Mingo's White Raven Inn

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

  1. Mingo

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    (Outdoors in the city of Meridian)-- In her soft leather boots the mysterious waitress slipped up the path behind the docks. The men had their backs turned but the girl in the water saw her walking to the other side of the bridge, slightly upstream.
    --"See you later!" called the waif in the water as she waved to Bov and TimeLord. Then with a flip of her tail she dove beneath the water and swam under the bridge.
    --At the water's edge she stepped out, her tail transformed into legs and feet. Quickly she donned the clothes given to her and walked back to the docks. Her companion stealthily returned to the Inn without speaking.
    --The two men continued looking at the spot in the water where she had last been. "My name is Lilith," said the girl as she came up behind them, deliberately making audible footsteps. "I have been sent here as punishment."
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
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  2. Mingo

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    (Outdoors in the city of Meridian)-- Bov and TimeLord, ever gentlemanly, bowed to Lilith. "Well met little mermaid," said TimeLord.
    --"Oh, I'm not HER," Lilith objected. "I don't have red hair."
    --"Indeed," observed Bov. "Difficult to judge accurately by the flickering torch light but I would say....blue? green? aqua?"
    --"TEAL," sniffed Lilith, shaking her slightly beyond shoulder length locks, which were oddly dry, considering she had just come out of the water, and fluffed over her shoulders and down her back.
    --"Is that a real colour?" Bov asked TimeLord.
    --Lilith bumped into the Town Crier NPC (Non-player Character) whose station was right there. "Welcome to Meridian!" the Town Crier said with a bow. "Here is a small gift for your first visit. If you wish to place a house, I have a list of available properties!"
    --Suddenly a small stack of gold coins appeared in Lilith's inventory. "Um thanks..." she stammered. The NPC having performed its programmed duty, did not respond.
    --Next to the Town Crier stood another NPC, a representative of the realm wide banking system. "Deposits have been made in your account, Lilith, available at any banking location."
    --Lilith looked at the list proffered by the Banker. One item was a small bag marked "Clothes". This she dragged into her inventory for later perusal. "Why, thanks."
    --"Welcome to Novia," TimeLord said with a smile. Thereafter the smile remained silent. "Perhaps your punishment might be ameliorated somewhat by the good things here."
    --"Ameliorated?" Bov said critically. "You would use a word like that when speaking to a 10 year old? And why do you get more lines than me?"
    --"Simple my Gaelic friend; I click 'like' more than you have done in years."
    (White Raven Inn)--The patrons and performers had finally left. Gerta listened while one of the maids whispered into her ear. "Damn." Gerta said. "I'm not ready."
     
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  3. Mingo

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    (Outdoors in the city of Meridian)--- Gerta hurried out the door, forgoing her cloak and actually ran to the dock near the bridge. Her fears were confirmed, Bov and TimeLord were there. However, they were still alive.
    --"Why hello there, Gerta," TimeLord said pleasantly. "Look who we just met!"
    --The 10 year old girl did that 'hands on stomach' bow toward Gerta. "Gerta?" she queried.
    --"Just Aunt Gerta to you, Lilith." Turning to Bov and TimeLord Gerta then said ominously, "I'm glad to find you two .....alive."
    --"Huh wha?" TimeLord blinked trying to do his best Mingo imitation. "Howcome?"
    --"Because my niece here, like all true mermaids, is a homicidal psychopath concerning human males."
    --"You're lucky you have a spell checker, Auntie," grinned Lilith who then turned to the two men who were trying to back away unnoticed. "Not to worry, gentlemen, for one thing I am not in the water. Also," she turned toward her aunt, "there is now a medicine that helps."
    --"What medicine?" Gerta asked with disbelief.
    --"Two ounces of henway blood per day," her niece replied.
    --Bov scratched his head. "What's a henway?"
    --Gerta put her hand to her forehead, closed her eyes and groaned.
    --"About two pounds," Lilith said completely deadpanned.
    --Something flew over the head of TimeLord. "Where can we get one of those?"
    --Gerta put her other hand to her face and sobbed. "Go bury that pan, TimeLord," she said taking her niece by the hand and stomping off in the direction of the Inn.
     
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    (Outdoors in the city of Meridian)- "Y'know Bov," TimeLord said as he buried the dead pan. "When the girl was singing.....I had an urge to jump into the water."
    --"Me too, now that you mention it. I'm glad she is just a child. Her singing was quite entrancing. When she matures," Bov shuddered and said no more.
    --Gerta practically dragged Lilith to the back door of the White Raven Inn. "Don't speak until we get to my room," she admonished her recalcitrant niece. Quietly they ascended the steps to the 4th floor, to the room recently occupied by the Apsara princess and heir, Gerta's adopted mother and Lilith's grandmother. "If Frida sees us hide behind me but don't run."
    (In the White Raven Inn)-- Reaching the room at the front of the Inn without incident Gerta pushed Lilith inside. "That single bed is yours, the other is mine," she indicated. "You know what I can do to mermaids don't you?"
    --Lilith sat on the bed and shivered at the icy stare her aunt sent her way, "Yes, Aunt Gerta," she replied meekly.
    --"Don't leave this room. Your cousin Frida does not know you are here. Pray I can reach some agreement with her before she learns that you have already arrived. Now go to sleep."
    --Lilith yawned. "I am tired. It was a long swim from the ocean, upstream against the current."
    --Gerta sat at the small writing desk and began to write.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
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  5. Time Lord

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    (In the White Raven Inn)-- Frida returned to her room in mid-morning. A letter had been slipped beneath her door in the night. This time Frida had not been hunting, but gathering gold ore for Mingo to smelt....dispatching way-laying bandits as a side activity. Gold ore now filled one of Mingo's storage chests, and assorted weapons another for later salvaging or perhaps sale.
    --Mingo meanwhile had sat up to eat the breakfast brought over from Cafe Istanbul by Crescent. The portions were small but enough. He particularly enjoyed the cheese grits and bacon. She refilled his water flagon but would not let him drink any coffee. "Sleep more," Crescent advised.
    --The night before, as Gerta dragged her niece Lilith along to the Inn, the girl had made her stop a moment to buy some small flasks from the Magic Supply Vendor NPC who stood near the shrines. Gerta paused a moment, irately patting her foot during the delay. "If Frida catches you I don't know if I can protect you," she told Lilith. "I should be able to broker a truce, but Frida is not one to take surprises well."
     
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  7. Mingo

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    (In the White Raven Inn)-- "Dear niece Frida," the letter began. "I am aware of the feud between you and your mother, and I know your animosity extends to all of the 'true mermaids' who prefer the sea. You know me. You know sea mermaids fear me. Your cousin, Lilith, has been sentenced to live on land until her 18th birthday, 8 years from now.
    --"She will serve her sentence with me. In effect I am her jailer. While on land she is no danger to human men, and perhaps you might accept her presence, however grudgingly. As her jailer, I am also her protector. While my abilities to control sea mermaids does not extend to you, I have something in reserve, something learned from your father, which you would find most unpleasant if you were to cross me.
    --"While Lilith is here, she will be providing a maintenance medicine to Mingo; something he needs from time to time every couple of decades or so. Without Lilith, Mingo will die.
    --sincerely, (a hieroglyph translating as Chiada).
    --"I need to kill zomething," Frida hissed crumpling the letter and throwing it on the floor.
     
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  8. Mingo

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    (In the White Raven Inn)--Lilith stayed in her room for a day and a night after arriving. On the next day Gerta took her to meet Mingo, who was feeling a bit better. "Mingo TheBard, I am pleased to present to you Lilith, one of my nieces, who will be living with me for some time to come."
    --Lilith did a deep "hands on stomach" bow and said, oddly, "I am glad to meet you. Please take care of me."
    --"Take care of you?" Mingo puzzled, sending a glance to Gerta.
    --"It doesn't translate well," shrugged Gerta. "Just consider it part of a ritual greeting."
    --Lilith had donned a simple kimono with light pink flowery designs and a teal colored cloth belt matching her hair color. She did not have the facial features of Cheada her adopted aunt, much less Frida, who used glamour magic anyway to disguise her somewhat reptilian true appearance. Instead she boasted overly large eyes of a piercing blue, prominent cheekbones and a strong, almost mannish jaw. One of Lilith's fingers was bandaged at the tip.
    --"Hurt your finger?" Mingo asked.
    --Lilith held a small vial toward him. "Put this in a glass of water and drink it. It will help you."
    --Gerta shook her head sadly, "Actually it won't help you Mingo. It will keep you alive."
     
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    "This is turning in to quite the interesting story,", I muse, "but it doesn't move the story of the Red Hat gnomes any further along...", I continue a tad sad...
    All these murdĂșchann showing up here makes me edgy, and I start preparing some ancient defensive measures, just to be prepared.
    "Even Aiofe could not have done this better", I mutter under my breath as I finish up.
     
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    (In the White Raven Inn)--Lilith spoke again to Mingo. "When I first came here I met two men. They said you told wonderful stories. They hoped you would tell more about the Red Hat Gnomes someday. I would like to hear that story, when you are better."
    --"Ah yes,"Mingo reminisced. "I never told about Shania and Jeb and their return to the Green Mole of the Guaca Desert, known for his famous dipping sauce."
    --"Another time," Gerta insisted. "Rest now."
    --"....your aunt there was about your age when she took Krisskar back to Apsara and left us on the Isle of Feinantz......" and Mingo drifted off to sleep. "....big sea turtle..."
     
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    (In the White Raven Inn)--Frida was gone. Mingo was still sick. Gerta had to control her worrisome niece, Lilith, and manage the White Raven Inn as well. The Inn was becoming well known throughout the realm, with bards clamoring to perform there, and happy patrons willing to pay a small entrance fee and still contribute to the tip jars set out by the performers.
    --One trio engaged by Gerta to perform quickly became a crowd favorite: Trio Mandili. These ladies hailed from Old Aerth, like 90% of Novia avatars, but were from an isolated area of the Carpathian Mountains.....

     
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    (In the White Raven Inn)--Patrons and performers were leaving some days later while Frida watched, stealthed, from in front of the Inn. She entered silently and followed Gerta and Lilith up to their room, slipping inside before they shut the door.
    --Lilith and Gerta were discussing the role of Bards in Novia when Frida unstealthed. She had foregone her glamour magic and appeared as she actually was: Long black fingernails were actually short claws. Black glossy hair was Teal, the same colour as Lilith's. The pupils of her eyes were no longer round but diamond shaped. Her skin....was a faint shade of green, seemingly with small scales. Most noticeable of all was the lower half of her face, which now protruded encompassing an overlarge lipless mouth lined with jagged sharp teeth that showed as she hissed:
    --"Hello ClownFish."
    --Lilith screamed and jumped behind Gerta who just laughed. "She won't bite you Lilith. Your flesh is poison,which is why sharks and other denizens of the sea avoid your kind."
    --"Lucky you, ClownFish," Frida said casting an icy stare at Lilith.
    --"I'm not a Clownfish," Lilith squeaked in protest peering around her aunt.
    --"Clone dear, she means clone," Gerta explained. "All you sea mermaids are clones."
    --"I like it better my way," objected Frida.
     
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    (In the White Raven Inn)--"I....I've heard about you," Lilith stammered still peeking out from behind her aunt. "You are Krisskar's daughter."
    --Frida growled.
    --"He's nice," Lilith continued. "He knew I was sentenced to come here...to live on land...and he said...."
    --"What did he zay?"
    --Lilith gulped, "He said you might act scary but at heart you were Daddy's girl...."
    --"Look Clownfish, I don't want to hear about my father from you."
    --"How about hearing directly from him?" Gerta asked, pulling out a letter and handing it to Frida.
    ------------------------------------
    --After Frida read the letter she altered her appearance back to full human using her glamour magic, the only innate magic she had (other spells, like Stealth, were learned), and left. In the following days she occasionally glanced at Lilith, but would not speak to her. She began to perform again, sometimes making LFG groups and inviting other bards to the White Raven Inn.
    --Gerta apprenticed Lilith to Crescent at Cafe Istanbul. Cooking on land was a completely unknown experience for the 10 year old girl, who found it delightful. She was assigned to bring meals to the recuperating Mingo.
    --One day she asked Mingo about the story of the Red Hat Gnomes. "Ah girl, go down to the front porch. Find the log labeled P3 pg1 and read it. You will get a sense of the story and I will tell more later."
    --So Lilith began reading the logs to catch up on the story. There were a LOT of logs....she asked Mingo why he had her skip P1 and P2. "My writing starts out bad and gets worse," he admitted. I don't want to torture you too much by making you start at P1."

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/tale-of-the-red-hat-gnomes-part-3.159244/
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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    (In the White Raven Inn)--After a few weeks Mingo was able to hobble down to the main room and sit by the fire. Here he was surprised to have two maids come and bow to him. "Emiko? Tomoko?" Mingo asked somewhat puzzled.
    --Somewhat Puzzled did not answer but Bov, sitting nearby said, "I didn't know their names. They never speak. You have met them before?"
    --"Why yes," Mingo answered. "I know you can both speak, why don't you?"
    --The two maids looked at each other, one tilting her head questioningly and then the other nodding. Emiko spoke: "Ah don wanna talk heah cause folks laugh at mah accent. Tomoko jus' don wanna learn much of this heah language."
    --Bov with supreme effort bit his tongue...silently. Tears came to his eyes. "You're from South Georgia?" he finally asked?
    --"No, but ah used ta speak with Bryan.The.Bard on a magic box called SKYPE ta learn Ainglish."
    --"Bards have many talents," Bov admitted. "I am glad to know you can speak. I seem to remember two rules about learning another language. 1) don't be embarrassed and 2) don't be insulted."
    --"....and please don't kill us for just calling Cheada-sama 'Gerta', "Mingo implored.
    --"Not to worry, Master Bard," Emiko assured him. "You all are now under our purotection. Can I get you something?"
    --"Espresso?" Mingo pleaded.
    --"No caffeine yet," Emiko responded sadly. "Orders."
    --"Dayam," Mingo cursed softly
     
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  15. Lily Byrd

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    Sitting under the big billowy tree out front of her little cottage in Jade Valley beside the Hall of Enquiry and Learning, Lily Byrd shivered a little while she strummed the first lute she had made. She smiled to herself while looking at its slightly awkward shape and crooked decoration. "At least it sounds rich and true" she sniffed knowing full well the instrument was barely capable of the simplest of melodies without losing its tuning.

    "Now where did that breeze come from?" and immediately thought of Frida who she had not seen for months. "Frida? Now why would she come to mind? Hmm...Well time to go have a wander up to Meredian and see how the new stage was coming along. MingoTheBard had promised that it would be better than the sturdy tables that he had constructed for the last musical session Lily had been to. "Tis time to travel".

    And travel she did.
     
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    (Cafe Istanbul-across from the White Raven Inn)--Gerta walked across the greenway to Cafe Istanbul to check on Lilith in the mid-afternoon. The girl, now apprentice cook, was just finishing scrubbing pots. "Get yourself some lunch, girl," said Crescent Moryn in a friendly way. Spying Gerta approaching she added, "Fix a plate for Gerta also."
    --The lunchtime patrons had left so Lilith placed the plates on an empty table just as Gerta entered. "Help yourself," Crescent said welcoming Gerta and waving her to the table where Lilith sat. "Lilith is actually quite adept at learning to cook."
    --As they ate, Lilith tried to ask something, then stopped. "What is it?" Gerta chided. "Just come out and ask whatever it is."
    --"Why does Frida say I'm a clown, er clone?"
     
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    (Cafe Istanbul)-- Gerta perused the girl sitting across from her. She pondered how to answer. Why couldn't it be an easy question like "Where do babies come from?".....well, actually it was close to that. With a sigh she put down her fork and stared into the bright blue eyes of a 10 year old who for the first time met someone (Frida) who actively disliked her. The girl was obviously shaken by the events that night when Frida was so threatening.
    --"Do you know what DNA is?" Gerta asked.
    --"Um, something to do with cells? hair color? stuff like that?"
    --"When you saw Frida, undisguised, could you see any resemblance to her mother and father?"
    --"She has teal coloured hair, like so many of us, and teeth and claws like Krisskar. Can she change to mermaid form in the water?"
    --"No," Gerta answered, "but you see in her aspects of both her parents. She gets part of her DNA from each parent."
    --"Yes, yes," Lilith nodded.
    --"Do you look much like your mother?"
    --"Of course!"
    --"You have two other aunts who are also sea mermaids. Can you tell them apart?"
    --"Well....it can be difficult sometimes."
    --"Who is your father?"
    --"Trident, of course....." Lilith said hesitantly.
    --"Merman with long white hair and a full white beard? Ever met him?"
    --"Well no, he lives in the deep ocean while we live near land."
    --"mmmm so it is said. There is actually no such thing as a "land" mermaid. It is just a convention to differentiate those who prefer living on land from those who prefer living in the sea. Living in the sea is dangerous. True a shark would die if it ate you because your flesh is poison to it, but you would die also. Eventually sharks with a ken to try mermaid do not live to reproduce.....many mermaids such as Frida's mother do not like the sea.
    --"Some mermaids take males of other species as mates, as did Frida's mother, producing Frida and her six sisters, all by Krisskar...."
    --Lilith shivered wide-eyed, "SEVEN Fridas! No, tell me it isn't so!"
    --"They have different names but yes. They are not identical like you sea mermaids and most of them do not have mermaid abilities, I think two of them do. They are all girls."
    --"yes, yes all Apsaras are girls..."
    --"So tell me little one, where did Trident come from? Have you ever seen any mermen or boy merfolk?"
    --Lilith was stunned to think of something that she had never thought about before; the absence of male merfolk and the similarity of sea mermaids. "if Trident is a myth..."she began haltingly "then how did my mother...."
    --"Mermaids are not mammals," Gerta pointed out. "Reproduction is entirely different."
    --"yes yes, we hatch from big eggs, my class had to swim close to shore every day to go to school. That's how I know who Krisskar THE Mage is, he taught air and water magic spells. We also learned some biology."
    --"If a mermaid on land mates with a male of some species the egg is fertilized and shares DNA. But in your case, and the case of all your clone sisters and relatives, the mother sparks the egg herself giving it a copy of her own DNA instead of having the egg fertilized by a male."
    --"Sooooo, if my DNA is the same as another mermaid......"
    --"you are 'clones'." Gerta nodded. "There are some advantages....."
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--Gerta had instituted a polite social event which she hoped would become a custom: "afternoon tea". A small table was placed on the rug before the fireplace. Chairs were arranged about this rug and ladies were invited from across the realm. Lily Byrd had begun to frequent these afternoon socials. Frida attended also, as this was the closest thing to home she could experience, although her memory of tea ceremonies was that they were much more formal and elaborate, though simple. Crescent Moryn came over from across the street, and other lurker ladies participated silently.
    --Tomoko and Emiko brought two largish porcelin teapots and a kettle of hot water, then returned with a tray of biscuits, called on Old Aerth in some lands "cookies". Gerta poured the hot water into the teapots and added spoonfuls of tea, whisking the mixture with a bamboo brush of some kind.
    --Softly Lily Byrd played a tune on her recorder, just for a bit of background music during the preliminary preparations, not disturbing the chatted conversations among the group. Frida, sitting close to the fire in the semi-circle of chairs, stared into the fire and smiled...
     
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    (White Raven Inn)--Some days later, as Mingo regained his health, he walked over to Cafe Istanbul for a mid morning baklava and some thick boiled coffee. Lilith waited on him. "You sure you are only ten years old?" Mingo asked. Lilith sat at the table across from him.
    --"Yes, by Old Aerth reckoning," she answered. "but Aunt Gerta has told me that there are physiological differences between myself and humans."
    --"Physiological?" Mingo blinked. "Big word for such a little girl."
    --Lifting her chin and flouncing her teal colored hair, Lilith sniffed, "I AM educated you know!"
    --"Indeed, apparently so," Mingo smiled.
    --"I am told human children are pretty much completely dependent on their mother for everything until they reach about age 15. I could swim away from mother and be on my own for days at one year old."
    --"How much time did you spend on land?" Mingo asked sipping his coffee.
    --"Every two months, I went to visit Grandmother for a week," Lilith answered. "I met many people there of all descriptions, not just humans. It seems on land my natural hunting behaviors were suppressed and I am told I was much more friendly."
    --"I miss my old friend, Krisskar," Mingo sighed.
    --"We all hope you continue telling some of your stories soon."
     
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