2019-01-13: Starfall Pie

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=======================<* Adlehyde - Starfall Saloon *>=======================

Located in the southwest quadrant of Adlehyde, the Starfall Saloon is situated next to the local Adventurer's Guild outpost and kitty-corner from an ARMs Meister; the mostly-happy not-at-all-coincidence has turned the Saloon into a popular gathering place for Drifters. Even in the wake of the battle of Adlehyde, the Saloon continues its steadfast tradition of serving some of Adlehyde's finest foods and beverages. The building has largely survived the wrath of the Demons' attack -- minus the shaved off shingles that have fallen prey to dragon fire, and a breached room up top that ate a cannonball to its balcony.

The Saloon's proprietor and bartender is known as Honest Tom; this is a bit of an in-joke among the regulars, as the man rarely speaks more than a dozen words over the course of an evening. The cook is known to most as 'Aunt Hilda', the woman who, along with waitress Lunata Croze has concocted many delectable, mouth-watering specials and soups. The Starfall Saloon was widely known among Drifters for offering warm beds, cold beer and wonderful grub for a fair price...

...and now, it is serving as an additional hospital and clinic for the injured in the wake of the battle of Adlehyde. Most of the showfloor has been converted into a sick ward with plenty of gurneys and cots tending to the ill and injured -- and rooms are at limited availability with priority going to those who need intensive care. The sign reads: 'DOCTORS AND MEDICS WANTED', along with 'STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS'.

Certainly, they have a downsized menu mostly sticking to mass-produced, but still delicious nurturing foods. A cup of warm, comforting soup to recover from a disaster... won't you have some?

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MQRL7xws7w
<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephilia Lampbright. Famous (on Filgaia) for being an accomplished explorer, especially for her young age, and for being a little bit spacey sometimes. Daughter of a famous (on Lunar) adventurer herself. Fan of meat pie. Meat pie, in fact, is what has brought her here today--she's decided to share her mother's meat pie recipe with the people of Adlehyde, who have suffered so much--and Aunt Hilda being one of the better cooks Sephy knows, she has decided to start by sharing the recipe here.

The fact that Sephy doesn't know all that many cooks may also have entered into the equation.

So she's here, at the Starfall Saloon, being served a platter of delicious-smelling meat pie. Chauncey is seated on the bench beside Sephy, but she has made room for his place setting to be shared by Lanval, just on the grounds that basically no one can see him anyway. Aunt Hilda, so used to Sephy's particular oddity regarding Chauncey, doesn't even question the extra place setting. To most eyes, though, the youthful looking young woman has just had a giant meat pie set down in front of her, that looks far too big for her to handle on her own.

Maybe she'd share?

<Pose Tracker> Ashton Anchors has posed.

Sephy - and Chauncey and presumably Lanval - are not the only ones present. And that is indicated by the music just as much as the sight.
 
While a little less notable than usual thanks to the dragons having curled up under the furred neck of his robe, Ashton Anchors is still his distinct self. In this case? Because he's taking a turn on the saloon's piano and tapping out a cheerful melody on the keys. (For once, it's not an attempt to pay off his tab!)
 
It's a more modern piece - light, bouncy and more what one would expect to hear out in Little Twister than in Adlehyde. But he's at least capable at playing, thankfully.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        It's a pretty dang happy time right now here in Adlehyde. Well, mostly. They're still picking themselves back up some after the Metal Demons discovered that the statue of Zeldukes was here all along, and there's the occasional cultural clashes and resource strains with the refugees of Azado showing up so suddenly... but you know what?
        THE WORLD IS FREAKING SAVED AND MOTHER IS DEAD and with it probably almost all the Metal Demons are dead - the news and idea that they were a people enslaved and used isn't quite making the rounds so much - anyway THE WORLD IS FREAKING SAVED. So if there's a time for celebration and hope, this is it! Extra meat pie and all!
        ...Aaaaaaaand there would be a round of drinks for all, but therein lies a particular problem that can happen when Filgaia is currently suffering a completely different invasive species who has very, very few checks upon their continued presence.
        "Ha ha ha...!" How Lanval is managing to sit anywhere near upright, let alone 'up' or 'right' by themselves, is a train of thought that leads to madness. Has he been drinking? Better question, where is the booze?
        Let's leave it at 'yes.'
        "Ya ever sheen sho much joy in the air like thish, Shephyyyy?" The drunken water Seraph laughs, drunk on the atmosphere as much as he is just basically drunk. "Mmmm..." The music, it's...
        ...He goes a bit quiet, thinking about the music.

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

Traveling sucks. It's tiring, dangerous, dusty, and it's hard to carry everything you need. You learn to live a whole different way. Then again, it's not like Quin had much back hom anyway, so she supposes it's not too bad. That said, once she comes to a town that has a place she can stop and eat? Quin stops to try and find a meal. Hardtack and beef jerky don't cut it for long.

So it is that the girl of various shades of brown stops at the Saloon here in Adlehyde. She blinks a little at the music that's being played -- it sounds familiar, somehow. She offers a polite nod and a smile to the one playing the piano... and then blinks. The dragon heads are definitely enough to make her stop and notice him. Though she just shakes her head, and goes into the saloon proper.

Believe it or not, it's safer to sit near others in a saloon, since a sudden vacating of the space can be a good indicator that trouble's about to start up. So it'll be somewhere near Sephilia and Lanval that Quin sits (though she's unable to see the latter). And she offers a smile of greeting to Sephilia... though her gaze stops on Chauncey for a moment.

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephilia smiles at Lanval. "It's a nice feeling after all the doom and gloom lately, isn't it?" As the Seraph falls silent, the girl's expression grows more serious. "It must remind you of old times, huh? Was it like this, back home...before...?"

Sephy glances over to the pianist and brightens. "Oh, that's Ashton! I know him--we met him, remember? Maybe when he finishes playing he'll come over for some meat pie!" She waves at Ashton, who probably doesn't notice between the piano playin'. Then the new face sits down, and seems to notice Chauncey. "Oh, hello," Sephilia says. "I'm Sephilia Lampbright. That's my bodyguard, Lord Chauncey of Foxington. He's magical."

Wait, when did Sephy learn to explain that part even *slightly* clearly?

Learn she did, though, for she continues. "I found him while I was exploring a dungeon back home on Lunar--you know about Lunar, right? With the way Althena's Guard have been going around I'd be surprised if you didn't. Anyway, I can make him big and stompy. Would you like some pie? It's my mother's recipe!"

Sephilia has never met anyone she didn't try to be friendly with, at least, on first encounter.

<Pose Tracker> Ashton Anchors has posed.

Ashton does not notice Sephy waving at him.
 
However, he is not the only set of eyes. Ashton continues to play and two dragon heads snake out from under his collar. One red; one blue. Both immediately weave up and start to bob their heads in a pseudo-wave back at Sephy!
 
Ashton promptly loses a few notes as a significant portion of his body mass shifts and starts to do things without his permission. The attentive will likely hear a murmured curse or two as he demands Creepy and Weepy stop messing up his tune.
 
They do not listen. Even slightly. They're far more interested in Sephilia and Lord Chauncey. (And also that meat pie.)

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

        Lanval finds himself in a contemplative moment. The music feels nice, peppy, fun...! It's hard to think about how he resigned himself to the Goddess' word that song and dance were no longer considered good for mortals to engage in... or what came soon after.
        ...
        "Huh? Old timesh? Uhhh... yep! Shure doesh... shuuuuuuure doesh," that is the truth, as Lanval sighs peacefully. If Quin's gaze drifts in his direction, she may notice that there is less available booze over yonder than there was the last time she might look that way. Nobody's sneaking up and grabbing any. It's just... disappearing.
        Spooky.
        Lanval, at last, fulfills some of the more basic urges of his elemental affiliation and just lets himself spill underneath the table in a happy little haze. This is the happiest he's ever felt this place being, even if there is some additional nuance that is not yet being acknowledged by the world at large.
        He'd like to see Filgaia stay happy, somehow, even when the world continues to feel like it's continuing to rot and decay under the hood.
        Maybe this will be the turning point... and hey, like heck he's going to let a party go sour while he helps himself to some extra foodstuffs from the... yeah.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

SUDDENLY A NATURAL KILLER CYBORG APPEARS

oh wait no it's just Lydia.

She is standing behind Ashton, guy she has literally hired to stand in front of violence for her before. She seems to be fond of the guy but it's probably obvious why at least.

"Oh hey it's Sephyroth and Chauncey." Lydia says. "How 'bout that!"

She laughs heartily for a moment, ff6 style, before adding, "So y'all celebrating? It's been almost two months! Can't celebrate forever..."

Her eyes widen. "Or can we?"

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

Quin chuckles at the explanation. "Oh, I see," she notes. So, dutifully, she dips her head to Chauncey. "H'lo there, Sir Chauncey," she offers. "And t' you, Miss Sephilia. Name's Quin." She doesn't bother with her last name, it's not really important. Pie? "Sounds good," she notes. "What kinna pie is it? Is that what I smell? It smells d'licious."

Her attention's attracted by the flubbing of the song, and she looks up at the pianist again, as the heads start waving. And she snickers behind her hand. "Thass actu'lly cute," she notes quietly. Though she tries not to distract him further.

Her voice doesn't sound like she's drunk or anything. So no, there's not about to be another drunk near Sephilia. Or if it is, it wouldn't be Quin. It just sounds like she's leaving out all but the most important sounds of each word, just enough to get her point across.

Lydia speaking gets her attention then, and she looks up to wave. "H'lo," she offers to Lydia as well. Though she doesn't disturb her conversation with Sephilia further than that.

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy beams and waves again at Ashton, Creepy and Weepy. And--

"Lydia! Hi! Come have some pie! It's really good, almost as good as if Mom made it herself!" To Quin, she adds, "Pleased to meet you! Yeah, this is the meat pie--it's my Mom's recipe, pork and beef and potatoes and some other stuff, all ground up and put in a pie! I don't think anyone on Filgaia knows this particular type of pie so I got Mom's recipe when I visited home--before all this Photosphere stuff. And yes, Lydia, we *can* celebrate forever."

Lanval slides under the table.

"Well," she amends, "or as long as we can stay conscious."

<Pose Tracker> Ashton Anchors has posed.

"It is? ...It is!" Ashton turns his head enough to actually -see- what Lydia and his dragons are looking at. And it puts a smile on his face. "And to be fair I'm less celebrating and more pausing en route to the next job - but the difference is moot, eh?"
 
The Double Dragon Duelist finishes up, cutting his number a bit short. "Not sure who the woman with him is. But I suppose that's part of the adventure." A pause - a sigh. "Also Creepy and Weepy will not shut up wanting to know just what's in that pie, so I suppose they need to be indulged."
 
The man rises - and it's about now that Quin will get a good look. Yes, he does indeed have two fairly literal dragons popping out of his shoulders and they seem quite interested in pie. Particularly when Sephy starts to outline what's in it!
 
There's another momentary pause as Ashton grabs the two and has a brief, quiet chat where he reminds them to NOT STEAL FOOD. And then he side-tracks to request one of those for himselves before approaching the table.
 
"Good evening, miss Lampbright, Lord Chauncey. And friend." He holds a hand out to Quin. "Ashton Anchors, mercenary. And these scoundrels would be Creepy and Weepy."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Well then. Just so you know I absolutely positively can never ever ever refuse free pie. It is my weakness, my curse, my responsibility. The only one I have. So I will accept your pie, Sephilia, and celebrate forever." Pause. "And since it's forever I better get started!"

She takes a pie and immediately starts chomping on it, looking over to Quin Rosenberg who just said hello to her. She doesn't know Quin in the slightest, but she tilts her head at her thoughtfully and then she grins a smile at her with many shapr teeth and says something to her that is complete gibberish because her mouth is still full. Then she swallows, wipes a hand off her side and extends the hand to Quin.

"Yo." She says. "You a friend of Seph? A friend of Seph is a friend to everyone, so I'm happy to be of service if you ever need an engineer, arright?"

She looks over to Ashton and adds, "What's your next job? How much are they paying you?"

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

Quin nods at Sephilia's explanation of the pie. "Sounds good," she agrees. "I'll have some of it, sure." She's got a little money, after all. However, she completely misses the Seraphim of Booze sliding under the table. So Sephilia's comment of staying conscious is a little lost on her. Though she does send a pointed, confused look at the place he was sitting at. Wasn't there more booze over there? Maybe it was just her imagination. But she does assure Sephilia, "Not t' worry. Don't really drink, t' be honest." So there won't be any need to carry her out!

Ashton approaches then, and Quin reaches to return the handshake. "H'lo, y'all." She means all three of the heads attached to the body there, since she's not sure who's 'in charge', so to speak. The introduction gets a nod. "Name's Quin," she offers in return. "Pleased t' meetcha, Ashton, Creepy, an' Weepy." For her 'lazy' manner of speaking, she seems to take special care to properly pronounce people's names.

Quin also returns the handshake from Lydia as well. "Hey there. Seems like I could be a friend 'f hers, though we jus' met. I'll keep ya in mind for engineerin' in th' future," she promises. "Be honest though, I don' have a lot of stuff that needs engineerin'. Good t' know someone's around if I do, though."

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy is more than happy to share her pie. "Heya Ashton! That was a nice song, thank you for playing it! Want some of this pie?"

She grins at Lydia as the other talks with her mouth full. To Quinn, she responds brightly, "Oh yeah, let's be friends! I like making friends. What do you do? I'm an explorer, like I said." She pulls a journal out from her satchel and shows it to Quin. "I have all kindsa stories and drawings and stuff in here!" If Quin looks, Sephy's got a good hand for sketches and some pretty exciting looking landscapes or monsters drawn.

<Pose Tracker> Ashton Anchors has posed.

Ashton takes a seat - and a moment to again dissuade his dragons from the pie. He knows full well they'll eat the whole thing if he lets them. Better to wait for the one he ordered so they can attack it without disrupting the others.
 
"Thank you, but I'll pass on the pie for the moment. Creepy and Weepy are bad at sharing so they're going to have to wait." That should explain it simply enough for Sephy - Ashton knows she's seen a fair bit, but she's still young enough. (Which, to his mind, is not a bad thing.)
 
As for Lydia's question? "Not a huge amount of pay, I'll admit. But it's a merchant who's undertaken a trip - just from here to Bledavik and back. After dealing with Mother and the Photosphere I could use something a bit less taxing." Ashton laughs - they all know how dire things were. "I've got a small shopping list from some of the Tainted as well while I'm out there. Mostly small supplies that aren't available in this region."
 
And true to that - he seems rather relaxed. Though there's still a few burn marks on his hands that haven't entirely faded. "Tell me, Quin. What's your, ah, focus? For engineering?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren says, "That's okay. If that's how you want to celebrate forever that's good too." She pauses for a moment, thinking about Riesenlied. She did have that feast at least. Maybe that was her own way of 'celebrating' considering that she paid the bulk of the sacrifice in saving Filgaia.

"Well it's a good time for making new friends. If we ran into each other a month ago we'd be mostly worried about not dyin'."

She quiets down a little bit. "Oh yeah." She tells Quin. "We dangerous af." What does 'af' mean? She pronounces it ayy-ehf though.

"Engineering's the future, I can see it! But if you want a shaman I can fill in that role too. Though hm.."

What to do about tommorow. It's hard to think about while celebrating forever so maybe she should celebrate forever a bit longer.

"Still helping out Wayside?" Lydia asks. "You think of maybe getting a home there? I mean, I'm not saying like 'stop your wandering' but--nice to have a place to go back to, right?"

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

"Thanks," Quin offers at the pie. As for what she does? This actually brings a moment of pause. "Actu'lly? I dunno how t' answer that one," she replies. "I s'pose I'm an explorer too." She leans to look at Sephilia's drawings. "Oh, wow. Those're really good," she observes, with a little surprise. She might not have expected to find that sort of talent out here!

She blinks a little at the mention of a focus for engineering. "Huh? Oh I don' have one," she notes. "Like I said, I don' have a lot that needs engineerin'. I'm just a trav'ler, really." She's got her weapons hidden at the moment, too. If she notices the burn marks, she sends a pointed look at Ashton's hands. However, she doesn't actually bring it up. He can probably see that she's looking at his hands anyway.

Lydia's mention of a shaman gets a perked look though. "Really?" she asks. "What kinna stuff can you do with it?" She's clearly curious about it... and it's the kind of OH MY GOD FINALLY curiosity that someone who's been dealing with something for a while has upon finding someone else who might be able to relate.

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy takes back the journal to take notes on the Shaman discussion, momentarily silenced by a mouthful of meat pie. She clearly wants to know more, too, though, even though it's not the first time she's had it explained.

<Pose Tracker> Ashton Anchors has posed.

Ashton nods slightly to Lydia. "At least for the moment, I'm making a home in New Petra. At least for the next few weeks. I can do some good there, after all." He pauses. "And the Tainted... there's a kinship, as you can understand. But I'll move in once they're established. There's always another adventure to be had, after all."
 
For some reason that makes him wink at Sephy. "I can set down roots once I've found my cure and done enough in the world to satisfy my soul. Give it another thirty or forty years, maybe." The mercenary grins broadly.
 
Then the meat pie arrives for him - and he sighs as both dragon heads are quick to dive in. Fairly literally, in fact.
 
But this gives a prime opportunity for Lydia to say her part!

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Oh neat." Lydia says. "Then I guess I'll be...seeing a lot of you and Creepy and Weepy." She swings her hands behind her and looks over to Sephilia, then back to Ashton. "Huh--that still what you're looking for?" She is a little surprised by that. "Thirty or forty years? You'll be an old man by then."

Quin asks her about shaman stuff which distracts Lydia from this line of questioning. She raises her eyebrows up before saying, "Oh uh, well, I guess as a shaman I mostly shoot death lasers from the sky. And sometimes I shoot these cartoon stars and... sometimes I can put out like these cool shields and turn people quasi-invisible? That sort of stuff."

Careful she might end up with a bloated head at this rate.

"Course other shamans can do other things. Like Catenna can do all sortsa neat stuff with gravity!"

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

Quin, like Sephilia, also occupies her mouth with pie rather than talking. Though she does pause to cover her mouth for a quiet snicker at Ashton's 'companions' being so very hungry. Clearing her mouth to speak, she notes to Ashton, the tone a light tease, "Good idea not t' get'cher hands in their way."

Though as Lydia starts to explain, Quin listens. She listens raptly, as if she's searching for something in the words. Or perhaps in what she's NOT saying. Though she deflates a little by the end. "Hm." Though she's honest as she remarks with a big smile, "Still pretty awesome though!"

It's also worthy to note that she's not venturing any information in her own direction...

<Pose Tracker> Ashton Anchors has posed.

Ashton is quiet for a bit as Lydia says her part to Quin. And Quin, in turn, nods it off. It's not an unfamiliar reaction - Ashton himself has thought a few times that the power the Guardians give seems a bit less than impressive. Both considering the equivalent power of Symbology and Crest Sorcery and considering what power the Guardians truly have. But he's also polite enough not to say that.
 
Particularly not when two out of his three mouths are full.
 
He tries to look nonchalant even as the dragons assault the meat pie with vigor right in front of him. (Close enough, in fact, that a few bits of pie get on his robe.) "Those skills came in quite handy at the Photosphere," he notes with the ease of someone who's trying to not think about just how crazy everything was. "The Guardians and God were watching out for us, and I'm glad for that."
 
He adjusts his angle slightly, slipping back into the conversation to answe Lydia's earlier comments. "Yes - the cure for my curse is still what I'm looking for. But nothing says I can't do my part in the meantime. And yes, that does mean you'll be seeing a fair bit of me." A smile crosses his lips once more. "The Tainted are arguably the most in need right now, after all."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Heh, well," Lydia says. "You can always sign up formal-like you know. It doesn't really mean that much but at least you'll be on the mailing list for the memory cube."

Lydia doesn't seem to mind Quin not sharing. She isn't going to insist on her part. Everybody's got their secrets after all, Lydia's just not that afraid of hers anymore. "Heh heh...yeah being a shaman is really cool, but it's also a big responsibility. Can't forget that!"

She glances back to Ashton. "Speaking of responsibilities, I should get going. Feeling like the fatigue is setting in and I've got some walking to do. I'll see you around back home, arright?"

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy nods, somberly, at Ashton. "I helped a lot of the Tainted at the Photosphere. I didn't even face Mother--healing was more important at the time than me an' ol' Chaunce hammering away at..." She waves a hand vaguely. "Y'know. Whatever Mother was." She pauses. "If I find anything that might hint at a cure for you, by the way, I'll send word."

She waves to Lydia. "It was good seeing you!"

<Pose Tracker> Ashton Anchors has posed.

"Trust me," Ashton jovially notes to Sephy, "You did the right thing. We handled Mother well enough, and you helped a lot of people who needed it. And that's what's important."
 
He has such an urge to ruffle her hair. But no. That would be a bit too much. So he doesn't.
 
"And thank you. Both of you for the consideration." Anything that makes progress towards his curse is a big deal for Ashton - and not one he'll forget.
 
He lifts a hand to Lydia as she stands to leave. "It's always good to see you - do take care. And I'll take it into consideration. I'm mostly comfortable on my own, but I certainly do appreciate knowing where I can lend a hand."

<Pose Tracker> Quin Rosenberg has posed.

It seems everyone's got obligations, so Quin nods in turn to each. "Be careful out there," she offers to the group. She'll stick around a while, though. Food is a thing, after all. And something to drink that won't knock her into the next country. Those would be nice.