This D & D Campaign Began Over 2 Years Ago, And Continues… This Is The Tale Of How It All Began, Written/Retold by my Player!
Find All Earlier Chapters HERE!
At Beaden’s disgruntled request they made their way to the tavern of Willant, Beaden pushing his way past them to lead like a dehydrated horse.
Vilven stared at his back as he rushed through. She went along with the group decision, though she wasn’t sure she was all that excited about it. Vilven had never seen a tavern before the one in Warden, and after that experience she felt taverns were nice enough, but she found herself more fascinated by the people of Willant. It was as Grid had told her, these elves seemed to hold no initial resentment toward them. Instead, they looked pleasantly toward them with gentle, peaceful eyes. Though, Vilven noticed, they did look at her with slight fascination and bewilderment. She had become more and more aware that as far as she could tell there were not many like her here. Not many Genasi. And though the people seemed to regard her kindly, it still made her feel strange, and surprisingly sorrowful, to become aware of her obvious minority in the Material Plane. It reminded her all over again the rejection she had faced from those in the Plane of Water. Sadness gripped her and she was swarmed with feeling of estrangement, but just then, she heard the most beautiful sound, which seemed to cut through her emotions. It wailed out in a joyous glitter, it hung there, and seemed to fill the air with inspiration and light.
Vilven smiled as it seemed to twirl into her and ease her worries.
As they stepped into the tavern, modest and made of a deep, rich wood, she found the source of the music.
He was was short, smaller than a man. He was dressed in bright clothes, reds and yellows and gold. He bounced around on one of the tables as he played his fiddle, shimmering coins sparkling around him, like something out of a beautiful children’s tale. Vilven was mesmerized.
“He’s good” Cho’s voice resonated behind her.
She looked over her shoulder to see Cho’s wholesome face nodding in approval at the little man.
“Good?” Vilven said almost confused.
“Yeah.” Cho responded as he gripped her shoulders gently, and urged her out of the doorway to a nearby table, where Beaden and Grid were already sitting.
Vilven felt a wave of butterflies come to her, making her feel ridiculous, at the feeling of the strength in Cho’s hands. She nearly blushed as he pulled out a chair for her and eased her into it, before taking a seat beside her. After a moment of panic by her feelings, she decided to turn her attention back to the musician.
He was good. His fingers seemed to tickle the strings in a technically difficult manner, urging them to burst out the bright sound. Vilven smiled again.
Grid seemed as pleased as she was at the musician’s talent, even Beaden couldn’t help but shoot a glance at the fiddle player between long gulps from his tankard.
A few patrons flicked some coins in the performers direction. Vilven’s eyes grew wide with realization and she plunged her hand inside her bag, to take out a fistful of coins. Grid, Cho, and Beaden looked at her, then at each other, with slight concern.
“What in the hell are you doing?” Beaden said insultingly at Vilven.
Vilven looked at him, surprised for a moment, then she narrowed her eyes in challenge.
“I’m giving him money.”
Grid leaned toward her to place his paw on her shoulder, speaking in a gentle tone. “Well, at least take out the gold ones, that should be enough.” He said reasonably.
Vilven sighed, then grudgingly began to sift through the coins, putting the gold back into her bag.
“Clueless…” Beaden whispered under his breath.
“Beaden.” Cho said through a wince.
Vilven laughed reproachfully back, “And how much will your excessive drinking cost us, Beaden? What is that, your third ale already?”
Beaden just grunted distastefully, and returned back to chugging his drink
Vilven shook her head as she stood, the copper and silver still a sizable amount in her hand. She walked happily to the table where the fiddle player still danced around, and placed the money gently at his feet. She looked up at him, to meet his gaze, his purple eyes twinkling at her. He smiled graciously, and nodded in thanks. Vilven could feel his deep warmth and laughed with happiness at his presence.
She nearly skipped back to the table, and sat gingerly into her chair, feeling very satisfied.
She smiled at her three companions, her eyes resting on Beaden’s miserable face.
“Here, Beaden, you can have my ale.” She said as she pushed it toward him.
“Hello there, hello, hello” the halfling performer said in a cheerful, bright voice to the four of them as they were getting ready to leave, “I just wanted to make my way over here and thank you for your very generous contribution! I’m Jo Jo Bar. And… you are?”
Grid smiled warmly at him as he shifted his bow on his back. “Hello Friend, I’m-”
“Oh, Jo Jo Bar!” Vilven interrupted as she swooped down and hugged him. “You are so very amazing. My name is Vilven.”
“Oh, ho ho ho ho” Jo Jo Bar giggled.
Cho waved graciously at him, “I am Cho, this is Beaden, and this is Grid.”
Beaden stared. Grid nodded, “Well met.” he said formally.
“Do you live here, Jo Jo? Or are you travelling? We are going south, do you want to come with us?” Vilven said quickly, each phrase vibrating with more and more excitement.
“Well, he he he, I don’t really live anywhere, but I have been playing here in Willant for several months now.” Jo Jo responded heartily.
“Forgive my pretty friend, my fine fellow.” Grid said as he leaned gracefully toward the halfling.
“Forgive me for what?” Vilven responded. “He said he doesn’t live here, and could very easily travel with us, right?”
Grid shot Vilven a tolerant glace, “She’s new to this land, and is very… enthusiastic.”
“Ugh, I’m leaving” Beaden spat, and staggered out of the tavern.
Vilven rolled her eyes behind him. Cho gently walked forward, as he ran a hand through his blond hair to push it out of his face. “Perhaps we can continue this outside?” He suggested pleasantly, though he looked a bit anxious.
“That would be fine!” Jo Jo Bar said joyously, unfazed, and then walked through the doors outside. Vilven narrowed her eyes at Grid, plainly aggrieved, then followed suit.
Vilven was embraced by the afternoon sun and the penetrating scent of the sea. She looked over to see Beaden leaning up against the wall of the tavern, Jo Jo standing next to him, and walked over to them. Grid and Cho were closely behind her.
“So, what do you think, Jo Jo Bar?” Vilven started. “I’m sure there are other taverns for you to play at wherever we are going?”
Jo Jo scratched at his chin, looking thoughtfully into the distance. “Well, an adventure does sound appealing…”
“Then you’ll come with us?” Vilven said hopefully.
“An adventure?” Beaden questioned quietly to himself.
Jo Jo thought for a moment longer, then grinned, pleased “Why not!” He elbowed Beaden’s leg “This one is certainly in need of good cheer.”
Vilven grinned back at her new companion.