Chapter XI Of My Current Campaign, Which Began A Year Ago, As Written/Retold By My Player Who Plays Vilven
Vilven assessed Warden more thoroughly as they made their way toward the docks of the small village. The High-Elves of Warden, who nearly floated as they walked, seemed very calm, almost serene, all very beautiful and put together. They reminded Vilven of what she thought angels might look like, though the Elves didn’t look altogether innocent. Their sharp features could even be described as somewhat jarring and harsh. Their demeanor also seemed, to Vilven, not necessarily heavenly. They were interestingly rather unaware of their presence, engaged fully with their own agenda, aside from the occasional disapproving glance toward Jaren and Wiendle.
“It is probably best if you don’t stare, Vilven.” Grid said under his breath, though his eyes remained focused in front of him. Vilven was a little shocked that the Tigron was somehow able to note what she had been doing without even looking.
“Sorry.” Vilven apologized to Grid.
Grid merely grunted in response. But Vilven did try her best to stop looking so intently at the people around her.
When they reached the docks, Vilven took a deep breath of the ocean air, the water glittered from the generous light of the mid-morning sun. Vilven felt the tug on her heart, and her race, but resisted the urge to dive into the inviting sea. She was certain that that behavior would not be accepted, even slightly. But she couldn’t help but smile at each dancing wave, her inner joy peaking through the restraint.
Grid, with an agile gait, walked toward one of the larger boats. There were people, mainly elves, boarding, walking slowly onto the deck of the ship.
“Is this boat going south?”
A younger, slightly more brutish elf who was pulling on some rope turned to Grid’s question.
“Aye, sir, ” The sailor elf responded, looking blatantly behind him at Wiendle and Jaren, though his face remained plain.
“Very well.” Grid responded and walked purposefully back to them. “This is to be the ship you two will take” He directed to Jaren.
“We will board at once ” Jaren responded stiffly, understandably anxious to leave the judgmental stares of Warden behind.
Grid nodded then extended a long, graceful arm around Jaren. He pulled him in close, talking to him in a barley audible tone. His grand lion-like frame crouched to warrant the secrecy. Vilven glanced at them, narrowing her eyes, acute with curiosity. Vilven and Wiendle looked at each other, and Vilven put her arm around Wiendle shoulders, mirroring Grid. Wiendle wrapped her arms around Vilven in an embrace.
“Oh, Vilven. I am going to miss you so much! Thank you for all that you have done.” The petit, blonde princess cried out quietly.
Vilven closed her eyes tightly, taking in Wiendle’s words, a slight smile coming to her uniquely beautiful face.
“I am going to miss you, as well, Wiendle. Be good to yourself, and Jaren. Live your life as you please. You are free to be whoever you want now.”
Vilven pushed Wiendle’s shoulders back so that she could look into her pretty, blue eyes. “You are stronger than you look. Don’t let other people underestimate you, but most importantly, don’t underestimate yourself.”
Vilven’s words ran deeply within her, it was almost as if she was in some subconscious way talking to herself. There was a spark in Wiendle’s bravery, something in the young princess’ conviction of life and independence, that pushed Vilven to embrace her true power. She knew it was no accident Wiendle was the first person she met on this plane.
Wiendle, tears in her eyes, nodded and hugged Vilven again, sniffling into her chest.
“We should be going, my love. The ship is going to be leaving soon.” Jaren cooed to Wiendle, walking over putting a hand on her lower back.
“Take care of her, Jaren” Vilven ordered him, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. Jaren smiled in agreement, “Thank you, Vilven.”
He urged Wiendle toward the boat that was now preparing to set sail. Wiendle waved generously to Grid as they walked past him, walking up the ramp onto the deck.
Vilven took a few generous steps to stand next to Grid. They stood and watched, almost mesmerized, as their two friends sailed away into the distant reaches of the rich, kindhearted sea.
Vilven wiped a single tear from her face then glanced up at Grid with a playful smile, “It looks like it is only you and me, now.”
“Just the way we like it.” Grid returned, then smiled generously at Vilven. “Now let’s go see if we can unload these Ranger’s weapons.”
Vilven glanced at the array bows, arrows, and swords that Grid was carrying. “Do you want some help with that?” She extended her arms out in offering. And then glanced again, at the ocean. “Do you think they would care if I took a swim?”
“They may not, but I do.” Grid said flatly, handing her the two bows. “Perhaps you can grab a swim after we sell them and get something to eat.”
Vilven held the two bows awkwardly in her arms and sighed in the direction of the water. “Fine. But you’ll have to ‘grab a swim’ with me then. Hopefully your tail helps with your ability to stay afloat.” She chuckled then took a few girlish skips toward the beautiful, intricately carved buildings.
Grid did not reply.
They made their way to sell the weapons. Though the female, High- Elf blacksmith they first encountered was extremely unfriendly, her twin sister was quite the opposite. She bought the swords for a fair price, and helped them with direction to a place to sell the bows and arrows. The bower, another female High-Elf, accepted the bows without negotiation. She was quite intimidated by Grid’s presence, even to the point of overpaying.
Grid was quite relieved to be done with carrying the weapons, rolling his shoulders to relax some of the lingering tension. Vilven, in contrast, was exhilarated by their newfound money, and even convinced Grid to visit a jewel caster. He was reluctant, but could see the excited gleam in her eyes, so he agreed. Vilven walked the shop over, admiring all the different types of gems, asking for details from the halfling who ran the shop, even when she knew they couldn’t afford it. She eventually found a dark blue azurite ring, encased on a beautiful electrum band. The halfling, noting her innocence in the matter of negotiating, tried to swindle her. But Grid was an daunting adversary, and was able to haggle it down to a more reasonable price.
Vilven was admiring her new ring as they finally made their way to the tavern. A larger building than most in the village. The outside was lavishly decorated with detailed carvings of thick, lush trees and small, elvish-looking, winged faeries. The sign above the entrance was painted a deep, penetrating blue, naming the tavern “The Blue Faerie”.
“It’s beautiful” Vilven noted, before they walked through the elaborately painted swinging door.
The inside of The Blue Faerie was just as beautiful, even peaceful. Very different than what Vilven thought taverns were like.
“This is a tavern?” Vilven asked Grid quietly, looking inquisitively at everything around her. Her eyes fell on a very tall High-Elf that stood behind the counter. His eyes were squinting at them, his chin raised ever so slightly.
Grid walked through the tavern, easily avoiding the elegant, wood tables in the middle. Vilven hesitantly trailed behind him, still taking in the bewildering environment.
“Two ales, my good friend” Grid said to the elf behind the bar.
The elf looked at Grid haughtily. “You’re going to have pay for them.”
Grid shot an unfriendly smirk at the Inn-keeper, then placed two silver on the counter.
The elf picked up the coins with deliberately slow movement, then extended his arm toward a table.
Grid turned to Vilven and nodded his head toward the table that was indicated by the elf, then turned back. She went to the table and sat down, and sighed heavily, amazed at how good it felt to finally sit. Grid came moment later with the two drinks in shining copper tankards.
Grid sat down with grace, but he too sighed at the relief the chair. Settling in a moment before he took a long drink of his ale.
“This is ale?” Vilven asked, cradling the tankard between her hands. “I’ve never had it. Nothing really like this in the Water Plane.”
Grid slammed down his drink onto the table, gaining him a not so amused glance by the Inn-keeper. He wiped the foam from his lion-like face with his arm before replying.
“Indeed, it is” He said, nearly purring.
Vilven looked down into the tankard, then moved it to her lips. But before she could drink, a blasting sound came from the door of the tavern. Both her and Grid looked toward the entrance.
“There they are!” Beaden stood there, pointing accusatorially at them. Cho stood several feet behind, a Warden guard next to him. “They are the one’s that stole our weapons!” He continued.
Vilven looked, eyes wide with shock, at the two Rangers
“Oh, God” Grid said in a pained voice.