In which a destination is reached, there is a festival, and….Surprise! (Part 1)

Elodie, Novem 24 977 Arrival in Wingard

Part I

While the sun approached the noon hour, we were able to make out the faint outline of Wingard in the distance.      As we continued watching I noticed that there were more houses along the countryside, and the occasional temple.   Seeing me taking note of our surroundings, Galant nodded slightly and explained, “We have about an hour left before we get to the main part of town.”   Once we neared town there were even more dwellings to be seen, as well as some brightly colored tents, that looked out of place.   “Look!” I said, pointing towards them.   “Oh….gypsies…”said Theradon, with a minor hint of disgust.   The sound of his voice threw me slightly off, perhaps it was possible he had dealings with them previously?   Sounds of laughter and music cut short my musings as we came around a corner and the town came fully into view.   It seemed to me that there were a fair number of town guards walking around, but I supposed with the addition of a fair going on, perhaps it was a wise decision.   “We need to head to the tavern, “said Galant.  “C’mon, I’ll take to you it.  There is only one in town.”  Leading the way, he started down the road to take us to our would-be lodgings.   As I followed, I couldn’t help but notice that there were a fair amount of people pointing at him and whispering.  If Galant noticed, he made no show of it.

After a couple of minutes we came to the local tavern called the Shrugging Lion.   Looking towards the door, That informed me that he would remain outside.   “Tath,”I said to him through our mental link, “Why don’t you try turning into a human?   I mean I haven’t seen you do it yet, but I know you can.”  “Ok!”said Tath, as he proceeded to polymorph into a human…..a very naked human.   Roughly my age, he had sandy brown hair with a bronze look to it, green eyes, was well built and no clothing!   Did I mention the no clothing?? “Tath, you need to wear clothing!!” I shouted, turning ten different shades of red.  With a look he replied, “I don’t understand why humans are so taboo about nakedness!” and promptly turned back into his normal dragon self.   Hoping we did not make too much of a scene, I quickly entered the Shrugging Lion.

The tavern was very crowded but thankfully we managed to secure a couple of chairs at a table.   Even though it was a busy night, we received prompt service from the serving girl.   I inquired about the house specials on drinks for the night.  After a long journey, a nice cold alcoholic something sounded perfect!   The serving girl told me that they happened to have such a drink called “Surprise!”  She also added that if I managed to drink it, keep it down, and remain somewhat upright, that the rest of the drinks were free for the night!   How could I pass up a chance like that?  I could try something new!  I could get drinks for my friends!   Of course I said yes!   As I told her I would be willing to take on the challenge the others gave her their orders, and she said she would be back shortly with them.

While we waited, I listened around me for the local gossip and any suggestions as to why people had been pointing at Galant the whole time we were in town…and still were even here in the tavern!   I caught snatches of conversation about the festival in town, but also heard bits and pieces about the local mayor and how his son had been missing for some time now.   The serving girl came back with our drinks before I could ask the group what they thought about it.   As she handed me the drink, I looked at my friends and grinned at Theradon.   “I got this!”  And down the hatch went the Surprise!   It was rather pleasant tasting, actually.  I started to wonder why it was called a “Surprise” when I noticed several spots of changing colors!   With a smile, the serving girl informed us that she would be back to periodically check on me.

As entertaining as I might have been for everyone else, Galant got up and informed us that he was going to take a walk.   Shortly after he departed, Maz said that he was going to head out for a bit too.   Normally I would have offered to go with or suggested someone go with them, but….I just found it so funny, and started gigging hysterically.   I couldn’t help it!  Everything was so funny!   Life, the universe, everything!   In between my giggles I could hear people around me taking bets for how long I was going to last as I started to go through the different effects of my beverage.   I managed to shake off the laughing, but then there were all these itchy spots on me.  I did everything I could in order to not scratch myself, and proceeded to sit on my hands.   No sooner did I do this….I turned blue.   Well at least everyone was getting a good show, even if it was at my expense!   Maybe next time I’ll think twice about drinking something so vaguely named, eh?   As the effects started to wear off Theradon suggested the rest of us go and enjoy the festival.  Tath also voiced that he would like to do this.  Since I was not very trusting of my senses, I told them that they should go on ahead and I would catch up with them there.   Amayah said that she would stay with me until I was ready to go.   Once they left, I decided it was time to pay my compliments to the bartender!

“Sir!“ I called out as I approached the bar, “I must give you my compliments!  That is a very fine drink you served me and I’m glad everyone found it as entertaining as I did!” He laughed a little bit and said that it was commendable that I lasted through the drink.   After a little bit of bantering I got down to what I really wanted to know: Why was everyone so interested in Galant?   “Don’t you know?” he replied, “He is the son of the Mayor!   He left abruptly and has been gone for some time.   Apparently there was some sort of falling out with the family.   He was top dog and less than worthy.   I guess family is important to some…”  “Well, “I said, “I wouldn’t know much about that.   I have no family other than Tathandral.  Though my friends that I have been travelling with are like family to me.”  “Are you a Dragon Warrior?   Was that your dragon outside?”  With a laugh I told him that I was.   “We don’t get many of your type here in Lemuria.   Not many show up.”  “For what it’s worth, “I said, “I like what I have seen so far, so I can’t imagine why not!”  Changing the subject I asked him if he knew by any chance how long I would remain blue.   He admitted that it was hard to say.   The drink had different effects on different people and those effects lasted a varying range of time.   Well, at least I got free drinks for my friends!   I remembered that Mazrith had not had the chance of inquiring about rooms before he left, so I asked him if there was any chance of securing a few and what the charge would be.   “For you?  They’re free!” he said.   Free??????   Score!!  Trying to compose myself over my surprise and jubilation I asked him if he was sure.  “Normally we don’t get very many people through here.  However with the festival in town, this will bring us plenty.   And honestly it is to my advantage to have you stay here!   Once people hear that I have a Dragon Warrior staying at my tavern, we’ll get plenty of people through here.”  Happy at securing us some rooms for our stay and grateful to his honest and easy going manner, I thanked him with a kiss on the cheek and told Amayah that I was ready to head to the festival once we had stowed our things in our rooms.   I wanted to write some of this down before we head out to the festival.   I’ll write again as soon as I get back, Amayah is ready to head out for a night on the town.   Sooo excited!

-Alusair

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