Tourmaline - 01 - Woodvale
Tourmaline has heard that a very small village has been recently been harassed by what seem to be simple roving bandits.
A gentleman cobbler whose sister lives in that village sent word.
- Who has sent this word?
The sister had a merchant passing through carry the message to the next town.
Some crops were stolen, a breadery was broken into, as well as a butcher shop. Mostly foodstuffs were stolen.
- How does Tourmaline receive the news?
Whoever she happened to be staying with was a friend of the cobbler. The cobbler came over during lunch to share the word with T's host.
The food raid was the first night. The second night, at the following dawn, the farmer's house was broken into, and some family heirloom valuables were taken, although they repelled them by raising a commotion, waking up the neighbors.
- And what shall the villagers do in retaliation, Cobbler?
"I couldn't imagine. They've never had problems like this. It was only yesterday morning that I heard. I haven't received further word. I spent all night worried that something more may happen."
- Do you travel towards or away from your sister's village?
"They would have to send for a knight from the castle, but that will still be another couple of days before word reaches and they send one out."
"I have not been there in at least a fortnight."
- A handsome knight to desmear the lands of these rogues! Oh how lovely! Let's travel together to the town, cobbler, to meet your sister and her kin!
- I should like to meet this gallant fellow and to apply my skills where they can be.
- (Russ smiles.)
- (Not quite Mikal, is she?)
"If we are to leave after we finish eating, and I might say this is quite hearty this repast you have made, if we are to leave, we could arrive by eveningtime...
"I spent all night in ominous mood, fearful."
- Oh, could we really? Let's do so quickly, then! Let me get the dessert!
- Don't you worry a nod about it, sir. I know in my heart that your sister fares well.
- Strawberry rhubarb pie?
"Milady, I think you show tinges of excitement at this prospect... have you no fear?"
"Well, perhaps the pie will quieten my stomach, and settle to quell my own fears."
- But there's nothing to fear! These rogues are troublesome, but they have not harmed anyone. They're seeking only profit and sustenance.
"Milady, as always is told, you show wisdom in the face of the adverse."
- Hush with your stomach! Here, let me touch your forehead.
- ::: she whispers a word of magic -- a cantrip to ease an upset stomach :::
- Now please, let's do go on! This pie shan't be eating itself!
The cobbler, Jerin, closes his eyes briefly and sighs in relief...
"That has soothed me beyond word; I thought my poor sleep would betray my digestion... you have eased my strife and heart with your mood and hope."
He starts to eat slowly, tasting and savoring it, and before you know it, he nearly ravenously scarfs it down.
- Oh, cobblepot! You worry so because you love your sister! But there's nothing to fear, good sir! This is a good, strong land.
- She must be lovely! You must tell me all about her while we travel.
- Finish your pie. I'll see to Starfire and your horse.
(He has no horse.)
- There's another slice and fresh cream in the kitchen.
The hostess, a simple woman, thanks you for your kindness in cooking skills, and before you prepare to set off, reminds you how thankful she is for having put her nephew's nightmares to ease the last time you visited her here.
- And thank you for the use of your kitchen, and for your soft bed. Your nephew was so charming! And he's grown so fast already!
- When he wakes up tomorrow morning, please give him this. (Hands over a small gift wrapped with tissue paper and twine). It's just a little something I think he'll enjoy.
Cobbler: "I think I shall indulge -- travel always takes my energy, less it is by horse-drawn carriage."
- And give him this coin too. It's a special coin that contains a wish. Tell him to close his eyes and throw it into the well. It's very important that he keeps his eyes closed until the moment it lands in the well.
"If you are heading out, might you be able to ask the stabler for one of his steeds for me?"
"And I shall catch up once I finish this deliciousness."
- (It's an illusionist coin that's set to glow for about 15 seconds once it hits water.)
- I shall! And if he hasn't one, Starfire is strong, if your arms have the strength to hold on to me as I ride.
The simple woman, Elena, thanks you, and speaks to you a small folk blessing in an old tongue, and makes a sign in the air as she does so, and finishes with "Thank you for your blessings and gifts, may you travel safely."
- ::: embraces Elena :::
- I will see you soon, dear! Bless you for all you've done for me!
- ::: walks to the stables, singing :::
The stabler hears your approach, and comes out humming a melody similar to what he heard with yours.
- ::: bursts out into straight-on song, while wrapping one arm around the stabler and enticing him to dance with her :::
- ::: laughing, she looks in his eyes with her striking green ones :::
- Dance with me, kind gentleman of horses!
- ::: returns some of the embrace, swinging you about, breaking into a circular skip, twirling both of you about :::
- ::: uses a little magic to light up a "dance floor" around them and does a little twirl of her own :::
- ::: tumbles off to the side a bit and lands, laughing, against the wooden wall :::
"Ah, Lady of the Goldsteed, what may I do for you this day? Does Starfire need something I may have?"
- Oh, where did you learn to dance, kind sir? Perchance, I'd learn from your teacher any day!
"All that comes natural, Lady, the skip and mood of the moment..."
- You inspire me, sir! You must take me dancing when next I'm in your village.
"I say, you inspire me, as few can ever get me to put my foot in!"
- And how fares my Starfire? Is she sulking still from her diet of straw? I'm afraid I've spoiled her with mountain wildflowers.
"She seems to have perked up, with some kind words and gentle hands... she found my hand's taste from an sweet salt lick last night rather appealing."
- Oh, how you spoil her! Thank you so much for caring for her!
- I do not travel alone tonight. I bring a cobbler with me, to learn his sister is safe. Would you have a spare mount for him?
"I think I should be able to spare such... Starfire seemed to make friends with my brother's steed, Magnus, the black one born a few years back."
- The flirt! I must tell her that I cannot afford her to have another litter of young ones!
He leads you to where Starfire is, and Magnus in the next stall.
- She had me walking on foot for months last time! But what handsome young ones she bore!
- ::: curtsies :::
- Thank you kindly, noble steed master.
- ::: hands a gold coin -- much more than is necessary :::
- I pray that this is sufficient for the use of your steed and the time they spent in your care?
- ::: bows :::
"Tis no problem, good Lady, Magnus is gentle with any rider, and I know Jerin is not terribly well-settled to horses."
"Tis more than fair, good Lady, I know not how you come across such riches for but a simple tender!"
- He is quite flat of foot, that Jerin. But I shall have him galloping by dawn!
- Oh, that? I keep telling them that my life is all the riches I need, but they keep insisting on their gifts.
- It's a bother to carry around, and it makes others so happy.
"Where head you on this day with he?"
- To his village. I follow where he leads.
- A band of ruffians has been mischevious, and I may find use there.
"A kind heart carries no value nor price... Generosity and kindness are often payment enough."
"Ah, down the western valley pass... Keep safe, Lady, you shouldn't need the wish, but you should keep the blessing..."
- It's the love, stablemaster. It feeds me more than any banquet.
- I thank thee, and bid thee good evening! Do not let Emily send you to your quarters without a slice of the pie I baked! I've been told it's quite well made!
- ::: returns to Jerin :::
- ::: Jerin seems mildly unsettled at the size of the steed :::
- ::: singing ::::
- Oh, Jerin! A fair maiden awaits you, with two noble steeds!
"Milady, what a fine steed... I cannot believe your fortune..."
- I've been told that Magnus, here, has a heart much larger than his size.
- He shall treat you well on our journey to your homeland.
- ::: packing Starfire and donning her bow and arrows :::
"Ah, were it that I felt home here and there... To be born there, yet feel more alive here... The small farms were never a place for a craftsman..."
- ::: puts a simple rucksack with only a few provisions upon his horse, and with some awkward difficulty and perseverance, mounts it :::
- And these small shoes I wear were never a place for my sore feet! Oh, dear cobbler! Thinkest thou cans't bring my clumsy hooves to tread more lightly with thy craft.
- ::: prostrates herself before him, upon her knees :::
"When we should return here, I shall take any wish of yours upon my craft bench and make you a pair of elegant shoes that may never wear out!"
- ::: cries out happily :::
- Then we should make double haste to arrive at your village! My poor, abused feet cry out for justice!
- ::: swings up on Starfire as she speaks :::
- ::: smiles :::
"For Justice!", he cries out loudly in amusement and with emotion, hefting his fist high, and Magnus breaks into full gallop.
You can hear a "whooOOoOaOaOOaoo" echoing from him, almost immediately after.
- ::: brandishes her bow and, with a salute to the villagers who wait at the door, rides off after him in the night with a striking mock war cry :::
(In the afternoontime.)
- Jerin, somewhat unsteadily, with his mount moving a little quickly, says, "Say, good lady, how do you control this ride?"
- 'Tis most simple, good sir! Simply entreat it with phrases like "Nice horsey, whoa horsey!" and do your best to keep balance! Would that I could lend you Starfire, but alas, she rides for no one but I.
"I would that I had taken you up on your offer to take your--WHOA, HORSEY, NICE HORSEY," as you notice he's not really sure what he's doing, probably causing the horse to accelerate through his stirrups, reins, or such.
"WhooOOooa, horsey", as it accelerates, echoes from slightly ahead of you.
- La! You are the bumble when it comes to horses, good sir!
- ::: rides up alongside the horse and calms it ::::
- Horses speak more than one language, and it's best to know them all! Your body and voice say to different things to your ride, sir!
"That's... err... good to know... I wish I'd know this in advance."
- When your feet say "RUN!" and your words say to still, what is Magnus to do?
"I usually put the horse before the cart, and stay in the cart."
"I leave the horsemanship to the experts."
- Why, he chooses the one he likes best! And for a spirited horse such as he, running suits him just fine!
- A horse before the cart! Bah, how detached! I can hardly bear it when I cannot ride bareback upon my steed!
"Ah, I would that you had chartered me a pony, I've ridden one of them... ...once."
- A horse is a thing of beauty! A pulsing creature who loves you if you let him!
"I've quite had nearly enough of his love, milady."
"I don't know that I could muster much love with my heart's pounding in fear."
- Oh, but you do go on! You'll love him yet, poor Magnus! Come along, and we'll teach you of grand and wonderful things!
"But, I say, you certainly have brought him temperance, now."
- Aye! He's a gentle soul.
- Look at the way his ears flick when you speak! He likes you!
"I... my... ...you... ...you're so much more familiar milady. I shall charter a donkey or mule at the next stop."
- Oh, Jerin! Do give Magnus a chance! Mules are such stumbling creatures!
"Yes, but they don't cut and run with such spirit!"
"I am giving him a chance, probably much more than he's giving me a chance... or maybe it's the other way round."
- No, kind sir! Would that they'd do so more often!
- I love the thrill of it!
- A Pegasus for me! Keep your wooden mule!
"A Pegasus would be a much smoother ride, for certain."
- Oh, imagine it! Swooping about on a winged horse!
- I'd do it every evening, with children on the saddle with me!
(Both of your horses seem to stilt briefly, and slow down, but continue their pacing.)
- ::: creates an illusion of a silhouetted winged horse riding her, with hair blowing in the wind, and two children, flying through a red and purple sunset :::
"Aye, what an enchanting idea... I would that... Whoa, Magnus... right... what's going on?"
- I would swoop away, and bring it to a field of flowers every evenin to dine!
- Then I'd steal honey from a swarm of gentlemen bees, and make my supper with bread.
- You must join me if I ever find one!
"I would that--"