Mingo's White Raven Inn

Discussion in 'The Library' started by Mingo, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. Mingo

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    (White Raven Inn)--A nice soft breeze wafted through the open front door of the big ground floor room of the inn and meandered out the open back door. Frida paused her playing to walk to the corner of the stage and peer out the door. "Stack those along the end of the porch!" Mingo's voice could be heard from outside. "Mind you keep them in order! They are numbered!"
    --Unknown and unseen minions, which may or may not have been yellow, (in addition to Mingo's vendor), unloaded the cart and began to carefully place logs at one end of the front porch, along the front wall of the Inn. "I need to read some of these meself," muttered Mingo TheBard (see students? One way to surreptitiously pad the prose is to use the full name of the character.) "I can't remember the name of Cheada-sama's two fearsome ladies-in-waiting from that visit through the portal to Apsara, or how to spell her name, which probably doesn't matter as her actual name be written in those blasted hieroglyphs!"
    --"Can I get a sandwich at the tavern across the street?" asked Bov. "I feel a big peckish."
    --"Don't let the raven hear that," warned TimeLord.
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--The small river running through the town of Meridian was not too far from the sea. You could sail it in about one hour if need be in one of the small boats docked at the pier. A curved line of shrines stood on the shoreline where it jutted out into the water, which obscured the view somewhat.....Jason the city architect has even considered relocating the shrines....
    --Although the view from the water was mostly blocked, it was still possible to see the two cobblestone streets and the grass and tree lined median between them. The wagon being unloaded at Mingo's White Raven Inn could be seen also. With great interest a figure bobbing in the water watched the goings on. All that could be seen was the head of a lady with a beautiful face and a cloud of slightly green....teal?....hair which seemingly was dry although she had just popped to the surface.
    ---"Thanks Bubo," the lady said to a small black pilot whale that floated next to her. "You have guided me to the right place I believe."
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--As the logs were being carefully unloaded and placed Mingo entered the White Raven Inn. Climbing the few stairs to the improvised stage he sighed and looked around. More people were beginning to wander in and out of the Inn, sometimes they spoke, mostly they just lurked, which was fine. Spotting one newcomer Mingo TheBard grinned and began to play the theme from an old TV show, "Paladin".
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--Two ladies passed over the stone bridge leading to the small city of Meridian. They paused as the figure in the water swam over to them and emerged. From the hand cart pulled by one of the ladies some clothes were retrieved and given to the aquatic lady, whose blue-green (actually Teal) hair was mysteriously instantly dry and billowed profusely about her in the slight breeze.
    --"It's the four story building," said the mysterious lady. "Procure two rooms, on the top floor. Say nothing of me. Keep yourself in disguise." The two newcomers nodded silently and waited until their mistress vanished into thin air.
    --In the White Raven Inn, Bov sat across from TimeLord at the single table forcing himself to drink some concoction of non-alcoholic fruit juice. He shuddered and made a face. "You get used to it," TimeLord said sympathetically. "It is possible to forego alcohol completely if you stay at it."
    --"Oh, that shudder was not related to the juice," Bov said with a shake of his head. "I just had a foreboding of dire events."
    --"Better than a DireWolf. I'm glad there aren't any of those here." The breeze coming in the front door suddenly ran chill. No one chased it.
     
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    Jason Moryn sits in the square near the shrines. He peaks around the bushes and trees, but cannot find the source of the water sound. Eventually he gives up and goes back to Cafe Istanbul for some lunch. Just inside the door he encounters a dire wolf and dispatches it with his montante. "What's that doing here? Not much of a wolf. Second best at best."
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--In the dead of night comes the howl of a dying DireWolf slain by Jason, who prefers to be about in the night and eats his lunch at midnight. Chill air drifts over the town of Meridian under the shining fractured moon. Most of the visitors to the White Raven Inn have left, either taking rooms or wandering over to Cafe Istanbul for some late night adult beverage libations. The small river flows to the sea, whispering a faint lullaby accented by a boat bumping against the pier in a rhythmic cadence. Somewhere in the MetaVerse an author pads his prose as he is accustomed to being paid by the word.
    --"I really hate dogs that bark in the night..." mutters Mingo TheBard as he turns over in his bed, his sleep disturbed but not beyond recovery. "tomorrow I'll have Frida make a screen door to keep animals from wandering in....hmmm perhaps not...a guest might run through it and strain themselves...."
    --The fire dies down in the new fireplace constructed by Bov and TimeLord. All the furnishings of the main room have been rearranged to make room for the performance stage crafted by Frida which replaced the rough tables Mingo had temporarily assembled. The Inn still needed a lot of work and Frida had plans to spend the next day chopping trees for wood to make furniture. The candle and lights are all off now, leaving only the soft glow from the dying fire in the fireplace and the odd light from an orb held by the wooden statue of a Liche to provide scant light.
    --On the 4th floor two hooded ladies have engaged two rooms. They share one and their mistress (who secretly and stealthily entered the Inn) occupies the other. They did not speak, only handing some gold coins to Mingo and indicating their desired location by holding up four fingers. Mingo drafted some of the guests into porter duty to bring their belongings in from the hand cart, which was then parked behind the Inn.
    --Frida dreams of her mother.
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--Some folks arise at the crack of dawn. Mingo TheBard is not one of them. The White Raven Inn is not yet prepared to serve food, and early rising denizens walk across the way, past the transportation hub (two wagons and a portal) to Cafe Istanbul for some breakfast. Crescent and Jason serve an eclectic mixture of Korean and Mediterranean cuisine. When Mingo eventually does get up, he will go over for a cup of strong boiled coffee with two spoonfuls of sugar and some baklava.
    --Frida sleeps little; very little. There are few to entertain in the early early hours between 2 am and noon. During this time period Frida hunts and gathers, donning her Elvish archer attire and stealthily seeking prey. She releases her disguising glamour magic spells during this time, and her hair returns to its natural blue/green (Teal) colour....and her eyes return to their natural appearance, with pupils elongated into diamond shapes. Baring her sharp fangs she grins as she stand invisible before a rabbit, who will be a snack before hunting bigger game..."perhapz I will keep it and take it back for Mingo to cook," Frida muses as she draws her bow. "Nah, raw rabbitzez are my favorite food...."
    --The scream of the rabbit is short, but loud enough to catch the attention of a pack of wolves nearby.
     
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    (at the crafting area in Meridian)--It was mid morning when Frida hauled the carcass of the Obsidian Stag and a couple of wolves to the crafting area up the street from the White Raven Inn. She restored her glamour magic changing her hair colour to glossy black, shrinking her claws to appear as pointy fingernails with black fingernail polish, changing her pupils to human-looking round, and giving the illusion that her sharp teeth were smaller and less obtrusive than they actually were.
    --Happily humming I've got you under my skin Frida began butchering the carcass, occasionally licking blood from her fingers. Soon a nice hide and some ready for cooking Obsidian Stag meat was all that was left of the once mighty beast. Washing her hands she removed her butchering apron and hauled the meat and hides to storage in the meat locker of the Inn. Mingo always made some wonderful food from Obsidian Stag meat, which had a wonderful buff to attributes, although he put too much pepper on it...wolf meat was used for hamburger.
    --Frida went in through the back door, turned and deposited her burdens in the storage room and went to her room to change. For some reason, she felt like wearing her silk Kimono and slippers today. Traipsing happily down the stairs she wandered into the great room to find Mingo sitting in front of the new fireplace, sipping a "to go" espresso from Cafe Istanbul.
    --"Don't let Mr. Zmith catch fire," Frida warned, hands on hips. "I hope you get enough caffeine to wake up."
    --"Ha, ha. My other leg is named Jones," Mingo said with a yawn. "Males need more sleep than females. Do you know why apprentice?"
    --"Do tell," Frida smirked taking a seat. "Lazinezz?"
    --Mingo ignored the dig, which sadly crept away, tail between legs. "It is the nature of males of all species to be protective. The least little disturbance, such as a barking dog, causes them to waken, assess the situation, and if necessary take protective action."
    --"....then they go back to zleep, 99.9% of the time..."
    --"Yes...well..anywho, unlike females who sleep soundly without waking, the sleep of a male is a series of inefficient, unrestful naps."
    --"A likely ztory," Frida chuckled. "Next you will tell me you found a Henway."
    --"What's a Henway?"
    --Turning away and walking to the stage, Frida answered, "about two poundz."
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--Frida ascended the stage steps and took up a new song Mingo had downloaded. "Those were the days" was the title. It didn't play well. "Mazzter, thiz zong zuckz," she complained.
    --"Alas," sighed Mingo, "and I had such high hopes for that one. Unfortunately only about one in four songs that I find actually sound good when played."
    --Frida pulled out her lute and strummed "Bratja", a soft and pretty melody. She thought that Mingo, sitting by the fire, was the only other person in the room, but she was wrong.
    --Another figure, stealthed way beyond GrandMaster ability, was seated in the corner upon the stage. Although Frida had GM status in stealthing, she never attempted the RevealHidden ability, as it did nothing to help find hidden doors in dungeons or reveal traps. Thus she was oblivious to the presence of the hidden figure.
    --("Her musical abilities have improved,") thought the hidden figure to herself. ("and she did surprisingly well butchering those animals.") The figure silently smiled in admiration.
    --Frida began to sing in Russian along with the song. Mingo wondered where and when she had learned Russian.....probably just for this one song. Lighting his pipe he remembered something from Old Aerth: Youth.
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--That Tuesday, after Mingo finished his espresso, he returned to his room and was not seen for two weeks. Crescent from across the way brought him food from Cafe Istanbul, and frequently visited with her medical bag. No one else was allowed. But that same tuesday, Frida's aunt Gerta began her role as Manager of the White Raven Inn.
    --"I am glad you have come to help, Cheada sama" Frida told her aunt as she bowed from the waist, both hands pressed against her abdomen. "The patronz are zuppozed to pay for admizhon, but Mingo often letz them come in for free. We need to buy more candlezez."
    --"Just call me Aunt Gerta, here; and don't bow," said Gerta with a smile. Gerta no longer dressed in the black maid's outfit with the white apron that had adorned her in most of her appearances back at Katya's Koffee Klutch and then the Fire Lotus Tavern. Instead she wore a solid gray kimono, with a dragon embroidered obi of rough black silk. "There will be many changes," she said. "Eventually we shall have better furnishings, and a closer relationship with Cafe Istanbul for food and drink."
    --Two ladies accompanied Gerta, dressed in traditional black maid's outfits with white aprons, although they sported soft knee high black leather boots and dark leggings. Within their hair piled into simple buns they each sported two large hairpins, which on closer inspection would prove to be slender daggers. They smille pretty smiles but hardly ever spoke...and only to each other or Gerta in a whispered language no one had ever heard.
    --That night visiting bards, including the famous Lily Byrd, (who played recorder accompanied by Frida on a small harp) came over to the White Raven Inn to tryout the new stage Frida had built. They brought friends who brought gold. Mingo's absence was noted.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
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    (White Raven Inn)--From his bed, Mingo could reach the latch on his door. He had taken to his bed with a sense of exhaustion and muscle pain, but no fever. Frida knocked on his door to check on him and he requested some soup made by Crescent Moryn at Cafe Istanbul. The door remained closed while Frida was there, but unlatched.
    --Mingo drifted off to sleep as the sun set. Crescent knocked on the door and brought in the soup (chicken soup) and water. Placing her hand on his forehead in that motherly, womanly way she determined that he had no fever. Mingo sat on the edge of his bed and ate the soup. Between his bed and the wall was a small table where he placed the flagon of water and the cup. Crescent left and shut the door, which Mingo again did not latch. It was dark.
    --The room was quiet; unnaturally quiet as if a cone of silence extended to cover it. Mingo did not have matches close at hand to light a candle. "Solis" he said weakly, causing a temporary lighting of the area surrounding his bed. The light did not penetrate to the far end of the room.
    --With a sudden sense of foreboding Mingo uttered: "Solis-Desin-Presti" and waved toward the end of the room. His skill in "Reveal Hidden" was low, as he had stopped training it upon discovering it did not reveal hidden doorways or traps. Yet, in the brief flash of light caused by the spell a ghostly shape seemed to appear sitting in the chair at the far corner of the room. The shape wavered momentarily then disappeared as the gloom swallowed the room once again.
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--For a while, Mingo lay awake. Then the chicken soup lulled him into sleep. Silently the mysterious figure rose ghostly from the chair and drifted around the foot of the bed. Reaching between the wall and the bed, the figure uncapped a vial and poured the contents into the flagon of water sitting on Mingo's bedside table.
    --Mingo did not stir, but snored softly.
    --Carefully the mystery figure walked silently back around the bed to open the door. Backing out it closed the door slowly. Upon turning around, the figure found itself facing an angry Frida.
    --"What are you doing here Mother?"
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--It was dark in the 2nd floor hallway. Mingo's room was above the storeroom/office at the back of the inn, which muffled any sounds from the great room on the first floor. There were no windows in the hallway,and no candles were burning at present.
    --Frida had great skill in Moon Magic pertaining to Night Vision. She was also highly skilled in Stealth. Frida saw the door open and close, and the dust motes swirl around a void shaped like a person. Her mother tried to step silently to the side, toward the stairs, but Frida moved to stand in front of the opening to the stairwell. "You can't elude me, Mother."
    --With a grimace Frida's mother released her stealth and sighed. "Come up to my room."
     
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    (Meridian Docks)--Some people just like to fish. Bov and TimeLord were two such. When the Farmer's Almanac predicted a good time to fish, they were probably somewhere near some stream, pond, ocean or other water. This night they had dragged some chairs onto the small pier of Meridian to try their luck.
    --"Do you think it's still there?" Bov said in idle speculation.
    --"What?" TimeLord responded.
    --"The thing Frida was talking about the other night, the giant sea turtle."
    --"Ah, Minogame. I don't know. I remember in Mingo's old story that the young Gerta or Chiada or whatever piloted Minogame to ferry Mingo's party from somewhere to somewhere."
    --"mmmm," nodded Bov. "But that wasn't in this part of the Metaverse, or was it?"
    --"Frida said Minogame could travel between worlds, swimming the cosmic and metaphysical seas. I doubt he is waiting for Gerta off shore."
    --"do you think Gerta would introduce us?"
    --"hmmmm.....well well, I caught a trout!"
     
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    (Meridian Docks)--"Dammit!" Bov exclaimed in exasperation. "Something keeps eating my bait!"
    --"What are you using? I'm using crickets."
    --"Mealworms," Bov replied.
    --"ah, that's what they are called," said a child's voice. In the flickering light from the torch Bov and TimeLord had set up on the dock the face of a girl about ten years old bobbed above the water a few feet from the dock. "They are good. Can I have some more?"
    --The two fishermen blinked in consternation at the sight. Eventually they were able to leave consternation and return to Novia. "We need a professional writer," Bov sighed. "Are you a writer, girl? Aren't you freezing?"
    --With a giggle the newcomer answered, "I never get cold, but no I am not a writer. I do read though."
    --TimeLord, who had traveled extensively in the Metaverse, was not so flustered as his companion. "What book did you read last?"
    --" Glory Season by Brin," the girl answered.
    --"Maybe we should invite him,"mused Bov.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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    (Meridian Docks)-- "You messed up the colour of the text there, sir," the waif in the water pointed out.
    --"I'm not Mingo," TimeLord said with raised eyebrow. "and howcome you speak with the English spelling of 'color'?"
    --"Wow, I've never heard a raised eyebrow speak," the girl said blinking in surprise. "I'm from Apsara, not England. Selkies live there, or in the sea near there."
    --"Ah," Bov nodded. "I begin to see."

    --The swimming child raised up half out of the water peering downstream, revealing the undeveloped torso adorned by what seemed to be the top of a pair of shimmering tight fitting shorts. "It's too far to see the sea from here."
     
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    (Author's Note)--The raised eyebrow has spoken ^
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--The large room on the 1st floor of the White Raven Inn hosted several visiting bards. Gerta presided over the night's evening concert, aided by her two "maids" who served occasional complementary snacks and handed out tiny, paper wrapped customized bars of soap embossed with the symbol of the establishment. Bov and TimeLord missed this nights performances, preferring to fish.
    --On the 4th floor, Frida faced her mother in a room that oddly had been more lavishly decorated than others in the Inn. "Where did all thiz ztuff come from?" Frida remarked with a frown. "And what iz that thing on the wall?"
    --"It's a portal, dear. Like the one Gerta installed back in the Fire Lotus Tavern. I don't intend to swim here again!"
    --"Good. Go through the portal then. Fare well!"
    --"Oh no no no. I am here to restore Mingo."
    --Clenching her fists, Frida became protective of her Master. "What have you done?"
    --The heir to the throne of Apsara sat in a rather luxurious chair and patted her fingertips together. "From time to time.....beings....like Mingo require replenishment to maintain their existence."
    --"Beingz?"
    --"Mingo looks human; IS human actually. Maybe that is inaccurate, you and I pass for human, although you are half reptillian and one quarter fish."
    --"I can't become a mermaid."
    --"no, no indeed. You have only limited glamour magic to disguise yourself, no transformational abilities. Anywho, back to Mingo. ..."
    (Author's note): At this point the reader needs to realize.....

    --"SHUT UP AUTHOR!" shouted both Frida and her mother, who continued their conversation.
    --Frida's mother stood up. "Mingo has existed through many places in the Metaverse. He thinks he is an independent being, but in fact he is a creation from long long ago, and from time to time he needs.....maintenance. I put a substance in his water flagon which will allow him to maintain his illusion of existence. Without it, Mingo TheBard would cease to exist. He's done well by you Frida, I have watched you several days now."
    --Frida glared silently.
    --Meeting her daughter's gaze, the mermaid whose name shall not be revealed, walked to the portal and activated it. "I have many real sisters, in addition to adopted Gerta,"she turned to face Frida. "One of them has a difficult daughter, about 10 years old. Like most of us in our school, she is a mermaid. She will come to live here with you and continue Mingo's treatment."
    --"NO! If Mingo needz zomething I will provide it for him!"
    --"The substance he needs, only a mermaid can provide. The girl's name is Lilith."
    --And with that, Frida's mother stepped through the portal, which then closed.
    --Frida stared at the spot where the portal had been. An indented circle marked the location, although only her mother could open it. "I have a bad feeling about thiz!" Frida muttered.
     
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    (Meridian Docks)-- The aquatic child sank back neck deep in the water, her blue/green (teal?) hair strangely dry. "Do you like songs?" she asked.
    --"very much," replied Bov.
    --"the third best thing in the world added TimeLord with a a nod.
    --"What two things are better?" asked the girl.
    --"Fishing for one. For the other....ask your mother in a few years..."
    --"Hey,"Bov said somewhat disturbed. "Perhaps we should say that when she raised up out of the water she had a kind of halter top. We don't want to be accused of inappropriate posting."
    --"Oh, yes. I am wearing a halter top. There isn't much light, you probably didn't notice. Now that that is clarified, I guess I can bob up a little more than neck deep in the water."
    --Bov asked, "Are you actually young? Or do you just look young?"
    --"We go by the old Aerth calendar, according to which I am 10 years old. I'm going to sing something now."
    ------(singing) "High in the halls of the kings who are gone, Jenny would dance with her ghosts. The ones she had lost and the ones she had found, and the ones who had loved her the most.........."
    --(White Raven Inn)--The song continued on well beyond the limits of allowed use for copyrighted works. In the Inn, the two mysterious smiling waitresses looked wide-eyed at each other. "Ningyo?" one whispered. "Ohime Lilith" her compatriot said with a frown; quickly retreating upstairs and returning with a bundle. Silently she slipped out the back door.
     
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