"Woe is me..." warbled a sodden voice from the center of the crowd. Dead drunk, Lisbeth was hamming it up and entertaining "Woe is absolutely me... not you, not you, nor you, nor you, definitely not you, Regulus," she slurred, squinting at a young, mopey looking teen with the dark, shaggy hair under his tricorne covering one eye, "You poser. Woe is meeeeEEK!"
She rolled off the table.
"Oh dearie me there is a table there."
It was all regulars tonight, like the last couple of nights, or the last hundred- Lisbeth was having a hard time remembering at this point. Of course, she mused, anyone would be a regular now even if they'd been new a week ago, or a year, however long.
She had started off furious at Cornelius. Then she'd gotten depressed. Then she'd gotten bitter. But now, she'd honestly forgotten about him, and was mostly drinking for fun, or to dull the pain of the hangover from drinking too much the night before, resulting in an endless cycle that left her using almost as much of her stock as all her patrons were.
She had played some fierce betting games with a large group of her most loyal customers, and had won about 7 out of 10. Nobody really wanted to play anymore, so now everyone was taking it in turns to tell a story or play an instrument or put on a skit. Right now she was imitating a local lady who went through several suitors a season claiming that each in turn was her true love and weeping bitterly when they left her, until of course she met the next one. Lisbeth secretly thought she might just not like guys.
Lisbeth giggled. "That's quite enough of that. Regulus, come on, have a go!"
Regulus looked down at his feet and shook his head, though he was grinning a bit. It was at about that point, though, that they realised the door was open, and a silhouette stood leaning against a door frame.
"Hey! Regulars only!" Lisbeth snapped after a moment of silence. The rest of the bar laughed and went back to their drinks and conversations-
Only to look back up a moment later, as the figure stepped into the light and spoke.
"Where... grr... where is Cornelius?"
Nobody spoke. Everyone stared.
The stranger was in rough shape. Bruised and tattered, he had obviously been beaten by someone. There was blood on his shirt and pants, and his gut was bandaged hastily.
Oh, and he was holding a gun.
Which he raised.
"Where... is... Cornelius?"
The stranger had lowered his gun and introduced himself as R. Chandler once it became evident that Cornelius was not in the building. He had, however, not been happy with Lisbeth's lack of knowledge as to Cornelius' whereabouts; thankfully, a pub regular, Tony, had seen Cornelius and the Not-So-Late Black Eye down at the wharf, boarding a barque called Hoqwash, about a week ago.
They were "probably long gone an' all-"
Which was why Chandler, Lisbeth, Tony and Regulus went searching the docks for a fast ship and anyone who knew where the Hoqwash was going.
They found both-
Which was why they were at sea on a small, fast ship called Ophelia's Revenge, the captain and crew of which claimed to have overheard Cornelius and Black Eye discussing directions, though it didn't sound like they knew precisely where they were going themselves.
Lisbeth had also found out that she got seasick very easily.