Theorkrane the Great
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 811
Theorkrane surveyed the dim light bar, taking stock of the patrons and keeping an eye out for any trouble that might come his way. Being a ranger, who often found himself on the wrong side of the corrupt and vindictive Baron Kintrec, he was a master of disguise. While he hated having to come into town, it was a necessary burden to meet Sharlic the Druid, who often had small jobs for Theorkrane to do.
A small fight erupted like an explosion of human volcano, townsfolk and men at arms flew outward from a large table in the centre of the room. At the core of this eruption was Grun, a six foot ten, muscle bound barbarian from the South. Grun liked drinking games, but did not having to pay for his ale whether he won the games or not. The Inn’s two half-breed orc bouncers cracked their knuckles and leapt into action, reaching Grun’s table in seconds with their large studded clubs at the ready.
“Good old Grun,” an old man in a tattered and faded emerald cloak said to Theorkrane softly.
“You can always count on him for a distraction.” Theorkrane replied to his old friend.
Sharlic sat down at the thick oak table across from Theorkrane, shuffling along the hard bench until he sat in the shadows.
“Glad you could make it, Theorkrane. I have some troubling news from the woods east of Goldor. My cousin has sent word that the Baron is after your blood.”
“He is always after my blood, what’s new?”
“Yes, but this time he is torching the villages, farmer’s cottages and anywhere else where it is known you have been recently. He is spreading the word that you have the plague and he is looking after the peasant’s interest.”
“A likely story.”
“Ah, but this time he is paying in gold pieces for the damage he has done.”
“Paying! Baron Kintrec?”
“Yes, my friend. He knows that torturing and destroying property will not bring you out into the open. But, to tell all that you have the plague and to keep away from you, then pay the peasants will bring you out for the Baron to deal with. Everyone will be afraid to get close to you. Too afraid of catching the red plague themselves.”
“Then you know what we must do, Kintrec?”
“I believe I know your plan already.”
The doors to the Inn crashed inwards in a rain of splinters and dirt. One of the orc bouncers from outside flew through the air and landed on a table where ten dwarves were playing a game of bones. Coins, knucklebones and ale flew, covering the dwarves in their drinks and starting the tavern fight in all its glory. If there was one thing that was worse than expecting, Grun to pay for his ale it was spiling a dwarf’s drink.
Most of the tavern did not notice four of the Baron’s elite knights enter shortly after the orc flew in with their help. Those that did quickly made their way out of the Inn as quickly as they could. Although the four burly knights were outnumbered twenty to one, their training in the eastern arts of fighting made them formidable opponents that one did not cross paths with if one could help it. Quickly, the knights glided through the sea of drunken patrons, knocking down any that had the misfortune of falling in their path with a swift and single blow from their polished silver gauntlet.
Theorkrane saw the Baron’s knights immediately, but did not attempt to run or hide, though his skills as a ranger would easily allow him to do so in the shadows and commotion of the Inn. He remained seated and drank the rest of his ale as though there was no danger from either the tavern fight or the Baron’s knights.
“Theorkrane Londale.” The tallest of the knights said. “You are to immediately follow us to the castle of Baron Kintrec.”
Theorkrane looked across the table at his friend, who was now sitting further in the shadows than Theorkrane thought possible.
“Are you not afraid of catching the Red Plague from me?” Theorkrane said.
“News has already spread of your miraculous healing by the clerics of St. Kintrec the Great’s cathedral.”
“Here is your payment, old man.” The shortest knight said, tossing a bag of coins on the table in front of Sharlic.
“Sorry old friend,” Sharlic said softly as he leaned into the light. “The Baron was going to burn the forests if I did not help him. You understand don’t you, that as a druid the very essence of life is the forests and its creatures. To sacrifice them for one man would have been blasphemous.”
The knights took Theorkrane away as he shook his head in disbelief.
Theorkrane the Great
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