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A Dinner Party for Three

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A Dinner Party for Three

Post  The Sub-Creator on Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:55 pm

Ebbard Rosemorn pressed back into his favorite wooden chair, casually—at least, he desired to make it look casual—rocking back and forth. He rested a hand beneath the yew-fashioned pipe in his mouth, staring off into nothingness. The rhythmic creaking of the chair soothed the dull ache of his body by relaxing his mind. Strange how winter saw the cessation of work on the farm, yet somehow brought from dormancy all those tiny, throbbing pains that riddled his old body. Surely, something in their home required fixing?

A soft humming came from the kitchen, where his wife readily prepared the night’s feast. The smells of roast mutton seasoned with garlic, steeping with carrots and turnips, permeated the house. The Rosemorns expected a very special guest to dinner this eve, and she desired for everything to be perfect. Ebbard couldn’t count on both hands the number of times the woman had peeked out the window in expectation of his coming within the last hour. The place was immaculately clean, yet, every time she wandered momentarily into the room from her kitchen duties, she managed to locate one more bit of dirt to clean up, or furnishing out of order. Still, she was happy, and that made him so. He settled in with a slight grin, took a couple hits from the pipe, breathed in the mouth-watering aroma, and wondered if he might invite the young man to come over for dinner every night.

He rarely ate this well when it was only the two of them, after all.

Like clockwork, the woman practically skipped into the room, and proceeded straight to the window. She glanced out into the fading light, evidently saw nothing, and sighed.

“Chanteau’s thumb, woman,” he chided her, though with a playful tint to his voice. “Sit down, and stop hurrying the boy! He’ll show sure ‘nough when he’s hungry.”

“Oh, Ebbard,” she complained, mimicking his playfulness. “Do ye think . . . well, do ye think he forgot what time dinner is?”

The old farmer nearly burst out laughing, then, and found it impossible to contain the wide smile after seeing his wife unable to prevent hers. “Nay,” he remarked offhandedly. “I think he’s seein’ ye peerin’ out that window and grown frightened! Lad’s probably out there right now lookin’ for a snow bank t’cower under!”

“Oh, Ebbard,” she repeated with a mock sigh of exasperation before disappearing into the kitchen once again.

A grin took in his ears as he raised the pipe back to his lips.

Ironically, minutes later, Ebbard realized that he, too, was staring expectantly at the door.

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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  Colin Marcus on Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:15 pm

Elric was a nervous wreck. It was stupid, he had dinner at the Rosemorns before. He was sure to have dinner with them in the future. Tonight just felt... different. He was on edge. He had tried meditating earlier today, but it hadn't helped him.

They had been gone for such a long time, his normal clothing was a disaster. He didn't have a whole lot in personal possessions, but he did have a few 'good clothes'. A couple of his old Elven clothing that held up well, and the fancy stuff taken from that temple...

He knew exactly who to blame for this whole situation. The PIXIE. Ashara would have talked to her parents in her own time, when she felt it was right. Then Gwilly had to say something. He honestly thought the priestess was going to bolt out of the inn right then and there.

As he finished getting dressed he looked down at himself. High quality clothes, fancy elven shirt, entirely too pretentious. He didn't want to go there looking to ride in like a long lost noble or anything. They were down to earth people, they wouldn't be impressed by fancy clothes. He quickly tossed the 'good clothes' in a corner. Grabbing a set of sturdy traveling clothes that were at least clean, he quickly got dressed.

And of course everyone had to LEAVE... He wished Ashara was still around. They were teleporting for heavens sake! What was the hurry? They couldn't wait a couple of days. What did she know that he didn't? He wished he had some kind of backup going into this meeting. Even the pixie would have been valuable company tonight. An image suddenly flashed of her joining the Rosemorns and all three of them on one side of the table staring at Elric and he shuddered. Maybe it was a good idea Gwilly was out of town.

The sun was starting to set, and if he didn't get going then he was going to be late. Add that to the list of things that wouldn't impress them.

As he was about to walk out the door, a thought occured to him. He should probably bring something! Doing a quick look through the house only served to remind him that they really didn't have much. They spent so much time on trail rations and tasty beasts that the supplies here were nonexistant. No food, no wine, he headed to Gwilly's room and looked for some leftover pixie wine... but couldn't find anything. Therogeon probably had something, but one look at the beakers and test tubes told him that it was probably not a good idea to drink anything of Therogeons. Eventually he gave up on the idea and took off for dinner.

As he approached the Rosemorn home he could smell the wonderful aromas. Mrs. Rosemorn really was a wonderful cook. He really looked forward to her dinners. At least usually, Tonight his stomach was doing backflips and the thought of food didn't appeal to him. He stood for a few moments on the porch and finally knocked.
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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  The Sub-Creator on Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:56 pm

And then . . . pandemonium.

“Oh, Ebbard! He’s here!” Arryn cried from the kitchen, followed by the sudden rattling of plates and silverware.

“Aye,” he replied, raising himself up from the chair, pipe hanging out from his mouth.

The woman exited the kitchen—plates in hand—intending to answer the door, saw her husband already heading in that direction, and retreated back into the kitchen to finish preparations. The farmer grinned at the sight of his wife running around like a panicked kobold. It had been some time now since he’d seen her so excited about anything, and found himself thankful for it.

Reaching the door, Ebbard extended a hand for its handle. Immediately, he paused, thinking about how he should appear to the young man at first glance. Pulling his right hand back, he removed the pipe from his mouth with it, and held the instrument at chest height. The grin faded into a more serious, fatherly visage. Nodding with satisfaction, he proceeded to open the door with his left hand.

The half-elf stood there in the cold, waiting—somewhat anxiously, too, by Ebbard’s thoughts. A quick moment past with the two staring at each other before the tall man finally waved him in. “Make yerself at home, son,” he greeted stiffly as Elric entered. He let the young warrior get beyond him before scrunching his eyebrows together at those first words. Perhaps not the best word usage, considering the purpose for this dinner invitation. Ebbard sighed inaudibly, curious as to which of them might actually be more nervous with this meeting.

“Dinner’ll be ready soon!” Arryn assured their visitor from out-of-sight.

Well, at least the wife’s gonna be perky this eve, he decided, just before a loud shattering erupted from behind the kitchen’s open archway, trailed by utter silence. One of their fine glass-blown goblets had just met its end from the sounds of it.

Bless her heart.

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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:37 pm

Standing in the cold, a hundred thoughts flashed through his mind. Would they be happy? Would they be upset? Would they think he was good enough? Can you pluck wings of pixies? As a grim faced Ebbard opened the door, he immediatly decided 'Yep. I'm a dead man.'

Ebbard's tone was polite but stressed. He didn't remember hearing 'that tone' before. The Rosemorns had always been good to him before. Both when he was just a child, and then when he returned. Twice they had invited him into their home. But this time something was different.

After being invited in, Elric walked into the house. It was always clean, but tonight nothing seemed out of place. He heard Mrs. Rosemorn's voice coming from the kitchen. At least she seemed happy. Maybe it was just Mr. Rosemorn then...

"I hope I'm not late." Elric started to say. Just as he was starting to lower himself into one of the chairs, he heard a shatter from the kitchen. In a blink he was back on his feet. He caught himself before he assumed a battle stance... but not by much. In a concerned voice he addressed both Ebbard and his unseen wife, "Is everything alright?"
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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  The Sub-Creator on Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:34 pm

“Aye,” Ebbard assured, even as Arryn’s voice cried, “All’s well! We’ll be eatin’ shortly!”

“Aye,” the old farmer said again, indicating for Elric to take the seat he so deftly leaped up from. “Unsteady hands,” he remarked, raising a noticeably shaking hand—though whether it naturally did so or not was cleverly concealed. “Comes with age, it does.” The comment sounded like a jest, but without any accompanying smile for obvious clarification.

Ebbard took a hit from the pipe as he traversed the floor to his favorite chair and settled back, the wood creaking loudly and metaphorically. As the sweet-smelling smoke blew out from his nose with the long exhale, Ashara’s father peered across the room at the half-elf. “Feel good t’be back in Impresk?” he inquired, followed quickly with, “What trouble ye been off getting’ yerself into in the world, anyhow?”

He placed the tongue of the pipe back into his mouth, taking on an intellectual pose ruined by the old weather-beaten farm clothes he adorned, and waited calmly.

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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:01 pm

"No more than we could get out of." Elric replied immediately, then bit his tongue. Did that sound too flippant? He hoped not. “What trouble ye been off getting’ yerself into in the world, anyhow?” What would be the 'right' answer to that? He doubted Ashara had told them 'everything'. He still remembered when he was a child. Some of the biggest trouble he ever got into was when he got Ashara mixed in with dangerous activities.

Some things you just don't tell parents. For example, Yes, your daughter and I have been fighting all across the continent. Oh did I tell you how we fought a demi-god and half of us died, but we're ok now... Oh and there are at least two (maybe three) evil deities who are personally out to get us!

"Umm.." he tried to recover his composure. "We've kept busy. Uhh... We helped find a leprechaun's pot of gold for him, broke the curse of Dagadar and freed the dwarves, helped end the Civil War in Tethyr, You know... stuff." he summed up lamely. "It is nice to be home again though. Always good to see a friendly face." He looked across the room at Ebbards stoney look and swallowed hard. "Home is nice."
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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  The Sub-Creator on Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:05 pm

The old man tipped his head ever-so-slightly as Elric listed off the numerous high achievements he and his companions had partaken of the last few months. That was quite an impressive list, though he’d never heard of such a place as Dagadar . . . . Still, the half-elf had noted it to be dwarven, and them dwarves had strange names for things. As he mulled over all his guest had stated, he allowed for a slight grin at the final line—obviously something of a nervous tick involved there. Whate’er might the lad have t’be nervous ‘bout, I wonder? he smiled inwardly. He pondered whether it was right to play this cruel, but decided quickly, yea.

It was the right of a parent who cherished his daughter so.

Rethinking through the accomplishments once more, Ebbard suddenly quirked an eyebrow. “Leprechauns gold,” he mumbled just loud enough for Elric to pick up. “I’ve heard o’ those. Ne’er thought they was real, though.” He paused just long enough for the half-elf to respond, then added, “An’ what’d ye wish for, I wonder?”

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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:26 pm

"Wish?" Elric tried to remember the situation as best he could. "I don't think anyone actually wished for anything. Well.." he quickly amendded. "Not the traditional, leprechaun wish deal." He continued to explain the story. "You see, a couple of nixies, or sprites... or something very similiar to Gwilly, distant cousins or some such, was playing a prank on him. They created a diversion and another one stole his gold and hid it."

"We were already in the area because Eddick was tracking down an old legend of a mask that protected from magic, when the leprechaun found us. Gwilly was instantly smitten with him." It may not have been his place to drag the pixie into this, but he felt entitled just now. "She instantly agreed that we would all help him and then have a party. Which we did. We found the fae folk who were playing the pranks, I tricked them into helping us find the mask, everyone was happy and we got to see a pixie dance with a leprechaun."

"As for any reward, I don't think it ever came up. Honestly I think Gwilly would have strung us up by our ears if we tried!"
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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  The Sub-Creator on Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:10 pm

The farmer listened quietly to the tale, giving the occasional nod just to assure the half-elf that he kept up fine. These fey folk seemed a rather tricky lot, preferring to prank one another as opposed to helping one another out. There was a place for fun-loving, naturally, but it came after a day’s work and certainly not during. He wondered, then, if such creatures actually had any work of any significance to do. Perhaps if they did, such gallivanting about the forest wouldn’t occur because they would have more useful things to do with their lives. It’d be better for ‘em, he decided, trailed by another quick nod as Elric completed his short recounting.

His wife popped into the room at that moment, proclaiming dinner ready. She beamed at their visitor with evident delight exuding from her countenance. Ebbard rose up, his bones cracking right along with the wood of the chair, and began towards the kitchen, allowing the half-elf to go before him. His forehead crinkled a little, and he shook his head subtly at the woman—an indication for her to not be so openly chipper yet. She let Elric go by, waving away the meaningless warning behind his back, while mouthing the words, “Be nice.” He shrugged as if he couldn’t understand and followed the young one into the kitchen.

Each took their respective seats around the table, which featured the succulent mutton with all the trimmings as its centerpiece. When all were set, Ebbard led in the traditional thanksgivings to Chauntea—a couple words quickly spoken to in thanks for the blessed abundance provided for them by the goddess. The Realms had suffered from drought the summer before last, but this year had yielded a decent crop, though not yet back to the normal rates. The weather had turned foul most recently, spreading across the area with much cooler temperatures than folk were used to. That Chauntea saw fit to provide even a decent crop for them gave them more than enough reason to give thanks to the Bountiful Goddess.

Upon completion of the thanksgiving, a short silence fell over the table as Arryn Rosemorn dished out a healthy portion of mutton and vegetables for Elric. Ebbard noted that she could have fed two men with what she had heaped onto the half-elf’s plate—maybe three. He received the customary half-portion before him, so as to “save room for seconds,” as his wife fondly put it. He oft lamented not having the ability to be a guest in his own home.

Ebbard rested back into the chair waiting for just the right moment. As Elric shoveled in the first mouthful, he casually asked, “What might yer intentions be, then?”

Arryn spooned a dainty portion into her mouth, as well, and sat perfectly upright and still, smiling politely at the half-elf, while giving him her complete, undivided attention.

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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:14 pm

There it was. He had been expecting it since the door had opened. Yet somehow it still caught him off guard. Naturally Mr. Rosemorn had waited until just as he was swallowing to pop that question, and just as naturally the food went down the wrong pipe.

His eyes bugged out and he started to choke. Nothing too serious, and he quickly dislodged the food without any assistance. He started to panic. He was sure they could hear his heart, it sounded like a drum to him! What should he say? What did they want to hear? Should he just play it off like he didn't understand the question? Say something inane like 'enjoy this fine meal'? He doubted that would go over well!

"Umm... Well, I..." He stalled. The half-elf felt pretty frustrated. This was a conversation that was long overdue between himself and Ashara... Not everyone else! The way they were both staring at him made him feel very uncomfortable. Like he was on trial, and didn't know the charges. Was he here to explain himself? Prove himself? What did they want?

Finally he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and said "I love your daughter. I realize I have for some time now. More than I had thought possible. For whatever reason, I believe the feelings mutual. I'm sorry you had to find out by the pixie," he said with a little bitterness in his voice. "but things have been a little hectic lately... We've barely had time to talk amongst ourselves." He looked at both of them and waited whatever came next.
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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  The Sub-Creator on Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:41 pm

Ebbard threw a miniscule portion of roast into his mouth while casually letting his head bob ever-so-slightly forward and backward. It was true that learning of this budding relationship from a tiny being he knew virtually nothing about had been a bit hurtful, but he hardly let that influence his reaction to it. His daughter possessed a fine head on her shoulders, and he doubted not at all her decision-making abilities. Besides, she had Lathander watching over her, and that should have helped to allay any fears he and his wife had about Ashara’s well-being.

Why hadn’t it, then?

“I’ve heard a great deal ‘bout this sort o’ thing happenin’ on the road,” he calmly explained. “The life ye’ve chosen ain’t an easy one, by far—at least, not compared to the meager one Arryn and I’ve chosen here in Impresk. Sometimes, when a person realizes the shortness o’ life on the road, they begin t’ have thoughts ‘bout others on the road with ‘em. Only natural, as I hear it. When the heat o’ the road dies down, well . . .” he stopped, his lifting as his hands gently turned upward and out in a gesture that indicated Elric probably understood where the statement headed.

“It’s not that we aren’t happy for the two o’ ye, of course!” Arryn quickly blurted, a wide, disarming smile splayed across her face.

Her husband hardly acknowledged her comment, gazing across the table at the half-elf as he was, and chewing on a deliciously-herbed turnip.

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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:06 pm

Elric was already shaking his head before Ebbard had finished speaking. He had already decided he did not like the direction this converstation was going. Ashara's mother seemed happy. Almost too happy. Almost 'Pixie' happy. She'd probably be referring to him as an idiot any time now.

Her father on the other hand... Elric still hadn't determined yet if the man was going to physically attack him. There hadn't been any overt signs of hostility. He seemed relaxed, yet tense at the same time. He also kept staring. It was like the man couldn't blink anymore. If Elric was having this converstation in a tavern with a stranger, he'd be expecting him to snatch up the knife sitting on his plate at any time. Elric didn't really believe he was in danger, but there was that nagging thought in the back of his mind that he must be ready to defend himself.

Eddard seemed to think that the half-elve's feelings were temporary or something. Elric knew the man was just trying to protect Ashara. He also knew how far he would go himself to protect her and understood where Mr. Rosemorn was coming from. It did hurt a little that he obviously felt that Elric was a threat.

"I don't know what I can say to that. I can't see the future. I only know what I feel now. I know being on the road made me realize how special she is to me. There's always the chance that she'll find someone better than me, but I know I'd die before I ever hurt her. That I know without a shadow of a doubt!"
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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  The Sub-Creator on Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:13 pm

The old man nodded, almost sadly, as Elric finished his piece. "Yer young, boy," he stated matter-of-factly, "an' it's hard t' decide a course when yer barely certain o' yer place in the world. Doin' what ye do, I ain't doubtin' that it's all the tougher for ye. Life's dangerous enough without lookin' for it as ye do, but ye chose that life--or it chose you, an' it seems the same for my daughter."

Ebbard placed his utensils upon the table and leaned in with elbows spaced shoulder's width apart on the surface and hands clasped before him. His stare locked so firmly on the half-elf that it demanded full attention. "Ye say ye'd never hurt her, an' consciously, I've no doubt that's true. But a man has little control over how he might hurt someone he cares so dearly for when he ain't got any confidence in himself. Understand?"

Without waiting for such an acknowledgement, he continued, "'Find someone better than' you? How's that s'posed t' instill me with confidence, lad? In yer line o' work, ain't no room for that kinda thinkin', and I'd wager the farm on it! Why do ye think it's fine t' think like that in matters closer t' the heart?"

The farmer slowly edged back into his chair, but his eyes never left those of the half-elf. "Decide for yerself if yer man enough, boy. She sees somethin' grand in ye! If ye don't see such in yerself, then yer not worth my daughter. I reckon, if ye sit back and ponder yerself a little deeper, ye'll find exactly what she sees, and why. At that time, if ye make the choice t' be that man--if ye find that confidence in yerself, I'd wager me life that yer just the one my daughter needs in this world." A small crack of a smile eeked its way onto the man's lips. "I'm afraid she's spoken for in the next one . . . ." he winked knowingly.

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Re: A Dinner Party for Three

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:57 am

Elric was stunned.

The way the old farmer stared at him was unnerving. Its like he was staring right into the half-elf’s soul. He was searching for something. Elric was sure of that. What it was the warrior wasn’t sure. He hadn’t felt this exposed, this vulnerable, since the day Cyric spoke directly at him. Today naturally wasn’t that bad. But it still creeped him out.

Was Ashara’s father right? Did he really have such little confidence in himself? He knew he did. It wasn’t the same as fighting. He had confidence there. He knew he had skill, but he also knew there was always someone out there better than him. That fear didn’t stop him from leaping into battle when he needed to though. Why was this so different?

He tried to remember where he lost his confidence. Did he ever really have it? Of course he knew the root of his issues. His mixed heritage. The shadow that haunted him as far back as he could remember. Actually, he admitted to himself. That wasn’t really true anymore. Ashara had awoken more memories in him. Times of happiness, before he realized how different he was from everyone else.

"but, in the end, does it really matter that much?" He could almost hear Gwilly’s voice. He didn’t have an answer then, he didn’t have an answer now. It occurred to him that with all the ‘advice’ he’s been getting, it didn’t actually matter to anyone else.

"I'd wager me life that yer just the one my daughter needs in this world." Elric blinked suddenly at Eddard's words, and at his attempt at a joke. Just like that the mood lightened in the room, at least a little. Apparently it didn't matter to the Rosemorns either. Their issue wasn't with what he was, but with who he was capable of becoming. If he really was the person their daughter thought he was. Elric hoped he was. Or at least he hoped he soon would be.

"I..." he searched for the words he wanted to say. "Thank you for speaking plainly to me. You've given me a lot to think about. Your right, I do lack confidence in the ways of the heart. Ashara deserves the best the world has to offer, and I'm not sure I'll ever be arrogant enough to claim that I am the best. However it does give me a goal to strive for."
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