King Haddock enters the feast late to give a speech. However, he is disrupted by drunk partiers before he can speak a word to his people. Clover Rose even aggravates the king by throwing a fish -specifically a haddock - at him. However, all this is pushed to the side when Stonegit barges in through the doors, wounded and blinded but astonishing alive. The king and his bodyguard reunite with a hug and then settle down for a drink. Stonegit attempts to warn the king that Hemlock is dangerous, but Haddock pushes that warning aside as the delusional thoughts of a man near death.
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Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock knew the feast had started a few hours back. Of course he knew that. He had been the one to declare the feast in the first place.
Yet while he had intended to host the feast to improve camp morale, he hardly felt the emotional strength within himself to even walk into the room for the festivities. He much rather would have spent the time in his quarters - alone.
Truly lone, now. Haddock looked about the room and shuddered - just slightly. For while Haddock had other body guards, none had been as close to him as Stonegit, nor as persistent to keep him in eye’s sight every moment of the day. At the moment, Haddock’s guards were standing directly outside. Stonegit would have been inside the room.
Well, I really should make an appearance at the feast, he thought, pushing morose memories outside his head. He reached for his crutches, hoisted himself out of his chair, and proceeded to the hall. A few guards, seeing him leave, fell into place behind him.
As soon as he entered the great hall, Haddock paused, shocked. Flabbergasted. An enormous food fight was occurring, and more than a few of his subjects were very obviously drunk. Very drunk. “Thor’s braided beard, what did I miss?” he growled to himself.
He had to struggle not to shout at everyone right then and there. Haddock did not much approve of rowdy events, but he reminded himself that the purpose of this feast was for people to let loose and enjoy themselves, and if that meant a foodfight… well, it was better than watching Stonegit lose an eye or Akkey her memories. He could abide this… for one evening.
Regardless, he wanted to momentarily halt the foodfighting to give the speech he had tediously prepared. A speech to remind everyone to press forward valiantly - that though much sorrow had occurred, there also were better times ahead.
"MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!" he shouted out, and stepped out to the raised dais at one end of the hall. "I would like to speak a few words with you before this night’s festivities end."
Clover Rose: As the king entered, Clover snickered as she saw the type of fish that was in front of her - a haddock. She picks it up and flings it towards his face with surprising accuracy, still snickering as she does so. She watches as it hits the king square in the face.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri giggles madly and waves the leek around in the air.
"Sorry my King!" she shouts. "It had to be done! For fun! For the Spiking and the Drinking! Sing it! You will have fun!" Then she pouts. "Wait, it’s a haddock, not a herring! The Haddock Song doesn’t have the same feel!"
She attempts to sing a line and scrunches her face indignantly. Then she belts, “Of all the fish that swim in the sea, THE HADDOCK IS THE ONE FOR ME!!!!”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Thankfully, Haddock does not collapse downward, but he does stagger backward a bit as the haddock hits him in the face. He glares at the crowd, trying to figure out who did it. His thoughts of trying to keep calm for the sake of group morale fly out the window, and he shouts testily, “Oh, you think that’s funny, do you? Throw a ‘haddock’ at Haddock? He leaned over cumbersomely to pick up the fallen fish. You watch out, because I’ve got a stronger throwing arm than you!”
Then, glaring straight at Kiri, he screams, “DOESN’T EVERYONE KNOW BY NOW I HATE SINGING???”
Fiendal: after hearing people yelling something about haddock you wake with a start, only to see the king about to throw a haddock at kiri he hides a smile under his hands a murmurs !lets see what happens now”
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri, in her drunken state, is unperturbed by the king’s shout. She jumps forward and catches the haddock, shouting with utter glee.
"Let’s play catch!" she bounces on her feet like a small child. "Or we can dance!"
She then proceeds to run forward and attempt to support the king with one arm while dancing with both the haddock and the leek as her partners. In her fuzzy mind, she wants nothing more than a giant peace circle.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock desperately swings his crutch at Kiri, trying to fend himself by knocking her off his feet before she can actually force him into a dance. “Or we could do neither!” he snaps back.
Cassandra: Cassie after hiding from flying food for most of the fest starts to get hungry. As she walks out to the table for some food she feels her tail hit something, then heard a thud of said thing fall to the ground. Turning around she see’s a young boy laying on the ground unconscious (Fiendal) she winced “he’s going to have a headache in the morning” she said to herself before grabbing some fish and going to find Starlord.
Bree Ostberg: Bree giggles as she runs towards the King, and begins to dance around him. “We’ll spike the drinks and other things…”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: The doors to the great hall suddenly swung open, banging loudly on the walls. The noise echoed through the hall, catching everybody’s attention and halting the rowdiness for a moment. Pale fingers curls around the edge of the door, pushing it away as it bounced back off of the wall. Shuffling footsteps could be heard as a dirty, sickly, and slightly ice crusted figure walked into the warmth of the room.
Stonegit raised his head, his sightless eyes looking across the hall. His jaw clenched, he had heard Haddock, he knew he was somewhere. He spread his arms. “What?” he asked. “Did I interrupt your speech?” he growled slightly as his hands clumsily found the edge of the table, his fingers shaking. “You…reckless… death seeking idiot!” he yelled, hurling a mug down the length of the table. It clattered off to the side, breaking on the ground. Stonegit swallowed thickly, his lip trembling. “Where are you?!” he called.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: This time, Haddock actually DID fall down backwards. Hard. The crutches clattered to the floor, and the king sat there, stupefied, looking almost more drunk than the actual drunkards. “Gods above, did I get hit THAT hard in the head with the haddock?” he exclaimed.
He could feel his hands shaking. In fact, they would not quit vibrating. His entire body trembled as he blinked again, again, again, trying to fathom what we he was seeing before him.
How could this be happening?'
"Stonegit…" The image of his allegedly late bodyguard remained before him. He was there. Actually, really, positively there. "What in Odin’s na- wait, did you just call me a reckless death seeking idiot? What did you DO? Oh gods, Stonegit, what did you do?”
And he stood on his feet to try to hobble toward the bodyguard, not even bothering to take the time to grab his crutches. Flailing, tripping forward as quickly as possible, arms flapping wildly as he tried to maintain his balance, the king oh-so-grandly CHARGED toward the blinded bodyguard with all clumsy alacrity.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: The bodyguard bristled, his fists clenching. “Oh well excuse me!” he yelled, unaware of Haddock’s rapid advance. “I was dragged in! I was blind, crazy, broken! And fucking useless on all accounts! And oh yeah I WAS DOING MY JOB! You on the other hand have a wife! And kids! And a kingdom to rule!” a tear ran down his cheek. “Yet I could see it! Every inch of you was itching to sacrifice yourself! I was the one who wanted to get everybody out alive!” he shook his head as the distance between him and the King was closing. “Now if you will just come over here for one second I have something I REALLY need to tell you!”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Hints of half-suppressed tears glinted in Haddock’s eyes. “Oh Stonegit… that Aesir-worthy gold in that heart of yours.” And he stepped forward - tripped forward - to embrace the body guard, then and there, in front of everyone at the banquet. It was a bit of an awkward hug - what between falling into his body guard, and the fact that he kept his back unnatural straight - but it was a clear demonstration of affection nonetheless.
"You did your job," Haddock said, still trying to take all this in. "I tried to do mine. It’s all about the responsible on either end of us. We’d both argue about whose duty superseded whose for eternity, wouldn’t we?"
"Even now," he said. "Gods. You’re all about your duty. You come back from the bloody gates of Helheim… or whatever in the Nine Worlds happened - Odin! I have no idea! - and the first thing you do is you need to tell me something? What you really need more than anything else isn’t a private conversation, it’s an Odindarned doctor.”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stood rigid in his arms, his milky eyes wide as dinner plates as he felt the King’s arms wrap around him. He inhaled shakily, then his eyes closed and his head thudded into Haddock’s shoulder, his arms weakly coming up to hug him back. He stood there in silence, barely hearing what Haddock was saying. But the moment the King began to relax his grip, Stonegit’s eyes snapped open and he reached up, gripping his shoulders tightly. “Listen!” he hissed quickly, hesitating a moment.
He swallowed, reaching up and feeling the King’s face Reasuring himself that it was indeed Haddock, he leaned up to his ear, taking in a breath. “I…” he stopped, his heart beating in his ears. He closed his eyes, thinking back on all the time he had spent with the King, and everything that Haddock had been building up to this point. He swallowed, changing his words. Gripping his shirt so tightly his knuckles turned white, he whispered the words so that only Haddock heard them. "Hemlock is treacherous."
He slowly pulled away, clearing his throat once. “So whatever you do tonight my King…don’t get drunk.” he sniffed once. “And I think…now…the only doctoring I need is a night filled with drink and good food.”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Food. Drink. Yeah. Of course." Haddock responded distractedly, eyes taking in all of Stonegit’s wounds, remembering the blindness with a flash of pain in his mind. "But for Odin’s sake, do me a favor, and after tonight, see a Freyadarned doctor.”
He gently shoved Stonegit toward a table in which untouched food rested. “Here. What sort of food do you need? I can bring it to you. Since you - since you - ” can’t see, he finished silently.
All the while Haddock’s mind whirled, What did Stonegit mean about Hemlock?
It sounded almost like the delusion of a near-dead man. Haddock would have to pursue it with his bodyguard at a later time. But for now, he just wanted to accommodate the unexpected appearance of his bodyguard.
He reached for a glass of wine himself and downed a significant portion of it in a gulp.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit makes himself comfortable in the seat that Haddock had guided him to. His hands ran over to table finding a platter and setting it in front of himself. A sad smile touched his lips. "That’s it then," he thought to himself. "I’m a wash up. A bodyguard is no good blind." he shook his head. He could feel sorry for himself when he was hung over. But tonight he wanted to be happy. He slammed his palms on the table, calling across the room. “Alrightly then! I’ve missed out on enough of this party! Somebody pile this plate full of food and hand me a bucket of whiskey! I have a lot of catching up to do!”
He glanced around the room, even though he was sightless, hoping to reconnect with his friends Jack, Blue, and Emily.
Clover Rose: Clover hears him and drunkenly stumbles over. “No whiskey … got bubble tea though!” She holds up her glass, to drunk to realize that he can’t see her at all. Her tail starts flicking around for no reason, and as she climbs up on the table next to him - because her drunken mind insists that this is a good thing to do - it smacks Stonegit in the face.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Sweet Loki!" Stonegit yelled, taking totally by surprise by the furry tail hitting in the face. But then he relaxed and laughed it off, groping with his hand until he found the cup of bubble tea. He took it and swallowed it down in a gulp. He blinked a few times, enjoying the buzz of the drink. He set the cup down. "Good," he said with a grin. "But if you don’t mind I would prefer the straight vodka you spiked this with."
Clover Rose: "Spiked … ?" Clover looks at him with confusion before nodding. "Okay, I will go find some then." She takes a step forward to get off the table, and trips over her feet, falling forward and landing on top of Stonegit with a cry of surprise.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Gah!" Stonegit sputtered as he got a face-full of thick, fluffy blond hair. He reached out, finding Clover’s shoulder and steadying while at the same time easing her back. "You know what…" he said carefully. "Why don’t I go get that vodka and you sit down. Something tells me that even though I can’t see I’ll run into less people than you."
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Or," the king pointed out, glaring at Stonegit even though he couldn’t see him, "you could always ask someone else like me to get it for you?" Haddock did not much enjoy the thought of leaving Stonegit’s side for a moment, but he would prefer that over the blind man attempting to find the vodka himself. And if he went to grab something for Stonegit, he could grab a little something more for himself. Just a little something. Not too much. Enough to - hopefully - relax him a little.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit turned towards the King, tilting his head sideways. He reached out, pawing around until he found a bottle of wine sitting on a counter top. He bit the cork, popping it out and spitting if off to the side. He quirked his eyebrows once at Haddock, and then titled the bottle back, taking a long swig as he turned, and made his way into the crowd, despite having no clue where he was headed.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "For the love of - !" Haddock began to exclaim, yanking the bottle away from the younger man. "Don’t you have any sense of proper dinner etiquette?" Then Haddock, glancing around at the boisterous room, which was half-covered in potatoes and more than completely disarrayed, slumped his shoulders and sighed. Drinking straight out of a wine bottle was almost flawless decorum compared to other events which had transpired tonight.
"Alright. Fine. I guess it’s fine." Haddock took a quick surreptitious swig out of the bottle before placing it back in Stonegit’s hand.