Friday, 10 May 2019

Trollbane - Part 11

Reven had reunited with Fang at The Rest and they had said their goodbyes to Peter, leaving him a generous tip for the kindness he had shown them. As Reven approached River Rise's north gate the sun was high in the sky. Over the course of the afternoon, his men would drift toward the gate ready to continue their journey and their search for fortune. As was customary, Reven would be first to arrive and would secure a table at the closest inn to the gate. This ritual was the norm when travelling with his mercenaries; the last drink at the last inn in a city before moving on. The Harlots Arms was a huge inn come coach house nestled against the city wall. Once upon a time, it may have served as a staging area for military forces to muster before travelling but the addition of the cities inner keeps and barracks over the years had meant it hadn't been used for this purpose in years. Well worn cobblestones spoke of the number of travellers that had walked in its courtyard, ivy climbed the stone of the inn's walls, framing latticework windows. The courtyard was full of tables which were mostly full of city dwellers and travellers from all over enjoying lunch and ale in the midday sun. 

Reven chose a table at the edge of the courtyard where Fang's monstrous bulk would be less of a hindrance to the patrons. The warhounds size always made it easy for the mercenaries to find Reven and it wasn't long before the twins Kris and Bran sauntered up to the table greeting Reven and Fang in turn whilst sharing a joke. They were soon joined by Agrippa who was shaking his head as he sat down. His arrival prompted stifled laughs from the twins. "Go on", Agrippa said, "Get it over with". "Get what over with?" Reven enquired. The twins, unable to contain their hysterics any longer burst into laughter. Muldar and Orwen arrived as Kris started his tale.

"We were in some back street pub, little more than a hovel, beating a group of merchants guards at cards when in stumbles a very drunk Agrippa and no word of a lie, he had what appeared to be the ugliest woman in the history of Atla on his arm" Kris sniggered as Bran continued his brothers story. "The bar was propping him up as he ordered drinks for him and his beautiful 'female' companion". Bran delivered the word female in such a way that immediately the whole table was hooked, leaning in for more. Kris took up the telling, "We watched in horror as Ag's new friend slipped 'her' hand down the front of his pants and started kissing him in full view of the whole taproom." Agrippa dropped his head onto the table in an open display of shame as the table started to roar with laughter, "I didn't know... I was pissed out of my mind" his muffled words came out as a shout but he would not raise his head to meet the other's eyes. "Boss, this 'lady' had the biggest hands I've ever seen and had more stubble than you", Kris said addressing Reven. Bran chipped in, "Come on Ag, the bloke looked like he'd put his makeup on in the dark and you could have spotted that wig a mile off". The whole table laughed together as Agrippa filled in the blanks of the story, being heckled the whole time.

In high spirits, the group set off.  Fang was once again adorned in his armour as he and Reven led the group through the great north gate of River Rise. Engleheart awaited and beyond that, their prize.

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