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Turn 101 The gypsy caravan

With the funeral ended, and supplies replenished, the group heads out of the keep together. You continue your travel for a bit. Wulfgar notes that you arent very far from his homwtown of Heron. As nightfall approaches, from some distance up ahead you see a light that could only be that of a campfire. As you get closer, you see a group of people dancing around the fire, while an older man plays a crude tamborine. The people all have dark olive skin and jet black hair. The women seem to favor long colorful flowing skirts and tight fitting low cut blouses. The men look most comfortable in their colorful long sleeved shirts and leather breeches. They all sport open toed sandles. behind the elder man sits 3 large wagons loaded down with clothing trunks, and food. One of the men stands back from the rest, smoking a pipe and watching the festivities. A bright yellow kerchief on his head, and large gold hoops in both ears.

Wulfgar reigns in his horse, "What have we here people?" A knowing look crosses his face as he watches the dancers. He turns his attention to Gareth, "What do you think Gareth do you think we should go in or move on?"

The knight smiles at the music and dancing and looks over at his crew, through so much the past several days. "Night rides upon our tails; let us stop for the eve if they will allow us to share their fire." Gesturing off to the side, Gareth directs, "Separate camps, however, and regular watches during the night. Since I assume Cao knows these folk best, let us grant him the honour of introducing us. Afterwards, everyone sets up camp while Wulfgar and I do a little scouting of the area around this campsite."

Wulfgar shakes his head "Perhaps this time Gareth you better take someone else to scout with you I am in need of sleep can my watch take the last watch to give me the best chance of regaining my spells in case we need them." He looks a very tired man by now and stops his horse where they decide to make camp quickly preparing a bedding down place he rubs down his horse quickly and lies down on top of his bedroll and is soon fast asleep.

Reggie gets of his horse, and with practised skills, builds and starts a small fire. Within minutes the ground around Reggie is covered with pots, pans and the rest of hs belongings. As the music drifts across the land, Reggie starts dancing around the fire, singing with a typical gnomish voice, high pitched and VERY fast.

"This looks like an interesting bunch of people. I say that we stop and check it out." After everyone dismounts and starts moving around, he notices that Reggie is making some food. "Ummm, Reggie I could use some good food myself. How much longer till its done?" Turning to Wulfgar..."I will switch watches with you my friend. I have the last shift, so you if want to sleep now I can take your watch."

Wulfgar rolls over as he lies down "Thank you Barbaxle, I will switch with you." He rolls back over and pulls his cloak up around himself.

"Ofcourse they look 'interesting' Barbie! They're supposed to be 'interesting', so they attract yokels, much like yourself, over to their camp. Once you're over there, they'll try to remove every single penny you own. I should know, I've encountered these traveling con-men before, maybe not these particular people, but they're all the same."
Kay rides up next to Gareth, "Gypsies, we don't need that scum. They're just better dressed and mannered bandits."

Caoimhin coughs and turns to look at Gareth. "Best that the lot of you stay here, until I've made introductions. Our people are nervous -- understandably, I'd say -- of bands with swords. Often enough we've had heads cleaved because someone in the last village pawned their prized possessions, then decided it was thievery."
He starts heading towards the gypsies, then turns back to the group with a tight grin. "And Kay, do remind me to return your coin purse when I get back. Wouldn't want there to be any...misunderstanding."
Caoimhin then extends his arms in front of him, palms up, and heads toward the pipe-smoking man at the edge of the camp. "Good evening, travelers. I am Caoimhin of Dubhlachan, and these behind me are my companions -- none of the Folk, but I will declare their intentions. We are but explorers, and have no account to settle with yourselves, kith, or kin. We wish only to camp for the night near here -- and if it be not too much to ask, myself, so long removed from my home and my clan, I would ask to share your fire, that I might once again hear the old songs and tell the old tales."

Gareth's visage remains placid as he nods in agreement to Cao's greeting to the gypsies. From the side of his mouth the knight echoes, "Better mannered, are they?" and shoot a heavy look that the same is apparently not applicable to all members of the party.

"They'll steal the shirt off your back and the boots from your feet.. And don't even think about camping near these guys..They'll sneak up and slit your throats..I advise we get a good distance before setting up camp." Kay continues.

With a short hand chop, the paladin cuts off the diatribe. "That is sufficient, Kay. In our party, I make it a mandate that we do not belittle or insult another based on their sex, whether they boast human, elven, gnome, or mixed; even a gnome believing himself to be a gnome is not to be talked down to. I expect that you will govern yourself by the same strictures while you ride with us, aye? So, when we encounter a group of people who dress or live a little differently than do we, we keep it in our heads and take reasonable precautions, but attempt to maintain civility. I recall a certain sellsword who was attempting to take something that did not belong within her ownership... but we overlooked that also, nuh?"

"Ofcourse the Gypsies don't like 'bands with sword's. They don't like their victims well armed..Makes it harder to." Kay stops, "'Our'? Oh!". She watches Caoimhin head off to the camp and turns to Gareth " If you're referring to the Bell, it was already stolen property and it was my job to return it to it's proper owners..I've never kidnapped children or used Gypsy magic to take advantage of someone..But I assure you, I'll retain my composure around these 'fine' folk, but if one of them so dares lay a finger on me..."

Keldar's alternate personality looks over a the camp. "Wonder if they gots any ale... 'avn't 'ad a drink since that li'le town with the mage and the centaur. 'ey Vinc... Remember li'll Kedlar runnin' after the mage like a li'le hero. Sure miss that gnome. Hope him and Miette are happy."

Arilyn is not familiar with gypsies and keeps her distance from them..her horse stepping slightly closer to Kay..Arilyn whispers, "good horsey." Arilyn thinks they look friendly enough and is startled by Kay's words. She thinks that Kay has somehow missed the more feminine things in life and probably grew up as the leader of a gang of... She watches, Caoimhin, hoping that he is welcomed and is prepared to aid him if need be. Looking over to Reggie, "Pssstt...Pssstt, Reggie. Do you have any wine? I refuse to eat another meal without some wine." She smiles, "you are going to invite me to dinner, aren't you?"

"MMmmmmm... A good warm meal and some wine would be a welcome sight right about now." Jahl says as he moves to see what's cooking. "Resting would be good in any case. Riding upon those vile creatures makes me sore, weary and hungry. Dancing with the gypsies would also be a welcome distraction from the different things that I have been pondering." Jahl casts an odd glance towards Arilyn. Jahl slowly strolls to an open space and sits down. "Perhaps things will be clearer in the morning."

Arilyn looks over to Jahl and laughs, "I said I wanted to drink wine, not listen to you whine. And if I have my way, my head will be anything but clear in the morning."

Reggie looks up from the camp fire. "Wine? I have something much better than wine, My own blend of Gnomish tea. It'll make your nose grow big, Just like my beautiful nose" With that, Reggie up ends his back pack, and starts throwing various herbs,spices and unusal looking leaves into a pot of boiling water. The smell emminating from the pot is best described as 'unique' After about 5 mins, Reggie takes a small sip, and with a horse cough declaires it ready. He laddels out a small cup and offers it to Arilyn.

Arilyn looks at Reggie, eyeing him suspiciously. She brings the cup to her nose and breathes in deeply. Her eyes flare open and her eyeballs roll back. She wonders if her sense of smell has been permanently damaged.

Kay calms down and locks eyes with the elf, "Just watch yourself Arilyn, I don't trust these people. And don't go breaking out the wine bottle just yet, Caoihmin is still talking with 'em, and I wouldn't be surprised if they don't stick him with one of their gypsy daggers.", She lowers her voice, "You've never heard the stories, have you?'

Arilyn is able to get back her senses and turns to Kay, "Stories, what stories." She innocently offers Kay the cup, "Perhaps you would like a sip of this and then you can tell me the stories." She tries to hide the grin that she feels break over her face.

Kay turns the drink away, "My father swore to kill as many of these people as he could find, after what they did to his mother.He never did run into any of 'em during his travels, but the hate always remained. He told me his mother, who couldn't of been older than fifteen, was kidnapped and raped by a tribe of gypsies, led by Phralįle, the "Mad Gypsy". Phralįle found out many months later that she was with child. Believing that was his, he quickly stormed into the village where he found and killed her one night. He was spotted by several villagers who followed him and slaughtered the whole tribe. Phralįle didn't know that she had already given birth weeks before, and the baby, my father, was staying at a relative's house. I think grandma was sick, or had to prepare for some trip or something..That part's a little foggy.." She looks towards the Gypsy camp and sighs, "Guess it's kinda stupid to hate an entire population of a certain people just for the action of a few, but I can't shake the strange feeling that I get just by looking at them."

Keldar moves over to Kay, "Ah child. Revenge in battle be a noble thing, but revenge over a people fer what one has done is a dark thing in Mensal's eyes. Ya do honour by keepin' yer sword at yer side. Ye dinna 'no if any'u'em is r'sposible fer yer loss."
Keldar lays a comforting shoulder on Kay, then turns to help set up camp.

Kay stands up and gives the Gnome/Little Boy/Dwarf a hug, "Thanks, I mean it..But I better give you a guys a hand here..I've been welcomed into your group, and I haven't contributed a single thing."

Gareth watches as the weary Wulfgar tumbles into his heap of blankets. "Cole, Catherine, you have watch duty. If there is a problem, Barbaxle and I will be performing a circuit of the area [a counter-clockwise hand rotation]; we should have returned within a half hour, at which point I will join you." The knight whistles for Emperor to return, and effortless manages boot into stirrup and a quick mounting. With a smile at Reggie's culinary efforts, Gareth joins in, "Do not forget to save me a little of thy works Reggie; I have not yet been chanced with the opportunity to sample Gnomish Tea."

"Gareth, lets wait till Caoihmin gets back. I don't think that we should leave before he has a chance to come back and tell us what he thinks of them." To Reggie "Gnomish tea, I don't think that I have heard of that. Well for that matter I don't know many Gnomes, I bet that's why I've never heard of it. I think I might have to try a sip or two."

Seeing as how Cole has first watch he'll have some of Reggies tea and sit quietly listening to the sounds of the forest and smelling the wonderful aroma of homemade gnomish tea. Feeling a bit homesick he begins to sing a song quietly.
" Mr. Reggie, I would love to have some of your tea if you have enough to spare. That wonderful smell reminds me of home.

Caoimhin returns from his talk with the man at the edge of the gypsy camp. "We are welcome to camp here, and to join the Coisichean at their fire if we wish." He walks to his horse and begins untying the pack. He murmurs something to the horse as he works on the straps, then pulls his pack and sets it down against a tree.

Arilyn smiles like a playful child, "Kay, c'mon, let's go and visit. You aren't afraid of them, are you? Let's go. It will be fun...we can dance and sing."

"You go right ahead..I'll stay right here at camp and get some rest..Haven't had a decent nights sleep in days, and somebody needs to watch-over Wulfgar, he was asleep before he hit the ground!"

"I am so sorry, Kay," says Arilyn. "If you felt these people, or their relatives, were responsible for what had happened, I am sure I would have seen your sword jump into action." She skips away lightly and stops, thoughts of the Elven goddess Ormanari playing in her mind. A momentary shiver ripples through her body and she looks up to the sky.

"That was over fifty years ago, so I'm pretty sure if any survived the battle, they would of died of old age by now.", Kay yawns and looks up at Arilyn, "I am serious about the training part..If you need help on anything, just ask, and I bet I could probably help you with the ol' fisticuff's just as well as sleepyeyes over there.", She points to the sleeping Wulfgar. "I bet you could even show me a thing or two.."

Caoimhin does his part to set up camp quickly. He whistles a tune at first, but as the conversation between Kay and Arilyn progresses, he grows silent, his jaw set firm. When the work is done, he says, "Well, I'm off to join the Folk. You're welcome to follow, or not, as you will." With that, he leaves for the gypsy camp.

Keldar throws his stuff against the trunk of a tree, grabs the dagger he got from Bock, and trails after Caoimhin. "'ope they've got sum ale there fer me... Not had a drink fer....... well too long!"

Arilyn runs from Jahl, "Caoimhin, wait. Tonight will be a night to remember." She catches up to Caoimhin, "do I have anything to fear..should I watch that they don't take anything I am not willing to give." She laughs.

Caoimhin smiles. "Of course you should keep your wits about you, as you would with any group of strangers." He continues towards the camp. "Remind me, old friend, of this, should I begin to look too comfortable. I fear that familiar tales and familiar songs will make me forget that these are Folk but not family."

On his way over to the gypsy camp, Jahl moves to walk besides Arilyn. "If I may be so forward," Jahl begins quietly. "What is it that disturbes you so much about men and their..."

Arilyn feels a rush of dread wash through her body..her insides trembling as Jahl's words dance from her to the four winds. She tries to keep her composure and tilts her head up slightly, "I don't inderstand what you mean."

Wulfgar sleeps on, and Kay remains behind with him to 'keep watch'. Everyone else follows Caoihmin over to the Coisicheans camp to visit. Long ago remembered fairy tales fill the front of your mind. Stories of fortune tellers, bards of great repute, singing, colorful dancing. Being a rare occasion to actually happen upon these peoples, the only one any of you have ever seen is Caohmin himself. The old man smoking the pipe greets you with a friendly but guarded expression on his face. "Welcome friends of Caoihmin of the Dubhlachan clan. You are free to join us in our evening meal, and join in our festivities"

Gareth introduces himself and exchanges greetings, but politely begs off for his watch (minus Cao) which he takes back to the group's campsite. "Stay aware." After the shifts have changed, the knight asks about their travels, and will even sip lightly of some ale. Gareth also joins in on some of the singing and offers a tune or two from the monastary.

"Well met sir. I am Bock-o-Barrel, servant of Mensal!! I see your people have quite a celebration in progress... would I be able to help me-self to sum ale???"

Arilyn sits next to the old man, breathing in the sweet smell of his pipe. "Hello, Sir. My name is Arilyn Starglow and it is a pleasure to meet you and your clan. Everybody looks so happy." She shifts closer to the man, "Have you ever heard of Lord Reynolds?"

"The pleasure is mine Arilyn Starglow. I can't say that the name sames familiar. A friend of yours is missing yes?" the old man asks.

Arilyn looks at the man in surprise. "How do you know that a friend of mine is missing? She stayed there anything else you can tell me?"

Vincas eagerly rushes over to join the strangers at their campfire, his lute in his hand.
"Unbelievable." He says, a look of pure joy on his face. "You folk enjoy music, dancing and beautiful garb, I must be a long-lost relative."
He takes a seat near the fire and will gladly eat or drink anything offered. Once he gets over his inital fascination he moves closer to Keldar and speaks to him.
"Hey there Bock, mind if I see that goblin-sticker of yours?" he says, gesturing toward the dagger.

"Well..... Mensal dislikes me bein' without arms.... but if ya need it...." Keldar relunctantly hands Vincas the dagger, but stays very close by.

Once Vincas has the dagger he'll take a long look at Keldar, trying to discern any changes in him.
After a few moments he'll say "How are you doing Bock? This fire and food seem to be just what we needed, eh?" Vincas will watch the gnome's behavior closely, looking for any sign of change.

"'is a nice break. Need'd an ale fer a long time." The gnome slumps back, and watches the show around him.

The old man waves a hand, and a beautiful human girl about 16 years old comes over with mugs for all and a pitcher of ale. Pouring for the old man first, she then pours for everyone who wants one.

Arilyn turns to the young girl. "Thank you for the ale...but would you perhaps have a bottle of wine?" She smiles and then turns back to the old man.

"Ahhhhhhhhh. Lass, ya just made an ol' dwarf's life worth livin' again." Keldar slumps down on the ground, sampling the ale as one would handle a fine wine.

"Thank you kind sir. My name is Barbaxle, it is a pleasure to meet you" Barbaxle extends his hand waiting for a response. "I do enjoy a good show now and then, I think I will watch a little of the festivities." After about an hour or so, Barbaxle will say "Thank you so much for the entertainment, it was very delightful. Unfortunately I am getting a little tired and think that I will retire for the evening."

Vincas will eagerly join the musicians, and try to keep up with whatever they're playing

Caoihmin speaks quietly to the old man who replies thoughtfully
The old man points towards one of the wagons. "Best you talk to May, I'd think. She were over there, last I saw."
Caoimhin nods to the party. "I'll be back in a little while, friends, and perhaps with a little show for you." He leaves in the direction the old man pointed.

Shortly thereafter, the stage lights up and a speaker steps forward and begins to narrate a play starring Caoihmin and several other gypsies. (to view the play performed this eve, Click Here!)

Reggie stands and claps as the play comes to an end. "A wonderful story, but are you sure Oonagh wasn't a gnome with cunning and wisdom like that!" Reggie yawns and thanks his hosts for their company and makes his way back to his bed roll. Within minutes, Reggie's snoring can soon be heard

"Excellent!" Jahl cheers as he stands and claps loudly. "That was wonderful." Jahl takes another sip from his ale and marvels at the story that has finished. "Well, it has been a long day. I thank you for the wonderful ale, company and entertainment. I will go now and get some rest lest drink more ale and end up as some of my companions." Jahl gestures towards the swaying Arilyn and the collapsed Keldar. "I thank you once again." Jahl quietly gathers himself and returns to his camp.

Keldar claps his hands, but just politely. "I wuz hopin' fer a bit o' battle atween the two... but I guess that has it's morals 'n all." Keldar downs the mug of ale he's working on, the tries to retrieve his dagger from Vincas, and heads to bed.

Keldar stands up, and immediatly falls down. He's conscious, but too drunk to walk.
From the ground, the gnome starts singing really rowdy tavern songs. The more modest among you begin to blush at the colourful language. After a few songs, he revert to another language but keep singing.

Gareth bemusedly scratches his left eyebrow and rubs the left side of his nose a few times, obviously a habit that shows very rarely from the duty-bound warrior. With a relaxed rise to his feet, Gareth nods in acknowledgement to the players, smiles again at Jahl's shrewd observation, and makes his way over to the two partiers feeling their indulgence. "Why not serenade us back at camp, o gnomish minstrel Keldar?" Not actually waiting for a response from the gnome, Gareth scoups up the drunken fellow and places him over one shoulder: "Should you feel need to empty thyself, friend."

The only clue to the gnome's noticing his being lifted is a slight shift into tune with his singing as he is lifted.
Before leaveing on the paladine's shoulder, he yells out at the young woman who served him the drinks, "Yellooooo th're missy. 'aven't had stuff that strong-shince... ohhh.... ummmmm.... NEVER . Whadda you think Bock. Na... 'ad sum Dwarvin' ail that'd make this seem like mum's milk. Too bad Nick's pass'd out. 'umans drinkin' this'ould'be a laugh..."
The gnome then nods off to sleep.

Cole sits with his back against a tree and laughs at the new show. As the commotion dies down he retrieves a brush from his pocket and proceeds to untangle the ratted mess this journey has created of his long black hair. This goes on until his watch and his excitement have both passed, then sleep comes and a new day of this adventure may begin

A few soft footsteps later, and the paladin's arm firmly, but gently, encompasses Arilyn's back as he directs the beautiful elf slowly back to campsite.

Arilyn wraps her arms around Gareth as she feels the strength of his arm around her. Her eyes are moist and shiny and the wine has made her cheeks glow a warm pink. "Come dance with me," she whispers huskily. Arilyn drags her tongue lightly over her lips. "Show me how a paladin can wield his mighty sword." She purrrrss as she steps on her tiptoes and presses her body to his. Arilyn looks up at the sky and the stars begin to swirl. Her body moves to the rhythm of the sparkling lights and she presses her body tighter against Gareth. As the stars spin faster and faster, Arilyn closes her eyes and feels her body go limp in Gareth's arm.

The knight's eyes flare open widely like a deer caught by a light spell as Arilyn utters her invitation. Coughing discreetly, he opens his mouth several times to reply, but is spared the difficulty by her collapse; a matching sigh of relief issues from him as he scoops her up in his right arm, holding her against his chest as Keldar is against Gareth's shoulder.

Gareth greets Kay as he deposits the two nap-timers. "Thank you for watching over our equipment Kay; I wish to speak with the players for a moment, but, upon my return, I will relieve you so you can relax and get a good rest... perhaps even partake of the social activities?"

She looks over at the sleeping Wulfgar, "So, that's what you think of him?" She gives him a tired grin and helps Gareth with the sleepers, "I'll just get a bit of rest when you return, I don't want to end up like those guys..They may be smiling now, but when they wake up.."

The knight fastidiously lays out the companions' bedrolls and blankets, assists them in crawling in, and attempts to tuck them in as they drift off to sleep. A small sack emerges from the backpack of Pikahl's representative and Gareth fills it with a number of coins [roughly 100 silvers] from the larger sack he carries. Clasping his forearms tightly, the tall warrior stretches his arms above his head, yawns quietly behind his palm, and returns to the players' camp.
After the crowd has moved off slightly, the knight approaches the players, coming up behind Cao and dropping a congratulatory arm on the actor's shoulder. "Well done Cao; I especially enjoyed the part when the house spun around and you so delightfully made your character's surprise felt to the crow - beautifully performed. I do hope we have opportunity to see you in action upon the stageboards again soon; your companions also seem to have quite enjoyed the play."

Caoimhin turns to Gareth, blinking his left eye rapidly. "Thank you, Gareth, I'm glad our show was so well received. I must say, though, that the surprise was not an act -- as I was `turning' the house, the strangest thing happened: there was a terrible flash in my eye, and I cannot yet see in it. Such a thing has never happened before." He shrugs. "I expect that my craft is rusty -- I haven't practiced in... oh, I know not how long -- and perhaps I inadvertantly included some lighting in the effect." He covers his eye experimentally a few times. "I do hope that this will not last long. It's most uncomfortable."

A frown of concern passes across the paladin's features. "Hold still Cao; let me check that eye for you." Using his knowledge of healing and herbs, Gareth inspects the wound of his companion.

The party leader's eyes meet those of the cast, and Gareth half-bows to them. "Thank you most kindly for your efforts. It has been some time since I have been privileged to view such a wonderful performance by gifted actresses and actors. You do your craft great service, not to mention the rest of our group. The great hero Fin M'Coul, for all his strength and reknown, soon finds one greater, for there is always another stronger, swifter, or more skilled, and pride most be carefully watched to not wander too far lest foolish danger seek it out. And the giant, Cucullin, for all of his violence and fear he inspires is defeated and sent away by simple folk standing together against the perils of this world; Oonagh is a wonderful character of wisdom and protection, and certainly appeals to a warrior venerating Pikahl, such as I. We have but recently come from a series of... unpleasant circumstances and dangers, and also having to deal with a number of partings to this world and the next. It is a heavy weight for all to bear, and a night like this is a wonderful gift for heart as well as eyes. Please accept this small thank you, on behalf of all of us." The pouch of coins is handed over to the actors. "May Pikahl watch over you and shelter you until we are so gifted to visit with thee again in the future. My pardon, but I must withdraw for my watch; enjoy the rest of your evening." With a polite head nod, the paladin strolls back to camp to take his watch.

Vincas stands and heartily cheers the performers. "Bravo! A magnificent tale! It's been a great while since I've seen such a fine performance."
He smiles at the travelers and strums his lute. "Anyone for a little song and dance?"

Cole watches intently throughout the play and as the cast takes their bows. he gives them a round of applause and when the performers are done he goes to talk to the old man.
" Sir we are traveling these lands making a map for the King and I was wanting to ask if in your journeys of these parts what towns and villages have you visited recently and what was the condition of them. Anything you know will be of great assistance."

Cole and the old man sit together for awhile as Cole updates his maps and records. Returning to camp much later, he retires with everyone else to sleep until morning.

Turn 102