Busy at the B&B

Silver Oak B&B

The kitchen of the unusual B&B is old-fashioned and homey. The table is oak and sturdy. The floor is smooth, fitted stone. The walls are a combination of plaster, wood, and stone. Flowers grow profusely out of pots along a criss-crossed mullioned window and fresh fruits and vegetables are collected on a wide butcher block counter beside a large, stainless steel double sink. A step stool is on the floor before the counter. The most remarkable thing is that when she said 'hearth', she meant it. There's a wide fireplace at the far end, complete with a spit and cauldron. All in all this really does have the feel of an OLD English inn.

A place outside of time.


Characters

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Winnea (npc) Spooker Corrie Ghost Kendrin

It's late in the evening. The ageless proprietress of the Silver Oak stands atop the step stool before her counter, kneading the last of the loaves of bread that will sit to rise over night, ready for baking at dawn. A kettle cauldron bubbles over the hearth fire, prepping for tea. A black pot sits on a grate in front of the embers, filled with what's left of the stew from dinner. At the farthest end of the counter sits a wheel of sharp, well-aged cheese and the last of the nut-brown loaves baked for the day. A wide-mouth crock is full of cookies, and sat in the middle of the oaken table, its lid askew. Beside it sits a carafe of milk — well and truly soured. From the other room, sounds of music can be heard, along with the occasional bout of laughter or singing. But the kitchen itself is warm and cozy, away from the bustle of the equally old-fashioned common room.

-

"Really!" a voice carries from the other room. "It wasn't my fault.." Whomever it is speaking, he doesn't seem too terribly put out. It's good natured, as evidenced from the laughter that rings in the tones.

The music carries, the rising and falling of the tones.. and when a lull comes, a short figure enters the warmed kitchen, his coats shed, showing his waistcoat and white shirtsleeves rolled up. Upon his belt still hangs some goods, but nowhere near the amount as when he arrived.

"Absolutely perfect." Perhaps a little louder than need be, but he's had some drink, and is just out of a room with music- so it still pulses.

"May I beg more bread..?"

-

It's been a while since Corrie's been to the Silver Oaks. She bears two gifts, one for the proprietress, and one for someone she's hoping to run into. Granted, there's no guarantee that the second person will be at the B&B really, but as she's no other way to contact her, and she trusts Winnea… she can leave the package with the message here.

The voice catches her by surprise when she sets foot into the kitchen, she blinks and glances toward the other room.

"Full house, Winnea?"

Biting her lip, she blinks a few times when she spots the figure. Then again, she was here a few days, it's not as though it's an entirely strange sight. Just completely unexpected at the moment and it nearly causes her to drop the bottle in her hands.

-

Winnea glances briefly over her shoulder as Spooker enters and makes his request. "At the end of the counter," she directs him easily. "Cookies on the table are the last for the day." Just so he knows. There'll be more come the morrow, no doubt.

Working briskly, she punches down the dough on the counter and then forms it back into a ball, which she sets aside with the other loaves. A bit of cloth is draped over the lot of them — an impressive array, actually — before she wipes her hands off on her apron.

Stepping down from her step stool, she pauses momentarily as Corrie enters. Recognizing the lass, the innkeeper gives another simple smile. "It's the end of the week. The common room is always full at week's end." Indeed, the Silver Oak common room is a common enough 'pub' for the Fae and others of the supernatural community. So, it's often busy. But weekends, as anywhere else, always increase business.

"What brings you here, lass?"

-

At Corrie's entrance, Spooker, the white-hair gnome has to look up.. and moves around the newly arrived. "Thank you." Another step stool is found for the diminuative man, and climbing upon it, takes up the knife to cut another piece off. While he's there, of course, there is the cheese…

"Would you like a slice?" Of either.. while he's got it out. The question isn't just for Winnea, but wide eyes also land upon the red head. "While I'm here." Spooker pauses, then continues, "And it's here.. and we're here.. and not in there.."

//Right.. maybe some more of that ale? Or—

-

"Oh, uhm." Corrie grins, and then holds out the bottle. "I brought you this."

Beat.

"I was wondering if Ghost'd been by recently? I wanted to ask her something, and I don't really have any other way to contact her." Which, come to think of it is a good thing.

"The bread smells delicious by the by." The kitchen here is just as, if not more so, welcoming than the one at the farm.

"Oh, no. I'm good, thank you," she offers to the… well she's not quite sure what he is.

-

The bread hasn't even started to bake, yet. It's just set out to rise. Nevertheless, Winnea smiles tolerantly and moves to graciously accept Corrie's offering. "That's very kind of you, luvvy," she says lightly, holding it up to the firelight. Apparently satisfied, she moves to place it on a narrow shelf beside the pantry. "I'm sure Ghost will be back soon enough. Certainly before moon's high, unless I miss my guess."

Turning from the shelf, she again dusts her hands on her skirts. "Actually, yes, Spooker, lad. A bit of bread would be lovely. No cheese for me, though. Not right now." Indeed, she instead turns to the pantry and pulls from it a heavy crock of honey. "Just set the bread on the warming stone by the fire, would you, please?"

-

Spooker waits for the responses, and with one 'no' and one 'yes', he begins to carve out two slices of the nutty bread. Never a danger of this bread becoming more than a day old— and if it, by chance, ever did, it's the perfect journey bread!

Once complete, he sets the bread aside and cuts off from the wheel of cheese.. and then sets the knife aside. Stepping down from his stool, his gaze moves towards the bottle, and he cants his head quizzically, though not missing a step towards the hearth.

"Pardon.."

The familiar name brings a smile to the young gnome's face, and setting the bread down to warm, he turns, pulling a small piece from his slice, "I think Ghost went looking for Kendrin." At least that was what he assumes. He puffs out a bit, standing every bit of that 3 foot nothing. "I'm a little worried about her.. about Kendrin, that is, and once she gets here, I'll be sure she's safe." Of all the places he's travelled, this place.. within these walls feels the safest (but for home..). "Ghost said she'd find her."

-

Still smells good to Corrie, who's used to the scent of bread as it's being readied.

"It's the least I could do since I invaded your space for so long." And she's fairly certain it was unnecessary, all things considered.

"Do you mind if I wait? If not, I can wander back a little later in the evening." She's not really got the night off, she does have to meet with Celia again to finish the plans for the book signing, but that can be done later over drinks, or at some point tomorrow morning perhaps.

"I don't mind helping with anything." It'll help bide the time, really.

"Kendrin? I'm sure if Ghost is looking for her, she'll be found."

-

Winnea actually has to chuckle, at least softly. She knows that Kendrin has been here off and on all month — out looking for the gnome. Who knows what's kept the half-elf away for so long, this time. "If she's anywhere in the Near Realms, Ghost will find her, I'm sure."

And, indeed, almost as if on cue, the oddly distorted voice of the Ghost is heard along the passage. "Oh, trust me. He's here. Ale, bread, cheese. Doesn't take much to lure your friend."

It's followed by a familiar (to Spooker) snirk. "Don't I know it…"

-

"I'm sure if she's here, she'll find—" Spooker hears the familiar voice, and a broad grin creases his face. Straightening, he twists around and nods at both Winnea and Corrie. He knew he liked Ghost for a reason!

"Kendrin!"

Now to navigate around the table and people, but— but wait! He left his ale in the other room!

Noooo!

Placing his bread and cheese down carefully, he looks back at the pair in the kitchen and puts a finger up in gesture. "Right back.." and departs through the entryway back into the other room for his glass.. and finds it empty.

Now he has to refill it.. but that's okay, and refill he does.. in the other room.

-

"The Near Realms?" Corrie does blink at that because she doesn't think she's ever heard the term before — or read of it in the grimoires.

Beat.

She so very badly wants to ask what Spooker is, but doesn't want to appear rude.

"Ghost," she says quietly, waiting until the two women (at least this Kendrin sounds like a female) arrive in the kitchen.

-

Winnea doesn't bother to explain what the Near Realms are. Not to the human, certainly. Instead, she busies herself by drawing a pat of butter across the now warm bread and then by spooning a dollop of honey over top of that.

Ghost enters the kitchen first, Kendrin close behind. As she notices Corrie, she pauses in the gesture that would have swept her hood from her head, smoothing the heavy leather and dense fabric instead. "Good evening, all," she greets, the casual tone in her synthesized voice taking on a slightly more formal cadence.

Kendrin steps into the room around Ghost. The red-haired woman that's captured her guide's attention is unfamiliar to her, so she fall silent. Winnea, however, she knows, and likes well. Not, mind, that she's any at all concerned. The Silver Oak is neutral ground and no one could be standing unmolested in Winnea's kitchen that meant anyone harm. So, she does not have the same reserve as Ghost about shrugging off her hood. After all, she doesn't have any sort of dual identity. She is simply who she is.

-

It takes another moment before Spooker returns with the ale. His bread and cheese is on the counter, a secondary stool is tucked under spot where the loaf of bread and the wheel of cheese sits. Arrive he does, however, with his glass, and grinning broadly, he looks up at the 2 newly arrived before taking a quick quaff of drink. He doesn't quite catch Corrie's question concerned 'the Near Realms', or he'd have cheerfully.. and carefully explained things. (Not that it would have been all that clear once he explained, but in the interest of being helpful?)

"Kendrin!" He's got his ale.. and it's just a quick grab with his other hand before he takes his food in the other. All is now well with the gnome. "Where have you been? I've been looking for you.." He pauses, and his voice drifts a little, "While I wasn't looking for shadows at night, climbing in trees, and trying to find my way around Llyn Dain." All the words are a jumble. "Then, thanks to Ghost.. she helped me up a tree.. she also brought me here, telling me that she'd find you."

Breath.

"Where did you come out?"

-

"You must be Kendrin?" Corrie tilts her head at that inquisitively. "Pleased to meet you, I'm Corrie." She doesn't bother beyond that though, since she's not daft. She can tell the other woman isn't exactly comfortable. To ease the tension she smiles, and adds, "Witch." There's no reason, really, to hide it here at the Silver Oaks.

She allows Ghost to come into the kitchen and get comfortable, before asking her any questions. Really, Corrie's not in any hurry and there's no point in adding stress to the evening, right?

-

"Good evening, dearie," Winnea greets Ghost. "I see you found our friend safe and sound." To Kendrin, she smiles, and adds, "Did you find the information you were seeking?"

Since she hasn't chosen to reveal her face to Corrie before now, Ghost decides to maintain that cover for the time being. There'll be time enough to change in private, later. "Aye, I found her. Just where you said she'd be." She glances to Spooker and the smile can be heard in her voice if not seen through her mask. "I see you've made yourself quite at home." A nod is given Corrie, but nothing further, since the witch doesn't single her out at all.

Kendrin drops her satchel and her bow on a nearby chair, barking out a scoffing laugh as Spooker returns with his fists full and his mouth running. "If I'd met Ghost earlier," the exotic huntress replies, "I'd have sent her out to find you and saved us all a fortnight or two." She crosses to him and takes blatant advantage of the fact his hands are full by grasping the back of his collar and giving him a light, fond noogie.

He's released no more than a heartbeat later, however, as Corrie addresses her. Rather than answer Spooker's burning question, her brow drifts faintly skyward as the woman identifies herself as a Witch. She gives the woman a formal nod. "I am," she acknowledges her slowly. "Well met… Corrie."

-

"Wait.. witch?" Widened eyes move towards Corrie, and Spooker gives her a once-over.. twice-over even. "Really?"

His face stretches into another broad smile, and he holds up a finger.. but thinks better of it — there's food in that hand! So, popping the cheese into his mouth, he begins chewing again.. which reminds him…

"Kendrin, you have to try this food. The other stuff, out in that city, is disgusting. I don't know how they eat it." He pauses, but only to come out with a yelp of surprise at being grabbed and noogied. "Hey!!" He's more than willing to take it.. and it doesn't cause him to skip that much of a beat. He can't rub the shock of white hair easily; not without either spilling his drink or having to put his food down.

"But here? Ghost had some bread in a tree, and after having it, I thought I was starving. I mean, I was.. that bread.. and that stuff they put on it that just sticks to everything.." He makes a distasteful expression, and soothes the memory in another swallow of ale. "This is like home.. only better." No one is picking on him here!

"Oh!" Turning back to Corrie, that grin returns, and he offers something of a half-bow (without spilling his alcohol). "I'm Spooker.. artificer without equal.. and if anyone tells you otherwise," the gnome lowers his voice, just in case — "Mackie is just a blowhard."

-

"I honestly don't mean to pry," Corrie says with a warm smile. "It's just that your friend mentioned your name and when he said it again…" One could not help but make the assumption. "Please, don't allow me to distract from your comfort. I merely had a question for Ghost, but that can wait."

She blinks at Spooker's reaction to her revelation, then nods. "Yes, I'm a witch." Though not as strong as others of her kind, she's proficient enough for her.

"Pleased to meet you, Spooker… who's Mackie?"

-

Kendrin can't help but give Spooker a smile. And, yes, there's a hint of relief behind her green eyes. He's safe and, apparently, unharmed. Not to mention totally unphased by the whole adventure. Damned Gnome.

She snirks audibly again as he introduces himself. "Mackie," she explain for Corrie's sake, "is another artificer: Roodnay Mackle. He fancies himself the best gnomish artificer of his generation." A beat. "Spooker, however, isn't of his generation."

But, occasionally, he can be just as arrogant — just not mean-hearted. Spooker Daergel hasn't a mean bone in his body.

She fuzzles the top of Spooker's head so that his hair doesn't stand wildly on end, but rather flops back into its normal unkempt style. "Aye, Spooks. Mistress Winnea's food is far and beyond the best we've had in a very long time." His home, though, isn't hers. Not that she mentions it. "As is her hospitality," she adds with the slightest of half-bows toward the diminutive innkeep.

Winnea acknowledges Kendrin's half-bow with a very slight nod, before she bustles over to the hearth to fill a couple of pottery bowls with stew and slice off two sizeable slices of the aforementioned bread-to-die-for. Placing them on the table, she gestures imperiously to both Kendrin and Ghost. "Sit. Eat."

Ghost cants her head to Corrie. "No. Please. What's your question?" she asks the witch. She spares a glances for Winnea — seen more as a slight turn of her head than anything else. A soft chuckle escapes her, a little harsher than what is meant simply because of the synthesizer. "I can't just now, Little Mother," she says to the proprietress. "But, thank you. If you keep it on the warming block for me, I'll have it before the night's out. I promise."

-

Spooker nods in rapid succession to the explanation, pointing up at her in agreement. "Not as if he's the only one with an office.." is added with something of a huff.

He's not one to remain in that piqued mood for long, however; and when food is brought to the fore once again, he considers asking for more. The trenchers are to die for.. eating that last crust of bread with the remnants of stew? He could gain a great deal of weight just remaining in this Inn.

But he knows that it's not to be.

When Ghost is done addressing Corrie, Spooker waits his turn before, "Did you find Frank and give him my regrets?"

He looks back at Kendrin, that lopsided smile, "Have I got things to tell you."

But first! She will be allowed to eat, after a fashion, and Corrie will have to suffer a deluge (well, not quite a deluge, but enough) of questions. "Corrie," he has to look up.. and taking a quick swallow, bringing his half-pint glass down to half, he continues, "Do you have anything I could .. take a peek out? Components? Um.. maybe a little," he puts his thumb and forefinger together, "portable cauldron?" It'd be rude to ask the same of someone like Winnea… the proprietress is like 'mum'…

-

"Gnomish?" Beat. "You're a gnome," she says to Spooker. "I'd've fancied meeting one with a strange red hat and white beard," Corrie adds with a grin and a wink. "Used to Mum's garden gnomes, you know?" He likely doesn't but that's beyond the point. She's not sure at all what an artificer is either but she's letting that one slide. She can only handle one piece of info at a time.

"Miss Winnea is definitely the most hospitable patron I've met in a while." She still thinks that promoting the B&B via supernatural means would suit the woman better, but doesn't press that either.

Glancing to Ghost, she actually sighs and looks quite uncomfortable. "I was wondering… if you could get a message to someone for me. I'm willing to pay, of course, whatever the cost. I wasn't sure what the charge would be, but I've brought something…" Taken her quite a bit of work too, really.

"Portable cauldron? I don't think we've bothered with those for several hundred years… I could find one for you if you'd like though?" It'd be difficult but she's sure someone in the Undercity has one.

Somewhere.

-

"My thanks," Kendrin says to Winnea, now, giving her a smile. She moves to the table to settle down to eat, leaving Spooker to distract…er… entertain the Witch. Truth be told, the huntress isn't much of a fan of magic users. At least, she's not when she doesn't know who they are, what they can do, and whether or not it's something she can learn. But, she's cordial enough, nonetheless.

Ghost leans against the counter, arms crossing over her chest. "It depends," she replies slowly to Corrie. "What is the message, and to whom is it to be delivered?"

Winnea gives a smile to Kendrin and a simple nod to Ghost, the latter's answer not unexpected. Beyond that, however, she bustles back to the pantry and pulls out two sturdy mugs, one of which is shortly filled with a stout, frothy mead drawn from a keg kept away from the rambunctious crowd in the common room.

-

"I am.."

Spooker cants his head to the side, his brows crinkling as he tries to picture a gnome with a strange red hat and beard.. and shakes his head. "No, I don't.." is deadpanned.

Still!

"But, I can do most anything.. if I have the right stuff. Even if I have something close, I can make.." something close.. yes.

"The little cauldrons just are easiest to heat up. Holds the heat better, warms up its contents faster." He's no spell caster, no.. not technically, anyway.

But, let it be said that Spooker can understand.. a conversation when he sees one, and Ghost's stance is a familiar one. Guarded but receptive; a word astray or a word in the correct direction— everything could hinge on a word. Never worried about it, though. After all, anyone worth anything could see what he says is true! And correct. And Right, even!

Taking up his cup again, Spooker moves over to settle with Kendrin. "They have.. strange things in this world, Kendrin. I mean.. really strange things, or so Frank said. He asked me to keep an eye on a shadow. One that only showed up at night, which kind of makes it hard to see a shadow, but.." The little gnome shakes his head, "Never saw it though.. and I'm beginning to wonder if it took the 'gate back." He lowers his voice, a little abased, "Not that I've found it again.."

-

"Owens," Corrie says to Ghost, knowing full well the other is aware of whom she means. "Merely that I wish to speak with him, in private, at his most earliest convenience." She removes the envelope from her pocket and holds it out. "It's a protection necklace. I've spent a great deal of time with it, but it's still only a one shot, really.

"If you need more, I've brought money as well."

Beat.

"You're honestly the most secure form of communication that I can think of at the moment."

Beat.

"I'll bring you one on the off chance you're still here when I return." Chances are that won't be for a while.

-

Kendrin's attention focuses mainly on her white-haired companion, though the huntress still keeps enough awareness of her surroundings to keep an eye on Ghost's conversation with the Witch. To outward appearances, though, her focus is the gnome and his hurried babbling. "Shadows," she echoes, a brow drifting high again. "That can only be seen at night? Where, pray tell?" She has no idea who Frank is, but she can't help but suspect he sent the gnome out on a wild goose chase, simply to keep him entertained.

He wouldn't be the first person to do that.

Ghost cants her head again, reaching out to accept the envelop so that she can examine the necklace. "Protection against what?" she asks, now, not yet indicating whether or not she'll accept the courier job.

Winnea sets the frothy cup of mead at Kendrin's elbow and then retreats a short distance to return to her honeyed bread.

-

"In a park.. at night." Spooker bobs his head. "He said that a couple of friends of his saw it, but it was gone when they went to look for it later." Not in a million years would Spooker begin to suspect that this could be a wild goose chase. It has mystery! Intrigue! And the potential of making a name for himself!

"So.. I've been going up trees, trying to see if I couldn't see it." He was also warned not to engage it, in case it was dangerous, but that part is conveniently forgotten.

Settling down with his bread and cheese and ale, he looks up at Winnea's serving and departure, he smiles broadly once again. "I'm going to catch it."

-

"Magic," Corrie says simply. "Granted, not every magic you'll be up against, but it should act as enough of a buffer to alert you when something is being used against you. It took a bloody month to spell it to even do that." She could have kept working on it longer, but she needs to tell Rhys that she doesn't blame him for the decision of his father, and really, she left too soon from dinner to do that.

She gives Spooker another glance, but it's an odd one. Trying to figure out what he's going on about.

-

Ghost nods shortly. To deliver a simple message, it's sufficient. Normally, she doesn't stoop to being a mere courier, but, in this case… "Alright," she agrees, tucking the necklace into the folds of her garment. "I'll ensure your message reaches Owens. What is it?"

"Of course, you are," Kendrin replies to Spooker indulgently. How often has he said something like that? It's a dice roll, she knows, as to whether or not he actually will catch it. And, indeed, the first thing she'll do is check out this Frank person to find out if he's on the level. If so, she'll then see if what he's asked is commensurate with what he's out for the gnome's room and board before he came to the Silver Oak. If it is, so be it. She'll help him. If it's not… she'll fix that. Someone has to.

Winnea is content to simply continue watching her guests interact.

-

See? There it is.. even Kendrin agrees that he's just the gnome —

What? Spooker turns his head towards Corrie. Of course he's listening in, even as his mouth runs. A proof against magic? Really?

He glances back at his friend and teammate, that look coming across his face. One that says that he aims to find a way to get possession of such an item — for everyone's safety, of course. It's like.. safety goggles while working. Or.. or.. gloves when doing.. something. Anything.

Nodding his head, Spooker finishes off his bread and cheese, though not without making a reach to dip the crust into the stew's thick sauce and eating it quickly while still savouring the flavour.

All that remains is his ale.. and taking a deep breath, empties the glass in a couple good swallows. Exhaling in a pleased breath, he considers rising but thinks better of it for te moment.

"I'm glad we didn't get separated through the 'gate. This is almost a vacation in comparison to some of the other places, isn't it? Even with the.. vampires and other things that go *bump* in the night."

-

When Ghost accepts the offer, Corrie seems to relax just a little more. Smiling, she shrugs. "Simply that I wish to speak with him at his earliest convenience away from the Dynasty. I'm hardly in any rush." Beat. "Though if you could relay that I'm not upset with him, I'd be greatly appreciative." Though she's upset about the futzed up contract, she hardly holds Rhys accountable for that. He has about as much control over his father as she does over her mother.

"Kendrin, Spooker, I must say it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Should you need anything, please feel free to contact me."

There's simply a feeling from the both of them that they'll not bother, but she makes the offer regardless.

Beat.

"Ghost… if you could tell him that I miss talking with him? I'd be more than willing to pay you whatever you request."

-

Ghost arches a brow faintly, invisible behind the mask, as Corrie seems to insist on paying more than just the necklace for the courier service. For that matter, she wonders why the Witch doesn't just use one of the supernatural couriers in the city (like the one her sister works for part time). It would be cheaper. Typically, those that contract her services pay several thousands of dollars for it. Or the equivalent in trade.

"I do not normally perform simple courier runs," she notes, slowly. She examines the necklace. A one-shot 'protective' spell by a middling Witch isn't worth all that much, really. Though, it's worth more than some charms out there, to be sure. It depends on how well the spell works or not. And Ghost has no way of knowing that. "More than that, you are asking me to contact one of the more influential sorcerers in the most influential Dynasties in the city. Are you sure you want me to do this?"

Kendrin gives Corrie a polite smile and a simple nod. "If we have a need," she acknowledges, leaving out the rest of her thought — 'that you can fulfill'. She's not as prone as Spooker to trusting such offers. Which, come to think of it, might explain why she's usually pulling his tail from the fire and not the other way around.

-

Spooker looks.. interested, in an animated style at the offer of Corrie. With Kendrin's seemingly lukewarm reception, the gnome's is anything but. He's on his feet and crosses the distance between him and the witch, he's more than happy to put his request in now. A gloved hand (minus the fingers) is held out politely, but expectantly, his face canted up so he can look her in the eye, after a fashion.

"One of those little necklaces, please.." Proof against magic, she said?

Spooker twists around, looking back at Ghost and Kendrin, his eyes bright. "One always has a need for something like that, Kendrin."

-

Supernatural couriers are all well and good, but trusting them to deliver a message between a witch and a sorcerer? Corrie just doesn't want to trust that to anyone. Ghost knows Rhys. Rhys trusts Ghost. That enough is alone to trust her with that specific task as opposed to someone neither of them have actually ever met before.

"I know. Generally your tasks are much more… dangerous." Beat. "I'm positive." Teeth nip onto her lower lip, and she nods. "Though if you'd rather not, I'll understand. As I said, it's not a matter of urgency, or life and death." Really, she just wants to know where her 'debt' stands at the moment, since the contract wasn't signed.

A blink is given to Spooker, and a slow nod. "It will take me a while, but I'll leave it here when it's done."

-

Kendrin shoots Spooker a warning look… and then resists the urge to pinch the bridge of her nose as he gamely takes the red head up on the offer. Her chair scrapes back as he makes his ill-advised deal. "Hold a moment," she says, raising a hand slowly. "Find out the cost, first, Spooker." She turns and looks at the Witch. "Your price for the necklace, Mistress Witch?"

Ghost glances to Kendrin. "You can examine this one, if you wish," she suggests, extending the necklace to the elfin huntress. If nothing else, it may give Ghost a second opinion, too. Nevertheless, she says to Corrie. "I'll take the necklace, and you can owe me one small favour to be reclaimed later, should I need it."

Winnea stays out of all these discussions, even as she watches Kendrin take the necklace from Ghost to examine. Still, she does bear witness.

-

Disappointment.

The gnome's expression goes from hopeful to downcast in the span of a heartbeat.

"But.. but.." How could something like that take time?

Twisting around to his friend again, his brow is momentarily furrowed, "Cost?" He points in gesture towards Corrie, "But.. she said.."

The necklace, however, changes possession, and ever-hopeful, never down for long Spooker follows that chain of possession, and he approaches it from his position. (A game of 'keep away from the gnome' as good as any!)

Holding out his hand, he asks, "May I see it please?"

-

"Price?" Corrie blinks at that, then shakes her head. "None." Beat. "Consider it… paying it forward. Winnea was very kind to allow me to stay here a few days, the least I can do is spread that kindness." That, and it's just honestly never occurred to her to charge for her magic. "And it's Corrie, please."

She considers Ghost's offer. Which leaves her silent for several seconds as she mulls it over. "That sounds reasonable," she says finally.

-

Ghost regards Corrie for a long, long moment. Her gift to the gnome is… interesting. Again, behind the mask, she arches that brow. She watches Kendrin's face and sees her own expression mirrored there. She adjusts her shoulders and there's the sound of a breath in her voice box — all of which is interrupted by a subtle *ahem* by Winnea. She stops. Her head turns to look at the elder Fae. The proprietress' gaze lifts to meet Ghosts, and, indeed, it could almost be thought the smaller woman sees through that dark mask the mercenary wears. Ghosts shoulders fall slowly, subtly. She nods to Corrie. "Done, then," she says finally, letting it go.

Kendrin, meanwhile, flips the necklace over in her hand and examines it. Her expression remains neutral until the 'gift' is declared. Then, indeed, one brow arches quizzically. She watches the interplay between Ghost and Winnea and a wry smile touches her lips. "That is very generous of you," she tells the Witch. Then, she glances to Ghost and over to Spooker questioningly before returning her gaze to the first. Ghost nods lightly and flips a hand. Kendrin turns and hands the necklace to Spooker. "Don't break it," she tells him firmly.

-

If he was apt to so such a thing (and he is), Spooker makes a sound of victory on both counts; cost and being able to see the necklace up close and personal. The gnome turns completely around to thank Corrie with a long and low, sweeping bow. "Thank you." It's not in him, and never has, to gloat, and doesn't do it now. He does, however, grin at his travel companion. "She's very kind."

Though now with necklace in hand, the gnome digs into one of his bags and pulls out an eye-piece attached to a leather strap. Putting it on with one hand, he puts the lens in front of his eye and peers into the magically-imbued necklace. "Hmmm…"

What he doesn't notice is the fact that he's beginning to walk away.. at least away from the gathered…

-

Corrie doesn't really want to get into why Winnea was allowing her presence here for a few days. Really, she still thinks it was unnecessary, but the visit was lovely, and afforded her a nice break from the rest of her life for a few days.

"I'll leave it here then, with Winnea. I'm assuming that would be far easier than trying to track either of you down." She smiles, and then fidgets slightly.

"I should… go. Thank you again, Ghost. I do appreciate it, that you'll pass the message along." Not that she expects much to come of it, but she tried, and really that's all she can do.

-

Kendrin lays a hand on Spooker's shoulder, keeping him from wandering off with the mercenary's necklace. For her part, Ghost isn't overly concerned. She'll deliver Corrie's message easily enough. But, it'll cost Owens dearly if he decides to use her as a courier, as well. She's not intending to make a habit of this. Still, as far as she's concerned, Corrie's largely harmless. A little scattered, perhaps. Not the best judge of character, when it comes to the men in her life, that's for sure. But, that's hardly a capital offence. Nor an uncommon one, in her experience. "Watch yourself, Kavanaugh," she says, her synthetic voice gentling some.

As for Kendrin, she doesn't know Corrie well enough to have much of an opinion. She seems genuine enough. And she's made Spooker happy. She glances to Winnea, however, as Corrie suggests using the proprietress as an intermediary. Since the innkeep doesn't object and, indeed, even gives a slight nod, the huntress does the same. "Thank you, Corrie," she says simply, using the woman's first name, as requested. She doesn't, however, remove her hand from Spooker's shoulder. Someone needs to keep him grounded. To him, she adds: "You'll have your own, soon enough, to dissect."

-

Spooker is thus prevented from leaving the room, and he takes the comedic step forward without the rest of his body following, and he has to look up, one-eyed, to see exactly why. He's missed how and when his particular gift will be arriving, so set in his looking into the one in hand. "What? Oh.. bye.. and this.." Spooker looks back down, studying the piece of jewelry, "is very.. interesting.."

Digging into a pocket, he rifles around before pulling out a small container. He wants to move again.. but he's held in place; not necessarily firmly but insistantly.

"But.. but.."

-

The warning causes Corrie to blink.

Oh, she well knows she's in over her head on several points — and according to Prudence, none of them would be very good things to be involved with.

"I will, thank you." She sincerely means to stay out of trouble — honestly, that's something better left for her sister and Min. Only, she can't seem to help herself lately.

"You're welcome," she says to Kendrin, dipping her head forward.

"Miss Winnea, thank you again." With that, she turns to head back the way she came so as to see herself out.

-

"Give Ghost back her necklace, Spooker," Kendrin says simply, now, before the gnome can start actually dismantling it. She knows him. He doesn't mean to break things, but that doesn't stop it from happening. He doesn't mean (usually) to walk off with things that aren't his, but that happens often enough, too. He's a gnome. And Kendrin's learned that gnomes — at least those from his world — don't always have the same concept of 'ownership' as other folk.

Winnea gives Corrie a gentle nod as she takes her leave. "See you again, dear," she says. There's confidence in her voice. She knows the girl will be back sometime.

Ghost, meanwhile, raises a hand in farewell to the human witch and waits for her to leave before she turns back to the others and steps toward Spooker to allow him to return the trinket.

-

Pulling up his leather-bound eyeglass to sit on the top of his head, mussing up the shock of white hair, Spooker blinks to focus his eyes back onto Kendrin, then Ghost. "But.." A repeat of his last words. "It'll be so long before I get another.. and this one — "

Not enough hands; he's got the necklace in one hand, a small bag in the other — and he begins the juggling, even though he strives to keep the jewelry in hand, with him.

"She's not leaving yet.. right? It's night, there's bread and cheese.. and stew! Who'd leave while there are cookies to be had?"

Spooker looks at Ghost, "Right?

"Cookies?"

-

"Oh, I'm fairly certain she's gone," Ghost says lightly to Spooker. "That one doesn't tend to pay much attention to where she's going, and when." There's no rancor in her tone. Just a statement of what she sees as fact. But, she doesn't go into the details behind the statement. Instead, she lightly plucks the necklace from the artificer's hands and tucks it neatly away in a pouch. And, of course, now that the human's gone, the elfin woman doesn't mind removing her face mask and hood. She takes a moment to loosen her hair from its coil at the nape of her neck and then moves to pick up the food and drink she left on the warming stone.

Kendrin releases Spooker's shoulder once Ghost has retrieved her property. "You'll get another one to look at soon enough," the huntress says firmly. "Stop fretting."

-

If a gnome could sulk, here it comes on this particular one. Spooker's trinket is thus taken from him, and he is bereft of a new shiny to dissemble. It'd be perfect on a night such as this, with cheese, whole grain bread and a glass of.. what is over there? It's not right, nor fair..

"But.. but.." When Kendrin releases her hold, Spooker turns about and exhales with such.. put-upon-ness. "Soon enough.. how long? I mean.. I'm sure something like that could take.. weeks. Months, even. Why.." He still has a small bag in hand, and he holds it up in gesture, "Just to get the stones just right, with the right metal.. and.. and.. the right hint of a current.. and.. and.."

A sigh exits the gnome once more and he wanders towards the table, pushing the bag back into one of his many pockets. "I suppose I could wait." A little while longer, perhaps.

-

It's not like he has much choice. Not unless Ghost is generous enough to open negotiations with him for the necklace she currently possesses. Indeed, she actually does consider the idea. It's very possible she could get at least twice what it's worth from him — providing his protectress doesn't interfere, of course. Ghost glances at Kendrin, grins widely, and drops the idea entirely.

The gnome can wait.

"You can wait," Kendrin says, echoing Ghost's thought. She smiles as the other woman reveals herself, now relaxing in the warm kitchen. She settles down herself, now, and picks up the mug Winnea set out for her. Spooker's here. She's here. They're both safe for the moment, and she's pretty sure there's a portal nexus nearby that might actually be useful for them. All in all… she likes this place.

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