To The Bar

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Ach! Just when it was getting interesting. Two amusements for the price of one, thought Nicolai. Then armed men in green livery. Nicolai recognized them as being members of the Vorloi family, one of the three prominent Specularum families. The trio of factions, the Vorloi, Radu and Torenescu are in a constant struggle for power in the city. The Traladaran families, Radu and Torenescu, were clinging to what’s left from their old days of glory. Meanwhile, the Vorloi family, being of Thyatian descent, were ably to quickly rise to prominence by aligning themselves with Duke Stefan, and are resented by their Traladaran rivals. Best not to interfere.

* * * * *

Feldard huffed out a short growling breath and hooks a finger toward the clumsy human.

“Fine. A tavern. I know of one. He’s paying.”

The sour expression hadn’t lifted from the Dwarfs face. As he started to shoulder his way though the crowd, which he did remarkably well considering, it was like watching the parting of the waves. Miklos followed in his wake, wondering if he had enough money to buy his way out of this. It didn’t occur to him just to disappear into the crowd.

His look was sour, curdled rage turned to the smelly cheese of helpless bitterness in the pit of his stomach. He was thankful, somewhat that he’d drifted out into the crowd still wearing his adventuring gear rather than take the time to get changed. It was less comfortable, and hot with all these bodies pressed together, but it gave him a more serious, fearsome appearance which he hoped these humans, tall and flimsy as wooden beams, were taking mind of.

As the trio makes their way into the crowd, a dark-haired, female elf steps in their path.
“Boy, you’re not planning on fighting him, I hope? He’ll rip you apart. And maybe eat whatever’s left.”

Miklos stopped, startled by this one-eyed figure. And what was this ‘Boy’ bit? She must be younger than he was! This was not his day.
“What? No, no… I mean… I thought I’d buy him a drink… or somesuch.”

Saeth chuckled. At least it wouldn’t be dehydration this time. “You know how much dwarves will drink, I trust?” The youth nodded with a show of confidence. But the way his hand crept to his money-pouch betrayed him. Saeth supposed she could help him when the dwarf drank away his entire savings–a kindness she likened to that shown by Bideven Broadleaf in the twenty-fifth stanza of his tale. But all the better to let him save face. “Well, as long as you’re prepared for it, that sounds as good a plan as any. This tavern you’ll be visiting, do they rent rooms as well? I do happen to need a place for the night…”

* * * * *

Nicolai thought it might be worth his while following this mismatched group, a Dwarf, an elf, a cleric and the youth, to a suitable tavern. A slow ale at an adjacent table might at least learn a story or two. Or a couple of easy marks when they fall asleep in their beer. Nicolai followed them, easily blending in with the crowd.

* * * * *

Between the Traladaran Festival of Lucor, and the yearlong millennial festivities celebrating the crowning of the 1st Emperor of Thyatis, the inns are very crowded. After snaking through the jovial crowds, the unusual group finds a street with an assortment of taverns with only their colorful names setting one apart from another. The Dancing Goblin Inn and Grogshop, The Joyful Fist Taproom, The Broken Knuckle Meadhouse and The Toothless Gargoyle Resthouse are all filled with patrons in varying stages of intoxication.

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5 responses to “To The Bar

  1. Miklos (Mu 1)

    As Miklos followed the dwarf through the crowd he wondered where he was leading them. The selection of uninviting names taken by the local establishments didn’t add to his confidence.

    “Are you such this is the right sort of aera? I know a lovely spot o’er the other end of town.”

    The dwarf didn’t respond, he just forged through the crowd with a purpose. Miklos read that dwarves had an uncanny sense of direction so he guessed that he knew where he was going. Passing the first public house he read the name.

    “The ‘Joyful Fist’ Taproom sounds like a delightful and welcoming place.” He wondered whether sarcasm was known to dwarves, and hoped that he did not take him seriously. There were few places in this busy city that were entirely free of noisy rabble and he was headed in the opposite way.

    “Perhaps a left here?” He hoped to turn the general course, but looking left the ‘Dancing Goblin Inn’ spewed its gap-tooth inhabitants out on to the street. “Perhaps not. I’d suggest a different city?”

  2. Maruc (Clr 1)

    Maruc was glad to be away from the guards. Then his second surprise of the day, a half-blind elf, armed Maruc noted, barred their passage and talked briefly to the young man. Maruc didn’t catch the comments but the Elf seemed to follow after the Dwarf with the rest of us.

    The crowds pressed ever closer around the Inns and proved difficult even for the redoubtable dwarf to make way but toward the back end of the street the it eased and Maruc noted the Toothless Gargoyle Resthouse was possibly least patronised, at the moment.

    “Master Feldard!” He called to the dwarf. I spy a free table over by the ‘Gargoyle’, I suggest we make our way over there.”

    Maruc lengthens his stride as he spots someone else trying the bag the free table. Maruc casted his heavy traveling bag onto the table as the man sits down. Macus drags his heavy cloak around revealing the Halavist ceremonial shield and armour. He calmly unhooked his footman’s flail and placed it on the pile. He allowed the man a few seconds to see his clerical garb and his wide implacable grin.

    “My friends and I have traveled from many corners of the land to experience the generosity and welcome of the folk of Specularum.” Maruc left the words hanging as the rest of the party approached. The man was about to say something but slowly withdrew muttering something under his breath.

    “Blessed are the folk of Specularum!” Maruc called after his retreating back.

    As the others approached he said, “Sit! Sit my friends and let us all be known. I am Maruc, a servant of the people of Karameikos. The stern Dwarven Lord Feldard I already know, so whom do we have the pleasure of the company of?”

  3. Feldard Scarredbrow (Dw 1)

    He was sure the tavern had been right down here…positive. The trouble with the landscape had become clearly apparent. It was made of livery of various different humans and they flowed around him changing from moment to moment like a blasted river. None of the establishments’ names sounded familiar. He couldn’t even see that infernal rainbucket he had been forced to climb. Nothing! It was like being trapped in an everchanging maze made of garish colored fabric!

    He trudged on, unable to allow himself to admit that nothing looked familiar, for well he knew how much a dwarf could be judged by others based on his sense of direction–no matter the people couldn’t be bothered to make a city that was navigable! Now they had an elf in tow, there was no way to admit that he’d gotten lost now.

    Nonetheless he felt rescued a bit when his cleric friend picked a place–the Toothless Gargoyle for what it was worth. He hurried across trying to keep pace with him, bringing his shield and heavy footmace up onto the chair to add his own aura of polite menace to the cleric’s. It seemed to work and soon he found himself a good three feet higher and with a mug in his hands. Things were indeed looking more favorable. Still he would have to sneak away at some point later to see about his possessions–wherever THEY were…

  4. A Dwarf and an elf together? Not natural, something up. Add in the youth and a Halavist, and something definitely worth keeping an eye on.

    Nicolai orders a pint of the second worst ale available, and sits at a table adjacent to the unusual grouping.

    Not an easy task to follow and listen to a group such as this. Dwarfs and Elves are too observant. Need to change appearance if they stay here for too long or move on.

  5. Saeth Tegau

    Crowds like this always made her feel uncomfortable. No room to swing a blade, no room to move about. And a crowd, so easily become a stampede. Why wouldn’t that red-faced dwarf just hurry up and pick a tavern? Wasn’t one the same as the next?
    Saeth touched the hilt of her dagger, just for comfort. And then her pouch of silver, because one could never be too careful of thieves in a city.

    And finally! It seemed the dwarf thought the Toothless Gargoyle better than any of the other run-down drinking houses in this part of town. Enough better that he and the travelling priest were willing to scare off the other patrons at his table of choice. She shrugged. It was good enough for her, and she supposed that the dwarf probably had some reason for pointing out this tavern.

    Loosening her bandoleer as she stepped quickly, Saeth managed to reach the table before the priest moved his gear from tabletop to a seat. She tossed her great blade across the table. With a deep thud, it claimed for her a seat on the bench that leaned against a wall. She had many years yet to live, and had no desire to get a drunk’s knife in her back, as fearless Lord Bornhold did, way back in Callair.

    But, with her seat claimed, further introductions could wait. With a curt nod, the sellsword elf turned her attention to finding the innkeeper. She wasn’t lying when she’d told the boy she needed a place to sleep. And she’d need to order ales for the table from him as well. She counted on her fingers to be certain; four ales should do to start.

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