Not for Everyone (Part 1)

"I need to find a tavern." Roy declared rather suddenly.

"Hmm?" Roy's Archon asked, flitting about in a little figure eight. The little puffball appeared taken aback by the sudden declaration. "Where did that come from?"

Roy shrugged his armored shoulders nonchalantly. "I don't know, I just feel like having a few drinks."

"Well, there's always the Tavern of Infinite One Night Stands…" Roy's Archon ventured.

Roy's face curled into an expression of disgust. "No. There's no way I'm going to the bar looking for some bimbo to bring home and screw in my mom's house. Or have you forgotten where we are?"

"It was just a suggestion…" The Archon declared, its light dimming slightly.
"Yeah, well, maybe suggest something else." Roy replied.

The Archon did a few lazy turns around the small guest room, apparently deep in thought. "Ah, I know of a place!" It declared. "Smilin' Pete's Pub, just a short distance from the Bless-ateria."

Roy nodded. "Sounds good. Lead the way."


Several hours (days? weeks?) later, Roy stood at the entrance to Smilin' Pete's, which bore a sign depicting a grinning man who was presumably the owner giving a thumbs-up while holding a pint of ale. He could hear the sounds of laughter and and loud voices beckoning him from the inside, and one particularly loud woman yelling about the quality of the Sake. Having lived in Azure City for the past little while, a tavern patron yelling about Sake didn't strike him as particularly odd. "Well, it certainly sounds authentically tavern-esque. I just hope a barfight doesn't break out."

"We actually try not to encourage such behaviour here. Lively debate is one thing, but punching your fellow spirits is frowned upon." Roy's Archon explained.

"I'll keep it in mind." Roy replied. He glanced at the sun, still beaming peacefully in the sky. "The only problem with this is that it's still midday. How am I supposed to enjoy a few pints if it's not…" He stepped through the door as he spoke, taking in the scene inside the tavern. The room was dimly lit by a fire and a few cleverly placed oil lamps, and the windows clearly displayed a starry night sky. "…Night?" He finished, shocked. "Well I'll be. They think of everything here."

"We do our best." Roy's Archon agreed. "And look over there, why, it's an empty table in a corner! Your favorite spot!"

Shaking his head at the continued marvels of the celestial realm, Roy walked over to the empty table, passing patrons who smiled and nodded at him as he went. It felt good to be among fellow Lawful-Goods, not having to worry if the bartender would try to cheat him or if the guy he was playing cards with was trying to cut his coin purse (Which was why he usually brought Haley. She was smart enough not to cut his purse, and he knew she was cheating, and so could just fold during any hand where she started betting big). Lost in thought, he settled into his table and let the tavern atmosphere wash over him. He took in the other patrons, noting a rather large number of dwarves, which didn't surprise him now that he thought about it. There was a black haired woman still arguing with the bartender, who seemed to be doing his level best to calm her.

"This Sake is an affront to the Gods! You should be cast out of this realm for such a mockery!" She declared vehemently, thumping an armored fist on the bar, which set off a chain reaction of clanks and jingles as the mail and plate she was wrapped in knocked about.

"M-ma'am, please, this Sake is as close to being made by the Gods themselves as possible! It cannot taste wrong." The barkeep pleaded.

"Then this must be a bad batch! Bring me another from a different barrel!"

The barkeep blinked quizzically. "It… it comes in bottles, ma'am."

"From a different bottle, then!"

"A-at once, ma'am."

Roy rolled his eyes. Even in the Celestial Realm it seemed there were troublesome barflies. He quicly resumed a neutral expression as the barkeep made his way to his table.

"Hey there, newcomer. I'm Smilin' Pete, owner of Smilin' Pete's. Been in the Celestial Tavern business for a hundred n' twenty-seven years, and there's not much I don't know about alcohol. So what'll it be?" The bartender asked with a dramatic bow.

Roy chuckled inspite of himself. "That was quite the introduction. How'd you know I was new?"

"You still got one of the little glowflies following you. They tend to take off once you get yourself settled in. So, here for good or just visiting?"

"Ah, visiting, I hope. I guess it depends how fast my party can get their acts together and ressurrect me." Roy explained.

Pete chuckled. "Ah, one of those adventuring types, are you? Goin' around and getting into all sorts of trouble?"

Roy laughed. "More than you know. Between the goblins and liches and psychotic halflings, I don't know which way is up or down some days. Being dead is almost like a vacation. A very, very surreal vacation, mind you."

"Ain't that the truth. Part of the reason I converted my home to into a tavern. I did it all my life, and it just feels weird not doing it in death. Enlightenment and the upper levels of the mountain can wait a few centuries I say, I'm not done owning a tavern just yet!" Pete thumped on the table for emphasis, grinning like a loon. Roy found himself liking the amicable proprietor. He had a jovial, easy manner, and a real love for his work.

At that moment a mailed fist crashed down on the table between them. "Barkeep!" The angry woman from earlier barked. "I asked for Sake! I did not ask for you to wander over here and talk with-"

Roy looked at her at the same second that she looked at him, and found himself staring into familiar, hate-filled black eyes. "M-Miko?!" He stuttered.

"GREENHILT!" Miko Miyazaki, ex-paladin, bellowed. She quickly drew her katana and levelled it at Roy's chest.

Fighter's instincts took over for Roy. Without conciously doing anything he found himself rolling left and out of the chair, then quickly back, putting it between him and Miko. He sprang to his feet and clumsily picked up the wooden chair, holding it awkwardly in front of himself with both hands, not sure if he should use it as a weapon or as a shield to block her attacks.

"It appears that the Gods have given me one last chance to finish my business with you." Miko growled with a predatory grin.

"Didn't you mention that one of your party members had a saying for times like this?" Roy's Archon asked worriedly, hovering over Roy's shoulder.

"Yeah, it went a little something like this; 'Dun, dun, DUN'."

"That's… not very comforting."

"No, no it is not."

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