Marinette the Barmaid

Marinette Little Feet was born on the 2nd day of Pentatina, a warm, clear spring day with the snows of winter already gone and the early spring flowers waking from their winter sleep.  It was the 52nd year PC.  She arrived on Almebezbik in Walton, where she would grow in a beautiful Halfling.  She was a very proper young Halfling.  She listened carefully to her parents, gaffers and gammers.  She avoided adventures, complications and entanglements without regret.

She met Menominee Mantyson in her tweens and then two of them flirted incessantly.  But Men was the son of a rogue and a bard.  Mary and her family did not approve of Manty and Zenda’s wild ways.  Mary and Men dated for several years until Mary approached her 33rd birthday.

Mary did not want to become an old maid.  But even worse, she did not want to set at home, pining for a husband who was traipsing around the countryside being chased by trolls and dragons and who knows what.  She had let drop enough hints to Menonimee, that he knew he needed to act soon or he might lose his chance at her hand.  So, upon her 33rd birthday, Menominee bent down on one knee and asked Mary to marry him.  Now Men was a couple years younger than Mary, so they couldn’t be trothed immediately, but it was quite acceptable for them to be promised to each other, as long as they did it properly.  So Mary’s parents consented to the proposal, but Mary had one condition before she would accept his vow.  She insisted that Men settle down like a regular Halfling and never go off gallivanting on some boondoggle like his parents did.  Men was so smitten with Mary that he assented without a second thought.  2 years later, when Men had also reached adulthood, they were married.

Their early years together were quiet and normal.  Mary moved in with Men and they both worked at the tavern that Men’s parents owned in Walton.  Although, they carried on like a couple of rabbits, their first child, Hurley, wasn’t born until 14 years later.  Of course, once they had one, more children came quickly until the twins, Neenah and Menasha were born in 103PC.  At this point Mary had borne 6 children and at 51, was starting to feel her age.  Not that she was very old for a Halfling, but old enough she didn’t want to be bearing another child while trying to rear 4 children and twins that had almost magically appeared in the last 6 years.

Life was proceeding just as any normal Halfling would expect, a happy marriage, a big family and a tavern to run.  Then one day her disgraceful father in-law, Manty recommended the family take a holiday.  Mary was rather suspicious of Manty’s intentions, but welcomed a chance to visit her more distant relatives.  So, she and the rest of the family packed their bags, closed up the tavern and boarded the carriage for Rebelton.  They arrived in Rebelton late that day.  But, they arose the next day to see a towering cloud of dust rising over Tanglewood in the direction of their home while the ground shakes and trembles.  What should have been a delightful holiday had suddenly become a nightmare.  Marinette spends the day and night worrying what became of her home, friends and family in Walton.  Then a courier came with a chest for mother in-law, Zenda, and news that Walton had collapsed and all that remained was a crater full of ruins.

Marinette was stricken with grief.  Her husband and children were safe, but everything else in her life had suddenly been taken away.  Over the course of the next few days and weeks survivors from Walton began to trickle into Rebelton.  Marinette came to realize she was one of the lucky ones.  Thousands of people were dead.  Of those who remained, few could find their family or had more than the clothes on their back.  Rebelton handled the unexpected influx as best they could.  But the refugees caused more than a few problems.  The tent city on the outskirts of town became a slum and a wretched hive of scum and villainy.  Marinette was spared the humiliation of living in a tent.  Her husband’s family took her in.  They had to share a cozy hole with a few other families at first, but eventually were able to get a home of their own.

Eventually, Mary and her family got news that the City of Trollsbridge was founded on the site of the old troll’s bridge on the other side of the crater.  Men thought the family would have better opportunities in the new city.   So, Mary followed her husband.  There they used some of the gold from Zenda’s chest to found The Smoking Pipe.  Men cooked, Mary tended bar, the kids waited tables and Zenda performed, to Mary’s chagrin.  Life slowly returned to normal.  It lasted a scant three years.  Then the orc’s began attacking the inns and taverns of Trollsbridge, breaking into their cellars and pillaging the stores.  When The Smoking Pipe was inevitably attacked, Zenda made a dash for the cellar and gave her life protecting those above.

That’s when Mary discovered that her son eldest son Hurley had begun hanging out with adventurers and rabble raisers.  Mary was incensed.  Her son was an adventurer and was following in the footsteps of her mother and father in-law.  Zenda’s sacrifice tempered Mary’s anger slightly.  But, it would be years before she could accept that her son’s profession was not unseemly.

Mary continued to tend bar at the Smoking Pipe, eventually settling into retirement with her husband and letting her children take over the tavern.  Without realizing it, her family became the first generations of Clan Mantyson and she started them out right.