As the sun set on the town of Krovas, a slight chill set in as a friendly reminder of what to expect in the coming months. While news of the Riekland took its’ time traveling this far north, the winds of winter are always swift on the tail end of the harvest season; a portent of sorts given the slim yield on crops from the summer. With the ominous fear of empty bellies looming, the harvest festival lacked its usual jubilance and the denizens of the lower wards sought desperately for opportunity while the bureaucrats and nobles would no doubt dine well on a nightly basis in the coming cold months. Few things spread panic like a lack of sustenance…
And while the quality of rations may be degrading and supply dwindling, the quantity of ale and spirits at Shamley’s Hammer is never in short supply. Raucous as usual, at the end of a work day during the autumn harvest, Hadrian deftly navigated his way through the dinner rush crowd seeking eye contact with the proprietor, Gunther Shamley. Establishing one’s self as a regular at a tavern is never a bad thing and the attraction to the ‘Hammer’ was instant for Hadrian. Loud and large, with a variety of patrons and travelers, a mark was never more than a pint’s swill away.
Catching Gunther’s eye, he gave a curt nod and broke left through the rank and file in the direction of their table. He eyed Laura (how could you miss her) mingling with the locals; her gruff voice carrying above the most surly of patrons. Without stopping, he arrived at the table to discover it was already occupied…by Harry Canyon staring intently at the lone pint on the table. Giving one of the table legs a kick, Hadrian disrupted the moment as he seated himself gesturing to one of the barmaids, hand outstretched, fingers splayed indicating the number ‘5’.
Never one to miss ‘a round’, Horst seemingly appeared from thin air, first pointing to Hadrian’s ‘5-hand’ and then to himself. The mug he was carrying was already empty and he slammed it on the table. Judging from the size of the grin on his face, he may not have worked a full day, libations perhaps occupying the bulk of his afternoon. Hail, Sigmar. The barmaid returned with five pints, each of the seated men grabbing a glass and clanking them together before quaffing the foamy top.
As the dwarf arrived, he looked even more cantankerous than usual, reaching out for the two remaining pints downing the first in seconds. The mug rattled randomly as Kordan released it from his hand a few inches above the table top while abruptly pointing over his left shoulder. As the group followed his thumb, their gazes fixed upon a dwarf wider (and louder) than he was. Performers don’t really like their thunder stolen, especially performers whose tools of trade are sharp weapons they implant in others. Kordan Bad-Axe had been used to being stared at and hushing tables simply by entering the ‘Hammer’. However tonight, being the second dwarf on the scene, didn’t really carry the usual impact. Before the night was over, he planned on meeting the newcomer.
Laura, at last, arrived at the table wearing a grin which quickly changed to a frown upon realizing there was not a full mug for her. While giving the dwarf a crusty eyed glance, Hadrian motioned to the barmaid, outstretched his hand, and splayed his fingers to make the number ‘5’.