Eston walks into the tavern, sitting down heavily at the bar. He takes a moment to gather his surroundings before ordering a tankard of ale.
Loc enters the tavern with a swagger, although it’s somewhat diminished by the day’s work. He’s got a light covering of dust and he wears a long wrap to keep out the cold. He finds a seat and flags a wench for some cider and bread.
Eston gives the newcomer a wave and calls out, “Hello there”
Lanisen bangs through the door a little after Loc, distinctly frosty and red-faced. He stands stamping for a moment, chafing his arms and trying to get warmed up, then heads toward the end of the bar closest to the fire.
Loc glances across the tavern and spots the man. He inclines his head. “‘ello.” He grins at Lanisen and calls out, “Grab an ale Lanny, it’ll help warm ye up.”
Lanisen claims a stool, shivering. “You d-don’t drink ale to w-warm up,” he says, teeth chattering. “Ain’t you know anything?”
Eston looks over and gives Lanisen and grin and a wave, “Maybe not but it don’t half make you feel like you’ve warmed up”
Loc gestures to the man, “What he said.” He chuckles. He adds with a devious grin, “Though that dwarf brew… it’ll warm you up right nice–and put a hole in your stomach.”
Eston says, “That strong is it” stares at his own ale and shrugs, taking a swig
Lanisen glances past Loc toward the other man and raises a hand in greeting, grinning. “Y-you,” he says. “Was hopin’. G-got– here.” He opens his satchel, having some difficulty with the buttons, and extracts a small packet. This he slides down the bar toward Eston. “There’s for your kid.”
Eston catches the packet and looks inside at the medicine, his eyes widening, “I…I don’t know what to say, Thank you” he gives Lanisen a genuine smile of gratitude, “Whatever you’re having to drink is on me”
Loc tilts his head to the side curiously at the exchange. He nods in response, “It is. Know from experience…”
Lanisen says to Loc, “Don’t care how strong it is, y-you don’t drink it when you’re cold. Worse the stronger it is, you oughta know that.”
Eston says, “Or some soup if that’s what you’re wanting instead to warm you, it’s the least I can do”
Loc takes a swig of his cider. “Yeah, yeah.” He says casually. “But when I drink, I ain’t cold. Man… the way they go on some nights–especially around their special days–it feels like the middle a summer in the mines.”
Lanisen admits, “I’d not say no to some soup. The stuff with the potatoes in, not the fish. It’s a potato night.”
Loc grunts as he drinks more cider in agreement.
Eston buys Lanisen the soup with the potatoes, “Seriously, thank you”
Lanisen tucks in, making noises of appreciation. “Thank /you/,” he says around a bite of vegetables. “Lion, this stuff is good.”
Loc nods in agreement as he tears into the bread. “You should try the pie sometime.”
Lanisen says, “Pie don’t fill you up near as good.” He slows down, pacing himself, and glances at Eston. “How’s she doin’? Your kid?”
Eston puts the medicine safely into his satchel, “It’s the weather see, is getting too cold for her…” He takes another swig of his ale, “Been doing the best I could but”
Loc looks at the man with concern, “You got an adequate shelter where you live?”
Eston grimaces slightly, “Is good enough for me, but not for a little one like her, is why she’s having to stay with my sister until I get back on my feet…”
Lanisen looks startled. “Where you stayin’?”
Eston says, “I actually live in Andale, though while I’m here I’m staying at the lodge, I’m imposing enough on my sister and her family..”
Loc continues his simple meal, listening and looking thoughtful.
Lanisen says, “No, I know, in Andale where you stayin’?”
Eston says, “Small place in the northern part of the town”
Lanisen asks, “It ain’t fixed up for winter?”
Eston shrugs, “I’m getting there”
Loc pipes up, “It’s not the thing that begins with a Z is it? The other one… Norton or sumthing?”
Eston says, “Het noorden? Yeah, is that one”
Loc nods. “Nice settlement. You should see if some of the folk there will help get yer cottage up to snuff.”
Lanisen volunteers, “I might know some people could help.”
Eston stares into his Ale, “I don’t feel right taking handouts”
Loc says encouragingly, “Everyone needs a hand sometime. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.”
Lanisen says quietly, laughing into his soup, “We’d know.”
Eston looks torn, “Still feels wrong you know? I’ve always payed my way, I might not have much but…”
Loc nods quietly to Lanisen’s remark. He says, “But wouldn’t ye rather have yer little girl with ya?”
Eston looks up from his ale sharply, “Course I would, I’d like that more than the world…”
Lanisen says, “It ain’t a big deal. Just be sure to help out somebody else when it’s your turn and everything’s fine.”
Eston says quietly, “Guess so..”
Loc nods, “Yeah. All part a the give and take–and if it helps ya get yer girl back… why not right? Win for everyone.”
Eston takes a swig of his ale, “I guess you’re right”
Lanisen glances at him, then tips up his bowl and drinks the last few swallows of broth.
Loc takes another swig of ale and devours some more bread. “Asking ain’t easy but… it can be quite helpful.”
Eston nods slowly, “True that…I don’t think I caught your name by the way”
Loc extends a hand, “I’m Loc.” He pauses, dusts it off and then extends it once more.
Eston gives him a firm handshake, “Nice to meet you, I’m Eston”
Lanisen finally takes off a few layers and asks Fischer for an ale.
Loc returns the firm handshake, “Nice ta meet ya Eston.” He takes another swig of cider as he settles back, “Your sister Berta?”
Eston looks a little surprised and nods, “Yeah, she is. You know her?”
Loc nods, “Yeah. Nice gal. She and her husband help out with the festivities. Lovely little girl too–she’s yours?”
Eston shrugs, “Could be, my Lecie’s only a few months old but she’s got a girl of her own who must be about 4 years old now?”
Lanisen cups his hands around his mug. “Lecie, huh?”
Eston nods with a sad smile, “Named after her mum..”
Loc pauses, then says, “OH! Yours is the little one.” He smirks a bit. “Strong set a lungs that one. Nice name too. The other girl’s nice to…” He pauses, trying to place the name.
Eston gives a little chuckle, “That’s her alright” He catches the thoughtful look, “Margerie’s her name”
Lanisen finishes off his ale, glancing around the tavern. “I’m gonna get,” he says. “Gettin’ colder out there, I don’t fancy waiting for it to get worse.”
Eston says, “Be seeing you around then, though I got to head back to Andale soon” gives Lanisen a wave and adds, “Thanks again for the medicine, really”
Lanisen heads for the door, waving as he crosses the room. “Thank Colin,” he says. “I just rode along, really.”