The next day I awoke, closer to the afternoon than the morning, to the sound of Jig Sawyer pounding on the inn door. I opened it a crack and asked him what he wanted, a little groggily. “Kiira!!” he shouted “why you not wake! Almost time Tournament!” I looked at him for a moment, shook my head, and opened the door for him to come in. “Have you seen Alanna?” I inquired. He said he hadn’t and proceeded to go knocking on the rest of the doors in the inn. I tried to stop him but sometimes, there is no stopping the Jig. I sighed and went back into my room while he did his rounds. He eventually returned, saying he hadn’t found her. I asked him if he had seen Reggie and he said he was downstairs. I asked Jig to go grab him for me. He brought up Reggie and his newfound wife, still making out. I sighed and glared at Jig a few moments. I told Reggie that I was sorry to interrupt but could I borrow his makeup kit for a few minutes. Interestingly, he vehemently refused to let me even touch it. However, he did manage to fix my makeup so that I once again looked like a Fire Elf, which is what I had wanted to do anyway, and I headed downstairs to try and find Alanna again, growing more and more concerned. Making the rounds looking for her, I eventually found my way to the Dragon’s Milk Bar, where I found a very drunk and apologetic Brian. Sighing again, I sat by him and tried to make him feel a little better, though I don’t think it worked. A little while after that, Jig made it inside with the news he had found Alanna. I asked him if she was alright and he gave me a Jig answer, saying something about saving her and her yelling and hurt. Alarmed, I told Jig to stay by Brian while strode quickly and purposefully towards the inn, fires blazing in my eyes at the thought of someone hurting what had become a dear friend, the vulnerable Alanna. She was not equipped to defend herself adequately and if someone had done something to her against her will, they were going to pay back what they had given out; with interest attached. I found her door torn off its frame. A chill ran down my spine and I quickly made my way into the room by wriggling under the door. As soon as I entered, I drew my shortsword and turned to find her attacker. To my chagrin, however, I found that Jig had gotten the story quite wrong. Alanna was fine and was taking care of someone laid out on the bed, quite unhurt herself. She explained that Jig had broken down the door when there had been nothing wrong. Sighing, I apologized for not meeting her last night and made my back out of the room and back to the Dragon’s Milk Bar. I had Jig carry Brian, who had passed out by now, back to the Lazy Daisy and into a room across the hall from Alanna’s old room. Both Brian and the other man lay in the room. The man turned out to be Marcus, the bard who I had seen performing with Dahlia the previous night. He got up for a quick moment but quickly went back to sleep. The others left, things to do for the day. Worried that my makeup would come off again if I overly exerted myself, I resolved to stay in the room to let Brian know what was going on when he woke up and to prepare some songs for later that night. Marcus woke up later and left, asking me to let Alanna know that he would see her later and that he was sorry for not being able to see her today. I managed to write a new song, this one inspired by poor Brian and his story of losing so many of those he held dear. I was just finishing with it as he awoke, towards evening. He asked me if I had ever lost anyone and I started talking to him when Alanna walked back in. She walked over to him and leaned close by his face and I took that as my cue to leave the room. It was alright, though, an idea had struck while I had been writing my new song. I made my way to a costume store and purchased my own makeup. I couldn’t use Reggie’s forever and it would be nice to be able to walk into a city without worrying about a spell. I wondered that I hadn’t thought of it before! I even found some powder like the kind Dahlia had, to make the makeup stay longer. Please with my purchase, I then made my way to the Alchemist shop and set up the purchase of a blue ichor that I needed as a reagent to undo my curse. It had a hefty price tag, almost 1,000 gold, but the material was needed and so I set up the purchase of a vial. It wouldn’t be ready for a few days though, so I finished up that business and made my way back to the bars of the city. I walked into the Dragon’s Milk first, resolving to try and set up some entertainment for the night and to ply my skills. When I walked in, however, I discovered that there was a Battle of the Bards competition going on. Elated to be by so many fellow artists, I quickly signed up and sat through several performances, just soaking up the atmosphere that had been denied me so long and smiling. Soon it was my turn. I was actually very well received, even getting asked for an encore, and was invited back the next night for the continuation of the competition. I acquiesced but let the other performers finish up their parts before I performed again. Four people total made it to the next round for tomorrow night. There was a lyricist and a gnome who were both very good and we joined together to provide the entertainment for the night. It was so good to be able to play, especially with others, again. Time flew faster than I realized and I started noticing the others tiring. I finished up the song we were on and declared us done for the night. I made my way back to the Lazy Daisy and Ashley let me use his room (Reggie and his new wife had made mine uninhabitable after I had left that morning)and I went to sleep.
The next day was another one of simply enjoying the city. I put on my makeup in the morning again and wandered the city, just taking in the sights and the sounds of the people and the atmosphere. I worked on writing a new song for the upcoming competition. I had to bring at least two original works and I wanted to make sure that they were the best they could be. I managed to write one I was pretty satisfied with. It was more upbeat than the two I had previously written but not overly so. Jig invited me, during the course of the day, to see his battle as well, which would occur that evening before the bardic competition. I think I might go, just to see how Jig fares. Other than that, the ensuing day was a pretty uneventful one. I wandered the city and made my way back to the Lazy Daisy around dinnertime. Ashleigh informed me that Alanna regrettably couldn’t make it for dinner; which was fine by me since I hadn’t actually known that there was an invitation to dinner in the first place. She was spending the evening with Marcus, apparently. I was happy for her. I hope she finds something akin to the love I feel for Jericho in him. He seemed a nice guy from what I saw of him. I went upstairs to check on my makeup before dinner. To my surprise, however, I found a very bored-looking Marcus sitting outside Alanna’s door. I asked him what he was doing here and apparently he didn’t even know where Alanna was or that she was spending the evening with him. I sent him down to Ashleigh, who would know where to look if anyone would, and proceeded to the room I was using. I fixed up my makeup and went back downstairs to enjoy dinner with Ashleigh and Jig.