502-11-15 Elven arrival

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November 12, 502

An elf, previously unknown and unheard of in the Empire, shows up in the tavern and treats with and gifts a few of the occupants.

You walk into the tavern.

Isle of Ale Tavern - Keeper Center - Village

Unlike it's competing tavern near the docks, this establishment is in a respectable shape for noble enjoyment. The prices are elevated, but so is the cleanliness of the locale. Large windows and magical balls of light brighten the place even despite the polished oak of the tables, chairs, floors, and counter tops. Paintings depicting each of the four islands as well as the city center cover the walls, often a source of conversation to the new arrival to the village.

Behind the long counter of the bar are many bottles and kegs, all boasting temptation to anyone in favor of a drink with some kick. Serving girls are always plentiful, but this only seems to heighten the mood of festivity.


Obvious exits: Kitchen <K> Out <O> Lazarus moves into the tavern a moment behind Raziel, tucking a note into a pouch upon his belt. "Good day, Your Grace."

Duke Raziel clears his throat, looking around again, before asking Lazarus, pointedly, "You asked me here to meet you?" Curiously, without any shade of hostility. Phailin wanders in. She's holding a note also. Her neutrel features actually holds a distracted and curious look to them as she looks about, a swift curtsey given for the Duke once she comes in a bit more.

Lazarus shakes his head. "No, I recieved a note and assumed you sent it when you got here just before me."

Duchess Asha arrives from the Plaza Center.

Duchess Asha has arrived.

Narlyia arrives from the Plaza Center.

Narlyia has arrived.

Nysra arrives from the Plaza Center.

Nysra has arrived.

Duke Raziel frowns to Lazarus, but nods as his lips turn to a thin line of thought. "Someone, then, seems to be playing a game with us," he mentions to the Dowager Duke. He rubs his jaw, then moves to a table, eyes scanning the establishment.

Lazarus nods and looks about the room, then heads for the bar. "Whatever the intentions, they will make themselves known soon enough."

Narlyia and Nysra enter one after the other, the old mage limping as usual, and she seems to be... none too pleased. "What is with the unsigned notes?" She questions, catching Raziel's words. Her frown deepens some and she casts a sidelong look to Nysra.

Phailin gives a small shrug as she overhears Lazarus and Raziel, going to find her own seat and ordering a Green Field ale in the process. Might as well as drink as she waits. And what better choice than an ale, of course.

Nysra enters with Narlyia. The woman tends to walk closely to the older woman when they enter the tavern. At the tavern's door, the woman pauses a moment, before her footsteps take her inside. Her silver-gray gaze scans the crowd, her gaze dropping to the woman. The corner of her lips quirking upwards, while she gives a shrug.

Asha is close behind Nysra and Narlyia, flanked by her now-usual quartet of guards. "You know, if I didn't know otherwise, I'd say this is something Vincente would have done," she says with a faint smile as she takes in the reactions of those around the tavern, sending two guards on a quick sweep of the room as the other two remain with her.

Duke Raziel pulls out a pipe, and begins to fill it with snuff as he takes a seat, pulling out the note he'd been sent. His fingertip sparks, lighting in a small flame as he says a faint few words, lighting the tobacco. Soon enough, his smoke begins to spiral upwards, sending a pleasent and full woody scent throughout the room. He watches, silently, and with suspicion in his gaze.

"Well if whomever bodes ill will, they would be a fool to deal with this many." Not to mention mages. Narlyia does manage a bow for the Duke, but she points towards a table in the corner for Nysra. "Come, niece. This should be interesting." She smiles faint before heading that way, setting her staff to lean against the table before she eases herself into a seat.

Nyx dips into a curtsy to Raziel, "My Duke." She greets politely, before following her aunt to the table in the corner. Her steps taking her elegantly over there. Her hips carrying a light sway to them. She doesn't sit down like her aunt. Instead, she sits on the edge of the table, crossing her arms, near her Aunt. Her attention sliding to her before those in the room.

Lazarus gets a tankard of ale from the barkeep and sits down to make himself comfortable. The former duke looks healthier than he ever has since coming to this isle. One by one, his dark eyes scan those here, nodding to those faces that are familiar to him, committing those faces to memory that he does not know.

Asha's guards start a cautious progress around the tavern, two of them remaining with the duchess as she moves to join Raziel, quirking a brow at the Mistian duke. "Thoughts?" she asks of him, dropping down into a chair and loosening her sword in its scabbard.

At whatever Nysra's Aunt murmured to Nyx has tickled her funny bone. A hand reaches up to slide over her mouth to hide her smile and stifle the velvety laughter that threatens to escape. The sound muffled by her hand, while the laughter is mimicked in her silver moons. The hand drops away to chide Narlyia in good fun, "Oh, Behave." Duke Raziel's fingers drum on the table, with obvious impatience. A puff of smoke that curls into the air above him slowly transforms, shifting into a griffon, which soars to the ceiling upon spread wings before dissapating into nothingness. His eyes shift to Asha, "Two. Either something -bad- is about to happen at the Castle, and they wanted key people out of the area so they could attempt it with slow reaction time, or they're about to do something very, very foolish."

Phailin shifts in her seat. Merely observing and listening to others. Taking a slow sip every now and than of her ale. Openly listening to what Raziel has said and a small flicker frowns for his opinon. But she offers nothing, taking a slow look about.

Narlyia grins at Nyx and winks before leaning back in her chair, her hand seeking to undo the strap that holds her component back closed. Four mages to her count. Whoever that would be trying something HERE is a complete fool. Much like Raziel, she is looking incredibly impatient and highly annoyed, despite her good murmured banter or words with her niece, Nysra.

"Well, not to tarnish my sterling reputation for being full of paranoid shit," Asha drawls dryly, looking around the tavern herself, "But I figure it's /possible/ someone just wanted to throw a surprise party. Could be someone's testing the reactions to surprise parties, too," she muses, fingers tapping irregularly on the table.

"Perhaps," mutters Raziel, not sounding entirely convinced. Again, his fingers rap in succession along the table he's seated at, and he blows another plume of smoke into the air. This one turns into a dragon's head, snapping towards the ceiling even as the movement of air sweeps it away. His eyes slide around, looking for some sign of the meeting.

Nysra leans back onto the palms of her hand, crossing her feet at her ankle. She muses to Narlyia, "I wish I had brought my telescope with me." Her fingers tap lightly in a calm measure on the table, while her gaze sweeps around, "Well, since we are here, Aunt, let me introduce you to some people." She starts nodding to people who she lists of, "That is the Duke of Mists. That is the Duchess of Guardian. That is the lovely Lady Phailin. The other two I sadly do not know."

The old mage, Na shifts in her chair to note those that Nysra lists off. "The good Duke and I have already met." She bows her head to him and nods to the others that are mentioned. "A pleasure." She rests her hand atop the table, away from her component pouch for now, taking in those within the tavern one by one. "Narlyia Bloodwood, the beautiful Baroness Foxfire Cradle's Aunt." No need to put exactly 'which' Aunt in there.

Asha's guards return with shrugs, apparently finding nothing out of place, and the duchess stands from her chair. "Well, I think we're going to go see if anything's out of place at the castle," she announces. "Personally, I wouldn't eat or drink anything quite yet," she notes as an aside, nodding a distracted greeting to Narlyia before looking to Raziel with a brief quirk of one brow. "Care to come?"

Nyx eyes cut from Na to to Asha, before tipping her head to the side, pipping up, "If neither Duke or Duchesses would mind, could myself and my aunt come with?" She arches a brow upwards in inquiry, glancing from one to the other. Phailin nods towards Na once Nysra does the introductions. A small chuckle escapes as she's already drank the ale so if she is to get poisoned its probably already in her system.

Lazarus reclines in his seat now, just watching those around him speak among themselves.

Duke Raziel nods a little to Asha, "I believe so, yes," he agrees mildly. Yet, some grace must be with him and his paitence not fully gone as he tells the two Mistians, "This is Dowager Duke Lazarus, if you have not had the honor of meeting him before. I believe he is responsible for teaching music at the Keeper's University." A small smile, "And Lady Phailin, who I believe owns a floral shop within the Keeper's City." He then shifts keeping his pipe well lit, and looks to the others.

Lazarus nods to the elder mage and Nyx. "A pleasure to meet you, and yes, I am music instructor at the University. Music and magic are more closely related than one would think."

"A pleasure." Na smiles again to each mentioned, a bow of her head given to Lazarus as well. There is recognition in her dark eyes, but with Nyx's question posed to the Duke and Duchess, her attention shifts there to look for their answer.

A flickering smile finally touches Nysra's lips, "That I truly believe. A pleasure to meet you. As my aunt has told, I am the Baroness of Foxfire Cradle. I'm the professor of Astronomy at the University myself, so I may see you there occasionally. Similar to music, the same is for astronomy." "It might be best if not all the resources were in the same place," Asha replies to Nysra's question, smile faint. "I'm sure it's probably nothing." She gestures to the guards then, and the group heads out of the tavern.

Duchess Asha leaves the tavern.

Duchess Asha has left.

Duke Raziel offers to Nysra, "We'll send word." And, he departs with Asha.

Duke Raziel leaves the tavern.

Duke Raziel has left.

Lazarus watches the others leave. "Astronomy is very much like magic and music. The heavens, the stars, rhythm and time... all are interconnected."

Na grins just a little as the two Ducal Nobles leave, but she remains settled in her chair. For now she falls quiet, her hand shifting to tap her fingers lightly on her lips in thought.

At the answer, Nysra glances down at Na and rolls her shoulders, "Sorry, My Dear Aunt, you heard them. Sadly, I agree with them." She flashes a smile over at Lazarus, "I completely agree! I think we should talk sometime about it all. I would highly enjoy that."

"Oh I do too." Narlyia grins a bit and winks to her niece. "Perhaps I should look into teaching a class of my own at the University." She muses lightly.

Phailin continues to remain quiet from where she sits. Eyes shifting to the recently departed Duchess and Duke, following their backsides for a moment as she sits.

Lazarus nods to the elder mage. "Truely, teaching is a very fulfilling career. I never thought it would be so damned rewarding, yet, I do enjoy it more than I thought possible."

Duke Raziel arrives from the Plaza Center.

Duke Raziel has arrived.

Duke Raziel re-enters the tavern, only moments after stepping out. This time, his right hand is inside his jerkin, and he looks alert. Wary. And, he's clearly ready to act. His eyes sweep the area as quickly as they may as he tries to ascertain just what is going on.

Nysra is sitting on an edge of table in the corner. Her aunt sits at the table nearby. They are talking with Lazarus who is sitting at another table. A tip of her head is given, while Nysra muses, "I hope you are right." Her gaze shifts to the Duke who re-enters.

Na looks ready to answer Lazarus, but whatever it was, is choked back in favor of watching Raziel closely when he reenters. Her lips press thin, and she looks around, dipping a hand into her own pouch to produce a pearl-colored shell. "Magic?" She questions towards the duke, her hand ready to crush the component for her spell.

Duchess Asha arrives from the Plaza Center.

Duchess Asha has arrived.

It's interesting, the shadows a fire can make within a room. Sometimes, the shadows themselves almost seem alive with the way the fire dances over the surfaces, casting light upon the room. It is the darkness just to the side of the fireplace that actually starts to move, a figure forming within it before stepping free. The figure is tall and from what can be ascertained from the shape of the figure covered in cloaks, very lanky as well. A huge booming laugh sounds when the creature takes shape. "Welcome to my party!" the masculine voice exclaims. The voice has a sonorous quality, even in its volume. And with a wave a hand, he makes a quick gesture. "Thank you all so much for answering my summons!"

Phailin frowns. She's not one for many words but that is what she does. Frowns when the creature makes his presence known. Eyes scanning towards the warriors and the magicians. Staying quiet. Perhaps if she stays quiet she'll not be noticed.

Lazarus stands and looks toward the creature, more curious than anything

Duke Raziel's eyes narrow at said creature, humanoid or not. It is cloaked, it is speaking in booming voices, and therefore, it is suspect. "Speak your purpose," he commands of the shadowed-creature. His hand remains neatly inside his jerkin, eyes fixated upon the scene.

"There /is/ no good kind of magic," Asha is growling to Raziel as she follows the duke back into the tavern, a hand moving within her cloak even as the other gestures to the shadowy creature. "See what I mean?" The four guards around the duchess move automatically to form a box around her, hands all moving towards weapons.

Duchess Asha has partially disconnected.

Narlyia frowns a touch, but her dark green eyes shift to take in the ... thing that just came out of the fire. Wonderful! Her hand disappears back into her component pouch for now, and she remains seated. A sidelong look is given to Nysra, but her attentions rest mostly upon the 'creature'.

Nysra has partially disconnected.

Nysra claps her hands togather in delight when the figure appears. A bright, dazzling smile touching her lips. Her silver-gray eyes studying the shadow-creature-thing. "Oh! Your quite welcome! I do love anything with the universe - moons included. I apologize that I didn't come prepared, though. I left my telescope at home, quite the pity." She clucks with amusement dancing on her lips. Her voice is sultry with a heavy accent that purrs and rolls her words togather in a velvety tone. Her head tips to the side and an ebony lock drops towards her feature, "And who maybe our host of such a grand event?" "My purpose?" The creature asks in that same gregarious voice, hands spreading before him. "Why, I have come to give you all a gift! If you are worthy of such. If not... then I have come to rob you! You didn't deserve it anyway." Another one of those booming laughs sound. "Who am I, you ask? I am your Ringmaster! Your Host! Your shadow."

Na pulls her hand away from her pouch and relaxes in her chair for some reason or another. Now, the elder mage more or less watches the 'shadow' with interest.

Duke Raziel, however, does /not/ relax. "How kind of you," retorts the Duke Regent, quietly. He moves then into the bar further, as at least for the moment the 'Host' of the party does not seem intent on harming anyone. "A game, then, Ringmaster? Host? Shadow. And what are the rules, to determine our worth? And the prize to be had if we show it?"

Nyx leans over to her Aunt to whisper out of the side of her mouth, "I like his laughter. I wonder if he can teach me how to laugh like that someday." She takes this all in stride, but than she is from Wraith's Wrath and they aren't exactly known to be 'normal'. At the creatures words, a smirk tugs at the side of her lips, while her silver moons flash brightly. "A game, how lovely. As this is a celebration fo the full moon of Minuet, I do hope you shalln't take to long. I wish to be out tonight to stargaze as you can understand. I wouldn't dare miss such a night." She sounds serious. "What are we to play?" Phailin watches the 'shadow' as well as the others reactions to all of this. A brow creeps as she murmurs, "Defintly not a Fielder, party, no."

None of Asha's guards look particularly like the sort who allow robberies, nor does the duchess herself look inclined to play games - what can be seen of her through guardly shoulders, at least. "Any particular reason you hide your face, shadow? An interesting uniform you choose to wear."

Lazarus looks to Asha. "Don't be so obtuse. He hides his face to keep his anonimity. Ringmaster, then. Maker of the rules of the game. Tell us, what is the game?"

Narlyia chuckles at Nyx's words, winking to her younger niece even whilst her gaze intently remains on the thing. Since everyone else is talking, the old woman keeps silent. Her fingers lightly tap and play against the wood of the tabletop, ready, but relaxed appearing. "Yes, yes, what is this oh-so delightful game of yours, Shadow." She smiles.

"Prove your worth, and you might see the mystery unveiled," The creature says to Asha, then spreads his hands again. "The game, my dear dear people. The rules are simple. Each of you here," he explains, gesturing to each person in turn, "have to tell me something that I, a being entirely new to this Empire, would need to know to survive and succeed with all of the dangerous, foul, evil things that seem to plague this lovely little realm of yours. It has to be something /truly/ worthwhile. Do not tell me about your festivals or such, now!" he chides with amusement, waving a finger. "No trying to be tricky, here."

Nysra instantly shoots up her hands at the Shadow's words, "Oh! I know two off the top of my head! As you see, I'm new here to myself and this is what I have learned and observed from my short arrival."

Duke Raziel clears his throat, eyeing Shadow, but his hand does not leave his jerkin. "Very well, - Shadow. I would tell you this. Never give anyone within our - lovely little realm your blood willingly, less you know you are and why. To do otherwise is to invite that who carries it power and influence over you." His eyes continue to carry that edge of suspicion. "Always clean your blade, and know where your blood has spilt."

"Why would we tell a creature new to the empire how to survive in the empire when we have absolutely no reason to believe you're the sort of creature we would /want/ surviving in the empire?" Asha asks, looking at the Mistians in the room as though they've all lost their minds. "This is ridiculous," she says with a roll of her eyes, gesturing to the guards. Two of them move forward towards the shadow, starting to draw their weapons.

"Never drink anything from someone you don't trust, or don't know. Tavern keeps don't count." Narlyia offers smoothly, her fingertips still tapping faintly on the tabletop, her gaze not leaving the shadow. As the guards approach, her hand tenses, the corners of her mouth shifting into a frown.

Lazarus says, "A Name is a very very potent thing. Anyone who knows the true name of anything can have power over that thing. But you know that already, hence you name yourself Shadow only."

"Hold," the Shadow says toward the approaching guards, the command carrying more weight and fullness of Authority. The two guards do stop in their tracks, merely looking frozen in the position they were addressed at, but not harmed. "You are not playing very nice, little one," the creature says toward Asha in that same chiding voice as before. "Not every creature upon Ikol is evil and means you harm. Just because you are surrounded by such here does not accurately represent the world at large. True, evil is more prevalent than good, but not /greater/. "And what you all have given me so far is something a child should learn. It is not unique to this place. Common sense," he declares, clapping his hands together twice. "Come now, something better. I promise you, it is worth your while."

"Family is always important no matter how long your gone and no matter what happens. They are the ones that count above else." Lin says smoothly.

When people starts announcing their's, Nyx brows furrow togather and her lips purse into a fine line. A quiet cough comes from her. A modest blush touching her cheeks. She leaps off the table to actually take a few strides to the shadow. A finger cranes in motion for him to come near - not wanting to go over any boundaries. "Tsh. Tsh. Come here and I'll tell you mine." She leans forward, waiting patiently, "No trickery." She looks at the thing perplexed and waves her hands in the air, "Um, where is your ear?"

"Speak in a whisper," the Shadow says toward Nyx, waving a hand. "I will hear what you say. But I am not so foolish to give my ear in such a way."

Duke Raziel suggests to Asha, plainly, "Your guards have no strength here, Asha. If anything else, he can leave as easily as he came," he points out, mildly. Yet, while the Duke will step inside the tavern more, the hand remains neatly in his jacket. "Very well." He considers 'Shadow', thoughtfully. He pauses, and watches Shadow thoughtfully. He speaks, then, in the softest whisper. A test, perhaps, of the creature's claim. And, perhaps, of other things.

"Guardians don't play question games," Asha replies, jaw setting when the guards are frozen. "Unless you want to make enemies of them, you'd best deal honestly, and not from behind shadows and robes."

Narlyia taps her fingers again on the tabletop out of pure amusement for a long moment before her own lips move in a quiet whisper.

The Shadow is quiet to listen to those speaking to him in quiet voices. An unseen regard can be felt to weigh heavily upon Raziel. "You win. Please be patient while the others play," he says with levity. To Nysra, he waves a hand in an acceptable gesture. "That will do. You may wait over there with that one," he says, pointing toward Raziel.

"And you... some high noble, I guess, with guards that follow you. I am not here to make enemies of anyone. As I said before, I am here to help. Why will you not help me?"

A slow incline of the creatures head toward Narylia. "You win." He points then toward Phailin. "I have not yet heard your second chance yet."

It is quite obvious that Nysra thinks this shadow person is uber cool or that she finds this game fun. A happy smile curls up on her full lips, while she claps her hands togather, "Thank you!" She bounds over to the Duke and nods her head towards him, before spinning on her heel to see how the others fair.

Na takes a moment to push herself to her feet, and might just need Nysra's help to get her balance before she takes her staff and puts the weight of her missing leg upon it as she starts to limp and amble over to where Raziel is.

Duke Raziel maintains his arm within his jerkin, and does not look as joyous as others might at 'Winning', instead, he maintains that suspicious visage, though the inclination of his head might suggest some inner question answered of what might be transpired. At least part of the mystery solved. He nods, briefly, to the one-armed Magi, but his attention is fixated upon the Host.

Lazarus ponders and nods to the creature. "I will whisper my answer, though it may not get me any prize, it is the only thing I know to survive in this land."

Noticing her Aunt needs some help, she quickly flee's her spot to head towards Narlyia and give her sport, before walking back with her towards Raziel. "Sorry, Aunt Na-Na. I got bit excited." She apologizes for not being immediately there. Her free hand brushing her locks out of her face. Phailin waits until Lazarus is done before she quietly gives her own response in kind.

"I await to hear it," the Shadow replies to Lazarus. "Whisper it softly upon the air, and it will reach me."

The elder mage, Na, with Nysra's help makes it to Raziel, and gives the Duke a brief sidelong look before her attentions rest on the shadow creature again. Her hand on her staff loosens briefly before tightening again, and whilst standing, her weight shifts to her right leg.

Lazarus whispers his answer to the wind as instructed, the words coming from lips that hold no smile, from eyes that are intent and serious of the answer they give this strange creature.

"I have no proof that you mean us no harm," is Asha's reply to the shadow, a step taken forward. "My duty is to protect this empire, not play host to creatures out of shadow. Sharing the secrets of the empire with strangers isn't exactly how one keeps the empire safe." The two guards still with Asha reach forward to catch her arms, pulling her back that step. "Never trust strangers who step out of shadows. Nine times out of ten, they're demons."

Duke Raziel's lips quirk somewhat at Asha, despite the intensity of his eyes and attentiveness to the Host. "I believe," he says, in bemusement, "That is her advice, Shadow." Yet, the humor fades quickly enough, "If you would have my advice, Asha, this one will not be swayed by physical prowess." His words are gentled, though, as if he were advising a friend, instead of scolding or trying to give her an order.

"You win," The shadow says to Asha with a laugh. "I am pleased to be the tenth, and hope I do not run into the other nine." The hooded attention then moves in the direction of Lazarus. "But what you tell me holds true in any Kingdom. What is unique to /here/?" And to Phailin, he nods. "That is all wise advise, but as I said to your friend here, it is not unique. Come. I am new here. I have traveled far and wide. What is unique about this place for me to know?"

Nysra hops onto a table to settle her rump down on, while watching the shadow friend. Her fingers lightly tapping the wood, while her ankles cross eachother. She tips her head to the side while watching him with curiousity and intrigue. She leans over to murmur to her aunt, "He has a nice voice. I swear, after this, I'm going to ask him to teach me how to laugh like that. It's so soothing!"

Phailin gives a small shrug to the 'shadow' but responds once again.

Asha snorts, apparently unconvinced as she shrugs off the two guards who remain with her, crossing her arms over her chest and toying with the hilt of one set of 'claws' at her hip. Her jaw remains stubbornly set, foot tapping impatiently.

Narlyia laughs softly at Nysra, grinning. "Sure that is all you want to learn?" She teases her niece in low tones, even whilst her dark green eyes remain fixated upon the creature. For the sake of having only one true leg, she leans her hip against the table's edge that her niece has claimed and leans just a little against her staff as well. Whatever she feels about the situation now is being oh so carefully hidden.

"Better," The Cloaked figure waves toward Phailin. "You pass. That only leaves your friend." Another gesture toward Lazarus.

Phailin inclines her head towards the host and moves to stand with the others. And like any true Fielder even in talking she never did give up her tankard, it still in her hands.

Lazarus ponders a bit longer, looking to the creature. "Something unique to Gateway...." then he thinks a bit longer, and whispers once more.

A smile is flashed to Na, before Nyx glances to the Duke. Her attention spinning towards the window to look outside. She sighs wistfully, swinging her legs, "It's getting later. Mrph. Look at the night! it's so wonderfu to observe the moon." It is obvious where she wants to be. "Indeed," agrees Raziel, without looking away from the shadowed figure. "Wonderful. And intriguing." He waits, paitently, for Lazarus - and for the end of this current game.

Asha shoots an annoyed look towards the crowd of Mistians and their fascination with this game before returning a steady look to the shadowy figure, as if looking hard enough will reveal what's behind the robes.

"Excellent," the creature says boisterously. "You are all winners this evening. I judge you worthy, at least for what you are. In being such, you may know me. You may know my kind." With those words, his hands lift to pull up the hood from his features and let the material of it fall over his back. This is elven kind upon this world. His features are sharp, almost to the point of being triangular. Ears are long and pointed and very visible far beyond where the hair would cover human ears. His hair is blue the shade of the morning sky, and eyes are aureate discs as warm as the sun's light. "And those who stand within the darkness can know that the Elves have come, and will turn a blind eye no longer. Now! Your prizes, yes?" There is a smile upon those inhuman features, but even the smile holds a goodness to it.

Phailin wrinkles a brow as she looks at the being. Well elf. Just staring a bit longer, fastinated. She can't help herself.

The elder mage tilts her head while she studies the elf, her crimson hair falling to curtain her face. She seems to a level fascinated, but more utterly -curious- about this being. Now that, she wasn't expecting.

Duke Raziel blinks, and that hand that had been within his jerkin? Goes slack, falling neatly to his side. He, too, is fascinated, for his part. For all that he might have been expecting, this was not it. He admits, "I had thought yours gone, for long years now," when speech is able to find his lips again. Prizes will be attended to, but Raziel seems far more interested in the elf, than any prize he might claim from it. "Well met," he says with a slow, but graceful bow, "And what shall we call you, Good Sir?" He asks of the Elf.

Something instantly clicks in Nysra's features while her hands are placed on her torso. She starts to laugh heartily - velvety, sultry, melodic sound. "That explains the ears!" She exclaims finding it highly amusing obviously. Of course, she is laughing at the edge of the table and naturally physic's occr. Since there is nothing to keep her up on the lip any longer, when she laughs, she slides off. THUNK! Her rump falls right onto the floor. After surprise, that continues her laughter until she pushes herself up, rubbing her rump, while her eyes take a sparkling renewed interest and fascination. "How delightfully wonderful! That would explain the laugh and voice." She seems in awe of his hair, too. Lazarus sips his ale once again, reguarding the creature again with curiosity. "I too had thought their kind had gone from the world ages ago. What brings you out of hiding, Master Elf?"

"I really wish we'd left the barrier up." Exasperated, Asha turns away, her guards startling from staring at the new creature to follow until they realize the Duchess is headed towards the bar. "Please let my guards go," she adds, climbing into a stool and dropping her brow into one hand.

"My name is Coroliss....," the elf falls silent for a moment, then, as if there was more to it that he decides not to share. "Coroliss. My people have come out of seclusion to as I have said, to aid in the battle against the growing evil." There is some irony to his expression as he says that. "It is a shame we are too late to help some have the hope they need," he adds, looking toward Asha meaningfully. Another wave of his hand and the guards are released. But then his attention is to Raziel. "For you, a gift of light, to give balance. Hold your hand out to me."

"Suddenly I wish I was young and that beautiful again." Narlyia murmurs with a bit of amusement with her words sidelong to Nysra, but her gaze doesn't leave the elf. She is utterly fascinated even still. "In all my years, I would never have thought..." She lets out a breath and -blinks- as Nyx takes a fall to the floor. "Dear heavens, child." She laughs, shaking her head. "Are you alright, my niece?"

The sparkling dust on Narlyia's hand is also brushed off...

"Master Coroliss, then," Raziel agrees, inclining his head in the most sublime of polite gestures. It is then he considers the Elf's words, attempting to meet the other's eyes with his own of odd mismatched proportions, and his hand does strech out as the Duke Regent would seem to trust this creature. As he does so, he speaks gently, "I would speak with you soon, if I may be so bold as to invite you to dine at my table, at your lesiure." A pause, "And I thank you, for the gift."

At Narlyia's words, a warm color comes to Nysra's cheeks. She coughs quietly and subdues her laughter while a hand reaches up to brush her hair out of her face. "I'm fine, Dear Aunt. I apologize - I'm acting like a commoner." She murmurs quietly, trying to compose herself, while dusting herself off. Her silver-gray eyes landing on the elf with full curiousity. Asha remains quiet at the bar, one of the guards holding a low conversation with the duchess as the other three keep a wary eye on the elf and the events.

"I thank you for the secret shared," Coroliss says to Raziel. He waves a hand over that of the Duke Regent's, leaving an acorn behind. But this is no normal looking acorn, for it has a silvery sheen to it. "This, the seedling to one of our most sacred of trees, a Silver Oak. It is a very powerful and good form of life. This will grow into some usefulness in a year's time. But you shall not see the full majesty of it within your lifetime." He stops, head tilting slightly as he stares at Raziel for a moment. "Likely not within your lifetime. Take some care of what path you choose to tread, my friend. You flirt with damnation. I shall consider your offer, but do not expect to hear from me soon."

Duke Raziel considers the acorn within his hand, closing a fast-fist around it. He nods, slowly in respect for the gift-given. "One must understand the shadow, to be able to cast it aside, Master Elf. Your advice shall be heeded, but know that everything I do, I do so that those who come after me shall be insured to have the gift of life upon them." These words are, indeed, sincere. "And I will welcome the time I do hear from you," he finishes, though his eyes do not move off of the elf.

Coroliss inclines his head to Raziel, then turns his attention to Narlyia. He looks her over with some measure of irony in his bright gaze. "Your hand, if you will?"

Narlyia straightens and steps forward, "Of course, Master Coroliss." Her staff she lets fall back against her lithe form to rest against her shoulder, her weight now having to be put on her right leg fully as she offers out her one hand, palm up. There is still that utter curiousity in the old woman's eyes, as well.

Listens and watches what the Duke gets, before her attention turns to her Aunt. Nysra straightens a bit to watch this closely. It is her precious Aunt after all he is dealing with.

Another wave of his hand passes over Narlyia's, leaving a glowing white flower behind. "This is one of the treasured lilies from the gardens of the Sun Palace. It will heal illness, disease or even a mortal wound once within its lifetime, but it only works for those who hold goodness within their hearts. Try not to crush it, as they are delicate blossoms," says Coroliss.

There is the faintest of ticks to her lips, but it is hard to tell -why-. Narlyia bows her head to the elf and forms a smile of respect for the creature. "I will treasure this." She offers softly, though once it is given... and her hand now full with a flower she can't -crush-... with only one arm, and no where to put the beautiful little flower, she is rather stuck.

A hand curls up on Nysra's full lips at her Aunt's predicament. She moves up beside the woman to wrap her arm around her waist to provide support. She tips her head to the side, "Do you wish for me to put that in your pouch?" She asks kindly. "That brings me to you," Coroliss the elf says, approaching the bar in a most nonthreathening manner. He places onto the bar a silvery vial, with an ornate stopper, just in front of the seat next to the Duchess. "Accept it or not, but you won this prize as per the rules of the game. The Luxelixir. It will bring to you strength and purity of purpose, to war with the demons without and within. An appropriate gift for a warrior, indeed."

Narlyia hangs her head for a moment before nodding lightly to Nysra. "Careful." She offers lightly. She has to remain still, to keep her balance, even with Nysra's aid. These are the times that it honestly really sucks only having one arm, and a bum leg. Stupid transportation mages.

Asha looks up at the approaching elf, gaze guarded as she looks between him and the vial. "I have no doubts as to my purpose," she says quietly. "Only yours." One of the guards, the smallest of the four and the one with whom she was speaking, pushes the vial towards the duchess with one finger and a gently pointed look, to which she sighs and reaches to take it. "Thank you," she says with weary, threadbare grace.

Coroliss inclines his head to Asha and backs away, turning now toward Phailin. Once his gaze is upon her, he blinks and then looks at her again, as if there were something different about her than the others that he just notices. "You have the spirit of a truly good being. It is written in your aura. Such should be cultivated. Know that your goodness has friends within the world. To you I gift this medallion of aid. A means to call upon me, upon my aid once in your.... struggle to overcome darkness." A heavy and meaningful look is given to the Lady Forester. "Clutch it tightly and whisper my name to the wind, and I will come."

Duke Raziel's brows lift marginally at that one, yet, Phailin gets a quiet smile from Raziel, even if she's too busy to notice it. His eyes flicker back to the Elf, to consider him carefully.

Phailin returns the gaze that Coroliss gives her and listens to his words. Her hand is offered, palm up for the medallion of aid. An inclination of respect is given for the elf as she says in a murmur, "Thank you. I will treasure this item and only use it for only that time of aid. I will not abuse it." Her done is said in sincerity as she voices this.

Nyx plucks the white blossom carefully from Na's hand to tuck away into a pouch of hers delicately. After making sure it is secure, but not going to get damaged, she leans waaaaay over to grap the crutch for her Aunt and offers it to her. She looks curiously to what Phailin gets.

Phailin does see that flicker of a smile by Raziel and does give him an inclination of her head given in respect in return though her attention is on the elf.

Narlyia leans into her staff some once the flower is safely and securely put away. Her gaze watches the elf and those he bestows gifts upon, but she keeps quiet for now.

"You, I trust with that," Coroliss says to Phailin with a nod, before he turns the sky eyes to Nysra. Some of the earlier irony returns to the elvish gaze as he reaches into the folds of his garments and produces a small chain with a silver token upon the end. "For you, I gift the amulet of Sevesh. With this item, you shall be able to heal one person from a wound, but it is not without cost. Know that what you heal in this other, the pain of the wounding will be transferred to you. A sacrifice of pain, but not harm, to save one you care for. This will only work once, so do take a care of how you choose to use it." He extends his hand with the item upon it, watching Nysra with a smile that ages have tempered.

Lazarus quietly watches the gifts bestowed upon all the others. He is patient, guaging the way the gift is matched with the person's need or talent

An arch of her brow is given at the gift that is handed to her. Nysra glances from it up to the elf's eyes, before down at it. She accepts the gift with a nod of her head graciously, "Thank you, Master Coroliss." She holds the gift carefully, before sending a smile, though her gaze shifts to her Aunt.

Again the elf inclines his head, this time toward Nysra. That seems to be the end of his conversation with her. When he focuses on Lazarus, there is pause. "You are the most difficult of this crowd," he comments in a minutely perplexed manner. "How do I serve thee? I have been trying to think of something since my arrival. What sort of aid might you need?"

Asha quietly considers the vial for a moment, then finally tucks it away, gesturing to one of the guards for a piece of paper and a bit of charcoal, starting to write.

Coroliss gives a subtle wave of his hand, the locks on the exits clicking once more, opening the place up for people to exit or enter freely.

Duke Raziel studies the silvered acorn, clearly reverently, before it disappears with a clever flick of his hand, likely into some protected place upon his person. He turns to watch the elf's exchange with Lazarus.

And with gift and Aunt in hand and arm, Nysra turns to leave the pair out.

Nysra leaves the tavern.

Nysra has left.

Narlyia leaves the tavern.

Narlyia has left.

Lazarus looks to the elf. "There is nothing that I require of you. Truely. I gave you no advice that you could not have learned of elsewhere. I am not a personage that leads isles, heals the sick, defends the nation. I am a teacher of music, that is all. No one of importance in this land anymore, except those who love music."

"There is always importance in music, friend," Coroliss answers with a smile that seems to warm the room. "For music brings hope. It is a true form of art for any people. What instrument do you favor?"

Asha finishes her note, handing it to one of the guards. In turn, the guard starts for the door, though he takes a long look at the elf as he goes - he was one of the ones who was stopped in his tracks.

Lazarus says, "For my own enjoyment, I have a harpsichord, but I can play the harp, pan pipes, and some drums." The former Duke's lips pull to a slight smile. "Music brings me peace."

"Then I shall aid you in sharing that peace," Coroliss decides. He waves toward a table where an argent harp appears. It is a small harp, one easily carried from one place to another, but the craftsmanship is unparalleled in this Empire. "This harp will share the emotion of the music being played. Enhancing the mood of your audience, depending on what emotion you share with what you play."

Lazarus nods his head to the Elf. "My gratitude for this gift." he says upon examining the instrument. "Surely I have never seen its equal in our relm. Does it have a name?"

"Whatever name you give it," Coroliss answers, his warm smile remaining. "But as for now, it is time for me to depart and see about an old friend. Do not give up hope, dear people. The world has not given up on you."

Duke Raziel murmurs, after the last of the gift giving, "We thank you, Master Elf, for your gifts. And your aid, as Elves will lend it. And again, I invite you at your leisure to dine." He pauses, smiling faintly, brushing a hand through his head. "Until then, Master Coroliss, may the light ever shine upon your brow, and the brightness never fail from the warmth of your eyes." He bows his head, the words seeming sincere, as if he were attempting a meaningful, if only thrown-together, proper parting well-wish to the Elf.

"Thank you." Lin murmurs towards Coroliss, "This night will not be eaisly forgotten." Her palm still holding her gift. Her other hand, her tankard.

Asha still watches the elf with guarded suspicion, his assurances of hope falling on dead ears. "Until we meet again," she says quietly, leaning back in her chair.

Lazarus bows to the elf. "May music and laughter follow you always, may the wind blow softly upon you, and may the road before you be soft."

Coroliss inclines his head to the room, giving one last smile. But there are no other words before he fades back into the shadows and disappears from the tavern.

Phailin finally pockets her gift and puts down her tankard. A curtsey given for the higher nobles as she makes her way out.

You leave the tavern to join the village center.

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