posted on Feb, 22 2021 @ 08:52 PM
The inn-keep struck at me what I can only describe a filthy gaze from a filthy eye and bade me wonder what bared and haggard services be rendered upon
this visitation. Gravelly hands, with raucous unkempt nails that seemed like living things seeking more sanitary abode, appeared to be lurking
untethered beneath the frayed edges of his soiled robe. An odorous emanation leaped in giant bounds away from his person as if it too were afraid to
be too near, too long, as to succumb to its own smothering nature.
I wondered why a meeting of such import was to be convened at such uncomplimentary accommodations. Only after acclimating to the subdued light did I
even chance to notice the lump of a person piled near the slop buckets waiting for the odd edible discard from a travelers plate. One arm and stubs
for legs seemed the best he could offer and showed no motivation beyond the occasional twitch in response to the horse fly bites he received. I avowed
myself to toss him a piece of bread with bacon fat, a treat with which to end his day, my charitable obligation met.
The tooth marks surrounding the rim of the cup dropped clumsily before me bothered me naught compared to one of the teeth that caused them still
embedded in the grain of the vessel. I would slake my thirst elsewhere, and waited for the others. Fortunately, their journey was at its end.
The door swung open letting light timidly enter a short distance and pause as if unsure of itself. The door, then ripped from its hinges, forced the
light in further than it desired to go showing just cause for its hesitation. Before the meeting could begin greater wisdom intervened and the
discussion was agreed to be held outdoors near the fire by the rivers edge. My one-armed beneficiary would have to suffice without his bread and bacon
“A scourge has befallen the land and none are safe in its midst,” I stated sharply to gain their attention. “This scourge must be dealt with or
I fear none of us shall live to see the new greenery at winter's end. This scourge is but one victory shy of having their way with the land and its
I sat quietly for a moment measuring their response. The glances to and fro, as their eyes silently met, communicated what I suspected would be their
reply with no words spoken. Men such as this sought out battle rather than flee from it. A warrior must always be true to his nature. Truer men I
would not find this day.
The largest of the three spoke, the others not surprised, led me believe he was the leader.
“What of this scourge?” He asked. “How many? What weapons?”
“Few they are, but treacherous and evil, chicanery their most devious device. Their weapons not unlike your own,” I replied.
“We will accept this quest. Where do we find this scourge?”
“You should have stayed inside...” I said as I strode toward the Inn. A flight of arrows sung through the air as the three warriors fell at the
edge of the water.
“This land is mine.”