A Meal in the Village

In which Haft goes for a quiet supper, catches up with Eston, and meets Dalia and her father

The Narrow Gate Hall

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8784c20ba211deaf8316dc2eb01ed2bdThe Hall of the Narrow Gate is brightly lit by a large chandelier, and by torches on the walls. A bar runs along the length of the south wall. Behind the bar stands Dranken, the Barman, polishing a glass. The wall behind him holds several bottles, and racks of glasses. There is also a menu offering drinks and food. The north wall is dominated by a cheerful stone fireplace.

The rest of the room is filled with tables and stools, in little clusters all over the scuffed wooden floor. An arch leads to the Anteroom to the south.

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You can go: The Anteroom <S>

Eston grins and waves to the stick, “Aye, the seige, got meself an Injury” He holds out a hand, “The name’s Eston”

Haft strolls into the tavern, face neutral, and glances around.  Seeing Eston and the strangers, he glances between his preferred table in the shadows and the place Eston is sitting.

Dalia takes the hand offered, shaking it, frowning when she hears of the injury and making a small sound of concern.

Eston shakes her hand and nods, “It’s fine” he happens to glance over at Haft and waves, “Wotcher Haft”

Haft lets Eston’s greeting decide for him, and walks over to the table.  “Greetings, Eston.  May I join you?”  He doesn’t smile, though he doesn’t seem cross either.

Eston nods and waves a hand to an empty stool, “Be my guest!”

Dalia calls to Dranken for a mug of mulled cider.  Dranken stops cleaning his glass, and serves it up directly.

Haft considers for a moment, then orders for himself.

Haft calls to Dranken for a mug of mulled cider.  Dranken stops cleaning his glass, and serves it up directly.

Haft calls to Dranken for an order of bird soup.  Dranken stops cleaning his glass and serves it up directly.

Dalia pulls Money Pouch from Dalia’s Knapsack.

Dalia takes some coins from her Money Pouch.

Haft nods to the girl and man standing by.  “Hello Sir, Miss.”  He looks Dalia over.  “I’ve seen you around the castle, haven’t I?”

Dalia nods in greeting to the man, as does the older man beside her. “Yes. Possibly so. I am maid to Lady Astera. She gestures to the man standing beside her, “My family lives Andale.”

Haft extends his hand to the father.  “Pleased to meet you sir.”

Taking the hand extended, the man replies heartily. “A pleasure to meet you as well.”

“Haft? isn’t It? You must be one of the guards on the wall. An excellent profession. Very Fine.”

You say, “Yes, that’s right.”

“Very Fine.” he says again, turning back to the bard and ordering two ciders. One for his daughter and one for himself.

Haft turns to Eston.  “So, what’s new in the village?”

Eston scratches the back of his head, “In the village, not too much. Old Glinda’s said her brooch’s gone missing and won’t stop tellin’ everyone who’ll listen but we all reckon she’s misplaced it again, last time this happened showed up in the cat’s basket”

You ask, “Hmm.  Have there been any other thefts recently?”

Eston raises an eyebrow, “Theft? Well aye, cats can be thieves alright” He shakes his head, “If there’s been any trouble I’ve not heard it”

Dalia nods, to both before turning her attention back to her father and the manuscript. She motions to Dranken, ordering some sausages as well for her and her father and surprising him. All that can be heard is something not quite distinguisable about castle pay or extra pay or even servant pay. One could not be certain….

Haft tilts his head slightly at Dalia, but nods to Eston.  “That’s good.  And the missing brooch has been the only disturbance?”

Eston says, “Far as I know”

Haft nods again and sips his drink.

You ask, “And you?  I ought to have asked after your injury straight off.  How are you?”

Eston grins and says, “Gettin’ better, Walkin’ about more without the stick though I still bring it along just in case”

Haft nods again.  “Probably wise.  I for one have no intention of carrying you home again.”

Eston takes a swig of his ale to hide his embarrassment at the memory of this, “Wouldn’t ask ya to.”

Haft snorts.

You say, “No, I reckon you wouldn’t.”

Eston changes the topic quickly, “So Dalia! I don’t reckon I seen ya around here before!”

Dalia glances up from her discussion with her father. “Oh? I served her for several years with Lady Astera, before they made their residence at the Manor in Chesterton.”

Eston asks, “Is Chesterton half as fancy as ya hear?”

Dalia ducks her head looking a bit uncomfortable….”You could call it that… it is rather” she seems to be strugging for words. “… ostentageous… the manor is that is I mean.”

Eston sips his ale thoughtfully, “Well, never was one for over the top stuff myself still, for thems that likes it”

You eat some soup.  The bird meat is perfectly tender and the spices are just right.

Dalia says, “Coghill and Anvard/Andale are the ones I know the best”

You say, “Been about a week Adeliha’s been gone, ain’t it?  You’ll have your little one with ya soon.”

Eston nods with a smile, “Aye, soon, I’ve almost finished gettin’ everything ready for her”

Haft runs a hand ruefully over his shirt, which might once have been gray or brown, but is now of indeterminate color and frayed in placed.

Dalia says, “”I suppose… I myself prefer a good cottage with family all around” she adds, replying to the commentary on the mannor.”

Eston says, “That’d be nice”

You say, “Aye, nothing wrong with that.  Heh, that’s the one thing I rue sometimes, staying in the barracks…I know for a fact that them bunks were softer 14 years ago.”

Eston just nods vaguely, staring wistfully (and a little sadly) into his tankard.

Haft leans in and speaks lowly.

You mumble “What’s the trouble?”, to Eston.

Haft mumbles “What’s the …”, to Eston.

You eat some soup.  The bird meat is perfectly tender and the spices are just right.

Eston sighs and takes a swig, “It shouldn’t of been like this”

Haft echoes the sigh with one of his own.  “No.  I’m sorry.”

Dalia glances concernedly Eston’s way, saying nothing…

Eston finishes his tankard of ale and orders up another one, making himself smile, “Well, can’t change the past”

You ask, “No.  Not even the recent past.  It’s a shame, that…you ever do anything you regretted five minutes later?”

Eston nods slowly, taking a drink from the new tankard, “That I have”

A gust of wind sweeps the room as a patron opens the door.

Dalia gasps as deep in discussion with her father, the gust of wind takes the Parchement and carries to(towards?) the feet of Haft and Eston.

Haft stares down, then picks up the paper, examining it.  “Music?”

Haft offers the paper back.

Dalia blushes, slipping from her seat to accept ….”I’m sorry… Thank you… I don’t know how it got away from me.”

Eston asks, “What sorta music is it?”

Dalia says, “O-o-Ori original music… My… father…” she gestures, towards the older man who is fast at work scribbing on another composition. She takes a deep breath. “That is he is somewhat of a mistrel… a bard… he travels… That is he’s not often home.””

Eston grins, “Now ain’t that a thing? Fancy that. Good songs are they?”

Haft eyes his food.

There are 2 servings left.

Dalia nods, Her eyes shinning. “At least I think so..” Her father noticing her absence, has looked up from his work, glancing their way.

Eston exclaims, “I’d like to hear one one day!”

You say, “I’m…sure it’s very fine.”

Nodding to Haft, she turns to Eston. “I’m sure father would be glad to preform one for you, sometime.” She quietly makes her way back to her father.

Haft watches the pair for a moment, then turns to Eston and speaks in a low voice.

You mumble “I also wanted to inquire, since we were talking about the village…”, to Eston.

Haft mumbles “… also wanted to inquire, since … … … about the …”, to Eston.

Eston smiles and says, “I look forward to it!” To Haft he raises a quizzical eyebrow, as if urging him to continue.

You mumble “How is Aaron settling in?  He’s still rather new here.  Has he been doing well?  Made any friends?”, to Eston.

Haft mumbles “How … Aaron settling in? … … … rather new … … Has he been doing well? … … any …”, to Eston.

Eston’s brow furrows as he considers the question.

Eston mumbles “Truth be told I couldn’t say, ain’t seen him in a few days. I don’t reckon I seen him much here with other folks.”, to Haft.

Eston mumbles “… … told … … say, ain’t seen … … a … days. … don’t reckon … seen him … … with … folks.”, to Haft.

Haft nods.  “Thanks anyway.”

Eston says, “No problem”

Haft sighs and addresses himself to his food again.

Eston takes a last swig from his tankard and sets it down heavily on the bar, slipping of the stool and catching a hold of his stick. “I reckon I best get going, was nice meetin’ ya Dalia, and seeing ya again Haft”

Haft nods.  “Glad you’re doing better.”

Dalia nods politly, her face still looking a bit embaressed her father raising a hand in farewell also.

Eston gives them one last wave and makes his way out the inn.

Eston walks into the Anteroom of the Narrow Gate.

Haft stares into his glass for several more minutes, the drinks the last of it, nods to Dalia, and heads for the door.

Haft returns to the castle.

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