Friday, August 29, 2014

Bar Scene: "What My Name? What's My Name!?"

You walk into the tavern, it's an open air structure.  A simple eight pole building with a low hanging roof to shield patrons from the light rain.  There are obvious repairs to the roof.  There looks to have been a small fire as one of the poles is charred.  You can see the squatting bodies hunched on low stools and tables. 

You duck under the roof's edge and once inside you see a large sign hanging from the peak of the roof.  A snake slithers out of a knot hole its tongue out and in the shape of a figure 8.  You recognize it immediately as a thieves guild symbol for a safe house.

Folks look at you without looking at you.  Some hide their faces behind a tankard and others assess your motives with quick glances.  The bartender, Max, glares at you.  The giant man makes no attempt to hide his contempt.  You approach.  Out of the corner of your eye you notice a man you've seen in the pits numerous times, you think his name is Chun or Dunt or something simple, he moves around to flank you.

"Get out," Max mumbles.  He reaches under the bar and brings out a mace.

You stand a few hand spans away from Max.  You look him in the eye.  Unconcerned the mace is waving close to your head.  "Are we going to do this again?"  You ask.  Chun or Dunt is no longer in your peripheral vision.  

"Get out now," Max slams his mace on the bar.

"Do you want me to do this another way?"  Your patience is fading.  You turn and see Chun, you've decided that was his name, he's stooped down with a dagger in his hand.  The stupid little man.  Chun has a habit of choosing poorly, but that would end.  The palm of your hand gripped the familiar blackened wood handle of your throwing axe.  It took no effort at all to free it from your belt.  With a practiced motion the axe took flight, it spun on its side.  Not good for accuracy, but good for quick, short distances.  The axe planted deeply into Chun's forehead.  He looked surprised for a moment.  He dropped his dagger and fell to  his knees.  Blood flowed between the skin and the blade, covering his face.  Nearby, patrons stood and moved out of the way.  Chun desperately grabbed for a stool.  You didn't see the point, but dying men do have odd behaviors during their final moments.  It looked as if Chun wanted to scream.  His mouth went wide, but then he just stopped.  Eyes open and vacant.  Now he just bled.

The crowd quieted.  Death was nothing new under this roof.  The floorboards were saturated with lives.  But you only wanted something simple, a questioned answered.  A person found.  But it was never that simple.  Never.  Someone needed to die.  Again, you turn to Max who still held the mace, but his expression was no longer one of anger or contempt, but he now looked impressed, a bit more agreeable.  Max put his mace down and poured a full tankard of ale.  "I'll go get him."

You nod.  The ale is welcome.  Two men grab Chun to drag him away.  Before they do you address them.  "My axe."

The older man, he had thieves guild written all over his wrinkled face, struggled to unwedge your axe.  He approaches you with the wet axe.  "You didn't have to kill John.  He may have been a drunk, but he never hurt no one."

You take you axe and put it on the bar.  "Hmm, strange.  I though his name was Chun."


  1. Any story of an axe gets my attention (of course)...but what's it for?

  2. JB: It's for cutting down orcs and trees.

    And Tim? Rocking. Oh, yeah.

  3. Great short tale with quite a few quotable lines (my favorite being "The floorboards were saturated with lives").

  4. Folks often look at me without looking at me.