Finals at the Academy:Campaign/Chapter 13
Chapter 13: One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor
"When we last left Our Party, they had just agreed to settle the encounter with Wyatt and the Goblins (sounds like a barn band...) via a drinking contest at the local bar."
After Wyatt gathers his fundage from Rosie in the Library office and leaves his wand behind ("Wouldn't want any shifty folk stealing it from me..."), and Glory gathers his own fundage, Our Party heads out of the Library and walks through the town, with various passerby staring with nervousness and/or curiosity at the Goblins, whom Glory is keeping a close eye on.
Eventually the large group arrives outside the local bar. It's a squat, slightly dilapidated-looking wooden building in an equally dilapidated-looking part of the city. A wooden sign out front bears a painting of an upside-down beer mug with a drop falling out of it, and the name "The Last Call" in plain block letters. The door is open, and the loud sound of many people carousing, arguing, haggling, and various similar activities wafts out into the street.
Pyralis looks around this part of town with eyes slightly narrowed and thinks to himself, "Hmm... perhaps this wasn't the best idea I've ever had..."
Ayaka moves to sit to one side, watching silently, as Hiro glances nervously around himself. "I'm not sure which is more dangerous - standing out here, or going inside this establishment."
Wyatt laughs a bit. "Heh. Well, this is the main bar in the city that I know of. I prefer the Inn myself, usually... but I doubt they'd go for a drinking contest."
Glory grins. "Glory go here after work often. Crazy place, just the way Glory like it!" He notices one of the Goblins trying to sneak off, grabs the would-be fugitive, and tucks him under his arm like a sack of flour. "Nice try, small creature!"
"Any port in a storm, as they say..." Khila'eru steps through the door.
Pyralis wide-eye blinks a bit, then shakes his head slightly as he follows Khila'eru into the bar he has damned his party to. Glory notices the two heading in, and herds the Goblins. "Go in bar, sneaky small creatures."
Hiro takes a final look around, and, shaking his head, enters the bar himself. Wyatt bows, holds his arm out ahead of himself towards the door, and looks over at Ayaka. "After you, fair lady..." Ayaka colors and enters the bar, her eyes narrowing, and Wyatt follows her in.
They all find themselves inside a very busy bar. A counter lines the left side of the building, behind which a gruff-looking Human bartender is busy handing out drinks to the various people sitting and standing at the counter.
A scrawny, nervous-looking Human teen stands in one corner of the bar near the door, mopping the floor and jumping and wincing every time one of the patrons drifts too close to him (which is often). The remainder of the bar has a large number of tables, most of which are occupied by a vast and varied group of patrons in various states of drunkenness.
The jumpy janitor stares with wide eyes at the group as they enter, and some of the nearby patrons stare curiously as well, but otherwise everyone seems occupied with their own problems.
Shaking his head slightly, Pyralis tentatively approaches the bar. The nearby patrons glance over surreptitiously as Pyralis tries to squeeze himself into a spot at the counter. "Oof... sorry... excuse me..." He eventually finds himself stuck between a scruffy-looking man passed out drooling on the counter and a middle-aged woman with gaudy clothes and too much makeup smiling at him with a bit too much interest.
Khila'eru crosses to the bar and looks at the assortment of bottles and drinking accouterments arrayed behind it. "It has indeed been a long time since I was last in a proper bar."
Ayaka smiles faintly. "I do not come into them much."
"Life's path is different for all who walk it."
Pyralis looks at the passed out guy with an indifferent glance, but is a bit more disturbed by the woman. After closing his eyes slowly and reopening them, he determines to stare straight ahead at the bartender. "Excuse me..." He refers to everyone else as best he can, not having a lot of room to swing his arm around. "A drink for my companions and I, please."
Glory herds the Goblins over to an empty table and makes them all sit down. He then starts walking in a circle around the table and staring at them menacingly. "Let know when ready for contest!" he shouts in the rest of the group's general direction.
Hiro waits patiently behind the others and looks around the noisy bar, feeling more nervous by the minute. Ayaka goes over and sits by one wall. Wyatt notices this, walks over, and sits down next to her. "You feeling all right, Miss Ayaka?"
Ayaka smiles, surprisingly warmly. "I'm fine thanks. I don't drink though..."
"Ah. Well, I can understand that."
Ayaka nods and smiles a little, looking around, while the bartender finally walks over to Pyralis and stares at him intensely with dark eyes. "Drink?" he says in a raspy voice. "What sort of drink you want?"
Pyralis contemplates the question. "Hmm... better stick to a cup of ale each for now."
The bartender grunts at Pyralis' order and says, "How many 'companions' you got?"
Pyralis turns around to look at his party. "Okay... quick head-count..." He counts, then turns back to the barkeep. "Let's go with eight for the time being."
The heavily-painted woman leans over even closer to Pyralis and says in a girlish voice, "You got room for one more 'companion', cutie?"
Pyralis recoils from the middle-aged woman as she leans in. Leaning back slightly, he replies, eyes rolling, "Miss... I believe you've had enough."
The woman gets an indignant look. "Hmmph!"
The bartender grunts again and goes off to start pouring drinks. Ayaka glances at the woman, then snickers, settling into her wall spot now. Pyralis stands in his bar spot, trying not to look at anyone else as he waits for the drinks. Khila'eru rolls her eyes and goes to join the others at the table.
Hiro pushes his way through the crowd at the bar until he finds Pyralis and taps him on the shoulder. "Do you want some help carrying those drinks to our table?"
Upon hearing Hiro's question, Khila'eru thinks better of sitting and returns to the bar to help Hughes carry the drinks. Pyralis turns to face them both. "Actually, that would be great..."
Hiro bows his head slightly. "No problem."
Wyatt notices everyone gathering at the tables and says to Ayaka apologetically, "I'm going to go over there for now. I'll be back later, yes, if you like?"
Ayaka smiles. "I think I'll join you even though I won't be drinking." She rises to her feet then.
"Sounds good to me!" Wyatt says, with a smile of his own.
The bartender eventually arrives with four drinks, two in each hand. He plops them down in front of Pyralis. "Be back with the rest."
Pyralis nods slightly, then hands the drinks off to the helpers who have volunteered. "Take these to... well, wherever the hell we're going to do this thing."
Khila'eru skillfully gathers up some of the glasses and sweeps off to a table near Glory and the Goblins. Hiro picks up the remaining glasses and follows her.
The bartender arrives with the rest of the drinks, then says to Pyralis, "So, any of your 'companions' got a tab with us? I know I ain't seen you before. Or, better yet, money up front?"
Pyralis furrows his brow in concentration. "I don't think--wait." He turns to the table with the Goblins... and Glory. Grinning slightly, he points him out to the bartender. "I'm sure that guy has been here before... put it on his tab."
The bartender follows Pyralis' point with his eyes. "Yeah, I know Glory, comes in here all the time. OK, I'll do that."
Pyralis smiles a bit. "Thank you." With that, he scoops up the drinks from the barkeep's second round and makes his way over to the table.
Khila'eru deposits her own stash of glasses on the table. Hiro follows, amazingly not spilling a drop. Khila'eru then heads back, meets Pyralis halfway, and offers to help with the four remaining sloshing glasses. "Need a hand?"
Pyralis nods a bit. "Just a little..." He willingly gives up two drinks, but keeps two himself.
The Goblins and Glory look over eagerly as Khila'eru, Hiro, and Pyralis work on arriving with the drinks, and Wyatt and Ayaka join the gathering at the two tables. Glory rubs his hands together as Khila'eru hands out her two drinks and takes a seat.
Pyralis notes Glory's eagerness with a slight grin and thinks to himself, "You'd better enjoy this... 'cause you're paying." He grins a bit wider before putting his drinks down on the table and sits down in a spare seat. Hiro takes his seat and eyes his beer lovingly.
"So," Wyatt offers, "How exactly is this going to work?"
"A fine point," Khila'eru agrees.
Pyralis glances sidelong at Hiro before answering. "Hmm... I hadn't thought of that. I would suggest a drinking free-for-all... but seeing as this is an 'Academy Challenge', what with our party against yours... I suppose we had better figure out some sort of team mechanic."
Ayaka looks on, listening silently.
"Well, there's six of 'us', and..." Wyatt glances over at Ayaka briefly. "Three of you available. Seems a little unfair to me. Hmm, who else wants to drink on our side?" Wyatt looks over at the other table, where the Goblins and Glory all raise their hands and declare variations on "Ooh! Ooh! Me want drinks!" He sighs.
Pyralis raises an eyebrow. "Hmm..." He turns to Glory. "Hey... seeing as you are not strictly a member of their party..." He thinks as an aside, "And the fact that we beat him already..." then continues aloud, "How about you drink on our team? You still get your drinks..."
Hiro nods in agreement. "Yes, Glory should definitely be on our team."
"Glory like that idea... What say, oh other magic man?"
Wyatt shrugs. "Fine by me. I'll sit out, then... let my 'henchmen' get themselves drunk." Khila'eru smiles to herself, and suppresses a laugh, as Wyatt then offers, "After all, someone has to keep Ayaka company, right?" Ayaka blushes at the comment, then chuckles.
Pyralis nods a bit. "So it's four on four now. That sounds more fair, doesn't it?" He raises an eyebrow at the Ayaka comment, but makes no reply.
"Work for Glory!"
"We drink now?" one of the Goblins says.
Hiro sneers at the Goblin. "Yes, we drink now."
Pyralis hmms. "I suppose we could all go at once and see who is still in it." He nods a bit to signify that the first round can begin, then begins drinking his ale. He downs his drink with relative ease, with no apparent negative effects.
"To graduation!" Khila'eru knocks back her drink.
Glory holds out his own mug. "To beer!" He then glugs the drink. As he wipes his mouth, he says, "Ah! Good drink."
Pyralis licks his lips a bit and grins. "I couldn't have put it better myself."
Hiro takes a breath and brings his glass to his lips, sighing as he feels the drink slide down his throat. As he finishes downing his drink he makes a very satisfied burp.
The Goblins all set to chugging their own drinks. Three get satisfied looks, while one grunts, "Bah, weak. Still beer, though."
Pyralis sees that the drinks are gone. "Hmm..." He looks around at everyone else. "So... who wants to do an ale-run?"
Hiro grunts. "Let the Goblins go!"
"No, sneaky small people stay where Glory can see them."
"I'll volunteer. We're going to need a lot of ale... might as well grab a pitcher or two." Wyatt looks over at Ayaka and asks, "What do you say... we both grab a pitcher of ale for the cause?"
Ayaka nods and smiles. "OK. Anything to help." She rises to her feet then and sashays towards the bar. As Wyatt follows, she smiles, flicking an almost sensual look over her shoulder at him before she grins and says to the bartender, "I'd like another pitcher or two of ale... please..."
Wyatt says, "Yes, two pitchers, barkeep, paid with, uh, whatever the fellow in the red robe over there paid with." Ayaka nods and laughs.
The bartender grunts. "Two pitchers of ale, coming up."
Pyralis nods a bit. He then looks over the participants to see how things are going. The most notable thing he sees is Hiro beginning to get a hazy look to his eyes. He thinks to himself, "Heh... I can already tell that he's fixing to get some major schooling in alcohol... again." Pyralis also notes that only one of the goblins appears to be hanging in there with him and the Orc. He grins to himself and thinks, "Well... everything's going well so far."
Hiro sits back in his chair and relaxes as he waits for the next round, trying very hard to ignore the warm tingling feeling that has started in his stomach. Khila'eru swirls the dregs in her glass.
After a few moments, the bartender arrives with two pitchers of ale, one in each hand. "Here you go."
Ayaka smiles and takes one, before she strolls back over to the table, moving almost sinuously now before she sets the pitcher down, then sits herself. Wyatt grabs the other pitcher off the counter... and tries to make it look like it's not heavy for him. He then follows Ayaka back to the group and sets the pitcher on the other table.
Pyralis smiles a bit as the ale arrives. "Ah... it appears that we can begin round two."
Khila'eru takes the pitcher at her table and pours everyone a glass. One of the Goblins reaches for the pitcher at their table, but Glory smacks his hand away and works on pouring all their drinks himself. Ayaka sits, smirking faintly but silent. Wyatt re-takes his seat as well.
Hiro stands up to toast. He looks around the tables and raises his glass. "To stupid Goblins!!"
Pyralis raises an eyebrow at Hiro standing up and thinks, "Hmm... yeah, he still can't hold his ale..." He grins, saying nothing, but nods a bit to Khila'eru as she pours his drink. Then, at Hiro's toast, he drinks up with another raised eyebrow.
The Goblins blow raspberries and raise their own mugs. "To stupid adventurers!"
Glory raises his own mug, shrugs, and says, "To beer!"
Khila'eru smiles and downs her own drink, a little slower this time. "Hmm, not bad ale, really. Not nearly as good as Elven, but..." She shrugs.
Glory and the Goblins all chug their drinks. "Good ale," Glory agrees. One of the Goblins still looks less than satisfied with the beer, but the others are starting to look slightly tipsy.
Hiro downs his drink in one massive gulp and surprisingly manages to stay standing. He then sits down, happy that his alcohol tolerance seems to have increased since his last encounter. He picks up a beer mat and, making sure that the Goblins are distracted first, flicks it towards them.
The beer mat catches one of the Goblins in the back of the head. "Ow!" He bends down, picks it up, looks it over, and glares back at the other table.
Glory chuckles and pours out the Goblins' ale. Khila'eru empties the last of the other pitcher into everyone else's glasses.
Hiro stands up on surprisingly steady feet. "If no-one has any objections, I will take a quick trip to the toilet?" He then heads off to find the outhouse.
Pyralis looks around and sees that Glory and one Goblin are still holding their own. He thinks, "Hmm... not a bad showing so far from the Goblins, considering their size..."
Khila'eru sighs and stares into her drink while waiting for Hiro to return. Wyatt plucks at his sleeves a bit. "So, how is your test going so far? Wouldn't mind knowing what's in store for me."
Pyralis turns to Wyatt. "It's going all right. But let me let you in on a little secret... you'll REALLY know how it's going if you look into our eyes. That's how you tell who's winning."
Wyatt raises an eyebrow, considers the group, and says, "Do I get to pick whose eyes I can stare into first?"
Pyralis grins a bit. "Be my guest... just not mine. That lady over there at the bar was down-right disturbing..."
Wyatt chuckles in response, then turns to Ayaka and offers, "Well, since you're closest, how about I give you the 'winning eyes test' first?"
Ayaka snickers. "OK." Wyatt smiles a bit dreamily and settles into staring into Ayaka's eyes for a while. She smiles and stares back, not blinking.
As Hiro returns from his bathroom break, Pyralis looks down at his own glass, then decides to stand and take his turn at toasting. Grinning a bit, he says "To ale--the nectar of lesser deities. Bottoms up!" He then downs his drink and clears his throat a bit before putting his cup down a bit roughly. To casual glances, he appears normal, but he's starting to get a buzz.
Hiro looks sideways at Pyralis and downs his drink. He notes Pyralis' reaction and mutters to himself, "Well, I guess I'm not the only one who can't take his drink."
"Feel that last one, Hughes?"
Pyralis grins a bit at Khila'eru. "Hmm... this one was a bit more potent than the last two, I think..." Hiro's comment then registers for Pyralis and he looks at Hiro with eyes slightly narrowed. "Excuse me... who's the one who passed out on cheap wine?" Hiro ignores Pyralis, as he seems to be speaking a bit louder than normal.
Glory bangs his mug on the table enthusiastically as he finishes. "More beer!" He blinks a bit.
One of the Goblins gets a dreamy, happy look and slowly slides under the table. The other three shrug, clink their glasses, and agree with Glory, "More beer!"
Khila'eru smiles as she gets up for a refill on their pitchers, taking the empties to the bar. "Another round for my fellows, if you would."
The bartender grunts at Khila'eru, "Let me guess, same tab as the folks in the blue, red, and grey robes?" She grins in response, and the bartender takes the pitchers and walks off, muttering. He arrives back again a few moments later with two newly full pitchers and plops them down.
"My thanks to you, sir."
Khila'eru takes the brimming pitchers and makes her way carefully back to the tables.
Wyatt comments in a dreamy voice, "I'm sensing winning here, I think... just let me make absolutely sure..." Ayaka narrows her eyes, then colors slightly, lowering her head a little before she rubs at her nose, almost shyly. Wyatt lowers his head a smidgen to keep looking at Ayaka, and his smile broadens a bit. She blushes a little more now, smiling warmly.
Pyralis looks around idly. Then he hears Wyatt and turns to him. He sees him gazing into Ayaka's eyes, starts to ask why he's looking into the eyes of someone who isn't participating, then shakes his head slightly as he waits for round four to start.
Khila'eru plops down the pitchers and pours the ale. She then finds her chair and lifts her glass. "To companions." She sips her ale.
Hiro cheers and drinks his ale. Pyralis glances down at his own ale, then, finding the next toast in Khila'eru, nods and downs it. He slams his mug down and shakes his head slightly as he muses to himself, "Four cups... it usually takes more than this to take me out..."
Glory shoves the passed-out Goblin further under the table and sits down in the newly empty chair with his newly filled mug. "To be... ah, hell with it!" He chugs.
"I have not had this much to drink since... well, surely you all would not care to know."
Pyralis turns to Khila'eru somewhat sloppily. "Hey... we're all drunk and we've got all day... night... whatever time it is. It's not as if we'll remember, anyway..."
"Hahahah. Perhaps you will not." Khila'eru pours another round.
The three Goblins all chug merrily, and another of them joins his friend under the table. The remaining two laugh.
Glory grabs the pitcher and pours enthusiastically. "We beating them, adventurers!"
Pyralis nods emphatically. "Damn skippy, we're winning!"
"Cheers, Glory!" Khila'eru agrees.
Hiro downs his drink whilst still standing. For a moment he feels fine, but suddenly he is overcome by a strange dizzy feeling and slumps into his chair. He burps, happy that he is still awake.
Khila'eru moves to continue her story to Pyralis after all. "It was the night before I left my homeland, if you must know."
Pyralis glances over at Hiro. "Hang in there, monk..." He then turns to Khila'eru. "Oh? It seems as if it would have been a less than pleasant departure if you got stone cold drunk before leaving..."
"Another blessing of Elven metabolism."
Hiro glances at the sorceror. "I'm fiiine," he slurs, and sits up straight and shakes his head to stop the room from spinning. "Ahh, that's better."
Pyralis nods a bit before waiting for someone to make a toast--he's already done his part.
"To Adventure!" Khila'eru toasts.
Pyralis nods emphatically. "Hear hear!" He downs his drink, then places the cup down on the table, nearly dropping it as he does. He starts to descend off the buzz as he groans a bit. "Oi..."
"Agreed..." Khila'eru blinks her eyes a few times to keep the sleep at bay.
Hiro looks at one of the glasses before him, and, hoping that he picks up the real one, raises it to his lips and drinks his ale down in one go. He addresses his companions, "Whoever... ssshaid, erm... that I couldn't... errrrrrmmm... ohhh, bolllocks!" stands for a few seconds, eyes wide open, then collapses in a heap on the table.
Glory downs his glass, burps, says, "Uh... you watch sneaky small...", passes out forward onto the table, and starts snoring.
Pyralis looks on as Glory and Hiro go down. He starts to get a bit worried about their chances to win, but he can't help but taunt Hiro. "I told you you'd go down first..."
"Hahaha," Khila'eru laughs tipsily. "You're pretty funny after I've had a few."
Wyatt starts at the sudden commotion, blinks, and says to Ayaka, "Uh, I think we're losing them..."
Pyralis flails about wildly. "Hey... we're losing teammates... but we can still win..." He waves at the almost empty pitchers. "Come on... someone pour up our next round... which I don't remember what number it is..."
Hiro faintly recognizes sounds around him, and also realizes that he is laying in a pool of his own vomit. He tries to raise his hand, "Mmmooorere... beerrrrr..." but can't complete his sentence, and his hand falls back to the table.
Wyatt says to Ayaka, "Er, pardon me a moment." He then goes over, shoves the drunken Goblins trying to sneak off back into their chairs, and pours them both drinks.
"May Corellon Larethian grant us victory!"
Pyralis nods a bit at Khila'eru's shout. "Yeah... him... Brigit, too..." Then he pours his own cup and up-ends it. He puts the glass back down on the table emphatically, but it ends up upright.
Suddenly, Pyralis sits up straight-as-a-board as if he were completely sober. He holds this pose for a moment. "Hey... at least I outlasted the monk..." He leans back (as if to do an over-dramatic collapse), but goes too far, loses his balance, and falls backwards out of his chair. He is snoring before he hits the ground.
Khila'eru sighs. The Goblins glare at Wyatt, then down their drinks. One more Goblin falls off his chair.
Wyatt gestures at Khila'eru with the pitcher. "Still one serving left, looks like."
"Lucky me." Khila'eru holds out her glass and Wyatt pours the last bit of the pitcher into her mug.
Ayaka glances over, then smirks widely before she looks back to Wyatt.
Khila'eru glances at Ayaka. "While I'll admit that excessive drinking has its negative side effects, and I respect your decision to avoid them, it is unnecessary for you to smirk so." She looks warily at her glass and downs it.
Ayaka chuckles. "Sorry... I'm just highly amused by how this is progressing."
"You are the one who must carry us home after all..." Khila'eru slumps down in her seat, sound asleep.
The last Goblin looks around after his chug, pauses for a bit, then says, "Feh. This beer WEAK! Me wish home to drink Goblin beer!"
Wyatt stands behind the last Goblin, gestures to Ayaka, then pantomimes bonking the last Goblin over the head. Ayaka smirks a bit, then nods and stretches, clonking the Goblin on the head in passing, her eyes closing now. The Goblin's eyes roll back into his head, and he passes out.
Wyatt looks around at the numerous sprawled out bodies. "So, er, I don't suppose you have any ideas on how to haul around eight bodies?"
Ayaka shakes her head. "I think we should somehow haul our friends out of here and leave the Goblins as they are."
"OK, four bodies. Hmm..."