In the early morning hours somewhere roughly 5 miles South-West along the Lost Coast road, a weathered old wagon trunddles along. It is decorated with chipped green paint and on the sides in worn and faded yellow writing it reads: "Harl and Sons Shipping". It is being driven by an even more weathered old man with a frumpy blue hat and a leather eye patch over his right eye. whisps of chalkly smoke rise about his head as he puffs his pipe. As he sternly urges his mare Northwards towards Sandpoint, his companion, a wizened and remarkably well travelled Gnome, sits next to him.
"Well my little friend, the skies look clear today. I told we'd make in good time to attend the festvial. Besides, these supplies are vital to the town and good old Harl here has never been late for a delivery. I've got the family business to uphold here!"
The wagon breaches the next rise and old Harl's sharp eye spots something in the distance.
"Hold. Just ahead is that another lone traveller headed towards Sanpoint? The roads are full of odd folk these days. We'll the more the merrier I say. I've certainly enjoyed your company on this short journey perhaps this stranger will be as entertaining. And if he has a mind to cause trouble...
Harl pulls back a dusty blanket at his side to reveal a less than menacing looking disused and ill maintained hand crossbow. The wagon pulls up next to the starnger who has stopped by the road. The young man is broad shouldered and incredibly well muscled. He appears to have both size and strength and he looks as though he knows how to use them. He is armored in scale mail and carries a shield and an array of weapons, including a vicous looking long sword.
"Well met young lad. Are you bound for Sandpoint? If so, climb aboard and share in some tall tales as we pass the last few hours of travel away..."
Cerinnibert is already onboard the wagon headed north to Sandpoint. Talvor, you stand by the road as the wagon pulls up. Feel free to interact with one another at this point.
The gnome is remarkable tall for one of his race, his touselled green hair waving freely in the breeze. He looks like he is approaching middle age, but still has the exuberance of youth. His clothes are well-worn and covered with the dust of many roads, but in good repair. When the young man looks into his eyes, electricity seems to dance in them for a moment.
"Good Morn! It looks to be a nice day, doesn't it? Cerinnibert Daergel at your service! Are you going for the Festival, Harl has been telling me all about it, and it sounds like it will be quite fun! The free food is especially welcome, I can't wait to try some of the 'specialties' the inns trot out to try to gain new business! Healthy competition does tend to bring out some wonderfully delicious new dishes.
I am sure Harl is very relieved to have another person for me to talk to, I believe he has gotten a bit tired of hearing me talk over the last couple of hours, even though he has been quite polite about it." The gnome finally pauses to breathe, giving the muscular young man a chance to get a word in.
The young man plods along toward Sandpoint, his eyes on the road but his mind far away. These past couple of years had been a disappointment, for sure. He had expected to blaze a swath through the countryside, defending the weak and championing the ways of righteousness as he drove away evil. Instead, he had guarded some old men's things and helped save a town from a poorly planned goblin raid barely worthy of the name. His head snaps around at the sound of the voice, too lost in his thoughts to hear the approaching wagon.
He gives a little wave to the older man and his traveling companion. He initially intends to turn down the offer, then decides he has brooded enough for the moment and maybe some conversation would cheer him up, or at least distract him.
"Well met, good sir. I am bound for Sandpoint and would greatly appreciate a rest for the remainder of the journey. Thank you."
Halvor turns to regard the gnome, eyes squinting as he thinks he sees something peculiar, then shrugs it off as too much time in the sun. He climbs in, addressing the little fellow.
"Good morn to you, as well, Cerinnibert. Halvor Tanner, and we are well met. I actually was unaware that the Festival was coming up, since I have been away for a time. I remember though, it IS quite a bit of fun. The food is nice, but the brewers always seem to outdo themselves!"
Halvor thinks he understands why Harl might be looking for someone to share his burden, but the gnome's infectious energy is enough to bring a smile to his face.
If it was possible, the Cerin's smile grows even broader.
"Excellent! I always enjoy a good brew. Although, of all the varieties of drink I have had, from fine Chelish red wine to Kibwe Draaken ale to Halgrim Blood-mead, nothing compares to my Aunt Rilla's blackberry wine. It had the most delightful smell and taste, and she never told anyone her recipe, May the Gods rest her soul."
He takes note of a mile marker at the side of the road as the wagon rumbles past. "It looks like we are almost there. Let me buy you the first drink!" he jests with a twinkle in his eye.
Halvor smiles politely as Cerin speaks, but his adventures in alcohol began and ended with ale. As in, he ordered the house ale and someone plunked a pewter tankard in front of him, full of foamy, bitter beer. Although...blackberry wine did seem intriguing. He had been fond of blackberries in his youth.
"Aye! I'll drink you poor if you let me, friend." Would he do such a thing, of course not. His father had taught him to earn his keep and never accept handouts. Comprehension dawns as he realizes the gnome's jest, and he flushes slightly. Fool!
"If you don't know about the Swallowtail Festival, you must not be from around here. What brings you here, Cerinnibert?"
"Well, it's quite a tale! It all began a couple of months ago in Almas..." As Cerinnibert is getting warmed up, obviously relishing his role as storyteller, he is interrupted by a loud sigh from Harl.
"Ah, forgive me, I have already tested this fine man's considerable patience with this long story! I will not presume to wear out my welcome when he has already been so gracious in taking pity upon our poor feet. Let it not be said that I cannot be brief when necessary!
To be blunt, I am here because of Gozreh."
Holding up his wrist, he shows the young man a birthmark that looks a lot like the nature god's holy symbol.
"I have been having ominous dreams of late, and this keeps on itching whenever I stop travelling in the direction of this quaint little town. If you are interested in the whole story, I would be happy to relate it to you when we arrive at our destination. Suffice to say, I believe that a great storm is coming to Sandpoint, metaphorically speaking, and it is going to need all the help it can get to survive it..."
The gnome is quite subdued after this grim pronouncement, but he tries to shake it off and asks, "And why are you travelling this way, my friend Halvor?"
Halvor chuckles under his breath, steeling himself for what surely seemed to be quite a yarn. Harl's sigh-induced condensing of the story brings a measure of relief. He was surely in the man's debt, now.
Gozreh...that was the nature god, wasn't it? Halvor thought so, although he was not a religious man. He murmured prayers to Iomedae every now and then, but surely one man was beneath the notice of the gods, so he left well enough alone.
He peers at the birthmark. It was rather interesting. He had heard that tattoos itched like the gnome stated, but that mark looked pretty natural. He glances up at the sky at the mention of the storm, squinting against the sunlight. Ahhhh...the man was speaking of potential trouble.
"Hmmmm...well, I wouldn't quite say I'm looking for work. Ummm...I was going to check and see if, ya know, anyone I know is looking for help." How did one say you were trying to be a hero, and you didn't know how? He selfishly hoped that the storm Cerin talked about WAS coming. He then shook his head minutely and asked Iomedae's forgiveness...to court disaster was a terrible thing.
Meanwhile, back at Sandpoint...
Nestled in the southern portion of Sandpoint in the middle of Market Street one can find the most popular and rousing inn in the town - The Rusty Dragon. This large, two story stone and wooden structure is decorated with an impressive iron dragon which looms from the roof overhead. Favorably positioned near Sandpoint’s southern, more travelled entrance, The Rusty Dragon gets the lion’s share of out of town visitors. People flock to the Rusty Dragon for two main reasons. The the spicy and exotic food and the talented musical performances of the sole owner and operator – Ameiko Kaijitsu. On this day the Rusty Dragon bustles with even more furious activity than usual. Ameiko seems to be everywhere at once as she tends to the preparations for the Swallowtail Festival.
”Okay everyone; we still have plenty to do and little time to do it. So let’s snap to it and make sure that the good old Rusty Dragon is well represented at this year’s most important festival.”
The attractive young woman’s energy and charm is infectious and the whole staff of the Rusty Dragon springs into action as preparations continues.
”Krissina my dear. I am so fortunate indeed that you are able to help out with the festival. The gods know, we need everyone available if we’re going to pull this one together!”
An elderly and timid halfling cook appears from the kitchen.
”How many times have I told you to call me Ameiko? Yes what is it Bethana?”
”I…I’m afraid you’re needed in the kitchen mam. We are ready to add the spices but we..we still have none on hand miss…”
Ameiko lets off with some muttered curses in her native Minkaian tongue
”You mean to tell me that our supplies from Magnimar haven’t arrived yet?!
Ameiko cannot imagine what has happened to old Harl. He’s never let her down before but if he doesn’t arrive soon she’ll have to substitute the curry spice with peppercorn instead. Although, she is concerned that the White Deer Inn is offering up peppercorn venison this year.
”Keep the fish simmering. Old Harl will come through for us. I just know it”
As the sun climbs higher into the sky Harl’s wagon creeps over the last rise before an unspoilt view of the coastal town of Sandpoint is revealed below. The town lies nestled on a small outcropping of land that juts into the sea. There is a considerable looking harbour on the South side of town and several fishing and merchant vessels are moored here. The most prominent feature in town is a large, ruined rocky spire that juts hundreds of feet from the sea below into the sky. This appears to be the remnants of an ancient ruined tower of some sort. Inside the town there are numerous large structures include a stone garrison, a large manor (possibly town hall), an extremely large and elegant looking cathedral, a surprisingly significant theatre and numerous factories and businesses.
”There she is boys. We’ll soon pulling into town. I’ve always loved Sandpoint. Sleepy little town but with loads of character. It’s a shame what happened to these good folk in recent years, what with the fire and the murders and all. But today looks like it’s shaping up to be one fine day for a joyous festival!”
As the wagon descends into the outskirts of town it crosses over a sturdy looking wooden bridge. To the left, a road winds up into the hills to the South West of town. A small signpost indicates that this side road is “Schooner Gultch Road”. Some significant looking manor homes can be seen perched atop the hills and woods in this direction.
”The nobles maintain their manor homes down that road. There are four noble families in town. The Valdemar’s, the Scarnetti’s, the Kaijitsu’s and the Deverin’s. Each family has important assets and connections in town. I wouldn’t get on the bad side of any of them if you know what’s good for you.”
As the wagon rumbles over the wooden bridge and into the town proper it makes a short journey down Market Street before stopping in front of the Rusty Dragon Inn. Harl dismounts the wagon.
”Here we are. The Rusty Dragon. This is as far as I go boys but you’d be wise to put up in here during your stay. You’ll not find a more interesting and lively place to lay down your gear while you enjoy the festival. I’ll put in a good word for you. Ya see I know the owner well.”
As if on cue an attractive looking young woman emerges from the Inn and rushes up to Harl, embracing him with a warm hug.
”Harl you old dog. I knew you would make it on time.”
”I would never let you down Ameiko. Besides, I haven’t had a decent meal in months. Oh, that reminds me. I believe you’ll be needing this…”
Harl retrieves a sturdy looking wooden box from the wagon and presents it to Ameiko.
”Just what I needed. You are an absolute prince of a man. Now who are your handsome young companions?
”This is Cerinnibert. Don’t let his size fool you he actually is of Gnomish stock. Although between you and me I think there’s more to this one than meets the eye. And this brute of a man over here is young Talvor.
”Talvor, you seem familiar to me somehow. Anyway, do come inside all of you. I must be off to the kitchen at once but we’ll catch up soon enough. Krissina KRISSINA! Could you be a dear and tend to these travellers needs? Make sure they get settled and perhaps fed a decent breakfast. Thanks darling.”
Krissina appears as her name is called, a red flush in her cheeks from dashing around getting the Inn ready, though not as red as her hair which seems almost aflame.
"Yes ma'am" Krissina smiles at Ameiko, eyes twinkling.
"Now how can I help you all? Do you have anything else needs unloading or do you just want to get inside and have some breakfast?"
Had Harl seen the flashing eyes of Cerin, or was he referring to something else? Halvor's brow furrows a little at being called a brute, but he relaxes soon after, pretty sure that the merchant had meant nothing by it.
Heat rises to his features as Ameiko greets them. He surely remembered her. Like most of the young men of Sandpoint, he had had a boy's crush on her. Unlike most of them, it had more to do with what she had done in her short adventuring career than with her appearance. He opens his mouth to reply, but only ends up gaping like a fish for a moment. He exchanges a glance with Cerin, hoping the more social gnome will provide him cover.
Halvor steps off the wagon, turning to regard Harl for a moment. "Thank you for the ride, good sir. May the gods favor your trade."
Matters are not helped when the lovely young woman arrives on the scene. He stands there, slowly processing what she has said. Witty responses are born and die in rapid succession. Finally, in a quiet tone. "Breakfast and a drink would be great."
Cerin hops down from the wagon and gives Harl a jaunty salute. "Many thanks, good sir! The blessings of Gozreh go with you, and pleasant weather follow."
Turning to face Ameiko, he bows with a flourish and flashes her a dazzling smile. "Greetings! Please forgive Harl's delay with your package, the fault is entirely ours as he merely took pity upon two foot-sore travellers in need. I have only just arrived, and already I have heard great things about your festival and your delightful establishment!" is all he manages to get in before she rushes off.
Turning to Krissina, he bows and smiles once again. "Cerinnibert Daergel, at your service, and my laconic friend goes by the name of Halvor. Dear lady, we are most appreciative of your hospitality. I have only what I carry with me, as I find it easier to move on if I do not have too much to weigh me down. Breakfast would be wonderful; would you happen to have any small pastries with fruit in them? I had some in Korholm when I travelled through Molthune and I haven't tasted their like since!" he chatters on as he strolls inside, following the girl.
"I won't need anything else unloaded, thanks." Halvor mumbles, following Krissina and Cerin. He winced as he seemed to clank and crash at every step, shield slapping against his armor in the back, scabbard slapping against his mail skirt. He wished they would be seated close to the door, but if the crowd was any indication, they'd be lucky to be seated at all.
Krissina escorts them into the bar with a smile, and finds them a seat.
"So what's your preferred morning drink? I think there's apples freshly pressed, think I smelled chocolate this morning or there's always ales and wines, if you'd prefer?"
After taking their orders she'll dash off and sort them out, stealing some pastries from the kitchen for them.
"So, do you be needing rooms for the night? We're pretty full, but we may be able to squeeze you in somewhere if you're not too fussy?" she asks cheerfully on returning.
"If you have it, chocolate would be delightful! I am sure we will get our fill of ales and wines once the festival starts. And I would be very grateful if you happen to have some sausage as well as the pastries?" Cerin continues cheerfully.
When she returns, he bites into the pastry, savoring it before taking a sip of the chocolate. "Very good, thank you! Although you might tell the chef that a light dusting of cinnamon in the chocolate enhances the flavor nicely. Although I am quite at home sleeping in the rough, I think that a bed would be most welcome after my long journey. I am not at all fussy, and I don't think it will be much of a problem as I don't take up much room!" he laughs heartily, and she just catches a flash of electricity dance across his eyes before he takes another bite.
Just as she leaves, he asks quickly "By the way, when do the festivities start?"
"Ale, please, milady."
He watches her leaves, then blushes a bit as he realizes his friend Cerin is still sitting with him, likely watching him salivate like a dog. Halvor awaits her return nervously, glad for the gnome to be taking the brunt of the conversation. A tremulous grin creeps on his face as she walks back up. He nods eagerly at her question.
"Yes, a room would be most welcome. I, too, would like to know when the Festival starts?"
"Festival's all day, but it should start getting going a little before noon"
"So are you adventurers? Or just travellers."
"I'll see what rooms are available to you."
Krissina goes to check with Ameiko or Besmara, see what's left.
Cerin finishes the last bit of sausage, wipes his mouth and sighs in contentment.
He cocks his head to one side as he looks up at Krissina. "Oh, I have been many things in my long travels. Cook, clerk, merchant and sailor. I even ran an inn myself in Absalom, oh, about sixty years ago! What about you, my dear, do you enjoy working here, or do you have other aspirations?"
Once she leaves to see to their rooms, he turns to Halvor.
"So, my friend, after we have paid for our rooms, could I trouble you for a tour around your home town? I'm sure that even after your absence you still know quite a bit of gossip about this place!" he states with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
Meanwhile, at the Fatman's Feedbag...
"Lynnda! You lazy wench, you're burning the stew! I don't care if we win, but we have to have a full kettle ready!" Several chuckles followed the enormous man's admonishment, interrupting their game of Towers. "And when you're done... come on out and give us a kiss!" That elicited even more laughter from the seedy-looking Varisian men.
In the kitchen, a young woman toils over a large kettle of mutton stew-- the broth was watery, and she knew that it contained more horse meat than mutton. The regular cook snored in the corner of the kitchen, having drunk most of the cooking wine earlier in the day. She looked over her shoulder at the black cat sitting on the prep table. "That Gressel! What a disgusting excuse for a tavern owner! I don't care if "Uncle" Jubryal talked him into getting me this job-- I'm done with that disgusting lecher!"
Just as she was about to storm out of the kitchen to tell Gressel exactly what she thought of him, his voice calls out again: "Hey, Lynnda, come on out! We want to see how well you dance!"
Her face momentarity a mask of fury, her lip curls into a grin. "Just a minute, Gressel! Let me put on something nice!" Looking around the kitchen, Lynnda spys a gallon of cider vinegar, a crock of (slightly rancid) bacon grease, a canister of dried spearmint leaves, and three jars of pickled herring. She quickly collects them, then unceremoniously dumps them all into the simmering kettle of stew, stirring vigorously. "Oh, Gressel? One more thing: I QUIT!!!" Scooping up the cat and setting it on her shoulder, she storms out the back door of the Feedbag, vowing never to set foot in that gods-forsaken place again.
"Well, at least that repobate paid me this week. We can afford a drink at someplace nice for a change, can't we, Shadow?" She reaches up to scratch the cat between her ears.
--Good-- Shadow purred loudly.
Absently walking up Salmon Street, Lynnda finds herself across the street from the Rusty Dragon. Despite being in town for the past month, she hadn't actually dropped in yet. "Well, no time like the present!" She strides up to the front door and walks in.
"An adventurer that is currently a traveler?" He chuckles ruefully as she walk briskly away, shaking his head. She seemed a bit busy for smalltalk, anyway.
He turns to Cerin, eyebrows raised. Sixty years! The concept was almost unfathomable to him. His da had just turned forty, and Halvor thought of him as an old man.
"Aye, a drink and a bite to eat, and I can show you the finer places." He grins over his mug. "Or the others, as well. You seem like you enjoy a bit of adventure yourself."
He glances at the movement of the door opening, noticing the young woman and cat. After a moment to appreciate the view, he turns back to Cerin. It proved to be an eventful day.
Waking up with the sun piercing his eyes, Kyrian slows rolls himself out the bed he passed out in. "Ugh... I gotta quit drinkin eventually, this is gettin rough on me..." he mumbles to himself as he forces himself up. Dressing himself slowly, Kyrian finally leaves his room and walks down stairs, entering the tavern of The Rusty Dragon. He takes notice of the conversations as he brings his head back to focus, but ignoring them as he walks up to the bar, waiting for service as he figures out in his head what he even wants to eat in the first place.
Kyrian picks his head up as the woman speaks to him and smiles as he responds. "You don't have to tell me that one again beautiful, that's for sure. As long as it'll help clear my head right now, I'm game for anything. Anything to clear my head would be worth payin for..."
Cerin's ears prick up as he hears the groans of someone who obviously started celebrating early. Turning around to face the man at the bar, he motions to Krissina to approach.
"Pardon me, good sir, I couldn't help overhearing that you are in some distress. If I might be so bold, I know of a very efficacious remedy that I learned from a wine merchant I worked for in Kintargo (before the fall, of course).
My dear, if you would bring some vinegar, pepper, cranewood root, a small snifter of brandy, and a glass to mix them in? Thank you!
Trust me sir, you won't regret it! To your good health!" he finishes, raising his own glass in salute.
Halvor hides his smile behind his mug, brows rising as the gnome's list of ingredients grows. He couldn't believe anything like that would cure anything, but Cerin seemed kind-hearted enough. He was young and fairly new to drinking, so he took note. He might have need of this particular remedy before the evening ended.
He raises his mug in salute with Cerin to the distressed gentleman at the bar. He knew about the Festival, and it would be a lucky thing indeed if the lass remembered even one of the ingredients in the bustle of today's business.
"Cerinnibert, just how many places have you practiced a trade?"
"And if it doesn't work, you might just have enough to take your mind off your head for a bit." He chuckles, sincerely hoping the gnome's cure works, but doubtful all the same. So far so good, all in all. He had returned to Sandpoint to recharge and perhaps find a goal worth pursuing, and so far at least one of those things was well on its way.
Cerin takes another sip, looking thoughtful.
"You know, I have never actually counted. I have travelled back and forth across Avistan several times, and I have done some exploring around Garund. I believe that I have visited every country at least once, but I have not yet been to every city. If I had to guess, I would say that I have done just about everything at some point in the last hundred and twenty years."
"How about you?" he asks Halvor, sounding genuinely interested.
Halvor's brow furrows. He is aware of the longer-lived races, of course, but still has trouble reconciling their long lifetimes to his sense of time. One hundred twenty years ago his great great great grandfather was being born or was a wee one. Still, he processes the information, in awe. Halvor has been across alot of Varisia, and briefly into portions of other neighboring regions, but nothing so vast.
He sits pensive for moment, takes a long swig of ale, then speaks. "I mainly been around these parts, doing a bit of guard work when not on my own. Been to Riddleport and Magnimar a few times each, sad to say. East to the little towns on Lake Syrantula to investigate some rumors of monsters. Been to Korvosa, as well. Things just seem to keep pulling me back to this damnable town, for some reason."
Seeing a much friendlier-looking and far more diverse crowd than she's used to at the Feedbag, Lynnda sidles up to the bar. A black cat perches on her shoulder like a furry parrot. The feline also surveys the room.
Catching the barmaid's eye, she smiles. "Morning! A pint of your finest ale for me, and a saucer of milk for my friend here," nodding toward her cat. She turns and smiles at her fellow patrons, giving them a curt but friendly nod. "Morning! Looks like a fine day for a festival! A word to the wise, though: avoid the stew from Fathead's Feedbag."
Listening to the conversation, waits patiently for the ingredients for this mystery cure. "Well I can't say that I've been that far, I've mostly been in Magnimar, and that's really it." As the woman walks in and approaches, asking for ale and milk, he turns and responds to her statement for the wise. "Well my day has yet to be fine, but it seems like it very well could shape up to be that way. Tell me, why should I be glad for my choice of staying at this inn?"
He chances another look at the newcomer. Beautiful, charismatic, friendly. Black cat perched on shoulder. Yes, his ma would have definitely advised to stay a stone's throw away from this one. Still, he was in a good mood, so he raised his mug in greeting to her, smiling a little.
He turns back to Cerin, nodding sagely. "She speaks truth there, friend. Unless your belly desires an adventure, steer clear of the Feedbag." And this without knowledge of the...extra ingredients recently added.
Cerin continues to nurse his drink until the festival starts, and looks at Halvor quizzically.
"Damnable? Why do you say that, it seems like a perfectly nice little town to me, even though I haven't seen that much of it yet. Nowhere near as bad as Cheliax or Galt!"
As the young man's gaze drifts to the young lady with the cat, he glances at her and chuckles. "I would be wary if I were you, she looks like the type that would eat you alive. Perhaps you might want to ask that pretty barmaid if she has any plans for the festival instead?" he remarks softly.
"What is that saying? Familiarity breeds contempt? I think that's perfect for my feelings about Sandpoint. In my head I know it's not as bad a place as say, Korvosa or Riddleport, disgusting dens of thieves and liars that they be. However, I served in the guard here for a short time, and have lived near here for most of my life. Things change when you get to see the dark underbelly of the place you live and work."
His eyes widen for a brief moment, then he chuckles amiably. He had been pretty obvious, surely. And even through his youth had come to much the same conclusion. Although if anyone were to point out the difference between knowing a thing and heeding a thing to young men they likely would talk for hours to little gain.
Halvor flushes a bit, but nods agreement. "I might just do that. Although the Festival is likely to keep her busy all the day long. Any place you have in mind for your second stop in Sandpoint? I know many of the finer and lower establishments."
As the sun climbs higher into the warm and bright skies the town of Sandpoint comes alive with bustling activity. Final preparations for the Swallowtail Festival are in full swing and everywhere one looks there seems to be busy folk. Carts and wagons loaded with all manner of supplies wheel their way towards the Festival site (a clearing near the centre of town by the new Cathedral). Soon, most of the town will gather for start of the Festival. But for now, there is a short amount of time to briefly explore the town and perhaps visit a location…
Cerin finally finishes the last of his ale and calls out a quick "Thank you!" to Krissina before dropping a nice tip on the table and hopping down from the chair.
"I will leave the tour entirely in your hands. What would be the most interesting place to stop at first?" he inquires.
He pats Kyrian on the back as they leave. "Feel better, my friend! If by any chance my cure doen't work for you, although I have every confidence of course, remember 'a hair of the dog' always works!" he says with a conspiratorial wink.
Halvor follows suit, leaving a couple of coins on the table. He tries to work up his courage but fails, the bustling business and definitely grinning gnome turning him toward the door with a half-hearted wave to the lovely flame-haired young woman. He grins and nods to the hung over fellow, silently wishing him well.
Outside in the somewhat fresher air, he clears his head a bit, then looks down at Cerin. "Well, if its drink you fancy, Two Knights Brewery we passed by on the way to the Rusty Dragon. For entertainment, we might go see Madame Nvashti over on Festival Street, it's practically on our way, anyway. Then there's old Brodert Quink the Sage, over on Tower Street, by the Old Light. He knows quite a bit about most things, if you're interested in that sort of thing. Personally, I haven't been here since they finished the Cathedral. I can see it dominating the town over there, but would like a closer look."
Quickly skipping over the morning
Krissina hands Kyrian a frothy concoction, "I had to improvise a little, should be just as good."
Moving over to Lynnda with a mug of ale and a saucer of milk, "That's a cute cat, had him long?" she says as she tries to ruffle it's ears.
Krissina finds a moment to wave at the odd Gnome and his tall companion, as they leave.
Once the breakfast rush is over she'll help get ready for the festival.
To move things along...
Assuming Cerin does not voice a contrary opinion, Halvor heads northwest to Festival Street, then proceeds northeast until they come to the Festival square. There he gets his first glimpse of the finished Cathedral. He edges closer, the crowd parting around his big frame, proceeding slowly so his friend does not get swallowed by the crowd.
Cerin nods at Halvor's suggestion as they leave the Dragon, distracted by the patterns of the clouds in the sky.
That certainly doesn't look like a good omen... he thinks as he follows the large man, able to keep up easily despite his short legs.
As they push through the crowd and the cathedral comes into view, his mind snaps back to the present. "Very nice; it looks new." he remarks, craning his neck to get a better look to try to figure which gods it is dedicated to.
His attention is suddenly diverted by something of greater importance.
"Is that a wine vendor setting up a booth over there?"
Picking up the glass, Kyrian downs the mixture like the essence of life. As he swallows the last bit, his face turns as he expresses the taste of what he just inhaled. "Well damn, that sure could've tasted better. Remind me to repay that short little guy for making me wonder what's worse, the headache or the after taste..." He places a few copper on the counter and gets up, going to his room.
At this point, he'll go out into town to start seeing the sights of the festival that is about to occur, while keeping a look out for his friend.
Quickly skipping over the morning
Moving over to Lynnda with a mug of ale and a saucer of milk, "That's a cute cat, had him long?" she says as she tries to ruffle it's ears.
Lynnda smiles at the barmaid's attention. Her cat purrs at it as well. "Thanks. My name's Lynnda, and this is Shadow. She and I have been a team for a few years now. Haven't we, Shadow?"
|Shadow the Cat|
Halvor stares at the grandeur of the new Cathedral dedicated to Desna, amazed at the craftsmanship. He then chuckles at the gnome's comment. To Halvor, at 20 and new to the world, this was amazing. To Cerin, who must have been to some fantastic places, it probably was no more than a brief novelty.
He shakes his head, then starts heading over to the indicated wine vendor. That blackberry wine DID sound rather tasty, and if you couldn't drink a bit and relax at a Festival, when could you?
"Sorry for your loss. This sure seems like a much nicer place to work than my last place of employment. Until about, oh, ten minutes ago, I was working at F**khead's Feedbag." She pauses to gague the barmaid's reaction to her language. She then continues, "Let's just say that I don't think I'm cut out for that kind of work. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to 'Uncle' Jubryal for getting me that job... but old man Tenniwar had other ideas on what I was supposed to be doing for him, if you catch my drift. I certainly didn't agree to that, so I quit."
Lynnda scratches her cat between the ears while it laps at the saucer of milk. Its purr increases in volume.
"So, I guess I'm free to enjoy the festival! Not sure what I'll be doing afterward, but I'm pretty resourceful. How about you?"