Kingmaker

Bartender's Duty

“I’m concerned.” Ulgar sat with a thud at the bar, addressing the one person who often took the place of a priest in Dwarven society- the barkeep. Kaydee bounced forward with a tankard in hand.

“And what can I do for you, grumpy?” The tankard was full and already in Ulgar’s grasp by the time the sentence had finished.

“It’s Gaeren.” Kaydee flushed a bit a threw a broad smile.

“But sweetie, I’ve already- "

“You know that’s not what I meant, damn you. The more I talk to him, the more we disagree. And while it makes him a good companion when we’re just drinking… our business outside of the bar gets complicated.” Kaydee nodded, recognizing the bar counter confession for what it was and setting about idly cleaning things while Ulgar talked. “I don’t think he’s the kind of person who deserves a place in the Ursundovan government- I’m not even certain he wants a government, the way he talks. Some of his notions on rulership are absurd. How are we supposed to function without laws? A society without concrete rules quickly becomes no society at all. The reason we can live in a city, build castles and monuments, raise armies, it’s all because we have rules a regulations that keep everything organized enough to make such accomplishments. The more you talk to Gaeren about his opinions, the more you realize that what he wants is two small steps away from anarchy.” There was a pause while Ulgar finished off the first tankard. “And our Duke, celestials bless him, is far too willing to just nod and smile and say ‘well, you’re certainly entitled to that opinion.’ He can just tell him to shut it! And even more worrisome is the fact that sometimes Gaeren’s able to talk His Grace out of his previous opinions. He’s infectious, and I’m afraid his opinions are too. What happens when we give him a place on the Council? His Grace has even talked about making him Varnhold’s Viceroy. It’s pure lunacy. Particularly putting him in charge of what is essentially his own small nation that’s supposed to be subordinate to our own. There is no way I see that ending well short of His Grace asserting his authority rather than seeing value in Gaeren’s opinions every time he opens his mouth.” Chug. Kaydee opens her mouth to speak, but Ulgar jumps in again. “And every time I raise my own opinion I get the same patronizing gaze that Gaeren gets.” Ulgar stands up and gulps down the remainder of the second tankard. “I’ll be needing more of these.” He turns to leave and sit himself at another table.

“Wait- that was it?” Kaydee looks confused. “No consoling?”

“What? No. I wasn’t there to be comforted, I was there to rant.” He turns again and sits down with Ellad and his table. He shouts behind him one last time, “More beer!”

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kitsuki Olothontor

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