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A little light lunch

Tags: Adom,  Isobel,  Louse

Short Summary: Esgaroth, Market Square: Adom's 'samwik' proves the key to winning over one of the lower classes, whilst his knowledge of fine wines impresses the upper ...
Date (real-life): 2011-06-21
Scene Location: Esgaroth: Market Square
Date (in-game): March 3053
Time of Day: Lunch
The Market Square

  You have arrived in the two-hundred eighty feet by two-hundred eighty feet open-air market known as the Market Square. Four buildings, brighter in colour than most of the buildings in town, border the market and are filled with shops of every kind, along with the taverns and other places people like to meet. Hawkers walk about with carts peddling goods, and entertainers draw a few crowds when the weather is decent. People from the outlying areas, and the occasional groups of Dwarves or Elves, may be seen amongst the locals.

  The very center of the Market itself is a fenced-off hole spanning ninety feet in circumference. A few steps descending through the hole leads to the Market Pool, an area directly beneath the town. A few pulley contraptions bordering the area might suggest that it is used as a means of transporting goods directly from rafts into the market square.

Obvious exits:
 West leads to Center of Bowman Street.
 East leads to Center of Avenue of Tales.
 North leads to Center of Firespark Lane.
 South leads to Center of Merchant's Way.
 Market Pool leads to The Market Pool.
The Town Hall, Tavern, Gamer's Den, Armour Shoppe, and Weapon Shoppe

=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Real Time: Tue Jun 21 03:27:28 2011 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Highday, March 23 of 3053
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=

There is no rest to the exchange of water and silt all around the mighty Long lake. No end to the flow of mountain born rivers crossing Rhovania. And no break to the cracking of crates, the clicking of coin, the back and forth of words making trade in this market center, well placed for so much of Middle earth. As much motion as the eye can handle, life in Esgaroth now quickening. winter wheat, potatoes, textiles processed into a fresh season's clothes, endless pallets of wood. More noise in the air than the Flagon on a feast night - but Adom the vintner sits on a bench, east corner of Fisher's Way and Market square.

    His cart, so visible for weeks now, is unseen. No horse. Even Alesbarr the hunting hound is away from his side. A stark contrast to the harried masses - watching the crowd, some form of lunch is his only busines

A most curious state for one so renowned as a most industrious businessman and it happens to catch the eye of Isobel while she is strolling about the market. The lady deliberates by a stall selling leather products for a while, before curiosity appears to get the better of her and she traipses over to the vintner. "Good afternoon, master Vintner." She makes a bit of a show of looking about, before pointedly saying: "You seem to be rather lonely today, however.."

A shudder of surprise crosses the Vintner, through shoulders, past neck and even across his eyes; quickly he gathers composure, standing at a respectful pace at the lady's approach. "Never lonely, nay Lady," he responds to her assertion, regarding then his lunch lingering in hand. He looks to the bench, at his food, and back to the bench once more before setting it down upon the wood. With a glint of smile he holds a finger in the air, and uses that hand to lift a sleave as napkin for his mouth.

    "But my, I have forgotten my linen handkerchief," Adom laughs, brushing any remnants of crumbs from his fingers. "When we last crossed paths, I was in quite a state; you have my most sincere of apologies," he adds - a bow of his head to punctuate.

[Isobel(#23796)] Isobel smiles and chuckles upon seeing Adom's lunch difficulties. "Well, you /are/ roughing it so perhaps a handkerchief or a napkin will have to be foregone, at the moment." She looks surprised as he continues. "Were you? I don't quite recall that.. But," she adds generously, "I'll forgive you anyway, if there is anything to forgive."

Lunch is a business common to many, not least young Louse. The diminutive greenshirted figure strolls through the marketplace, thumbs stuck through the frayed rope belt that pulls in the overlarge shirt. The child pauses a moment, green eyes glittering, and then darts behind a baker's stall to emerge with a crumbled, slightly trampled-looking pastry. This is secreted within the green shirt and then the youngster looks round for somewhere to eat. Adom's quiet repast is about to be interrupted, for as soon as Isobel is spotted Louse makes a beeline in that direction. "Goo'day, Missus," the child offers cheerily, waving one crumb-covered hand, then peers curiously at Adom. "Say, Mister, ain't ye the one wi' the funny cart? What happened t'it?"

Answering the Taurdain first, Adom replies, "My thanks that it did not strike your memory. If I were a different man, one that t'ain't got no learnin?" With a pause and distinct laugh he then continues, "I did block your path, possibly trip you, ask you a strange question and probably give you the impression that I laughed at our exchange." His face belies an honesty, a curiosity if at least he has remembered.

    "And you young one," he turns then bright eyes above warm smile, "what ya think be makin it so funny?" He gestures with sweeping left hand towards the bench, "M'lady, would you prefer the seat?"

[Isobel(#23796)] "Oh, hello Louse!" says Isobel with a distracted smile, before turning narrowed eyes on the vintner. "I was not aware of that last. Were you laughing, then?" She crosses her arms. "And I'll stand, thanks all the same."

"It was all got up fancy," Louse responds to Adom's question promptly enough. "An' all them toffs comin' t'buy from it - must've been some fair riches inside. Where's it gone, Mister - ain't been stole, 'as it?" The child's shoulders straightens and an 'eager investigator' expression is attempted. The end result is simply to make the youngster cross-eyed.

At Isobel's words, Louse twists round to peer more closely at the Taurdain lady. "Yer sure? I c'd sit down if ye won't." And then, lowering the lisping voice confidentially, the child stands on tiptoe to whisper, "'S all right, 'e ain't peed on't."

"Looks as if we're lunchmates, small friend," answers Adom now to the child, snatchin up his sandwich quickly - but a glint of play in his eye. "My daddy took both carts on home. He's good with horses. Whats that you got? I got salted ham 'tween a biscuit. Call it a Samwik. One o' them little-folk words, they say. You know anything about them, little greeny?"

    He sits then on the bench, breaking off half of his samwik - but he does not watch his hands. To the lady then he offers, "I did laugh my way out of town hall. And naught was brought by you. Thusly, the apology is mine to insist - for the misunderstanding." He sets half his meal on his lap, and extends the other half to Louse.

[Isobel(#23796)] The friendly air of the vintner appears to soften the chill of Isobel's demeanour, for she relaxes slightly and the arms come down again. "Well," she says, looking mollified, "No harm done then, I suppose."

Louse's comment is treated to a gaze of mingled perplexion and horror, and Isobel shakes her head mutely. "You.. can have the seat, child. Wouldn't want you eating lunch on the go."

"Ain't ye had yer own lunch?" Louse asks Isobel in seeming concern, but then plops down on the bench grinning.

Adom's attempt to win Louse's confidence meets with mixed response; the youngster then frowns at those first words. "Ain't meant ter be no travel with horses no more," the child states sternly. "'Cept fer essa- essie". The unknown long word is abandoned so that Louse can reach inside the green shirt to pull out a battered-looking pastry. "Dunno what this is. Smells like - 'ey! I ain't no 'Little Folk'." Green eyes widen in outrage and the child bares an uneven row of teeth (new front ones are finally starting to make an appearance) like a terrier. It's unclear whether it's Adom or the 'samwik' that's due for a bite.

"Clearly not, sharpy," Adom says, the first trace of laugh lost suddenly as puzzlement crosses his brow in a single line. "Here, my good man, have a bit," he insists, putting it almost into the child's paw, "since it seems I need to know 'bout this horse stuff you know. I'm glad my pa's got both our fellas back on the road home! Where's your da, bet he's strong."

    There is a deepening further in his face, concerned gaze lifting back to Isobel. "So much changes in but a few seasons, but not the ones from underdeck," the vintner adds, words fading into his breath.

[Isobel(#23796)] "Not yet, Louse, but I'll be about it soon enough." Isobel replies with a small shrug, eyeing the pastry with some alarm. "You know, it looks a bit.. flat. Like it's been through hard times. Where did you find it?"

She looks thoughtful as the subject of horses is broached. "You know, I haven't heard anything in a long time now about that supposed horse sickness that is the reason of the ban on travelling in the first place.. I wonder if the danger is over, or if it was simply exaggerated to begin with?"

"E's - my Da ain't none o' yer business," Louse flashes, glaring at the sandwich almost as fiercely at Adom, then snatches it suddenly and takes a bite. "Ain' ... ba ..." comes the mumble through a spray of crumbs; the salted ham is stuffed hastily back into the child's mouth. Louse is a long time chewing and swallowing, and only once every last shred of ham is gone does the child make an attempt at answer. "Horse-sickness? That wus /ages/ 'go. Lord Barlin comes in, an' 'e says as horses in Dale is gettin' sick an' no horses is t'go in or out'f th'stables - an' then he rides away. Ain't seen 'im since, fer all 'e's in charge o' us Greenshirts. N'then th'army left, they was on horses too. Funny, that." The youngster's head tilts in thought and the shapeless brown cap atop slides sideways, revealing a few strands of long tow-coloured hair with something crawling in it.

The hair is tucked hastily back, and Louse scratches vigorously at the base of the neck before adding in response to Isobel's words, "Ain't no horses 'ere ever got sick. I know, cos Stinkin' Sib as works at th'stables were whingin' 'bout it. Says 'e's twice the muckin' out t'do!" Suddenly the child seems to recollect something, for the cap-covered head ducks and Louse mumbles, "Should've gived ye some of that sammik. Want some o' this instead?" The flattened, 'hard-times' pastry is proffered to Isobel without a word of explanation about its origins, though the child does explain, "Might'a got bit squashed in th'shirt."

With amazement, bemusement and hunger himself, Adom joins with Louse - the chance to eat without speaking covered well by the child's information. He finishes his half, and gives his mouth a quick brushing with his fingers. "How is it you come to know so much, what's yer name?" he offers at last crossing satisfied arms about the chest, "Seems I should know you, as I gather this noble Lady here does."

The inquisitive lift of the corners of his mouth, a tilt of his shoulders in closer to the youngster, he shuffles one foot over the other, adding then, "Ya never know 'round these parts who's gonna tells ya what. I'm sure even the Lady'd like to see some of them Elf horses comin around again, pardon me sayin so?"

[Isobel(#23796)] "Is that so.." Isobel replies and looks at Louse in thought. "Well, if no horses ever got sick, then I'd say that the ban would be long overdue a reconsideration. But, no matter - it can rest until the south has been settled."

Louse's handsome offer has Isobel looking rather touched, although she hastily declines. "Wouldn't want to cheat you of food," she adds with a wink. A dreamy look comes into her eyes as Adom speaks, and she sighs longingly. "Now wouldn't that be a sight.."

"M'called Louse," the youngster mumbles, scratching at the grubby neck again. Adom's shifting closer may not be the wisest of moves, for already something pale is crawling around on Louse's shoulder, exploring the fabric of the green shirt. "Elf horses - is they magic?" Louse enquires with childlike wonder, gazing at Isobel, then briskly returns to business at hand. "I c'n tell ye stuff, Mister. Greenshirts hears lots 'o stuff, 'n I'd only ask a few pennies." The youngster flashes the merchant a gamine grin. "'N if there's other stuff as I don' know, c'n send ye t'someone as does. 'E 'ears /everythin'/."

The remarks about horse-sickness are not answered, but the refusal of the pastry is received with aplomb. "S'all right, Missus," Louse soothes the Taurdain lady, "didn' cost me. But if yer sure-" The youngster takes a goodly bite of pastry and chews happily, then stuffs the rest back into the green shirt, mumbling something about, "Fer later." Should one happen to be looking, they might notice the flash of something slender and metallic within the folds of shirt bunched at the child's waist.

"They say them horses got some magic, indeed they do, Mr. Louse," the vintner suggests, with a wink of the eye, closer again in the gesture, and sharp eyes observing the guest upon the child's collar. His sky blue eyes open wider as he slides right on the bench, tapping the back wood twice before folding his hands upon his lap.

    "So you've got yer own business then, and I bet you know yer business well, as you know so much else!" he exclaims after untimely pause. "I bet ya two coppers she'd know better than I would about that Elf magic and them horses, no doubtin that," adds Adom, "I'm just a common man."    

[Isobel(#23796)] Shrugging, Isobel shifts restlessly. "Magic or not, they're very fine horses. As one might expect, of course!" The flash of metal catches Isobel's eye, and interest. "What have you got there, Louse?" she asks, leaning in closer.

Louse gives Adom a withering look. "That's a sucker bet. Ain't goin' ta catch /me/ out. My d- uh, folk allus say as a feller as offer somethin' fer nothin' is a swindle." 'Mr Louse' wipes greasy fingers on a handy-bit of shirt-tail.

Isobel's question seems to catch the youngster out, for there is a furtive tugging of clothes before the Youngest Greenshirt looks up and responds glibly, "M'dinner, o'course." Time for a hasty getaway ...

"Gotter be goin'," the child announces, rising from the bench, "Serge was wantin' us down th'Docks again. Ain't jist the whappin' if I'm late, Cork 'n Rig'd kick me after too." Louse pulls a face, then darts off, swinging over the railings surrounding the Market Pool and darting down the ladder that provides the 'short way' to the Docks. Muffled curses in the youngster's wake provide evidence of her progress ...

"So I find myself wondering," the Vintner begins in inquiry, even as the child is but a few steps away, "of some connection between that little character there and the only other person I have met this season who was so quick to talk of trading in information." His hands release from his lap. With the knuckles of a closed right fist he scratches at his stubbly cheek. Always quick to laugh he adds, "Didn't even catch I'd fixed that bet to be NOT in my favor."

    Adom shuffles where he sits, looking up to the lady as yet she stands, "From whence come these poor children, dressed so fancy in new matching shirts - following orders, referring to their Lords? To be so .. unbathed? But that is the stuff of politics - and not proper conversation on a fair day."

[Isobel(#23796)] Isobel chuckles as she observes (both with eyes and ears) Louse's escape, shaking her head to herself before turning back to Adom. "Oh? And who might that person be?" She smiles anew. "Well, suspicion serves well in the 'Decks though perhaps not so much above. His loss, I'm afraid.

Considering the question, Isobel cocks her head to the side and regards Adom in much the same way one might look upon a particularly interesting specimen. "I doubt anyone has had any luck giving Louse a bath, /ever/. You're more than welcome to try, however - I'm sure that would prove most amusing in some way."

"I'd stick my sisters on him right quick," Adom quips, "there's no stopping a one of them once their mind's set. Blessing to my heart they are." So much space to sit but unjoined, he chooses then to stand, but does not make any approach - a simple departure from the seated position, casually as he continues, "Oh but this man.. Scampre he called himself. With such lofty promises to better my business, I figured a single silver might be worth the loss, so I palmed him one. Every year someone's fortune turns to folly, and so new names rise to the top, and me but a simple visitor." Tempted to wink, he instead offers a small trace of smile to cross his lips. "And knowing the tastes of this town, well that's MY business. I guess you for softer wine?"

[Isobel(#23796)] "You have many sisters, then? And are they all back in.. Finney, wasn't it?" Isobel smiles. "It warms one's heart to see a man be so fond of his sisters." At the mention of Scampre, Isobel scoffs. "Aye, seems a likely tale. You'd not be the first to not have your coin's worth from him, though to be fair the man trades well in gossip. He knows a lot.."

Suddenly, an amused smile curves her lips, the source of it secret. "But not everything. Certainly not everything." The smile then changes nature to one of pleasant surprise, and the same emotion is echoed in her voice: "Why, yes, that's true. How did you figure that, then?"

"Why madame, I guess so" Adom answers proudly, "because I have sisters. 'Twas they who insisted my father and I start a new grape some years back. "Rising" we have come to call it, for it seems even the gentle green, crisp flavor of the land rises with it. You might have even had some lately? We sold right out of it, and quick!" He shuffles right foot in the dirt, even as the light of a craftsman's joy passes his face.

    "We'd let it grow its own character in the bottle for three full years. Pa didn't think it would strike the fancy so well, cold winter and all - but he changed his tune when I told him he better bring the rest right up on his next trip," the vintner continues - at last catching himself pouring words to near brimming over his audience's cup. "What business keeps your family attached to this wild town?" he asks of a sudden, interrupting himself.

(Scene continues, Louse's player had to leave ...)

Date added: 2011-06-23 04:40:28    Hits: 54
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