A Drink Between Friends

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Fernwood Pub, Evening

With the weather growing more fair in the recent days, the doors to the Fern remain open, with there being quite a decent bit of outdoor dining and drinking. Hence, the inside is a bit more sparse than usual, though the energy from the staff is still rushing orders to and fro.

Sitting at his own booth is a middle aged eldanar man, his grey overcoat dangling from a hook on the wall. An empty plate rests before him, as well as an empty jug of water and a closed journal. It seems like he's about to get up, but a thought occurs to him. A few minutes later, he's flanked by two large mugs. One emptied already, the second being sipped on, a pensive look in his gaze as he samples the ale.

The semi quiet lull in activity within the pub is broken quickly by the main doors swinging open, and a brown haired elf stepping inside and quickly correcting for balance, as the almost comically oversized backpack they were wearing clanked around faintly. Schara looked to the doors upstairs, but a booth off to the side caught their attention, and the elf quickly made their way over. "Oh, hello, Warrick!" They greet. "Why are you drinking alone here?"

Warrick had his eyes in a half lulled spacing out before the doors quickly opening snaps his attention to the present. He half stands up, brows raised. "Schara, do you need help with... is.. that your armor?" he asks, gesturing to the large backpack.

Slowly, he sits back down, the comment making a wince a lance across his features. "... be...cause I can? I wanted to relax. And Cinny is out for a ocuple nights so..." he gestures vaguely around. "You want to join me?"

"This? Oh yeah, it's my armor, don't worry about it but thank you for offering still Warrick." Schara stiffly waves away, accompanied by a shake of their head. The bag is doffed onto one of the seats, accompanied by some more clanking. "My father said that there's a lot of reasons for drinking, but if you see someone drinking alone, you should check up on them. And that sounds doubly important if they're a friend. I guess it's fine if you're just relaxing, but sure, I'd like to join you!"

A ghost of a smile flicks across Warrick's face. "Ah. A smart man, your father. I appreciate the concern, Schara, but there is nothing wrong. I just... found myself doing too much work and realized I haven't done anything for myself in a minute."

He gestures across the way to the empty seat across from him. "First rounds on me. How have you been?"

"He is very smart, I appreciate everything he was able to teach me, and I'm happy that there is nothing wrong. Why are you doing too much work Warrick, do you need some help with anything? Or do you want to be left alone if you haven't done anything for yourself in a while? I know sometimes I need to just be by myself." The elf half asks, half muses out loud as they take a seat at the table. The offer is pondered, and the elf nods once. "Alright, that's fair, I can pay for myself, but I'll just make up for it by buying a drink for you and myself afterwards. I am doing alright, a bit tired after working at the smithy, but not overly so, and I think I'm feeling relatively good, all things considered."

Warrick shakes his head. "Just realizing I've been doing nothing but work is all." He pauses a beat to ponder. "... maybe could use some help with something. But it's work related."

He cups his hands around his mug, finger tapping the side of it as they sit and talk about their day. "The smithy is tiring work for certain. But it seems like you're adjusting quite well for it. But uh, I appreciate the drink later."

He makes a motion for another round to the waitstaff before sipping on his ale.

"Well, I shouldn't be unhappy given how much time I spend working, but even still, I can recognize that doing nothing but work is bad, even if I'm being hypocritical about it." The elf huffs. "I'd be happy to help of course, but you should do some more things that are not work related, too. Do you want to go throwing stones across the water again? I've been gathering many that seem like they are a good shape for resisting falling through the water as long as possible, as well as a few different ones I would like to test, as well as various mineral types."

"The other drink is for me currently, right? You were going to drink two right now, but offered one to me." Schara asks before awkwardly hooking the handle on one flat hand. "You are welcome later, I haven't given it to you yet so you don't need to thank me and you don't need to thank me regardless." They continue. "It is tiring, but not more tiring than most workshops, and miss Slatesteel is a fair teacher."

Warrick bobs his head. "Been there before. Usually spend my free time with Cinny, but she's are her friend's house for tte night, so I don't have much to do at present." The offer to toss stones again, as well as Schara's mention of taking stock of new rocks gets the man's face to soften. And the tepid smile stretches to an honest one. "... I'd like that, actually. It seems like you could do quite a number of tests."

He lets Schara get their usual rambling explanations out of the way as a new round hits the table. He smiles, tips the first, empty one over, polishes of the one in hand, and picks up the new one. "I'm two in, already, Schara," he chuckles, sliding one over to her and taking the new one. "Glad she's teaching you new stuff. I'm sure it helps with your suit quite a lot."

He holds his mug out to the elf. "Cheers. To friends."

"If you don't have too much to do, then I'm glad you're using the time for yourself." Schara notes, awkwardly smiling as they set down the mug. "Sorry, I didn't realize you were two mugs in already, I can't really tell if the mug is full easily without looking in to it. I would like that too, it seemed like you enjoyed it, and if I go with a supply already, you don't need to spend so much time looking for stones for both of us."

She hooks another mug, and takes a moment to gingerly nudge the mugs together, the drink wobbling dangerously on the hand. "Cheers then Warrick, to friends!" They nod before taking a sip. "Oh I think it will help a lot. There are all sorts of things I can do with what I've learned, not to mention just knowing where to get quality metal. I'm hoping she'll tell me more about her suppliers some day, or at least she'll let me add some purchases on to one of her orders."

"It's fine," Warrick waves a hand off. "And yes, we can go do that soon. And you don't have to rush to get there this time," he teases mildly. Mindful of the hook tool, Warrick only gives the drinks a tiny nudge. With that, he drinks deep of this cup before setting it down a bit heavily.

Wiping his lips with the back of his hand, he chuckles lightly. "I'm sure she'll tell ya. And I don't see why she wouldn't add stuff on top of whatever she's going to buy. Just ask. She's stubborn, but she's reasonable."

"Well, no, I don't need to rush to get there, you're right." Schara nods, smiling again after a large drink of ale. "Okay! Just let me know the time and date, and I'll make sure I'm free for that, I promise as long as nothing critically important comes up, but I would hope that doesn't happen."

"Oh no, I know she's reasonable and fair about most things, that's why I like working for her. It wouldn't hurt to pay her up front, and now she knows I'm not trying to steal her knowledge of the trade, at least I hope she does, I could do something like that. I'd like to see if I can source any mithral too, but that's for another time."

Warrick quietly laughs, him leaning back with his drink in hand. His face harbors a tinge of crimson on his pale face, the ales starting to kick in. "I'll get back to you on that one, Schara."

He bobs his head slowly. "Been thinking about saving up for some Mithral armor eventually. The one that you and Slatesteel worked on has helped me a lot. Getting used to wearing it. I think if I get something with that metal, I can wear more plates but not be hampered."

He scratches his stubble. "... ask her, she might point you to a mithral seller. And probably teach you how to make things with it because she'd not want such a precious metal go to waste from experimenting. I remember she got onto Ifan for that one."

Schara blinks, and shakes her head once. "Well, I'm not sure about that. I mean, I care about your safety, which should be paramount of course, but also, miss Slatesteel just made you that armor, custom fit and with all the modifications you asked for, so it may not be a good idea to ask her to make you any more so soon." The elf answers before hiding behind her drink to think more. "Actually, it'd probably be alright. She would be happier to know you're safer too, I think. I'd like to learn, but I think I'll wait until I have enough spare money to do that. The reduced weight would make everything significantly less painful, in addition to improving range of motion no doubt. Who is Ifan? Another smith that she worked with?"

Warrick laughs, a heavy one, from the gut. "Oh, by Serriel, she'd chew me out for that!" He comes down, shaking his head. "But yeah, she'd end up doing it if it'd make me safer."

He looks over the wooden arms, nodding slowly. "I can see that helping. But that'd be quite an undertaking to replace basically the whole suit. Not to mention the expense. Or... make those arms you have sturdier?" He shrugs.

The name gets his drink to pause to his mouth. "... Ifan..." The mood drops a peg. "... n... o. Ifan was another arbalest on my squad, Slatesteel lead us. She, him, I, three of sixteen," he elaborates a touch softer, looking at the amber liquid in his cup.

"Well, it sounds worth the request, in that case, I think?" Schara nods. Another pause, and the elf shakes her head. "Oh no, making all my armor out of it would be prohibitively expensive, and unecessary. It's not like mithral is more durable than steel, at least, not in most practical applications, the main benefit is the weight reduction and other properties, and my armor supports itself fairly well. But the reduced weight in the arms would be nice, so there's less physical strain on myself and other things."

"Oh, another squad member? You didn't mention them before." She responds, looking a bit lost how to respond. Failing that, she waves in a similar gesture to how warrick did to one of the bartenders.

Understanding crosses Warrick's visage. "Mithral arms. That sounds like a worthy investment, certainly so to make it last a long while. Less prone to getting easily damaged too. I bet that strains your shoulders pretty bad," he sympathizes.

Another round of drinks come, Warrick muttering a quiet 'thanks' as they arrive, and his third cup is emptied before taking up this new one. "I didn't mention Ifan. Nor Kravis or Paloumu, or Xin or..." he mentions quietly, trailing off. A bit of silence. He closes his eyes and inhales deeply. "Be... cause they're not really here anymore. They're gone. Least they can rest easy now I... suppose."

"It does, but I'm used to it. Still, it would be good to worry about it less." The elf sighs. "But that's okay, I'll just keep saving where I can, when I can."

"Oh, I see." Schara sighs, taking her new drink and setting it aside to finish the current one. "Well, I hope that they will be able to rest wherever they are, but they aren't gone if they stay in your memory, I guess? You still remember their names, and all sorts of other things. I know it's not a complete comfort, but it's something, and, I don't know." She finishes with another sigh

"Trust me, I... won't forget them," Warrick murmurs, him taking a long drink out of his mug before setting it down to wrap his hands around it. He stares ahead. "The... times you caught me in the Vardama temple, I'm going to pay respects to them."

A fingernail scratches at the table. "I appreciate the... comfort, my friend," he says slowly. "Um... it was hard, after coming back home. It's why I'm a stickler on jobs. I don't want a repeat. I don't...-" his voice grows hoarse, "-I don't want to have to do what I did again."

"Well, I trust you, so there's no problem there. I thought you were visiting someone else, but it makes sense for being there." Schara notes. "I'm sorry, I'm not used to offering comfort to people, but I'm glad that it helps at least. But, I can't say anything won't happen again, since there is no accounting for everything that can happen. But I promise I'll do everything I can to be careful and help everyone else, if that helps, which I hope it does."

"I was visiting someone else too. My late wife. But I visit them all too," Warrick mentions. It's clear, with the aid of the drinks, true emotion rests on his face. A deep sadness etched all over his visage.

He sighs quietly, bringing up his gaze to look at the elf, a tired smile on his lips. "I... appreciate that, Schara. Thank you. I just..." he drums his fingers on the table slowly. "... I lost them fairly recently. Six months ago or so. Still... going through it, even now. Not as bad though."

"You have lost a lot of people, I can't with any certainty say that I understand that since I haven't been through something like that, but I can emphasize with it, at the very least." The artificer offers quietly, hiding their face behind another drink.

"And you're dealing with it, that's important and I have come to realize that at least myself but it may be true for yourself too, and why is easier to go through it now." They muse, waving for another drink from the waitress.

Warrick curls in a bit, him subtly twiddling his thumbs as the waitress hands them both another round. He nods in appreciation towards them before polishing his current one off and just holding onto this one. "It's because I've got a couple more friends now, I think," he says just as quietly. "I just... don't want a repeat of what happened, Schara."

He looks up to them, watching the elf before averting his gaze off to the side. "M'sorry. I didn't mean to dump all this on you..."

"You do have some more friends, and I think that's a good thing." Schara nods once. "I never thought that I'd have so many genuine friends, it really is something that I really appreciate and enjoy, instead of someone who would toss me aside when I become a mangled walking corpse."

The elf coughs and reaches for another drink. "It is alright Warrick, I'm happy to listen to you, and it probably helps to speak what you are feeling instead of keeping it all to yourself. I can not make any promises, but I will do what I can to prevent any repeats like that, since I would not want it, either."

"You're notta mangled walking corpse," Warrick blurts out in tinge of a slurry, him shaking his head. "You're... so very intelligent. And yeah you ain't got arms, but shit Schara, you figured out how to not let that even stop you."

He thuds back against the booth, face a dull crimson now. "I... appreciate that, really. If there's anything ya need, ya let me know, okay?" he puts out there.

The artificer winces once, and hides behind another drink, spilling some of it as the handle shifts suddenly on the hook. "I am not that, you are right, as that would imply I am dead, or soon to be." The elf sighs. "And yet, when someone you're supposed to be able to rely upon and trust tells you that at one of the lowest points in your life, it's incredibly difficult not to believe it to at least some degree. At least now that I have some actual friends, I know that they never were really one to begin with, so I don't need to give any value to those thoughts."

"They're still stopping me though, at least for now." Schara sighs. "I'm always worried that I'm going to miss working for miss Slatesteel when I'm stuck in bed all day, and she's going to stop working with me. I already had to miss two days in the last thirty days, and that was a low amount for the time period due to a few other days being on ones where I was not working to begin wit."

There is a look of anger that lances across Warrick's face that morphs into an empathetic smile. "I can't believe someone would tell you somethin' like that," he mumbles, shaking his head. Hestitating a beat, he reaches out to Schara's hookless wooden hand, and gently lifts it up. "Look at this. You made this. This is phenomenal. Whatever that person thought clearly didn't appreciate the bright mind that you have."

He releases the wooden hand, leaning back as he shakes his head, cutting a hand through the air. "No. No, she wouldn't. She's isn't like that. Dinath- Slatesteel. She's... she's a hardass- err. Very stubborn. But she ain't going to just drop you when you need some days to rest. Hell, she'd probably figure out if you're alright. She... she did a lot for me, and I did a lot for her, after... my old squad."

"It might be hard to believe, but it is true, even if it isn't important. I was listening to your worries, and then I just started talking about myself. I'm not sure if I was just trying to relate or I wanted to talk about myself, but that's not fair to you, I was trying to be listening to what happened with you." Schara sighs, holding the arm up for one moment before letting it clack against the table.

"Thank you, you've been really kind to me in spite of everything, and miss Slatesteel has been, as well. I'm fairly certain that any worry I have about that is unfounded, but it still worries me, and I don't want to let her down. I guess she and you have both been through a lot, so I don't want to let either of you down, actually."

Something that Schara says makes the, now decently drunk, Warrick laugh. "Seems like we're both bad at talking about ourselves," he smiles. "It's alright, Schara, I don't mind listening to you. It's... that's what friends do, yeah?"

He sips on his drink, tapping a finger on the handle. "She has been through a lot, but she's a lot more sturdier than me on most things. If she has a problem with you, or me, she'll let you know. And... you haven't let me down. Nor my parents, for that matter, they really appreciated you fixing their heater. It's still chugging along quite well."

"It seems like we are, I guess?" The elf laughs quietly along with Warrick. "But, that's okay, I don't mind, it makes me feel a bit better, and we can both help each other get practice, though maybe someone better about talking about themselves would make for a better learning partner. I'm glad you don't mind listening, you're easy to talk to, Warrick."

"I'm glad that their heater is still working well, the part looked fine that you found, but sometimes faults with them can not be obvious immediately. If it hasn't failed at this point during winter, I would say that it's in decent shape." The elf notes with a small pleased smile. "I'll let miss Slatesteel know she can talk to me if she needs, too."

"I'm glad I am easy to talk to, hard as it is for me to express myself," Warrick mentions, downing the last of his drink and setting it down to join with the... five others. "I mean hey, who kno's. If we both keep at it, I'm shure we'll both improve."

He pauses briefly. Then smiles, warmly. "That's... yeah. Good. That's good. Jus'... jus' let 'er know you and Rick had a chat. She'll... she'll know what I mean."

He slowly stands, the once-guard swaying from side to side. "Ugh... hey uh... Schara..." he says slowly, looking embarrassed. "Can... you help me home? I'll... I'll give you directions. You can... can crash on the couch if you need to sleep it off."

"I hope she'll know what it means, because I'm not entirely certain what it means, but I'll keep that in mind." Schara nods, before stopping, setting down their drink, and reaching into the large pack beside them to fish out some coins. "You need someone to help you home? Alright, I'll pay for the drinks and put my armor up in my room here." The elf responds, before setting down the payment and lugging the armor upstairs. A minute passed and Schara returned to where Warrick was standing. "I can't really support you with my arm so, just lean on my shoulder if you need to?" They offer with just a tinge of redness to their face.

Warrick chuckles, but he's got his head in a hand, with one the other keeping him stable on the booth. "Alright, I can... wait for you. Next time we do this... this I can pay for the drinks..." he murmurs.

Once they return, the once-guard managed to don his overcoat and get his longsword strapped over the back. He looks over to Schara. Blinks. Then softly laughs. Warrick steps forward slowly, if a bit wobbly before reaching up to put a hand on the shoulder closest to him while leaning against them. "Thanks. I... not as spry as I used to be while drinking."

He starts to lead. "... so... if we cut through this alley, you can get to the Trades in three minutes. Just make sure you don't go to far, else you end up in... Goblintown..."

-End Scene-