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Leenoco

The Last Time At Omar's Hammer

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Oz walks up to the Inn slowly, one last time looking at Omar's Hammer before the water finally engulfs the town, it’s now resting halfway up the field. The path to the bridge lay submerged, and the graveyard having enough water to cover your feet, but not enough you could not say your final goodbyes. Oz kicked what little water was left on them after his visit before walking in. The Inn itself looked barren, the place that was filled with so much joy and jubilation just 2 days ago, looking somber and bleak.

 

Walking up to the counter Oz asks the last Barkeep left "What do you have left? Anything on tap?"

 

"Just what’s left of the sausages and a decent amount of ale. Enough to get me through till the ley lines pulse at midnight." The Innkeeper replies, not really expecting much of a crowd.

 

"Well, no use letting it go to waste. Start cooking the sausages and fill the fish with thunder. I'll go out and get the fire pit going. Most of the town is still here, and our last night in Pinedale is on me." Oz drops a slave token on the counter before going outside to start the fire going using a bit of alchemical to light the tinder.

 

Knocking on the doors of all the cabins Oz goes about and telling the people inside, "I know everyone is still packing and getting ready. But it’s only a little past noon. I have a fire going at Omar's. Drinks and sausages are on me today. Let’s all have one last drink in this town. Remember the good times, Share stories with friends. We will be pushed out the morning so let’s enjoy the day together... as Pinedale."

 

Walking back into the inn after letting town know he takes a bun and sausage, burnt just how he likes, and takes a swig of his fish. "The first, to Eliana and the others that will be left behind but not forgotten. The second. To Pinedale. My home." With that second swig, he walks out and sits by the fire.

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Vany'a was there when he got back, sitting near the corner with her back to the wall, eyes glued to the table in front of her. She didn't look up when Oz arrived, her gaze only flickering towards the merchant when she heard him speak. She gave just the slightest upwards nod to acknowledge him, but otherwise remained silent, clearly stewing in thought.

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Valora appeared to be in her element in the last couple of days, helping organize and strategize the move from Pinedale. As a good Terran, she knew how to work systems. Still, her attitude was somber. Though she had been in Pinedale a relatively short time and none of this was her fault, she couldn't help but feel she had failed in her mission. She was struggling to form a report to send to Aurum to explain what was happening to his beloved Freelands town, so instead she was steadily drinking throughout the day between helping this one and the other one pack and move their things further away from the rising water.

 

When Oz called people together it occurred to her that she still had some of her mother's sent reserve of blue Terran Thunder. It wouldn't do to haul the bottles during the journey. It might as well be part of the send-off here. She arrived at the fire in front of the inn with five big bottles gathered in her arms, swaying slightly already because she had put down another bottle all by herself in record time. "I got presents," she said in a slow, purposeful way with a little lilt like she meant to sound happy, though she only managed to sound loopy and melancholy.

 

If she saw Vany'a, she gave no indication. Her way of dealing with that monstrosity was to ignore her existence unless absolutely necessary. She did, however, turn to Oz and extended a bottle in his direction. "Take," she said, not asked, and then placed the rest of the bottles on the ground before taking a seat on the log set on its side to be used as a bench by the fire.

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Ellenor slipped into the tavern and took a seat facing the bar, her back to the water.

She knew that as a newcomer to Pinedale her grief was but a puddle to the oceans of the other townsfolk, but that didn't make the grief less real.

This was where she had stretched herself, gone outside her comfort zone, stepped away from being "one of the Vold siblings" to being her own woman.

 

Just a month ago, no one in this town had known her, though she had heard stories of Pinedale. Today, people knew of her or knew her name, had died braiding her hair and had enchanted her belt, had called her nosy and had saved her life, had warned her against myconid spores and had taught her about moving on from anger.

 

There was the spot where, as a nervous newcomer, she first met Richard the bard and he calmed her nerves with his song. There was the corner where she had gotten into a high stakes card game that she couldn't afford and left much richer than she had started. This floor was where she had danced with a satyr, met the bandit king, and signed a petition for a reform of the financial system in Pinedale much to the protests of Adot Burr.

 

She felt upset when people she knew were hurt or threatened. She felt a warm joy at being included by the Wardens as an official guest of the group. She felt fear and adrenaline fighting to defend this town.

In this town she had met new faces, learned a multitude of names, made memories, received a scar, and fell in love... But not with a person. With a community.

 

The people would be migrating to Maplewood, but if she felt this much over the town, she knew every one of them would carry a piece of Pinedale in their hearts.

 

 

Ellenor turned her face to the wall so no one would see her tears.

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Marcus comes into the inn with a very serious and somber look. He approached the bar and ordered the strongest drink left. He then proceeds to sit down at one of the tables nodding to each present. A tear slowly rolls down his cheek. As he lifts the bottle and takes a swig he looks around and sighs.

 

"This place has done more for me then I can ever repay back. The road ahead only the seven knows but Pinedale will always be where my heart lies. I pray that when the stranger calls me to her well it will be as it is here. I have gained much and lost little. Come drink with me and let's us remember Pinedale together."

 

With that Marcus takes a longer swig from the bottle and passes it around to whoever wishes to drink from it.

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Rykir was busy gathering his things when he heard Oz's knock at the door. He put down all the candles, boxes and books he had piled high in his arms in order to go open it.

As Ozwindel left, Rykir closed the door and turned with a sigh. "Look at all of this stuff." he thought to himself. He was amazed how quickly he had accumulated "things" and how quickly he had settled in and become comfortable in Pinedale. Less than a year earlier he was wandering from town to town, scrounging meals where he could, doing odd jobs to help those who seemed to be on hard times and always keeping an eye out for signs of the inquisition or their influence. Today, he had what he finally could consider a home.

 

While the others often left to tend to matters outside of Pinedale, be it Baldiserie's farm or trips back to Terra, Rykir didn't leave that much anymore. He spent most of his nights in the warden's quarters. They smelled of the alchemical flowers and terran thunder left behind by Baevyn and Valora. It also occasionally smelled of the sweaty spare gambeson that Baldiserie would sometimes leave behind after a long day of running around in full plate armor, chasing this monster or that. It was adorned with Miria's beautifully bound books and the table was still sticky from the last time wine had been spilled on it as the group toasted to Oscar's family words "This too shall pass".

 

For a moment, he was sad to see it go, but as he surveyed the room and thought about the things he would miss- he had a revelation. This room had no real meaning to him. The structure, the location meant nothing. It was just another log building in a small Freelands town. This too shall pass.

 

The people were what made Pinedale special to Rykir. The people who had taken him in. The people who gave him a home. Not an encampment, or a bed, but a home. That home wasn't going anywhere. They were coming with him to Maplewood. The thought filled Rykir with joy. He grabbed his mug out of a box on the table and burst out of the door towards the tavern.

 

He arrived to find Valora and Ozwindel by the fire. He greeted them and tried his best to lighten the mood. As he stood there, slugging down some of Valora's terran thunder and talking too much, he saw Ellenor and Marcus through the window of Omar's Hammer. He grabbed an extra mug of terran thunder and went inside. He gave Vany'a the same big smile and nod that he always did and received the same blank stare as usual. He raised his glass to Marcus with a nod of greeting.

 

Finally, he looked to Ellenor. He could see she was trying to hide tears. He felt the urge to go and comfort her, tell her things would be okay. To explain his revelation from not 10 minutes earlier. Yet, he remembered how much she'd grown here in such a short time and knew that it was not his or anyone's place to coddle her or talk to her like she needed to be looked after. He walked over to her, put his hand on her shoulder and slid a mug of the powerful terran spirit in front of her.

 

When she turned to him, he put on his biggest smile. "This too shall pass" he said, patting her on the shoulder once before walking out the door to rejoin Valora and Ozwindel by the fire.

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Niccolo was simply packed when word came around. He didn't have much as it was. Just the clothes on his back, his sword and his viola. He decided that in this time of sadness, they needed to find some joy. He had already seen too much sadness around him.

 

He brought his viola with him towards the Inn, unsure of what he was gonna do. He waved to his friends by the fire, no doubt awestruck by the revelation of what we were doing. Where we were going. He tried to stifle any thoughts of remorse and sadness. There was no time for crying.

 

When he entered the Inn, the place he called a home for such a short time, he noticed Ellenor sitting down, almost as if she was hiding something. He wanted to ask her, but almost felt that words would do nothing in this situation. Instead, he just sat down and unpacked his instrument. Like before, the glimmer of the polish made him feel comfortable.

 

A place...he never thought he'd grow attached to a location. Nothing but trees and monsters. But it was more than that somehow. It was somehow...a home. And now, once again, home was lost to him.

 

"I wonder...maybe we need a solemn tune. Not one to make us cry...but one to make us look back and always remember...but what?"

 

Then it hit him. And he began to play outside the Inn, something that seemed sad. But in reality, it was his way of praying. Praying that all of his friends and allies make it safely to Maplewood. Because in the end, they were all that mattered. As much as he was gonna miss the town, it was just a place. It's the people that truly make it special.

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Niccolo's music drifts into and around the nearby pine trees. Two pointed ears perk up at the music as Thaerion turns her gaze towards the Inn. How far she has come since her first day in Pinedale, only a little more than a year ago. She reflects on her follies and her greatest moments. She remembers sitting quietly under a bench as Orcs attacked, when she first saw Draug burst through the door of the Inn...she reflects on her many conversations in the nearby meadows with friends and foe. She smiles and winces at the thought of Micah's lesson, and she smiles softly at the fond memories of her journeys with Beryl and Sorien...and now they are wed, how far everyone has come...

 

Thaerion walks over to the Inn. She opens the door and slowly takes down her sack with her wooden bowls and cups. She walks over to the innkeeper and smiles a half smile as she picks up a tiny apple. She passes Vany'a and places a piece of rosemary in front of her. It looks like she could use it.

"May your days begin and end in peace" she whispers. With that she begins to disappear into the dreary night. She looks at each person as she leaves. She takes her post outside the town next to Draug. They are to make sure no upset Tainted Ones disturb the village-especially on a night as solemn as this.

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Valora acknowledged Rykir as he passed by but was otherwise preoccupied with drinking and staring into the fire, lost in her thoughts. The firelight glinted off of the gems that protruded from her face in a pleasant, symmetrical pattern - a point of pride in her family. After a while she looked up and squinted into the woods. She let her eyes adjust and then let out a great sigh. "This place is not Terra," she said, laughing and slapping her knee. "Gods is it not Terra... but... it wasn't a bad place. I could have been assigned to worse places. I'm going to miss it," she said. The Terran woman lifted a small flask she had filled with blue Terran Thunder and said, "Like Oz said. To Pinedale! May it live on in our fondest memories."

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