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“Da Mysteerius Affair at Da Dew Drop Inn”

Discussion in 'Creativity Surge' started by Emberglow, Jun 21, 2003.

  1. Emberglow Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Dis be a tale of our many avenshures. We likes tae calls it...

    “Da Mysteerius Affair at Da Dew Drop Inn” or “Den Dere Wer Ten or Wuz it Eleven?”


    Me had jest finished me breakfast wit me new huzband, Johan. Me kens wot ye be tinkin, he be a halfling und me a drorf, bot we loved each otter und dats all dat mattered.

    After our hunnimoon we had decided tae moves tae Sweet Hollyhocks. Why dere, me had nae idea, doe Johan liked da name. Me canna unnerstand why dey named dis village dat, cuz da village nae be sweet und ders nary a hollihock in sight fer miles. Bot, dat all be nedder heer or dere, dis be a dark tale o’ decepshun und mudder most foul, so lets me begins da stoory.

    As me said we had jest ate da last o’ da food (or rather, Johan had, ye ever tries tae feed a halfling?) Well, me sees me gittin ahed o’ me tale, so furst lets me tells ye sumtin aboot our kwaint liddle hamlet.

    It be small und a bit oft da beatin’ trak, bot nae too oft, otterwise we nae haz customers or patrons fer our stablishments. Johan wuz da owner o’ da Shert Supply General Store und me wuz da propietress o’ da Dew Drop Inn. Since we da only Inn fer quite a few miles, we gits all sorts heer. Bot, me talks aboot da visitors soon, rite now me tells ye aboot da cast o’ characters.

    Close tae da village dere lived da Hoggletinkies, two halfling brudders dat raise bunnirabbits fer food und fur. Dey wuz a nasty twosum, both mean und uglee, bot we had tae deals wit dem, since dey be da only game in town...hehe. Dey supplied da furrier as well as da tavern. Da furrier be a troll by da name o’ Quibblebonez. He be a pertty nice troll as trolls go, he always be smilin’ (dat be scarry enuf) und had a few werds tae says tae ye, bot mostly he kept tae himself.

    Johan und me had been in Hollyhock fer jest aboot a year, so da Ressins, a human couple, he be a healer und she hiz helper, wer da reel newcomers, bein heer a few months. Dey leases da stablishment next tae da tavern. A goot ting too, sum o’ our patrons be in need o’ a healer wen dey leeves da Dew Drop cuz dey be drunker den a drorf at a clan weddin’.

    Speekin’ aboots helpers, me had hired two sisters dat be da tavern wenches, Millie und Mollie. Dey be drorfs und vera silly ones at dat, dey gits all googly eyed wen a hansum man stays at da Inn, me haz tae tells dem on more den one occashun, tae straighten oot or else!

    We haz a distinkshun o’ havin’ da only lady smith in dese parts, she be a Barbarian, named Shimtadly. A reel fine smith she be und perrty too. We all likes her.

    Corse, likes any town, we haz da town drunk, a kobold. We nae kens hiz reel name so we all calls him Bill. Da older fooks tells us he be heer as longs as dey kin remembers.

    Next we coms tae da wicked witch o’ Hollyhocks, Mistress D’Kali. She be a elfie, bot mean and very uglee. She owns all da stablishmenst in da town, und leases dem oot. In fact, she owns da land too. Now, ye wud tink dat bein dat rich, she cud be gererous und kind, bot she be jest da opposite. Johan und me had sum glanders saved up frum sum sailin’ we had done years ago, well, piratin’ reely. Johan offered tae buys our places, bot instead o’ givin us a fair price, she asks fer a fortune und den wen we says we canna affords dat, she raises our rents. We haz no choice bot tae pays or leeves, und we nae leevin. She be like day tae everyone, jest mean. Da whole town hates her und nae one wud be mornin her passin, jest da opposite.

    We haz a town baker, Gollie. He be a halfling. He eats mere den he bakes, so ye haz gots tae tells him ye wants six cakes, wen ye wants only two, dat way ye gits one. He be vera rolliepollie und always haz a red face.

    Da last o’ da townfook be a gnomie und he rents a room at da Inn. He always busy tinkerin, bot he doos make sum interestin tings. He made me a contrapshun dat kin takes trays o’ food ups tae da rooms, sumtin he calls a silent wench. He be named Reenie Pinderpuss.

    Wellin, dat be our village, und most o’ da characters o’ dis sad tale.

    Chapter l

    “Preparations for a Party and an Expected Visitor”

    Da mornin’ o’ da party wuz jest a nice as it cud be, clear and crisp. The sky wuz dat vivid bloo it gits after a bad storm haz passed through, wit nae a cloud tae be seen.

    Tae Johan, da party be a celebrashun o’ one year in business fe da Shop und da Dew Drop. It wuz a goot year. Bot, unbeknownst tae me huzband it also be fer hiz birtday, which wuz next week. He wud be very suprized, me hoped.

    Me had sent him tae Gollie’s, da baker, fer twelve cakes me had ordered a few days ago. Now, as me haz said wit Gollie, twelve means six, if we be lucky. Me kens betwix Johan und Gollie, me be fortunate tae gets three. Dere wuz a speshall cake on da way frum a very deer frend o’ both Johan und me, und she shud be arrivin’ soon.

    Me tinks it be a goot idea tae goes oot on da porch tae waits. Dere be nae werries aboot Johan returnin too soon, after all, he be a Halfling, barterin’ und eatin’ wit anutter Halfling. Me be astonished tae sees him afore noon.

    Ember watched as a cart traveled down the cobblestoned path, and behind the cart, a figure on a horse. The dwarf, unable to keep still, dashed from the porch and ran toward the rider.

    “Oh, Lass, ye be a sight fer me eyes, it be so goot tae sees ye.”

    The rider dismounted and threw back the hood of her cape, revealing fiery red hair. Her face lit up with a smile. Kneeling down, she embraced the dwarf, holding her tightly.

    “Ah, Ember it is good to see you, my old friend...and where is that crazy Halfling?”

    Gently, pulling away, Ember answered, “He is pickin up da otter cakes fer da party, ye kens Johan, dat will be an all day affair. How are ye,Lass und da evil ones, how dey be?”

    Standing, the redhead’s beautiful gray eyes misted with tears.

    “Let us go inside Ember and I will tell you all that is happening.”

    Once inside, the dwarf sat her guest down and bustled behind the bar, brewing tea. When it was ready she brought two mugs, honey and the pot of tea to the table and poured two cups, then sat close to her friend.

    “Tells me wot be goin on, Nell?” Sighing deeply, Nell began.

    “Kassie is dying, Ember. She is a shadow of what she once was, though her hair is still like a raven’s wing and her tongue as sharp as ever. The Mage is heartbroken and I fear when Kassie passes he will follow her. They have had a grand life together and are still devoted to one another. You know the witch, she is prepared, but will not go without a fight. I will miss her terribly. Sadly, I cannot stay for the party.” Seeing her friend’s crestfallen face, Nell added “Kas has sent gifts and a letter for you and Johan. I promise when I can I will return and we will spend a night drinking your fine ale and celebrating our memories of Kasandra.”

    Taking Nell’s hand, Ember looked closely at her friend’s face and saw the heartache.

    “OH, Nell, me be so soory tae heers dis. Johan will wants tae goes tae der Keep as soon as he kin. Me haz never been truely comfortable wit Kasandra, bot Johan loves her und hiz brudder. Me likes tae tinks dere be sumtin after we leaves dis place, Lass. Everyone haz dere own thoughts on dis, bot me chooses tae believes we all meets again, in a better place. So nae be so sad, Nell. Kas haz lived a long, a vera long life und she haz been happy fer most o’ it. How many otters kin say dat?”

    Nell smiled and nodded her head whan she answered. “Aye, Ember you are right and as for Johan, we will not tell him until after the party. Promise me you will not say a word?”

    “We will be comin as soon as we kin, Nell, me nae likes keepin sumtin frum me sweet Johan, bot in dis case me doos it. Me will makes arrangements tae travel tae da Keep by week's end.”

    The two friends sat and talked as the time passed, then Ember asked, “How be yer hansum huzband? He be well me trusts?”

    Standind, Nell grinned and said, “Riccan is well. He has changed not a bit and he would have accompanied me, but I asked him to stay with Kas and the Mage. Now, enough of this, lets go see what I have brought for you.

    Nell motioned to the driver to start unloading the cart after warning him to be very careful with the cake. She directed him inside and Ember followed, telling the man where to put the cake down. Satisfied it was safe, she hurried back out to Nell.

    “Kas has sent this for you both, Ember.” Nell uncovered two large wooden signs, engraved in gold with names of the shop and inn. “In this box are fireworks, the Mage says they are very special and must to be lit at the end of the party...oh, and the witch send this as well.”
    Handing the dwarf a small pouch, Nell watched with a smile as Ember opened it with a squeal. “Oh! Me nae canna accepts dis, dey be worth a fortune.”

    Resting in her hand were gems of all colors and shapes. Nell smiled fondly at the dark haired dwarf.

    “Kas considers them baubles, she always has, but she is no fool, she is aware of how valuable they are, allow her to do this, it makes her...ummm, well, you know Kassie.”

    Nodding her head in acceptance, Ember returned the gems to the pouch and put it in her pocket. They entered the inn and walked over to the covered cake. Nell removed the cloth and Ember clapped her hands in amazement. The cake was three tiers high and it depicted Johan’s adventure with a red dragon. The bottom showed Johan being chased and eaten by the dragon, the next tier, he was walking around the stomach of the creature and the last showed Johan’s head and a donkey’s peeking out from the dragon’s mouth. The artwork and colors were indescribable. It was a masterpiece of confection.

    After more conversation, Nell finally bid farewell to Ember. They have decided not to tell Johan of the visit, until after the festivities.
    Ember watched until the cart and horse are out of sight and with a sad sigh, tried to remember all she has to do this day.

    “Well now all the invites are sent und all da replies be back. Everyone be comin, even dat “frend” o’ Mistress d’Kali’s or shud me say da frend o’ da month? All da food be ready, all da entertanements be set. Aye it will be a fine party.”

    Ember poured herself another cuppa tea und leaned back in her chair. “It be a bittersweet party fer me, bot a happy one fer me love, Johan.”

    Bot, liddle did me kens den dat it wud end in mudder!!
  2. Volsung Gems: 14/31
    Latest gem: Chrysoberyl

    Apr 9, 2003
    Likes Received:
    First of all, I haven't read it.
    But I think you should not talk like that. After all, it's in the rules.
  3. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

    Jun 11, 2000
    Likes Received:
    [​IMG] What is in the rules? That you can't try to immitate dwarf talk? That certainly isn't in the rules, so please refrain from playing a moderator when you don't know what you're talking about.
  4. Volsung Gems: 14/31
    Latest gem: Chrysoberyl

    Apr 9, 2003
    Likes Received:
    He was immitating the Dwarf?! Really?!

    Sorry Tal, but as I said, I haven't read the whole post. I thought that's the way he would continue talking. :doh: :doh:

    Sorry Emberglow. My mistake. :doh:

  5. The Kilted Crusader

    The Kilted Crusader The Famous Last words "Hey guys, watch THIS!" Veteran

    Sep 18, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nice, but I notice you change from first to third person half way through. I don't if this was intended, but if it wasn't, keep an eye pout for it next time.
  6. Emberglow Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Thank you Taluntain for clarifing whether it is or is not permissable to "attempt" to speak like a dwarf.

    Alexander, Emberglow is a female. Perhaps if you had read the post that would have become apparent.

    Morningstar, thank you for the advice, I certainly will keep an eye on that.

    I appreciate the interest and the advice.
  7. Riccan Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 3, 2003
    Likes Received:
    (OOC- hello as with "Lilly and the Dragon" this is a shared fiction story which I am a part of.)

    Chapter III

    "In the War of Pastries only the Pies Die"

    Ah! What a great day it was, somehow Johan managed to get out of cleaning up the tavern for this party and now Ember had sent him to get cakes. How he was blessed with this wonderful task was boggling him. It must have been the foot-rub last night he gave his loving wife, which always gets her. To top it off she said, "Take your time and say hi to Gollie." By the gods this was almost too good to be true.

    "Eh Gollie.. I am be here to be pickin up the twenty cakes me muffin ordered from yas. So be handin them over quick now, I knows yas too well!" Johan said has he entered the baker's shop.

    "Yas be lost yas button Hugh, yas wife order five cakes I tells yas, and them be just about ready I tells yas." Gollie blustered back, his red face was beaming now. Johan walked to the oven and peeked in and saw fifteen cakes cooking and three pies. They looked like gooseberry pies as well and they smelled like gooseberry pies too.

    "Yas are sayin five, eh? Ah, that be right and three pies along with them. That was what she told me alright. Five cakes and three gooseberry pies, so they almost be ready aye?" Johan came back quickly and the battle of wits had begun. In the balance was the fate of fifteen cakes and three pies. The two warriors squared off.

    "Yas mustin be sick Hugh, yer lass only asked for one pie and three cakes, and yas ain't be getting any more then that I tells yas!" Gollie rebutted and threw his apron down to the ground. Johan look quickly for a weakness.

    "Well then ifin I only be getting seven cakes and two pies, who be the other person getting a pie eh?" Johan riposte seemed to stagger the red apple faced halfling baker.

    "Uhmm ehh the Widow Marmlockbottom, uhmm I thinks was wantin a gooseberry pie." Gollie was on the defense now, he tried to regroup but the ferocity of Johan's attacks were too much.

    "Yas been around the oven too much Gollie Dobberfoot, yas be knowin good and well Widow Marmlockbottom gets ill when she be eatin gooseberry pies. So I knows yas game here. I will be takin my ten cakes and four gooseberry pies thank yas very much." Johan continued his relentless attacks, but was he getting too cocky? Oh yes he was, and the old halfling baker still had a trick or two up his sleeve for just such a mistake.

    "Well nows I knows yas be a bloomen dillybug Hugh. How could I be given yas two cakes and four pies when I be only bakin three pies eh. Now for the last time I be tellin yas. Yas wife been ordered two cakes and no pies and that is what she had been payin me for." Gollie thundered back and took Johan off guard. This was rare thing to happen to Johan, a renown pastry warrior. But in the end Johan showed his true form and colors and Gollie was helpless from Johan's counter attack.

    "And yas be knowin Widow Marmlockbottom has been dead, rest her soul, for fifteen years now, and I be knownin full well ifin I be getting Ember down here and sayin what she had been orderin, yas will be sorry eh? So Gollie what yas be havin to be sayin about that?" Johan was victorious in the end, but what a battle.

    "Yas be right Johan, beg yas pardon Widow Marmlockbottom, rest yer soul. She bein a good woman, so I think it only be fittin if yas and I be eatin the pie I was bakin for her. Come Johan lets us be mourin the lass properly, I think the pies are bein done." Gollie was defeated this time, but he walked away a stronger halfling than before and come the next time he would be ready.
    Johan and Gollie ate a pie and then another and then another and then a cake and then another cake and then two more cakes each followed by a tearful goodbye cake remembering how Widow Lampshire had such great muffins. Johan and Gollie were about to eat a dedication cake to Mister Kinkerpots' prize donkey when a shadow of a person darkened the door of the bakery.

    "Well by the rooster's bark at a settin moon, Johan Hugh what in the twelve hells are yas doin here in Knobby Cock?!?" The voice was undeniable, Rumpin Crop had made it to Sweet Hollyhock.
  8. Emberglow Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Me tinks dat huzband o' mine be in sum troobul. He be bringin' me squashes stead o' me cakes? He be daft!
  9. Riccan Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 3, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Chapter IV
    "It's a Halfling World After All"

    Johan turned to face the new comer and he was right, it really was the famous or infamous, depending on which side you were on at the time, Rumpin Crop. Rumpin was an adventurer like Johan and actually came from a shire about ten miles south of Johan's. Rumpin was a bit different than Johan though, he was not an adventurer looking for new places and new things, Rumpin was a mercenary or sell sword as you will. He traveled from shire to shire and many young wild Halflings would join him and before you knew it, his mercenary band was formed, Rumpin Crop and his Fighting Cocks. Now one thing you have to know about Rumpin is that everything in one way or another has a chicken or rooster in it somewhere somehow. Johan always thought Rumpin was a bit off for his, uhmm fetish about chickens, and no one really had the decency to tell Johan about his donkey fetish. It must be a Halfling thing. Well to be honest, it must be a loon Halfling thing.

    "Rumpin yas old bligger, what in the new moon are yas doin in Sweet Hollyhock?" Johan stood up and walked over to his old friend. As he shook his hand, Gollie finished the dedication cake and stood up to see what all the hubbub was about.

    "Sweet Hollycock yas say, well ifin that ain't a non egg layin hen ifin I ever seen one. I be havin nae clue where in the world I am being at." Rumpin rolled his eyes and looked around the shop and the hamlet. He quickly realized he really didn't have a clue where he was.

    "What be yas takin about, I just told yas where yas be. Where are Neddy and the fellas?" Johan asked with a profound interest.

    "Well let me tells yas, I be thinkin they are somewhere around here, we kinda all got lost in this here forest and got all discombobulated. Well let me be tellin yas what happened."

    "Over in East Bryer Meadows a gaint was causin some trouble for this dwarf brewer named Obberhand Caskfiller or something like that. Well this giant was raiding his home and makin off with cask after cask of his ale. So when we were passin through he be hiring us to get rid of the brute. Well, we found the big lummox and after a little here and there we put the too tall down. Now here is where it be gettin a little fuzzy. We went back to get our money and the dwarf said he had been just spendin his last copper on supplies. He said he nae thought we would be gettin the job done so quickly. He was going to be goin to the market and sell his ale and from that pay us. Well at first we were a bit crowin mad, but he turned out to be a good lad and offered us ten barrels of his ale for payment. We took that but then we had a problem. First off there be twenty and two of us and second he was havin nae a way to move this stuff around so we drank it." Rumpin was then interrupted.

    "Yas drank all of it at once yas be tellin me?" Johan broke in.

    "Aye, was bein the only way to make sure the lads were all gettin an equal share. So after the barrels were empty we went on our way. It was a bit dark out and somewhere between there and here we entered some woods and I think I got ambushed or something cause the next thing I knows I was wakin up on me back starrin up at mornin." Rumpin was interrupted again.

    "Aye I be knowin how that goes. Once I was walkin around in the night like yas, and got ambushed, but when I be wakin up I was in the arms of this huge breasted lass. Okay, well maybe mine was a bit better than yas, but I still knows what yas means." Johan said remembering that night. The two other halflings just looked at him and were trying to remember if they were there.

    "Well aye, so the lads may have fled, but at night I think I can hear them clucking in the wind tryin to find their way to me, but the plan was for us to go to this town called Knobby Nock or somethin like that and meet up there for this job." Rumpin finished his tale.

    "Well yas know somethin Rumpin, yas are nae too far away from there, it be down the roadway about a day on foot. And somethin else I think I know of this dwarf yas were talkin about, I think he may be kin to me wife." Johan was interrupted.

    "Kin to yas wife? He be a dwarf lad, and what wife, and what in the cock-a-doodle-doo are yas doin here anyhow?" Rumpin blurted in.

    "Well I be livin here now, I be ownin a supply store and me wife Emberglow, be runnin a Tavern Inn place. And aye, she be a dwarf." Johan said proudly.

    "Well ifin that don't paint a rooster red. Be listenin to me I tells yas, before it be too late. Lad does she does she be havin a face full of hair and a rug on her chest?" Rumpin asked, concern for his friend evident on his face..

    "Nae lad, only the hair on the top part of her head like she should have, from the face down, nae a hair on her." Johan answered to ease his old friend.

    "Nae hair at all, even down there?" Rumpin asked wided eyed and looked down towards the holiest of the holies, even Gollie leaned over for that one.

    "Yas be watchin it now, yas be talkin about me wife and down there nae be yas concern yas old snake in the grass." Johan chuckled as he answered, but he was very serious. Rumpin nodded and laughed and Gollie laughed and then they all had a cake.

    "Well Rumpin I introduce yas to Gollie Dobberfoot, he be our town baker. Gollie this be the famed Rumpin Crop leader of the band of Fighting Cocks." Johan said.

    "Aye I be hearin of yas tales before, pleasure lad." Gollie answered in kind.

    "Yas know me cousin on me mother's side, Linby Bowlhoffer married a Dobberfoot over in Whickinshire, yas from there?" Rumpin asked.

    "Nae I be from Lickinshire, but the Dobberfoots in Whickenshire be kin on me mother's side. Now to be thinkin of it I heard there be a Bowlhoffers in the family now. She was bein from Whickenburg aye?" Gollie answered.

    "Aye that be the place, all the Bowlhoffers from Whickenburg be me kin." Rumpin added.

    "Now ifin that ain't sayin it all. Me aunt on my father's cousin's side married a Bowlhoffer from Whickenburg. Gerttie Wheelhoffer was she." Johan quickly added in.

    "The Lickinburg Wheelhoffers?" Gollie questioned.

    "Aye that be the place" Johan answered.

    "Well I be a tenth Wheelhoffer meself I tells yas from Lickinburg." Gollie said.

    "Well ain't that something. I guess that means, uhmm. Johan is yas uncle Gollie, and yas be me, uhmm let be seein, ah yas be me Nephew, and I be, uhmm Johan's cousin I thinks." Rumpin had put it all together. They gave each other a hug and each had a cake to celebrate family ties that bond. The three sat and talked for hours and noon was here and slowly going. All was going great until a dreadful realiztion came to light. They were out of cakes and pies and even out of the emergency muffins Gollie kept stored. Johan was in a panic for he knew Ember was going to box his ears if he came home without the cakes for the party. And Gollie was scared because Ember would box his ears because he let Johan come home without any cakes. And Rumpin was scared because he ate some of the cakes that Johan was suppose to bring home. Gollie had a plan, the crafty old baker. He went outside into his back yard garden and cut a good sized squash. He brought it in and gave it to Johan.

    "Here, be givin her this. Dwarf lasses love squashes much more than cakes, she will nae even notice yas nae be havin any cakes. She be too wrapped up in gettin a big squash like this and I will whip some more cakes quick and bring them for the party, eh." Gollie explained.

    "Aye I hear that dwarfs like squash too Johan, so it may work. And what party are yas havin?" Rumpin added fuel to the great plan.

    "Aye, now to be thinkin about it, I do think dwarfs be likin squash. Thanks Gollie, yas be savin our ears for sure. We be havin a one year in business party and everyone be comin. Yas come and meet me sweet wife." Johan finished as he convinced himself that dwarves like squash.

    "Well I need to go look for the lads and then we be comin to yas party, ifin that be okay?" Rumpin asked.

    "Aye bring them all I tells yas, Ember would be lovin to meet yas all. Yas can be stayin the the inn tonight as well, so yas can make good on that trip to yas next town in the mornin. Well Gollie and Rumpin I gots to be goin now. I thinks I need to be helpin with the party set up." Johan said, then waved and left with squash in hands. Rumpin followed suit, minus the squash, and Gollie stayed and got to baking in a hurry.

    Johan walked home a little slower than usual, but in time he got there. He looked at the squash in his hands and at the door into the tavern. On the other side of that door was his beloved wife. The woman who made the sun and moon rise for him. The woman who he had chosen to spend the rest of his days with, and considering they both will live for at least a few hundred for years because of Alys' magical wedding gift, these next few moments would determine if those hundred plus years would be in the hells or the happy hunting grounds, for Johan knew when Emberglow got mad, and that means real mad, she stop being Emberglow and became EmberIAmSoMadIAmGoingToBurnYourFaceOffAndKickYourArseIntoAnotherPlane. Johan knew the hells has no fury than a dwarven warrior lass who did not get her cakes because her husband and his friends ate them before hand.

    "Well I can nae be to blame I tells yas, she be the one sendin me I tells yas. She had to be knowin the risks. So I should be bein fine I thinks. And I nae ate them all me self. Ifin Gollie didn't make those Gooseberry pies and bring up old Widow Marmlockbottom this would nae have happened. And she be knowin hows I gets when there be stories about giants. Ifin Rumpin had nae got ambushed in the woods it would have been okay. I mean she be knowin how I can nae leave a friend in need. I bet Alys was be havin somethin to do with this I bet." Johan was explaining his case to the squash as some of the other townspeople walked by looking at him. Normally people would have thought this a strange sight, a halfling talking to a squash outside a tavern, but then again Johan was not new to these people. The time was here, Johan had to face his wife cakeless and tell her what happened. The truth was his only hope. Johan burst into the tavern and saw Emberglow at the bar and rushed over to her and laid the squash down in front of her....

    "Ember! EMBER! Oh lass it was horrible. A giant chicken ambushed Gollie last night in the woods after it ate yas cousin Bobofingers. And then when Rumpin and the Fightin Cocks came to save Gollie he was so thankful, that he gave him all the cakes for the party. Oh lass, THIS IS ALYS, he he...*sniffling* ...was turned into a squash. Oh the horror. How was yas day lass?" Johan finished and looked at the bewildered but beautiful face of his wife. Johan felt good. He came in and let the truth out and where it went to is still unknown to this day.
  10. Emberglow Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 5, 2003
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    Chapter V

    “To Squash or Not to Squash, That is the Question.”

    Me had jest finished makin shure all be reddy fer da party. Da birtday cake be hidin’ unner a sheet und da foods all be set out. Da casks were lined up on da bar und now all me wuz missin wuz Gollie’s cakes.

    As dis thought passed troo me mind, Johan rushed intae da tavern. Me being a vera clever drorf notices rite aways he be cakeless, bot nae emtee-handed. He be carryin’ a squash!? Dis nae bodin well fer me cakes nor me huzband.

    Johan started spinnin hiz tale o’ mayhem in da woods und me be pashent til’ he be done. Kennin’ me huzband too well, me said so vera sweetly...

    “Now, let me gits dis rite. Ye visits wit Gollie, ye haz a battle o’wits, so to speek, ye celebrates wit me cakes, den ye meets up wit yer old frend, Rumpin, und well, wot cud a Halfling doos, but celebrates dis reunion wit more cakes. Den efter all dis feastin, ye realaizes ye hast tae comes home witoot da cakes, at wich point, ye paniks. Ye kens me be vera upset, so ye spins a tale. Me jest nae unnerstands why ye haz dis squash??"

    Me took a deep breath, den said…

    “Wot ye going tae doos aboot dis?? Me be vera mad at ye, Johan! Ye ate all da cakes. Nae, nae, stop yer sputterin...me want me cakes!! Ye jest be a lucky Halfling dis day, Johan Hugh, cuz me haz otter tings me haz tae takes care of, dat und da fact me likes squash. Now, gits yerself over tae dat apple-faced baker und GET ME CAKES!!”

    Ending on a high note, me took anutter deep breath, smiled more sweetly and said, “Iffin me nae sees me cakes by da party, me kens wot me doos wit dis squash. Me tinks ye kin figures it oot.”

    Turning back to the bar, me nae see da stricken look on Johan’s face, bot me hears da door close quietly behind him.

    “He be one fortunate halfling metinks. He shud be grateful tae dat clever Gollie, kenning how much drorfs loves da squashes. Well dat nae matter now, it be time tae dress fer da party. Me jest hopes me haz me cakes, fer me sake and Johan’s.”

    Chapter VI

    “Welcome to the Party”

    Reaching the bedroom she shared with Johan, Ember opened a cupboard and rooted around for a bit, then with a satisfied cry pulled out a brightly colored kilt...a gift from someone she once knew many years ago. Once dressed in her soft leather tan boots, the kilt and her red vest and white blouse, she looked at her reflection and then nodded her head in satisfaction. Braiding her long dark hair into a single plait she added a red ribbon to hold the braid in place. As a final touch she wore the small gold earrings Johan had given her last Yule.

    “Me be reddy fer anyting now, ceptin havin’ nae cakes o’corse. Beeter gits me downstairs tae greet our guests. Me be wunderin’ who be coming furst?”

    Efter me comes intae da tavern, me checked da tables laden down wit foods. Den me made shure da ale be cold und da fire hot. Corse da cake table be nekkid, bot me nae tinks aboot dat or me gets hoppin mad at dat liddle peck o’ mine. Da banners wer all hung wishin both me und Johan many more yeers o’ goot business. Me told all da guests dat dey canna brings gifts, bot me tinks dere might be sum, so me puts a little table aside fer presents. Den me grabbed da servin’ wenches, Mollie and Millie, und gave dem strict orders aboot dis evenin’s festivities. Nae any silliness. Me sweers sumtimes dey acts like wee lasses und nae grown wemens. Dey be pertty lasses frum da Mount, wit goot, solid roots. Dey jest act silly likes gooses sumtimes.

    Me hopes me hunnibunni nae gives any speeches like dat famous halfling dat lived in da Shire. He be likin sum peepuls a lot, und otters nae enuf, und sums he likes more den he shud. Oh, me hed spins wen me tinks aboot it. Johan will be so surprized wen we puts oot da lamps und he sees hiz cake, me jest hopes he nae says anyting aboots da mage and da witch. Mayhaps he be too busy tae tinks aboot dem.

    Rap! Rap! Rap!

    “Well, well, lookie heer, it be Bill. Comes in und gits an ale frum Millie, da otters shud be comin soon.” Ushering the kobold to a table, Ember motions Millie to bring him a tankard.

    Me wins da bet wit meself, da furst one heer be Bill. He always be furst tae comes und da last tae leeves. He be a bit odd even fer a kobbie, furst off, he is always pickuled. Me wunders sumtimes wheer he gits da glander tae buys it. We nae kens too much aboots him, doe me heers dat once be a hoity toity in a big palace sumwheers, doin wots, me nae kens or wants tae kens.

    Looking out the doorway, Ember watched as the tall barbarian lass strolled down the path. Clasped in her arms was a large box.

    “Hullo Shimtadly, it be goot tae sees ye. Lets me take dat box frum ye, it looks heavy. Ye shud nae haz brought any presents.” Ember grinned, then said, “Me likes gifts doe.” Shimtadly looked down at Ember then answered, “I know, lass, but you and Johan have been very good to me, it is but a small token of my affection for you both.”

    Always ready for a hug, Ember wrapped her arms around the Barbarian’s knees and squeezed tight. Laughing, Shimtadly leaned down and gently pulled the dwarf’s braid.

    “Now gits, lass, relax und haz sum ale. Ye kens, dis greetin’ guests be vera tirsty werk, me throat be parched, me tinkin sumting cold und wet wud helps dat.”

    After filling a large tankard to the brim, Emberglow took a seat opposite Shimtadly and the Kobold. Raising their tankards, they toasted the day and then each drained their mug of Axepeak Speshal. Wiping the white frothy mustache from her face, Ember sat back in the chair and said, “Me will fills dese in a minute und iffin ye wants sumting tae eats, jest help yerself or asks Millie tae brings ye a plate. Me wunderin’ wheer me gallavantin’ huzband be? He best nae comes home witoot me cakes or me nae blamable fer wot may happens tae him.”

    Standing, Ember collected the empty mugs and refilled them, then returned to the table.

    “Lady Ember, might I take this moment to thank thee for thy kind invitation to the festivities planned for this evening.” Ember and Shimtadly exchange a quick glance, both amused by the Kobold’s formal speech. He may be a drunkard, but he is a well spoken one.

    “Dost thou think the Mistress D’Kali will make an appearance tonight?”

    Ember’s smile faded as she replied, “Me shurely hopes she nae comes, bot we all kens her. She be mean und nasty und any time she kin makes otters mizrabal, she wills doos it. She be ownin all dese stablisments und da ground dey be on, yet she be so greedy. Me had tae invites her doe, or Brell kens wot mischeef she wud be up tae.”

    Shimtadly and Bill nodded in sad agreement with the dwarf and once again they raised their tankards and toasted. Ember refreshed their mugs and just in time as a rude noise made them all turn to the door...only to see, in all their stinking glory, the Hoggletinkies. Bob and Hob, two of the most smelly and dirty Halflings in the lands. They lived outside the village and raised rabbits for food, furs and profit. Not only were they dirty and stinking, but their personalities matched, they were petty and spiteful.

    “Welkum, Bob und Hob, makes yerselves comfortable. Mollie brings da budders sum ale. Mayhaps dis corner be tae yer likin, nice und quiet.” Ember moved away, far away, as the brothers made their way to the small round table in the corner. The soft toots and pops followed them.

    "Millie, me tinks ye kin lights all da candle und lamps, it be gittin dark in heer.”

    Next through the door were the Ressins, a human couple. They leased the building next to the tavern. Klyde was a healer and his wife, Bonny assisted him.

    “Ohhh, tank ye fer comin, lets me take dat present frum ye. Ye kens dat nae necessary, but me doos likes gifts. Sit heer, downwind, err wit Shimtadly und Bill. Mollie mere ale over heer, pleeze.”

    Me relly wunderin aboot Johan, me hopes nuttin happened tae him, it be gettin late. Iffin he comes troo dat door witoot me cakes, me will kills him. Me hopes dat wicked elfie nae comes tonoche too. She be havin a tongue likes a razor. Da witch haz a sharp tongue too, bot at least she haz a sense o’ humor, not Mistress D’Kali doe, she jest plain mean.

    Sighing, Ember walked to the door and waited for the next guest to arrive.
  11. Ameorn Gems: 9/31
    Latest gem: Iol

    Oct 23, 2002
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    Haha, i like it!! Especially the Dwarf-talk, it rocks :thumb:
  12. Riccan Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 3, 2003
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    Hearing the command of his wife and not willing to feel her wrath because others ate her cakes, Johan bolted for the door and ran straight away to Gollie's. The great squash plan worked as well as it could and Johan would remember it always. As Johan ran he noticed the sun had just set and the party's guests and goers were beginning to leave their homes and shops and head to the tavern of his fair wife. Making his way to Gollie's, he found the baker in a whirl of baking fury. Johan blustered in.

    "Gollie, hurry lad, the squash is givin us a stay of torture and ear boxin for me and I nae want to be telling wants she would be doin to yas. But I covered for yas lad. So bake Gollie, bake like the wind." Johan urged.

    "I be ready for yas lad I gots four cakes ready and we can be on way to the party I says. Now let's go be celebrating yas wife's success eh." Gollie replied and handed Johan two cakes, which Johan put one in each hand. Gollie carried one in each of his hands. Hands and arms full let looked at each other and smiled, their necks were saved, and then the greatest dilemma of the eve presented itself Gollie's door was shut.

    "Did yas close the bleedin door Johan, with cakes in our hands how are we goin to be getting out?" Gollie boggled.

    "Well can't yas just put one on the table and open the door and then get the cake and we can be leavin?" Johan reasoned.

    "Aye we can be getting out, but how will be closing the door and barrin it back. We can nae be putting a cake on the ground eh?" Gollie answered back.

    "Well I am guessin we only be havin one option before us, figurin that we have be opening the tavern door as well, one of us will be needin a free hand. So I think in order to be savin me wife's party and getting her cakes, we Gollie yas and me will be havin to eat one for the good of all and mostly for me lovely wife's happiness." Johan said with pride and true understanding of the problem before the two Halflings.

    Gollie nodded in agreement and they laid all the cakes down on the table, and that is when Johan noticed out the window that that troll fella was leaving his hut with the gnome. Odd would be saying the least, but it seemed they were talking about something and the troll flashed that same nasty toothy grin. They headed towards the tavern. Something was not right in Johan's gut and he had a strong sense of when things are amiss. Johan turned back to Gollie who was slicing the burden cake.

    "Nae Gollie we gots to be eatin quick like. So nae slicing and starts eatin!" Johan said. He then started eating the cake in handfuls...making a little mess on himself, but the cake was gone in record time. Johan took two cakes Gollie took one and out they went to the tavern at a hurried pace.
  13. Emberglow Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 5, 2003
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    Chapter VI

    “Riddle Me This and Riddle Me That, Who is Afraid of a Dwarven Lass?”

    The Dwarven lass did not have long to wait for more guests, for coming up the path were the Troll and Gnome. What a very odd couple. The fierce expression on Quibblebonez’s face belied his sweet and easy nature. He was crouched over, deep in conversation with Reenie Pinderpuss, the town’s resident gnome and fixer of broken things.

    Ember knew one of the things they had in common was their great love of riddles and she also knew that as soon as they saw her, she would be required to answer a puzzle that would tax her brain. Keen of eye, if not gray cells, Ember spied the small package in Reenie’s hands. He was so ingenious in his tinkering; she wondered what could he have brought them?

    “Greetins, me frends, comes in und gits an ale, den makes yerselves comfortable. Has ye seen dat gallavantin huzband o’ mine?”

    Quibblebonez answered, his voice low and gruff, ”Nary a smell of him, Emmy, an youse trying ta makes us forget youse haff ta answer a riddle or two afore we join de party?”

    Ember tilted her head and beamed an innocent smile at the two newest arrivals. The Riddling Fiends.

    “Why, Bonez, wud me try tae doos sumting likes dat? Lets me heers da riddle, me be reddy, me tinks.”

    ”Me brane be willin, bot sumtimes dese riddles confazzles me. Me hopes it be an easy one or dat Johan be hurryin home, he be one o’ da best riddle answerers me kens.”

    “Okidoki, dis runs over fields and woods all day, under the bed at night sits not alone, with long tongue hanging out, a-waiting for a bone.” After tossing the riddle out, Quibblebonez exchanged a sly glance with Reenie.

    ”He be smirkin, me sees it, bot den agin, who kin tells wit a troll? Oh, wot be runnin over da fields und woods? Unner da bed? Ahha, me tinks it be a creepiecrawlie, aye, dat be it. Bot dey nae haz tongues, well, tongues ye kin sees anyways. Ummmm, me be gittin a ache in me hed. Wheer be dat Johan, he wud gits dis rites away. Oh, dis be a tuff one. Runnin’ tongues unner da bed eatin bones...oh!”

    Emberglow’s face betrayed her, it lit up and with a smirk of her own, she blurted out, “A shoe!!”

    The Troll and Gnome looked at her, then at each other and then reluctantly nodded. Reenie said, “I have another, Ember, one that is harder. That one was quite easy. Try this one. The man who invented it doesn't want it for himself. The man who bought it doesn't need it for himself and the man who needs it doesn't know when he needs it. What is it?”

    ”ACK! Dis be a pickul, me hed spinnin und hurtin’. Who needs it, but nae wants it, bot invented it und buys it? Oh, wheer be me hunni wen me needs him? Looks at dere smug smiles. Dey tinks dey stumps me, well me shows dem. Pleeze lets me figures dis oot.”

    Ember took a faltering step backward and like birds of prey anticipating a feast, Reenie and Quibblebonez took a step forward, backing the dwarf against the door. The lass looked to the troll then to the gnome, then back again; her eyes betrayed her racing mind. She opened her mouth to speak, and then closed it as Reenie took another step closer.

    Unable to take the pressure, Ember cried out, “A squash!”

    Just as the Troll and Gnome were ready to claim victory, Johan Hugh burst through the door, cakes in hand and shouted…

    "Nae fear me wife I am bein here. Get yas away from me wife yas riddlin fiends. I be havin cakes and nae scared to be usin them. Face me, yas riddles are mere Halfling play!"

    Her voice building to a caterwauling crescendo, Ember screamed...

  14. Riccan Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 3, 2003
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    Johan and Gollie made their way to the tavern, cakes in hand. The closer they got the more obvious to them that the party had already begun, and it began cakeless. Johan sighed slightly knowing that he would most likely not be getting the favors of his wife tonight after the party was over. Normally, he would also get a great chewing out, but Johan had something else up his sleeve, something that not even that fine squash would be able to match. Despite Johan's apparent foolishness, he was a Halfling who truly and deeply loved his life partner, and knowing that, he had a surprise for his mate, something that he looked long and hard for, and without giving a Halfling spin on it, he was almost killed while getting it. Those stories were best left unsaid, especially in regards to Ember. But he did not die and won the best prize his could, after Ember that is, who was the bestest prize in the lands. His sigh turned into a beaming smile as he thought how lucky he was until he heard the gnomie voice of Reenie assault his wife. Waiting just outside the door, in case Ember needed him, he listened. He was not going to steal her chance to put the resident riddler to shame. Alas, it was not going to happen, the riddle was hard, and well, Ember had a more direct approach of thinking which was a riddle answerer's worst enemy.
    "A Squash!" Ember lashed out in vain, and Johan leapt to action. This was his wife's party and she would not be defeated like this. He handed Gollie one of the cakes and burst in the door, engaging the battle.

    "Nae fear me wife I am bein here. Get yas away from me wife yas riddlin fiends. I be havin cakes and nae scared to be usin them. Face me! Yas riddles are mere halfling play!" Johan shouted and held aloft a cake. He then drew his arm back and was prepared to release his deadly but delicious attack.

    "NAE ME CAKES!! ANYTING BOTS ME CAKES!" Ember shouted. Johan looked at the beleaguered face of his wife and then rushed to her side. He handed her the cake with a gentle smile.

    "Nae worries me lil cherry popover, may I be havin a dance with the most beautiful lass, that bein yas I tells, after I be dealin with these rogues?" Johan said with charm and grace unbefitting him in public eyes, but Ember knew of it, and knew this side of Johan well behind closed doors. Johan turned to face the troll and gnome who had been stunned by the attack, but regrouped and started their assault again.

    "Well Johan, if youse think youse can solve this riddle that even a sphinx ran from, youse go ahead or claim defeat." Quibblebonez barked.

    "PAH! A dopey kobold could be comin up with better I tells yas. Errr, nae offense Bill I be talkin about those other kobolds, uhmm, the dopey ones. Yas come to do battle with me wife which means yas come to do battle with me I tells yas." Johan roared back.

    "Stop your stalling Hugh, and answer if you can." Reenie chimed in. Johan looked at the two and the apparent double team he was facing. His poor wife had been ruffled by them already so he was on his own, and then it hit him. A grin parted his lips as his mind raced with halfling speed, Johan's wisdom shone forth; even his foolishness could not stop it.

    "I be havin no color, though there may be darkness within. I be havin no weight and be holdin nothing, and if placed in a container it becomes all the lighter." Johan answered with the rarely seen answer a riddle with a riddle move. It proved a devastating attack against the supposedly invulnerable defense of Reenie and Quibblebonez. Johan looked over at Ember who stared at him with the "has your cuckoo finally flown its coop" look. So profound was Johan tone and resolve it stopped the party dead in its tracks. Everyone looked at Johan. Had he finally lost it? Reenie and Quibblebonez stared blankly at each other and then at Johan who was the only one with a wicked grin on his face. He answered a riddle with a riddle; this was not a move of a novice but a master or a fool. Only if the answer riddle led directly to the question riddle's answer would Johan claim victory. But worse still if the riddlers could not answer the riddle answerer's riddle then they would lose in the worse way possible. They not only could not stump, but in turn were stumped. It was soon clear that neither of them knew the answer, so their only hope was that Johan had lost it and was bluffing.

    "I call your buff, your riddle has no answer and our riddle remains unanswered." Reenie said meekly, though he tried to come off tough. Quibblebonez was still in a daze along with the rest of the party goers.

    "Eh yas say, so yas are tellin me that a COFFIN, that bein the answer to yas riddle, is nae ever bein found in a HOLE, that bein the answer to me riddle?" Johan said in victory, and in the second after Johan answered the tavern erupted into a deafening cheer. It was as if the room was in a dark cave, and Johan's answer was the light spell which allowed them to see. Johan was no fool, and now everyone knew it. Everyone but Ember, for the simple fact that she always knew. Her beaming smile showed Johan all he needed to know. She was proud of him. Johan kissed his wife sweetly on the lips and told her he would be right back for that dance. He then went to the bar, got two large drafts and walked back over to Reenie and Quibblebonez who had not moved even though the party had started back in full swing. He handed them each a tankard.

    "Nae worries lads, this be a party remember, and yas two are still bein the bestest opponents a halfling could have. No honor lost, but I be feelin a rematch is now in the making. Go have fun and be eatin some cake, yas be havin no idea what I to be goin through to get those." Johan said with a smile. Quibblebonez was the first to act and laugh a big toothy laugh and emptied his whole tankard with one swallow. Reenie then laughed gave Johan a slap on the back and then they joined the party. Johan turned to his beaming wife.

    "So me wonderful wife, may I be havin that dance now?" Johan said with a smile and bowed deeply to Ember.
  15. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone

    Oct 23, 2002
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    This is fun. I always look forward to new installments!
  16. Emberglow Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 5, 2003
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    Chapter VII

    "Victory or Defeat?"

    As soon as Ember opened her mouth and uttered those two words, she knew she had lost the battle.

    A squash, wot wuz me tinkin?? Shurely me cud o’ comes up wit sumtin better den dat, now me goose be cooked or shud me says me squash?

    Then, like a knight on a white charger, Johan burst through the door, with his wits sharp he challenged the Riddlers Two…with her cakes!!

    “NAE ME CAKES!! ANYTING BOTS ME CAKES!” Her loud cry stopped Johan in his tracks. Looking a bit ashamed he hurried to her side and gently handed her the cake he had been carrying. He reassured her and then asked her for a dance after he tended to the Riddlers Two. Unable to stay annoyed with her husband, Ember smiled and nodded her thanks for her quick rescue.

    Quibblebonez and Reenie, stunned into silence just a moment ago had found their voices and challenged the Halfling anew.

    Oh, me hunni has comes tae hiz lady’s defense, now we will sees who be da best at answerin’ riddles. Me kens me Johan be da best, bout time da otters see dat too.

    The rest of the party guests sat silent and spellbound as the Riddlers Two threw insults at the Halfling and the Halfling returned the barrage with audacity. Everyone knew this was going to be a hard fought battle, but only Ember knew who would be victorious. She had seen Johan in action before.

    The very air was full of tension, then...
    "I be havin no color, though there may be darkness within. I be havin no weight and be holdin nothing, and if placed in a container it becomes all the lighter."

    Johan had done the unthinkable. He used the answer a riddle with a riddle gambit. What a stoke of genius or foolishness. Ember looked at her husband, her mouth agape, what a Halfling! Fearless! The entire room was still waiting for one of the combatants to flinch, why even the brothers, Hob and Bob sat dazed and quiet.
    Reenie broke the silence, calling Johan’s bluff. Oh, poor foolish Gnome, defeat is but a word away.

    "Eh yas say, so yas are tellin me that a COFFIN, that bein the answer to yas riddle, is nae ever bein found in a HOLE, that bein the answer to me riddle?"

    The room exploded in cheers and shouts. Triumphantly, Johan turned and acknowledged his audience. Ember wore a big grin and the pride she felt for her husband was written over her face. Kissing her on the lips, he told her he would be right back to claim that dance. He brought two tankards to the defeated Riddlers Two and bid them to drink. Good losers that they were, they accepted graciously and the party was soon running at full tilt.

    Johan again was at his wife’s side asking for that dance. Ember took his hand and they walked to the middle of the floor, then wrapping his arm around Ember’s waist as she took his hand, they begin their victory dance. Soon Shimtadly asked Quibblebonez to dance, then the Ressins joined in, even Hob and Bob were dancing...with each other.

    Suddenly, a shadow darkened the doorway to the tavern. The dancing stopped and all eyes looked toward the door. As the door swung open, a foot was thrust forward...a green slippered foot! It was Mistress D’Kali’s shoe; no one else had such a long and pointed foot. The slipper was followed by her body. Her gown was orange, her cape red and her hat purple. It was a well known fact in Sweet Hollyhocks that Mistress D’Kali could not distinguish colors and her choice of hues was always fuel for gossip. She also had a strange affection for pipe weed. The smell of her burning pipe always preceded her.

    Once in the door, she looked around and spotting Ember and Johan, made her way to them. She was trailed by her mate of the month, a human male...no one knew his name. He was tall and thin, much like his paramour, and he had black curly hair and sported a goatee.

    Oh, me, maybees da mistress be nice tonoche und provokes nae trooble? Aye, und me tinks me jest saw a piggy flyin too.

    Pulling back from each other, Johan and Ember forced smiles, and then Ember said…

    “Welkum, Mistress D’Kali...und yer frend. Makes yerselves comfortable Millie will be over wit sum ale und snackies.”
  17. Riccan Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 3, 2003
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    "Enter the Peacock Queen"

    Johan could not have been any more happier than he was now. With his darling wife up close to him, his hand around her enticing waist, and her eyes, oh, her sparkling eyes. Johan fell in love with her all over again. If they were not in the middle of their lovely dance he would have bounced off and started his customary Donkey Courting Dance to woo Ember even more.

    Every Halfling shire has a customary courting dance which the single lads would dance, wildly in some cases, in front of the single lasses in a fashion that was according to the local animal flavor. Needless to say Johan's Shire's animal was the donkey, so the Donkey Courting Dance was his alone. Basically it involved the lads running real fast and jumping in the air, bucking out their legs and going HEE-HAW HEE-HAW as loud as they could, all the while putting their hands on the top of their heads to make donkey ears. The higher one jumped and the louder one HEE-HAW'ed the more the lasses would share their pies with these stud muffins. You see, the lads had the dance while the lasses had their hearths. Who ever said the quickest way to a man's heart is through the stomach must have been married to a Halfling, and the lasses only shared their best pies with the best dancers. Now without tooting his own horn too much, Johan did not get his sexy round Halfling belly by being the worse jumper and HEE-HAW'er. In fact, some would say Johan had a continual jump spell up on him as well as a vocalization spell. His jump came only second to his tremendous HEE-HAW HEE-HAW. In his shire Johan was one fine catch and many a lass wanted to share more than bake goods with him. None could match Emberglow though, he had the best lass of them all.

    Memories flashed in his head of the first time Johan did his dance for Ember. He could see her face as clearly now as he did then. Her eyes were wide with delight, her mouth opened in amazement as she stood there in utter entrancement. Then when the rest of her immediate family came in she got bashful and started to blush a deep red. Her sweet lips were trembling, her nostrils flared, she was so excited her fists and body were trembling and her eyes narrowed with sparkling glee. Johan knew right away her mother liked him, because she just looked at him with the same eyes wide open and jaw dropped stare. Her father was so overjoyed that he threw his hands up in the air and was thanking the gods for granting him such a great future son-in-law. The rest of her family had similar reactions and by the end of the dance they were calling him a 'aft 'idjit or something like that which most have meant he was a very special person and this just proved his feelings that they all liked him very much. Johan could not speak dwarven and still could not actually, but Ember translated it for him when he asked what it meant.

    The party continued. Everyone was in full swing and everything was going great, until everything and one came to a sudden stop. Ember was the first to notice and react, it seemed Mistress D'Kali, the Queen of Peacocks as Johan refered her when she is not in ear shot, had chosen to come after all. Ember was quick with a greeting and Johan followed suit by hurrying over to the bar and getting two tankards of Ember's self made special ale. He rushed over to her and took her cape and hat and handed Queen Peacock and her pet each a tankard.

    "Here yas goes Lady Ma'am. This be Ember's finest brew she ever been brewin. She saved it special for this party." Johan said with a proud smile and looked back to Ember and gave her a wink. Mistress D'Kali and her man of the week each took a long drink. The man seemed to really enjoy it until the Queen Peacock spoke.

    "Really now, if I knew swill was being served, I would have brought something better for me to drink. Take this foul waste away, the very smell of it makes want to retch. I now know why I never come here, though the poor seem to enjoy it, or more the point it is all they can afford." Mistress D'Kali said with a mock high class drivel. Johan took the tankards and started walking back to the bar mumbling under his breath.

    "Call me wife's ale swill eh, I be gettin yas some swill yas -----" Johan was stopped by a stern stare by Ember which warmed to a smile. This was her party and Johan was not going to let that witch ruin it for his wife. The music started up and the dancing continued. Mistress D'Kali sat down at a table and looked in disgust for the fact someone had spilled some ale on it. She yawned a few times in boredom and just sat there watching. After a bit Johan stopped the music and made an announcement.

    "Alrighty lads and lasses, it be bein a tradition of me Shire that at every tavern openin we play the classic game, 'Put the Blind Folded, Half Drunk Lass in the Middle of the Lads and She Has to Kiss One Game'" Johan finished and a great many cheers rang out, oddly enough it was mostly the fellas.

    "And since it be bein her party, I be sayin me very own wife Emberglow Hugh, be the very first lass in the circle and by the way ifin I be seein gropin hands ifin yas are the ever so lucky lad to get a kiss from me sweet wife, yas will nae be keepin them long eh! And Quibble just because yas can be growin them back in no time nae mean I won't take a torch to yas either!" Johan said with a loud joyous laugh and patted his ever present sword, Faeguard, which did not hide the fact he was serious. The rest of the lads laughed along with him and knew he was telling the truth. Johan looked over to Ember.

    "In the circle me Sweetcakes" Johan said as all the men in the room made a circle as Johan moved to blindfold her.
  18. Emberglow Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Chapter VIII

    "Donkey Dancin"

    "Welkum, Mistress D’Kali, ummm, und yer frend. Makes yerselves comfortable, me will sends Millie over wit sum ale und snackies.”

    "Uhoh, me haz hopes da “Queen o’ da Peacocks” wud skips da party, bot it looks likes me wuz wrong. Dere she stands bright as a parroot wit her lad o’ da day. Ack! Well, me nae lets da likes o’ her spoils me party."

    After her husband took two tankards over to the Mistress and her friend and after the Queen Peacock made some nasty remarks about Ember’s special ale, Johan rejoined his wife so they could continue their dance.

    As they twirled around the wooden floor, Ember could not help but remember Johan’s Donkey Wooing Dance.

    "Me members it well. It wuz a vera speshall evening, da Halflings calls it Da Noche o’ Wooin” und all da single lads und lasses gatters around da fire und da lads dance und da lasses brings dere best confecshuns. Johan und da otter Halfling lads be jumpin’ around da fire likes drunken froggies, wen all o’ a sudden me hunni takes a runnin start, leaps high in da air wit hiz legs bucking und kickin, shoutin at da top o’ hiz voice “HEEHAW, HEEHAW” wit hiz hands flappin aboots his ears, well, me kens in a hartbeat dat dis lad be daft. Vera, vera daft!

    Now, cuz dis be a grand ting, me had invited me Mam und Pap tae da festivities. Mam jest stood dere, und iffin her mouth be opened any wider she be catchin flies as she watched da wooin' dance. Pap wuz busy prayin tae Brell...me tinks he be prayin dat Johan nae be me taerin, dat it be anutter lad. Und me, well, me wuz tryin hard nae to laugh, bot me wuz shakin so much me feers me wud wee me pants. Soon, bot nae soon enuf, da wooin dance stopped und Johan bounced over tae us. Mam und Pap were speechless, wich wuz a goot ting und me jest smiled at me hunni, da teers runnin down me cheeks. Lucky fer me, Johan thought dat da teers be o’ joy (und in a way dey were) he wuz so happy dat me liked da dance he dropped tae hiz knees rite dere und den und asks me tae marries him.

    Pap opened hiz mouth den und starts tae says nae daughter o’ hiz be marryin’ an idjit likes dat und poor Mam wuz cryin. Me explanes tae Johan dat dis wuz indeed high praise frum Pap und Mam dat dey be happies as turtels wit dis turn o’ events. Me tanks da gods Johan nae understand Drorf. Oh, dey be great memories."

    Just as her reminisces ended, so did the dance. Johan walked away from her and stood in the middle of the floor and announced…

    "Alrighty lads and lasses, it be bein a tradition of me shire that at every tavern openin we play the classic game, 'Put the Blind Folded, Half Drunk Lass in the Middle of the Lads and She Has to Kiss One Game.’ And since it be bein her party, I be sayin me very own wife Emberglow Hugh, be the very first lass in the circle”

    “WOT! Oh, Johan, picks anutter tae goes furst, me be too shy.” Emberglow hoped this ploy would help her avoid the game, but alas, no such luck, before she knew it she was in the center of a circle and blindfolded.

    "Maybees me kin teach dat huzband o’ mine a lesson, me tinks me will picks ummm, Gollie! Den me gives him a real goot kiss, see wot Johan doos den! Me hopes me members whar Gollie be standin."

    Johan took Ember by the shoulders and spun her around, then walked away, a smug grin plastered all over his face. Ember moved slowly, listening and sniffing. Unfortunately, all she could smell was the malodorous aroma of Mistress D’Kali’s pipe weed which masked the spice and woody odor of Johan. She would have to rely on her ears...and excellent ears they were(pretty too); she was able to hear a rabbit moving through the bushes at a hundred paces.

    Concentrating, Ember could easily hear Hob and Bob, whistling through their noses, Quibblebonez breathing through his mouth and the soft panting of Reenie, and so on. What she was listening for was Johan’s deep, easy breathing and Gollie’s puffing exhales. Narrowing her choices, she stood before her love and Gollie. Turning toward the puffing Gollie, Ember heard the sharp intake of breath to her right...Johan! Reaching out with her right hand, she grabbed Johan by his arm and pulled him close.

    “Oh, Gollie, me haz always wanted tae kiss ye, ye big hunk o’ a Halfling. Comes heer, me sweet baker.”

    Just as she is about to kiss her husband, pretending it is Gollie, a voice interrupts...

    “Par’don me, but I have traveled far and long and I am very weary. Do you have a room?”

    [ July 15, 2003, 02:52: Message edited by: Emberglow ]
  19. Riccan Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 3, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Johan turned to face the new arrival and was about to say 'yas bet we be havin some room come on in' but he was interrupted by a tidal wave of Halflings flooding into the tavern. The stranger was like a solid pillar of stone and the surge of Halflings split around him and continued into the main hall with hoots and hollers abounding. There must have been twenty or so of them for they soon outnumbered all the other party guests. The last Halfling in was Rumpin.

    He walked right up to Johan and Ember and shook Johan's hand.

    "Johan lad, I done found them all I tells yas. Ah, this be the dwarven Mrs. eh? Yas were right Johan, she be pretty as a peach I tells yas, yas did a smack up job in landing her. But where be me manners. Mrs. Hugh, I be Rumpin Crop and I tells yas now me and me Cocks are at your service." Rumpin finished and bowed to Ember. Johan looked over quickly and saw Ember's wide eyed look, and it sure looked like she was about to lay into Rumpin with a roundhouse until Johan chimed in...

    "Aye me sweet, this is the famed Rumpin Crop and his band called the Fighting Cocks after his Shire of Whickenburg, which the chicken is the symbol, eh." Johan quickly defused the possibility of misunderstanding. Ember, much to her credit, pulled a smile from a scowl said hello and excused herself to greet the stranger.

    Rumpin joined the rest of the party goers and it was soon clear to Johan that the presence of many single lasses, and some of them even attractive, was going to be quite a stir as soon as more ale was consumed...but hey, it was a party after all.
  20. Emberglow Gems: 2/31
    Latest gem: Fire Agate

    Jun 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Chapter IX

    "A Rooster by Any Other Name"

    “Par’don me, I have traveled far and long and am very weary. Do you have a room?”

    When Ember heard the strange voice, she quickly backed away from Johan and turned toward the door.

    “Wot doos we haz heer? A gangler fer shure, doe he be a vera roly-poly one, und looks at da moostaches!!

    As Emberglow looked at the stranger, her eyes were glued to his facial hair and his perfectly round bald head. She had never seen a mustache like his, curling up at the ends like a pig’s tail. He was dressed in gray pants and cloak and was carry a walking stick.

    Ember was about to greet the odd gangler when he was overrun by a horde of Halflings as they spilled through the doorway. Shouting and yelling over one another, hooting and hollering. In less than a minute the tavern was in bedlam. Ember looked on curiously when the last Halfling in the door marched right up to Johan and shook his hand.

    “Oh, dat silly custom da halflings haz o’ takin anutter’s hand and shakin’ it up den down. Doe, if me tinks on it, dey cud lines up und sits on milkin stools und dey wul haz a whole herd milked lickety-split. Dat be a fine idea, hummm…pretty as a peech? Ummmm, me tinks me likes dis Rumpin, he haz goot taste. WOT?? Wot he be sayin? Oh, me haz nae heers him rite, me heers da werd wrong. Me blushin’ likes a new bride. O’ all da gall, he nae kens dere be lasses heer? Me tinks dis Halfling deserves a goot hard bonk on hiz hed und me jest da drorf tae doos it!”

    Ember’s face showed her indignation while she bent up her arm to deliver a well deserved blow. But then, when Johan explained what was meant, she stopped mid movement, her scowl changed into a bright smile while her arm continued to reach for Rumpkin’s hand...for a handshake.

    Once the introductions were over with, Ember welcomed Rumpin and the Fighting Cocks, but before she could utter her invitation to stay for the party, she noticed the horde of Halflings had already intermingled with the guests.

    Hob and Nob were out of their chairs performing some kind of demented jig with a few of the Halflings; it consisted of one brother or Halfling leap-frogging over another, then spinning around like tops, could it be a chicken wooing dance? Shimtadly was twirling around the dance floor with Rumpin. Reenie and Gollie were in a red faced battle of riddles with some of the other Fighting Cocks and the Ressins were dancing cheek to cheek. Millie and Mollie, were blushing with pleasure as some of the Halflings hooted their appreciation for two lovely specimens of dwarven lasshood. They were rushing here and there supplying drinks and snacks.

    The only discordant note of the evening was Mistress D’ Kali and her smarmy paramour. Sitting apart, a dark scowl on her face and the ever present pipe smoke swirling about her head, Mistress D’Kali watched the festivities. Her escort, the nameless one, had a small smile on his lips and when Mollie neared their table with some tankards, his smile became brighter, but when the Mistress waved the serving wench away with a dismissive gesture, his smile faded.

    The din in the tavern had reached deafening heights as Ember made her way to the stranger. Shouting above the noise, she said...

    “Grettins Sir, as ye cin sees we be havin’ a party dis noche, ye be more den welkum tae joins us.”

    Shaking his head, the newcomer, who was only slightly taller than Ember, replied, “Thank you for your kind offer, Lady, but I am tired. Perhaps a light supper and a warm bed?”

    “Aye, me fixes ye rite up, doe metinks ye be gettin liddle rest wit all dis noise.”

    Leaning close so she would hear him, he said, “Never fear, Dear Lady, I will sleep.”

    He followed her to the desk while Ember opened the guest book and handed him a quill, “Please sign da book, me will gives ye a back room, whar da festivities will be a bit more muffled.”

    After signing the register, Ember led him to his room, assuring him, Millie would be up shortly with some hot food.

    “Iffin ye changes yer mind, ye be welkum at da party. Goot Noche.”

    Returning downstairs, Ember stopped at the desk and read the flowing handwriting of their new guest... Herkule Parrot
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