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The door to la Taverna Sommersa creaked open upon its rusty hinges and let in a gusty breath of sea air as one of its frequent customers ambled to a seat in the far corner and ordered a cup of his usual bevanda, leaning back with a comfortable sigh. His eyes were just starting to sag when the sound of a stir and the sight of a figure in a red cloak aroused him. "Peste! There are tables enough in this tavern for half of Varlyrio, can't one be left in peace?" he muttered looking up at the approaching form as it laid a gloved hand on the table. "Il cielo!" exclaimed the young man, setting down his cup with a bang, as he caught sight of the stranger's face. "Can it be you?" "Sure as it is you just where I left you two years past, mio nipote," returned the newcomer with a strong tinge of sarcasmo in his tone. "But where and how have you been all this time? We heard you were lost at sea?" "Infatti, and that I was. And as to how I have been, why, as well as is possible, I suppose, for having spent due anni aboard a filthy nave pirata. But I shan't complain - for here I am, am I not?" The stranger grimmaced, with a hint of subdued power in his eyes, and set down across from his nephew. "It was Xari Spadro then, was it?" inquired Aldacio Amancio. "You are shrewder since I left you," replied the other, "yes. And it was not a week past since he came up to me one day and said, 'Il mio Signore Superiore, how would you like to depart this brigantino bello?' and, thanking me for my stay, had me rowed out and left on the shore of the eastern coast with all the honor, subito! of my rank. Or of my previous rank, peste. Well, we shall see about that presently. And so I have told you how I am here - but now you tell me, for you are in better condition to say than I, mio nipote," said the stranger tossing back his hood - "why?" Aldacio Amancio's shrewd eyes - far shrewder and wiser since his cousin's death - narrowed, and he smiled knowingly as he looked over his revered Zio. "I cannot say, but I have my guess," and he lifted his glass to his uncle's. "Listen, and I will tell you. But first, Al Rego!" Supano Amancio took the toast and quaffed it with a quirk on his lips and set the glass back on the table. "Which?" -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- It's been too long! Here is the first of hopefully a series of Valyrian vignettes to come over the next few weeks Too much going on in Valyrio right now not to get in on it! And yes, things are getting complicated... Also an entry to the 12x12 category of the Summer Joust of course! Lit with Lightaling's custom lights which they were kind enough to send me a bunch of for various projects! Hope you all enjoy, and C&C are welcome as always!