4 Jan 2019

The Elf's Prisoner - Chapter 11

Chapter 11

Nyssa found another travelling companion.
Four Leaf Inn, Wildwood, the Sylvan Forest
Leomund paced in the private room the innkeeper provided.  No word had reached about his liege's condition, though a parcel had arrived, replacement clothes as the runner explained.  One set was his size; the other, he reasoned, had to be for Dame Nyssa.  The clothes didn't look like they were for burial, but Leomund didn't know elf culture at all.

The worst part was the waiting.  Leomund had Nyssa's full armour set out, cleaned, and oiled.  Her weapons also received cleaning and sharpening.  The inn took their dirty clothes to be laundered.  There just was nothing else to be done, leaving Leomund's mind to worry about Nyssa.  She would chide him if she knew.

The door burst open.  "Leo, my boy!"  Nyssa hopped in, supported by an elf on either side of her.  "Good to see you."

Leomund met Nyssa and her escorts, taking the knight from the elves.  "How is you leg, ma'am?"

"It'll be as good as new."

The sharp tang of alcohol hit Leomund.  "And you've been celebrating the diagnosis, I smell."  He helped Nyssa to a bed.

"Elven wine is subtle, Leo.  Remember that."

"I will, ma'am."  Leomund gave each elf a few silver pieces before ushering them out of the room.  "How long will we be here?"

"Not long, not long."  Nyssa flopped back on the bed.  "Are those leaves up there?"

"Yes, ma'am.  They grew the inn, can you believe that?"

"What happens when it rains?"

"I don't know, ma'am.  It hasn't rained yet.  Do you need help getting your leathers off?"

Nyssa pushed herself up on her elbows.  "I'm not an invalid, Leo."

"No, ma'am."

"Have you eaten, Leo?"

"I was waiting for you, ma'am."

"You shouldn't do that."

"No, ma'am."

"Leo, go eat.  Enjoy elven cooking.  It is an adventure your stomach will thank you for."  Nyssa fell back down.

"Yes ma'am.  Thank you, ma'am."  Leomund turned to leave.  He heard Nyssa begin to snore.  As he left, he closed the door quietly.

Down on the inn's main level, he walked over to a free table.  Conversations, already soft, trailed away as he passed the elven customers.  Leomund gave a feeble smile to his fellow patrons as he sat down.  One of the servers, a young elf girl who looked to be his age, arrived.  "Hello," Leomund said.

"Hello."  The elf girl's accent was strong.

Leomund rubbed his forehead.  "I don't speak your language, sorry."

"I you understand.  What is it you want?"  The girl pointed at a menu scrawled on a board.

Leomund glanced at the menu for all the lines and squiggles helped him.  "May I have stew?"


"Yes, stew."  Leomund mimed eating from a bowl.

"Stew, yes, we it have."

"Stew, please."

Leomund watched as the elf girl returned behind the counter.  He let his head fall.  Somehow, he prayed, he'd get through the day.  Tomorrow morning, Nyssa would wake up with the sun and she'd be the one in charge, wounded leg or no.  All Leomund had to do was observe and learn.

The elf girl returned with a bowl filled with broth.  She smiled at Leomund as she set the bowl down in front of him.  "Stew!"

Leomund stared at his soup.  He wanted to correct the girl, but the last thing he wanted was a fight.  Nyssa's full-charge approach to people worked for her, but she had years of experience and building a reputation.  Instead, Leomund just thanked the girl, then began eating his soup.  The girl skipped away, her thick braid of amber blonde hair bouncing.

The soup turned out more filling than Leomund expected.  It was far different than what he had back in the Seven Domains.  The innkeeper didn't water down the broth; the spices seeped into the vegetables he used, keeping the taste in the soup.  The meal washed erased the memory of the hard tack he had the past day.

With the last drop of soup eaten, Leomund pushed away the bowl.  The elf girl returned with two glasses in hand, each glass filled with a clear liquid.  She set one down in front of Leomund, then sat across the table from him.  "Drink?"

"Thank you."  Leomund picked up the glass and took a sip.  The liquid left a warm trail as he swallowed.  He coughed.  "It's wine."

"Yes, wine.  You not like?"

"I wasn't expecting wine."  Leomund smiled at the girl.  "I like, yes."

The girl drained half her glass of wine.  "I like, too."  She reached out to touch the squire's arm.

Leomund felt his cheeks grow warm.  He placed his hand over hers.  "My name's Leomund."

"Leomund?"  The girl tried to sound out his name.  "What is, 'Leomund'?"

"I am Leomund."  He pointed at himself.

Comprehension dawned on the girl.  "Ah, Leomund!"  She pointed to herself.  "Lia."

"Hello, Lia."  Leomund took her hand into his.

Lia got to her feet, pulling Leomund.  "Come!  Come!"

Leomund let himself be dragged out of the inn and out on the walkways.  Lia led him through the city of trees, leading him up towards the leafy canopy.  The young squire wanted to ask her where they were going, but he doubted he could get the words out so she could understand.  He also doubted that she could tell him, either.

Lia brought the young squire out on a branch.  Below, all Leomund saw were the roofs of homes.  He worked to keep his balance.  The young elf, though, had no problems with walking along the branch.  "Come!" she said again.

"I am."  Leomund forced himself to keep his eyes on Lia instead of the buildings below.

The young elf came to a rest where the branch forked.  Pulled Leomund close to her.  "You me like?"

"I like you, too."

Lia giggled.  "I you like."  She rubbed his arm.  "Very much."

Leomund felt himself blush.  "I really wish I spoke your language."

"I you understand."  Lia leaned in to kiss Leomund's cheek.  Her hands reached up to star unfastening his chemise.  "Understand now?"

"Yes," Leomund stammered.  He warred with himself.  Part of him remained detached, reminding him that Nyssa would scold him for impropiety.  The rest of him didn't care beyond the moment.

He tried to help Lia with his shirt, but his fingers fumbled, getting in the way of hers.  The squire returned the kiss, first on her cheek, then on her lips.  He pulled her closer, hugging her close to him.  Lia, done opening Leomund's shirt, worked on his trousers.  The kiss grew hungry, both Leomund and Lia forgetting everything but the moment.


A sharp voice broke through to Leomund.  He pushed the elf girl back.  "I can explain!" he said.  He turned to see the Captain of the Watch on the branch.  "I can explain!"

The Captain ignored Leomund.  Instead, she launched a tirade at Lia.  The elf girl tried to straighten her clothes during the reprimand.  When the Captain paused, Lia began yelling back.  The two elves all but forgot Leomund during their argument.  The Captain, however, won.  Lia's posture deflated as she walked back to the walkway.

Leomund fixed his shirt and pants.  "I'm sorry."


"I didn't mean to do whatever it was she wasn't supposed to do with me.  It's my fault."

The Captain laughed.  "Lia knew full well what she was doing.  I've caught her here before.  She finds you humans exotic.  You should get off the branch.  It's a long way down."

"Yes, ma'am."  Leomund picked his way back to the walkway.

"Watch yourself around Lia.  She's impulsive."

"Yes, ma'am."  With his feet on a more solid platform, Leomund added, "Um, ma'am, you're not going to tell Dame Nyssa what happened, are you?"

"Should I?"

"No, ma'am.  Nothing happened."

"Go back to the inn."

"Yes, ma'am."  Leomund paused mid-step.  "Ma'am?  Which way is the inn?"

Next Week:
Expanding the number of companions.

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