“You couldn’t just lend a hand could you?” begged Bash the Cleric as he struggled with folds and folds of inked velum.
“Sorry mate,” replied Strongbow the hireling archer picking the meat from between his teeth with a broken chicken bone, “I only work for money.”
“What is it you’ve got there anyway?” asked the Blue Nun leaning forward for a better look.
“It’s a map of the highlands,” sighed Bash, “and it’s damnably enormous!”
“You’re not kidding,” said Strongbow discarding the broken bone, “it’s swamping the table. It’s near two Megs, and they’re not going to be happy if it starts dipping itself into their soup!”
“I take it,” enquired Bash’ “that piece of advice was free?”
Leaving the Inn table straining under the weight of the map, Bash picked up his staff and strode out into the morning sun, leaving the door swinging freely behind him.
The Blue Nun, Strongbow and the Two Megs looked up to see a cloaked figure step in through the same door and without speaking cross the room to a secluded table in the corner.
“Who’s he?” asked the Blue Nun.
“Beats me,” replied Strongbow, “but by his cloak and that bow he’s got across his shoulder, I’d guess he’s a Ranger! Looks a bit scary though.”
“In that case you had better not look now, there’s a savage looking barbarian in the other corner!”
The sun was warm, but as Bash the Cleric approached Dewar’s Well the air palpably cooled. Grey shadows shifted. The gathering wolves howled. Riding on their backs, their dead, fleshless hands gripping night-black scythes, sat Kahlua’s skeleton cavalry. Frigid witch-fire burning dimly in their naked eye-sockets, glowed brighter as they raised their heads high, hissed dryly and spurred their lupine mounts to charge the lone cleric.
Quickly, but precisely Bash recited an ancient psalm while raising his hand gently holding a sacred amulet. Frosty light swirled from the trinket. Then like a tidal wave it gushed forth, soaking the malevolent, unholy bones with fractured light. Bash winced as his ears filled with deafening screams and the skeletons crumbled to dust, their soulless remains dashed to mere spindrift on the wind. The wolves suddenly without direction, seeking to restore their own feral order, began fighting amongst themselves. Bash’s judgement was swift and unerring, his staff ruthless. He struck with all his strength, crushing their savage skulls.
Breathing heavily, Bash mopped his brow and rested before skinning the wolves and searching the heather for spoils. He found two dusty rings, each worth a gold piece.