In the Common Room

-Verden, Skeldergate Forest, afternoon, 547 DBTR-

By the time they reached the inn, Orla was quite fixated on Nate. Outwardly he was immature in some respects, yet quite polished in others, unhappily fumbling his way into early adulthood. But what intrigued her the most was what she sensed beneath his sulky demeanour. Not the youthful idealism, and not the rest of his better nature, but the unmistakable mark of destiny that was stamped upon him. Was he fated to be a great general or a ruler of some kind? The mystical ether around him was charged and crackling with stupendous future possibilities.

Orla had to know who he was, and when Nate entered the inn she could not resist following him inside. She dropped her glamour and in her true form discreetly slipped into the foyer behind the three just in time to witness Nate being greeted with a bow by the innkeeper. His Royal Highness? Oh! she thought with sudden understanding. The young man was none other than King Asgurt's son Nathaniel! With his blond hair and athletic physique she could certainly see the resemblance. Two decades might have passed since she had heard of his birth, but to a long-lived Fairy elf it only seemed like yesterday.

Transforming her garments so that she appeared to be dressed in the clothes of a local peasant woman, Orla checked in at the front desk, paying with a nugget of gold she conjured from thin air; it would eventually fade from existence along with any memory the man might have of her once she incanted a certain obfuscation spell upon her departure. Accepting the key to her room with a smile, she made her way into the inn's common room and took a table where she could continue to watch and listen to the young prince. She noticed that his mood had not improved and that it was mostly his two men-at-arms that did the talking.

A serving wench approached her table. “What can I bring you, miss?”

“Some wine, please. I would like to try some too,” Orla said, having watched it be served to the prince and his men. She had not had any human wine in a very long time. Literally centuries.

“You want the same wine as His Royal Highness is having?” the woman responded in disbelief. “That's the best wine we got and we can't spare giving it to anyone else, even if you could afford it.”

“Well, okay then,” Orla said, taking this in stride. “What can you spare for us common folk?”

“I can bring you some common wine, and a good meal of smoky pork and potatoes.”

Orla made a face. “I would like something to eat with just vegetables, please. No meat.”

“In that case there is some cabbage and carrot soup that's been simmering all day on the stove. How about I bring you a bowl of that and some freshly baked bread on the side?”

“Mmmm. That sounds delicious!” Orla said with a wide, sunny smile. “I'll have that, thank you.”

She sat back in her chair and glanced around casually like she were accustomed to dining in human establishments all the time.

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