Child of the Moon - Morning's Events

[Rose Thorn]

Morning came and the first ray of light shone in on her room. She awoke when she heard a strange bumping sounds. Jumping up, she had both swords in hand and was looking about the room. Jumping over to the door, she still found it locked. Dropping her fighting stance, she looked over and heard sounds coming from her clothes. Somehow her clothes had found their way onto the floor, and something was moving underneath them. Walking over and reaching out with one of her swords, she threw back her pants. Then she sat down in the middle of the room and started laughing.

::It's not funny!::

"*laughter* Wha... what were you doing under my clothes. Or should I ask Why?"

::Never mind! Just help me out of here. My foot's stuck!:: "Not until you tell me what's going on." Rose sat there with her feet crossed and her hands under her chin. "Well?? I am waiting."

::You're going to catch cold sitting there with no clothes on.:: "Quit changing the subject."

::I was dreaming. Happy now?::

"About?..." She knew that Mysty had dreams about chasing things. Most owls stayed up all night and slept during the day. Not Mysty. She was afraid she would miss something.

::About the little Sprite. I was chasing her and she ran into a hollow tree. I went in after her and found myself stuck. That's when you heard the noise. I fell onto your clothes and wrapped myself in them. Then I fell on the floor trying to get out. Now are you happy?::

"*Giggle* Yes. I am. Now hold still and I will get your foot free. You didn't soil anything did you?"

::WELL!! I never...!:: Mysty turned and looked away.

"Sorry. I was just teasing you."

::Some tease. I have never asked you that. Have I?:: Mysty turned back around and fluffed her feathers. Rose knew then that she was upset.

"No. And I said I was sorry . Now hold still." Rose crawled over on her hands and knees and undid Mysty's talons from her clothes, picked her up and placed her back on the table. "Is that better? Will you forgive me?"

::Yes. This time. But you messed my feathers again:: Mysty yawned once again and then blinked her small black eyes. Then she sat about preening her feathers so that they would lay back where they belonged.

::I am hungry. Can we go down and get something to eat? Do you think Hugh would have anything there for me?::

"Let me get dressed and we will see. He might have some bird seed." Rose chuckled and watched as Mysty shuttered.

::Bird seed? Yuck!! That's for... for the birds!::

"And you are...??"

::If you have not noticed these last few years, but I am an Owl. A spotted snow owl to be exact::

"Spotted?? Since when?"

::Do not go there! You know what I mean::

"I do? Well then. Enlighten me, old wise one." Rose took her clothes and started dressing.

::You know fully well that I will not get my spots until I can right a wrong. Why do you think I found you when I did?::

Rose stopped dressing and gave Mysty a funny look. "You found me? I think it was the other way around."

::That's your story. Not mine. But until a wrong has been set right, I will not receive my spots.::

"But all the other wrongs we have fixed over the years. What happened to those?"

::They were not the right wrong. Or would it be the wrong right? See!! Now you have me confused. You're always doing that.::

"Sorry... Gee. I was only asking." Rose finished dressing and bent down so Mysty could climb back on her shoulder.

"Look how late it is! Why didn't you wake me earlier? The others are at the table by now. I bet they think I am not worthy to be in their quest. Getting up this late in the morning. Thanks a lot!"

::Hey! It was not my idea to talk to the Lady long into the night. And you did not tell me to wake you at morning light. Remember I was already asleep before you left the Lady. So it's not my fault you slept in ::

"You know you're leaving talon marks in my cloak."

::Yes, but they disappear when I leave.::

"True. Are you ready to meet the others? "

::Yes. Did you know that one in the group is a gargoyle? I think his name is Cali. A strange looking creature, but very intelligent::

"Oh really! He might have been the one I saw flying over the city. Who else have you seen in this little group?"

::Well there is a Major in the Queens army. He is quite a looker. And two young men also. One is a bit clumsy while the other is a bit shy. I think they are called Beldon and Seth. Both of them are good looking as well. Then there is a goddess. She is a bit stuck up. But she is starting to mellow out. You met the Lady last night and Tizzy, the Sprite. I overheard while playing with Tizzy that the lady has no real name. Everyone calls her "the Lady". Something to do with death not being able to find her or something like that.::

"Oooookay! Anything else?" Rose was walking out of her room. She had everything she needed. If she needed anything else, she would buy it, or steal it.

::Oh! There is one thing else. The one called Seth carries a living bow. Her name is Selina. And yes, she can hear us as well. So do not be surprised if you hear the others use mind speech as well.::

"Well I knew it was not something everyone had. Look at you!"

::Haha. I have mind speech because... Because I do. You have it too you know!::


::You know what I mean. Now there they all are. Sitting by the fire. Why don't you walk up and say hello.::

"You are right about the Major. He is rather handsome. And so regal. The others are not so bad looking ether. I see what you mean about the one called Cali. He is a big one. You say he is intelligent? That would be a first. But I guess its how he was raised. He does look kinda cute though." Rose licked her lips and smiled.

::Now behave yourself. You do not know if any of them are single. Anyway we are here to help these people. Not bed them. Now go up and say hello.::

"Don't rush me. Why don't you fly down and say hello. Kinda break the ice."

::Oh no! Last time I did that, the guy thought I was his dinner and tried to eat me! Feathers and all. I am not going to do that again. You go. This was your idea. Not mine::

Mysty turned her head away and waited.

"You are spoiled." Rose laughed and walked over to the group. She smiled her sexiest smile and she let her cloak fall open.

::Oh brother! What are you trying to do? Scare them all away? Or make the ladies jealous? Remember. No fighting in the Inn. So pull your fingernails in. Who knows. The ladies might already have their eyes on the men. So behave yourself.::

~Hush! I know what I am doing.~

::That would be a first.:: Mysty turned her head around and faced away from her. She was pouting once again.

"Hello. Would you all by chance be the warriors that are searching for a small child? I talked to the young lady here last night and she has asked me to join her in her quest. I am searching for something myself."

Rose looked about the table and then down at the Major.

"Would you be the Major?"

Rose blushed and pulled a chair out and sat down. She crossed her legs and smiled.

"I hope I am not bothering you. I was told that I would be meeting everyone here this morning. I think I am a bit late."

Before anyone could answer, Sera came over and asked for her order. Rose looked at the others before she ordered. She was hoping that they had already made their choices.

"If you have it, I would like a good breakfast. Eggs, bacon, toast and a few slices of your best ham. Oh, and something to drink. Any sweet wine that Hugh has will do."

::What about me??:: Mysty turned her head back and looked at Sera.

"Oh and some raw meat cut in strips for her. And a small bowl of ale." Sera gave her a strange look and Rose laughed.

"Mysty can't use a glass. Her feet are too short. So the bowl will work for her."

"Oh. I was wondering about that. I understand now. It would be like a bird bath?" Sera smiled and went back to get the drinks.

::A bird Bath? Well I never... I can use a glass, but you would have to hold it.::

"I know. But this will make it easier. Oh! Forgive me. I have yet to introduce myself. I am Rose Thorn. My little friend here is Mysty.

::Pleased to meet you all!:: Mysty blinked her small black eyes and then yawned:: Oh! Excuse me. I did not get much sleep last night. Rose Thorn snores!::


::Well you do!::

"I might, but you should not tell everyone. It's not polite.::

::Well you tell everyone I snore.::

"Sorry Everyone. She likes to babble on sometimes." Looking around the table, Rose noticed that the Major did not have a drink in front of him. Trying to be polite, she asked him, "Might I offer to buy you a drink?"

Rose smiled and waited for Sera to get back with her wine.

~He is kinda cute. For a Major. I wonder if he is single?~

::Rose Thorn. Behave yourself!::

Rose took a deep sigh and waited for the Major to speak.

[The Major]

Most soldiers, particularly those in the cavalry, can sleep while still remaining somewhat alert. Major Ashbury Cooper was no exception. His dozing was not intentional, but he had been up most of the night. With rumors that the notorious Das'Raje Clan was nearby, the Major had spent the night outside of the Lady's room, keeping watch over her welfare. When morning had hinted at it's arrival with dim lances of sunlight piercing the sky, the Major had gone down to the bar, and ended up napping in a chair near the fire.

When the lady's first words reached his ears, the Major's eyes popped open and he bolted upright, aware that he must look most unpresentable after falling asleep in a chair. A bit flustered, the Major stands before Rose in his formal black uniform, complete with a slender, curved saber strapped to his side.

"Forgive my... state, madam. I was not expecting any company for some time."

Experience with formality, mostly learned from the Major's ventures at court, take over and he goes through the social conventions with a graceful ease.

"Yes, I am Major Ashbury Cooper, of Her Majesty's 2nd Light Horse, and your humble servant." The Major delicately takes her smaller hand in his, and brings it to his lips for a brief moment.

"No, madam, it is never too early for such lovely company." The Major says, settling into the conversation after his awakening. "I do hope the sorry condition of my uniform does not offend you."

[ Rose Thorn]

"No... No not at all. You look rather handsome sitting there and I did not notice that you were dosing off. I hope that I have not disturbed your rest. Please forgive me." She blushed when the Major kissed her hand.

::Such a gentleman. You do not see that much anymore. He is a keeper.::

~Mysty!! Hush! You were the one telling me to behave. Now look at you.~

::Well! If I was human , I would be more than happy to snag onto him. He could feather my nest anytime::


Rose watched as she fluffed her wings and turned her head away once more.

"You will have to excuse her. She's a bit shy. Now about that drink. The offer still goes."

[ The Major]

The Major balks visibly at the idea that a woman would buy him a drink. As all of the Major's experience with women has been with refined Southern women at court, he is not quite sure how to handle this query. Running a hand through his dark hair, the handsome but somewhat flustered soldier searches for a response.

"Ah, madam, I fear it is a bit early in the day for me. Thank you for your company, but if you'll excuse me..." Giving a curt bow, the Major quickly makes for the exit.

[ Rose Thorn]

After offering to by a drink for him, she noticed that he became flustered. Before she had a chance to say anything he excused himself and started to walk away.

::See!! Look what you've done. You scared the poor man away. Well?? J ust don't sit there, Go after him. Gee do I have to do it for you?::

Rose jumped up and almost knocked Mysty off her shoulder. Mysty had to back flap her wings to keep from falling.

"Excuse me everyone. I will be right back"

She ran up and touched the Major's shoulder.

"Major! Please. Come back and sit with us. I am new here and have not met many friends. Except for Hugh and the Lady. I am sorry if I have offended you when I offered to buy you a drink. I was not trying to pick you up or anything..."

::You better quit while you're ahead. Or he will be running away and not walking.::

~ Perhaps you're right~

Looking into the Major's eyes and seeing something she smiled and said, "Please," in her softest voice and gave him the lost puppy dog look. She even bit her lip and blushed.

::Oh brother. Do you think that will work on a Major in the queens Army?::

~It's worth a try. I do not see you doing anything better.~

::Well I do not have your smile and your eyes.:: Mysty turned and noticed that Sera had placed their breakfast on the table.

::I am going back to the table to eat. You can try to get the Major back. Let us hope you have not scared him away for good!:: Dropping off Rose's shoulder, she flew over to the table. Fresh meat was set on a plate with a cold bowl of ale next to it. Other platters of food was there as well, along with Roses drink.

::Rose! Your breakfast is getting cold. You need to hurry. It looks great. EGGS?? You ordered Eggs?? In front of me? Scavenger!! Brute!...:: She went on and on until Rose told her to hush.

"Major... Please? Breakfast is here and I would be more than happy to share it with you. Perhaps Hugh could bring us a spot of tea. Would that be better?"

Taking the Major's hand, she started pulling him back to the table." Anyway. you can not leave. What do you think the others would say? A Major in the Queen's army afraid of a shy little girl?"

She walked backwards all the while smiling and pulling the Major back to the table. "I promise I will not bite."

::Oh great! Now you're going to scare the poor man to death. Why don't you just take your blade and run him through?:: Mysty took a drink from the bowl. ::Not bad ale.:: She took a bit more, each time tipping her head back whenever she got a beak full.


She smiled back at the Major. She was hoping someone else would say something to set his mind at ease.

[ The Major]

"It's my honor, madam." Southern chivalry kicks in again as the Major offers her his arm and returns to the breakfast table. Waiting to allow her to sit before he does, the Major lowers himself carefully into his seat.

"I confess I don't often come into contact with ladies outside of military functions... Please, do forgive my poor conduct." Studying her quietly with his clear green eyes, the Major tugs absently at the gold braid on his uniform. "I'm afraid my introduction has been somewhat incomplete. As I said, I am Major Ashbury Cooper of Her Majesty's 2nd Light Horse. Those are the Coopers from the House of Ashley, along the Dannon River," he notes, speaking with a quiet sort of pride. Without asking, the Major twists in his seat and beckons the waitress over. Quietly whispering to her, the Major pays her for Rose's meal, without any fanfare or bluster.

[ Rose Thorn]

Rose sat back down and waited for the Major to do the same. She did not notice that the Major was paying for her meal. She thought that he was ordering a drink.

"You must have a wonderful family. They have raised you well. I have not heard of that family, but I can see in your eyes that you are proud to be a part of them. It's nice to know that you will always have family to come home to." Rose took in a deep sigh and started nibbling on her breakfast. She didn't touch the eggs, because Mysty was watching her. After the scolding she received for even ordering them she decided not to touch them. She only hoped that the others didn't order eggs as well.

::This meat is very tasty. Care for some?:: Mysty was taking her talons and holding the meat down while she tore small bits off and flipping them into the air and swallowing them down.

"Mysty! Where are your manners? Chew your food. And quit throwing it up in the air. I am sure the others do not wish to see it."

::Then tell them not to look. You know I can not chew. I have no teeth. I have a beak! Now turn away because here goes another one!

"Sorry. She has better manners but it has been a while since we were with company."

::Well? Is anyone else going to introduce themselves? Or is the Major the only one brave enough to step up and do so::

"Mysty! Behave yourself. They will get to it in their own time. We have until the end of the quest you know."

::Unless we get killed along the way. Well you anyway. I know better!:: *Burp* Wow! I didn't see that one coming::

She looked over at the Major and blinked her small black eyes at him.

Mysty sent to the Major, ::And you my good man can feather my nest any time!::

She then walked up onto the Major's shoulder and started rubbing her feathered cheek against his, and started hooting softly.

"Mystyruspektroth!!" Rose reached up and started to pull her away, but Mysty tried to bite her.

::He`s mine!! Go find your own!:: *Burp* ::Let's say me and you go some place quiet. What say you big boy?::

All Rose could do was sink down in her chair and shake her head. "I knew I should have ordered her water instead of ale!"

[the Lady]

She entered the room and completely ignored the interested looks she got from some of the other patrons. She seemingly floated across the floor to her table, the floating movement exaggerated somewhat by the fine sapphire gown she wore.

As she approached the table she noted the Owl making unmistakable advances on the Major and she couldn't help but smile at the priceless expression on his face. She also felt a strange dislike for the owl's behavior and her choice of people to misbehave with. She simply reached out and gently placed her hands around the Owl's body and began to remove her from the Major's face.

"Where is your wisdom, Little Owl? Have you not stopped to wonder if the good Major has already been given over? Perhaps I should mention to you that my Tizzy has already asked me to keep him. She is not the type who shares her Chosen. Are you willing to challenge her for this man's attentions?"

Tizzy stuck her head out of the Living Hair and saw the Owl as well. When she heard what her Lady had to say she buzzed her a little. She then remembered how lucky she was to still be alive and in the service of her Rare and Treasured Princess she decided not to make a big deal of it.

"My Lady! That was secret!"

[the Lady]

She entered the room and completely ignored the interested looks she got from some of the other patrons. She seemingly floated across the floor to her table, the floating movement exaggerated somewhat by the fine sapphire gown she wore.

As she approached the table she noted the Owl making unmistakable advances on the Major and she couldn't help but smile at the priceless expression on his face. She also felt a strange dislike for the owl's behavior and her choice of people to misbehave with. She simply reached out and gently placed her hands around the Owl's body and began to remove her from the Major's face.

"Where is your wisdom, Little Owl? Have you not stopped to wonder if the good Major has already been given over? Perhaps I should mention to you that my Tizzy has already asked me to keep him. She is not the type who shares her Chosen. Are you willing to challenge her for this man's attentions?"

Tizzy stuck her head out of the Living Hair and saw the Owl as well. When she heard what her Lady had to say she buzzed her a little. She then remembered how lucky she was to still be alive and in the service of her Rare and Treasured Princess she decided not to make a big deal of it.

"My Lady! That was secret!"

[Rose Thorn]

Rose looked up in time to see the Lady approaching the table. She pulled her cloak closed once more and sent a message to Mysty.

~You better quit that. The Lady does not look to happy with you~

::I am just being friendly. Are you jealous?::

~No but I think the Lady is.~

::You're kidding? Right?:: Just then she felt a pair of hands on her and she was being lifted up and placed back on the table. Mysty waited until the lady was finished talking before she 'Spoke'.

::Forgive me M`lady. I did not know. I would never offer myself like that to anyone that had already been chosen. Please forgive my mistake. No. I would not wish to challange Tizzy though it would be her right to do so. I ask forgiveness from you and the small sprite!::

She looked over at the Major and the feathers around her face turned a light shade of red.

~Nice. And who was it that told me I should behave?~

::Hush. You would have done the same if I hadn't. Now let me finish apologizing.::

Mysty bowed the best she could and then blinked her eyes. She saw Tizzy popping out of the living hair and whisper something to the Lady.

::Little Sprite. Are you asking the lady if you could come out and play? I had the most wonderful time last night. Until Hugh stopped our fun.::

She looked over and gave Hugh a half closed eyes look and then turned back to the Lady.

Hugh looked over at Mysty and gave her a look as well. Then he smiled and went about his work.

::May she come out to play? Does she know how to play hide and go seek? I will share my breakfast with her if she is hungry. I have a few pieces left.::

She looked down at the few pieces of raw meat and then added;

::Perhaps not. But I will be willing to pay for her meal::

She did not mention the bowl of ale.

[The Major]

The sudden appearance of the Lady forces the Major to his feet once again, this time sending his paperwork flying, some of it into the fire. Either not noticing or not caring, the Major clicks his heels once and stands up ramrod straight before the Lady, as one would a foreign ambassador or member of court.

"I trust that you passed a peaceful night, Madam...?"

The Major's face creases a little, apparently suddenly gathered in thought.

"Madam, if I might be so bold as to request a moment of your time... in private?" he asks the Lady quietly.

[the Lady]

She looked at the chubby, little owl and raised a slender eyebrow, "Your apology is accepted, Mysty, but I recommend you refrain from intoxicating substances too early in the day. As for Tizzy sharing your meal... She is an herbivore. There is no need for you to pay for her breakfast as all of my party's expenses have already been attended to, although I am aware that some have chosen to refuse my hospitality in that area. All of your expenses have fallen to me the moment you chose to join my quest. Regarding playing a game of Hide and go seek... Tizzy will have to have her breakfast first and then there is a small errand she must run for me while she is visiting the baker in hopes of attaining some recipes for us. You will have to wait until we have begun the journey. You two are more than welcome to play as we travel, just as long as you don't cause any trouble."

With that she turned to give her attention to the Major as he rose abruptly to his feet. She noted his papers falling into the fire and turned immediately to attend to them as she listened to his greeting and request.

She knelt lightly to sit on her heels and reached her luminescent hand right into the fire, oblivious to the fact that everyone was going into shock and debating genuine panic over the matter. It never dawned on her that they might think she didn't understand the nature of fire. She collected the fallen papers from the fire and gently blew on them to extinguish the flames that had taken hold. They were already half burnt. She looked at them with certain curiosity and then blew on them again. to everyone's surprise the papers immediately restored themselves to their unburned state, as though they had never been kissed by the fire.

She rose back to her feet and handed them back to the Major, along with the others, which had mysteriously appeared in her hand.

"I slept well enough, good Major. It gave me pleasure to know you guarded my door. Although my safety is not an issue it pleases me that your concern is strong and genuine." She nodded her head gracefully towards him in acknowledgement of his request for a private moment.

"Yes, we can speak privately: Tizzy will remain with me. It will give me the opportunity to explain something to you."

Together the two moved away from the others into a more private area of the Inn.

"First, Major, I would explain my comment about Tizzy Choosing you. I expect it is not what you would think it is. The social structures of our worlds seem to be somewhat different and we may well all have to explain ourselves to each other on a regular basis for a while. The idea of Tizzy choosing you is not as a mate or such an intimate relationship. Not for herself anyway. Oftentimes, on my world, it is the Wind Sprites who will choose a possible partner or mate for the Moonbeams they belong to. That would be me, by the way. I am a Moonbeam, it is what we call ourselves for we are constructed of the same stuff as a moonbeam. We are just more solid. A Wind Sprite will study the one Chosen until they are satisfied that he or she is indeed suitable or unsuitable. Tizzy will study you for a long time, good Major. She will move between loving you and hating you. Sometimes she may test you, just to help her to come to some conclusion about some minute little matter. I tried to tell her not to do this but she does insist. She says it is a backup plan in the event we are unable to return to our own little moon. I apologize in advance for any discomfort she may cause you. I will possibly be making a few other apologies along the way but I will start with this one."

She then looked at him expectantly, "Now then, what can I do for you, Major?"

[Rose Thorn]

Watching the Lady and the Major get up and step away from the table, Rose took her glass to her lips and then looked around the table. This was the chance she was looking for. She let her cloak fall open once more and she smiled.

"Well. Who is going to go first? Please do not be shy on my account. I promise you that I will not bite." Placing the glass back on the table she looked up.

"You must be Cali. My... You are a big one. Kinda cute too!" and she ran a fingernail slowly across his cheek and down to his chin. She smiled and waited for him to reply, or to reach up and tear her arm off.

She was hoping for a reply.


Beldon walked into the Inn, about as grimy as one could imagine him. He was covered in soot, dirt, mud, and an eensy bit of blood, (we won't mention that one). He started to smile as the Major and The Lady walked past him, but he was so covered in muck that they almost didn't recognize him and continued on. He saw Cali at the table with a woman he didn't recognize, and walked over to them. The Innkeeper growled at Beldon's mess, but calmed down when he saw Beldon take off his work boots and carry them in. He was trying hard not to make a mess of the place, with some success.

"Hi Cali! Sorry I've been gone for so long. I managed to shoe all our horses, so we should be ready to go."

"Oh! Excuse me, ma'am, I don't think I've had the pleasure of your acquaintance."

Beldon extended his hand to the woman, looked at it, and briskly drew it back when he remembered his condition. Not allowing the lady to comment or reply, he said, "I'm sorry for coming in in such a condition. Let me go wash up before we are officially introduced."

Still carrying his work boots, he asked Hugh for a warm bath in his room.

"Actually, you'd better make it two," he said with a sheepish smile. Hugh rolled his eyes, and tried to keep from laughing.

Beldon bounded up the stairs, eager to get washed.

[the Major]

Gazing curiously at one of the pages that were saved from the fire, which happend to be titled, "Slaves: Ashland Plantation" followed by the date, the Major's eyes return to the Lady.

"Madam, ah... well, I do hope I do not disappoint Tizzy in her evaluation." Not sure how to react to what will apparently be some sort of test, he continues.

"Ma'am, I have reason to believe that the Das'Raje Clan is aware of the presence of ladies in our party." With that, the Major produces a yellowed sheet of paper. "I found this on the Inn door." On the sheet is written in a red, scrawled hand, "Oensk rygg velkommen, Cooper. De har glemt Gargoth Elv?" The Major allows the Lady to take it in her hand. "Loosely translated, madam, this reads, "Welcome back, Cooper. Have you forgotten the Gargoth River?"

"There was an... incident along the Gargoth River with the Das'Raje some years ago, madam... I believe they intend to make good on any threat they do make. I tell you this, because... well..." The Major's cheeks actually color a little, something new. "I am concerned for your welfare..." He coughs a little.

"Do forgive the...familiarity with which I address you.."

[the Lady]

She gazed at him steadily for what seemed an eternity, her great, deep, sapphire eyes fixed on his unwaveringly. Finally she tipped her head slightly to one side, furrowed her brow ever so slightly, then straightened her head once more. She ran her slender fingers through her long, silken hair, inadvertently drawing the Major's attention to her long, tapered nails. They were well manicured and looked strong; capable of doing serious damage.

She fully understood the Major's chivalrous need to protect her. She could see that it was an inate part of his being. It was who he was. What she wasn't sure how to manage was the convincing him that she needed no protection. She was the Protectorate, the one to whom the safety of all others on her moon would soon fall. One day, at the proper time, the Staff would be hers and she would become the Protector: She who would protect all Life on her world. She needed no protecting. She also seriously doubted that the goddess needed any real protecting; save, perhaps, from herself.

"Good Major, I am grateful of your concern. I will bear in mind the possible threat to the members of our party and see that our foe should fare ill in their desire to cause harm among us. Perhaps I might ask Tizzy if she can summon the Firefuries this far from our home. They are unsurpassed by way of early alarms. Nothing gets within 1000 yards of their domain undetected. Of course the little flames can be most unpredictable and nasty oft times. Shall I have Tizzy attempt to summon the Firefuries?"

[Rose Thorn]

While Rose was listening for Cali's reply, a ragged looking gentleman walked up and started talking to the Gargoyle. She could not help but wonder if he was part of the group or just a lonely blacksmith. She remembered what Mysty had said about Seth and Beldon. She looked over and saw the one called Seth, with his bow strung across his shoulder. He was sitting across the table and having a go with his breakfest.

"I am guessing here, but I belive that might have been the one called Beldon?" She heard Seth laughing and she turned towards him and smiled.

"And I am guess again, but I think you are called Seth." She watched as Seth stopped laughing and the look on his face asked, 'How did she know that?' She smiled and winked, then looked down at Mysty. "My little feathered friend here has told me a little bit about all of you." Taking a drink she looked around the table and added, "She did not tell me too much. Only your names and a few other things." She grinned an evil grin and looked back at the Major and the Lady.

~ See! I told you the Lady had a thing for the Major,~ Mysty sent out to Rose.

~ Yes , but I was not the one that told him he could 'Feather my nest anytime', now was I.~

~I was only being polite.~

~Well! I know one thing. No more Ale for you until this is over!~

~Spoil sport!~

Rose giggled and then looked around the room. That's when she saw a young woman walking down the stairs. What made her take another look was the young lady had a pair of wings flowing out from the back of an old coat that she was wearing and she wore a mask. She was also bare foot. One foot was bandaged up and a piece of the bandage was trailing behind her.

"Excuse me, but does everyone see an angel, or have I died and gone to heaven?"

[ Angel]

After having a hot bath and a night of passion with Gelveren , she ported them both back to their room. The night in the cabin was a blessing, but she made sure that they both made it back before day break. They both spent the morning holding each other in a warm embrace and kissed and explored their bodies once more. At last Gelveren had fallen asleep. She slipped away from his embrace and started to dress. Finding everything still wet from the night before, she picked up the coat that the stranger given her and pulled it over her wings and body. She found the belt and pulled it tight around her small waist.

"It will have to do until Gelveren can take me shopping for something better."

She turned back and looked at her master and tiptoed over to the bed and kissed him on the cheek. She watched as he stirred, then fell back to sleep.

"Poor thing had a rough night." She could see where her fingernails raked his body and where she bit him. "He will feel that when he awakes." Her stomach growled and she giggled. Gelveren stirred once again, and she ducked out of the room before he awoke and wished to pull her back to bed.

"Such a gentle man. And he has such a healer's touch." She spread her wings and found them to be working once again. She knew that she would be able to fly soon. But not until Gelveren said it was ok to do so. She didn't want to have Gelveren mad at her so she pulled her wings in and took a deep sigh.

"Soon I will feel the breeze on my face and taste the clouds once again." She giggled and started to walk down the hall.

"I wonders what's for breakfast. "I hope Hughs wife has something filling today. I am starved." The bread and meat from the night before was not enought to quell the Dragon's roar that she heard in her stomach and the wine was not enought to quench her thirst. But Gelveren's kisses were.

"Let's see who's down in the Inn this fine morning. Perhaps the little sprite is still around. She was such a cutey." Stepping lightly on her tip toes, she made her way down to the Inn and over to the bar. She had to watch where she was going because someone had walked in with mud on there shoes.

"Good Morning Hugh! Isn't it a beautiful morning!" Angel smiled and leaned against the bar. Her coat pulled open and she pulled it back. "It seems nothing works around here," and she saw Hugh blushing.

She laughed and finding a button, she made sure she would not be flashing anyone soon. "Last night was enough."

"Morning Angel. Yes it is a beautiful day." Hughs eyes shot down towards the open coat then away sharply. He blushed a deep red and then asked, "What will it be today? The Mrs. has some flap jacks ready with maple syrup and fresh slices of ham and bacon. She also has fresh scrambled eggs and hashbrowns with hot biscuits, milk and gravy." Hugh went about naming off a few other things and Angel smiled up from the bar.

"Oh... That sounds great. I will take it. Have one of the ladys bring it to my table with something refreshing to drink. A fruity drink? Do you have anything cold and refreashing like that?"

"Ah... Angel what part of the menu. The flapjacks? The eggs? The biscuit and gravy? The..."

"You,re being silly Hugh. I want everything. It sounds so good. But what are these Flapjacks and hashbrowns?" She tilted her head and smiled, her eyes glowing through the mask.

Hugh shook his head and blinked. "Well flapjacks and hashbrowns are...," and he went about explaining what they were and how they were made.

"Oh. That does sound good. And you said they look like little plates and you stack them and add butter and syrup to them. Well make me a big stack with lots of butter. Is syrup like nector?

"Well, I would guess so but it's a little thinner. So your saying you want EVERTHING I just called out to you? Are you sure you can eat all that?"

"Well I am hungry and everything sounds so good. Yes I think I can manage. And the drink? Do you have anything cold and fruity?"

"Well... I have something I call a brain freeze. A friend of mine loves them. She gets them every time she comes in. She said that I needed to add more freeze though, but I will give you one and have you try it . What flavor? I have strawberry, banana, orange and rasberry. Oh, I have a watermellon too, but it keeps changing from red to blue. I think it's the alcohol."

"Oh the blue one sounds great. I will be over by the corner. Have Sera or one of the other ladies bring it please. Should I pay you now?" She reached up and started to take her mask off.

"No Angel. Your bill will be paid by Gelveren . He will make sure that you are taken care of. He has helped me in the past. Now put your mask back on before he comes down and sees you trying to pawn it off. Anyway I would never take that for payment. It's too much a part of you. But I must say it hides your beautiful face."

Angel blushed and bent over the bar. She kissed Hugh on the cheek and then smiled. "You're a sweety, Hugh. Your wife is lucky to have you." She brought up her hand and wiped away the mark she left behind. She noticed the small rose and giggled.

"I will be over here if you need me Hugh." She stepped lightly once again and found a small table in the corner. Looking around the room she saw a group of people by the other fireplace. She noticed a young lady talking to a officer or a high ranking official. The rest were talking to a young lady with striking red hair. What caught her eye was the owl. It was flipping raw meat up and catching it in its beak.

~Nice trick,~ she thought. She watched as Sera brought over a plate full of flapjacks and a bottle of syrup.

"Hugh told me that you ordered everything he has in the kitchen. Start on these and if you're still hungry I will bring you the rest." Sera turned and walked back to the bar. She brought back a tall glass filled with a dark blue liquid. The glass was frozen over with ice and small wisps of smoke lifted up and around the glass.

"Drink it slowly, Angel, or it will make your head hurt. Now enjoy your meal. If you need anything, let me know." Sera smiled and then laughed. "Evrything on the morning's menu, huh Hugh. I bet you a week's wages she can put it down and more!"

Angel giggled when she heard Hugh say, "You're on Sera! A week's wages if she can finish everything she has asked for. Counting the drink!" A few of the patrons took the bet as well. Most sided with Hugh. She heard one say, "I bet she can't even finish one of Hugh's wife's flapjacks, let alone everything on the menu."

The Dragon in her stomach growled as if to make its own bet. Angel laughed and dug into her 'flapjacks' along with butter and what Hugh called Maple syrup.

"Delicious Hugh! But it needs more syrup."

She didn't see Tizzy until she tried to pour syrup on her.

"Opps... Sorry...!" *giggle*


A dark haired woman wanders down the ornate hallway. She appears human yet inhumanly beautiful. Pale skin, lustrous damson hair and large indigo eyes. She wears a long dress, very much like a chiton. The gown is held up by a single strap of material which drapes down her back and trails on the floor behind her. It is held at one shoulder by a clasp of diamonds, emeralds and amber; a gift from her mistress. The building somewhat reminds her of Ishmael, the Grand Palace of the High Pantheon. Perhaps the Goddess has been feeling a little homesick she muses. At the end of the hall is a flight of stairs leading to a set of gilded doube doors of mother of pearl and stylised gold vines. Woven within it are silver roses, and amythyst grapes. Two large white marble pillars rest at either side of the doors, and a set of gold and diamond-set candelabra provide the light.

She opens the door and steps into the room. Amarantha is still sleeping soundly, sprawled across the large bed, still wearing the clothes she had been in the day before. She had had a long and eventful night.

The Handmaiden shakes her shoulder, "Ammy, wake up." Amarantha, mumbles something, sleepyly rolls over and buries her head amongst two copious pillows. "Ammy, come on. Its time to get up. You told me to wake you...."

This time a pillow is flung at the Handmaiden.

Calipso looks at the slumbering Goddess for a moment, then lets out a sustained, piercing note. This gets a result! Amarantha sits bolt upright and glares bleary eyed at the siren.

"Lips, was that absolutely necessary? You know how painful that note is!"

"You would not wake up, and you told me to make sure you were up early morning. Of course, I cannot understand why." The siren shrugged.

Amarantha sleepyly staggered out of bed, the room seeming to move faster than her. She hobbled over to the mirror to study herself. Her clothes were wine soaked from the "celebration" with the girls.

"Dammit, I loved this top...!" she cursed.

"Do not worry, Ammy. I will have it fixed and cleaned up while you are gone."

"Thanks, you are an absolute legend."

Using the technique taught to her the night before, she willed a change of clothes, but forgot to envision the change of clothes she wanted, resulting in her standing in front of the mirror naked.

"Your most daring outfit yet." Calipso commented sarcastically. The goddess casts her a withering stare, and envisions a pair of sheer gold pants with splits all the way down the side to reveal a glimpse of gold coin panties, and long, toned legs. A gold strapless top held, but barely seemed to contain, the endowments within. White gold hair tumbled down, from a pony tail tied high up. Around the start of the pony tail and framing the face rested a gold jeweled head dress with the customary centre jewel. More jewels at neck, and her favourite pearl and gold belt. The the Starsword Krysanthe and the dagger rested in matching pearl dripping scabbards.

She rubbed her eyes, and Calipso studied the over all effect.

"Gold?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Yeah, why not," Amarantha shrugged, more awake now.

"Fair enough," was all she says in response.

"We're heading out today." Amarantha said thoughtfully. "Maybe I should arm up a little better, get a few range, and melee weapons."

In between the slashes of her pants, a gold scabbard could be seen featuring steel, jewelled daggers. A tiny device for firing darts was strapped to the wrist and a pouch that would contain the potion dipped ammunition at her waist.

"Probably never need them, but its better to be safe then sorry," she said. Contented with the overall appearance she magicked herself outside the bottle, collected the bottle from the bed, and hooked it to her belt. She sauntered down stairs to where the rest were already awake; including a newcomer. A red head; and an owl was feasting on some meat and a bowl of what seemed to be ale.

Elite and that owl are bound to hit it off she thought.

*What? Huh* Elite sent.

*Never you mind. Just a random thought. Go back to sleep dopey.*

*Oh, okay...* Amarantha could almost hear those snores she imagined the great lummox would be making.

She went and ordered breakfast; strawberry pancakes with no cream (oh her stomach lurched!) and some mead, and returned to the table.


Cali picked up the amulet that was still on the ground from his bout of the night before and tied the leather string around his neck again. Still having his head filled with unresolved questions, he walked back towards the Inn. ~I need something to take my mind off things. Hope the rest of the gang has something interesting waiting for me,~ he thought.

Approaching the Inn he went around to the back. With one quick swoop of his hand he grabbed a rat from the trash and with a quick chomp swallowed half of it. A second chomp and he choked down the rest. He followed that with some granite rock. Knowing full well from previous experiences, that most humans, no matter how low on the social scale, did not consider his eating habits appropriate, he made sure that nobody was anywhere in sight. ~That should be enough living and mineral material for my regeneration system to heal my shoulder,~ he thought to himself, and tried to see how visible the damage from last night still was.

When he entered the Inn some of the guys were already there. They all said their morning hellos and continued with their breakfast.

Eventually a pretty looking read-head came down the stairs. She was a newcomer, and was accompanied by an owl. She approached the group, and with no introduction immediately took an interest in The Major; Cali took an interest in the owl. Since the owl only casually glanced at Cali and did not seem at all worried about his presence, Cali assumed the bird was either exceptionally trained or intelligent. ~Pity,~ Cali thought, ~in a pinch, could have made a good snack.~ He quickly glanced around to make sure that none of the telepaths from their group were present yet.

Eventually, after Major got taken aside by The Lady, Rose took an interest in Cali as well. "You must be Cali. My... You are a big one. Kinda cute too!" and she ran a fingernail slowly across his cheek and down to his chin. She smiled and watched for him to reply, or to reach up and tear her arm off.

Cali could almost feel The Lady's amulet pushing his arm back down. "You are rather new here, perhaps it would be wise to get introduced to the group first, before getting friendly. But you are right, I am Cali."

Eventually Rose got distracted by Beldon's entry. ~Hmm, I think this is what humans refer to as a 'bubbly personality'. Can't wait 'till Amarantha arrives. Interesting morning indeed...~

Last modified: Tue Jan 22 07:10:06 Mountain Standard Time 2002