Sword and Axe Tavern (Pre-game)

Mariel slipped into the tavern lute in hand. She was a regular to the Sword and Axe, though she wasn't of the tavern's more... normal variety. As she walked to the bar, carefully along the edge of the room to avoid running into anyone, a more menacing half orc glared at her but she ignored it, or at least didn't notice it. She sat down at the bar next to some weird creature, that croaked? She was half tempted to ask what it was but refrained from asking, not wishing to offend him or her or would it be an it?

She spoke up to the bartender instead, focusing on what she came here for. "Hello again venerable warrior, just a glass of water to sooth my throat before I take the stage." Her voice was likely out of place here, not the voice of someone used to shouting over the din of battle or screaming. The bartender set down a mug of clear water in front of Mariel. "Here ya are lass, dunno why ya drink just water, the ale does just as fine a job as your precious water." Mariel handed over the copper coin for the glass of water and just chuckled. Every time she came here he tried to convince her to drink ale instead. She took a nice long sip of water before setting the mug back down.

Chrip turned around to the bartender speaking with the new arrival at the bar. "It's true! Lotsa flavor and goes down smooth!" Waving his arms for emphasis, he then froze with his arms in the air. "I'm so sorry, its none of my business." Then his jaw dropped, and he turned around to face Tcheperak, "By the marsh I was so rude, you were talking to me and I ignored you, I'm so sorry!" He frantically looks back and forth between Tcheperak and the new person sitting next to him, and then to the bartender who just smirks and shrugs at him. He then sat down on his stool and stared at the floor, "I'll just shut up now."

Mariel turned to face the Grippli, the fact that she couldn't see him might be obvious now. "Oh its okay, I don't mind really. I just don't drink alcohol. " She leans in a bit closer. "Truth be told, it effects my judgement and I sing songs that aren't exactly proper for a lady." Her face blushes a bit, then bartender speaks up. "Lass, the last time ya drank the ale you sang a six hour song about a bird hunting a squirrel." Mariel ignores the bartender.

She continues her conversation with the Grippli. "So aren't you a little young to be in a tavern? I mean you don't sound like a dwarf, but you don't sound like a human either. I mean you seem short, er, not short but... your voice is coming from the bar stool rather than above the bar stool." Maria nearly smacked herself in the head, she was being insulting now, calling the person next to her short, calling them a child.

"Age is all relative," Tcheperak said, smoothly inserting herself into the conversation. "A fifteen-year-old goblin probably has a dozen children, while a fifteen-year-old elf is still hardly a child. And by the way, squirrel is delicious." Now thinking about food, she puts a hand to her purse to check her money supply, getting ready to perhaps order something.

Chirp looks at Tcheperak and then the elf-woman and breathes a sigh of relief. Oh good, they're not mad. He then goes back to standing on the stool and makes the same series of chirping noises from his prior introduction. "I'm Chirp, its nice to meet you! Um, my size is because I'm a Grippli. I understand being confused though, not many seem to be used to my people. Not even our clans see other Grippli from outside our marshes that often."

Chirp's attention quickly shifted to Mariel's lute. "Oh! You're a music-maker?" Chirps jumps excitedly straight up, well over the height of the bar, and lands back onto his stool. "It's been so long since I heard a good song! Are you going to sing soon? Is that why you're drinking water? What kinds of songs do you sing? Are they all about squirrels? Is that what you do for work? Tcheperak and I were just talking about work!" Chirp was finding himself comfortable around Tcheperak and Mariel to the point he was forgetting to shut his gob.

"The pleasure is mine Chirp, my name is Mariel. Grippli are like frogs yes? My father once cooked frog le-" Mariel stopped, suddenly realizing what she was about to say. Even she knew that if Chirp was this scared about talking to someone, someone he didn't know talking about cooking something that could very well related to him somehow might just drive him to flee the city. She hastily changes the topic.

"Oh yes I definitely plan on singing today. How else to make my livelihood? Of course I guess I could join the guard, but they probably couldn't have a blind person trying to enforce the law. So I guess I should stick to performing songs. And yes the water is to soothe my voice, make sure I don't get hoarse." Mariel decided to answer the rest of the questions in a different way and grabbed her lute. She strummed the strings one by one and messed with the tuning a bit. "Any personal favorites?"

Chirp scratched his chin, looking to the ceiling as if his answer may be found there, and thought for a moment. "Umm.. hmmm.. uhh...mmhmm... Well, uh.. the only songs I really know are the ones we'd sing during celebrations in my marsh. I've heard music since leaving. It would be impossible not to, but I've never really become familiar with anything. I guess I have a hard time getting the inflection right in people's voices. My people communicate mostly by the sounds we make." Chirps makes a series of chirps, croaks, humming and clicking noises that almost seems to be one continuous sound, his neck puffing up with air to different degrees depending on the sound made. "Um, that means uh.. that means, 'are there any songs you prefer to sing'?"

Seeing the other two becoming conversant with one another, Tcheperak decides that the tavern is getting too stuffy. She slips away quietly, heading outside to explore the city.

Elsbeth smiles as she passes the bird-person, feeling
Her otter.
Oscar quickly disappear in her clothing. He has such beautiful feathers she thinks to herself, stopping to admire him on his way out. Turning back towards the bar, the young half-elf continues on her way forward, giggling at the sight of the frog man.

"I'm sorry mister (it is mister isn't it?) but don't frogs live in water? Oh, excuse me, where are my manners." After lightly tapping her forehead with her palm, she continues, "My name is Elsbeth, and this is Oscar." The otter's head pokes out of Elsbeth's shirt and chitters a greeting.

Mariel doesn't acknowledge the newcomer as she starts playing a song. A rather basic tune about a frog prince and a princess, rather long but otherwise a classic among bards.


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