[IC] Halfling Quest - Rooting Around





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    [IC] Halfling Quest - Rooting Around

    Halfling Quest OOC
    Halfling Quest RG

    ----

    The sun beats down, a nice hot morning near the end of summer. Harvest should be coming in soon, and with harvest comes Festival, a thought that some of you relish more than others.

    Similar to most other mornings in Amblestock, the town is quiet. The fishers already having been on the lake since before dawn, the farmers going through their daily routines of feeding their animals and checking their crops. The clang of Veryl's hammer on the anvil keeps a steady rhythm, like a water clock ticking. A few of the townsfolk are traveling in between the small shops which provide basic supplies. Some of the younger children play near the common well, kicking a small round sack filled with grains of rice back and forth between them.

    Each of you was informed when you woke up, either by a small hand-written note or from your parents, that Mero wanted to have a word with you at noon. You are supposed to meet him at the Silver Horn Tavern within the hour.

 

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    Jerran stretches languidly in the morning sunlight. He glances down at himself and pouting slightly, flicks an invisible dust mote off of his tunic. He glances up at the sun for a moment, trying to judge the time and decides that he still has ages before he's supposed to be at this meeting thing.

    Normally he'd be at the inn, but he certainly didn't want anyone to get the idea that he had arrived early. Enthusiasm breeds responsibility. He shudders slightly to himself at the though and glances back up at the sun. It hasn't moved. He briefly considers ignoring the summons altogether and wandering off for a walk around the lake. Still, perhaps there is a limit to how far he can push it. . . showing up five minutes late should be a good compromise.

    He wanders over to the children and finds himself a perch on a fence where he sits and watches the antics of the young ones. He feels a slight pang of regret for days gone past and his mind wanders as he stares out into the commons. . .
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    Ringly's notice is delivered by Wellsly without a word. He reads it quietly and curses. Going to the tavern meant a trip to the center of town, a trek he did not look forward to. He didn't want to be seen, garnering either praise or scorn, both unwanted.

    He did his morning chores, but his mind was on the matter at hand. He almost considered not going, feigning forgetfulness or illness or both, but in the end he decided that that course of action would be viewed as inappropriate, and his already precipitious reputation would likely undergo a agonizing turmoil as news of his behavior spread like wildfire among the mothers. By the time the gossip would return to his ears, it would be altered completely and egotistically unbearable.

    So Ringly went, wearing simple clothing and holding no possessions except a few coppers in one pocket, walked to the Silver Horn. Head hung low, he tried to close his ears and eyes; if anyone saw him, it would be better if he didn't know. He sneaks into the tavern as inconspicously as possible, and looks up and about for the first time, trying to find Mero.

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    *crash*
    Eddie is woken up by a heavy wooded mug bouncing off his body. He looks out of the cramped loft as his father yells: Your in trouble now, you Lout. Mero wants to see you! Silver Horn, Now!
    He grabs up a bag of his stuff and flees the house, curses following him out the door. Once out in the sun, Eddie slows down enjoying the fine day for a moment before his worries catch up with him.
    Now, why have I been summoned.... The spoons!
    He ditches them in an old sack under a bush and heads into town. He considers scouting the tavern to see just how upset the constable is, but the sight of Jerran sitting on a fence staring at him suspiciously sends him scurrying inside the tavern.
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    Working around the farm with her brother, Kiylea has plenty of time to wonder why Amblestock's town constable sent for her. Surely not because she'd sneaked out of crotchety old Mrs. Mellar's social gathering last night? No one could find fault with that! Most of the guests would've loved to do the same thing! But complaining to Mero would be just like the woman.

    As noon draws near Kiylea begins making her way into town, hoping this won't take long. Her path is far from direct. She follows a lazy zigzag pattern as she investigates whatever flashes of movement or sound catch her attention - an unusual trill from a meadowlark, a late blooming wildflower - trying to stave off the inevitable. But at last the tavern looms up before her, and with a sigh she enters.
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    Dawn found Alton up and finishing the last of his chores around the house. Not that he was up before his mother - Alon had given up trying to rise earlier than Talia. No matter how early he willed himself to wake, Talia was already up. This morning, as he sat down to break his fast, she smiled at him and said, "Eat up, love - I think you're in for a busy day." When Alton looked at her questioningly, she just smiled and poured him a steaming cup of tea. "Drink it while it's hot - it's your favourite, strawberry black."

    Just then, there was a knock at the door. When Talia opened it, Jory Greenborough, one of the older members of the militia, stood there. "Letter for you, lad," he said to Alton.

    "A letter? Who's it from?"

    "The Constable, boy, so jump to it lively!"

    "Thank you, Jory. I'll see you later at training."

    "Oh, aye, I'll be there - but I don't know if you'll see me." The old man grinned at the puzzled young halfling before tipping his cap to Talia and striding from the room.

    "Well, going to open it?" said Talia to her son. He stood, letter in hand, looking a lttle apprehensive, wondering just what this singular missive could mean. Mero had never written to him before.

    "Uh, yes, of course." He hastened to do so, but was not much enlightened by what he found inside. It read, "Alton Highlea, Be at the Silver Horn Tavern at midday. Mero, Constable of Amblestock."

    Midday - that gave him plenty of time to finish his work, and too much time to wonder just what was going on. He looked at his mother, who seemed to be enjoying his confusion. "What do you know about this?"

    "Me? How could I know anything? You haven't even told me what it says." And without waiting for him to reply, she waltzed from the kitchen, saying over her shoulder, "Well, I'm off to work now. Give your father a hand - you know he wants to deliver those cabinets this morning."

    So it was that, at a quarter to twelve, Alton set out for the Silver Horn, having put in a full morning of lugging and heaving, and only now, as he walked, with the leisure to say a swift, silent prayer to the Lady of the Woods.

    When he arrived, he smiled at Kiylea, who was just entering the tavern herself. "Strange to see her here at this time of the day," he thought to himself. Then, nodding at Jerran, who sat nearby glowering at him, Alton took a deep breath and stepped inside.
    Last edited by Boddynock; Thursday, 27th January, 2005 at 12:35 PM.
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  • #7

    Bubbles Greenbottle

    Bubbles was up early, with harvest and festival fast approaching, the Greenbottle farm and brewery was a busy place. It was a local joke that the reason Finnigan and Mya had so many children was because they needed the help to keep up with the demand for Greenbottle Ale. Bubbles was dressed in simple skirts, brown over green, with a brown bodice her white, sleeved chemise puffing out around its edges. She hadnt quite gotten used to the bodices constraints yet, but the boys in the village really seemed to like it. It was funny, the kind of things that could strike a young Halfling male dumb. Bubbles blonde hair was meticulously braided in two long strands that dangled near the small of her back. Bubbles was proud of her hair. Her brother Finn constantly hounded her to cut it. No good in a fight Bub. He would say. Its to easy to grab. One time he even grabbed a strand and yanked on ithard, but after Bubbles chocked him out with one of her braids, he refrained from ever doing that again. It was late morning and Bubbles had just finished helping Perry load up the family wagon with the Silver Horns weekly delivery of Greenbottle Ale, when her dad approached.

    Finnigan was also tall for a Halfling, but unlike Bubbles he had tasted a little too much of his own product and was rapidly gathering the hefty belly that many older Halfling males gain with age. He still had a spry step and mischievous twinkle in his eye from his adventuring days though.

    Well Bubbles, it looks like you get to go into town a little early today. The constable would like to see you and since I have to deliver this order to old Evan, why dont you hop on in and we can go see what you did this time.

    Bubbles blushed a little and jumped up into the wagon. As far as she knew, she hadnt done anything wrongat least not that anyone knew about. It was beginning to get hot, but luckily her dad had build a makeshift cover to help protect the wagons contents and its drivers from direct sunlight in the summer and rain in the fall months.

    The wagon pulled out on to a small cobblestone road that lead off the Brewery grounds and onto the eastern road into town. The jostle of the cart and jiggle of the green bottles of ale packed in back were familiar and comfortable sounds. If not for Bubbles curiosity she may have been lulled to sleep by its movement. Transporting glass was not a job that could be hurried, so her father let the small horses move at a slow, gentle pace. Bubbles took in the familiar sights and sounds of Amblestock and its outlying farms, all in all this was turning out to be a good day for Bubbles. She got out of working in the harsh sun and in a few minutes she would get to see Molle and talk about any local gossip around town that she had missed.

    The wagon rolled into Amblestock around 10 minutes before noon. Finnigan was waving and nodding to those that passed by, chatting up some of the locals as they went. She pulled the wagon up to the Silver Horn just after Alton and Kiylea had entered. She pointedly ignored Jerran who had been sitting on the fence near a group of children. He wasnt getting off that easy for hurting Molles feelings.

    Why dont you go on in dear and see what the constable wants. Ill take care of the delivery today. Her father said.

    Bubbles beamed a smile at her dad. Ok, She said as she jumps down from the wagon and straightens out her skirts, making herself presentable. The Silver Horn was like a home away from home to her, the smell of Meegans cooking was already pouring from the kitchen and she could hear voices drifting out from the front door. Bubbles let her eyes adjust to the cool shade of the Silver Horns interior before spotting her friends and moving to greet them.

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    "Oh, uh, Bubbles ... hi! Gosh, you look wonderful today - uh, I mean ... it's good to see you ... er, how are you?" Alton is clearly captivated - that bodice indeed does wonders.

    "So, any idea why we're here? I mean, look, there's Ringly - hello, Ringly - and young Eddie, and Kiylea, and me ... and you. We were just wondering what was going on."
    Last edited by Boddynock; Thursday, 27th January, 2005 at 11:22 PM. Reason: Hmm ... wrong character. :D
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    Jerran pointedly watches Bubbles as she goes by, pointedly not looking at him. He kills a few more minutes lazing on the fence before deciding that he has left it long enough. He hops down off the fence and begins strolling towards the inn. He opens the doors and steps inside, pausing a few moments to let his eyes adjust to the inside after the bright morning sun. While he waits just inside the door he lets his eyes rove around the room and soon spots the congregation of young halflings. That looks like the place.

    Approaching from behind, he briefly considers Bubbles' very pinchable rear end, but decides to play it safe for today and instead hops on a bench and seats himself on a table near Kiylea. He leans down and whispers in her ear.

    "Good morning, what are we all doing here?"
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    Ringly vigorously scratches his hair as he sees several of the villagers assembled in the interior of the tavern.

    I'm not alone in this request. What could that mean?

    Well, for starters, the matter must not concern me, thank heavens. Secondly, there must be something we all have in -- ah. Our youth. But how could our youth possibly bind us to some contract with the constable? We were obviously not involved in some sort of mischief together; or at least I was not involved. Or perhaps...no, I doubt that I was framed.


    At that moment another thought leapt to Ringly's mind. What about our youth? The village always needs a next generation. Maybe they've finally taken to our collective upbringing.

    Ringly keeps his thoughts to himself. "H-hi," he stammers, "Perhaps we should take the liberty of finding ourselves a table?"

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