[Tavern Roleplay] The Arcanist's Mill
Following the success of the Singing Grotto community roleplay, we welcome you to The Arcanist’s Mill. The previous thread reached over fifty posts which to a newcomer might seem daunting. As the characters moved from the Singing Grotto to the Arcanist's Mill in the last thread they will return, though this new location presents opportunity for others to join in the fun.
You can read the previous roleplay here at The Singing Grotto.
There are no rules to a tavern roleplay, and you don’t need experience to join in. Simply pull up a chair, order a drink and let your imagination rule the night. We are very welcoming to roleplayers of all abilities.
Situated in the town of Kuasrine, The Arcanist’s Mill has been a favoured haunt for mages from the nearby Academy and surrounding lands for decades. There are maybe nicer taverns, though the prices here are more reasonable.
From the outside it looks enchanting, pleasant and cheerful. Clay and marble pillars make up most of the building's outer structure.
It's hard to see through the high windows, but the laughter and cheering from within can be felt outside.
As you enter the tavern through the heavily used, wooden door, you're welcomed by a pleasant atmosphere and aromas of roasted meats.
The bartender is handling some customers, but still manages to welcome you with a wink.
It's as alluring inside as it is on the outside. Tree logs support the upper floor and the ambient lights attached to them. The walls are swarming with photographs of various mages from the old Academy of Kuasrine.
The tavern itself is packed. Merchants seem to be the primary clientele here, which could be seen as the best sign you can get. Several long tables are occupied by, what looks like couples, lone travellers and anybody else who enjoys great company. The other, smaller tables are also occupied by people who seem to be close with the owner, though they happily welcome others among their midst.
Malyvern bids a happy smile to the bartender and beckons a band of beast-kin companions inside who have joined him from the Singing Grotto. Having traversed the Somber forest at the base of the mountain on which Kuasrine sits, he is eager to quench his thirst with a pint of the Mill’s famous cloudy cider
Purchasing a drink, Malyvern finds an empty, round table large enough to accomodate his companions.
[Malyvern is wearing a dark blue hooded robe, with what appears to be a myriad of leather belts and bandoliers across his chest and legs. There are potions and maybe some bombs, but these are concealed. His hood remains over his head and as he speaks, it is generally only the lower half of his face that can be seen which is mostly covered by his greying beard. What skin does show appears to be burnt, though a keen eye might deduce that the scarring is lightning induced rather than flame. He has no other visible weapons, only a dusty, brown tome with worn pages which rests within his inner left pocket. On his hands are rings of various sizes and colours.]
Noticing Malyvern enter, Glim stands from where he was previously seated with a grunt, and makes his way towards his new friend.
"Aye, Maly. You weren't wrong about this cider, quite the drink!" He claims, swigging from his mug.
Glim looks at his shoulder, and rolls it once or twice. 'That girls healing magic sure is something. I wonder if there's still time for me to learn it.'
He sits down with Malyvern with a 'humpf.' Scooting his chair in closer, he leans in the table top with his elbows.
"Now that we're here friend. That large building, what is it?"
((Glim still wears his gambeson, axe and cloak. Though he was able to wipe them clean of the green ichor from the beast that they had encountered along the way.))
I will never understand this human obsession with stone cities Mimi thinks while sitting quietly in a dimly lit corner of the Tavern. Glim has just risen to greet Malyvern and the rest of the mercenaries are occupied getting food and drink, leaving her alone for a moment.
She starts to remove her hood, catching as usual on her antlers but decides against it, and pulls it back down. The room seems relaxed but at a closer look there are a few humans in here that don't seem to be looking kindly at the entry of so many Beast-kin at once.
Mimi sneaks some breadcrumbs to the Fendyr - who she has decided to name Ember - and continues to observe the emotions in the room, always cautious.
The two twins sit on either side of the room. Making face gestures at eachother every now and then, motioning to this person and that. They both perk up at once as a man in a black and grey coat walks through the door. Hood up, shadows masking his face he walks toward the centre of the room. The twins watch closely as the stranger reaches inside the folds of his cloak. The twins stand up at attention, chairs scraping at the floor.
The stranger pools out a wood pipe.
“Greetings all!” He calls out, making his voice he heard by all. “I am Alexander the talented. I have traveled far and wide across these lands. This day you had the honour and pleasure of being able to treat your ears to my music!”
Some of the patrons in the bar stop paying the man any kind of attention.
Seeing the wooden pipe the twins sit down, relaxing.
The dark clothed stranger once again raises his voice and speaks as he pulls down his hood.
“Does anyone have any requests? I have quite a large repotoire.. among other things.” He winks at a women and she blushes.
The stranger is attractive by anyone’s standards, sandy blonde hair with piercing blue eyes and a chiseled and even face.
((Feel free to play the bard. Just brought him in as an excuse to add something new.))
Malyvern smiles at the fendyr, it’s rare to see one so young. It’s nestled in comfortably with the companions and appears to be enjoying the attention it’s receiving. The tavern is awash with pleasant vibes and the arrival of the bard Alexander lifts the spirits of the mage.
Ixuo looks uncomfortable amongst so many humans, but he too is enjoying the attention of a couple of the local human women as he embarasses the local merchants with his ability to finish pints with otherworldly speed.
With the tavern otherwise preoccupied, Malyvern turns to Glim. “That tower was once the Academy of the Arcane, though folks call it ‘The Old Academy’ nowadays,” he sighs, “for generations we trained the most gifted mages in the land.” He motions to a portrait on the wall that looks very much like a younger version of himself. There he is unscarred, wearing a genuine smile, the kind the companions have yet to see and accompanied by a woman he has yet to mention. He looks almost uneasy as he gazes upon it before pointing to the portrait of another mage similar to the one Malyvern had conjured in the Singing Grotto.
“Olgier,” he growls, “a promising student but ultimately the cause of the cataclysm that saw the end of the Academy," Malyvern says and pulls his sleeve up once more to reveal the scars.
As the otherwise serious conversation takes place, Alexander busts into one of his most famous jigs, whilst Ixuo continues to fend off jealous human merchants.
"Olgier. Was he a bad man? Or just misguided?" Gloom looks upon the Magister's scars.
"Your scars are not something to hide, friend." Glim smiles saying this. Removing his gambeson he shows all of his scars, like streaks of nakedness across his otherwise grizzly form.
"I earned all of these."
He gestures to one running from his left collarbone to just below his pectoral.
"I earned this one saving the lives of a pair of young lasses on the road." Glim goes on to name tens of scars, ranging from large to small, deep to shallow across his body. Before coming to the only scar on his face. A deep, ugly, jagged scar running down his left cheek to under his jaw.
He pauses for a moment. "This scar.." He sighs. "This scar I received on my home world, Arboreus.. from a demon.. A demon on Arboreus.. The hell fiend that caused the death of my brother. No. I caused the death of my brother because I was selfish.." He sits down at that. sipping his cider.
"But that is a story for another time, when my tongue is more loose from drink! I do not mean to put a damper on the mood, friend. But my point still stands, scars are a symbol of honour, of survival.
Malyvern smiles at Glim with admiration, “then let’s drink, my friend,” he says, “to our scars.” He looks across the tavern and motions towards Ixuo, “and before your men finish the barrel,” he says with a chuckle.
Ixuo slams another finished pint down onto the bar, and pushes a man who had been getting too close. Two axes stained with red hang at the pale Chadra's sides. He wears the face of a mercenary.
“These humans don’t seem to like me, boss,” Ixuo says, “do I need to bash a few heads?”
-To Malyvern- "To our scars!" Glim downs his cider with relish, licking his snout. Almost as an afterthought, he places his now empty mug down and asks. "You never got to telling me about.. Olgee? was it?"
-To Ixuo- Glim stands up from his chair and saunters over to the Chadra. "I don't want you causing trouble here Ixuo, though as long as you don't start anything. And it seems you aren't" Glimheim growls the last part, letting the growl sit in the back of his throat for a moment, looking at the men enclosing around his companion. "Then I have no problem with you defending yourself. As is your right."
Glim never takes his eyes off the men once. "We came here to drink and enjoy a bit of rest. I imagine you came here to do the same.."
The twins watch the exchange carefully, the one by the door turning his head this way then cocking his right ear that way. His brother shakes his head in disagreement. The first twin acknowledges.
The men surrounding Ixuo appear to back down with Glim’s threat. These merchants may be brave enough to tussle with a single Chadra, but are smart enough to know that this is a fight they aren’t likely to win,
“Filthy beastmen,” one of them men mutters to himself, “trudging their mud through here.”
“Think they own the place,” says another.
“Hey now,” says Malyvern. He steps forward towards the bar, placing himself between the beast-kin and the merchants, “we’re all friends here, I wouldn’t have made it through the forest without these beast-kin.” He smiles, and produces his coin pouch. It’s not clear how the mage came to be with more coin, though as always with Malyvern, he seems to find a way.
“This rounds on me,” says the mage, and he pulls down his hood to reveal his face. The men appear to recognise him. “A round of cloudy cider,” he says to the bartender.
Ixuo however looks ready to boil, and looks to Glim as if to say, “are we going to take this?”
Glim is clearly furious. Huffing through his nostrils, clenching and unclenching his claws..
Glim calms, his breathing becoming more controlled and slowing down. He relaxes. Claws unclenching and shoulders loosening. "Your words are feeble and twisted as an old woman. Stay to your table and stay out of my mens way, lest you lose an eye or worse. Keep your fighting words to yourself, or keep them coming if a fight is what you're looking for. My men are happy to oblige." Glim spreads his thick arms out around him. chairs scrape against the floor of the tavern as one, then three chairs are pushed back. The twins stand, silent as always. Phargought stands, downs his drink and slams the cup onto the table and snickers.
The patrons quieten, even Alexander tops his playing.
"I'll have two more ciders.." Glim says, placing coins down on the bar and retrieving his drinks. His men sit back down in their seats and once again start drinking. The tavern folk go back to their business of talking, laughing and drinking as if nothing happened.
The men are visibly shaken by the beast-kin’s display of strength and decide between themselves to take their business elsewhere.
“Took the words right outta my mouth, boss." Ixuo says, “scared the birds away though.”
Alexander returns to his song and even manages to work the incident into his lyrics,
“Oh the beastmen say
Keep out their way
Hopefully there’ll be no blood shed this day…”
His song catches on and some of the patrons sing along.
Malyvern lifts a mug of cider and remembering Glim’s words, he decides to keep his hood down.
“To the beast-kin, may cooler heads always prevail," he says to a cheer, "looks like they left their drinks too."
The mage takes the remaining drinks and sits back with the Erwydra and the twins. He passes a cider to each of them with a smile, but there is sadness in his eyes. Bigotry towards beastmen has never really gone away.
Sipping her cider, Mimi eyes one of the troublemakers in the room, I wonder what has caused such a dislike of Beast-kin here.
"Has something happened here? To make them treat us so." she asks Malyvern.
Malyvern frowns and opens his mouth to start then pauses, contemplating his words before pulling out his pipe, "It's an interesting story young one."
(It's late here in the UK and I'm pretty tired, I'll edit this post with a response in the morning )
((OOC - For those interested in joining in but not sure how, or have questions, please jump in discord: https://discord.gg/Wh6s5hF or message me here ))
He heard himself say the word, but it didn't feel right.
“Humans have never been particularly known for their inclusiveness and tolerance,” says Malyvern, “even long before the fracture humans have quarreled with each other. Don’t take it to heart, young one, they treat their own kind no better than beast-kin.”
They, he thinks. He. The mage is guilty of his own prejudices and he isn’t a shining example of humanity.
“I have spent many years myself on Arboreus and it’s honestly refreshing to see a civilization so at harmony with its habitat,” he continues, hardly allowing Mimi to reply, “can’t say I didn’t find myself itching for the comfort of the chaos of Syndesia, though. Which begs the question. Why did you come here? To this place?”
Glim listens in on Malyvern and Mimi's conversation. He too, it interested in why the Erywdra came to Syndesia.
((OOC - Glim already had this conversations with Mimi so he's just listening to be polite))
Mimi propped her chin in her hands, leaning into the heavy wooden table, "I was curious what life was like outside of Arboreus." sighing softly she smiled a small smile, "My father was very upset when I left. But an old Nheedra stumbled upon our family home when I was very young and used to rave about his adventures on Syndesia. I wanted to see for myself."
Taking another sip of her cider, Mimi has forgotten about being shy. It seems to have gone to her head, "My mother used to wander Syndesia herself, she is a great healer, not scared of anything. She wouldn't have frozen up on the road here when you needed help. Beast-kin still travel from all over Arboreus for her help, but father never let us see them, he wanted to keep us all at home."
Glim smiled his toothy grin into his tankard and made a motion to Spot and Dot at the bar, currently buying the group another round, to make sure they knew not to top up Mimi's drink. Malyvern smiled at Glim, missing nothing and asked, "And you came straight here from home?"
"No, I left home and traveled around Arboreus for a few years. I wanted to learn to heal like my mother and I found a few beast-kin willing to teach me." Smiling from antler to antler now, Mimi let out a small chuckle and took another sip, "Some of the other Erwydra that had been studying for years before me would look down at me, but I learnt faster than they expected!" Mimi suddenly looks solemn, "I guess I thought I was ready to leave because I thought I was a better healer than them."
Noticing Mimi's head was starting to slip from her hands, Malyvern reached out a steady hand and caught her shoulder, easing her slowly onto the table, shooing the fretting Fendyr as it jumped over Mimi's back. Rolling a spare cloak into a makeshift pillow he placed it under her head, "Well, she's out" he said with a chuckle.
"Ahaaa!" Glim roars with laughter. "Little point in telling the twins not to let her drink anymore. Poor little lass. Can't hold her drink." Glim chuckles with genuine sympathy. He removes his cloak and places over Mimi's shoulders.
"It's been a long day, and the confrontation with that spider didn't help. She's a right to be tired." Glim says running his hands over his face. "Though we've still work to do Maly." He chuckles slapping Malyvern on the shoulder, if anything a little too roughly.
"Best we'd head to the town hall now. Hopefully he hasn't started preaching yet." Glim begins laughing again, downing his cider in between bouts.
The door creaked open as a white furred Udoadra made his way inside, a somewhat tattered leather cloak hanging from his shoulders. His chest was bare aside from the clasp of said cloak around his neck, and he wore a leather kilt around his waist, several small bags of various herbs strapped to it. A roughly carved wooden staff rested in his hand as he tilted his head back, nostrils flaring as he scented the air and let golden eyes pass over the occupants, taking their measure before he quietly stepped forward, the lights of the tavern illuminating tribal tattoos winding over his arms and chest.