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Thread: The Tipsy-Ram Tavern

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    The 37th Red Spade The Tipsy-Ram Tavern Coff9's Avatar
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    The Tipsy-Ram Tavern

    It was a humid night.

    And it had been a long night.

    A single man with a single sword walked underneath the setting full moon. This meant it was at least the second hour, maybe the third, he wasn't sure; he had only been in this land a short time.

    He walked and he walked.

    He walked amongst trees, old trees, tall trees. The forest was thick and wild. He walked on and on, his legs hurting a bit more and a bit more with each step. He tried not to notice, but his work had been hard. He hoped a day like today would not come again for sometime. He knew it wasn't true, but he hoped all the same.

    And then he could smell something.

    "Food..." he spoke aloud. He stopped his walk. He sniffed at the air; was someone really cooking something at such a late hour? And even if they were, would they share?

    He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. With this, he could identify the smell.

    "Meat," he declared.

    And with that, he started to follow his nose.

    As he walked closer to where he believed the smell was coming from, he spotted a well-worn path that he had somehow missed on his trek so far. He stopped and looked down at the path and saw sets of prints going in either direction: bootmarks and paw-prints that must belong to some smaller animal and a third set, Y shaped, which he recognized immediately.

    "Chocobos..." he said to himself. He hadn't seen a chocobo in a while, he thought. They were much less common in this land, he recalled, and, for a moment, pinned for the days of his youth.

    Even though he wanted to sit and forget about the world and what had once been and what now was, he pressed on, the possibility of food and chocobos providing the boost he needed.

    He followed the path and the prints, the smell of some kind of meat (which he hoped wasn't actually chocobo) getting stronger, just a bit, with every step.

    Off in the distance, he could make out some kind of building. If it were day, he could probably say what it was from this distance but the night was too dark, the moon stealing it's light away as it set.

    He pushed on and continued to follow the tracks.

    It was very dark now and he was no longer sure what time it was, nor could he see the tracks on the path. He could see that the building at the end of the path had some kind of light from the inside, the windows were bright with it. The smell of the food grew stronger as he approached, making him hungry.

    His stomach growled.

    He had no food, but he had a flask of water from which he wanted to drink, but would not let himself stop to do so. He would expend the last of his energy to arrive at this building. He was close now.

    When he would arrive, he thought, he would ask whoever (or whatever) was there if he may stay the night and share with him his food. He would offer some gil in exchange (and thank his birthstars that gil was an accepted currency in this land) and then be on his way when the sun had reached the top of the sky. With this plan in mind, he approached the building.

    It was a tiny building, which surprised him, since he could see it from so far. It looked like a cottage and had a roofed porch that might have a larger parameter than the cottage itself. Tables and chairs were neatly arranged on the porch and there was a modest staircase leading up to the it. On the left side, there was a sign but it was too dark to read.

    Above the porch was a second story with small windows glowing with light.

    Someone was home, he thought.

    Usually, he would have simply walked in or at least knocked on the door first, but today's ordeals had taken much of his strength, and, if a fight were to come of his actions, he would surely lose. Instead, he thought he'd try something else.

    First things first, he thought.

    "Hello? Is anyone home?"

    He waited.

    No response.

    "Hello! Is anyone home!?"

    He waited again.

    Still no response.

    He took a deep breath. He had one other way of getting the attention of the cottage-dweller. It would take the rest of his energy, and it might not even work at all, but he knew no other way. (Other than simply knocking on the door, but the small staircase seemed more daunting to his legs)

    He took his sword off his back and extended it outwards, pointing the edge of the blade high in the sky. He took another deep breath and began to focus his energy on his sword. He could feel the vibration of energy starting from the pit of his hungry stomach radiating up through his arms, to his hands, and at last into the blade. His hands began to flash, slowly at first, but then quickly, like a polished gemstone glittering in the summer sun.

    "Thunder!" the man cried out.

    And the spell was cast.

    A bolt of brilliantly yellow lightning erupted from the tip of the blade, streaking and crackling up into the night sky. The sound was thunderous, like a natural lightning strike. He watched in both pain and wonder at the intensity of such a simple spell. Surely the sound of thunder would rouse the cottage-dweller?

    The man dropped his sword due to fatigue and it fell to the ground without a sound. He fell to his knees, feeling the last of his energy leave his body. His eyes were fixed on his dropped sword. He couldn't move.

    He was about to pass out when he heard a noise: the creaking of a door.

    "What on Gaia was that!?" asked a high-pitched (but almost certainly male) voice with an accent the man didn't recognize.

    The man tried to respond to this voice, but his energy was sapped by his spell. His breath passed over his vocal cords, but no sound came out.

    The high-pitched man (maybe it was a man, maybe a monster, for all the man knew) walked across the roofed porch and down the steps and looked up at the starry sky, missing the swordsman who was on his knees, trying to make noise with his mouth.

    "Doesn't look like a storm tonight! Great weather tonight! Excellent weather tonight!" declared the high-pitched man. He looked around puzzled.

    "But where did that noise come from? Bandits? Oh no, bandits must've gotten their hands on something crazy and now they're coming here to use it on me!"

    The swordsman could hear the high-pitched man walking up and down the porch-steps, thumping his boots on each one.

    "What am I going to do...? What am I going to say...? What am I going-" The high-pitched man stopped. He noticed a man on his knees, motionless, as he walked back down the steps.

    "Now what do we have here...?" he asked.

    "Excuse me, there, sir, excuse me, excuse me."

    The swordsman could say nothing. He continued to try to make a noise, but all he could do was breathe. He couldn't even look up at the high-pitched man.

    He heard ruffling noises and then a quick scratching noise and could see a warm orange light reflect from his sword. He guessed the high-pitched man must have lit a torch.

    "Are you hurt? You look like a solider," mused the cottage-dwelling man with his uncommon voice.

    "What are you looking at? Is this your sword? Why did you drop it? Hmm..."

    He picked up the swordsman's sword and laughed.

    "What a beauty! I hope you're not a bandit, coming in the night to take my wares and my life! Can't have that, oh no sir. I'll be keeping this for now," he declared.

    The swordsman was upset at this, but he could not protest.

    "Did you happen to hear that sound by the way? What a ruckus that was! I wonder what it was indeed, indeed..." The high-pitched man trailed off as he continued to admire the sword.

    "The handle is hot... hmm... are you some kind of-"

    The swordsman fell over, his body finally succumbing from fatigue.

    "Ah! I hope you aren't dead, traveler! That would be a pity. To have come all this way..."

    The swordsman could hear the thumping of boots as his eyes closed.

    -

    He opened his eyes and found himself in a room lit by some kind of lamp he didn't recognize. It was sitting at the end of a bar-counter, a row of stools stood across it. He was still hazy from fatigue and his awareness was jagged. He could hardly move his arms or legs but he could move them. He tried to look around the room. It was some kind of pub or tavern, maybe an inn, tables and chairs arranged around the room like the ones outside. His head hurt and he moaned a little out of the pain. His arms and legs were sore, but not as much as his head.

    He moaned again.

    The sound of boots came from above him.

    He found himself sitting in a chair.

    Where am I? He thought. The memory of the past hour came back to him in pieces. He saw the building that must have been some kind of cottage, he remembered seeing the chocobo tracks on the path, and the sound of the high-pitched man's boots and his voice. He also remember how that man had taken his sword.

    "Raz," he said.

    "What was that?" responded a high-pitched voice. The swordsman looked over to the left of the bar-counter and saw a staircase and could hear the clacking thumping noise of boots again. Down the stairs came the high-pitched man.

    He was plainly dressed, although his clothes were purple. A sign of royalty, the swordsman thought, remembering his daily lessons from his homeland. But surely this funnily-accented man was no royal.

    He wore fancy boots, outlined with a shiny metal that gleamed in the lamplight. His most prized possession, the swordsman thought.

    He was old, his face wizened from the years. His hair was long and silver and perhaps a bit too well-kept for someone living out in the woods.

    "Ah! You are awake, traveler! It seems my potions still have their kick, after all these years."

    The swordsman said nothing, only glared at the cottage-dweller. He did not trust him.

    "How are you feeling?" asked the old man.

    Again, the swordsman said nothing.

    "Why, silence will never do! Never do! You must speak to me, traveler!" said the old man, his high-pitch more grating than usual.

    The swordsman conceded his silence with a question.

    "Where is my sword?" he asked.

    The old man raised his hand to his chin.

    "Well I don't trust suspicious fellows, naturally. Don't trust them at all. You're dressed like a soldier, but I don't see your brothers-in-arms anywhere. Are you a deserter? A bandit wearing armor that does not belong to him? Hmm..." The old man narrowed his eyes.

    The swordsman said nothing.

    "Silence will not do!" yelled the cottage-dweller, stomping his boot to the floor.

    "Answer me! You must answer me!"

    The swordsman groaned in pain again.

    "Oh! I'm sorry! Didn't mean to upset you! Not at all! You see, I just don't trust people. You learn not to when you live and make a living as I do. Oh yes, no trust at all. Even if you were to answer my question, I probably wouldn't believe you anyway." The old man laughed and the sound he made was worse than his voice. The swordsman clenched his jaw.

    "Where am I?" he asked.

    The old man laughed again, more intensely that the first one.

    "Why, you're at the Tipsy-Ram Tavern, where else? Only the finest tavern in all of Ozmon! And I am Sarin," declared the old man.

    "At your service!" He bowed.

    The swordsman head throbbed.

    The old man took a step forward.

    "Now that I've answered one of your questions, traveler..." He bent down to the swordsman.

    "Answer one of mine," he said, his voice now slightly menacing, threatening.

    The swordsman locked eyes with the high-pitched man.

    "I'm a sell-sword," he declared.

    The old man resumed his former posture, his eyes just a bit bigger than they were before.

    "A sell-"

    He was interrupted by the sound of a creaking door. Both he and the swordsman turned to face whoever or whatever walked in.

    -

  2. #2
    The tavern door creaked open, and in walked an exotic woman. Both Sarin and the sell-sword eyed her waringly.
    She had hair that sparkled in the dimly lit room with a fine sheen, and its hue was a deep purple. Her armored garments were black as night, with deep blue embezzlements. No weapons were visible to both the men, however. The only thing that seemed to stand out was the black shadow emanating from her right shoulder.
    "What wares do you have here?", the strange woman said in a clear but rich, soothing voice. She looked at both men expectantly, but a little puzzled at seeing their blank expressions.
    The older man squeaked as he straightened, smoothing out the crinkles in his purple robes. "Why, this is Tipsy-Ram Tavern, home of the finest alcohol you can choose from! Would you like to partake while I continue talking to my friend, here?" Sarin glared at the sell-sword, who grimaced back.
    "How about he join me for a drink?" the woman retorted.
    "Um... uh", Sarin mumbled -
    "I'll pass.", said the mercenary.
    The newcomer was next to the sell-sword before he could blink. She whispered in his ear, causing him to clench up. "Oh, why not. It'll be fun! C'mon, up you go!". Before he could react, she had him gripped by the arm and was dragging him to the nearest bar stool.
    "Get your hands off of me!" he whispered back menacingly. To his surprise, there was a whooshing sensation as a furry object grazed him on the cheek. He looked to her shoulder to find an ebony-furred feline glaring at him, paw outstretched.
    I really want my sword right now, he thought depressingly, and just collapsed on the stool, resigning himself.
    "Don't mind Merirou, she was just giving you a warning. Be careful, her claws are sharp. Next time you definitely won't like her swat.", warned the woman. "Now, bar-keep! Two of your best moon-shines!"
    Sarin grumbled as he realized his opportunity to further interrogate the mercenary was shot for the time being. He slowly trudged to the bar and began pouring alcohol.
    "Did you see that lightening strike around here?" the woman asked the sell-sword, in open conversation that he wasn't particularly used to.
    "Yes... That was me." he said quietly, reserved.
    "Oh, really?" she said, and clucked her tongue. "Well done. You see, I dabble in water magicks mainly, but that's a powerful one to conjure... What's your name, stranger?"
    "I don't feel comfortable telling you that."
    "Fine. Be that way. I won't tell you mine, either. Bar-keep! Where's that moon-shine?!"
    "Here." grumbled Sarin, his high-pitched voice squeakier than usual. He shoved two mugs filled with the pungent liquid in front of them.
    "Well, you see, stranger," said the sorceress, tapping her glittering fingernails upon the table-top, stroking Merirou slowly. "I'm looking for company for a quest. Would you like to join me?"

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