Under new management, the building once known as the The Devil’s Fire Inn tripled in size overnight. Both Vargarian and Draelyn redirected the earth itself. They lifted the building foundation and all, another twenty four feet into the air. Once they had hollowed out the interior to their specifications, the crew they had hired set forth to begin their finish work. Over the next several days, unseen servants labored tirelessly working as assistants delivering tools and materials or simply disposing of any unwanted waste.
To many, this building would just be another place to drink the the days sorrows away. At best, it would be a place of curiosity and an alternative for travelers. He had no doubt that the inn would quickly become popular for its low prices, great food, and secure rooms. For Draelyn it would be much more; it would be a sanctuary.
He hated this city. Melvaunt the “City of a Thousand Forges”. As far as he was concerned the city should have been called the “City of a Thousand Greased Palms”. In his short time here, it has become readily apparent that those with enough coin could write their own laws. If all human cities were like this, no wonder his kind held them in such disdain. People are sold weekly like cattle and it is viewed as something both normal and perfectly acceptable. How he missed Myth Drannor. Why would people want to live like this? There was no nature. The smoke from the forges stayed trapped in the fog that rolled in from the bay. The air was gross and the non stop hammering in the forges might drive him insane. This place though, his new home would be the answer.
Deep below the ground, plans were already in place to excavate and construct not only large rooms for he and his friends but a laboratory where he could pursue his own studies undisturbed. Perhaps underground he would get a reprieve from this frontier mercantile city.
While not quite within his grasp yet, the young wizard had plans to enchant his rooms to make the ceilings appear as the nights sky. He figured a few subterranean trees would go a long way towards making him feel he was back home. Besides, the trees could be both aesthetic and functional.
Lost in thought he felt someone tap his shoulder. “Are you even listening Draeylin?” asked Vargarian. “Hm? Oh sorry” shrugged the half elf. “I was lost in my thoughts” he apologized. The human rested an arm on his friend’s shoulder “You could use some rest. You have been working on this too long, I can take over.”
“I would like to, but I can’t rest with all of this city’s damn noise”.
“Funny, while I’m certainly not in love with the city, the constant activity in the forges remind me of home.”
“Thats one of us… oh say, what were you trying to ask me?”
“Have you seen your brother lately?”
The young wizard blew a strand of hair from his face and shook his head in frustration. “I’m not sure what has gotten into him lately. It’s like hes a different person ever since we set foot here. He’s probably sharing the bed of another local resident. I suppose I can’t be too upset. We all deal with things differently, especially after Xul Jarak.”
Vargarian nodded solemnly, “It almost doesn’t seem real. I keep expecting Daegwyn to burst out of the inn explaining that he has decided to retire from adventuring and open up his own dragon dental practice or something!” They both shared a sad chuckle. “The Laughing Hafling” is a fitting name isn’t it?”
Pacing, Draelyn rubbed the tip of his ear and changed the topic. “Let me show you some of the the plans I have for the basement. I could use a change of scenery.”
With that, the duo descended the long stone steps to what would eventually become their headquarters. “Varg, what are we going to do about Heinder”? He’s getting worse.”
“Can you really blame him? He keeps losing those he has sworn to protect”
“I know, but I hate it. There has to be something we can do.”
“Some wounds just take time my friend. You won’t always find the answer in a book.” Draelyn raised an elven eyebrow, “Books haven’t let me down yet. And besides, I read a fascinating story just the other night!”
“About what?” inquired the cleric half afraid.
“Oh it was a charming story about a young human adventurer who decided to talk to a beautiful Kari-turi chief about their mutual passion…” “By Gond’s beard…” Vargarian groaned.
“for cooking of course” Draelyn winked with a crooked smile. He continued, “Seriously my friend. Why not? If nothing else, do it as a favor to me. You two can discuss recipes and menu design for when we open. Or did you think that all the fantastic meals you cooked by fire when we traveled went unnoticed? Think what you could do with a real kitchen!”
“Fine,” he acquiesced. “But only about the menu.”
“I have the utmost faith in you,” smirked the half elf.
“Only the menu,” Vargarian firmly stated.
“Is is because she doesn’t have a beard?”
Turning red, “This conversation is over.”
“Because I have a spell for that!” he laughed. Draelyn quickly received a look that confirmed this part of the conversation was over. “Ok, ok, enough fun, let’s head back up and see what still needs to be finished for the day.”
Appreciative for the change in subject the two friends traveled back up the stone tunnel.