Hey everyone! Just wanted to post a short little holiday story for you all. Hope you had a good Christmas! (Merry Kalimas, to my gamer friends. You know what it means, lol!) So here is my gift to all of you:
Snow fell, more silent than one of Nikkolani's best assassins. Very few people walked along the streets of Moordigan, yet lights burned, warm and inviting, in many a window. Raucous noise boomed into the street every time the door to the Moon Water Inn opened.
A large man trundled through the deep snow, making a path for a smaller man who trailed behind him. The door to the inn opened, noise and laughter spilled into the street.
"Hurry up," the large man called over his shoulder.
"I'm comin', don't get pushy," the other man replied.
Once inside, out of the cold, the two men stood in the entry way and stamped snow from their feet. The shorter of the two looked around the room and unwrapped the long scarf that covered half his face.
"Two gold Dracts says you get drunk before I do," Vendras said, grinning up at his large, half-ogre friend.
"Vendras, dere is no way yer gonna out drink me," Farrehn said, shaking his head. "I'm three times yer size!"
"The bigger they are, my friend," Vendras grinned and pushed his way through the merry crowd.
Stuffed into the corner of the common room, a bard strummed his instrument and sang a slow, high melody. A woman stood next to him, hands on her hips and a frown on her face.
"Play somethin' a little more lively or ye'll be out on the street. I didn't hire ye to play at a Burnin', for Ioweth's sake!" She turned and stormed off to the kitchen and the music picked up in pace.
"Over here," Vendras called across the room to Farrehn. "I found Laria. I think she has a bit of a head start on us!"
Farrehn moved easily through the crowd, his bulk forcing people out of the way whether they wanted to move or not. He removed his heavy wool cloak with the fur collar and draped it out of the way on the back of Vendras' seat.
"Hello, sugar," Laria grinned at Farrehn and lifted her tankard by way of greeting. "Try the stew, if you're hungry. I gave the cook a few of my spices."
"I've had your spices before," Vendras said, wrinkling his nose. "I hope they have something other than stew."
"Are you trying to say I'm a bad cook?" Laria raised a delicate eyebrow as she stared at Vendras.
"You're an Elf."
"What's that got to do with anything?"
"Never mind, Laria. Drink your ale. Oh, Miss!" Vendras raised his hand and beamed a smile at the serving wench. When she arrived at the table, she looked haggard and impatient.
"What?" she barked.
"Two pints of your best ale and keep them coming 'til the ogre hits the floor," Vendras grinned and dropped several coins onto her dirty tray. She shook her head and turned away as Farrehn rolled his eyes.
"Ye tink ye kin out drink me, den let's make dis wager a bit more interestin'," Farrehn said loudly over the noise of the room.
"I can't afford to lose more than two gold Dracts to you, my large friend," Vendras said.
"Well if the two of you would quit betting on everything the twin suns shine on, you'd have more coin, sugar," Laria said. She tipped her tankard to drain it and almost fell over. Vendras grabbed her shoulder and pulled her upright.
"Easy, girl. How much have you had to drink, anyway? Doesn't it take a lot for an Elf to get drunk?"
"I've been here since last night," Laria said loudly, but acted like she was trying to whisper in Vendras' ear. He cringed away from her and waved a hand in front of his face.
"Explains a lot," he said.
The serving wench had made her way back to their table and plopped down two tankards, sloshing ale onto the table. She dropped down four more.
"I'm too busy to keep comin' back. Jest yell iffn' ye need more," she turned and left.
"All right, let's get this done," Vendras said, grinning. He raised his tankard and clanged it against Farrehn's.
"We haven't talked about da wager yet," Farrehn said.
"I'll do whatever you want me to, big guy, as long as it doesn't involve nudity and animals."
"Ye sure about dis?"
"Absolutely! Now drink. I need the coin."
The next morning, the twin suns crept over the horizon casting a pink glow over the fresh snow. The streets were quiet after such a long holiday celebration. As merchants began to arrive to open up their shops, they paused in their usual routine at the odd sight before them.
In the center of town where a large, decorated tree had been placed for the holiday, was a most unusual sight. The usual jeweled star had been pulled down and was now nestled in the branches. In its place hung a man tied up with rope, arms and legs spread out like the points of the star. He was dressed all in white and draped in gold garlands. His snores could be heard from the doorway of the Moon Water Inn where Farrehn stood. He leaned against the door frame, large, steaming mug in hand and chuckled at the sight.