The older dwarf concludes "No one ever saw the lass again, though soon thereafter we started hearin' the first tales o' tha Mournin' Marble. An' so, when ye 'ear talk about 'is heart o' stone ... he nae be speakin' poetically."
Kallixta shakes her head, like she knows she misheard something, but shaking doesn't put it into place. "The Moaning Marble, ye say?"
She is corrected, "Mourning..."
Kallixta considers this correction. After a few moments, she nods. "Huh."
When it comes time for Kallixta to share her story, she stands up straight. Full armor wasn't made for comfortable seating, so she needs a bit of stretching before she makes her way to stand on the Gazebo steps. The young dwarf lass also tugs her braid out from the back where it was tangled with her cloak. "I'll be telling ye aboot my two loves. I don't rightly know how, yet, but I'll just go ahead an tell ye aboot me first, lost love and then aboot my current love."
Things quiet down among the audience, which has been patient but it has also been a long evening and there are concerns that the stories are getting worse. Kallixta sighs briefly, then gathers herself, taking a deeper breadth.
"I was a young lass, still new to my trade and looking fer that first big adventure and a chance to demonstrate me resolve against the forces of evil. And it so happened I found the same in a place called the Deadmines. Now I don't reckon all here have heard of them. Maybe ye have. We didn't much hear aboot the Deadmines up north where I be from. Just happens, it does. It be so that the Deadmines happens to gather bandits every so often, and I'd done me part to clear out the current set. It took some effort and it just so happens that I first met him there. Ah...."
Kallixta pauses, with a distant look in her eyes. With a voice carrying her wonder, she continues "He had a straight spine, he did. And a beautiful profile. I loved his keen edge yet although he was oft stiff, he knew when to bend, too. From the first moment I touched him, I was in love. It be such that we were inseparable, we were. He went everywhere with me. I remember showing him to me Mum and she assured me me Dad would have approved. I think he woulda, too, indeed. But it wasn't to last. I found I could be unfaithful."
There are whispers in the audience full of confusion, "She could? Or he could?" The discussion distracts the paladin from her story and the faraway look fades from her eyes. The pause leaves Kallixta perplexed as to how to correct the bewilderment, but she determines to ignore it and continue her tale. "It happened at the Scarlet Monastery, it did. I was attracted to someone newer, larger. He seemed to be something more and I neglected me first love."
While Kallixta lets out a long, drawn-out sigh, one clear voice responds, "At least she's honest about it." The dwarf lass tries to keep herself honest and admits, "It was all me own fault, you see. Now it turns out, if you're nae giving proper due to where ye send yer attention, well in the Scarlet Monastery, an alarm can sound out and it seems like every soldier in the place comes running, you ken? I was distracted and by the time I returned to my first love, it was too late. He was lost."
Kallixta concludes, "I miss that sword."
There is renewed whispering in the audience as they confirm those last words. Some are astonished. Some amused. At least one says in a dry tone, "Ah, swords. A girl's best friend."
Kallixta is confuses by the audience response. It's almost as if they think that was the conclusion. Not knowing how best to transition to the next part of her story, she just blunders on, "It was not much time later that I was rewarded with a new sword, and it was a shock. There on the tang was my own father's mark! I've seen the work he's done, but this was a particularly excellent piece, and he's come to me in a roundabout way. I've oft missed him, seeing as I lost him when I was so young. It was of great comfort to have this piece of him come back to me."
There. Kallixta finishes with "Thus ends my tale of lost love and a new one, just starting off." She lets out a long, drawn-out sigh while stepping down towards her seat.
One friend calls out comfort, "Oh, don't you worry. There are plenty of swords in the sea!"
Kallixta response quickly, still feeling the pain, "But I really loved that sword."
Her friend isn't discouraged and continues in the only way she seems to know to comfort, "Plenty of daggers in the depths! Plenty of maces in the mountains! Plenty of staves in the swamp! Plenty of...uh. Well, you get the idea."
Excerpted from our Guild Storytelling event, lightly edited. Thanks to all for their bit!