Fantasy Casual Moderate ✿ڿڰۣ— The Queen's Tavern —ڰۣڿ✿

Hekazu

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Spring's eyes widen slightly at her suggestion, and he even bounces back a little at her suggestion of him hiding such information. "Oh goodness me, Lady Rose!" he shared his surprise, the tone entirely genuine. "If you would allow Her Royal Eminence to do such a thing and not risk being swarmed by your security, then I would not hide the obvious means of approach from Her!" He shook his head and waved his wing for effect, continuing already mid-motion: "No no no, I am not here on business today and I do not need to be here on business in the future. Having duties to attend to puts a damper on the whole enjoying of oneself!"

Settling down from the defence against her accusation, he folded his wings back upon his lap and decided to follow up with the obvious question, now that he had already discredited the idea he would not speak of these options to his liege: "So, if Her Royal Eminence should choose to arrive by planar travel, what is the kind of insurance one should carry to be granted entry? Or is the tavern open for all means of arrival for everyone?"

Whether her answer shed all the necessary light or there would be further clarifications needed in the future, the conversation on logistics was interrupted by a new arrival, someone who looked rather interesting just as well. An old friend of Lady Rose he soon came to know, as well as that he was now counted amongst her friends! A privilege, but not one above some light humour. He waved his other wing at the new arrival, smirking at the Queen's introduction all the same. "Hello!" he called out to Laurent. "LaQuin?" he raised the part that had piqued his interest, "Perhaps you have met with Winter, then? I believe she had business there at one point."

Resuming with the introductions, he flapped his wing well above his head somewhere towards Laurent's noggin. "She's about you tall in this humanoid shape of hers, light blues and whites in colour. Looks like she ate a lemon." He didn't hold high hopes at a possible recognition, but it should at least give some context as to what he was. "So, yes, Spring! One of the Four Seasons, messenger to Her Royal Eminence, Queen of United Monsterkind, Horrorsworth the First." He climbed to his feet to fit a bow in. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr Hurst." While the question of how they knew one another burned still in his mind, he'd give him a bit more room before this became an interview.
 

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Laurent chuckled at Rose’s comment about expanding his horizons. He had thought he had seen what was to be seen back in LaQuin, but almost as soon as he read the letter, that horizon seemed to be getting larger by the second. Hearing sweet words did put his heart and mind at ease, as it had been a while before he heard or saw her. When she motioned the miniature wyvern, he did not expect it to talk, but he was told in the letter to expect to see and hear things he had never seen.

He addressed Rose first saying,” I am sure I would have crawled in if the portal had not brought me as close as it had, but thank you for the chair.”

He then settled into it before addressing Spring,” I am sorry I don't recall meeting any such Wyvern. They seem as though they would make an impression if I had. I apologize, but it is a pleasure to meet you Spring.”

A warm smile was directed to Spring before his eyes moved back to Rose. Her garments reminded him of royalty garments and hearing Spring's title he had a feeling that this variant was much more than he thought. He had only met a handful of them, and a few alluded to Rose, but an actual Queen? It just seems to fit. Letting a chuckle escape his lips he reached under the bright golden poncho producing the letter received and showing it to the writer of it before he asked his burning question,” You left the reason rather vague, your Highness, so I want to ask why I am just now getting an invite?”

After asking he placed the letter carefully in its original position and allows his cane to prop against his shoulder letting the top rest behind his head a bit.
 

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"I do believe you are mistaken, My little Wyvern." Rose began, leaning back in her chair with shoulders straight and her back erect, per her usual sitting position as a queen. "LaQuin is not of this dimension... You may be thinking of the city of Lavin... Close in name, but one exists here... LaQuin is also... Unique and most creatures are hesitant to go... Though they welcome the inhuman, they have a strict ban on magic use..."

She let this trail off as her gaze followed a shifting Laurent as he pulled the letter from his clothes. "Did you not wish to visit?" She countered with a slightly raised brow. It was in jest, for she knew the answer. "We did say you could visit when proper and I felt this a proper time... Though there are a few fools who come and go in search of shedding blood, as is common in all areas of life it seems--even LaQuin, the tavern is mostly docile and full of welcoming people. They may seem a bit strange to outsiders, but I do believe you are of the mind to handle such unique beings..."

With that addressed, she return to the prior conversation with Spring.

"For your own Queen, dear Wyvern, the city and tavern here are open to all to visit... Though, for safely, she may not wish to make any sort of spectacle announcing herself as royalty... Though the people are unlikely to attack, one never knows who may be lurking. We have also had royalty arrive who sought to challenge my status and it may be suspected she is to attempt the same, even if untrue."

Lifting a hand then, she made a gentle motion to Laurent to draw his attention. "Do you seek a drink or something to eat? We can have something brought over for you."
 
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Tess sat in her chair watching, one of the servers happened to notice she hadn't taken a drink for some time, and approached her without hesitancy which the sea creature appreciated, she really was harmless. "Did you need a refill Miss?" The black and white creature looked to the male server and gave a slight incline of the head. "I would appreciate that. The more sober I am, the more aware and that simply isn't a good thing." Though she was sure it was dismissed as just her talking, other prying people certainly would be paying attention.

The bar was most assuredly lively tonight, she thought for certain that a performance of ballerina likeness would be center stage however the dim lights and a blackout stage was a bit of a dampener on the mood. Never as good as lady rose, no one could ever outshine her, and honestly Tess didn't want that kind of attention. Maybe a lovely somebody to duel with and end in laughter that might evolve into something sweet. But alas no-one could withstand the electricity that coursed through her and most sea creatures were stuck up assholes, she would know.

The server came down with the plum sake and set the bottle down to be cleaned and reused, they picked up another and left the seal on it, which was a little peculiar but not far off from those who were paranoid about being offed.
 

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Laurent nodded, saying," I will do my best."

The giant relaxed more against the chair. The travel was not terrible for anyone his size, and without his armor, he was feeling the effects in his legs, but his smile never wavier, especially now that he was with Rose and he had a chair that fits him. From what he understood, listening to the conversation, and apparently within this area, there was a wyvern queen. Laurent understood that saying nothing about that would be for the best, and keeping secrets was something he had some experience in. Well, ever since he met L'Nai and Rose by extension. Laurent had just turned to watch the room when he saw Rose motion to him from the corner of his eye, and instantly she had his attention.

Almost on cue, his stomach rumbled, and his mouth did feel a little dry. " You always seemed to know what I needed before I did."

Chuckling, he nodded and said that he did not feel too picky and drank anything they had available. Within a relatively quick time, he was provided with food and drink. The ale was delightful, and the roasted bird he was brought was moist and had a delectable flavor. Rose would know that the man had little time to relax and very little space he could relax in other than his own private chambers. He took a moment while he ate to soak in the atmosphere, and what he grew increasingly aware of was the lack of recognition or eyes on him. It felt so liberating to go without being a large focus of people's attention. In LaQuin, he could not step out of the palace without eyes on him, but here he was just another male that seemed to be close to Lady Rose, but that was what these people knew of him, and he knew then that once he returned, he would no doubt long to visit this place again.

After swallowing another bite, he turned to Rose wiping his mouth with a towel before speaking," Thank you for the dinner, Rose. How could I repay such hospitality and kindness?"
 

Hekazu

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Mistaken? Spring plucked his lip with one of his wings. "No, I'm quite certain that's what she said", he muttered mostly to himself. "But then again, I'm not her so what am I to say for the true nature of things." A shrug followed. Not that any of those mentions would really have mattered. If Mr. Hurst was here, that world was accessible. If Winter went there in humanoid shape, and nonhumans were welcome, everything would simply slot into place. It cannot be that difficult. "Must have been quite the visit for Your Highness", Spring then added more audibly for Lady Rose, "given how casual magic use is for you. Unless that has changed with time, I'd think it took quite a bit of concentration to refrain." Or perhaps she would be afforded diplomatic immunity as a ruler of a foreign nation? But in that case, would a messenger not also be afforded that? Well, not like he'd start asking about that. Better let oneself be corrected and form a conversation than try and shove every single eventuality into one sentence.

Diplomatic Immunity did appear to be something that would affect his liege here, and that made him quite happy in fact. "I will need to discuss with Her Royal Eminence", Spring nodded at the idea. "Her Majesty does scream royalty with her presence however. That could be difficult, if we assume that the locals would expect Her Eminence to then be challenging you. Not that She would not be able to protect herself, but it would make for quite the hassle and take away the reason for the visit itself. After all, even the high and mighty need to be able to relax every now and then. I trust I had no need to say that out loud however, considering what you, Lady Rose, have chosen to work on despite the status of royalty."

He let his eyes bounce between Lady Rose and Mr Hurst, until a nod to himself decreed a conclusion he felt had been inevitable. "Granted your extended acquaintanceship, this nosy wyvern supposes it is time for him to excuse himself. If it does not bother you, Lady Rose, might he be granted his full stature once more? No need to try and twist me into my wyvern self, I'm not departing just yet. And I do hope this is not the last time we talk." With these words said, he remained by her for a moment longer to hear her answer.
 

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"Dear child, do you think that all because my friend has arrived that you need flutter away? It tis not needed. It is not as if I plan to sweep him away to my bedroom. He has come a long way from home and it is polite to greet our guests, is it not? You could also speak with him. He is known as a gentle giant and friends of all who approach him."

Rose gently scooped up the tiny wyvern and, with a flick of her wrist, sent him into the air. However, by the time he was but a few feet from the throne where she sat, his body had returned to full size, talons planted on the ground. Whether he stumbled, that was dependent on how he reacted when given the toss. "You are more size appropriate this way as well to speak with her guest. He will likely hear you much better."

Her attention and gaze fell back to Laurent. "Sir Hurst, you should eat slower. Even giants choke to death... It is known in the stories. You have fought too many wars and come back to tell the tales for a little bit of roast or potatoes to put an end to you."
 

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"Oh is that how you view me?" Spring asked with a quirked eyebrow at her note of calling him a child. that would explain a few things. "I must say, the stature you have granted me may misdirect you in that regard. As for my assumptions, if I were to see you whisk him off I would not need to make myself scarce now would I? It is my vocation as a diplomatic messenger that directs me to allow a monarch a moment of privacy when their old friends come along. You never know what they might want to discuss, something not privy to the ears of others."

He jumped with her motions and spun in the air more for effect than anything else, now returning to his usual size just as he had asked her to do for him. The landing was an easy one, there being enough airborne capacity in him to recalculate the trajectory on the fly even as he himself altered his size. It was as if he had gone through a similar process on his initial arrival to the place, when he had glided through the canal and risen up to enter the building as his smaller self. In fact, it was all very similar to that even if it now went the other direction, him growing to settle down.

"But", he added now with a brush of his wing against the side of his head, "since I remain welcome in this company, perhaps I shall indeed stay." He took a moment to recapture for himself a bowl of cider he could hold in his wings and resumed hanging around the edge of the conversation. After all, he had been invited to do so. Perhaps there even was reason beyond her wanting to suggest she wanted to have people in her bedroom that were not him. He'd be quite peeved if it was just that however.
 

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Laurent watched the exchange between the two, and though he had seen wonders before it never ceased to amaze him at how mundane he seemed compared to the wyvern and the other patrons of the tavern. He watched as Wyvern tumbled through the air and landed beside the throne. The giant then turned back to Rose when he was spoken to again and in response, he chuckled,” Forgive me. The food is delicious and I will admit getting your invite and arriving here allowed little time to eat. I apologize for my ill manners. Forgive me.”

Laurent then turned his attention back to the wyvern and bowed his head to the wyvern in a rather humble act. “I apologize to you if my…familiarity with Rose made you believe you needed to leave. I am honestly rather amazed by you and other patrons here. My home is so much more mundane than what I have seen in my short time here.”
 

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"LaQuin is far from mundane, Laurent... Magic is banned, but the inhuman are not..." Of course, that did limit how many inhuman wanted to live there, but Laurent had seen his fair share of unique creatures. Even dragons, but Wyverns were not as common in the lands as other beasts. "After all, you met me there, did you not?"

Giving a soft smile, she then continued on, though to a topic prior. "You only had to walk through a portal to get here, Sir Hurst. It is not as if you starved along the way." Her hand rose to cover her mouth as she let out a chuckle, a habit she had no matter who people met her as. Something she likely learned as a child.

"Dear Wyvern," her attention fell on him now, head shifting to indicate so beyond her words due to her eyes being harder to track, "everyone is a child by age in my eyes... It is never said to belittle but endearment. I am old and see the people of the worlds things to protect, much like children."
 

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Spring smirked at her words, his tongue clicking as he glanced back at her from the corner of his eye. "You are not the first being with troves of life-experience that I have come across", he tilted his head, showing his teeth in the expression. Sharp, the bunch of them. But hardly revealed in a snarl. "Yet you are most definitely the first that would call another a child and not be chastising them for something. I suppose it comes with your heart. After all, you have proven to have certain qualities of gentleness and, dare I say, love that many of those I've come to know have lacked after the twists and turns of their lives." He sipped his cider then, preceding it with a little shrug of his shoulders. "Whence it come, that much I cannot claim to know of the path you've walked."

Now turning to Mr. Hurst, he flashed the same grin at him in turn. "Comes from a kingdom that bans magic via a magical portal into a world with inhabitants as manifold as your home, and you comment on the sorts you see? One would be inclined to think you are trying to hide things from me and Lady Rose is slapping you on the wrist for it!" He let out a friendly laugh and shook his head. "No, no, I do not believe so in all actuality. Perhaps, more than the sorts around, it is the magic they may wield more openly that fascinates you about them? It is quite a chore to deal with in everyday context, so I cannot say I do not feel the slightest pang of envy for a life in a world where trinkets such as mine are not needed to ensure our minds remain free of alterations that would spell disaster for the confidentiality of acting as messengers."
 
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“And make sure you find another boat, ‘cause you ain’t bringin’ that junk back on mine!”

Cutting words from a man who would have been fine had he not been too stupid to…


She cut off her thoughts with a sigh. Not bothering to look around, she focused instead on adjusting the wheels yet again so she could get this contraption moving. She really needed new parts; Stormhaven was all about mages, not mechanics, and they typically didn’t listen when you told them not to fuck with something. Idiots, the lot of them…Sailmasters especially! She grimaced. She wouldn’t have minded being on the water so much if she could have gotten aboard a ship run by an actual Sailmaster rather than one of those sailors who’d been on a ship for a year and figured “fuck it, I don’t have the title or the experience, but I’m sure I could run a ship!”

At least she didn’t get seasick. She checked the “junk” on her “mechanical monstrosity” and set the “bucket of bolts” to shoddily rolling down the gangplank. It creaked, squeaked, and ground metal against metal - she really needed to upgrade this thing; maybe there’d be a shop somewhere in Sita that could help? She glanced at the small screen set into the wolf-like machine’s back and rapped it hard with a knuckle; the crystal was thick and sturdy enough that such a thing wouldn’t damage it, and well that it was - it had certainly been expensive enough. The words under the screen told her exactly what the “Sailmaster” had said, each tiny green grain of sparkling sand coming together to form shapes that she could read beneath the screen. The rap did the trick, shaking the sandbox so that the letters collapsed through the sieve back into the pit beneath it. The mana charge was running low but she had more than enough to get this over to the tavern; she could swap out the mana shards there and recharge them later. It was by way of controlled mana pulses that the sand was able to be manipulated, and the light filtering through the crystal plate - the screen - altered the apparent color of the sand as it formed words, outlines, and other shapes.

Solveig had never had much going for her, but even the mages around her had admitted on more than one occasion that she was brilliant. She had uncovered ways to use magic they had never conceived of, channeling it through wood and metal and runes and sand and crystal and other materials in ways that baffled them. Rituals and runes were all good and well, but why not set up a means by which to take the bricks out of the backpack? Why not have a machine do all the hard work and heavy lifting so that you could focus on the magic? An artificer, some foreigner had called her once; she’d never heard the term before but she liked it. Well, now she was a foreigner. The mages certainly didn’t want her, anyway; they didn’t really respect her, and they certainly didn’t understand her or her inventions. They thought it was a bad way to do magic…they were traditionalists, which would have been fine if they had not leaned so hard into it that they couldn’t see the actual brilliance of what she had accomplished.

Constructs didn’t have to be made from stone or clay or smelted metal. Sometimes, they could also be made from other things and metal could just be the casing. That was the case for Volva, so named (it meant “seer”) because he was…well, technically, it was her means of better understanding the world. The mages had never had a problem with her lack of aural proficiency, even relying on an old system of hand signals that hadn’t been used in decades to make communication easier, but they hadn’t understood why she needed to make something so complicated just so she didn’t have to read lips or wring her hands through complicated signage all the time. Her hands got too tired to work if she just kept waving them about or twisting them into complex symbols.

Thankfully, she was smart enough to study the system herself and expand upon it. They were happy because they could spend more time working on their magic instead of having to master an outdated method of communication, and she was happier because she could finally get simple messages across and still do her own work. The small, inverted horn set into the construct’s back just above the screen worked as part of an audio receptor and the sand was manipulated in order to show her what people were saying without her having to turn around and look at them (and make them repeat themselves after they’d finally gotten her attention). The sieve plate made it easier to separate the sand and formed a kind of floor beneath it so that the words and image outlines could form properly, held in place by the channeled mana, and the light through the screen helped to distinguish the sand from that which was too far below it - below the sieve plate - to be affected. The whole thing was called a sandbox, and the audio receptor set just ahead of it - both systems built into the back, just betwixt the shoulder joints - took in sound vibrations that could then be interpreted as words. The sandbox was probably one of her more brilliant ideas, if not her most brilliant, at least for herself.

Being deaf in her youth had been hellish; she would not have wished her “deficiency” on anyone.

Well, maybe on the not-Sailmaster. But just for a while! Then he could have a bit of trouble.

Humbug. There was a tavern ahead…she didn’t know who this Lady Rose was, but apparently there was a bounty on her head - and she didn’t give a shit. Solveig grinned; she liked this woman already. Her grin faded as a gust of wind hit her square in the face, making the wavy bob of her shoulder-length blonde hair tangle itself in its harrying. She sputtered as she hastily straightened out her locks as best she could. Somehow, getting her hair curled had made such things as this even worse. The wind was picking up quickly; time to go inside.

She let out another sigh, half-exasperated and half-relieved that she was out of that wind, when the door finally slammed shut behind her. It had been kicked a little harder than necessary by the right hind limb of the construct. Ironically, it wasn’t the canine hindquarters that were having such a rough time of things but the wheeled forequarters, although that left hindquarter was a bit stiff…she probably just had to adjust the joints on it, maybe loosen a couple of screws. She wouldn’t be surprised if she’d stripped a few trying to fix it the last time. The smiths in Stormhaven had probably been the only ones happy with her, as they’d taken a lot of her coin literally inventing new kinds of tools and things that tools could work on and with based on her designs; actually, some of them had created innovations that she hadn’t thought of. Rather impressive, really, and she definitely welcomed actual thought rather than disdainful consideration.

Her eyes - the right one a vibrant purple, the left one an icy blue - scanned the room. More than one person was looking at Volva, and not at all pleasantly; it wasn’t the quietest contraption, to be honest, especially since it was in need of repairs and a possible overhaul. Solveig, of course, couldn’t hear a damned thing - but everyone else could. She patted the metal wolf construct awkwardly on the head, and made her way through the tables to one that looked relatively empty; it had one guy who took a look at her, furrowed his brow, and quickly took his bowl and flagon elsewhere. That was fine by her - one less person to deal with.

Standing just five feet tall had some serious disadvantages when it came to finding a chair she could sit in comfortably, but it hardly mattered with regard to the hefty pack she removed with a wince and settled carefully onto a seat. Her back popped a little as she stretched, and she could almost feel her shoulders coming out of her sockets when she swung her arms a bit, careful to make sure no one was near her. Turning to Volva, she checked the lidded bin strapped to its back; it was still secure. Good. She sighed a third time. Well…time to deal with more people.

She could really use a drink.
 

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Laurent chuckled as Lady Rose corrected him about his home. " This is true, but that does not mean I still do not find myself in awe of those who are unnatural, as you say. As for my hunger, I am afraid your letter came with my dinner. As embarrassed as I am to admit it when I saw who the letter was from I might have forgone my meal to read it." shaking his head, he relaxed back in his chair as Spring addressed him and hearing this from a large wyvern the irony was not lost on him.

" Spring, I have seen my fair share of magic. I have even had the honor of our host here, who, in a way, saved me when I was in over my head. Magic and those of magical means fascinate me. When I think about seeing it all, I always discover something new. Even in this tavern, I see things I could only dream of, but they are here in front of me. So please forgive me if I seem a bit overwhelmed and awed." There was then a terrible ruckus coming from the front, and again, Laurent's eyes behind his white bangs went wide.

It was the metal animal that made a noise like no other. Eventually, it did fade into more background noise, but it was still consistently there. He had heard legends and rumors of creatures made entirely of metal, but to see one move and act like the actual flesh and blood thing seemed nearly impossible until now. Turning to the other two, he shook his head and voiced his own feelings," I am happy to see that I am barely even noticeable here. Well, as unnoticeable as I can be next to our host."
 

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"Sit around me and the people grow envious, whispering little rumors of who returns to my chambers at night. They truly live the life of gossip..." Her gaze shifted to the sound of the new arrival, though she never fully turned to look. She had eyes in ever corner who could keep watch for her and all eyes were her own. Despite what the new arrival thought, there were chairs for all sizes. If they could design a seat so rapidly for a man of Laurent's stature at nearly 9-feet tall, there were plenty of chairs to suit a shorter stature or a heavier stature.

Where one gathered in the tavern decided the seating. For the bar, yes, it was taller due to the tender not having the glamorous steel spine needed to hunch through their shift. For those who came in of the shorter stature, they often huddled with their own or those of similar size, leading to tables and chairs that sat low being sporadically placed. A few tables were even designed to be half high with a drop to a lower section on the other half for those who needed a mix for their party.

Anything more unique, such as Laurent's chair, it had to be noted by the Queen...or just requested of the tender to reach her ear. She had a habit of ensuring all her guests were comfortable. If she failed to do so, it was a clear sign she wanted the person gone without a desire to use force.

To the Wyvern, she smiled. "The portal opened was outside the city. I am well aware of their rules. I lived there for quite a while as a maiden working in the king's palace. Laurent is..." She thought a moment on the correct choice of words. "Laurent is a man who enjoys taking in all he sees... His life was spent in war and so a change of pace is unique in his life." Laughing softly as her free fingers rose to cover her mouth, she spoke a thought. "I should plan an excursion to a place where all creatures are taller than him. That would truly be new to him when so used to looking down over all he is near..."

Lowering her hand to her lap, she lifted her glass in the opposite. "Though many creatures, though tall to humans," she motioned as she said this to the Wyvern, "are still shorter than our friendly giant."
 

Hekazu

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Spring was not blind to the arrival of a new guest, but it didn't raise in him much interest at this time. A traveller accompanied by something that went grind and clank. He saw plenty of those on a regular basis, so unless someone was to specifically divert his attention from his present conversation to pay more heed to this fresh soul or it turned out they were hunting wyverns, he'd give them about as much attention as well past half the clientele: Close to none.

Besides, the conversation continued in a direction that was of great interest to him! Living life in war, and speaking of creatures taller than the already noticeably tall male. "Most of my life was spent hiding and I'm now taking in the joys the world may offer in dosage I may afford. It is safe enough to see this place, whereas wyverns such as I are less welcome in most settlements. Especially if I was to show myself as I was before I was granted access to this shape before you now. I'd have made a right mess of this place by now, for if my wings get in the way enough for me to be shrunk… then I suppose the bigger me would have received the same treatment actually." He shrugged his wings, soon scraping his talons over one another with surprisingly loud scratching noises coming from the repeated impacts.

"When it comes to larger creatures though, perhaps I may recommend the company of the Tel'Horthin? They may not be as beautiful as they were before the curse that humbled them anew, but they are certainly the largest members of the elvenkind and true giants in their stature if not by blood. It may not be wholly safe yet, given the station of our many peoples is precarious to say the least, but once things calm down a little I imagine that might be one potential site", he gave a suggestion of his own volition. Speaking of the effects of the war without currently being on business to work for his peoples did raise in him a pang of guilt, but he was no soldier and had nothing on his plate anyway. Else he would not have come here in the first place. The worries would be discarded for now, and perhaps once a new day dawned on the morrow he would be able to get into the fray once more.