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The wood elf scanned the tavern from the table and was about to get up to see about paying, or even skipping out on the tab and letting these fine people here pay. Its the least that they could do for him. After all did he not help find the Inn and table for them. He then saw the dark elf approach them, Fistar jumped up out of his chair, almost knocking it over backwards.
"Kelzir, my man why don't you take a seat right here, I'm glad you finally decide to join us. " Fistar looked eagerily at him for a moment. "These two here," he looked at the wild elf and half elf paladin. ".. aren't that talkative. I'm not entirely sure why.. it seems that I'm always doing all the talking. " and without seeming to take a breath he launched into a question, "Hey, what brought you up to the surface anyways, got tired of being a slave? Yes?" Fistar then proceded to set his chair right again.
Talk is cheap.
Cheap is good
Etsia raised an eyebrow, watching the exchange quietly. It took a formidable amount of concentration to comprehend what the chattery elf was saying. It was so tempting to just tune out and allow his chirping fade into a background noise.
"I'm not leaving my things here. But I don't carry or wear much." She offered her comment calmly, mainly at the now-finished soup bowl. She took another sip of the wine and turned to look at the dark elf. "You brought the soups. Do we give coins to you? Can we then go to the library?"
He looked at the talkative one, declining to take the seat while he sipped at the soup as his Mistress requested. He looked from one to another. Before answering.
"Perhaps because they chose to listen, more," came the answer to the first query. "And the Mistress has come because the Mistress needed to leave the depths. I was required to follow in order to continue to serve Mistress Zarraema, because that is what I do. I am and always will be her slave."
No malice was held in the deep, musical voice, merely statement of the way things were, and possibly something else. He lifted his chin slightly, allowing the light to glint off the collar around his neck. He then turned his head toward the wild elf, his eyes lowering once again in the process.
"Mistress has gone to see to such things, it is not for such as I to make decisions as these, Miss," his voice turning a cautious note, making obvious effort not to offend.
Kelzir's shoulders tensed slightly as the armored woman's ire came through clearly. He didn't move or shift away, fully expecting to feel and hear the ring of the metal she wore on her hands come into harsh contact with him. He bowed, while avoiding meeting her gaze with his own.
"I would not presume to speak for Mistress Zarraema. But it did seem that was possibly her most generous intent."
The paladin stood slowly. Her gauntlets were off -- set on the table beside the bowl -- but the rest of her armor was still quite in place. The large sword in its sheath leaned against the table where she had braced it after slinging it off, and she made no move to take it up just yet.
Though her eyes might have shown the flash of emotion, her face was smooth as a mask. Her gaze slid from Kelzir to track down the drow female, trying to pick out which one she was from the crowd of unfamiliar drow.
The wood elf looked at the two standing and then shrugged. He thought briefly on what Kelzir had said about listening briefly then waved it off with a smirk. "Well if the bill is going to be taken care of, I'll go see about accomadations, then maybe we can head to that library or temple, " nodding briefly to the paladin and druid.
Spotting the bartender, Fistar stood up and walked over to him, "Say, " addressing the bartender, " We need some accomadations, " nodding briefly back to the table. "...any chance there are rooms still available? Considering that this festival is going on, I hope that there are some. "
Talk is cheap.
Cheap is good
Oblivious to the conversation between her friend and the pale strangers, she finally managed to locate the serving wench and settle, at least, the price for the meals. Three pale strangers, two dark elven strangers, Kelzir, and herself. A quiet relief that there would be more than enough in her coin purse accompanied the counting out of the coins and an honest word of thanks to the woman for the warm food.
Completely unaware that the Paladin was even away from the table, she had begun to think of how she was going to convince the three pale strangers to allow them to accompany them, as Rek'lir had suggested. They'd seemed at, at least, agreeable. ...and then, the task of apologizing to Kelzir. How could she ask his forgiveness for all that she'd done before the Dark Maiden had shown her a different way ... and all that she had not done since their escape? She mentally berated herself, how could you just assume that he would know of his freedom? How could you not see that he still considered himself a slave? Dear Maiden, forgive my arrogant assumptions and the ways of my old life. She mouthed the final words with her thoughts, though gave them no actual volume.
The paladin's approach was not stealthy -- armored boots have a way of heralding such things, and Jessamyn also moved in from an angle rather than coming up directly behind Zarraema. It seemed prudent, after all.
"Excuse me," she said toward the drow woman as she saw the serving wench head off with payment, "I was told that you paid for our meals? Fistar, Etsia and myself..."
Her ungloved hands went to the coin pouch tied at her belt, unworking the cords that kept it closed as she continued, "How much was our part? I would like to repay it. Oh...and I'm Jessamyn, by the way. Jessamyn Starwater, of Torm."
Though her words were polite, even pleasant, her green gaze stayed unwaveringly fixed to Zarraema's face throughout.
Violet eyes blinked back at the Paladin. She still had not become accustomed to anyone questioning her decisions or even offering a kindness in return for a kindness. With a faint, but honest smile, she responded in what she hoped was an appropriate manner, "Jessamyn of Torm, it is the least that I was able to do, considering that you have allowed my companion to sit at your table, unmolested. It is also a ... quiet way to apologize, as you seem to have become associated with Kelzir and I without your first accepting it. ...please, don't deny the kindness I was able to show?"
The words were difficult to find, even though she meant them in all honesty. Those on the surface had no concept of the cruelty a soul was capable of and no idea the methods of survival necessary to survive in the daily dangers of the darkness. ...just as she and Kelzir had little idea of how to survive the day-to-day, simple encounters on the surface.
The paladin considered this for a moment, then nodded shortly and re-knotted the ties of the coin-pouch. "As you request. But we have been associated since the caravan, though not formally and through necessity. It requires no apology."
Another keen look upon the dark elf, though nothing changed in Jessamyn's expression. Without preamble, but in a low tone to show she does not intend this part of the discussion to be public, she said, "You call Kelzir your companion, but he calls himself something quite different. Why is this?"
The priestess' smile dropped, though her eyes continued to meet the tall paladin's. Inward torment at her continued mistake played through her mind and possibly across her face. For a moment, she considered telling the Paladin that it was not her business, and worried that she may have some ulterior motive. Old suspicions blossomed in her mind...and then she caught herself and lowered her own voice to the same tone as Jessamyn's, "I .. made a terrible error when Kelzir and I came to the surface. What I hoped was freedom for the both of us, seems to have become a continued service for him. ...I had thought that he understood, Dark Maiden forgive me, but he does not, and I have failed him in that. I owe him my life."
Would the tall woman believe her? It didn't matter, so long as she was able to beg Kelzir's forgiveness...and then, Eilistraee's.
The paladin did not believe her...not at all, really. However, Jessamyn knew little enough about the dark elves, and this was not the place to discuss such things further. Gothmoor was too strange a city so far; the Temple of Torm would guide her, but until then she would not act on any problems that were less than crystal-clear.
Instead, she gave the drow woman a curt nod. "If you say. You plan to join us?" She gestured slightly toward the table where the others were gathered, still never taking her eyes off Zarraema. "We might as well sit, if so."
She half-turned and gestured for Zarraema to follow, then headed back to the table whether the drow did so or not.
It was not a welcome, certainly not acceptance, but the paladin was willing to tolerate this... After all, the question still needed a definite answer, and she was prepared to wait and witness it.
He watched in horror as the armored woman moved in the direction of his Mistress. His hand moved toward one of his daggers as his horror doubled, that he'd caused her any trouble at all. But, he would be prepared to defend her from the amazon. His hand twitched slightly and he visibly winced, the years of conditioning flooding back to him.
He couldn't make out their voices over the noise of the inn. So he watched the movement of their mouths. Trying to make out the words being said and know if his life would be forfeit in the next few seconds.
Spot roll .. trying to read lips (1d20+2)(16)
Sense Motive .. is the amazon going to hurt Zarraema (1d20+2)(3)
He made out some of the movements, picking words here and there. His Mistress seemed disturbed greatly by something that was said. The hulking woman didn't seem threatening, but who could tell with surface dwellers. His hand returned to his side as he hung his head when the woman turned back to face the table and gestured.
Again, he'd caused his Mistress trouble. As the paladin came toward the table, his feet caused him to move toward Zarraema. His head low and eyes downcast.
The bartender paused wiping down the bar, and used his one good eye to look you over. He tapped the shoulder of another tender behind the bar, replacing the huge keg behind the bar with a fresh one. The younger man looked over his shoulder as you spoke about "accomations" and smiles, turning around fully and dusting off his hands. He raised one hand up and behind him pointing to a sign up above the bar.
There is a sign hanging behind the bartender that says in three different languages: "Ale = 2 silver,
Meal = 5 silver,
Room 1 bed = 5 silver,
2 bed = 10 silver"
After discussing the price and your list of wants, he produces a key and slides it across the bar, explaining there are only two rooms left available.
The priestess moved to follow Jessamyn, "I intend to ask if Kelzir and I might join the three of you, yes."
Kelzir's appearance brought a gentle, though guarded in this place, smile to her face until she noticed his demeanor. Anger flared behind her eyes - who would dare cause my...who would dare cause Kelzir to stand so dejectedly?
The bartender smirked and slid the last remaining key to Fistar as well, looking to you as you were about to leave." I need a name to put to the ownership of the two rooms. Fer damages of course. What name you want on them?" The burly bartender had out a large book with writing charcoa, and looked to you awaiting a name.
Quickly, hoping none saw, she caught Kelzir by the arm and tried to stand him up, her voice lowering, "No, Kelzir, you've done nothing of the sort and you've no need to bow to anyone. Please, come with me and we will go with the three pales, away from this place. This evening, after I sing to the Maiden, I need to speak with you. It's very important."
Can Zarraema manage to be agile enough to catch the bard before he hits his knees? Dex roll, I think?
((OMG, I rolled a 2... she wouldn't be able to catch a barn falling ON her!))
He stopped himself at his Mistress' movement. Staying on his feet and rising once more. His eyes remained closed, expecting a blow to come from somewhere, if not his Mistress, then the armor plated amazon behind him.
"Yes Mistress, of course, it wouldn't do for any chastisement to be done here."
With a heavy sigh and slightly off-balance due to the attempt to catch Kelzir, she simply nodded towards the paladin's back, "Please, Kelzir, follow Jessamyn of Torm to the others. You are in no trouble. You've done nothing wrong."
Trying to reorder herself, she followed her own advice and began moving towards the table.
The paladin had paused near the table as the drow started their conversation, and for a moment just stared at them, aghast at Kelzir's initial words and behavior. After feeling somewhat like she was a bystander at a bad wagon accident, she snapped out of it and gave the tavern a quick once-over glance; it would help to know how the local populace reacted to this sort of thing.
At the mention of herself, she looked back to Zarraema and nodded slowly, then looked to Kelzir. Gesturing to the empty seats, she said, "Go ahead. I'm sure there will be some... discussion."
And if I knew what to roll here....
Probably Spot, huh?
Etsia felt more or less clueless, observing the going-ons. She blinked and watched in open confusion as Kelzir tried to kneel. When he was stopped she managed to draw her attention away from him. She hopped down from the chair and approached the tall woman, tugging her hand for attention.
"Who do I give coins to for the food?" She paused, then continued decisively. "Can we go to the library now?"
The paladin blinked down at Etsia, the entire affair with the drow having caused her to forget the tiny druid. Nodding toward Zarraema, she said, "The food has been paid for this time, you can keep your coins. I think it's still raining... If it is, we should wait 'til it lets up. The Temple-- The library won't vanish while we wait."
She moved to retake her seat and the cooled bowl of turtle soup. Someone else had paid for it; that meant she had to make it count.
"'s just rain..." Etsia muttered, but climbed back to her chair. She had finished her soup and was beginning to feel restless. She pulled her legs up on the chair and sighed. The food was paid, so she could go... but she knew that this ant nest jungle was unfamiliar to her, and since there seemed to be willing guides, she'd be a fool to leave without them.
With another sigh she began the process of removing the abundance of strings, feathers and beads from her hair, combing the black mane and then reattaching the decorations into tiny braids here and there, humming under her breath.