the fall of curls from her face. "There. Perhaps you will spare all your curls." She really had very lovely hair.


Karina reached up to touch the coiffure cautiously, turning her face to the side. If she had paused there and seen herself in a mirror, she might not have recognized herself, for the updo and the scooped neckline of the dress (old and threadbare though it was) had her suddenly looking, for the first time, more a woman than a girl. But it wasn't only that. Something in the tilt of her head or maybe the shadow of her eyes, or perhaps she'd even grown a couple of inches....either way, she looked in that moment, (GASP) mature. And then she gave that crooked grin of hers to prove it was mostly the same old Karina. "Feels strange. But at least my hair's not fallin' in my eyes.."

He was so not use to being out and social again. It would take time as he easily slipped into observing mode. Ghosted smile in that he enjoyed what he was seeing and hearing, content to watch.


"Sorry I had to miss it. Something came up at the barracks." He didn't explain what as he picked up his glass and took a long drink, then he looked at Sean again. "I've been meaning to stop in but haven't had the chance. Would you
make chests to store clothing? Ones lined with cedar?"

"You met a lass?" Like the one predicted and that was what really kept him from the races. He had NOT missed them before. Maybe hope in his voice for his brother's sake. Though he was caught with the odd vision, well odd considering all the history between Karina and his family, at least the three brothers anyway. It was like noticing your sister had grown up except she was not his sister. So, catch him staring.

Stepping back around to face Karina, she smiled. "It looks nice. Lovely frame for a lovely face." Spoken quietly. She didn't want to make her blush or anything, but it was truth.

Date: 09-30-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 2

Vanessa was a caring soul, he knew it from their first meeting. Seeing her help the girl with her head of hair made his face soften enough for a small smile to touch his normally expressionless lips.

Realizing he'd been asked a question as it finally registered. Focus drawn from the lass with the new updo of a hairdo and the reactions of others to Eion. "Aye, would you be wanting a hope chest, Eion?" Which might sound amusing.

Her snicker was more good-natured than a snort of derision, but she couldn't much believe Vanessa, who was clearly a kind soul accustomed to saying kind things. "Ach. That comb of yours is the nicest thing on me right now." Feeling eyes on her, she turned a glance to Segan, catching his eyes for the briefest of seconds before he was turning back to his conversation. So briefly in fact that she wondered if she'd imagined the sensation of eyes on her back.

Hope chest and Eion connected together had that spell broken as mirth touched upon blue eyes turned his way. Waiting to see what the answer was to that.


"No. More a chest to store extra clothing in my room at the barracks. One that will keep the moths out." He cut a glance to Segan. "And no, no lass. Rather a fight between two of the young squires." He didn't think it was funny.

Mental shrug, she turned back to Vanessa, reaching out to grab up the cocoa once it was set out. Her fingers were pressed against the warm mug and immediately began to tingle. Mmm.


"That's not true. I think it's your eyes. " She nodded as if affirming what she'd just said as she slipped onto a seat and picked up her mug. "What have you been doing to occupy yourself?" She glanced to the stranger seated by himself and offered a light smile before looking back to Karina.

"Then a plain well made long box of cedar would do best for you. Conserves space and you are right on cedar repelling moths. It will have a durable finish that will last such places as a barrack."

He ducked out to the hall and the room with spare things in it to retrieve a good size mirror which he lugged out and braced up against the bar. "Here, have a look Karina." The image that she would see staring back at her would be their testimony without arguing the point.

At the smile he merely nods once more. He preferred to stay in the shadows for the most part, but he would make sure Vanessa was alright for the time being. She seemed at home here with these people.

"Excellent. That's exactly what I want." He smiled slightly. "You'll need make it, I'm sure. Just let me know the price, and when it's complete."

"My eyes? I see out of 'em well enough, guess that's all that matters..." She couldn't imagine what Vanessa meant with that. Sipping carefully at the hot beverage, she glanced up again when Segan reappeared, with a big looking-glass. Fixing him with a skeptical look, she stood from the stool only reluctantly. "This is just silly... thought I was in a tavern, not a dressing room." But she shut up when she stepped in front of the mirror, going silent for a moment as she took in her image for the first time in a long while.

"Wont take me long and I will get back to you in a fair space of time and price." He was fair in his pricing. "I can come to the king's field to practice. I was thinking of doing such before winter sets in. Maybe you could do a couple rounds with me?" He had been taught by Sir Draven but it had been a while for he was too busy making furniture.

"You have lovely eyes." The color was nice and they were so youthful looking. Watching Segan, she smiled and turned to watch. "Karina, you and I are about the same size. I have some dresses I no longer wear. Perhaps you'd like

"Aye, I could. I'm there every day just about. Occasionally I get told to take some time off." And he wondered if a certain someone was behind that.

"Your silence tells volumes. It is hard to see ourselves until we can step in front of a mirror and words said are no longer just words but truths. You're growing all up right before our eyes."

With her hair swept up out of the way, a person could actually see her face, which was slender and angular from her high cheekbones to her pointed chin. She hadn't really noticed before but her eyes were a nice color, she guessed, a bright turquoise and slightly canted at the ends, framed by dark lashes on top and bottom. She was still skinny, that was for sure, but in this dress one could see the curve of her shoulders and the slight swell of breasts and hips. Segan's words she absorbed distantly, but then the spell was broken and she was suddenly really self-conscious. A short laugh was let out. "Doubt anyone wants to see me paradin' through the tavern, why don't you get this outta here Segan?" Meaning the mirror. Her seat regained, she addressed Vanessa's last question. "That's nice of you, but nah. Don't actually much go in for dresses, despite this thing." She plucked at the thin blue-ish wool. "Just didn't have nothin' - anything else and someone gave me this to wear."

A silent dipping glance was given over the lass in front of the mirror. Karina. It would seem she had been around a bit by Segan's words and his reactions as he tore a glance from there to Eion as if affirming his thoughts.

"She's much too modest to take them even if she looks good in them." In his view, Karina could use them but on the other hand he understood too, a certain pride the lass held. "This mirror here?" Teasing as he turned it so she got to see herself again while sitting. Playing it up as dimples showed either side of the repressed smile.

Watching Karina she just smiled and turned her attention elsewhere for the moment with a glance to Eion and Sean. When declined for the offer of the dresses, she turned back to Karina. "Well, the offer stands. I have no one else to pass them on to." A drink taken of her cider and the mug was set down.

"Stop it, would ya?" She reached out to thwap Segan on the arm, but her protest didn't hold much venom. Instead she just rolled her eyes, smirking despite herself. Turning her glance away from the mirror, she glanced again to Vanessa. "Well uh. Maybe I could use 'em? The fabric I mean..." It was pointless to turn down good clothes, she told herself, even if they ended up as something else. "If you're sure you don't need 'em anymore."

Which had him laugh outright, tipping the mirror just a bit to avoid the swat even if it wasn't much of one. "I think its task is done," which had him lugging the good size mirror back to the handy room of clothes. One that had been used from time to time and why kept for such emergencies.

All he could offer was a slight shrug since he was unsure what Sean was asking. He finished his drink then quietly asked Alex for another.

"Of course you're welcome to them. If you'd like to come by the cottage and pick out which ones you want, any time you're more than welcome to." A smile was given to Karina.


He stifles a yawn, keeping his back to the wall as he watches those here in the room. When he didn't feel he needed to, he didn't sleep much. Vanessa seemed like she would be alright here, so he slowly moves to get up, and head towards the door of the tavern. He wouldn't stray too far though, in case he would be needed.

"The cottage... do you have a place here then?" Or maybe Vanessa had actually moved to Heathfield in the meanwhile. She took another sip as Segan removed the mirror from the room, though it remained an unseen presence, at least to her.

"I do. I've moved to Heathfield to the cottage on Oak. There's a sign on the front outside the fence that says Avian Gardens. I'm usually out in the gardens with the birds." She glanced to the door as the stranger took his leave. Odd he'd not spoken to anyone.

"Really?" Her gaze followed Vanessa's but only briefly as she perked up a bit. "I'll have to come by sometime... aye, if that's alright." She'd like to see the birds that the young woman mentioned.

He addressed the stranger at this point though it seemed he preferred his own company, he was in a tavern and they were friendly enough. "Have you traveled far stranger? I'm Sean," then indicating the others in turn, "Segan and Eion, Vanessa and Karina." He hoped he got him before he got to the door or he was lingering at the door?

"Of course. You're welcome to come by any time. If I don't answer the door then just wander into the gardens. You'll likely find me out near the flight cages."

That's right... she was remembering something about Vanessa training birds or some such. Karina couldn't imagine why, really, but it sounded interesting for sure. She gave a nod which caused a couple of strands to fall out of the comb and bounce around her cheeks. "I'll come by some day soon then."

He was back out and headed for the bar to claim what was left of his potcheen. Glass lifted without the lengthy toast but a "slainte," then down the hatch.

The warmth of the cocoa, and of the tavern was seeping into her bones, producing a drowsy fuzziness which happily, blotted out some of the sharper edges. A faint smile given to Vanessa, she glanced to Segan as he downed his potcheen and she did the same with her hot chocolate.

He hadn't walked out of the door yet, and he turns his head towards the one speaking to him. If his looks weren't familiar to Vanessa, then his low, slightly rumbling voice would be, though it wouldn't hold the same power it did in his other form. "I didn't travel from very far at all."

Kizzie slipped through the door with a big smile spread across her face. She had missed the races tonight but she wasn't going to miss the always fun get togethers afterwards. Her dark brown curls were hanging loose around her face perfectly framing the pale skin and bright eyes. As she enters, she dipped her head as she calls out her usual greeting, "Shalom!"

"Wonderful. It'll be nice to visit with you." Lifting her mug for a small drink, the voice of the stranger had her attention. She looked over towards the door where Sean and Morjin were and blinked.

"If you have need of a place to stay, you are welcome to stay the night here." It was the way the tavern was set up and no cost for it was already paid for. "Do you have a name to go by?" Though the man was nearly run over by a Kizzie coming through. "Evening Kizzie, have you met the others?"

He had to make way for the lass that entered in such a flurry. When the man asked for his name, he nods and leans back against the wall near the door, his arms folded over his chest and would simply reply, "Morjin."

"Well met Morjin." Cordially given though silver blue eyes held a glint for the flurry Kizzie was always in. She might be dishing out those cheek kisses soon as was her custom.

Vanessa's attention seemed suddenly geared to the stranger who was halfway out the door, and while her gaze went that way with mild curiosity, her eyes soon wandered on their own idle path. They landed eventually upon Segan who'd been quiet the last few minutes. "Been alright?" She asked him, pitching her voice a bit lower though the place wasn't exactly crowded yet.

She blinked again. "Morjin?" She hadn't known the dragon had other forms. Setting her mug down, she smiled to Karina. "Excuse me a moment." And slid from her seat to approach where Sean and Morjin were.

He was watching it all, Sean with the stranger and conversation as well the woman in such a flurry. Vanessa too in her reactions to the name given then excusing herself. A blink had focus back on Karina. "Aye, I'll be grounded soon for the winter helping out at the manor. I'll get some time in practicing just to keep my sanity." It was insane to stay at the manor where it was all the Quinn ladies.

She was called the Whirlwind for a reason. A dark rose colored blush crept up into her cheeks as she dipped her head again trying not to look embarrassed as she stammered out an apology to the man in front of her, "I am sorry."

He would merely nod to the girl that had nearly run into the six-foot-seven man. He was wearing old and worn bronze armor, with a tattered cape hanging off of his shoulders. But now he saw Vanessa approaching. Did she recognize him now? Then thinking about the man's question about a place to stay he shakes his head. "I always sleep in the outdoors, so I will be fine."

"Kizzie, meet Morjin, Vanessa, Segan and his brother Eion as well Karina." Which would give everyone the names needed. "Aye," in response to the man. He had slept most of his nights in the outdoors so he understood the sentiment.

"Practicing?" She paused to glance over and give the stranger an offhanded nod, and when she turned back to Segan there was a slight teasing smile on her lips. "Can't see how you'd practice bein' a sailor on land... guess you could set up a wooden deck on the lawn to make yourself feel at home..." Of course she realized he probably meant swordplay or some such, but she'd never give up the chance to tease.

He purposely bumped into Eion just to make sure he was not far off into his own thoughts. "I was first trained as a warrior before I found a ship under me feet." Words were low as it was not something Karina knew about him. "I was trained with Eion." Which had him reaching over to lightly tweak her nose. "I can stand upon me sled going down the run this winter and pretend I am sailing the seven seas before I break me neck doing so."

In a quick sweep of the room, she had dished out those kisses! They all received two quick kisses to their cheeks before she had wandered over to the door.

A smile was given to Kizzie. "Pleasure to meet you." But then her attention returned to Morjin with a curious tilt of her head. Though there was still a faint smile to be seen. Couldn't say she rightly recognized him outwardly, but the tone of his voice she did recognize. "I'm...surprised to see you here..." Not in a bad way, but certainly surprised. After a moment, she smiled to Sean. "Morjin is a friend of mine." Kisses returned to the cheeks!

He was there and gave Segan a slight smile though he was doing what he was happiest doing: drinking and listening.

"Indeed." When the other girl had kissed his cheeks he blinked, those stony features staying the same for the most part. But now that Vanessa was there and talking to him, he stands straight and tall, smiling just a little down at her before looking back to Sean.

And a brow lifted with the kisses then he looked at Segan.


He was taken by surprise with two kisses to his cheeks, one upon each. "I wont wash for a week now," teasing Kizzie.

Kizzie didn't think twice about her greeting as she murmured what she would like to the Alex.

"Oh." Segan seemed rather serious for a moment, but her evaporated smirk returned more strongly when he tweaked her nose. "Aye, and maybe even set up a jump here or a hill there, ta make it feel like a good storm." Blinkblink, did a woman just... kiss her? Somewhat odd glance was given to Kizzie, who was a complete stranger to her, before turning her quizzical glance to Segan. Was that normal?

Date: 09-30-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 3

He was use to them and had returned one at least. All he could get in on a whirlwind. "A friend of one I hope will become a friend. Always good to look forward to."

She shook her head gently as she heard the teasing before curling her lips up into a big grin, "Well, how on earth do you expect others to give you kisses?" Her accent was heavy on her sentences since her family still filled the walls of the Deli. As she looked around the bewildered faces, she offered out softly, "It is custom for my family or my people to greet others in such a way."

"I'm sure a friend you will make with hopeful frequent visits from Morjin." A smile to both, she was still slightly puzzled since she'd only seen him as a dragon up until now.

"I think after a week they'll not come near me and only your kisses to wear.." going along with the tease. The way they were done, he couldn't take offense even if he had not met her before this night. There were all kinds of customs and at last this wasn't a bad one.

With a nod to the comment about being a friend, he then looks down to Vanessa and speaks softly. "I am sorry that I have not been around, other business has called me away. I was by the gardens earlier today, but you were not there."

"It was a busy morning for me. I had some supplies to pick up and some of my own things left from my old home to retrieve." She smiled lightly and motioned towards the bar. "Would you care to join us?"

Glancing between Segan and the woman Kizzie, her only contribution to the conversation was a smirk to herself, realizing again just how tired she was. But it was accompanied by sharp restlessness too, because she wasn't ready for sleep yet, either. Her fingers drummed along her mug, now nearly empty and the contents lukewarm.

It wasn't something Eion was comfortable with but he said nothing and finished his drink. This time, shaking his head when Alex looked his way. He was done drinking for the night.

"If it would please you, Lady Vanessa." He would follow her to the bar, and seat himself on one of the seats there as he silently looks about the room. His voice was still low as he speaks to her. "It is not often I take my human form."

A glance given to Sean, curious if he would be joining them at the bar once more before walking back to where her cloak laid over back of her seat. She offered a smile to Morjin and then looked to Karina. "Karina, this is Morjin."

He would as he still had a drink there and at least opened the door for socializing for Morjin, turned out he was better at that than socializing much himself.

Her eyes re-focused upon first Vanessa, and then the man that she'd called Morjin. He looked like a rather stony sort of bloke, though looks can be deceiving, she knew that better than most. Still her nod was guarded as she offered the stranger a half-smile of greeting. "Hallo..." Restless, she needed to move around a bit. Leaving the mug on the counter she stood and muttered something about stepping outside for a moment.

"Well met Morjin." As he came to the bar where he was still, it was easier to greet him now. Though a quizzical look settled upon Vanessa a moment, fleeting as it were.

"Morjin." Giving a nod in the man's direction.


She smiled to Segan. "Morjin, this is Segan." She canted her head slightly for the quizzical look. Not sure what it was for. "And that is Eion, and Kizzy."

Kizzie just shook her head once more before accepting the drink from Alex. She downed the drink with haste before moving her hand in a slight wave. "Shalom," She lowers her cup with a smile.

"Greetings to all of you." He didn't think he would have this much attention on himself, but he would offer a bow of his head to each of them. He seemed a man of few words, and would simply sit there quiet for the time being, unless someone were to ask him something.

"Kizzie with the kisses." Said humorously as he settled back into his lean and to work on the rest of his potcheen. He noticed Karina getting antsy but that was more like her to do so.

"Kissie Kizzie," She corrects with a little laugh as she leans back against the bar. She was more comfortable with her name than anyone else was.

Kizzie with the kisses." Laughing softly at the correction. "A pleasure to meet you Kizzie with the kisses. Such a warm greeting. None could complain to that."

Stepping out onto the porch, the chilly wind struck her face, but it was bracing after the soporific warmth of the indoors. Karina moved over to the railing, resting her arms upon it and leaning her weight there. Deep breath in was slowly released. She hadn't felt claustrophobic inside, exactly; she couldn't put a finger on the confused thought patterns tangling her mind. Then she realized her thoughts kept wandering back to the image in the mirror and immediately berated herself for being so self-absorbed after what had happened.

"The pleasure is mine. I own the Deli in the middle of the commons. You should stop in sometime. I know a few of my cousins would love to get a few looks at you," She muses before winking to show that she was indeed just teasing.

A bright smile was given to Kizzie with a nod. "I certainly will. You'll probably see me more often than naught since I am learning to cook for myself."

"It is good that I didn't bet a meal from you if I won?" Blue eyes riveting on Vanessa with a smile to shoot wide.

She looked to Segan with a grin. "Perhaps. Though none of my meals have been the last meals as of yet. It only takes one though."

These people seemed friendly enough, but if they knew his true form, would they be so welcoming of him? He stays sitting close to Vanessa, watching as Karina walks out of the tavern. She looked a bit uncomfortable.

Sean had moved near Eion as work would always come back to mind. "How long and wide would you wish the cedar chest to be?"

Cedar chests? She looked at Sean. "You make chests?" She hadn't been paying attention earlier. Sorry.

Kizzie couldn't help but chime in, "That's the spirit. You can always lure a man in by his stomach.

"That would be me turn of luck then." Giving her a wink, "though I can cook if needed." He had to a number of times so had his cook aboard his ship show him how then picked up what Grams did in the kitchen when she thought him only there to pilfer any treats being made.

"Or promises of a good meal. They won't know it's bad until it's too late." She snickered softly and reached for her mug with a smile to Morjin and looked to Segan. "Is that an offer, Segan?"

"Maybe a good bet to come then?"

He smiles a little back to Vanessa. She was really the only one he knew, so she would be the only one he spoke to. Everyone else he would simply observe.

"Only if you wish to test Lady Luck. Unless it's you that are cooking for me."

"Aye, I have the furniture store down Oak street. MacGrath." Though he didn't add much more being the conversation would be distracting her a few which ways.

Give her a few seconds for a delayed reaction. "Oh! Yes. Everyone speaks quite fondly of you and your store. I've been meaning to come in."

"Sounds good to me. Angel is usually in the front and she can alert me when you come as I am usually in the back working."

The wooden railing was hard beneath her elbows so she slid down to sit on the edge of the porch instead, legs dangling between the posts. The breeze blew a few more locks free of Vanessa's comb but she didn't brush them away.

"Sounds wonderful. There are a few things I am in need of."

"Only fair to give you a shot back in winning. I win, you cook, you win, I cook for the betting next month." Which could change, certainly was not locked in but something to consider.

She rested her head sideways against the next post, allowing her eyes to slip shut, not in sleep but simply to ease the grittiness behind her eyelids. Well. She guessed she would ask Alex about her old room here, and settle back in for the time being. She had no real reason to go elsewhere, now.

He looked thoughtful for the question. "I was thinking maybe four long and three wide. I have the space for it in my room and I'm told the rooms in the castle are larger." That seemed like a good size to him.

"You have a death wish, Segan?" She teased and finished off the contents of her mug and set it down on the counter.

"All right," revising already. "Another bet if I win, but if I lose I cook for you. If you like seafood?"

It seemed the one called Segan was a bit cocky. He had confidence in Vanessa winning the challenge though, and smirks silently.

Snickering softly she considered the bet with a nod. unsure nod. And Vanessa winning would depend on the bet. "I've never had it, but I would be willing to give it a try."

"Whatever size you want, if five feet long is better, I can make it accordingly if I know beforehand." Though he was amused with the bantering between Vanessa and Segan, he glanced towards the door where the other lass had stepped out and not returned yet.

He was a sailor and naturally a bit cocky. Though all in good humor or else he'd not be bantering such with Vanessa. "I will make a melee of it in a cream sauce that will melt upon your tongue. Warm biscuits to heap it upon and the usual side dish of a vegetable and roasted rice." Though a thoughtful look, "being you wish not to kill me off with cooking if I win, there need be something suitable in the offering." Not anything compromising.

"Let me check to make sure. I have a lad run the measurements to you tomorrow." He stood then and stretched. "I think I should be off though. Dawn comes far to quickly and I need to be on my toes." He thought he had angered a
certain king's man today and if that was the case, he'd be paying for it tomorrow.

"Sounds fantastic. I look forward to my win then." A keen grin before considering once more. "And what would make a suitable offering for a seafaring man?" Just to hear what he thought would work.

"If you have the time, I can come up with you now and get the measurement as I have time and a walk would do me well." Talk on the ways they sparred as it had been that long.

"I'm not sure, though it will be something to think on as it is a month away. Perhaps you would come up with something suitable and that you are comfortable with." Though he was noticing his brother was about to take his leave. "Will you be about the manor tomorrow or will I need find you on the field, Eion?"

It wasn't long before she was almost regretting leaving the happily neutral distraction of the inside, as her mind wandered back to Davenport. Her childish memories of the place, bleak as those had been were sunny compared to the reality. The place had become a prison, and no mistake. And Lila... her fists balled at her sides, and then she caught the distinctive tones of departure from behind her, where she'd left the door slightly ajar. Straightening her shoulders she kept her seat on the porch but prepared to say her careless goodbyes to everyone as they walked by.

"Very well. Sounds fair enough to me." She cast a glance to the windows of the tavern and reached for her cloak. "Though it is time that I head home. I have a long ride ahead in the morn." Cloak draped over her shoulders, she smiled to Morjin. "Are you going to remain here in good company?"

"Aye, I do at that. I want to check on the lads that were fighting." He paused to look at his brother. "If possible, I'll be at the manor after lunch." "Good night, brother mine. Vanessa, Morjin, good night as well." He motioned toward the door to Sean.

"I believe it might be best if I head back with you, Lady Vanessa." Standing up, he would help her adjust her cloak to let it cover her. Nodding as Eion wishes them goodnight, then he would escort Vanessa towards the door, speaking softly to her. "Do you wish me to carry you home? That way you may rest more."

A wave was offered to Eion. "Have a nice night, Eion." Turning to Morjin, she blushed lightly to the offer. "No, thank you though. It's a short walk. The company will be fine enough."

"Very well." As they depart, he looks to Karina and gives a nod to her as well. And once they were completely clear of the building, he changes himself into his full form. A massive bronze dragon, over two-hundred feet from nose to tail. His cape had become his wings. He would walk along with Vanessa back to her home, and camp himself outside of it.

Upon leaving, she waved to the others with a smile. "Good night to you all. I'm sure I'll see you soon." In passing across the porch, she smiled to Karina. "I hope to see you soon, Karina. Have a good night." And off with Morjin she went.

It seemed to be the time to depart. "I will be heading up that way too as it is on the way to the manor. If you wish company." Though it seemed Vanessa was already out as he headed out too. "Good night Karina, sleep well. I'm sure I'll be seeing you about again." If she stayed or if she disappeared she would probably be back again at some point.

Segan could walk with Sean and Eion until their paths parted if he wished. As he stepped outside, he nodded to Karina. "Good night, lass. Rest well."


"Good night. A pleasure meeting you Morjin. Vanessa and Karina," as he too passed her on the porch.


"Goodnight to ya too, Vanessa." She sat up with a little wave to the other girl as she departed. It wasn't until later that she'd realize she still had Vanessa's comb. Meaning she'd have to visit those gardens of hers soon, lest her new friend think her a thief. Standing slowly from the porch, she stretched, and nodded first to Eion and then to Segan. She was surprised by the pang as everybody seemed to leave all at once, even though that was normal if you lived at a tavern like she did. And she'd taken herself away from those folks earlier, after all. "Yeah, I'm sure ya will. Night," with a nod to Sean then as well.



Date: 10-01-09
Poster: Trevet MacKay
Post # 4

After the Joust

He was sore but the time in a hot tub would wait just a little longer. Masseuse too if there was one available. There usually was at the knights' part of the castle. He wanted some potcheen and the tavern was closest as they reined in their stallions. Ones that were weary too and would get a good work over in the stable later.

Vanessa had returned to the Thistle, figuring that after the jousting event, everyone from Heathfield would gather at the tavern. Seated at the bar with a mug in hand, she enjoyed Alex's company, telling him what she'd seen of the jousting.

Kaylea had gone on to the zoo since there was work to be done to prepare for the colder months. Especially the aviary and tropical animals. His shoulder ached and he had a slight bump from being unhorsed but otherwise, he was fine, well, except for the usual aches and pains after. A drink would help ease those too.

Trevet half stumbled from the saddle but natural instincts kept his balance. Just worn, "I think it was the last for fun I volunteered to be a pin cushion for Rennie that did it. Though, she couldn't hit the circle on my shield!" Luckily but all went well even the last off the record where both their lances landed equally. Up the steps, taking it slow to work out the cramp in the back of his one leg. "Definitely a good masseuse later." More mumbled as he entered the tavern.

"That might be why your legs are wobbly." He teased then followed him up the steps, grumping a little at his own legs. The ride back hadn't helped much.

Hearing the door open, Vanessa glanced over her shoulder and smiled, greeting the two who had just returned from the jousting event. "Evening you two."

Karina had spent a sleepless night that had resulted in sleeping far too late in the morning. By the time she made it around to Vanessa's place it had been nearly lunchtime, and she'd spent over an hour there, looking around at the aviary and then the dresses that Vanessa was giving away. Karina took only the plainest, least frou-frou of these: baby steps. The rest of the afternoon had been spent in a soothing bath and now, squeaky-clean she came down the steps from her room. Her feet were bare and her damp curls restrained in the comb that Vanessa insisted she keep; Karina liked the way it kept her hair out of her eyes. Still without good 'proper' clothes she was forced again to wear a dress, one she'd just gotten from Vanessa today, a simple butter-yellow frock that fit her slim frame almost snugly and fell in an easy skirt to her bare feet. She had that skirt gathered up in one hand to avoid tripping down the steps, muttering about too much extra fabric.

"That's old age setting in," not. He was young. Just took a beating but still going. Smile shot wide, "evening Vanessa. How are things coming along for you?" Heading straight for the bar for that bottle of potcheen. Shot glass filled which was immediately kicked back.

Alex had ducked into the kitchen after seeing to any drinks. Coming out with a platter of homemade goodies, cookies of all kinds to set out to the one end of the bar. "Enjoy." Which he would take up a cloth to wipe down the bar. It was always kept spotless.

"Things are coming along quite well. I've taken up residence at the cottage on Oak and the birds are happy and singing. How are you?" She waved to Kynan and then looked to Karina with a smile. Pleased that she didn't go turning it into something else just yet. "You look lovely."

"Evening, Vanessa." He brightened at the sight of the cookies and grabbed a couple. The potcheen could wait. He was hungry.

"Bah... I feel like a tent," she muttered though Vanessa was right. The pale shade of the frock brought out the wide turquoise of her eyes and set off her faintly olive skin. Still, despite her muttering tone Karina curved her lips into a half-smirking smile. Vanessa had given her all this for free, after all, no need to appear ungrateful. "Are ya sure you don't want this anymore, I mean, it's perfectly good still...."

"Doing well. At least this is the last of the joust circuit. We only missed one month. Though it is not my forte, it was fun and we met others forging friendships." Though he felt like the tirade of words might be boring so ended with a sheepish smile. One that reached dark eyes. "I work leather by trade, saddles mostly." Though he paused with a blink upon Karina. The yellow dress she wore brought back thoughts of summer, which was fast slipping away.

"Karina, yea look guid in it." Giving a quick wink as the heavier brogue laced his words, one of a deeper baritone. Mature voice some would say. Nicer than saying old.

She smiled to Trevet. "It looked as though you were having fun. I'm sorry I didn't stay longer, but that kind of crowd is too much for me." Returning attention to Karina with a smile. "I'm sure. I've had to give up some of my summer wardrobe in exchange for heavier clothes. I don't have enough room to house them all and it's nice to know they are going to someone I know."

Feeling eyes upon her, she glanced first at Trevet and then Kynan, unable to immediately recognize either... though Alex's words widened her smirk and brought a snicker to her lips. "Yer full of horsehite, Alex... but thanks." Bobbing a nod to Vanessa at her words, she tucked a curl that had fallen loose behind her ear and then returned a somewhat sheepish glance to the two strangers. "Uh... Hi."

"That's what Hazel keeps telling me but I keep refusing to believe it." A grin tucking within the growing gray whiskers of his beard as his words lowered," but don't go telling her I said that, she might come after me with a broom." Which had him pause a moment, "go ahead and tell her."

It seemed rude to not introduce herself but the seventeen-year-old was feeling a tad awkward in these new clothes. Not her usual overly-outgoing self. Though Alex's comment drew a genuine bark of laughter out of her. "Don't think I won't..."

"Trevet, and me brother Kynan," blurted out as he realized he'd been watching her as he tried to place the lass and couldn't. Someone he hadn't met. It had been a long night.

Knowing her two nephews were in the common room, Hazel made her way out with two plates in hand, each with apple pie, still warm and ice cream on the side. "Tsk, I heard that Alex Flaherty." Eyes held a twinkle as she spoke. Once the plates were in front of the lads, she looked at the two young women. "And woul' the two of you care for any pie?" She bumped Alex, instead of going for the broom.

"Oh! I'm sorry. Trevet, Kynan this is Karina." She smiled sheepishly and hid it with her mug as she took a drink.

"Hi, Karina." He lifted a hand and then dug into the pie. Jousting was hard work.

"Kynan, manners!" She chided the youngest MacKay.

A smile given to Hazel. "I couldn't refuse the offer of your pie, Miss Hazel."

"Karina," she replied just as abruptly as Trevet had introduced himself, but she drew her eyes away when Vanessa introduced them all formally. No last name was supplied, but then the room seemed to be flooding with people. At least that was the impression whenever Hazel bustled in. She gave a wave and winning smile to Hazel, and her offer of pie set her mouth to suddenly watering. "Yes please."

"I was hoping you would, we can discuss it later over some pie." Giving her a wink and a swat that none would see as she passed by, being he was behind the bar.

"Sorry, Aunt Hazel." He gave her a boyish grin. "Pleasure, Miss Karina." Going all formal except he wasn't about to stand and bow.

"Nice to meet you Karina, you do look pretty in that dress." Maybe it was the color that suited her before he was laughing with Kynan getting in trouble with Auntie Hazel.

She reached over and gave Trevet a little nudge. "Be nice." And chuckled softly.

Eyes returning to Trevet as she eyed him a moment, a bit taken aback. Sheesh... two days in a dress and that word 'pretty' was flying around like wildfire. Nobody'd even noticed her before when she was in breeches and boy's tunics.

She just blinked then laughed and gave Alex a sassy wink in return. "What about you, Karina, lass? Pie And do you want ice cream, Vanessa."

She sort of missed that. It took a second's delay but she replied finally, if shortly, "Thanks." And then turned back to Hazel. "Yes, please Hazel, I'm starvin'."

"I am." Considering it was his brother but oh what a wicked grin, one that matched the gleam for a second in dark eyes. "Pie!" Diverting his attention there to confiscate a slice for himself and dig in.

"Yes please." She smiled brightly to Hazel and lifted her mug for another drink with a slanted glance to Trevet and a quiet snicker.

"Ice cream as well?" Always glad to see the lads dig in.

"Sure, why not." Mmmm. She eyed the boys as they went to work on their own pieces of pie, almost able to taste it herself as she realized she'd hardly eaten all day.

She didn't need to ask them, they took heaps of both.

That was why she brought it out without asking them. She headed back into the kitchen to cut the pie and dish out homemade ice cream for the two lasses.

He would discreetly follow Hazel into the kitchen to... cough... help her get the food. Four hands were better than two. And he was out with her carrying one of the trays with the plate of ice cream.

"Thanks Hazel," she made sure to tell the older woman before reaching for her fork and digging in herself. She ate hungrily, without any ladylike nibbles or daubing of her lips, despite the impression she might've given with that dress. Nah. It wasn't as if food was flying everything, but she was hungry, and had no shame in tucking in heartily.

"Thank you, Miss Hazel." Gleaned a smile to the woman as she reached for her fork and began eating. Not really nibbling, but she wasn't devouring it either.

ANYWAY. Karina was eating pie and blissfully not thinking of what might be going on in the kitchen. Her bare feet swung lightly beneath her as she perched on the barstool, tucking in cheerfully enough. Everything seemed better with pie in your stomach right?

Good pie could cure the world. Hazel's pie could probably stop wars. Vanessa was quietly eating as well. Little ice cream with each bite just....yummy! After most of her pie was finished up, she looked to Karina with a curious tilt of her head. "Karina, what is it that you do?" Just curious, promise.

Completely absorbed in her food, Karina nonetheless paused when that unexpected question came from Vanessa, eyes shooting up to the other girl. Under the pretense of a full mouth, she chewed carefully and swallowed before answering.

Kizzie crosses the stairs with her basket of baked goodies over her arm. On her head, a floppy muffin-style hat that hung towards the side slightly to let her dark chocolate curls hang below in delicate spirals. Still present, her huge smile. She wore a dark brown scarf that matched the dark brown riding pants that were tucked into ancient looking boots of a black leather. Her waist was covered with a wide black belt with an off-shouldered cream colored chemise tucked loosely there.

"Uh... well.... not much right now," she admitted. After her recent ventures she wasn't likely to return to her old 'profession'. But that didn't leave her with much else. Frankly she hadn't really thought about it yet, and now that the subject had surfaced, it left her feeling somewhat adrift.

And once the slices were delivered, Hazel headed back into the kitchen, after a quiet word with Alex and a wave to Kizzie.

She thought on that quietly for a moment and nodded. "You seemed to enjoy being around the birds today. Perhaps if you are interested, ...well I could use help in tending to them.." Which was true enough. There were a lot of birds  in those four flight cages and help would be appreciated. Someone who would really care for the birds beyond feeding them. Hearing Kizzie, a wave was offered to the woman with a smile. "Evening, Kizzie."

Kizzie waved back before holding up her basket. She made the rounds every evening after closing to drop of goods to the orphanage and the Thistle. It was the Thistle that had been her first home, and she was very fond of Hazel and Alex.

That was about all it was in the kitchen, a few quiet words, a touch of the back of his finger against her cheek then after being back out he stayed there. There were bottles to be replaced and dishes to stack in the sink between the bar and kitchen.

Alex. "Shalom!" She calls out.

"Lady Kizzie, it is good to see you again. How is your growing family?"

Kizzie just shook her head so the ringlets sprayed out amongst her shoulder. "Growing like sprouts. The air here is doing them good.... It is good to see you in such moods. Usually, you don't say much." She gave a coy look to Hazel as she twirled her basket in front of her. She crossed the room to greet those within with her kisses! She was quick with them as she whispered a 'shalom' to each of them as she kissed.


And suddenly there was something to latch onto as she regarded Vanessa seriously. "Really?" She had enjoyed being around the birds. She hadn't really thought of them as much before, beyond small things that chirped, but today she'd seen intelligence in their eyes, a quiet pride that she couldn't quite understand but certainly admired. "I'd love to help.. I mean, if you need the help. I don't want you asking just because you feel like you should," she added with a slight frown. She couldn't help but to be slightly defensive. Vanessa didn't just think of her as a charity case... right? Drive-by-kissed by Kizzie!



Date: 10-01-09
Poster: Trevet MacKay
Post # 5

And once the greetings had been given, Hazel went back into the kitchen. She had to start cleaning up.

He collected his two kisses too, Kizzie style before he finished up his second plate of pie and ice cream.

Kisses were returned to Kizzie with a smile while listening to Karina. "I could use the help." No, it wasn't a charity thing. But Vanessa had seen how much Karina enjoyed the time with them and she seemed perfect for having help.

The Tavern lights twinkled as Paden reached for the door, it seeming to open on its own volition, she stepped through with a mist filled breeze following her, disappearing as the door closed. Nodding softly to those within before moving to the bar, hoping they were inclined to be welcoming.

Eases off to let the pair talk business before plopping the basket down on the counter. She called back to Hazel through the swinging down. "I don't have much for leftovers tonight. I made pumpkin latkes, and all the kids wanted them. So, here are plain potato ones if you want to feed them to the travelers, guests or even the animals."

He was over along the bar to where the lass came in, "what can I get you?" Not one he'd seen before as he added, "there is no cost here as the Crown has it all paid for, their hospitality." Which had him chuckle hearing Kizzie. "Leave them out on the bar and what is not eaten will be stored away for tomorrow. Thank you as always."

"Well.." The idea was tantalizing, to be sure, but she put down her fork onto the empty plate and reached up to scratch behind her neck. "I don't know nothin' - anything about it," she warned Vanessa.

She smiled to him, a warmth and coolness felt all at once. "Thank you, that is most kind. Warm milk?" A odd request maybe for a Tavern but there it was.

She smiled lightly. "It's easy to learn. Perhaps you can learn to train them with me also. If you feel comfortable, I mean. But tending to them and feeding them I could use help with."

He sat back enjoying the potcheen again, plates all stacked on the tray. A cordial nod was given the woman coming in before a glance to both Vanessa and Karina as they talked business.

"Warm milk it be," as he was over to the door leading into the kitchen and a few moments later handed a glass of the white liquid warmed up to place before the lass.

He nodded at the woman, then covered a yawn with his hand. Maybe he should just take a room here tonight.

Sliding onto a barstool she folded her hands before her. Particular things jingling as she did so, then turned her head to see the man nod. Nodding back with a little smile tipping her lips.

Kizzie smiled kindly at the young woman entering the bar. "Shalom. Welcome to Heathfield!" She offered cheerfully. She wouldn't scare her off just yet.

Yes. Because Kizzie is so scary!


He would be courteous as he stood, a hand to dust off crust crumbs. "I am Trevet, my brother Kynan, the ladies, Vanessa, Kizzie and Karina."

"I think I could do that." She replied thoughtfully, as an irresistible smile started curving her lips upwards, a genuine smile of excitement. Of all of the little jobs that Eion or Segan had suggested for her, none had appealed to her as much as this did. And Vanessa was becoming a good friend, despite the differences between them, gaping differences that Vanessa herself wasn't aware of just yet. A glance to the door and the newcomer had her nodding her own  greeting. It unsettled the comb, which she tugged out impatiently, running her fingers through the curls which dampness had turned to a dark honey.

"And our esteem tender, Alex. Hazel is in the kitchen."

Aw, man. He stood as well for the introduction then sat again.

Taking the milk, she nodded. "Thank you." She swiveled and caught the gesture of the man, her eyes held a moment then she smiled again. "I am Paden, it is a pleasure."

She offered a nod to the woman entered and joined at the bar when Trevet gave introductions. "Evening miss." And offered a smile to Trevet before looking back to Karina. A smile to her agreement or at least interest. "If nothing else you can try it and if you like then, then there it is for you. If not, there are no hard feelings. Nothing wrong with trying though. Right?"

If their Aunt had been out here, she would have booted Kynan.

She gestures to herself as she dips her head and let's her native tongue once more spill from her lips. "Es frayt mikh dikh tsu kenen." "Or nice to meet you." She gave a little elvish wink as she leaned against the counter.

No she wouldn't have, she would have told him to go up to bed.

"Never hurts to try something out, aye, Karina." As he caught the gist of the conversation and a smile came easily in response to Vanessa's. Next back to the lass, "a pleasure to meet you Paden. Have you traveled far?" That was the logical choice of questions to ask next.

Quickly she took a sip of the milk and missed that she had a milk mustache. "That is a melody of language, Kizzie." Smiling to Trevet. "I have, seems I am always traveling far. The Orchid likes to sail." Taking another sip. Absently wishing she had something sweet to go with it. "Where am I now?" Chuckling.

She pulled her hair over one shoulder, tugging her fingers through a small tangle as she thought. A glance was given to Trevet as he piped in, and she agreed, "Nah... doesn't hurt to try." Again that sunny smile which lit her face  almost mischievously. "Can I come by tomorrow morning?" Despite all her apparent reluctance, there was no denying she was eager to start.

"Of course. You can come by whenever you wish. I'll probably be with the birds in the morning, as I was today. I have a couple falcons that I am going to begin training."

There was a platter of cookies on the bar as well a basket of Kosher treats.

Kizzie blinked rapidly as she felt her cheeks warming up slightly as she tried to explain why she began to ramble off in her native tongue. "I seem to be getting more and more bold with speaking Yiddish outside of the deli."

"You are in Heathfield lands, ones below Ballicastle and Tyremoor unless you came by sea?" By her phrasing he could wonder if she sailed in on a ship called Orchid.

Looking to Kizzie. "You should never make excuses for speaking what comes naturally. It is a flowing sort of language, eh?" Then back to Trevet with a warm smile, still managing that mustache. "By sea, aye."

"Alright. Guess I can figure out how to sling some rats their way." A little grin as she only just restrained herself from bouncing upon the stool. "That's what you feed them, right?"

She snickered some and nodded. "That I do. Though the trained ones I allow out to hunt on their own. Keep their skills keen."

Liking the sound of the lands name. "Heathfield." Rolling that over her tongue. "Nice."

Which had him smile though he was trying to repress the laugh with the visual Karina's words made, flinging rats at the hawks and falcons.

"I think I'm going to stay here tonight." Murmuring to Treve, so he didn't interrupt the conversations going on.

"That's a good idea." Karina nodded to Vanessa, shifting upon her barstool. With that dress she couldn't fold herself up and contort her legs comfortably like she was used to... so she settled for crossing her legs instead, one  neatly over the other. "I'd love to see how you train them." Maybe even help with that someday, if things went well. But she had a good feeling about this. That strange sort of feeling when something clicks and you just know it's right. She didn't even think of that locked box beneath her bed, not yet. A pause to glance up at Kynan as he took his leave, and she offered her simple friendly farewell, "Night."

"I may and may not. There is the masseuse after the jousting took its toll." Not moving and drinking potcheen he was fine presently.

She smiled at the sleepy man. "I hope your sleep is peaceful and your bed soft." Grins.

"Too tired to do that. I'll go to the hot springs tomorrow and maybe then the castle." He stood then looked at Paden and grinned. "Beds are always soft here. Good night everyone."

"Good night Kynan." He wouldn't be much longer himself but not willing to move just yet.

"Good night Kynan, see your aunt on the way out." He was holding the door to the kitchen for him. He would duck into the kitchen for a few moments before back out.

Reaching for a cookie, she dipped it into the milk a few times then parted her lips for a smooshy bite, closing her eyes as she relished the sweet taste. "Mmm. Goodnight Kynan." Getting the name right, she hoped.


A small wave given to Kynan. "Rest well, Kynan." Then returned to Karina with a nod. "They're quite intelligent. Easy to train in most things." Vanessa was all smiles, looking forward to having Karina there to help since she was becoming a good friend.

"Key please, Alex?" He grinned as he started for the kitchen door. He'd never leave or go upstairs without saying night to his aunt!

"Probably you have to get them to trust you first, though." Karina guessed astutely. In that regard she wasn't much different from a hawk or falcon, herself. She ordered a hot cider from Alex, then flipped her hair back over her shoulder. The curls still damp from her bath felt nice and cool on her bare neck, in this warm room.

She felt a bit off center, not having been ashore for awhile, she dipped the cookie again and bit. She swallowed and looked beneath her lashes at Trevet. Straightening with another smile curving her lips. "Will be strange to sleep on solid ground again."

"That you do. I have some tricks though that help with that. I don't do too much training on the falcons and hawks. I usually leave most of their training to their chosen master so the trust is built with the training and learning to work together."

"That makes sense." Her high cheekbones had a light flush of excitement stealing across them as she considered this sudden new future of hers. Even imagining herself someday with a hawk or her own to train and befriend... but that seemed a bit too much. For now, just feeding them and being around them would be enough. "Thanks, Vanessa," she added after a second with a sheepish little grin.

"I bet you a copper piece that you'll wake up dreaming that you are rolling on the waves."

"Do rooms come with baths?" Carefully wiping her mouth and noticing the milk on her hand and almost rolling her eyes.

"I think the chambermaid will draw you one here."

"No need to bet, I know I will!" Laughs, a musical little sound erupting. Blinks. "You have chambermaids?"

A smile flashed to Karina. "No. Thank you. I appreciate the help." Genuinely. Very happy. Turning to Alex, she requested another cider before making the walk home. Gather the warmth before stepping out into the chill.

"I don't but this tavern does and there is no cost for the room, drink or food, as set up by the Crown."

Another drink and a bite of cookie was taken. Giving him a warm smile. Her eyes twinkling. "I might get spoiled." Looking to Kizzie. "Rolling on the waves can be lulling."

It was late but that was usual for Lancely for he reset the Gauntlets before heading up here for a drink. Had to wait until all were done with using the spar field. Dark blue tunic worn with  silver piping, black pants and boots. He soon filled the frame of the door that swung open as he took a gander of who were inside. Perhaps a little surprise to see so many. "Evening."

The Jewess giggle as she adjusted the hat on top of her curls with one hand while gesturing around her with the other. "Don't worry. Most of us were spoiled into staying. I know I was." She had never felt more at home than she did here. "I have been on a few voyages and I don't have good sea legs."


Hearing Kizzie, a smile was given her. "I was too. I still come back for meals almost every day." Then turned her attention to the man who entered. "Evening, Sir."

"Being spoiled would be a luxury. And fun, depending on who did the spoiling." Laughs and then looks to the doors. "Evening Ser."

As she hears a familiar voice, her grin curls even brighter as she tries not to bounce with too much excitement while her eyes lock on the door and the figure that stood in the frame of the door. And it was him and Aiden who had managed to convince her to come here.


Date: 10-01-09
Poster: Trevet MacKay
Post # 6

Me too, Karina echoed their sentiment of being lured to stay silently, surprising herself. "You're the one doin' me a favor," she replied to Vanessa with a little grin. Turquoise gaze danced to the door and she eyed the newcomer for a second - a stranger, and she bobbed her head in a neutral hello.

"Evening Sir Lancely!" Giving the knight due respect as he was still standing, more leaning.

"And you are returning the favor." Vanessa smiled to Karina and thanked Alex for the refill.

"Trevet, Kizzie. Ladies," moving in further into the room as he spread his arms so that he could be assaulted by Kizzie kisses as was her trademark.

Kizzie couldn't help but laugh as he opened his arms as she crossed the room. She paused only a few moments to pretend to look cross with him, "You know... I had been worried about you. Bobe keeps asking about you and I don't have heart to tell her that you don't love us anymore," She teased in her thick accent before leaning up to try to kiss at his cheeks.

She glanced to Trevet then away with a little sway within. She shook her head and drifted away from those thoughts. Nice people these.

"Ach, well. Guess we're even then." She teased with another little grin, which soon disappeared behind a healthy gulp of the hot cider. Ach- TOO hot! She sputtered for a moment as the steaming liquid struck her tongue and burned all the way down her throat.

Up went a brow and she reached to slap the lady upon the back. "Ok?"

"How is your ole Bobe?" Sounded dirty didn't it? Which had the devilish knight grinning with a gleam in blue eyes. With the lean he had her captured, lifted and spun around. Enough to probably have her arms encircle his neck to hang on for dear life!

Grinning as the man spun the lady. "That takes some sea legs, too." Murmured to no one in particular.

"I might stop up just to see the birds with all your talk on them," this to Vanessa and Karina though he was grinning watching Lancely and Kizzie.

And that she did! She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and squeezed tightly as her eyes widened. Her fingers move up to curl into his hair as she was spun. Her lips trailed from cheek to cheek while briefly brushing against lips as they crossed over. She leaned back with a brow arched. "She's good! She's good. They are all good. Miri is the one who seems to come out the most. She might even come out more than me."

She just smiled to Karina and looked to Trevet with a nod. "You should. Even someone not fond of birds enjoys the gardens."

Hack, cough, and finally, "Yeah - fine, I'm fine." A bit breathlessly as she gave a tight little smile to Paden, readjusting herself on the stool. Then she glanced over to Trevet who she realized had spoken in the interim. "I didn't think much of birds myself either, at first," she said frankly. "But they have a way about 'em... well, you'll see if you come by." She was in a good enough mood now to give the man an open smile which sparkled up into her bright, slightly upturned eyes.

"Hussy," affectionately as he captured that brief brush with a nip. Setting her back down to her feet. "I've not seen her though I've not been around as much." She knew how he got involved in keeping all the knights on their toes in challenges.

Nods. "Good." Taking up her milk for another sip.

"I like birds, like most animals and such of nature." He wasn't sure why they thought he might not like birds. Trying to recall if he had said anything to give that impression.

She sighed as he set her back down her feet. She unwrapped her arms too, and placed her palm on her hips as she nodded. "So I hear. I hear all because I have a bunch of yentas in my house always gabbing about local gossip. I warned them that I was going to ask Draven if they could take over the local gossip page instead of Pearl and Matty."

No. He'd given no such impression, but some people found birds an awkward animal or unappealing. "Then you should certainly come to the gardens."

"Oh well, not everyone does," she offered with a light shrug. "Some folks spend too much time indoors to care much 'bout anything that lives outside of 'em."

"Birds are intelligent and have a great sense of direction." Thinking about the ones that flew out to sea. She drew in a breath of man and horse? Wistfully remembering another time in life.

A nod given to Paden. "That they are. Magnificent creatures." The phoenix halfling not at all biased though.

She smiled to her. "Magical too, or they can be."

"Trevet even likes girls too," such a tease his friend's way and a challenge to get even at some point too if he wanted. He was eyeing Kizzie suspiciously, "best keep them away from those two crones." They had it in for him when the paper use to be circulated. Such rumors!

Chuckles to the Knight. Not commenting but glad to know.

"'Cause he views them as animals of nature too?" That tease left her lips before she could stop it; the sauciness was back! Her eyes flew back to Trevet but she couldn't restrain the smirk teasing at her lips.

"Aye, I'm normal," though he bit his tongue in saying a retort at the moment. He would bide his time instead. "Aye, animals of nature with a bit more appeal," giving a wink Karina's way.

She was rumored about too. Kissing bosom buddies! Kissing weed! Kissing knights! It was all dealing with kissing. Those lips of hers sure got her in trouble.

Glances between the two of them with a slight smirk appearing. "Aye, the male of the species too."

"Well there is the caveman appeal. Anyone want to hit him over the head and drag him away?" Which had him chuckling with a twinkle in blue eyes for the visual that provided.

She just listened quietly with a snicker to the fun poked at Trevet.

"But far more difficult to control," she replied sagely, eyes sparkling.

"Like a good steed? Or a sea storm?" Grins.

He liked it when Kizzie's lips got her in trouble.

"I am a stranger but a few minutes more of knowing him, can I hit him and drag him out of here?"  Looking innocent and hopeful. Hmm.

He cleared his throat as he looked between the ones teasing him. "Just you wait..." sounded good.

"And how long must they wait?" Coy grin given to Trevet before lifting her mug for a drink of the cider.

He then pointed at Karina, "Miss Sassy, you might be the first..." first what? Let her wonder.

"Oh, and this is Sir Lancely Caster. He is one of the brave knights from Innis Daingneach."

"More like a runaway wagon I'd say. All you can do is hold on tight and pray for mercy." A wide smirk, which widened into a snicker at Paden's 'innocent' question. A sip of cider occupied her for a second, until Trevet spoke up. One eyebrow arched slowly up across her brow, beneath an amber curl that had fallen loose and settled there. "First for what, exactly?"

"...for the right moment. Precision timing which means however long it takes." Which kept one guessing and waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.

"Uh-huh. That didn't answer my question at all." Eyeing him now with an intrigued smirk as she tilted her head slightly to one side. "And I'm not very patient..."

"Sounds thrilling." Looking to Karina and then Trevet. "Taking long, that is, I mean, it certainly can be." Stuttering to a stop but smiled.

She snickered quietly and finished off the rest of her drink. The mug was set down, she slipped off her stool. "Time has come for the walk home." She reached up for the hood of her dress to pull over her head. "Good eve, to you  all. Paden and Lancely, a pleasure to meet you both."

Nods. "The pleasure was mine. Take care."

He rubbed his hands together, "then it will make it all the more interesting..." wicked, wicked grin and look in dark eyes. One honed on his siblings when he was about to get them in trouble.

"Night Vanessa," she called out as her friend took her leave, adding, "See you in the mornin'." Then back to Paden, she gave the woman a rather odd look. What exactly was she talking about?... And back to Trevet. Oh she didn't like that wicked look at all!....Alright, she sort of did. It was certainly intriguing. Despite herself the grin stretched wider along with her curiosity. "Interesting says you, torture says I." Pause as she gave him a flat look. "You're  not gonna throw me in the water trough are you?" Had Segan got him up to that?

"If you'd like, I will see you back as I should get back to get that rubdown at the castle. I took some pretty hard jolts in the joust tonight." He was up and felt it too but the walk would help take out the soreness. "We joust tomorrow as well," as an aside.

"I'll see you in the morning, Karina." She stopped and gave Kizzie and big, fat smooch on the cheek just because and headed for the door. Pausing, she smiled to Trevet and gave a nod. "That would be nice."

"It was nice meeting you Vanessa. Good luck with your birds."

"Thank you, Lancely."

She merely smiled, sweet like. Looking to Trevet. "You joust?"

"See you, Vanessa. I'll have to check out the aviary soon!"

"That you will. And I will be at the deli soon."

"It's too cold tonight to throw you in water, I might be wicked but I'm not cruel." So it will be something else. Eventually.

"I disagree, 'cause I've just told you how impatient I am. But fine. I'll just.... wait." An exaggerated sigh was followed by another smirk, and a wave as the group made to go on their way.

Then to answer Paden, "aye, me brother and myself along with little Concessa Quinn. Last night, last of the tournament tomorrow." In a way he was relived too as it had  been a long haul and it was not their profession.

"There are far better things than throwing her in a trough." She smiled sweetly while waiting on Trevet. Unless he changed his mind.

The sigh had him grin Karina's way as he moved to the door to open and hold it.

She tilted her head, intrigued. "That is fascinating. You do well?"

Once Vanessa was through, he was out with a wave to all, though answering Paden, "well enough, made some friends in allied lands."

Following his movements to the door and then smiled again, not meaning to delay them.

Vanessa smiled and waited for Trevet. Not rushing him at all as she passed through the door with one more wave to everyone.

"Nice to have met you!" Calling after them. She finished up her milk and cookies, then slid off the barstool. Ready for that bath and a soft warm bed.

"Paden, dear, I'll come and check on you tomorrow if you'd like," She offers with a smile.

She grinned. "That would be nice. You all have been very kind and I appreciate that."  She pointed towards where she thought rooms would be. "That way?"

"Have a good night Paden, the rooms here are very comfortable."  Alex would set out a key for her and she would find a chambermaid upstairs to help her out if she needed anything extra. Like a bath.

She nodded as she jutted her chin to gesture towards the stairs with a big smile. "Sleep well!"

"You as well, pleasure to meet you." Smiling she grabbed up the key and started for the stairs and the room. "Good dreams!"

It was late so while she was dazed, he scooped her up into his arms to carry her away to her Deli and family.

And she swooned cause she loved being in his arms.


Date: 10-05-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 7

Night Out

Segan wandered up from the port to the tavern. He had money in his pouch from a quick emergency run of goods and his men better in spirits for it. They had needed the run more than he had but he was bound to get in as many as he could before the cold winds blew and the sea not so cooperative. He looked the swashbuckler with the wider belt, baggy pants and buccaneer's shirt left partially open down the front. Hair tied back at the nape of his neck, leather vest hanging open and boots laced up to below his knees. This night a rapier hung from the belt as he and his men had been having some fun sparring to pass the time while out at sea. Only gone two days. Once inside the Thistle he sent a note ahead to Clearview while he waited his meal.

The note came as Eion was leaving the manor, having spent the afternoon with his family. There were no chores for once, other than the usual ones in helping with the horses which gave him time to talk to Mel. He headed for the Thistle on foot. He had sent a request to Rory McDonough to see about purchasing a larger horse as a warhorse, something he felt he should have and was hoping to hear from him soon. Making his way inside, he grinned to see Segan. "Ahoy, Cap'n Quinn. Permission to come aboard." Crossing to clap a hand to his brother's shoulder as he spoke.

He had finished up his meal by the time anyone came and that any one turned out to be someone he hoped to see. "Conor not coming with you?" The concern growing on their little brother. Taking up the tray he headed for the bar to set it away there and collect the bottle of potcheen and two glasses. "Come join me in a drink and tell me all I missed in two days with the emergency run. The quick note did reach the manor?" He had dashed one off and sent via a lad just before boarding. He was back over to the table near one of the front windows, giving them a good view of what could be seen beyond the darken panes. Glasses set before pouring each full then setting the bottle as he took his seat up again.

He shook his head at mention of Conor. "He's been busy at the ranch. Might be helping with the horses. I plan to take a ride out there soon to buy a horse suitable for a warhorse." He chuckled. "And Mel might use it for stud if it's a likely male. In any case, I'll check up on him and see how's he doing. Gran says he has visited but he's working hard." He followed him to the table. "Aye, it came in good time. We knew you were off." He sat, or more sprawled. "Got the last of the wood ready for the winter and covered. Chimneys are all cleaned out and all the windows checked for drafts. They're cooking jams, smoking meat, preserving. All's right with the world." He grinned. "How was the run?"

"I would like to go with you." See his brother and had an interest in the horses now that he had a race horse of his own. "The various stables should consider studding out of the better horses." They all seemed to have their winners, and losers even though the lowest horse on the stats was faster than any ordinary equine. The mention of doing the preserves had his mouth watering, "Grans makes the best jam.. lavish that on her waffles smothered in butter on a cool morning." He just ate and would start getting hungry again. "The run went well, made me crew happy to get out again. They're going to need to find some other work come winter to keep them from getting too antsy."

"They should be able to find work easily enough. Even work to clear the streets come winter if need be. Or maybe do some work for the shipwrights." He took a drink of the potcheen, enjoying the burn. Nothing like the pure on a chilly autumn night.

The wind whisked by causing a chill to run up her spine. Or was it really nerves? If she was honest she would go with the later for her hands felt sweaty she rubbed together. She at least dressed up some, though not overly. Suede skirt of a deep moss green with a vest of the same tailor fitted over a pretty lacy blouse of the palest maze. Hair was left mostly in waves down her back with a satin ribbon that held the front sides off to the back in a bow. Her father's words echoed through her thoughts and certainly she faced harder things than socializing? Like learning to tackle a ram and sheer the sheep. More the tom boy now she looked delicate and in a way she was. So she lifted her chin fractionally and headed up the steps taking her inside. She hadn't heard a lot of noise and possibly there wasn't anyone around yet. Of course she was wrong as once inside she noted the two but headed for the bar and a request of a drink from Alex. A quick glance was given back to the two as she didn't wish to be rude by ignoring them either. Actually not really certain so gave them a slight smile with a minute cordial nod before quickly back upon Alex as one of the fruit punch glasses was set.

"I will talk to Collin McAndrews," knowing at least he was one of the shipwrights. "If they can get work there that is the best choice otherwise, like you mentioned, there will be something." Though his words faded off with the arrival of another. One he had not seen before as he studied that moment then looked to Eion as if asking if he knew her. Though back when she looked their way as he stood, "good evening Miss,welcome this cool autumn evening. I am Segan and this is my brother Eion."

He nodded then looked toward the door and stood after giving Segan a slight shake of his head. He had never met her. "Evening, miss." Since Segan gave the introduction, he didn't say more.

She turned back as one of the men rose to his feet and offered introductions. She could feel the heat touch upon her cheeks which made her self conscious but still she forced herself through this initial initiation into the social world. She would be more comfortable were they at a sheering contest as they did each spring and coming up against the gents that way in seeing what they were made of.  Eyes were wide, larger than most, soulful look in a bronze green. Her smile like sunshine when fully given and there it was rising. Feeling some ease as they seemed to be friendly. "It is nice to meet you both. I am Mariah McCormick, from the ranch. Sheep." So she was not yet smooth in talking and a little choppy.

Which left it to him as usual to speak up. Perhaps the glance given his quiet brother said as much. Quick as it was and back to the lady. "You are welcome to join us if you wish company. Only Eion here bites from time to time but if you bring over some of the cookies set upon the tray there, it might appease him." Such a grin.

Bites. Cookies. Had her sucking in a breath as she took it all in then realized he was teasing her. At least she learned that much from her brothers. "Do you think a dozen should be enough then?" Though she didn't look upon Eion while addressing the brother Segan. She stepped away, glass in hand to set on the tray of cookies and brought over the whole bit of it. Setting it around near Eion before taking up the seat across from them both.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mariah." He cut a glance toward Segan, then looked back at the lass. "I promise I'll only bite the cookies." She seriously looked like she'd run if he said boo. Waiting until she was seated, he took his seat again. "You're Ian's daughter then?" He had met the man once, and even with that brief meeting, realized he was one to respect. "And the sister of the one who runs the book store?"

She may not be social savvy but she wasn't totally naive. "I'm sure there are those that would rather hear a promise that you would." Though braving the words she could feel the heat rise to her cheeks again. Eyes that had met almost boldly, dipped away as if unsure in the next moment. She busied herself with taking her glass of punch from the tray and then making sure the tray was in reach of both men. By that time she had recovered her fortitude to look back up to Eion, "aye, I am his eldest daughter. Have you met Carisa, Christopher or Scott?" A little hopeful there for then it was almost a connection through them.

He had seated again as he let Eion take the lead in conversation. It was rare that he did and so got to be quiet as Eion usually was. Drinking and listening! He settled back comfortably. Maybe he could become the quiet mysterious type. The thought almost had him laughing out loud but luckily squelched it.

Chilly weather from here to there and all the day long. Vanessa was pleased to be so close to home, but there was no fire there yet and so that was purpose enough to stop at the Thistle and warm up. She had excellent news and needed a message to be gotten to the right person, though wasn't entirely sure who that person was. Tennison was left to stand since he didn't seem to mind the weather, and shortly after dismounting, Vanessa rushed herself into the tavern away from the cold. Draped in velvet of dark blue and black leather gloves to hold away as much cold as possible, she looked around as she pushed the door closed rather quickly and offered a sheepish grin to the others. "Evening, everyone."

Not long after the woman came in another followed. It had been a long night and she had seen the tavern. A smile formed. "Ah great place to call it a night." Voice said to no one of course. She followed and let the doors open after they had closed. A smile formed seeing that a few were in the tavern. Just a little wave of nervousness was felt. New places did that to her. She hated it. With a small sigh she headed to the bar. Figured get a drink and then go from there. Her plan..well she didn't have one. Course half the time the woman never had a clue on what she did. Or what was next for that matter.

He was to his feet again, smile spreading in recognition of the lady coming in. "Vanessa, how good to see you again. You're welcome to join us." Table was not that far from the hearth and near one of the front windows. Then a double take as it seemed Vanessa had a shadow though the difference was felt it was by chance coming in right after and not with. "Evening Lass, all are welcome to join us. We have cookies." Once they got their drinks. Since standing he was over to move one chair and drag the nearest table to make it larger and more chairs. Plenty of room.

"I've met Scott. I'm in training to become one of King Karl's knights just as he is." Though he was a good deal older. Carisa I know of from my sisters who I believe are keeping her in business.  I've yet to meet Christopher." And as two other women entered, one known and one not, he stood. "Evening, Vanessa. Evening, Miss."

With both brothers standing she ended up standing too as Segan started to rearrange the tables also. Made it easier to help with putting a chair here and moving one there. "Good evening, I'm Mariah." Feeling a bit more comfortable and it was showing in the ease she now spoke. Though bronze green eyes turned on Eion as she came back to her seat and drink. "I'm sure he would like meeting you too." She would have to ask Carisa on them. It didn't surprise her that she would have met the brothers already.

No sooner had she come in, another was behind her. She smiled and waved to Segan and Eion. "Evening you two. I would love to join you. Give me a moment please." Over to the bar, she inquired to Alex who she would speak to or have word sent to, to inquire about properties for a couple she knew interested in making their move to the area, and if he could get word, she would greatly appreciate it. And cider, of course.

"Evening." Nod to those who had greeted her and of course she flashed her smile."Cookies?" She laughed."You have my attention. Never had anyone say that before for a greeting." Then it dawned on her, what if they were talking to the woman? Oh yeah that would be embarrassing for what a mere few minutes? Then she'd laugh it off."You were talking to me as well? Otherwise I'm going to feel like a complete idiot."

He had made the offer to both. "Sweets for the sweet." Teasing tone as was natural for him. Taking the moment while still standing to turn out two chairs. That should be a good give away. "Aye, if you'd like to join complete strangers at their table, one with a large tray of cookies confiscated from the bar and meant for all..." smile at the end of his tirade. "Although you cannot have any until you give us your name." Now adding a condition, "else we will be reduced to calling a lady... hey you."

At Alex's recommendation, she requested a parchment and something to write with so that she could write out the letter and leave it to Alex's care to reach Mr. McAndrews. Once the cider was given, she thanked Alex with a bright smile and made her way to the table where everyone was gathered. "How is everyone this night?" She'd glanced to the two women she wasn't familiar with, offering both a nod and smile.

"Well enough." He wouldn't sit until all the women, including Mariah, were seated. "Yourself?" He glanced at Segan and gave him a half smile. One big party, wasn't it?

He met his brother's glance with a slow grin surfacing. Maybe it would have him talking more as certainly he couldn't keep up with three by himself. Wicked grin perhaps. "I am doing well Vanessa, back from a run that was profitable. Why I haven't been around the last three days or so. I trust you are doing well. This is Mariah McCormick, her father has the sheep ranch and provides the lands with wool." And mutton like what was in the Irish stew here.

Once at least Vanessa had arrived, she took her seat so the brothers need not stand much longer. "Nice to meet you Vanessa." Then as the other spoke up a smile was given her way, "nice to meet you as well Hayley."

"As long as they aren't poisoned against wanderers." She laughed. Felt a bit out of place yes, but she nodded and shrugged it off. "Hayley O'Neal." Simply stated her name as she looked over to the man who talked of the cookies. She then nodded over to the woman she had come in after and yet another smile was offered. Course the statement made about the cookies was meant for humor. "And like wise to you.. Mariah."

"Doing well, thank you." Spoken to Eion. Reaching the table, she set the mug down to remove her gloves and cloak, which was laid over the back of her chosen seat. Left in a slightly lighter colored dress with a scooped neckline and fitted sleeves. Eased down into her seat, she nodded to Segan. "Glad to see you are back then." She looked to Mariah and nodded. "Pleasure to meet you." Then to Hayley. "You as well. Welcome to the Thistle." Mug picked up and held in both hands to collect the warmth.

"Welcome to Heathfield, Hayley. I'm Segan," in case he had forgotten to give his name. "Eion, my brother, Vanessa and Mariah." Indicating each so that names could be attached properly. Once Hayley took a seat then he would settling back onto his.

"Thank you. " She sat down now with the complete strangers. Given she wasn't shy in the least. "Pleasure to meet you all and thank you." Voice had a slight melodic sound. One that clearly stated she was quite an extrovert.

She was more an introvert but she was working on that. Her first night out socially and she was doing well or at least felt she was. She took up her drink as she discreetly studied each in turn quietly.

"Pleasure, Haley." He nodded then sat again. The cookies didn't really hold his interest but the drink was another matter.

He had only teased by using them though he had one of the ones with chocolate chips in them. Deciding to take his time and see how long conversation would last if he became quiet.

She took a cookie.. really hoped it was okay. She would probably only take one and that would be that. Pondered over getting some tea for the matter. That did sound good when she thought about it. "What sort of tea is offered here?"

With Hayley's question it brought a distraction from wandering glances. A smile returning, "they have all kinds, Earl Grey, herbal, green, black and flavored ones. Although you have to go to the bar as the tables are not served." Alex was an older gentleman, efficient and meticulous though he didn't wait on tables. although meals were delivered to the tables if Hazel chose to.

"Do you help your sister at the bookstore, Mariah?" He was wondering why he hadn't at least heard of her.

Vanessa was quietly observing while warming herself up some from the long travels. She looked to Hayley then to Mariah with Eion's question and offered her a smile.

The question took her by surprise having attention turn back to Eion with a soft smile. "I had but I did more of the inventory, not worked the desk or helping customers." Which was the very point her father had brought up. "I think I missed out meeting others. Though Carisa really didn't need my help. I always felt it was more her store. My father asked I run the Wool Shop which I think is more suited. I can offer knitting and crocheting classes for those who would like to learn or need to learn." As many made their own clothing for it was far more frugal. Only the ones with extra coins bought their clothes.

He moved the tray more towards Hayley and Vanessa. The latter of which held his focus a moment longer. "I hope to get up to the Aviatory soon as well the visit to see the horses at the stables." Then not to exclude Hayley either. "How far have you traveled? Also, the rooms, drink and food here are free so you need not worry about coin. It is set up that way by the monarchy. All is already paid for."


She looked from Mariah to Segan and nodded. "I look forward to the visit to the stables, and whenever you are ready and free to come to the Gardens, you are more than welcome." She looked over the cookies and opted to occupy herself with her cider for the time being.

"Oh of course not." She smiled to Mariah. "Don't think a single tavern I have been to does that." With that she stood up and made way to the bar. Decided on some herbal tea. She'd wait by the bar for her tea as she looked to them all. "Would there be a place I could call it a night?"



Date: 10-05-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 8

Feeling a little more comfortable she tried a bit of teasing. Though noting was said, she chose one of the chocolate cookies and set it in front of Eion upon a small plate from the larger tray with the sweets.

"You'll be meeting our Gran more than likely. Do you have raw wool? She likes to spin if I remember right." She also knitted or did crochet though he couldn't remember which. Maybe both. He looked down at the cookie, then at Mariah. "Trying to keep me from biting?"

"Right here if you have need of a room. Alex will get you a key. Breakfast is cooked by Hazel, one of the best in the lands." There were no obligations on those who took up the offer either. Karina was a good example of that, having been here for a number of months coming and going.

"I would love to help your grandmother out and we have plenty of raw wool which is far less expensive than spun and dyed." She could feel the heat upon her cheeks again but far less than before. That was heartening. "Yes," came out in whisper but the laugher would not be stayed. "Though I don't feel you have any bite in you except for a cookie."

"Great! Thank you." She smiled in that and would get the tea and also ask for a key. She was in definite need for a good night's rest.

Well, he hadn't planned on eating any but how could he resist? Smiling, he picked it up and bit into it, glancing at Haley, his brother and Vanessa, before looking back. "I'll be sure to tell her. I remember her coloring wool when we were lads. We stayed away though so we didn't have to take do any of it."

"I hope to get up there soon, possibly tomorrow. How is everything coming along?" Now back to Vanessa as he was definitely interested and also didn't want to burden her too soon with her just newly moving in.

"Who me?" She turned to Mariah as she had mentioned food. It was true she hadn't had more than that cookie which she finished off after she dunked it in the tea.

"Everything is going quite well. The flight cages are finished and filling, I've finally been able to get the tarps up over the warmer climate birds so the heating spires should work very well for them." No burden at all. He'd likely come across her working with the birds now that the gardens were cleaned.

"You are more than welcome to more cookies, Hayley." Though she was still over at the bar. "If you are hungry, I'm sure Hazel will fix you a plate of whatever they have surplus of. I know they have at least the Irish stew, best stew in the lands is made right here." She remembered that from the times growing up and they were taken here out to eat as a treat.

"I'm impressed in a weeks time you are up and running." That was impressive but those of the lands worked together to help get things done. "Anything new?" Like there would be more? Which had him chuckling under his breath.

She smiled again."Thank you. I'll keep it mind. Think I'm more tired than I had thought. I'll eat in the morning." Another smile given in that and she drank some of the tea.

Eion had her attention again with a slight quirk of a smile. "I'm sure she would have taught you to knit and crochet had you stayed." Which she honestly couldn't picturing him doing.

She was grateful to have the work done, but really it'd been simple enough with help of those who resided here and Morjin. "Anything new?" Brow quirked curiously.

"I guess you have enough new to last a while." Teasing her with the smile to follow. He even reached to tap her nose like Eion sometimes did and got the urge to.

She swatted playfully at his hand, crinkling up her nose some. "I have plenty to keep me busy during the day light hours. At least until the snow falls. Then some work will be taken indoors."

"No, it was more to stir the wool in the dye." He chuckled. "The three of us escaped as much as possible."

He sparred fingers as she swatted in a new kind of tease like he had with his sisters upon occasion. "You have how many feather friends now?" Still trying to keep up the spar of fingers.

Captivated by the teasing going on a moment before turning the smile on Eion with his reply. Focus now there solely. "I'm sure she would have appreciated your help as that is a tedious part. Aside getting fingers and hands stained if not clothing worn too."

She swatted at his hand again, but more like a cat with a ball of yarn and smirked. "In total?.." Paused to think over how many were in each of the cages. "Twenty...six I believe. But they are not my companions really. I tend to them while they await their companions or masters."

"She did it in the shed our Da and uncle made for her just for that. Kept a few sheep for their wool." He quieted to take a drink and listen to Vanessa and Segan.

While she paused he captured her hand only to slip his fingers under its palm, drawing it up to place a chaste kiss there above the knuckles before lowered while released. "How many will the cages hold when you are considered to be full?"

Chaste or not, it was enough to color her cheeks lightly, and noticeably since she was warmer than when she entered. "The flight cage for the hawks and falcons will only hold twelve, maybe fourteen comfortably. The carrier cage can be filled perhaps a little more than double that since most carrier birds tend to flock, and the companions cage..perhaps eighteen to twenty."

"What are companion birds, exactly?" Curious.

He noticed bringing a glint to blue eyes in appreciation. He added it up in his head as she explained, "so you're looking at taking care of about sixty two birds at the most when full capacity." That was quite a few and depending on how they sold, she might go through tending quite a few hundred a year, perhaps even over a thousand. Though now he was waiting for the answer to Eion's question.

"You are from Ireland then?" As she knew individual families kept their own sheep, cows, pigs and mules. She also quieted to the other conversation of interest to her too. Taking up a cookie to have finally.


"I suppose technically any of them can be companion birds. Most falcons and hawks are loyal to one and become a companion, but the companion birds are indoor birds. Parrots and such that can be taught to speak and be handled  by many rather than just one." She looked to Segan then and nodded. "Potentially, yes. But it depends highly on the comfort levels of the birds. This is their home until they claim someone, so their comfort is very important to me."

He nodded when she answered his question then looked at Mariah and nodded. "Aye, though the accent isn't as strong as me brothers. I left home when I was still a lad, traveled and then lived in England for a while." And six months of that in an English prison.

"When I come to visit, I could possibly be claimed?" Now there was an interesting thought.

Smirking some, she nodded. "It's quite likely that you could be. Birds, like most creatures, have a keen sense of who they might bond well with."

If he had added that there would have been a lot of questions to follow on being imprisoned. "You're accent holds enough to be able to tell. My father still has one but ours, having been born here, may not be so pronounced. I love how it sounds. The way words are rolled." Though she had one herself it was not one she could hear like she heard on others.

"So it could be any species from an unassuming dove to an incorrigible love bird or intimidating hawk." See his eyes? She could probably tell of the thoughts going through his mind in amusement. "Well, many a captain has a parrot on his shoulder or one to give away secrets they think are being kept."

"The language of poets." He smiled, "And you've a touch of the Emerald Isle in your voice."

Yes, she could see the amusement and smiled with her own amusement. "Possibly, but if it is a hawk you seek, then it is the hawks and falcons I will introduce you to. Parrots can be quite foul mouthed. They tend to pick up common phrases that they hear around them." She knew. She'd heard some of those birds that would make grown men not of the sea blush.

"My crew at sea would be a very bad influence upon any parrot aboard. I would be interested in each kind to know more of them."

The nights were becoming rather chilly, and the lady knight needed a place to rest after her long travels. Happening upon the tavern, she opens the door and steps inside to the comfortable warmth. She wore a breastplate, with a piece of armor around her hips. A cape fluttering at her back, with her sword sheathed at her side, one dagger also sheathed on each hip. Long golden blonde hair was pulled back in a braid behind her, blue eyes assessing the company within as she moves to find a place to settle down, as close to the warmth as possible.

"Then I shall introduce you to them all. I sent their majesties a pair of lovebirds. I hope they are enjoying them." Thoughtful smile, hoping the birds were pleasant since not everyone enjoyed birds. The new entrant caught her attention, Vanessa nodded and offered a smile. "Good eve, miss."

That would be the hearth as Segan stood from his seat again with the arrival of another woman. "Good evening and welcome. If you'd like to join us there is a tray of cookies here." Which had been offered to all ladies coming in. "I am Segan, my brother Eion and the ladies Vanessa and Mariah."

Looking to the ones that greet her, the lady knight smiles and nods in return. "Good eve, and a bit chilly at that." A smile, and she moves to get some of the cookies. And would bow to all of them. "I am Malaika Versbane, from the land of GoldenMyst. A pleasure to meet you all."

She was listening to the conversation on birds again but offered up a greeting to the newest arrival. "Good evening Miss." Then with Golden Myst being mentioned. "I do believe they were once allies of ours a long time ago." So her father had told her about various lands since he'd been here since near the beginning. It took her a few moments to remember a name. "If that is the lands where a Nicho comes from?"

Looking to the one speaking, she nods as she nibbles on one of the cookies. She was hungry! "Yes, Nicho is our king. But he is on an extended leave, so now our kingdom is being run by another for the time being. I am of the knight division there."

"A pleasure in the meet Malaika," though he was not aware of these lands he took in what Mariah had to say of them. Taking up his seat again as well collecting his drink to kick back. He would refresh his glass along with his brother's.

"That is quite the honor and I hope his leave is not long for those of your lands." Ending with a warm smile for her well wishes on their king.

"Thank you, M'lady." She bows her head to her and smiles, settling herself down at the bar and nibbling on the cookies. She had already given her horse an apple, and he was tied up outside, content for the most part to be getting some rest. Looking around, she didn't know who was in charge of the tavern exactly. "Where might I find a room for the night?"

He stood as the woman came in, nodding his greeting. Then he sat and thanked his brother for the refill. He knew nothing of the lands spoken of, so fell silent again.

Alex was the one tending the bar, older gentleman that had been here a very long time. Older like in his sixties. "Alex will see to a key. There is no cost here in this tavern." Unlike some that were run by individuals. "It is set up that way by the monarchy." So he would reassure with the reason.

"I thank you very much. I have been traveling for several days now and your kindness and generosity is much appreciated." She felt better now. Beginning to take off her cape, she sets it aside, along with her couple pieces of armor and her weapons, leaving her in nothing but a green tunic-style shirt, and black leggings with her knee-high boots.

Alex would set out a key as well any drink she may favor. They had the speciality of potcheen but anything form German beers to ice tea. Only exceptions they did not carry the vile bloodwyne. Then again. vampires didn't come here anymore. Maybe that was why?

She had some of the house red wine, and the key was taken and put into her pocket. After taking a sip of the wine, she leans back comfortably in her seat and looks around the tavern some. "What is the name of this kingdom?"

"I should convince Scott to get a companion bird for his fiancee, Dacey. Christopher for AJ, " she was mussing to herself but certainly clear enough to hear.

Vanessa blinked out of her momentary daze and looked around before looking down at her mug again for another drink. Hope she didn't miss anything addressed to her.

With Malaika's question she was quick to answer, "you are in the kingdom of Heathfield. It's commons and the Thistle Tavern." It was getting late as she notice Vanessa with that bit of glaze to her eyes, wandering snooze while awake. She wasn't sure what it was called but caught her father doing it a lot.

Catching the attention from Mariah she smiled softly. "It's been a long day of travels and chilly weather."

"So, this Amazon Parrot did what to your finest dress?" Like she had been talking about something when he knew she had fallen prey to a daze.

Blink...she looked at Segan puzzled, briefly, before realizing he was joking. "Decided it was going to be perfect for building a nest. Unfortunately, I was still wearing it." Ha!

"Yes it has," and if she knew Segan better she might have kicked him under the table.

Heathfield...she would have to make note of the directions and make her way back here again. These people seemed rather nice. Hearing talk about birds, she looks to Vanessa and tilts her head some. "You own birds?"

He wondered how that worked when the bird was a gift. He looked at Segan and laughed, giving a shake of his head.

"That must... have been... a sight." Certainly a grin to follow as well the glint in blue eyes. Though falling to silence as she was being engaged in conversation with Malaika.


"I wouldn't know. It was a difficult view from where I was standing." Lopsided grin, she looked over to Malaika with a nod. "I do. I train them for others."

And when Vanessa looked away, he leaned and thunked Segan in the shoulder with his fist. See, Mariah didn't have to kick him.

"Ow!" hand moving to rub his shoulder as he was hit unexpectedly. The look as much as said there would be getting even! The fun! Slight smirk followed.



Date: 10-05-09
Poster: Segan Quinn
Post # 9

"Oh? What do you train them to do, Lady Vanessa?" Ingrained manners were something that she would never get rid of. Until someone said otherwise, she would give them formal titles.

She covered up her mouth with one hand to keep from laughing out loud as Eion thwap Segan. A twinkle set to large bronze green eyes turned on Eion as her hand lowered and her smile brightened in amusement.

Aww! She missed the thwap! Darn it. She heard Segan though and grinned without looking. "It depends on the avian. Some are trained for hunting and scouting, some for carriers, others for indoor companions."

She found that interesting, and sips her wine as she contemplates about this. "You train them on your own? For all those purposes?"

He'd tell Herself that Segan had been teasing the lass. He grinned at his brother then winked at Mariah as his glass was lifted for another drink. Maybe he, Segan and Conor should get a parrot for her.

An adjustment in her seat to turn and face the woman a bit, she nodded. "I do. Though I am hoping to teach another in training them sometime soon." Though she'd not seen Karina since suggesting the idea to her.

Run to Granny would be chanted if he did and gotten around the town! Granny apron strings. He'd take off in his ship and not come back for a few months. Now that would be an idea, to get Grandmama a companion bird, one best suited and talkative.

Wouldn't be hard to do so Segan didn't know who told. One of his sisters or Alex might since they were friends.

"If you do not mind, I might like to take a look at your birds. When would be a good time to come and see them?" She knew that birds needed their rest, and was always curious about having a bird of prey as a companion on her travels. Even to help her with her duties in her home kingdom.

He would guess, assume, it was Eion. So no matter who really did, it would all come back to Eion!

"Any time during the day, really. I spend a great deal of time in the gardens beginning their training. Their training is complete when they make claim to someone."

She was watching, or more aptly reading, the expressions being given off by the two brothers as they communicated wordlessly. Not that she knew anything more than the devil himself riding the thoughts. Or bedevilment anyway. She had brothers.

"You let the birds choose who they want to be paired with? I didn't think it worked that way." That made her even more curious. She had heard of others who trained their own for a long time, so the birds had always had those humans.

She nodded again. "People, in general, are usually content with any animal as long as they get the expected results. It is the bird that must take the commands, so it is important that it be the bird comfortable with the master."

"What do you do when the bird is a gift? Such in the case of the King and Queen?" He turned his attention back to Vanessa and her conversation.

She was getting tired and luckily would be staying the night here, next few nights for that matter to see to some shopping and the shop to get herself set up in. Though the conversation held her interest as she hesitated a bit longer, taking care of her punch so that she didn't waste what had been poured for her.

She turned to Eion and smiled. "In the case of the Majesties, I sent them birds that have no real duty. Companion birds. Not like the hawks or carriers that obey commands. They are more docile and open to potential handlers. If someone were to purchase a carrier or a scout for another, then I would suggest that the person the gift is for to come to the gardens and be chosen by one of the avians."

"How much do you charge for the birds?" She would have to check and see if she had enough. Normally she didn't carry large amounts of money with her. If she needed to, she could possibly do some odd jobs here and there for extra money.

"It depends on the bird." Turning back to Mal. "The companion birds, because they are more exotic and come from farther regions, tend to cost more than the carriers or hawks."

"I see. Would I be able to pay you, after a bird has chosen me?"

That surprised him a bit, he would have thought it the other way around. Obviously there was quite a bit to learn about birds.

"Of course." She nodded.

"I appreciate that." Smiling, and feeling like she would have a new companion soon, she munches on some more cookies and listens to the others as they speak.

She was finally up from her seat or she would be falling asleep right here and that would prove to be embarrassing! "It has been a pleasure in meeting you all, it has made my night enjoyable." Especially when she had no idea how it would turn out when venturing here. Her smile warm and genuine before she was taking her glass over to the bar to leave there with Alex.

Smiling to Mariah, she waved. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Mariah. Perhaps sometime we'll have the chance to talk more."

He stood as Mariah did since she was leaving, or at least going upstairs. "Good night, Mariah. Sleep well.  I'll be sure to mention the shop to Gran."

He half stood as Mariah was quick to get up and make her way to the bar. "It has been a pleasure to meet you Mariah and hope that we have the pleasure again."

"Have a good night Lady Mariah." Malaika smiles and nods to her.

"I would like that," to each as eye contact was made, lastly there with Vanessa, "I hope to get up to see your birds soon. It is an interesting idea and seems a species suited for different needs and personalities."

"Thank you. You are welcome to come by any time." In reply to Mariah.

Smile widened a touch before relaxed again. "A very good night to each and all." Taking up the key as she headed for the hall and stairwell that would bring her up to her room.

He watched her a moment, then sat and looked at Segan. "When you go to see the birds, see if there's one that would be suitable for Gran. I think she'd like a bird that will talk back."

She looked towards Eion and smiled. "Gran? Perhaps if you told me a bit about her, I could make a suggestion or two?"

"I will certainly do so. Maybe get one that will encourage you to talk more?" Grin growing as he teased his brother on him being the quiet mysterious type. "Being it wont be a lass, then there is always a bird." Oh yes, he would get even!

She couldn't help but smirk a little, listening to the brothers and Vanessa converse.

Free hand covered her mouth with a snicker. "Segan, you should be nice." Laughing quietly.

"Poor bird would never learn to talk if one had me to listen to." He frowned slightly. "Besides, can't have pets in the barracks." He looked at Vanessa and chuckled. "We're brothers. Nice isn't in our vocabulary."

She smiled to Eion and shook her head. "Makes me grateful to not have had any brothers growing up."

Which had him laugh, "if Grandmama can invade the barracks I'm sure a harmless bird could. Maybe become a mascot. An African Grey would do you well, he'd be speaking even if you didn't." Segan would teach him to nag Eion! If he could get away with it.

Snicker hidden with the last drink from her mug before she stood to walk to the bar and get a refill of the heated cider. Can just imagine all the things the bird would be taught to say!

"Do you know what a parrot would learn in the barracks?" He laughed, shaking his head. "I'd never be able to have him around proper company. Or her."

He'd take him aboard his ship for a while. At least half the stuff would have Eion laughing.

Oh she could...she also slept in the barracks most nights and heard enough to know that a talking bird wouldn't be good in certain other company.

That is too funny! Vanessa finally broke out laughing, hearing Eion.

"He would learn every cuss word known to mankind in at least five different languages?"

That was it...the lady knight couldn't help but laugh.

"Poor bird..." She laughed again, Alex was laughing too! Her drink brought back to her, she thanked him and turned to face the table, laughing still.

He might even take cussing to a new level if he started mixing up the expressions and languages. He was done with his drink and up from his seat as he brought over his glass and what remained in the bottle. All set to the bar as he was still chuckling too.

She smiled to Segan. "You know if I find out your teaching the birds such language, I will have to say something about it." Snickering softly because little tiny Vanessa was going to reprimand him for teaching the bird foul language. Hahah!

"Only say something about it?" Brow lifting but that glint in his eyes told of amusement there in the spar of words.

"Would you prefer I smack you around a bit?" Broad grin was given to him, trying not to laugh though.

"You know, that is actually tempting..." and daring her at the same time with that look.

Eyes narrowed a bit, chin notched up. "I'll have to ask Eion for lessons and hints then."

"I think you'd be better off creative on your own. Eion doesn't talk much..." not looking at his brother at all. Certainly teasing again.

"I'm sure he'd pipe right up with the idea of someone smacking you around a bit." She looked from Segan to Eion then back again.

He had moved closer in that instance when she looked Eion's way. Like only a few inches from her.

He laughed, shaking his head. "I can if there's a need, and if you want to smack him around, I'll give you encouragement." Pointers? A lass would likely know what to do.

She quirked a brow at Segan, noting that he'd moved closer, and grinned hearing Eion. "See, he's no problems in giving me a few pointers." Looking up at Segan.

"A lot of words but no real pointers. Just he would like to see it," fingers sliding down along her arm to capture her hand, bringing it up to press against his chest over his heart. Eyes locked the whole while. "This would be a good spot to start?"

She would definitely have given some pointers, but this wasn't her land, these weren't her people. She was getting a little sleepy, and after finishing her wine and cookies, she moves to get up and stretch, and gather her things so she could settle into her room.

Curious expression when Segan took her hand and placed it on his chest. Might have been a little stutter in her response. "I only need pointers and hints, the rest I can take my own initiation towards." And then...he confused her. Poor Vanessa!

Fingers curled to lace with her fingers as the look held something else there for a fleeting moment. Curiosity blended a darkening lure as he didn't push the tease any further, bringing her hand back down instead to release. "I think it is time to call it a night and get some sleep." A bit of a quick wink before turning a glance to his brother to see if he was heading back. "Sleep well Malaika, a pleasure meeting you." Then back to Vanessa, "we will see you back if you are ready to head home." Proper for them to escort her on their way as they would.

Youth captivated. She just looked at him for the moment it lasted until he released her hand. Cheeks flushed, her hand rose to poke one slender finger against his chest where he'd held her hand. Nose wrinkled. "You...are a wicked man, Segan Quinn." Cute expression mingled with a grin as she turned to Mal. "Good eve, Miss Malaika. I look forward to seeing you again." And then to where she'd laid her things over the back of her chair, still smirking. Nothing but jest meant in calling him wicked. It was in her tone. "If you two would be so kind, I would not be against the company."

"You are just finding that out?" Words lowered for her ears mostly unless any of the others had exceptional hearing. Grin was there it was spoken through under his breath.

He stood and carried his glass over to the bar, placing it there before nodding. "Of course, Vanessa. We'll be glad to." He inclined his head slightly toward Malaika. "Good night, Malaika. Rest well."

"Thank you. The rest of you have a good night as well." She smiles and nods to them all, moving to head up and find her room. She would have to investigate this land. Now that she was getting back into traveling again, it wouldn't be a bad idea.

Picking up her cloak and gloves, she looked back to Segan with a smile. "Your charms cover it well enough." Cloak drawn up over her shoulders before pulling her gloves over her hands.

If she had things to carry, they would lighten her load if not take it up complete between the two.

All Vanessa had was her cloak and gloves, and Tennison waiting outside for her.

He would help her with her cloak and a hand to cup her elbow as they headed out. She'd be flanked by Quinns.

And what woman would complain about that?! "Thank you." For help with the cloak, she followed the two out and stopped long enough to pick up Ten's reins before making the walk home.

While their good-byes were said, Eion stepped outside to wait.  He watched the sky and that bright, bright moon until they came out then joined them in the walk.  He would be quiet of course but this time it was a thoughtful silence.



Date: 10-08-09
Poster: Mariah McCormick
Post # 10

Taking Father's Advice

Quiet evening had Mariah curled up in one of the wing backs in front of the hearth, mug of tea wrapped up in her hands soaking in the warmth as she watched the dance of flames over the logs. Mesmerized, her thoughts not even on earthly grounds they were so far away. The skirt wrapped up with her legs of a dark blue cotton matching the fitted top cut like a jacket. Slipper shoes were on the floor half under the chair.

Eion had returned to the manor after leaving early in the morning for training on the king's field. He had spent the day going over bills and such with Mel, his grandmother and aunt. Though Mel was the Stable Master, Eion was head of the family here, even if Uncle Brady was head of the whole family. It was a position he'd gladly give up, but he knew it was important to his family that he take care of responsibilities. Still, everything was in good order and they were pleased. He had finally escaped and before heading for the castle, decided on a drink. Maybe Segan would be here. He was dressed in a Aran sweater, in the natural shade of gray, with black pants tucked into black leather riding boots. His hair was neatly combed instead of going every which way. As he entered the tavern, he glanced around but hadn't spotted Mariah curled up in the chair. A quiet greeting was given to Alex as he accepted a glass of potcheen and the bottle.

Perhaps it was the sound of steps or perhaps it was the sound of another voice or even perhaps it was the presence felt before steps or voice were heard that had Mariah drawing back from those exotic lands she created in her mind and thoughts. Tipping her head around having large wide eyes seem even more so at that given angle as she caught sight of who came in. Caught sight with a traveling glance given from head to toe. She recognized Eion having met him before but perhaps in this moment she quietly got to really view him fully. A smile curled nonchalantly as she didn't interrupt his moment acquiring his drink and greeting of Alex. No, she would soak in the view appreciatively unhindered, unseen by him and by the time he might notice her before she would speak up otherwise, her eyes would be lifted to meet his with an unreadable twinkle in them.

He spotted her first in the mirror behind the bar, turning with glass and bottle in hand. "Good evening, Mariah. Good to see you again." Crossing the room, he motioned to one of the chairs, a slight smile curling his lips. He could very well be wondering at that twinkle in her eyes. "Do you mind if I join you?" If she said yes, he'd return to the bar.

She sat up quickly, uncurling in a smooth graceful way as stocking feet dipped from beneath the length of skirt to slip into the slipper-shoes waiting below. He might notice enclosed toes in black searching until the edge was found and drawn around before within. "I don't mind at all. I would enjoy your company." Slight tip of her head with a more curious look about those eyes, he seemed friendlier, a little more open and not so distant was it? "You're not much of a crowd man are you, Eion?"

She didn't need to put her shoes on just because of him but he didn't say anything, rather than embarrassing her. "Is it that noticeable?" He placed the bottle on a side table as he sat and then took a drink from the glass. He thought about explaining it was more mixed company but that might not be wise.

"Yes," which had a quick smile to follow like sunshine after the rain. "I would suspect there is a reason and that piques my curiosity but usually such mysterious reasons are not one a person really wishes to divulge. You become the quiet observer which for a woman can be just as intriguing for those mysteries hinted at. The look caught in your eyes when you don't realize. Perhaps even a sadness." And perhaps she was being too bold with one she barely knew. "If I start to let my imagination run too far, gently let me know." She might not be very good with a blunt harsh word.

"You may be right on what some might see but, I think it wiser to not dwell on certain things." He smiled more fully now, one that reached his eyes. "I'll let you know as gently as possible." He tended to treat most women either with polite distance or as he might one of his sisters. "Did you spend another night here?" He hadn't come into town except for in the morning so of course, he was curious if she intended to stay several days at the Thistle rather than the ranch.

"Never wise to dwell too long on anything that causes pain though sometimes it needs to be dwelled upon to get past it, if it is possible. I suppose," bottom lip tucking as she became uncertain but her smile was surely to follow, dispelling the other. "Aye, that I have. It is the hope, expressed wish of my father, that I socialize finally before life slips away and I find myself alone an old lady. Though, I can agree that it can slip away far too easily and we find it gone, I don't necessarily agree being alone as in never to marry is that horrid, the agreement to socialize in making friends so that you are not alone when those golden years descend." She had her demons there too though not as his might be, they were still obstacles. "So I am to spend a few nights, perhaps a few weeks here. A holiday from being the head of a household that is not really mine." Which she quickly covered up any emotion that very thought provoked once spoken she had not realized it would. She didn't want to become doom and gloom but her fingers were tightly wound around her mug as if that gave her stability in these uncharted lands of socialization. "Unfortunately no one has been around tonight until now. I plan to visit some of the places I've always known about but never had time for. Such as the Celtic Garden. Have you been there?" Which would only drive home the point of a newcomer
seeing it before she had when she lived here all her life.

"I've heard of it but no, I haven't been there." He cleared his throat slightly then continued. "I uh ... tend to shy away from some things. When I first came here, I wasn't sure I should stay. The things I saw, and felt were more than a bit un-nerving. I'm doing better but one step at a time is the best way to describe my approach I guess." Sounded a bit odd when he said it but it wasn't easy to explain.

Which at first she wasn't sure what he meant. "That which is not considered of the norm? Such as the Fae and their twilight lands that border ours, unseen, most of the time? I think what might help is when you take a good look at life and realize there is nothing normal about it at all, nothing stable when we are born to eventually die rendering this reality only a passing faze. To where? Unknown though many are the speculations. Like the other unknown, might as well accept them for there are more unknowns than known." If she was making any sense at all. "I think it is better approached as a surprise each day that what was unknown becomes known rather than avoiding that which is not understood or not known." Which had a laugh slip free with her smile then covered up with the lift of her mug for a drink.

He chuckled as he listened, then nodded. "Well, that was what I ended up doing." He thought! "And I've not run into anything that has set me to running off screaming, so I guess I'm doing something right. I spend a good many years in the service of others, and away from Ireland that I suppose I lost that ... sense of wonder." He wasn't sure if that was the right explanation either but it was as close as he could get.

"I'm sure there are good reasons to have one's sense of wonder stifled for a time but can one really lose it? And if they could would that not be tragic?" Contemplating the thought had the edges of her lip dip in a slight frown. "Would it be like being alive but not living?" Closet analogy she could associate with it.

"Maybe not totally, but many adults do lose it." Now he wondered if he were still more the skeptic than his siblings but her final question had him nodding. "I think it's very much like that." And perhaps it explained why, like it had for his family, Heathfield had finally become part of him.


"That's what is sad, if they lose it altogether." There was a pause as she studied him in a curious way. "You have not lost it?" Slightly lifting her chin in a subconscious dare against the thought. The smile slipped in place reflecting a most wicked thought, "if you saw such that would have you running, and screaming, would it be a high pitch sound that would have everyone around cringing?" Yes, she was being terrible!

He watched her a moment before answering then smiled. "Heathfield has brought back what I lost when I left home." He leaned toward her, his expression serious. "I became a mercenary after I left home. I saw things that made me hard, cold and skeptical. And when I came here, I didn't think I could stay. But no, it was hidden not lost." He snorted, shaking his head. "I haven't screamed since I was a lad. As far as running, I think it would be more an easy gait unless it was something that intended to make me its lunch." His blue eyes held a twinkle as he picked up his glass and took a long drink.

She had to lighten the mood for the conversation was going to those darker places one preferred to keep in the dark. Although knowing at some point they needed to be dragged out into the light. A life as a mercenary had to be one of the cruelest of all in what a person had to see if they had a heart at all. Concern edged bronze green eyes. "I am pleased to hear, for yourself and your family, that it was only hidden and not lost. Otherwise your Grandmother would be taking you to task I'm sure." She knew enough living in the lands and stories told getting around, personalities of those new though one learned far more of any truths by meeting. It became interesting to find out how close they really were or how far. "I don't really think there would be too much that would scare you, or that you couldn't face." There was something strong, an inner strength, she felt around this man. "Though, if family were threatened.." that would be another story.

After a long and rather odd day, Vanessa opted stop at the tavern before making her way to the cottage. Tennison was left to stand and rest as Vanessa made strides to the door. Reaching for the door, she managed to get it open before the hem of her cloak was tugged on. Turning, she looked out over the steps then down when another tug occurred and there was a strange clicking sound that came from....a spider monkey. Tugging and clicking. Releasing her grasp on the door knob, she waved her hands at the silly thing. "Go on, shoo." Not trying to be unkind, she recognized the thing and it was far from where she'd last seen it. "Go on. Go home." The creature mimicked her waves and shooing gestures with more clicks.

Walking until he came to the tavern, the massive bronze dragon would look around, following the scent of Vanessa, before looking down to her. She was with...a monkey? The massive bronze was about two-hundred feet from nose to tail with his wings tucked close to his body. This would be the first time he had appeared to the tavern in his dragon form. Screams may come, but he would deal with them, and knew that 'Vanessa would be able to calm everyone.

"Gran was concerned for me and fussed, but I'm fine now." He chuckled softly. "Well, I haven't seen anything as of yet, but I think after my initial training, I'm over worrying about it. I went up against the four Horsemen." She had grown up in Heathfield and would know who he meant. "But yes, if my family was threatened, I'm not sure my family would like what they see."

"I hear she is a very nurturing woman. Kind words have filtered about the lands and on your family as a whole. Melantha with the horses and how well they do at the races. Mary in her visits to other elderly ladies. Even your youngest sister, Concessa, had represented the lands well along with the MacKay brothers. Davin, your cousin has been doing a wonderful job with the lighthouse. Conor with his expertise on leather, Segan for his proficiency and seeing Andre Bovee through on emergency runs and yourself, aspiring warrior that will probably be knighted under King Karl himself."

Where his ears ringing just a little? A hand lifted to tug on an earlobe as he headed up from the port. Cooler night had him in heavier britches, thicker leather boots lancing up to just below the knee, woolen tunic over a buccaneer shirt and a light cape over all along with a Stetson he had bought at the Hollow Woods mercantile. One of black that contrasted against blond hair.

The door was pulled closed to keep the cold air from filtering into he tavern as she stood and looked at the little primate. "Go home." Morjin's landing was rather hard to miss, and likely none would make a fuss over his arrival. A wave and smile to the dragon. "Eve, Morjin." Then attention dropped once more to the monkey as he clicked once more at her. "You're not going away, are you? I'm not sure I can take you into the tavern." Maybe she should try putting him in a tree instead.

"If you have gone up against the four, that is a most wonderful sign. Though," and light laughter under her tone, "you may not have felt like it on the field." There seemed to be a commotion outside as she was up from her comfortable seat to give a look towards the darkened windows to the front of the tavern. "Did you hear something?"

"Good eve, Lady Vanessa." The voice from the dragon would sound as though a storm was rumbling in. Leaning his large muzzle down to her, golden, slitted eyes would take her in, as well as the monkey that seemed not to want to leave her alone. "Do you want me to take this little one away? It seems to be bothering you."

"No, it didn't and when I did face them, I wasn't in very good shape." He nodded as he stood and watched her move to the window. "Aye, I heard something. Do you see anything out there?"

"No no..." She shook her head to Morjin. "He is pet to a friend of mine that I went to see today. I'm not sure why he followed me." Another tug on her skirt, the critter bounced up to grab onto her hand as she tried to wave him off and used her arm to climb up to her shoulder. She squinted up her face and lifted her shoulders some with a squeak. "Oh please go home..." She thought to reach up and grab it until it started separating her curls, looking around with more clicks.

She approached the window as she cupped her hands to see out through it for the light behind her. "All I see is a kind of wall, not sure what was put there made up of plates." That was about it, a section of such a large dragon and wasn't seeing the forest for the tree. She backed away, "there is a woman out there talking to some small animal," turning away as she didn't wish to come off as spying when it was only curiosity.

Grin was growing as he got closer and caught the antics of the spider monkey with Vanessa. At least it was not his that was bothering her as he had acquired one from Aleric Traugott. One that was known to cause mischief in the lands and so on a ship it might be curtailed. "Hey little fellow," swinging up over the rail of the porch down the one side being Morjin was blocking the area otherwise. Feet landing solid as he headed down the length of the porch. "Evening Vanessa," then swung a look out over the rail and up. "Morjin," before he ducked back under to approach. "I can go get him some bananas from the kitchen, he might just be hungry and such have him on his way so no one steals his fare."

"I believe it has taken a liking to you. It might feel that it belongs with no one but you." His head tilts some, and the massive wall of plates seen from the window would shift some, so the dragon would be sitting on his rear, and now the presence of the one called Segan would have him nodding. It seemed that this one accepted his presence, so he would simply sit silently, watching and listening.

Hayley had made it back to the Thistle Tavern. Found it quite warming. She had to come back. The door would open and in the woman went. A smile was given to those as she entered. She remembered them from a few nights ago. To the bar she went. Decided that it would be good to get some cider.. if they had it. For some reason she had a slight craving for the drink.

"Well, if it's not Kaylea MacKay, I'm not sure who it might be. Hopefully they're both come inside. It's cold out there." He was watching the window, frowning as the 'wall' moved. Hopefully whatever it was would be careful of the other buildings out there.

A lopsided smirk to Segan. "Eve, Segan. Hopefully something so simple would send him on his way." She looked at Morjin. "Oh dear I hope not. I'm not sure I could handle a monkey at the cottage with the birds." Celestine must have bribed the creature to follow her as some sort of joke. She watched as Hayley passed right by and then turned attention to Segan. "If you would be so kind. It's cold out here and I'm sure Alex would prefer not have the monkey in the tavern." Asking for the bananas.

It had been a long day, but a good one, the sort of day that left you tiredly satisfied at the end of it. Full of hard work and small accomplishments. Needless to say she was enjoying her work at Vanessa's bird menagerie - enjoying it very much indeed. It was wonderful having something to do, some higher purpose beyond just survival and gaining a little something for herself... even if it was just picking up rat-leftovers and cleaning out cages. She was responsible in some small way for the birds' health and happiness, and that felt good. Karina had even started wearing some of the dresses that Vanessa had handed down to her, mainly because she hadn't had much market time yet to buy anything else. Tonight it was a simple dress of pale green spotted with little darker green flowers, a common sort of material and hanging fairly loose on her lanky frame. Of course she wore her heavy boots beneath it, hopefully shattering any image that was too 'girly'. And so up she tromped, humming a little ditty to herself. Spotting Segan and Vanessa on the porch, and the dragon she'd grown used to seeing she offered a grin and wave.

"We shall see," as Hayley passed by he caught the door and headed in behind her and straight off to the kitchen. He hadn't noticed his brother yet but when he came out with a small basket of fruit, he stopped dead in his tracks. There he was with a lady, one they had both met the other evening. "Evening Eion. Mariah, Hayley," sweeping grin, as he slightly indicated the door and beyond with the lift of the basket before continuing onward and outward to see to the little spider monkey. He set it on the rail, leaving it to the little beastie to make a decision.

So far so good, it didn't seem that people were screaming or running in terror from the massive bronze dragon sitting outside of the tavern. Morjin would watch all the comings and goings, occasionally looking in through one of the windows with the huge golden eyes to see who all was inside the tavern. But then would look away just in case it unnerved people.

"Oh my, there is a dragon outside," realizing such for the certain kind of eyes and massive face. "It's not the blue dragon though," a fleeting look to Eion but then realized he would not know whom she spoke on. Though caught up short and direction of thought altered, "Hayley, how nice to see you again. Segan, I like your hat," though he did look handsome in it, she'd not say so for it would come off probably the wrong way even if he did and that be all there was to it. She eyed Eion, maybe wondering how he would look in one.

Those dresses were comfortable and not overly fancy. Just enough to look like a dress rather than a burlap sack. Vanessa waited patiently while the little monkey went on playing with her hair. When Segan returned, she smiled to him and turned monkey side to the railing. The little beastie hopped down and started going through the fruits until finding something it wanted, and went on to eat. "Thank you, Segan." Silly monkey. She was going to have to kick  Celestine. A smile to Karina. "Eve, Karina. Want a monkey?"

Segan needn't get any ideas in his head. Outside he could hear someone yelling but not in fear. The dragon was blocking the road and a merchant was telling him to 'move his arse'. "He can't be very comfortable. Not very roomy out there." He just gave his brother a look but didn't say a word.

A blink at that rather strange question, though her eyes moved quickly to the monkey on Vanessa's shoulder and she understood. Sort of. A crooked smirk lifted her lips.  "Wish I had a silver every time someone asked me that.... gonna have to pass on the offer though. Don't think Amergin would be too pleased with that thing as a brother." She answered both Vanessa and Segan.

Morjin would lift his tail, since that would be the only real major roadblock, and lets the merchant pass. That wasn't something anyone had ever told him before. If the dragon weren't in his right mind, he would be sure that this land had all gone mad. But he would remain silent, nodding to those that greeted him.

"Aye, Karina, one to wear on your back," teasing her but he noticed how much better she looked. More alive, not dragged out, something there certainly.



Date: 10-08-09
Poster: Mariah McCormick
Post # 11

"Evening.. Segan." She smiled as she was greeted then took to sitting down on a barstool. Looked around her for a bit before she ordered the cider she was craving. Hoped they surely had it.

A little snicker to Segan's comment, she nodded to Karina. "Aye. Hopefully he will find his way home." She looked at Morjin curiously. If it were warmer, she'd insist on staying outside, but given that it was cold..."I'm  freezing." She pointed at the monkey, eyes narrowed. "You, stay or go home." More spoken jokingly than seriously, but she really didn't want that monkey at the cottage.

"Evening, Hayley." He sat again, taking up his glass again. The merchant passed on by, soothing his mule and muttering about critters and taking up the road. The folks here knew they were safe due to the wards the Druid Prince had put in place.

The tavern was known for its apple cider, potcheen and Irish stew. Which covered three staples. "I'm sure he will find his way home, very smart animals, keen witted and fast." To reassure her on the little beastie. He took up the basket in what was left to bring back inside in returning to the kitchen. At least if he teased Eion over Mariah, she was a pretty one and seemed just as nice. He might just do it too, later, getting into a good ole roll with his brother. "How are you tonight, Karina?" Holding the door as some were still more out than in that might want to come into the warmth offered within.

"Could just put him in one of the empty bird cages, couldn't ya?" Karina offered while eyeing the little creature thoughtfully. She'd never seen one in person before, only heard of them as being part of circus acts and such.

Nodding to Vanessa, he would stay outside while she went in to escape the cold. He would take his more human form, but it wasn't something he was too keen on.

A nod to what Segan said, she shook her head to Karina. "I'm not sure. I doubt Celestine puts him in one, so it might not be wise to do. Perhaps if he's left out here, he will just go home." Turning to the door, she stepped in. "Thank you, Segan." Shiver, she removed her gloves to rub her hands together and waited there for Karina.

She was back to the window to take a look with a better perspective on the dragon. Had her smiling to herself as he seemed friendly to even want to be around humans. Then back around as she was over to stand by the fire, rocking slightly on the balls of her feet with her hands behind her to the warmth.

Karina shrugged to Vanessa, who probably knew more about such things than she did. Segan's question earned the quick flash of a smile across her impish face. "None too bad, and ya's?" In she went under Segan's arm after Vanessa, not seeming too chilled in the cold even without any sort of jacket or shawl.

Morjin felt eyes on him, and lowers his head enough to see that someone had been watching him then walked away. The massive dragon would have some chipped scales here and there, and scars that could be seen that hadn't fully healed, which told that this dragon had seen many a battle in his long long life. Now he moves to lay himself on the ground, keeping as much out of the road as possible, and not to block the other buildings.

"Evening to you as well." Course Hayley didn't remember everyone's name. She smiled to the man as she was greeted and soon enough she was presented with cider! "Cider! Thanks!" She paid Alex and smiled. Then in that instant she took a drink of the cider and smiled. "Perfect." She said to herself. Yep she got excited over cider.

He felt like London Bridge which had a smile growing. "I'm doing right as rain," so the saying went and certainly there had been enough rain over the past two days. Now that Vanessa was within, he stepped in behind, closing the door off to the cold. There was the heady scent of peat burning in the fire along with the regular logs. Gave him that feel of home. So he stood there a moment just soaking it in.

"Ahh...smells good in here," Karina sighed contentedly, echoing Segan's thoughts as she paused for a second to suck in a deep breath. Mmm, peat. Now that the weather was growing cooler, that smell was comforting and even luxurious for her. A wave was given to Alex but she glanced around first, seeing who was within, checking on empty tables and such.

No time to waste! Vanessa went right to the fireplace and held her hands out towards the source of the warmth to start collecting. She was going to need heavier outwear. Seeing Eion and Mariah, she smiled and waved to both. "Eve."

First there had been no one for some time before Eion came, now there were many. She was thoughtful enough to head for the bar and down the one area where the lads waited when they had time to possibly pick up a few coins. A coin offered for the one bigger lad to take out a large pail of water for the dragon outside. At least he would not go parched. Once the minor task was accomplished, she was around in a swirl of skirt and headed back to the fire where her drink sat upon an armchair table.

Alex would give the money back after explaining that the drinks, food and rooms were free due to the generosity of the Crown. Eion stood as Vanessa and Karina entered, then sat again. "Evening, Karina, Vanessa, Segan." And once more he picked up his drink.

Morjin was surprised to see that someone was coming with water for him. Was this a different world he had passed into somehow? There were a lot more people, but again, no screaming and running. After giving a soft thanks to the one that left the water there for him, he leans his muzzle in and laps it up. He was indeed thirsty, but it hadn't bothered him. But he wouldn't turn down the gesture.

"Karina, have you met Hayley and Mariah?" Rounding the bar to drop off the remains of fruit in the small basket, he picked up a glass of potcheen and bottle before heading over to the hearth where his brother was rooted.

"How are you?" Inquired to Mariah with a smile to Eion for his greeting. Fro a moment, she looked to Alex. "Cider, please." Then turned her attention back to Mariah. She moved off to the side of the hearth so as not to be in anyone's way.

"Hiya, Eion." Karina waved again cheerily as she greeted the eldest Quinn brother. About to say something more to him she turned back when Segan spoke. "Uh... don't think so, no." The skinny seventeen-year-old turned to said ladies with a crooked smile. "Hullo."

Smile warmed as an informal introduction was given. "Hello Karina, nice to meet you." Hands tucked behind her back as she once more rocked on the balls of her feet. Only Eion might pick up on the slight tick for one not use to socializing and there were quite a few tonight. The rocking ceased with the touch of color to her cheeks but her smile was like sunshine after a rain towards Vanessa. "I am doing very well. I am organizing the woolen shop to my means to make it easier. How are the training of the avians coming along? There is much a buzz in town over them."

She shook her head." I think I met Mariah the other night I was here. Though I haven't met Karina." She sipped on the cider. Loved this stuff and now that it was cooler, it meant more cider.

Once the water had been fully consumed, Morjin would lean his head closer to the windows. He could see that one of the females seemed to be rather...anxious. He felt the same usually when he was around a lot of people, hence why he was out here instead of in there.

"Nice to meetcha..." She offered in return with another little grin. Karina couldn't exactly be called shy but, like Mariah, she still wasn't entirely used to such polite social exchanges. So after the introductions, she reached up to scratch beneath her mop of coppery curls - now growing longer towards her shoulders - and turned back to Eion. "Guess what Eion? I taught Amergin a new trick."

He saw and gave her a quick wink to reassure. He wasn't one for crowds either as she had noted but he withdrew somewhat. In spite of Segan's efforts to draw him out.

Brow quirked to hear about the buzz. "I'm glad to hear that you're shop is coming along and you are doing well. The birds are doing quite well. It's easy to see that those used to it, are preparing for the colder weather."

Then she realized that he was speaking to Karina and not her. She just laughed to herself in that. "I think he was talking to you.. " Turned to Karina and smiled. Didn't let it get to her. Some things just rolled off Hayley, this was one of them.

Just how flustered she was, trying to keep up, she picked up her drink and went to nonchalantly sit in her seat. Except it wasn't her seat as she found out in a shocking surprise, finding the bend of a knee beneath her bum. Up she went with a gasp and near slosh of her drink in hand but managed to hold onto it. Eion under her sights and sure she should be mortified and duly was but she started laughing like something to happen right out of one's worse nightmare. Free hand to her chest before she finally sucked in the last light laugh. "I'm sorry, I didn't see you there!"

"Aye, introducing Karina to you and Mariah," which the sight underway had him smirking. Oh yes, later was going to be fun with his brother. Not here and done at the expense of the young lady. No.

She let out a snort of laughter herself at Mariah's small mistake, but it wasn't a laugh of derision, just honest amusement at a funny situation.

Well, he was about to answer Karina when he suddenly had a Mariah on his lap. He blinked then chuckled, offering a wink to reassure her. "Quite all right." Though he did wonder how she missed him! Then he looked toward Karina again. "What did you teach him?" Segan was going to be trying for a fight tonight, wasn't he?

Vanessa laughed quietly, leaving her place at the hearth to travel herself to the bar for the mug of cider that Alex had set out for her. Thanking him, she removed her cloak now that she was warmed and left it hang over the back of  a stool, then retrieved her mug and held it in both hands to further warm cold fingers.

Of course. Like the good ole times in Eire.

Hayley grew quiet for now as she sipped the cider. She was happy to have the cider. Took to listening to those around her. Leaned a bit on the bar for now.

As long as it wasn't in the street outside of the Thistle again. Last thing they'd need would be for Herself to hear of another one.

It was best she separate herself from the aspiring knight and heat of the hearth when her face was heated up enough already one would think she'd been in the sun. He was in conversation so she was off to the bar to refresh her drink. This time it would be plain cider over the punch.

Glancing back to Eion her face lit into another smile. "I'll get him so you can see for yourself," she answered, or rather called over her shoulder, as she took off and vaulted up the stairs. A light thudding of feet would be heard overhead as she headed down the hall to the room she occupied, where she greeted Amergin with an affectionate rumpling of the ears. Then she was back down the stairs, only this time there was a half-grown husky pup running at her heels.

It was rather chilly outside, but the dragon knew how to keep himself warm. When he increased his inner fire, his bronze scales would shimmer and glow a bit, a warm aura surrounding his massive frame. Anyone that came within five feet of his presence would feel the warmth, as if the sun had come out and warmed the day.

"How have you been Hayley, have you stayed the nights here or back to where you are from?" He had met a few and realized he didn't remember exactly where she was from or even if it had been mentioned.

She turned to Segan and set her cider upon the bar." Staying here. Traveling back to where I was.. well I may end up lost to be honest." A laugh was given as she spoke. "I do like it here. Reminds me a bit of home." Nope Hayley hadn't mentioned where she was from.  "And I have been good by the way." Added that in with a smile.

He was watching Mariah though features unreadable, one that shifted to Vanessa as she too reached the bar. Blue eyed glance dipping back away to Hayley again. "Is it that far? Although you can remain  here as long as you like." Far as he knew that was how the tavern was set up. No obligations or pressure. "Where do you hail from?"

He called the pup over to greet him, then once there had been plenty of scratches and pets, sat back to see his new trick.

Vanessa seated herself on a stool and was content to collect warmth from the mug while watching and listening to the others for the moment. Light smile in place, she looked curiously to Hayley as Segan inquired where she was from.

Amergin, of course wasn't doing any sort of tricks without greeting the group first. The exuberant pup nearly tripped over himself to go and nuzzle Segan's leg, though at Eion's call he danced thataway to greet him too. Karina smirked, and then once she'd commanded the pup to sit down, cleared her throat. "Amer -Take a bow," she ordered in a flourishing tone. Immediately, the husky pushed his front half down, his little rump in the air as he pressed his
head onto his paws in the canine imitation of a human bow. Karina broke into a grin.

Conor was involved in that one. No, he would avoid the streets and certainly the reason was more the normal ruckus between two brothers than a real brawl. Smile touched blue eyes that lifted beyond Hayley to Vanessa. Just that moment of contact as he was certainly aware of her presence here. He had yet to come for the training of the hawk too but it would come about soon.

She nodded."Truthfully it's pretty far and thank you. I may stay for quite some time in the lands. " She thought for a bit and the shrugged." Oceanna. It burned down in a war or something. Since then I've just been from place to place letting the breeze take me wherever. Hoping to find a place to plant my feet on a grow so to speak."

A quick hand was down, distracting him there to Amergin for a pet of head, ruffling of fur before he was off towards his brother and he straightening.

He grinned as he watched the pup then applauded. "Well done, lad. You're doing a good job with him, Karina."

She caught the moment of attention and returned the smile to him softly and just as brief. Audible attention on Hayley for her answer, she looked at the pup as he did his new trick and smiled. "Cute." Her attention went back to Hayley. "Following the breeze is an interesting way to get to different places."

"I'm sorry to hear that about your lands. Sounds like some island out at sea," a place he had not heard of but with the word Ocean in it, most likely near or on the sea. He too raised his hands in applause as Amergin showed off quite expertly.

"How adorable," coming from the quiet Mariah, or so she had been after the incident. It would take her a while to be able to speak to Eion again though he would not know that. The glass of cider and distance had helped heated cheeks to cool as well her embarrassment.

Eventually Eion would figure that out and make a point of talking to her, especially if he brought Herself to the Wool Shop.

"Suppose I'm like a dandelion one of those ones you blow.. and the little white feathery thing goes until it finds its place to remain." Said to Vanessa as she smiled. Then she adverted attention back to Segan."It's alright. Things like that happen. It was a very nice place though and you are right about it being and island. It was in a sort."

"Thanks," she replied to Eion still with that quietly proud grin as she gestured Amergin to sit up again, and fed the pup a little treat from her pocket. "He's pretty easy to teach, he's so smart and loves t-r-e-a-t-s so much." She  spelled the word out because indeed, Amer was smart enough to recognize that ever-important word. Leaning down, she lavished a few moments of attention on the pup.

"If I'm not mistaken," recalling something his grandmother had said, "they can drift for many, many, miles before they land." Thoughtful pause as words lowered, "life is about changes that never cease until you are no longer here. I would even venture they continue after this adventure."



Date: 10-08-09
Poster: Mariah McCormick
Post # 12

A nod was given to Hayley and what she said and agreed with Segan. "When things stop changing and adventures end, you should worry. But the breeze brought you here to make new friends and it seems to be working well."

He leaned back in his chair, glancing at Mariah but didn't say anything. He didn't want to add to her embarrassment, though he'd talk to her in a few moments. Eyes closed slightly as he watched the dancing of the flames.

"Aye, when days of smooth sailing last, be certain the worse storm you've yet to encounter is most likely brewing and will hit when least prepared. I think Fate gets her laughs this way. See how industrious and  innovated the human spirit can be. If they are to judge the angels one day, they will certainly have to earn that right or lose it all."

"Well then I've drifted many, many, miles in that case." She nodded in response to Vanessa. "It does. And I find myself liking it here as well." She then picked up the cider and drank some more of it. "I say just go with the flow of things. Maybe I'll settle here, so far I like it."

"Heathfield is easily addicting and the people here are quite comforting. I found that out for myself as I've only recently become a resident here, myself."

Having tuned out for just a moment, she glanced up again, gaze lingering on Segan as he uttered those words. Too right, she thought to herself. Straightening up from Amergin, she left the pup to his sniffing about and grabbed herself a seat at the hearth as well.

He lays his head down, continuing to watch the others inside through the window. would be good for him to be inside instead of outside. No one was trying to kill him, and as long as he kept his guard up, he could be safe. There would be a golden flash outside of the windows where the dragon could be seen, then a few moments later, a tall man enters the tavern. He stood between six and a half, and seven feet tall. His aristocratic face seemed to have been chiseled from pure rock. Golden hair was swept back and hanging down to his shoulders, and golden eyes watching the others as he makes his way to an empty table in the shadows. Old, beat-up bronze armor was on his person,  clanking slightly as he walked. At his side, an old sword was sheathed. His ears, if one looked closely, seemed Elven in appearance, except that the lobes held more of a fin-like quality, showing he was more than what he appeared to be. He would remain silent the entire time as he watches and listens to the others.

She was content to listen, all emotions easing out to mellow and leaving a smile that ghosted upon her features. The race of her heart back to normal, watching would help her more than obviously blundering. The dragon man would find that if anyone tried to harm him here in this particular part of the kingdom, they would be oust by the guards and if they were magical based, by the Wards in place.

"How long ago did you drift here?" Hayley had let her attention to Vanessa as she asked and took to finishing off the cider. Half tempted to get more.

Cider, now there was a good idea. She sucker-punched Segan lightly on the arm as she passed by, just 'cause he wasn't paying attention and she could. Then she skipped quickly out of reach to the bar to order a drink from Alex.

"I can't say I quite drifted here. I was introduced to Heathfield by Queen Sariyelle who often came to visit her friends. When released of my duty, this was the place that called to me. I took up residence here at the tavern for a week or so, then opted to stay. Segan was kind enough to get me on the right path here to find a home of my own and open the Avian Gardens." Smile given to Segan in silent thanks before sipping from her mug.

Segan was distracted though listening to the conversation turned to Vanessa in particular. He recognized the man coming in now associated as being the dragon as well. "Evening Morjin." Greeting him cordially. Although he wasn't sure who he had met or not of those within. "If you have not met, Karina," indicating each as their names were spoken, "Hayley and Mariah." Smile came around as eyes met with Vanessa though a bit delayed. He had been honored to have helped her out and others made the effort in her being welcome as one of them, as well himself. Absently his hand moved up to rub at his arm. Though hard to tell if he didn't really know and did it on purpose. Shifting of dark blue eyes held a certain glint of eventually getting even.

"Good evening." He would nod to Segan. His voice was still a bit rumbly as he spoke. At the introductions to the ladies in the tavern, he would nod to all of them in turn. He was a creature of few words, no matter which form he took.

The mug that had been lifted for a cooling drink of the cider was lowered as she heard her name. Her thoughts had drifted but now the man was studied being introduced. Her smile soft as was her greeting, "nice to meet you Morjin," hoping she had his name right as it was different.

Hearing Segan's greeting, she smiled to Morjin and waved to him. "Hello again, Morjin."

"Oh." She nodded in that and smiled at Vanessa's answer. Got the idea simply she was in another kingdom. She offered her a smile. Then she gave a wave over to the one she was introduced to. "Good to meet you." Smile given as always.

Once more, nodding to the females as they greeted him. Lady Vanessa was the only one he really knew at the moment, but he wouldn't stay too close to her so she could socialize better.

Karina added her own wave to the man who'd just walked in. She recognized him from a few times prior, but now stored the name away to memory. Cider in hand, she thanked Alex and then meandered back towards the hearth, nudging Amergin gently with a booted toe as he immediately came over to investigate her cup. And Karina caught the shifty eyes and attempted to look innocent. Uh oh. Retribution was coming her way, she could feel it. Note to self: teach Amergin to attack the any of the Quinns on command!

Looking back to Hayley, she offered a sheepish grin. "It's not a very adventurous story of my arrival here. I suppose when it comes to level of adventure, I'm a bit naive and boring."

"I'm sure the adventures will catch up to you to make up for it, Vanessa." Teasing her as it came easy for him to do so. Amergin would probably attack them with slobbers.

Brow quirked up, she smirked to Segan. "If I hang around you enough, I'm sure they will, trouble maker."

"Nah." She would smile. "I doubt you are boring and naive. Course I could be wrong." She would say that last line in jest of course. Smiled way in that, hoping Vanessa wouldn't take offense to it.

That's right, slobbers of DOOM. Karina smirked to herself as she sipped at her cider, just listening now to the conversation as it flowed around her.

A light laugh to Hayley. "You're quite wrong. I never had the chance to travel much when I was in duty to the queen." Not that she had much desire to travel at that point. Still didn't, really. Not often, at least.

Their epitaph would read, death by drowning under a slobbering canine. "You are certainly not boring. Naivety, well, it has it merit over the opposite and will be lost in time as one learns.. things.." which he didn't add to, especially being she was naive.

"Well then maybe you should try it." She nodded in that." Did you enjoy doing when you were a lady in waiting?"

"I very much enjoyed my time in service to the Queen. She was very kind and I learned a lot from her." She smiled to Hayley before looking to Segan. She wasn't even really sure what to say to that. "I will have to take your word for it."

At which Karina smothered a set of snickers.

Another nod was given and she smiled to Vanessa." Now that something I never got to do. Course I never wanted to, in honesty. That would be an interesting adventure for me. But I'm happy just right where I am."

"It's a very selfless lifestyle." Which wasn't to mean anything against Hayley, but when in a position such as that, then you devoted all of your time to the one you serve.

Which had a growing smile, a lazy kind of one she got to see once in a while. Nothing more needed to be said on that particular matter. "You have not met the queen here yet?" An offshoot of the conversation but it came to mind and moved away from one that could get embarrassing.

He was listening silently to the others as they converse, not making a chuckle or anything, even when there was something amusing being said. He had his back to the wall, making sure no one could get him back there. It was... peaceful in here. A friendly atmosphere. Just as it had been the last time he came. Perhaps he could stay in his human form a while longer.

Karina turned to Segan, gaping her surprise. "You have a queen here?" Clearly showing how far she'd been living away from that caste of society. Below it even, we could say.

She was watching the various expressions aside the conversations at hand. Glass of cider lifted from time to time leaving it to cool her throat. She had settled down a lot at this point, almost to completely comfortable.

"Aye, it is said that she could walk in here tonight and you' not know the difference, although it is also said she has a certain grace about her. She's part Fae so that might explain it or something else."

Gentle shake of her head, she looked to Segan. "No, I've not met her. I'm hoping that she received the lovebirds. Though I'm sure she's got much more important things to do." It was kind of shrugged off for another drink of her cider.

"You'd know." He finally piped up, leaning his head back against the chair as he did. "In spite of her being very down-to-earth, you'd know." He had been very impressed with the Queen.

Now it was Eion's turn to receive her gape-eyed gaze, as she turned her face towards him. "You've met her?"

She had been there when Eion was tested, as well he had been there. Though he had not met the Queen in person he got to see her as she didn't wish to interrupt.

"I've seen her, with the King, but not met her formally. That will come if ... when I'm knighted." He smiled slightly at the lass.

Hayley went silent again. A content sort of silent. Listening to everyone as they talked amongst themselves. So debated on more cider. Cider and cookies.. that sounded good.

"When you are, o' course." She returned the smile almost tentatively. There had been times in the past when she'd felt an unnamed sort of resistance from the eldest Quinn brother. But he seemed friendly enough now. Karina took a gulp of cider, then set down the empty mug and scooped Amergin up into her lap instead.

She was almost tempted to say something about some things she overheard but then decided to keep them for now. "I wonder if they will have some of the events they had run before."

She listened quietly and sipped from her cider again. A smile was offered to Morjin before looking between Karina and Eion, taking in their conversation. "When. That's a good word." Nodding to Eion. A glance given to Segan then to Mariah. "Events?" Curious now.

Eion was mellowing out. Maybe.

Don't count on it.

His features would soften enough to give a small smile to Vanessa, but once her attention was on the others in the room, the smile would disappear.

"Oh yes, though I had not gone to many of them." Turning attention Vanessa's way. "There is the fishing contest of Ole One Eye at the lake. There is the rapids to run, the water gauntlet though I doubt that will be used again until next spring. There is the regular Gauntlet to run. They pad you up enough not to get hurt." Ones looking like Humpty dumpty. "There are balls, winter solstice one. There were some smaller events like haggis throwing." She knew she was probably missing some of them but that was a good account. She didn't say much more for she had been in a shell, not going to many of the events or there and watching, out of the main stream of gaiety.

Mariah's mention of balls and galas had her thoughts turning away, far away to places they actually hadn't traveled recently. Bringing back memories that felt very old but still stung a bit. Eyes turned down to her pup as she ruffled up his thick, soft fur, eliciting a soft sigh from Amergin in return.

"Hm.." Thoughtfully hummed as she listened to Mariah list off the various events. Most of which she had never heard of, though the thought of going to a ball sounded like fun.

She ordered another cider... simply couldn't resist. And cookies. She wanted cookies. Asked for those as well. She would pay once more for the cider and now cookies. She would take in to hearing the events that went on here.  Seemed quite interesting in truth.

Alex would discreetly slide back her coins as all was paid for in this tavern. She could save them for when she went to one of the other taverns or stores.

When the cider and cookies were brought to her she took to dipping the cookies in the cider. Strange maybe? Yes, definitely. But that was Hayley for you. She would give Alex an odd look but shrugged and smiled. "Thanks." With that she had her cookies and cider and smiled to everyone. "I think I'm going to head out for a bit and enjoy the night. Love this time of year!" She stood from her seat.

Vanessa smile to Alex and picked up a small chip of something off the bar to throw at Segan who'd gone quiet it seemed. Smiling to Hayley. "It was nice to see you again, Hayley. Perhaps again soon."

"Good night, Hayley." He spoke up from the chair then glanced at Mariah. She wasn't ready to talk, huh?

"Oh I'm not leaving. I'm just going to sit outside. I'll be back in, since I think I'm going to be staying another night." Said as she made way to the door and smiled.

"You will be safe while in the lands for that walk, otherwise keep your wits about you." Smile turned upon Hayley, "have a good evening."

A little smirk to her misunderstanding and a nod. Too cold for this bird outside except to travel to and fro when wanted or needed.

A thumbs up was given and out the door she went.

Did he get hit by something too? First punched and now things thrown! Ah yes, wicked glint to surface in blue eyes, a few to get back in time.

Oh good. It hit him. Not hard. Probably wasn't anything dangerous or she wouldn't have tossed it at him. Innocent smile, she drank down the rest of her cider and set the mug down.

Miss Quiet finally spoke up to Mister Quiet, "so where do you hail from Morjin," which gave her the opportunity to use his name again and better the chance not forgetting it.

He gives an inward smirk when Vanessa does that, though his face betrays none of his emotions. Now the one known as Mariah was speaking to him. Looking to her, he would speak in that soft rumble. "I have no real homeland. I am merely a wanderer in this world."

"No place you were reared when young even?" So curious as most had one spot they grew somewhat up in. "One to wander the world, you must have seen many things, many adventures to tell of."

He shakes her head to her first question, but to the rest, he would shrug. "I have seen the rise and fall of many nations in my time. I have seen and been part of many wars. And I have learned that the gods can be rather fickle about those that serve them, and those that do not."



Date: 10-08-09
Poster: Mariah McCormick
Post # 13

"In all those years have you earned a philosophy on life, that it does have meaning in spite of the cruelty and chaos of mankind?" Had he seen any hope?

And when Vanessa wasn't looking, Karina grabbed up a bit of paper and flicked it at the other girl's head. Then it was a quick glance away and innocent hum.

He saw that! Karina was looking for some trouble though of a good kind.

Gasp! She felt something hit her head and looked around. The innocent smile a dead give away though. The bit of paper was pulled from her hair, she flicked it back with a snicker. "Careful, Karina. I'll have that monkey follow you around."

"Then you'll certainly have a monkey on your back to tease and torment you!" Which came with a chuckle in teasing Karina.

"It isn't only humans that suffer from the trials of life. As humans seek to find a reason to their life, instead of living it to the fullest, they sometimes miss the little things that happen around them." He never sought for much of the philosophies, but he knew what he knew.

She snickered softly at Segan's teasing and nodded. "And he's a very odd monkey at that. He likes to separate curls." which made her hair kind of...well fuzzy. Sort of. But it was in a low pony tail so it didn't much bother her.

"You're enough of a monkey on my back, teasing me," she replied to Segan with a smirk. A quick reach up and she caught that paper Vanessa had thrown at her. She flicked it idly towards Segan instead this time.

Brow perked, she eyed Segan curiously with a grin. "That explains a lot."

"Their life span isn't as long as some others, so it is gone like a candle in the wind in comparison. Lucky are those who live it to the fullest and leave a mark in their passing of contributions than tribulation." More mussed as her father's words rung more clearly in her mind and knew his intentions and words had been kind than reprimanding.

A slight nod to her words, and his head tilts some in curiosity. He hadn't missed the paper fight going on, but now he was curious about this Mariah slightly. "You are a member of this land, are you not? I believe I might have seen you at a manor a night or two ago."

"What, you hadn't guessed before what a pain in the arse he can be?" That directed to Vanessa, with a sly teasing grin sent sidelong to Segan.

"Yes, born here. My father came a long time ago after the fall of the tyrant, the usurp Rath and the dark ages the lands had fallen to became light again." Which had her curiosity with a slight tip of her head, expression filled eyes upon him, "which manor was that?"

She smiled to Karina and shrugged. "He has his usefulness as well." Gleaned a smile with a glance to Segan who might not have been paying attention. Her comment was in jest though.

"I do not know the name of the occupants there, but it was one that seemed to raise horses. I had followed Lady Vanessa's scent there, and because the lands weren't suited for one my size, I kept my distance." His arms would cross over his broad chest.

He blinked back as he'd been listening to another conversation, though the paper was caught. He lifted it up, "ah, what have we here? A love note from Karina... to...." and he mumbled something inaudible.

He was listening though his eyes were closed. Might be time for him to head out soon. He was getting to that point.

"Oh, you must mean the Quinns, maybe the Lady Melantha that runs them?" She had not been there but figured she had been mistaken for another. "She is quite beautiful so I will take that as a compliment," giving him a warming smile though Melantha had really dark hair. It had been at night.

"Really? I can hardly believe that." She was gonna keep this going until Segan woke up - which he seemed to just then. Eyes widened at his words, before narrowing when she realized he was just making it up. "Ha-ha, funny.." She reached out to try to snatch the paper away anyway though.

A nod, and he looks to the two Quinn brothers. "It must have been, for they were there with Lady Vanessa as well."

Snickering quietly she looked to Mariah and Morjin with a nod. "It was at the stables a couple nights past. Melantha was there, with Gabriel."

He was waving it far above her head, "aye, aye. Harvey Wallerinbangerstonlinski." Like that could ever be repeated.

Just for that, Vanessa threw something else at Segan, for teasing Karina. Though she was running out of things, so balled up one of her gloves to throw at him.

Her eyes narrowed again, though she couldn't help but busting out in chortles at that ridiculous name. "I will have ya know - " she pawed the air unsuccessfully for the paper, "That Harvey.. Waller...shmallerwingerski.. " She tripped over her own giggles now, as Vanessa's glove went flying, "- is a catch, aye indeed!"

Nodding to Vanessa's confirmation, he then looks back to Mariah. "Perhaps at some time, I could visit your manor. Though I might not have my dragon form when I enter. It is not often that I take to it."

Hearing Karina, she leaned back in her seat, and started laughing. "What a name!" hearing Karina repeat it was funny.

He caught her glove and shoved it down the collar of his tunic with his one hand before letting the piece of paper drift to the bar.

Eyes widened when her glove disappeared. "Segan Quinn, you better return that glove!"

"I'm sure the Quinns would enjoy your company there in human form as it would not scare the horses overly. Though I've not been there. My father has the sheep ranch."

Which of course, counted as victory in Karina's book. She gave a triumphant smirk, plucking up the piece of paper, which of course was just a blank piece of parchment. She looked back up though when Vanessa spoke. A serious glance given to the other girl. "I think between you and me, we could take 'im down and get that glove back."

"What glove?" Like he knew nothing, nothing at all.

Ah...sheep. He had enough manners to hold himself back from mentioning  that her sheep ranch sounded rather delicious. "It sounds rather prospective."

From Segan to Karina, she shook her head. "I'm not diving my hand beneath his tunic. If he's stealing gloves, who knows what else he has hidden down there." She had to bite her tongue for a moment to keep from laughing. After a moment, she returned attention to Segan. "What glove my right foot. You'll give it back. You wouldn't want my hand to freeze during my walk home." An affirming nod to that., still trying not to laugh.

"Aye, indeed he is. The heartthrob of Heathfield and, you best have him on your arm next we see you here, aye?" Still teasing her. "Of course there is that other one you favor too..." she could wonder how many he might add to the list. "Martin Sheerheartthrobbing von Stealth." He had no idea where these names were coming from either!

Well, if Vanessa was shy about that, Karina certainly wasn't! She'd grown up around enough rough boys to not be afraid of a little wrestling. Especially when he went on with the next ridiculous name. "Aye, laugh now, Quinn!" She declared as she all but launched herself at him, quick and nimble, trying to hold his arms away while using the other hand to search for that glove - above the waist of course!

Blame Vanessa's upbringing!

He had a wealth of treasure hidden under his tunic? Actually the cuff of the glove stuck up from the collar.

Did Morjin have a hungry look to his eyes? Sheep were a delicacy for a dragon, mutton chops. Though he'd have her brother after him!

And she saw that, so hopped up off her stool and walked over to where he was so she could reach up to snatch the cuff of her glove from his tunic.

"Help, help, I'm being ravished," but look at that grin as he teased Karina.

Well he wouldn't take any unless they were offered of course. Being as old as he was, he wouldn't snatch sheep or cattle unless he was starving and had no choice. Otherwise, he would ask permission first. Or find one that had gone astray at one point or another. Seeing the ruckus that was being made, he smirks a little. "They all act like hatchlings."

Tch...bird comments. Hahaha!

Well, she was too busy just trying to tussle with Segan's arms that likely Vanessa would be able to snatch that glove more easily! "Ravished?" She repeated with a snort of laughter, "Don't be gross," that as she tried to go in for..  yes a NOOGIE. Of doom.

And there went the glove but a hand came down to swat Karina's derriere.

Vanessa was going to try and get out of the middle of that with her glove as quick as possible.

"It will get worse as the weather gets colder." He pushed to his feet and stretched his arms over his head, yawning. Not about to fall asleep here. "I need to head back to the barracks. Good night, all."

A smile to Eion. "Good night, Eion. Be safe and warm."

"HEY!" As she reached behind her to try to swat the offending hand back. "Night, Eion!" She still managed to call out from somewhere in the middle of the fray.

"Yes they do and I think they are having genuine fun, too." Smile rose like sunshine itself turned on Morjin before back to watching the three. "I think Segan is outnumbered but not complaining."

"I have learned from speaking with human males, that most tend to like having women either fight them, or fight over them. They believe the more women they have, the better their chances of having a variety of...:" What was that human term? "...Of pussycats to have."

"Pussycats," well that just had her laughing, light as chimes with the same lilt. Though she caught that Eion was leaving as she was over closer. "I really enjoyed our conversation and hope all goes well. I think if you wish to be a knight here, it will happen for you."

Luckily he didn't hear what Morjin called human offspring. Or he would have really bust into laughter. "I think it is getting late here as I must be up early for a run down the coast." Which he directed towards Eion so he could inform the others. He would be staying on his ship this night.

"Did I not say it right?" Hearing her laugh at his wording, he felt rather...self-conscious. This was one reason why he never much associated with humans. Their wordings got him confused. At least when he was in dragon form, most  were a bit reluctant to talk to him.

A tilt of her head as she heard Morjin. Went right over her head, which was likely a good thing. Returning to where she'd laid her cloak, it was picked up the other glove before draping the cloak about her shoulders. "Aye. It is time I retire."

"Thank you." He smiled as he picked up his glass and the nearly empty bottle. "I work hard enough so I hope so." He laughed then looked at Segan and nodded, though he wasn't going to the manor tonight. He would be after training. Blue eyes shifted to Mariah. "Are you staying here tonight again, Mariah, or returning to the shop or the ranch?"

"Yes, I'm sorry, they are referred to as Babies, pussycats are felines. Though it sounded cute."

At that Karina reluctantly disengaged herself from the small wrestling match, tugging her dress back to rights as the curls fell wildly about her face. "You're goin' down the coast? Well, have fun."

"If you are passing by the shop, can I walk with you and Segan, Vanessa too?" Being it seemed she would be going as well.

He was going to take her word for it, and nods. But when Vanessa said she was going to leave, he begins to get up from his seat, one hand traveling to his midriff as he bows to Mariah. "A pleasure speaking with you, Lady Mariah."

"We would be happy to see you to your shop, though you will have to point out which one it is. Vanessa? If you are leaving, would you care to join us and we shall see you back."

Then he would begin to walk to Vanessa to be her escort.

"Of course." He motioned to Segan who said what he had started to.

"It was a pleasure meeting you Morjin. Do not be offended by my laughter on the misused word, I misuse many too."

She smiled to Mariah and Segan. "Sure." Gloves were pulled on, she smiled to Morjin. "Would you like to join us?"

"Night, all." Karina called out. Unlike the rest, she had only to walk upstairs to get to her own place. She reached down again to pick Amergin up, resting him on one hip.

"Yes, I would." A nod given to Vanessa, and he would wait to walk out with her.

"Good night, Karina. Rest well. Oh," he paused a moment, "you look very nice."

"Good night Karina, it was nice meeting you." Smile her way was warm as she collected her cloak to don. Stepping outside with the others as they all started to.

"Good night, Karina." She smiled and waved to her and turned to leave with the rest.

Well, color her surprised. Also slightly red, though whether that was from embarrassment or just the recent tussle with Segan was unclear. Pushing a few haphazard strands of hair from her eyes, her response to Eion was a bit delayed.

"Good night Karina," sweeping her a smile with a wink as it seemed they were all going out as a group. He had never taken off the cape so didn't need to collect it as he headed out.

He would be walking beside Vanessa the entire time, keeping his human form even as they step outside. And for their benefit, he increases his inner fire like he had before, making an aura of warmth around them so the night wouldn't be quite so chilly while they walked.

"Uh... thanks." Then she recovered enough to wave again to the others who called her name, and offer a smile.

Wasn't often Karina was speechless but he smiled at her before following the others, joining them to walk back.

"Night Segan, don't get drowned by sea monsters or nothin'."  Nope, not often at all but compliments would tie her tongue quicker than most things!

Smile given to Morjin, then to Segan. "I didn't get to thank you the other night for the ride to the stables." Ready for the walk to see where Mariah's shop was too! Yay.

"You do look very fetching, Karina," being the last one out he affirmed Eion's compliment then was gone as the door was closed. Smile given Vanessa next, "you're welcome."

Ahhhhhhhhh. She needed to stop wearing dresses! She vowed that to herself.... well, sort of, as she saw them out then headed upstairs with pup in tow.

Eion needed to know where the shop was as well so he could escort Herself there. Nice night though cold and the walk would be welcome.

If they all stayed within five feet of Morjin, he was emitting heat like a gas furnace. He would walk with them silently, looking at all the different shops and such.

Hers would be on Oak street, just up from the Traugott Clocks and Sibio Bistro. Place made her hungry!

Vanessa's cottage and the gardens were on Oak. She smiled over to Mariah. "It seems that you are fairy close." Recognizing the direction they all traveled in.

"Yes I am," which she had moved closer to Vanessa in keeping her words low, "I should come up and see the birds you have once I have the shop to my liking." She might consider one of the parrots to keep or smaller bird in a cage that would sing while customers picked out the various wool yarns.

With a nod, smile remained. "You're welcome any time. You can expect me when you have everything the way you want it. I'm in need of woolen materials."

"There are the yarns plus there is finished material only needing to be cut and sewn. There is also yards in natural form that can be died to the perfect color. She was also making sure there was a working kitchen that she would bake and offer scones and tea for the ladies as many of her clients were older she was informed and they would probably like the more social atmosphere. They arrived at her place all too soon as she turned up the steps. Key in hand, "good night all, sleep sweet."

"Sounds perfect. I am in need of drapes for the doorways of the cottage to close off the rooms not in use." Stopping at the shop, she looked it over and smiled. "Have a good night, Mariah. Hope to see you again soon."

"Good night." Morjin would nod to her, watching to make sure that she got inside before he would walk with the others.

"Good night, Mariah, you as well." He'd stay with the others until Mariah was in then escort Vanessa as well.

"Good night Mariah," keeping in pace with the others which had them slowing down as she stepped to her door. Once inside he would continue with the rest. He'd been somewhat quiet.

She was inside in a moment later and a light to come on until she was settled upstairs. She could stay here at times but she would spend most nights at the ranch and her room there.

Onward to the cottage, Segan had indeed been quiet. A curious glance to him, silent inquiry if he was feeling alright as they walked onward.

It would be at Vanessa's cottage that Morjin would take his rest as well. Though he would be in full form, staying outside.

Slight dip of his head and casting glance her way. Ghosted smile attested he was fine just at that point and things that occupied his thoughts. "Good night Vanessa," when they reached her place. "Morjin," as he seemed to sleep outside here. Now to have some fun with Eion! Though this late hour he might hold the teasing for another night when a bit earlier.

A nod given to Segan, and then to Eion. "Goodnight." He would make sure Lady Vanessa got inside, before he would change into his full form, coming to lay on the ground outside of the cottage and sighs. What a night.

She nodded to the silent assurance. "Good night, Segan, Eion. Thank you for the escort." With a smile, she walked with Morjin until he ventured off for the gardens, while she went straight for the cottage door. The door unlocked, she disappear inside.

"Good night Vanessa, Morjin, rest well." He might not react the way Segan would expect. He was tired!

That's why it would have to wait for another night when he had some zip in those old bones of his.



Date: 10-09-09
Poster: Douglas Shawnesey
Post # 14


Douglas had spent the day sorting through cargo that had arrived at the warehouse. He went home with his father, cleaned up and enjoyed dinner with the family. It had been a while since he had been to the Thistle, so headed there with the hopes that Rhett would join him. Their father, understanding that sometimes a night out was needed, told Douglas to not worry about getting up early. He was dressed in a cotton buccaneer's shirt of a dark blue shade, with a vest and pants of black. Black boots were highly polished and his hair neatly combed. He was sitting in front of the fire after talking to Alex and catching him up on the family.

Too cold! Too cold! Vanessa had just recently parted ways with Segan as he had preparation and rest for his run over the next couple days and insisted that she'd be fine for the walk back. Of course, he in turn insisted in walking her at least part way, which she accepted. Once they parted ways, it was a brisk walk back to the commons and the Thistle for warmed cider. She made haste up the steps and into the door, which was quickly shut with a smile and sigh of relief for the warmth. "Alex, you're a saint." For keeping the place so warm. "Oh.." Then realizing she'd intruded on conversation. "My apologies." A meek smile, she started for the bar, pulling gloves from her hands.

Actually, they had finished talking but he smiled as the door opened and stood. "Evening, Miss. Bit chilly out tonight." He shook his head with the apology. "We were through, honestly." Alex' first priority would be the incoming patrons in any case.

"Just a bit." A gleaned smile to the man before inquiring to Alex for a mug of warmed cider. The gloves tucked away in her pocket, she turned back to the man at the fire. "Vanessa." Offering a name.

"Douglas Shawnesey," giving his name in kind. "You're welcome to join me at the fire. Unless you prefer the bar, of course." Some did!

"Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Shawnesey. And that would be wonderful." Her cloak removed and laid over the back of a stool, she thanked Alex for her cider and claimed a seat near the fire. The dress she wore was simple, dark green in color with a raised collar and fitted sleeves.

"Douglas, please, if you don't mind. My father is Mr. Shawnesey." He gave her a boyish smile. "Are you visiting Heathfield, Vanessa?" He hadn't seen her before but then he had been working.

Eased down onto the seat, she made herself comfortable and held the mug for her usual warmth gathering while it cooled to suitable drinking temperature. "Douglas." She smiled again. "No. I'm a recent made citizen. Perhaps a month or so."

"Ah, I see, well, even if it's a little late, welcome to Heathfield. Have you settled into a place of your own or are you still staying here, at the Thistle?" Most folks came here first, so he felt safe in asking.

"Thank you." Her smile brightened, she took a small drink of the cider to keep from burning her tongue. "I am fortunate to have found a place of my own and established a business. Are you from this area, or perhaps Ballicastle?" She had met a couple from there, so wasn't sure.

"I was born and raised in Heathfield. My father is Rhett, and he owns a warehouse here. He used to be a blacksmith. My brother, also Rhett, is a weaponsmith here now. I work for my Da in the warehouse." He grinned a bit sheepishly. "Even if you didn't ask."

She listened, taking the information to memory with another smile. "It would have been my next question." Which was truth. She enjoyed knowing what people did.

"What about yourself?" He lifted his glass for a drink after asking though his eyes stayed on her. He hadn't asked that, had he?

"I have the lot on Oak, where I have opened the Avian Gardens. A variety of birds trained and available for those who have interest or purpose with them." Spoken fondly, she loved what she was doing with the birds.

His face lit up at mention of the birds. "I've heard of your business. In fact, I'm hoping to come see them myself sometime." He made a vague motion toward the door of the Thistle. "I have siblings who will be needing presents for Yule and that seems like the perfect gift for me brothers." Maybe his sisters too.

Her own pupilless eyes lit up with a brightened smile. "Well if you can find out which would be best for your siblings, I'm sure there are some there that would suit. I have companions, carriers and scout hawks." Which hunted also.

"Companions would be what type of bird?" Of course, if Rhett knew of her Gardens, he might be thinking the same. He'd find out once he talked to his brother.

"Companions are generally birds that can be taught to speak and mimic. Parrots, parakeets, cockatoos, or just pretty birds, such as doves." Another small drink of her cider, it was savored with a brief close of her eyes before returning attention to him.

"Those would be perfect then." Heck, they might even be able to buy something for their mother too, if they went together.  "How did you get into training birds? Was it something you learned when you were small?"

A light nod was given. "You're welcome to come by any time you wish to see them." To his question, she considered her answer thoughtfully. "It was something that my parents did, but seemed to just come naturally to me and my sister."

Rhett was late but he'd finished forging two sets of finely made knives that only needed polishing and sharpening. He was quick to wrap them up in soft cloth and tucked them away into the pocket of the overcloak he wore this cooler night. Rushing out, double backing to make sure he had the fire down low enough that he didn't burn his smithy down in the meantime, before rushing out again, grabbing his Stetson on the way this time out. He was hurrying through the streets, keeping the rolled up knives from falling out of his pocket when a good gust of wind took his hat flying, tumbling down the street with him chasing it. Near ran a man over walking his dog as he gave him all kinds of apologies before rushing off after the hat again and finally catching it up in one hand. Around he went, having wasted yet another ten or more minutes when already an hour late from the time he was to meet his brother.

"It's good that it carried over then." He stood, motioning to her glass. "I'm going to get a refill. Would you like one?"

Carried over...she smiled to that and looked down into her mug with a nod. "Yes, please." The mug offered up to him.

Easy smile as he took the mug and his glass and headed back to the bar. He glanced at the door once with a frown of concern, though he knew how Rhett was about his work.

The lady knight had spent the entire day getting acquainted with the lovely hawk that chose her. Aila was a great addition to their group, and Nokar, her warhorse, even took to trying out racing with Aila. But now as she reaches the tavern, she clicks her tongue and holds up her arm, with the bracer on it made of leather, so Aila could land there. She felt bad, but she didn't think they wanted a hawk inside of the tavern, so she moves to set the hawk on the rail of the porch. "You be a good girl, I'll call you when I am up in my room." Once that was taken care of, Malaika comes into the tavern. Long golden blonde hair loose and swaying as she walks, no armor on her person, only regular clothing, with her sword sheathed at her side. Everything else was up in her room here at the tavern.

He was on the run and skidding to slow down behind a woman that took the moment to leave her hawk outside on the rail. A bird that was looked over in passing in a very appreciative manner before another quick step had him catching the door behind the other before it closed completely, opening enough to allow him to slip in then close behind her. He caught his breath, dark blue eyes bright. He looked older with the hat on for as soon as it was off, there was the shock of reddish brown curls atop his head giving the more youthful look. "Evening. Miss, Miss, Doug, you should see these beauties!" The excitement there as he was over to the bar and down just a bit so that he could toss his hat there then lift out the pair of cloth covered knives. These he carefully, reverently, opened up in display, expecting his brother to be looking over his shoulder.

Seeing Mal come in, Vanessa offered a smile from where she sat near the fire. "Eve, Malaika. How are you?" And then looked to the man who'd entered just after with a smile. "Eve, sir."

Since he was at the bar, it was easy enough to do. He let out a low whistle as he studied the blades. "Those are beauties, Rhett. Who are they for?" His brother's expertise at forging was growing and his work was outstanding.  "Vanessa, this is my brother, Rhett. Rhett, Vanessa who happens to be new and just opened an Avian Gardens." Hoping he got that right. Then his attention was back on those knives.

Smiling to Vanessa, she comes over to sit by the fire as well. The night was getting even more chilly as the nights went on. "I'm doing very well, and yourself?" She looks out the window, seeing Nokar and Aila seem to converse in some kind of way.

That he gave a slight rolling shrug of a shoulder. "They are Templar knives. I replicated them from intricate drawings I found in a library book." So he had gone there to look up designs. "I couldn't make just one," which each were almost identical but if one had a keen eye, he would make some difference so they were unique. "I think the scabbard was near as complicated as the knife."  Which had him whip a glance over his shoulder with a smile to the lady, turning then in a more polite gesture. "Evening Vanessa. You are the one that trains the hawks and falcons?"

"I'm doing very well." She smiled and looked to Douglas, then to Rhett with a nod. "Pleasure to meet you." And yes, he got the name of the gardens right. "That I am."

"Aye, I can see that." He nodded at the other lass, realizing he hadn't greeted her then chuckled at Rhett's delayed reaction.

"Douglas, Rhett, this is lady knight Malaika." Motioning to the woman now sitting around the fire with her.

The lady knight nods in return, smiling and at the introduction stands up and bows to them. "A pleasure to meet you both."

"Ma'am Malaika, a pleasure to meet you also." Nothing fake about Rhett and his words rang true that he offered each then back to Vanessa. "Are you selling any of the hawks and falcons yet?"

"Well met, Malaika." He nodded to her again, then reached out to carefully touch the scabbard. Chuckling, he looked at Rhett. "Go on, ruin my idea for Yule." Teasing. He wouldn't expect Rhett to wait.

"I am." She smiled to Rhett and rose from her seat to take a look at the daggers that had been crafted. "Malaika purchase a coopers hawk earlier today."

"Indeed. The female chose me, and now we are companions. She is outside, I don't think the owners want her in here." After she sits down, she stretches a little, looking out the window to her new companion.

Skidding through the door, the pixie faced Miriam bounded with a big smile rippling across her face as she gave a big wave to the company inside of the tavern. On her arm was the leftovers that had not been dropped off for the orphanage. Her dark brown waves were covered with a dark red covered triangle that covered most of her from the crown down near the ends were the silky curls laid across the middle of her back. She wore a simple chemise that was tucked into a broad belt over a pair of grey riding pants that were stuck into her shin high boots. "Shalom all. I have goodies for you..." She announced as if her entrance didn't catch anyone's attention.

"I would be interested as I still meet with the knights on the king's field." He had been knighted but then decided after getting a good taste of battle, he would serve better making finer weapons for the men to use. "It's a Templar design. It is said if accurately duplicated like the originals they would carry a blessing and possible magical quality." Not like he believed in such but he didn't disbelieve. He was proud of the way they had turned out.

Now there was a new arrival, the woman seeming to come in like a whirlwind. The lady knight nods to her and smiles, looking to Vanessa. "I believe that Aila really likes me. She was never far from my side at all, even when in flight."

Trevor watched the flurry of the woman ahead of him and only shook his head slightly more to himself. He couldn't fathom darting so unless on a battlefield. The woman was overflowing with excess energy. Ah, youth. A chuckle to follow as certainly he had been that young once. He took his time coming in after the whirlwind in a far grounded steadier pace. "Evening." Stopping with a cordial dip of his head to those within before he continued to the bar. A thick folded up parchment with a wax seal was handed over to Alex.



Date: 10-09-09
Poster: Douglas Shawnesey
Post # 15

Close to the bar so she could lean in and looked at the craftings, she smiled brightly. "Those are beautiful." Truly so. Hearing the door open and greeting from the other, she smiled to the woman. "Evening." Then looked to Mal with a nod. "As it is meant to be."

"You manage to surprise me every time." He offered Vanessa the mug that he had nearly forgotten about. All filled.  "Good evening, Sir Trevor." A respect bow of his head was given to the King's man. "Rhett's made a new set of knives you might like to see."


Attention returned to the two daggers, then to Rhett. "You are very talented." Despite not knowing how to use something like that, it wasn't hard to see the fine work. The mug taken from Douglas. "Thank you."

Malaika would sit there next to the fire along with Vanessa, seeing the man walk in after the hyper woman, and nods to him, watching as he hands over a parchment. She was curious, but would keep it to herself.

He stood a bit straighter stepping away from the bar where the knives laid on the soft cloth. "Sir Trevor," hand coming up to be fisted against his chest in all due respect. He would not interrupt his business with Alex. Alex too worked for the Crown. "Thank you," to Vanessa as the compliment lit up in dark blue eyes, lips pressing together in his way of a smile.

Vanessa's actually standing at the bar looking over Rhett's craftsmanship. Which was fantastic. Shame she didn't know more about weapons enough to have use. She was aware now where to purchase them. A smile given to Rhett with a nod. "You're most welcome."

Her steps were matched with a rustle of layers from the pale, golden yellow dress complete with ruffles along the hem. Hair up, twisted in a platinum mess at the back of her head, Nora inched through the door, stopping as she closed it behind her to cast a slow look around.

"Ladies, Vanessa, Malaika, this is Sir Trevor Cairns," about to say one of the four horsemen but he managed to press his lips to keep from saying too much.

Words concluded with Alex with even a hint of a smile before dark eyes turned on the ladies being introduced by Rhett, from them to him then back again. "Ladies, I am honored." Slight dip of his head before the cape was released from his shoulders and slid off to rest over the back of the stool. Trevor had a tendency to dress up compared to others, finely cut pants of a deep charcoal grey, vest to match with a wine satin front and dress shirt sporting the wider sleeves. Shoe string tie at the collar had not been removed yet.

Now that Malaika knew the one that was called Trevor was a knight, she stands and bows to him. Not wanting to show any disrespect to her betters.

Miriam flashed everyone her grin before moving over to the bar to look over the knives briefly as she sat down the basket. "Those look gut," Her tongue rolled out the Yiddish on the end as she then dipped her head in respect to Sir Trevor. "It's a pleasure indeed. I believe my cousin told me loads about you. She always tells me tales about those in these lands. Or at least, she did when we first got here."

Her smile brightened to Rhett with a nod. She'd met Trevor once before, but the introduction was appreciated none the less. "Nice to see you again, Trevor."

The lady knight wasn't in her armor, merely a green tunic-style shirt, with black leggings. Traveling boots up to her knees made of a tan leather. Her armor wasn't worn this night, but her sword was sheathed at her side. Eyes of crystal blue watch Trevor as he makes himself comfortable, before she moves to sit once more, watching and listening.

"Nora," almost as if he'd seen a ghost as he stared but the smile went wide showing off perfect teeth usually hidden for the pressed smiles. "It has been a while, how are you doing?"

Still looking, but the call of her name had her swinging blue-green eyes over to study Rhett. She smiled then, and dimples carved into the softness of her cheeks. "Rhett, good evening to you. I am doing.. well." Small pause, as  if she had to think that over. As she neared the bar, she paused to dip a polite little curtsy to Trevor and smile his way. Then her attention flickered over the others. "Good evening," she offered quietly.

The only off beat from the dressed up attire was the empowered sword that hung at his left hip, though one might think it a ceremonial sword for the finely crafted hilt seen. "I hear you have come to stay lady Vanessa, and train birds. That is of great interest for a few and you may well be getting a marc to train certain birds for the warriors both here and in Kildare. It will come with a handsome amount of money."

Nora? He turned and smiled at her. "Evening, Nora. Long time no see." Taking a lean against the bar, he took a long drink of the potcheen.

She waved to Elleanora, whom she hadn't met but would wait on introductions for now. Her attention shifted to Trevor with a modest smile. "I have and I would be honored if the decision is made."

"You have met Sir Trevor, Nora? My brother Doug?" Then he was indicating the other ladies, "lady Vanessa and Malaika." Which he added quickly, "Nora, Elleanora.."

"I hope you have been well, Douglas." He got a smile too. She stood near the bar, not yet claiming a seat for herself. She seemed quite comfortable remaining on her feet. She heard the introductions, and nodded to Rhett. "I have met the men, yes. Good evening, Ladies. It is very nice to meet you both. Yes, yes." Wide eyed look at Rhett. She cleared her throat, realizing she should've at least offered her name.

Her attention turned to the fair lady with a smile. "Pleasure to meet you." She slipped away from the crowd that had gathered around the bar, though not far and looked back to Trevor. "Word seems to travel quickly here."

A nod given to Lady Elleanora. Then she sits back in her seat, continuing to watch in silence. These weren't her lands, she was merely a visitor. But at least she got a new companion out of it, and was making new friends the longer she stayed here.

"Nora," not adding more with a slight dip of his head her way as she would be turning every which way otherwise. There was the ghosted smile again tucked off to side then gone just as fleeting as time. "Indeed it does, a double edge sword some may say but in these lands if you found yourself in need, most likely someone would be there to help you out."

From her few steps away she watched the others gathered and smiled, then returned to her seat near the hearth. Looking to Malaika. "I'm pleased to hear that Aila is working well with you. She was one of the first hawks I received." Hearing Trevor, she looked back to him with a smile. "I cannot say that I've found it anything but good thus far." A helping hand was always welcome.

"You have done a marvelous job raising and training her. I even got her something that she enjoys. I was visiting a shop, and she seems to like this one ball that has a jingling bell on it. I toss it up, or away, and she will get it and bring it back to me like a prize kill." Smiling at the thought, she giggles a little. "She is so great!"

"That's fantastic." A smile given to Mal before sipping her cider.

"I will venture to say you will not find anything but good here in these lands." Words rolled in a refined tone but the Scottish brogue still edged his speech. Something that would never be quite taken out of the man.

Smiling as she listened, she flattened her hands against the bar top, her gaze studying her fingers.

"If my first month is testament to that, I believe your venture to be true and right."

He was listening to the talk, his knives forgotten as he had a glass of the pure to partake of. "Are you ready for winter, Nora? What has kept you so busy you've not been seen?" Of all the ones, and it shone in blue eyes as a tease. This was the first he'd been out in some time.

"Are we ever truly ready for winter?" Gently inquired with a flickering glint passing through her blue green eyes. She leaned a hip against one of the bar stools, turned so that she was facing Rhett. "I have.. ah.. been doing a lot of.. soul searching." The best way she figured to describe it. "And riding Luna." She grinned a little at that.

"And you found you have a soul after all?" Continuing with the teasing before the dare was given, "you gonna try the dragon head run this winter?" He was the builder of the original just before he had gone to war two years ago. It had been one way to keep his mind off the matter being only a squire at the time to Sir Aiden. "Do you ride her along the ocean's wake down along the coast where it smooth's out from the cliffs?"

It was like old times. He smiled to himself as he listened and took a moment to study each of the others.

"I think I do. Or, I'd like to think I have one." Tiny bite to her lower lip, Nora tipped her head to the side as she considered his question--the dare. "You know, I really do like myself being in one piece, so I might skip out on the dragon run." She laughed a little. "I have once or twice, through the water. When it was warmer, at least. She likes the water too much. She's tried to roll with me a time or two when we were crossing water." Which, being rolled while on a horse wasn't fun.. at all.

Malaika thought cider sounded rather good right now, and getting up from her seat goes to ask for some. Smiling as she hears Nora and Rhett converse.

"Well, if you're around and can. We have not lost a single Soul yet."  Adding in a wink before kicking back the rest of his drink. His brother was too quiet! "There are some really nice areas in these lands." Agreeing with Nora about the area along the sea, where it was a stretch of sand and better when warmer than the growing cooler days.

And this was new?

Vanessa listened to the conversations around her before looking to the fire thoughtfully and sipped her drink now and then.

"There are. I like riding on forest trails, too. Especially this time of year. The trees are lovely." She looked towards Douglas, then, and smiled a bit in his direction. "What about you? Will you go on the dragon run?" Yes, she was asking Douglas.

Which had him smirk his brother's way, the press of lips but more in the bright eyes.

Once she has her cider, Malaika moves to sit by the window, feeling bad that her hawk companion was out there in the cold.

He was listening and grinned at Nora. "Oh, aye. I wouldn't miss it. Especially knowing all the work that goes into it."

"Hm. I might try it. I will have to think it over, build up my courage somehow." Spoken to them both, then.

Which Trevor noticed with a shifting glance to the woman near the window. The hawk just outside. "You can bring her in if kept under your control." With a measured pause, "and dispel of any droppings."

Douglas made a motion toward Rhett. "He's roped me into helping but it's great fun. Even if you don't know where you'll end up." The last muttered but no one had ever gotten hurt on it, except for a snowman who happened to be in the way.

"If you didn't want to go down it on your own, you could go down it with me or Doug the first time."  Snowman lost its head.

"Oh...thank you, M'lord." Cheered up by his words, the lady knight sets down her cider, moving to call Aila to her arm from outside. The hawk seemed to like warming up now as she ruffles her feathers and makes a little chirping noise. Malaika was feeling much better now, and comes to sit with the bird on the bracer on her right arm, and her cider in her other hand as she sips. "There we go."

Hearing Trevor, she looked from the fire to him, then to Mal with a smile. It was hard to leave small companions like that behind when they weren't yet familiar.

Date: 10-09-09
Poster: Douglas Shawnesey
Post # 16

"I will probably do that, find a partner." Nodding some, it sounded best that way. She glanced from one brother to the next then looked over the others settled inside tonight.

She could always sit her to a back of one of the sturdy chairs if she wanted to rest her arm after a while. Rustic enough it would not make a difference to have claws against the wood. He watched her a moment before focus shifted back to the brothers and Nora. Listening. Something he was good at.

"It's good to have someone to ride with. Especially if you've not been on it before."

She was happy, and so was her companion. Nokar, her horse, could take care of himself outside. After setting down her cider, she smiles and strokes and croons to Aila, the pretty hawk.

"Have you decided on a vocation yet, Nora?" He could not recall her ever talking about such, though his expression might give away he was trying to recall any such information.

"You have not weathered cold winters before, Vanessa?" Finally speaking up as the glass of potcheen was still held curled in a hand close to his midsection.

Watching Aila, she looked to Trevor with a smile. "I have. My home before here had cold winters, but the only snow we really got was just after Yule and I'm not sure it got as cold as it does here."

"I have considered making perfumes, bath oils, things of that sort. But, I have considered many things. I do miss the Court." Probably a shocker, considering what she had gone through before, in her old homeland. She pursed her lips, lowered her gaze to her hands. "I need to hurry and make up my mind, either way."

"You wish to become a lady in waiting for the Queen here?" Though not really a shocker but the other he had to admit, "perfumes and such would probably do well here with so many ladies."

"That is about when the snow falls here, around Yule which many appreciate the snow for the season. It continues through January and February before signs of spring start to emerge. Such as the early blooming crocus. The robins that come back to nest and so on. We've not had a blizzard in a number of years," which could have one wonder if they were due for one, "and those can near bury the city. It may sound disheartening but the whole of the citizens are all out digging each other out and helping one another." It warmed the heart and gave hope that humanity was not so bad.

"Aye, I've heard Ma and Aunt Tara both say they like the oils from the Herbal shop, but it's not the same as perfumes and smelly stuff."

"I have considered it. Though, maybe a perfumer wouldn't be such a bad idea.." She smiled wider. Yes, she may do that. She started to back from the bar. "I probably should head back. I'm feeling somewhat tired."

She motioned her free hand to the empty chairs around the hearth should he wish to join her. "Eldyn generally received on blizzard shortly after Yule. At least in times that lacked a ruler. The rest of the season is dustings." Her smile brightened some. "It's comforting to be in a place with neighbors that help." Not that Eldyn lacked that, but she'd heard enough stories about other places.

"It is getting late," which he rolled the knives safely back into the cloth then into the pocket of his cloak. One he had not taken off though he had his hat which he collected to slide back on his head.

He took up his drink to head over to the hearth though he didn't take up a chair but a lean against the stones aside the opening of the hearth. This way he could easily face her and the others. His glass was sometimes rolled within his fingers as it was held.

"Aye, it is." Unfortunately, Douglas was too used to going to bed early and he was tired.

"It was really nice to see you again, Rhett, Douglas." Tipping her head down into a polite nod as she started to backtrack. Then a friendly smile cast out to the others. "It was a pleasure to meet you, ladies. Trevor, nice to see you, as always."

"One blizzard is not too bad if that is the extent of the snow for you. Down here in the valleys it is not as bad as it gets in the higher mountains. Especially those in Ballicastle and along the Northern Tier. Sometime this month one of the McAndrews or Maurice will hike up there to measure the depth of the snow that has already fallen. It helps to indicate how bad a winter we shall have."

Soon Malaika would be setting Aila on the back of a nearby chair, letting her preen herself and rest. It was so cute the way the feathers fluffed up! Stroking her dear companion, she nods and waves to Nora as she leaves, then looks and listens to Trevor as he speaks about the weather.

"It was really nice to see you again Nora. I hope to see you again sooner than last time. Take care and keep warm. If you decide to open the shop, let us know, we'll help you out."

She smiled to Nora. "A pleasure to meet you, Nora. Have a lovely night." Returning attention to Trevor, she nodded. "It will certainly be interesting. I'm looking forward to some of the events I have heard so much about."

"Nora, take care of yourself. Hope to see you again too." Smile touched upon the more stoic features for the young lass.

"Aye, we will and gladly, Nora. Good night and to all of you as well." Maybe he'd stay with Rhett tonight.

"Thank you very much, Rhett." Surprised, yes. She showed it in her eyes, which widened a touch. "I will see you soon." With that, she continued to the door with a rustle of heavy skirts. Out she went, soon enough on Luna's back after the mare had been fetched for her, trotting off moments later.
It was only natural that Karina would come tromping in sooner or later. Having worked late at the avian gardens, she'd stolen off as she sometimes did - old habits were hard to break, though nothing ever came of it these days.  Having left the docks district behind she stepped into the tavern, wearing the same pale blue wool dress as earlier, a tad loose on her lean frame, though she was beginning to fill out again. Certainly her eyes had life in them now, and her cheeks a healthy color beneath that wild mane of bronze curls. Said mane, she pushed out of her eyes impatiently, stomping off the mud from the heavy work boots which poked out beneath the hem of her dress.

Doug was always welcome to stay the night with him and certainly the Smithy was not only large enough to accommodate a few - built for a family to fit - it was warm. The stomping had him blink with a look towards the door, "incoming? Elephants?" Jokingly of course.

Vanessa finished her drink and rose from her seat. To the bar, she set the mug on the counter and picked up her cloak to prepare for her leave for the evening. The heavy velvet pulled around her shoulders, a smile cast to the others. "Rhett, Douglas, a pleasure to meet you. Trevor, it was nice to see you again. I hope you all have a wonderful evening." Her gloves pulled on, she started for the door. "Good evening, Malaika."

Malaika turns her head to look to Karina, as does the ever alert Aila. Smiling to Karina now. "Good evening." Then she turns to see Vanessa pulling on her cloak, and stands up. "You are retiring for the night, Lady Vanessa? Perhaps I will come by your gardens tomorrow?"

Oops, she hadn't really meant to bash around like that, but again, old habits. Glancing up at the commentary, she blinked those strangely large, turquoise eyes towards Rhett... realizing she recognized him. But then she caught wind of Vanessa's voice and turned towards her friend, "aw, leaving already? Well, have a good night," that added with a smile. Recognizing Malaika too from the gardens earlier, she was pleased to see that the woman had her new bird companion with her.

The elephant comment had him chuckling as he looked up. Then it seemed that Vanessa was leaving as well. "It was nice to meet you as well, Vanessa."

"Perhaps. I am meant to pick up a few more birds tomorrow. I'm not sure how long it will take." A smile given to Karina. "I am. It's been a long day. Have a good night, Karina."

"With your permission, Vanessa, I will see you back in escort. It is on my way," in case she might feel it would be putting her out.  He was up from his lean to return his empty glass to the bar. "A good night to you all, sleep well when you find your beds." He had to go for he would be on the kings field training others at dawn.


That was a good sign for both, that they were already comfortable with each other. "I'll cover there for ya til you're back," she assured Vanessa too.

"Thank you, Karina. I shouldn't be too late." With that, she took her leave with a wave and smile to all.

"Good night Trevor, Vanessa. I will come by some day soon."

He ducked out after the lady and would see her back, she seemed in a good hurry.

It seemed everyone was heading off for the night. Finishing off her cider, she gives some dried meat to her feathered friend then moves to set the mug on the bar. "It is getting rather late."

Slow pressed smile spread as blue eyes met those of Karina. "It's been some time seeing you. How are you doing?" Two in one night or maybe it was him not being around?

Indeed, the numbers were dwindling quickly but Karina couldn't mind too much. She lived here after all, so she would've been stopping by anyway. Still, no reason not to have a little drink before bed, so she ordered a cider from  Alex. A glance up as the other woman got up to leave and she offered another slight smile and wave. Then, as Rhett spoke up again she turned her gaze that direction. "Yeah... it has," she agreed with a wry little grin. "I'm good. Real good," she added, and despite her light tone she meant it. And looked it, for that matter. The scrappy little street-prowler had been replaced by something more of a young woman, even if her grammar still needed some work. "How  'bout you?"

"Aye, it is. Good night, Malaika." He covered a yawn, then nudged Rhett. "I'm going to crash at your place tonight. Mind if I head there now?"

"It was a pleasure meeting the both of you. Sleep well." She nods to the two brothers, getting Aila up on her arm on the bracer as she begins to head upstairs. "Goodnight."

"You look different," not really saying you look good like implying she had looked bad before. "Happier?" Maybe that was it? He didn't get to say good night to the other as she was quick to leave.  "I will head there with you, Douglas. I wish to make a gift of one of these daggers to Sir Lazare tomorrow on the king's field." Though blue eyes were back upon Karina. "Maybe we'll see you again sooner than last time."

That was the second time today somebody had made a similar comment, and it sort of had her reflecting. "Yeah. Guess that must be it." She offered a crooked smile as she considered, really, what a huge turn her life had taken.  Drawn from her thoughts when the remaining men stood to go, she bobbed a nod and agreed, "Sure. I'm around."

His smile had lips pressed but soon parted to show actually perfect white teeth. "Maybe get to actually talk one of these days." Convince her to go down the dragon run with the rest of them too.

That brought a brief snicker to her lips. "Yeah. That'd be nice." The smile which followed was brief, but bright and genuine. "Have a good night.."

"Aye, have a good night. Keep warm." Which was the thing to do as he patted the knives wrapped up and tucked away in the overcloak pocket. A nudge in passing his brother as he took the side door out to the alleyway that would be a quicker route in getting to the smithy.

"You as well." He smiled at her then looked at Rhett. "I'm thinking I need to be drinking a bit more." Or maybe give it up. He lifted a hand to tell Alex good night as they headed out.


Date: 10-10-09
Poster: Vanessa Baltimore
Post # 17

Colder Night

The day had been rather slow and night cooled off to almost biting temperatures in Vanessa's opinion. Others might not agree, but it was a good reason to retreat to the Thistle for some warmed cider and a bit of company before retiring for the evening. Having arrived not too long ago, she'd had time to settle in at the bar with Alex for company. Cloak shed over the back of her stool, she was attired in a dress of black with dark red accents and a lined hood left to lay against her back. Quite comfortable with her legs curled up beneath her on the seat with the skirt draped to keep her warm, Alex was filling her in on some of the other winter activities that would eventually come.

Autumn was here but Hugh had not adjusted his attire appropriately yet. Such minor things usually slipped his mind. Poet's shirt of tan was tucked into black pants and boots of a fine tooled leather laced up over his calves. Certainly too light of wear for the air that brought a frosted breath for most this night. Not for Hugh, when the door open it was as a tropical blast of air coming in with him but he stalled, there, door held in hand with a turn to stare out into the blackness of night beyond.

Often where one Alterian was, another would be. He knew his kin was headed for the tavern and it wouldn't be long before Mellan was coming up the steps. Eyes of stormy gray held a twinkle as he smiled at Hugh. "Are you down from the mountains for winter, or only for a respite before you're snowed in?" More often than not, the mountain man would be at the cabin he claimed.

Hearing the door open, a glance was cast over her shoulder, allowing pupilless, golden hue take in the one who stood with the door open and the other just beyond. No intrusion upon their conversation, she offered both a smile even if they didn't notice and looked back to Alex.

"I was hoping you would emerge from your experiments tonight." They had all become less social as in they would forget to socialize."I have been up to the cabin to make sure it is stocked." Mellan would be use to the warmth that surrounded Hugh, melted the snow around him if he allowed it. He stepped further in leaving his kin to close over the door for it was easier for him to. Smoldering brown eyes turned on the lass that sat at the bar. "Good evening Miss. You look comfortable." For that is the very first impression he got of her. Already on his way over knowing Mellan would be as well. "I am Hugh MacNeils and my kin Mellan." Though none of them were blood related. Not a trace of resemblance even.

Hearing the greeting, She turned on her seat to pass more than just a glance over her shoulder and smiled. "Good eve, Sir. I am quite comfortable and soaking up the warmth before venturing out for the walk home." Not fond of the cold at all. "A pleasure to meet you both. I'm Vanessa Baltimore." Her mug of cider, that had been set to the side, was collected as they approached the bar, just to keep it out of the way.

He waited a moment more as with a silent swoop a great horned owl flew into the tavern. Merlin landed on the bar and settled in. Being a well-behaved bird, he wouldn't make a mess on the counter but would wait patiently to be fed or adored as he felt was his right. "Good evening, Miss Baltimore."

"Then allow me to sit near you, Vanessa Baltimore," not even entering his thoughts that might sound odd or be odd for a stranger to ask. Though there was nothing out of place by his tone or expression. He took the stool to her one side, leaving the other so Mellan could flank her for in his mind, it would be easier for conversation to flow. The temperature around him would go up a few degrees, nothing too much but keeping it comfortable. "You are new to the lands, the lady with the birds I hear of." Taking up the seat to settle in comfortably. He produced a few walnuts and pecans which he set out within a hand's reach from himself so that Merlin would have to come over to gain the treats and bid a hello.

The lady knight, who had been spending her nights here in the tavern, comes back now from another day of exploring and bonding with her new hawk companion Aila. Once she sets up her horse outside, she and Aila come into the tavern, the bird sitting on a bracer on the lady knight's right arm. She herself was wearing her light armor, her long golden blonde hair tied back in a braid behind her. Crystal-blue eyes look to the company within, new people here it would seem, with only Vanessa as one she knows. Bowing her head to them when she enters, she moves to sit by the fireplace, letting herself and Aila warm up.

A smile given to Mellan. "Vanessa, please." Spoken to both men. Then her attention fell to the owl with a light smile, briefly and drifted to Hugh as he took up a seat next to her. The additional warmth was very easily noticed by the phoenix halfling and very appreciated. Word really did travel fast in this area. A sheepish smile to the form of recognition. "I am new to these lands and true enough I am the lady with the birds." Laughing softly, she looked back to the door as Malaika entered. "Good eve, Malaika and Aila. This is Hugh MacNeils and his kin, Mellan." Motioning to each as she spoke their names. "Lady knight Malaika is a guest here."

Merlin didn't hesitate, and he moved quickly for the treats in a funny kind of walk, hop which had Mellan shaking his head. The bird though himself human it seemed at times, though he had a mate and together they had raised several broods. He made chirrup noises as he greeted Hugh. "Vanessa." Repeating her name though he'd still likely forget. He looked toward the other woman and nodded. "Well met, Malaika."

She would find out just how different he and his Kin were if she got to know them better. Though they were still, he was still, adapting to human emotions again. Perhaps it would  never be quite like it had been before Alteria nor after. Probably end up somewhere between. "Only good things have been said and I see now the why." Though he didn't elaborate. The intensity of his focus had solely been on her as he observed and spoke then it lifted in a way some could feel it as if nudged or bounced back as it turned on the newest arrival. "A fine night Malaika to bid welcome and the hope you are enjoying your visit." Smoldering dark eyes shifted back upon Vanessa with a pause what might be taken as consideration before adding, "we are from Genesis Manor of these lands." Then easily attention turned on Alex as he asked for the potcheen served while a hand shifted out to smooth over Merlin's feathers as he enjoyed his treat.

"Good evening to the both of you." The female hawk was staring at the owl, making little noises towards it. Malaika moves to set her down on the back of a nearby chair and while standing, bows to the both of them. "I am pleased to make the acquaintance of even more residents of this great kingdom."

Molten gold within crystal were best described as her eyes, held to Hugh's with a smile to the compliment and knowledge that kind things had been said. A pause as he gave the name of where they were from before gently shaking her head. "I'm afraid I haven't yet been made familiar with it by name or otherwise." She was still learning a lot of the areas of the kingdom. Smiling to Mal. "How are you and Aila getting along?"

It would be ale for Mellan who couldn't enjoy the potcheen without suffering ill results. He watched the two women through the lenses of his glasses then looked at Merlin who had finished his treat and was grooming his feathers. The hawk was ignored for the moment as Merlin felt himself far too dignified.

"Aila and I are getting along so very well. She is obeying me a little more, though at one point she didn't listen and hunted a mouse while I was trying to call her back. I could only guess that she was hungry." Chuckling, she reaches out to pet the hawk, who kept her sights on the owl and bobs her head a little, chirping more towards it. "For some reason she seems to want to talk to the owl."

Mellan suffered ill effects and he suffered none, as if it were water with a zing he found he liked. He was processing Vanessa's unusual eyes as curiosity got the best of him needing more input. "Are you born of this planet and time or are you of another world or dimension?" Right out there without much aplomb. Though did a recheck as he may have performed a social blunder, "I am sorry if I interrupted. Malaika," more to reaffirm and if he had, then appease the situation for certainly he didn't wish to offend.

A nod given to Mal, accompanied by a smile. "She will learn to read the tenor of your voice. I'm sure if it were an emergency, she'd have come." Her own mug was lifted but paused midway for attention returned to Hugh for his question with a quizzical expression and slight cant of her head. "Well, I'm not of these lands. Though I'm not sure if the place of my birth is another world or realm really. Why do you ask?" A small drink taken, the mug returned to the countertop.

"Because, though like us you fit in physically there is that about you that speaks on not of this world too. I found it curious for few have that feel about them. There are many parallel universes, aside those beyond human counting that exist on this parallel. It makes it infinite to possibilities and certainly with so many, good chances others are here too."

She would merely nod to the man, thinking to distract Aila by taking out her favorite ball and jingling the bell on it. The little ball seemed to be made for a cat, but the bird loved it. She follows it and once Mal tosses it to her, she catches it in her beak, using her talon to hold it and make the bell jingle more.

It took her a moment to realize that he must have been referring to her eyes. Unless he was keen to her aura which wasn't different than the humans. "I don't know much about where I was born aside from the name and that it is no longer. The differences though come from my father, who is a phoenix." Perhaps that would shed light on the mystery of her differences.

"I have heard of tales, phoenix rising from the ashes to live again. A fiery bird." Which now he would learn more about it from the others. "We were born to a planet in a parallel universe called Earterrin, much like this planet. We were more like those here then as well but it was destroying our planet and our People, so war was raged, the planet was scorched in fires and would be destroyed had it not been for Alteria who went into the core to change that pattern of its very fibers." Which he would not be able to explain to her in this particular language. He'd have to show her, bring her to a real mental image of it. "The new world that rose from the ashes of the other was called Alteria after this noble woman who gave her life for the good of all than the need of one."  Though there was a bit more to stuff into that nutshell. "Eventually, after a thousand years, the fibers were wormed away by the other parallel universes of decay and it was destroyed. We managed a connection here and were brought over, a number of us that once was like the stars in counting. Most are gone." He was probably talking too much he realized as he took up his glass to drink down then pour another, becoming silent.

She was listening silently to the conversation, while at the same time tugging on the little ball for Aila and playing with her. So...these brothers were from a completely different world...and Vanessa was half phoenix? Certainly interesting to say the least.

A nod to indicate that he'd heard right. "They rise from their own ashes to be born again." Though she wasn't sure that was true of herself, being only half. Hearing the story of his home, her smile faded. Such travesties were hard to fathom when coming from another in words, but she could understand easily enough. "The kingdom of mine and my sister's birth was destroyed by a single person.." Failing to mention the very brief tale she'd hear that it had been her uncle to cause the destruction. "Such tragedies though often come with a hope of renewal and rebirth. Perhaps your home will be the same again in the future." It was a fairly meager attempt for brightening a dark topic. Not that she wasn't interested, but she didn't want him or his kin to feel that she was prying or anything. "But surely here you've found a good land and plenty of friends." Her meek smile returned, looking between the two men on either side of her.

Her own tragedies were going through her mind as she listens, including her most recent one. Sighing inwardly, she keeps to herself. They were speaking, so she would continue to play with her hawk companion.

"It is why we named the Manor we were graciously given in these lands in this universe, Genesis, which means to be born again." Though smoldering eyes lifted to the other lady whose silent contemplation was near palatable to him. "Wish you a comment or addition, Mal?" Yes, he just shortened her name!

He listened, his expression never changing, though he stroked the feathers of the owl's head and along the beak when Merlin came close. He frowned slightly at the last. It was a loss that had not faded. Lifting his tankard, he took a long drink while gray eyes shifted to the lady knight.

Blinking as attention was brought to her, she looks up and gives a bit of a smile, though it didn't reach her eyes. "Before I became a knight of the kingdom that I come from now, I was trained by my father in my homeland. It was a tiny kingdom. My father was captain of the guard, and he taught myself and my brother how to handle swords and a couple other weapons. But demons and thieves came to our kingdom and attacked one day, and we weren't prepared...I am the sole survivor. I have traveled around for several years, then finally made my home in GoldenMyst."

Vanessa turned her attention to Mal to hear her story and just shook her head. Bittersweet tales of destruction. Horrible memories for anyone to have.

"Then you have a new beginning as we do. It is said for a large universe, it can be a small world in parallels, some of the same, some opposite. As for Vanessa, her kingdom being felled by one, ours was in essence saved by one."



Date: 10-10-09
Poster: Vanessa Baltimore
Post # 18

"I suppose that is true." Nodding, she then strokes her companion. " of about a week ago, my husband was killed. I hadn't known him for that long, but we were in love. Not too long after we were married, I didn't see much of him...but one night I went to my bed back home...and his mask was sitting on my bed, with a note saying that he was dead." There was still a lot of pain from that...and her left hand was indeed bare. Her ring was still kept in a  pouch at her side.

Golden eyes turned to Hugh with a nod. "I've heard that where there is one form of anything, there is a complete opposite that mirrors it." She fell silent then listening to Malaika. Nothing of experience in the way of significant others, she kept her thoughts and words to herself, picking up her mug for another drink.

"I am sorry to hear of this, though I've never been in love nor married, I am aware of how it affects emotionally." Especially after they were living here and the fibers of this universe was as the old ones, before time stopped for them. He was probably 1026 years old for it. Though not looking a day over 26 and the process started up again where it had left off. A sliding glance was cast in Mellan's direction for an accidental mental connection broadcast a few years ago.

Her emotions were still churning inside. Once more she silently nods, and looks to Aila, who seems to come closer to Mal and nuzzle her. Once more she smiles and strokes the hawk.


There would be a hint of a smile for Hugh, almost sheepish. He looked at Vanessa, leaning forward slightly. "I have to admit I was curious. I had thought if you didn't have pupils you couldn't see, but it seems you are unique." Of course he didn't mean any offense by it. The Alterians tended to be outspoken.

Vanessa was quiet for a few moments until Mellan spoke. Looking to him, she smiled some. "One would think. Just don't ask me to explain how it works. I would be at a loss trying."

"I'm sure it's because of your father." He smiled now. "And all that matters is that you do see and well."

He could attempt an explanation of minuscule cells contained in the iris that fuses light signals to travel back that then reform to send the image to the brain. Except he realized he'd been talking too much and so lifted his glass to drink down the contents of potcheen going silent and leaving conversation to take a different direction by another.

"I'm sure it is. Some light blurs my vision and I don't have keen night eyes as some do. But as long as I can see the beauty of the world around me, all the small quirks are trivial matters." Never question what you have. Or so she believed. "How long have you and your kin been in Heathfield?"

Which he turned a look Mellan's way as it seemed to be addressed to him. The other lady had become quiet he noticed, but then she had been pretty quiet all along in comparison.

After she had set Aila aside with her little jingling ball, she gets up, moving to the bar to ask the tender for some cider. Looking the way of Vanessa and the two brothers, she gives a bit of a half-smile, and after getting her drink moves to sit down by the fire once more.

He was thinking, honestly. They still had to adjust to the whole concept of time. "I believe it would be five years now. I could be wrong but that seems about right?" He looked at Hugh to confirm it.

With the quiet elusive smile his way, he returned it in kind, one tucked within a thickening beard and reached his eyes. Brief. Fleeting. Back to observing. Time was an elusive thing to them as he had to reflect now as it was mentioned. "I think that is a good guess where time is concerned, close enough." Which he had the view it didn't matter.

Nodding to Mellan with a small smile to Mal, she looked over to Hugh as the other seemed to question his answer. "That's a good bit of time." Even if slightly off. "Do you get into the winter festivities as it seems others do?" So many seemed to be looking forward to all the cold weather festivities.

"I can if I bundle up good." Which might sound odd for most bundled up good when out in snow and cold. He bundled up so he didn't melt it all and throw off too much heat. "Are you planning on enjoying winter sports and festivities?"

She assumed bundling up to bay the cold. "I'm not sure yet. I think I've been talked into a sled ride..or maybe it sleigh. I'm not sure. I'm really not keen on the cold."

"It is suggested you attire yourself in layers, which then can be peeled off or added back on as needed. Keeping you to a comfortable temperature. You will find that exertion while wearing heavier clothing will have the temperature rise and kept close for entrapment. Some like to take a sleigh drawn carriage and go through snow covered fields and lakes."

A thoughtful smile to the advice. "I'll be sure to remember that. It would seem a popular thing to do. Also the..dragon's head run?" Not sure she'd gotten that right. "I've heard mention of that several times. Just the thought makes me cold." Spoken with a small laugh before finishing her drink.

"There too, by the time you pull your sled to the top of the run, you will be warmed up. If shared, that helps to ward off the cold. Fires are made in pits for those watching or those that want to warm up if needed. As with most things you do, use your instincts. If you feel you are getting too cold and might take ill, then take your leave to the tavern here or home immediately. Have someone accompany you there to make sure you reach your destination without incident." And here he was talking again as Mellan had gone silent.

Oddly, and even though they weren't brothers, the pair kind of reminded of Segan and Eion in the way one spoke and the other was mostly silent. Nose wrinkled some to the thought with a nod to the advice given. Looking to Mellan with a small grin. "Are you the mysterious sort, Mellan?"

Mellan would say something when he was ready to. He grinned at Hugh, then blinked with Vanessa question. "Me? Mysterious? Not at all. I tend to be off in my own little world far too much. And have to be reminded to come back to earth." He looked at Hugh and blinked. "Only if I'm trying to remember if I tightened a bolt on my latest invention."

"I disagree. I would say as far as mysteries, that Mellan has a few if you are into discovering mysteries, Vanessa."

The grin remained with a glance to Hugh. "Well, I ask for a reason. Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with Eion and Segan Quinn. Eion tends to be the quiet sort, and we had determined that it had something to do with attempting to keep an air of mystery about himself. So I thought perhaps Mellan was attempting something similar."

"Then, with that in mind, it would have Mal here being the most mysterious and myself with none." Which actually amused him as a smile finally surfaced. Changed his whole appearance.

Hearing her name mentioned pulled her from her own thoughts, and she blinks, almost looking like the owl that was there. She hadn't been paying attention to the conversation. "Um...I'm sorry, what was the question?"

She laughed quietly to Malaika. "No question. I think you've been deemed the most mysterious person here." The smile had not been missed and attention turned to Hugh. "Perhaps the least mysterious, but a smile makes up for it."

"How does one attempt to be mysterious?"

"A scientific formula has been broached by the lady Vanessa that we are testing out."

"Oh...I see..." Or at least she thought she did, sipping her cider and tilting her head a bit as she tries to bring herself up to speed mentally.

Which it just came out, "by not mentally broadcasting your night with the native women before you were to be sacrificed to their volcanic god." It was a good example.

She thought over Mellan's question for a moment. "I suppose giving those who wonder a taste for their curiosities, but not enough to sate fully. To keep them wondering?" And snickered softly to what Hugh said, looking back to him.

"You really didn't need to bring that up." He chided. Had he been younger or like Breda, who spent much time around children, he might have stuck his tongue out at Hugh.

He gave a slight shrug, "it was the best example I had of getting my point across to answer your question."

That was...confusing. But she had a feeling that she was being poked fun at. Smirking, she shakes her head and looks into the fire.

She leaned back in her seat so as not to hinder the conversation between the two men, passing glances back and forth in amusement.

Which his mind took a sharp curve. "We need to start testing the bubble made to make sure it is air tight and can last at least an hour or more so that Captain McCullen can do his exploration. We may consider going with him." He regretted not having the experiences that had been open to Mellan by his traveling with the swashbuckler. This time he would amend that. It was getting late as a few of the others would want to sing to the plants in the solarium to ease them during the darker hours of night yet to come. He finished off his drink, leaving the empty glass on the counter. He suspected Mal was more in slumber than here with them. "I am expected back at Genesis," more he could feel them gathering as they still all had that connection.

"It is airtight though I haven't tested it for an hour." He looked thoughtful. "Maybe we can test it in the lake before it freezes." The gears were going as he placed his empty tankard on the countertop.

"I think we can do that, test it in the lake before it freezes. Or along the ocean shore down from the cliffs, being it will be used in the ocean waters and off the shore  of an island." Mussing it over before a polite dip of his head was given Vanessa. "I am pleased I had the opportunity to meet you and that our paths cross again." Then to the other lady, "good night Mal, I hope that your visit continues to be enjoyable and that life brings you the happiness you seek." Being he might not see her again if she goes back home from her visit here.

She was hearing now that Hugh was going to leave, looking in his direction and offering a nod. "I was nice meeting you. I hope that we can meet again sometime, Lord Hugh." She was contemplating going up to bed early, but wasn't really sure if she would yet. Might stay by the fire, or end up sleeping in that seat, as she was sometimes prone to do.

It was indeed getting late. How time slips when in good company. Her mug pushed towards Alex's side of the bar, she unfolded her legs and slid down from her stool. The hood attached to the back of her dress lifted to cover her head, then picked up her cloak to draw around her shoulders. "A pleasure meeting you as well, Hugh. And you, Mellan. I certainly hope to see you both again." Cloak was clasped, her gloves were drawn from her pockets to pull on with a
smile to Mal. "Have a good night, Malaika. I'm hope to see you soon."

"We shall see you returned to your home Vanessa, it is a good custom here." Something they learned and why it was a good custom.


She thought to tell Hugh they didn't have to walk her home, but that protest was always thwarted and she'd learned to just accept it. "Thank you. Only if it's not an inconvenience." Okay....a little protest.


"Good night, Malaika." He made a clicking noise to Merlin who flew over to perch on a chair closer to the door. "Rest well this night. And perhaps we'll meet again." He smiled at Vanessa. "I'm sure we will."

"It is not," simple and to the point as he was over to hold the door for them. Once out he would be right behind then to her side. His presence would keep her as warm as she had been in the tavern for the duration of distance.

"Goodnight, Lord Mellan." Nodding to him as well, then to Vanessa, she would watch them leave, and sigh. She wasn't sure she wanted to return home yet...this was a new place, a new start for her. Going back would bring up all the memories that made her heart ache.

Merlin flew out as soon as the door was open, silent in spite of his wing span. It was time for him to hunt.  Mellan's thoughts were elsewhere already as he made no correction of the title Malaika called him.

"Thank you." Spoken again to Hugh as she made her way to the door with a wave to Malaika and Alex, then passed through and waited for Mellan to join before setting path for the cottage.



Date: 10-11-09
Poster: Vanessa Baltimore
Post # 19

Gathering at the Thistle

Well, the lovely sunny afternoon had shifted and changed into a chilly night with frosted breath and an air that left nose and cheeks rosy. Vanessa was one such case. She'd only just arrived, walking from her cottage to the Thistle at a quick enough pace, but not so quick to avoid the coloring effects of the colder evening. Quick up the porch and into the tavern, she was now gathered at the hearth with a bit of greeting chat with Alex. Blonde hair hidden beneath the hood of a wine colored cloak, her hands glove free now that she was indoors to warm up once more.

A crack of lightning split the sky as the wind rose with pelting rain. Thunder followed that melted with the heavy falling hooves of the great war horse. A pattern beat that brought hooded rider and steed as one in a distant sound that grew steadily louder. The large rain drops beginning to pelt against window panes not protected by a porch roof. Leaves came down like falling colored snow as many along the streets ran for cover. Cold and rain combined could be a deadly combination if one were not wise to dress accordingly. Aaric pressed forward, perhaps the storm a result of thoughts that flung back to an uncertain past.

The quick crack of lightning and strike of thunder was enough to catch Vanessa off guard. In the moment, she jumped, spinning around to look towards the window as the first drops of rain hit with a less than subtle drumming. How lovely. She'd have to walk home in the rain. Not just a rain, but a downpour it seemed, guessing by the fall of drops against the window. A shiver with the thought of how cold it must be, she inched her way closer to the fire with attention turned to Alex who was chuckling at her reaction to the sudden storm. She pointed at him accusingly. "Just you wait. I'll tell Hazel you were making fun."

Darragh hadn't reached the Thistle when the rains began. Rather than get soaked, he moved into a doorway and waited. It wasn't that he minded the cold or the rain but tonight he didn't feel he should be dripping all over the floor of the Thistle.

It came down like a monsoon by the time he reached the tavern and then it let up near instantly as the dark rolling clouds in the sky dissipated. Aaric dismounted with a slight flare of nostrils. The scent he picked up on told him of a few things, one being a friend was near but taking refuge someplace close from the rain. A chuckle rumbled low in his chest as he saw to Storm, speaking to him in an ancient tongue, one long forgotten. The stallion nickered, nudged and slightly nipped before taking off down the side street to the stables down behind the tavern. The lads were use to having this particular equine show up on his own. The hood was drawn down as he slipped the slicker from his clothing as he made his way up the steps. A good flick had most of the water gone off before he was to the door opening it.

Her comment to Alex wasn't anything less than in jest. Which she got a funny response to, something about please don't tell Hazel. She was likely to come after him with a wooden spoon. The mental image was enough to rouse a couple small snickers from the halfling before the door to the tavern opened and a face she didn't recognize. A smile offered as pupilless eyes took a brief chance of looking the man over. "Good eve, sir." Greeted in warm tones with another inch closer to the hearth.

He looked like air, wind and rain itself as he stepped in, although he seemed reluctant to close the door for there was another coming, even if that other was not in sight. Storm blue eyes in a mixture of grays turned upon the woman, seeming to see beyond her a moment before focused in. "Good evening, Lady. I hope I am not causing you discomfort with a draft?" Asked in the hope that he was not and his friend would appear so that it might be closed over.

"No, not at all." Nothing the warmth of the fire wouldn't cure at least. The smile remained, curious why he was holding the door open, but figured perhaps he saw another coming along. "Quite the storm..." Which now seemed to be over? Or near to it. Weather comes and goes here.

He smiled to himself as the rain ended and then stepped off the porch. A lad who was known to him dashed by, skidding to a stop to talk to the man. After a moment, he headed for the Thistle again, whistling as he made his way up the steps. He paused at the door and glanced over his shoulder, back along the commons. He stepped inside then, spotting one familiar face, and a grin appeared. "Evening, Aaric. Miss. Evening, Alex." And he crossed to the room to retrieve the drink that gent had set out for him.

The night held a damp feel to it still as Lorcan made his way up from the mercantile. Mac was running the bar and so he got out and away, something he needed. As he turned up the street from the commons he caught sight of the light form the door silhouetting one at least in its frame. His steps quickened though hard to see his face for the dip of the wide brim hat worn. If the man knew him, for it was the form of a man or one beastly woman, they would recognize him. Especially the slicker made of layered water repelling material.

"Good eve, sir." Spoke to Darragh as she reached up to draw her hood back, feeling a bit warmer now that heat saturated her cloak. For the moment though, she was going to keep her place at the hearth.

For a moment longer would be wise as he caught sight of Lorcan and waited at the door those few moments. "Alex," giving a respectful nod to the tender as the man set out his drink of choice for the evening. He would get to enjoy it once the door was handed over to the one coming in.

"There's one coming behind me." Apparently said too late as he crossed the threshold since it seemed Aaric was being doorman tonight.

He could move fast when needed and holding the door open was sure to have Aaric scolded if not by Alex then by Hazel if she came out and felt the draft. He took over the door with a wry grin as he stepped through and saw to it being securely closed to wind, damp and cold. Around as the cloak was slipped from broad shoulders and hung off to a peg, the hat to follow before a clasp to Aaric shoulder in thanks. "Good evening Aaric, Alex, Hazel," the latter a pitch higher so she would hear then the others, "Darragh, Miss." Hand falling away as he headed for the bar and a drink of potcheen to follow.

He returned the clasp of shoulder before falling in pace to the bar and his drink to acquire. "How is everyone this evening?" Then a quick comment to Darragh in particular. "It has been requested that tests be set up soon of the other two, details to follow." So he would know who it was from by such a reference and upon who was meant.

Casually watched as the three entered, holding a small smile while watching them all settle in. "Eve, sir." Spoken to Lorcan before moving herself to the bar to request a mug of hot cider.

"Aye, I think they're ready." He nodded then grinned at Lorcan. "Good eve to you, Lorcan. How fare ye and yours?" Meaning his extended family but then he remembered his manners. "I'm Darragh and these two fine gentleman are Aaric and Lorcan." Now that she was closer and he need not raise his voice.

"All is well and doing well. You have drinks waiting on the house when you two can find your way down to my little domain." Being in a way a reflective part wolf, he was territorial by instincts. When introductions were made he turned to face the woman and the usual assessing in his quiet way of doing so. About all she might notice, if she noticed at all, the dipping glance of goldenized bronze eyes.

Golden hue lacking pupils took them all in more as introductions were made, looking to each as their names were spoken. "A pleasure to meet you, Gentlemen. I'm Vanessa Baltimore." It was easy to note the difference in someone's eyes because it was something she was accustomed to and aware of after having her own commented on so often.

His were of a storm settled having ravaged the lands or in counterpart, mental thoughts. "Vanessa, if you are agreeable to the custom of informality here, a pleasure to meet you indeed."

"Ah, the Lady of the Bird. It's a pleasure to meet you." He grinned again, then hid a smile because of something that amused him before taking a drink of the pure.

"Vanessa," falling to the informality as well. Something far more comfortable for the likes of him. "It is my pleasure as well and offer my welcome to these lands. I have heard your name in passing of one with the Avian Gardens.." if he was to say more it turned into a humorous chuckle with Darragh under his sights.

"Vanessa is preferable over formalities." Darragh received a slight raise of her brow and a grin. "...." Then to Lorcan with a small grin. "Aye. That would be me." wonder if that's how minor celebs felt.

"So this is why the name is familiar." As both made the association Aaric had missed at first. He was very preoccupied and so settled on a stool to commence drinking.

"And I am at a loss for it seems you all have an advantage over me, in regards to knowledge of who I am and what I do." Cloak removed and laid over back of her claimed stool, she took a seat and picked up her mug, keeping attention to the three gents.

"I and a group that has been with me for a while, run the Hollow Woods mercantile and inn down at the port. I and my extended family moved here last spring and had the place built." He settled onto the stool he had been standing by as he took up his drink with a lift in salute before kicking it back.

"And Aaric and I serve the Crown Prince, Andrew." He smiled again. "You've settled into Heathfield quite nicely."

He was about to add but didn't need to as Darragh added him in. So a slight smile ghosted with a minute dip of his head as he filled his glass again. It was lifted in a return salute to Lorcan before kicking it back.

She'd only been to port once, so didn't recognize the name of the business that Lorcan spoke. A smile to Darragh. "I have. I am grateful for the kindness and hospitality shown to me."

He was assembling mental notes to keep from more dire thoughts and realizing some of what was to come would be to address a past long overdue. A realization that had other information tumbling in after it. Something that had not been thought upon before becoming clear in a way he wondered how he didn't see it before. He had a far off look most likely presently if noticed. Even his hand was stilled by his glass in not refilling it.

"Yes, people are good here, and more than willing to lend a hand if needed."

"You can stop here, Douglas." Yet the small cart kept on rolling by the Tavern. "I said to stop!" Douglas wasn't listening. He had to get this willful child off his back. He couldn't stand anymore time with her. Roselyn looked back at the tavern. A small pout on her young face. Fine, if he wasn't going to stop. She looked to the passing ground. Grabbing her skirt's, she jumped from the side of the cart. Rolling across the road. Well, that was not the graceful landing she was hoping for. Grunting as she rolls to a stop, she heard cursing Douglas pull the cart to a stop. "I told you to stop!" Rose blinked up at the night sky, slowly pushing herself upward. Pushing her black curls from her face. "Where are we?" As the man came over to her, roughly pulling her back to her feet.

"That they are." She smiled lightly and lifted her mug for a small drink. "So you two are...knights?" Referring to Darragh and Aaric.

Focus had shifted going beyond the darkness of the window panes to feel his way through the distance before pulled back with the question. There was a fraction of a moment pause like one switching gears. "We are part of the force of five under the Druid Prince. Being honed and trained to keep these lands safe on a higher level, that of magic and astral as some would put them in easier terms."

Attention drifted to Aaric as he explained what they did, and gained a nod. "Fascinating.." Genuinely spoken. She'd never heard of anything quite like that before.

Impassion blue eyes looked up a Douglas as he gave her tongue lashing. Dropping her gaze, she gave her dress a small pass of her hand. "I do not care, old man. I want a drink and food. Find a place to put the cart." Lifting feature's back to the man's face, dimpled chin gave a small tip upwards, she headed to the tavern. Picking straw from her hair from her time in the back of the cart. Opening the door, she slipped in. A new place to wonder over. It was a grand idea to stop.

"It is very fascinating," now that she attached the word to it, he realized how well it fitted. Though the child coming in had him looking beyond to see if there was a parent with the one. There and back as the question was asked. "Are you by yourself child?" Hoping she was not for her own good, though someone had to have been driving the carriage he had heard along with her.

Lorcan was taking it all in, his drink being enjoyed as well the conversation he had nothing to add to. The child's appearance had a dipping glance turn in that direction a moment before back. Lifting to the mirror on the wall behind Alex instead. Instead of staring at the young girl that might have her become self conscious and rightly so.



Date: 10-11-09
Poster: Vanessa Baltimore
Post # 20

Nodding to the comment, she too turned her attention to the child with a bit of curiosity. Another small drink taken from her mug while watching the young girl.

Why did people think she was child all the time. She stood at five'two, but she was seventeen of age. Perhaps, it was she did act like a child. Cold blue gaze was on the man who spoke to her. "I need no parent, sir. I am of age to be on my own. But thank you for your concern." Picking straw off the simple dress she wore, she headed to the bar to gather herself a drink and Douglas one too.

"You are welcome of my concern in being alone." Though she didn't look old enough in his opinion or that ones of teen years looked so much younger to him at this point. "Nonetheless, you are safe here. Food and drink without cost and a warm bed to sleep in if you've need."

Vanessa remained quiet and turned herself towards the bar with her drink, lost in a moment of her own thought as she situated herself on her stool. Looking back to the young woman though, she offered a smile in welcome.

There was a slight smirk to ghost in a fleeting way as his glass was lifted. Witnessing the scene more from the mirror in reflection than directly.

No cost....Hmmm. The spoil teen was gleeful for a moment. She didn't have to pay for a drink. Oh, this was a grand place indeed. Turning back to the man, she bowed her head. "I am not alone so much as I am traveling with my father's man. He is finding a place for our cart." And she looked to the tender. "An ale for the man and some sweet mead for me, please." A warm smile given back to the woman.

"Have you traveled far?" Inquire to the young woman who wasn't much younger than Vanessa was. She was soon to be twenty. One more drink, the mug was set on the counter top with her hands gathered around to collect the warmth.

Douglas looked to be in mid forties. New gray hair spotted in his thick blonde hair. He looked hard from the world he has lived in. Slipping to the side of the youth, she looked to him. "I have ordered you a Ale, Dougie." He grumbled at her, a look in his green eyes as if he wanted to still strangle the girl. Turning away from him, she smiled to the woman. "My father has sent for me to come home from my schooling. To where we go, only Dougie knows. But he won't even tell me."

A light nod was given to her story. "Must be adventurous then." At least a more positive way to look at it, she smiled once more and looked down into her mug.

He settled to listen, noticing Lorcan and Darragh did the same. Seemed best the lady talk with her for they might be on the same page that he would probably step all over.

"It has been. But I do grow so bored. And the roads are bumping. And it is not all that enjoyable in the cart of hay." Which she went to picking hay off her. "I did jump from the back of the cart to make him stop. That was fun and hurtful. But still a nice rush."

Welp, that was enough for Darragh. "I think I'm going to head out for a while." He realized it was best he go for a long walk. Giving the others a nod, he headed for the side door.

She wasn't quite sure what to say to that. Hearing Darragh, she smiled. "A pleasure to meet you, Darragh." And just like that, he was gone. Looking back to the young woman. "You travel by hay cart?"

Which had brows dip in concern as he rose from his seat, drink kicked back and bottle picked up. "If you will excuse me, I need to talk to my friend." Only bit he'd say on it before heading for the door, "a pleasure meeting you Vanessa I hope to repeat. Lorcan, I'll be down soon for that drink. Lass," added for the young girl.

"A pleasure meeting you as well." Hm..perhaps she smelled! She had been out riding and tending to the birds today.

"The roads are full of danger, miss. So we are in cover as farmer's." Blinking at the suddenly leaving of the one man, she just smirked softly. A small bow of her head, she dipped into a curtsy. "Be safe and well." A small pinking of her cheek, she looked back to the woman. "Oh, I have forgotten I do have manners. I am Roselyn Boley."

"I hope you do, and drag Darragh with you." Seemed the man could use some loosening up.

"With winter in quick approach, must be dreadfully cold." Or so she would think. A smile given to the introduction. "A pleasure to meet you, Miss Boley. I'm Vanessa Baltimore and this handsome man left amidst our company is Lorcan."

He paused at the door long enough to hear the name before he was off to catch up with his friend before he got too far. He might well rage a storm with him!


Roselyn looked over to the man. "A delight to meet you, Lorcan. I have never herd of such a name before. It is lovely to be sure." Doug was not happy with his ale and the chatter of the girl's words out of her ear for now. "Oh, yes I do get cold. But Doug just tells me to curl in the hay. Have you ever slept in hay before. It very warm to sleep in. And I have my wool cloak."

A minor habit had him discreetly tug at an ear lobe before his hand came to rest next to his glass. Slight quirk of a smile with his name considered lovely. Thankful Mack didn't get to hear that one and use it against him when it came time to bust balls. "Roselyn, welcome to the tavern." Politely, even cordial. It would seem Douglas had his hands full.

"I can't say that I have." Not something she'd ever had the experience of. Gratefully. "As long as you keep warm and dry I suppose that's all that matters."

He did and would demand more pay for his trouble's. The girl was a hand full. All ways a little misfit. Turning to her mead, she gave look over to Doug, "We should stay a few days. Food and drink are free here." But she said to be true. "The days are growing colder, it was not bad a month ago, but we need cover." Doug stared at the girl, grumbling he slipped away from them to sit at table to think. Turning back, she just smiled. "You be around for a few days, Miss Venessa?"

Her attention turned elsewhere out of politeness when Roslyn spoke with her father's man, only to turn attention back to her with a small smile. "I should hope so since my cottage is a twenty minute walk from here." Quicker if she ran because it was cold.

"Where are you headed, where your father lives?" She was lucky she didn't have someone like him in Douglas' place. Lorcan would have turned her over his knee long ago.

"Perhaps, I can come for a visit while Doug finds us better travel?" She looked back to Lorcen. "I truly do not know. I have asked, and Doug keeps telling me when we get there. My father is a Captain and merchant. For any place he has his ship is home." There seemed to be a touch of sadness in her gaze before she turned away to sip on her mead. How she missed the sea. Daughter like father.

"Not unlike myself although I do not have any children," that he knew of but then he was the type that would know if he had fathered any child for he was picky and discreet with his relationships. "It may take you some time in finding him," though he spoke to the girl he was looking straight at the one in charge of her. Was the man foolish enough to be just going all over creation in a cart with a young girl in the hope of catching up with her father or did he know exactly where the father was and trying to get the stubborn one there before he had to leave? Ah, quite a few questions came to mind before attention was drawn back and to Vanessa as the lass set to her drink. "I will have to come up to see your Avian gardens with so much talk on them. If you do get down my way, there will be a meal and drink on the house within the tavern."

She looked at the girl and gave a nod. "I don't see why not." She couldn't really turn a visit away. She glanced to Lorcan with a grin. Lifting her mug to finish off the contents then set it on Alex's side with decline of a refill. Looking back to Lorcan, she nodded, offering a grateful smile. "You should, and that would be fantastic. I will have to find someone to join me." From her first visit to the ports, she got the impression that most she knew wouldn't be keen on the idea of her going alone.

Doug had been watching them, when the man looked his way. He just scowled, he was following orders. He knew what port to bring the girl to. Just not where it was. Lost would be the word for it, but the Captain would find him. He only prayed it was soon. He wanted to be rid of this woman-child. Rosie perked up as the man's word's. "Is your ship close by?" Was there a port near here, she was sea born child and when she had to go inland for school and off the boat it crushed her. Gardens? "There are gardens here? Well, perhaps I should ask where here is."

"Well, they're left overs currently with the colder weather set in. But they are home to my birds." She smiled lightly and slipped off her stool and moved back to the hearth to warm up again.

"Presently it is away at my island." Being he was running the mercantile, he would allow his men to run the ship and bring back goods to trade and sell off. It also kept them happy as well seaworthy. A glance was given Vanessa before upon the young girl. "You are in the lands of Heathfield, the tavern called the Thistle."

"Birds?" Rose seemed to be sadden once more. So she couldn't ask for a ride on his boat. She missed the feeling of a deck under foot, and the way the ship rocked. "Heathfield...." A thoughtful look came over her tender face before she shook her head. "No, I do not think we studied it at the convent."

Vanessa was listening quietly while holding her hands out towards the fire and gathering warmth in her dress before taking her leave of the night. Looking back to Roslyn, she nodded. "Birds. I train them."

"Do you mean like hawkers do?" She sipped more on her mead. Only to walk a little from the bar and back again. Working her legs for they felt stiff as much as her body did now.

Hawkers? Sounded like something someone coughed up, but she got the gist. "Yes, I train hawk and falcon scouts and hunters, carriers and companion birds."

Doug had down the rest of his ale and was up to get himself another mug full from Alex. And the teen stood there for a moment. "I saw people hunt with falcon's before....I felt so sorry for the rabbits they killed." A small shrug of her shoulder's, she looked to Doug speaking softly at him. Suddenly he grabbed her arm and pulled away from the bar. "Ow, stop it, that hurt's...What did I do?"

Nice and toasty in her dress now, she moved back to her seat to pick up her cloak, looking back to Roslyn. "Everything must eat. It's all part of life." The wine colored cloak lifted and draped over her shoulders, blinking at the sudden action of Douglas. "Sir, you'd be wise not to handle in her such a manner." It was unkind and she was sure that none here would tolerate such force.

He finished his drink as he stood. "Could you use an escort to your cottage, Vanessa." Alex had already motioned to one of the guards who came from one of the few halls leading from the tap room.

Doug let her go and stepped back from the girl. A foul look in his eye over her. He turned and left out the door he came to get the bags for the rooms. Roselyn rubbed her arm. "It is not the first time he handle me in such away. I think it me who makes him angry. Be safe on your way home, Vanessa. It was nice to meet the both of you." She bowed her head and went to sit at the fire to warm herself and wait for Doug.

"That would be greatly appreciated." Spoken to Lorcan as she fasted her cloak about her neck and lifted the hood over the mess of blonde curls. Gloves retrieved from her pocket, she looked to Roselyn. "He'll not handle you in such a fashion as long as you are here." A very subtle shake of her head, gloves were pulled on. "Have a good night, Miss." Turning to Lorcan. "I await your ready, sir."

The guard gave Lorcan a look as he probably figured what was going through his thoughts and followed the man out to have a few words with him on etiquette here. Lorcan would not be so discreet and better for the man the guard had gone out to speak with him. Far better. Smile tucked off to the side as he was to the door to see it open and then closed once she was out. "Now I will be certain where you are located," as he was learning his way around the lands still. The night had a chill as he collected his overcloak on the way out to don, the walk would probably be brisk.

Following Lorcan out, she dipped her head in parting once more to the young woman and turned attention to her company. "Indeed you will. Don't forget flowers when you come." A teasing smile was given as she passed and waited for him to join her for the very brisk walk back to the cottage. Luckily, it would be warm when she arrived, and of course she'd at least ask Lorcan if he'd like a drink before his walk to the docks to keep him warm along the way.

Roselyn nodded. If they could see the bruises on her fair skin, perhaps Doug wouldn't be coming back. So she waited for him there. A far off look in her gaze with a sigh. They could do nothing honestly, he was her guardian till she be back with her father. At lest he never hit her face. He knew how to hit to not even leave bruises. When he came back in, she grabbed her bag and key to her room. Rushing to get away from man and hands.

"Indeed. You would be carnations in shades of pink and red a perhaps a lily or two if the florist of the lands has any." He would start off on a conversation that would fade as they moved from the tavern, one about if she had certain birds that were found on his island though more than three quarters of it were yet to be explored.



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