Chapter XIV Of My Current Dungeons & Dragons Campaign, Which Began Over A Year Ago, As Written/Retold By My Player Who Plays Vilven
Chapter I: Ouroboros
Chapter II: Pact Magic
Chapter III: Choice And Notice
Chapter IV: Meeting Wiendle
Chapter V – Catlike
Chapter VI – Encountering A Wizard
Chapter VII – A Charge And A Flame
Chapter VIII – Followed By A Lion
Chapter IX – Acquiescence
Chapter X – A Dialogue Of Friends
Chapter XI – Ineffective Planning
Chapter XII – Rivers And Races
Chapter XIII – Goodbyes And Reaquaintances
Beaden, adorned in his green cloak, stomped heavily toward the table where Vilven and Grid were sitting. His face was taut with anger, his bared teeth nearly frothing. His hair was an unkempt mess and his beard, which Vilven remembered as being surprisingly well groomed, had grown quite unruly since the near week that she had seen him last. When he reached their table he glared down at them, his blue eyes resonating his disdain.
Cho sighed heavily, more put together than his friend, though he did have a slight beard. Otherwise he looked the same as when Vilven first saw him, his short blonde hair tumbled handsomely to frame his face, his brown eyes brimming with patience. She noted girlishly to herself that he looked even more attractive than she remembered. Cho glanced at the Warden guard that still stood next to him at the entrance, then walked with silence to stand next to Beaden. Cho slowly moved his eyes down to Grid, then to Vilven, holding for a moment, then back at his fuming companion. His demeanor nearly observational.
Beaden looked at Cho, then back over his shoulder. “Well, what are you waiting for? Aren’t you going to arrest them?” Beaden whipped toward the Elven guard still posted at the door of the fancy tavern.
The guard looked respectfully at the bartender, whose focus was intent toward Grid, his eyes staring coldly at the back of the Tigron’s head. The guard then focused forward, his face flat as he marched methodically to the table. He tried with obvious difficulty to maintain his composure, angered from being spoken to in such a way from a human. The guard shot Cho and Beaden an untrusting and contemptuous glance, then he looked sharply down at Vilven. “Is this true? Did you steal these two…human’s weapons?” He interrogated.
“Good sir, you see…” Grid started
“I asked the lady what happened” The guard interrupted cooly.
Vilven glanced at Grid, then up at the three men looming over her table, her black eyes wide.
Then she gave a small smile and began in a gentle tone “This is all just a big misunderstanding…”
“A misunderstanding?” Beaden interrupted angrily, slamming his hands on the table, bending so his face was close to hers, his eyes almost crazed. “You tied us up, took our weapons and our money, and left us in the middle of the forest to die!”
Vilven stared into Beaden’s eyes, then her’s narrowed, provoked. She could feel her magic, vibrating and hot, brimming at the surface. But for the first time, she could tell she was in control. She willed it into being, and nearly saw it cloud over the three men interrogating her. She looked away from Beaden to stare up at the Warden guard.
“We did take their weapons, but did they also tell you that they attacked us? Yes, Grid and I were in the middle of rest for the night, and these two wandered into our camp and, for whatever reason, tried, quite terribly, to assault us. It’s not my fault I can fight better and was able to disarm them.”
“Attacked you?” Beaden said in a shocked, pained tone. “It was a cold night, and my friend and I merely asked if we could share your camp!”
Vilven was equally as shocked, staring now at Beaden. Confusion and panic filling her mind. Did her magic fail? Though her magic to influence had been a happy accident against Wiendle, she knew that it had worked. But against this Beaden it seemed to have no effect. Had she done something wrong?
“That is not what happened!” Vilven said firmly, but her words felt flat to her. She swallowed and looked nervously around at all the eyes fixed on her.
The Warden guard, his face now in a plain scowl, whipped his head to glare accusatorially at Beaden and Cho.
Cho glanced around, rubbing the back of his neck, then sat heavily onto the chair next to him, opposite of Vilven. “You know she has a point. This really is big misunderstanding.” Cho said apologetically.
“Cho!” Beaden yelled. “What are you saying?”
The guard, regaining his composure, stood tall and forcefully grabbed Beaden’s arm.
“I apologize, my Lady. We will apprehend them at once.”
Vilven looked at the Warden guard, then paused. She realized she could see herself reflected in his eyes. Her deep blue hair framed her womanly face, her silvery skin nearly glittered. Her black eyes looked so large in his. And though it was a physical reflection, there was also something else. There was also a reflection of penetrating magic. With a slight smile, she glanced at Cho to see the same mirror of herself, of her magic. She hadn’t failed after all. Not completely.
Though Vilven felt it was a good lesson.
She glanced at Beaden. She’d come to learn her magic was not a guarantee.
“Oh, that isn’t necessary.” Vilven told the guard wickedly. “Let Grid and I take care of them. It would be our pleasure.”
The Elven guard smiled handsomely at her, “Yes, my Lady”. He released Beaden’s arm, then took a generously formal bow. He then turned quickly and marched out of the tavern.
Grid, who had quietly watched the events, leaned forward with an almost bewildered look on his lion face. After a tense moment between the four of them, he cleared his throat dramatically, “Sit, Lad” He directed at Beaden, who shot him a not so friendly look. “Bartender, another round. And one for our friends here.”
The bartender raised his chin at Grid’s request as he polished a copper tankard. “I do not want humans in my tavern.” He replied pompously. “Nor do I want you, for that matter! I knew you were trouble the moment that you entered.”
“One drink and we will be gone.” Grid responded reasonably.
The bartender sneered, then walked to retrieve the drinks. “Very well. But you pay double.”
Grid looked annoyed but thought it best to keep quiet, “Excuse me.” He said formally to the three of them before he stood and walked over to the bar to retrieve the ale.
Vilven looked up at Beaden who was still standing, his eyes shooting spikes into Grid’s back.
“Why don’t you sit?” Vilven asked politely. He looked down at her, then at Cho, then angrily pulled out one of the carved, wooden chairs and sank into it.
“Thank you for dismissing that guard.” Cho said to Vilven, a boyish, crooked smile coming to his face.
Beaden’s hand twisted into a tight fist at Cho’s comment, but he remained silent, staring at the wall in front of him.
Ignoring Beaden, Vilven smiled back at Cho, her eyes gleaming.
Grid returned with the tankards cradled expertly in his large paws. He distributed them, then sat gracefully back into his seat.
As soon as the tankard was given to him, Beaden gripped the handle and gulped the whole pint down in one long drink. A few drops of ale ran down his chin as he chugged. Then he slammed the empty cup onto the table unceremoniously.
Then he took a deep breath and stood abruptly. “Come on, Cho. We should get out of this godforsaken town.” With something like detached anger, he started toward the exit.
“You two can come with us.” Vilven suggested quickly before he was out of earshot.
“Really?” Grid, Beaden, and Cho said in unison.
“Yes, yes.” Vilven said impatiently to them. “Didn’t you say we were going South?” She asked Grid.
“Well, yes, we are, but…”
“We don’t really know where we’re going. You can come with us until we figure it out.” Vilven told Cho and Beaden adamantly.
Cho looked gratefully at them, “That’s very kind of you. What do you say, Beaden?” Cho asked him excitedly.
Beaden turned back, his face expressionless, to sit once again. He grabbed one of Vilven’s ales she had yet to drink and starting to chug it as he had done the first. “You go ahead, Cho. I’m not going anywhere with these two.”
“Whatever you say.” Grid responded, finishing off his ale. He stood, adjusted his bow and arrows, then made his way outside.
“Come on, Beaden. They don’t mean us any harm. We did enter their camp unannounced.” Cho pleaded to his friend.
“Goodbye, Cho.” Beaden said coldly to him.
“Why don’t you go help Grid find you two some weapons?” Vilven suggested to Cho. “We did sell yours after all.” She added with a small smile.
Beaden angrily jerked at her comment, but Cho just gave them both a thoughtful look, then nodded silently. He stood, his arm and chest muscles bugling under his shirt. He ran a hand nervously through his hair before he took a few steps toward the exit, his back to them.
“I thought we were getting to be pretty good friends there, Beaden.” Cho said over his shoulder. Then he walked briskly out of The Blue Faerie tavern, his red cloak billowing behind him dramatically.
Vilven watched him go, then focused intently on Beaden. She said nothing as she inspected his face.
“Does it grow quickly?” She asked curiously after a moment.
“What?” Beaden spat at her, looking both perplexed and annoyed.
Vilven leaned forward theatrically, her hair falling forward to cover the sides of her face. “Your beard.” She explained to him. But before he could respond she continued, “What do plan to do? Stay here and drink until they put you in a cage?”
Beaden took a deep breath in and out, then fell back into his chair, propping his foot onto his knee.
“In case you haven’t noticed,” he started in a condescending tone, “we are surrounded by forests. There are plenty of places for Cho and I to go and plenty of people that would be happy to pay us for our help.”
“Well, it looks like Cho is coming with us.” She pointed out.
Beaden looked a but taken off guard by her response, but he recovered quickly. “Then I’ll go at it alone.” He said stiffly
The Elven bartender appeared next to their table, silent as a ghost. “The tavern has closed.” He managed through clenched teeth.
Beaden and Vilven looked up at him with annoyance.
But then Vilven stood and shot him a quick smiled, “Very well. Do you want to finish this?” She asked Beaden, indicating her second untouched ale.
Beaden grabbed the tankard in one stylish motion, then stood in front of the bartender challengingly. He chugged it nosily, the bartender’s face turning red, then dropped the cup onto the floor. “Good ale.” Beaden said with a nod.
Vilven couldn’t help but snicker. “Let’s go, Beaden.” She said, grabbing his arm. She looked back at the infuriated bartender as they made their way out.
“You’re funny, Beaden” Vilven said chuckling a few times as they walked away from the tavern. Beaden, beside himself, couldn’t help but laugh a few times with her.
“Well, now that you’ve decided to come with us, let’s see what weapon Cho and Grid got for you.” She said positively before she gave him a side long glance and winced. “And you should really fix your beard, it looked nicer before.”
“I didn’t say I was going with you.” Beaden said defensively while he ran a few idle fingers through his patchy beard.
“Yes you did” Vilven said faultlessly. Then she took a deep breath of the ocean air, ready to be close to the water.