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Old Jul 13th, 2021, 06:52 PM
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Fu's Bar

"We are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave! "
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Old Jul 13th, 2021, 09:13 PM
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Where everybody knows your name
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Fu's bar, the hidden gem of Orchardbrick, and located under a building across the square from the cathedral. It was a private oasis for the members of the Crossing Companion's adventurers guild. Its proprietor Fu was himself a retired Crossing Companion and master of the soul shift. The wooden mannequin servers, the cleaning staff, and the golem bouncer all had a sliver of the man's soul residing within.

Your most recent mission concluded you stop off for a bit of refreshment, and you wanted to stay close, knowing the Bishop could call for you at any moment. He greeted each member by name and offered them a seat. "Always glad you came!" He exclaimed with a mischievous look on his face. "We have good news, and we got bad news. First, the bad news, for security reasons, you can only leave if the Bishop calls for you. The good news is he also sent this!" The man slammed a hefty bag of coin on the table. "Drinks are on the house until this whole mess is over!"

The mannequins dolled out drinks to the regulars and took orders from the first-time guests. Crystals hummed in the center of each of the tables as the group's reports transformed into illusionary dramatic reenactments. "Feel free to watch each other's feeds. Who knows, you might learn something, or you might catch something they missed. Lunch will be out in a jiff!" Fu said, ducking back into the kitchen.

The smell of roasted root vegetables and the aroma of fresh-baked bread wafted into the main room on the sound of sizzling sausages as the group started comparing notes.

OOCWelcome to the FuBar our out-of-competition, in character, free form role-playing spot. This year, Bhelogan and I have cooked up a small storyline, nothing big, just a few plot points to keep you having fun until this whole competition comes to a triumphant conclusion in a few week's time.

Have fun folks, and don't forget to tip your waitstaff
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Old Jul 13th, 2021, 10:46 PM
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Gramps at the Fu
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An astonishingly handsome figure enters the bar.

So does the dwarf who is holding him.

Sporting a classic plaid button-down with pants hiked up to full-on naval and a jaunty striped cap atop his head, Bronthur "Gramps" Brinehonz ambles past the counter with a swagger—or, maybe a limp ... probably a limp, after all rain is coming today and every crab and elderly knee joint for a mile around is screaming a forecast of dampness.

"Hrmmph" he says as sexily as an old dwarf coughing up some phlegm can expectorate.

"FuBar? What type of metrosexual, hipster, focus-committee name is that? I'll tell you what it is," he says to himself and to anyone who has entered as he takes a seat, "it's a glorified holding cell is what it is. "

He nods once, twice, at his own wisdom. The gorgeous crab, whom the dwarf is holding up as if to engage in discourse, indicates it wants nothing to do with this conversation and crawls its way into the No, Mae West, he isn't happy to see you. Of course, it's just a crab. Yowza, but the size of it! (Ok, maybe two crabs, though we're still not sure which is which.)dwarf's pocket.

"Be the Bishop's guest, they say ... well who is this Bishop anyway? Thinks giving us coin for drink buys our free time? Why, I could have been at the opera tonight!"

That part is true, though Gramps would have found more to complain about there. The regular performers had a previously scheduled mandatory gnoll-awareness-and-sensitivity training day/workshop, so the hall had been rented out cheap to some unknown band calling themselves the Minsters/Monsters or Minstrels/Maxstrels or something like that. New age progressive punk-rock. Gramps would have hated them. Though, give Gramps his due, he would have spotted the lute player as someone to keep an eye on. Shame, though. Another potential classic acoustic artist lured away by the sugar-high of easy-to-find chords and red-hot glances from the front rows.

"So ... is everyone here the Bishop's bought swords? Or do you work for that over-scented dandy Sir Ethan on Monday, but Ether on Tuesday?" Gramps asks looking around and, after drinking a bit of the free ale, realizing that perhaps he could pretend to be a bought sword as well as long as the drinks kept coming.

"Hey, isn't anyone gonna answer?" he shouts ... just then realizing he had topsy-turvied one of the basic rules of adventurers in the bar—Gramps wasn't sitting with his back to the wall, but facing it. His exposed back (pants not quite able to get opposite naval-high side up, but doing an honorable job of covering most of his semi-exposed fuzzy dwarf buttocks) was facing the crowd—he was entirely vulnerable.

A seasoned hand, Gramps turns slowly around as if sitting in such a vulnerable position was intentional, just his way of leading with the ultimate power move ... or maybe showing that he considered himself entirely among friends.

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Old Jul 14th, 2021, 03:02 AM
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Jyl Quickstep
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A furious halfling dressed all in black pounds the if it didn't have them before, it sure has them now!batwing doors open with two black-gloved fists and storms into Fu's Bar with a snarl, followed at some distance by a chastened dwarf.

"You'd better hope vodka gets that damned paint off, Sorbo. I know where you sleep at night."

"I don't know why you're still ang-"

The halfling cuts him off with a glare and a finger pointed at each cheek. "YOU DIDN'T TELL ME IT WOULD BE PERMANENT!"

"No, I told you that it wasn't face pai-"

"You told me you weren't a face-painter, and I said, 'Well, just do your best, then.' There was nothing said about it not coming off. Are my cheeks still bleeding?"

"A little. I told you not to use the steel wool."

"Crap. Ugh, that stings." There is a wooden sliding sound as the halfling pulls a stool out from under the bar and sits on it, her head just peeking above the wooden bar. Jyl the halfling pounds a few times on the bar, hoping the barkeep will see her despite her 2' 9" stature.

The dwarven painter Sorbo moves over next to her and sets about pulling up his own stool. "Well I still don't know why you're so angry. I think I did a nice job, and besides, they make you a bit more, um, approachable?"

Jyl glares at him. Her hand rests idly on the charred-black leather handgrip of a dagger. "Go on. Tell me how approachable I am. I'm all ears."

"Well, um, unicorns are very interesting creatures. And rainbows have a lot of nice color-"

"Sorbo. My entire wardrobe is black leather. Do you not see how that runs a bit contradictory to wearing unicorn and rainbow facepaint? Do you even know what Jeremy has taken to calling me? I don't even want to say, just in case he decides to show up he-"

"IS THAT THE RAINBOW UNICORN PRINCESS I SEE THERE?!"

"Oh gods no..." Jyl put her head down on the bar as best she could and prayed for the sweet release of death to free her from this embarrassment. At that point, the bartender came over, wiping down a counter that didn't actually need cleaning. "Getcha somethin', love?"

She did not lift her head to respond, but the voice that replied sounded both angry and weary. "Bottle of vodka and a dishrag. And you'd better hold onto these," she said, putting her two daggers on the counter. "I'm apt to do something I'll regret if I'm still holding them."



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Old Jul 14th, 2021, 11:58 PM
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Sorbo the Painter
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The dwarf sits quietly next to Jyl, feeling horribly abashed. He nurses a dark stout for a while, when all at once the solution occurs. Turning to the fuming halfling, his arms go into a blur of motion around her face. When he is done, the unicorn has been transformed into a midnight black nightmare with blood red eyes and a mane streaming like hellfire. As for the rainbow, in its place is a coal-gray storm cloud crackling with white-violet lightning.

"My badassest work to date." He smiles gently and packs aways his paints and raises his mug. "You don't mess around with Jyl." He quaffs the rest heartily.

With a satisfied belch, he turns to regard the old dwarf by the wall with great interest, that had nothing to do with several inches of exposed crack. He pads over to meet his loudly complaining elder. "Good evening, grandfather. Behind you." He waves.

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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 07:40 PM
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Day Drinking
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Tikum enters Fu's Bar by the front door. She's come in by the side and the back door, three times by a second-story window, and once by the cupola's tiny outlet. She remembers entering more times than exiting. She danced once here with Simmy and Gest when a traveling folk band was needing a spot of coin. She hadn't laughed that much in most of her life.

The twirlin. The Caller's cirlces left, allemandes, Do Se Dos, promenades, and swings. Ladies in and Men sashay.

Pausing just a few steps inside, she brushes the ash that still clings to her from Daryl's fire. She keeps finding more of it in places that it shouldn't be; ears, noses, buttons, and elbows. Her hair was singed and she smelled like it, but Company was present and the drinks be free. What she smelled like would soon not be an issue. Stepping to the bar, she filches two shot glasses with a smile at the tender and then reaches for the clear spirit Jyl is using to clean up.

"Jyl," Tikum says with a lopsided smile while pouring spirit into the glasses to the rim. "Here. It'll help," she adds flicking her glasses up and drinking it whole. A second pour. Then a third.

Keeping up or keeping track?

Some of both.

Reaching past the bar edge, she extracts her own bottle of clear spirit and a few more shot glasses, wondering how much it would take to make her Brightly glow, then remembering that perhaps that's why she doesn't recall leaving as often as she remembers entering.

Kicking a stool next to the dwarf's table, she sits, smile ever in place when among family.

"Brothers," she says with a nod. "I don't think we've properly met. I'm Tikum and I'm perfectly happy to meet you."

She fills three shot glasses and pushes them over raising hers, waiting to clink them if the dwarves join in like meeting distant cousins for the first time.

"Drinks on Sir Ethan. Might as well make him pay. To a Company of Friends. Sisters and Brothers all."

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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 11:36 PM
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At the Fu
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"Well this ain't much of a crowd is it?" Gramps asks as he turns to greet Sorbo and then pulls up a chair at the table with Jyl and Sorbo. (A wave is as much as an invitation among fellow companions, right?) "Hey, come join us!" he calls across to Tikum. "Did you see her put them away at the bar?" he asks admiringly. "Now that's an adventurer or my boat don't float."

"Bronthur Brinehonz, that's me," he says by way of introduction. "And where do you think the rest of them are? Is there some V-I-Freaking-P lounge and spa that the others got called into? Serves them right. They might be getting health potion mimosas instead of good ale, but they probably have to listen to some "Strategy Team-Building Concept" lecture. Ugh. I tell you ... adventuring got nasty when they started to bring in the assessment-treasure-optimization teams. Ugh."

"He peers over his beer stein and looks at Sorbo. So you be a picture bard, eh? Can you do one of those "dwarfies" for me? You know, so I can mail it back to my great-greats who got me stuck in this mess. Here ... I'll hold still for you! How do I look?" he says through a locked mouth as he tries not to move a muscle in case Sorbo does do him a sketch. But his concentration is broken when he takes a look at Jyl.

"Young...errrr....man/woman ... do you know you have a My Pretty Pony tattoed on your face? Not judging. Just lettin' you know. In case, maybe you woke up in the wrong place and some of your mates played a trick on you. Nice, though. Very, nice. If ... you are, you know, into that thing. Tempest Shadow, maybe?"

"Well, come on!" Gramps says encouragingly as he turns back to Sorbo. "Draw me like one of your French elves!"
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Old Jul 16th, 2021, 11:48 AM
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Day Drinking
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"Tell me 'bout it," Tikum says to Brotha Brineholz, pouring another round of shots.

"As if the Admins making up checkboxes, flowsheets, and action grading relative value units have ever been out in the field," she adds. "Sir Ethan is surrounded by so many thin-armed admins legitimatizing their jobs with new Company focused improvement measures that I wonder where the Company's money really comes from and who's getting what outa all our work."

Turning to catch Fu's eye at the bar, Tikum orders a round of chips for the table and electric lightning shots. They were her favorite. A glowing sparkling blue shaker shot that went down ice cold until shifting to a shocking warmth in one's stomach.

"I'm sure I'll languish forever in the lower echelons of adventurer rank. I've just no desire to code my combat versus non-combat time, complete multiple-choice testing to ensure I've read the bi-monthly safety briefs, or attend mandatory crew cohesion training and conflict de-escalation."

Which is quite a mouthful for Tikum and, winking at the others, she remembers where she is and such a place shouldn't be darkened by talking about the annoying aspects of receiving health and retirement benefits from a multi-national, multi-spacial, cross time-spanning Company. Plus, she liked Sir Ethan most of the time. He'd been out in the field, as well as his major lieutenants, who frequently ran interference between Tikum and the bean-counting, survey making, action-adventure Standards compiling weesle heads.

"To the tie wearing Blue Jackets," she says lifting her glass again. "May their ink bleed and may their scribes go far-sighted."
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Old Jul 16th, 2021, 12:54 PM
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Sorbo the Painter
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Sorbo looks pleased. "Well now, I'm best known for landscapes, but it would be my honor to paint your portrait, Grandfather. Ok, let me just get set up here." In what seems like the blink of an eye, an easel is assembled complete with a large white canvas, and the painter himself is toting an easel with several colorful pigments. He puts his thumbs together, index fingers pointed upward, and holds his hands up to frame Gramps' body, and squints his left eye. "Mm hmm." He moves his hands slightly upward. "Mm hmm." With that, his practiced hands go into a whirl of motion, blending pale and dark pigments to capture the tone of his subject's ruddy complexion. Speaking mostly to himself, he explains,"You have to be careful with the Bright Red, or it will overpower the other colors." Then he dips his brush into some sort of clear solution, grins and says, "I like to beat the brush," upon which he whacks it rapidly back and forth on the easel's leg with a giggle, sending the cleaning solution splattering. He then selects a thin brush, and with deep brown paint he creates the body contours, which he proceeds to fill in with darker reds. At last, he takes a fan brush and with mixed ochre and white he drops in some indications of some highlights. It's over in a matter of minutes. Sorbo signs the painting with a thin red brush and swivels it to face Gramps. "What do you think?"

 

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Old Jul 16th, 2021, 01:01 PM
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At the Fu Bar & Art Gallery

Gramps drinks to Tikum’s toast: "Well said!" and then turns to Sorbo after studying the picture.

"I think," says Gramps trying to choose his words carefully "... that you better be prepared for an attack of CN (2) magical lawyers in mouse hats. I hear that their main actions are the Cease spell (a 2d6 debuff) and their bonus actions are the Desist spell (a -1 penalty in perpetuity). Real nasty types."

But to give art an equal due, Gramps quickly adds.

"As a painting though, it's first rate. You missed my peg leg, but otherwise I'm quite a looker aren't I?"

"Now ... how about a caricature of that Bishop? And what do you all think of him?" he asks the group. "Is he part of this cult that he says he is after? Not being able to use his own town guards is mighty suspicious if you ask me!"

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Old Jul 16th, 2021, 01:34 PM
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Sorbo the Painter
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Having packed up his supplies, Sorbo calls for another mug of ale. He settles in with the others, and nods. "The same thought occurred to me, for the same reason. I do try to give the benefit of the doubt, but dwarves do well to trust our distrustfulness."

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Old Jul 16th, 2021, 08:49 PM
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Rammariel Silvermist
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BLAM! Rammariel Silvermist slams open the door with a flourish, but just as he is about to slide into the room, he immediately gives way to a lady who was just coming in behind him. "After you, ma'am." He bows and backs up into the door frame politely, banging the wall with the large harp that's strapped to his back, turns sideways to let her pass, becomes wedged in the stone doorway, and struggles to get his feet back to the ground. The door bangs shut behind her and he is still outside.

A beat passes. He must try harder. There are real dwarves inside! Real ones with butt cracks and guts you need a wheelbarrow to cart around! And tonight, he is going to pass for a real dwarf. It's time! He's... ready?

BLAM! He swings the door wide again and glides into the room.

"Arrr Fu! Arrrr Golem Bouncer! I’ll shave your liver, squeeze the jelly from your eyes!" He turns to Tikum with two finger-points. "Actually, it’s quite good on toast.”

Rammariel struggles over toward the stage in the corner to set up his harp. Real dwarves spotted! Caution thrown to the wind! Muffin top waving like a sail in it! "Arrrr, ye Crossin' Companyins, this real actual dwarf is gettin' pronkin' blootered tonight, arr! Let's have a song, aye, aye, a real dwarven ditty from down in the mines of... the bonny mines!"

Perched on a stool, his big boots plopped on either side of the harp, he draws his fingers across the strings and throws his head back. He reaches deep down into everything he has learned about dwarven culture from the elves, and past that he taps into his genetic heritage, and beyond that he digs into what he feels in his bones, his soul...

"WAAAALLLL....

A triad, and then a seventh...

We drink and fight and puke and drink and fight and puke and drink!
And whether we fight and drink, we surely drink and fight and puke!
And will ye come and fight and drink and puke and fight and drink?
And every bloody one a ya was drink and fight and puke!!!!

WALLLLL......."


Hair flopping, boot stomping, harp strings snapping, he turns a cautious eye to the crowd to look at the Real Dwarves who are in attendance. Will they... join? Did he do it right? Or are their eyes focused on the illusory reenactments on the table crystals?
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Old Jul 16th, 2021, 11:08 PM
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Bravo!
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Magical portrait rendering from Der Zwerg und der Drache, the Classic Dwarf Opera as performed by the Queen's Spherical Panorama Playhouse Players

Clap.

Clap.

Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap!Clap!Clap!Clap! "Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!"

By this time Bronthur is standing on the table, wildly applauding and cheering.

"Why that's the pivotal aria from Der Zwerg und der Drache! Never before has that been performed better! Such a crude caricature of a dwarf, consumed by his own inner struggles trying outwardly to deceive himself of his courage ... but we, the audience, know that just around the corner awaits the dragon who cares not for what the dwarf believes, but for how he acts ..." Excited, the elderly dwarf is spinning around on his leg, addressing the entire bar as if this was the Queen's Spherical Panorama Playhouse and he was the entire Prologue Chorus. "And that is where the mastery of interpretation lies! Does the tenor-dwarf foreshadow hints of his confidence by achieving those preposterous high notes, or does he quiver his voice and fall short of them, allowing the audience to turn the corner beside him, sharing his doubts and dread?"

Bronthur abruptly slams down his sandal-foot, arresting the rotation of his entire body, but his paunch and beard which continue in wayward rotation for a split second before being yanked back to place. "But, but, but! What does that say about we dwarves and the question you asked, Mr. Sorbo, and which you so wonderfully performed Mr. errrr, what is your name young man?—to trust our distrustfulness? Because Zwerg, unwittingly succeeds by doing the opposite. He distrusts his trust in his own inadequacy ... and only by that does he turn the corner!"

"And those are only intra-dwarf community questions and commentaries. There is a whole 'nother layer symbolized by the deliberate juxtaposition of the dwarven voice and the elven harp...this clash in historical tone and musical heritage serves as a platform on which to project a commentary on the aesthetic anti-dwarven ideals of hairiness, and rugged disharmony versus constructed sympathy and the non-dwarvian's preoccupation with the brawny, belching, yelping visibility of dwarf-otherness. By golly, this calls for another drink! And a brawl! WHO WANTS TO BRAWL?!!! Dwarves versus the world, I say!!!"

And then he pauses.

"Ummm, just as a team-building exercise, not as anything that promotes racial division or tears down the harmony of the balance of our society. BUT JUST BECAUSE!!! ARRRRR!!!!!!"

And then, of course, because he is a rather old dwarf and there has been quite a bit of excitement (not to mention ale) already for the day, Bronthur falls back into his chair and promptly enters another activity in which dwarves excel. Not the puke, but the snooze.




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Old Jul 16th, 2021, 11:22 PM
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Jyl Quickstep
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Jyl eye’s the dwarf’s handiwork in the reflection of the bar’s mirror and gives a grudging nod of acceptance. ”I can deal with this. Thanks, Sorbo. Well, looks like you’ve still got some work to do. I’ll keep a stool warm for you just in case.” The pale-skinned halfling gives her friend a farewell wave and turns back to doing shots with her fellow guild members. She stares into the clear liquid in the plain glass bottle, and a faint tear beads painfully in both eyes. She’d done her best – and the mission had been a success – but she felt like she’d been a liability at times, especially right at the beginning.

Behind her, someone had broken out in a tune, a bit of drunken karaoke if she’d ever heard any. Jyl did not sing, did not do a lot of things that were “fun” – but she felt like moving in this moment. She grabbed the bottle of vodka by the neck and moved to the dance floor. There was plenty of sway in her hips, though that was likely just the booze hammering its way into her system. She eyed one of the weird robots that seemed to be taking care of things.

”Hey, you with the tray – do you do more than that? Like, you know how to play piano or anything?”

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Old Jul 17th, 2021, 01:07 AM
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Rammariel Silvermist
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Rapture! His heart swells! The song is well received and recognized by a bona fide actual dwarf, a dwarf's dwarf, the kind of dwarf other dwarves point to and say: "That's him right there." Rammariel understands approximately none of the words Bronthur is saying, because opera is not an elf thing; it's a dwarf thing, front to back. The bellowing, the vests, the unbridled sexual indulgence. It is a foreign country to him, but a country he aspires to visit.

Rammariel tones down the harp twanging and stomping as Bronthur fades into a doze. "Yes, yes, a brawl! A brawl for i adar en adar nîn!" Rammariel says, in hushed tones, misunderstanding brawl to mean lullabye, and happy to sing the old dwarf to sleep, if that's what he wants.

He strikes a few gentle chords. "A brawl for the fallen. A brawl for our companions. Weep with me, Orchardbrick. Weep for the cruel numbers on those evil six-sided cubes. A brawl..."

Watery triplets ascending. He clears his throat.

Before we sleep tonight
We will weep tonight
For Kase-13 and the Gnosis Drive fail
For Demmuk the samurai and his black chainmail
For Tikum the beautiful and Daryl the fiend
Neither deserved the round one guillotine

Sleep, sleep, under the stars
Your mystery is over, beloved of ours
For Chervil the talker, his arms full of Joy
For Faye and her whips, squeezing info off boys
For brilliant Essarion, the charmingest elf
For Jiaze the Magewright, a union in herself

O Bishop Bartholomew, in your cold room
Pray for hope! When the rolls are doomed
Look at the stars over the market and dock
Pray for patience! When the numbers mock

Xue-Mihun, blood sorcerer in red
Jora and Jul Mal his literate head
Jyl who distracted the guard from the party
Hazael whose face isn't ugly but arty


Noticing Jyl swaying on the dance floor, Rammariel changes the tempo, setting a thrumming beat to wake up the place, matching his music to her movement.
With my apologies to Puccini for all of this!Vanish, o night
Set, stars! Set, stars!

We'll play at dawn
And bring down the Grey Guards!

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