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Old 02-13-2011, 05:28 PM   #362
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
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Behind Rusco, the big oak door at the rear of the inn swung open, creaking. Mellonin frowned, a little; Morien the innkeeper had always insisted on well-greased, quiet hinges. But she spoke to Rusco cheerily and gave him a sweet smile. "Thank you! Perhaps when word gets out that your ale has arrived, we'll have a few more visitors! There is room for your pair in the stable, around the side. There are some rags hanging on the last stall door you can wipe them down with. Wash the rags when you are done and hang them back on the door as you found them. Your name?"

"Rusco, " he replied, and she nodded.

She bustled past, opened a cupboard, found a jar of oil, and went back to the oak door hinges, and dripped some oil on them til they were quiet, and then replaced the jar of oil. She motioned Rusco out to the stables, and showed him where to put his cart and harnesses. "The hay is free, but if you want grain for the mules, it comes at a price."

Rusco shook his head. "No fear, ma'am, Whitefoot and Twitch are easy keepers."

"You'll join us soon, then," she said. "Do come back into the common room. I saw the loremistress headed this way. Let me know if you need anything else." She hurried back into the inn, and went inside, and through into the common room. Her dark hair, half braided and half cut short, was growing out, and she shook away the wisps that covered her grey-green-blue eyes.

Morien the innkeeper was not there; apparently he had not come back from his journey to the southen vineyards yet. But there were Mistress Bethberry, Loremistress Estelyn, a man from the north, and-- my goodness!-- two halflings! She smiled with delight as she stepped into the rim of the firelight.

"Can I fetch anything?" she said with a curtesy, as Loremistress Estelyn met her gaze.

Estelyn raised an eyebrow. "You'll join us, " she said, "when you may, for there are some questions being raised that a young loremistress might want to hear."

"Oh-- oh, yes, Milady, " said Mellonin with another curtesy.

Estelyn waved her off. "Bethberry says there is food in the kitchen?"

"Stew and bread, Mellonin. Mind you the bowls are cold."

Mellonin swept into the kitchen and put six empty earthen bowls in the hearth to warm, and then as an afterthought fetched a seventh for the man with the pair of mules. Just in time; he came in through the back door, and eyed the bowls hopefully.

"Wash your hands, " she said, waving to the pump handle. He nodded, and did a fair job of it. "There is bread in the oven; put it on this plate; cloths over there, knife there. " She ladled hot soup from the hanging kettle into the rapidly warming bowls. Soon she had a tray of four bowls, and Rusco had the bread and the knife on the plate. She fetched seven spoons, and Rusco followed Mellonin through the door into the common room. She gave the stew to the shivering halflings first, then to the man from the north, and the fourth to the slightly startled Rusco. Then she returned with the three other bowls, served Bethberry and Estelyn, picked up her own spoon, and all seven set happily to their stew and bread.

Last edited by mark12_30; 02-14-2011 at 01:34 PM. Reason: I suppose it's asking a bit much for the Seventh Star to have a wood-burning cooking stove... edited to a hearth and kettle.
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