Inn Trouble

From Redwall MUCK Wiki

Riverdale, Aikuen, Kentar, McDuff

Locations: Moledeep; Mossflower Woods; Sagebrush Inn

Riverdale stumbles in, bleary eyed and still yawning off sleep. "Morning, lad. Why, ah... You let me sleep clear through the night!" He smacks his lips a few times. "And I can't leave the inn untended for too long," he gnaws at his lip worriedly for a while. "Oh, but, ah, where are my manners. I trust... Is everything well? We barely spoke of your family last evening... I'm afraid, well. I was, ah, a bit preoccupied."

Aikuen is working on the cart. Ella and Venei are both sitting on top of it as they bouce around. Enjoying the newly installed springs on the axels. Aik is painting with green resin when he hears the squirrel, "Morning Riv!" he grins putting down the brush, "Everything is a-okay my friend. But i do hope that your sleep was well!" he chuckles.

Riverdale chuckles, "Ay, lad. A bit too well." He draws near the cart and lays a paw atop it, then pats Venei lightly on the back. "I suppose... ah, this will be your other daughter, then," he adds with a nod to Ella.

Aikuen snorts, "Well. You can sleep until the birds come home... Its alright with us. Though your patrons might think less of you!" he grins and nods, "Oh aye! This is Ella. My eldest." he pats the one with brown eyes on the head. Ella ergs and waves a paw, "Hello squirrelly!" she blurts out. Venei mmms at the pat and says, "Hello Riversdales... Wanta play a game?" Aik laughs, "I think he is a little old for games"

Riverdale grins with increasing fondness, then again regards the cart. "Brings to mind, ah, my old cart, doesn't it, lad? Remember the... what did we call it again? That thing the ol' mouse used to say..." He strains against forgetfulness. "Pweee... Pleelar... Well, whatever it was called," he says, with faint irritation.

Venei shrugs and goes to play with Ella. Still enjoying the bounce of the cart with her sister. Aik pats the cart too, at least. The part that's not painted yet, "Oh yeah. I helped with the construction...." he then tilts his head, "Heh. I thought it was called the squearf or something like that!" he chuckles.

Riverdale lights up, "Yes! Ah, yes, bless the young and their memories. The Squeearf, indeed." He laughs sadly. "Bit of a failure, that. But... Ah, well." His brow furrows. "I'm afraid I'm... plagued, ah, by worry, ah... whenever I'm away. Now that I've lost some of my help, that is. I feel I really must get back." He rambles rather cryptically.

And out comes a stoat. Its Kentar! And he's got a pack with him. "Hey Ella, Venei, Aik!" he pauses as he spots the squirrel. "Riverdale." he smiles, going over. "Hope I'm not interrupting anything?"

Aikuen laughs, "I heard of what happened. Sorry i wasnt there to see it" he nods, "You should be. Thats what makes a good innkeeper. If you didnt worry. Then i be afraid." he waves as he sees the stoat, "Yo Kentar! And no. Your not!" he chuckles. Ella and Venei bounce up and down again, "KENNY!" They yell out.

"Always happy to see old friends," beams Riverdale back at Kentar. "But, ah, I'm afraid mine is just a short visit. I really, well, I really must be going. Though... perhaps I could beg a scone or three for the journey?"

Kentar blinks a little. "Leaving already?" he hums. "Thought as much." he chuckles a little bit and smiles, pulling the pack from his shoulders, holding it over to the squirrel. "I packed you some scones, a couple of flasks, one with ale and the other with well as some cake!" he's great at baking cake! The stoat smiles. "Do you need anything else before you go or anything?" he asks, just waving at the smaller otters.

Aikuen nods, "Of course. And your always welcome to visit whenever you want. Just... In a season after we leave." he nods and laughs at Kentar, "Wow. Howd you know! Im guessing you didnt bring anything for us eh?" he laughs as he plops on the cart and crosses his arms.

Riverdale goes fleetingly goggle-eyed at the pack. "Really now!" he exclaims, his usually listless voice squeaking with delight. "You... Ah, all of you are too kind to this old squirrel." He accepts the basket with all the eagerness of a dibbun on a feastday. "What more... Ah, what more could I even ask for?"

Kentar chuckles a little and looks to Aik, shaking his head. "Sorry, but your not our guest." he grins. "You can get your own snacks!" he nods with a laugh before turning to Riverdale. "Not sure really!" he chuckles. "But as Aik said, come visit! We're more then happy to have you!

Aikuen pouts, "D'aw! fine then... Come here kids. You will be my snacks right?" They scream and giggle and they continue to bounce away, "Oh no! No daddy!" Aik laughs, "You got me back on my feet Riv. You are always welcome here to eat and feast!" he chuckles.

Riverdale shifts a bit and lifts the pack awkwardly. "Oof," he says as the air leaves him. "Hmm. Ah, I... suppose I'll be off then." He adjusts his cane, but doesn't start walking just yet. "This is... this is goodbye, then. Goodbye for the present," he adds hastily.

Kentar chuckles. "Yeah, Riv! We'll have you for dinner! Do you go best with apples or garlic?" he laughs with a smile before going over to give him a hug. "Be well! At the first sign of an attack on the abbey, send us a message." he nods.

Aikuen smiles as he hops off the cart, going to (once again) give one big ole ottery hug to the squirrel, after the stoat "Lets just say. See you later!" he smiles putting him back on the ground, "Oh aye. Send us a message. We would like to know it at all possible..." he smiles then looks to Kentar, then back to Riverdale, "Do you need an escort or something?"

Riverdale's countenance brightens at the suggestion, as if that was what he expected all along. "Oh? An escort? That, ah, that would suit me quite well, yes... If it isn't a bother. I know you've... you've got your travels to plan..."

Kentar hums a little and chuckles, not remembering anything about an escort but that idea does sound quite nice. Besides, he'd get to see where the inn is. "Yeah...I'll go with you." he nods. "I'm pretty much packed up for the trip anyways." he smiles.

Aikuen goes back to sitting on the cart, "I still have to finish painting this thing before nightfall. So you guys can go right ahead. Well be good!" he grins big.

Riverdale pads up to Aikuen to set a salutatory paw upon the otter's shoulder. "Wonderful to see you again, lad. I'm... very happy that you've made out so well in this life." He lifts the paw, looks at the children for spell, then, sighing, turns to Kentar. "Well, then. I suppose I'll lead, then. Goodbye, Venei, Ella!" he raises a paw over his shoulder, then starts in the direction home.

Aikuen winks, "It was wonderful to see you too Riverdale. Hope everything goes good for your inn and such!" he gives another wink before flopping on the cart, "Be well Riv!" Ella and Venei stop bouncing to wave at the retreating squirrel, "Byebye Rivsdale!" they giggle before pouncing on Aik.

Kentar smiles and nods at Riverdale. "Right. Lead on, old squirrel." he smiles. "I can carry the pack for you if you'd like?" he offers with a nod. "Just offering." He chuckles before waving to Aik and the twins. "I'll be back before dark." he nods, checking his belt one last time to make sure his throwing knives, and his sword are there.

"Ah. That would be lovely, yes." Riverdale gingerly lifts the precious pack and holds it out for the stoat to grab. "And, ah, it's this way, lad. Not so far."

Kentar takes the pack and slings it over his shoulders, following along as he nods. "Maybe you can give me a tour of the in before I go to leave." he chuckles with a smile.

Riverdale nods. "Gladly... If it's still in one piece."

They go to the Entrance of the Moledeep.

Moledeep: Entrance

The woods thin closer to Moledeep; at the Entrance, the grounds are meadow and bare of trees, save a few here and there, thanks to careful mole planning and hard work. Some trees have been cleared, used for the construction and fortification of the underground community, but the entire area has been carefully restored to show not a sign of disturbance. The entrance to Moledeep has a strong, round wooden door, painted a soft red.  The walls of the tunnel into Moledeep are packed dirt, interwoven with the living roots of trees of Mossflower Woods. Here and there a sturdy beam reinforces the sturdily-built tunnel.
Surrounding the entrance is a small field of wildflowers, planted lovingly by some molemaid, inviting and homely. Further off from the entrance hole, in a clearing, you can see a garden, orchards and a well. A worn path wanders in the opposite direction.
Leave through [M]ossflower [W]oods
Enter [I]nto [M]oledeep
Go to the Mole's [Well]
Walk towards the [Garden] and Orchards
Visit [B]erke's Gardening [S]hed
Follow the [W]orn [P]ath

"Reminds me of my wandering days, lad... All this traveling," Riverdale steps in, appearing, for the moment, unburdened by worry. "I... I don't suppose it was all bad, now I think on it..." He mulls it while he pads through the meadow.

Kentar hums a little bit as they move, tilting his head slowly. "Heh. What do you mean if its still in one piece?" he asks before blinking. "Oh. Right. Those...beasts are there." he frowns. He then hums. "Traveling is good." he nods. "It helps pass time and you get to see things and places. Not always good." he nods.

Riverdale smiles. "It's been a, ah, mercifully mild summer. Rogue... that's my chef, Rogue... He's got a lovely bunch of tomatoes I'm looking forward to nibbling. Won't be ready for a bit, but, ah... It will be worth the wait, no doubt."

Kentar oohs a little and smiles. "Tomatoes...we grow most everything but the tomatoes are what we can't seem to get right." he chuckles a little. "Perhaps we could trade some time for some." he nods as he hums quietly to himself.

Mossflower Woods
Around you the edges of the forest creep inwards, the treetops meeting in one giant canopy hiding the sun high above, that is, everywhere except here.  Here, the canopy opens up at the top, for a lack of trees has created a small clearing.  Of course, small trees sprout out from the ground in several places, nature rebuilding after the damage that was done.  The crisp smell of woods, leaves, a gentle breeze, they all join into one fresh scent caressing your senses.   Soft soil and plant life lie underfoot, while the winds above are driven off by the sheltering forest.
Exits: [T]owards [C]learing, [W]est to [G]rove, [E]ast to [R]iver, [S]outh, [N]orth

"Indeed," Riverdale nods, businesslike. "We could, ah, use a few things... Rogue mostly grows herbs, spices, those sorts of things. The rest we, ah... procure through, ah, other means."

Kentar nods a little and chuckles. "My wife grows pretty much anything she can get." he nods before thinking. "Like what?" he asks about the other means, the stoat pausing lightly to adjust the pack on his back before continuing on.

Riverdale frowns. "We've got a supplier, a farmer... Name of Salabim. Ah, he brings us most of our grains... And Rogue, he catches fish on the side. Goes down to the Great South Stream, brings back trout. Don't eat the stuff myself, but..." He looks over to his walking companion, then chuckles an apology. "I don't suppose any of this much interests you..."

Kentar laughs a little and shrugs slightly. "It does, yeah." he nods. "Its okay, I've heard more boring stories." he chuckles with a smile. "So." he thinks. "How long have you had the inn?" the stoat asks, looking around for a moment before setting his eye back on the squirrel.

Riverdale gazes skyward. "Ah... Not long, Kentar. But it's been in the family... Well, I suppose I should do a bit of explaining." He gropes for a place to begin. "I... Some seasons ago, I found, among my belongings, a curious map, covered in, ah, strange writing." His strides are even as he tells the story, though he still has a slight limp.

Kentar hums a little and nods slowly. "Ah. Sort of a family heirloom I take it." he chuckles a little and nods, listening quietly as he speaks, his paws resting on the straps of the pack, nodding every couple of moments.

Riverdale continues apace. "Well, to make a long story short, it led me to the inn. It was... rather a wreck when I came upon it. Had to find some locals willing to help get it, ah, back into shape. That was about, oh, two seasons ago."

They walk south through the forest.

Mossflower Woods
Making your way out through the thin forest paths you gradually get the idea of where you are; in the middle of nowhere.  The woods surround you in every direction, the thick pungent smell of vegetation attacking your senses.  Insects find their way merrily through nooks and crannies even the sharpest robin would have trouble getting to.  Light filters down in magical rays, playing itself over the textures and giving glimpses of the forest's real glory.  Dense, rich soil covers the ground, atop of that sparse layers of decaying leaves and plant life.  Mushrooms, ferns, and other small underbrush creep outwards slowly, striving for the sun.
Exits: [E]ast to [R]iver, [W]est, [N]orth, [S]outh

"Ah. I see." Kentar hums. "Well, if you need help with fixing it up after its finished being in use, I'd love to help!" he nods and smiles. "So would Aik, I think." the stoat chuckles quietly.

"Kind of you to offer, of course," Riverdale says, "but you'll be away, yes? When you return, please do drop by, though. I'd love to sit and hear your tales of adventure. Maybe, ah, maybe it'll be as good as being there."

Kentar chuckles quietly and nods slowly, smiling a little. "We'll write down everything. Maybe it will even become a book." he nods with a smile. "I'll tell you everything that happened, and we'll make sure you get to live it too." he nods.

A little while later…

Riverdale watches Kentar depart and raises a paw to see him off. Shouldering the pack of food, after snatching a scone from within, the old squirrel continues along the last bit of the journey back to the inn. He seems at ease, nostrils flaring, eyes bright through his tiny spectacles, and generally showing signs of vitality restored by his visit to Moledeep.

McDuff sits against a very old, and gnarled tree. He has his cap over his eyes, and is blowing smoklets with his pipe. He is oddly very layed back today, considering all the traveling he has been doing. He doesn't notice much of anything at the moment, including the old squrrel coming his derection.

Riverdale's walk slackens, and he waits to see if the figure poses any threat. The creature's tail assures him somewhat of conspecific security, and he proceeds in McDuff's direction, at last recognizing his old bouncer when he is mere feet away. "Oh!" he says, a grin of pleasure darting to his face, "Ah, McDuff! Ah... That is you, isn't it?"

McDuff looks up and takes of his cap quickly. His startled look, then brakes into grin and the highlander has to keep himself from droping his pipe. He stands and waves saying, "Mista Rivyrdale is tha yoou? Why I didna kin ya cam thys dyp inta tha wud." His eyes danced with pure delight at seeing his old employer. " It rally is gudd ta see ya agen sar!"

Riverdale takes McDuff's paw in his and pats it warmly. "Ay, and you, lad," he grins. "What brings you, ah, back down this way? I suppose... I suppose you know we're not so far from the inn here. I'm headed there now, ah, just got back."

McDuff puts his cap back on and replies warmley, "Well jas been bounsin aboot. Dooin oddjobs." He the puffed his pipe a few times in thought and replied, " Close ta tha Inn ya say. Well ya be needin yar old booncer back? Strange fulk abrood."

Riverdale nods grim agreement. "Ay, that there are, lad. That there are. I don't suppose you've seen the inn of late, lad. It's been... Well, it's been a mess since you left."

McDuff folds his arms across his broad stomach, and he furiously puffs smoke like a chimney. He replies with a slightly mischevious grin, "Aye? Well if'n tha bee tha cayse, then I'll have ta come on back, these ragamoofins ow we do eh up in th Hoylands."

Riverdale doesn't bother to hide his delight. "Oh! Well, I didn't want to ask... But that would be most wonderful." He wheezes a bit as a puff of smoke strikes his face, but the elation does not depart. "Now, come, come. Let's get back as soon as we may. I've been away the better part of a day, and, ah, well, I'll be happy if it's still standing." It's a joke, but one spoken with more than a trace of unease.

McDuff nods rolling up his sleaves saying, "Aye, I miss that tayste of tha ale."

As they round the bend, a copse of trees slides out of their line of sight, revealing the shapely figure of Sagebrush Inn. Riverdale, heartened by the very sight of it, utters eager encouragement to his walking companion and quickens his own pace. "Come on, lad!" Soon, however, it becomes apparent that, though the inn has survived, trouble is brewing. Along the western flank of the building, a roiling mass of poorly-organized soldiers stands, fighting and training, and generally stirring up a great deal of noise and dirt. Bits of wood and glass, blood and fur stain the ground. "Oh... Oh, my."

McDuff's eyes go wide, and his face becomes a grim visage. He lets his paw rest on his Claymore, just incase. He shakes his head and sayes, " I doon lyke this. Na one bit." He scanned the group of vermin and spat on the grown to show his disgust. He continued to his dear friend, "Ive only seen this bafore, back when I was a sergeant in tha Hoyland barder patrole. It oint a gadd soyne." He no longer looked like a pleasent, plump squirrel enjoying the day. No, he now looked very stern and rigid.

"Now, hold on, lad. Not much we can do by ourselves..." Riverdale slows to a stop and shifts the burden of his pack across his shoulders. "Don't want to go, ah, to go rushing in there, now do we?" He mutters quietly, under his breath. "Least the inn is in one piece," he says with unconvincing optimism.

McDuff nods in solemn agreement and declares, "Aye. Best we investagate tha lott later. Noow les go in an see wha tha lott is loyk on tha insyde."

Riverdale continues forward slowly, avoiding, mostly by chance, the occasional errant thrust of a practice sword and the passing beasts in half-uniform. "It'll be good to set down this pack," he says to himself as he crosses the threshold and enters his inn.

McDuff enters shouving past a stoat with a practice sword. Once he reaches Riverdale he finalley sayes with a huff, "Ach! I'm glad I decided ta raturn when I did." He glances around the room happy to see that the Inn was indeed unharmed.

The bellhop greets Riverdale warmly, taking his rations bag and scampering off to deposit it in the proprietor's office. "Oh, hoho, lad, you have no idea. I am, ah, far more glad than you could possibly be. Your timing, was, ah..." Riverdale watches with a grimace asa wildcat and that huge lizard from the other day scuffle in the common room. "It was, ah..." He turns back to McDuff. "Impeccable."

McDuff chuckles and sayes, "I would no warrie aboo tham. Should no be /mach/ trable." He then looked around to be sure no one was eavesdropping and whispered, "Are al tho ol, paasages still aroon?"

"...Old... passages?" Riverdale quirks a brow. It's a few quizzical moments before some faint recollection colors his eyes. "Ah... You mean those... that tunnel you told me about, lad? I'm afraid you, well, you left before I had a chance to see them. And, ah, it's been rather too busy here of late for me to, ah, investigate on my own." He stretches a skinny limb, cracking his joints. "To say, ah, nothing of these old bones of mine... Wouldn't do for a fellow like me to go crawling about in the dark, eh, lad?"

McDuff chuckles and nods saying, "Aye, ya are roight aboo th." He then noticed his pipe had gone out and lights it saying, "Well.. les go re intrduce me too tha barflies." He then walked torwards the common room, a trail of smoke following.

As the two squirrels entered the common room, the heavy smell of ales, and whiskeys (heavier than usual) denoted thatthere had been some hard drinking going on. There was quit a gathering of beasts (mostly vermin) and McDuff turned to Riverdale saying, "Looks loike I gatt me work coot out far me."

Riverdale hangs back to avoid being observed, knowing that he'll have a long night of fulfilling food orders if he is. "It seems I underestimated you, McDuff. I, ah, I thought I could manage without." Scanning the room, he says pointedly, "I, ah, clearly I was wrong." The elder squirrel points back in the direction they came. "But no need to start just yet." The lizard, Angus, has returned to his seat at a table, and the wildcat--not sure who he is--isn't pursuing a fight. "Seems things are, ah, calm enough in here. Can't say the same for out there... But..." He bites the corner of his lip. "Well, what say we find you an empty bed? Can't be much fun sleeping under trees all the time..."

McDuff chuckles and sayes, "Aye a bed would be noice." He craked his back saying, "Ach! It shar beats sleepan oon rocks an twigs." He nodds to the bar maid, who gives him a warm smile (/very/ rare). He then sayes to his friend, "Why no ya go rest oop? I ken menagetha playce."

Riverdale nods, "It is early yet... But all this travel does take it out of me, I'm afraid. I think I will at least, ah, rest my eyes for a moment, in privacy." He swings around to go back to his own room.

McDuff nods and sayes, "Aye ya goo rest. I got it handled." He then turned to face the common room and, dusting of his kilt, and krcking his fingers saied, "Aye... It's gudd ta be back."