By Brian Flood
Chapter 21 - Dinner and Drinks (Part 3)
The Bear’s Den Inn
Along the Uldoon Trail, The Sunset Vale
Evening, 27th Day of Eleint; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)
Alric, Darius, Soft Fang}
“Thank you,” Alani nods to Rosy. She then proceeds to eat her stew, dipping chunks of bread into it delicately. “Are you looking for any kind of work on your travels?” she asks Corin between mouthfuls. “Or are you 'independently wealthy'?”
Corin chuckles, a light, soothing sound. “No, no. I am DEFINITELY not wealthy. Mostly, I made my way by joining caravans for protection. I am now stuck with trying to find a caravan headed west, toward Berdusk. It would seem all the traffic is headed east, to Asbravn. Probably to barter for – or bring goods to – the market during Harvestfest.” She sighs, and then says, “Are you headed to Asbravn for the festival?”
replies Alani. “What is this
festival? Is it a large one?
Will we have problems in finding accomodation in Asbravn?"
Corin’s face wrinkles in amusement. “You mean you’ve never heard of a Harvestfest? The festival celebrates the arrival of Higharvestide – the beginning of the harvest. Asbravn is a farming community, mostly, so the farmers from miles around will bring their goods to the open market to barter and sell. Food and drink will be plentiful as will dances and other celebration.”
“As for lodging,” she continues, “I cannot say for sure. Most farmers cannot afford rooms in inns – or have more essential needs to spend their hard-earned gold on. Merchants or travelers may occupy some space in the inns, however. But, at any rate, it is in the inn’s best interest to find room for you, is it not?”
Darius sits and listens attentively, nodding slightly to himself. When Corin has finished, he says, “Higharvestide is indeed also a holy day for followers of the Oak Father, as well. Druids, shamans, and others in the clergy of Silvanus preside over rituals that bless the harvest and ask for a survivable winter season.”
Corin nods at the information Darius reveals. “Very interesting,” she says and then she glances over Alani’s shoulder. “It would appear our friendly barmaid is coming to collect payment,” the young woman mutters.
Moments later, Rosy appears at the table. “Miss, sirs,” she says, nodding in turn to Alani, Alric and Darius. “Before I collect for the meal – which will be two silvers apiece – let me address you lodging for this evening. Your companions and some of the others here have rented all of our single rooms this evening. I can still fit you in the common sleeping chamber, however. That will be five silvers for each of you. I’m afraid the only other choice I can offer is for you to sleep in the courtyard -- that will cost a silver. Can I have your preferences?”
Darius frowns and says, “I would rather not stay indoors, if it can be helped. Soft Fang and I will stay in the courtyard.” The young druid reaches into his belt pouch and produces three silver coins which he places on Rosy’s tray.
Rosy frowns slightly at the lack of a gratuity, and then addresses Alani and Alric. “And what of you sir, and you miss? Will it be the dormitory or the courtyard?”
* * * * *
Kjira, Kryian, Lucas}
Rosy wrinkles her eyebrows at Kryian’s sudden silence. Finally, she says, “Good Captain, if you would, that will be five silvers for the round of ale and an additional two silvers for your dinner.”
She turns to the others at the table and says, “While the captain is graciously preparing to pay for your drinks, may I ask for two silvers from each of you for the stew? And while I am here, may I interest you all in reserving a room for the evening? A private room upstairs fetches either one or two gold coins, depending on the room – the larger room is more expensive, of course. Or, a simple bed in our common dormitory will run you five silvers apiece. Would any of you like to pay for your room now as well as your dinner?”
turns to Rosy and waits til she finishes before replying.
“Aye. I would like to pay now for my meal and I do believe I
asked for a small private room as well.” Lucas opens a small belt pouch
at his waist and
removes several coins. “These should cover my meal and room. Please bring me another round of ale and you may keep the change lass.” Lucas hands over two gold coins to Rosy.
“Why thank you, kind sir!” Rosy exclaims, blushing. Glancing at the others she raises her eyebrows and asks, “Anyone else?”
The lady mage winces as she pulls her coinpurse from her belt. It sounds awfully light. A lot lighter than it had been in quite a while. Those damn casks didn't come cheap, but they had come in handy. She rummages around with two fingers inside the velvet pouch until she managed to produce a solitary gold piece followed by two silvers.
“This is for the delicious stew,” she says as she hands the two silvers to Rosy. The gold piece soon follows. “And one of your smaller private rooms, if you still have one available.”
Rosy smiles and replies, “In fact, this should reserve the last of our smaller private rooms.” The barmaid smiles at Kryian and Cyzicus and says, “There is still a slightly larger room for 2 gold coins, or you may have a bed in the common dormitory – what are your wishes, sirs?”
Cyzicus clears is throat and says, “A room in the common dormitory is fine with me.” The halfling reaches into a purse on his belt and produces a single gold coin. “This should cover everything, I believe,” he says, dropping the coin onto Rosy’s tray.
“Thank you, sir,” Rosy says to Cyzicus and then she turns to take Kryian’s preferences.
Kryian grins slyly and says, “I’ll be takin’ the room fer two pieces ‘o gold,” the mariner tells Rosy. “I think I’ll be needin’ me privacy tonite…..”
“Very well, Captain,” Rosy replies. She pauses as she calculates the cost of the round of drinks, the dinner, and the room. “That’ll be fifty and four silvers,” she says finally.
handsome warrior reaches down to his belt and a brief frown crosses his face. “Er….mermaid,” Kryian mutters, looking slightly
distraught. “Why don’t you
check with the other tables if they want anything else and then come back….”
Rosy frowns in confusion at the brief change in Kryian’s demeanor. She shrugs and says, “Certainly, Captain,” before winking seductively and moving off toward the table where Alani, Alric, and Darius sit.
After Rosy has left, Kryian runs his hands along his belt and frowns. He then glances under the table and slips his hands inside his backpack. After a few more moments, he sits back upright with a confused look.
* * * * *
Slyvia smiles at the bartender as she shakes her head. “Sorry, sometimes I get so caught up in the surroundings, that I forget that there are people who require my attention.” She points to the stew, and says, “Do you have any anything else? I'm not really hungry right now, a small snack will suffice.”
smiles back. “No problem.
Sure, I can find ya something in the back.
How does a little bread and cheese sound?”
While Autur waits for Slyvia’s answer, Dolak finishes digging a handful of coins from his purse. The dwarf slaps a handful of coins on the counter with a jingle. “Gimme another ‘o those Bitter’s will ye? And make it a hand keg this time,” the dwarf asks. “And may I ask how much fer a room upstairs?”
Autur replies, “I can give you a private room for anywhere from a single gold coin to five. A bed in the common dormitory will cost ya five silvers.”
Dolak grunts in surprise at the prices. “Rather steep, eh? Must be well ‘n good ta be the only inn ‘n these parts! I’ll take a bed in yer common room,” the dwarf grumbles.
The barkeep glances at Slyvia and sees that the half-elf has turned her attention elsewhere. He grunts softly and moves through the door behind the bar area. Momentarily, he returns and sets a cutting board, a portion of a loaf of bread, and a small block of cheese in front of Slyvia. He turns and fills a substantially sized hand-keg of the bitter tasting ale for Dolak.
Autur sets the ale in front of the dwarven smith and says, “That’ll be a silver for the handkeg, two for the stew and another five for the room.”
Dolak slides a single gold coin across the counter to Autur. “Why don’t you just take this and bring me another ‘o the ales when I finish this ‘un?”
Autur smiles and pockets the coin. “Anything you say, good dwarf.” Turning his attention back to Slyvia, he tries yet again to interrupt her train of thought.
“Miss,” the bartender begins. “That’ll be a silver for the dinner. And can I interest you in a room for the night as well? You may stay in the common room with your friend here, OR, if you prefer your privacy, I can set you up in a private room for only a gold coin or two.”
As Slyvia debates her options, Rosy calls out from the table where Kjira, Kryian, Lucas, and Cyzicus sit. “Autur!” the barmaid calls, “I have two takers here for the one gold – rooms!”
Autur nods in response and then turns back to Slyvia. “Well, missie,” he says, “that’s the last of the rooms that rent for a single gold. I can still set you up in the common sleeping room for five silver, though.”
After several more long moments of silence, Autur says, “Miss? Are you listening to me?”
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