Christmas Week Writing: Day 2

Nolan Lyte: smoothest man in Realmgard.

Day 2 of Christmas Week. Today, the Family Darkstone and the Lyte Brigade celebrate the true meaning of Wintermorn.

Copious amounts of shrimp!

A shrimp cocktail.
Image by Jon Sullivan. Via Wikimedia Commons.
Released to Public Domain by original author.

Thanks to Amara more or less being a member of the Darkstone family, the entire Lyte Brigade got an invite to the Darkstones’ Wintermorn dinner.

As Estelle and Dorian open to Darkstone Manor, Amara loops her arm around Nolan’s and puts a hand on his shoulder.

Nolan feels himself blushing. Yet also oddly pleased with the situation.

Best. Wintermorn. Ever.

“Mrs. Darkstone, Admiral,” Amara says. “Merry Wintermorn! Allow me to introduce you to the Lyte Brigade. Everyone, this is Estelle and Admiral Dorian Darkstone, they’ve been very dear friends my whole life.”

Still thoroughly flustered by Amara’s proximity, Nolan stammers out a greeting as he politely inclines his head:

“Thank you so much for having us over. We’re the Lyte Brigade. I’m Nolan. Meesed to pleat you.”

With every ounce of his social acumen, he expertly steers the conversation back on course:

“We brought a cheese plate!”

“Our parents didn’t want us to come empty-handed,” Matilda explains, proffering the arrangement of cheeses to Estelle.

The promise of cheese is enough to rouse Kat from her beloved plaid couch.

“I’ll take that,” she says, springing towards the door with gazelle-like grace and Turboshark-like speed, intercepting the plate before it can be handed off to Estelle.


“Kat,” Estelle calls as her daughter disappears around the corner. “That cheese plate is for everyone. Don’t just eat the whole thing.”

“Fine,” Kat calls back. “But I get one of the shrimp rings.”

“So, Lit Brigade,” Dorian Darkstone says, looking down at the young guild Captain. “You some kind of book club?”

“Uh, actually, Sir —” Nolan stammers.

“Admiral,” Dorian notes

“— Admiral, we’re a guild. And it’s not Lit Brigade. It’s Lyte Brigade. L-y-t-e.”

Dorian nods. “Well, would the Lyte Brigade like to come inside and sit down?” he offers.

“Yes. Thank you, Admiral,” Nolan answers.

Notably, Dorian does not make any comment to the effect of ‘That’s not how you spell Light.’

Which, as far as Nolan is concerned, is a bona fide Wintermorn miracle.

“Come on in,” Dorian says, stepping aside to let the Lyte Brigade into the house. “Soon, you’ll get to tuck into Grandmama Darkstone’s patented venison stuffed with beef, stuffed with mutton. Stuffed with cheese. And, of course, the whole thing is drowning in gravy.”

Nolan’s arteries hurt already…

“Hey!” Dunstana exclaims happily. “I know you! You’re Sally’s brother and sister! Um… Norbert and Madeline!”

“My name is Matilda,” Matilda notes. “Norbert and I are very pleased to meet you.”

“No,” Nolan says. “It’s Nolan.”

“I like Norbert better,” Matilda mutters.

Dunstana rolls her eyes. “I’m bad at names, okay?” she says defensively.

She looks up at the Amazon looming behind Matilda and Nolan.

“Oh, hey, Falcata,” she says.

Nolan stares blankly at the little pirate.

Falcata is a kind of sword,” Dunstana notes.

Nolan stares blankly at the little pirate.

“I like swords,” she explains.

“I don’t know you yet,” Dunstana says to Pela. “I’m Dunstana!”

“I’m Pela,” the Half-Goblin says. “Nice to meet you!”

“You’re one of Norbert’s friends, right?” Dunstana asks.

“Are you doing it on purpose?” Nolan asks.

Dunstana looks innocently up at him. “Doing what?”

As the group settles into the living room, Falcata is soon doing bicep curls as a giggling Dunstana dangles from her arms. Kat is deftly avoiding having to engage in small talk by laying claim to the plaid couch and a mountain of appetisers piled precariously on her plate, including an entire shrimp ring.

Though Kat has laid claim to the plaid couch as her own personal fiefdom, she nevertheless allows Amara to sit down on the couch beside her.

Since she is still clinging to his arm — a fact he is afraid to draw attention to for several reasons — Nolan has no choice but to be brought along.

“Merry Wintermorn, Katherine,” Amara says. “Have you met Nolan yet?”

“Can’t talk,” Kat replies through a mouthful of appetisers. “Eating.”

Nolan Lyte: smoothest man in Realmgard.

To reiterate, “Single-handedly Devouring a Shrimp Ring” is basically just another word for Christmas for me.

Basically, this:

Squid Girl from "Squid Girl" eating three plates of shrimp.
Just slap some glasses and a beard on her.
Squid Girl: Diomedéa and Sentai Filmworks.

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