The moron before you, face ruddied by his idiocy, seems very pleased with himself. It’s not the taunting that has your blood boiling so much as the arrogance that fuels it.
You want nothing more than to clobber the clucking and flailing ninnyhammer square in the grapes. But your mace isn’t accessible and you don’t like your odds without it (or with it for that matter).
“Alright, alright. I remember!” You holler over the ruckus.
The knight pats your head like a dog and flops down on a nearby barstool.
“I’m not proud of the way I acted last night,” you offer to the knight that greeted you, pausing for remorseful effect. “It’s just not befitting someone in my line of work. And worse, I woke up this morning on the ground right outside the tavern. Just trying to put it all out of my mind.”
“You’re a horrible liar. Really. Just dreadful.” the knight replies, the warmth dissipating from his voice. He drums his fingers on the pommel of his sword and furrows his brow. “Is it your practice to lie to representatives of The Crown?”
His response throws you off balance and you stare at him in silence. The knight is tall, lean, and olive-complected, with dark hair and eyes that now convey a certain severity. The chain mail armor and all of its trimmings compound a presence greater than his physical stature — an air of nobility, of royal bloodline.
You gather your thoughts and weigh your words carefully before finally saying, “I do beg your pardon, sir. Only to tax collectors, if memory serves.”
Margaret erupts in laughter and the knights follow suit.
“Now there’s the truth! Sit and let us regale you with tales of our magnificent shenanigans.” says the knight. “I’m Abrion. The obnoxious chicken man is Danalt and the one who has yet to make a peep is Robson.”
“I’m Whelm,” you reply, taking a seat at the closest table. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Margaret brings you a mead (the closest thing to water to be found at Drake’s) while Abrion and Danalt recount the details of last night and early this morning.
You learn that you had met at a pub yesterday afternoon, in Marygeld, a small village to the south. Afterward, the group decided to venture to Brayburn. That very same group was eventually expelled from The Brayburn Tavern after Danalt insulted the barkeep’s daughter. Since bad decisions were already being made and Draffs was not far from Brayburn, it was on to Drake’s.
With lips loosened by drink, you had shared your entire story — your wayward path, the bucking of your family duties to the priesthood, and, of course, the devastating attack of the Threebeast that killed your family and much of your community. It was the latter that had sealed the bond to your present company, as like you, they were traveling to Mount Mooregardia to slay the horrid creature.
You also learned the source of all the chicken nonsense. An evident highpoint of the evening came after the knights attempted to talk you out of going after the Threebeast. This somehow ended with you suggesting a new design of the royal family’s coat of arms in place of the eagles that have been used for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
There was sloppy ornithological discussion of the merits of different types of birds and the topic of drunken conversation turned to chicken. It was subsequently proposed that it would have to be a very special chicken to make the cut, one with powers and the ability to grip weapons with its wings. Silliness had ensued from there, to include your announcing to the bar’s patrons that you were just hired as Captain of the Guard, at which point you hopped on the bar and executed a rather impressive chicken impression. During your performance, you knocked a glass of wine into a man’s lap. And that man, was a wizard.
“So you’re saying that he erased my memories?”, you ask, struggling with the concept of quite literally losing your mind. “I suppose that could explain it. The last thing I remember is packing before I left Lavalreigh. I don’t remember Marygeld or anything that came after!”
“You’re lucky,” said Abrion. “Crossing a wizard like you did is foolishness. It could have been much worse. Either he had pity on you or the spell was ineffective since your innards were drowning in ale.”