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LuckyIke

The Sapphire Stag

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Posted (edited)

(OOC I was waiting for the rest of the party to join up on Gnarly’s offer.  Folks can decide wheeze they slept.  Let’s move along)

 

Dawn brings with it a crisp breeze that, along with the Sun’s first cheerful rays, quickly burns off a light fog.  Autumn has begun to make its presence known, with a chill that spreads its tendrils at dawn and dusk, but which retreats by third morning bell until after sundown.

Gnarly’s barn is a stout, squat affair, designed for weathering storms and storing pumpkins.  Oh the pumpkins!  Mounds and mounds of them, with hardly room for a visitor to squeak past to reach the ladder leading to the hay loft.  The loft itself is a dry, musty place, smelling slightly of desiccated flowers, with just a faint hint of plum.  Once years ago, Mrs Applebee, back when she was just Jenny Telson, had snuck up there with Ulrick Applebee’s boy, the smith’s ‘Prentice, and that’s part of why she’s Mrs Applebee now isn’t it?

Gnarly’s farm lays on the outskirts of town, a few miles east of the square and the docks along the Rhill.  The Sapphire Stag sits on the north end of the square, along the road.  It’s braziers unlit, it’s door locked and the taproom remains closed.  It glowers in the dispersing fog like a drunk just slowly waking long enough to tend to the morning necessaries, before slumping back to sleep.

At the docks a team slowly loads odds and ends into a punt barge, while another riverboat pulls into view coming downriver.

The smithy’s forge is already alight at the early hour, as the barge captain required a few new iron-shod punts, and he was willing to pay extra for the quick turnaround.  The rest of the town slowly groans into life.  Except Crazy Ma Pickins, she was always awake, sitting on her rocker as usual, lording over an empty market square in the early morning, chattering to no one in particular, which was just as well, as there is no one else there.

Edited by LuckyIke
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(OOC - Your old English teachers must be proud.  Such a great simile.

It glowers in the dispersing fog like a drunk just slowly waking long enough to tend to the morning necessaries, before slumping back to sleep.)

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Gnarly's rooster decides that it's time to wake up.  Gnarly rolls onto his back and mutters "I'm going to eat that bird one of these days."  Gnarly gets up and does his morning necessaries, and changes into a clean set of clothes.  Then he packs his travel bag with a change of clothes, some sundry items, and rolls up a blanket which he attaches to the bag.  In the kitchen, he wrapped up a big pile of jerky, and put it in his bag.  He wanted to be ready.  Not sure how pleasant his travel companions are going to be in the morning, and didn't want to be the reason they didn't get going out the door on time, whenever that turned out to be.

He seemed to be the only one stirring so far this morning (which was a miracle thanks to the rooster), so Gnarly headed out to the chicken coop to collect some eggs.  He gave the rooster a shove with his boot as he went by.  Not going to miss him while he was gone.  He hoped his neighbor, Homer Noodleman, wasn't put out by his request to watch his farm while he was gone, and tend to the animals.  Hopefully he would find something exotic and interesting to give to the Noodlemans as a thank you when he got back.

Gnarly set the egg basket on the table, and made a big pot of coffee.  Then he cooked some bacon and eggs for himself.  If the rooster doesn't wake them up, the smells of bacon and coffee just might.  He took his meal out onto the front porch, and sat down and ate.

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The smell of bacon and eggs finally awake Mossbloom. She sits up in the hay, stretching her arms. It was a good sleep, despite she got scratched a few times by the straw.  She rolls up her blanket and brushes hay out of her long hair. After giving her horse a pat and some oats, she heads to the farmer's house.  At a glance, there is nothing of interest which might tempt a rogue to steal. She follows her nose to the kitchen.

"Good morning," she says, grabbing a plate of food. She sits down across from the farmer. "Ready for an adventure? That is, as soon as we get up the other late bloomers." 

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Eyla was up early as well, though she remained in the barn to tend to her roan. If she didn't tend to his needs first, he often got fidgety. She gave him a good brushing, and then made sure all her supplies were firmly attached to the saddle. Noticing that there was some movement outside, Eyla soon followed after Mossbloom.  "Good morning," she called as she approached.

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27 minutes ago, RomyCat said:

The smell of bacon and eggs finally awake Mossbloom. She sits up in the hay, stretching her arms. It was a good sleep, despite she got scratched a few times by the straw.  She rolls up her blanket and brushes hay out of her long hair. After giving her horse a pat and some oats, she heads to the farmer's house.  At a glance, there is nothing of interest which might tempt a rogue to steal. She follows her nose to the kitchen.

"Good morning," she says, grabbing a plate of food. She sits down across from the farmer. "Ready for an adventure? That is, as soon as we get up the other late bloomers." 

Morning Missy.  I'm ready to go once we get the kitchen squared away.

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Nisha rode into the farmyard atop Thunder, a black warhorse who snorted at taking in all the smells of the farm. Nisha had been up a couple of hours before daylight, preferring the darkness. Dismounting, she entered the farmhouse and looked around the kitchen at the others eating. The smells were inviting, but Nisha had already eaten breakfast. She was ready to get this journey started. 

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Mossbloom nodded to Eyla in greeting. Seeing Nisha entering, she gave her frenemy a grin. "Bet you have been up for hours. Found anything interesting to hunt?" Finished with her meal, she stood up. "Thanks for the food, Gnarly. "

She headed out to the barn and saddled her mare Featherstep. The bay had been trained for battle and been in at least one war, according to Nisha who had "helped" Mossbloom in acquire the horse. Well, they more of rescued the mare from a retired solider who had not been feeding the mare properly. 

After double checking her supplies, Mossbloom mounted her horse, reading to start the day. Featherstep stomped her foot and pulled at the reigns, ready to be off. The horse loved to run. 

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28 minutes ago, RomyCat said:

Mossbloom nodded to Eyla in greeting. Seeing Nisha entering, she gave her frenemy a grin. "Bet you have been up for hours. Found anything interesting to hunt?" Finished with her meal, she stood up. "Thanks for the food, Gnarly. "

She headed out to the barn and saddled her mare Featherstep. The bay had been trained for battle and been in at least one war, according to Nisha who had "helped" Mossbloom in acquire the horse. Well, they more of rescued the mare from a retired solider who had not been feeding the mare properly. 

After double checking her supplies, Mossbloom mounted her horse, reading to start the day. Featherstep stomped her foot and pulled at the reigns, ready to be off. The horse loved to run. 

Gnarly snarls "If you eat my food, you best help clean up Missy."

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Sitting on her horse,  Mossbloom said, "I'll cook you a nice supper tonight. Food cooked on an open fire taste better.  Everything  tastes delicious after a long ride." She grinned. 

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2 minutes ago, RomyCat said:

Sitting on her horse,  Mossbloom said, "I'll cook you a nice supper tonight. Food cooked on an open fire taste better.  Everything  tastes delicious after a long ride." She grinned. 

Unimpressed Gnarly says "That will be good then, but right now you're going to help me clean up so my house doesn't get infested with rats while I'm gone.  Then you're going to wait until the rest of us gets to our horses."  Gnarly glares are Mossbloom then says "Or are we going to have a problem?"  

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Eyla watched this interchanged with a slight amused expression. She planned to help clean up at least before heading to fully tack her horse, Vali. There was one thing about farmers - you didn't mess with them, their crops, or their routine.

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Mossbloom sighed and though, This is going to be a long trip. She slid off her horse. "Alright, I'll help clean up so we can hurry up and go. She headed into the house to wash dishes.

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Gnarly turns around and heads back into the kitchen.  He mutters under his breath "I guess you can teach an elf."  Then he looks up and sees Eyla with a grin on her face.  "Uh.  Let's keep that between you and me.  OK?"

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"Sure thing," she said.  At least with the three of them, it wouldn't take long and they could get out on the road.

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2 hours ago, WxCougar said:

"Sure thing," she said.  At least with the three of them, it wouldn't take long and they could get out on the road.

Your dwarf buddy.  Is he coming?

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Posted (edited)

The sleepy town began to rouse and farmers and shopkeepers bustled about their business.  Well, stumbled about in a groggy haze to be more precise, as they paid the day’s price for last night’s Threshing Eve festivities.  

Homer Noodleman stopped outside Gnarly’s fence and hollered for his friend.  “Did you hear what happened to Bill last night?  Dumbass tried to pick a fight with Applebee’s mule after you and your fancy new pals beat feet.  He leapt right off the porch of the Sapphire Stag to hit the poor thing with a flying kick.  Turns out Applebee’s mule is a right bit better of a kicker than Bill.  He missed the whole damn mule, flying off the porch like that, but I tell you what, she had better aim than he did.  As he was getting back to his feet she broke his arm with one swift kick then went right back to her feedbag.  I told Applebee I owed her a basket of carrots for the favor of shutting Bill up for the rest of the night,” Homer chuckled.

“Gnarly, are you sure you want to go off with this lot? That was a pretty wild tale last night.  A man’s business should be to his land, no sense in running off sleeping on rocks when you’ve got a bed and farm to mind.  You know I’ll look after it for ya, but just think about it before you run off, ok?”

Homer tipped his floppy hat towards Gnarly, “I know you’re stubborn once your mind is made up, so I’ll leave it at that.  I’ll be seeing ya, friend.”  Homer continued his slow walk back towards town.

Edited by LuckyIke

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Gnarly chuckled as he listened to Bill's adventure.  Homer Noodleman was right of course.  It was the sensible row to hoe after all.  And he did have a comfortable bed.  Certainly more comfortable than lying on rocks.  But you can only get so much enjoyment planting himself in a barn full of pumpkins, and it's a long time until it's planting season comes around again in the spring.  The old man had given him a confidence he hadn't had since his lovely Millie had passed away after becoming sick.  I guess the bottom line was he got so lonely over winter, and even danger was preferable to sitting home alone.

"Thanks for the news, advice, and for watching the place for me Homer!  I'll be as careful as I can.  Say goodbye to Penne for me."  With that Gnarly strode into the barn, and began saddling his best horse, Turnip.  

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Trying to appear she was perfectly happy cleaning, Mossbloom had sung a cheerful ditty while washing dishes. Coming out of the house, she heard about the mule beating up Bill. She laughed. "Maybe we should have brought that mule with us as another fighter."

Still amused, she hopped on Featherstep, ready to begin the new adventure. "Did that dwarf decide to come, or did he ditch us after all?" 

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Eyla gave a shrug as she followed everyone over to the barn to bring out Vali. "Possible he overslept. Can't say I've seen a dwarf drink so much that gravity was against him."

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(OOC : I’m sure Padauk will find a way to catch up with the rest of the group if he wound up sleeping off a bit of a hangover. ;) ) 

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Nisha had waited outside near Thunder while the others went inside to clean up. She took in the farm around her. What a dull life farmers lived. Staying in one place, working the fields and praying for a good crop so they can keep their land and do it all over again the next year. Though she was thankful there were farmers, she did need to eat, she just didn't understand why anyone would want to be one. As the others made their way back outside Homer showed up telling of Bill's misadventure. Serves Bill right. Nisha mounted Thunder and waited for the others.

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