Bennie was eyeing the pretty bar maid in his favorite pub , The Red headed Parrot. The bar maid was making her way through the winding tables of the tavern showing off just how flexible she might be in other endeavors. He was ignoring his companions while they talked amongst themselves. Just he started to flirt with her his comment was interrupted by a calico cat jumping down into his lap, then onto the table splatting his stout all over himself, the bar maid and some of his less than savory neighbors.
His friends started laughing at his ‘misfortune’; Harold , Bennie’s Brutish body guard, petted the cat and scratched under her chin.
“I don’t see why you are being nice to that thing.” Bennie grumbled.
“Aw quit being a sour puss.” Lilly, Bennie’s resident eleven cleric , teased. Bennie made a face at them. Lilly tiled her head looking at the cat, which winked back at her. “She whispered to it, ‘I won’t tell.’”
The cat sat and licked its paws in front of Bennie.
“Look she is nice. “ Harold reached back over and scratched behind the cat’s ear making her purr.
Begrudgingly, Bennie reached over to pet her when out of nowhere the cat took a swipe at him. She didn’t get him, what kind of rogue would he be if he couldn’t avoid a cat swipe. “Why you…” He started to stand to chase the thing when it jumped off the table to the floor. He started to make a kick at it when mid kick it transformed. This obviously surprised him, and he missed his swing and nearly landed on his arse.
The woman before him was angry, “So help me if I find out you have kicked a cat. You will find out what real claws can do to flesh.” Then she turned to Bennie’s companions. “Hello, mind if I join you?”
“By all means,” Lilly gestured to a seat next to her. “It is not often something this entertaining happens in our presense. It is good to see you Meadow.”
“Nice to see you too.” Meadow signaled the bar for an ale.
“What brings you here to Magnimar, other than tormenting your ‘beloved’ cousin?” Harrold asked.
“Buisness, sadly the only place I can find some of the items I need are in cities. Just as you would prefer not trudging through a swamp in winter, I do not like being in a filthy city.”
“What are you looking for? We might be able to help you find it.” Lilly offered.
The bar maid sat down a large stout, and Meadow passed her a gold coin. Given the history Meadow had in the pub, especially with her cousin Bennie, it was best to pay as you drank, and tip well. “I found someone to make the upgrades to my armor I needed, and the other items I will be picking up in a couple days. Most of my days will be in pubs or shopping for restock of my supplies.”
“Sounds, Oh so exciting cousin dear.” Bennie sighed. “Before this shopping trip what were you up to?”
“I was in Sandpoint yesterday, and then up at Fort Ranek before that.”
Harold, whistled. “Quite a traveler there.”
Meadow smiled, “Pays to have a wizard in your company. She made travel a little easier.”
“Is Sandpoint still in one piece? Any serious damage to your mum’s farm?” Bennie asked.
“Not really. Thanks to the quick actions of my friends and the local guardsmen few live stock were taken, and no one was killed. A few manors were seriously damaged, as was the church but shouldn’t take too long to put to rights. Thankfully my dwarven companion Telchar’s shop took no damage. He is working on upgrading weapons right now. Better doing something besides sitting around with your thumb up your bum.”
“Have you thought about opening your own shop?” Lully asked.
“I don’t do cities Lilly. You know that better than anyone.” Meadow glared over the top of her tankard.
“Does it have to be in a city? I mean your mom has the farm back home, couldn’t you make your home in sandpoint?”
“I suppose I could.” Meadow shrugged, “Honestly after the past month it is hard to decide what I want. Mum was so happy to see me after the battle, and was smothering me in attention. “ She sat her tankard down and sighed, “I do miss mum but she is just so…”
“Clingy?” Harold added.
“No exactly. It is hard to define. I am all she has left with my father gone. She wants what best for me but what she sees as best is not always how I see my life.” Meadow turned to Bennie. “You know my mum. Her idea is for me to marry well and work in my husband’s shop. That is not what I want.”
“Well then what do you want? You can’t adventure forever. There is always a claw, sword, or spell with your name on it while you do. “ Bennie honestly told her, “You need to decide what YOU want. A year ago you wanted to become a druid, and it is the happiest I have seen you. You now just have to find what you want your next step to be.”
“To be honest I really don’t know what I want. The family homestead isn’t that bad but I couldn’t live with my mum. I need a place of my own.”
“Here is a thought, “Harold added after a deep drink of his beer, “What makes you happy? In your travels what have you seen that you wish was in your home town? “
“I love working with my animals, and honestly the hardest thing for me to find is refuge for people like me to get things we need. Special saddles for our companions and you don’t exactly come across many collars of natural attack often in your adventures. Though I did see a guy in Magnimar, a special courier using saddle bags of holding. “
“Oh I bet those cost a fortune, but could you think of what all that would mean. “ Bennie looked across the pub thinking.
“Especially , if you say, put them on the back of say my old companion Bagehhra. High strength, can go into the dungeons with you, but the drawback would be if they get freaked out they could run off with your stuff. “Meadow saluted Bennie with her tankard.
“Heh, good point but not a bad idea. “ Bennie smirked.
“I could see some of the guys we know who wouldn’t mind being able to transport extra weapons and armor not to mention how much gear you need on long treks.” Harrold added.
“Don’t remind me, I had to buy 100 pounds of dried meat so that I can feed Mei on our next quest. “ Meadow grumbed into her stout.
“Where are you headed? “ Bennie asked, suddenly very interested.
“Can’t say. And before you ask, it is really best you don’t know. Sometimes one doesn’t need to know when danger is coming. You can only prepare so much before you must let the leaves fall as they may. “ Meadow looked him dead in the eye.
Deciding it was best just to leave it alone; Lilly turned the discussion back to where Meadow wanted to do next. “Let’s see you want to help other people, and work with animals. Have you thought about making a shop to sell your herbs and on the side do those special items you like, and maybe later on build on to it to make it a place where you can train your animals. I know for one a well-trained war horse would fetch a nice price here in Magnimar. “
“So would having a hypogriff to ride into battle.” Harold sighed.
“What’ that all about?” Meadow thumbed at Harold.
“Oh he is just dreaming. One of the guys we know came across an egg that a wizard had in his treasure. Since then they have all been dreaming about the what ifs.” Lilly shook her head.
“What happened to the wizard’s egg?” Meadow asked.
“Far as we know they sold it.” Bennie said non-nonchalantly.
“SOLD IT!” Meadow screeched.
“Calm down. Nothing you can do about it now, but you might be on to something.” Lilly locked eyes with Meadow and ‘suggested’ that she calm down.
“Like what?” Meadow asked angrily.
“Instead of some wizard or cleric possibility experimenting or even using it as a spell ingredient, if you had a place where you could raise them, train them, and make sure they got good homes. “ Lilly suggested.
Meadow thought about it a bit. “That isn’t exactly a bad idea. I would rather a stolen egg that cannot go back to its parents come to me or one of my kind than go to some wizard for his caldron. “
“There you go. Set up for yourself a shop that caters to animal lovers. You make the things your kind need, and sell/ train animals for people. “ Bennie laughed.
“Could be expensive. Getting the kind of things you need are not exactly easy to come by.”
Harrold shook his head. “Besides if you are running all over creation you would need someone to run the shop.”
“Anyone you would recommend?” Meadow looked to the group.
“You can’t be serious?” Bennie looked at her astonished.
“Why couldn’t’ she be?” Lilly looked to the two men. “She has a few days in Maginimar. It IS possible for her to get the documents drawn up and get a shop underway, provided she had the funds and the proper manager.”
“And who are you going to have to take care of all that paperwork?” Bennie scoffed.
“It pays to have friends in the church.” Meadow smirked. “So, DO you have any suggestions?”
“Meadow, you know we don’t always hang out with the best of people.” Bennie warned.
“I am offering a legitimate job offer for someone who has the skill set I need. As long as their honest I would be willing to hear them out.” Meadow looked to those around her hopefully.
“Well… maybe.” Bennie hemed and Hawed. “We know a few guys that are out of work, and could help but I don’t know.”
“There is always Jibber.” Harrold suggested, “He is always in need of a job, and he is honest.”
“Oh sweet gods, Harold. I know the guy needs a job but I would not wish Jibber on anyone.” Lilly rolled her eyes.
“Who’s Jibber?” Meadow asked.
Before Harold could start Lilly spoke up, “Jibber is a gnome friend of ours who is amazing at alechamey.”
“Nothing really wrong with that, so what’s the catch?”
“He’s a half-orc.” Bennie pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Pardon? I thought you said he was a gnome.”
“Well he is, well was actually.” Harold tried to explain.
“Meadow, you know how clerics can raise the dead?” Meadow nodded to Lilly, “Jibber was working with a group and was killed. His group was so far out in the middle of no where the only magical healing they had any hope of getting was a group of mad druids.”
“That doesn’t sound good.” Meadow said understanding. “And let me guess his reincarnation didn’t go as they hoped.”
“Yep, ole Jibber is a gnome trapped in a half orc body. He wasn’t right in the head to begin with and this did him no favors either.” Harold took a swig of his drink.
“Ok, so Jibber is off the list, anyone else?” Meadow looked at the group hopefully.
After a moment Lilly smiled a bit smug after she took a drink from her tankard. “How about Tobias Reginald Worthington?”
“Sounds like a pompous ass?” Meadow commented. After the groups last suggestion she wasn’t too hopeful.
“Far from it. “ Lilly pointed out a half elf with dark hair and blue eyes standing at the bar. “He is the bastard son of Lord Robert Jeffrey Worthington.”
“I have heard of Lord Robert, even in Sandpoint. He is a well to do Lord and doesn’t seem like the type to take a mistress.” Meadow continued to watch the man.
“He isn’t. “ Lilly sighed, “When he was young he traveled for adventures but one night his camp was attacked by powerful spell casters. While under a powerful spell Toby was conceived with a local elven druid. Rumor has it that Lady Worthington was not pleased when Toby was born but did not hold it against her husband and the child. As Toby has been raised by both a noble lord and a lady of the forest he is not your typical rogue.”
“Not typical is an understatement. “ Bennie laughed, “He is all book learning, with no real battle experience, but he likes it that way. I will say the man is good at what he does. One of the best alchemists and business men I know, as well as one of the best judges of horse flesh I know other than yourself Meadow. It is a pity that he is making silvers a day working in his father’s counting house.“
“Think he might be interested?” Meadow asked still not taking her eyes off the handsome half elf.
“I know if he isn’t, you are.” Lilly teased.
“Oh shut up.” Meadow laughed and blushed a little.
“Rumor has it that he has been wanting to leave his father’s business and go elsewhere but no one will hire him because of his family history.” Bennie shrugged. “Then again, what would a smart, handsome, animal loving business minded half elf want to work for you for?”
Meadow swallowed the last of her ale. “If I want to have this endeavor going before I leave there are some people I need to talk to, starting with him.” Meadow made her way over to the bar.
Soon as she was over to the bar Bennie leaned over to Lilly and whispered in her ear, “That was a dirty trick.”
“Which one? Meadow’s cat’s paw catching you unawares or mine edging her towards someone who might make her happy in more ways than one?”