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Ch 1

Eyedolanor.Ch1 History

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March 11, 2018, at 04:01 PM by sr sackinger - reworked to third person; removed lynn
Changed lines 9-25 from:
I tipped the stein back all the way to try and get the very last drop of ale. There was no very last drop of ale so I set the stein down on the table and started people-watching. The Lazy Lizard Inn was a good place for that. Day or night you could find a wonderful collection of outcasts: the powerful and the different, sprinkled occasionally with the eager youth.

Today, in the corner of the room farthest from me, I could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark haired and slim of build,
was in no way exceptional -- Phineas Something-or-other was his name -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.

Near the fireplace, about even
with a boarded up window, a young magician was trying to impress an old hag with his magic. The hag scratched her bony posterior; smelled the fingers that had done the scratching; picked up a roast turkey leg, and bit into it ignoring the kid. I don’t think the guy knew he was trying to impress the greatest witch in the nation with parlor tricks. Zignogbitz looked like a derelict with her filthy, tattered clothes and long, matted hair, so perhaps the kid could be forgiven this time.

I’d been waiting for my friend,
Golasdu, to show up.  We’d meet at the Lizard for lunch most days.  The crazy elf thought of this place as his private kitchenI headed up to the bar where I could see Lazarus Scopazi glaring at his daughter. "Ho Scopazi, another ale before you throw him out."
"I
'll not be throwing him out, Dolanor," the large, meaty, innkeeper said.  He refilled my mug with a smile that didn’t fool me.  I knew he had a steam going under his collar about the boy with his daughter. "He's paid up and he isn't rowdy."

"Shouldn't you be glad that the poor girl has finally caught a fella's eye?" Some days baiting innkeepers was my only entertainment.

"Ha!" Lazarus leaned on the counter with both elbows and scowled deeper. "She's caught plenty an eye. It's the eyes she's giving back that have me worried."

"Phineas?" I gave him my wide eyed surprised look. "Why he's a good enough boy. He's always polite."

"He's muddle-headed, scrawny and ugly, and with his coordination he has to be polite." Grace and muscle were something Lazarus believed it.  He was retired mercenary.  Phineas, on the other hand, had a reputation for being one of the clumsiest people in town
.
to:
Dolanor tipped the stein back to get the last drop of ale then he set the stein down on the table and started people-watching. The Lazy Lizard Inn was a good place for that. Day or night you could find a wonderful collection of outcasts: the powerful and the different, sprinkled occasionally with the eager youth.

Today, in the corner
of the room farthest from him, Dolanor could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark haired and slim of build, was in no way exceptional -- Phineas Something-or-other was his name -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.

Near the fireplace, about even with the boarded up window, a young magician
was trying to impress an old crone with his magic. The hag scratched her bony posterior; smelled the fingers that had done the scratching; picked up a roast turkey leg, and bit into it ignoring the kid. The young mage had been misinformed about his talent, or was unaware that he was trying to impress the greatest witch in the nation with parlor tricks. Zignogbitz looked like a derelict with her filthy, tattered clothes and long, matted hair, so perhaps the kid could be forgiven his cheek.

Dolanor grunted and picked up his stein. Glancing toward the door in the hopes that
Golasdu would show up soon, he headed toward the bar where he could see the grizzled and mustached Lazarus Scopazi glaring at his daughter. "Ho Scopazi, another ale before you throw him out."

"
I'll not be throwing him out, dwarf." The large, meaty, innkeeper said grumpily as he refilled Dolanor's mug. "He's paid up and he isn't rowdy."

"Shouldn't you be glad that the poor girl has finally caught
a fella's eye?" He grinned.

"Ha!" Lazarus leaned on the counter with both elbows and scowled deeper. "She's caught plenty an eye
. It's the eyes she's giving back that has me worried."

"Phineas?" Dolanor feigned surprise, baiting humans was one of his greatest joys. "Why he's a good enough boy. He's always polite."

"He's muddle-headed, scrawny and ugly, and with his coordination he has to be polite." Grace and muscle were something Lazarus -- a retired mercenary -- valued highly.
Changed lines 31-46 from:
Ah, now it comes out! My favorite innkeeper looked to better his station!  Well if ever a human could catch the eye of royalty it would be the ravishing Joanna. "I wouldn't count too heavily on the Lord Rac till he survives his trip to the Eye of Paal."  What a foolish piece of work that was.  I’d just heard about it today and already I knew it was trouble.  Some seer or hedge witch had convinced the Baron the Eye of Paal would fix the mess the city was in.

Golasdu came in right about then. 

When I first met him, my friend
was the pride of the High Elves.  Tall, lean, handsome, and charismatic, he was everything that race expected in their next king.  Now, my friend was barely four feet tall.  His long, fine, white hair had disappeared along with all the rest of the hair on his body. He was more broad than he was tall with the overwhelming percentage of his body gone to muscle. His skin had a bright bluish tinge to it, fading to purple around the bulbous nose.  Personally I think the purple nose was more because of the prodigious drinking than natural color.  It was quite the change, and it was Golasdu’s choice.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand that one.

"Golasdu, nice of you to stop by," Lazarus said
. Despite the fact that the broken window had been caused by Golasdu's body in an "uncontrolled retreat" the last time he was in, Scopazi would be the first to admit---with a shrug and grin--that "if they don't mind being thrown out when they're rowdy, I don't mind them coming back. Besides, Golasdu always pays for the window in advance." Golasdu did consider the Lizard to be his kitchen and he was one of the 22 customers allowed to keep a personal mug hanging behind the bar.  Even I couldn’t get that distinction.

With one
hand Golasdu grasped the bar and lifted himself up onto a stool. His feet dangled comically. He was skewing people's viewpoint of that tall, regal, aloof race, the High Elves of Monthaven.

"My usual, Gastronome!" My elf friend said in a voice loud enough to make the young mage near Zignogbitz jump
and spoil his aim. The fire that the kid had been trying to light on his hand flamed up on Ziggy's plate instead, singeing her greasy black hair. As a consequence, Ziggy was forced to pay attention long enough to reach into the bag at her waist. Pulling out a pouch of dust, she tossed some in the lad's general direction, returned the pouch to her bag and returned to her meal. A peculiar look came over the youth's face and in less than a minute he was running for the door, itching and scratching, and ripping his clothes from his back. It was just like Golasdu to ignore the whole thing entirely while the rest of the inn started a susurrus that threatened to turn to panic.

"Just got the news!" That shit-eating grin meant no good.  Golasdu would get this look in his eye when he was planning a new 'adventure'.  That look right there that he was getting now.  "Rac will be leaving first thing tomorrow morning."

"And. . ."  Drawing out the word wouldn't get me out of joining him.  Nothing I've done since that first day under the mountain would get me out of joining him.

to:
Ah, Dolanor thought, now it comes out. The young elfin lord would indeed be a fine catch -- though a trifle long lived for a human bride. Still, if ever a human could catch his eye it would be the ravishing Joanna. "I wouldn't count too heavily on the Lord Rac till he survives his trip to the Eye of Paal."

"The Baron is still going through with
it is he?"

Before Dolanor could answer, the inn door opened and an odd gnomic looking elf entered. He was barely four feet tall, though
the ridiculous, orange felt hat with the enormous, purple and green, ostrich feather added another two feet. He was more broad than he was tall with the overwhelming percentage of his body being muscle. His skin had a bright bluish tinge to it, fading to purple around the bulbous nose.

"Well, Golasdu, nice of you to stop by." Lazarus said affably despite
the fact that the broken window had been caused by Golasdu's body in an "uncontrolled retreat" the last time he was in. Scopazi would be the first to admit---with a shrug and grin--that "if they don't mind being thrown out when they're rowdy, I don't mind them coming back. Besides, Golasdu always pays for the window in advance." Golasdu, for his part, considered the Lizard to be his kitchen and was one of the 22 customers allowed to keep a personal mug hanging behind the bar.

With one hand Golasdu grasped
the bar and pulled himself up onto a stool. His feet dangled in a most comical manner. One would be hard pressed to think of this funny little man as one of the few high elves to leave the mountain kingdom in the last three hundred years. It was skewing people's viewpoint of that tall, regal, aloof race.

"My usual, Gastronome!" he said in a voice loud enough to make
the young mage jump and spoil his aim. The fire that the kid had been trying to light on his hand flamed up on Ziggy's plate instead, singeing her greasy black hair. As a consequence, Ziggy was forced to pay attention long enough to reach into the bag at her waist. Pulling out a pouch of dust, she tossed some in the lad's general direction, returned the pouch to her bag and got back to her meal. A peculiar look came over the youth's face and in less than a minute he was running for the door, itching and scratching, and ripping his clothes from his back. Golasdu, of course, ignored the whole thing entirely.

"Well, Dolanor," He said, turning to his friend. "It looks like Rac will be leaving first thing tomorrow morning."

"And. .
."
Changed lines 53-68 from:
"Which we aren't." When Golasdu got a wild idea, he always included me--his dwarven brother--in on its execution.

"Ah ha! Wrong-o oh mighty dwarf! It seems someone has cruelly abducted my faithful mount just two days hence. Ah, me. I must perforce go find and rescue him, and thus have established a rescue team. Meet my established rescue team!" This was delivered in a stage voice while Golasdu -- grinning -- looked around to see if anyone else listened
.

His faithful mount
.  That was Tobish Green-Lightning of the Pegasus Kith.  Tobish was probably home with his wife and son.  No.  He'd said they were going to the Kindred Conclave.  They weren't scheduled back for three days.

My reverie was shattered by a piercing whistle. On cue, the door opened and in walked the youngest, freshest bumpkin I had ever seen. The boy was about 5'11'' and skinny to the point of emaciation
. His hair was that white blond that only comes from many hours in strong sunlight and his skin was the dark that matches it. He wore the traditional overalls of the farmer over which he'd belted a shiny new short sword. With a smile of the combat virgin, he stuck out his hand, grasped mine and began pumping it up and down.

"I'm pleased to meet you, Mr. Dolanor. My partner, here, has told me so much about you."

"Meet Lynn Robert Haimus" Golasdu said with a grandiose wave of his hand, "the best partner under the age of 20 that money can buy."

I groaned.  Golasdu's jokes were legendary mostly because they were badly timed and somewhat obscure but somehow this didn't have the ring of his brand of humor. Something told me that Golasdu really meant to go out against the order of the baron to aid his fellow elf, Rac.

"Who else is in the party?" I winced because I
knew what was coming.
to:
"Which we aren't," Dolanor emphasized, seeing himself being backed into a corner. When Golasdu got a wild idea, he always included his dwarven friend.  Golasdu had come to expect it and even Dolanor had forgotten the reasons for setting the precedent. . . . No he hadn't. Dolanor was an inveterate people watcher and Golasdu was one of the most interesting people he'd ever watched. If only he could figure out why Golasdu was still alive. . .

"Ah ha! Wrong-o oh mighty dwarf! It seems someone has cruelly abducted my faithful mount just two days hence
. Ah, me. I must perforce go find and rescue him, and thus am establishing a rescue team. Surely you're not so hard of heart you'd turn away when my steed could be already dying!" This was delivered in a stage voice while Golasdu -- grinning -- looked around to see if anyone else listened. The man could not refrain from playing to an audience.

Dolanor groaned. Golasdu's jokes were legendary mostly because they were badly timed and somewhat obscure but somehow this didn't have
the ring of his brand of humor. Something told him that Golasdu really meant to go out against the order of the baron to aid his fellow elf, Rac.

"Who else is in the party?" Dolanor winced because he knew what was coming.
Changed lines 63-78 from:
"Um, yes, well." Here it came. "I knew you would want to be included, my bosom buddy, and as for a magician, Edwin has agreed to come."

I choked so badly that the ale stung my nose. Someone else in the bar choked as well. Don't get me wrong.  The magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia.  Even I had swindled Edwin a time or two by playing on the poor man's dementia.

"Well, I'm sure I could have come up with a better scheme if they'd given me more time."

"That was probably the baron's strategy, Golasdu."

"You think so? Well, maybe
the baron is slowing down a little. He should have known better than to talk about it in front of the children. Why do you think I spent the last year sleeping on his stoop?  You can get kids to tell you anything if they get comfortable with you being around."

"So who's going to be our fourth?" Lynn had finally gotten tired of listening to a rehash of
Golasdu's peculiar brand of politics and was trying to speed up the process.

"Don't look at me, Golasdu," I added hastily, "I'm not coming up with one
of my friends to follow you into a hare brained scheme."

Lazarus laid a hand
on my arm. "Take Phineas."
to:
"Um, yes, well." Here it came. "I knew you would want to be included, and as for a magician, Edwin has agreed to come."

Dolanor choked so badly that the ale stung his nose. Behind him, he could hear someone in the bar choking as well. While it was true that the magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia -- he was as far from being a candidate for adventure as any one being could get and still be alive. The poor human was well past any ability to walk a normal day's pace, and his memory no longer functioned all the way through a sentence.

"Well, I'm sure Edwin would gracefully decline
to come if he had more pressing concerns on the date of departure and we were able to round out a good rescue team." Golasdu said while beating on his friends back. "And I certainly couldn't come up with a more plausible scheme in the time they gave me."

"That was probably the baron's intent,
Golasdu."

"You think so? Well, maybe the baron is slowing down a little
. He should have known better than to talk about it in front of the children. He must have known that's why I spent the last year sleeping on his stoop. You know, it's really quite amazing what kids hear and are willing to pass on to a well known derelict."

"So who's going to be your fourth?" Lazarus was trying to speed up the process.

"Don't look at me, Golasdu," Dolanor added hastily, "I'm not coming up with one of my friends to follow you into a hare brained scheme."

Lazarus laid a hand on Dolanor's
arm. "Take Phineas."
Changed lines 81-99 from:
"The kid with my daughter." Lazarus said quietly, there was pleading in his voice.

"Great idea!" I jumped on it.  With Golasdu's logic he'd have Zignogbitz going with us. "This could be a good training exercise for the boy." I kept the fingers of one hand crossed behind my back and motioned at Phineas with the other, "could you join us a minute? I think you might be interested in this."

The boy, looking startled, jumped to
his feet, "I… Yes." His chair tipped over, "One minute." in trying to put it to rights the guy knocked over his drink, staining Joanna's dress. Patiently, she patted Phineas' arm, brushed at the wet spot, murmured something and disappeared into the back.

"I remember you!"  Golasdu remarked as Phineas walked to the bar.  "We had that sparring match with
a couple of local boys.  Remember?"

I never expected that!  That little blue elf got into everything!  ...and here I thought I had the ace up my sleeve.
 
"Boy, how would you like to try for high adventure?" Golasdu motioned for Lazarus
to pour a fresh drink for the young man.  "We're putting together a rescue party. Thieves have absconded with my steed, and there's rumor they're holing up in a monastery north of here. You came from the north, right? D'you think you could show us a bit about the trails in that direction?"

For a moment Phineas' attention turned inward. I'd seen that happen before with the guy. When a decision needed to be made his eyes would just glaze over for a second
. I doubted anyone else noticed that sort of thing. "I would be happy to show you the route I took, Masters Golasdu and Dolanor" The young man said, his accent soft and charming, "Are you sure you want me?" his face flushed from embarrassment.

"None other!" Golasdu exclaimed, hitting Phineas
on the back hard enough to knock him into me. "We'll give you tonight to say good-bye to that pretty little filly of yours, but first thing tomorrow you'll need to have our provisions at the north gate. Dolanor, here, will tell you the particulars on where they areDeal?"

"The north gate at sunrise. I will
be there." Phineas picked himself up from the floor of the inn.

"Well," Golasdu said rubbing his hands in glee, "I'd better hurry over to Madam Rosie's. I've only got the one night. The girls will be destitute, but," he shrugged, "such is the price of beauty." He hopped down from his chair and headed for the door. "Come along, Lynn. Maybe by morning the girls can rub a few raw edges off from you
."
to:
"The kid with my daughter." Lazarus said quietly, and Dolanor could hear the pleading in his voice.

"Great idea!" Dolanor hastily interjected, "This could be a good training exercise for the boy.

Phineas," he called, keeping his fingers crossed, "could you join us a minute? I think you might be interested in this."

The boy, looking startled, jumped to his feet
, "You honor me." His chair tipped over and in trying to put it to rights he knocked over his drink, staining Joanna's dress. Patiently, she patted Phineas' arm; she brushed at the wet spot, murmured something and disappeared into the back.

"Boy, how would you like to try for high adventure?" Dolanor just managed to forestall an objection from Golasdu.  "Golasdu, here is putting together a rescue party. Thieves have absconded with his horse, and there's rumor they're holeing up in
a monastery north of here. We hear you came from the north. D'you think you could show us a bit about the trails in that direction?"

For a moment Phineas' attention turned inward. Dolanor had seen that happen before with the boy. When a decision needed
to be made his eyes would glaze over for a second. He doubted anyone else noticed that sort of thing.  It was the kind of tick only a people watcher would catch. "I can be happy to show you the route I tooking, Masters Golasdu and Dolanor" The young man said, his accent soft and charming, "Are you sure you want me?" his face flushed from embarrassment.

"None other!" Golasdu exclaimed, hitting Phineas on the back hard enough to knock him into Dolanor
. "We'll give you tonight to say goodbye to that pretty little filly of yours, but first thing tomorrow you'll need to have our provisions at the north gate. Deal?"

"The north gate at sunrise. I will be there." Phineas picked himself up
from the floor of the inn and left on light feet.

"Well," Golasdu said rubbing his hands in glee,
"I'd better hurry over to Madam Rosie's. I've only got the one night. The girls will be destitute, but," he shrugged, "such is the price of beauty." He hopped down from his chair and headed for the door. "Maybe I should let Lightening know we're going to be searching for him...  For a pegasus he can be a bit stodgy."
July 12, 2017, at 09:44 PM by srs - reload of edited chapter
Changed lines 11-14 from:
Today, in the corner of the room farthest from me, I could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark haired and slim of build, was in no way exceptional -- [[#phoenix1]]Phineas Something-or-other -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.

Near the fireplace, about even with the boarded up window, a young magician was trying to impress an old hag with his magic. The hag scratched her bony posterior; smelled the fingers that had done the scratching; picked up a roast turkey leg, and bit into it ignoring the kid. I don’t think the guy knew he was trying to impress the greatest witch in the nation with parlor tricks. Zignogbitz looked like a derelict with her filthy, tattered clothes and long, matted hair, so perhaps the kid could be forgiven this time.
to:
Today, in the corner of the room farthest from me, I could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark haired and slim of build, was in no way exceptional -- Phineas Something-or-other was his name -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.

Near the fireplace, about even with a boarded up window, a young magician was trying to impress an old hag with his magic. The hag scratched her bony posterior; smelled the fingers that had done the scratching; picked up a roast turkey leg, and bit into it ignoring the kid. I don’t think the guy knew he was trying to impress the greatest witch in the nation with parlor tricks. Zignogbitz looked like a derelict with her filthy, tattered clothes and long, matted hair, so perhaps the kid could be forgiven this time.
Changed lines 16-18 from:

"I'll not be throwing him out, dwarf," the large, meaty, innkeeper said.  He refilled my mug with a smile that didn’t fool me.  I knew he had a steam going under his collar about the boy with his daughter. "He's paid up and he isn't rowdy."
to:
"I'll not be throwing him out, Dolanor," the large, meaty, innkeeper said.  He refilled my mug with a smile that didn’t fool me.  I knew he had a steam going under his collar about the boy with his daughter. "He's paid up and he isn't rowdy."
Changed lines 64-65 from:
I groaned.  Golasdu's jokes were legendary mostly because they were badly timed and somewhat obscure but somehow this didn't have the ring of his brand of humor. Something told him that Golasdu really meant to go out against the order of the baron to aid his fellow elf, Rac.
to:
I groaned.  Golasdu's jokes were legendary mostly because they were badly timed and somewhat obscure but somehow this didn't have the ring of his brand of humor. Something told me that Golasdu really meant to go out against the order of the baron to aid his fellow elf, Rac.
Changed lines 72-73 from:
I choked so badly that the ale stung my nose.  Someone else in the bar choked as well. Don't get me wrong.  The magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia.  Even I had swindled Edwin a time or two by playing on the poor man's dementia.
to:
I choked so badly that the ale stung my nose. Someone else in the bar choked as well. Don't get me wrong.  The magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia.  Even I had swindled Edwin a time or two by playing on the poor man's dementia.
Added line 83:
Added line 107:
July 11, 2017, at 05:25 PM by srs - Loaded newest chapter edit
Changed lines 73-85 from:
I choked so badly that the ale stung my nose. 

----


Behind him, he could hear someone in the bar choking as well
. While it was true that the magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia -- he was as far from being a candidate for adventure as any one being could get and still be alive. The poor human was well past any ability to walk a normal day's pace, and his memory no longer allowed him to discern friend from foe. Dolanor himself had hoodwinked Edwin out of a potion or two by playing on the man's dementia.

"Well, I'm sure Edwin would gracefully decline to come if he had more pressing concerns on the date of departure and we were able to round out a good rescue team." Golasdu said while beating on his friends back. "And I certainly couldn't come up with a more plausible scheme in the time they gave me."

"That was probably the baron's intent, Golasdu."

"You think so? Well, maybe the baron is slowing down a little. He should have known better than to talk about it in front of the children. He must have known that that's why I spent the last year sleeping on his stoop. You know, it's really quite amazing what kids hear and are willing to pass on to a well known derelict
."
to:
I choked so badly that the ale stung my nose.  Someone else in the bar choked as well. Don't get me wrong.  The magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia.  Even I had swindled Edwin a time or two by playing on the poor man's dementia.

"Well, I'm sure I could have come up with a better scheme if they'd given me more time."

"That was probably the baron's strategy, Golasdu."

"You think so? Well, maybe the baron is slowing down a little. He should have known better than to talk about it in front of
the children. Why do you think I spent the last year sleeping on his stoop?  You can get kids to tell you anything if they get comfortable with you being around."
Changed lines 83-86 from:
"Don't look at me, Golasdu," Dolanor added hastily, "I'm not coming up with one of my friends to follow you into a hare brained scheme."

Lazarus laid a hand on Dolanor's arm. "Take Phineas."
to:
"Don't look at me, Golasdu," I added hastily, "I'm not coming up with one of my friends to follow you into a hare brained scheme."
Lazarus laid a hand on my arm. "Take Phineas."
Changed lines 88-103 from:
"The kid with my daughter." Lazarus said quietly, and Dolanor could hear the pleading in his voice.

 "Great idea!" Dolanor hastily interjected, "This could be a good training exercise for the boy.

Phineas," he called, keeping his fingers crossed, "could you join us a minute? I think you might be interested in this."

The boy, looking startled, jumped to his feet,
"You honor me." His chair tipped over and in trying to put it to rights he knocked over his drink, staining Joanna's dress. Patiently, she patted Phineas' arm, brushed at the wet spot, murmured something and disappeared into the back.

"Boy, how would you like to try for high adventure?" Dolanor just managed to forestall an objection from Golasdu. Wouldn't it be something if he pulled one over on the elf! "Golasdu, here is putting together a rescue party. Thieves have absconded
with his horse, and there's rumor they're holing up in a monastery north of here. We hear you came from the north. D'you think you could show us a bit about the trails in that direction?"

For a moment Phineas' attention turned inward. Dolanor had seen that happen before with the boy. When a decision needed to be made his eyes would glaze over for a second. He doubted anyone else noticed that sort of thing. "I would be happy to show you the route I took
, Masters Golasdu and Dolanor" The young man said, his accent soft and charming, "Are you sure you want me?" his face flushed from embarrassment.

"None other!" Golasdu exclaimed, hitting Phineas on the back hard enough
to knock him into Dolanor. "We'll give you tonight to say good-bye to that pretty little filly of yours, but first thing tomorrow you'll need to have our provisions at the north gate. Deal?"

"The north gate at sunrise. I will be there." Phineas picked himself up from the floor of the inn and left on light feet
.
to:
"The kid with my daughter." Lazarus said quietly, there was pleading in his voice.

"Great idea!" I jumped on it.  With Golasdu's logic he'd have Zignogbitz going with us. "This could be a good training exercise for the boy." I kept the fingers of one hand crossed behind my back and motioned at Phineas with the other, "could you join us a minute? I think you might be interested in this."

The boy, looking startled, jumped to
his feet, "I… Yes." His chair tipped over, "One minute." in trying to put it to rights the guy knocked over his drink, staining Joanna's dress. Patiently, she patted Phineas' arm, brushed at the wet spot, murmured something and disappeared into the back.

"I remember you!"  Golasdu remarked as Phineas walked to the bar.  "We had that sparring match
with a couple of local boys.  Remember?"

I never expected that!  That little blue elf got into everything! 
...and here I thought I had the ace up my sleeve.
 
"Boy, how would you like to try for high adventure?" Golasdu motioned for Lazarus to pour a fresh drink for the young man.  "We're putting together a rescue party. Thieves have absconded with my steed, and there's rumor they're holing up in a monastery north of here. You came from the north
, right? D'you think you could show us a bit about the trails in that direction?"

For a moment Phineas' attention turned inward. I'd seen that happen before with the guy. When a decision needed
to be made his eyes would just glaze over for a second. I doubted anyone else noticed that sort of thing. "I would be happy to show you the route I took, Masters Golasdu and Dolanor" The young man said, his accent soft and charming, "Are you sure you want me?" his face flushed from embarrassment.

"None other!" Golasdu exclaimed, hitting Phineas on the back hard enough to knock him into me. "We'll give you tonight to say good-bye to that pretty little filly of yours, but first thing tomorrow you'll need to have our provisions at the north gate. Dolanor, here, will tell you the particulars on where they are.  Deal?"

"The north gate at sunrise. I will be there." Phineas picked himself up from the floor of the inn
.
Added line 107:
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(:noheader:) (:nofooter:)
Changed line 9 from:
Today, in the corner of the room farthest from me, I could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark haired and slim of build, was in no way exceptional -- Phineas Something-or-other -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.
to:
Today, in the corner of the room farthest from me, I could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark haired and slim of build, was in no way exceptional -- [[#phoenix1]]Phineas Something-or-other -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.
July 01, 2017, at 06:41 PM by srs - Altered POV of first half
Changed lines 1-5 from:
!! Chapter I


!!! A'dalene
to:
!!%center%Chapter I


!!!%center%A'dalene
Changed lines 7-24 from:
Dolanor tipped the stein back all the way to try and get the very last drop of ale. There was no very last drop of ale so he set the stein down on the table and started people-watching. The Lazy Lizard Inn was a good place for that. Day or night you could find a wonderful collection of outcasts: the powerful and the different, sprinkled occasionally with the eager youth.

Today, in the corner of the room farthest from him, Dolanor could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark haired and slim of build, was in no way exceptional -- Phineas Something-or-other was his name -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.

Near the fireplace, about even with the boarded up window, a young magician was trying to impress an old hag with his magic. The hag scratched her bony posterior; smelled the fingers that had done the scratching; picked up a roast turkey leg, and bit into it ignoring the kid. The young mage had been misinformed about his talent, or was unaware that he was trying to impress the greatest witch in the nation with parlor tricks. Zignogbitz looked like a derelict with her filthy, tattered clothes and long, matted hair, so perhaps the kid could be forgiven his cheek.

Dolanor grunted and picked up his stein. Glancing toward the door in the hopes that Golasdu would show up soon, he headed toward the bar where he could see Lazarus Scopazi glaring at his daughter. "Ho
Scopazi, another ale before you throw him out."

"I'll not be throwing him out, dwarf." The large, meaty, innkeeper said grumpily as he refilled Dolanor's mug. "He's paid up and he isn't rowdy."

"Shouldn't you be glad that the poor girl has finally caught a fella's eye?" He grinned
.

"Ha!" Lazarus leaned on the counter with both elbows and scowled deeper. "She's caught plenty an eye. It's the eyes she's giving back that has me worried."

"Phineas?" Dolanor feigned surprise,
baiting humans was one of his greatest joys. "Why he's a good enough boy. He's always polite."

"He
's muddle-headed, scrawny and ugly, and with his coordination he has to be polite." Grace and muscle were something Lazarus -- a retired mercenary -- valued highly.
to:
I tipped the stein back all the way to try and get the very last drop of ale. There was no very last drop of ale so I set the stein down on the table and started people-watching. The Lazy Lizard Inn was a good place for that. Day or night you could find a wonderful collection of outcasts: the powerful and the different, sprinkled occasionally with the eager youth.

Today, in the corner of the room farthest from me, I could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark haired and slim of build, was in no way exceptional -- Phineas Something-or-other -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.

Near the fireplace, about even with the boarded up window, a young magician was trying to impress an old hag with his magic. The hag scratched her bony posterior; smelled the fingers that had done the scratching; picked up a roast turkey leg, and bit into it ignoring the kid. I don’t think the guy knew he was trying to impress the greatest witch in the nation with parlor tricks. Zignogbitz looked like a derelict with her filthy, tattered clothes and long, matted hair, so perhaps the kid could be forgiven this time.

I’d been waiting for my friend, Golasdu, to show up
.  We’d meet at the Lizard for lunch most days.  The crazy elf thought of this place as his private kitchen.  I headed up to the bar where I could see Lazarus Scopazi glaring at his daughter. "Ho Scopazi, another ale before you throw him out."

"I'll not be throwing him out, dwarf," the large, meaty, innkeeper said.  He refilled my mug with a smile that didn’t fool me.  I knew he had a steam going under his collar about the boy with his daughter. "He's paid up and he isn't rowdy."

"Shouldn
't you be glad that the poor girl has finally caught a fella's eye?" Some days baiting innkeepers was my only entertainment.

"Ha!" Lazarus leaned on the counter with both elbows and scowled deeper. "She's caught plenty an eye. It's the eyes she's giving back that have me worried."

"Phineas?" I gave him my wide eyed surprised look. "Why he's a good enough boy. He's always polite."

"He's muddle-headed, scrawny and ugly, and with his coordination he has to be polite." Grace and muscle were something Lazarus believed it.  He was retired mercenary.  Phineas, on the other hand, had a reputation for being one of the clumsiest people in town
.
Changed lines 29-44 from:
Ah, Dolanor thought, now it comes out. The young elfin lord would indeed be a fine catch -- though a trifle long lived for a human bride. Still, if ever a human could catch his eye it would be the ravishing Joanna. "I wouldn't count too heavily on the Lord Rac till he survives his trip to the Eye of Paal."

"Baron Wilbur is still going through with
it is he?"

Before Dolanor could answer, the inn door opened and an odd gnomic looking elf entered. He was barely four feet tall, though if you included
the ridiculous, orange felt hat with the enormous, purple, ostrich feather (and you might as well. He never took it off) it'd be closer to five feet tall. He was more broad than he was tall with the overwhelming percentage of his body being muscle. His skin had a bright bluish tinge to it, fading to purple around the bulbous nose.

"Well, Golasdu, nice
of you to stop by." Lazarus said affably despite the fact that the broken window had been caused by Golasdu's body in an "uncontrolled retreat" the last time he was in. Scopazi would be the first to admit---with a shrug and grin--that "if they don't mind being thrown out when they're rowdy, I don't mind them coming back. Besides, Golasdu always pays for the window in advance." Golasdu, for his part, considered the Lizard to be his kitchen and was one of the 22 customers allowed to keep a personal mug hanging behind the bar.

With one hand Golasdu grasped the bar and pulled himself up onto a stool. His feet dangled
in a most comical manner. One would be hard pressed to think of this funny little man as one of the few high elves to leave the mountain kingdom in the last three hundred years. It was skewing people's viewpoint of that tall, regal, aloof race.

"My usual, Gastronome!"
he said in a voice loud enough to make the young mage jump and spoil his aim. The fire that the kid had been trying to light on his hand flamed up on Ziggy's plate instead, singeing her greasy black hair. As a consequence, Ziggy was forced to pay attention long enough to reach into the bag at her waist. Pulling out a pouch of dust, she tossed some in the lad's general direction, returned the pouch to her bag and got back to her meal. A peculiar look came over the youth's face and in less than a minute he was running for the door, itching and scratching, and ripping his clothes from his back. Golasdu, of course, ignored the whole thing entirely.

"Well, Dolanor," He said, turning to his friend. "It looks like Rac will be leaving first thing tomorrow morning."

"And. .
."
to:
Ah, now it comes out! My favorite innkeeper looked to better his station!  Well if ever a human could catch the eye of royalty it would be the ravishing Joanna. "I wouldn't count too heavily on the Lord Rac till he survives his trip to the Eye of Paal."  What a foolish piece of work that was.  I’d just heard about it today and already I knew it was trouble.  Some seer or hedge witch had convinced the Baron the Eye of Paal would fix the mess the city was in.

Golasdu came in right about then. 

When I first met him, my friend was the pride of the High Elves.  Tall, lean, handsome, and charismatic, he was everything that race expected in their next king.  Now, my friend was barely four feet tall.  His long, fine
, white hair had disappeared along with all the rest of the hair on his body. He was more broad than he was tall with the overwhelming percentage of his body gone to muscle. His skin had a bright bluish tinge to it, fading to purple around the bulbous nose.  Personally I think the purple nose was more because of the prodigious drinking than natural color.  It was quite the change, and it was Golasdu’s choice.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand that one.

"Golasdu, nice
of you to stop by," Lazarus said. Despite the fact that the broken window had been caused by Golasdu's body in an "uncontrolled retreat" the last time he was in, Scopazi would be the first to admit---with a shrug and grin--that "if they don't mind being thrown out when they're rowdy, I don't mind them coming back. Besides, Golasdu always pays for the window in advance." Golasdu did consider the Lizard to be his kitchen and he was one of the 22 customers allowed to keep a personal mug hanging behind the bar.  Even I couldn’t get that distinction.

With one hand Golasdu grasped the bar and lifted himself up onto a stool. His feet dangled comically
. He was skewing people's viewpoint of that tall, regal, aloof race, the High Elves of Monthaven.

"My usual, Gastronome!" My elf friend said in a voice loud enough to make the young mage near Zignogbitz jump
and spoil his aim. The fire that the kid had been trying to light on his hand flamed up on Ziggy's plate instead, singeing her greasy black hair. As a consequence, Ziggy was forced to pay attention long enough to reach into the bag at her waist. Pulling out a pouch of dust, she tossed some in the lad's general direction, returned the pouch to her bag and returned to her meal. A peculiar look came over the youth's face and in less than a minute he was running for the door, itching and scratching, and ripping his clothes from his back. It was just like Golasdu to ignore the whole thing entirely while the rest of the inn started a susurrus that threatened to turn to panic.

"Just got the news!" That shit-eating grin meant no good.  Golasdu would get this look in his eye when he was planning a new 'adventure'.  That look right there that he was getting now.  "Rac will be leaving first thing tomorrow morning."

"And. . ."  Drawing out the word wouldn't get me out of joining him.  Nothing I've done since that first day under the mountain would get me out of joining him.

Changed lines 51-54 from:
"Which we aren't." Dolanor could see himself being backed into a corner. When Golasdu got a wild idea, he always included his dwarven friend in on its execution. Golasdu had come to expect it and even Dolanor had forgotten the reasons for setting the precedent. . . . No he hadn't. Dolanor was an inveterate people watcher and Golasdu was one of the most interesting people he'd ever watched. If only he could figure out why Golasdu was still alive. . .

"Ah ha! Wrong-o oh mighty dwarf! It seems someone has cruelly abducted my faithful mount just two days hence
. Ah, me. I must perforce go find and rescue him, and thus have established a rescue team. Meet my established rescue team!" This was delivered in a stage voice while Golasdu -- grinning -- looked around to see if anyone else listened. The man could not refrain from playing to an audience. Finally, using his fingers in the side of his mouth, he blew an ear shattering whistle. On cue, the door opened and in walked the youngest, freshest bumpkin Dolanor had ever seen. The boy was about 5'11'' and skinny to the point of emaciation. His hair was that white blond that only comes from many hours in strong sunlight and his skin was the dark that matches it. He wore the traditional overalls of the farmer over which he had belted a shiny new short sword. With a smile of the combat virgin, he stuck out his hand and grasping Dolanor's, began pumping it up and down.
to:
"Which we aren't." When Golasdu got a wild idea, he always included me--his dwarven brother--in on its execution.

"Ah ha! Wrong-o oh mighty dwarf! It seems someone has cruelly abducted my faithful mount just two days hence. Ah, me. I must perforce go find and rescue him, and thus have established a rescue team. Meet my established rescue team!" This
was delivered in a stage voice while Golasdu -- grinning -- looked around to see if anyone else listened.

His faithful mount
That was Tobish Green-Lightning of the Pegasus Kith.  Tobish was probably home with his wife and son.  No.  He'd said they were going to the Kindred Conclave.  They weren't scheduled back for three days.

My reverie was shattered by a piercing whistle. On cue, the door opened and in walked the youngest, freshest bumpkin I had ever seen.
The boy was about 5'11'' and skinny to the point of emaciation. His hair was that white blond that only comes from many hours in strong sunlight and his skin was the dark that matches it. He wore the traditional overalls of the farmer over which he'd belted a shiny new short sword. With a smile of the combat virgin, he stuck out his hand, grasped mine and began pumping it up and down.
Changed lines 63-66 from:
Dolanor groaned. Golasdu's jokes were legendary mostly because they were badly timed and somewhat obscure but somehow this didn't have the ring of his brand of humor. Something told him that Golasdu really meant to go out against the order of the baron to aid his fellow elf, Rac.

"Who else is in the party?" Dolanor winced because he knew what was coming.
to:
I groaned.  Golasdu's jokes were legendary mostly because they were badly timed and somewhat obscure but somehow this didn't have the ring of his brand of humor. Something told him that Golasdu really meant to go out against the order of the baron to aid his fellow elf, Rac.

"Who else is in the party?" I winced because I knew what was coming.
Changed lines 69-71 from:
"Um, yes, well." Here it came. "I knew you would want to be included, and as for a magician, Edwin has agreed to come."

Dolanor choked so badly that the ale stung his nose. Behind him, he could hear someone in the bar choking as well. While it was true that the magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia -- he was as far from being a candidate for adventure as any one being could get and still be alive. The poor human was well past any ability to walk a normal day's pace, and his memory no longer allowed him to discern friend from foe. Dolanor himself had hoodwinked Edwin out of a potion or two by playing on the man's dementia.
to:
"Um, yes, well." Here it came. "I knew you would want to be included, my bosom buddy, and as for a magician, Edwin has agreed to come."

I choked so badly that the ale stung my nose.  

----


Behind him, he could hear someone in the bar choking as well. While it was true that the magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia -- he was as far from being a candidate for adventure as any one being could get and still be alive. The poor human was well past any ability to walk a normal day's pace, and his memory no longer allowed him to discern friend from foe. Dolanor himself had hoodwinked Edwin out of a potion or two by playing on the man's dementia.
June 30, 2017, at 01:24 PM by srs - point to correct Ch2 file
Changed line 101 from:
[[Dolanor.Ch2 | Chapter 2]]
to:
[[eyedolanor.Ch2 | Chapter 2]]
Changed lines 9-12 from:
Today, in the corner of the room farthest from him, Dolanor could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark-haired and slim of build, was in no way exceptional -- Phineas Something-or-other was his name -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.

Near the fireplace, about even with the boarded up window, a young magician was trying to impress an old hag with his magic. The hag scratched her bony posterior; smelled the fingers that had done the scratching; picked up a roast turkey leg, and bit into it ignoring the kid. The young mage had been misinformed about his talent or was unaware that he was trying to impress the greatest witch in the nation with parlor tricks. Zignogbitz looked like a derelict with her filthy, tattered clothes and long, matted hair, so perhaps the kid could be forgiven his cheek.
to:
Today, in the corner of the room farthest from him, Dolanor could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark haired and slim of build, was in no way exceptional -- Phineas Something-or-other was his name -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.

Near the fireplace, about even with the boarded up window, a young magician was trying to impress an old hag with his magic. The hag scratched her bony posterior; smelled the fingers that had done the scratching; picked up a roast turkey leg, and bit into it ignoring the kid. The young mage had been misinformed about his talent, or was unaware that he was trying to impress the greatest witch in the nation with parlor tricks. Zignogbitz looked like a derelict with her filthy, tattered clothes and long, matted hair, so perhaps the kid could be forgiven his cheek.
Changed lines 19-20 from:
"Ha!" Lazarus leaned on the counter with both elbows and scowled deeper. "She's caught plenty an eye. It's the eyes she's giving back that have me worried."
to:
"Ha!" Lazarus leaned on the counter with both elbows and scowled deeper. "She's caught plenty an eye. It's the eyes she's giving back that has me worried."
Changed lines 23-24 from:
"He's muddle-headed, scrawny and ugly, and with his coordination, he has to be polite." Grace and muscle were something Lazarus -- a retired mercenary -- valued highly.
to:
"He's muddle-headed, scrawny and ugly, and with his coordination he has to be polite." Grace and muscle were something Lazarus -- a retired mercenary -- valued highly.
Changed lines 29-30 from:
Ah, Dolanor thought, now it comes out. The young elfin lord would indeed be a fine catch -- though a trifle long-lived for a human bride. Still, if ever a human could catch his eye it would be the ravishing Joanna. "I wouldn't count too heavily on the Lord Rac till he survives his trip to the Eye of Paal."
to:
Ah, Dolanor thought, now it comes out. The young elfin lord would indeed be a fine catch -- though a trifle long lived for a human bride. Still, if ever a human could catch his eye it would be the ravishing Joanna. "I wouldn't count too heavily on the Lord Rac till he survives his trip to the Eye of Paal."
Changed lines 39-40 from:
"My usual, Gastronome!" he said in a voice loud enough to make the young mage jump and spoil his aim. The fire that the kid had been trying to light on his hand flamed up on Ziggy's plate instead, singeing her greasy black hair. As a consequence, Ziggy was forced to pay attention long enough to reach into the bag at her waist. Pulling out a pouch of dust, she tossed some in the lad's general direction, returned the pouch to her bag and returned to her meal. A peculiar look came over the youth's face and in less than a minute he was running for the door, itching and scratching, and ripping his clothes from his back. Golasdu, of course, ignored the whole thing entirely.
to:
"My usual, Gastronome!" he said in a voice loud enough to make the young mage jump and spoil his aim. The fire that the kid had been trying to light on his hand flamed up on Ziggy's plate instead, singeing her greasy black hair. As a consequence, Ziggy was forced to pay attention long enough to reach into the bag at her waist. Pulling out a pouch of dust, she tossed some in the lad's general direction, returned the pouch to her bag and got back to her meal. A peculiar look came over the youth's face and in less than a minute he was running for the door, itching and scratching, and ripping his clothes from his back. Golasdu, of course, ignored the whole thing entirely.
Changed lines 53-54 from:
"Ah ha! Wrong-o oh mighty dwarf! It seems someone has cruelly abducted my faithful mount just two days hence. Ah, me. I must perforce go find and rescue him, and thus have established a rescue team. Meet my established rescue team!" This was delivered in a stage voice while Golasdu -- grinning -- looked around to see if anyone else listened. The man could not refrain from playing to an audience. Finally, using his fingers on the side of his mouth, he blew an ear-shattering whistle. On cue, the door opened and in walked the youngest, freshest bumpkin Dolanor had ever seen. The boy was about 5'11'' and skinny to the point of emaciation. His hair was that white blond that only comes from many hours in strong sunlight and his skin was the dark that matches it. He wore the traditional overalls of the farmer over which he'd strapped a shiny new short sword. With a smile of the combat virgin, he stuck out his hand and grasping Dolanor's, began pumping it up and down.
to:
"Ah ha! Wrong-o oh mighty dwarf! It seems someone has cruelly abducted my faithful mount just two days hence. Ah, me. I must perforce go find and rescue him, and thus have established a rescue team. Meet my established rescue team!" This was delivered in a stage voice while Golasdu -- grinning -- looked around to see if anyone else listened. The man could not refrain from playing to an audience. Finally, using his fingers in the side of his mouth, he blew an ear shattering whistle. On cue, the door opened and in walked the youngest, freshest bumpkin Dolanor had ever seen. The boy was about 5'11'' and skinny to the point of emaciation. His hair was that white blond that only comes from many hours in strong sunlight and his skin was the dark that matches it. He wore the traditional overalls of the farmer over which he had belted a shiny new short sword. With a smile of the combat virgin, he stuck out his hand and grasping Dolanor's, began pumping it up and down.
Changed lines 57-60 from:
"Meet Lynn Robert Haemus," Golasdu said with a grandiose wave of his hand, "the best partner under the age of 20 that money can buy."

Dolanor groaned. Golasdu's jokes were legendary mostly because they were badly timed and somewhat obscure but somehow this didn't have the ring of his brand of humor. Something told him that Golasdu really meant to go out against the order of the Baron to aid his fellow elf, Rac.
to:
"Meet Lynn Robert Haimus" Golasdu said with a grandiose wave of his hand, "the best partner under the age of 20 that money can buy."

Dolanor groaned. Golasdu's jokes were legendary mostly because they were badly timed and somewhat obscure but somehow this didn't have the ring of his brand of humor. Something told him that Golasdu really meant to go out against the order of the baron to aid his fellow elf, Rac.
Changed lines 67-70 from:
Dolanor choked so badly that the ale stung his nose. Behind him, he could hear someone in the bar choking as well. While it was true that the magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia -- he was as far from being a candidate for adventure as anyone being could get and still be alive. The poor human was well past any ability to walk a normal day's pace, and his memory no longer allowed him to discern friend from foe. Dolanor himself had hoodwinked Edwin out of a potion or two by playing on the man's dementia.

"Well, I'm sure Edwin would gracefully decline to come if he had more pressing concerns on the date of departure and we were able to round out a good rescue team," Golasdu said while beating on his friends back. "And I certainly couldn't come up with a more plausible scheme in the time they gave me."
to:
Dolanor choked so badly that the ale stung his nose. Behind him, he could hear someone in the bar choking as well. While it was true that the magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia -- he was as far from being a candidate for adventure as any one being could get and still be alive. The poor human was well past any ability to walk a normal day's pace, and his memory no longer allowed him to discern friend from foe. Dolanor himself had hoodwinked Edwin out of a potion or two by playing on the man's dementia.

"Well, I'm sure Edwin would gracefully decline to come if he had more pressing concerns on the date of departure and we were able to round out a good rescue team." Golasdu said while beating on his friends back. "And I certainly couldn't come up with a more plausible scheme in the time they gave me."
Changed lines 73-74 from:
"You think so? Well, maybe the Baron is slowing down a little. He should have known better than to talk about it in front of the children. He must have known that that's why I spent the last year sleeping on his stoop. You know, it's really quite amazing what kids hear and are willing to pass on to a well known derelict."
to:
"You think so? Well, maybe the baron is slowing down a little. He should have known better than to talk about it in front of the children. He must have known that that's why I spent the last year sleeping on his stoop. You know, it's really quite amazing what kids hear and are willing to pass on to a well known derelict."
Changed lines 77-78 from:
"Don't look at me, Golasdu," Dolanor added hastily, "I'm not coming up with one of my friends to follow you into a hare-brained scheme."
to:
"Don't look at me, Golasdu," Dolanor added hastily, "I'm not coming up with one of my friends to follow you into a hare brained scheme."
Changed lines 83-87 from:
"The kid with my daughter," Lazarus said quietly, and Dolanor could hear the pleading in his voice.

 
"Great idea!" Dolanor hastily interjected, "This could be a good training exercise for the boy. Phineas," he called, keeping his fingers crossed, "could you join us a minute? I think you might be interested in this."
to:
"The kid with my daughter." Lazarus said quietly, and Dolanor could hear the pleading in his voice.

 "Great idea!" Dolanor hastily interjected, "This could be a good training exercise for the boy.

Phineas," he called, keeping his fingers crossed, "could you join us a minute? I think you might be interested in this."
Changed lines 91-94 from:
"Boy, how would you like to try for high adventure?" Dolanor just managed to forestall an objection from Golasdu. Wouldn't it be something if he pulled one over on the elf! "Golasdu here is putting together a rescue party. Thieves have absconded with his horse, and there's rumor they're holing up in a monastery north of here. We hear you came from the north. D'you think you could show us a bit about the trails in that direction?"

For a moment Phineas' attention turned inward. Dolanor had seen that happen before with the boy. When a decision needed to be made his eyes would seem to glaze over for a second. He doubted anyone else noticed that sort of thing. "I would be happy to show you the route I took, Masters Golasdu and Dolanor," The young man said, his accent soft and charming, "Are you sure you want me?" his face flushed from embarrassment.
to:
"Boy, how would you like to try for high adventure?" Dolanor just managed to forestall an objection from Golasdu. Wouldn't it be something if he pulled one over on the elf! "Golasdu, here is putting together a rescue party. Thieves have absconded with his horse, and there's rumor they're holing up in a monastery north of here. We hear you came from the north. D'you think you could show us a bit about the trails in that direction?"

For a moment Phineas' attention turned inward. Dolanor had seen that happen before with the boy. When a decision needed to be made his eyes would glaze over for a second. He doubted anyone else noticed that sort of thing. "I would be happy to show you the route I took, Masters Golasdu and Dolanor" The young man said, his accent soft and charming, "Are you sure you want me?" his face flushed from embarrassment.
Changed lines 96-97 from:
"The north gate at sunrise. I will be there." Phineas picked himself up from the floor of the inn (where he'd landed after careening off from Dolanor) and left on light feet.
to:

"The north gate at sunrise. I will be there." Phineas picked himself up from the floor of the inn and left on light feet.
Added lines 1-99:
!! Chapter I


!!! A'dalene

 
Dolanor tipped the stein back all the way to try and get the very last drop of ale. There was no very last drop of ale so he set the stein down on the table and started people-watching. The Lazy Lizard Inn was a good place for that. Day or night you could find a wonderful collection of outcasts: the powerful and the different, sprinkled occasionally with the eager youth.

Today, in the corner of the room farthest from him, Dolanor could see a young human sitting with his lady. The young man, dark-haired and slim of build, was in no way exceptional -- Phineas Something-or-other was his name -- but the girl was spectacular. She was Joanna Scopazi, the daughter of the Lazy Lizard's owner. Every young man for miles around was vying for the hand of this exquisite flame-haired beauty but it was the drab, fumbling Phineas who had caught her eye. There was no understanding humans.

Near the fireplace, about even with the boarded up window, a young magician was trying to impress an old hag with his magic. The hag scratched her bony posterior; smelled the fingers that had done the scratching; picked up a roast turkey leg, and bit into it ignoring the kid. The young mage had been misinformed about his talent or was unaware that he was trying to impress the greatest witch in the nation with parlor tricks. Zignogbitz looked like a derelict with her filthy, tattered clothes and long, matted hair, so perhaps the kid could be forgiven his cheek.

Dolanor grunted and picked up his stein. Glancing toward the door in the hopes that Golasdu would show up soon, he headed toward the bar where he could see Lazarus Scopazi glaring at his daughter. "Ho Scopazi, another ale before you throw him out."

"I'll not be throwing him out, dwarf." The large, meaty, innkeeper said grumpily as he refilled Dolanor's mug. "He's paid up and he isn't rowdy."

"Shouldn't you be glad that the poor girl has finally caught a fella's eye?" He grinned.

"Ha!" Lazarus leaned on the counter with both elbows and scowled deeper. "She's caught plenty an eye. It's the eyes she's giving back that have me worried."

"Phineas?" Dolanor feigned surprise, baiting humans was one of his greatest joys. "Why he's a good enough boy. He's always polite."

"He's muddle-headed, scrawny and ugly, and with his coordination, he has to be polite." Grace and muscle were something Lazarus -- a retired mercenary -- valued highly.

"He stands to inherit the family's business."

"When he can’t stand without knocking something over? How long do you think a boy like that will be able to stay alive making a living as a butcher? No. My Joanna should be looking higher. Isn't it true that the Baron's son, Rac, is of age?"

Ah, Dolanor thought, now it comes out. The young elfin lord would indeed be a fine catch -- though a trifle long-lived for a human bride. Still, if ever a human could catch his eye it would be the ravishing Joanna. "I wouldn't count too heavily on the Lord Rac till he survives his trip to the Eye of Paal."

"Baron Wilbur is still going through with it is he?"

Before Dolanor could answer, the inn door opened and an odd gnomic looking elf entered. He was barely four feet tall, though if you included the ridiculous, orange felt hat with the enormous, purple, ostrich feather (and you might as well. He never took it off) it'd be closer to five feet tall. He was more broad than he was tall with the overwhelming percentage of his body being muscle. His skin had a bright bluish tinge to it, fading to purple around the bulbous nose.

"Well, Golasdu, nice of you to stop by." Lazarus said affably despite the fact that the broken window had been caused by Golasdu's body in an "uncontrolled retreat" the last time he was in. Scopazi would be the first to admit---with a shrug and grin--that "if they don't mind being thrown out when they're rowdy, I don't mind them coming back. Besides, Golasdu always pays for the window in advance." Golasdu, for his part, considered the Lizard to be his kitchen and was one of the 22 customers allowed to keep a personal mug hanging behind the bar.

With one hand Golasdu grasped the bar and pulled himself up onto a stool. His feet dangled in a most comical manner. One would be hard pressed to think of this funny little man as one of the few high elves to leave the mountain kingdom in the last three hundred years. It was skewing people's viewpoint of that tall, regal, aloof race.

"My usual, Gastronome!" he said in a voice loud enough to make the young mage jump and spoil his aim. The fire that the kid had been trying to light on his hand flamed up on Ziggy's plate instead, singeing her greasy black hair. As a consequence, Ziggy was forced to pay attention long enough to reach into the bag at her waist. Pulling out a pouch of dust, she tossed some in the lad's general direction, returned the pouch to her bag and returned to her meal. A peculiar look came over the youth's face and in less than a minute he was running for the door, itching and scratching, and ripping his clothes from his back. Golasdu, of course, ignored the whole thing entirely.

"Well, Dolanor," He said, turning to his friend. "It looks like Rac will be leaving first thing tomorrow morning."

"And. . ."

"And I thought it was high time you and I shook some of the cobwebs from our toes! What d'ya say, come on in the water's fine."

"The lad is supposed to be on his own."

"But there's nothing that says he can't meet up with and join a hearty band of explorers who just happen to be heading north."

"Which we aren't." Dolanor could see himself being backed into a corner. When Golasdu got a wild idea, he always included his dwarven friend in on its execution. Golasdu had come to expect it and even Dolanor had forgotten the reasons for setting the precedent. . . . No he hadn't. Dolanor was an inveterate people watcher and Golasdu was one of the most interesting people he'd ever watched. If only he could figure out why Golasdu was still alive. . .

"Ah ha! Wrong-o oh mighty dwarf! It seems someone has cruelly abducted my faithful mount just two days hence. Ah, me. I must perforce go find and rescue him, and thus have established a rescue team. Meet my established rescue team!" This was delivered in a stage voice while Golasdu -- grinning -- looked around to see if anyone else listened. The man could not refrain from playing to an audience. Finally, using his fingers on the side of his mouth, he blew an ear-shattering whistle. On cue, the door opened and in walked the youngest, freshest bumpkin Dolanor had ever seen. The boy was about 5'11'' and skinny to the point of emaciation. His hair was that white blond that only comes from many hours in strong sunlight and his skin was the dark that matches it. He wore the traditional overalls of the farmer over which he'd strapped a shiny new short sword. With a smile of the combat virgin, he stuck out his hand and grasping Dolanor's, began pumping it up and down.

"I'm pleased to meet you, Mr. Dolanor. My partner, here, has told me so much about you."

"Meet Lynn Robert Haemus," Golasdu said with a grandiose wave of his hand, "the best partner under the age of 20 that money can buy."

Dolanor groaned. Golasdu's jokes were legendary mostly because they were badly timed and somewhat obscure but somehow this didn't have the ring of his brand of humor. Something told him that Golasdu really meant to go out against the order of the Baron to aid his fellow elf, Rac.

"Who else is in the party?" Dolanor winced because he knew what was coming.

"And do they know they're in it?" Lazarus commented sotto voce.

"Um, yes, well." Here it came. "I knew you would want to be included, and as for a magician, Edwin has agreed to come."

Dolanor choked so badly that the ale stung his nose. Behind him, he could hear someone in the bar choking as well. While it was true that the magician Edwin was the greatest potion maker in all of the city of A'Dalene -- possibly in all of Imperia -- he was as far from being a candidate for adventure as anyone being could get and still be alive. The poor human was well past any ability to walk a normal day's pace, and his memory no longer allowed him to discern friend from foe. Dolanor himself had hoodwinked Edwin out of a potion or two by playing on the man's dementia.

"Well, I'm sure Edwin would gracefully decline to come if he had more pressing concerns on the date of departure and we were able to round out a good rescue team," Golasdu said while beating on his friends back. "And I certainly couldn't come up with a more plausible scheme in the time they gave me."

"That was probably the baron's intent, Golasdu."

"You think so? Well, maybe the Baron is slowing down a little. He should have known better than to talk about it in front of the children. He must have known that that's why I spent the last year sleeping on his stoop. You know, it's really quite amazing what kids hear and are willing to pass on to a well known derelict."

"So who's going to be our fourth?" Lynn had finally gotten tired of listening to a rehash of Golasdu's peculiar brand of politics and was trying to speed up the process.

"Don't look at me, Golasdu," Dolanor added hastily, "I'm not coming up with one of my friends to follow you into a hare-brained scheme."

Lazarus laid a hand on Dolanor's arm. "Take Phineas."

"Who?" Golasdu asked.

"The kid with my daughter," Lazarus said quietly, and Dolanor could hear the pleading in his voice.

 
"Great idea!" Dolanor hastily interjected, "This could be a good training exercise for the boy. Phineas," he called, keeping his fingers crossed, "could you join us a minute? I think you might be interested in this."

The boy, looking startled, jumped to his feet, "You honor me." His chair tipped over and in trying to put it to rights he knocked over his drink, staining Joanna's dress. Patiently, she patted Phineas' arm, brushed at the wet spot, murmured something and disappeared into the back.

"Boy, how would you like to try for high adventure?" Dolanor just managed to forestall an objection from Golasdu. Wouldn't it be something if he pulled one over on the elf! "Golasdu here is putting together a rescue party. Thieves have absconded with his horse, and there's rumor they're holing up in a monastery north of here. We hear you came from the north. D'you think you could show us a bit about the trails in that direction?"

For a moment Phineas' attention turned inward. Dolanor had seen that happen before with the boy. When a decision needed to be made his eyes would seem to glaze over for a second. He doubted anyone else noticed that sort of thing. "I would be happy to show you the route I took, Masters Golasdu and Dolanor," The young man said, his accent soft and charming, "Are you sure you want me?" his face flushed from embarrassment.

"None other!" Golasdu exclaimed, hitting Phineas on the back hard enough to knock him into Dolanor. "We'll give you tonight to say good-bye to that pretty little filly of yours, but first thing tomorrow you'll need to have our provisions at the north gate. Deal?"
"The north gate at sunrise. I will be there." Phineas picked himself up from the floor of the inn (where he'd landed after careening off from Dolanor) and left on light feet.

"Well," Golasdu said rubbing his hands in glee, "I'd better hurry over to Madam Rosie's. I've only got the one night. The girls will be destitute, but," he shrugged, "such is the price of beauty." He hopped down from his chair and headed for the door. "Come along, Lynn. Maybe by morning the girls can rub a few raw edges off from you."

[[Dolanor.Ch2 | Chapter 2]]
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