Kingmaker

Night at the Wench, Round 4

“Three ales.” Ulgar sat with a thud on the bar stool, addressing Kaydee gruffly. She bounced off to fetch them. Two seats down, Eoghan sat regarding the Dwarf with a smirk.

“So, master Dwarf. What have you to grumble about tonight?” He slid over a few seats, his grin widening slightly as the Dwarf turned to face him.

“You’re not funny. I have absolutely nothing to complain about.”

“… Oh?” Eoghan tiled his head. The Dwarf stared placidly beyond the bar, taking a long swig of the nearest beverage.

“That owlbear was quite a foe.”

“Y’know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone who gets softer after a fight. That’s the kind of thing that makes you tougher.”

“But it was glorious! Fungal abominations bearing down on us as the beast swung its massive paws-“

“Why do I get the impression that this is a tall tale?” The Dwarf sputtered a bit and turned red. “I can tell you that you’re only ten seconds in and your retelling has already strayed from Lem’s version.”

“Lem wasn’t in the thick of it! I was front and center, toe to toe with the owlbear and it’s fiendish minions-“

“Minions?” Eoghan burst into laughter.

“Stop interrupting me! Didn’t your parents ever tell you stories as a child? Did you constantly butt in with pointless commentary? I don’t think so.”

“You’re not my father, Ulgar, and I’m glad of that.”

“Not the point.” The Dwarf finished off a tankard and swapped to another, then immediately spit out the mouthful. “Kaydee!” The Gnome came over, giggling.

“You found the present I left you! Oh, good. How do you like it?”

“What is this swill, and why is it not what I asked for?”

“You just asked me for ale, and technically, that’s what that is.” She grinned and innocent smile at the Dwarf, who sputtered again.

“I don’t want it. It’s not good.” Kaydee pouted at this.

“Oh, don’t say that. Everyone else likes it.”

“It’s not what I asked for! Hmmph. Fine, I’ll buy it. I’m feeling charitable. But when I ask for ale, I want what I usually get. Not this.” Kaydee nodded and grinned, then trotted off down the bar again, her mission successful. Ulgar turned back to Eoghan, only to face another grin.

“So, what’s this I hear about you and Gideon’s encounter with a stone floor?” The Dwarf sat still for a moment.

“It was nothing important.” Eoghan’s smile again grew wider, almost ear to ear as he leaned in closer.

“I hear you two took a tumble into a pit. I thought Dwarves had a good sense for the stone. You didn’t see it coming?”

“I… I did! I cleared the trap so that nobody else would have to fall in.”

“Ah. How… clever of you.”

“Aye. Do you want this?” Ulgar proffered the special ale that Kaydee had left him.

“Ah, not really. She never told you what it was, and you never asked. I’ll pass.” The Dwarf grunted, and the two sat for a while in silence, drinking.

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