The Puking Peasant was alive with patrons.
Ships had come into La longi harbor and there were pints of Screaming Peaches to be had.
Sailors, merchants, mercenaries, soldiers, and all kinds of riff raff were packed into the inn.
Really, it was indistinguishable who was who when the party progressed.
Only the stoutest and stupidest locasl frequented the Puking Peasant.
It was a place to cut loose and really blow off steam.
And steam it did. On colder nights like this one, a roaring fire was kindled on the hearth in the center of the inn. Logically, The further you got away from the fire, the colder it got. That being said, buckets were placed at the tables and bars for vomit. The warm vomit would react with the cold air surrounding the outermost tables and waft around. Surprisingly, patrons became accustomed to the smell rather quickly and it did not affect the festivities.
There was a need for upkeep and some manner of cleanliness and this job was Violet’s.
Violet wanted to be a performer since she was a little girl. It was her dream to act, and express art through physical expression. As a young lady, she exceeded this goal and excelled in her passion.
Violet was an accomplished dancer and musician insomuch that she had performed before royalty. She had acted in plays and was known in many high circles.
Time and chance has its way. Violet was no exception.
A young man whose advances she rejected threw wet lye on her face.
When she washed her face it burned even worse as such wounds do.
The lye and water reacted adversely to her makeup and face and part of her hair did not grow back where it had been thrown.
Not one to be deterred, she determined to continue in her trade. She tried to hide the severe scars with makeup after she recovered and parted her hair over the bald spot.
Violet remembered Lord Rainport words on her final performance before an influential crowd. She was in the middle of a song when he jeered,
“Who let this hideous hag in my court?” Her performance was ended and she was escorted out.
Violet’s prospects for employment declined as did her confidence. She took small jobs singing and acting at fairs and smaller celebrations.
Hard living and a few poor choices on her part took its toll on Violet. She began drinking heavily to forget it all.
Now she was here bussing tables and emptying buckets. She felt like a used dirty dish rag.
No one recognized her from her youth. The few locals who frequented the inn had called her Vomit Violet. A mis poured bucket atop an ill inspired pate or two squashed this title.
She had taken to spending her down time where she worked. She could hold her liquor as well as any man and proved it many times.
Unfortunately, Violet was a sucker for praise. Any word that raised her perceived self worth made her willing to engage in unspeakable abominations.
The compliments were becoming less common to her desperation.
What she had been was no more. It was the end of the line for Violet.
Eventually she would be dead in an alley somewhere and forgotten about. It was how things went in this part of the city. No one cared.
At this moment, however, there was work to be done and it was no time for feeling sorry for one’s self. Present and in the right now was important.
Tips were a primary source of income to pay for Violet’s room. Violet had dolled herself up with the best she could afford on her meager pay and went about serving tables. Bussing tables at the Puking Peasant Inn was not a pleasant vocation.
As she went about her work, she put her game face on and used every wile available to be slipped a coin or two.
Violet heard the singing before the door was open. It was the Bard, Galvin Rodion.
This man was very good at procuring coin for the inn and himself. This was good news for Violet. Extra business meant additional opportunity.
GalvinThe Bard commanded a room with a flourish. He was an artist of high caliber.
Well, at least to the patrons of the Puking Peasant. The owners gave Galvin free reign of the inn. When he arrived, coin purses emptied.
Two very large men in full plate armour preceded Galvin as he walked into the inn. Their swords were drawn. One man was wearing a white tabard and the other man wore black.
Between them was a gorgeous woman in a beautiful dress. As they walked, they pushed tables aside and a path was made. Few patrons stayed in the way. One made a choice to nurse his drink at the bar and was violently removed by one of the armoured men. He lay on the floor unconscious, his head bleeding where he hit the floor.
All wondered what was going on. All kept their distance.
The two men sheath their swords and stepped away from each other several paces away. The woman remained in the center and climbed up on the bar. The patrons went wild with a mix of jeers and wild expletives.
To approach the bar was not a question. Several Inn workers pulled the unconscious man away and took him outside.
Galvin the Bard stepped up in front of the bar, the girl,and the two armed men.
A patron exclaimed, “you are blocking my view!”
Galvin raised an eyebrow. ” What’s that I hear? Is it petulance at the Puking Peasant, peradventure?”
Another patron chimed in. “Shut up and let the Bard perform!”
The Bard shifted focus on the man who had just spoken. He had a freckled face and a crackly voice. ” Oh, so a spotty croaking lickspittle comes to my aid.”
The patrons laughed. It was a privilege to be insulted by Galvin the Bard at the Puking Peasant.
“Gentleman, and selfish currish tosspots, I have come with a conundrum.” Galvin pointed to the girl standing on the bar.
She was wearing traditional clothing and covered from neck to ankle. Her hair was in multiple braids. The lady smiled. She was obviously enjoying the attention.
She spoke. “Oh Galvin, my honor is in question.” Her smile quickly went to one of horror. She paused. Her eyes were dramatically pleading.
“I thought to take a walk to the market, when I was approached by these two men.”
She motioned with her hand to the giant armed men before her.
” The man with the black tabard told me my ankles were dainty!”
She spoke shrilly and in an accusatory tone.
The armoured man in the black tabard shouted,
“They are! When I said it, I meant it. In fact, she smiled and said thank you!”
The crowd clapped their hands and several whistled. The girl looked appalled.
The armoured man in the white tabard struck the bar with an exceptional amount of force. A glass fell off and shattered.
“the brute was brutish. I am here to defend her. Who among you would have your maiden’s honor questioned?”
The patrons were beside themselves. ” FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT” they roared.
Jealousy flooded Violets mind as she watched.
She already hated the pretty girl.
Violet remembered her performances and what had been. However, Violet was down for entertainment and put aside her feelings. This was going to be good.
Galvin the Bard spoke. Patrons, fellow Pukes,
“Full we are of so much rum rum,
We must speak of the conundrum.
Here be tabard white and black,
Sides to choose, no turning back.”
“These two men before you are at odds, but have sworn an oath to not fight each other. They are brothers in arms with a bone to pick. You my friends will have to help them resolve this dispute.”
All eyes were on the Bard.
He turned to the girl. “What is your name?”
“Lacy” she replied.
The Bard looked thoughtful.
“In recap, this is what I see.
Lovely lady Lacey looked longingly towards La Longi. Its landscape loomed lushly and lavishly.
A lurking lawless lowlife looked on with lavish lust and lurid leering.
A lawful, lordly likeness of loyalty and liveliness liberated lovely lady and now seeks to defend her honor.
No in between
No straddle of fence,
Be she lady, or wench?”
There were mixed replies, but no one was without opinion.
Galvin smiled from the side of his mouth and squinted his eyes.
“Your valour not squander, who will joust for girl yonder?”
Galvin instructed both armoured men to take a knee. ” they cannot fight each other, so they will be your steeds”
Tis not free,
There be a fee,
To all in the house,
Who will put money with mouth?”
Patrons lined up to battle one way or the other
One participant climbed on the shoulders of the white tabard and was given a stool.
Galvin raised his voice, ” Lady,Lady!”
The patrons responded in kind.
Another climbed in like fashion on the black tabard and they faced off.
The patrons did not need guidance. “Wench, Wench!” They shouted. The sound was deafening.
All drank their fair share of fermented peach nectar and were not capable of making decisions.
Two lines were made across the floor and the cheering began. The fee was paid and bets were made.
The signal was given. The two armoured men ran towards each other with their drunken riders high above armed with bar stools.
Injuries of all kinds resulted. Several made multiple attempts to knock their fellow patrons off the armoured men’s shoulders.
Galvan encouraged the participants and the viewers. He snatched a bucket from Violet and placed it in front of him.
” To all ranks and stations,
More of this for your donations.”
Jousting at the Puking Peasant was born.
The night went on and Galvin paid his actors outside. It had been a good performance.
Lacy looked at the armoured man in the black tabard. “you are lucky we are married.”