The sun beats down on you as you stroll through the park. After such a crazy year it feels good to head out into the sunshine and soak it all in. Around you is a flurry of activity, you see families sprawled out on blankets, couples strolling hand in hand, and endless lines of booths selling everything from homemade goods to food. The Farmer’s market is booming already and it’s still early.
You sip your warm drink as you saunter through the crowds, glancing around for the friends you promised you’d meet. Glancing at each booth as you walk you find yourself stopping at a familiar-looking sight, jaw-dropping in shock as you take in the sight of Arven, dressed in jeans and a T-Shirt that reads “This Damsel Dishes Distress”.
The table was strewn with all her favorite goods and she was straightening the table needlessly. She looked exactly the same as she did when she was fussing over her table at the tavern, but seeing her out in the daylight of the Farmer’s Market felt incongruous somehow.
“A-Arven?” You stammer, surprise so palpable on your face that Arven barks out a laugh before even fully taking you in.
“What? Do you think I spend all my time in that tavern? These markets are the lifeblood of my business! These and the cons!”
“Cons. Like Comic-Con? Now, this I have to see!” Arven slapped you with a rolled-up T-Shirt.
“Listen here, I’ve been traveling for centuries, I don’t need some young human waltzing in and acting as though I’m some fragile old woman! No matter how willing you are to believe in the lost magic”.
You let out a chuckle and take in the table, hearing shouts of greeting as your friends approach behind you. They greet Arven with the same surprise that you felt, but she doesn’t tease them nearly as much as she did you – something you find strangely comforting.
You decide to help Arven out at the stall as your friends look around the market, taking in the sight of Arven interacting with the patrons of the market, swiping credit cards, exchanging change, and in general doing everything a modern-day business owner would do.
You try to imagine what her life must have been like all these years. What must it have been like to see generations pass by, to watch your family shrink slowly over time and battles, to watch modern technology replace all you know, and to watch magic fade slowly away?
Yet her eyes still shine with every interaction, she keeps pushing forward no matter the obstacle. Fierce pride and determination to make her proud, to help her finish her quest, courses through you as you watch her trade some cash for a small stack of journals with a smile.
The time is getting close, you think, to bring your friends in on the knowledge of the lost magic, a few more sessions and you feel the time coming in your campaign where you plan to drop the bomb (that is, if your friends don’t decide to go completely off track from the story you’ve laid out).
It’s sunny and warm today, though, and Arven’s stall is full of all your favorite items so you decide to take it all in and enjoy the lovely day.