Hawk and Dove Tavern and Inn

There's a knock upon the door of the third guest room, gentle enough not to wake a deep sleeper, but firm enough to notify anyone who's awake that someone wishes their response.

Tomassa's voice quietly calls, "Enter," in response to the knock. She sits upon the side of the bed, one foot tucked behind her opposite knee. She's mostly dressed but for her cloak and boots, hair partially braided. The woman's eyes are pink and puffy and she holds a soft cloth in her hands.

Fionnlagh opens the door easily, stepping in and closing it behind him as he looks for Tomassa with slightly concerned eyes. Seeing the pink puffiness, his gaze softens further, and he quickly strides towards the bed to sit beside her, if she remains there, and slip an arm about her shoulders. "What's the matter, Tomassa?"

Tomassa lifts the cloth to her face, dabbing at her wet eyes. "My apologies," she huskily says before clearing her throat. "I am having a difficult morning," the woman admits.

Fionnlagh leans to kiss her cheek lightly, smiling at her gently. "My dear Tomassa...since when must you apologize for a difficult time? That is why I'm here."

Tomassa clears her throat again. "I thought I'd past this point, but I suppose I have not," she sighs, lightly sniffling. "I... I was used to waking alone since Shalis was an early riser. I suppose that is why, for a moment, I woke and thought he'd already gone to the temple. And then..." She faintly, wryly smiles, "I realized the truth."

Fionnlagh listens, and nods softly at the last of her words, smiling gently at her as he leans her against his shoulder if she permits. "I understand...I've woken and expected to find Millicent in the kitchen a few times. It's not an easy thing, but it does grow easier, with time."

Exhaling, Tomassa gains control of her tears and folds the cloth in half. She allows herself to lean against the Forester for a time, swollen eyes closing. "Have you two been waiting long?" she inquires.

"I'm not sure where Dirk's off to. Truth be told, I slept in late after last night. Haven't traveled that hard in quite some time."

Tomassa summons a small smile as she looks up to the forester. "You should get out more," she quietly teases. "Not stay hidden in your forest with your men."

"Last time I was out very far, except to see you, the Ravager attacked. Same for the time before that. Granted, there's no Ravager anymore, so they say, but still. Are you sure you want me traveling?" He winks lightly, teasing in his turn.

Tomassa tilts her head to study his face rather intently. "It's really been -that- long since you were out? Do you... receive news very often? I mean, you've heard of the Emperor's death, yes?"

Fionnlagh lifts an eyebrow slightly as she studies his face, nodding to her question. "Aye, I heard of it right after it happened...thing like that travels fast. Was a little longer before I heard of Tomas and Shalis. It really depends on who's traveling down that way, and what they've heard. There isn't exactly a town to have a town crier anymore."

Tomassa darts a hand up to wipe at a new tear that leaks down her cheek when her family is mentioned. "At least Serath isn't dead," she murmurs. "If only they can find him and bring him back quickly. I dread having Oren in charge again."

Fionnlagh squeezes her shoulders gently, tilting his head a bit. "They've confirmed he's alive? I know Rowena hoped, but not much of anyone else believed it."

Tomassa quietly nods, "That is what I have heard. Granted, it could be only rumor, but I believe it to be true. They have sent for him to take over until the Heir is of age." Again, the woman studies his face, expression troubled. "Kenneth..." she begins as if she has more to say.

Fionnlagh nods to her words of Serath, musing thoughtfully a moment, but turning attention fully on her again as she speaks his name. "What is it, Tomassa?"

Tomassa sits on the edge of the bed, shoulders slumped. One foot is tucked beneath her opposite knee. Her boots are on the floor and she's wearing everything but them and her cape. The woman's eyes are puffy and she's holding a damp, folded cloth in her hands as if she's been weeping.

Fionnlagh is seated beside Tomassa, an arm about her shoulders comfortingly, encouraging her to lean against him as they talk.

Dirk knocks on the door, and his voice filters through a moment later. "Ummmm, Contessa? Master Fionnlagh? You're not in a situation where it might cause me to feel bad if I walked in, say, right now?"

Whatever Tomassa was going to say is lost at Dirk's question. She chuckles, still somewhat tearful but amused nonetheless. Lifting her voice, she calls, "Come -in-, Dirk, before you start a riot of rumors from anyone that can overhear you."

Fionnlagh turns his own head towards the door, lips quirking wryly before he just shakes his head. Such timing. He lets Tomassa's invitation stand, glancing back at her with a small chuckle of his own.

"Sorry." Dirk's reply sounds almost sincerly so, even through the muffling of the door, pushing it open and sliding in. After a moment's inspection, he takes the situation in. "Ah, Contessa... are you alright?"

Tomassa lifts the cloth in her hand to dab at the tip of her nose. "Just having a difficult morning is all. My apologies for not emerging at a more suitable hour." She sits up a bit more and tries to square her shoulders. "Have you broken your fast?"

Fionnlagh says, "I haven't....I don't know about Dirk." He glances towards the man questioningly.

"You mean.. have I ate anything?" Dirk asks, then simply nods his head. "Yeah, I had some bread. I can eat again though, if you two are hungry?" The youth looks between the two.

"I am ravenous," Tomassa emphatically agrees. She takes the time to touch at her eyes are few times, wrinkling her nose at the swelling of her eyelids. "There's no help for it. I'm going to look the grieving widow wherever we eat. Ah, well. Perhaps all the tears will be gone in a few months' time, hmm?"

"You could always wear an onion around your neck," quips the forester, teasing lightly, and shifting to stand, offering Tomassa a hand up politely, though he knows she has no need of it.

"I tried that once. It kinda stinked." Dirk says in response to the forester's quip, nose wrinkling up. "Alrighty. Let's go eat. If anyone stares at you because you look like your grieving, I'll snarl at them." He goes to push the door open, and hold it there, though he knows neither have need of the gesture.

Tomassa waves a hand at Fionnlagh as if to shoo his aid away. She does scoot to the bed's very edge and lean to collect a boot. "You two go on down. I'll be there once I'm fully attired. Won't take long to get these on."

"Ok." Dirk says with a smile. "I'll see you down there." With that, the youth slips out the door, letting it swing close behind him.

Fionnlagh chuckles and nods, moving to follow Dirk. "Fair enough. See you downstairs, Contessa."

Dirk heads into The Hawk and Dove Tavern and Inn - Upper Hall. Dirk has left. Fionnlagh heads into The Hawk and Dove Tavern and Inn - Upper Hall. Fionnlagh has left.

Sometime later...

You head into The Hawk and Dove Tavern and Inn - Main Room.

The Hawk and Dove Tavern and Inn - Main Room <Market District> --------------------------------------------------------- (Indoors) (Cover: Fair) (Owner: Dianna)

A relatively new establishment, the atmosphere of the Hawk and Dove is one of joviality and quaint ambience that is often crowded, smoke-filled and noisy with the banter of voices circulating within the room. It is here that locals come to drink, converse, game and generally relax and amusement themselves without the worries of their often hard and dreary life. . Like any good tavern, one can find refreshment or ease at the long expanse of the finely polished bar or perhaps at one of the many tables that await a friendly visitor. Looming large within the far wall rests a fireplace where the average man could stand clear within. The furniture is clean, comfortable that has been made of highly polished wood with the chairs having upholstered seats. All of the furniture looks brand new, or nearly new, though some already show signs of a few nics and scraps from fights or clumsy customers. The wooden floorboards are regularly swept clean and are polished to perfection. At the far end of the room is a long bar with a large menu hanging upon the wall over head. Off to the left side of the bar is a door leading to the tavern kitchen where succulent aromas waft through the doors into the main room. A pattern of roses intricately carved upon the rails of a wooden staircase leads guests up to the rooms on the second floor where exhausted travelers can rest and relax. The walls have been white washed which adds contrast to the darkly stained timber crossbeams over head.

Fionnlagh and Dirk are here. A busty Tavern Maiden is serving here. A busty Tavern Maiden is serving here. A busty Tavern Maiden is serving here. A Bard is entertaining here.

Also here: Cook Katalya Highwind, NPC Retainer Marker 28

Obvious exits: Darksky Lodging, Performance Hall, Brewery, Kitchen, Upstairs, Out

Fionnlagh laughs, lifting an eyebrow at Dirk, and following him towards a table for three in the corner. "My father's name, and his before him, and so forth. It attracts the Church now and again, but it's got a long history." He reaches behind him, drawing the ancient bow from its place at his quiver, and displaying the plate upon it.

"Wow." Dirk says, sitting down at the table suited for three. "That thing looks like it has some history." Oh, is it tale time? PLEAAASE?!

Footsteps sound from above as the noblewoman makes her way downstairs at a slow, unhurried pace. Finally, Tomassa becomes visible on the stairs where she pauses to look over the room. Her cloak is draped over her arm.

"Aye, a lot of centuries. The name has stuck with it, and so far no one's seen fit to try to force us to abandon it. The bow makes a decent argument against our being Shadow-touched, after all."

[OOC] Fionnlagh apologizes, but has to run. Will hopefully be around tomorrow evening about the same time as this evening. Family calleth.

[OOC] Dirk wolfs!

[OOC] Fionnlagh says, "assume one of his foresters drew him aside for something."

Fionnlagh has disconnected.

A wench pouts at the bartender leaning forward over the bar to show off her 'assets'. Not to mention her generous gift from the light that happens to be present on her chest area. *cough* "They sayez th'emp'erur married a normal womun. Why not me? Am I not pretty enough?" The bartender plays with her hair wearing a patronizing smile. "'Course you are luv! Now go out there and con some poor man outta his money!"

Dirk waves as Fionnlagh is called off, then grins at Tomassa. His hand motion shifts from the departing forester to the arriving noble. "Contessa, Fionnlagh said you could have his seat!"

Oh, assets. Dirk catches sight of the flash, hand dropping. Stare.

Tomassa faintly smiles at Dirk's greeting and makes her way toward the table. "The man is busier than any nobleman, I'd wager," she states before easing into the abandoned seat. "Now then... food."

Blink. Dirk looks back to Tomassa, throwing on a kooky grin. "Oh, right, food. Sorry m'lady. Um, what do you want? Cause I'll go get it for you."

Tomassa drapes her unusual fur cloak over the back of her chair and then turns to study the bar. Her nostrils flare as she tests the air for cooking scents. "Some bread would be nice. And whatever meat is onhand. Perhaps some apple ale?"

Dirk nods his head, pushing his chair back to scurry toward the bar. "Let's see... ummm, a loaf of bread, whatever choice of meat is available at this hour, and apple ale." A gruff response gives a price, and the ancient art of someone paying for food is commenced. Lalalalalal and lelelelele. After a unknown amount of time, Dirk comes strolling back with a tray laden with foodstuff.

Tomassa reaches eagerly for the ale even before the man has the tray on the table. She takes it and drinks deeply, quenching her morning thirst. Despite her time of grieving this morning, she seems to be in a cheerful enough mood at the moment.

"Whoa." Dirk says, lowering the tray quickly before anything else is snatched. The man goes to sit down at the opposite chair, plunking his chin in one hand. While Tomassa is busy, he reaches out to touch the furcloak, as if trying to figure out the source of the fur by one sense alone.

Tomassa puts down the ale and starts in upon the bread, her first few bites taken hungrily before she remembers that she's noble and is supposed to display some kind of manners. Grinning a bit around her bread, she reaches again for the ale. "Thank you," she manages to mumble to her volunteer waiter.

Dirk returns the grin, without being impeded by a mouthful of bread. "Oh, you're welcome, Contessa. It's what I did for Sahna too. I know my place. She once said, 'Stand there, Dirk, and don't talk so much. I have a headache." The youth frowns. "Wait, that's not it..."

Tomassa chuckles around her breakfast. "So you worked for Sahna, did you?" she asks. "There's no need to be quiet around me. I don't mind the conversation. Of course, I'm probably less concerned about appearances than Sahna Nillu as well."

"Yeah, I worked for her for.. sheesh, half a year." Dirk says. "Then she had to go off and get engaged while I was off hitting Wildlings with purses. We kinda drifted apart after that. She seemed happy though, which is good." The youth pauses. "Is this what you want to do with the rest of your life? Travel? It's not so bad, in fact, I kinda enjoy it. Though I'm not you, I guess." Well, once given permission, he's going to talk.

Tomassa pokes a piece of meat into her mouth and chews it while listening to her companion. "I'm not sure," she admits after easing the food to one side of her mouth to talk. "That's the beauty of it, I suppose. Now I can choose whatever path that I want. At least... I'm trying to look at it as something good rather than grieving over what I have lost."

"The life of a vagabond is nice. The life of a rich one is even better." Dirk says with a grin. "I think your attitude is lovely. It's always been solace for me. Ya know, walking around. I usually walk, since I couldn't afford a good horse until recently. No need to be sad when there are still roads you haven't seen yet. Or a hill you haven't climbed. A river you haven't sailed. A forest you haven't slept in, or.. uhh, a pond to skinn-" He pauses for a bit. "Uh, sail in."

"Mmph," Tomassa says, gesturing with one hand as she finishes chewing and swallows. "Riding and climbing sound good," she agrees. "And travel. I am thinking about asking Fionnlagh for the use of the lodge we stayed in the other night. It once belonged to my half-sister."

"You mean the one I saw, or another one?" Dirk asks, quirking an eyebrow. "Cause the lodge I saw was pretty nice. I went digging through some wardrobes and found some dresses. I wasn't sure rather to be scared or not."

Tomassa nods, tearing off another hunk of bread with one hand while the other claims her ale. "Aye, that one. Twouldn't be a bad place to stay when I'm not riding about. And it is more homelike than a room at an inn."

"Yeah, don't care to much for inn rooms." Dirk says with a mild frown. "Always the same. An' it doesn't belong to you. Even I'd like a house someday. Light, I miss the soft bed at Sweetwater."

Tomassa drinks from her ale and pops another bite of bread into her mouth, thoughtfully considering the young man. "So. What do you do for money now?" she asks him as she chews.

"Odd jobs." Dirk says. "I can mine, sometimes, if their is need for one. I cut wood, give directions, bum. Sahna gave me a big gift last time I saw her, so I'm still livin' off that really."

"Well, stay with me and you'll be able to save that gift for a time. I try to take care of my friends," the former Surrector advises the young man. "Stay as long as you are enjoying yourself."

"Thank you, I will." Dirk says. "You're not as bad as some of the rumors say you are. An' some Zahirs are definatly worse. You're actully really gracious." The youth reaches over for a piece of bread. "So, after this, where we off to?"

Tomassa lifts one shoulder into a shrug, grinning just a bit. "Oh, I don't know. I'm in no hurry to finish my shopping. Heh. I'm in no hurry to _start_ it, it seems. I imagine that we shall return to the lodge when we are done. I shall have to see if Fionnlagh has any obligations to fulfill in the immediate future." She quaffs a bit more ale before adding, "So. What -do- the rumors say about me?"

"That you're a bully. That you kick menfolks in the delicates. You know, stuff like that." Dirk says, rolling his bread into a ball.

"Excuse my crudeness, by the way. I never really learned how to speak properly with nobles. Never intentionally disrespectful, but sometimes even a misunderstanding is enough."

A warm laugh pulls from the puffy-eyed noblewoman. "Never fear with how you speak to me. I used to house a small army of men at my keep. As for the rumors...?" Tomassa wryly grins. "I've been something of a bully at times. And I've never kicked a man in the delicates," she confesses. "I used my -knee-."

"Oh, see, that? That's ok. If I had to, I'd knee someone in the crotch too." Dirk says with a bland smile. "It's when you use your boots that it's not so nice."

"I was sparring with a bastard Mikin," the woman relates while picking at the remainder of her late breakfast. "We locked swords and he stole a kiss. I did -not- like that. So... I retaliated while we were still close. It was a perfectly just response."

"Except, ya know, his hurt more." Dirk says with a grin, then pops in the bread ball. "'nyway, after talkin' with ya, I figured it was either untrue, or ya had a good reason. Stealin' a kiss is bad. Ain't nothin' worse then an angry woman you just got done harassing."

Tomassa makes a face of disgust and pushes the remains of her meal away. "And he was a -Mikin-. That was bad enough. Or.. an almost-Mikin. Who didn't know his place." She studies Dirk for a second. "No offense. I'm not a stickler for the differences in classes, but I do not like someone who tries to be something he is not. People should just be themselves. You know?"

"Yeah, if you're not being yourself, you're being someone else an' thats bad." Dirk says grandly, taking one more slice of bread. "I'm gonna grab some rest before we head off, Contessa. If you'll excuse me?"

Tomassa offers Dirk a warm smile. "Rest well, Dirk. Perhaps we shall delay our shopping until the morrow since Fionnlagh has not returned."

"That's probably for the best, Contessa." Dirk says with a seated bow, before stuffing the last slice down his mouth. "'ohd nyte." Then he's up and heading for the stairway.

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