Pilgrim's Bounty: The Invitation

(( First in a series of short glimpses of Ovistine and Valinar around the holiday season… ))

The little house in Thelsamar was dug in a bit deeper than the ones surrounding it. Ovistine smiled at the thought of why, exactly, the occupant would need a little more vertical room; she knocked hard on the door and waited for an answer.

Sure enough, Valinar answered the door after a few seconds. He was a little soot-stained, with a pair of safety goggles pushed up on his forehead. No surprise there. "Ovistine! What brings you to Thelsamar?"

"Well, I had a question for you." She grinned at him. "An' it's not 'what are you building?', though I'm a titch curious now…"

"Oh, of course. Come in." Valinar ushered her inside and showed her in to the workshop, where his mechanobutler was tidying up the scraps of his last project. "I was just trying to see if a little more blasting powder would increase the yield on my saronite bombs."

"What sort of powder?" Ovistine pushed the mechanobutler away, gently, and peered down at the remnants of the experiment. She gave the powder a sniff and made a face as she stood up again. "I think it needs more crystallized earth."

"I'll try that next time." Valinar took his goggles off and held them out; the mechanobutler took them and headed for the storage shelves. "So… you said you had a question for me?"

"Aye!" Ovistine beamed up at him. "I wondered what you were getting up to for Pilgrim's Bounty. Seems we've had one thing or another come up every year, an' I never manage to ask in time… are you going home to visit family?"

Valinar scratched at one of his ears and, after a moment, shook his head. "My family… well. Mother and Father are both hibernating, I'm afraid."

"Hibernating?" Ovistine's eyes went a little wide. "Your parents are druids?"

"Yes. They'll be up and around again in, oh, another few hundred years, I expect. But it does mean there's not much need to go back to Moonglade…"

"Come home with me, then." Ovistine twisted one of her braids around her wrist and rocked back on her heels. "Grandma an' Grandpa Ironhammer always have me an' Mum an' Da an' uncle Brandur over. There's plenty of food an' lots of ale. Nobody ought to be alone this time of year."

Valinar blinked a few times. "If you're sure it wouldn't be an imposition…"

"Pfft." Ovistine shook her hand free of her braid and wrinkled her nose. "Not the least bit. Grandpa Ironhammer's always saying I ought to bring friends over if I want."

"Well…" Valinar hesitated, but eventually nodded. "Should I bring something? A dish? A keg?"

"Whatever you'd like. I'm sure you'll come up with sommat wonderful." Ovistine went a little pink around the cheeks and grabbed for one of her braids again, tugging on it a bit. "I'll just buzz Mum to let her know, then, an' there'll be a place set for you. Thursday afternoon, round about two in the afternoon."

"I'll be looking forward to it," Valinar promised. "Can I do anything else for you?"

"I, ah… no, I don't… no," Ovistine stammered. She yanked on her braid and shook her head. "I ought to leave you to your tinkering, aye? Buzz me if you have any other questions, though."

"Of course."

Dec 4th, 2009
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