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LadyLilliAschuill
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PostSubject: Main Room   Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:50 pm

The streets of Carpatus were dusty and crowded. It seemed to be that time of day when everyone was hustling to finish their business before ending the day. The afternoon sun had just begun it’s descent below the trees in preparation for the evening. Cora glanced to the darkening sky and smiled. Despite the flurry around her, it was going to be a lovely, warm night. She urged her gray mare through the hustle, chuckling at her frustrated snorts as people got in her way.

“Calm down, Ash. You’ll rest soon enough. Just think, if all goes well, this will be the end of our travels,” Said Cora, giving the sturdy horse a pat on her neck.

It was not long the Cora caught sight of the very place she was looking for: the Inn. She nudged Ash into a slightly quicker pace, both in excitement as well as the need to rest from their long ride. The horse had hardly come to a complete stop before Cora quickly dismounted, wincing at the slight soreness in the lower half of her body. They had been riding for a good few days since setting out for the village. As much as she loved Ash, it was good to separate herself from her saddle. Tying the reigns to the front post, Cora took a moment to get a good look at the village surrounding her. It was quaint, charming, and from the looks of it, peaceful and safe. It wasn't incredibly large, though it was definitely more than a simple village with a few buildings. Cora could feel a sense of home here. This is where she should be. Now if all goes well inside…

----

Inside the Inn was busy, but not crowded. A few heads turned her way as she entered, for she knew it was quite obvious she was not from around here. The room was spacious and warm, quite inviting actually, with a few roughens patroning the place. She scanned the faces to determine which one of them could be the innkeeper, or at least a maid who could tell her where to find him or her. A loud crash to her left startled Cora as a table full of inebriated men sat laughing at one of their comrades who had fallen back in his chair. The man struggled back into it as they resumed their drinking and bantering. Suddenly a little uneasy, she swallowed hard and determined the best way to find the owner was to take a seat. Finding an empty table near the back, Cora made her way through the maze of tables at a somewhat quickened pace and took a seat, having a good view of the entire room.

Cora took a moment to reach into her bag and pull out a rather good sized tube about the thickness of a beer mug. Carefully opening one end, she turned it as a few rolls of parchment slipped out. Cautiously she unrolled the papers, examining the black, rough images on them. Good, she though, none of them smeared.

“An artist then are we?” came a voice above her, causing Cora to jump a bit. She looked up to see a friendly, but somewhat gruff face, which she assumed belonged to the innkeeper. Cora smiled politely.

“Yes, or at least I try to be.” She said simply. The innkeeper merely chuckled at her answer.

“Not bad, if I say so m’self. Not much of an art critic, but I’d know good art from chicken scratch when I see it.” Cora couldn’t help but blush a little. “Now what can I do fer ya miss?”

Cora carefully rolled the parchments back into the tube and stashed it back into her bag. “Well, sir, I have proposition for you. You see, I have only just arrived and I am looking for a room. I don’t know how long, I’m afraid.”

“Well if it’s a room you want, rooms I have. But that’s not all is it then?” he said, quite intrigued.

“No. You see, I haven’t much, but I am willing to work for my stay here.” The innkeeper raised his brow.

“I see, and what matter of work did you have in mind milady?” Cora stiffened, having an idea of what the man was possibly thinking.

“Well, I am quite skilled in the kitchen, sir,” She said a little sternly, enough to let him know that he’d do good to rid his mind of any other ideas. The innkeeper could not hide his smirk. She was no ignorant girl that was for sure. He stroked his chin a moment, taking the time to study the woman, whose strong eyes never left him.

“Indeed. Well, I don’t see the harm in such a proposal. Forgive my bruteness, milady. I’ve had many a young woman offer her ‘services’ in return for favors a time or too. But I see now that you are not of that kind. I could use an extra hand in the kitchen as well as serving. Though I don’t suppose I’d like to call you ‘milady’ forever, miss…?”

“Cora. Cora Vanderhayden.” She said rather articulately.

“Well, miss Cora. I’ll tell you what. You are welcome to a room here for as long as you need. And any extra earning from patrons you may keep for you own.” Cora could barely contain her excitement.

“Yes, I can agree to that. I thank you so much, sir!” she said.

After a quick meal and drink, Cora was soon shown upstairs to the room which would be hers. It was not large, but it was decently spacious with all the provisions she would need. The bed was comfortable enough, and there was good lighting from the window. Perfect enough for her to do her art.

“Umm, sir, I have another favor to ask of you.” She said rather timidly as the innkeeper turned to leave her to her space. “I was wondering if I might display my drawings in the main room. I would like to earn a little by selling them, and I think with so many people coming and going, they will have a great chance someone becoming interested.”

“Of course, miss Cora. I see no harm in such a request. It would make me rather proud if such a great artist were discovered in my tavern. “ he said with a smile and left. Again, Cora could hardly contain her joy.

--------

A few weeks later…

“Come Miss Cora, we await your wit as well as your bread!” called a man from a table occupied by nearly five more. Cora chuckled from the kitchen as she put the last of the bread, fresh from the fire, into a small basket before walking bristly out into the main room.

“Why, my good sir, don’t you know it is rather bad manners to rush such loyal service?” She said with a smirk and placed the basket on the table. “One might end up with unsatisfactory bread.” The table of half-drunk men all laughed and dropped a few coins onto the table. Cora graciously collected them and placed them in a coin purse at her waist.

“Your bread is never unsatisfactory! If I were to live a hundred years and never drink another drop of ale only to live on you bread I should be content!” Spouted one of the others, as if he were to launch into a full- fledged serenade to her. Cora laughed and slid his mug closer to her.

“Well, milord, we can only pray that such a travesty would never occur!” she said as she refilled his mug from the ale pitcher. The table erupted with laughter again as she turned to return to the kitchen. She glanced at the wall to her left, on which a few of her drawings hung, though no one seemed to be admiring them at the moment. Cora shrugged, not too disheartened. She knew quite well that it could possibly be months before she sold a single drawing.

“Cora, I need a hand with these plates!” called one of the other serving maids from the kitchen. Cora took her mind off her art once again and rushed back into the smokey kitchen.

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PostSubject: Re: Main Room   Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:40 am

Ichabod rode up to the dual inn and tavern on his horse, the saddle as usual connected to a cart at the back loaded with miscellaneous parts, tools, and other oddities. He couldn’t be happier to be back home, having braved danger and panic with Lilli and Xanthus to rescue Arianna. While she hadn't truly required much rescuing, that was what Ichabod called it anyway. She had left the village to save her dragon father-figure, and had Ichabod been in her shoes he'd have done the same thing.

If the inventor were to be completely honest, he was still trying to wrap his mind around the idea that dragons could be benevolent, gentle creatures rather than monsters bred for destruction. Sadly, given what had happened to his childhood home and his family, it would likely take a while even with Ari’s admirable words regarding the dragon known to him now as ‘Loki’. He still fancied Ari, perhaps even more now than before, to be sure...

But the prospect of asking a dragon permission to marry its ‘daughter’ seemed a far more daunting task than approaching a human man with the same intent.

While Ari and her friend Lani – another woman of the woods – had handled the worst of the dangers on their own, leaving their rescue party with little in the way of combat, Ichabod had had his fair share of bumps, bruises, cuts, and scrapes by the time they all made it back into town. He even had the bandages to prove it: on his hand, upon the opposite arm from wrist-to-elbow, as well as about his body and on his head, stuck there with a dab of honey rather than being confined to a head-wrap. Yet, three days back home did a body good, and he was able to finish his most recently-commissioned project.

Concern for Arianna’s welfare crossed his mind, having insisted she get bedrest and stay off her feet for the next little while so she could recover. To Ichabod’s immense surprise, even the dragon had agreed and attempted to urge Arianna to do the same.

Hitching the reins to a post, Ichabod immediately skirted around the horse to the cart, picking up a covered parcel that seemed to be as large in both length and width as a wizard’s tome of magic or a small treasure chest. A grunt escaped him as he hoisted it from its spot in the cart. Making his way up to the building, he paused at the front windows for a moment to admire the drawings on display. Ichabod had been noticing these works of art lately, deliberately stopping by to see if any new ones made their appearances in the window, and couldn’t help but find the style in which they were drawn to be familiar. How they were familiar, he had no idea, though couldn’t help but be reminded of his little sister, Corinna. Or Cora, for short. He had always made sure to bring her supplies for drawing, even when he was under the whip of Jahan V with his father working on the next greatest machine of war. One time, he’d even stolen some fine parchment from a pack of parchments one of Jahan’s generals carried. Richard hadn’t had the heart to tan the boy’s backside for stealing, but did have words with him for possibly putting them all in danger should the parchment ever be found by the wrong people.

Regrettably, despite the good times, for all Ichabod knew his baby sister had perished in the attack upon their childhood home. It tore the inventor apart to have lost his whole family in such a short time, and at such a young age. Had it not been for the Carakleinian King and Queen at the time, Ichabod would have surely fed himself to Jahan’s dragons had he not been so afraid to die in the first place. For the longest time he’d had dreams that his family were still alive and well, looking for him, but would wake up to find it was not but a dream.

Shaking the reminders of death and sorrow from his mind, Ichabod entered the inn with a smile on his face that was both congenial, and a bit uncertain. It was a little busy in here today, he noted, spotting someone hustle back into the kitchen. The inventor made his way through the assortment of tables and chairs, nearly running into one of the barmaids.

“S-sorry...” Ichabod apologized immediately, shifting the weight of his invention to his other arm.

“Not to worry, good sir, ‘appens all the time. What can I get you?” replied the barmaid.

“Erm... the innkeeper, please.”

The woman gave a very brief roll of her eyes, having expected an order of food and drink. “One moment, lad, and he’ll be right with you...” she said, then briskly walked away to fetch the innkeeper. “Oi! The Inventor’s here to see you!” Her call could be heard clear across the room even over the semi-intoxicated babble.

’I do have a name, madam, and have lived here for years...’ he couldn’t help but muse with slight exasperation.

While he waited, Ichabod noticed there were even more works of art lining the walls. Growing more curious about this ‘new’ artist in town (they were new to him, anyway), Ichabod wound his way over to the drawings to see if they too were familiar in style. Sure enough they were, and they were very nicely done, indeed. A smile of personal reminiscence – memories of watching his sister draw, completely at peace with the world – lit his features upon eyeing one of the drawings in particular. Perhaps, if the innkeeper wouldn’t mind...

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PostSubject: Re: Main Room   Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:25 pm

The sudden shrill shout from the barmaid echoed through the kitchen and in in Cora’s ears as she stirred a large cauldron of stew that hung, boiling over the fire. Wincing slightly at the call, she hardly caught the contents of the summon for the innkeeper. Looking up from her pot at the exasperated owner, sitting at a small desk in the corning milling over papers, she could just see his eyes lift rather lazily from his work. He heaved a sigh and rose from his chair.

“As always, when I’m busy,” he said rather annoyed, but cracked Cora a smile, “But necessary nonetheless.” He then disappeared out of the kitchen into the noisy serving area.

Cora smiled back and returned her attention to the stew. Once satisfied with its progress, she replaced the lid and began cutting up more vegetables with hardly a second thought about who her employer was to meet with…

****

The Inn keeper carefully weaved his way through the tables and bodies filling the main room. Stopping dead center of the room, he paused to determine exactly where Mr. Payne was and was quite taken aback when the man was almost nowhere to be seen.

He stood there a moment, scratching his head with no sight of the inventor and wondering if perhaps the maids were playing another prank on him. Yet it did not take him long to find he man, after scanning the room for a few moments he found him near a wall admiring the displayed art. With a bit of annoyance, he wound his way through more tables to the inventor. He waited a moment to see if the odd man would notice his presence, but after a few moments, decided to snap the man out of his own world.

“Quite magnificent aren’t they?” he said, referring to the drawings. Without pausing for an answer, he decided to get right down to business. “What can I do fer ya lad?”

****
Back in the Kitchen…*

Annabelle, the brash barmaid, returned to the kitchen with her tray of empty, ale-covered glasses and set them rather hurriedly into the wash bin.

“Oh, he’s a nice one that man.” She said rather more towards herself than to Cora.

“Oh?” Cora asked, only mildly curious as to Annabelle’s musings. Realizing she’d spoken out loud, Annabelle paused a moment and gave Cora a rather embarrassed smile.

“Nothing, only talking about one of the patrons. Rather strange man he is, what being an inventor an’ all, but he’s quite the gentleman.” Annabelle
Cora paused moment as well at the mention of ‘inventor’ and raised a brow at her fellow server. “I see.” Was all she said, finished with the vegetables and began to mix ingredients for the bread. It was interesting that the village had a resident inventor, yet she knew it wasn’t not all that uncommon. But to say that her curiosity was not peaked slightly would be quite false.



(*taking place while the innkeeper is talking/doing busniness with Ichabod)

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PostSubject: Re: Main Room   Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:10 pm

Ichabod was so entranced by the familiarity and tranquility he found in the painting, all atmospheric noise had largely dissipated into some non-sound he had drowned out of his head. Some would say he had ‘zoned out’. To Ichabod, however, he had in fact ‘zoned in’. He was without a doubt lost in his own little world, but it happened so frequently that he paid it little heed and hardly considered it abnormal. Yet people found it odd of him...

He started at what he could only describe as the thunderous boom of the innkeeper’s voice. The grip upon the invention in his arms had slackened and then tightened, and thankfully did not fall from his grasp. Ichabod offered the innkeeper a slight combination of smile and grin. “Quite magnificent, indeed, good sir!” he replied automatically, assuming at first that perhaps the innkeeper had drawn them, but then came to the conclusion that it could very well be a traveling artist earning their keep for a stay at the inn. It would be a question he’d have after business was concluded.

“I... I have finally finished the ledger box, sir,” Ichabod explained, gesturing with a nod to the parcel he carried. “My apologies for not finishing it sooner... Urgent matter I had to attend to...” He wasn’t quite sure where the innkeeper stood on Arianna’s condition, knowing some frowned upon a husband-less woman with child. In addition the inventor really didn’t want to explain that a good sixty-percent if not more of the wounds he was still healing from were due to his own clumsiness. “Is there any place in particular you’d prefer I set this for a brief demonstration?”

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PostSubject: Re: Main Room   Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:58 pm

The Innkeeper quirked his brow rather curiously at Ichabod, but shrugged it away and finally took notice of the large contraption he held in his arms. Instantly his face brightened a bit. “Ah! Excellent my good man! I’ve been quite curious as to when I’d see it. Yes, do come, bring it here, follow me.”
He said and led the quirky man to the back room, as not to peak the curiosity of any of the patrons. He would rather have it demonstrated where there would be fewer casualties as well, should there be any…mishaps with the thing, one never knows.

He motioned to a small table not too far from sight of the main room. “This should do. I am quite anxious to see yer gadget at work. “

Cora, having had left the kitchen to gather a few ingredients from the pantry, returned a few moments later, though not noticing the inventor right away. “One more day and I shall have to make a trip to the market for some flow-,” she stopped mid-sentence when she had finally taken notice of Ichabod. She hardly expected anyone besides those who worked the Inn to be allowed in the back room, but once the initial surprise wore off, another strange thought filled her head. This man seemed strangely familiar though she was absolutely positive she had never met him before. Shaking it off, she continued. “Oh! Forgive me, I didn’t know we had a guest back here,” she said with hint of humor. “I’ll leave you two to your business then.” She said her eyes lowered slightly in respect.

“Nonsense, my dear!” The innkeeper said gruffly, waving away her apology with his hand. “Come, continue your cooking while I see to this new machine that will revolutionize my Inn!” he said with a hearty laugh, though in no way impugning Ichabod’s work. Cora smiled cheerfully and went about her own business checking upon the stew, though her mind was still sneaking back to the thought that she still somehow knew the man.
“Well now, let’s see what this thing of yours can do now shall we?” the innkeeper said rather excitedly, hardly able to contain his curiosity of the machine any longer.

Cora replaced the lid upon the caldron and grabbed the pitcher of water and a small mug. Though the inventor made no order for a drink, Cora found it polite to least offer a glass of water for his troubles, free of charge. Quietly as not to disturb their business, she approached the man and held out the mug for him, her eyes straying to the strange device, her own curiosity beginning to peak as well. “Here you are sir, my compliments.”

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PostSubject: Re: Main Room   Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:44 pm

Ichabod grinned a little wider and followed, lugging the heavy parcel in his arms without complaint. On one hand he wondered why the innkeeper insisted the back of the room but didn’t complain. The inventor knew he had a track record with inventions that did not exactly work according to plan. Perhaps it was to give both of them some privacy. After all, Ichabod generally worked on a by-commission base and tended to refuse even the slightest notion of mass-production. “And it, nor I, shall not disappoint, sir!” he replied happily and set the large box-shaped object on the table. It clacked upon the surface as though it stood upon metal feet and weighed quite a bit. With a bit of a flourish Ichabod pulled on the cloth covering the device. However, a corner of it had gotten caught and didn’t quite come away as the inventor had intended. Instead of messing with the cloth, he merely let it drop beside the box.

The thing was made of quality cedar and stained slightly in a natural hue to match the color scheme of the inn without detracting from its value. At its top looked like a series of miniature window shutters hinged together, though clearly only possessed one set of hinges that connected it with the rest of the box. Little stubby peg legs leafed in a metallic substance resembling gold held the box an inch above the table surface. It was about twelve inches long and approximately eight inches wide. It also boasted at least a considerable six-inch depth. Upon its face was a heptagonal-shaped yellow stone, three buttons, and a drawer knob. Ichabod had just opened his mouth to begin an explanation and demonstration of how the device worked, when a female voice caught him off-guard.

“One more day and I shall have to make a trip to the market for some flow- ... Oh! Forgive me, I didn’t know we had a guest back here. I’ll leave you two to your business then.”

Ichabod turned in the direction of the voice and almost forgot to breathe. Although clearly having been busy cooking, the inventor couldn’t help but find the young woman beautiful... and almost hauntingly familiar. If his heart were not already set on Arianna or he was a different sort of man... Despite the fact his expression went from congenial to startled, it brightened right back up again. “N-no, please forgive me, Miss... I-I should have made my introductions f-first before simply w-walking back here... I-it was not my intent to s-startle you,” he replied with a similarly modest bow of his head.

As she was waved to continue cooking, Ichabod’s eyes lingered on her for a few more moments. However, he did not “zone in” again and visibly smiled at the Innkeeper’s hearty laugh. Take him seriously or mock him, he was the town’s inventor and that’s all there was to it. Not that he felt ridiculed by this man. In fact it was quite the contrary, for Ichabod had been planning the use of a ledger box creation for some time but simply hadn’t been motivated enough to get on it until he’d been approached about it. At the man’s urging, Ichabod nodded. “Yes, of course...” he said, taking a step toward the machine.

“Here you are sir, my compliments.”

Ichabod accepted the mug with a nod and a smile. “T-thank you very much...” he stuttered slightly, still trying to place where he felt he knew this woman. He took a sip from it before setting it down about a foot away from the ledger box. “At the present time, sir, you will find the ledger box is fully locked. I can pull upon the openings all I wish, but it won’t budge at all,” he explained, demonstrating by pulling at the shuttered top and upon the doorknob. “Nothing short of an axe or fire will cause it to unlock provided you keep the magical crystal charged, which is this yellow six-sided stone here. It is imbued with a harmless locking and protection spell, acquired from a sorcerer friend of mine. If it detects it is being stolen, it will become more active in anti-theft by not being so kind to one’s fingers... I’ve tested it personally.

“Operation is quite simple, really... the button closest to the crystal – here – either locks or unlocks the mechanisms. Directly next to it is the button to open the top, where there are several compartments for money; and the button below sends the ledger drawer flying open a predetermined length and is set to stop when that length is met,” Ichabod explained, giving a brief demonstration of each function in turn. When it came time to activate the drawer he placed his hand in front of it, just in case. To the inventor’s extreme relief, it worked without a hitch just like in the various trial runs he’d performed to make absolutely sure it worked.

“Would you like to try it yourself, sir?” he asked, withdrawing a small phial from his coat pocket. He placed it between himself and the innkeeper, then reached for the mug of water he’d been offered. The label upon the tiny flask read ‘cinnamon oil’.

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