Finals at the Academy:Campaign/Chapter 10

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Chapter 10: "I Love You All..."

"When we last left Our Party, they were standing outside the Library with Rosie, feeling battered, tired, and in need of communing with gods, drinking, and rest, not necessarily in that order."


"My thanks to you again, Madam Librarian. Am I correct in assuming that we shall see you again on the morrow?" Khila'eru asks.

"Of course! I work every day except the weekends... and even then I'm usually in there anyway. I just love books!"

Khila'eru smiles and nods her goodbye to the librarian. Ayaka smiles softly herself. "Yes, I thank you too," she whispers clearly. She does look tired, though. Pyralis nods a similar goodbye, trying hard not to say something about the librarian's near-obsession with books. Rosie smiles, waves cheerfully, and heads off down one of the now torch-lit streets.

Khila'eru breaths deeply and takes in the night sky. "It is a fine night."

Hiro looks around at the Library. "Do you think we could come a bit earlier tomorrow? I'd love to have some time to browse."

Ayaka nods a little. "I'd like to come back tomorrow, too, maybe do a little more studying." The Elf speaks quietly, yet clearly.

"Yes, an early start would be a wise move," Khila'eru agrees.

"So, back to the Inn, then?" Hiro asks.

Ayaka nods again. "I think so..." Khila'eru starts off towards the Inn, fishing her brochure out of her pack as she walks. Hiro notices that the Elf seems to know where she's going, and heads off in the same direction. Ayaka slowly walks back to the Inn, deep in thought, chewing on her lip slightly.

Pyralis follows the rest toward the Inn... and suddenly realizes something. "Hmm... I think I might have to purchase a room... I wasn't part of the group last night, was I?" He thinks all of this in a would-be musing tone, but there is a fair bit of irony in the latter half.

Eventually, everyone finds themselves back outside the brick-walled Inn, now lit by a couple of gold lanterns on either side of the door. Ayaka looks up and around, thinking, before she smiles faintly.

"Ah, here we are then. Anyone for a light dinner?" Khila'eru asks.

Ayaka smiles a little and nods. "I am."

Pyralis looks up from his thoughts to see that they have arrived at the Inn. "Hmm... I think I may join you for that, Khila'eru..."

"Well, actually, I need to spend some quiet moments in contemplation, but I will catch up with you in the dining area." Hiro, looking to see if there's someplace suitable for meditating, notices a small path around one side of the Inn, heading towards the back, and follows it.

"Very well." Khila'eru heads into the Inn, and Pyralis follows.

As Hiro reaches the back of the path, he finds that it leads to a small gated garden with an ancient looking tree in the middle, and thinks to himself that this is the perfect place to pay thanks to his gods. The man at the gate looks up from his book to notice Hiro standing there. "Do you have a room key?" the gatekeeper asks.

Hiro mutters under his breath and fumbles in his robes, eventually finding his key. "Of course I do. Here."

The gatekeeper looks at Hiro's key, says, "All right," reaches over, and unlatches the gate. Hiro mumbles a quiet thank you, and the gatekeeper nods. "No problem."

Hiro enters, finds a place in the shade of the old tree, and sits cross-legged with his palms resting on his knees. He closes his eyes and takes a few deep breaths, and then a series of small ones, feeling his body start to relax. He feels himself becoming closer to nature and knows that the gods are looking down on him. "Spirits of the forest and of the trees, I give thanks for the strength you have given me."

Ayaka hovers outside the Inn, then decides to follow Hiro around back. After witnessing Hiro's exchange with the gatekeeper, she approaches herself, pinches at her nose, then shows her own room key. The guard nods and waves her into the courtyard as well. She smiles gently and enters, moving to sit cross-legged, not far off from Hiro. She closes her eyes then, takes several deep breaths, and slips into a mediative trance.


Khila'eru and Pyralis enter the Inn. As the door bell jingles, they find themselves in the foyer, where a very frazzled-looking clerk sits with his head in his hands. The staircase leads up to the right, and from the doorway to the left comes a variety of sounds not unlike a horrendous catfight.

"Gul'edan, care to join me in a pint as we wait for the others?"

Pyralis raises an eyebrow. It takes him a bit to catch on to the fact that he is being referred to, but once he does, he smiles slightly. "I believe I will... I pride myself, after all, on having more fortitude than most of the other sorcerors..."

As Khila'eru and Pyralis enter the left doorway, they find themselves inside a restaurant, currently sparsely populated. One table has a cloaked person sitting at it, a mug in front of them. Their hood is drawn up covering their face, but, judging by the way their head is lolling back and the loud snoring, they're either asleep or faking it with great gusto.

Another table sports a quartet of male townspeople clad in worker clothes and quite soused. They're all singing and clanging their mugs around loudly and merrily.

The last occupied table has one woman and one man, both clad in armor and looking miserable and drunk. The man has blue skin, curiously enough. There's also another woman at the same table, wearing a robe and a tall pointy hat. She doesn't look drunk, but she does seem rather disgusted.

Finally, the sound of a catfight seems to be coming from the restaurant's stage. There's a Gnome fellow in beat-up-looking scale mail busy jamming horribly on a banjo and trying to dance, his armor clanking noisily. He is joined by a Halfling fellow in leather armor, pounding away on a set of drums with no sense of rhythm whatsoever. Both are singing drunkenly and loudly in languages Khila'eru and Pyralis don't understand. The singing of the four townspeople in no way harmonizes with the singing of the two small people. One suspects that this is why the restaurant is sparsely populated.

The barkeep waves at Khila'eru and Pyralis. He seems to be cheerful enough, no doubt because he's wearing a set of earmuffs. Khila'eru, undaunted by the noise, smiles and walks over to him. "Good evening barkeep, what manner of drinks are you serving this evening?"

Pyralis walks over to the bar as well, wincing and walking painfully... although the painful stride may be an over-dramatization of the pain the band is causing. "In the name of all that is good and holy... I have half a mind to cast an Acid Splash just to get the band to clear out..."

"All the more reason for a stiff drink, Hughes."

Pyralis nods. "Couldn't agree more..." Other than that, he waits to find out just what sort of stiff drink he will be able to employ to drown out the 'band'.

The barkeep stares at Khila'eru's lips as she speaks to figure out what she's asking, then shouts in an over-loud voice, "We've got beer, wine, mixed drinks, sarsaparilla, water, and apple cider!"

"A beer, then."

The barkeep hunts around under the bar, comes up with a mug, and fills it from a tap behind him. He then plunks it down in front of Khila'eru and shouts, "Four copper, please!"

Pyralis grins with a bit of irony. Turning to the Elf, he remarks, "You know, it's kind of sad when the sound of a barkeep shouting with no sense of the pitch he's using because he's wearing earmuffs is more inviting than the band..." Turning back to the barkeep, he asks, "What kinds of wine do you serve?" while unconsciously trying to project his voice so that the barkeep might possibly hear him.

The barkeep looks at Pyralis for a moment, then says, "We got cheap stuff, OK stuff, good stuff, and really good stuff!"

"Perhaps a tab would be in order," Khila'eru suggests.

"Eh? What? You already ordered!"

Pyralis nods a bit to Khila'eru's remark, then thinks a bit. All attempt at thought, however, is drowned out by the band. "Better make it something in the good category!" he says loudly, trying a higher level of projection.

"OK!" The barkeep hunts around the bar, then locates and plops a bottle of wine in front of Pyralis. "Three silver!"

"We are expecting friends and will be staying for dinner." Khila'eru makes sure to enunciate each word carefully.

The barkeep shouts to Khila'eru, "Bit late for dinner, but we have some munchies! Sit wherever you like! And what about the four copper?"

Khila'eru sighs. Pyralis nods a bit, then remarks, not sure if the barkeep has caught on to this, "Keep a running tab of our orders - we have friends coming."

"You don't by any chance offer student discounts?" Khila'eru asks.

"Uh, yeah, sure! I'll note it on your tab!"

"Thank you."

Pyralis looks at the bottle of wine and raises an eyebrow. "Can you get me a glass or two? I'm not the type to drink it right from the bottle..."

"OK!"

The barkeep hands Pyralis a glass, while Khila'eru takes her beer and finds a table as far away from the stage as possible.

Pyralis nods a bit. "Thank you." He takes the glass and retreats to Khila'eru's table. They find themselves more or less between the trio of unhappy people and the snoring patron.


While Khila'eru and Pyralis brave the noisy bar, Hiro repeats his meditations over and over for ten minutes until he finally awakens. He opens his eyes and stretches before slowly standing up, breathing in deeply, then exhaling very slowly. "Ah, that is much better."

He notices Ayaka meditating close by and decides not to interrupt her. He heads back inside to find the others.

Ayaka opens one eye as she registers Hiro leaving, stops her own meditations, and rises to her feet, leaving the courtyard to return to the Inn proper.


As Hiro and Ayaka enter the Inn, they see no sign of their friends off-hand, but do note the frazzled clerk and the horrible noise coming from the left doorway. Hiro approaches the clerk and asks, "Please, can you direct my friend and I to the dining area?"

The clerk sighs and points to the left doorway. "That's the dining area. Enter at your own risk."

As Pyralis sits down in a chair facing the door, he sees Hiro and Ayaka come in and attempts to hail them over. "Hey! Over here!" he cries, projecting as much as he can in an attempt to overcome the 'music'. Hiro hears Pyralis calling and waves back as he and Ayaka enter.

Khila'eru relaxes into her chair and takes an exploratory sip from her beer, while Hiro decides to walk over to the bar and wait to be served. Ayaka smirks a bit, then walks over to Khila'eru and Pyralis' table and seats herself.

There's finally a lull in the music as the pair on stage presumably finish their "song" and take a breather. The armor-clad woman seated at the other table shouts out to them, "Will you two please shut up and get over here?"

"No way!" the Halfling fellow shouts. "We're having too much fun!"

The woman then looks at the blue-skinned fellow beseechingly. "Tim, can't you do something?"

Tim smiles sourly and waves his mug in the air. "I'd smite them, but being annoying doesn't make you evil." The robed woman snorts in response to all this.

Pyralis grins a bit at this exchange, but manages not to snort himself as he pours some of his red wine into his glass. Khila'eru rests her beer mug on the table and starts to unstrap some of her armor.

The barkeep, sensing a bit of quiet, pulls off one earmuff and says to Hiro, "CAN I HELP... er, can I help you?"

Hiro looks at the barkeep and shouts back, "WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO DRINK!!"

The barkeep looks slightly taken aback, shrugs, and shouts, "WE HAVE BEER, WINE, MIXED DRINKS, SARSAPARILLA, WATER, AND APPLE CIDER!"

Hiro looks at the barkeep in confusion. "You don't have to shout, you know."

Ayaka chuckles and decides to head over to the bar herself. "Water would be fine for me." The barkeep sighs exasperatedly at Hiro, then pulls out a glass, fills it with water from a tap, and slides it over to Ayaka. She takes it, then sips. "Thanks."

"I'm not sure what I want, er, what's good?" Hiro asks.

"Can't go wrong with beer or wine, generally," the barkeep tells him.

Meanwhile, the Gnome on stage announces, "And for our next song, we'll sing that Gnome favorite, '99 Bottles of Wine on the Wall'!"

Pyralis winces as he hears the impromptu shouting match over at the bar. "Oi..." Then he hears that there will be more music and groans even louder.

"Groan!" Khila'eru shouts in response herself.

Hiro looks over toward the stage. "I haven't heard that one before."

The Gnome looks happy at Hiro's remark. "Really? Well, you're about to!"

The table full of townspeople all cheer. The trio of armor-clad folks all groan. The cloaked patron snores. Pyralis mutters under his breath, "You're about to hear something, but I doubt that it will be a Gnomish favorite..."

Hiro turns his attention back to the bar and thinks for a moment. "I'm not sure what I would like, so, I think I'll try a bit of everything. Give me a beer, a bottle of wine, a cider, and a mixed drink, please." He opens his money pouch and pours his coins onto the bar. "Is that enough?"

Khila'eru stands up quickly. "No!" She dashes over to Hiro and the barkeep. "He will have a small beer, the smaller the better."

The barkeep looks down at the pile of coins, then back up at Khila'eru, and says, "Will he?"

Hiro looks at Khila'eru and puts a hand on her shoulder. "I'm here to try new experiences, so I will have the drinks I mentioned, please."

"We may actually need your assistance tomorrow, and I doubt that getting inebriated will help in that. Have you ever even had a drink before?"

Hiro looks around sheepishly. "Er, yes, at a friend's wedding I once had some wine."

Pyralis raises an eyebrow at Khila'eru's sudden departure, but decides to stay in his seat, sipping his wine and preparing to try to block out what will be billed as "99 Bottles of Wine on the Wall".

"Oh, well, then, you've already tried the wine, so why don't you try a beer tonight, and a mixed drink tomorrow?" Khila'eru says all of this in a slow and patient voice.

Hiro sighs. "Well, I suppose I could just take the beer and the bottle of wine, then. Or, we could forget the beer..." he muses.

The Gnome starts singing something in a loud voice, and the pair on stage start playing again. Fortunately, none of Our Party can understand it. Unfortunately, it's still horrible. Ayaka shudders and blocks her ears. Pyralis sighs a bit, still contemplating casting Acid Splash. However, he decides to continue sipping wine, trying (but failing) to tune out the "band".

Hiro comes to a decision. "Barkeep, a bottle of your best wine please. And one glass."

The barkeep sets his earmuffs back in place, shrugs, hunts around under the counter, pulls out a fancy-looking bottle, plops it down in front of Hiro, and shouts, "Ten gold, please!"

Hiro looks around embarrassingly, then leans towards the barkeep to say to him, "Erm, I don't have enough, so a standard bottle will do..." Khila'eru stands behind Hiro and tries to convey the terms "small" and "cheap" the the barkeep while remaining silent.

The robed woman sighs, stands up, walks over towards the stage, and starts waving her arms and muttering something inaudible. A chair wobbles, then lifts up into the air and floats towards the stage. The two small people pause in their "performance" and look extremely worried, as the chair proceeds to start chasing them around the stage.

Pyralis hears a sudden lull in the music and raises an eyebrow. He looks up at the stage and sees the antics involving the band and a flying chair. He grins, but stays silent.

Hiro tries a different approach at the bar. "You do realize we have a tab here, which the Academy will pay?"

The barkeep, noticing that it's quiet again, removes his earmuffs again and plops a different bottle of wine in front of Hiro. "One silver. And... the Academy doesn't pay us jack."

Hiro shrugs in defeat and hands over the money. "Thank you."

"No problem."

Hiro takes his bottle of "OK" wine and heads over to his companions. Noticing a spare seat, he takes his place at the table. Khila'eru sighs, then addresses the barkeep. "That stuff is not strong, is it?"

The barkeep shrugs. "It's wine. It's stronger than beer and weaker than whiskey." Khila'eru shakes her head, then heads back to the table and resumes her seat. Ayaka wanders back over herself. As Khila'eru returns to the table, Hiro notices that the Elf has removed some of her armor, and tries very hard to ignore the curves underneath it.

"Ow, ow, OK, we'll stop! We'll stop!" the small people complain under the chair battering. The robed woman looks satisfied, lets the chair drop on the stage, and heads back to her table.

The blue-skinned fellow smiles at her. "By the Sacred Hammer of Heironeous, Eloise, I could kiss you!"

The robed woman looks at him dubiously. "Please don't!"

Pyralis can't help but snicker at the turn of events, but his mood is more from joy at not having to put up with the band any more. The two small people, now with a lack of something to do, shrug at each other.

"Want to play darts or something?"

"Yeah, sure." They go over to a part of the restaurant with a dartboard on it and start playing darts, mostly missing and putting holes in the wall.

Hiro fills his glass with wine, takes a long drink, then snorts. "Damn that was strong!" Khila'eru subtly slides the bottle away from Hiro while he's distracted. Ayaka looks around, then snickers softly, sipping at her water.

The four drunken townspeople, momentarily stymied by the lack of music, grumble and decide to leave. The cloaked patron continues snoring. Hiro feels a small hot flush creep up over his body as he looks for his suddenly misplaced bottle of wine. "Hmm, that wasshn't sooo bad."

Pyralis raises an eyebrow as he sees Hiro's reaction to his shot of wine. "My my... you are a really cheap drunk, aren't you, Hiro..."

Hiro looks at him. "I'm not really experienced in the ways of life. I've been a monk for the past fifteen years."

Khila'eru shakes her head, once again gets up, albeit more slowly this time, and heads back over to the bar. The barkeep looks at her. "What can I get for you?"

"Barkeep, what are these 'munchies' you spoke of?"

Hiro finally notices that his bottle of wine has somehow moved over to Khila'eru's place, and he takes the opportunity to retrieve it whilst she is at the bar. He fills his glass again, but this time he takes a small sip and savors the taste.

"Well, we have pretzels, sandwiches, salad, chips, fries, and that sort of thing."

"What manner of sandwiches?"

Before the barkeep can answer, a loudish "thud" echoes through the room. Khila'eru looks to to see the source of the noise. Ayaka also looks up, her eyes narrowing. Pyralis raises an eyebrow at the sound himself. "Hmm? What happened?" he asks as he looks around.

They notice that the blue-skinned fellow seems to have fallen out of his chair and under the table. The armor-clad woman grins happily and says, "Beat you again, Tim," before downing the rest of her own mug.

Khila'eru turns her attention back to the barkeep. Pyralis smiles slightly, turns to Hiro and says, "My monkish friend... if you take too many sips of that bottle of wine, THAT," he points a thumb in the blue-skinned man's direction, "Is what will happen to you."

Hiro looks at Pyralis. "Don't worry, gul'edan, I feel absolutely fine!"

The barkeep shakes his head at the spectacle. "You Academy folk never could hold your liquor. Anyway."

"Hmm, sometimes the young must be allowed to make their own mistakes."

The barkeep shrugs at Khila'eru. "Hey, no arguments from me... if people got money and don't look too young, I serve 'em."

Khila'eru nods. "So, about these sandwiches..."

Ayaka remains silent, sipping at her water. Pyralis nods at Hiro, still smirking slightly. "That's how it starts... but come morning, you'll be regretting it. Take it easy on the booze... or you'll find out what a hangover is... the hard way."

"Don't worry friend, I won't drink too much." Hiro smiles and raises a glass to his companions. Pyralis is still smirking a bit, but he raises a glass along with Hiro. Ayaka smirks and raise her own glass. Hiro then takes a deep drink. "Aaaye!" Pyralis takes a reasonable gulp of his wine, but says nothing - he settles for his smirky grin and observing Hiro experiment with alcohol.

Over at the bar, the barkeep says, "Right. We have cold-cuts and cheese-like substance... bacon and lettuce... I think there's some chicken and turkey leftover from dinner I could stick on some bread... ketchup and mustard and whatnot..."

"The turkey sounds fine. With everything, please. Oh, and do you have any nachos?"

Ayaka notes the exchange at the bar, and calls out, "Yes, the turkey with everything sounds fine for me, too!"

The barkeep puts together some turkey, lettuce, cheese-like substance, mayonnaise, and mustard sandwiches and sets them in front of Khila'eru. He then rummages around, pulls out a basket, and throws some nachos in it. He appears to do some mental math for a moment and says, "Two silvers and four coppers, please."

"No cheese?"

The barkeep takes back the basket of nachos, drizzles some cheese-like substance on it, and hands it back. "Er, sorry. And wait, I'll add it to your tab, right. By the way, can I see your student ID?"

Khila'eru shows her ID. The barkeep jots down Khila'eru's name on the tab bill. "It's not that I don't trust you students to pay your bill, it's that... well, OK, I don't trust you students to pay your bill."

Khila'eru smiles. "I can pay my portion now, if it would ease your mind?"

"Nah, it's fine."

Hiro looks up and sniffs the air. "Wait, can I smell nachos?"

Khila'eru takes the food-like stuff back to the table, nods again, and sets it down. She then slowly eats her sandwich. Ayaka nibbles at her own food, deep in thought, occasionally taking a sip of water. Hiro takes a handful of nachos and stuffs them into his mouth, washing them down with another gulp of wine. Pyralis takes another sip of his own wine as he thinks to himself, "Hmm... that monk is a fish out of water... especially with booze in his system..." and picks at the food himself.

Meanwhile, the barkeep muses out loud, "Now that I think about it, though..." then shouts out to the other group, "Hey, seeing as how Mister 'You can trust me, I'm chosen of the gods!' is busy drooling on the floor, and he's the one who signed the bill, and two of you chased off most of my customers, mind paying up now?"

The others start muttering and thumbing through their pockets. The armor-clad woman stands up and goes around collecting money from the other woman and the small people, then goes over to the bar and plops the pile on the bartop with a wan smile.

"Thanks," the barkeep says.

The armor-clad woman then says, "C'mon, people, let's grab Tim and get going, I guess." The two small folk groan in protest, but the robed woman merely stands and smooths out her robe. The armor-clad woman and Gnome pull their snoring friend out from under the table and start carrying him off, his arms dragging on the floor. The Halfling bounces along behind, with the robed woman following primly.

Khila'eru finishes her sandwich, her beer, and a few nachos. Ayaka also finishes her food and water before she looks around, chuckling softly. Hiro notices that there isn't much food left and quickly grabs some more, stuffing it into his mouth. He then finishes the last of his wine and looks around the room.

Pyralis takes a sip of his wine, finishing off this particular glass. He looks at Hiro's bottle, sees that it is empty, and thinks to himself, "Oi... he's gonna' feel just GRAND in the morning..."

As the other group finally makes their way awkwardly out the door, the cloaked patron continues snoring, and the barkeep whistles a tune while wiping the bartop.

"Well, I believe that this is a fine time for us to part for the evening," Khila'eru suggests.

Hiro stands up and notices that he has just finished off a whole bottle of wine by himself. He thinks that he should be feeling drunk, but instead just feels a strange urge to dance. He tries to walk forward but ends up staggering backwards a few steps. "Heh? What? It's not bedtime yet, let's go party!"

Pyralis does not stand up as he watches Hiro try to get up and function. "Yep... so drunk," he thinks to himself.

Ayaka blinks a little, then blushes as she covers a yawn. Khila'eru looks at her and says, "Shall I meet you at the Library in the morning?" Ayaka smiles at Khila'eru and nods, also rising to her feet.

Meanwhile, Hiro stumbles towards the stage. Khila'eru points to the staggering Hiro and says to Pyralis, "I leave him in your charge."

Pyralis watches Hiro stumble towards the stage. "Oh god..."

Khila'eru lays a hand on Pyralis' shoulder. "I am sure that you will take fine care of him."

As Hiro approaches the stage, he notices that it currently contains a banjo, a set of drums, and a turned-over chair. He clambers up onto the stage and heads towards the drumset.

Pyralis looks up over his shoulder at Khila'eru. "Eh... I'll try to make sure he doesn't get himself killed... but I was never much of a caretaker..."

"That is all that I could expect, Hughes."

Pyralis turns back to watching Hiro stumbling towards the drumset. "This won't be good," he mutters to himself slightly. He then says aloud, "I'll try, Khila'eru... but I can't make any promises... he's pretty far along..." as he takes another sip of a new glass of his own wine.

Hiro finally manages to sit down behind the drums and looks at them whilst drooling. He picks up the drumsticks, then collapses in a drunken stupor, sprawled over the drums. He snores loudly.

"It shouldn't be too hard..." Khila'eru notes dryly, then walks over to the bar.

Pyralis grins a bit. "Case in point." He goes up to the stage and starts climbing up on it, intending to pick Hiro up off the drumset.

"What do my beer, sandwich, and the nachos come to?" Khila'eru asks the barkeep.

The barkeep does a bit of math. "With discounts, the sandwiches were nine coppers each, the nachos were three coppers, the beer was three coppers, the water's free, and the wine was two silvers and seven coppers. The other fellow already paid for his wine."

Khila'eru sets two silver pieces on the bar. "Could I please have change for this?"

Ayaka heads over and slides one silver piece across the bar herself. "Thanks. I'd like change from that if possible."

The barkeep takes the money, then gives Khila'eru her five coppers in change and Ayaka her one copper. Khila'eru takes three coppers of the change and leaves two on the table. The barkeep notices the tip and grins. "Thanks!" Ayaka slides her own copper of change back across as well.

While this goes on, Pyralis goes over to the monk with the intent of pulling him up off the drumset and walking him off the stage and back to the table. He finds that Hiro is busy smacking the air in front of himself whilst nearly waking up the whole Inn with his snoring. As Pyralis picks him up, Hiro wakes slightly, mumbles, "Hmmmnhghgh, whtsa fdoryt?", then goes back to sleep.

Pyralis drags Hiro to the table, lays Hiro's head down on the table, then walks over to the bar to join Ayaka and Khila'eru. "Okay... how much do I owe the barkeep?"

The barkeep is busy commenting to Khila'eru and Ayaka, "After your other friend is busy saving your other other friend from himself, tell him... ah, there we go." He then takes the tip from Ayaka, smiles, and says to Pyralis, "Two silver and seven copper left to go."

Ayaka smiles and starts to walk towards the door, yawning a little. Khila'eru follows, puts one arm around her in a half-hug, then says to her in Elven, "Good night my friend, sleep well. I shall see you again at the dawning of the new day."

Ayaka smiles and hugs back, responding in kind. "You too. Certainly."

Pyralis nods slightly at the barkeep. "That wine was a life saver... without it, I believe I would have killed the small ones..." Pyralis slaps down three silvers. "Keep the change."

"Thanks! Feel free to stop by any time, all of you. There's some complimentary coffee and pastries tomorrow morning. Your friend will definitely need the coffee."

Pyralis nods a bit, then says to the others, "All right... I'm going to go finish my wine... I'll help Hiro up to his room when I'm done with it. All right, Khila'eru?"

"I thank you for your kindness, gul'edan."

Pyralis smiles slightly. "I try." He nods a farewell to the Elves before returning to his ward.

"May Corellon Larethian grant you a magical life," Khila'eru blesses him.

Hiro wakes slightly at this and speaks whilst slurring his words, "Gul'edan, hee hee hee... I love you all..." He then closes his eyes again and burps loudly.

Pyralis waves over his shoulder to sign that he heard Khila'eru, then grins a bit at Hiro's antics. "I'd better make this quick..." He glances at his wine bottle and pours himself a generous glass to finish it off.

Khila'eru says in Elven, "I am ever grateful that you are in my party, Ayaka."

Ayaka smiles and waves a good night to the others of their party before she chuckles and responds, also in Elven, "I'm glad you're in our party too, Khila."

"I am sure that I would go mad otherwise."

Ayaka laughs softly. "I think I would too... nothing against the guys... but still..."

Hiro speaks again in his sleep. "A'maelamin."

Khila'eru then re-dons the bits of her armor she had removed and exits the Inn, intending to return to the Elven shop she stopped at earlier. Ayaka makes her way to her Inn room, where she crumples on to her bed, resting almost at once.

Pyralis takes a gulp of his wine as he looks at the monk. He then utters his first phrase in a foreign language since joining the party. In Draconic, he mutters, "I believe you have had enough to drink for a good deal of your lifetime, friend."

Hiro mutters, "Amin mela lle..."


Khila'eru makes her way through the town. It's fairly quiet, with the torch-lit buildings sitting sleepily waiting for the dawn, and the crescent moon shining overhead. Eventually she finds herself at the back of the Elven shop, where the gated garden park sits that she remembers reading about in her brochure earlier. By the gate entrance is a young Elf, sitting with his feet crossed, strumming a lute, and singing softly in Elven. Unlike the pair in the bar, he actually can sing well.

A sign sits by the gate and says, in Elven, "Visitors with Elf blood only, please. All others ask for special dispensation from the gatekeeper."

Khila'eru smiles to herself and checks to see if the gate is open. She finds that it opens freely, as the Elven fellow nods at her. As she enters the gate, she feels a slight tingle and a shimmer in the air right in the gate opening, but no ill effects. Looking around inside, she sees what seems to be a slightly wilder version of the inside of the shop itself. Small trees, bushes, and flowering plants create an inviting little alcove garden, lit by floating wispy lights. Aside from the Elven fellow's soft singing, it's pretty quiet. There are a few other Elves sitting around, either meditating, quietly admiring the flowers, or humming along with the singing.

Khila'eru finds a soft spot of grass and sits, disentangling herself from her equipment as she does so. She relaxes and gazes up at the moon, thinking that it is a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by Elven culture. She then settles in and begins to pray and commune with her god before trancing for the night.


Pyralis downs the rest of his wine quickly before putting the glass down on the table. Seeing that he is out of wine, he grins a bit. "All right, monk, it's time to get you to bed, I think..."

Hiro mumbles in his sleep. Pyralis walks over to Hiro, picks him up as gently as he can, drapes one of Hiro's arms around his own shoulders, and supports Hiro underneath the arm as he walks him out of the pub and towards the Inn part.

They head into the foyer, where the clerk looks noticeably less frazzled. Pyralis walks Hiro over to the clerk with him, and says, "All right... I need to purchase a room for tonight and I need to get my friend here, Hiro, to his room."

Hiro opens one eye. "I love you, er, Elf, er, magic perrshonn." He burps and giggles.

The clerk grins and nods. "Single economy rooms are two gold, double economy rooms are three gold, and the staircase over there leads to the rooms."

Pyralis nods a bit, then reaches into his gold pouch with his free hand to put two gold coins down on the counter. "There's the gold for my room..." Pyralis turns to Hiro. "Where is your room?" he asks, speaking slowly.

Hiro drunkenly points in a vague direction. "There!" He then hugs Pyralis tightly.

The clerk takes the gold and hands a room key from off the wall to Pyralis, who currently finds himself hugged tightly by a drunken monk. "Okay... that doesn't tell me anything..." He takes the key from the clerk. "Thanks. I guess I'll take it from here, now..."

The clerk chuckles and says helpfully, "The room numbers are on the keys."

Pyralis nods a bit at the clerk and glances at his own key. "Thanks." He then frowns a bit and thinks to himself, "Great... now I have to find his key..." Dutifully, Pyralis goes off towards the rooms.

"Heyyyy, letshh goo danshingg!" Hiro starts to sing a song in a very poor drunken version of Elven, as Pyralis manages to drag him up the stairs and into the nicely appointed hallway with its stretch of rooms. Hiro finishes his song and lets out another burp.

Pyralis winces a bit as he hears the burp right by his face. He eventually gets to his own room and fumbles with the key a bit, finally getting his door open. He goes in slowly, setting Hiro down on the bed as he sticks the key in his pocket. "Oi... Hiro, where is your key?" he asks, really hoping he doesn't have to go fishing for it.

Hiro slightly breaks free and by some miracle fishes his key out of his pocket. He holds it up as if he is brandishing a weapon. "Come on, I can take you..." He then slumps to the floor, still holding the key.

Pyralis sighs with great relief and thinks to himself, "Thank the gods... all of them..." He looks at Hiro's key to see what room it's for, nods a bit, then picks Hiro back up off the bed. He hooks Hiro around his head, and walks out of the door, dragging Hiro from room 21 back down the hallway to room 7.

"Damn... I know I'm strong for a sorceror... but I'll leave the strength feats to someone else from now on... oi..." Pyralis finally gets to Hiro's room, nods, a bit relieved, then looks at Hiro. Not expecting much success, he moves to take the key from Hiro so he can unlock the door.

Hiro tries to slap Pyralis' hand away but fails miserably. Pyralis raises an eyebrow as Hiro slaps at the air. Eventually, he gets the key away from him, unlocks the door, and goes in, setting Hiro down on his own bed this time.

Hiro snores and suddenly lets out a really loud fart. Pyralis grins a bit as Hiro starts snoring... but frowns when he farts. "Oi... that's uncalled for... drunk or not..." Pyralis mutters, slipping into Draconic as he leaves Hiro laying on his bed to return to his own room.

And so Our Party settles down for the night, three members in their beds, and one content in the Elven park. The barkeep cleans the bar, the clerk basks in the quiet, and the cloaked patron continues snoring blissfully. It is the close of a day in the merry city of Clarksburg...