Idiots at the Inn

Our tale begins with a depleted couple of adventurers, Damir and Hansie, at a loose end. Having mourned the death of their dear departed comrade (what did you say his name was???) they have settled in Jotland too bored and unmotivated to go any further. While wandering the streets one day, they luck (??) onto Grumbles (younger and slightly more handsome) brother, Mumbles. Gods! Don't they look alike - with an appropriate double-take... and joyous cries of "I though he was dead!" they greet him. Wee Hansie wraps himself round Mumbles leg in a paroxysm of joy Damir, with his inbuilt gift for languages, takes no time to actually understand what Mumbles is saying - this new found skill was retained even after Mumbles had drunk more than one bucket of blood... sorry... beer. AMAZING!! Hansie, quickly bored watching Mumbles slurp his bucket of booze, wanders off to check out the possibilities this tavern offers. Being an Entrepreneur, we know what that means! Picking the roughest, toughest meanest looking group in the tavern; a couple of wolf trappers, accompanied the parties occasional buddy Bam, he skillfully and silently glides undetected through the crowd. He sneaks undetected past the girlie performing bard, past the rest of the not too interesting tavern-goers, to arrive undetected smack bang behind the wolf-trappers. Conversation at their table is excited - bets are laid; dice are rolled... Hansies nose begins to twitch - he can smell money... With great care Hansie feels up one of the Wolf Trappers - the smell of only moderately well tanned hides is strong enough to choke a horse but Hansie keeps his wits and his silence... He gropes gently... His sensitive but chubby little fingers find a pouch... feels like money! Holding his breath Hansie dexterously unties the pouch and in three quick and subtle scoops has the money transferred to his pockets. Casually he turns to stroll back to his party but just as he is casually walking away, a voice calls him. Hansie ignores it and tries to slink off but the voice follows, accompanied by the rest of the body - Bam has recognised him! Lady Luck smiles on idiots and small children and since it's hard to tell which of these Hansie is, he gets more than his fair share of good fortune. While Bam recognises him he is unaware of just what he's been doing. Subtly Hansie steers Bam off to the bar to Mumbles and Damir where they continue to reminisce and drink even more. Hansie takes the opportunity to sneak off and count his ill-gotten gains. No sooner has he found himself a nice quiet dark corner than all Hell breaks loose. The robbed Wolf Trapper has discovered his loss. Immediately he blames his companion and a heated argument ensues. The shouting escalates to pushing; the performing Bard takes a break and heads over to the table to try and stop the altercation. The parties involved ignore him. Push comes to shove and one of them is down... The one still on his feet ponders for a moment then loudly starts to blame Bam for the theft; he staggers over to the bar - where Bam and the rest of the party obliviously recount past glories - to continue the argument.

Our brave and noble party make an expeditious retreat (with the rest of the Tavern goers) to the relative safety of the far end of the Tavern where they gather round the fire near a tall, dark, deathly pale, evil-looking character who has been surreptitiously eyeing them all evening. Damir falls into conversation with the evil-looking stranger, joined by Mumbles who is running out of beer. The evil-one introduces himself as Singular Gyrus (some sort of foreign name) and shouts Damir a brew. The situation at the bar is becoming increasingly violent (until one of the Trappers falls inexplicably asleep in the midst of the heated quarrel) and the Bar Keep is hiding and NOT coming out, Gyrus wafts the foaming mugs of beer magically through the air. The Tavern-goers mutter amongst themselves - some of the drunker ones applaud - the Bard bows (and passes round his hat). Hansie, for no reason other than being apparently possessed by demons, springs from his hiding place under one of the tables - he leaps onto a nearby table-top where he whirls his sling round his head and lets fly at the floating beer mugs. His aim is true! The beer mugs are hit, one bumps the other - some of the beer slops over the Bard standing directly below (the crowd applaud) Gyrus is unimpressed (so is the Bard) and eyes Hansie evilly, muttering and moving his fingers in complex patterns. Hansie (being Hansie) performs a peculiar but typical move. Without a moment of hesitation he leaps onto a nearby table-top, springs from there into the air to grab a ceiling beam from where he gracefully vaults up, to land with style and grace on the chandelier. The crowd goes wild - the Bard passes his hat around. The audience who, pavlov-like, have been prepared by long evenings of putting money in his hat (to shut him up) co-operate. The 'take' is good, so good it provokes the Bard into even greater feats. He announces that his 'friend' will now perform the notoriously difficult blindfolded triple back-flip from chandelier to floor - the crowd cheers. Hansie, with the soul of a performer, takes up the challenge and, fumbling only a bit, or maybe on purpose, makes an almost perfect landing (on the Bards foot)...more wild cheering, more collecting of money. The Inn Keeper, please by the turn of events shouts the Bard and Hansie a drink - they settle down to join Damir, Mumbles and their new-found friends for a drink or three and a bite to eat.

Stay tuned for part II... Monsters in the Monastery

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