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    Default CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

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    REIGN OF WINTER





    Prologue
    Oathday, 18th of Erastus, 4713 AR

    Five people make their way through the forest road leading through the Border Wood, having passed through the national border of Taldor some two days previous. One of them is Vincente, the organizer of the trip from Katheer all the way to Oppara, the capitals of Qadira and Taldor respectively. He is an Andoran man, dressed as one might think a caravan guide should: sensible, light clothing for the warm environment, plenty of waterskins sloshing at his mare's side, and a watchful eye out for trouble with a blade and bow at the ready. Though to be fair, the trip (all two weeks of it) thus far has been rather uneventful, but it has been scenic as the land gently transformed from desert scrub into rolling forested foothills.

    Another of the group is Nadira, a young Qadiran woman who recently says little. At the start of the journey, she was rather talkative if not exuberant and openly fingered her holy symbol of Sarenrae thoughtfully. However, about a half day's travel outside of the small Taldan border town of Demgazi, she grew quiet and carefully secreted the symbol of her faith. And no surprise, either - the worship of Sarenrae in Taldor was illegal, punishable by either exile, long imprisonment, or in some cases, death. Which explains why Taldor and Qadira have little love for one another: Sarenrae is Qadira's national religion.

    After a cursory inspection by the border guards in Demgazi (and to Lyra's trained eye, Vincente's subtle slip of a small jingling pouch), the group was permitted to continue their journey north relatively unmolested.

    The last two days have been the most transformative geographically and scenery-wise: the sparse forests have closed in and become a thick, ancient wood that smells heavy of pleasant earthy scents. The dirt road winds its way in and out of the eastern edge of the Border Wood, traveling by the occasional established campsite and exactly one guard patrol station that was empty at the time of their passing.

    The other three members of the traveling troupe are the focus of this tale. Little do they know what fates lie in store for them, around the next few bends. Right now though, they are content to travel in comfortable casual conversation as Vincente tells the occasional tale of his many travels, explains local customs or just lets the sound of abundant nature around them do the talking for him.

    At about three hours of easy travel, Vincente turns in his saddle to the others. "In another hour or two, we should reach Heldren, a pleasant enough hamlet...if not a bit boring for my taste," he says with a smile. "However, you simply must try their tavern's Three Devil Ale and bacon. I look forward to it every time I'm through." He stays quiet for a moment, then seems to shrug to himself and asks the group, "You know, it's usually not my business to ask, and frankly I wouldn't be upset if you told me to stuff it. But, what brings you up this way?"

    Nadira casts her eyes down, apparently not quite ready to divulge her reasons just yet.
    Last edited by CleverDragon; 2015-04-07 at 08:26 PM.
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    With a deep rumble the blond-haired, beared, sweating Fenris replies, "Going home, though I have a long way to go. I am not the best with maps or charts, but getting home to the Land of the Linnorm Kings will surely take me months, if not years." He walks on, breathing steadily in spite of the armor, weapons, and sheer mass of his person. While the heat clearly takes its toll on him, he often drinks from the water-skin he carries and smiles at the weather and trees. "I always look forward to a good meal, and the bacon and ale you mention will surely help at the end of a long day's travel. How small is Heldren? Are we likely to find any entertainment there, like music or dancing? Or is it too small to have more than a simple inn?"

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    The dark-skinned woman rising nearby smiles down at the man, not a little condescendingly. "To be brief, I enjoy quiet spaces. More time to think, more room to breathe. "

    She directs her mare to the esge of the road, and runs her hand through the foliage nearby. "The trees never talk back too much, but they always listen well." She appraises their surroundings happily, before turning her attention back to their guide. "But I have no home- or rather, there is nothing there I long to see againg..." She fades into the self-reflection and brooding that marks most of her days. While she is glad to have the company, she rarely starts conversations, and ends them more often than she intends to.

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    sigh Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    During the trip up Lyra had been fairly quiet keeping to herself and trying to keep out of everyones elses way, always letting others speak, or act first. As talk turned to home Lyra smiled a little though her expression was partially hidden by the loosely wrapped veil she had worn up from the desserts in the south. She listened to the other's responses waiting for everyone else to finish before she spoke up.

    "I grew up in a village just outside Halgrim with my Great Grandmother. Though for now I am returning to Oppara and my Father."

    She turned slightly to Fenris,
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    "If you would like a song I know some from the north..."
    she asked somewhat hesitantly, though she reached for her pack pulling a lute from it's place carefully wrapped and hidden in her blankets.
    Last edited by Arienmir; 2015-04-07 at 12:32 PM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    "Going home, though I have a long way to go. I am not the best with maps or charts, but getting home to the Land of the Linnorm Kings will surely take me months, if not years."
    Vincente ambles along on the back of his well-traveled horse and considers the statement, "Hmm, you may be right at that. It'll be another week an' a half before we get to Oppara. There, you could board a ship and sail around just about all of Avistan," he chuckles, "or walk straight through it. Probably safer and easier doing the first, though."

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981
    "I always look forward to a good meal, and the bacon and ale you mention will surely help at the end of a long day's travel. How small is Heldren? Are we likely to find any entertainment there, like music or dancing? Or is it too small to have more than a simple inn?"
    Vincente responds after a moment of glancing out into the forest, "Oh, it's a tiny place. Maybe a hundred or two souls at most. It's where the road from Zimar and Demgazi - the one we're on now - meet, so they get a little business from travelers, but not much. An' I can't say as to the dancing bit, but Menander - that's the owner - has been known to belt out a tune or three when the beer is flowing. But there's no inn - 'tis that small. Just the Stoat. You can sleep on the floors overnight, but if you sleep too long, you're likely to get a face full of wet mop in the morning!" he says with a hearty laugh. "Trust me. I know from experience."

    Quote Originally Posted by MuffinMan
    "To be brief, I enjoy quiet spaces. More time to think, more room to breathe."
    Vincente simply nods and smiles, ignoring or not recognizing the condescension, and waits for her to continue.

    Quote Originally Posted by MuffinMan
    "The trees never talk back too much, but they always listen well." She appraises their surroundings happily, before turning her attention back to their guide. "But I have no home- or rather, there is nothing there I long to see again..."
    He nods again, "There are many a time when it's just me and the road. Gives a lot of time for reflection, it does. And home's really where you decide it is, not your birthplace. Take me for example. I don't want to ever go back to my birthplace either, if I can at all help it. 'Course, it helps that it burned down years ago," he says with a bit of a strange smile. "Nope, it's just me, the road, and ol' Trotter here. This saddle is my home an' it's the way I like it." He leans forward and gives Trotter a warm pat on the side of the neck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arienmir
    "I grew up in a village just outside Halgrim with my Great Grandmother. Though for now I am returning to Oppara and my Father."
    Vincente blinks at the mention of Halgrim. "Ain't heard of that place. Halgrim, was it? Where is it? Certainly not in Taldor!" Then, when Lyra speaks the northern tongue, he tilts his head to the side a bit. "Sorry. I didn't catch that?"

    At this point, Nadira speaks up, albeit quietly and looking around as though she'll be heard despite being in the middle of the forest. She is dressed much like Lyra in a traditional veil and long loose robe, and speaks with a heavy accent common to Vudrani folk (think Arabic, in terms of accent), "I...lost my home, too. I have nowhere...more...no, else to go, so I thought I would find a...new somewhere? Yes...a new place," she says, obviously unused to speaking the common Taldane tongue. She looks wonderingly at the greenery around her, "I've only dreamed of such sights. Is it...like this everywhere here?"
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Ferris shakes his head at the other travelers' words. Plodding along beside them he slightly favors his bad left leg, though the energy he puts into moving seems to make up for it. "I appreciate the offer of music, but if some of our company prefers quiet we should respect that. Where did you learn the tongue of my kin, though? It is rare to find another Skald speaker outside the traders," he says to Lyra with curiosity.

    Moving from one side of the road to another to take advantage of the trees the big man smiles and nods in answer to Nadira's question. "Most of where I have been I find some trees or other pleasant green. The best are the evergreens, though. Even in winter their needles can be found, heavy with snow and ice. What I wouldn't give to be there right now - it would be so much cooler!"

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    "Oh I am sorry Master Vincente" she bowed her head, "I only asked if Master Fenris wished me to play a song from his...our homeland." She took a deep steadying breath and straightened her posture a little before going on. "Halgrim is in the far North in the Lands to which Master Fenris travels"

    Lyra smiled a little at Nadira, wanting to ask why a follower of Sarenrae would chose to venture into Taldor of all places but not waiting to be rude she settled for another response. "Sometimes a new home is welcome... I hope you find what you are looking for."

    Her hands stilled as she was about to set them to the strings of her lute instead she returned the instrument to its hiding place wrapped safely in her blankets after Fenris spoke.

    "My Great Grandmother taught me the language, songs and tales, she was a Bard like I." she chewed on her bottom lip. "My happiest memories are from my time in the North, though that was a long time ago, about fifteen years."
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Sil hums softly to herself as she rides in the shade on the edge of the road.
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    "Too be fair, it's not that uncommon where we apparently all hail from. I know the place, Halgrim. My clan's commune is not too far distant... By boat. Generally harder to find, however."
    She fades back into silence, as a concerned expression briefly flickers across her face.

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    While the rest of the trip has been rather warm if not hot as is common in the heart of summer, as if in response to Fenris' comment a cool breeze briefly blows through the trees, causing Vincente to shiver and rub his bare forearms a moment. He looks at Fenris then Lyra, "'The open road yearns for a song to keep her calm' as the Varisians say. I for one would be happy to hear a song. It helps pass the time."

    Nadira meanwhile continues to look around with a sort of blissful look upon her face. "Truly, I cannot imagine a finer place than this. I have seen many oasis and was always glad to see the green of the palms in the desert. But to be surrounded by so much green? Wondrous. And...what is this snow you speak of like? I have...heard the word spoken, but..." she shakes her head in confusion, her thought trailing off as another quite cool breeze filters through the trees, causing her to pull her robes in close. At Lyra's comment, she nods thoughtfully, "And that is my wish as well. We shall see what the future holds, however." She looks up at the puffy white clouds overhead and sighs deeply.
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CleverDragon View Post
    While the rest of the trip has been rather warm if not hot as is common in the heart of summer, as if in response to Fenris' comment a cool breeze briefly blows through the trees, causing Vincente to shiver and rub his bare forearms a moment.

    "And...what is this snow you speak of like? I have...heard the word spoken, but..."
    As Fenris turns his head to bask in the cooler breeze he replies, "When it is cold enough, water will fall from the sky in frozen crystals, piling into banks like the sand of the desert - only purest white and freezing to the skin. It can make even the ugliest place somewhat beautiful. Even a place like Irrisen..."

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Lyra bowed her head a little to Vincente "If Mistress Silmarwen does not wish for quiet I will play a little."

    She blinked a little at the breeze, cold did not tend to bother her but this had an edge to it like a coming winter. "How strange" see murmured half under her breath.

    "We are sadly however too far south for snow and in the wrong season. Besides if it were to snow now you would miss one of the most beautiful sights. For before the snow comes the fall where all this green turns to red, gold, orange even purple as the trees she'd their leaves preparing for their long winters rest."
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Arienmir View Post
    Lyra bowed her head a little to Vincente "If Mistress Silmarwen does not wish for quiet I will play a little."
    Sil blinks at the sound of her name before parsing what has just been said. Half surprised, half confused, she says, "Oh, I don't mind at all! I just like the trees, that's all. Please, feel free to song if you'd like."

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    As Fenris and Lyra explain the look and feel of snow and the change in seasons' effects on the trees, Nadira shakes her head with an expression that is a combination of suspicion and wonder, "I cannot tell if you are pulling your legs or telling me the truth," she says, mangling the phrase unintentionally. "But, if that is the truth, then this is a very strange land. I know plants bloom with flowers in the desert rains, but...the leaves themselves change color? Before winter? How odd," she says as she grows quiet and looks around at the trees with renewed amazement.

    Vincente laughs silently, hiding his grin when Nadira looks his way. He looks over to Lyra and Sil, "I don't think I've heard a song from the northern lands! I'm excited to have the chance. Which one will you play?"
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    amused Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    "Perhaps one about the snow..." she smiled a little and finally took her lute out and tuned the strings before starting the tune a simple folk melody.

    "Snow has fallen down upon us,
    and the winds are growing quiet.
    But the shine in every snowflake
    tells us of the coming light,
    tells us of the coming light."

    The quality of her voice while she sang gave away her muse touched heritage if nothing else previously had.

    "Stars already know the hour
    when the solstice turns the tide,
    and the sun in all its power
    puts the winter dark to flight,
    puts the winter dark to flight."
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    The song is a simple but beautifully sung one, the notes carrying through the trees with occasional birdsong as accompaniment. Vincente has a soft smile on his face the entire time as he is enchanted by the tune. But Nadira's face grows more and more concerned as the song progresses. At the end, she almost whispers, "You make winter sound...sad. What is...the 'winter dark'?" She seems legitimately confused by the term, having been raised in a largely equatorial area that had no concept of seasons, least of which winter.
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Ferris smiles and enjoys the song, leaving the explanation of the seasons and snow to those better suited to explain what he instinctively feels. He hums a bit to himself, tunelessly, and keeps trudging forward as the others talk and entertain.

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    "As you travel north during the winter the days get shorter and shorter till there is but a few precious moments of daylight each day." she sighed softly. "Some wear the darkness like a comfortable blanket and others spend the long cold winters longing for the light and warmth of the sun."

    She shook her head and smiled again, "Master Vincente, we must be close to town now?"
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Nadira nods and furtively fingers the amulet around her neck that bears the symbol of Sarenrae. "The sun is definitely a welcome gift. To be without it for so long..." she trails off and is lost in her own thoughts, staring out into the trees as they pass slowly by.

    Vincente casts a brief glance at Nadira, but chooses to remain silent. Instead, he looks to Lyra and nods, "Indeed. Another hour at most. Before long, we'll break from the forest, then we'll meet the Zimar road. Then we should see Heldren in the distance not long after that!" The chill breezes continue for the next couple of minutes and then pass, replaced by the typical warm summer air.

    Ten minutes later, true to Vincente's word, the forest begins to thin out and then pass behind them in favor of rolling, hilly fields of green grass with wildflowers of blue, violet and white scattered hither and yon. Occasional copses of trees dot the landscape and the looming shapes of tall, jagged mountains predominate the eastern view as the road itself turns ever more northwesterly. Not long after that, a slightly wider, more frequently used road joins the one on which the group is traveling, which Vincente points out leads to Zimar, the capital city of this particular province of Taldor.

    Another series of chill breezes sweeps across them after another twenty minutes of traveling, but they do not last long. Another twenty to thirty minutes later, the group can make out the shape of a quite small village huddled beneath an old stone watchtower that is set atop a small hill.

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    The buildings are largely crafted of wood with the only predominantly stone structure being the watchtower. Otherwise, it is a picturesque hamlet that evidently owes much of its livelihood to wood and livestock. The largest building is that of the town hall, a surprisingly large building that boasts a clock tower overlooking the town square. The town square is surrounded by most of the village's businesses: a smithy, a general store, a barber, a tavern (obviously the second largest building in town) that has a wooden sign depicting a silvery-gray weasel-like mammal and a small temple. At the center of the town square is a large statue of a beautiful woman with her arms and hands held out as if in greeting. A few vendors sell produce and wares from wagons and people mill about, shopping and talking casually. A couple of the nod or wave at the newcomers but don't give any special attention or stares otherwise.

    Vincente rides his horse up to the livery stable building next to the tavern and arranges for the caravan's horses (he'd permitted anyone that did not have a horse to ride one of his to make for faster travel, plus two pack horses additionally). After paying the owner, a dark haired woman in her late 20s or early 30s who introduces herself as Sophia, a day's worth of stabling he looks at the others and says, "Feel free to have a wander, shop if you wish, or just stretch. I figure we'll arrange a night's stay here," he says, looking at the sky that is just starting to show signs of impending dusk, "where there's warm food, good drink and a chance to refill on supplies. The next few days will be filled with a lot of nothing."

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    If there is any sort of standard adventuring gear you wish to purchase, you may do so here. Otherwise, describe what you intend to do to fill the time (interact with townsfolk, stay to yourself and wander the perimeter of town, have dinner and drinks at the Stoat, or what have you). Welcome to the sleepy hamlet of Heldren!
    Last edited by CleverDragon; 2015-04-09 at 10:11 PM.
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Ferris smiles at the other travelers and says, "I am going to have a breather and a drink first, then maybe dinner. Would anyone like to join me?" he then makes his way to the little pub, anticipation on his face.

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Lyra smiled at Fenris, "that sounds wonderful I could do with a nice meal and a seat that does not rock." She winced a little, "one that is a little softer would be nice too."
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    Ferris smiles at the other travelers and says, "I am going to have a breather and a drink first, then maybe dinner. Would anyone like to join me?"
    Silmarwen turns to the party and smiles. She nods, and follows Ferris and the others to the tavern. Taking a seat at the bar, she asks for an ale and "anything made of meat. Trail biscuits are uninspiring after a while..." She settles in comfortably, and before long is happily chewing on a haunch of something. She wasn't listening.

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Vincente nods at the three. "Save a seat for me. I'll be in later. I'm going to finish here and then have a wander around the square and stretch a bit." With that, he turns to finish helping Sophia tend to the horses and get them stabled, groomed and unpacked.

    Meanwhile, Nadira looks uncomfortably around the village and keeps a hand to her sternum, where the amulet is hidden behind her robe. Despite a definite lack of any obvious guard presence, she definitely stands out in her traditional Qadiran robes. "Ummm...perhaps I should make a visit to the market also. I will...what is that word...meet you later at the tavern?"

    The group heads next door to the Silver Stoat and finds it a rather spacious place with a large common room with two hearths, neither of which are in use at the moment. The decor is decidedly rustic but tasteful and the floors and table are rather clean, if not well used. At the opposite side of the room, a bar runs about half the length of the wall, behind which is a single door likely leading to the kitchens, judging by the sound of activity from behind the door.

    A few patrons sit at one of the many tables dotting the floor. One of them is a middle-aged man who has evidently lived the life of a woodsman judging by his garb and calloused hands and heavily bearded face. He nods amicably to the group as they enter then calls out, "Oy! Menander! You have guests! And they ain't local!"

    A moment later, a man with a well-groomed beard, short brown hair and wearing simple clothing and an apron over them steps out from behind the door. He gestures grandly with a large soup ladle in his hand, "Welcome! Have a seat. I'm Menander, and that tactless idiot is Bear. Definitely a local," he adds with a smile. "I'm working up a batch of stew as we speak, so if you're interested, hang around and take a load off. I'll have Kale - that's my wife - come out an' help you with your drinks 'n such. An' pay them no mind. They're harmless," he chuckles, "if not witless!" He then ducks back in the door before the patrons start yelling friendly obscenities.

    As the group takes a seat, a short woman comes from the kitchens and out from behind the bar. She has short brown hair, freckles and a friendly smile. She looks at the other group, "Need another round? Of course you do!" She chuckles at their cheers and shakes her head and then makes her way to Fenris and the rest. "Welcome, welcome! Menander and I run the place. We have plenty of drink and food to keep ya full for your travels. Stew, venison, chicken, pheasant, vegetables, bread, some cheese, and more. For drinks, I have water, goat milk, a little mead, some Veyland Stout and of course my own creation, Three Devil Ale. Made from hops all the way from Cheliax! So, what'll it be?"

    After a moment, she tilts her head and speaks a bit quieter so the other group doesn't hear, "Are their tales true? Snow in the forest?"
    Last edited by CleverDragon; 2015-04-15 at 08:09 AM.
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    As the woman lists her various offerings, Sil's mouth begins watering more and more. "I didn't realize how hungry I was! The stew and mead sound wonderful, please."
    Quote Originally Posted by CleverDragon View Post
    After a moment, she tilts her head and speaks a bit quieter so the other group doesn't hear, "Are their tales true? Snow in the forest?"
    Sil's eyes focus into a concerned but skeptical glance. "It perhaps felt unseasonably cool this afternoon, but I saw no snow. Of course, we came from the south, so it would be more apparent as we continued traveling, were to to find it. Aren't we too far south for snow, though!? I don't think you have much to worry about, here," she muses more to herself than the barkeep.

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Kale nods at the elf's question and keeps her tone hushed for now. "I don't think this area's seen snow in ten or so years. It happens very rarely, but never in summer. 'Tis why I'm asking you if you'd seen it, and whether I should keep them out of more alcohol. Loggers' tales are usually very tall to begin with," she says with a wry smile.
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CleverDragon View Post
    "Stew, venison, chicken, pheasant, vegetables, bread, some cheese, and more. For drinks, I have water, goat milk, a little mead, some Veyland Stout and of course my own creation, Three Devil Ale. Made from hops all the way from Cheliax! So, what'll it be?"
    "Madam, I will have some of all of it, please, in the order and pairings you feel are best!" exclaims Fenris with a growl echoed by his stomach. "I assure you, none of it will go to waste this day - the trail was long, and save for a moment or two of blessedly cool winds we saw no snow on our way to your lovely establishment." Smiling, the big Ulfen looks around the room, hoping to spot some sign of pretty maid or musician.

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Kale laughs softly, relief evident in her voice and on her features, "Well, now! I'll bring you some stew, cheese, potatoes and venison. Just promise me that you will save some for everyone else! As for the snow, well...I did say they could tell tall tales!"

    Unfortunately, no maids or musicians are seen in this establishment. It appears that while the Stoat can hold quite the large crowd, the only employees are Menander and Kale, or at least during the daylight hours.
    Last edited by CleverDragon; 2015-04-15 at 12:47 PM.
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Fenris smiles and waits expectantly for his meal, digging into it with gusto when it arrives. "If the chicken, pheasant, and other vegetables are as good as this, I would be very glad to have a sampling of them too, Mrs. Kale," he says as he approaches the end of the luncheon, seeming to pack away the food with no signs of stopping. "Where might one go to find some music or other entertainment in your lovely town? One of our company," he gestures to Lyra, "has no small amount of talent with song. While I lack such skills, I do enjoy listening to the exchange of good songs between talented bards and have been known to dance some when the drink and good company combine!"

    His enthusiasm and smile are genuine as he laughs and takes a long, hearty pull from his glass. Greeting the other inhabitants of the dining room he asks, "You all claim to have seen snow in the woods? Where? I would deeply enjoy a bit of cooler weather if it is within a short walk."

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Lyra smiled a little at the boisterous enthusiasm for Fenris for all things food related, when asked if she had seen snow in the woods she shook her head and lowered her gaze, "No M'Lady, other than an unseasonable cold breeze all was as it should be in the woods."

    She asked for a small portion of food compared to Fenris, then again a five course banquet was a small portion compared to what the jovial Ulfen seemed to be putting away.

    Away from the familiarity of the group she had been travelling with Lyra appeared very quiet even for her, offering more deference to those that addressed her than was needed. Once her portion of the meal was done she took out her lute and played softly lest anyone complain seemingly hiding behind the instrument. Seeing as they were in Taldor the melodies she chose were local rather than Ulfen.
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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    Silmarwen sups quietly on her stew and mead, occasionally casting semi-engaged glances at the local "idiots," smiling at the barkeeps jibe. She sits quietly, smirking at the big Ulfen's outrageous appetite. "You'd think we hadn't eaten in days, by the look of him," she remarks to Lyra.

    Smiling, she finishes her second mead, and looks appraising lay at the locals. She rises and saunters to their table, asking in a clear voice, "You lot play any games to pass the time around here, or just get drunk and let the time take care of itself?" She smiles jokingly at the group, before helping herself to the nearest seat. Her smile shifts to a conspiratory smirk as she continues, "They say you're a woodsman, mister. Care to share a story with a lonely young lady?"

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    Default Re: CleverDragon's Reign of Winter - Gestalt IC Thread

    As Fenris and Sil finish their respective meals, Lyra begins softly playing her first tune, a local melody called Fields of Zimar, a story about a traveler and a farmer's daughter who would meet in the fields outside the city. The conclusion of the song happens to be an actual ghost story surrounding Zimar, where the spirits of these long-ago lovers could be seen under a full moon. By the end, the other table is rapt with attention and they give a hearty applause joined in by the proprietors behind the bar.

    When she begins her second song, another regional song called The Stars Remember that regales the ages of majesty, Lyra's honeyed voice is joined by a surprising rich baritone stemming from Menander behind the bar. Kale smiles as she wipes the bar counter down, collects the dirty dishes and sets out another round of drinks without interrupting the performance.

    When Sil approaches the other group and asks her question, the one called Bear laughs. "Yeh, games 'r played now 'n again. Mostly of the drinkin' variety an', if you think you 'ave what it takes, that too," he says, gesturing to a wooden block mounted on the wall with four concentric rings painted in its center, a few throwing knives stuck to it. "As for a story, lady do I ever 'ave a few! How about the talking white stag I saw just the other day!?" In answer to this, his three companions groan and complain "not this again!". Kale looks on as always with the amused grin that only a barkeep bears for her regulars.
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