Eat, Drink, and be Merry..., part 1


The wind had picked up a bit as the cloaked individual wandered into the town, not that he noticed. He only seemed to know of it as the dust from the well ridden streets began to flow about. He shrugged his shoulders under the heavy cloak and wandered farther into the town seeking rest, though he didn't feel tired. It was as if he was really oblivious to the area around him but watching every movement at the same time.
The figure slowly walked his way farther still led by his long metallic walking staff and seemingly heavy black colored leather boots which also matched his light tunic and long garbed legs. He was a tall man...maybe 6 or 7 heads high and clothed in all black. The only thing that clashed was a strange half skull like mask he wore underneath the cloak that wasn't noticeable unless he lifted his head. A fearsome sight, but oddly...he didn't seem to be one who radiated fear. A true enigma, indeed.
He moved along the pathway and gazed up slightly to see a sign. "The Dragon's Inn". He smiled and then walked toward it. As he neared the doorway, he seemed to feel that the day was not over, though he knew it was coming to an end for him. He entered the doorway and removed his mask to reveal a well tanned face with ghost white hair and an odd red tattoo over his right eye. He walked up to the desk and spoke, "I am DeMorte. I would care for a room should one be available." His voice was soft and yet very strong and hypnotic...much as his blue eyed face. As the innkeeper gave him directions to the room, DeMorte still could not shake the feeling that something was about to happen. Something wonderful.
[Takayoshi T.]
The 40(!!) year old oriental finally made back to the Inn where he sat at a nearby table. The 6', 200 lb. man ordered an ale from Sera, and looked around the Inn at its patrons as he waited for Brea.
"No trouble makers tonight only...." his thoughts were interrupted as he saw a figure dressed in all black standing at the bar with his back turned upon him.
"Could it be, could it be him!? But why in the hell would that high priest be doing out here, out of his religious jurisdiction?" the oriental thought to himself as a picture of another man in black crossed his mind, obviously it was a picture of the high priest. "Of course, being a high priest is not easy work, I guess that is why I respect him."
The oriental casually looked at him and the patrons, as to not stare at him, waiting for him to turn around in the oriental's direction.
She finally spied Takayoshi sitting at a nearby table and waved to get his attention.
Walking in with Breannyn, Sherwood hoped he wouldn't offend by sitting with her and Takayoshi. Then again, he _had_ offered to buy the first round. "I wonder if they're a couple?", he mused to himself. Then, aloud, he said, "Waitress, get a round of drinks over here, will you?" He dug a bit in his pocket for coin, and sighed at the light weight of his purse. When the waitress arrived, he said, "And I'll take a bowl of soup as well!"
Linna dodged through the crowd to Takayoshi's table and dropped down into a chair with a broad grin on her face. The events of the afternoon and evening had energized her, and she was more than ready to feed both her hungry stomach and her hungry mind.
She was well aware of the contradictory personalities she and Ceri possessed. She herself was very studious, but she was also outgoing and loved to meet new people. Ceri, though quite active and athletic, was shy around other people...except for kids, of course. Linna wondered if what Elwynn had spoken about--the natural shyness of unicorns--was also coming into play. That was something she'd have to watch.
She put aside such thoughts when her meal arrived, though. She applied herself to her bread and thick soup, listening to the others at the table and waiting to enter the conversation. She also watched the other patrons, marvelling at the many different types, most of which she'd only read about. So she couldn't help but notice the black-clad man at the bar. She wondered idly, as she caught a glimpse of his white hair and the strange mask he was carrying, what had brought him to Montfort.
Dwynn let his newfound sense guide him towards Montford. Once there he went straight to the inn. Since he had packed all his stuff before he left he just left it with his horse and went to see the others. As he pulled up a chair he winked at Linna.
"Ladies, Gentleman. Since we depart upon the morrow, let us eat, drink and become good friends to facilitate an expedient journey. The second round is on me. And if our Lady Linna would make room in my poor skull, I intend to work at replacing my ache with one born from a night of gaiety."
Linna grinned at Dwynn through a mouthful of bread. She swallowed, then dug into her pack for the mousewort, which she had earlier sealed in a teabag. The waitress, on her request, brought a mug of hot water, and Linna handed it and the teabag to Dwynn. "There you go," she said. "I don't know for sure that it'll help. But it can't *hurt.* And it actually has a pleasant flavor." She grinned as she watched him brew his tea.
Sherwood displays a thoughtful smile as the group sets in to eat. "The night is to be short, I'm afraid, but I would like each of us to tell a bit about themselves. I, for instance, was raised by elves after my village was massacred by goblins. The elves not only healed the pain from that long-gone event, but they instilled in me the love of life around me that they inherently own. Along the path of my training, they introduced me to a wonderful range of culture, though always with the goal of 'getting me through' social encounters, not winning debates. *wistfully* My heart lies with the wild things of the forest, and I have the skills needed to survive there (and oft have for months at a time)." The serenity in his voice is belied by the nervous way he grabs his cup & drinks its ale, but he brings the shaky hand under control as it meets the table, and the smile fades as determination sets in. "If we can find the source of Ceri's, er, the Unicorn's Curse, and correct it, we'll have done a Good Thing."
"Well, um...uh," Brea scratches her head thoughtfully, not really sure she wants to tell anyone about her past. "'ve done a lot of traveling. Most all my life actually. Except for a couple years when I lived in a children's home. That's where I learned to read, and well, been reading ever since. Left there a while back and came here to the Bard's Hall to become a Bard. Figured I may as well do something with my life besides... um...traveling."
Dwynn looked a little worried about the idea of other people delving into his past. {Still,} he though with a quick smile {it's nothing a flourish of words can't cover.} "Well spoken, Sherwood. My abilities may supplement yours from time to time. I was born and raised in Montford. And I am a townsperson by heart. And for a time I was happy here." He quickly scanned the table and gulped his wine down. It was beginning to affect him. "Sera, when is that second round coming."
"I had a wife and a few odd jobs. And then we were welcomed with open arms into the Church of the Redeemer. They made a young couple feel significant and useful. They gave me a steady job as executioner and Crystal got involved in charity work. Yes, they had us fooled and addicted and we never saw it coming." He looked at the others with tearstained anger in his eyes. He knew he had said much more than he intended, but he couldn't stop now. "Until they killed her! Only then did I begin to understand a little of what the Redeemer was about but is was too late. Crystal was dead and my hands were stained with the blood of those convicted by the church. Yes, I was an executioner! Think what you will of it."
Frowning, Sherwood shakes his head, wondering about the job of executioner. Although a wife's death could shake a man, as it obviously had Dwynn, the job of executioner was only that -- a job. After all, Dwynn hadn't been the one to sentence the people to death! Yet hearing the man's grief stilled his tongue, as he thought to himself, "Each of us have endured loss, and each must, in their own way, decide how best to bear it."
"I think, Dwynn," Elwynn Evindem said, "that whatever crimes you may have committed you have long since paid for in full. The pain in your eyes shows it."
Elwynn stepped through the doorway of the inn and made her way to the table where the rest of the party sat. Placing a reassuring hand on the former executioner, she continued to speak.
"Everything is ready for tomorrow's journey. I have secured a wagon and a team of horses with two weeks supplies. It should be enough to start us on our journey. Does anyone have any special requirements or need? We might be able to secure a few specialty items, even at this late hour."
"You know what might come in handy? If we're going to be staying pretty close together, a warning device of some kind might be just what the Bard ordered! I mean, I can imagine scouting for the group, finding a band of Orcs (or worse), and then not being able to warn you about it! I wonder if they have any horns availlable here?" Gazing out the window, the wheels of ideas seem to be spinning dangerously in his head. . .
"Elwynn, Thanks." He said simply and he settled down a bit with another glass. {Still, Crystal is gone. } The herbal tea had cured his headache and his throughts returned for the moment to practical matters. {I've done all the thinking on the past that will do me any good and more.} "No, no special requirements. I will be bringing my horse though. If mistress permits." He added with a smile. But his heart clearly was not in it this time. "Sherwood, would a horn not also alert the enemy?"
"Aye, friend Dwynn, it certainly would. Yet I'd be willing to risk being spotted if it would save the rest of our gentle group unseemly headaches," said Sherwood, followed by a grin with just a hint of battle lust behind the eyes. "I've avoided orcs, and worse, over the course of the last 3 years, and can promise they won't find me easy to catch! At any rate, 'tis my own skin I'd be risking, and who knows? The vile creatures just _might_ think I was calling for reinforcements."
The elf maid was rumaging through her hat. "Hmm....yo-yo...jelly babies... deck of cards...oscillation overthruster...Oh! Here we are! Cavalry bugle!"
She pulled out a small brass horn with a red tasseled string attached. Looping the string over her shoulder, she placed the horn to her lips, and blared out a loud fanfare.
"Here you are, Sherwood. One Cavalry bugle, circa 1863. It was a gift from a dear friend of mine who led a division of cavalry at Gettysburg."
He accepted the proferred bugle, and nearly lifted it to his mouth, when he spied a strange man, wearing an odd mask, sitting at the bar. The lapse passed, however, and the bugle -- and a smile with it -- were placed against his lips. A fairly ragged, yet sufficiently loud note made its way out of the horn's end. "Thank-you, m'lady," he said, and bowed his head toward the elf-maid. "I shall treasure it as you have!"

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