A few weeks ago, while describing something to the two older princes, the concept of role playing games came up. And from that we moved to specifically taking about D&D, and then they asked if we could play… Who am I to say no to such a request. Dice were thrown, characters were drawn up, I threw together an idea in my head of what we could and we started. The next couple posts will be the result of the first sessions we played.
The three companions trudged home in the fading light of dusk. It had been a long trip and they were happy to finally be back in their own city, with their own beds waiting for them. First, though, they were going to stop into their favorite watering hole and rinse the dust from their throats with an ale or two. Malland, a tall Tiefling, made taller by the large horns rising from his head, pulled the door open to let his friends pass, before ducking through the doorway himself. Fireside Inn, named for its proximity to an old burn scar that ravaged the town years before, was quiet as they took a table in a corner. A few regulars sat at the bar itself and a couple other groups sat at tables scattered throughout the tavern section of the inn. Only one group took notice of their entrance, which is was something the friends had always liked about the Fireside Inn. In general, nobody cared who was there or what they were doing. Malland, Dorian, a Dragonborn, and Zanthalaso, a Half-Elf, tended to stand out and attract attention wherever they went. Fireside Inn was a reprieve from that. Usually.
Malland made note of the group that stared at them as they took their seats. He didn’t recognize them. While he and his friends had been away for almost a year, it was strange for newcomers to not only be in town but also frequent the Fireside. It wasn’t exactly the nicest place. It didn’t attract the nicest crowd. Malland wasn’t worried about them but he wasn’t going to let their movements go unnoticed either. He caught Dorian and Zanth eyeing the strangers as well and smiled ruefully.
Their first round of drinks arrived and they raised their glasses in a toast to each other. Their time on the trail had been successful. They hadn’t struck it rich or anything like that, but they had come home with a few interesting trinkets and their purses a bit fuller than when they’d left. They drained their glasses and slammed them down, then grinned and burst into laughter.
“It’s good to be home,” Zanth said.
Dorian nodded in agreement, already trying to catch their servers eye to get another round.
Malland replied, “I still can’t believe we were gone for as long as we were. I hope my house is still standing.”
Zanth laughed again. “It will be, you superstitious fool.”
“I’m a Tiefling, superstitions are my way of life,” Malland responded with a laugh of his own.
It was then the strangers pushed away from their table and made their way over. They were unarmed. So, while there were four of them, none of the friends felt it necessary to stand up to meet the group. Their obvious leader, a much larger man, both in height and girth, took one step closer than the other three. His face was contorted in a glare that was meant to be menacing but was mostly comical. “You aren’t welcome here.”
Dorian growled deep in his long throat. It is a sound that can unnerve even the bravest of men. Two of the men stepped backwards, bumping into each other in the process. The leader, shot them a warning glance before returning his scowl to the three seated at the table. Malland, annoyed with the interruption and wanting to get the whole affair over with so he could get back to drinking, began to stand up but Zanth placed a hand on his shoulder to stop him before addressing the strangers. “This is our home. We’ve been away for a little bit but I can assure you that we are known. Because this is our home, we don’t wan’t any trouble but, rest assured, you do not intimidate us. If you start a fight, you will not walk away from it.”
They didn’t immediately move and Zanth removed his hand from Malland’s shoulder. The Tiefling rose fluidly from his seat and towered over the strangers. The two in the back took further steps away.
“Whatever your quarrel with us,” Malland said, “it can wait. Don’t you agree?” He finished by placing his hand on the well-worn hilt of his short sword.
Niether Zanth or Dorian made a move towards their weapons, but there was no need to. The three of them, imposing to begin with, wore the fierce expressions of travelers who were no strangers to violence, did not shy away from a fight, and did not often lose.
The leader cleared his throat and then stammered, “Yeah, yeah, sure. It can wait. This isn’t over, though.”
With that, the four men left the inn and Malland returned to his seat. Dorian asked, “What do you suppose that was about?”
Zanth answered, “I’m sure we’ll find out.”
“Probably sooner rather than later,” Malland added.