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Bebbux - In Character Conversations

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Right after 20180914

Qui says "Did someone say Nap? I was just gonna Nap Miranda so she can maybe get a spell or two back, but if someone else wants one, we can draw names? I can use all my spells and sleep her the old fashion way and have Brother Foto go with you"

Right after 20180915

Miranda quietly and calmly examines QuiFon's body. She brushes his wet hair out of his face and straightens his beard. She takes his holy sysmbol, wraps it neatly and tucks it in her belt. She kisses his forehead, whispers something in his ear and stands.

"QuiFon Ruminell was no ordinary dwarf. He was no ordinary man. He dies doing what he thought was right and Procog blessed us all with his presence. I will miss you."

Miranda steps back, nods to the body and turns to face the rest of the group. "We really can't wait for Hoffman to get back, but we should inform Indigo before proceeding"

Time To Talk

After the others left, and QuiFon's body was adequately prepared, Shi, Foto, and Knave started making their way down to the crypts. Once they'd walked long enough for Shi to feel comfortable talking, and certain Steward left to do whatever it was he was really doing, she spoke up.

"Thank you for helping, Knave. Although small, dwarves are a little, er, heavier than expected," she said before pausing to readjust her grip. Not like she was doing most of the lifting, anyways. "How is your head? If you need something for it, please let me know. It's the least I can do for your help. I just hope Indigo wasn't too rough. He's very worried about his friend. I'm sure you understand. You must have someone you care about and would be willing to do anything you could for them if they were in trouble?"

"Master Indigo was not gentle but I have had worse." Looking forward at Shi and Foto carrying the front of the stretcher Qui's body was strapped to. He lowered himself a bit more to try to even out the load. "Master Indigo is very loyal to his friends so I can understand his being concerned. There is not anything I can do now to help him though. It was interesting to heard from the Steward that the Master is somewhere else and that he does not know where he actually is. I wonder how the rest of the staff will react if I tell them that?"

Knave paused for a moment. "I should go first now. I have the keys for the doors and I think it would be better if I am the first one down the stairs. Harder for you to hold the body up as we go down the circular stairs."

Already suspicious, Shi tried to figure out if it was a trick question, but realized that not trusting him got them nowhere before. Maybe it was better to stop being so suspicious. Besides, he had a valid point. She was having a difficult enough time on flat ground. Shi glanced at Foto before giving a nod. They set him down, switched positions, and resumed conversation.

"I suppose we've all had worse. Was it here? Those caves were not kind, or was it before you started here you've had worse? I've heard stories about what vampires are really like," said Shi as she suppressed a shudder. "Does the staff usually know where he goes? Or care?" She tried to catch a glimpse of Knave's hand. "And how many actually have a ring like the Steward does? Do you? Maybe they're all charmed and won't care if you tell them."

"The Master is protective of the staff. He has always treated us well as long as we perform our tasks properly. I am not certain if anyone else has a magical ring like the Steward does. I believe the Master gave it to him. My guess would be to protect him from other visitors so they do not attempt to sway him away from the Master's side. "

"Careful there is a tight turn here"

"I do wonder sometimes that if you have a chance to live here protected, why would you not? Why would you want to risk the dangers out there in the world? You seem to have been through some drama recently. Wouldn't it be better if you lived here all the time? To know you were safe and protected?"

Shi couldn't hold back her snort of amusement and disbelief as she said, "You are one of the last people I'd ever expect to sound exactly like my mother. If I wanted to know I was safe and protected, I'd never have left home, but what kind of life is that? Sure, I'd be able to improve my singing, maybe learn to play a few instruments well, appease Solonor by tending to the forest. Maybe I'd be married, deciding if I wanted children. But how bored I'd be! Besides, if I'd never left, my wolves would still be locked in a keep, starving and unhappy. The friends I've since made would not be my friends. I'd certainly not be in the relationship I am in now. Goodness, as much as I hate those caves, they did help me better understand my feelings and what I am and am not willing to lose at this time in my life. What use is a life that is safe, but caged? What good can you do in the world?"

"I have been thinking that might be what led Seewick here. I have not met a swanmay before, but we know of them, other elves have met them, and some are like them. There are those who follow Solonor's will by remaining at home, keeping the balance and protecting nature there, but then there are others who seek to protect nature outside The Wildlands. They go where they are needed even if it is a questionable castle in the middle of a sickness-inducing misty swamp. Some of my clan might be happy to remain home, safe and isolated, but not me. It is not just for the adventure. It is knowing that I can leave an impact on the world, small though it may be, but worth it to someone. Even if it's just worth it to my wolves."

"I do not know what you life was like before you came into the service of the Count, but even if you are now happier here, I can't help but feel sorry for the opportunities you are missing out by your choice. I mean no offense by it. I feel the same pity for some of my clan, too, but that is their life and their choice. Not mine."

"And anyways, no offense again, but this castle is one of my least favorite places I've been to. I can think of much better choices to settle down if it was what I really wanted."

"So you seem to be telling me that I should go out and be dangerous? Is that really a good idea? After all look what happened to your group when you do not know how to deal with the caverns. You all came back much worse off from adventuring rather than staying home. The Master's wife was happy here, I guess she would be protecting us here. Then look what happened. If I can make an impact I know I can do that here, not out in the strange world out there. Beside the swamps are full of disease and sickness, you are right. So why go there? Stay here safe beyond them."

Shi gave a small laugh, more to hide her sudden nerves than from any kind of humor, although she wasn't sure she succeeded, before saying, "I didn't say go out and be dangerous. You can go out without being dangerous. Er, right? That's...that's a choice." At least this time she stopped herself from asking how he could be dangerous - a question better saved when others were nearby. She tried to catch Foto's eye, hoping he'd be smart enough to sneak off for the help she suddenly worried she might need, before she kept talking. That mostly still felt safe. "And what could Seewick possibly be protecting you from? I thought you were safe here, and if you weren't, then why would I want to stay? Besides, it is not like she is dead. We only need find her cloak."

Not That Beer Run

Shi's mind wandered while she started at her now empty glass and the others talked amongst themselves at dinner. The talk of death had her briefly thinking of her clan. She focused more on her glass as she thought of one of Lanarlas's many lessons, and had a sudden idea. She didn't think twice on whether it was a good one or not.

"Knave? Could you bring me some beer?" called Shi.

Whether or not he heard, she wasn't sure. Not that she really wanted any beer for herself anyways, but it was a more believable request than randomly asking for yeast. If only Jilly were here.

Feel free to ignore/not respond, but I'm just read this (should have read that chapter yesterday), and I know I'm not going to remember in however many weeks when the other party returns. Also I currently find it humorous. And the more you know, right? Knowledge is power!

Knave returns with a small cask of ale and two tankards. "I was not sure if you needed more to drink from. I expected it from the Prince, nods to Ilero, but not from you."

"Oh, um, I didn't need that much to drink, and I don't think Ilero really needs more to drink right now," replied Shi, glancing over where he sat with Shur. He didn't look any less wobbly after their walk.

With a sigh, she turned her attention back to Knave. She didn't actually think he'd hear her, and now she couldn't send him away without feeling guilty. She really should have thought this plan through more. "No, I'm not normally a beer drinker, but it's been, um, a long day. Er, a long stay, really. Wine wasn't cutting it. You look like someone who enjoys beer, and you've had just as long of a day. Why not have a drink since you're here?"

Unfortunately, even if he did decide to drink, she wasn't positive if she could tell a drunkard from a snail. Oh well. Too late now. Might as well try to enjoy the beer. Maybe there was some good, yeast bread around...

"Thank you for the invitation but it would not be seemly for me to drink with guests here in the Castle." Knave said. "Is there anything else I can help with?"

"Humans," said Shi, shaking her head. "A small loaf of yeast bread if there is some, and if not, nothing more, thank you. I hope you at least grab yourself a drink at the tavern later."

Good Bye to Qui

Miranda invites everyone to a ceremony just outside the cave where Qui died, in the morning. An open pyre is ready with Qui's wrapped body on top.

Miranda starts with a short Norse prayer for the departed on his journey to Valhalla, then takes a deep breath and continues with a smile to try and hide the pain.

"For an imaginary friend, Qui Fon was quite fond of life, of the journey, and I know for him, his journey continues. I like to think that his God Procog saw such promise in him that he chose to bring him home much sooner than any of us would have liked, but in accordance with his wishes, it is important for us all to let him go. If anyone wishes to say a public goodbye, please feel free to step up." She takes a step back and to the left as Hoffman steps forward.

"Qui Fon was a very good friend and mentor to me. He not only helped me see my true path but he challenged me to take ownership in my own path. I only hope he continues to watch me and give me guidance when I need it most. Fair thee well." Homman says with a somber tone before stepping back.

"He might have been a dwarf, but he was a good one. I hope you find your peace, Qui Fon," said Shi, quietly.

Branwyn and Indigo stepped up next. “QuiFon was one of the most humble and patient man I have ever met. In the face of repetitive ridiculous conjecture of his habits and even existence, QuiFon always kept his temper in check and spirits up and was always ready to help in any way that he could. We shall miss him,” said Branwyn.

Indigo nodded and then spoke next. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there. That I didn’t keep all the bad stuff that was happening from happening.” Branwyn tapped Indigo lightly on the shoulder and he bit his bottom lip before continuing. “I remember fighting giant ants with QuiFon in the back room of the temple. He just put on his cestus and came out swinging at them. We wouldn’t have been able to get Chandler Cowles’s shield without the help of QuiFon. He also told me that I had an inner Procog that I didn’t know I had. I’m going to try to listen to it more, because I probably need to. I hope you are in a happy place and see lots of good futures.” The pair bowed their heads for a moment and stepped back again.

A Barge-In

With dinner finally quieting down and the others occupied, Thistle carefully slipped under the table and away from Hugh. Dodging all the feet, she found her way to where Branwyn sat, and gently tugged on her clothes. Worried she'd startle her, Thistle poked her head out just enough for Branwyn to spot her.

"I want to go home. Will you take me home?" asked Thistle, quietly. She glanced where Hugh was talking to Neith. "He offered, but he doesn't know how scary grandma can be, but you know and grandma likes you. Will you take me?"

Branwyn leaned down and smiled at Thistle. “Done with running away? Give us a few minutes and we shall escort you home.”

After Count Drake excused himself and his wife for the evening, Branwyn stood and announced that she was going to escort Thistle home. “Since we seemed to have overstayed our welcome here in Ghostwood,” she said, smiling at Kel, “we should hurry our farewells and be ready to take our leave as soon as possible instead of spending a few days to visit further. In that case, anyone that would like to join us, we shall set off for the gypsy camp shortly. I need to gather a few things and then we can be on our way.”

Branwyn hurried off to her room and then returned with her cloak and a small pouch. “Thistle, you have been a good and helpful assistant in our latest adventure. And so thus, you shall be justly rewarded,” she said formally. “Hold out your hand.”

Thistle tentatively put out her hand and Branwyn dropped a tiger eye agate gemstone into it. “This is for you to do with what you like. Now I am sure you can show us the quickest way back to your camp and we shall follow.”

"For me?" asked Thistle, astonished. She looked very uncertain, but feeling like she couldn't refuse a gift from Branwyn, she carefully tucked it away. She shyly looked up and gave Branwyn a small smile, not used to gifts or knowing how to say thank you.

Seeing the little party gathering to visit the gypsies one last time, Shi took one more sip of water before standing up to join them.

"I could use some fresh air. Or as close as you can get here," said Shi with a slight sigh. With a clearer head, Shi looked more closely at Thistle. "Aren't you the little gypsy girl who is running away?"

"I AM running away!" said Thistle with a stomp of her foot. She glanced over at Branwyn before saying with a shamed blush, "But grandma will know I'm back, and I need her to know I got her a barge so maybe she'll forgive me for running away."

"You're going home to run away again?" asked Shi, smiling. "This sounds familiar. And where do you plan to run away to next?"

Thistle looked down at her feet, kicking her boots against each other, as she replied, "I don't know yet. Grandma has to let me run away again."

"Ah, so you ran away with permission. This also sounds familiar," said Shi with a small laugh. "Your grandma will know she can't stop you from running if you are determined, but I know the comfort it brings when they let you go. If you really want to run again, I'm sure we could find some way to convince her to let you. Right, Branwyn?"

Shi glanced over at Branwyn as Thistle looked up with hope. They waited to see if anyone else would be joining them before Thistle showed them the quickest way back to camp.

Miranda sees a chance for some girl time and gives Hoffman a peck on the cheek. "Keep the boys entertained and we will be back." She then taps Mara on the shoulder and joins Branwn and Shi and loos back to who else should come.

“We’ll see. You might find that adventure on a barge will be much more exciting than what we will be doing next. Unless plowing swamp land sounds more appealing than river travel,” Branwyn said with a smile. “Let’s go talk to your grandmother.”

The group made their way out of the castle and along the road. They met Indigo at the base of the gypsy camp.

“Indigo! Nice to see you again. I believe we have something of yours,” Branwyn said with a flourish towards Thistle. “Is Wisewoman Sunflower available for a visit?”

Indigo smiled warmly at the group before him. “It is always good to see you, Branwyn. I trust that your trip went well. I’m sure Wisewoman Sunflower should be happy to see you. At least as much as I am happy to see your friends as well. They have brought us great pleasure and entertainment in your absence,” he said with a wink towards Shi. “And good to see you as well, little one.” Indigo turned his gaze next to Thistle.

"We're getting a barge!" exclaimed Thistle, excitedly. She paused and glanced furtively at Branwyn. "Um, I mean, I got something for Grandma so she knows I didn't run away for nothing." Quietly, she added, "And so she forgives me for running away."

"Forgives you for running away?" a warm chuckle came from across the clearing. "You think you have something to make me forgive you for running away? But what about forgiving you for waking me up all those times in the middle of the afternoon because you needed to ask me what butterfly that was? Or Which type of beetle squirted acid out of their butt?" Thistle started to speak up then stopped herself in time and hung her head trying to look contrite.

Wisewoman Sunflower settled in on her cushion near the fire.

"Welcome guests, please sit", gesturing at the seats around the fire.

"Branwyn, have you given any thought about what to name your daughter? A flower would be most appropriate, do you have any that are special to you during your travels?"

Watching Branwyn puzzled again and as she starts to speak Sunflower continues, "Thank you for the barge," she pauses, "Thistle", winks at Branwyn, "But I am content to spend my days here. There are things happening here in the Domain that interest me. Some of our clan might wish to go out traveling and that will be a most welcome sight."

Taking a sip of her drink, she looks at Branwyn. "I see that new things have happened to you, your group must have had some interesting experiences. What new stories can you share with me?

"Seewick is alive," said Shi before giving Branwyn an apologetic nod for interrupting, but she kept talking. "There are still many things that do not make sense. And she did not lie to us. For what reason her...husband decided to take her cloak, I do not know, but she is alive. Whether or not she is happy to be so, though, I am uncertain. And while Indigo may be happy he is gone," Shi said, pausing to give gypsy Indigo a smile, "the other Indigo, that is, I admit I'm curious as to where Knave ran to and what he will do with himself. There were questions about him left unanswered, too."

As Shi talked, Thistle's eyes caught on a nearby yellow butterfly. She looked ready to interrupt to ask her grandmother which one that was, but barely managed to stop herself, still feeling guilty.

"Sulfur butterfly," said a voice nearby. Thistle looked over to see a small smile from the elf. "We get them in the Wildlands, too."

As Shi was nodding at her, Branwyn dropped down next to Wisewoman Sunflower. The information that she had heard multiple times now and had shoved to a far corner of her mind was finally pushing its way into her reality. “Ohhhhhhhhhh,” she murmured. “Tulip.”

Tulip! She was definitely not going to name her daughter Tulip. That would be ridiculous, she thought. Her hand unconsciously went to rest on her, for the moment at least, still flat stomach. And there was Tiberius. Yet another surprise she needed to tell her husband. Hopefully this would be a more welcome one.

Wisewoman Sunflower gave Branwyn a pat on the knee. “That would be a beautiful name.”

“I’m not sure I can think about this right now.” Branwyn shook herself out of her reverie. “But I did want to say was how helpful Thistle was and that yes, she told me that the clan could use some means of water travel. Having been on barges myself for some time, I know that they can only house 6 people at a time, so we all would like to help the clan by providing the means for two barges. Please consider and accept this as a gift of affection from all of us,” she said looking up at her friends and smiling. She quietly handed Wisewoman Sunflower a writ for 1,000 gold pieces and then sat back and looked into the fire.

Miranda similar as she listen to the conversation. She started to see the Gypsies in a better light and wondered how long before some one had a baby of there own. What were they actually going to do with Mercy?

"Tulip?" repeated Thistle, looking at her grandmother in disbelief. "Her daughter needs a deceptive, powerful name Sundew or Acacia or Belladonna!" The look her grandmother shot her had her falling quiet, but not for long. "I don't want to be stuck in the ground, grandma. You're not going to want me on the barge so can't I go with them? I'll wake her up instead!" said Thistle, pointing to Shi. "I bet she knows what beetles shoot acid out of their butts."

"Bombardier beetle," replied Shi without thought. The grin Thistle shot her made Shi slightly regret answering at the sudden thought of being woken up just to tell the gypsy girl what caterpillar was climbing on the tree.

"See? And she's a run away, too! She'll take care of me!" said Thistle, confidently. "Please??"

"I...," replied Shi, suddenly put on the spot. With a sigh, she said, "We do know of gypsies. They've come through the Wildlands before. I've always admired your roaming ways rather than being ...stuck in a valley. Speaking from experience, there is a good chance she'll run away again. If it makes it easier for both of you, I'll ...take care of her. I'm not sure she'll survive much better with us, but she'll certainly do better with a group rather than try to take on Hill Giants on her own again."

Wisewoman Sunflower smiled at Shi, "I am quite certain Thistle will be blowing in the wind again soon. It would be nice to know that she has a place to land."

Looking at Thistle, "You will have to promise to help take care of Tulip." Watching the frown start, she continued, "what do tulips do?" Thistle paused, "They bloom." she said hesitantly. Sunflower continues to look at her... Thistle thought, "They start as bulbs... OH! Branwyn has a bulb in her that is growing and will need a place to stay and grow when she comes out!" Shi stiffiled a giggle and Branwyn rolled her eyes, "She is not a bulb, she is.... will be a baby" trailing off softly.

Wisewoman Sunfower spoke up to halt Thistle, "Tulips do grow. Remember when they bloom, they are just like little cups. They can hold all sorts of things. You never know what you might find inside. They are beautiful from the outside but there are depths to them that someone needs to pay attention to see."

Thistle started to nod, Sunflower continued, "So you can go if you promise to help Tulip develop her depths." Thistle nodded more enthusiastically.

"Let's go!" She shouted at Shi, Whispering "before she changes her mind"