Echoes of Invasion: There’ll Be Heledd to Pay | Scene 3

With the dishes all done—or at least what she thinks done means—Hepalonia looks around the rest of the kitchen. Most of the drapes in the common area conceal private booths which she has already experienced twice, so prior to this evening, she had not thought much about the curtain at the end of the bar. Now that she is by herself in the non-public section, though, she cannot restrain her curiosity. She pokes around the kitchen some, opening jars of spice and cabinets. There are doors here, too. Her house has a pantry, so she figures one of these could lead there. She pushes against a door that is already cracked open, but instead of shelves of food, she is surprised to find a small bedroom. Do our servants have rooms off our kitchen? she wonders.

From her place in the doorway, she sees simple furniture: a bed, a desk and chair, a chest. The desk has no papers or books upon it. Draped across the back of the chair is a vest, but also a bandolier holding half a dozen knives. They are such small knives, too, nothing like Tric Manu’s hunting knife. Heppa has never seen knives so small. “Huh.”

“What are you doing in Alric’s doorway?!” Yggy shrieks as he barges through the curtain into the kitchen. “I told you not to touch anything in here!”

Oh! Is that what this is? Heppa thinks. Those knives… they would be quite obvious with the blouses and vests Alric wears, so he is not concealing a set on him all the time. But she imagines that if he had on some sort of jacket or cloak, they would remain unseen. “I’m so sorry,” she apologizes as she backs away from the door. “I thought it was going to be food. I’ve never been in a kitchen before.”

“You’re still hungry? Isn’t your party the one who had the steaks?” Yggy starts listing all the other components of that meal, which he is clearly very proud of having put together. He seems offended that it was not filling enough, and Heppa rushes to assure him that it was delicious. She is also impressed with his memory as he rattles off the combinations of spices that went into the seasonings. As soon as she expresses interest in the making of the meal, Yggy’s ire calms. He happily describes to her all the work involved. It is obvious to Heppa that he enjoyed the opportunity to prepare something more elaborate than the standard stew. Cooking seems more a vocation than a job to him. “It was a real treat to put this together for such fancy customers tonight,” Yggy tells Heppa. “Especially since last night whatever joker was up on stage was calling my food garbage.”

Alric has been very good-natured about Tric Manu’s running joke, but Hepalonia can see why Yggy might not be. Once again, she placates him, “No, the stew is wonderful!” They talk about the recipe some, and Yggy tells Heppa which butcher and baker provide the key ingredients and how he transforms them into a proper dish. This is all quite fascinating to her.

The short discourse on cooking finished, Heppa emerges from the kitchen to join her cousin. Alric is heading over to the front door. Prior to locking it, he steps outside for a few moments, but then he comes back inside and secures it.

As they head up the stairs, Hepalonia excitedly tells Tric Manu, “I washed dishes!”

“That’s good, being helpful,” he tells her. “They looked short-staffed. Where was Heledd tonight?” He has not seen her since she finished laying the table for their little dinner party.

“I don’t know, but I’ve never washed dishes before,” Heppa continues inside their room. “There were so many of them!”

“The key to dishes is to eat as much of the food as possible so that there is as little as possible left to clean,” he advises. 

“And I got to carry the trays… I don’t think that’s a job for me. But just wait till I tell Mother!” Heppa doubts she would ever do so; she does not know how her mother would react to her performing a job so beneath her station.

Tric drifts off to sleep to the sound of his cousin listing all the different things she learned about their dinner. The spices are interesting enough to hear about, human ones being slightly exotic since many are different from elvish ones. But the crockery? Not so much.