After my bath, I met up with Laurenna in her chambers, plucking away at the harp, trying to make sense of it.

"What's for dinner?" she asked.  "Fun." I replied.

I didn't have to ask twice.   


It was cold and snowey as we left the castle, but Laurenna didn't seem to mind it at all. Nords love the cold, it seems, and she was no exception.

I, on the other hand, was glad to finally make it to Davie's Locker and get out of the blizzard.

Davie welcomed us, half-drunk as usual, pointed us to the fun and activities, then continued to drink himself under the table.   


In the time it took me to find a couple of fried trout for us to consume, Laurenna had gone wild with some Nord guy, and they were busy dancing up a storm.

Ah, if only I were that young again. Why is there no "youth" spell in my list?   


While the two kids were busy dancing, I slipped over to Hesa-Gotta-Deep-Pockets, and tried my hand at guessing where the pearl was.

I put out 100 gold, and made my guess.  


"Ah, it makes good bet." he said, as I guessed correctly. It wins 100 gold."

I now had my original 100, and 100 more.  This didn't seem too hard.

"It wishes to make try again?" he asked me. "Yes." I replied, and gave him another 100 gold.

"This one is honored you trust so." came the reply, while shuffling the three shells quickly with his clawed fingers.

"Now, it guesses where pearl hides".

My second guess was not good. "It loses, so sorry." he said. "Does it wish to try again?" I decided on one more try, and failed again. Well, so much for my betting skills. I can go up against horrible monsters, but this seems to be one creature I cannot defeat.  


I returned to Laurenna, nibbling on the fried trout I had bought for us, and seeing the look on my face, asked "So, how much did you lose?"

I just smiled, and said "This one only lost 200 gold."

"Ha!" she laughed. "Serves you right for trusting that shell-game artist."

"Oh, it was all in fun." I said.

We continued eating and sipping on brandy until it was nearly midnight. I walked over to Davie and put a bet on one of the two Nords that were about to have a fist-fight in the bar.  Laurenna and I took a position well away from any possible entanglements.  


Somone, it might have been Davie himself, hit the side of a bowl, making a bell sound off as Midnight came across the bar, and the fight was on!   


Laurenna asked "Which one did you bet on?"

"I don't remember, exactly." I shouted, over the roar of the crowd. "I think I bet on the one that was least-drunk."

"Oh, you're probably going to lose again." she replied.   


"You mean the one that's more sober might lose?" I asked.

"Yup!" she said, "We Nords get really strong when we're drunk."

I decided to watch the episode play out, and sure enough, the one who was barely able to stand up actually won the fight.   


After the big battle at the bar, we headed back to the castle.

The bizzard had subsided, but it was still very cold outside.

The warm glow from the windows was most inviting.  


The music from the ballroom caused us to check out the action, were we found yet another party in progress.   


Being a lover of action, naturally, Laurenna had to join in.

The rest of us watched and enjoyed the two girls dancing until 1 am, when I finally said that it was time for bed.  


"The boat for Lokken leaves early," I scolded, "so we had better get some sleep." She pouted. "Unless," I continued, "you want to show up in Lokken with bright red, blood-shot eyes."

"Oh, you're the wise one, alright." she conceded.

We headed up the stairs to the Master's Chambers.   


We made ready for bed.

"You're right." she said. "I'd have been up all night dancing if you hadn't pulled me away."

She looked around the room.

"At least, you finally got rid of that dancing girl." she said. "What ever happened to her?"

"Oh, she's getting married to the weapons trainer." I replied.

"Well, good for her." the said. "I didn't much care to have a dancing girl in here, anyway."

As she crawled into bed, she started to laugh. "Eldorf, the Wise, slayer of dragons, defender of the innocent, Master Mage, killer of monsters, all-around good-guy. . .and sleeps with a teddybear."

"Well, we all need our 'creature' comforts. I said. Now, come here, teddybear. I have some war stories to share with you."