The Thief of the Rose

Copyright© 2012 by R22CoolGuy

"Thus ends the story of the 'Thief of Roses'," the Bard announced standing up.

Cries of "What? That can't be all!" sounded throughout the inn's common room.

"What of Mara and the quest of the scrying stone?" a patron called out.

"What of the banished God, Lord Devlin?" asked another.

"What about the pregnant Goddess, Rannath?" asked another. "What happens to the baby?"

"Will Aaron restore his people?" asked another. "Does he even want to?"

"Who was awakened by Aaron's use of power?" by another.

"Calm down everyone," the Bard commanded. "Just because I am done with this story does not mean that I am done completely. No, no, there are still sagas to be told, stories about the 'Thief of Shadows', the 'Harpist of Time' - which is one of my favorites, by the way - and many more."

"Do not worry," He continued. "I am just not as young as I once was; my voice tires faster. A little wine, maybe a glass or two of fine single-malt whisky and a nap first. I will be around for a little while longer. Come back tomorrow night or perhaps the next and I will have a new story."

With that he bowed to the crowded inn, picked up his harp bag and left the front heading for the bar. Sitting down at a stool, the innkeeper appeared before him setting down a shot glass and poured from an earthenware jug.

"A good story, Master Bard," the innkeeper held the bottle at the ready.

The Bard lifted the glass in salute and downed the amber liquid in one gulp, smiling at the memory of how he came to prefer the expensive elixir. Although, truth be told, this particular elixir did not hold a candle to Gnomish, but he would not tell his wife that. He needed to remember to instruct them to age their whisky in the barrels. Setting the glass down, he waved his hand and the bartender re-filled the shot glass. Again the Bard lifted the glass in salute and drank it all, setting the glass on the bar, upside down. Placing two gold coins on the glass in the fashion he was taught, he started to get up when the bartender reached out with his hand.

"No coin, Master Bard," the innkeeper smiled. "Just pack them in again, and we will call it even."

"That I can do," the Bard smiled and got up, retrieving his gold. "That I can do."

The Bard went outside and pulled out a leather drawstring pouch and his bone pipe. Packing the bowl with weed, he closed the drawstring and put the pouch away. Looking to the left and then to the right, he snapped his fingers over the bowl, and a spark of blue energy ignited the leaf. Drawing deeply from the pipe, he held the smoke in for a second, and then blew concentric smoke rings into the cool clear night.

"My Lord, a gate opens," the Bard heard in his head. "She comes."

"Thank you, Timekeeper," the Bard replied, absently touching the hilt of his sword.

He turned and watched the shape materialize, as if stepping through a door. The woman that stepped through the gate was beautiful. Medium height and weight, red flowing hair and green eyes, that sparkled when she smiled. A small nose, with freckles marching up one side, and down the other. Dressed in a simple white gown, belted at the waist.

"I thought I might find you here," She smiled, stepping into his arms and kissing him.

"I relate more with this time, than any other," he smiled, returning the kiss. "I guess I always will. I do miss the other races though."

"Then everything worked out alright?" She asked.

"Yes, the error in calculations has been corrected," he replied.

"Come my husband," She stepped back and took his hand. "My brothers have created a new Mythos, and would like our opinion on its viability."

"As long as we can be back by the end of the week," he replied. "I promised another story."

Melvina, the handmaiden, opened a gate, and she and her husband, Reginald Ravensblade, Harpist of Time, stepped through.

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