Friday Fantasy Part 1 Faroje’s Pub

Michelle_Char
Images by Epona Schweer via Flickr
The following is the start of a story that has been playing out in my head for the better part of a week now. Years past I loved to read fantasy, and still do from time to time. I have not decided on a title for the story, however a large portion of it has framed itself so clearly within my imagination it’s hard not to write it all out. I’m going to try to do chapters or chapter parts on Fridays Fantasy.

The story is about a young girl, of mixed decent, Elf and Druid, who is setting out on a search for her father, whom she does not know. I’m open for suggestions of a title.


The pub was dimly lit by candles, and the warm glow from the hearth fire. People were gathered at tables around the fire trying to gain a little warmth. It was a bitterly cold night, the winds howling out of the northern mountains. The pub keeper, Faroje, knew just about everything that went on in the small village, manipulating it to his advantage at every opportunity. Faroje was a heavyset man, greasy black hair matted across the top of his head. Dressed in an unkempt dirty set of clothes, complete with stained smock and pantaloons. He had one eye covered with a patch, and was missing most of his teeth, giving him a ghoulish look. He was known for being hard of hearing, just as he intended to be. Often acting as if he hadn’t heard a customers order, causing them to repeat their request just a little louder. Because of it, many a patron had spoken more loudly than they should have about their current endeavors, believing Faroje couldn’t hear them.

Tirashar, had stepped into the pub, and directly to the side of the doorway. Trying to stay in the shadows, she wanted to get a view of those present, and a feel for the activity of this gathering place. She watched closely as men milled around the fire, so inviting the flames were. She held herself still, striving for immobility. She had found many a time that just by being still, many people would never noticed her presence. She was cold and desperately wanted to close the distance to the fire simply for the warmth it promised. Fighting back the temptation, she pulled her cloak closer, and continued her visual reconnaissance of the pub. Past times had proven to her the value of being aware of everything and everyone in any particular place.
Costume_001
Her cloak, she often thought of it as her thieves cloak, casting shadows over her smooth yet angular facial features. The errant strands of fine coral hair that frequently cascaded down around her face added to the shadows. The intelligent, penetrating eyes, blue green with a hint of grey that added a silvery sparkle, intently scanned the room. Tirashar was a slender, well shaped young lady of Elfin Nordic decent, sharing characteristics of each. The facial features and slightly pale, almost grayish shin tone were distinctly Elfin. While many of her body features, taller and more robust than any Elf, were discernibly of the Nordic traits. The long nearly floor length cloak hid all shape or form from its viewers, making it difficult to even determine what gender stood before them, just as Tirashar liked it.

Faroje had a steel trap of a mind, with a nearly perfect memory for faces and names. When he saw the person standing just inside the door to his pub, he was immediately curious as to the identity of this new arrival. He had never seen this one around before, and he/she was acting suspicious, as if trying to hide something. Patience my friend, he thought to himself, they all come to get some grog or ale eventually, you’ll have your chance to “interrogate”. Faroje had a method of questioning people, so subtle they seldom knew he was doing it. Information was his true bread and butter, although none of his patrons would ever know it.

Tirashar took mental note of each person she saw, evaluating what she thought their capability and profession. There was an older man with a woman at a table not far from the fire, eating; obviously a village resident. A lone man, tall and muscular, with wavy black hair, and a chain mail coat nearest the bar, most likely a soldier or mercenary. Two more men, obviously herders, sitting beside the fire, enjoying a mug of ale each. A lone Dwarf, loud and obnoxious telling stories of the mines. A woman who looked absolutely bored to death, listening to the Dwarf. Tirashar’s eyes settled on the filthy slob behind the bar, gauging him to be a slimy scoundrel, out for anything to line his pockets with gold.

Tirashar moved to the far end of the bar, where she had a good view of the door and the fire. Faroje stepped over, leaning across the bar. “Whatcha want ta drink?”

“I’ll take an amber ale if you have any. Do you serve food in this establishment, or just spirits?”

“We have venison, mutton, or beef, along with some potatoes and wild onions. Perhaps you would like a stew, it’s been a simmering most the afternoon. Of course that is if you have means to pay for it.”

“I can pay don’t worry, I’ll have the venison.”

“Sorry, I couldn’t hear ya. Whatcha say?”

Tirashar grinned, under the hood of her cloak, old fool, “The venison.” Just a tad louder, but not so loud anyone could hear, other than Faroje.

“Tabitha you scrawny worthless wench get out here and busy about the cooking.” Faroje yelled in the direction of the back room. “You should be a-waitin on people to make their requests, instead of expecting me to do it”

A slight young girl, in a clean neat dress, scurried out of the back room, tripping on a patrons extended foot as she came. The patron exclaimed loudly and spat some indistinguishable profanity at her.

“Wench, watch where your walking, and keep those dammed clumsy feet away from my customers. What I keep your useless arse around for I’ll never know.” Faroje bellowed at her.

Tabitha was skinny, and walked with her shoulders hunched forward in a self protective nature. Dark thick hair tied up on the back of her head, a few stray strands escaping to dangle wildly around the sides of her somber face. Her pallid brown eyes guarding a story of abuse and suffering. “What would you like?” Tabitha said in a timid, soft, yet soulful voice. Looking at Tirashar, she thought she saw a glint of silver from her hidden eyes and just the slightest smile.

“I’ll take the venison Tabtiha, take your time, I’m in no hurry to get back out into the cold.”

Tabitha shoved a large upside down metal pot, hung by chain from a swiveling stanchion, over the fire. Letting it stay there for a while, she busied herself with tenderizing the venison. Placing the venison on a large round block of wood, fairly abused from long use, and pounding it with a needled mallet. She then threw it in a pan of seasonings, mashing and turning it with her hands. After a few moments, she pulled the upside down pot from over the fire, and threw the slab of venison on its slight, convex surface. There was an immediate sizzle, and wisps of steam rose from the meat. The vicinity near the pot filled with a fragrant aroma, pleasing to the nose, and tempting to the palate. Tabitha let it sizzle for a few moments, searing the one side, then flipped it, and let the other side get its fair share of the sizzling.

“Leave it bleeding just a little Tabitha, it surely smells good.” Tirashar said with a gentle tone.

Tabitha spooned a generous helping of potatoes and onions from a pot near the fire onto a plate, and turned around to the grilling pot, and forked the venison steak onto the plate. Sliding the plate in front of Tirashar, Tabitha stepped back to watch as the first bite was sliced of and tested for taste. Tirashar nodded her head appreciatively, and reached inside the pouch on her belt. Withdrawing a small gem stone, she handed it to Tabitha, “The finest venison I’ve had in a long time”. Tabitha’s face glowed with appreciation of the compliment as she reached out for the gem.

Faroje, moving with surprising speed for his girth, came from around the bar, grabbing Tabitha’s wrist. He squeezed with excruciating pressure as he forced her to release the small gem into his hand. Shock, pain, and fear wrote its detestable story across Tabithas face, bringing tears to her eyes “Wench, any baubles you receive while here, belong to me, don’t ever forget it.”

Tirashar moved with lightning speed, astonishing all the patrons. In the blink of an eye she was behind Faroje, grasping his head and pulling it around to the side by his chin while holding it against her shoulders. The hood of her cloak falling back exposing her coral hair and fine intense features. A vicious glint of blue reflected from her narrowed glaring eyes. The firelight glinted off her razor sharp dagger, long thin and serpentine in shape, that had seeded to appear from nowhere, and run up along the back of his neck to the side where the head joined the neck. “Release her you old fool, before I drive this blade through the base of your fat filthy head and scramble your worthless, greedy brains.”

The mercenary stood, and moved toward Tirashar menacingly. “You’d be wise to release him woman. There is no way out of here that you don’t have to get past me.”

“There may not be, but you could have trouble dealing with her while pulling an arrow from the back of your own neck.” A stern melodic voice said from the doorway.

Turing, the mercenary saw a slender Elf, with blond, nearly white hair, and deep blue intimidating eyes. Bow drawn, arrow knocked and obviously ready to let fly. The mercenary sat back down, keeping an eye on the newcomer. Tirashar wondered where he had come from, but was thankful for the stranger’s presence.

Faroje released Tabitha’s wrist with a grumbled curse. “You’ll regret this woman, I’ll make you pay for the dishonor you have given me. Just you wait, and see. I’ll kill you one way or another, I swear it will be slow and painful, the most painful you could imagine.”

Tirashar maintained her hold on Faroje, applying the slightest pressure from the tip of her dagger, causing a trickle of blood to run down the back of Faroje’s neck. “Tabitha, you had better get your things together, you won’t be safe here any longer, not that you ever were I assume. I’ll take you with me, you can be my cook.”

A light came back to Tabitha’s eye’s as she spat in Faroje’s face, and turned to get her things from the back room. There wasn’t much, not even a cloak for warmth, nor any shoes. She didn’t care though, she was going to be free of this man finally, and she would gladly face the cold of the night. This was the chance she had been dreaming of. Tabitha strode out of the back with a purposeful proud posture, no longer the subdued subject of misery. “I’m ready.”

Tirashar manipulated Faroje around the room toward the door, keeping a safe distance from the mercenary, and watching all the other patrons. The Dwarf had an intelligent inquisitive, almost amused look on his face. He kept his seat, but watched with rapt attention and amusement as events unfolded. Somehow Tirashar knew he was amused at Faroje’s discomfort, not her actions. As she got close to the door, the Elf stood to the side for her, and she backed out slightly. Striking Faroje fiercely with the hilt of her dagger, knocking him unconscious, she turned to run for her horse. Surprised, she found her bay mare beside the door with a large white stallion.

The Elf released his arrow, striking the mercenaries leather cuff of the chain mail, effectively pinning him to the table. Turning he joined Tirashar, “We’d better get out of here, they’ll be after us quick enough”. They both mounted their horses, and Tirashar pulled Tabitha up behind her. As they raced from the village, Tirashar wondered who this Elf was, he wasn’t from her tribe.

**To Be Continued - Part 2 Darfrain's Confrontation**

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Friday Fantasy - Tirashar's Story by Eric K. Schweer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at smalltownmountainboy.blogspot.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://smalltownmountainboy.blogspot.com.

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38 comments:

Eric S. said...

This story was inspired by a drawing my niece, Kel's Daughter did and and posted of Flickr. She is a very talented artist.

Lilly's Life said...

Seems like there is a lot of talent in your family Eric. I was glued to that from the start to the finish. Wonderful, and I look forward to the next chapter.

Is that the daughter of Kels that lives in Australia? Anyway I thought she must have done the artwork to complement your story but it was the other way round. Fabulous, the pair of you. Well you know who you can ask to illustrate your book then!

tashabud said...

Eric,
At first, I thought that was your own drawing. Your niece is definitely an amazing artist. And for you to come up with an idea in just a matter of days is amazing as well. So much talents in your family, indeed.

Fantasy novels normally bore me to death, but this one captured my interest. Are you sure you're not ready to write your novel?

At this rate, you'll probably finish your novel long before I finish mine. Hee, hee.

Be looking forward for the next post.

Tasha

Eric S. said...

HI Lilly. Yes that is Pony our budding Australian. She really loves it down under. The funny thing is I stumbled across her Flickr account a while back. Recently, I have connected with her on Facebook, and we chat every once in a while. She is very very talented, and even has her name in the credits of Happy Feet, for the work she did on it.

Now I'm going to have to get her back into drawing again. Maybe I can get her to do a few drawings based on this my story, LOL. She get's all that talent from Kel, who is a pretty darn good artist also.

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. I wasn't sure, many people are not into Fantasy. I have loved many fantasy stories ever since high school. The challenge to my imagination is incredible.

Eric S. said...

Tasha, your too sweet. No I don't have any where near the talent of Pony. I did a lot of art when I was in high school, but I don't seem to have any of it. I got away from drawing, and channeled my efforts elsewhere. My school does still have some of my work displayed.

I'm glad you like it. I hope I can keep you interested. It's a lot of fun creating these visions in my head, and trying to clarify them for everyone to see.

The fantasy genre is a tough one. so many people have had bad experiences with different books, it colors their thoughts towards fantasy. One of my favorites when I was younger, was Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks, and of course Tolkin, the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings.

Pan Historia said...

This is definitely a promising start to an intriguing story. I'll be interested to see what title you settle on.

The Muse said...

I read so many different types of works, yes, including fantasy...and I like this a great deal..you have left me wanting to read more...so that is a good sign! :)

Kudos to your niece for the art as well :) Nicely done...

Eric S. said...

Hi Wyatt, I appreciate your compliment. The Title is still elusive so far, but perhaps it will take shape, or My friends and readers will come up with a good suggestion. I'm interested to see what develops as a title also.

Eric S. said...

Hello Muse, Thanks for taking the time to red. I'm glad no scratch that, ecstatic that your wanting more. That is what drives me to continue.

Yep she's an awesome artist.

Judith "Jlo" Quinton said...

Ohmygosh, Eric...a star fantasy writer is born!
I mean you!
Seriously, I don't even read fiction...ever! It usually bores me to tears! Even the stuff everybody else raves over.
Only fantasy I've ever read and absolutely adored - one of few fiction books I've finished - was Duncton Woods. (Have you read it? Amazing fantasy tale!)
This kept me reading and left me wanting more!
You go, friend!
Jlo

Eric S. said...

Judy, I'm blushing, "star" I doubt that seriously. Thank you so much. No I haven't read that one, I'll have to look it up and add it to the Amazon wish list.

You do my ego justice for reading and wanting more.

Judith "Jlo" Quinton said...

Eric,
I just gave your fantasy piece mention in my newest post, along with a link at the bottom to your piece so my readers could access it!
Stop by sometime to read about yourself!
Jlo

soulMerlin said...

Hi Eric ~ I found your story fascinating - especially the Druid/Elf connection. I've just been googling because I saw an article on the Internet around 2006, which put forward a strong link between North America and the West Coast of Ireland - County Mayo. This can explain why the Druid 'religion' has distinct simularities with that of the North American Indian...Also Ireland or should I say "Eire" has a great and ancient history of Elves Pixies and dark fairies...and the underworld into which they would lure unsuspecting human people..the Leprechaun.

I must not affect your channelled fantasy...at the same time, if any of this resonates with you...

There is a theory that in ancient times, the topography of the earth was such that people could walk from the west coast of Ireland to North America.

"Return to the Old Country"

or just 'The Returning'

I'd wait awhile before commiting to a title. There's many a blog post I have titled too early and regret it when the 'real' title comes to mind.

Also you might end up trying to fulfill the title if you see what I mean.

Perhaps best to write free of a title-chain for a while, until it emerges itself...as your story is.

I look forward to your journey.

henry

ps Great Artwork!

xhenry

Jena Isle said...

Hi Eric,

Absolutely riveting, and a big bang on the first scene captures the interest of the reader at the onset of the story. This is my type of reading material. You could give Sydney Sheldon a run for his money. I'm a great sci -fi fan. Have you read Battlefield Earth? I watched even cartoons , like Wally ...lol...

I read through it like I was reading my favorite sci-fi book, and the drawings are superb.. The drawings jibed with your story and your story with the drawing. You'll be a perfect pair for the book...oh...I'm already thinking of YOUR book for this one. I definitely would be dying to read the rest of Tabitha's story.

Keep posting.

Kel said...

Imagine my grin when I logged on tonight and saw one of Poni's sketches top of the page!

Great foot up on the story, I'm hooked! Way back when, when I dabbled in Dungeons & Dragons, I had a fairly well-gamed character I played most often who is half elf, half human, theif named Dagger. Your Tirashar feels similar to me, though more polished and reserved than Dagger ever was.

Yes, Poni tells that she has begun to do her own art again, now that she's had nearly a year away from the extreme schedule she had worked under first for Happy Feet, and then for Animalia.

Yes looking at starting part time at "Uni" (university), and working partime in sales for Sydney company. I'm just tickled that she's finally feeling the urge to sketch and paint again.

We met her young man last spring. You'd like him a lot I think, we sure did.

Thank you for including Poni's work on your blog. And thanks for the kind words about my scribblings, Poni is WAY more a natural artist than I.

Hugs!

the walking man said...

"...those dammed clumsy ass feet away from my customers..."

Lose the word ass Eric, it doesn't fit with the times.

As for a title...it's honestly to early to have more than a working title on the file.

Eric S. said...

Jlo, Thank you your too kind. I will have to jump on over and read about myself, LOL>

Eric S. said...

Henry Thanks, Some of your information is fitting in with the "setting" You'll have to wait and see hat I mean. I'll see if I can get in touch with you Via BC or email. I would love to have some conversations of the "Eire" histories and superstitions.

I have long enjoyed good fantasy novels, Tolkin, Terry Brooks, and many more. The Druid life of learning and philosophy, along with the study of medicines and other magic fit so nicely with that of the Elfin culture. I have often preferred the characters of a Druid over that of a Wizard or Sorcerer, just a tad more believable.

Eric S. said...

Jena, thank you so much. I love Si-Fi, and have actually read, cover to cover, Battlefield Earth 3 times. I simply love that book, such rich strong characters.

I'm glad you liked it and Poni's art. I was so happy she let me use her work. Now Tabitha is going to be a major "developing" character. Her story will be drawn out slowly though, so you'll just have to be patient, LOL.

Eric S. said...

Poni has read this too, and she liked it. I was so happy she let me use her work, because that's what started this whole story. Maybe, if i keep hinting, I can get her to draw a few more of my characters.

Kel, I used to play D&D a fair amount when I was young. My primary character, was a Ranger or I liked to call him a Traveler, who had some mystic powers to boot, LOL. Someday I'll have to see if I can find those old characters and games. I had a few of the games.

Don't sell yourself short, I have seen your art.

Eric S. said...

The Walking Man, Thanks, I was really struggling over that, and for some reason decided to put it in. It didn't feel right when I wrote it, but I left it, I guess trying for some "color".

I appreciate the input, and value your opinion. Thanks again.

Dragonblogger said...

I really enjoyed this story, and is my favorite genre. I am a big time fantasy role playing fan, and used to play Dungeons and Dragons for 14 years and read all of the books.

Roy said...

That wasn't nice!

After putting me at the edge of my sit, you stop the story! (lol)

really, I can't wait to see how this story progress.

Intriguing characters you got. I will surely follow this ;)

Eric S. said...

Thanks DragonBlogger, I appreciate the comment. D&D was a fun game to pass the time in my youth. I was not as into it as some of my friends, but enjoyed it all the same. I'm going to pick up some more of the books, it has been years since I've read of of them.

I really liked your Fantasy story, loaded with action and suspense. You should definitely finish it.

Eric S. said...

Roy, so sorry about that, LOL. I'm glad you liked it. Hopefully I can keep up the pace of the story, if it continues as it has, it's writing itself.

Jena Isle said...

Happy Anniversary! You're one year this January, right? Congrats.

Eric S. said...

Jena, Your too much. Actually the first posts are May 15,2008. The only reason I have precious posts showing, is I back dated them so they would not show up on current pages. They contain some icons, pics, and other things.

Thanks for the thoughts though.

Kel said...

P.S. Yup, the Walking Man is right, arse works, ass doesn't.

Eric S. said...

He, he, Yep I changed it out, and made a few other changes. I'm struggling with the grilling pot. I don't think cast iron is right, and am not sure about a hammered metal pot, maybe copper? It would be in an almost wok shape but upside down, suspended by chains from an arm that swings it over the fire and back. I'm also wondering about the horses, their frequency was not that great. I believe the primary mode of travel was by foot.

ShawnD said...

That story kept my interest Eric, you do indeed have writing talent. I can't wait for the next part to come.

Eric S. said...

Hey neighbor. Thanks, I hope to have it ready for posting Friday. I'll be working on it today. Glad you enjoyed it.

Kel said...

Hmmmm . . . on the question of the grilling pot, I might have something in the home library to help. I have quite a bit of paper accumulated on the European dark ages through the Elizabethan period.

Long and long ago I used to hang with SCA folk, and historical accuracy of costume and implement is a necessity if one is to be left in peace in that particular group, hence the range of scholarly books and papers covering those periods on my book shelves.

I'll poke around and see what I see. If I find anything useful I'll send it to you.

Eric S. said...

Oh that would be great. What ever you may have, dear sweet sister. voice dripping with enthusiasm, obviously play for something

June Saville said...

Hi Eric
I wouldn't want to tangle with your Tirashar...
I particularly liked 'She held herself still, striving for immobility. She had found many a time that just by being still, many people would never noticed her presence.'
So true. And it's good to simply observe ...
Sorry I haven't been able to be around for a while.
June in Oz

Eric S. said...

Hi June, No problem, I know you've been having some computer problems. I wanted a tough smart female character. Something completely different that anything I have attempted before.

That theory of invisible immobility is something I picked up reading Louis L'Amour novels as a youngster.

Thanks

Kel said...

Okay, I've come up with a huge goose egg on the grilling pot for you amongst my texts.

BUT FEAR NOT INTREPID STORYTELLER . . . give the following link a try:

http://www.katjaorlova.com/MedievalKitchenEquipment.htm

And then give a whack at googling: Cooking, medieval techniques

That was the best of the search parameters for me via google.

Eric S. said...

Thanks Kel, I'll check them out.

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