LP: Run Fast by the Julie Ruin
2013 The Julie Ruin TJR101
Favorite Track: Lookout
“Not much of a tavern,” grumbled the hairy dwarf as he doffed his heavy helmet unto the table, which groaned under the weight, “I bet the strongest tankard their ale tastes like my grandmermer’s feet.”
Adlace chuckled and surveyed the smoky room. It smelled of pumpkin spice, tobacco, and fish frying in lemon. The bar keep was a tough looking man of taciturn nature and scabbed knuckles. A few thieves and rouges were in all the corners, hoping shadows and low candlelight protected their identities from the right people. Adlace began murmuring a few words, attempting to detect magic in any of the people or the weapons they carried.
Starl came back with three glasses of a hazel color, a few breadrolls, and the fish fry over some local leaf of an anise-flavor. She sliced her roll with her jewel-encrusted dagger and more than a few eyes looked over at them.
“Put that away,” muttered the dwarf, Granitetooth, as he splashed as much beer into his beard as he did his mouth. “I suggest we sleep with one eye open tonight. Or move through this damned rain. There’s something here I just don’t trust.”
“Could it be because we are in the southeast? Far away from your Glitter Mountains? You’ve been surlier the further we have traveled–” Starl began but Granitetooth interrupted her.
“The air’s too warm. It’s not the people. They are…pleasant.”
Starl flickered a burnt piece of fish into the nearest fire and turned back to the dwarf. “You use that excuse every time. First, the air was too moist in the Forest of Seven Stars. Then it was too much in Tower Clomax. By the time we got to the fishing village of Pl’aan, you said the air was too sterling.”
Adlace was laughing. The emaciated man in the blue cloak sitting by the fire emitted a strong magical presence although Adlace was not sure if he was a wizard or if he carried a magical item that gave off an aura. For the moment, he kept his eyes of his friends.
“Also,” Starl continued, “don’t interrupt me again or you will lose that stubby tongue of yours.”
“Aye,” Granitetooth scowled, “I mean no disrespect, my Lady, but it is a habit I’ve picked up sitting on the Dwarven Gem Guild console. We would have been there all day arguing with each other if we went one at a time.”
“Didn’t they dissolve last winterfall without ever settling the market prices for certain precious stones?” Adlace watched as the magical stranger was approaching them with a slight limp in his steps. His face was streaked with dirt, but his eyes seemed unnaturally white.
Granitetooth now chuckled, a sound much like rocks rolling down a cliffside. “Aye, the Guild was really an excuse to swap tales about collecting rocks. One time, Jagcleft…”
The stranger stood in front of the table, his hands twitching slightly. “I hate to join your party unannounced but secrecy is of the utmost importance. And time is slight.”
Granitetooth had reached for his axe but Adlace restrained him. Starl measured the stranger with her piercing green eyes but saw no visible weapon on him. In fact, he looked rather sickly or of poor constitution. His voice was as soft as his body.
“I need some people willing for a dangerous adventure. But the reward would be quite significant.”
Granitetooth finished his tankard. “And what would be the reward?”
The stranger smiled and all three of the adventurers noticed that all his teeth glowed an eerie cerulean color.
“A dragon’s horde of treasure.”