Parallel Interests

From Redwall MUCK Wiki

Stubb, Angus, Amos, Dangeon, Aeysin, Lier, Arevin, Hactor, McDuff

Location: Sagebrush Inn: Basement and Common Room

With a whine, a rickety door swings open into the darkness of the basement. Its jamb is splintered in the middle, suggesting that the door was previously forced open. From within the room beyond it, Stubb emerges, bearing in one uplifted paw a flickering lantern, covered in dust, but still performing its function. Beneath the other arm is a shiny metal object that is not readily identifiable, its surface being pocked with spots of rust and dirt.

Something quite thunderous is descending the steps. Slow at first, lumbering; then its speed increases, but only briefly, as a low-hanging chunk of rafter makes solid contact with the approaching creature's cranium. Angus hollers a string of profanities as he stumbles, dizzied by the blow, and flails his arms to regain balance. No dice. The giant lizard tumbles the remainder of the flight, landing in a heap of moaning and wailing at its foot, grasping his forehead.

Stubb must think his reckoning has come: his eyes dart open, and he drops the metal object to the floor. It rattles cacophonously on the floor for a while before at last settling down. The scrawny weasel's Adam's apple rises and falls quickly, and his nostrils flutter rapidly as his breath comes in hastening gasps. It is only after regaining his sense that he sees the hapless lizard sprawled, rather ridiculously, before him. Stubb sets down the lantern and grabs his dropped treasure, to stuff it awkwardly beneath his already-tight vest. He clenches his fists and forces his breaths to become even once again before approaching. "Oy," he says. "Wha's the rush, ma'e?"

As the stars being to dissipate, Angus first spies the flickering latern, and takes in the rumbustious clamor of the fumbled object. Confusion, then a trace of fear, overcomes the lizard: "This mus' be it," he moans to himself, still pinching the bridge of his aching nose. "Knocked it too 'ard this time, headed up t'the big ole' Toadpond. My skully innards 'ave been properly mushed." After several exhilarating seconds of contemplating his imminent death, Stubb speaks. "Er," Angus croaks, peeling his hand away to squint into the darkness. All he spies is the vague silhouette of a scrambling weasel; ".. no rush!" he assures the other, still unconvinced that this isn't some spirit, sent to usher him to the afterlife.

Stubb extends a paw to assist the fallen lizard, though it appears little more than a twig beside the great bulk of the monitor's squamous body. "Angus, roigh'? Tha' cher name, eh? Ain' seen you abou'. Libbie said she ain' seen you neiver." He squirms a bit, apparently to adjust the object under his vest. "C'mon, le's ge' back on our paws now."

Angus warily accepts the extended paw. Mention of earthly entities solidifies his decision that, no, he has not in fact perished in the fall. No scrambled brains or splintered neck. He first tries to use the leverage provided by Stubb to stand, but finds this to be hugely ineffective. The weasel begins to sink in his direction under the weight. "Er .. think I got this," he tells the critter, and releases hold. With a grunt, Angus manages to rise. ".. Angus," he nods solemnly, lifting his chin to size-up the weasel. "Been trollin' the woods," the lizard tells the weasel, and cocks a brow. "I've lost somethin' quite important. Perhaps *you've* seen it?" In the dim light of the latern, it is clear that the monitor has had a rough day or two, even prior to the fall. His dark eyes are rather bloodshot, perhaps from lack of rest or heavy drink or bawling. Maybe all of the above.

Stubb stands back to let Angus stand and, rubbing his paw on his vest, nods with due sobriety. "'Fraid I ain' seen nuffin', ma'e. Wha' is i' y've lost, then?" With a brief tic of the head, he points upstairs. "'Ow 'bou' we 'ave a cha', then? Fink a bi' of the ol' brew'd cheer y' up?" He squints. "No' tha' you need much more, by the looks of i'... Eh, bu' i'd be good ta look on dif wif tha clear loight of mornin'..." He clears his throat and again shifts his vest. "'Nless you fink i's down 'ere somewhere... thing wha's go' you all upse', I mean..."

Angus continues to stare at the weasel. He has the distinct notion that something is not quite right about the fellow, but has no real reason not to trust him. The scent of his beloved egg is long vanished. His only hope now is to play it cool, probe the other night's faces for information, clues. Hysterics have been put aside, exhausted among hours of tearing through nearby woodland--upturning each rock and limb, to no avail. "Brew, aye," he echoes, then tilts his own head, pondering. "Where'd ye' amble out of, pally? What's innat' room over there?" Without waiting for an answer, the lizard pushes past Stubb and heads for the door. Likewise, he calls back, ".. an' fer' the love of Toads, whatche' got all loud and stashed in yer jacket, mate? Makes ye' look like some sort of discombobulated mousewife."

Stubb raises his paws to object to the intrusion, but a quick calculation determines that it is unwise to resist too forcefully. Instead, he sighs, deflated, and follows suit, stepping back into the empty room from which he recently emerged. "This?" he says with a casual air and a tap to the chest. He draws the metal plate from where he has it concealed. "Ain' nuffin' much, ma'e. See for y'self."

Angus kicks his head from side to side, scanning the dark chamber. Quite vacant indeed. His nostrils inflate, tongue flickers; neither finds any sign of Junior among the mildew and dust. "Aye," he says absently, pivoting to address the weasel. "Plate? Lovely," the lizard grunts, exhales sharply, and allows his hand to return to his forehead. "Can' drink a brew offa' plate, unfortunately, ole' gal," he quips, presumably still comparing Stubb to a mousewife. "Shall we away t'warmer pastures? S'quite chilly down here." The hulk shudders and begins for the stairs, eyes darting to the protruding bits of timber. "Fool me once," Angus tells the board, and removes his hand from his clobbered face to pantomime admonishment of the thing.

Stubb hides the thing again and chuckles, tracing Angus' clawsteps up the stairs. A relieved smile lingers on his lips for a bit.

They climb the stairs to the entry hall.

Sagebrush Inn: Entrance Hall

This entrance hallway to the posh Sagebrush Inn rather belies the elegance and

charm of the establishment, for, while it is not a complete wreck by any stretch

of the imagination, it is nonetheless quite the worse for wear. Papers lay

strewn about, and the floor, once a beautifully stained cherry wood, is marked

and grooved, faded and worn from the inexorable assault of time upon its aging

grain. Sparsely furnished and lit with candles guttering doggedly but dimly in

their sconces, it seems that, despite its slightly shabby upkeep, this is the

central nexus for a bustling inn.

On the northeast side of the hallways stands a heavily scratched counter, behind

which the mouse concierge, Pierre, stands in deference to your patronage. On

the front of the counter hangs a 'sign'.

Through the doorway to the east lies the common room, from which the sounds of

merrymaking issue, among them the clink of glasses and the raucous laughter of

vermin and goodbeasts alike. The south doorway leads into the library, and a

locked door on the southwest wall leads into the proprietor's office, where no

doubt Wytethorn retires to at night.

[B] Basement, [CR] Common Room, [LIB] Library, [O] Office, [OF] Out to Forest,
                                 [UP] Upstairs

Angus walks into the entry room, craning his head to peer over his shoulder to the weasel. "S'why are you still 'ere, pally? Ain' traveled on yet? Rooms are expensive 'n this join--used the last of m'coin on just one nigh' stay."

Stubb winks, "Truf is, oi ain' paid a cen', ma'e. Plen'y of crawspaces round 'ere, enough to elude even tha... savviest of proprietors." He look of puzzlement comes over him. "Say, ma'e, wasn' you to'in' some koinda--" he holds out his arms, drawing the parcel in the air-- "packige, you know? You was when I seen you last. Wha'd you say was in i'?"

Angus whips around to properly face the weasel. Woe to any beast unfortunate enough to be within range of his tail as he does so. "Aye--I *know*," the lizard huffs, snorting loudly. "It's rather important to me, 'n it seems some sad s-sucker s-ss-sthole," he gets tangled in the alliteration, to which Angus flits his tongue in annoyance and continues, "Stole it when we weres' all makin' merriment 'n the like the other night." A pause and a crooked, forced grin as he concludes: "No worries, aye--I'll gettim' back. An' the perpetrator will rest 'n bloody, ravaged bits afore' e' even realizes what hit 'im."

Angus chomps his teeth a few times and punches at the air, illustrating the kidnapper's demise.

"When d'you last see i'?" Stubb asks in an obvious attempt to cool off the lizard, who is quite clearly a danger when irate, even to those who aren't themselves the target of his wrath. "Think back, ma'e. Won' do no good t' jes' ge' roiled up, now will i'?"

"Oh .. I've roiled and boiled fer', 'ell .. not even sure 'ow many suns've come 'n gone at this point. S'all kind of a blur." The lizard slumps visibly, rubbing at the back of his neck. It seems the wind-wake of his reeling sent a stack of papers aflutter, and Angus watches a bellhop swiftly gather them. He smiles a sheepish 'sorry' to the young creature, before turning back to Stubb: "Anyhow .. last saw 'im safe 'n sou--" The lizard pauses, choosing to not exacerbate his problems with the letter S. "Bundled on th' bar. Walked away to 'ave a few last shots with the other drunkards, watched 'em all dodge out one by one, 'n when I turned to depart .. no precious parcel. Coulda' been any of 'em. I won't like; I was about nine sheets t'the wind that night." Another deep exhale, and the lizard continues: "There were some sketchy characters about tha' night; I shoulda' been more watchful. I mean--didja' see those blokes truckin' from the back room? Looked like a' couple a' rodents. One of 'im in armor, 'e already tried to scuff wi' me earlier; 'n the other one was all creepy 'n a cloak. Bet they 'ad somethin' t'do wi' it."

Stubb does his best to throw an arm over the back of Angus' neck and guides the lizard toward the common room, all the while calmly taking in the lengthy rant. "Ay... Now I fink on i', yeh, tha' fella prolly made off wif your bundle." He tsks. "In fac', tha' explains somefin' 'e said as 'e were leavin'... Now, c'mon, ma'e, le's 'ave a drink t'star' the day."

They enter the common room.

Sagebrush Inn: Common Room

The common room is the center of activity for the inn, perpetually bursting with

life, alive at all times with singing and drinking and merrymaking and all the

attendant smells and sounds. Four sturdy oak tables dominate the large but

stuffy room, built with the single-minded purpose of longevity. These long

wooden structures, and their accompanying benches, set the tone for the room,

because while they are not ornate, not fashioned with beauty in mind, the nicks

and marks down its old surface exude character. Each chink and chip, each

sullied corner or patched-up leg bears witness to the ages that the inn has

traversed. A bar fills the west side of the room, and in more or less the

center of everything is an open space on the floor. On one wall is a message

board, for anybeast to make an announcement.

The smell of cheap ale and smoke clings perpetually to the stuffy air here, as

much a part of the environment here as anything, not unpleasant, but always


                [B]ack [R]oom, [EH] Entrance Hall, [K] Kitchen

Angus follows behind the weasel, his bare feet thumping loudly against the floorboards. "What'd 'e say?" the lizard chokes, attempting to keep pace with the scurrying Stubb. The lizard is hardly quick on his feet when upright, constantly battling with furniture and encroaching bodies. "Oi!" he repeats, assuming the weasel failed to hear his inquiry. "What'd 'e say?" Angus asks again, curiosity clearly piqued.

Stubb's eyes play over the room, as if casting about for inspiration. "Oh, eh, lessee if oi c'n remember roigh'ly. Somefin' abou'... Dis'll make quoi'e a proize for King Nidlorf." The weasel shrugs histrionically. "Dunno, tho'. Coulda mean' anyfing, I s'pose." An impish, narrowed eye peers askance at Angus.

Angus releases a low hiss, and bobs his head sagely. "Might hafta' pay this so-called 'king' a visit, then," he comments, an absent hand extending to stroke at his chin. His eyes are brimming with anger, but perhaps a bit of relief; if this is true, and his son has become some sort of 'prize,' then he is likely to be unharmed. Apart from that, the aftermath of the lizard's recent head injury has begun to set in. A small cut extends over the bridge of his nose, and the surrounding area looks to be bruising somewhat. "Ach," the monitor grumbles, moving is hand to his face. "That blow really knocked me fer' a loop. I needta' be more careful."

"Tha' ya do," Stubb says. "Bu' can' be floggin' ourselves over sunk ships, now, can we? An' oi know jes' tha remedy." As he's speaking, the sounds of gathering beasts filter in from outside, growing in volume until they threaten to make conversation impossible. 'Oy! Somebody shu' tha' window!" calls the weasel raucously. "Can' 'ear mese'f fink! Roigh', then. Two bourbons!" He has to shout his order to Libbie, who's become rather adept at reading lips. She bobs her acknowledgment and gets to work.

Angus takes note of the increasing volume. ".. quite the ruckus out there," the lizard says, brows rising. This incline seems to pain the critter, as he swiftly returns them to a lower, brooding position. "Must be a full moon 'r somethin'." He does his best to make small talk, perking up at the mention of bourbon. His first inclination is to bolt out the door on some ravenous search for this elusive squirrel king and his ilk, but Angus knows it will be better to bide is time. No sense in pursuing a wild goose right now. Perhaps the courier is still in the area, after all. The lizard lifts his giant head and flicks his tongue at the open window. "Smells like a' lotta' nonsense t'me."

Recognizing the anatomical inconvenience for his newly minted buddy, Stubb doesn't bother suggesting that they sit at the bar. He merely fetches the drinks, freshly poured, and hands one glass to Angus, and casts the reddish-amber liquid into his own waiting gullet. He blinks away the tears that rise to his eyes. "Eh? Tha'?" He points to the window with his drinking paw. "Tha's us, ma'e. 'Actor's ge'in' ready t'move. We're goin' after Nidlorf an' 'is minions." He grins widely. "We'll make mincemea' ofem."

Angus accepts his drink from Stubb, lifting it in a haphazard cheers before sipping alongside the weasel. "Us? Nah--*y'all* are one thing; my charge is different, I presume, pally." He pauses, swirling the bourbon in his glass. "Not tha' I won't tag along, since, er .. you do seem t'know th'way. But I sawr' that dog the other night. He's a drunk--there's no gap in hellsteeth big enough for be t'be takin' orders from *him.*" A table lurks beside them, and the lizard places his whiskey upon it. Both hands join, knuckles crack, and Angus continues: "Mincemeat, yes. We? Perhaps. But only iffin' you 'n yer' floofy chums get to 'im first." A smile parts the monitors lips, as if he were imaging the awful things in store for these thieving squirrels.

Stubb puts his emptied glass beside the lizard's. "Ay, ma'e, di'n' mean t'be ...assumpshus. Jes' sayin', we're all after tha same foe is all." He shrugs, exaggeratedly, as before. "An' oi'm sure Mist'r 'Actor'll be 'appy t'le' you, er, tag along, as you said. Maybe you c'n join up when i' sui's you, ya know. If ya foind y'self needin' coin."

Amos stumbles into the commons room, moves to sit at the bar and looks about.

Angus props himself against the table with an arm. He watches as the wildcat enters, observing the fellow for a moment as he considers the mention of money. "Aye--coin," he says to Stubb, "But firs' things always come first." He glances down, gazing at the remaining bourbon in his own glass, and swoops it up and downs it in a single movement. "Gotta' get m'special parcel back first."

Stubb grunts. "Ay. 'Course." Catching a flash of Amos' ungraceful entrance, Stubb wheels to greet his other recent acquaintance. "Noice t'see you up wif tha dawn, Amos. Look loik sin, ma'e, if y' don' moin' my saying so. Hehe," he bares his teeth. "Where's your friend, then? W'asername... Jane. So she said."

"Lordy lordy, night 'n day, wasswif' alla' rackets outside?!" The question, or complaint rather, is announced loudly to the entire room. In its wake is the vision of a lanky fox, obviously not accustomed to being awake at this hour. Aeysin surveys the room with a dull gray gaze, ogling various patrons, as she patiently awaits an answer.

Stubb performs a cursory survey of the new face before offering a reply. "Where you been, moi dear?" he ribs. "I's the Army of tha Fox Lord. They're on tha march."

"...Nuh.. Wait. Jane." Dangeon blinks, sitting up from where she's ended up, a memory fogging in her ears. "Oh. I'm... here." More noting her surroundings, then a declaration, unlike the next as she struggles upright. "I'm Jane. I'm here. Who'se asking?"

"We're moving ou' soon, m'lady," replies the weasel with affected gentility. "Tha second'ry force 'as cer-tain... liber'ies, when i' comes to trainin'... Bu' we've go' ta join 'em sooner or la'er."

Angus now leans against the table with both arms, fidgeting with his empty glass. He passively listens to the others as they exchange banter, calculating his next move. Or, rather, considering how to approach this army situation without getting in over his head.

Aeysin flops against the door frame, obstructing others' entry, but not by much as she is quite waifish these days. Her arms promptly fold over her chest, ears flicker forward, and nose twitches. "Guessai' missed tha' part amongst alla' drinksn' 'n hullabaloo," the vixen responds, muzzle cracked by a lop-sided grin. "Foxy lordies 'nneir armies. Flavor o' the week, that lot." She shakes her head, snort-chuckling.

Lier peers around at the large group in the common room this evening, curious about what all the hullabaloo is about. He sees his friend Angus in the midst of it and contemplates going up to him to inquire.

The wildcat is much too addled to notice the lizard or Dangeon at first. His paws moving to the side of his head as he rubs his temples somewhat slouched as he sits at the bar. Dropping coin enough for a drink and mumbling before sitting up a bit straighter and looking about the place. He blinks, hearing the doe first before seeing her and laughing. He quickly moves down toward where she's sitting at the bar, "Eh, good ol' Dangy I guess I did leave ya here after you passed out, " He half turns to watch the others, feeling a little tired himself and yawning as he notices the lizard and weasel. Vixen, todd, noticing their arrival slightly bored. Mostly shifting an eye to the weasel, watching somewhat curiously before turning back toward the hare.

Dangeon asks, "I thought Amos said we 's independ'n' mostly? Right, Ol' Cat? Boss? W'tever y'r name is now?"

Dangeon looks from Stubb to Amos, beaming as he comes over "'M no' part o' no army... We g't job done, get paid, nex' job, aye?" "

"Tha's roigh', Janie," says Stubb. "Bu' 'Actor won' look too koindly on me if I go an' le' 'is second'ry force drink tha mornin' away!" He catches sight of Lier and hails him familiarly. "Oy, lad. Word wif you?"

Aeysin ventures past the door, observing Lier in particular as he enters the commons. It is likely that she made some impolite whistle after him, but the action is lost among the increasing chaos of the bar.

Angus awakens from his daze as Stubb offers Lier a bawdy hello. The lizard likewise lifts a hand and bobs his chin. "Lier," he calls, but makes no real effort to pursue toe tod.

(center table) Lier turns toward Stubb (not noticing Aeysin's whistle) and raises an eyebrow as a memory of the weasel emerges in his mind, tinged with haze from the alcohol of the previous night. Wondering what the weasel wants, he greets him. "Yes, sir?" He catches Angus' greeting and this point and raises a paw to return it.

Stubb excuses himself from Angus' company and smiles suavely at Lier. "M'name's Stubb, by the by... An'... well, oi've 'eard a bi' abou' your skills. Seems oi cou'd use one of 'em." He taps the strangely shaped object concealed beneath his vest, then moves in the direction of a corner table, away (somewhat) from scrutiny.

Lier pauses as the beginnings of a smile froze on his lips, imperceptible to all but the more diligent students of face reading. Does the weasel know his profession? It was no secret, but he had not mentioned it to anyone. Perhaps he has underestimated this creature. Lier smiles broadly in Angus' direction and points at Stubb, rolling his eyes to indicate that he has to take care of him first, and then follows the weasel to a corner table.

Angus waggles a disarming hand to his fox pal, and winks knowingly. With that, the brute meanders toward the bar, seeking out a fresh bourbon.

From his vest, the weasel draws out a largish sheet of metal, bowed slightly and pocked with dirt and rust spots. Stubb sets it on the table. "Now then," he says, looking seriously at Lier. "Oi don' s'pose you know wha' this is."

Lier says, "I must confess my ignorance."

(bar) Angus leans against the counter, waiting for the barmaid to finish her current task. He has inadvertently squished himself rather close to Amos.

(center table) Stubb nods, "Oi though' as much, ma'e." He takes a seat rather delicately and runs his paws along the length of the object. "Well," he starts. "Suf-foice i' to say... Oi'm collectin' somefink. This is jes' the firs' bi'. An' oi need a beast 'oo can restore i'."

(bar) Amos responds to the hare, "Aye, we's indepdant and alls that's...ain't no ties to no stinky army... dos the job and gets paid, " Grunting and turning, cursing as the lizard squishes close to him.

(center table) Lier sinks into a seat beside Stubb as he scans the object thoroughly, his paws firmly neutral by his side, but his eyes taking in where Stubb choose to touch it. "I have no knowledge of smithing," he says quietly and carefully.

(bar) Angus is either unaware or does not care about Amos' obvious discomfort. He slouches further, finally achieving notice from the barkeep. "Bourbon," he orders, "If ye' please, m'dear."

Dangeon is slightly backed away. Big lizard nearby. "Good. Now, Boss... Y' gettin' the drinks in? Could go f'r something t' eat really, 's well..."

(center table) Stubb frowns deeply. "Per'aps oi was misled, then." He slips the object onto the seat beside him. "Wha', then, are your skills?"

(bar) Amos snarls, "Ya blasted lizard, ain't care who ya are ya better back up!" He snaps at Dangeon, "Shut'up and help me with this feller!"

(center table) Lier looks up at Stubb in surprise for a moment, and then gives a short laugh. "May I ask who referred you to me for my smithing skills?" He smiles. "Of course I can make certain things with metal, but I don't believe it is anything you're looking for."

(bar) The bartender provides Angus with a fresh drink, which he then promptly dips toward and flickers his tongue at, examining the quality of the brew. Delightful! Warm tingles overcome him. That is .. until Amos explodes. The lizard is taken aback; he snatches his drink and steps away, rather slowly, slack-jawed. "Urh .. yessir," he clips with a distinct lack of sincerity.

(center table) Stubb waves a dismissive paw. "'S unimpor'ant 'oo referred you. P'raps tha's wha' they mean'... Wha' is i' you make?"

(bar) Dangeon draws herself up to a less than intimidating height, but she's trying. "... Fine. Bu' food soon? Y've got the money..." She watches the lizard's response. And is still aware of the size and... reptileness... "Uh. Help y' do what, exactly?"

(center table) Lier smiles, "I've been known to make locks, and perhaps more importantly, keys to open locks."

(bar) Amos hisses at Angus, glaring for a moment before taking a sniff, "Ugh, I think I got his stench on me!"

(entrance) Arevin's entrance is heralded by a creak of the door, only to be drowned out by all the chatter within. She looks determined to make her way toward the bar, her figure cutting a path in between beasts and tables.

Hactor enters the room, his posture straight and tall. He has decided to assume a military diposition for tonight. He stands and waights patiently fo Stubb to notice him. He is very impressed with his ' lil wasp' tonight. There is a large group of beasts assembled. Even the lizard!

(bar) Angus simply stands and stares, almost as if he enjoys unsettling the duo. His forked tongue continues to probe at the whiskey, reveling in the taste. "S'not very polite, pally," he pipes among sips, and shakes his mighty head. The lizard waddles back to his prior roost, slouching against the table. "Intolerably rude 'ere, aye," he mutters to himself.

(center table) Stubb's nod is accompanied by a crafty wink. "Oi... fink we're star'in' to understand one anover, ma'e." He looks quickly around the room. "Bu' oi need you to be quie' abou' this. Don' mention i' to anyone... No' even 'Actor."

(bar) Aeysin has, meanwhile, stolen a seat at the bar. She has two pints of ale in front of her, as well as two shots, and stares out the window idly. It is clear the vixen is waiting for somebody.

(center table) Stubb's gaze shifts to the fox lord. "Speak of tha devil, eh?" he says, mostly to himself.

Hactor heard the last part and walks over to Stubb saying, "Indeed."

(bar) Amos turns back to Dangeon and glares at her too, "Ya ya, soon enough... just a moment..." He sighs, digging into pockets for coin, "Drink, food, what'ever have ya... ain't care what!" Still unhappy, turning back to Angus, "Polite ain't got nothing to do with it.. ya just stay on your side and we's be fine!" Grabbing his mug as it arrives, and guzzling it as his focus is on getting intoxicated.

(center table) Stubb carefully knocks the metal object under the table with his foot.

Lier's face breaks into an even broader smile, surprise and delight evident on his features. His eyebrow twitches a bit at Stubb's aside, but his expression is still very amused. "If you're proposing to engage me, sir, confidentiality is assured, of course."

(bar) "Y' can tell the difference?" Dangeon teases the cat, relaxing just slightly as the lizard finally stops staring, and retakes her place at the bar. She's pleased with the order of food and drink, but pulls a face slightly as Amos addresses the lizard again.

(center table) Hactor notices this hastey movement out of the corner of his eye. Curious yes, but nothing to worriey about at the moment, "Well Stubby yav been busy havn't ya?" He looked around the room once more.

(other end of the bar) Arevin joins Aeysin, hopping on a barstool beside her. In a display of camaraderie, Rev drapes her arm over her pal's shoulders. She gives them a little squeeze. "'Ello, love." Her eyes light up at the drinks.

(center table) Lier says, "Though I must caution you that I am very particular about the work I choose to undertake. If what you propose is short of satisfactory..." Lier's smile is almost predatory.

(bar) Angus lifts his drink to the wildcat. "Polite s'always got *everythin'* to do with it," he responds, rather loudly, since his words now must travel from table to bar. "But, aye, I'm quite content to keep t'myself and well outta' ten-foot-pole range of mouthy chumps like yerself, kitcat."

(center table) Stubb raises a discreet paw to prevent the young fox from rambling in the presence of his own master, throwing only a furtive wink to Lier as a sign of acknowledgment. Coolly, the weasel rises and presents Hactor with a rather dramatic bow. "A' your service, o' course. Though'," he says, standing on his toes to gain private access to Hactor's ear, "confidensh'ly, oi ain' been... to'ally hones' wif all of 'em. Bes' we le' dem fink wha' dey wan' to, till oi've 'ad time to... align our int'rests. Savvy?"

(other end of the bar) Aeysin jolts at bit at Arevin's stealthy arrival, but melts into her droog's friendly hug. "Oi, Rev!" the vixen beams, and promptly slides one mug and one of the shots to the other vixen. "Lotsa' this 'n 'at goin' on t'night! Sommmat' 'bout a foxlord? An' 'n army. An 'n yellin' kitty. An' .. uh. I think thassabout' it. Howsthings wi' yew?"

(center table) Stubb swallows with heavy dread at the ruckus already stirring between Angus and Amos.

Hactor nods and sits at an empty seat. He then whispers in Stubb's ear, "I can always reliey on you my /faithful/ servant." He gave Stubb a knowing look with his orange eyes, but then turn his atenetion to the Lizard and wild cat.

(bar) Amos half finishes his drink, drowning himself in it despite the wisecrack from the hare and words from the lizard. He grips his drink tightly as he sits it down, grumbling, "I takes my monthly bath like any others cat and I ain't be smelling like I rolls about in trash!" He doesn't look to either the hare or Angus, but is loud enough to be heard throughout the commons. Food soon arrives, and he pushes it all towards Dangeon before finishing his drink completely, "More of that..." Seemingly ignoring all the attention he's drummed up.

(other end of the bar) Arevin happily accepts the offered drinks from Aeysin, delivering her a friendly wink. "Aye, I had a feelin' 'bout some happenins. Could barely keep me peepers shut wit' all that ballyhoo." She draws a couple gulps from the contents of the mug, saving the shot for now. "I can tell ye I'm not gettin' the much needed snooze I thought vacays promised."

(bar) Angus is content to let the situation diffuse. He cackles faintly at the cat, but turns, much like his adversary, to focus on boozing rather than brawling.

(other end of the bar) "Oi--yertellin' me!" Aeysin chimes, then lifts her mug to partake. "Jus' lik' th' olddays. Thou' maybe a few years inna' shack'd give thingsa' timeta' change; 'spose they ne'er do, though." The vixen flicks her tail playfully, dropping her chin to the bar as she gazes up at Arevin. "Prehapsits' fer' th'best."

(bar) "Monthly bath? Y've increased y'r frequency..." Dangeon sounds surprised. Then has food to eat. This suits her fine. "Take 't easy wi' the drink. Y'r already riled an' that thing looks a bit tough on a blade. Plus. It's huge. Dun start fights that'll unemploy 's 'fore we've done a job, ol' cat..."

(center table) Stubb nods again to Lier, stoops, leaning on his table. "Oi'll be shovin' off wif tha rest of 'em today. Bes' you come wif. Oi'll see to i' you're well fed, well boozed, an' of course... well compensa'ed."

Hactor looks past Stubb at the young fox and raises an eybrow saying, "And who is this young pup then?"

(bar) Amos scowls, gesturing to the hare, "Ya just eats ya food, and drink your booze.. let me worries about the rest."

(center table) "This 'ere?" Stubb leans in and taps Lier lightly on the back. "This is a new recrui'. 'E can 'elp wif, er, weapon upkeep, repairs... fings loik tha'. Ain' tha' roigh'?"

(other end of the bar) Arevin nods in agreement with Aeysin. "Yer right, love. Ye know what they say: faces change, an' the tune remains the same. Or some such." She looks off, her eyes unseeing as memories filter in from seasons past. "Good ole lackluster shack," she mumbles.

(center table) A brief expression of annoyance flashes across Lier's face before he schools it into neutrality. He says nothing back to Stubb.

(other end of the bar) Arevin snaps her attention back to her vixen pal. She drops the mug down and raises the shot instead. "Clink 'em together, mate! Fer the shack!"

(bar) Dangeon twitches her nose. And shrugs. "Y' keep supplyin'. Deal." In response to the wildcat. "What is th's food anyway?"

(center table) Stubb mirrors Lier's look of annoyance when the fox fails to confirm the tall claims made about his skillset. "Er, well, 'e don' talk much, bu' 'e's good a' wha' 'e does. Lucky 'e came along jes' in time, eh?"

(other end of the bar) Aeysin whines, "It ain' soooo lacklustrey." She grins broadly at Arevin, still looking up at her from the bar. "I've amassed quite th' c'llection of trinkeys and hoozits." Then the fox complies quickly with her chum, shooting upright and grasping for her shot. "T'the shack!" Aey smacks her shot against Arevin's, taps it against the bar, and then throws it down her gullet.

(center table) Hactor nods to Stubb and sayes to him and Lier , "Well then he'll be welcomed." He then looked just to Stubb saying, "When am I to get the louts in order eh?"

(other end of the bar) Arevin follows suit. It'd make anybeast grimace, but this seasoned vixen takes it down like water. "Ah," she sighs, smacking her lips together.

Aeysin has a bit of booze on her chin, which she wipes with the back of a paw. "S'almos' as strong as th' Guller's," she comments, peering into the empty glass. "*Almos'*." After this, the vixen collects her ale and begins to draw from the heady brew.

Arevin nods, grinning widely. "But not /quite/," she proudly intones. Her neck cranes back to peer at the others before drawing her attention back to Aeysin. "So, love, what be this talk o' fox lords n' such?"

Aeysin boggles, recalling the present gossip, and glances over her shoulder. A finger juts at Hactor. "Thinkin' thassim'." Then she snickers, slumping in close to mutter in Arevin's ear: "But *tha'* one lookslie' a lot more fun." Her digit has now switched to Lier, singling him out.

(center table) Lier shifts out of his seat and gives Stubb a curt bow. "I beg your pardon." He doesn't like to think too much of himself, but being recruited as a common soldier for some army, and then being made to wait while this weasel bows and scrapes in front of some warlord in a squirrel-run inn is just a little rude in his opinion. He turns and beings to head toward the bar for some better company: ale and women.

(bar) Amos mews, "Eh, is fish and fruit... ain't ya ever seen any of it before or is my stench throwing ya off?" He snorts, shrugging, "I wonder, the ol' rat king of yours take good care of ya?" (continued below)

(other end of the bar) Hactor notices the fingers going back and forth and stands sating, "Aye that be me. And what have ya lasses ta say about it," He put on a rougish grin.

Arevin steals a few looks at Hactor and Lier with Aeysin. She snickers and whispers something into the vixen's ear.

(center table) Stubb drops a coin on the floor and stoops to retrieve it. He crawls halfway under the table, where he remains for a few moments, making rather a show of his search. Only after a minute of carrying on in such a way does he again rise, his arms crossing his chest, and steal back toward the entrance without a word or glance for anyone.

Lier pauses to roll his eyes at the shouted conversation between fox warlord and vixens. He doesn't want any part of that, so he adjusts his course toward his friend Angus instead, despite the overwhelming aroma wafting from his direction.

(other end of the bar) Aeysin sputters, expelling a bit of ale, both at Arevin's whisper and Hactor notice of she and her cohort's girlish giggling. "Er .. uhrm. Oh, nuffin'. Jus' admirin' yer leadlerly skills. They're verra' admir'ble." Her tail flicks, ears swiveling awkwardly to the sides.

Aeysin leans close to Arevin again, whispering.

Hactor notices his recruiters odd behavior and his eyes narrow. He repliesto the vixens, his eyes still on the door, "Aye. I suspectsI've got som more leadin ta do. If ya excuse me." He then swaggered off to were Stubb had gon, wanting to have a /word/ with the weasel.

(center table) Lier claps a paw on Angus' shoulder as he sits down at a seat beside the lizard. "Sorry about that. Most awkward conversation of my life. Can I get you anything, friend?"

Angus is quite lost in thought, or perhaps liquor, if one takes into account the number of glasses that have steadily accumulated in front of him. It would seem the barmaid has been delivering them, lest the lizard and the wildcat need to exchange further dubious banter.

The western window smashes open, cut through with a lance from outside. The swell of sound that immediately pours in from outside is deafening in its intensity, full of the shouts and mock battles of the fox lord's army, which is evidently growing increasingly restless in the absence of a master.

(center table) Angus winces at the clap on his shoulder. "Oi--er," he croaks, turning to spy Lier. "Oh .. uh. Think I'm all right for now, pally," the lizard replies gratefully. "Jus' broodin'. What's up wi' that weasel fellow? He was givin' me the runaround a few hours ago."

Hactor growls and quickley head to the door, hi cloak swerling in furey behind him.

Stubb returns to the common room, wiping his paws anxiously against his vest, but appearing otherwise well-composed. "'Actor, we bes' be ge'in' a move on, ma'e!" he says, heedless of the fox's rising fury.

Angus pointedly ignores the shattered window.

(center table) A shard of glass lands in Angus.

Lier looks up excitedly at the shattered window but then shrugs. He looks back down at Angus and pauses, "You've got a shard of glass in you, friend."

Angus grunts. ".. What's next?" he moans, prying the chunk of glass from his shoulder. As he looks back to Lier, pretending to be somewhere else entirely, it is clear that he has the beginnings of two black eyes. His snout looks a bit swollen, as well.

(other end of the bar) Aeysin begins to savagely poke Arevin in her ribs, excited by the window-smashing and hoopla. "Shoul' we foller' 'em? See wha' brouhaha lies insstooooore?"

(center table) Lier pulls up a chair and sits down beside the pungent monitor lizard, "I think he was trying to recruit me as the smith for his army. I have no idea where he got the idea. I don't make many things larger than a claw."

Lier leans back in his chair and hmms, "Unless they want to be an army of toothpick wielding marauders..." He snorts at thought.

(other end of the bar) Arevin's laughter rises. "Hahaha. 'Ey! Ye know I be ticklish." She shrugs, "Hm, ye never lost yer thirst fer a'venture, Aey. Lemme finish my drink."

(center table) Angus presses his eyes shut, resting his brow in his hand. "Ole' friend," he says softly, "I lost m'chil'." His lids part slightly, just enough so that he can peer upon Lier. "The weasel says that fiesty tree-rat from th' other night took 'im to some king Nildfork as a prize 'r somethin'. I dunno' whether t'believe 'im or not. But I do know I've searched high 'n low for two days; no sign o' the little 'n. Don' know what t'do."

Stubb stands there, wide-eyed as Hactor darts off without a word of warning. Hovering for a moment, he sets his sights on Lier once again, now chatting comfortably with Angus, it seems. With customary suaveness, the weasel slips into the conversation. "You're a funny one, ain' ye, ma'e?" He takes a seat at the table.

Hactor hops out the window.

There's a rustling sound outside the window.

(other end of the bar) Arevin loudly slams her now-empty mug against the bar, much to the chagrin of Libby. She springs to her feet.

(center table) Lier aghast, "How on earth was he taken from you?"

Angus hisses and bares his teeth at the intruding weasel. "Funny as a box o' bricks," the lizard expands.

Angus lifts his glass, wiggling it at Lier. Then sighs heavily. "Snatched s-straight from the bar, from under m'nose."

Stubb, having misspoken, appears duly chastened, sitting mute for a few moments while Lier and Angus continue their discussion.

(other end of the bar) Aeysin imitates Arevin, downing her drink and hopping up from her stool. "Ou' th' winnow' 'r down th' stairs?" she questions, toothy smile engaging her pal.

(center table) Lier is indignant. "Burgulary! How perfectly vulgar!" He glances around the room angrily, as if seeking out suspects, but it was more of a show of sympathy for his friend. He mumbles to himself, "... and it's not like the kid's the crown prince of anything or other..."

A loud roar is heard from outside, then the night goes quiet. Hactor appears back through the window. His tunic torn and bloodyed. Outside it is much quieter, but vermin voices can be heard mumirng.

(center table) Angus rubs at his face. It aches from top to bottom; the result of his collision with a wood beam hours earlier. "An' then, iffin' tha' wasn' bad enough. I just 'bout knocked my own block off when I got back t'the inn. That's where I found this twerp." He tilts his head to indicate Stubb.

Lier winces.

Stubb waves sheepishly, cowed for the moment like a weasely rodent.

(other end of the bar) Aeysin stops in her tracks as Hactor re-enters. "Eep!" she pipes, eyes wide.

Arevin says, "Let's take them stairs, love."

Aeysin says, "Lesstake' a breather."

Arevin's eyes follow Hactor's movements. She seems hesitant to approach him.

Aeysin orders another round at points at Hactor, elbowing Arevin.

(center table) Lier glances over at Stubb, unsure of the relationship between the weasel and the lizard.

Angus did refer to him as a 'twerp,' so that might be some sort of indication. The dragon heaves a great sigh, something he has done much of today, and elaborates: "This lil' squirmy fellow said I coul' follow th' fox 'n his army t' Nildfork. Junior might be there."

Stubb's attention is briefly diverted by the dramatic reentrance of the warlord, but he looks back and forth between Angus and Lier before adding, with vigor, "We'll see to i' they ge' wha's comin' to 'em, those... filfy woodlanders an' their"-- he spits-- "pathetic army. Even if oi am a twerp, oi promise y' tha' much, ma'e."

Lier says mildly, "How very helpful."

Lier asks, "I don't suppose there were other clues?"

Angus says, "I searched 'n searched, pally. Couldn' even track th' scent. I *tried*, I swear it. S'too much traffic 'ere. It garbles the senses."

(other end of the bar) Arevin rejoins the bar when the round arrives. "We gotta be stealthy 'bout this, Aey." She jabs a claw toward the window. "Lest one o' em army blades slice righ' through our pretty lil' fur."

Aeysin picks at a knot in her hair absently. "Aye--good thinkin', Revskies. Y'always were the brains 'o this classy op'ration." She continues to preen, watching the fox.

(center table) Lier turns his attention toward Stubb, "The squirrel from the other night took the egg?"

(other end of the bar) Hactor grins at Stubb's description and walks over saying, " Well they should be a bit quiter fur tha moment." He then looked at the vixens and grinned saying, "Well, well well. What ave we here?"

Arevin snorts! "Couple o' broads. Whatsit look like, Lordy?" She's not quick to respect authority.

(center table) Stubb appears uncertain. "Oi... Well, oi'm only goin' on wha' oi 'eard. Angus 'ere said he fought 'e saw one of 'em take tha fing. Oi don' know any more than tha'."

(other end of the bar) Aeysin folds her arms and also grunts, snout wrinkling. "Aye!" The vixen soon loses her 'tough' stance, reaching to grab at her fresh ale. She tosses half of it down the hatch.

Hactor strokes his chin chuckling to himself and sayes, "Hmmm broads yes.

(center table) Angus stops abruptly. "I didn' say tha'--*you* did. I jus' said they weres' actin' shifty."

(other end of the bar) Hactor he then ordered a bottle of whiskey and grummbled over his shoulder, "Stubby. Whas toiken so long?" He then began to take swigs out of the bottle.

Arevin decides to seize the opportunity to inquire, "An' whats yer hubbub all 'bout, Lordy? Yer wreckin' me beauty sleeps!" She coifs her tousled hair, her bedraggled appearance betraying any notion of "beauty."

Arevin mutters, "Can' get a days' worth o' rest when yer mob's lollygaggin' 'bout."

Hactor looks up from a swig and replies wickedley, "Must no be mach ta reck then eh lass." He laughed his barkish laugh and took another swiig of whiskey grinning.

(center table) Lier eyes the two vixens from the corner of his eye and their interactions with Hactor. He feels a twinge of something. It's probably annoyance.

(other end of the bar) "How 'bout passin' somma' tha' sweet stuff thissway, toddy?" Aeysin croons to Hactor, sort of swapping good-cop bad-cop roles with her droog. A paw extends for his bottle.

(center table) Stubb shakes his head. "I ain' said nuffin' like tha', ma'e. Oi jes' 'eard 'im say somefin' abou' a... noice proize for Nidlorf. Didn' know wha' tha' mean' a' tha toime."

(other end of the bar) Hactor smiles and hand her the bottle saying, "Carfull love. That'll nock ya on yer pretty lil arse if yer no carfull."

(center table) Angus forces a distant nod. His eyes are again scrunched shut, perhaps warding off an awful headache. "Well then, perhaps I was a bit too worked up 'bout the whole thing--maybe I should be takin' a differen' course."

(other end of the bar) Aeysin offers Hactor a casual wink. "I go' this, mate!" The veteran barfly raises the bottle to her mouth, and draws several long and animated chugs from it, before slamming the thing to the bar with a huff. She coughs softly, almost daintily, and beats at her chest with a fist. "Whew! Thassa' stuff! Try some o' this, Revvers." The whiskey is shoved at Arevin gleefully.

(center table) Stubb lays his paws palm-down on the table. "Ay... bu' wha' option's ya go'? If oi was you... Well," he smiles sharply. "Oi don' suppose tha' talk's much use."

Angus has, once again, lost all hope. He finished up the remainder of his drink, then plummets to a crouch. There he remains for a moment or two, grumbling and moaning about nonsensical things, before dropping farther. Now the giant lizard is prostrate on the floor. "Maybe I shoul' just 'ave an lie-down, aye? Maybe s'all jus' a bloody bad boozy dream." His eyes remain screwed quite tightly shut, albeit part of this might be due to swelling. Large dark patches have formed beneath each, extending from his busted nose and brow.

(other end of the bar) Arevin pouts in her seat, still soaking in the Lord's insult. "I'm purdy, righ', Aey? Tell me I'm purdy! He ain't seen no vix'n like me, like--like us!" She grabs the whiskey and sucks it down. "Yea, some noble he is," she spits. "An', ole fella musta lost 'is looks o'er the seasons, eh?"

(center table) Stubb, knowing the futility of trying to wrap an arm around the monitor lizard's massive edifice, gives instead a friendly punch to Angus' side. "Talk loik tha' ain' goin' ta ge' you nowhere. We 'ave to fink rashnully. Foin' tha cuwprits, oi say, an' show 'em wha's wha'."

(other end of the bar) Aeysin bobs her chin in agreement, snatching the bottle back from her counterpart. "Aye," the vixen yowls, resting her head on Arevin's shoulder. "'Courseyer pretty!" she states frankly, shooting a gray glare at Hactor. The whiskey again is thrown back--chug-a-lug--without so much as a flinch.

Hactor grins. he was beginning to like these two. "How would you two loike a propasition?" He flashe another rougish grin. He may have been 30 seasons old, but apparently he's still got it.

(center table) Angus is an unresponsive heap. For the most part, anyway. He grunts at the feeble pounding from Stubb, and eventually replies, ".. ouch. I 'ave a mean 'eadache, yaknow, ole' gal." His giant tail lurches, as if threatening to whip the weasel into next Tuesday.

Lier taps his paw against the table thoughtfully, "The egg is not exactly something that can be easily hidden. Did no one here notice the squirrel leaving with it?" He wonders to himself, not really expecting an answer.

(other end of the bar) Aeysin has a mouth full of whiskey .. which she almost spits everywhere. The laughter ensues, side-splitting and ear-shattering; like a hyena or a cawing crow. The vixen cranes up to whisper to Arevin.

Arevin murmurs something into Aeysin's ear. She pulls back and straightens her spine. "An' whaddya wan' from us, Lordy?"

(center table) Stubb snorts. "In a room full o' drunkards? Oi don' fink y'll foind ou' much if you ask aroun'. Cou'd give i' a troi, though, of course. 'Fore we all up an' leave, tha' is."

Stubb cautiously adds, "Unless you come wif us, tha' is... Mos' of tha people in tha bar tha' noigh' 'll be comin' along wif the army..."

Lier shrugs, "Maybe the barkeep saw something. I can't fathom why anyone would want to take such a thing."

Stubb laughs, "'Oo knows whoi, ma'e? Some kings loike exotic pe's, you know. No' so uncommon, spesh'ly when tha' pe' can do some moigh'y damage to y'r enemies."

Lier asks, "And would you say squirrelkings and their armored lackeys are included among that folk?"

Angus inhales slowly, then out. He imagines happy places; a sunny rock, a swim in the river. The others are shut out for now by the scaly, breathing rug. The lizard will let Lier dig for information; he deems him much more fit to do so.

(other end of the bar) Hactor leans in close to the vixens and sayes, " Well now. I've got a lil er... group goin an we could use some female compny." He winked at them and continued, " Can one of ya by chance heal?"

(center table) Stubb says, "Look, friend, I ain' even 'eard of dis Nidlorf 'fore the uver day. 'E cou'd live in tha skoi f'r all oi know abou' him."

(other end of the bar) Arevin appears visibly disgusted. "Charmin', Lordy. Real charmin'." She shakes her head. "Ye want one o' us to heal yer ragamuffins? I ain't doin' nothin' without pay."

(center table) Lier snorts, "So what's the scam here? Why do you want all of us to go knocking on his door?" He spares Hactor a quick furtive glance to make sure he is not listening.

(other end of the bar) The old fox takes out a small yet generous bag of coins, and hold it temptingly in front of Atrvin's face.

Aeysin twitches visibly. "Errr .. um." She nods, allowing Arevin to say her piece, then adds: ".. 'n I've dabbled inna' 'ealin' arts, but mosta' my 'patients' be deader 'n doornails 'n two shakes o' a goat's tail."

Arevin snatches the bag of coins. She shakes it around, inspecting its contents. "Ain't much to it."

Hactor his eyes glued to the vixens askes, "Well... do we ave a deal then?"

(center table) Stubb leans in toward Lier, "Oh, oi 'ave no, er, pers'nal int'rest in knockin' down anyone's door, ma'e. No' tha' oi've go' anyfing against 'Actor, an' oi'll gladly aid 'im. Long as i' sui's moi purpose."

(other end of the bar) Arevin tosses the bag in Hactor's direction. "Eh. I dunno. Whaddya think, Aey? Still up fer some a'venture?"

Hactor catches the bag in one hand and sayes, a bit darkley, "This be a one time offer. Take it or leave it."

Aeysin cuts right to the chase. "So I sees' the coinage. Howsa' about the bourbon? Doessit' flow swift 'n aplenty innis' 'army' o' yers?"

Hactor grins and point a thumb to Stubb saying, "He moiks sure it flows thicker than blood in my army."

(center table) Lier says, "I don't have anything against him either," in a tone that suggests very strongly that he does, "but the coin and the company are not particularly enticing to me. As a matter of... professional curiosity, I suppose you are primarily motivated by the former?"

(other end of the bar) "Ah likes th'soundsa tha'!" Aeysin mrowls, licking at her fangs. "Thickerin' *blood*!" she hollers, collapsing into her vixen cohort. "*Blood*, Revskie, *blood*!"

Arevin gestures at Aeysin to stand up with her. "Shh, love." She cocks her head at Stubb's table. "Don' get excited just yet." She leads her over to the others. "An' so. What's this 'bout an army, hmmmm?" Her eyes fixate on them, first Stubb, then Angus, and finally Lier.

(center table) Stubb shrugs, "It 'as its uses, of course, money does. Oi'm no' after tha', though... only to a poin'..." He stops speaking for a reflective moment.

Hactor stand and swaggers over to Stubb to. He has noticed Stubb beeing suspiciouley quiet torwards him and doesn't like it. He decides to keep a close eye in him, les his 'lil wasp' shouls sting /him/.

Lier nods, "I think I may understand." He flicks one of Angus' unfinished ales over to his paw and takes a swig. "Perhaps I have a proposition for /you/."

Hactor notices the bottle of whiskey and decides to sit, in a corner and watch and wait. He had patience, and now that he has /disaplend/ the reabble outside, they would have patients too.

(center table) Stubb doesn't actually hear the question from the apparently panaural Arevin, wrapped as he is in his discussion with Lier. "Oh? A proposition of wha' koind, then?"

(other end of the bar) Aeysin gets a bit fidgety in her seat.

(corner) Hactor raises a paw at Arevin and gestures for her to sit with him.

Arevin does so.

Aeysin follows suit. "Hellloooo," she chimes, planted on one side of Hactor. Arevin is on the other/

Hactor grins and whispers, " Well me loves. This army's goal is ta capture a lil residence for us vermin." He took a swig from the bottle and continued, "Can't tell ya all tha details till ya join though"

(center table) Lier says, "There are two things in life I like to see the most. The first is that beasts be happy." He glances over at Angus' prostrate form. "I'd like to see his child returned to him, safe and well. Something tells me you may be able to see to that." He continues, not letting Stubb interrupt, "The second thing . . ." He fishes something out of his pocket: It is a beautiful jewel encrusted scarab, obviously worth a fortune.

(corner) Arevin raises an eyebrow. "Residence? I got me a tavern to reside in."

Aeysin taps Hactor on the top of his head, then motions for him to share the whiskey. "Bah--y'kin tellus', mate!" she pleads, following the bottle with a slightly drunken hand. "We likes details." As Arevin mentions the tavern, Aey bobs her head. "Aye--the thing is, we carved out a nice lil' life righ' 'ere in Mossflower. Why woul' we ever wanna' steal away wif th' likesa' yeeew?"

(center table) Lier says, "I like pretty things like that. And I like to take one from each big place I come across. A bad habit, I know. I know how to take them, but I need someone to find them for me. Gold is common enough and I can spare some if you have need of it, but true art. . ." He turns the scarab around in his hand, admiring the craftsmanship.

(corner) Hactor barks a laugh and replies, "Lass this be /much/ bigger than any old tavern!" He continued to chuckle between swigs of the bottle.

Aeysin continues her attempt to swipe the bottle from Hactor. Apparently her reflexes aren't as Kung-Fu as they were in the past; her grasping is mostly at air. ".. yak yak yak," she mutters.

Arevin taps her claws rhythmically. "Eh. The Black Gully ain't no old tavern. Er... it's seen better seasons, but it's a nice 'un."

(center table) Stubb's gaze dwells on the jewel for a spell, examining it but apparently devoid of comprehension. He then looks for a while at Lier, scrutinizing.

Stubb nods, "Oi can' say oi see much beau'y there, moiself. Looks like a bi' of colored glass t'me." He shifts. "Bu'... even so, oi fink oi may be of 'elp."

Suddenly a weasel missing an ear (freashly severed) enters the room and nervousley sayes, "S-sir, the troops are..."

(center table) Lier smiles, "I suppose the truly beautiful part is the five traps and two mazes and this pair of exquisite locks that I had to get past., it was like something from a story. Just think of me as a particularly dedicated collector of historical artifacts from the region's royal families."

Lier asks, "And what of our friend here? Can you help him as well?"

Hactor stands leaving the bottle and sayes, "Well me beauts, I can't be tellin ya details unless ya join. Ya get coin and booze, so there it is." On hearing the weasel he turns and roars, "Didn't I tell ya ta wait?! Or do I need ta take the other ear?!"

The weasel soldier quickly flew from the room with a yelp.

(center table) Stubb begins to stand, sensing the shifting mood of the room, but he stoops to finish the conversation. "You cou'd call me a collector of royal ar'ifacts too, in a way. Oi jes' prefer those of tha more... pragma'ic varie'y. And, yes. Oi can 'elp your friend, ma'e. Oi will see to i' we foind 'is choild."

Lier nods and watches Stubb leave. He pats Angus on the back.

Angus grunts.

The grizzled fox gives a werrying eye glance to Stubb and sayes snidelly, "Shall we?" pointing to the door.

(center table) Lier says, "Time to go, friend. I think we'll be able to find your son, but we'll need to make an early start tomorrow."

Angus, with much hesitation, rises. He half-rises .. to all fours, which, incidentally, makes him look a lot less awkward. The lizard says tiredly, "Lead th' way, mate," and waits for Lier's departure.

(corner) Aeysin has since passed out, after a mid-day whiskey binge. She snores loudly from her chair.

In seamless acknowledgment of Hactor's prompting, Stubb begins to peramublate the room, rounding up the stragglers from the regular force. "Oy! Le's ge' a move on, then. Toime f'r review, y' spoineless scum!" He seems to relish this task rather a lot.

After much prodding, the weasel succeeds in corralling the soldiers out through through the door to the entrance hall. He secures the top button of his vest and snaps a salute to Hactor. "After you, me Lord." Maybe he's actually starting to respect the fox.

(back at the bar)

Dangeon shrugs. "Dates. Codfish. Impressive fine foods. No' this... perch an'... Is that a fruit 'r a veggie? Looks dead. Fed me better 'n this... Oh." She munches. "Huh. Better than I thought... What'er 't is."

"Is food, is ain't kill ya and I's feeding ya at least, " He rolls his eyes and grumbles, guzzling his second drink, "Can't ya ever been happy about nutin'?"

"I'm happy 'bout food, drink an' money. I'd say r'verse the order, bu' food's important." She toys at something that might not be as edible as the thing she just ate. "So. Whatcha want t'be picking a fight wi' that lizard chap for? Y' tryin' t' get killed b'fore Stubbly Mc'Weasly pays us?"

Amos shifts in his seat, turning to watch her still gripping his mug as he grins at her, "Uh huh ain't gonna kill ya, and as long as it taste passible ya ain't got no right to complain I reckon, " He shrugs at the question, "Eh, not 'fraid no liz'ard, scaly vermin or not! Be'sides, ain't such a rough joint I reckon anything like that would be let by maybe, " His gaze a bit distance as if thinking about something, "Ya just relax, eat's ya food everything will be fine."

"Hrm. Bett'r be. I'm itchin' t' get this underway, what'er it is, by the way. Bes' to be earning this, 'r I'll start gettin' fattened. Y' make me fat 'nd I won't be pleased wi' you." The doe informs the cat, even as she continues to eat. "So. When 'm I goin' t' get t' do... anything?"

"Ya worry too much, and I ain't gonna make fat either you the one who will be eating it, " He smirks, shrugging, "Soon enough, impatient too just enjoy yourself why don't'cha tell me about that sweety pie ratty of yours were ya a very affection couple?" He snickers.

Some of the mystery fruit is launched at Amos' ear.

Amos ducks, laughing.

Dangeon says, "Affectionate couple. Bah. Bu'. If'n y' mus' know. We kept up appearances well 'nuff. Any'ow, didn' y' have a mate last we met, or I imagine tha'?" She frown. "Was drunk a lotta the time..."

"Ahem, ya drunk all the time ya mean dearie..." The wildcat chuckling, a wide smile of teeth flashing as he braces for more food being thrown in his general direction, "Don't waste food, and maybe I'll tell ya... if ya gonna throw sumthing.. at least throw something I ain't paid for!"

Dangeon lets the.. grape/sprout thing she was holding go to her mouth rather than at the cat. She chews, leans to the side supported by an elbow on the bar. "So, if'n I stop now. Y'll tell me some?"

"Aye, so ya want to know about Delilah eh?" He shrugs, smirking, "Ain't much of a feller to be tied down to any one lady, though she certain did try! I recall she rather disliked ya which is why I always insisted ya were about, " He rolls his eyes, muttering, "Had no sense, didn't seem to mind..well letting me you know but more trouble than she's worth that one and she really didn't take what I has with what's-her-name too well" He remembers the throwing of sharp objects, and what followed after she broke the hare's bottle on purpose to use it against him. Oh well, she learned her lesson about messing with the hare's booze.

Dangeon nods, reminiscing too. "Ah. Her... Hrm. Prob'ly good 've ne'r seen her again... I wasn' very nice aft' what she did t' me drink. Think she'd hold a bit o' a grudge." She muses, then continues cheerfully. "Still. That could be fun! Beats doin' nothin', if someone's aft'r you." Crazy hare.

Amos laughs, turning back to his drink and gulping some booze down, "Nah, as I recall she was pretty scared of ya after that, " More laughter, cat scared of a hare! He smirks, "At worse we can just tie her up and leave her to your skills."

"Where's th' fun there? 'S a job, no' a hobby- Ol' Ratty seemed t' liked tha' skillset though. Any'ay. 'D rather have a moving opponent. 'S no' such fun otherwise." The doe shrugs, and finished her meal. "Need more drink, boss."

McDuff entered the common room, and walked up to Libbie the barmaid. "Land tyme na see lass." She smiled at him and gave him an ale. He took a few sips before going to the center iof the room. He claped his paws a few times and said to the patrions present, "Oy! Cen I hev yar attyntion please."

Amos drops a few coins he's dug out onto the bar, "More ale, for me and the doe, " He lifts his mug to his maw and finishes off the drink before turning in his seat to face the squirrel, "Eh, wonder what this feller is on about, " He mumbles, loud enough to be overheard by the hare but not particularly to anyone as he faces McDuff.

The does takes advantage of McDuff's shout for quiet to point at him and call. "Drinks on the squirrel! Hoorah!" Before grinning back at Amos. "'E's buying us drinks, I hope."

McDuff puffs a few times on his pipe then sayes, "Far thoose of ya tha come here offen ya know I'm the oold bouncer. Well, I've decyded ta tayke back ma ol joob." He crossed his arms acroos his large stomach and continued, "Now I onla ave tree ouse rools, na fyting, na gettn droonk of yer arse, and na messn with tha barmaid. If ya ave a prooblem with these rooles, we ken discass it ootside." He blew a few smoke rings and asked, "Ana questions?"

Amos stifles a yawn, turning back towards a full mug of drink. No questions from the wildcat, seems to have lost interests in the squirrel, "See, and now they gots a feller to take care of them sorts of things, " He smirks, amused by the thought of the old squirrel breaking up a fight with the lizard. Attention focused on his drink, which he nurses but half expecting Dangeon's response.

Dangeon raises her paw. "So... y' are buyin' another round 'r not, mist'r, uh, peacekeeper?" She too, is thinking over certain larger patrons. And she's aiming an elbow at Amos' ribs to share the thought.

McDuff looks at the two dubiously and replies, "Ach! I'm tha booncer no the bank. Ya by yer oon drinks lads and lasses." With the he walked over to a single chair by the window and sat watching the vermin outside. He still wasn't pleased about that.

Amos takes the ribbing, ignores the hare, "Besides, I'm buying you drink enough... and you hasn't even done anything yet, " He grunts, "Food, drink, and I reckon you'll want a place to sleep next... well other than the bar, " He chuckles.

"I give it a week 'fore some'un eats 'im." The doe mutters as she watches the squirrel go to the window. "Ah. Dun y' worry about a place t' sleep, ol' cat; y' keep me watered enough, I c'n sleep anywhere. Though I won't object t' a bed an' such if it's such available. 'Aven't slept in a bed in a while."

McDuff sat puffing away tapping the windowsill. He wonders /where/ all these vermin came from and excactley who was organizing them like this. He decide /now/ is the time for answers. He goes to sit at the bar and finish his ale. Who knows he might overhear something if he's carful.

"Eh, what about you? Ain't too worried about getting ate?" He smirks, shrugging, "Eh, ya ever get into much trouble?" He ponders, watching as McDuff joins them at the bar.

McDuff looks up to the wild cat and points to his sword saying, "Anything tty ta eat me an they will get a moothfull o this." He suddenly gets a crazy idea, "Hey Libbie ya still got mee special brew?" The barmaid nodds, and reaches under the bar, handing McDuff a small keg. He then looks to the doe (He can tell a drunk when he sees one) and sayes, "Ya know wha lass, it's been season's sinc I came beck ta tha inn. Les toste with a special concoction o mine." He began filling his own mug.

"Ate? N'. Why should I? 'm no rabbit." Dangeon responds, than shakes her head. Ooh, wait. McDuff is talking alcohol. "Hm? I'll n' say no to tha'. A toast t' your return, mist'r... peacekeepin' squirrel chap. Aye." She downs her current drink, eager for this 'concoction'.

McDuff fills the hares cup saying, "Aye. I calll eh Hoyland Hellwater. If ya can get eh pass yer tounge, then ya can definantly stomach gallons o eh." He was hoping a litlle hard liquior would make these too give any info they might know about this rabble outside the Inn. He hoped it worked, he hated seeing his friend/ boss River worried.

"Dangy, sounds just up ya ally..." He smiles, eyeing the squirrel warily, "Ya know Mr. squirrel, I'm gonna have ta pass... but my underling would be happy enough to take up your offer... not that she knows anything about anything, " He shrugs.

Dangeon sniffs at it. "Hoyland Hellwater? Smells g'd. Y're forgiven f'r bailin' on the round buyin', Fuzztail!" The hare is much perked up. "So, y' not scared o' bein' eaten, bu' wot if a load ganged up on y'? Y've only got you, y' hellwater an' your sword..?"

McDuff sips at his mug and sayes, "Aye got afew ticks oop me sleave. I'm a hoylander. And one rule we foolow is if ya goo down, at least toyk a hundred with ya!" He chuckled and wiped some dust off his kilt.

"Y'r also a squirrel." Dangeon flicks a tick from her paw and eyes Amos. Was that his? She'll have to seek out a bath later. She then eyes McDuff. "Ye mean, we're meant t' sip this?" That seems to be what he's doing. She shrugs, and takes a long draught instead.

McDuff grins to himself. If the hare kept drinking like this, she'de spill anthing. He tryes pushing thecat, "Ya sure ya doont wan some lad. Mighty good far that nerves an such."

Amos waves off the squirrel, hrms as Dangeon eyes him, "Aye, I'm fine... ya enjoy your selves."

"'s nae bad. Pretty nice stuff." The doe actually seems surprised, eyeing her mostly gone drink. "Y're very much forgiven, Fuzztail, eh. Y' sure on tha', ol' Cat? 'S a free drink... 't is free righ'?" She suddenly remembers to reaffirm that very important fact.

Amos grumbles, "Yeah yeah, you woodies get all buddy buddy why don't'cha." Continuing to nurse his drink, and facing away from them.

McDuff nods and sayes, "Tis a toast , so carse its free." He casualy fills the hare's mug again, (not touching his own cup), and askes, "Been a while since I been doon here. Any news aboot things gooin on ths syed o the warld?"

"Call me 'woodie' 'gain, an' I'll bite y'r ear, boss." Dangeon states, before looking back to McDuff, giving a grin for the refill. "News, eh? Alw's somethin' happening."

McDuff nods and takes a sipof his mug before saying, "Well, wha brngs ya ta this part o the warld? Ifn ya doot mind ma asking?"

Amos grumbles, finishing his drink and moving off his stool, "Eh, well I think I'll take off then.... see ya around Dangy, dont' get into too much trouble."

Amos stumbles off out of the commons.

"Workin' f'r the cat." The doe answers, then reconsiders. "Actually. N' first I wasn'. Bu' I am now. So 'm stayin' f'r that." She blinks as said cat leaves. "Aye. Boss. I won'."

McDuff decides to finish of the rest of his drink in one fell swoop. He then relights his pipe and sayes, "Ah. I see."

Dangeon falls quiet too as she starts to enjoy the rest of her drink.

After a few moments of silnence, (and a few drinks later) McDuff desides to test the waters so to speak. He asks, "So... wha tha ragamoofins be aboot outsyde. Havn't seen tha many vermin in a while."

Dangeon is a little bit bar-slumped. "Ah." She waves a paw. "I dun know. Some crazy fox. An army." She twitches her nose. "Dun know much abou' him."

McDuff twiches a quick smile to himself. He pretends to be drunkingly intrigued, "Oh ah fooxy ladd eh. Wander wa tha fellow wants with all thos silly beasts." He blew a large smoke circle.

Dangeon shrugs. "Who knows." She smirks. "Crazy thing's pro'ly goin' aft' Redwall... Still. Where there's crazy, there's money. An' I guess th' boss wound up here f'r such. Y'know... Y' don't always need drink t' loosen a tongue, bu' it helps. Fill 'er up." The doe seems unconcerned by the idea of being supplied drink for talk.

McDuff chuckles at the bluntness of the statement, and offers her more of the hellwater. He then asks, "So ha fox is up ta soomthin. Yar boss ya say?"

"Ol' Cat's m' boss. Ge's me food, drink, an' odd jobs. I've no real clue wha' that fox 's up t'. Bu' I'll go 'long wi' what the boss says- take m' pay from him, so work f'r him, not any crazy fox. We're in f'r 's long as pay's good." Dangeon grins. "Now, this is g'd for me. Drink f'r talk. Bu' I fail t' see y'r use f'r such?"

McDuff shrugs and stands saying, "Well I need ta goo see mee oon boss. See what needs ta be done aroond tha Inn." He heds for the door to the entrance hall and turns pointing to the cask and saying, "Ya can keep tha if ya lyke lass." He then left, with only a wisp of pipe smoke, indicating he had ben there.