February 2012 Featured Roleplay: An Experimental Procedure

In which a steward, a scholar, and a knight enjoy an evening on the town.

Great Hall
A stately glass window dominates the southern wall of Coghill's Great Hall,
showcasing the majestic grounds of the estate and flooding the room with
sunlight. Austere red draperies adorn the window in an understated but
elegant manner. In the center of the room a colossal table made from dark
wood stands proudly on carved legs, the design subtly carried into the
tabletop border. A massive ironwork candelabra hangs from a beam over the
table, while its simpler counterparts hang at either end of the hall.

Cradled in the nook between the foyer and kitchen entrances is a fireplace
which stretches from floor to ceiling. The large grey and brown stones are
masterfully placed, seemingly suspended without mortar. A thin stone mantle
supports a beautiful, intricately carved wooden mural of the Coghill Crest.
Two large tapestries are mounted next to the kitchen door, one displaying an
idyllic forest scene while the other portrays a scenic mountain panorama.

Sturdy wood beams function as decor even as they support the walls and a wood
panel ceiling which is subtly crafted into a geometric pattern. The polished
hardwood floors reflect the light from the candles and window. Carved wood
doors lead to the kitchen and porch while a wide archway leads to the foyer.
You can go: Kitchen , Dusk Porch , Foyer

Tyre sits at the end of the great hall table, working on his usual high stacks of paperwork.

Tyren makes his way into the hall from the porch, his hair a little windswept and his face red - though overall he seems to be in a pleasant enough mood.

Dar wanders in a short time before dusk, dressed more casually than he usually is.

Tyren takes a moment in the doorway to brush off his cloak, then comes more fully into the room, bowing as he notes it already occupied. "Ah, evening."

Dar bows to the other men. "Good evening to you both. Lord Tyre, I believe I am precisely on time. If, of course, you have reached a stopping point--"

Tyre blinks, rising. "Already? I'd quite lost track of time." He pushes his glasses up his nose. "Ah, no this is a fine stopping point, only I'm afraid I am dressed quite inappropriately for the occasion." His clothes, though ill-fitting, are indeed quite obviously those of a nobleman.

Dar's mouth twitches slightly at the corners. "I cannot tell you how many times that has happened to me", he replies. "You need not apologize. As for the rest, if you are comfortable in your present attire, that should suffice."

Tyren lifts a brow slightly, glancing between his brother and cousin, lingering on the latter a fraction of a moment longer. "An outing, I presume?"

Tyre says, "No, no, I'll change." Tyre hurries off toward his room, breathing hard from the exertion almost before he has started moving.

Dar inclines his head in understanding. "My fault entirely, Cousin. I should have mentioned--" His words are cut short by Tyre's hasty retreat.

Tyren watches his brother's departure with barely masked amusement.

Dar stifles a wryly amused smile of his own as he turns his attention fully to his younger cousin. "Indeed we are, Tyren. Though if Lord Tyre does not object, I would be pleased to have your company as well."

Tyren chuckles quietly. "Just like old times, I suppose. The younger tagging along after his elders. I suppose we'll see if my brother's willing to reminisce a bit himself."

Tyre returns a short while later. He seems to have procured a servant's vestments, but not the full outfit from any one person. As a result, he wear an oldish looking tunic that appears to be made for a much smaller personage and a pair of trousers which are noticeably too short and too wide. His boots, by contrast, are the pair his mother found him for hunting and which are therefore stiff and clean with misuse. He has also mussed his neat brown hair in keeping with the rest of the look.

Dar's features have returned to their neutral cast by the time Tyre returns, but he has to take a second look when he notices what Tyre is wearing this time. "Very--well, then. This should be educational--"

Tyren's brows rise - both of them - but only momentarily as his brother makes his return.

Tyre pats the servant's satchel and adjusts his glasses, still recovering his breath from hurrying in order not to keep Dar. "I think that should do it. In reality, we both ought to be quite a bit dirtier, but I suppose someone might take us for fastidious peasants." He looks critically over Dar's attire, not quite finding it believable, perhaps.

Dar raises his eyebrow until it nearly touches the ceiling at this scrutiny. "I suppose we might be taken for merchants. However, if your--research has provided you with pertinent information, I am quite open to hearing it."

Tyren's brow quirks again, again glancing between the two. "All right, I have to say my curiosity has been properly piqued at this point. Would you mind a third, terribly?"

Tyre's gaze turns to Tyren, "Ahh--"

Dar keeps a perfectly emotionless face. "I defer to Lord Tyre. This is, after all, his experiment."

Tyre asks, "Ahm, is Lady Astera quite, uh, without need at the moment?"

Tyren replies, "I believe I can be spared for an evening."

Dar glances between the two of them before finally fixing his gaze on Tyren. "I cannot imagine you would have offered if you felt it your duty to remain here--"

Tyre says, "Ahh, then..." an idea seems to strike him. "Yes, very well--" he pulls out some parchment, ink, and a quill from his satchel. "You can take note of what you observe. We're supposed to be quite incognito, though, so you'll have to remain at a distance so that the peasantfolk behave as they would with other peasants toward us, instead of throwing your nobleness in to the experiment.""

Tyren raises the hood of his cloak, leaving his face somewhat in shadow if he angles himself right. Said cloak is also still fairly dusty and somewhat worn from whatever excursion he's just come from. "Subtle observation is something I can certainly handle."

Dar gives Tyre a long look. "Quite astute of you, Lord Tyre. That was, of course, the reason I have dressed the way I have. I wish you to have the opportunity to observe the common people as they are--not as they would choose to present themselves before their lord.".

Tyre hands over the parchment to Tyren. "/Detailed/ notes, mind you."

Tyren takes the parchment, replying simply, "I am all about the details, Tyre."

Dar coughs to stave off a chuckle that threatens. "I have relied upon Tyren's observational powers on more than one occasion, and I have never found him lacking. I believe he will prove himself more than adequate."

Tyre's bland face serves him well in betraying none of his thoughts on the matter. "Well, I've kept the spare quill and ink and some of the parchment for myself, so we'll be able to compare."

Tyren again keeps his reply simple. "So we shall."

Dar's hand comes to rest on his own satchel. "And I am never without parchment and quill. I believe that should cover all the necessary preparations."

Tyre looks to Dar, "Shall we, then? You know the lay of the town best, I imagine."

Tyren simply glances to Dar, quite ready himself.

Dar adjusts his satchel and leads the way outside without further delay.

The Bird and Baby's Tavern
This room echoes with a nearly constant din as voices rise and fall in
conversation. An atmosphere of warmth and cheer predominates, and the walls
have been painted a dark red. There are several tables for diners; many line
the wall to provide for more private discussions. A board hangs in a highly
visible location; it pays tribute to the history of the dining room and
includes sketches of some of its more well known denizens. A menu, written
out by hand, indicates what selections are being served. If the aromas
emanating from the kitchen beyond are any evidence, the food is certain to
please. In the back is a smaller room where isolated gatherings can be held.
You can go: Foyer , Kitchens , Out to the Courtyard

Dar guides his cousins to the tavern and selects a table for the three of them towards the back, where they can observe everything that passes. His attire is apparently sufficient to slip beneath notice as he moves to the counter and orders tankards for all of them. He presents Tyren with his and then places Tyre's in front of him. "To blend in--", he explains with the briefest hint of a smirk.

Tyre responds with his customary rapid blinking. "In that case, shouldn't we stay at the bar," he gestures to the place, "--where the real conversation happens?" He lowers his voice in order not to be heard, sounding like he has some sort of bronchial disease. "Tyren can stay here to observe from a distance."

Tyren takes a chair, his hood still drawn - in the relatively dim lighting, this has the effect of making him fairly unobtrusive. He says, "Every vantage point offers its own perspective. You are bound to learn much no matter where you choose."

Dar remains standing as he replies. "If you are quite prepared. I thought you might wish to observe before the interacting phase of the experiment." He glances back towards the counter, his height giving him an advantage. "Ah--there is Master Donal. He is a grain merchant by trade, hailing from Nieklot. -Shall we see what he is discussing with the barkeep?"

Tyre picks up his tankard. "Best so."

Tyren merely takes a swig from his tankard and settles in.

Dar gives his younger cousin a faintly apologetic glance before making his way to the bar, weaving easily and comfortably between the patrons without attracting undue notice.

Tyre walks jauntily in the same direction, attracting somewhat more notice.

Tyren remains as he is, his drawn cloak and somewhat out of the way table allowing him to present himself as a regular tavern patron fairly easily. One might imagine he is not terribly unfamiliar with this sort of circumstance.

Tyre sits at the bar and sets his tankard down there, glancing at the tavern doorway when he sees a dark shape flit in.

Dar finds a place at the counter, setting his drink in front of him and studying the menu intently as he waits for snatches of conversation to reach him. The grain merchant he indicated earlier seems to be discussing rising prices in a rather heated tone. "...it's getting so a body can't keep body and soul together, what with the wet summer we've had and the rising taxes. I have barely enough grain to sell at market."

Cantil sneaks in behind a fairly hefty tavern-goer and slips immediately into a shadow just behind the door, scanning the occupants of the room carefully from his hiding place.

Tyren leans back in his chair a bit, taking another drink from his tankard as he scans the room himself.

Tyre leans casually on the bar-- which is to say, he sort of sprawls, stiff and limp at the same time. "Ser, what der ya call this here?" He asks the barkeep, gesturing to his tankard. "Mighty good stuff y-- er, a body might say." He takes a sip and coughs, barely keeping himself from spilling the liquid back out all over the bar. "/Mighty/ good."

Dar nurses his own tankard as he observes the elder of his cousins out of the corner of his eye. The grain merchant seated to his left then addresses him, and from his slurred speech the man has had more than his fill of drink. "My daughter just gave birth to her fifth, but d' ye think I was able to visit her? If it isn't a storm, it's the king demanding more to feed the troops, or the horse's gone lame and the rent payment's long past due--" Dar nods in what might be taken for vague agreement, and the man turns his chair fully to face him. "You look like someone I used to know--"

Tyren's glance shifts toward the bar, and he stifles a cough of his own at what he sees of his brother's actions. He manages to hide it mostly beneath his drawn hood and behind his tankard.

Tyre saves Dar from further scrutiny in what is apparently supposed to be a drunken jab of the elbow. "This tavern fellow calls this stuff 'ale'. It does--don't taste like any sort of ale /my body/ ever had, how about your body?"

Cantil studies the room for a few minutes. Apparently satisfied, he steps out from his hiding place and approaches the bar with intent. He scrambles up ungracefully onto a stool a little ways down from Tyre et al, puts a little coinpurse on the counter in front of him, and asks boldly, pointing to a rum-tankard, "Can I have one of those, please?"

The barkeep guffaws, not unkindly, and says, "Lad, you must think I was born yesterday! Tea I'll give you, or cider. If you try anything while my back's turned," he adds warningly, "I'll have your aunt here to fetch you faster'n you can say hey-diddy."

Dar has to work quickly to ensure that Tyre's jab doesn't cause him to lose his own drink. "I believe it passes for ale in these parts--or so I've been told." It is then that he notices Cantil and he hunches over, minimizing his height and the most obvious means of identifying him and surreptitiously adjusting his cloak to better cover his features. The drunk merchant beside him takes little notice, rambling on. "Certainly is, and the finest ale in Archenland. Where's your friend from? He's an odd sort, isn't he?" Dar again gives a vague gesture in response to this, which seems to suffice.

Tyre puts on his gruff bronchial voice. "From Kermerchael, and don't you be calling it odd! Just up here doing some business. A body can do that, can't he?"

Tyren leans forward, resting his tankard on the out-of-the-way table at which he sits. He fiddles with it a bit in a thoughtful sort of manner.

Cantil looks crestfallen and a bit sulky, but asks for cider and painstakingly and proudly counts out the correct number of coins. The barkeep supervises, scoops up the coins, and turns to get the drink. Cantil glances again around the tavern, the cloaked figure off to the side catching his attention. He gives the unknown man a long, scrutinizing look, his forehead wrinkling up - he's so focused that when the barkeeper sets a generous mug of fragrant cider in front of him, he actually startles.

Dar turns his tankard and moves it slightly out of the reach of Tyre's elbow. The merchant asks, "That so? What kind of business are you in? Funny sort of business if you've never had the coin to try ale before."

Tyren produces a sheet of parchment and a quill, twirling the latter a bit before scratching out something in slow, contemplative strokes. He pauses to take a drink from his tankard, then resumes.

Tyre says, "Der'nt taste like a body's kind of ale." He holds out a hand to shake and grips the barkeeps hand for the entirety of his false introduction. "In ther parchment business, fer the time bein'. Summer times its exotic fruits but they-m dern't grow just now." He nods three times firmly, his glasses bobbing up and down. "Name's Try.""

Cantil cups his hands around his mug and blows on the top of the liquid, looking again over his shoulder at the man in the cloak. The weird exaggerated accent from down the bar catches his attention, however, and he scootches forward on his stool to peer around the men between him and whoever's talking.

Dar supplies, when the merchant turns his rheumy glance on him, "I am a scribe by trade". He rests his hands on the counter, and the ink staining them does seem to confirm this. The merchant jabs Dar with an elbow. "Pleased t'meet ya both." He slurs to Tyre, "Try, huh? Betcha you're one to try just about anything." He lets out a long guffaw at his own wit.

Tyre blinks three times and then laughs boisterously and takes another choking swig of ale.

Tyren's glance wanders around the tavern, twirling his quill idly, as if not sure what to put to the parchment he's got before him. He sits up a bit straighter somewhat suddenly, then begins to scribble furiously, perhaps struck by inspiration by something he's spotted.

Cantil is distracted from another long look at the suspicious character at the table by Dar's voice, just audible over the general clamour of the tavern. He looks for its source for a few puzzled minutes before settling on the correct person. His eyes go a little wide, and he watches to be sure.

Dar lets out a muffled sound as the merchant's jab hits home. He adroitly turns the conversation away from the interrogation of his cousin's bona fides. "You must be here on business as well", he prompts, and the drunk snatches at the bait. "Sure am, though nobody's buying grain even for half the price. You'd think after the winter we've had--"

Tyre says, "It's bercause Carmerkul had a good year in grain."

Tyren folds his arms, setting his quill aside for a moment and looking over the parchment before him. He nods a bit, then lifts his head a bit to survey the scene again, his glancing lingering on the bar a few moments.

Dar doesn't even lift an eyebrow as the merchant thumps his fist against the counter and retorts, "Don't much care why it is. Carmichael having a good year isn't exactly going to put food in my children's mouths. I knew I should've gone into the wool trade. My father always told me that."

Tyre says, "Ah that's-- thart's actually quite bad right now, after la...rst year's good turnout and with the mild winter, I don't imag-- er, a body dern't see as it's gonner get much better soon. Guessin' the grain'll pick up this summurrr, though.""

Cantil studies Dar and the man with him, his forehead crinkling up deeply at the bespectacled man's peculiar way of speaking. He straightens abruptly and twists back around to glance at the hooded man again and whatever he's writing down, alarmed.

Tyren looks back to his parchment, shaking his head slightly and crossing something out. He lifts his quill again, though not to write - instead, to bob it up and down a bit, as if measuring the cadence of whatever it is he's written. He nods a bit and adds something else.

Dar rescues his drink once again as the merchant leans his elbows on the counter and rests his forehead against his arms. "You're just a walking book, aren't you, stranger? If you know so much, then what should I do with three wagons full of grain and no buyers?" Dar glances to his cousin, his head tilted at an angle suggesting curiosity.

Tyre says, "Ahh, take it to Calormene where they'll find it exotic, of course."

Tyren sets his pen aside to pick up the parchment, looking it over, then looking back out over the tavern, leaning back in his chair thoughtfully.

Cantil turns quickly back to his cider to avoid being caught staring by the Mysterious Person. He has a tight grip on the mug, but has yet to take a drink.

Dar takes a small sip from his own tankard. "He might as well suggest the moon. Am I correct in that?" The merchant slurs, "Sure are, friend. Those Calormenes won't even let me get past the border. If they do, they'll steal my grain rather than paying me fer it."

Tyre raises a finger, "Ah--" he remembers himself and quickly lowers the finger, lifting his shoulders as high as he can and then dropping them. "Guess your body done done somethern wrong then, caurse a body can get exotic fruit to sell from there no problems." He takes another painful swig from his tankard to make up for the intellectual nature of his conversation.

Tyren sets the parchment aside, taking another drink from his tankard and shifting a bit in his chair, looking quite comfortable.

Dar looks dryly amused as the merchant promptly guzzles the rest of his drink and then orders another to fortify himself enough to continue the discussion with the funny man in spectacles. "Pfffft. Exotic fruit! Who has the coin to spend on exotic fruit, I ask you? There are woolens to buy to keep warm, and cows for milk, and good, plain grain to turn into ale. Fruit like that'll just sour your stomach." There is a chorus of agreement from a couple of the nearby barflies. The merchant's tone suggests that he has reached the "belligerent" state of intoxication.

Cantil glances toward the Steward, trying surreptitiously to catch his eye, though the angle might make this difficult.

Tyre exclaims, "Ahhh-- that's not... qui-- er, that's not whart a body mean--" He glances at a few of the other patrons faces and notes a general expression of stupidity and a general physique of larger-than-him, "Yar, I see whatcer body means!""

Tyren leans forward a bit again, grasping his tankard and his attentions rather firmly fixed on the bar.

Dar is about to interject when the merchant makes a rather meaty fist with his hand and wags a finger right in Tyre's face. "You have any more grand advice for me?", he challenges. Several of the man's friends, attracted by the whiff of confrontation coming from that direction, stand and begin to circle nearer the bar. Dar grasps the merchant's wrist in a surprisingly strong grip given his lean frame. "I believe you've had enough drink and enough advice for one night. Take it easy, /friend/. He only intended to help", he suggests in a tone of steel.

Tyre watches the growing commotion and decides that perhaps now would be the time for Try to shut up entirely.

Cantil sits up straight, craning around to get a better view of what's going on. He slides down off his stool, glancing around him at the tavern's other patrons and their general direction of attention to confirm that what is going on counts as a Distraction, then proceeds to take sound advantage of it by slipping away from the bar.

Tyren rises from his position, stowing the parchment away. He moves, joining the group beginning to circle near the bar. He takes advantage of his broad frame to push his way toward the inner portions of said circle, craning to see exactly what's going on as he does so, though his raised hood continues to obscure his face.

The merchant jerks his wrist out of Dar's grasp. "Oh, I think he's got plenty to say, and I'll decide when I've had enough." Dar gives him a look that would freeze water. "That would be now", he states flatly, his affect completely controlled. The merchant, by contrast, only looks more angry at this reasonable approach, but apparently thinking Tyre the weaker option, rounds on him next. "Just who do you think you are?"

Tyre says, "Ah, perhaps this could be settled by a round of ahh, arm-wrestling. If I win, then you-- er, your body go try selling things down in Calormene. If you win, I'll just up and head right on out of hur and not make any more fuss."

Cantil eyes the path of the Mysterious Person's parchment and bites his lower lip hard. He glances around him again and follows the man, using his small size to squeeze undetected through the tight spaces between patrons.

Tyren remains with the crowd, glancing briefly toward Dar before his attentions turn to Tyre and the merchant. He flexes the fingers of his right hand several times.

Dar gives his younger cousin an almost imperceptable shake of his head, his glance still on the merchant. The merchant slurs pugnaciously, "You're on. If you don't mind not being able to use that arm much after tonight." His cohorts hoot with laughter until another look from Dar silences them. "Er--Try", the Steward asks, "Are you certain--? I could take your place--"

Tyre nods certainly, extending his right arm and setting the upper arm fully on the table, up to the shoulder in what looks sort of like an arm-wrestling position.

Cantil makes his way up to the man, standing behind and slightly to his side, conveniently close to the pocket where the parchment is stowed. The man's hood provides Cantil with a screen from his peripheral vision, and he reaches very carefully to grasp a corner of the parchment sticking out of the pocket with his fingertips.

Tyren shifts a bit, remaining where he is, though his stance suggests he is having some difficulty in doing so, and his right hand still curls into a fist.

Dar leans in and mumbles something to Tyre in a rather urgent tone. The merchant demonstrates correct stance as he extends his burly arm, resting only the elbow on the table.
Dar mumbles "It is good form to allow only your elbow to touch the counter--", to Tyre.
Dar mumbles "... ... good ... to allow only your ... ... ... the ...", to Tyre.

Cantil retreats immediately on acquiring the parchment, folding it in half and slipping it up his sleeve. He scrambles back up to his previous perch and grips his now-lukewarm cider mug tightly in both hands, studiously ignoring everything going on.

Tyre lifts his shoulder in something closer to the right stance and grasps the merchant's elbow. As soon as he grips the other man's hand, the barkeep shouts, "One! Two! Three!" and the back of Tyre's hand is slammed down against the bar.

Tyren grimaces, not that anyone can really see it beneath his hood. His demeanor again shifts slightly, feeling around in his pockets, and patting the one that held the parchment several times. He glances around him a bit, hand balled in a fist once more.

Cantil takes a deep breath and glances toward the general chaos surrounding the arm-wrestling match. His legs swing restlessly, several inches shy of the stool's footrest, and the sip he takes of his cider slops honey-colored liquid over his chin.

Dar does not intervene, though he subtly positions himself to do so easily if it becomes necessary.

Tyre releases his hand and waits for the merchant to release as well. His muddy features form something like a small grimace. "Thanks very much."

Dar displays no reaction to the outcome of the match. Once it is concluded, he sets a few coins on the counter, enough to purchase the three drinks his party has consumed. The merchant practically swaggers at his victory. "I suppose you gave it a try, at least. That's more than most here'll do. There's not a steadier hand in Coghill than mine, not even Lord Shar himself."

Tyren finally breaks his silence, saying only, "Big words."

Tyre rises and rolls his shoulder. He nods to the merchant, "This was enlightening; thank you." He glances at Tyren, and though his face is not really capable of the subtleties of 'giving a look', the glance might be enough to speak his thoughts.

Dar stands, unobtrusively allowing his height to speak for itself. The merchant is about to polish off his drink and pick up his cloak when Tyren's words hit and he wheels around, stumbling in the younger man's direction. "You want your turn, then? Well, I won't deny you that chance." He is cheered on by a few of his friends, eager to see more sport.

Cantil sits on the edge of his stool, tense and fidgety, watching from the corner of his eye for an opportunity to approach Dar.

Tyren continues to flex his fingers, holding his brother's glance for a moment or two. Eventually, he lets his hand relax, though something in the gesture indicates reluctance.

Tyre says, "Arr, he's just some drunk. Dern't mind him."

Dar tries to give Tyre an unobtrusive signal before his words make the merchant whirl around, his face going ruddy. "You'd drink too if you were in my place." He gestures dismissively to Tyre. "Not worth it", he concludes, and stumbles toward the tavern door, assisted by the barkeep.

Tyren takes several deep breaths, his glance following the merchant as he leaves, and it is a fair few moments afterward that his stance begin to properly relax.

Tyre opens his mouth to correct the merchant on whom he was referring to, but thinks better of it. "Better keep our collective body's promise and head out of here, dontcher think, Dra?"

Cantil straightens slightly, his right hand going automatically to his left sleeve.

Dar inclines his head and makes his way towards the door, his path taking him directly by where Cantil sits. He glances at the lad in passing, his eyebrow lifting very slightly in recognition.

Tyre makes his way for the door as well, rolling his shoulder a few more times.

Cantil slithers off the stool as soon as they begin to leave, nearing Dar quickly. He carefully does not look at the hooded man, and whispers something urgent to the Steward.
Cantil mumbles "There was a man watching you, all hooded up and stuff, this whole time. He was writing somethin' down, I saw him!", to Dar.
Cantil mumbles "... ... ... man watching ... ... hooded up ... ... this ... ... ... was writing ... ... I ... ...", to Dar.

Tyren lets out another breath, turning to lean against the bar. He slides over a few coins, and says simply, "Cider," to the barman. He glances over toward his brother and cousin, trying to subtly indicate he'll be along later.

Dar leans in to properly hear the boy's words, and thus he misses Tyren's unspoken communication. He replies in an equally low tone.
Dar mumbles "I suspected you would prove keenly observant. Well done, lad. It is not quite what you think, however. I promise you an explanation at a more suitable time.", to Cantil.
Dar mumbles "I ... ... ... ... ... observant. ... ... ... It ... ... quite ... ... ... however. ... ... you an explanation at ... ... ... time.", to Cantil.

Tyre gives Dar another 'drunken' elbow and heads outside, indicating for him to follow.

Cantil blinks and glances back toward the cloaked man, bewildered and just beginning to be angry at Dar's dismissive response. "But--"

Dar glances after Tyre. He speaks once more to the lad in a hushed tone before slipping through the crowd after Chesterton's lord.
Dar mumbles "Trust me this once, lad. You will find me in the orchard tomorrow morning.", to Cantil.
Dar mumbles "... ... ... once, lad. ... will find ... ... the orchard ... ...", to Cantil.

Tyren nods his thanks as the barman slides over a full mug, and he stares into it for a moment or two before pulling a long draught from its contents.

Cantil lets out a quick huff of breath and nods, then presses the parchment filched from the hooded man into Dar's hand.

Dar nods, satisfied at this, and slips the parchment into his tunic pocket without any of the other patrons taking note of it.

Courtyard of the Bird and Baby
Lush greenery surrounds you, visible as far as the eye can see. To your west,
a sprawling building awaits. The sign hanging from the eaves depicts a
massive eagle (what else), holding the ends of a piece of cloth in its
talons. A young baby rests safely within. This must mean that you have
arrived at the Bird and Baby Inn. A small pond lies directly before the
inn, and it must be skirted to reach the door itself. Travelers from all over
Archenland mill about in small, tightly knit groups, discussing the perils of
the road or, better yet, their next meal. Something is being cooked inside,
and the delicious aroma wafts outside to tickle your nostrils. Just nearby,
an ostler stands ready to tend to your weary horse.
You can go: Knot Garden , To the Inn's Stables , Enter the Tavern ,
To the Old Inn Road

Tyre waits outside the inn for his cousin, rubbing his shoulder in the meantime.

Dar strides out of the tavern shortly after the elder of his cousins exited. He glances around for Tyre and frowns slightly at his cousin's action.

Tyre lifts his chin in acknowledgement of Lord Dar and begins walking back in the direction of the manor. "Quite interesting indeed," he says, dropping his left hand.

Dar slows his steps to match Tyre's, his expression shifting slightly at the choice of words. "I hope--", he begins, "that you do not regret the experiment. Once we return to the Manor, we can see to your shoulder."

Tyre says, "Ah, it's nothing, I'm sure. Better a lord's shoulder for a lord's misused words than a full tavern brawl for them. Thought quickly enough to offer my right hand in any case, so the dominant one is quite capable of recording the affair."

Dar allows his cousin to read that he is impressed with this logic, the thought registering clearly on his features for once. "I realized, of course, that you did not use your left hand. That was well-considered and neatly handled. Did you learn what you expected to?"

Tyre says, "Something to the effect, in any case. They seem to respond to comradeship positively, no matter how inaccurate the statements of the comrade."

Dar nods, his tone turning wry. "Apt, I would say. And what do you suspect turned the mood of the tavern?"

Tyre says, "Ah, well, I would call that an inclination to want to be turned."

Dar raises an eyebrow in unspoken encouragement for his cousin to continue.

Tyre blinks twice at Dar, "Ah, another way to phrase that would be 'drink and a general angry demeanor'."

Dar hehs. "Combined with a strong, instinctive bias against what is foreign, even if it would be a fiscally sound decision."

Tyre says, "Ah, well, it was /you/ who planted that idea in point of fact."

Dar shrugs faintly at this. "I would say more accurately that I elicited what I expected to be present."
Dar says, "In addition, of course, to demonstrating the influence of even the slightest suggestion."

Tyre pushes his glasses up his nose. "Well, at some point I shall have to experiment by letting results present themselves rather than eliciting them. In the meantime, we'd best vacate the immediate premises in case Sir Tyren decides to defend another of our relatives’ superior arm-muscles."

Dar increases his pace at this. "I believe he ought to be given some credit, Tyre--"

Tyre says, "Ah, I'm sure he can take on a full tavern one-handed, but I don't plan to be present for it."

Dar's tone becomes just a bit more formal. "That, while perhaps true, is not precisely what I meant."

Tyre's eyes glaze a bit. "I'll be interested to see your notes on the affair before I leave for Chesterton, if you have time to write it up between now and then."

Dar's frown deepens as Tyre glosses over his statement, though he does not elaborate upon it. "I will make every endeavor to do so. I confess an interest in your own report as well."

Tyre nods as they step onto the manor lawn. "I shall write them up tonight while the events are still fresh."

Dar bows to his cousin before allowing his features to soften just a touch. "I will leave you to it, then. And--Tyre? Thank you for your willingness to accompany me tonight."

Tyre bows in return. "Ah, yes, well. An experiment is always useful. Thank you for the suggestion."

Dar retrieves parchment and quill from his satchel before heading in the direction of his father's study.