Friday, June 26

At the stronghold… Original Fiction by Xan

Stepping through the porthole comes the wizard, a miniature man, a silly looking human in chain mail, and a giant. The paladin stands up from his chair at the table where he was eating a nice feast. The wizard waves the travelers over to the table and motions them to have a seat. With another wave of his hand, the food magically expands to fit their ravenous appetites.

“How much longer do I have to wait to destroy the evil plaguing this land?” Came the immediate reply of the paladin to the wizard. “These three aren’t evil.”

“Patience, Solcloud Genus you will have enemies aplenty to destroy in no time. Please let these three catch their breath. They have been part of a slave train for many days now. They were on their way to Gleorn, just as you were. I think we owe them some background, wouldn’t you agree?”

“As long as I can make evil pay soon!”

“In time, I promise you.”

The wizard sits at a high backed chair to the head of the table and motions the travelers to eat their fill. The giant tears off a chicken leg the size of the small man with his left hand and begins to devour it, while he reaches for a drink and a roll with his right hand. The little man gulps, trying hard to stay out of his ravenous way.

“Damn, he could eat me if I don’t watch myself.” The small man mutters in a different dialect.

“I don’t eat little ones like you.” Came the deep voice of the giant in the same tongue.

“A giant speaking the language of my kin? Now that is a sight!” The little man shrieks in the common language of the land. “The name is Beasley.” He cleverly looks around and continues on the strange dialect he previously spoke in, “Beasley Quinn Silvermoon of the Northern Silvermoon’s not the South.” He continues to speak in the more common tongue “I don’t recall traveling with the likes of you, or you.” He gestures towards the silly man trying not to get his mis-fit armor or his hands dirty with the food.

With a full mouth of food and a chicken leg in his hand, the giant begins to speak, waving the chicken leg in the air. “Well said my halfling friend! I am Zander Adalstein, The Noble Stone, Son of “the Indefinite”, Adherent to the teachings of Othr, Professor of the ways of…”

“OK, I think we get the idea.” Solcloud waves his arms in the air at the sound of such stupidity. “Obviously you may look like a half-ogre, but you definitely have the name of a halfling. St. Cuthbert strike me down if you don’t break the mold!” The Paladin turns to the thin man, “Please tell me your name is short and sweet?”
Startled, the man looks up from trying to eat without getting his hands dirty. He politely lifts his hand up to motion he has food in his mouth. He quickly chews to clear his mouth then dabs the corners of his mouth daintily before speaking. Solcloud rolls his eyes impatiently as he awaits a reply.

“I am Mayvn Dyse. However, life is too interesting to ‘dies’ just yet.” He snickers at his own humor. Even the halfling looked at him funny by the lack of humor in this man. “I am a bard by trade. But as you can see, I have been ‘liberated’ of my position and my clothing.”

“Ah, yes, after we have all finished our meal,” Philomar interrupted. “I will change that for you. However, for now, please, eat. You must be famished traveling for days without food. It is a wonder I found you alive. I now see why you all passed out when I attacked the slave train. Moreover, obviously your memories of how you were captured also elude you. Most who are without sustenance can suffer memory loss. Please eat and regain your strength.”

Beasley and Zander engaged in an eating contest that lasted several hours. Mayvn, being more refined and with a napkin in his lap, sipped soup and tea with a pinkie towards the sky. The giant and the halfling leaned back in their chairs beaming like lions after a good hunt. Mayvn sat in awe and disgust at the lack of table manners displayed by these ‘guests’ at Philomar’s table. With a wrinkled nose, he clears him mouth and begins to speak with more flamboyance. “Let me apologize for these… oafs and their lack of manners. That was a wonderful meal.” He again pats the corners of his mouth with his napkin. “I hate to sound under appreciative, but you mentioned being able to change me…umm…us out of our rags into something more appropriate?” Mayvn looks at his armor and smells the sleeve, obviously repulsed.

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