Masquerade: Traveling Side Show: New Again

**written to: Beyond Good and Evil Frame of Mind OC ReMix

The voices blended together, the smoke of the room filling her head as she worked. Her hand passed into her vision as she reached for a bottle of liqueur and she paused, still not used to the dark green color of her skin these days, even after several months of living in this body. Shrugging off that feeling of surprise, she picked up the bottle and turned to face the busy tavern, smirking at cheering patrons as she tossed the bottles and put on the show she was famous for as she created drinks for the thirsty wayfarers of Side Show Tavern.

Her leathery green skin was marked with black and brown intricate tattoos of the race she had become. She wore as little as possible, to show off the muscular body given her by complete accident when they arrived. Mirhion moved lithely and with grace, dancing behind the bar as she prepared drinks and joked with patrons. Wildly colored hair fell in braids and bobbles down her back to her waist, decorated with painted bits of shells and other ornaments. Everything swayed as she moved and danced to the entertainment of the patrons, and the night passed quickly as usual.

The bar was a glorified tent, pitched on the side of an expansive lake, dotted with sails and wide winged birds, the sky streaked with orange and lavender by day and shimmering red and green at night mixing with the paint splashed star-clusters in the midnight violent sky. There were several, with large pack animals grazing in a nearby field that moved them there. This was the infamous Traveling Side Show, filled with freaks and entertainment of all forms and kinds, traveling the landscape and moving every few weeks to find a new set of patrons to milk for coin and bobbles.

“The night is getting old, sister Marai.” Renoth entered with a smug grin, his mass of black hair and his darkened green skin marked with similar tattoos to Mirhion’s. She looked up from her cleanup to smirk at her little brother. “Then come help me, brother Aranni. I still have stacks to do.” She chuckled at his rolling eyes but he did come over to pitch in and get things counted and put away behind the magical curtains that kept their inventory safe from bandits and thieves. The last of the patrons wandered out drunk on the arms of courtesans heading for the hill-tents nearby.

Mirhion finished count and sat on a stool at the bar, her tail swishing absently as she flipped to the place in the ledger to begin the night’s entering of numbers and coin earned. She felt Renoth’s tail slide up the back of her leg and she smirked and grunted, thwapping him with her tail in response. “Behave. Where is your latest little plaything?” He huffed and moved to the other side of the bar to ensure his best behavior. “She is getting something to eat from the food tent.” Mirhion nodded and they joked quietly together until the pretty purple haired girl showed up.

Mirhion sat on the rock with a bottle of Sishial in her hand, cork gone and drinking from the fluted top. The suns were gone and the sky danced with lights from the clusters of stars strewn across the deep dark violet sky. “This place is beautiful.” She said it quietly in Norrathian Common, feeling a pang of loneliness as she spoke it. Pulling up her legs, she wrapped her arms around her legs and rested a chin on her knees, the feel of the leathery skin against her braided and beaded chin beard reminding her of the immense differences between the body she loved back then, and the one she held now.

Her mind drifted across all the faces of friends she left behind on Norrath. Did they miss her? Did they even remember her? Somehow she doubted it, but maybe. A cluster of falling stars streaked across the sky as she watched, chased into the shimmering lake water with a cascade of sparks far off. “You miss it.” The voice almost startled her but she had been half expecting him for an hour now. “You’re late, Lisveran.” She said it scolding but all she got for that was a bratty chuckle as he sat down near her. The portal behind him shimmered closed with a snap and he came to sit by her, leaning on her shoulder.

“You look so different, but still beautiful.” He said it quietly, a hand playing with one of her many long braids. She looked to her baby brother with a soft smile. “And papa will kick both our asses if he finds out you skipped out again. You promised, Lis.” The boy smiled mischievously. “I never said I wouldn’t. I said they wouldn’t catch me. Not my fault that Father didn’t clarify.” She laughed softly and draped an arm around the boy, dwarfed by this race’s sheer size. “You grew. And I’m glad to see you.”

She planted a kiss on his temple and they sat together, sipping Sishial and watching the stars dance, fall, and glimmer in the beautiful place she called home – for now.