I walked down the barracks steps muttering darkly at not being able to raise a single guardsman from their slumber. The events of the previous evening still weighing heavily on my mind. I winced and held my ribs as I walked towards the tavern, they still smarted from the beating I received at the hands of the insane Yewish Templar. I needed a drink.
As I stepped from the alleyway I realised that the Goblin's doors were still boarded shut. Bloody Churchies. I rested a moment still pondering over the mass in Yew. In my previous meetings with Dart I'd found him to be an obnoxious pratt at best. Though he did grant my request at the Moot and for that I am still grateful. I'd run my mouth off at Dart last eve though the fault was with the Churchmen's not him and it sat unfavourably with me. He stood his men down inside the church despite the Templar's orders and although he arrested Drachir in front of me because he could, he released him promptly also. Maybe the Yewlander had some honour at least or was I just being soft because his missus tended to me after the lunatic Konrad had beaten me to the church floor with his axe.
I sighed and looked to the heavens. It must be eight o'clock by now. Happy hour in the King's Deer Tavern. Time fer an ale... And a little humble pie.
As I walked through the 'Keep the place seemed deserted until I approached the tavern, hearing the throng within. I opened the tavern door and peered warily inside. It took but a few moments for all conversation to cease and for every pair of eyes, including a particularly beautiful pair to set their gaze on me.
The first person to "welcome" me was a particularly ugly Besieger. He apparently wanted me to have a cake he'd baked. A little too manlubberish fer my liking so I explained to him that my mother always taught me never to take cake from strange men. I dunno what his mother taught him... Orcish probably.
I spotted the Yewish captain sat with his back to me but before I could approach him the tedious Sergeant who spent a year's wages at the recent Yew auction night to receive a "facial" barred my path. I can nay remember what he cracked on about, I simply told him that I was there to speak to the organ grinder not the monkey.
At last Dart rescued his men from any further belittlement by acknowledging my presence and suggesting that we speak privately in his office. Once there I struggled to spit out the words I walked so far to say. I thanked him for not detaining Drachir for any longer than was necessary and for not bowing to the twisted Templar's will. Worse was yet to come as I struggled on to apologise for the words and accusations I had hurled at him during the church mass. The fault was with the Templar's not him.
To his credit, Dart didn't make me squirm any more than was absolutely necessary and then offered to buy me a drink in the tavern. I accepted out of politeness... What a mistake that was. I should have buggered off home while I had the chance. I approached the bar and declared that mine was a large one! Then I ordered an ale after the Yewish Captain had told the waitress to put it on his tab.
I was invited over to sit by the Besieger Corporal who seemed to be in awe of the endless quips about the Yewish deviance for livestock and in particular sheep I had bestowed upon him in our previous meetings. He offered up his own attempt at a comeback regarding Cove and orcs and while it was apparent centuries of inbreeding had take it's toll on Corporal's appearance he did indeed seem brighter than most of his fellows.
A pretty 'Watcher came to sit close by and started to ask me a question but I could hear not what she said for the screams of some unfortunate bugger outside being attacked by one of the dreaded shadow elemental's. In true Covian manner I burst outside mace and shield in hand to save the day but with the elemental gone the Yewish seemed more bothered about me bearing arms in Stonekeep than helping the poor bloody Trainee to his feet.
This seemed as good a time as any to say my fairwells and make my way home. I noticed I'd picked up a couple of companions for the journey in Wilkes and Madsen and although I assured them I knew the way back to Cove they insisted on escorting me to the border.
They stayed a few paces behind me, whispering and giggling like lovers. Madsen glared at me murderously evertime i looked back. The bastard has had a face like a slapped arse every time I've seen him since Halloween! I wonder why? We continued on until we were far enough out of Stonekeep that my cries would not be heard then they struck me down from behind. Beating me first with their weapons and then fists and feet. Every time I staggered dazed and defenceless to my feet I was beaten down again until at last the darkness took me.
When I came too they had rolled me to the river's edge. It seemed these two courageous Yewlanders had thought to murder me, rolling me unconscious and weighted down by my armour into the river, but didn't have the balls to see it through. They left me groaning with pain, sniggering as they went. The bastards. They will get theirs. Mark my words.