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Michelle and David go for round two.
paths cross again! Instead, now, I would much like the honor of having some words with this most valiant young man, who deeds I would enjoy the hearing of in much greater detail, and in pleasanter company!"
Over a rather exceptional dinner that evening, Rowan attempted to regale the Duke with his rather understated and modest account of their recent undertakings, beginning with the attack of the Daemon, and the forging of the Daemon-Horn blade. After innumerable interruptions by Boyle and the Foole to correct or augment the tale, he gave up at length and let the gl__aman tell the entire rest of the story his way. His narrative was much more interesting and engaging, even if it did slightly exaggerate some of their deeds.
Gwenda was recovered enough from her wounds to join them at the feasting table and she remained mostly quiet all during dinner, and kept her right hand held in Rowan's left under the table for most of the evening. The Lady Ayleth pleaded a headache and stayed in her room, and frankly was missed by no one.
"Hero's make the worst storytellers!" The Foole laughed as he finished his long tale and arose from the table to raise his wine goblet in a toast to Rowan and Boyle. "They're too busy being heroic while being scared half out of their own minds with fear at the same time. They see the danger only from a view of a few feet and don't get the proper perspective that a good storyteller or skald has, from the rim of the battle, seeing everything happening at once. Besides, if a young hero could weave-words the way that they weave their sword strokes, it would be famine and poverty for us faithful gl__amen, and more misguided fools would then take up mimery instead... and that is a terrible fate that must be avoided at all costs, that alone is worthy of a toast!"
"To Rowan, and to Boyle and the brave Gwenda! And to fewer mimes prowling the world, may the Eorfleode take and devour them all with pleasure, to their severe intestinal discomfort!" The feasters toasted with a loud shout and their cups raised high. Now that the telling of the story was done, the Duke found that he had much that he wished to discuss with Rowan, but nearly from the start they found that they could find little common ground.
"Lad," the Duke said, sadly shaking his head, "I know all about that massive southern army of Boar-Men, and I believe it's heading now right straight back up north to the heart of your Duchy, but you must believe me when I say that at this time I can do nearly nothing to lend a hand. While I am not fond of the Duke of Tellismere, I do not bear him or his people any particular ill-will. If I did not face the very real fear of more coastal landings from that scoundrel, the Duke of Drakland, I would indeed gather up my armies and send them north in aid in your Duchy's defense, for certainly otherwise they would later turn again south to face my nearly unguarded northern borders once more."
"Surely the Duke of Drakland can be made to understand that this Eorfleode invasion is far more important than his current disagreements with you. I do not pretend to understand the long history of ill-will between your two lands, but in the past all of the Southern Duchies have cooperated together when faced with an external threat. Surely this current situation is no different."
"In ordinary times, I would say that we could indeed all band together, in cooperation, but at this time such a hope would only be a prayer.