Tikitil drifted above the squad, her wings spread wide for gliding. She wished it was possible to sleep up here in the sky, where there weren't ants to dig in your feathers and where you could safely rest from your troubles. Unfortunately, she wasn't built for it; her shoulders ached if she kept her arms in the same position for too long, and she just couldn't sleep while flying. It had helped with avoiding crashing into trees back in the deep forest, but now, on a long march, Tikitil was beginning to wish the gods had made her different.
Like able to snort fireballs out of my nose. That's a useful idea they really should have capitalized on. Lots of business potential. Or maybe the ability to hypnotize people with a scream or a song... Nah, that's silly. Tikitil shook herself out of her thoughts, noticing that her flight had overtaken the group. She tilted, circling the group, keeping a watchful eye out for bandits or anything like that. Of course, she didn't know what a bandit would look like, so she just assumed they would advertise it. Maybe with a sign...
Tikitil's taloned feet left scratches on the cobblestones, leading her to frown and try to lighten her step. They probably won't like it if I scratch their street. Maybe I should buy shoes or something. Although even those metal claws made her walk funny and trip into things. Falling into a well would suck.
Of course, where she could find shoes for feet like hers was a mystery that would have to wait. They were supposed to meet at a tavern or something, right? Called... Some word she hadn't quite caught. Or remembered. But it had Claw in the name, right? Which probably meant it was located...
Tikitil looked up and down the street, noting the distinct lack of any directional signs that didn't rely on words she didn't know.
"Learn to read more," she scolded herself. "That way you can find things, and know when wanted posters have you on them." Except those had pictures, and she knew her name at the least. So that wasn't really a good justification. Either way, it was getting dark, and Tikitil didn't want to get trapped outside in a strange place. There might be gremlins in the sewers.
She continued down the street, occasionally stopping to sound out a sign in case it was where she was looking for. Eventually, though, she had to concede that she was, in fact, entirely lost.
An old human woman was sweeping a doorstep nearby, although the house was so run down she needn't have really bothered. When she saw Tikitil start towards her, she nearly ran back into the house.
"Do you know where an inn called... Uh... The golden, um..." Right, it helps to know where you're trying to go...
The old woman watched her carefully. "Are you with the army, dear?" she asked, slowly.
"Yes!" The harpy beamed proudly. "I think!"
With a disappointed huff, the old woman set the broom aside and opened her door. "Wonderful. More soldiers. If it's the Golden Claw you're looking for, it's on the mill road- Opposite side of town from the actual mills."
Tikitil had caught on to the anger, though, and was curious. "You don't like the army?"
The old woman's hand tightened on the doorknob, a pale skeletal outline in the darkening light. "They took my son away," she said, in a hoarse whisper. "What's there to like?" The door slammed shut, leaving Tikitil feeling vaguely concerned.
What's that supposed to mean?
But there wasn't time to dawdle, and Tikitil took off down the street at a skipping run, heading away from the vague terrible smells.
Tikitil pushed her way through the doors of the Golden Claw, suddenly feeling very cramped inside the building. She always did, though, so she ignored the feeling and took a look around. The inn looked... Homeish. Like someone would live here, rather than rent the rooms out. Of course, they would have look like that, if anyone was going to stay there.
It's big, though, if it can fit all of us. I wonder if we kicked anyone out of their rooms? Not the most polite way to enter a town, she guessed. Maybe that was why the old woman had seemed resentful. Come to think of, the town had been practically empty of people, or at least of men. Probably. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference with other races, since their feat- Their hair didn't tell their gender. The length of it sometimes did, but after a few awkward moments Tikitil had learned to discount elves from that equation.
She moved up to the bar, miraculously without whacking anyone with her wings, and sat down on a stool. Only her head was visible above the counter, plus her claws clutching the edge. The lizardman bartender gave her an odd look. "Doubt you're old enough to drink, kid."
"What? How old do I have to be?"
"Old enough to sleep on the counter, at least."
"What? But... But I'll die if I don't drink!"
The bartender paused, his scaled brow knitting in confusion. "Excuse me?"
"It's illegal for me to drink?" Tikitil looked around, cautiously. I've been breaking the law and never even knew it! Oh no...
"What are you talking about drinking?"
The lizardman could have hit his head against a tree. "Never mind, I was joking." He pushed a glass of water over to the harpy and moved on, exasperated.
Tikitil blinked. Does that mean I can still drink booze?