He gives another cautious look at Anafrey and the tan tan still sitting on the table.
"Maldorn, I've played my tan tan plenty of times, and I never really thought about how it was made. Anafrey's story about the smelly beast from the frozen north, and crawling in sleeping bags... just made me think about it in a different way," he tells him.
"Maybe I'll find another thing to do to pass the time on our journey. Maybe I'll find out just what exactly an old man loves to do with oil in the wild. It does get lonely out there. By the way are we bunking together? I call big spoon if so. My feet get cold."
He playfully but sneakily tries to swap Anafrey's flask in her boot for an empty one he has when she's put them back (Sleight of hand: 13).
Before Jambiya heads off to grab food, Erric starts singing, accompanied by his horn, which is also his spellcasting focus, and will inspire her. (OOC he uses his bonus action to cast Bardic Inspiration, which means she "gains an inspiration die (1d6). For 10 minutes, the creature can add it to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw. This can be added after seeing the roll, but before knowing the outcome.")
The song goes a little something like this, with the horn providing a playful counterpoint:
I'm bringin' charming back (trill) Them other halflings don't know how to act (tweet) I think it's special, the rucksack on your back (toot) So rest up and in the morning we'll go make tracks (honk)
Grumpypops You see this porridge baby I'll make a (death) save I'll let you cast spells if I misbehave You know no goblin makes me feel this way
There are several more verses, and they manage to get worse, and he finishes the song whether or not Jambiya flees from the 60 foot range of the effect or someone dumps a pint over his head.
Afterward, he turns to Dirk, Anafrey, and Maldorn and offers some of his own stories in return. "Maldorn stole my story about the old Viceroy Ch'aye'ni who also shot a hunting companion in the face and managed to get the victim to apologize to him -- I never knew that one was actually about you! But I can tell you one about me. Did I ever tell you about that time I was thisclose to becoming the youngest lord of Waterdeep? I have? Well the story has gotten so much better since the last time I told it, so perk up..."
Anafrey's eyes sparkle a little bit at the halfling's newfound discomfort around his instrument. When he tries to go for her boot, she casually slides her foot out of reach and pushes her chair back, standing up to stretch (Passive Perception 13). When Errick starts his song she plugs her ears with her fingers, but sits back down with an uncomfortable look on her face, and her sad-eyed gaze shifts between Jambiya, Dirk, and Maldorn.
"Made-up names? Singer-man? Your jests get more absurd with each passing day, Aeric boy." Maldorn says, not sure what Erric is referring to.
Maldorn then listens to Erric's song, showing his best annoyed-old-man face while lighting up a hand-rolled cigarette: "Arrhh... this will help me cope with these new tunes you youths enjoy these days..." Once the bard shows interest in his hunting story again, Maldorn responds as if he was not annoyed at all just a moment beforehand: "Ah yes, that tale did go around a bit, but I have never been called a Viceroy before... Does a Viceroy Ch'aye'ni even exist?"
Maldorn offers his cigarettes to anyone in the table who would take one.
When he sees Anafrey notice, even through her haze, him trying to once again relieve her of alcohol, he switches tack and instead adds a small flower next to the full flask in her boot, hoping that she'll accept a peace offering (and, in a boot, prefer it to his usual habit of gifting people with sparkly but worthless stones). He meets her gaze with a knowing wink, and seeing her gaze in return, begins singing, almost to himself, a soothing song (inspiration to Anafrey -- not the first time he's done this for her):
You with the sad eyes Don't be discouraged, oh I realize Drinking liquid courage In a bar full of creatures You can lose sight of the wall The whiskey inside your boot Can make you trip and fall
But without you the world's duller In this dining room (So stealthy) I can't see your true colors That's why I...
He then realizes himself, looks up in a panic, and uses the dodge combat action in anticipation of Anafrey's retaliation.
Erric also laughs and politely demurs at the cigarette offers -- "No thank you, my good man... I have to keep these lungs in tip-top shape if I'm going to be the finest singer in all of Faerun. My jests may be absurd at times, and my songs trying to more 'refined' ears but I think you'll find my musical talents won't be useless out in the wild. And yes indeed, the commonly accepted face-shooting hunter story pegs the name at Viceroy Ch'aye'ni -- I can't believe it's actually you!"
"Well, I'm sure I am not the only one who shot a good friend on the face while hunting quail. It is quite the common occurrence, really." Maldorn says, with a pensive expression on. "Perhaps I can meet this hopefully not-fictitious Viceroy one day and sympathize regarding our friend-making methods.
Anafrey takes the flower from her boot and gives it a sniff. She twirls it between her fingers and thumb.
She waves off the cigarettes and backs away, leaning against the wall a few paces back, "No, those things will kill you. My thanks for the offer." She reaches into her shirt and pulls a flask from her bust taking a swig, and replacing it.
Anafrey stretches again and cracks her knuckles, careful not to crush the little flower.
"Well, if we're to be gone a few days I should head to my den and get a good night's rest. I don't believe I made it home last night... maybe not even the nights prior, who can say?" she shrugs, then turns on her heel. "'Til morning." she says, stopping Jambiya just long enough to put the flower behind her ear. "A gift, from dear Erric." she whispers to the goblin lass, and then she departs.
"Oh, for sure, Pops. They may be good hunters and passable singers, but they've never been adventuring. I'll keep an eye on them," she smiles winking at Erric to take the sting out. When Anafrey puts the flower in her hair, Jambiya smiles and touches it, and it perks up, more colorful and vibrant. "See you in the morning, miss 'frey!"
Erric finishes the last of his meal and stands up on the bench. "Well, I just got back into town, and it looks like I'll have to leave it too soon," he says to his departing companions. "I miss my bed, such as it is. I shall see you all on the morrow, at some still-undecided time and place, whenceforth we'll embark on our journey where I am sure nothing bad will befall us, and that this acolyte will certainly not be part of some duplicitous scheme to entrap well-meaning adventurers."
As he steps down to the floor, a momentary expression runs across his face that reads of resigned deja vu. "Jambiya, the flower, it pales in-- well you get the idea. Maldorn, I'll see you tomorrow, my little spoon. Anafrey, it was pecuniarily grandiloquent as always." [OOC you'll notice that Erric will use flashy words without really knowing what they mean -- sometimes they accidentally hit the mark and sometimes they really don't. He likes ambitious linguistic acrobatics but doesn't have the intellect to stick the landing.] With some desultory nods to the rest of the Inn's patrons, pays for his meal and then heads off to his small attic room in town.
He leaves the tan tan on the table with a final suspicious look.
The next morning, the four gradually gather back at the Seldom Spring inn, finally being ready to depart by 9:00. Dirk reminds them that it is about a day's journey. He gives them directions as he knows them. The former adventurer is all smiles and assurances.
I need five survival rolls. They can all come from one character or some from multiple. I just need a total of five. Depending on how well these go, I might need more.
Maldorn nods to Dirk reassuringly and leads the group towards the direction his old acquaintance sends them. With a cigarette in his mouth, Maldorn takes point. His facial expression fails to hide that he is feeling confident that he know this area well enough.
Anafrey is much more well put together than normal. Her clothing is clean and pressed and hair plaited just so. She's evened up the shave so that the line is clean across the left side of her head, and she doesn't reek of booze although you can still smell it on her breath and see that her eyes are unusually clear; though by normal standards she would still look to be in somewhat of a haze. She curses softly as she struggles with picking out the path, struggling to remember her survival training.
The young goblin woman bounces out of the inn, handing out sacks to each of you. "Here is a packet of food for you, and one for you... oh, and inside, I put a couple of berries I, um discovered last night! They are super delicious and... um," she glances at Dirk. "And filling. Here! Master Whitehare, your flasks of oil," she hands him three flasks of oil. She also offers full waterskins (full of water) in case anyone needs one.
Then she spins in place, arms out, smiling. "It's a beautiful day for an Adventure, don't you think master Whitehare?!"
Jambiya is dressed (as in her picture), in a short tunic over a worn leather cuirass, practical pants and boots, with a sack slung over her shoulder, her witchy stick and a dagger (or two). On her back is a short bow (which looks pretty big on her) and a quiver.
OOC > So everyone has 7 days rations, a waterskin, and two Goodberry berries (good until sundown today). Also, Maldorn has three flasks of oil.
She's no good at Survival, so best not roll for that. Random d20: 6
Erric is the last to arrive, looking just disheveled enough that it's not clear whether he styled his hair to look like bedhead or if he slept upside-down in his sheets. He greets everyone warmly, if a bit absentmindedly, still looking a bit unsure about whether he's really supposed to be on this trip in the first place.
Jambiya's effervescence buoys his spirits visibly, and he accepts the food with a gracious-but-not-overdone bow. He casts minor illusion to create some peppy background music that washes around her as she spins. He does a dramatic triple-take when he sees Anafrey, pretending not to recognize her. "Love the new do! You really have to tell me who your stylist ended up being." When he's not manifesting music around Jambiya, he's casting more minor illusions a few feet in front of Maldorn in the form of progressively larger and larger spoons. The joke is still hilarious to Erric, even if he's not sure Maldorn gets it, which makes the illusions even more funny to him.
Before leaving the Inn, Erric asks Dirk, "How is it, did you say, you knew where this house was? And forgive me but I think you said you were going to tell us the tale of how it was that you 'came into possession' of the mirror you gave to this lord. Care to give a weary traveler the alluviated [sic] version?"
[OOC this is me not having Erric insight check Dirk's smiles and assurances because he is very credulous and naive, while I'm a bit more skeptical!]
Jambiya appreciates the music accompanying her spin, then makes sure everyone gets their share of stuff, then skips over to Dirk. "I think we're ready to go, Pops. Back in a few days. Do what Grumpy Pops tells you, you've never had a head for tavern work."
"Darn it Aeric, what is up with you and spoons? Are you some kind of cochlearimaniac? How's that for a fancy word, tiny bard?" Maldorn sounds old-man-annoyed, but there is a hint of victory by the end of his statement.