Tavern Respite 4 – by Elgarion – narrated by Asclepius
Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a further instalment of this wonderful story from Elgarion, entitled
The Tavern Respite
Background music “Tavern Song” by Ome the Bard
Chapter 4, “The Doomsayers”
The merchant’s wagon stopped in front of Bear Tavern, letting its passenger, Elgarion De’Kahli, climb down onto the dirt road. Elgarion looked to the drover with a kind smile and stated, “Thank you, sir. Your kindness is immeasurable. I hope to repay you o–” Elgarion was interrupted by the crack of the drover’s whip above the heads of the draft horses, which were quick to lumber forward at their master’s command. “Eh, if ye weren’t so withered, I’d a dropped you at the gates. Best ye not wander so far, old man. Next ye meet someone less hospitable.”
Elgarion watched in dismay as the wagon bounced away at a surprising pace; the wood and metal seemed to jostle rudely to him. As he turned to the tavern, soreness overcame the sorcerer. So many miles upon the road from Ardoris, and he felt all of them in his aching arse. Slinging the sack of books he had gathered upon this week’s journey over his shoulder, the survivor of Kahli hobbled up the staircase and into the main common room to Bear Tavern. The room was warm, and already prepared for the upcoming eve’s patrons. A fire crackled to his right, which garnered the interest of his weary and chilled bones. Plopping the books onto the floor at a corner, Elgarion approached the hearth.
To his pleasant surprise, there by the fire, Stryker Sparhawk had already began to savor his evening with a fine ale. Having only escaped the limbo of the Void some several weeks prior, Elgarion initially distrusted most he had met. That is… until finding refuge in PaxLair. Stryker was one of the first to offer friendship to Elgarion, and the old man took the gesture willingly. So many years he spent trapped in incoherent misery. His mind craved interaction and answers, and as time passed, Elgarion began to realize Stryker also was searching for something. Smiling, Elgarion, dust covered and exhausted from his venture, sat upon a pillow beside his friend.
Balec joined the two almost as soon as Elgarion had arrived, and the festivities of recounting the tales of this week’s journeys commenced. The proprietor jibed on occasion, teasing Elgarion for his soreness when the groaning sorcerer complained of bumpy roads and potholes. Of note, this day, Balec Fares deCani sat amongst them. Not as their proprietor, but as a companion. Elgarion had even fetched the man a beer, to show a kindness and appreciation for the service Balec had always been so dutiful to provide.
As the evening waned, more arrived. Most were familiar to Elgarion, and he was happy to have their company yet again. Others were new to him, such as a man that goes by the name of Night Fury. Kind. A good heart, Elgarion had thought. High borne, surely, for his dress and manner were exemplary. Another, by the name of Thurisaz Sheol was polite in greeting, a good listener, and well attentive to the conversations of others. Again, Kazyn Phoenixfyre had taken refuge from the cold night air for an ale before retiring. Kazyn brings with him a presence to the room. I suspect highly, that this individual is well respected by many. An elf… one that seems to have bested the hardships which weigh heavily upon others of his race. And just as the fire was diminishing, two others arrived last minute to offer good tidings. Jack Knyfe and Ravicus Domdred. Neither took time for ale nor hardly a word. Just to see them stop in, showed there to be a comfort in routine common to all.
Near an hour they spoke of the news of the land, then one by one, each went about their way. Some to their homes. Some to their steeds to journey into the night. And one, to his chambers above. There, Elgarion sat, as was the norm upon the eve of his return each week. Quill, ink and parchment laid before him, and as an archivist, he scribed his recounting of events.
Stryker searches for “White Hart”, as I do for Kahli. I do not believe this coincidence that our fates follow similar paths. I intend, in my studies, to search for mention of this “White Hart” as well. And by chance, if he will share my road, I will welcome his company.
Balec, he sat amongst us today. Duties called him into the wilds to combat the elves. And to my dismay but pleasant surprise? The man offered his sword arm to my cause and my search. With Stryker, could the three of us reach every corner of these lands without fear of ambush? Alone, I walk only the most travelled of roads. Together? We could take to the mountains. There, I know… Kahli is hidden.
Again mention of the Doomsayers was made. This time, from my lips. I inquired if there were sightings. There were none. I suspect reports of this threat might be exaggerated. Perhaps my mind is better spent with worry about undead or elves.
I made mention of my impending appointment with the High Priestess of Chaos, Lady Amber Raine. Her offer of aid to my research nears fruition, and I grow worried over the propriety of the encounter. Others, to include deCani, suggested better attire, which I hope to acquire before said meeting. But in the least, they put my mind to ease that the High Priestess was of a kind sort, and I needn’t worry about any ceremonial considerations in her address. Already, I have acquired many volumes to study in preparation for this rendezvous. I hope that I will be adequately prepared.
The elf, Kazyn Phoenixfyre, made offer of his family’s library in Port Phoenix. I most assuredly must travel there per his invitation. I’d be a fool to turn down an offer of aid, and one of this magnitude doubly should not go…
Elgarion sighed in frustration. He spoke with almost a chuckle, “Just upon my last sentence… it would seem Chaos demands I take rest.” With stiff movements and occasional moans of pain, Elgarion dressed for bed, then slid in amongst the sheets. In only seconds, tired soul drifted away. His dreams this night returned him to the road. Upon a wagon he travelled. With each toss and turn in his slumber, another hole was struck by wagon wheel, and even in dream, his arse took more bruising.