(retro)The Life of Women in the Yards

A cheery fire danced on the hearth at Salty Eye Lodge, where Mariasha had settled in for the afternoon to enjoy a bit of lunch. The Lodge, in spite of its rough-sounding name, was a well-appointed inn that catered to ship’s officers, and was located near enough the waterfront for those staying upstairs to have a nice view of the river and the harbor without being close enough to smell it.

“And they do serve a mighty tasty fish stew!”, the young Warder thought to herself as she called a girl over to order another bowl. She didn’t eat out that often, maybe once a week as a treat, but there were days when she felt the need for something that wasn’t barracks food.

Today, of course, had been one of those days. A few hours spent falling off of logs for balance training in icy wind had convinced her pretty quickly that a warm inn and a warm meal would be a welcome change of pace from the daily grind. “Of course,” she thought to herself in wry bemusement, “That doesn’t change the fact I’ve got other things to do today in that vein!”

Shaking her head, she waited patiently for her second bowl of stew, and turned her gaze to the flames twirling around the thick logs in the hearth. Which, of course, was interrupted by a human whirlwind named Thera coming in the door. Mariasha stood up and called out, “Thera! Come join me… erm.. what’s wrong?”

Mariasha Valnar
Bemused and Sore Warder


14 April (cont’d)

Mari blinked at Thera’s tirade and let out a soft whistle. The other woman was grumbling into the table now; her whole body spoke of wanting to stab something. Raising her hand, she waved over one of the serving girls, “A round of stout ale, if you would?” The girl murmured an acknowledgment and departed, and Thera raised her head a few inches off of the table.

“I figured you could use a stiff drink,” Mariasha smiled apologetically, “But… y’know… might relax you a bit and keep you from stabbing someone.” The other woman grumbled something incoherent, but sat up the rest of the way.

Eying her near-empty bowl, Mari pushed it aside and leaned closer to Thera. “Condescending men, you say?” she smiled softly, and dropped her eyes to the table. Mari considered for a minute, and spoke again, “Have I ever told you why I came to be a Warder?” Thera eyed her quizzically. “It’s not the normal reason, I assure you.” Thera grunted non-commitally before speaking, “Umm… why then?”

Mariasha leaned back in her chair and stared at the ceiling, “My father was trying to marry me off in spite of what I wanted for myself in life, so I ran away from home and ended up here… how’s that for condescending?” She laughed, dropping her eyes back to Thera and letting a wry smile play across her lips, “But that’s in the past, and I’m my own woman now,” she sneezed suddenly and grumbled, “Even if I’m probably coming down with a cold from falling into the blood river.”

At that moment, the serving girl returned with the beer. Mari fumbled a few coppers onto the table and grabbed one of the mugs. Taking a healthy swig, Mariasha grinned again, “Besides, our problems aren’t so bad that a pint or two can’t sort them out!”


May 4th (cont’d)

Mariasha smiled as Thera pulled out her dice cup, “Nothing like a drink and a bit of a gamble to pass the time,” she thought to herself as she pulled out a couple of coppers and placed them on the table. Stacking them neatly, she nodded to Thera, who replied, “I always liked a girl who could gamble.”

”Is she flirting with me?!” Mari thought with some incredulity as the other woman tossed a copper onto the tabled and passed over the dice cup. Matching the bet, Mari eyed the cup and picked it up. As she began to shake it, Thera spoke again, “So, tell me Mari, now that you’ve escaped your condescending man, how do you like life at the White Tower?”

Tossing the dice onto the table, Mari groaned to herself, ”A three and a two; this isn’t off to the best start.. especially if she’s going to be flirting with me too!” She handed the cup back across to Thera and replied to the other woman’s question, “I quite like it here at the Tower. Things aren’t nearly as hard as I had envisioned, but not a cakewalk either… lots of training, but we all know that!”

She paused to push another copper onto the center of the table as Thera rolled again – a six and a four. ”Blood and bloody ashes, someone’s luck is in today, and it’s not mine!” Mari thought to herself as she scooped the dice into the cup and rattled it. “As for my father… I guess you could say that it felt like a betrayal of sorts.”

Another poor roll – a one and a three. Mari pushed forward yet another copper, and handed the cup back to Thera. Taking a healthy chug from her ale, she continued, “I was an only child, you see, so I had childishly hoped to take over the smithy from my father. He let me help him out, you know – sweeping up, pumping the bellows, and so on. Sometimes he’d let me make little things, that is, if my mother was away visiting her sisters or something!”

Mari made yet another poor roll of the dice and commented, ”I swear Thera, you’ve got all the luck tonight! But you know what they say about luck in gambling and luck in love, right?” The Andoran woman winked, and drained her ale. She gestured across the inn for more, and continued, “Anyways, I don’t even know whose ‘brilliant’ idea trying to marry me off was, and I obviously didn’t stick around to find out – marriage just isn’t for me!”

Her next mug of ale arrived, and Mariasha eyed it thoughtfully, “How many of these have I had now?”


14 July 2008

“What do you say Mari, care to raise a few eyebrows?” Thera stood up and held out her hand.

Mari blinked hazily into her cups, “Blood and bloody ashes, she really is flirting with me… what under the Light…” Biting her lip, she looked up at the other woman, “While the company has been more than fine, and I do like a bit of a dance, I have to say that my interests lie elsewhere.”

She stood up, pushing herself upright against the table, “I’m… sorry.. if you thought otherwise.” Mari watched as Thera’s hand drifted down to her side again, and clapped her hands across her mouth as a hiccup attempted to escape.


28 July 2008

Mari blinked fuzzily at Thera, “Woman keeps moving around too much,” she muttered under her breath, “Let’s find the bottom of the mug instead!”  Happy with her choices, she proceeded to throw back the rest of her drink.

When she put the mug down, there was suddenly another person at the table.  Leaning over carefully, Mari blinked, “Wh.. where’d you come from… C-cy?”  She hiccuped and giggled, “Anyways, now that you’re here, mind buying another round?  My drink seems to have vanished again.”

“Have a seat, we were just discussion our days of training, Unless of course you are feeling up to a dance?” Thera winked and smiled still feeling a bit fuzzy from the ale.   Mari giggled a bit; what had Thera said about dancing earlier?  No, no, it wasn’t important..

“Trainee again, you said?”  Mari asked while innocently trying to filch Thera’s  full-seeming drink.  Thera whapped her hand, and the Andoran woman giggled again, “To be a trainee again… no, nope.. didn’t make as much as a trainee!”  She grinned and lobbed a sloppy wink across the table as the barwench brought over another round, and Mari let herself sample a bit – just to make sure it tasted good.  Satisfied, she unsteadily raised her head back up and grinned, “Though making more now, it doesn’t seem to last as long!”  Another hiccup, and she leaned back in her chair… and fell over.

Snorting a laugh, she unsteadily set the chair back up, glared at the seat, and lowered herself back into it with all the dignity a drunk can have.