How to mix a Derailed Epic Quest:

Start with a rectangular plank of wood, as thick as the width of a hand and as wide as the ages, polished golden and smooth as silk under a hundred thousand sets of rags caressed by loving fingers. Now add shot glasses, some half-full, most empty, overturned, stacked in glittering pyramids; whiskey tumblers that dance the Remigold with clay ale-mugs and tall skinny vessels for brew beered (or is it beer brewed?) black as the Deep Roads; silver coins are haphazardly scattered about what appears to be a bowl for cigarette ashes, or balanced atop rough brown bottles of homemade ale. Now add dim lighting, the organized chaos of a barfight in the background, one bastard prince, two dwarfs (one crazy, one decidedly less crazy), one dark giant and one pale giantess.

Shake briskly; add salt, blood and darkspawn to taste.

The blonde dandy has only had half a pint, and is already way too far into his cups - his face is flushed and his eyes half-lidded, and he is raptly listening to the fat, smelly short one relay the rules of quaffing and conducting drinking songs with one's beer-stein. Ceylon can't help snickering at him between knocking back shots of (ridiculously illegal) Lyriale, quaffed like water. He's not nearly as much fun as white-cornrows, who matches her glass for glass with only a slight wavering of his strict posture, or Helga... Halda.... Olga.... Grenwich.... the pretty one, who appears in triplicate at her seat next to Cey at the table. There's a sort of warm fuzzy haze over everything, softening edges and making faces swirl and names even less solid than usual, and maybe it's the lyrium talking or maybe it's not, but life just seems to awesome right about now.

There's that pesky Blight still to deal with, of course, but Cey is pretty sure that as long as she lets the archdemon snack on the wussy Templar, everything will turn out okay in the end. It's not like anyone would miss him.

"Ssssssso." Cey plunks down her empty glass on the tabletop, and Mister Qun (that's a funny word, Qun, what with the weird letter with its tongue hanging out and all, and shouldn't it be spelled Kyoon? Heh. Kyoon. Kyooooooon. Cey could do this all night. Wait, where were we?) Mister Qun pours her another, ever so polite, his barside manners are exemplary for a man that could shave the wings off a fly with a sword the size of the painted elf's libido. "I win, clearly."

"My ass!" says the redheaded stepchild of a genlock, squat and ugly, and Cey decides that beer goggles are ineffective on this one, because if he's supposed to be looking less like the ass-end of a Bronto under this much Lyriale, if she were a dwarf she would want her money back. "I'm just getting started!"

"Stand up," Cey dares him; he does, and the sudden movement causes one of the brawlers at the bar to peg him in the head with a beer bottle. It's a magnificent shot (that's another awesome word, magnificent, like mages... nificenting) and his eyes cross and he goes down lowing like a forlorn cow, collapsing under the table with great drama and fanfare. The gorgeous little dwarf sitting next to Cey rolls her eyes and clucks her tongue.

"Is he dead?" asks the skinny sword-priest; he sounds somewhat hopeful underneath the veil of booze. Ceylon waves dismissively.

"Who cares? I win. Ssssooo, I demand a, a wossname. Forfeit. You." She points at the fair-haired knight, who tilts his head like some sort of retarded puppy, apple-cheeked and watery-eyed.

"Forfeit! Yes! Of course. Anything for you, Cey -" His smile is easy and clueless and Cey is not surprised when he leans over and stage-whispers to the violet-eyed ogre, "What's a forfeit?"

"A boon," notes he in return, not bothering to whisper. The fighters at the bar know better than to aim their bottles at him or Ceylon. "A favor, of some sort." This makes Cey snicker, because this is practically a speech, coming from him.

"Oohhh." Scrawny-puppy nods, understanding dawning in his shite-brown eyes at last. Then he takes up his pint and lifts it, like as in a toast, and says, "Truth or dare!"

"Dare!" she answers immediately, thoughtlessly; then: "Waaaaaaiit, I get to ask, not you."

"Too late," says the boy with a lopsided grin. "You already aksee.... accsip.... said yes." He nods sagely, the very picture of cunning and wisdom, and Ceylon curses quietly to herself and thumps her glass upon the table, because his logic is, for once, impeccable. (Peck! Peck-a-peck-a-peck-a-peckable -)

Focus, Cey. You need to drink more, to clear your head. "Okay. What's my dare?"

"Um. Hmm." He scratches the side of his neck, thinking. "There's not really a whole lot you won't do, huh?" He rubs at his stubble, eyes darting around the bar, and lovely little thing lifts her untouched cider to take her first sip of alcohol all night, and apparently that is enough inspiration for him, because the next thing out of his mouth is "Kiss Halda!" and then there is a massive spray of cider in his face as a reward.

Much to her partner's flushing consternation, Cey shrugs, picks up the itty bitty one by the hips to plunk her in her lap, and does so, gladly.

For about ten minutes. The boy-knight stares, uncomprehending. Tall dark shadow merely polishes off the bottle of Lyriale when Ceylon isn't looking.

She's more upset about the Lyriale than the making-out-in-public bit, really.