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Acies ab Vesania

Tavern of Legend Season 3

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"And I," the lady placed a hand where her heart would be. "am Loara Everstead. The pleasure is all mine." she smiled, although the veil may still filter it.

She retrieved her staff, her backup weapon. It was red oak and varnished well enough to prevent splinters. She was decent at using it, and was excellent at keeping enemies at a fair distance, but a large stick might not do much for their quest for a beast like a bear. A bow and a quiver of arrows, however, would be much better suited to this task. She turned to both her new ally Leon and the bartender.

"Before we embark on this quest, I must ask. Where may I find a weapons shop? I need to get a bow. I am much better at archery than pole-arm styled combat."

@Godspell @supernal

 

 

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The bartender was pleased at how everything had turned out, and so early in the day at that. Although more drink than meal, both customers were liberal with their purchases, and by happy coincidence, both parties stood to gain some additional perk – these two would get expertly crafted furs, and he would gain favor with Vaddock for his small part in coordinating the bear removal.

The bartender was brought out of his thoughts by Loara's question.

"A shop? Like run by a merchant? You'd want to go into town for that, and that'd be a pretty long walk there and back. You can let the bartender know Prote sent you his way and you can have access to anything we have in the sparring room if you want to have something on loan until you get things taken care of."

@Shaylayy

Edited by supernal

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Loara put a finger to her chin. Walk to the nearest town and buy a bow, or borrow a bow from here? The decision was difficult, for she had to guess whether or not there would be dangers between the tavern and the town that would require her to fight. Although, with her staff and Leon's sword and spells, it shouldn't be a big problem...

"Thank you for your offer, but I would prefer to fully own a bow again." She said, bowing her head to the bartender and walking away and out the door, following her comrade who left before her.

@supernal

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Watching two figures leave a tavern caught her interest. She was in need of a public rest stop. The small woman stepped up to the door and knocked on it. If past experiences have taught her anything is that it is polite to knock before entering. What past experiences have failed to teach her, however is how long you wait, or that some doors might not require a knock at all.

There was a croak from her satchel. “I’m sure someone is there. I hear voices from within.” She responded. The Half-Fae, standing only at 5’ brushed her wavy, auburn hair back revealing her pointy ear and held it against the door. “Yes. It most certainly is not vacant.” She listened further, “I am nearly entirely convinced.”
A muffled, desperate croak tuned from her satchel. “What?” she asked concerned. “Oh.” She pushed herself away from the door freeing the satchel that had been squeezed in. She opened the flap and peeked inside. “I’m terribly sorry.” She said. Closing the flap she contemplated her next move.

Her clothes were old and torn. Her shoes had too many miles on them and the berries from the day before had been a poor meal and would not sustain her for long. She was dependent on the contents of this tavern.

She knocked again.

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“…Tavern. A place open to the population or a portion of the population. It is usually a place for business, dwelling, entertainment and all sort of lawful and unlawful purposes. Knocking will not be necessary.” The Half-Fae concluded in ramblings to know one in particular.
She pushed the Tavern door open and shut it neatly behind her and huffed.
Taking a moment to inspect the place, she was impressed by the high rafters. It reminded her of the tree trunks of her beloved forest. ‘Well, a very distant resemblance’ she added to herself.
Reaching in her pouch she felt the absence of coin. Her satchel croaked from within. This was not a state she desired to be in, dependent on the charity of others, especially since few humans were charitable by nature.

She was fidgety and started grinding her teeth. Her hazel eyes, darting around to a possible destination, eventually settled on the barkeeper, who looked to be of importance in this establishment.
With the warmest smile she could muster she walked up to him. “I don’t intend to be of bother, sir, but I am in need of some help.”

@supernal

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"Alright then. Well best of luck to you both!"

The bartender touched two fingers to his forehead in an informal salute as Leon and Loara girded themselves and strode out of the tavern to make good on Vaddock's bounty.

In the short time that it took for the two of them to obscure themselves among the trees, the tavern doubled in activity. The morning rush was hitting their decks; the waitstaff doubled in response, like antibodies swarming on foreign agents but killing them with kindness instead of driving them away.

The bartender now had his attention drawn by the newest patron of their quote-unquote humble establishment. The woman's fae-like features were hard to miss, even though they were diluted by an equal dose of human heritage. He suffered under the preconception that faefolk were given to mischief, and so cocked a wary brow her way in response.

"I saw you reaching into your coin purse and come up empty. No bother at all but don't suppose that help you're looking for has something to do with an empty stomach?"

@Lilja

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Her face lit up and her smile grew, if that was even possible. “Why yes, sir. How astute of you. I would love some food.”

She crammed in her satchel searching for something to bargain with.
“My belongings are in a poor state. There is nothing of value.” She said hopping onto a bar stool. “My coin has switched owners, I’m afraid. The other one had a larger blade.” She crinkled her noise in a bit of annoyance, “But the coin will be in new hands soon enough. Along with it he took my Nightshade berries. A wonderful treat for Gnomes, but poisonous for humans. He won’t get far.”

The Half-fae fell silent and a quizzical expression took over her face. The man had not actually offered her something to eat, but could have merely been making a statement. In her mind she took a few steps back and started her part of the conversation anew.

“If I could have some food and drink I would be forever grateful. I’m willing to work for it, you know. I can do anything. Except for things that I can’t.”

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The bartender watched the woman go about her business with a frenetic air. There was as equal a chance that this frenzy was genuine as there was that it was all a smokescreen, a legedermain meant to setup some larger, overarching scheme.

But the more of her yarn the woman unspooled, the more he was convinced she spun him gold rather than yarn.

Jestan chewed the inside of his cheek when he thought. This mannerism gave him an expression partway between amusement and cynicism. Before the woman could parse his expression into something meaningful he turned his back towards her, and walked into the back kitchen without a word. When he returned minutes later, it was with a plate in one hand, on which rested a small bowl, and a glass in the other.

He placed before her two small, hard boiled eggs, three russet potatoes, and a bowl of oatmeal; for spice he brought salt for the former, cinnamon for the latter.

"A little while ago the boss created what she calls the uh, 'aimless adventurer' fund. You'd be surprised, or maybe not, by how many people we get running through here that have more or less the same story. Basically you said the magic words, so here's the Breakfast Lite™. On the house.

"If you want meat though, bacon, lamb, beef, those cuts you'll have to pay for. Once you get your strength up if you still want something to do let me know."

He thought about toilet scrubbing and dish washing, the mainstay staples for wandering warriors, ambulating adventurers, meandering mendicants and all their ilk. But then his eyes drifted towards the eastern end of the tavern, to the performer's area ringed by a string of currently empty chairs.

He nodded towards it and then looked back at her.

"You ever think about singing for your supper?"

Edited by supernal

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She knew the bartender was still trying to figure her out. It was a dance of gesture and facial expression she was all too familiar with. Not all “dances” were expressed in the same fashion, she had met everything from hostility to amusement, but she was not oblivious to her effect on other people. It…confused most. And humans tend to fear what they don’t understand. 

She could not read his thoughts, but his action spoke for him. There was a twinkle of genuine appreciation. “It’s good people that make good places, sir.” She said reaching for the bowl of oatmeal, “Thank you, this will serve plenty.” She paused a moment, “My name, if it’s of interest to you, is Sóli.” 

Taking another mouthful of the delicious fluffiness that was quickly becoming her favorite food, she grabbed the cinnamon spice and sprinkled some on her hand for inspection. 

“Everyone has a story to tell, I wonder what yours is?” she asked. Sóli sniffed the spice and proceeded to lick it off her hand. Sticking her tongue out in a lapping motion she was figuring out if the taste was congruent with the aroma. Deciding in its favor she sprinkled some on her oatmeal. “How did you end up here?” She sprinkled some more on the rest of her food, as well. “I knew a man, traveled half the world to find his glory. You know where he found it? In a tavern, like this. He married, raised a family and ran the tavern with his wife, ‘til the end of their days. Well, no. That’s not right. They are still alive and well. At least I hope they are. I haven’t heard from them in a while.”

Her thoughts drifted off, but were pulled back by the noise and commotion. It dawned on her how busy the tavern was. “Goodness me. I do not mean to keep you from your work.” She took another bite “I can do it, by the way.” She turned in her seat and looked to the stage. “I can sing.”

To give him an idea of her worth she started singing the first tunes of an old battle song she remembered. The tune was melodic and sad, unusual for her repertoire, but it was the first thing that came to mind.

“When autumn wind is howling, a grasp of winter’s breath.
The echoes of ancient ones, have sealed our fate in death.
To our fallen heroes who guide us through the night,
may pain and sorrow fade to dust and never see the light.”

@supernal

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"Soli."

The bartender repeated, not quite able to replicate her accent but clearly making the attempt.

"It's a real pleasure to meet you. My name's Jestan. I'll make sure to pass your thanks along to the boss. At first I thought, we're just giving food away? But then she told me that if you must choose between making money and helping people, help people when you can."

Jestan allowed himself to fall into the pleasant monotony of his usual bartending duties, most notably wiping down the counter and then drying off mugs which busboys brought out to him by the bucket. He listened to Soli attentively; when he let his gaze wonder, it never seemed to be from a lack of interest, but from a natural desire to make sure that the rest of the customers were not left in want because of his socializing.

Soli asked him a question but, before he could answer, her manic energy carried her through his end of the conversation. Jestan's face softened with a smile – he was never once left with the impression that the woman was rude or contemptuous, which gave him a great degree of freedom in how amiable he felt that he could afford to be. The same behavior exhibited towards him with a few more degrees of imperious attitude would have sparked the same in Jestan, but all Soli managed to do was delight him with her zeal.

When she finished her song Jestan slapped his drying rag over his shoulder and clapped for her.

"That's some voice you've got Soli." He pushed an already served glass of mead her way. "That one's on me. As for my story, it's a lot like your friend's but less exciting. I didn't travel around the world and I wasn't searching for glory or treasure or any of that. I grew up in a village not too far from here and there isn't much to do. Walking around one day I came across the tavern, asked if they had any work. Spent some time mopping floors and scrubbing toilets and now, here I am.

"It doesn't sound so glamorous but I'm a simple man. I like just getting to talk to all of the new people. Hearing their experiences is almost as good as living them, without having to worry about getting stomped on by a dragon or dying in an underwater cave chasing some treasure.

"How's about you Soli, what brings you around these parts, what are you after?"

@Lilja

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Zemira usually didn't like going to bars, taverns, or anywhere where people just sat around and did next to nothing because she felt it distracted her from her most important task, serving the light and bringing justice to evil doers who had no heart. The only times that she rested was either when she really sick, extremely tired, or when she had to be patient and wait before acting, although she always liked to get things done right away so she could move on.

But it was one day when she had finally defeated a troublesome four head snake in the Frozen Desert which was when, in his last breaths, the reptile asked how come she served nonstop, never took time to enjoy the world around her. In irritation she snapped that she had no time for playing around and getting into trouble when she had an important job to do. But after killing it, she couldn't get rid of the thought about what would she be like if she'd never been so devoted to her calling, to doing the bidding of her God?

It was this nagging yet intriguing thought that led Zemira, a young woman clad in paladin's armor, yeilding a magnificent holy mace and well-built sheild on her back, in front of a tavern that seemed to attract many. She'd had never drank anything more than a small cup of wine during holy hours and always had a strong head unless she were sick. She didn't plan on getting any less than sober here, and she trusted herself enough not to take drinks from people she didn't know, which was really everyone within eyesight.

Zemira, placing the mace in it's holder near her hips, entered the tavern, overly aware of how big her sheild was. At first she stared at everyone and anyone until she remembered that they were just people, not monsters and people consumed by their dark, chaotic minds, and then she avoided all eyes. She looked younger than she actually was, with her childlike face, thin figure, and how nervous she seemed. She couldn't understand why it felt easier to be around monsters she fought than people just trying to live for something like her.

Hastily she found a seat in the back corner away from the windows and sat quietly, studying others from underneath her bowed head. Biting her nails, she noticed that some people sat at the counter where there was a bartender and drinks behind them. Moving to stand up, Zemira paused, realizing how loud her armor probably was, despite that others wore similar attire. She hesitated, then slowly removed the heaviest of her armor, leaving her in a chainmail, a loose shirt, leather pants, and her armored shoes. Then, making sure her things were within view out of the corner of her eye, Zemira sat at the counter.

Waiting for the bartender to finish speaking to another customer, she raised her hand awkwardly, then put it down, not sure how to call his attention. "Um, hello. Hi, can I get a glass of water, maybe?"

Realizing how dumb she sounded, her face immediately heated up. Crossing her arms, Zemira tried to act casual when she really had a death grip on her arms, nails digging into her skin. What is wrong with me, she thought.

Edited by Zemira Ywain

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The Half-Fae could only agree with the wise words of the barkeeper’s boss. She only wished that ‘helping people’ was a matter of fact and not a decision. The last part she kept to herself. It was not her place to judge, but by example encourage others to help one another.

Sóli’s eyes widened at the prospect of mead. She reached for the glass with both hands and pulled it closer. Before taking a sip of the honey wine her eyes returned to the Bartender giving him her full attention. He was a busy man, so any moment he spared for her was valued.
“I find that simple men are often the kindest.” She replied, “They don’t let pride or ambition corrupt who they are. And they don’t have to be any less deprived of life experiences than any adventurer out there.”
Sóli was becoming rather fond of Jestan. His homeliness and generosity only added to his endearing traits.

“I grew up in a place they called the Golden Forest. Maple and Sweetgum glow in bright yellow colors all year round and golden leaves decorate the ground. A place where the wolf lies by the hare. Where bear and doe drink from the stream side by side. It is a peaceful place.” She reminisced. “But this is not a peaceful world.” There was a crinkle in her eyebrows, contemplating her next words. “I suppose I want to be a light in world full of setbacks and difficult people.”

The Half-Fae stayed silent long enough to finish her meal. After the first spoonful of oatmeal had finally reached the empty pit that was her stomach, hunger took over her sense of savory. Her cutlery did not rest until the bowl and plate were empty, aside from a bit of potato.
With careful precision she pulled it into pieces, slipping them one by one into her satchel. “This toad is also an ‘aimless wanderer’.” She smiled tilting her head towards the bag, “Well, maybe not a wanderer, he hitchhikes mostly.”
Closing her satchel she hopped off the bar stool. “Jestan, my friend, I have taken enough of your time. I owe you a favor and will not forget to entertain your guests on stage. Then I shall take my leave. There is still much of the day to be had, even if this fog is persistent on blocking the sun…”

The warrior who seated herself next to Sóli caught her attention. She was a shy creature with a heavy burden, as Sóli could tell. The woman did not seem ready to converse, but that had never stopped the Half-Fae before, especially when she was of high spirits, in good company.

 “Would you like some of my mead? I drank some of it” she starred down the glass, “actually almost all of it, but it is lovely and should equally quench your thirst.” She said sliding it towards the Paladin.

@supernal @Zemira Ywain

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"That's a grand ambition Soli. I have to say, it takes more character than I think I have, to leave behind a place like that. To swap the golden forest for dusty roads and an empty stomach. I'm glad there's people like you out there. I suppose that's why the boss does why she does."

A tub of clean dishes came out and a tub of dirty ones were ferried back into the kitchen for a wash cycle. Jestan took a few minutes to put everything away, restock any of the drink pitches which were running low, and swapping out the breakfast menu on the blackboard behind him for the lunch menu: lamb, artichoke, cheese, and beer.

He had, here, an opportunity to fully break away from Soli if desired. But she was nice. She engaged Jestan in a capacity beyond the minimum required between a customer and a business. Her goals, her fortitude, were intriguing elements with which to interact, and reminded him of a world immense in scope compared to what he saw and heard day to day.

Soli approached him even as he turned to approach her, to continue their conversation, but it seemed the time for her to move on had come quicker than he would have liked. He explored the depths of his right-hand pocket and came back up with a silver coin in hand. It wasn't much at all, but –

"If I can't be a torch myself, least I can do is help one keep burning. Sides that's something voice you got, like I said."

Jestan then crossed the short distance to the warrior. He poured her a glass of water, placed it on a coaster, and slid it three inches in her direction.

"There you are miss. I have a pitcher of chilled peace juice too if you want something with a little more flavor. Only thing is you're going to have to check your weapon with him." Jestan motioned beyond the far end of the bar towards what looked like a coat room but was instead filled with an assortment of weaponry, and the guard who stood sentry in front of it.

"I can check it here at the bar and bring it to him if you'd rather take a load off, but there's a strict no weapons policy inside, except for the sparring room that is."

@Lilja @Zemira Ywain

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Zemira wished that she could just disappear into her large mane of curly hair but sadly it was tied back in a low ponytail. How did she not see that she was supposed to give her weapon, especially in a peaceful place like this? The young paladin thanked the bartender for the drink and slid money over the counter. Her hand shook at little as she took a sip, glancing at the woman next to her who offered her some of her drink.

"Um, no thank you," she said. She didn't know exactly what it was, or what was in it, more importantly. Even though there was only a small amount inside, she wasn't going to let her guard down even a little, disregarding the fact that she didn't like drinking after others. "I have to, uh, do something." She got up abruptly and grabbed her mace, heading to where the man had pointed at the weaponry room. She gave it to guard and he checked. Deaming it safe, perhaps, he carefully placed it against the wall, Zemira taking note of it's location.

Going back to her seat, the young girl drank until there was less than half left in her cup. She tapped her fingers against the counter, eyeing her armor behind her. It was like a second skin, and being without it made her feel exposed and somewhat uneasy but she felt it was a way of being polite, just like not having her weapon. At least she had her sheild. 

Looking between the bartender and the woman, she asked them, "S-so what brings you both here? I mean, I know one of you works here but... how did you end up here?" She gestured at the tavern.

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