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'' This can't be true! Nay! Nay!'' A male voice sounded from the dining room. Bastien paused in his slow walk as Des and Aimee winced at the noise. They had just stepped into a rather heated dispute, as it would seem.


''Me God!'' lamented a Round Ear woman, supporting her face with her palms in tandem with the raging man beside her. A deep-skinned Halfing sat at the opposite head of the table with an amused expression on her face. ''Hello Des, you have just missed the good part,'' she said having noticed the Tabaxi and co. standing awkwardly in the entrance.


''W-w-what h-happened?'' Des asked, drawing out a chair next to him for Aimee. The Halfling smiled mischievously ''you know-how Ealair and Fergie wanted to find more about their families?'' ''Y-yeah?'' ''It so happens that it is family,'' ''w-what's that mean?''


''Mean's we're leig fuiling related!'' shouted the man Bastien assumed was Ealair. ''Brother 'n' sister te be exact,'' added Fergie, scraping at the wood table with her rough fingernail. ''O-oh s-shit!'' exclaimed Des, covering his muzzle in the realization of something that Bastien and Aimee were not privy to.


''We can't do noth'in about it now,'' Fergie sighed, heaving herself up from the chair and revealing that she was heavily pregnant. ''Fergie Mik'Gavin,'' she announced, offering a hand to Bastien then Aimee. ''I'm Ealair Mik'Gavin,'' blurted out the red-headed man, appearing to realize that guests were present and sitting up from his slouched position.


''Aimee Calixte! And es is my uncle Bastien! What are you fighting about!'' exclaimed Aimee, startling the others by vigorously shaking Ealair's hand. ''Aimee!'' rebuked Bastien, cuffing her in the back of the head and forcing her to sit. ''Sorry, my niece tends to be overly enthusiastic,'' he apologized ''noth'in wrong with a muss being a wee bit curious,'' laughed Ealair. ''Haha! Not at all, it's just me man an' me just found out we're twin brother 'n' sister. That's we're fight'in 'bout,'' said Fergie, completing Ealair's sentence.


''Oh! A-a-awkward'' croaked Des, ''Yes, quite,'' mumbled the Halfling, inspecting her nails with great enthusiasm. '' 'Ere's supper'' beamed the woman from the kitchen who had suddenly materialized between the uncle and niece. Everyone stacked their plates with crispy sausage and steaming potatoes, achieving relative calm as all present were famished.


Presently, the iron-hinged door squeaked open and a grizzled yet affable looking man walked in. '' Where were ye Fearghaus?'' barked the seeming matriarch of the house, twisting in her seat towards the noise. ''Gavin went an' made everyone work overtime,'' ''again?! That's de fifth time des week!'' '' I know! De bastard,'' concurred Fearghaus, yanking off his hand warmers and hunkering beside his wife to kiss her cheek.


His blue eyes flicked up to notice the visitors, Fearghas straightened with a crack of his back and extended a hand that had coal dust riddling every nook and cranny of it. ''Fearghas Mik'Hamish. And ye probably already know, me wife Innes,'' he divulged, gesturing to the black-haired woman to his left. ''Pleasure,'' Nodded Bastien giving Aimee the evil eye indirectly assuring her it was best to remain seated in quietness.


Conversation flowed well between the group of eight, the Aadich pair learned much. Desire was a young Tabaxi who worked in a traders shop, helping with odd jobs, Innes was a housewife and performed deliveries for the local butcher. The dark-skinned Halfling, Jalila Kader, was a travelling monk of sorts, from the very distant country of Laila. Ealair and Fergie were local, born and raised in Earie now expecting their first child, who, albeit a touch inbred would be loved. And lastly Fearghas, coalminer and owner of this warm and comforting house.


Aimee proffered to help Innes who took her up on it, Fergie also offered but Innes emphasized she should get some rest. Fergie signed in agreement, hobbling up the stairs, Jalila and Des followed momentarily wishing everyone a good night. Leaving Bastien and the two other men alone.


''So what brings ye to Earie?'' began Ealair, who was stuffing a wooden pipe with tobacco. ''Hmm, yes. Not many Aadich come to Sclymegeour much less Earie,'' commented Fearghas, mishandling objects in the top drawer of a beat-up dresser behind his chair.

''Reasons,'' Bastien grunted, accepting a clay pipe retrieved from the formentioned drawer. ''What kind of reasons?'' pressed Ealair, not satisfied with the foreigner's answer ''good ones'' Bastien snarled, beginning to feel on edge. ''Let a man keep his secret's lad! 'El tell us when 'e so pleases!'' Fearghas chided the younger man.


Silence dominated in the room aside from the clanking of dishes and idle chatter from the next until all three pipes had been smoked thoroughly. '' Well, I best let ye turn in. The old muss will-'' ''Oy! I heard that!'' Innes bellowed in mock offence ''-turn down a bed fer ye. Aimee can share with Jalila, sound good?'' Fearghas chuckled at his wife's antics.


''Thank you very much, most people would not have us,'' Bastien rasped, handing the pipe back to the blue-eyed man. ''Nay, ye keep. I've got no need fer it,'' Fearghas assured, pushing Bastien's hand away who tried to protest but Aimee came springing into the room having finished the washing. ''Thank you again,'' said Bastien as he ushered Aimee up the stairs in front of him, ''No problem. It were Des' Idea anyhow,'' laughed Fearghas ''See! I told you this was a good idea!'' hissed Aimee elbowing her uncle in the ribs.

Muss is a way of referring to a woman in Sclymegeour, young or old.
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