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Quaint local customs

Tags: Gloin,  Riolan

Short Summary: Riolan is educated on the importance of savouring one's ale, and Gloin tries to puzzle out the strange customs of Menfolk regarding fathers and sons.
Date (real-life): 2013-05-20
Scene Location: Esgaroth: Fiery Flagon
Date (in-game): December 3058
Time of Day: Evening
Fiery Flagon

The Fiery Flagon has long been a nexus for gossip and comradary in Esgaroth. The room is still scattered with evenly placed tables, each piece of furniture well smoothed and ready to provide a comfortable seat and a place for a mug to the inn's patrons. Against one wall, a large brick fireplace stands proudly, a number of iron tools and an extra pile of wood huddled on the hearth. To the side of the fireplace there is a large window with thick glass which looks out onto Bowman Street, the words "The Fiery Flagon" painted in common across the pane so they might be read from the road.

The bar occupies another wall of the room, standing as a stout guard before the neat rows of bottles, glasses, boxes and kegs. It is perhaps this piece of heavy, dark wood that shows the most evidence of a recent fire. The base of the bar still shows the scorchmarks from the flames, although the entire bar has been polished so much that it will neither chip nor flake ever again. Carved deeply into the center of the bar is the tavern's sigil: a mug overflowing with flame.

Behind the bar a doorway vanishes into a kitchen area, whee rumour has it a small courtyard can be found.

Obvious exits:
 Up the stairwell leads to Sleeping Quarters.
 Swinging Doors leads to Center of Bowman Street.
 Back Door leads to The Market Square.

[Brue Jr.(#3395)] Brue looks at Gloin and greets him, "Hello, friend."


Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service

Real Time: Mon May 20 06:16:01 2013 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Trewsday, twilight on a stormy winter's night, December 21 of 3058


The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow ...

The old adage certainly seems apt tonight. Dusk has fallen swiftly, and already the first skitterings of snowflakes patter against the Flagon's thick glass windowpanes. Likely there's plenty more to come. However, that hasn't hindered the place's patrons. It's approaching the dinner hour, and so the place is busy: serving lads and lasses bustle too and fro taking orders and chattering to the customers. "Chestnuts were up two coppers a bag at the Market today!" "Did you hear that old Ferdic fell and broke his leg? Laid up for six weeks, he is!" "Reckon this snow'll let up before Yule bonfire?"

Brue himself is behind the bar, alternately dispensing drinks and carrying on a conversation with one of his customers. This one stands out from the crowd: not because of his stature, which is sadly lacking - even perched on a high bar stool he is a head shorter than those around him, though his breadth of shoulder more than ensures he's accorded plenty of space - but for the whiteness of his beard and garments. Not a single speck of food or drink mars the Dwarf's white tunic, and the contents of the small glass cradled between meaty paws disappear down his thoat in a single gulp without so much as wetting his neatly combed beard. "A pleasant casking," he announces gruffly to anyone who's interested (and anyone who isn't), "if nothing to touch the 20-year. Of course, that's harder to come by than a dragon in a drainpipe ..."

[Isobel(#23796)] "Sorry," a man's voice announces politely, "but would you mind-- maybe if you just lean a little to the side I can get to the bar?" Riolan, cheerful enough, smiles brightly and sucks his stomach in before beginning to edge up to the bar.
Lean? /Lean?!/ The old Dwarf - surely he is old? - turns to peer at Riolan from beneath bushy brows. He does shift position on his stool minutely, but only that: clearly it would be beneath his dignity to hop down. He does, however, call out along the bar in proprietorial fashion, "Move up there! There's a laddie who can't reach his drink," watching the shuffling that ensues before turning back to Brue. "Now, as I was saying-" But alas, Brue has now been called to the other end of the bar.

One conversation partner gone, the Dwarf turns to his new companion as replacement. "Busy place, this," he remarks by way of opening; then, eying his own empty glass, enquires bluntly, "What's it you're after? Perhaps I can assist ..."

[Isobel(#23796)] Only momentarily fazed by the look he's given Riolan retains his good humour. "My thanks," he says in slight surprise, watching men move aside for him, and turns back to the dwarf. "Aye, it's usually busy on a cold night like this, Master Dwarf. I was just after a pint of ale myself, nothing too fancy. And what are you drinking, if I may ask?" He peers at the small glass with bright-eyed curiousity.

"A pint of ale?" the white-beard repeats, making a sound of disbelief. "Come, come, Master Brue's wares deserve more respect than that! Now, were you after the Finney pale or the Celduin Gold, or perhaps the Black Arrow? I've heard it's popular amongst the menfolk in the military ..." Once again he subjects Riolan to fierce scrutiny, before deciding, "You don't a soldier's look, young fellow."

He squints along the bar to check Brue's progress.

[Isobel(#23796)] "Uh..." Riolan eyes the dwarf side-long, brows raised, before settling for a dubious-sounding, "thank you?" He reaches up to scratch the back of his neck. "Celduin Gold, I suppose. Had that one before."

The white-bearded Dwarf gives Riolan a rather doubtful look at the hint of uncertainty. "Good ale is to be savoured," he tells the young man mildly, almost a rebuke. Then, leaning forward over the bar, he hollers out, "Brue, you old hoarder! A Celduin Gold for the laddie and I'll have ... hmm, is there any of the 15-year Buhr Marling? That year was Dorwinion-cask matured, as I recall."

[Isobel(#23796)] There's something strained about Riolan's smile, something to do with the suddenly static nature of it. "I'll savour it," he replies brightly enough, waiting for the dwarf to be distracted before he catches the eye of a bar maid and rolls his eyes. The sudden hollering makes him start and he frowns faintly. "Are you a friend of Master Brue?" he asks cautiously, the look in his eyes wary, and clears his throat to delicately offer a warning. "Otherwise you might wish to know that he can have a right temper on him and maybe shouting that he's a hoarder isn't the best idea.."

Cues that might well be visible to a human eye are clearly missed here. "What?" the Dwarf enquires, seemingly startled by the words; then he reaches out to clap Riolan on the shoulder. "Bless my beard, lad, Master Brue and I go way back! Or at least, the proprieters of the Flagon and I. Why, I remember when his father-"

The old Dwarf's musings are cut short by the arrival of a stout wooden mug and a small amber glass; ignoring the accompanying mutters of, "Hoarder yourself! How many casks do you have squirrelled away in that Mountain?", he airily murmurs something about putting it on account and then slides the mug across to Riolan. "There you go, lad," he tells him genially. "One Celduin Gold, courtesy of Gloin son of Groin. Fine drink should be properly appreciated." The white beard quivers - perhaps he's smiling.

He eyes his own little glass happily, turning it between his fingers and sniffing.'.

[Isobel(#23796)] Riolan nearly buckles under the unexpected clap but quickly rallies, smiling stiffly. Relief blooms on his face when the dwarf is cut off though he's concealed the feeling by the time the mug is pushed towards him. He bows as well he may in the crowded space, accidentally jostling someone in the process and having to call "Er, sorry!" over his shoulder before reaching out to bring the mug to his lips. "My thanks. Er, did you really say--" He breaks off, mouth twitching and shakes his head. "Well, never mind. A toast to Gloin, son of Groin," a muffled cough, "and Riolan, son of Riordan, owes him a drink now!"

"What?" The Dwarf's jutting brows draw down as once again Gloin subjects Riolan to an intense look, as though wondering what could be the matter with the young man. However, he rallies to incline his head graciously in response to Riolan's toast. "Fine words, Riolan son of Riordan. But then, Laketown has always been hospitable. A pleasure to meet you, indeed." He notably does /not/ come out with that Dwarven stock-in-trade, 'at your service', which may hint something as regards his rank.

He raises his own small glass, and then adds, "To friendship between the peoples of the Mountain and the Lake! Long may it continue." Then, feeling he's done enough with the speechifying, he brings said glass to his lips and swallows the contents in a single gulp, remaining quite still as though to savour the effect.

[Isobel(#23796)] "To friendship," Riolan echoes and gulps down some ale. His method of savouring it doesn't appear to differ much from the regular way of drinking anything and he sets his glass down, eyeing the dwarf a little curiously. "Aye, Lake-Town is a hospitable place, that's true. And it's beautiful enough, I suppose, but it pales next to Buhr Mahrling. Have you been there, Master Gloin?"

The Dwarf breathes out slowly, before musing, "Less peaty than from the Engrin still. A hint of ... hmm, is it orange? Something floral ..." He brings his distant gaze back to the young man before him. "I beg your pardon, you were saying something? Buhr Marling? I've passed through once or twice. Seems hardly more than a collection of-" He catches himself, harrumphs and amends, "I'm sure it's a fine place for Menfolk. The Halls under the Mountain, though - /there's/ beauty. Each gemstone lovingly polished, each pillar carefully hewn ..." Oh dear. He's growing more verbose by the minute (though nothing compared to Elven standards, of course!)

[Isobel(#23796)] The man's brows arch minutely at the dwarf's mumblings. He holds his tongue, however, and sips at his ale instead. There's a subtle hint of a frown for a moment befoe Gloin averts his insult and begins to wax poetic about the halls under the mountain instead. "Aye," Riolan agres placidly, "that does sound very fine. No place like home, eh?" ... Which probably seems a little dismissive of the beauty crafted by the dwarves deep in the earth.

"-lamps of crystal lovelier than moon or star ..." Thankfully the recitative draws to a close as something about Riolan's words causes the Dwarf to peer at him. "And is this not your home?"

[Isobel(#23796)] Riolan's eyebrows twitch once, as if it's only by an effort that he keeps from frowning. "That does sound lovely," he reiterates again, glancing at the ale in his hand. Perhaps he's wondering if the price was worth it after all. "No, I come from Buhr Mahrling. This is my father's hometown."

Gloin lifts one hand to stroke his beard absently. "I had thought," he says in a tone that's as much bewildered as anything else, "that the sons of Men dwelt with their fathers. That is the way of my kin. You're little more than a beardling, /I/ would not let a son leave his father's Halls so young."

[Isobel(#23796)] "A.. beardling?" Riolan repeats blankly, lifting a hand to pat his beardless chin. "Master Gloin, I am a man grown. I just shave my beard off, see? It's, uh.. well, custom, I suppose."

The old Dwarf makes a choked sound into his own beautiful white beard. "It's just a turn of phrase," he explains kindly (and ... well, perhaps a little patronizingly). "A way to refer to the young. So you have left your father's House and live in Buhr Marling. Another custom? Very well, I understand." Except that, from that slightly cross-eyed expression, clearly he doesn't.

[Isobel(#23796)] "What?" Riolan looks just as bewildered as Gloin sounded earlier. He sets his mug down and leans against the bar, patiently (and slowly!) beginning to explain. "No, no. No, I have /returned/ to my father's house. It's... uh, beardlings, as you say, generally stay with their family until they are... beards," he finishes lamely.

"I ... see." Gloin gives up trying to fathom Riolan's explanations and peers distractedly at his empty glass, perhaps debating whether there's time for a refill before whatever other appointments the evening may hold. Then he turns to cast his gaze across the sea of heads. "Speaking of beards, I /was/ expecting some others of my folk to join me. Can your sharp eyes see anyone my old eyes might have missed?" There's a sad lack of Dwarves, it must be said (though some might argue that one is plenty to be going on with!)

[Isobel(#23796)] There's a glimpse of worry in Riolan's eyes - more dwarves? But he dutifully scans the tavern, taking a few quick gulps of his ale while he's at it. No signs of any short, bearded figures. "Sorry, Master Gloin, afraid I don't see any of your kin. Are you all staying at the embassy?" A moment's pause and he supplies, "I don't think I introduced myself properly before. I'm Riolan of Karath. Would you like me to double back to the embassy to see if your friends are there?"

The Dwarf's head nods vigorously, so that the plaited beard wags up and down. "Yes, the Embassy," he agrees. "And there's no need, lad. I'm not so old I can't walk a few steps in a snowstorm!" Sure enough, it's still blowing a gale and flakes of white are scouring the windowpanes. Gloin heaves a long sigh, then eases himself carefully down from his stool. Once standing, he accords Riolan a little half-bow. "A pleasure to meet you, Riolan son of Karath. Our conversation was ... most interesting." Right.

The aged Dwarf makes his way to the coatracks, where he lifts a pure white cloak from a row of pegs. Then, suitably swathed, he makes his way out into the street, where he's soon indistinguishable from the falling snow. Hopefully he's headed in the right direction for the Embassy ...

Date added: 2013-06-04 03:46:10    Hits: 70
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