Sheen sat down next to Joris and groaned theatrically, leaning forward until her forehead rested on the table. “I am SO out of shape,” she announced.
Talan leaned over and poked the rock-solid muscle under her sleeve. “Really,” he said skeptically.
“For smithing,” Sheen clarified, rubbing her arm and glaring at him. “I’m out of condition. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“So is that where you’ve been all day the past couple days?” Joris asked. “We were beginning to think you’d pulled a Haden.”
“I got a job in that shop we saw near the Black Sail,” she explained.
Talan scowled and folded his arms. “So you’re just going to go off and leave us, then, is that it?”
“No, of course not. It’s just a temporary thing. I’m a smith, Talan, I don’t think it’s fair for you to expect me to give up my life’s work entirely just because we’re not in Faerûn any more.” Sheen sighed and leaned back in her chair, stretching until her spine popped. “Besides, we can’t expect windfalls like this last job to come along all the time.”
Talan nodded. “Maybe we should all find work. It’s not good to be sitting around idle, and I’m sure we all have our passions that have nothing to do with hunting down missing barmies.”
“I’d like to find a temple of Mystra, personally,” Joris said a bit shyly. “Temples always need hands and feet, if not swords and shields.”
Sheen nodded. “What about you, Talan?”
The half-elf thought for a while. “I’m curious to know where all the food comes from around here, actually. Do you see any farms? Animal herds? I’m betting when I find out, I’ll find someone that’s also in need of some assistance,” he said. “And I like animals. Dogs especially. I’d get one, but Chirper’s doesn’t allow pets.”
“You actually asked?” Joris said, startled.
“Well, that brings me to another point,” Sheen said. “Dr. Rhas has a room above the shop that he rents out. He had to toss out the last tenant because the man was a deadbeat. He wants me to take the room. It’s a lot cheaper than living here. And, well, it’s nice to have your own place, so you don’t have to carry all your belongings on your back everywhere you go.”
“There’s something to be said for the free and unencumbered lifestyle, though,” Talan said, smiling.
“I’ll bet you say something different the next time Chirper’s is crowded and they shove us all in one room together. You know how Joris snores,” Sheen said.
“I do not!”
“Sounds like a bull moose being strangled,” Talan said agreeably.
“It does not!”
Talan laughed at Joris’s indignant expression. “So now all we have to do is convince Haden to find gainful employment, and we’re all set.”
“Ah, but I already have a profession that occupies all of my time,” Haden said, sitting down. He was still a bit paler than usual, but when Sheen gave him a concerned look he smiled wanly.
“What’s that?” Talan asked.
“I lounge, my dear friend, I lounge. Someone has to do it so that all you busy bees get to experience the self-righteous pleasure of looking down your noses at me.” He feigned a long-suffering sigh and adopted a martyred expression. “It’s a terrible sacrifice, but one I will endure for the sake of my friends.”
“Don’t hurt yourself,” Talan said, chuckling.
“Are you feeling better today, though?” Sheen asked.
“If you’re asking whether I still feel that it would be a relief to remove my own head with a pickaxe, then yes. Besides, we have an important chore to take care of before we go get the invitation from my . . . before we get the invitation.”
“What’s that?” Sheen asked.
Haden grinned. “Shopping.” Talan and Sheen looked baffled, but Joris groaned.