The last brunch ended much as the first one: No one got to try Threnn’s breakfast muffins. This was the first dish she attempted to make for the regular family brunch, an idea that Bricu suggested shortly after his “con” the Temple of Elune. At first Threnn thought he was still suffering from sleep deprivation. A week later, when he ran down the menu for the first brunch: Salmon and capers, corn griddle cakes, fresh breads (sweet and savory), coffee and tea and fresh fruit with cream, she realized how serious he was.
“All the stops are out for this, aren’t they?”
“Aye, they are. I figure since we’re at least talkin’ now, I can at least try an’ get her ta warm up ta me.”
Threnn shook her head, “My mother, lovely as she is, can outstubborn anyone. Even you.” She raised her voice ever-so slightly to keep him from interrupting her. “Love, she’s not going to change. We meet for tea, she sighs, I sigh, we both walk away before we storm off in huffs. That is as good as it is going to get.”
Bricu grinned the same wild grin he used when scheming. “We’ll see love. We’ll see.”
At that first brunch, Bricu made attempts at conversation that were easily parried by Thenia. She was not amused. Threnn watched as her husband became increasingly charming to combat her mother’s increasing polite dismissals.
“More tea, Thenia?” He said, tea pot in hand.
“No thank you.” She replied coldly.
“O’course. Padraig, Thenn?”
Threnn, and her father, assented with slight nods as they watched Thenia and Bricu spar with charm and polite indifference.
Bricu served Thenia first each time. Each plate of food was carefully executed, plated to be as visually pleasing as possible. Thenia ate small, almost ceremonial, bites of each entree. Threnn said how wonderful the fish was. Padraig raved about the pancakes. Thenia, polite as could be, countered Bricu’s charm.
“I thought it was okay. Not as good as they normally make at the Gilded Rose, but almost good enough for brunch.”
Bricu nodded solemnly. “What was wrong with it m’dear?” The hairs on the back of Threnn’s neck stood up. His tone had changed ever so slightly. It was similar to the tone he would use when talking to Tarquin about working with stubborn alliance generals. Their solutions always revolved around “disappearances” and “scandals.”
“Well.” Thenia spoke with the same tone she used when talking to a difficult silk supplier. She ticked off a finger for each point, “The corn cakes were a bit too moist, and the spices in the batter cut into the flavor of the corn. The salmon was dry and you used far too much tarragon. I think you burned the tea as well. The juice had too much pulp in it. It is what I’d expect from something in Old Town: Tarted up to hide a complete failure.”
Bricu nodded in stride. “I see. I see.” He pointed to her barely touched plate, “So bad yeh couldn’t take but one bite each?”
“I’m afraid so. It was a valiant effort but your results were rather lacking.”
Threnn redraped her napkin across her lap, then clenched her fists in anger. She knew her mother was just needling him. She didn’t need to see Bricu to know that he was chosing his words carefully. Threnn tried to calm down enough to rebuke her mother, half expecting Bricu to beat her to it. But the first voice she heard wasn’t her husband’s. It was her fathers.
“Well, I for one thought it was delicious. The corn cakes and salmon were perfectly matched, and I didn’t either runny, dry or too heavily spiced. My tea wasn’t burned nor was my juice too pulpy. By the light Bricu, where did you learn to cook like that?”
Thenia and Threnn both turned to Padraig, mouths agape. He had been quiet for most of the meal, as he was for most meals, but he went beyond simple thanks. He sided with Bricu.
“I learned through my liege, a bloke named Stonewright, an’ though the army. Yeh liked it then?” Bricu said.
“Liked it?” Padraig paused and assessed the situation. Thenia, her lips drawn in a thin line, stared dagger at him. He turned to Threnn, who stared at him in shock. He turned back to Bricu, grinning wildly.
“I loved it enough to finish what my wife didn’t.” Padraig too Thenia’s barely touched plate and continued eating.
“Padraig.” Thenia said softly, “I am quite sure that neither Threnn nor Bricu wants to watch you eat.”
“I’m not done yet” Threnn said as she grabbed more bread off the table.
“What kind o’chef would I be if I didn’t like watchin’ folk eat me food?”
“Honestly, Padraig, Threnody….”
Padraig put his fork down on the plate. “Honestly, Thenia, why would you agree to come if you were going to be a stick-in-the-mud? Mrs. Stone would have love, LOVED, to have come to brunch. She would have had a brilliant time. Me? I’m enjoying myself. Why don’t you at loosen up and try to do the same?” Padraig shoveled another forkfull of food into his mouth to avoid his wife’s withering stare.
“More tea Padraig?” Bricu asked without a hint of smugness. Padraig nodded vigorously.
I haven’t cleaned it up, but I doubt I’m going to have the chance to before the day is over. It’s something I wrote for my WoW people. I’m just fulfilling my obligations to put one bit of “real creative work” once a week….
“There is no fucking princess this far fucking north!”
Charles Andor dressed in old, ratty furs that belonged to a man twice his size. His armor was discarded mail, but his prized possession was a heavy double bladed axe in the Vargul style. His companions, while similarly dressed carried nothing so spectacular. This axe allowed him to boss around the other two men, left overs from a failed campaign, even against their better judgment.
“Ballacks.” Charles said, “there sure as hell is. I found her fucking hole in the ground.”
“Charles, how much gobo weed are you on these days?” Trevor Templeton was rail thin. He fancied himself an archer, but he only managed to wound at a distance. He always had to finish up close. For an archer, he never complained about the up close work. “Ain’t no fuckin’ royalty this far. Only military. Old posts, watchin’ for scourge or Leylines.”
“An’ the big wigs moved back to their next big fight.” Elias Trulio, the third of Charlie’s crew, leaned on his staff. “We’re up here scavenging. Anyone left here is scavenging. I’m telling you, we could find better work in Dalaran…”
“Fuck Dalaran!” Charles screamed. “No good work there these days, but all the fucking Tor have rules, regulations and restrictions. Not worth our time Elias. No. You’ve all heard about it. There are places up here that the big wigs forgot about. Caches. Hidey holes. All sorts of wonderful things we can find and sell. Now then.” Charles stared at Trevor, “Speaking of Gobos, I found one who had a place up here.”
“Gobo? Really? Gobo’s always scavenge the best…” Trevor said, interrupting Charles. Charles responded with a slap that sent Trevor spinning to the ground. “Shut your fuckin’ mouth Trevor. I’ve got the lead on the goods. I make the call!”
“Right, Right.” Trevor said.
“Now then. This way, to the coast.”
Charles walked east from New Westfall. Elias stepped over Trevor, following him step by step.
They walked for the better part of two days till the reached their destination. Azeroth’s moon gave them just enough light to prevent them from stumbling over their feet. Trevor carried their torches. “Princess’ Palace,” as Charles called it, “Was built by a gobo for his treasure horde. His prized possession, some sort of dwarven artifact is inside. Ain’t too many Gobo’s south of K3. This one, a darker fellow, was singing and making a ruckus before I lost him in the woods. But I found this place…and I’d bet my eye teeth this is it.”
The men emerged from the woods to the edge of the Grizzly Hills. Off in the distance they could see the trollish ruins. To the north ran the Frenzyheart River. To the south the could see more of the cliffs and hills that gave this part of Northrend its reputation. “Nice view.” Said Elias, “but where’s the fucking palace?”
“You’re standing on it,” Charles said. He pointed to the the field below. “That’s a fallow field. They’re getting ready to plant. That rock? It looks like a rock because its dark. Watch.” He shouldered his rusted musket and fired it at the rock. IT shattered like glass. “See? Glass. We’re standing on that gobo’s palace.”
“Uther’s balls Charlie!” Trevor said, “What if he’s home.”
“Then he’s scared to death. Elias, see if you remember anything formal in the way of fire. Failing that, hit him with your stick.”
Elias muttered an incantation and a rune appeared over his head. “Proceed Charles. I will protect us.”
The three men carefully made their way down the cliff said, finding a well worn road that led to a stout oak door. Trevor finessed the lock in a few minutes, while Elias watched. Charles leaned on his axe and dreamed of what he’d find inside. He was not disappointed. With the door open, Charles walked down, into the hillside itself, into a well stocked store room. “See! Gold keeps this place running! and he’s got food to ast a lifetime,” he whispered. It was colder here than it was outside, as this is where the Goblin kept his food. There were slabs of meat and wheels of cheese from all over Northrend. Connected to the store room was a kitchen, complete with two ovens, a large counter top and more cookware than either man had ever seen.
Another oak door led to a long hallway that opened into a beautiful fromal dining room. In the middle of the room was a long dining table, made from some exotic hard wood from Sholazar. The table was on an exquisite rug, full of geometric patterns and warm colors. The floor wasn’t the same cold stone floor. More wood flooring, probably an hardwood from Elwynn. They could hear the northern winds blowing through the shattered ceiling. Charles began walking straight through, but Trevor grabbed his arm.
“Charlie, we should go. This isn’t…”
Charlie swung his axe at Trevor, stopping inches from his neck, “Another word and I don’t stop my swing.”
Trevor nodded,careful not to scrape his adam’s apple on the axe’s blade. Elias, smiling smugly, clucked in satisfaction.
Charlie turned to his left, and continued through a short hallway two more rooms. The door to his right opened to to a privy. On the left was a study, with leather chairs and a smokeless hearth. “For later.” Charlie said as he shut the door. He lead them back, through the ruined dining room, to the doors opposite the hallway to the library. At the end of the hall, the again hit two doors. Elias opened the door nearest him to another privy, while across from hall they opened to a bedroom, complete with a four post Featherbed. Tapestries showing scenes from Shattrath City covered the walls.
Elias let out a low whistle. “Prince Gobbo moved from there? He must have enough gold to fund the next war.”
“Much less when we’re through my friend. Much less.” They ransacked the room, taking the decorative items–figurines made of semi-precious gems–but nothing else. The returned to the dining hall, and walked down the last hallway. The end of this hallway expanded into a large, beautifully decorated room. IT was akin to the Gilded Rose of Stormwind, with similar woodwork on the molding, tables and chars. It was heated with two small, but not smokeless, hearths. Neither of the men paid attention to the room, or the armor and weapons hanging on the walls. Their attention was drawn to the center of the room, where a red headed child, a toddler really, was sitting next to the biggest dog any of them had ever seen. It was as big as any orc’s worg, with brown and white fur and giant paws. She sat in the middle of the room, licking up toddler’s spilt milk.
The toddler, a cute girl with red hair and blue grey eyes, was obviously crying. The giant dog had put one paw out over her, as if to comfort her. The toddler was petting the dog’s coat.
“What the fuck is that?” screeched trevor. Charles answered by swinging his Axe. Elias yelled for him to stop. The giant dog barked at the yell, and the toddler started crying.
“OI! No swearin’ when me princess is cryin’ yeh feckin’ morons!” Bricu said. He was standing flush with the wall, behind and to the right of Charles. Slung over his back was the two handed sword he had salvaged from Medivh’s tower years before. Elias jumped when Bricu shouted, but Charles froze in midswing, his eyes glazed. Trevor rolled forward, underneath the swing, and as far away from the dog and the child as possible. He drew an arrow and pointed it at Bricu.
“Och. Better me than her.” Bricu said, “But yer in way too bloody deep now squire.” He called upon the light again, and Elias was stopped while starting to speak.
“Put the bow down an’ yeh’ll walk away from this.” Bricu said, staring at Trevor. The archer was steady, but his breathing was rapid and shallow. His fear was palpable. For the third time that night, Bricu called up on the light. A soft white glow encircled his daughter. “Emer! Bedtime!” He yelled. The giant dog picked shifted her weight and started to get up. Trevor fired at her. The arrow slammed into her flank. Emer looked back at trevor, snarling. The toddler screamed. So did Bricu.
“EMER BED TIME NOW!” Hobbling though she was, the giant dog scooped up the toddler by the back of her shirt and trotted off down the hallway awayt from Trevor.
Trevor dropped the bow. He screamed an apology, but it was too late. Bricu rushed at him, calling upon the light to guide his blade. He sliced into Trevor at the collar bone, not so neatly cutting into him. Trevor fell to the ground, sobbing in pain. Charles recovered by then, as did elias. Charles charged while Elias summoned purple spheres that hurled themselves at Bricu. Charles’ attack pushed Bricu backwards, and his axe splintered the wood floor. The spheres slammed into Bricu, but Elias saw thet were drawn into a ring he wore on his right hand.
“Me ceilin’, me dog, swearin’ in front o’me daughter an’ now me floors?” Bricu said as Charles tried to pry the axe from the floor. “When I’m done with yeh, I’m gonna have yer ghosts clean me fuckin’ house for the rest o’eternity.” Bricu engaged Charles, stepping on the haft of his axe, and cutting through the mail with one wild stroke. He kept moving towards Elias. Elias prepared another spell, but Bricu called upon the light again. His blade cut through Elias like a hot knife through butter. Charles, still standing, yanked at the axe one more time. Bricu spun around another time, ending Charles life with flashy, if not fluid, sword play.
Trevor, barely alive, was sobbing. He muttered incomprehensible things. Bricu kneeled next to him. He layed his hands on him and called upon the light to heal his wounds.
“Get out. Run away wee man ‘fore I change my mind.” Trevor did not bother to stand. He scrambled on all fours, eventually running on both feet, as he fled the house. He ran as fast as he could up the stairs and out into the Hills.
He stumbled head first into the goblin.
“Sweet light, save me! Save me! The red head and his beat are going to kill me!”
“Och, what be this here then, eh? ” the Goblin clucked with good humor.
Wot yeh doin’ in me woods, near me house?”
“I shot the dog. Near the princess… the red head let me run..oh gods, save me! Save Me!”
The goblin stopped chuckling. “Yeh shot at the princess then?”
“I aimed for the dog!”
“Yeh shot at Emer?”
“OH Sweet light, yes, help me! Please, before he changes his mind!” Trevor screamed.
“She’s not just his princess.” Trevor watched as the goblin started to grow. He was getting taller, wings and a tail poked from his back. “Or Threnn’s.” His neck extended. “She’s every Rider’s little girl.” His face flattened. “Even my parents said hullo to her.” Trevor stoped shrieking as the goblin’s transformation drew to a close. “And Emer’s such a sweet thing.” The dragon buffeted his wings. “It was my fault for being careless. At least I get to take it out on you.” The dragon reached one large claw out and grabbed Trevor by the waist. As Obaden
soared into the night sky, Trevor screamed to be let go.
“When we’re out by the bitter sea, that’s the plan. Our princess enjoys this flight. You should too–just worry about your landing.”
Another week, another question.
Itanya asked, “Why shouldn’t I set you on fire? If I can’t set you on fire, who should I set on fire?
There are those who think I should be set on fire. Typically, those individuals come from the far, far, far right. Setting me on fire would make them happy. Now, these are the same people who annoy you. Making them happy would only irritate you further.
Now if this is a question of PvP on WoW (player vs player on
World of Warcraft), I would have to say feel free to set my character on fire. He has it coming.
As for who you should set on fire, I don’t think you should really set anyone on fire. It increases your carbon foot print and I’m not entirely sure how it would smell. It is also very illegal, and I cannot help you beat said case.
In PvP I would recommend setting someone not in my guild on fire. Pick someone from the forums, typically a really annoying player, and do it. Do it often. When things get rough, get more people so you can do it again. We have to face it: Most of the people on our server have it coming.
I will, of course, answer more questions today. The deadline is 7pm CST.
The lovely and talented VONsaves the day with two additional questions:
Who do you want to win the Super Bowl this weekend?
What movie will win the Best Picture Oscar?
Honestly, I had to look up the the teams who were playing this year. I got so disgusted with the Bears that I stopped paying attention to the rest of the NFL. I didn’t even have a fantasy football team this year–not that I ever do well in that endeavor to begin with.
But, I am cheering for the Steelers. My uncle is from Erie, PA, and I want him to be happy.
However, we’re all winners this year. The Boss will rock our socks off.
As for the Oscars…
I haven’t seen a single one of the movies. I want to see most of them (I can do without Ben Button and the Reader), but I don’t think I’ll have the patience to sit through the “Oscar Day” that most theaters do (ala the one you and Shannon did last year).
I’m going to root for Slumdog; however, I think MILK will win it.