(121-03-26) I Don't Always Drink Ale
I Don't Always Drink Ale
Summary: But when I do… Prospero entertains with card tricks, and addresses one of the many rumours about himself.
Date: Date of play (26/03/2014)
Related: none

Terrace, Quill & Tankard Inn
The Quill and Tankard's terrace occupies the area of of the little island that is not filled by the tall, timbered, southward-leaning building itself. There are ragged little stacks of stone sticking up from the Earth around the island's banks, the remains of a wall that once kept drunkards from falling into the river but has now been knocked down and robbed of its stones enough that it better serves to trip them and make sure that they fall headlong into the Honeywine instead of merely walking in. They are rather picturesque. Tall torches stand along the ruined wall. They're lit at night, and in foggy weather.

There's a single, ancient apple tree in the middle of this area. The rest is grass, made sparse by the passage of too many feet, flagstone footpaths that help keep the guests from muddying their feet when it rains, and weathered tables and benches. Tall torches surround some, but not all, of the larger tables.

It is a warm evening with a cool breeze coming off the river, though it is by no means quiet. The sounds of conversation indoors spills outdoors along with people that have found themselves outside. And though it is yet early, the sounds are getting steadily louder as people drink, a few already finding themselves nearly shouting their conversation without realizing it so that it can be heard outside. One unlucky fellow stumbles around the grass, singing a bawdy song terribly off-key until he trips over the wall and plants himself into the shallows of the river with a sputtering splash, sobering up a little instantly.

"'Bout fucking time," comments an almost unassuming looking older man seated at one of the weathered tables outside in a gravelly drawl. He looks terribly unimpressed at all the sputtering and not like he's about to move to help. Rather, he pointedly takes a deep gulp of the brew he's drinking and plays with some cards on the table. The sputtering continues a bit before the drunk drags himself back on land, partially. "That's for singing," he says to the soaked drunk, like he had anything to do with the fall.

"And for that horrible haircut," snarks Elys, hot on the tail of that unassuming looking man's comment to the now-sodden singer. She's just stalking out from the bar inside, a beaten pewter mug of cider in hand. Dressed in leathers, she's not your average lady; but despite the heavy falls of her heavier boots, there's something noble about her airs. The way she's got her chin held high, perhaps, to look down her nose at the cards. She hovers by the table, just staring at them, trying to figure out what game he's playing.

"You think?" An auburn brow speckled with grey arches up at the comment about haircuts, and Prospero eyes what has become of the sodden drunk's hair before shrugging his shoulders, leather squeaking as he does so. "Not much of an eye for that m'self, little lady" His hair is long enough to flow majestically in the wind, but there isn't much style to it. His gaze finally falls on Elys proper, eying her a moment before he corrects himself to just, "Lady." It's a long-time coming, though, that correction. He doesn't exactly jump to it. As to the game he's playing, mostly he seems to be shuffling cards and looking at one, then shuffling them again.

Elys's own hair is braided back from her face khaleesi-style, only she has no silver bells. It's more of a practicality thing, to save her from her own auburn 'fro. "It's horrid," she asserts gruffly, features twisting into a scowl at that nickname from Prospero. It's not a nickname she's unfamiliar with, and it irks her no end. She arches just the one brow judgementally at the man and his cards, and asks, "Are you just going to sit there shuffling those all night?"

"I'll have to take your word for it," Prospero replies with an easy-going sort of drawl, looking terribly unfazed by the scowl. Most people would at least consider reconsidering their actions when a noble-sort scowled at them, but nope. The breeze has more effect on his person. Perhaps it's been given permission to do so. "All night'd be an awful long time to shuffle cards. Are you asking to indulge an old man in his tricks or disrupt them?"

Prospero Storm eats scowling nobles for breakfast, or some such. Elys continues right on scowling, setting her hands on her hips vexedly. "You do card tricks?" She sounds skeptical.

"Only one way to find out." No there isn't. He could totally just answer her. But that would be too easy. Prospero instead holds his shuffled deck out to her and smiles in a way that makes his greyed mustache twitch at her. "Pick a card, any card."

Elys lifts her chin even higher, looking further down her nose at Prospero and his cards. After a deep breath and a deeper sigh, she steps over, leaning forward to set her mug noisily down on the table, and snatches one. She glances at it snootily. "What now?"

"Having trouble with your eyesight?" Prospero wonders as Elys looks even more down her nose at him. A Targaryen might even by impressed by it. "Now you remember what it is and put it back in the deck," he instructs patiently. The card itself is plain and nothing fancy to look at, cards of the peasants, if cleaner than one might expect. Once she's put the card back in the deck, he'll shuffle it again.

"My eyes are fine," snips the sour Riverlander, glancing from her card to Prospero and back again. She clearly expects this game is stacked somehow, and she spends a good long moment studying her card before sliding it back amongst the deck. Her hands freed, she picks up her mug again and drinks thirstily. She smacks her lips after those long gulps. She's really not very ladylike.

<FS3> Prospero rolls Magic Tricks: Success.

"As you say. Seems to me it'd be a might difficult to see much straining down your face that way." Given that it's a card trick, of course the game is stack, and if we are honest Prospero's fingers are not the most graceful while reshuffling the deck, which will probably be executed for disobeying him later. He almost seems to fumble with it a bit before holding it back out to Elys. It is not a graceful trick. "Take the top one. That your card?"

It is. Rather difficult to see so far down your nose, that is. Elys frowns at Prospero for all his mentioning it, though, her chin tilting high — no, low! She overcorrects, tucking her chin toward her neck instead. She holds her mug out to the side, reaching over to take the top card and look sourly at the face of it. She scowls, and gives it back without answering, demanding, "Do it again." That was her card, but was it also a fluke?

Is there a glint of amusement in those stormy blue eyes of his for her over-correcting that makes her appear to be bobbing her head a bit? Maybe. Prospero snorts softly, mustache quivering before he takes another drink of his ale. "As you command," he says, making it sound more like 'because I feel like it' than what his words suggest. He shuffles the deck again and then holds it out for her to take a card and put it back as before. It might have been a fluke.

Elys sets her mug down again, dragging out a chair for herself noisily. Scraaaaaape. That makes two auburn-haired people at a table out here amongst the rabble now, one an older man and the other a sour young woman dressed in boyish clothing. She sees fit to boss the old man around, huffing, "Don't snort at me," to Prospero in peevish tones. She stretches across the table to take a card from the deck he is holding out to her, studies it for a moment, and puts it right back. MAKE YOUR MAGIC, PROSPERO STORM.

<FS3> Prospero rolls Magic Tricks: Success.

"I'm afraid I can't help m'self there. I'm part horse, y'know. Can run for miles, mane flowing in the wind and all that," Prospero deadpans an excuse for his behavior, and god forbid anyone overhear that or another rumor will go around. "Alright then…" His strong, but slow, fingers work through shuffling the deck again in a clumsy sort of way while he frowns at it as though daring it to fail. Then, as before, the deck is held out. "Top card."

"…and then," comes the voice of Elionys as she and a grim faced guard make their way out to the terrace. "..he just fell right on the table, dead drunk, and knocked a whole plate of those little orange cakes right in my lap. I thought my father was going to strangle him right then." A merry laugh follows, but the guard doesn't so much as crack a smile as he follows the young woman out to the terrace. The lack of reaction inspires a deep sigh from the Targaryen, and with that the man is waved off to go lurk somewhere nearby while she finds a seat near both Elys and Prospero.

"Oh, very funny," snarks Elys dryly from under the brim of narrowed auburn lashes. "A horse joke, how original." She glances aside at a laugh that she attributes from the Targaryen girl about said horse joke, bestowing her best scowl upon the royal-blooded beauty before turning back to Prospero. She snatches the top card testily, and exclaims most annoyed, "How the fuck did you do that?"

All jokes are original coming from Prospero Storm. Where do you think they originated from in the first place? "Don't know what you mean," he says in actually in a gruff sort of innocence that may actually just be ignorance. That he does the trick again with success causes him to grin merrily. "Fucking magic," he answers with a waggle of his fingers at Elys as he waves his hand in an arcing motion near her face. Oooweeeoo. "Right? Magic?" This is, apparently, directed at newcomer Elionys whether she would like it or not.

It takes a moment for Elionys to realize that she's the one being asked, but as soon as that clicks into place, Prospero is given a brilliant grin. "Yes, absolutely. It is, without question, magic." She has no idea what she's just confirmed, but apparently that doesn't stop her. She stands by the adjacent table a moment, then away, nearer to Prospero and Elys. "What is it that's magic, if I can ask?"

"Get your hands out of my face, old man," Elys flusters, batting at Prospero's wriggly fingers like one would bat at pesky flies. She clearly has no idea just who she it batting at. "I need another drink," she announces, scraping out her chair rudely. She hasn't yet finished her mug, but she'll fix that on the way to the bar. "You drink the cider here?" He can give his answer to her back, because she's stalking off in her stompy boots to fetch some.

"See?" He points a thumb over when he gets support. For all that he seemed to have difficulty with shuffling the cards smoothly, Prospero easily avoids his hand being swat at with a laugh. "That'd be Ser Old Man," he corrects, not really helping her identify himself at all. On the table, the deck of cards is relieved that nothing more is being asked of it. "Me," he answers Elionys with a cant of his head. "You've got a little something there-" Then, high on success, he reaches for her ear and quickly seems to produce a coin from it. Taa-daa. It is an unimpressively cheap coin, though.

"Oh, well that makes all the sense in the world," Elionys tells him as she approaches the side of the table, gaze following Elys a moment, but she can't keep from looking at Prospero for long. It's Prospero Storm. "What is it that—…" she starts, but the question is abandoned as he reaches out and produces the coin, laughing abruptly a moment later. "Well, Ser Old Man, thank you so much for pointing that out. I can't imagine how it got there, but I'd have looked awfully silly walking around with it there all night, wouldn't I?"

Prospero seems very unassuming at the moment, sitting at a weathered table next to the tavern playing with cards. Although someone at another table is pantomiming throwing motions so maybe they assume he can turn the things into projectile weapons. "My pleasure, little lady. Though I can't rightly imagine myself how it got there. It's clearly out of place because it ought to be gold if anything."

"Do you think it should?" asks Elionys, head canting to one side slightly. "Perhaps that's why it's not gold," she suggests. "In a house full of people who look like I do, one must do something to stand out, and if the standard and expected coin to be carried behind my ear is gold, clearly I need to do something different. You, Ser, are simply the first to notice."

Prospero seems a touch taken aback for a moment, at least as much as anyone can whose look of surprise is merely to lift his brows slightly. "Then I suppose it's only right that I instead congratulate you on standing out from all your other scaly brethren, if you're looking to set yourself apart, one way or another." He waves a hand in a terrible imitation of a courtly sort of motion for acquiescing.

"One must start somewhere, ser," Elionys tells him, smiling cheerfully as she takes a seat beside the one Elys had taken. "So, how is it that one becomes magic? I have always wondered, and as you have claimed to be so, I feel I can't miss my opportunity to ask."

A mumbling, gruff noise of agreement comes from Prospero, echoing in his mug as he lifts it to take a gulp. "One, y'see, must be born magic." He waggles his fingers much as he did before, which is apparently the sign for magic he's decided, which may also mean he's well into ale. "Born on the seventh day of the seventh month in the seventh hour under a full moon to be magic. If you're born under a new moon instead you'll just never see magic, not even right in front of you. Terribly tragic, that. You're lucky."

"Is that what it is?" asks Elionys, heaving a soft sigh. "That leaves me right out of it, but it could be worse, as you said. I could not see magic at all, and just imagine how empty my life would be if that were the case?" She wears a feigned solemn expression as she shakes her head. "Just terrible. How lucky for you that you were born at the right time, and how kind it is that you share your gifts with the world."

"Were it so easy to magic, it wouldn't be so rare." Still, Prospero puts a hand over his heart in sympathy—then proceeds to wipe his palm off on his jerkin a moment later. "Terribly empty," he agrees solemnly, mustache forming a flat line of bristle. "Puts people in a terrible mood all the time, it does. I've seen it. Most unpleasant man I'd never met couldn't see. Was pretty much an act of mercy when he, ah, died. Not something someone like yourself has to worry over, o'course. Weren't even born near such a time, as bright as you are."

Stomp, stomp, stomp. Elys has come back, weaving her way through the evening's crowd with a large pitcher of cider in one hand and the handles of three mugs hooked around the thumb of the other. Her dour demeanour prevents any sort of geniality, though she does attempt a very thin, wan smile as she approaches the table again. "Here," she says, dumping the mugs on the table with a clatter, only to reclaim one for herself before she sits back in her chair. "Who's bright?" She shares a look between Prospero and Elionys as she pours for herself.

"I believe Ser Old Man was trying to flatter me by telling me I was," Elionys readily supplies, reaching for one of depoisited mugs for herself. "Because I can see magic," she adds, reaching for the pitcher and pouring herself a small amount of cider.

Her dour demeanor is as effective as a wind on the rocks. "Aw, why, thank you, kindly" Prospero says, laid-back and pleasant enough, downing what little is left in his mug and refilling it from the pitcher that Elys brought back with her. "I don't flatter, I'll have you know, I just speak what comes to mind and it is the truth. But yeah, both of you can see magic and that's something to toast." And he does so, lifting his mug into the air and roaring, "To magic!"

Elys gives first Elionys, then Prospero a flat look over the rim of her mug. She's even delayed drinking to serve this look. As the latter toasts, she drinks instead, refusing to raise her glass to such madness. "Ser Old Man is a ridiculous name," she pipes up after a large swallow and another smack of her lips. "Surely you have another, magic man?"

"My mistake," Elionys answers, bowing her head to Prospero slightly, then looking around to Elys. "He was stating a fact, not flattering," she corrects, as though it were necessary. When Prospero toasts, she lifts her cup. "To magic!" The words are echoed, and then the cup is lowered so she can take a drink of the cider.

Prospero drinks…and drinks…and it really must been like he's downed half the mug before setting it back down with a thump against the table. Grinning, particularly at Elys just because she took such paints to give them both the flattest of looks. "Doesn't seem so ridiculous to me, though I am but a poor bastard from the Stormlands, and if you say it's a ridiculous name, then I'd better be believing you." He chuckles to himself a moment before continuing. "Maybe you'll find my given name much more acceptable. Ser Prospero Storm, here, atcher service." He does not really bow, though he does another bad imitation of a courtly one.

Elys nods at Elionys' self-correction, smiling thin and insincerely. Sure, a fact. She lifts her mug again as the Ser Old Man starts to talk, gulping down greedily. And spluttering. Yes, spluttering a mouthful of cider back into her mug (thankfully it wasn't across the table) as her eyes widen at him. She jerks her head to stare for a brief moment at Elionys, and then back again to Prospero. "The Oncoming Storm?" Blinkblink. "You're shittin' me."

It appears that even Elionys has heard of Prospero as well, and though she doesn't express the surprise quite so verbally, she does look wide-eyed at the man sitting opposite them. She might have continued to sit there goggling at him were it not for the fact that some damn person arrives with a note that. "Oh, curse it," she mutters, setting the cup aside as she starts to get to her feet. "It was so nice to meet you, Ser Prospero. I wish I could stay, but there this… thing." She pauses, then just states, "I have to talk to a man about a dragon." Really. Even Elys is given a smile, in spite of her sour demeanor. "It was nice to meet you too. Sort of. I hope to see you both again soon." And with that, she's off.

"I think the drink is intended to be swallowed," Prospero explains, drinking more of his own cider in demonstration. He does not sputter or spit it back into his mug. See? That's how you do it. "Ser Prospero will do just fine. The other's a bit of a mouthful, if I do say so myself," he says, with an altogether too amiable smile for someone called The Oncoming Storm. He watches Elionys as she gets a note, quitely drinking more cider and then nods his head. "Nice to meet you too. Funny thing is, I was about to say I had to see a man about a dog…nothing so fancy as a dragon. Suppose that's appropriate for you, though." He waves.

Elys continues to just blink at Prospero, all of a sudden rather star-struck. She barely notices Elionys' note arriving, nor the uncertain pleasantries she's offered by the Targaryen girl. She does nod a little absently, and lift her hand in a not-quite wave, all the while her eyes on the knight across from her. "It's… well, shit." Finally, she cracks a bit of a smile that sits unwell on her face after all that frowning. "Fancy that. Ser Prospero Storm. Is it true, that you prefer Two Sandsteeds ale?" Answer her that, at least, before you go take a leak, Most Interesting Man In Westeros.

"You weren't nearly this impressed by my magic trick." If it were anyone else, one might say he was pouting over the fact, but only someone with a death wish would actually say it. Besides, Prospero chuckles again a moment latter, unfazed as ever, as he tips his mug back to swallow the last of its contents. "As I was born." Which accidentally suggests that he was born a knight, thought that's not what he meant. He pushes himself up to stand with slow, firm movements that make it seem like a boulder has come to life to stretch its legs. "I don't always drink ale, little lady, but when I do…yeah." There's your answer. He stops off to see about his overfull bladder, leaving his deck of cards behind on the table, because who would dare mess with them.

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