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Night in the Inn
Member No.: 66
Joined: 21-April 06
The Dead of Winter
It was a frightfully chilly winter’s eve when a stranger approached the snow-covered doors to The Scarlet Bard. A few pines grew nearby, also thick with snow. A rabbit scurried into the distance, trying to escape the frozen grasp of winter. The cloaked stranger, on the other hand, seemed less affected by the colder temperature.
As the mysterious vagabond entered the warmth of the inn—a swirl of snowflakes snuck inside and danced across the rickety wooden floors. Snowflakes were not the only things dancing across the wooden floors, however. A small man wearing dark woolen trousers and a billowy cotton shirt with suspenders draped over his chest was busy prancing about while playing a tune on his accordion. The customers of the inn didn’t seem to mind the man’s horrible performance, although most of them were too intoxicated to differentiate night from day. The cloaked traveler stood a moment to observe the ignorant bliss engulfing the room—how much he was willing to pay to throw his own troubles away, if only for a short while. However the stranger considers alcohol a poison that clouds one’s judgment. And in this day and age, one must always be alert for anything unexpected.
The cloaked man found a vacant table by the main fireplace and slumped down in one of the four weary chairs surrounding it. The disguised man was entirely oblivious to how much attention he’d drawn to himself. A drunkard seated at a nearby table immediately climbed to his feet and stumbled his way over to the vagrant. “What sorta tavern walks into a man cloaked in a dress?” the man inquired—his speech jumbled from the consumption of far too many alcoholic beverages. The mysterious traveler’s humored smile was hidden beneath the shadow of his hooded cloak.
“I suppose what he meant to say was, ‘what sort of man walks into a tavern dressed in a cloak?’” corrected an uncommon barmaid, arriving with a tray of unordered food for the vagabond. The cloaked wanderer focused up at the elegant face smiling down at him—that is what made the woman so uncommon. A common barmaid is terribly uncomely and dressed in a billowy-sleeved gown with a moth-eaten corset barely fastened around her waist. However this woman was anything but. She was dressed in a blue and gold Egyptian belly dancer’s attire, with her jet-black hair hanging freely down her bare back. A thin light blue chiffon shawl dangled carelessly over each of the barmaid’s forearms. Although dressed in quite revealing clothing, the server’s dark brown eyes are what first attracted the stranger. “You look like a man in dire need of sustenance and rest, so I thought I’d cook something up for you free of charge,” the woman continued, gently placing a full plate of food in front of the man.
The stranger removed his hood and thanked the woman for her kind gesture. Once the stranger began eating his dinner, the usual roaring of laughter and drunken speak filled the air again. The silly fellow that formerly sat beside the vagabond slipped away and fell to the floor with a thud. No one seemed concerned.
After a night of loud music, dancing, heavy quaffing, and the occasional brawl, the barkeeper was ready to close his tavern for the evening. The cloaked stranger wanted to stay a while longer and enjoy the warmth, so he paid for a night in the inn. His room was quite heavy with dust. And the sheets were wrinkled and torn. Feathers from the bedding lay in a scatter on the floor. An oil lantern hung over a wooden chest shoved against the furthest wall of the room. After a quick scanning of the surroundings, the vagrant finally removed his hooded cloak and collapsed on the bed with a delighted sigh. For the man had endured far too many endless nights without rest. Just as the stranger began drifting to unconsciousness, a gentle tapping brought him back. The man’s eyelids fluttered briefly before he silently cursed and quickly rose from bed and opened the door to his room. To his surprise, the elegant barmaid stood in the doorway bearing an armful of woolen blankets.
“It can get awfully chilly in here at night, so I brought some extra blankets for you to cover up with,” she spoke in such a melodious tone that it would put sirens themselves to shame. The dark-haired woman continued to gaze upon the now visible features of the mysterious man’s refined build. He was a human of twenty years, no older. His skin was weathered and scarred, showing evident signs of many battles. His hair was chin length and dark like the barmaid’s. His eyes glistened like emeralds, and seemed to have a kind nature to them. His clothing consisted of leather leggings made from deer hide. A bloodstained medieval swordsman shirt hung loosely over his pants—the leather strings were untied at the neck, baring the young man’s upper chest.
“I appreciate your kindness, but I think you are in more need of them than I,” the man spoke in a deep and gentle tone. He took one of the barmaid’s offering blankets and wrapped it around her revealing form. It was quite obvious the woman was trying to hide her shivering. The barmaid blushed, silently thanking the man for his gesture.
“You never answered the question by the way,” the woman finally spoke after a long silence. The man looked at her strangely. “What sort of man walks into a tavern dressed in a cloak?”
The mysterious traveler gazed upon the woman with a self-humored grin as he replied, “Just a man trying to keep warm in the dead of winter.”
Member No.: 51
Joined: 11-April 06
By Andrae Trianne
(I was not planning to hand out my real name)
(A made up experience involving me.)
The streets of Linwynne were empty as Beren walked through. The people had evaporated like a puddle of water. Maybe they knew he was coming, maybe they wanted to stay away, just in case he got drunk, he smiled an Albish smile to himself, that would probably be a good idea. Beren was depressed at that moment, when he was depressed, he drank.
Beren entered the inn. It was noisy, as usual, not as empty as outside. Beren liked people; the more there was the happier he was. He pulled of his cloak, revealing a waistcoat of black satin and a white shirt underneath. Everything he wore was stolen, in this case, it was from a rich lord’s house, but he would not be missing it, he had so much clothes, he would not notice the few items disappear from his wardrobe. The gold helmet, however, taken from his parlour, that might be a different story.
Beren slouched over to the bar, and sat down. He waited for the bartender to notice him, that would not take long.
“May I help you sir?” It was the bartender.
“A pin’ o’ beer an’ the ‘able in the corner.”
“I’m sorry sir but someone is already sitting in it,” said the bartender, grinning at his customer’s short-sightedness.
“I know tha’, d’y’a think am blind?” answered Beren, showing a gold tooth. “I’ll try agin, I’d like a pin’ o’ beer an’ the ‘able in the corner.”
The bartender looked slightly alarmed by Beren’s tone. He walked quickly over to the far table, glancing back at Beren. He started whispering to the happy couple sitting there. Soon there was a scraping of chairs and Beren grinned again, he had a knack of getting what he wanted.
Beren moved towards the table, leering at the other customers. Some looked frightened, some puzzled but one man smiled back, not a mean smile mind you, a joyous one just as you would to a friend.
When Beren reached the table, he folded his arms, waiting for his tankard to arrive. This took a surprisingly short time, but the landlord was scared, so was the bartender. While drinking his beer, Beren scanned the room for a victim.
He spotted someone, the smiler. The human noticed Beren watching him after half an hour, Beren had been studying him carefully. The human walked over. “Good evening sir, my name is Andrae, Andrae Trianne. I couldn’t help but notice you watching me.”
“Then ya would know, I’ve been watching you for thir’y minutes.”
“But I did know, sir. I just didn’t want to startle you,” replied Andrae casually.
Beren grunted. Andrae sat down. This surprised Beren, nobody would want to sit on the same table as him, couldn’t this human look at his appearance, that would warn him. Beren opened his mouth to show his tooth, this made no impact, Andrae just thought the Alb was smiling at him again, or so Beren thought.
“So who are you?” asked Andrae curiously.
“Lord Goldrane.” answered Beren.
“Wow a Lord, I should have guessed,” said Andrae indicating the expensive clothing and accessories Beren wore. “I’m presuming you often come here, sir. I mean m’lord.”
“You’re righ’ to assume tha’. And I don’t take to being called sir.”
“It’s better than being called nothing,” said Andrae getting angry that someone was picking at a small mistake. The fact that this man was an Alb did not help the situation.
“Yeh bu’ some people don’ deserve anymore,” retorted Beren, his temper rising quickly.
“Are you asking for a fight m’lord?” cried Andrae standing up, several people had turned to watch the argument.
“I’d be shamed to fight a man li’ yer,” Beren also stood up, pushing the table away.
“Right that’s it, I’ve had enough of you.” Andrae dived at the Albae. Beren smiled, he did love a good fight. But the smile made him hesitate, and therefore, Andrae went flying into him.
It was a violent tussle, in which Beren was trying to grab Andrae’s throat but Andrae was just trying to free his hands; which Beren had skilfully trapped. Andrae kicked with all his might and his heel came into contact with Beren’s stomach. Beren was so surprised by the strength behind the kick, he let go of the man’s hands. This gave Andrae the opportunity to scramble back up from the ground to which he had fallen, and punch, aiming for the Albae’s already broken nose.
Beren saw the next few seconds in slow motion, the man’s fist was heading straight for him, and there was nothing he could do about it. Andrae’s brown eyes were staring at him with concentration. Beren’s eyes looked away, too late he noticed the pointed ears. An elf. That was stupid of me, even though it is near impossible to kill an Alb, this elf could knock me out easily, he thought. Then Beren fell to the floor unconscious.
The small audience started clapping, and Andrae did a small mock bow. Then he turned on his heel and walked out of the tavern door.
And so Beren spent the night in the Scarlet Bard, lying beside his chair near the table in the corner, he had requested because no-one thought they could withstand his weight.