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Started by Thorfinn
Post #69769

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Ebonheart Pact

Thorfinn Thorfinnsson stared blankly at the proprietor of the Singing Sage Inn. He was waiting for the man to cave in and admit that it was all a jest in poor taste. His gaze turned to reproach, as if the innkeeper should know better than to make such a joke. It was like telling someone their family had been killed in a hall-burning.

“Very funny” he said, in a tone which implied it was anything but.

“Rotgut’s illegal, and I don’t have any.”

Thorfinn’s expression went from reproachful to horrified in a matter of seconds. He turned and gazed around the inn suspiciously, as if new light had been thrown on the place. He turned back to the innkeeper.

“Illegal?” Thorfinn placed both hands on the bar, setting his shoulders. “I’m not in the mood for your games. I want some mead.”

The innkeep quailed slightly as he took in the vast span of his erstwhile customer’s shoulders. “This isn’t Skyrim, sir. Nordic Mead is illegal here!

With a half snarl, half sigh, Thorfinn span on his heel and stalked out of the commonroom, shouldered open the door and into the streets of Bruma. As he went, the word ‘milk-drinkers’ could be heard muttered venomously.

Thorfinn searched. He roamed from inn to inn, shop to shop. Some people offered him some piss-weak water that they claimed was mead, but it had clearly been brewed at the wrong temperature. Real mead puts ice in your belly and tang in your throat. All Nords knew this to be true! Still he searched, well into the diminishing evening light. Hungry and irritable, Thorfinn approached a run down, rickety looking place without even a sign. The place was poorly lit, the beams and corners strewn with cobwebs. Several nord’s looked up from their drinks as he entered, slightly tense, watchful. Thorfinn ignored them and stomped half-heartedly up to the bar. A tall, scarecrow thin man gazed levelly at him from across the counter.

“Welcome, skychild! What can I get you?”

Thorfinn gazed up at the row of barrels behind the bar, trying to see their markings in the dim light. Was that Clearbrew Gold?!

He pointed at the cask. “I’ll take a pot of Clearbrew.”

The tension left the room and several of the patrons cracked him welcoming smiles. “Also a chicken, bread and cheese. Apples too, if you got them.”

“Aye. Set yourself down and I’ll send them over” his host replied. Thorfinn slid a stack of coins over across the pitted and stained wood of the counter and seated himself. Swords, knife and shield were placed beside him and his half-harp in its leather case was gently stowed under the bench, away from harm.

His mead arrived, and what a lovely draft it was too. Warm in the throat, cold in the belly. He drank it down appreciatively. When the serving girl came to bring him his food, he had himself another cup of the Clearbrew. Then he set himself to the considerable amount of food he had set before him. A whole plump chicken, warm bread and a hard, biting cheese disappeared without preamble.

“Have you heard any interesting rumours lately?” he asked the girl when she came to take his empty platter. You could always count on serving wenches to know the business of the folk they served.

“Heard there was a trouble up in the mountains. Goblins or somesuch, come out of the mountain’s roots, been raiding.”

Thorfinn thanked her with a few coins, and she left him to his thoughts. Goblins were no real test. Not that he was too proud to see it done, but Thorfinn was tired of menial tasks. He wanted something worthy of a song. For perhaps half an hour he turned these thoughts over and over in his mind, drinking his drink and brooding.

He didn’t notice a tall, lean nord with hair the colour of charcoal come into the tavern to a general welcome. He didn’t notice as the man conversed with his companions, who pointed over to him. But when the man walked over to him and slammed his hand down on the tabletop, Thorfinn looked up at him with heavy lidded eyes. The gentle, pleasant murmur of tavern conversation quietened and died.

“You been propositioning my daughter, eh? You think she’s some common whore, trying to buy her with your gold?” his voice was angry and protective, his tone insulting. Thorfinn let a long pause drag out before giving a single, insolent shake of his head, then returned to eating his apple. He did not like being interrupted during his dual pastimes of drinking and brooding. But the black haired man wasn’t satisfied with his answer.

“What? You too good to talk to me, whelp? Lay your eyes on her again, and I’ll tear em out an’ piss into yer skull!” Evidently considering his fatherly duty complete, the tall man turned away.

“Whelp, is it now?” said Thorfinn, so quietly you couldn’t quite hear it, but with a questioning tone, as if he truly wanted to know the answer.

The black haired man turned back to Thorfinn. “Got some words for me boy?”

“Boy, is it?” the same strange tone, quiet, questioning. Thorfinn stood and a round of jeers rang out across the room. Nords love a good tavern brawl. Thorfinn walked right up to his taller opponent, never breaking eye contact. The man matched his gaze.

“My name is Skeggi Karisson” he said with a stranger formality.

“Thorfinn Thorfinnsson”. The tension increased, Skeggi stood a good head taller, lean, tense and muscled like a sabercat waiting to pounce. Thorfinn stood stock still, with all the massed, muscled bulk of a bear waiting for his opening.

“Are you two going to kiss or fight?” demanded the proprietor from behind the counter. A chorus of laughter rang out. Then the door opened, and into this scene strode a tanned, lined imperial wearing the uniform of Bruma’s guards. He took in the two men, neither of whom had seen him, and then the clay cups full of mead, the barrels behind the counter. He picked up a random mug and sniffed, wrinkling his nose.

In a rich, thick tone, he said: “You are all under arrest for the illegal distribution of Rotgut mead.” His men filed in behind him. “Bind them, and destroy all of it.”

That got the attention of both Thorfinn and Skeggi.

“What in Oblivion did you just say?” demanded Skeggi, more astonished than threatening. Rather than answer, the Imperial leaned into a table, flipping it onto its side. As the sound of mugs breaking and tankards hitting the floor rang out, Skeggi Karisson gave a strangled cry that was nearly a sob and hurled himself at the man. Half a second later, Thorfinn slammed into a group of shocked towns guard, howling with mad delight. In a matter of a few scarce moments, a full scale brawl had broken out.

“Barricade the door, children of the Sky!” proclaimed the proprietor loudly, producing a wooden club and backhanding an imperial with real venom. "Protect what's ours!"

“Aye!” yelled Thorfinn, dropping an unconscious guard onto the ground with a casual finality. “I’ll have mead here, or by Shor I’ll have it in Sovngarde.”

“Drink the evidence!” shouted Skeggi, staving open a cask of mead and dunking his head inside. Cheers and laughter cascaded throughout the tavern, swelling over the sounds of chairs smashing, the piteous yells of guardsmen and the rumble as Thorfinn picked up a long table and wedged it across the door.
This post was last modified: June 7th 2013, 11:53 AM by Thorfinn

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