“I can’t believe you betrayed us like this, Gwydd!” declared Faileuba, slamming her fist down on to the small, rather shoddy looking table in the room. “They made us get a room! A room--that we’re paying for!”
“It is the cheapest room,” said Gwydd.
“Oh, and that makes everything okay!” Faileuba glared at him, then turned to Meliadus. “Holdfast! Demonstrate our displeasure.”
The tall Erl stepped forward and wagged his finger. “We’re angry. We’re very, very angry.”
Gwydd stared at them quietly. Meliadus and Faileuba glanced at each other. “I don’t think we’re getting through to him, Holdfast.” Meliadus nodded. “I think we should shun him.”
Meliadus thought it over. “I concur,” he declared at length. He took a deep breath. “Gwydd Palepole, by the ancient laws of chivalry, we, your partners, Meliadus Holdfast and Faileuba Pepperpot--now shun you!”
Gwydd nodded to himself. “Is this an actual chivalrous warrior thing, or one of the made-up things you guys cobble together out of imagination and misunderstood words?”
“We’re pretty sure it’s the first one,” said Meliadus.
“Hush!” said Faileuba. “Commence--the shunning!” She and Meliadus turned their back on Gwydd.
Gwydd coughed. “Right. Well, I have to admit, as punishments go… it’s bad. You giving me what I’ve wanted for the last…”
“Shun, shun, shun, shun, shun,” stated Faileuba and Meliadus.
“Ahh.” Gwydd nodded to himself. “Should have expected something like this.”
“Shun, shun, shun, shun, shun….”
“Still, your loss,” continued the Goblin. “What with my quite possibly having found us work.”
“Shun, shun, shun, shu--” The pair stopped and looked at each other.
“Should we lift the shunning?” asked Meliadus.
“Well, he might have just found us jobs,” noted Faileuba. “Plus, I don’t think we’re annoying him enough to make this worth it.” She frowned. “Actually, I think I’m getting a little hoarse…”
“But damn it, Fai, tradition!” Meliadus pounded his left hand with a fist. “The punishments of the society of chivalrous warriors should mean something!”
“I thought we just made this up,” said Faileuba.
“No, like I just told Palepole, this is a real chivalrous warrior thing,” stated Meliadus.
“Really?” Faileuba blinked. “And I thought you were just… humoring him. Huh.” She peered him at him closely. “And they really all shout ‘shun’ at people, over and over?”
“Something like that,” said Meliadus. “I really didn’t get all the details from old Brandiles when he explained it to me.”
“Why not?” asked Faileuba.
“ ‘Cause he started shunning me,” said Meliadus. The Erl scratched his chin. “There was shouting involved. I remember that quite clearly.”
Faileuba nodded. “Okay, well, how about this--we give him a… momentary reprieve, so that he can explain the new jobs, and let things develop from there?”
Meliadus thought it over. “Yeah, I think that’ll work.”
“Right.” Faileuba turned to Gwydd. “Okay, here’s the deal, we…”
“I’ve been in the room with you the entire time,” said the Goblin. “So, naturally, I heard everything.”
“Oh. Right.” Faileuba coughed awkwardly. “So… the job…”
Gwydd picked the scroll he’d acquired in the inn’s common room out of his sleeve and unfurled it dramatically. “Behold!” he declared ringingly. “Our new job!”