Lanisen sits alone at one of the tables along the wall, quietly working his way through a bowl of soup and keeping an eye on the door. His left leg is stretched out in front of him.
A dwarf with a long braided beard enters the tavern, hoisting himself up onto one of the stools he orders a tankard of ale.
Lanisen gives the dwarf the same grave, distant consideration he gives every other patron to walk through the door, then turns his attention back to his meal. He tips the bowl to get at the last few spoonfuls of soup.
Bjorn takes a deep draft of his ale and, as he takes a look around the room he catches the son of adam’s stare just before he looks away and returns it with one of his own.
Lanisen, oblivious to the dwarf’s look, finishes his soup. He pushes his chair back and gets to his feet, then stands for a moment with his head bowed and his fingers tight on the edge of the table. After a pause, he lets out a slow, controlled breath and limps to the bar to return his bowl.
Bjorn watches his painful progress for a while before calling out, “Something wrong wi’ yer leg?”
Lanisen takes a moment to realize he’s the one being addressed. He blinks at the dwarf, then grins disarmingly. “Just cold,” he answers, trading his empty soup bowl for a tankard of ale.
Bjorn raises a skeptical eyebrow, “I ne’er kent a man limp fae th’ cold, but who asked me?”
Lanisen takes a drink of his ale. “Hurt it a couple months back,” he answers, openly enough. “Now I can tell when it’s goin’ to snow. There was a fellow south of town when I was growin’ up could do that, I figured it for some kind of magic.”
Bjorn gives a short sort of ‘heh’ and takes another swig of his ale commenting, “Th’ truth’s sometimes unpleasant tae learn isnae it?”
Lanisen lifts his tankard to that and takes a long drink.
Bjorn raises his tankard, “Whit’s yer name then, son o’ adam?”
Lanisen says, “Lanisen. You?”
Bjorn says, “Bjorn”
Lanisen says, “Glad to know you.” He hoists himself up to sit on one of the stools lining the counter. “You’ll be from the mines, then?”
Bjorn says, “Aye a’m fae doon th’ mines”
Lanisen asks, “Been there long?”
Bjorn nods, “Juist aboot a’ mah life. Whit aboot ye then? a dinnae ken if ah seen ye afore bit ah ne’er did leave it ’til recently.”
Lanisen says, “Oh, I’m from around here. Ain’t lived here for …mmm, six years? Seven years?”
Lanisen is sitting at the bar, in conversation with Bjorn.
Bjorn says, “That wid explain how come ah ain’t seen ye”
Lanisen says, grinning faintly, “Guess so.”
Bjorn drinks and takes a swig of his ale, “Ah suppose th’ next question is whit brings ye back?”
Lanisen says, “My friend’s betrothed lives in the town.”
Bjorn’s grin widens and he raises his tankard again, “A dram tae thair guid health ‘n’ happy marriage then!”
Lanisen laughs under his breath and raises his tankard as well. “They deserve it, that’s for sure and certain.”
Harmonia tromps in with her father and stamps the snow from her feet. Her father goes over to speak with a few men not too far way, while still keeping an eye on her. Harmonia heads over to the counter.
Bjorn takes a deep swig of the ale and lets out a satisfied sigh, setting the tankard down before looking around to see who’s entered.
Lanisen gives the door a quick glance as well, and his features relax with amiable recognition. “Evenin’, miss,” he says as Harmonia comes within earshot.
Bjorn glances out the window and says, “Best be getting back tae th’ mines.” He jumps down from the stool and gives Lanisen a wave saying, “Nice tae mak yer acquaintance, Lanisen,” as he leaves.
Lanisen says, “Oh–you too. Evenin’.”
Harmonia, busy with her snack does not notice Lanisen right away, when she does she heads over to his table. “ello!”
Lanisen grins at her. “Hey there. What’re you up to?”
Harmonia says, “Paw was out shooting in the woods today and let me come along. Didn’t hit anything.”
Lanisen makes a sympathetic noise. “Do you go out with him often?”
Harmonia says, “Sometimes. Sometimes, he goes out alone and I stay home and help ma.”
Lanisen says, “I reckon he’ll get somethin’ next time you’re out, then. Did you get to shoot?”
Harmonia says, “Yep. He let me try a couple of times. You know, showing me how, his hands over mine.” She smiles. “‘s how we do it.”
Lanisen says, “Sounds like a good way to practice.”
Harmonia nodnodnods and takes another bite of her snack.
Lanisen takes a drink of his ale and glances at the door as somebody passes through.
Harmonia says, “Mr snowman still standing. He’s doing well.””
Lanisen says, “Oh, hey. That’s good. You built him real sturdy.”
Harmonia grins. “You found any pebbles recently?
Lanisen says, “There’s a heap of good black ones over by the mines. That’s all slag, they wouldn’t mind if you took a handful.”
Harmonia nods. “Okay! I’ll ask Paw.”
Lanisen suggests, “Could use some acorns for eyes too. They’d be easy to come by.”