Friday, November 6

Breakfast conversation… (Original Fiction by Xan)

“NO!” Beasley jumped from his slumber after a terrible nightmare. “I sure hope we don’t face anything uglier than that spider.” He smiles at everyone who was already awake.
Zander was cooking some bacon and ham on a skillet over the fire. Solcloud was leaning against the wall, still nursing some stiff muscles in his chest and arms. That spider did a lot more damage to him that the party had realized. He grimaced as Beasley came over to take a look at the dressings on the wounds. Even though Zander had healed him, the two puncture marks on Solcloud’s chest will probably never truly go away. Mayvn was, of course, tuning his lute and singing a sweet song of morning and sunlight. The party listened to his sweet soft tune and reminisced over what the sun looked like and they all smiled. It was truly hard to tell if it was day or night in the caverns, they just assumed it was daytime and did not think twice about it. The sweet smell of maple cured ham and bacon made Zander’s stomach rumble with ferocity.
“Everything tastes better with maple.” Zander spoke while poking at a ham steak sizzling sweetly in the pan. “There is plenty for everyone in my box.” Zander pointed with the greasy fork at his large makeshift chest of holding backpack. “I am quite the cook you know.”
Everyone looked at the meat, smelled the sweet sugary smell and furiously dug through their packs to find their bowls and forks. Zander served the meat up to everyone and then went back to his box. He rummaged around in the bottomless chest until he found some bread; some baguettes Jenny had given him for his adventure.
It seemed like so long ago that they spent the night drinking and exchanging stories. Jenny had expressed an interest to go, but was worried about the Inn and the Innkeeper if those soldiers should return. He had found the tankard she had given him and he smiled as he placed it back in the chest and brought the bread to the cooking fire.
Everyone was eating the food as though if they did not it would vanish right out of their bowls. Beasley finished first and was anxiously awaiting another serving. The giant just looked to the little one and chuckled. A couple more pieces of bacon and that is all, we must conserve our resources. I have brought us some bread as well eat some of that. Solcloud let out a small chuckle followed by a grunt of pain as he grabbed his chest.
“Are you all right to continue, Brother Genus?” Zander looked up from his smoky pan in a look of genuine concern.
“I will be fine, Mother.” Solcloud moved his arm around, testing his movement. “I have never seen a giant care so much for others as you do. You act like a nursemaid, but in the thick of battle, you are a bear. You are a strange creature Zander.”
The half-ogre smiled at the appraisal. “I am, as you say a bear. Have you ever seen a bear with its cubs?” Zander took on a glow of the priest giving a great oratory. “I too am like that bear. I defend those that are smaller than I, as they may not have the ability to defend themselves. I care for those who are in need of protection. And I am slow to make friends, but those that gain my trust I will defend with my life.”
“Yeah, you can sleep like one too.” Beasley poked fun at his huge friend as he picked at a piece of bacon and dropped it into his bowl and licked his fingers of the sweet maple glaze. “But, you sure can cook!” He munched on the sweet bacon and hummed with contentment.
“Zander the Bear,” Mayvn mused as he strummed a low chord on his lute. “That will definitely have to be placed into my memoirs!”
“Along with that rubbish about our adventuring party… what did you call us?” Solcloud abruptly interrupted.
“What was wrong with, ‘Silent Scales of The Singing Storm’? Is it too strong?” Mayvn queried.
Solcloud and the rest of the party fell to the ground laughing. “Are you sure you are just a musician? That is comedy!” Solcloud wipes his face of the tears. “Too strong, too strong, how about too long! How about not being clear? How about…”
“That’s enough, Solcloud.” Zander cleared his throat. “I think it is ‘interesting.’ Tell me Mayvn, how did you come up with it?” The giant stood up and patted the bard on the shoulder as he started putting the cooking utensils back into his box. He stopped rummaging when Mayvn didn’t begin to talk. He peeked up over the lid, “Go on and tell us, I am sure it has a ‘strong’ meaning.” He winked at the embarrassed man.
“Well…umm… it came to me when I was thinking about our party.” Mayvn apprehensively spoke up, toying with his bowl to place it back in his satchel. “I thought of our small friend, the thief; ‘Silent.’ I thought of our just paladin; ‘Scales of judgment.’ Of course, I had to be part of our tales so I chose the ‘Song.’ Then we have our ‘bear’ that worships the ‘Storms of Othr.’ And thusly we get the ‘Silent Scales of the Singing Storm!” Mayvn stood and with a flip of his hat swung his body low with a great bow as though he had performed a great couplet.
“Well met.” The paladin begins to applaud as he places his saddlebags into Zander’s box. “You are good for entertainment, peacock. I think that was a great choice for a name.” Solcloud claps the bard on the shoulder with a mighty slap. “Perhaps you are good for something.” He draws his sword, walks to the crevasse, and examines the depth of it by tossing a rock down.
“I like it!” Beasley pokes his head from around the chest after tossing his bedroll inside. He bolts down the tunnel to scout ahead of the ‘noise’ of the rest of the party and do what he does best.
Zander takes the mighty chest and slings the cracked leather straps over his broad shoulders. “As do I, my twiggy friend. Come, let us be off to more adventure and to dispose of that evil cult and their so-called god.” He slung his immense arm over the slight man, who nearly buckled by the weight of an arm that was nearly as much as he weighed. He managed a smile and a pat on Zander’s arm as the both began to walk to catch up with Beasley and Solcloud.

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