Kingmaker

Night at the Wench, Round 3

“Finally!” The drink hit the table with a clang, and Ulgar had it immediately in hand as he grinned at the nearest patron. “I’m happiest with a helmet on my head and a hammer in my hands. These past few weeks were glorious!” The patron gave him a bemused nod and returned to his drink. Ulgar gave a sigh and swiveled in his seat.

“You! Do you want to hear of our adventures in the wilds?” The table he pointed at was a group of four sunburned Human men, probably farmers with plots near the Tuskendale outskirts. They all looked up, several of them jumping at the suddenness of the Dwarf’s bellowed inquiry. One made a gesture that resembled a nod, and that was enough. Ulgar grinned and nodded back. “Excellent! Come, a round of drinks for these fellows!”

As Ulgar settled into his seat at the table and drinks were passed around, a second Dwarf slipped in the doorway to the Wench, more or less unnoticed by the majority of the patrons. He was shorter than average for a Dwarf, but what he lacked in height he made up for in muscle. If one were to judge his appearance, they might note that he had been traveling for quite some time based on the mud and dirt spattered about his clothing. His beard was short and well-kempt. He took a seat in an unobtrusive corner, using the table and his backpack to hide his height and make himself look almost like a Human. His eyes swept over the crowded room, until they landed on Ulgar, and there they stayed. This was apparently all he needed, for as soon as he had taken in the sight of the other Dwarf he nodded curtly and retreated back out of the Wench, just as Kaydee was approaching to offer him something blue and bubbly.

“Hey, Ulgar?” Kaydee approached the Dwarf’s table.

“As the dragon swooped down low over the- what? Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something?” The four farmers, now significantly more drunk than they were before Ulgar had joined them, were now all leaning in, red-faced and riveted to the Dwarf’s tall tale.

“Yes, I’m sure it’s quite the story, but I thought you should know that there was another Dwarf here a moment ago. He left as soon as he saw you.” Ulgar, who had been composing a rebuttal, stopped short with a huff.

“ –What?”

“I didn’t think it was that loud in here. I said that-“

“No, no, I heard you the first time, you buffoon.” He stroked his beard for a second in thought.

“Thank you for telling me.”

“Mhm!” Kaydee bounced back off to the bar, leaving Ulgar to finish his story. Ulgar drank long and heavy throughout the story- to anyone who knows well enough, that something was worrying the Dwarf.*

*Dwarven concern is shown by drinking more than one normally would.

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kitsuki Bookkeeper

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