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Lightholder Tavern <Palace District>


It is said - primarily by the proprietor, a jovial merchant-classer named Solas Creek - that all roads in Fastheld lead to the Lightholder Tavern. On any given night, it's not hard to see why he might justify such a claim.
The pub, which started centuries ago as a small refreshment wagon for laborers building Fastheld Keep atop Caryas Hill, sees boisterous crowds filling its rafters with laughter and pipe smoke at all hours of the day and night as travelers make their way through the realm.
About three dozen tables are arranged among the polished wooden columns on which hang the wrought-iron lanterns that help give the tavern its name. Solas or one of his assistants can usually be found working behind a wide C-shaped counter, serving mugs of keg-tapped ale to thirsty patrons who stand at the bar.
The floor is strewn with amber rushes, except in a circle of about twenty feet in diameter, where the stone fireplace and chimney rise toward the ceiling.[/b]

"Saw it with my own eyes!" states one young woman to a friend "The Horsemaster giving some beautiful jewelry to a little merchant girl just for bringing him a tea cup. The Prince of the Blood no less. In a tavern. Gives hope to us all..."

Solas Creek stands behind the bar, wiping the counter with a cloth as he quietly observes the gathering afternoon crowd.

Twitch wanders into the Tavern, his gait oddly uneven as he strides through the door across the floor. Something attracts his attention, and rather than smoothly turn to address it, his upper body seems to contort as he abruptly turns his head towards the sound. Dull blue eyes move quickly about the room before the man gives an abrupt shrug of his shoulders and moves to locate a seat and sit down at the bar.

Solas Creek tucks the rag into the back pocket of his trousers and nods to Twitch. "Afternoon. Nice weather today, eh?"

"Aye, tis", the woodsman replies with rapid nod of his head, "Ah'll have an ale", he says and he dumps a handful of Imperials on the countertop. He then lapses into an uneasy silence as he watches the bartender.

"If the Horsemen are avatars of Justice " asks one freelander of another "then Vanamur Seamel must be the full fury of that justice. Woe be any merchant who forgets *his* order!"

Solas Creek nods curtly to the woodsman, grinning, then turns and fills a mug from a keg behind the counter. "There you go, sir. Enjoy." He tilts his head. "What line o' work are ye in, if it's no imposition askin'?"

Tyrone walks into the Tavern slowly, taking his time to look around at all the customers, sencing a potential area to pick up a job. Sitting down as a barmaid walks over he mumbles something and she nods, walking back to get whatever he requested.

Solas Creek is behind the counter, talking with Twitch.

Lotan Elkhorn arrives in from the outside, looking tired from a long ride as he sleepily gazes about. He walks off torward the bar, his boots falling softly upon the floor as he moves.

Twitch retrieves the glass of ale, then notices someone arriving, out of the corner of his eye. Common practice would indicate that you turn your head to see the newcomer. Twitch apparently doesn't hold with common practice, since he rapidly attempts to rotate his entire upper body towards the exit, nearly spilling ale all over himself in the process. Some of the liquid does succeed in sloshing over the rim of the glass and onto the floor. Smiling sheepishly he turns carefully back towards the bar, though even his careful movements are uneven enough to cause the ale to slosh about. Meeting the barkeeps eyes once again he says, "I'm a woodsman fro' Wedgecrest", he says with a faint smile.

"Wedgecrest?" the barkeep replies, smiling. "A long way from 'ome, seems to me. Not that we're not glad to have yer patronage. What brings ye to Light'older?"

Tyrone takes two drinks from the barmaid with a sly smile, she smiles back, rather scared of Tyrone's dark apperance she makes her way back to the bar quickly and he watches her go before turning to a drink and downing it in one.

"Lost a knife", Twitch replies, his voice and expression indicating his displeasure. "No' quite sure how't happened." He raises the glass quickly to his lips, sloshing a little on his face, and takes a swallow. "I need anothe'" As he lowers the glass he wipes the ale from his cheek with a quick rub of his sleeve.

As the Reservist Blade nears the bar, he quickly finds a stool in a less-than-populated area of it, slipping onto the stool and seating himself, as he looks down the bar. He rests his chainmail gauntleted hands onto the bartop, as he waits with a passive look on his face.

Solas Creek nods to Twitch. "Good luck with that, then." He nods to Lotan. "Afternoon, sir. Parched, I expect? Warm day, all that armor. Yes, indeed."

Tyrone looks over to the rather clumsy woodsman and the barkeep he thinks for a while. Taking his second drink up in his left hand he walks over to the bar and sits down next to the two, nodding a greeting to each man.

Twitch gives another quick nod of his head to the barkeep as the other man turns. This time he thinks ahead enough to place the mug on the countertop before moving around, although he manages to slam the drink down instead of gently setting it down and manages to slosh more ale despite his caution. He blushes and quickly looks to see if anyone noticed.

"I can about manage the cold on the Aegis, don't see how the warmnth here is any worse," answers Lotan to Solas with a friendly chuckle, nodding to him. "Some ale will do, if you would, Sir."

Solas Creek nods to Lotan, then turns and fills a fresh mug from the keg. He slides the drink over to Lotan. "Enjoy." His attention then settles on Tyrone. "Afternoon."

Tyrone says, "Afternoon to you too, fare well i hope" he says with a smile, "How goes the bar, seems a bit... empty to me...""

Lotan Elkhorn accepts the mug, and drinks deeply from it, settling it down with a refreshing sigh as he peers to Tyrone. "Empty, eh? This place is never empty. Barely enough room to walk."

Solas Creek narrows his eyes at Tyrone. Glances off at the rather large crowd that has usually gathered in the tavern for the lunching hours. He then returns his gaze to Tyrone. "Luckily, I got no problem servin' the blind. Thirsty?"

"Wildlings in Hawk's Aerie." a veteran Noble of the Emperor's Blades comments. "The city burning. The Imperial Guard forcing everyone south of the Market District deeper south yet. A flood of people into a a torrent desperate for weapons and armor to which defend their families. Chaos!" He grins at that much to the repluse of his younger friend. "Fun."

Tyrone grins and shrugs, "Got me ale from yer wench" he says before taking a drink from it, to point it out. "Tis good ale at that" he nods a compliment to the barkeep.

Seeing that no one has noticed his repeated blunders the woodsmand manages to regain his composure, then jerks his head towards the armored man seated nearby. "Good day", he says quickly, "You wouldn't know where I can find a good smithy?", he asks curiously.

A small surge of people enter the tavern, chattering loudly amongst themselves about this or that. Following up right behind them enters Duhnen, free hand brushing dust off of his gray cloak while his others leans heavily on a reddish quarterstaff. He glances about the common room and his mouth twitches slightly into a smile.

"Light's Reach, Vozhdya, East Leg," are the words that flow from Lotan's lips in response to the woodsman, as he returns to his ale. "All good."

Solas Creek nods to Tyrone. "Aye. Good ale. Indeed." He takes a moment to wave at Duhnen as he enters. "Afternoon, m'lord."

Tyrone looks towards the crowd and makes a note of Duhnen. He turns towards the bar again and lifts his drink up to his lips, they part slowly and allow the ale into his gullet. He wipes his mouth and grins.

Twitch roughly raises the mug to his lips again, although this time the level of liquid in the glass is low enough so that he doesn't spill on himself. "Damn good knife", he says as he lowers the mug and proceeds to shake both his head and his entire body by association, ruefully. He does a doubletake at the bladesman. "Hey, I know you."

"Afternoon, good man," Duhnen answers, nodding his head to Solas to return the greeting. He gives the room another visual sweep before saying appreciatively, mainly to himself, "Light, I should visit here more often." Setting himself off towards the counter, he gives a brief look and grin towards the fat, one eared dog.

Solas Creek nods to Duhnen. "What'll ye be drinkin', m'lord?"

Tyrone finishes his second ale and places the empty glass onto the bar top. Blinking tiredly he looks about.

"You do?" queries the archer, as he peers at the man. "Don't believe I recognize you, friend," he answers him, as he returns to his mug of ale once more.

An old wench informs a younger serving girl of an old tale: "Mark my words! The bite of a shriekweasel will turn you into a Shadow-Touched monster when all six moons are full!"

Twitch doubletakes, then shakes his head. "I'm pretty sure it were you." He says, wisely choosing to leave his ale where it is, since every motion he makes seem horribly out of proportion with his tiny frame. "Huntin' Rockwolves outsida Wedgecrest", he adds to clarify. "How is yer leg?"

Blowing a gentle long breath at the question, Duhnen glances about, regarding the other patrons he shares the bar with, or more specifically, their drinks. Reaching into his cloak, he fiddles with something, causing a light clinking noise to be heard, before he withdraws a hand full of coin. "Some of that ale, I think," he says finally with another grin, gesturing to a man next to him with his head. "Think I'll test your stock today."

Lotan also appears to call upon his memory, and grins suddenly. "So it was. You were leading the hunt, I'm thinking. I think I had one of the pups sit on me, I think."

Solas Creek nods to Duhnen, grinning. "I think ye'll find it to yer liking, m'lord."

Tyrone grunts quietly, looking to his left at Duhnen, "Hello M'lord" he says, lost for any better a greeting.

Twitch abruptly shifts his attention towards the Nobleman for an instant before responding to the blade. "Aye", he says, "So we heard, Yer did well fer yerselves though." Shaking his head slightly the woodsman chuckles, "Tangling with a pack of rockwolves isn't mah idea of fun." His erratically raises the mug to his lips and takes another swallow of the beverage.

Laying down the coin, Duhnen takes the full mug in hand, turning his head to look to his right at Tyrone. He smiles slightly at the greeting and raises the drink in his own greeting. "How's the day find you, friend?" That said, his eyes begin to drift about the room again, while he pulls from his ale.

Solas Creek glances toward Lotan. "Rockwolves, eh? Dangerous creatures."

"Very," muses Lotan, chuckling as he grins to Solas. "I'd have been a goner if I went out there alone, luckily it was a public hunt. Saw one hop right up and tear a man's throat out. Poor fellow. I've been attacked close up by a Wildling, a Rock Wolf, and I suppose the only thing left would be a mankiller bear."

Tyrone swings his head side to side with a small smile, "My days have been better, I cannot find any work anywhere.." he says frowing at the same time as grinning, bringing a rather perplexing crease in his nose.

Twitch gives a shake of his head that seems to oddly ripple down his torso. "Best to avoid the mankillers", he says as a broad grin settles itself on his lips, "I prefer to leave them be meself." He chuckles.

"Oh? What do you do then?" Duhnen asks with a look back to Tyrone, before he catches the other conversation, tilting his head slightly to listen better.

Solas Creek moves along the counter, pulling out his cloth rag and wiping the counter. He pays particular scowling attention to the damp spots where Twitch sloshed his ale.

A courtier speaks in a hushed whisper to another. "Have you heard? The Viscount Thayndor Zahir -- cousin of the Lioness -- was utterly humiliated in a duel by a man claiming to be of noble blood. The fellow beat the Viscount to an inch of his life they say -- yet no one has heard of the bloodline he claims to be of! Something akin to Dove or perhaps Dovo."

Tyrone leans in closer to Duhnen, "Lets say... I expertise in some of the more... darker jobs..." he says with a sigh, "Its gotta be done though... You can't hire a blade to look for someone in the shadow district can you?" he asks, raising his eyebrows.

"Damned Dovo," growls Lotan as he hears a courtier speak a bit too loudly for the archer's tastes, looking over to Twitch. "Wish somebody'd just shoot'em and get it over with already."

Twitch appears a little confused about the change in conversation, possibly because he's busy looking embarrassed about the spilled ale. He suddenly tenses and glances towards the doorway. Tossing a few Imperials onto the counter he quite literally hops to his feet, his swinging arms nearly striking those standing too close to him. "Good day, to you", he says quickly, his attention absently directed to both the bladesman and the barkeep in turn. "I should get to lookin, else it'll be too late to get a knife 'fore I need to head back to Wedgecrest."

Duhnen raises an eyebrow to Tyrone, leaning away to match the man leaning towards him. "That's...fantastic," he mutters, sliding away slightly. "So you chase criminals, then?" he asks skeptically, looking him over with an obvious bit of suspicion.

"Eve, Twitch," speaks Lotan to the man with a respectful nod of his head, as the Blade once again returns to his ale.

Tyrone shakes his head, "Not exactly chase them" he says leaning back, "More... make their whereabouts know to the blades for a little bit o' cash every now and then." he chuckles, "Its dangerous mind, If I get on the wrong side of someone." he says.

Solas Creek waves briefly at Twitch. Gets back to refilling a merchant's nearby mug.

Twitch absently acknowledges the parting gestures and makes his way, somehow, across the inn and outside without tripping over something and smacking into someone.

"Yes, I cam imagine," Duhnen says dryly, glancing to Twitch as he makes his way out. "Nasty business there, one of the few places I doubt I would wander." He chuckles quietly at his comment, not seeming to care if anyone else finds it amusing.

Tyrone says, "Oh, my name is Tyrone. May I ask what you do sir?" he -asks- turning to Duhnen curiously, "You haven't said much about yourself.""

"Think I'll be going off, as well," decides the archer, as he rises from his stool and grins at Solas. "Good seeing you," he tells the man, as he makes ready to leave.

Solas Creek nods to Lotan. "Keep in the Light." He grins, then looks over at Duhnen and Tyrone. "Refills?"

Duhnen nods his head to Solas, draining what's left in the mug and putting it back on the counter. "You're quite right. It's a fine brew," he grins before glancing to Tyrone. He stares for a moment, considering the question, before answering shortly, "I do what I like."

Tyrone shakes his head to Solas, "I have had quite enough to drink I think..." he smiles and returns to listening to Duhnen. "Well.. That certainly sounds like a nice job." he says with a short smile.

A drunken Blacksmith snorts loudly spilling his drink in the process though seeming not to notice. "Tha' HAWK issh landing boyssh!" he slurrs a wide grin resting upon his glassy features. "Afsher that Farrish Wind thingy I hear ol'Jell Mikyn hash had enough. Well good riddanshh to *hic*! Shy shay! Good..." His 'brave' words fall dead as a bald man walks through the door. It's not Gell Mikin but the sight is enough to see the fear of the Emperor's Hawk return to the Blacksmith.

Solas Creek nods to Tyrone, then plucks up Duhnen Seamel's mug and refills it from the keg behind the counter. Once filled, the cup is returned to the spot in front of the nobleman. "Here ye go, m'lord."

"Oh, but it is!" Duhnen grins widely a moment, before laying more coin on the counter. He drains some of the fresh drink, sighing contentedly. "Most likely that will be changing very soon, however," he comments offhandidly, much to himself again.

Tyrone nods, "What might that be changing to? If I may be so bold?" he smiles, interested but careful not to overstep his lower class boundarys.

A black cat pounces up onto the counter holding the kegs behind the bar. Solas winks at the animal before taking another merchant's beverage order.

Either the question doesn't reach him, or he chooses to ignore it. At any rate, instead of replying, Duhnen watches the cat quietly with a bit of amusement. After a moment he laughs and, musingly, "I should buy a tavern 'round Silkfield. Get a good man to run it and such. I'd probably be my own best customer."

Tyrone chuckles but doesn't say anthing, sobred by Duhnen's silence he looks down to his ale and finishes it gingerly.

The cat just gazes neutrally at Duhnen as Solas finishes handing out the latest round of drinks.

Duhnen tilts his head back and finishes his drink in a large gulp. Glancing to his side consideringly, in the direction of the performer's hall, he raises a question. "Good proprieter, do you often have entertainment here? More pointedly, are you expecting any sometime soon?"

"From time to time," Solas replies, nodding to Duhnen. "Storytelling contests. Bards. One fellow, name o' Neerly, stops in to perform on occasion. Not as often as the customers might like, I'd say."

Tyrone looks to the performers hall with sudden intrest, he peers through the door and turns back to Solas. He grins at the mention of o' Neerly and shakes his head.

"I'll need to make it here on one of those occasions, I think," Duhnen nods. "I'd play myself if I trusted my abilities enough. They seem to come and go in waves." He grins to his side at Tyrone, "Wouldn't want to start a mean riot."

Solas Creek smiles. "I'm sure ye'd give a fine accountin' o' yerself, m'lord."

Tyrone grins, "I dunno, If your really hoping to get a croud then its a means to an end." he says, his lips curling into a wry grin.

"I see Jurus Seamel has made the cut to become a Rider of the Imperial Horsemen." One off-duty Guard notes to his Bladesman companion over a glass of ale. "Considering that Jafron was taken by the Shadow not long ago I'll say that was the Light's doing."

A bit of a scowl creeps into Duhnen's face as the name Jurus is mentioned. He glances behind him towards the bladesmen briefly before standing from his seat. "Think I'll be off friends," he says, his tone and look returning to a friendly one.

Solas Creek nods to Duhnen. "Keep in the Light, m'lord."

Tyrone nods to Duhnen, "Thank you for the company friend, It was nice talking to you." he smiles and turns to Solas

Nodding his head to the pair, the Seamel readjusts the cloak on his shoulders before sweeping to the door and out.

Solas Creek goes back to wiping down the counter with his rag.

Tyrone sighs and looks at Solas, "Fine ale you have Solas... Fine ale" he says, tipping the barkeep a few kahars before standing up and stretching. "I must be off, good day to you!" he smiles and heads for the door.

Solas Creek smiles faintly, waves to Tyrone. "Keep in the Light."

A drunken Blacksmith snorts loudly spilling his drink in the process though seeming not to notice. "Tha' HAWK issh landing boyssh!" he slurrs a wide grin resting upon his glassy features. "Afsher that Farrish Wind thingy I hear ol'Jell Mikyn hash had enough. Well good riddanshh to *hic*! Shy shay! Good..." His 'brave' words fall dead as a bald man walks through the door. It's not Gell Mikin but the sight is enough to see the fear of the Emperor's Hawk return to the Blacksmith.

Solas Creek wipes the counter with a cloth.

Rayk Nillu steps into the tavern slowly, looking about the room with a quiet curiousity.

Solas Creek looks up, seeing the nobleman arrive. He nods, waving with the cloth in his hand. "Afternoon, m'lord."

Rayk Nillu turns and looks to the speaker, walking through the crowd and steps up to the bar, "Afternoon, Barkeep. Anything of interest in Fastheld this eve'?"

"Not that I've 'eard," Solas replies with a wink and a grin. "But, then, borin' tends to be good for bus'ness. Thirsty?"

Rayk Nillu nods slowly, digging into a pouch and sliding a few Kahars to the man, "Aye, Ale should do well."

Solas Creek nods, then turns, fetches a mug and fills it with ale from a keg on the back counter. Once he tops off the mug, Solas slides it across the main counter to Rayk. "Enjoy, m'lord."

Rayk Nillu smiles, accepting the mug with one hand, "Thank you, good Barkeep. Perhaps I might pose a question to you?"

Solas Creek nods. "O' course."

"Did you hear about that citizen who crashed Baron Lomasa's dinner party?" asks one serving girl of another inbetween giggles. "He tried to being a *horse* into the great hall! That was *before* he had anything to drink!" Giggles follow in suit.

Rayk Nillu swivels so his back is to the rest of bar, "I am curious to hear about what you know of the noble houses."

Solas Creek blinks. "I know a thing or two, m'lord. Now, I wouldn't be callin' myself an expert on the matter. I leave that to proper 'istorians. But, is there anythin' specific ye want to know?"

Rayk Nillu shrugs, "Whatever you know, I'm curious to hear it from a citizen's perspective."

Solas Creek narrows his eyes at the nobleman, resting an elbow on the counter as he looks around at the crowd for a moment, then returns his gaze to Rayk Nillu as he says quietly, "I mean no offense, m'lord, but I got a lot o' customers 'ere, and it wouldn't do for me to just drop ever'thin' to go spoutin' my mouth off about the nobles. Ye got anythin' *particular* ye want to know?"

Rayk Nillu hmms, and nods, "What of Lady Surrector's appointment, I had not managed to escape family business to attend her appointment."

"Ah," the barkeep replies, a smile twitching across his face as he resumes wiping the counter. "Surrector Zahir. Well, I can tell ye, I *never* thought I'd live to see the day those two words came so close together. Wonders never cease."

Rayk Nillu's curiousity perks at the answer, "Is there some concern over a Zahir becoming the Emperor's Surrector?"

"Oh, I'd say yes, most definitely," Solas says. He tucks the cloth into his back pocket. "But, if 'is Majesty trusts a woman - a Za'ir woman, no less - to do 'is bidding as Surrector, well, by the Light, it's not my concern."

"THAT BLOODY HERALD!" shouts a drunken Bladesman speaking of the Emperor's aide. "He said I should put ribbons in my /girly/ hair and serve as a Tavern wench! I'll bloody well have him I will!"

Rayk Nillu nods slowly, letting the subject drop, "It seems I have much to learn about the nobles, eh? Thank you again Mr....?"

"Creek," the barkeep replies. "Solas Creek, m'lord."

Rayk Nillu nods, offering his hand to the man, "Good to meet you Mr. Creek, I am Rayk, Rayk Nillu."

Solas Creek shakes the offered hand. "Well met, Lord Nillu." He smiles. "Welcome to the Light'older Tavern."

"Did you hear about that citizen who crashed Baron Lomasa's dinner party?" asks one serving girl of another inbetween giggles. "He tried to being a *horse* into the great hall! That was *before* he had anything to drink!" Giggles follow in suit.

Rayk Nillu nods, drinking the mug of ale down, "One more question for you, good sir.... would you perhaps know where Lady Damiante resides these days?" "Damiante Nillu?" the barkeep grins, nods. "She's up in 'awk's Aerie, I 'ear."

Rayk Nillu nods, finishing off the mug, "Thank you, good barkeep..." He puts a few extra Kahars on the bar, "for the drink and information."

Solas Creek inclines his head to Rayk. "Thank you, m'lord. Keep in the light."

Rayk Nillu smiles, and heads out the door again.

"A poet once wrote: In this hall of mirrors / made by liars / I am a pale reflection of myself." softly quotes one rider of the Blade's Cavalry. He closes his eyes in a serene manner before finally looking back upon his friends. "Quell Falconer. Knight of the Imperial Horsemen. They do more than look good in Bronze."

Some time later...

Solas Creek wipes the counter with a cloth while a couple of merchants lean against the bar, laughing at something one or the other said.

The door swings into the tavern, and a great beefy hand holds it opened, attached to a mail-covered arm. A stout, burly, bearded mountain of a man holds it open, looking gravely at slender figure which steps over the threshold, with an expression not unlike a mother hen watching a little chick.

The young lady steps into the room, her skirts swishing. "Gwyreth," she says, "I think I am about out of paper."

"Wildlings in Hawk's Aerie." a veteran Noble of the Emperor's Blades comments. "The city burning. The Imperial Guard forcing everyone south of the Market District deeper south yet. A flood of people into a a torrent desperate for weapons and armor to which defend their families. Chaos!" He grins at that much to the repluse of his younger friend. "Fun."

Solas Creek nods to the newcomers as he turns to refill a couple of mugs with ale from the keg behind the counter.

Seated at one of the tables farthest away from any commotion, a young woman sits, holding a cup of mead on the tabletop as she stares dully into its syrupy contents. The only particular thing that stands out about this woman is her uncontrollably frizzy hair, and perhaps the baskets of flowers she has set on the chair near her. With a drowsy blink, Adria looks up at the newcomer, blinks once more, and returns her gaze to the table.

Mirabelle stops in the middle of the room, flipping through her bag, with a quiet rustle of folded paper, "Oh no wait," she says, "Never mind, you don't need to get me any... I have some in here. I didn't see it what with all the letters."

The mutt, Lump, saunters over to Adria's table. Of particular interest, it would seem, are the flowers in baskets perched beside her. He wrinkles his snout as he sniffs at them.

Mirabelle looks up and notices the basket of flowers, "Oh, how pretty, flowers! Are they for sale?" she inquires

Adria Driftwind slowly turns her head to the mutt sniffing her flowers, and wrinkles her nose at him as he did toward her flowers. "If yeh'd like to buy some..." she says slowly, with a bit of a wry grin. She reaches down and pats the dog, before she realizes that the woman who had just arrived is speaking to her. With a slow blink, she says, "Oh... yes, of course they are." A few more moments of silence and Adria seems to have regained some of her previously lost energy. "I only 'ave sweet peas and lilies currently, but go ahead and take your pick." Adria's accent is strange, but does not impede her coherency.

Mirabelle 's eyebrow lifts slightly at the woman's dazed and out-of-it response, and says hesitantly, "Er... exactly what kind of flowers are they, did you say?"

Adria Driftwind blinks once more, and seems to notice that this woman looks considerably more important than Adria herself does. A slight pink tinge comes to her cheeks and she tries to straighten her tipsy posture without the others noticing. "Sweet peas, m'lady. And lilies." She grasps a lock her unruly hair and begins twisting it about her fingers. "If you'd like, I can get different kinds. But the aphids ate m' roses, so..." The young woman trails off, still twiddling with that lock of hair.

The dog sniffs a little longer at the flowers, and is about to bite at one of the lily blossoms when his nose picks up the scent of a bowl of venison stew placed on the floor by a friendly customer at a nearby table. Tail wagging, he saunters away to clean the bowl.

Mirabelle says quickly, reaching her gloved fingers into her coin purse, "I'll take a lilly, please... they... they don't have any aphids on them, do they? I don't like bugs."

The burly guard says solemly to her, "If there are, I shall smash them for you."

"Well... as long as you don't smash the flower."

"Of course, m'lady." Adria Driftwind turns to her flower baskets, chooses the most attractive lily of the bunch, and holds it out to Mirabelle. She smiles wearily. "They don' have any aphids on them, certainly." She notices Mirabelle reaching into her coin purse, and says hastily, "Oh, you don' need to pay, m'lady, it's only a simple lily."

Mirabelle reaches out to take the lilly, her pink-clad fingers wrapping around the stem, which she examines briely before tucking it in her hair. She takes out a few coins, saying, "Nonsense, I'm more than happy to pay you for your labours..."

A wide smile crosses Adria's slightly drowsy face. "Thank you very much, m'lady. I appreciate it greatly." Her eyes look about the room, a bit sadly. "Business 'asn't been going too well lately."

Solas Creek refreshes another couple of mugs at the counter.

Mirabelle reaches up to fold some of her hair over the flower and she says, "Oh? I am terribly sorry to hear that... is... do you have a garden near by? You'd think what with all the parties lately, people would be needing flowers... I mean, people always need flowers, right?"

"I see now that my /INCREDIBLE/ intellect must be aligned against this Horsemaster." A bold young Noble of House Lomasa states. From the previous tidbits of conversation one might gather that he's talking about the rumoured romance that some say exists between the Prince and Rowena Mikin. "I'm already forming a plan of such subtle /GENIUS/ that it will obliterate all Horsemaster thoughts from the Duchess's mind while silultaneously opening her heart and -" he mutters something inaudiable "- to me!"

"Oh, yes, m' home is not too far away, and I keep a large garden there. I suppose I just got off on the wrong foot today." She indicates a red mark where she had apparently fallen on her elbow, but then blinks and looks back at Mirabelle apologetically. "I'm sorry, m'lady, I don't mean to keep you long. You must 'ave errands to run."

Mirabelle 's brow shoots up towards her dark hairbrow at the apparent dismissal, and she says in a smooth but arched voice, "Yes, of course... I have things to attend to. Good day to you. I do hope your foot regains its balance. Come along, Gwyreth, we ought to head back to Vozhdya."

The mutt, Lump, picks up the now empty bowl in his yellowed teeth and wanders off toward the counter. There, he bumps the dish against Solas Creek's leg. The proprietor gazes down and chuckles, nodding. "Good lad, Lump." The dog wags its tail, drops the dish, then wanders away once more. As Solas watches the dog goes, he opines to a merchant, "If only 'e could clean 'em too."

Adria's mouth thins in anxiety, and she says, "I'm terribly sorry, m'lady, I didn't mean to offend you. I... but..." she pauses to stare down at her mug. "I only thought you would not want to..." Adria trails off, considering the damage already done, and the matter closed.

Mirabelle says shortly, "Not at all..." she lets her purse fall down to her side beckoning to Gwyreth over her shoulder as she heads towards the door. Gwyreth trots along obediently behind her, like an overgrown puppy... or pet elephant.

"Yes... good day, m'lady," Adria says tiredly, shifting in her seat and returning her gaze to her almost empty mug.

Solas Creek kneels, picks up the bowl, then walks back into the kitchen. There, he deposits the bowl in a wash basin before walking back out to the main counter. He takes a cloth from his back pocket and starts wiping the counter out of habit.

Adria Driftwind rises, collects her baskets of exhausted flowers, and sighs. She pushes her hair back from her shoulders and begins walking slowly towards the door. "G'night," she says to Solas as she exits toward home.

Solas Creek wipes the counter with a cloth. He nods at something said by a nearby merchant.

Rayk Nillu sits at a table quietly, sipping his mug of ale and musing to himself quietly

The mutt, Lump, wanders over to where Rayk is sitting. He sniffs at the noble's shoes.

"Ill omens they were." states one Shadowscourge to another - the Light spilling off her Brass armor as she dictates to the younger Scourge beside her. "Lances of crimson light that formed a web of blood among the stars beyonf the clouds. A work of dark power... we should be careful."

Rayk Nillu looks down to where the dog sits, and smiles. He slowly reaches down, to scratch the animal's head.

The dog pants, wagging its dail and grinning stupidly at the nobleman.

Rayk Nillu scratches the dog's head slowly, smiling as he does so, his other hand bringing the mug to his mouth.

Solas Creek wipes the counter one last time, tucks the cloth into his back pocket, then wanders around the counter and nods to Rayk as he sees the dog. "Hope Lump's not bein' a bother, m'lord."

Rayk Nillu shakes his head to the barkeep, continuing to rub Lump's head, "No, my good sir, he's just fine."

"Very good," the proprietor replies. He smiles, then heads back to the counter. The dog seems content to hang out next to the nobleman, dropping onto his belly and sprawling next to the chair.

Rayk Nillu finishes off his mug and sets it down, giving the mutt one more good scratch and rub before standing up.

Solas Creek walks behind the counter, takes up a couple of mugs and starts refilling them.

A healer sighs as she recalls a recent scene she was called to. "...down in the Southern Marshes. "Bushdragon Dinner" they're calling it. Some poor Bladesman got chewed up pretty badly by a family of them. Archers said he went there to look for 'something shiny'. Turns out the 'shiny' thing was a Helmet that belonged to another Bladesman who suffered the same fate. Pretty messy scene."

Rayk Nillu tosses a few coins on the table for the ale, and heads out of the tavern

Solas Creek waves farewell to the nobleman.

Saraa looks about with sharp eyes, frowning slightly.

Solas Creek works behind the counter, wiping at it with a cloth as a couple of merchants nurse mugs of ale.

Rayk Nillu slowly makes his way out of the tavern, pulling his clothing about him.

Saraa flicks a length of fringe from her eyes and looks about wearily, smothering a yawn.

Saraa smoothes a hand over her dress before tilting her head slightly to the side and taking a step after a moment of hesitation.

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