Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Fortunately, though, finals are over and summer has begun. So perhaps I’ll have more time for writing. Or maybe not. We’ll see.
A low noise filled the tavern as the swollen number of occupants talked and conversed with one another, the sounds flowing louder and quieter as the evening progressed, crescendoing with various drunk, overeager partiers who insisted on treating everyone to a drink (which resulted in even more noise as those around the tavern cheering them on), and quieting as other drinkers revealed a rather violent tone to their drunkenness, resulting in awkward stares from everyone around them. The perfect place not to be noticed. And hardly anyone noticed the five men sitting in the dark corner, heads close together in conversation.
It would be hard to find a more diverse group of people anywhere in the tavern — no, anywhere in the city. It was quite a patchwork party: first there was the tall, heavily muscled man carrying a huge battleaxe on his back, with fiery red hair and beard twisted into dreadlocks; then there was the man in a purple robe and wide-brimmed hat, staff leaning against the wall beside a bag, out of which peaked a few aged scrolls; next was a man in a simple brown robe, marked only especially by this and his shaved head; in the darkest corner sat a man dressed in black, close-fitting clothes that hid a number of pockets and sheathes hidden about his body; finally, the fifth man was perhaps the least outlandish, simply dressed in blue and silver. He was obviously an important man, and it was he who was doing most of the talking in this small gathering.
“…so then after you get through the goblin tunnels, you’ll get to the dragon’s cave,” said the important man. “He’s the one who’s really in charge. If you can take him down, you should scare the goblins enough to get out of their tunnels with as much treasure as you like.”
“And he should have a lot of gold, since dragons are a rather greedy lot,” said the man in the purple robe.
“Yes, and think of what we could do with all that gold!” mused the one in the shadows.
“Well, what would you do with it, Vince?” the bald man asked him.
“Probably spend it all on nice trophies,” the man in black replied. “What about you, Xinthos?”
“Scrolls and supplies,” replied the one in purple.
“Ah, all you wizards are boring,” replied the man with the battleaxe. “I want saucy wenches.”
“That does sound quite enticing, Gref,” said the bald man. “Though perhaps quite expensive.”
Gref laughed. “But it’s worth it, Rakitin. So what are we waiting for?”
They all rose from their seats and, after collected their gear, began to head out of the tavern. However, as they were about halfway to the exit, the doors suddenly burst open, revealing five men, all dressed in simple brown robes and shaved bald.
“There you are, Rakitin!” said the simplest and the baldest of the five. “I thought that we’d find you here!”
Rakitin looked between the monk and his companions. “Not now, Baelris.”
Baelris sighed. “How many times have we told you not to go wandering off like this, Rakitin?”
“But there’ll be saucy wenches!”
“I know, and that’s why we’re here. Come, allow us to help you overcome this temptation.”
The other four monks advanced, and Rakitin sighed, allowing them to take him away. The other three watched as the monks left the tavern and disappeared in the street.
“Look,” said Xanthos. “This reminds me, I have some alchemy work I could be doing. Ordinarily, I’d love to help, but I have some other responsibilities right now.”
Gref and Vince looked at each other.
“Yeah, I’m pulling out too,” said Vince. “I don’t like our chances against a dragon.”
Gref sighed. “Some party this turned out to be.”