Conversion: Chapter 5, Part 4

Living Story Excerpts

He returned to Kharanos with the trolls dead and the meat and shimmerweed in tow. The dwarves gave him a feast in thanks, and Seryth went to bed with a bellyache and a sore head. He dropped off quickly into sleep, reflecting that he could always tell his father that the harvest had taken longer than usual to sell, hence his being away for a few days instead of the couple he had promised…

Setting Translations

beer-basted boar ribs = Little Folk homecooking

The boar ribs is a reference specific to World of Warcraft, as it’s based on a quest that rewards you with a recipe of the same name for your own character to cook. It’s of little interest to the story here, but I decided to give it a little nod by adding an extra dose of lore that introduces the fame of Little Folk cooking.

Writing Process

I just wanted to get this scene over and done with, so it’s maybe not as colorful as some of my others. While the Living Story Roleplay has the townsfolk celebrating Seryth, I think a more subdued gathering suits for this part of the story, particularly as the original feast was partially to reference the beer-basted boar ribs instead of being an important plot point.

The Prose

It was late in the evening by the time he returned to Svenby. The common room was humming with activity, a warm glow lighting the hearth, if not much of the room.

The chattering patrons went silent as he entered. Sirith walked through them, looking neither left nor right, the feelings of glory from his battle fading as he struggled with embarrassment and resentment at the stares.

He set the teeth down on the counter and scowled at the innkeeper pointedly. Like Sergeant Norwynd in Timberfalls, she bit down on each one to test their authenticity.

“Well. That’ll earn ye a room, sure enough,” she finally said.

“And a meal?” said Sirith.

“Of course.” She called into the back, leaving Sirith to pick out a seat for himself in the common room, away from the stares of the other patrons. When he disappeared into the shadows outside the ring of the hearth’s light, the conversation began to pick up around him haltingly, then more exuberantly, as the townsfolk apparently forgot all about him.

He could’ve gnawed on that thought, as he had many times while growing up in Hillet. He instead found himself too exhausted. His chest and fingers were sore, as if he had run a marathon using the former and lifted many rough bags and crates using the latter. He squinted at hands in the gloom, his akor’mar night vision taking over and showing him the silver ghosts of fingers and palms. Were his fingertips swollen? He couldn’t tell.

Somehow the innkeeper found him in the gloom; Sirith reflected he had heard a Little Folk’s night vision was almost as good as his own. He mumbled a thanks to her; she did a double take at his manners but said nothing. The smell of food immediately stole his attention.

Night vision and their diminutive height weren’t the only things Little Folk were famous for. Sirith sat back in surprise as flavors burst over his tongue: bitters and sours and sweets and meaty umami tumbling one over the other, yet not feeling the least bit crowded or dull as he continued to eat. Maybe it was just because anything tasted good when a mar was tired, he told himself. Yet the good meal softened his mood; even his body ached a little less.

He asked for another helping, and when that was finished, he stumbled through the drafty passageway connecting the common room to the rest of the inn. Sirith had earned a private bed with the rukh-sham bounty, and a shiny plague in shape of a spruce tree differentiated his room from a hallway of others. The room beyond was narrow, shuttered window plugged tight against the autumn cold, and the beams that made up the walls standing exposed without any sanding or finishing. Someone had sprinkled the bedding with sweet-smelling herbs though, and a carven board depicting a little pastoral scene hung welcomingly above the headboard. Sirith crawled under the covers and was asleep within minutes.

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