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LuckyIke

The Sapphire Stag

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Posted (edited)

Still waiting on the tiefling to decide, Mossbloom nibbled a roll and listened to the storytelling. As she had grown up in the elven palace, she had often heard talented storytellers and bards. Such stories became food to her ambitious youth, pushing her to seek her own adventures. As her grandfather's kingdom was currently not at war, she saw being a soldier like her parents as boring, so she began training secretly to become a rogue, much to her parents' later embarrassment. One day she was going to change that.

As the story ended, Mossbloom  whispered to her companion. "Compelling story. Wonder how much those remaining rings would fetch? The Royal Museum would buy them from me for a far amount. Of course, I would give a generous discount on behalf of desecrating the ashes of that king in the vase.  By the way, I hope you were not offended by the storyteller's view of daemons. How many of these farmers sitting around getting drunk would panic if they knew a descendant of a daemon sat among them?" Mossbloom  smiled in amusement. "Think they would try chasing you with pitchforks? Don't worry if they do. I have your back." 

If the night became to boring, she could always snatch Nisha's hood off and yell "Daemon!" just to start a fight. It would be amusing seeing the townspeople's reactions. She sighed. Then again, Nisha would be angry at her for a while and refuse to help.  In the back of her mind she could see her own mom fusing at her, chewing her out about needing to mature and stop her pranks. She sighed again. Being an respectable elf should not mean the end of fun. It was far worse when you had royal blood, and everyone expected you to be sober and dignified all the time. 

 

Edited by RomyCat

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Posted (edited)

Bill Sunderland whistled appreciatively from his table near the Storyseller.  “I’ll say that’s as good a yarn as any I’ve heard in this inn.  Here’s a copper well-earned, Storyseller.” He tossed a penny onto the Storyseller’s table.

A serving girl brought the Storyseller a bowl of soup and a fresh mug of ale with a quiet word of explanation.  The man nodded his appreciation to two well-dresses merchants seated across the room.

The Storyseller turned to his travel sack and took out a stack of sealed envelopes, ink and quill. 

“I’ve got letters for sale bound for the North, and for the West.  I’ll record your will for three penny, and write down your family story on fine vellum for two silver. I’ve got news from afar, of the King’s War against the rebels to the south.  Whispers of familial discord in the elvish courts.  Questions answered, rumors clarified, bits of tales and knowing of things.  I don’t tell fortunes but if you want me to tell you ‘you’ll find a wife and happiness by running off with a gal from two towns over’ I’ll do it so you can tell her and her angry parents with a straight face that it was all fortold and destined to be.”

Patrons came over to the Storyseller in ones and twos, mostly tending to the small simple business of farmers’ small, simple lives.  The Storyseller affected a professional demeanor and tended to his recording with a slight hint of boredom. He sold a sealed letter to a merchant bound for Swillig, far up Rhill in the foothills of the Dunnlap Mountains. Eventually his business dried up and he found himself staring into the fire nursing a half mug of ale.

Edited by LuckyIke
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18 hours ago, Barb Bliss said:

"Well, I have to say that I was expecting just some corny tale, but that was quite interesting."  Gnarly takes a long pull of ale and leans over to the dwarf and softly says "It would have been more believable if the bad guy was an elf though."

Gnarly then says out loud "I wonder if that Dimmer Hall is still out there.  It would make a good place to escape to after a long growing season."

“A storyteller is always welcome in a dwarven stronghold... indeed many a night of drinking is improved by that lot.” A quick glance to the side gives a moments mischief to Padauk’s craggy face. “Certainly with the audience tonight an elven villain wouldn’t have been as wise as it is likely accurate. Feeling the itch to test the tales path?” 

With a malodorous belch he tosses some coins down for the ale and ambles a bit unsteadily toward the storyseller. In an unfortunate turn of events a bit of a lurch unbalances him and whirling to the side he  topples the table of some other patrons(ooc up to you as to who guys) as he rights himself. 

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5 hours ago, ElysianPeace said:

“A storyteller is always welcome in a dwarven stronghold... indeed many a night of drinking is improved by that lot.” A quick glance to the side gives a moments mischief to Padauk’s craggy face. “Certainly with the audience tonight an elven villain wouldn’t have been as wise as it is likely accurate. Feeling the itch to test the tales path?” 

With a malodorous belch he tosses some coins down for the ale and ambles a bit unsteadily toward the storyseller. In an unfortunate turn of events a bit of a lurch unbalances him and whirling to the side he  topples the table of some other patrons(ooc up to you as to who guys) as he rights himself. 

Gnarly's mirthful look flattens out a little as he knows Padauk spoke the truth.  He was a little disappointed that the dwarf moved away without waiting for a response, but after seeing the dwarf topple onto some poor souls, he thought that maybe he had just dodged a bullet.  "Definitely plowed." 

He did feel an itch though, and it wasn't just pollen.  Gnarly aimlessly scratched his gruff beard, took a deep drink to finish is ale, and ordered another one.  While he waited, a whirlwind of conflicting thoughts swirled through his head. Gnarly said under his breath "Gourd grief.  I feel like that big headed kid.  For once in your life Gnarly, make a decision man."  Gnarly knew being a farmer was a tough (though boring) life, but the adventures that await could be an even tougher row to hoe.  Finally one side of his brain won out, and he ordered a second ale.  "I can combine two things I lack currently: companionship and adventure" he says to no one in particular.  When he received his drinks, he carefully stepped over Padauk (who looked like an upside down turtle, what with all his arms and legs flailing to no avail), and headed over to the story teller's table.

Edited by Barb Bliss
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Before Nisha could say more the old storytelling began speaking. It was a good piece of story telling and like most here she wondered if there was truth to any part of it.

After the story Mossbloom leaned toward Nisha. "Compelling story. Wonder how much those remaining rings would fetch? The Royal Museum would buy them from me for a far amount. Of course, I would give a generous discount on behalf of desecrating the ashes of that king in the vase.  By the way, I hope you were not offended by the storyteller's view of daemons. How many of these farmers sitting around getting drunk would panic if they knew a descendant of a daemon sat among them? Think they would try chasing you with pitchforks? Don't worry if they do. I have your back." 

Nisha had known Mossbloom long enough to know what that glint in her eyes meant. "You cause more trouble than a dozen tieflings. And if any of them tried to chase me with pitchforks they would quickly learn why tieflings have the reputation we do." Nisha did not worry that Mossbloom would really try any tricks or pranks on her. Mossbloom had learned the hard way the first time they met that it was a very bad idea. Yet Nisha had still ended up saving Mossbloom's life that day anyway, something she often regretted. 

"The last time I helped you I had a whole eleven army chasing me." She watched a crowd gather around the storyteller. "If I do not help, you will end up dead." Nisha looked back at Mossbloom, "You are a cursed pendant around my neck that I can not get rid of." The teifling pondered a few moments longer before sighing, "When do we leave?"

Edited by Zenithsplendor

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"Depends on if we travel alone or with others. Also might get sidetracked by other adventures on the way. You know how it is." Mossbloom  glanced over at the storyteller's table. The crowd around him had mostly cleared out, but a few remained. "Excuse me. I've got a bit of other business to take care of."

She strolled across the room, passing several drunk humans playing a card game. One grew upset and pulled a knife. For a moment she wondered if a fight was about to break out, and her heart beat in excitement. But the dispute was quickly settled and the game continued.

Nearing the storyteller, she saw a drunk dwarf almost topple a table. She mutters, "A dwarf who can't hold his liquor. That's rare. Perhaps he's been drinking for days nonstop." 

She pulled a sealed letter out of her knapsack and said to the storyseller, "I think I might have seen you before. I presume you travel occasionally to the elven kingdom. Will you give this to the king next time you are at court? They will let you see him if you say the letter is from Roseblossem."

She placed the letter on the table and several gold coins on top. She had written an apologize letter to her grandfather a while back. She needed someone trustworthy to deliver it who would not be tempted to open it. It was the storyteller's talefeather that convinced her he could be trusted. And perhaps in her youth he may had visited the eleven court and told tales that had spun her to action--and danger. 

Edited by RomyCat

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7 hours ago, ElysianPeace said:

“A storyteller is always welcome in a dwarven stronghold... indeed many a night of drinking is improved by that lot.” A quick glance to the side gives a moments mischief to Padauk’s craggy face. “Certainly with the audience tonight an elven villain wouldn’t have been as wise as it is likely accurate. Feeling the itch to test the tales path?” 

With a malodorous belch he tosses some coins down for the ale and ambles a bit unsteadily toward the storyseller. In an unfortunate turn of events a bit of a lurch unbalances him and whirling to the side he  topples the table of some other patrons(ooc up to you as to who guys) as he rights himself. 

Eyla was paying more attention to the crowd around the storyteller than to the dwarf who stumbled into her table. While she was not quick enough to stop the incident, she was quick enough to catch the edge of the table before it joined the dwarf on the floor. Her at-least-empty mug amd bowl however did join the dwarf to the floor.

"Are you alright...?" She was about to add 'sir' but hesitated. Dwarves were always difficult to tell apart for her. 

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3 hours ago, WxCougar said:

Eyla was paying more attention to the crowd around the storyteller than to the dwarf who stumbled into her table. While she was not quick enough to stop the incident, she was quick enough to catch the edge of the table before it joined the dwarf on the floor. Her at-least-empty mug amd bowl however did join the dwarf to the floor.

"Are you alright...?" She was about to add 'sir' but hesitated. Dwarves were always difficult to tell apart for her. 

From the floor comes a deep rumble of a chuckle. “I might have got a bit carried away celebrating the news of my brothers wedding. Sorry for dropping in on your meal! A bit of knock probably did me some good.” There’s a slight shuffle as a bowl and mug appear at the end of the table, but he makes no effort to get up. “Padauk of the Praeten Mountain Hold miss.”

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27 minutes ago, ElysianPeace said:

From the floor comes a deep rumble of a chuckle. “I might have got a bit carried away celebrating the news of my brothers wedding. Sorry for dropping in on your meal! A bit of knock probably did me some good.” There’s a slight shuffle as a bowl and mug appear at the end of the table, but he makes no effort to get up. “Padauk of the Praeten Mountain Hold miss.”

Eyla looked a bit bemused by the appearance of the dropped objects but yet no sign of the dwarf from the other side of the table. Considering the older farmer passed him by meant that he was at least alright - just your usual drunk on the floor incident.

"Eyla Swiftfoot. And that is quite all right, Padauk."

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3 hours ago, WxCougar said:

Eyla looked a bit bemused by the appearance of the dropped objects but yet no sign of the dwarf from the other side of the table. Considering the older farmer passed him by meant that he was at least alright - just your usual drunk on the floor incident.

"Eyla Swiftfoot. And that is quite all right, Padauk."

Padauk studies her feet trying to determine if the last bit was a clan name or a descriptive, but not being overly familiar with the intricacies of other species anatomy just goes a little cross eyed before giving up the thought process.   Taking the time to gingerly sit up peering across the tabletop at the poor woman who’s privacy he’d disturbed Padauk shifted a bit to determine if he’d managed to damage himself on his weapons. Wouldn’t want to give the Storyseller too much fodder. His muddy blond hair comes down to his shoulders which are barely apparent over the tables top and despite his rather epic drinking endeavor his ornamented beard is astonishingly fastidious and well kempt. “Glad to meet you Eyla Swiftfoot.” With a nod and some confidence gained from his success sitting up Padauk gains his feet once more only to plop rather ungracefully onto a chair he’d rather conveniently missed on the way down. “What are your thoughts on tonight’s tale?”

Edited by ElysianPeace

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The Storyseller’s eyes widened ever so slightly for a moment as the gold coins clanked into place atop the sealed letter.

”Aye, I make it to the court on occasion.  That’s a more than fair price to pay for a bit of mail, I must say.  For that gold I will make my way to the court immediately and deliver it to your king myself.  Looks like I’ll be breaking in a new pair of boots along the way, thanks to your coin.  Being a namer and knower of many things, I mean no offense when I say that Roseblossom does not have the feel of a royal name, but your royal price for my service may suggest I am mistaken.”  The Storyseller winked.

The Storyseller stared at the elf intensely for a long moment, and broke his gaze to glance at the bearded farmer standing over her shoulder.

”For your generosity, in addition to my services as courier, you have also bought answers.  Three is a lucky number, excepting when it comes to troublesome gnomes, so answers to three questions I will provide you.  Providing they aren’t questions related to gnomish tinkers, that is.  One from you, one from your bearded farmer companion here, and one from another guest of your choosing.  But please do recall, I don’t do fortunes, so don’t waste your questions on that sort of nonsense.  So often in these farm towns I am treated as little more than an almanac.  But you know better and deeper.”

The Storyseller quietly secreted the sealed letter away in a hidden pocket of his once-red cloak.  In a practiced set of moves, he placed one gold coin into his left boot and the rest into his purse.  He chuckled softly to himself as he watched a heavily-armed dwarf take a tumble, then returned his gaze to the elf standing before him.

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Gnarly's mind was a threshing.  She's royalty?  Me a companion of with an elf?  Not sure which statement seemed more preposterous.  Maybe I should just bale and go back to my pumpkin patch.  No!  No!  I already decided to take a chance on some adventure.  But she's an elf, and her friend is trying to hide it, but she's got horns on her head!  What kind of creature has horns on their head!??!?!?  That doesn't have to be a bad thing, does it?  Think man!  Think!  Awwwww, the only thing I have going for me is that I don't look like I'd be worth fleecing.  No!  No!  There's more to life than sitting in a pumpkin patch.  I'm no prize, but I have things going for me.  I'm strong as a bull, sly as a fox, run like a deer, tough as nails, and can milk a pun for all it's worth.  Maybe I can convince the dwarf to come with me on an adventure.  That would liven things up AND increase the odds on my safety.  One thing would be for sure.  I wouldn't be the slowest guy in the pack with him around.  Of course that only helps when there aren't too many enemies.  Awwwwwwwwww, I should just get drunk like the dwarf and go home.  I've always had a stable life, so what do I know about adventure.  No!  No!  You bought the ale for the storyteller, and you are already over here.  Give it to him, and see what happens.

What's this about a question?  Suddenly my brain is a barren wasteland.  I need a question.  Think man!  Think!  Awwwwwwwwww, I'm going to ask something stupid, and sound like a hayseed.  What the heck.  My brain was teeming with questions on the way over, but now it seems like getting this question answered is a gift.  I can't spoil it.  Awwwwwwwwwwww...  No!  No!  Stop panicking.  Buy some time, and the perfect question will come to you.  Yeah, that's a good idea.

Gnarly put on his best confident and charming face, and put an ale in front of the storyteller and said "I really enjoyed your tale.  I bet you have a lot of them.  Here's a token of my appreciation."  Gnarly turned his head to look at the elf, and simply said "madam."

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"Three questions you say."  Mossbloom  tilted her head in thought. She already knew the supposed location of the Bane of  Kostchtchie, the sword one of her ancestry had used to slay the evil demon in the war to tame the lands of long ago. As the wielder had been a cleric and went on to become king, the sword was considered a holy relic to the elves.  Finding at least one of those rings in the story she had just heard would be another ancient relic to win fame and renown. 

She smiled, "Can you give me an exact location of this ancient barrow? I'm curious to see if Dimnir the Curious is still alive after all these centuries or if his bones lay within. I am not afraid of the living or the dead. And for my other question, I will give it any who feels the need to ask."

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16 hours ago, ElysianPeace said:

Padauk studies her feet trying to determine if the last bit was a clan name or a descriptive, but not being overly familiar with the intricacies of other species anatomy just goes a little cross eyed before giving up the thought process.   Taking the time to gingerly sit up peering across the tabletop at the poor woman who’s privacy he’d disturbed Padauk shifted a bit to determine if he’d managed to damage himself on his weapons. Wouldn’t want to give the Storyseller too much fodder. His muddy blond hair comes down to his shoulders which are barely apparent over the tables top and despite his rather epic drinking endeavor his ornamented beard is astonishingly fastidious and well kempt. “Glad to meet you Eyla Swiftfoot.” With a nod and some confidence gained from his success sitting up Padauk gains his feet once more only to plop rather ungracefully onto a chair he’d rather conveniently missed on the way down. “What are your thoughts on tonight’s tale?”

Her blue eyes continued to show her bemusement. The human woman seemed to be in her early to mid 20's and had medium brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. Her clothing indicated that she was more apt to be traveling distances in the woods than tilling the land or tending to sheep in town. "And good to meet you as well.  As to the tale, sounds quite interesting if there is any truth to it. Could be a dangerous piece of land to travel through, which is always worth noting when leading folks safely from point A to point B.  What do you make of it?"

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1 hour ago, RomyCat said:

"Three questions you say."  Mossbloom  tilted her head in thought. She already knew the supposed location of the Bane of  Kostchtchie, the sword one of her ancestry had used to slay the evil demon in the war to tame the lands of long ago. As the wielder had been a cleric and went on to become king, the sword was considered a holy relic to the elves.  Finding at least one of those rings in the story she had just heard would be another ancient relic to win fame and renown. 

She smiled, "Can you give me an exact location of this ancient barrow? I'm curious to see if Dimnir the Curious is still alive after all these centuries or if his bones lay within. I am not afraid of the living or the dead. And for my other question, I will give it any who feels the need to ask."

"Wait a second there Missy.  One of those questions is mine."

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6 hours ago, WxCougar said:

Her blue eyes continued to show her bemusement. The human woman seemed to be in her early to mid 20's and had medium brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. Her clothing indicated that she was more apt to be traveling distances in the woods than tilling the land or tending to sheep in town. "And good to meet you as well.  As to the tale, sounds quite interesting if there is any truth to it. Could be a dangerous piece of land to travel through, which is always worth noting when leading folks safely from point A to point B.  What do you make of it?"

For the first time since he’d tumbled onto the scene Padauk’s face takes on a slight grimace. “The tale did include something a bit odd. He said he’s told to have perhaps descended of dwarven blood. I wonder if there’s a sliver of truth to that..” his face relaxes a bit and he shakes his head “Perhaps and perhaps but it doesn’t matter as long as no one runs off to test the tale.” 

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(OOC: sorry all, got crushed at work yesterday and didn’t get a chance to post the Storyseller’s reply to Mossbloom’s question.  I’ll get it posted today.)

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55 minutes ago, LuckyIke said:

(OOC: sorry all, got crushed at work yesterday and didn’t get a chance to post the Storyseller’s reply to Mossbloom’s question.  I’ll get it posted today.)

(OOC: NP)

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23 hours ago, ElysianPeace said:

For the first time since he’d tumbled onto the scene Padauk’s face takes on a slight grimace. “The tale did include something a bit odd. He said he’s told to have perhaps descended of dwarven blood. I wonder if there’s a sliver of truth to that..” his face relaxes a bit and he shakes his head “Perhaps and perhaps but it doesn’t matter as long as no one runs off to test the tale.” 

"Hard to say who will take it seriously and who will brush it off as folk lore," Eyla said as she gave a glance across the room. Seemed that there was a bit of chatter over by the Storyteller, but she couldn't quite make out the conversation. Though it did appear the farmer was intent on getting something or another by his stance.

 

OOC: I'm patient too : ).

Edited by WxCougar

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The Storyseller downed Gnarly’s gifted ale in one long draw, his Adam’s apple bobbling with each gulp.  He nodded a contented  silent thanks to the farmer.

“Exact is an interesting word, isn’t it? I don’t know that I could fix any one thing truly true enough in this world to call my knowledge of it exact.  Perhaps a mathematician up in his tower would disagree, but maybe that’s why they like to stay up in those sort of places -  less fussing with the real world and the ability to seek comforting solace in nice clean numbers. The cartographers tried to venture out into the world to capture those sort of pure numbers and lock them into fine vellum.  Sadly, in my experience, they don’t understand that the way of things means sometimes fifteen miles across flat ground is shorter than a single mile up a mountain.  

Language is much the same, as are stories.  Words have a breath and life of their own, and flit around, changing their shapes like shadows around a guttering fire.

The tongue is a lazy, wicked thing.  It never wants to say any more than it must, and often does less work than it should.  Dimnir’s Hall, over thirty and three generations must have succumbed to a slow crumble by now.  In much the same way, the names and places of such things slip from memories of old grandmothers and start to shift around.  As such, I would bet the new gold coin resting in my boot that I know it’s today name.

Neershall. Up Rhill. But why?

Those lazy wicked tongues of thirty and three grandmothers. Before Neershall... Neer’s Hall, not all glommed together with the ‘sh’ sound.  Take off the shawl and you have a very different sounding place, no?

I couldn’t find it, not on a map nor from the boat I rode down three seasons back.  But I can’t say I scraped the banks, nor did I poke my walking stick too deep into that theory.  Curiousity didn’t seem to have served Dimnir himself too well, after all.

From there, the path would be long gone of course, but the stories always suggest a path from the hall, a day, a long night huddled, and part of a second day trekking through the woods.  Thus, it seems reasonable that upon whichever bank you find the Hall...well...who knows really. Stories have some threads that run true, but those always get wound up in the big snarl along with the exaggerations, boasts, and outright lies. Who can know truth from untruth in the midst of that knot of Tinker’s twine?

So exact? No, but I would hazard I’ve given it more careful thought than most.  Although maybe I’m no better than a cartographer, saying one mile is just a mile, when our aching feet know better.”

 

Edited by LuckyIke

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Mossbloom nodded. "Your direction is sound to me. I've leaped into adventures with far less knowledge. This one sounds too exciting to pass up." She glances across the room, catching the tiefing's eye. Hopefully the other would not mind this side trip. Then she looks slowly around the room at the various guests staying at the inn and the locals who had dropped by for a meal.

In a voice loud enough to be heard several tables away, she said, "I'm going to find that barrow. I'm looking for brave adventurers who would like to join me. Any loot we find, we split equally, except the rings. I claim one for myself. Don't worry, I won't be using it for evil. I know better than putting one of those on. Don't want my soul corrupted--well not more than it already is. But still, I have a proper use for the ring. Anyone interested in coming?"

 

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The Storyseller regarded Gnarly closely as Mossbloom made her announcement. 

“You may not speak it aloud, but I see you asking me your question.  You ask it with your eyes, with the way you stand, shifting from foot to foot.  So consider your question asked, and now answered.

Yes. Yes, you should go.  The crops are in and tucked away, there’s nothing here for you that a friend or two can’t mind for a few weeks. 

The world out there awaits, full of things to be known.  Go find your piece.”

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8 hours ago, LuckyIke said:

The Storyseller regarded Gnarly closely as Mossbloom made her announcement. 

“You may not speak it aloud, but I see you asking me your question.  You ask it with your eyes, with the way you stand, shifting from foot to foot.  So consider your question asked, and now answered.

Yes. Yes, you should go.  The crops are in and tucked away, there’s nothing here for you that a friend or two can’t mind for a few weeks. 

The world out there awaits, full of things to be known.  Go find your piece.”

Gnarly was beyond relieved.  The last thing he wanted was to be seen as a walking waffle, even if that was pretty accurate.  He wanted to give the storyteller a bear hug, but knew that would be a huge mistake.  Last thing he'd want to do was squash the storyteller.  Instead he gave him the suavest nod of his head that he could muster.

(OOC: get over here @tgpumpkin.  I've been giving you so many tributes, I should get a patch).

Edited by Barb Bliss
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