The Sun Door Part 14
by Joe Solmo
The brothers spent the next day looking for a boat that would take us on the next leg of our journey. Most of the boats at the docks were too small to carry all of us but they told us not to worry, that larger vessels come through all the time and we shouldn’t have to spend another night, at most two, in this town. There wasn’t much for Dead-Eye and I too do but drink the day away, something we were used too. Drejnin and Serius went out early, too early for me. They are probably exercising anyway. Not my idea of a good morning. I definitely have changed since those two entered our lives but I wasn’t ready to let go of the lounging and drinking quite yet.
Hall and Myder went out somewhere for supplies at least that’s what I think they said as they passed me on the way out the door. I was too busy ordering a round of drinks for Dead-Eye, Weebly and myself. I can be a hell of a nice guy, from time to time…in small intervals.
We swapped lies about what we did in the past for a while and tried to forget about the strange things we have seen in the last year of our lives. Until that Sun Door opened I didn’t know dwarves existed, nor those strange creatures that attacked us. The world had really made itself a lot more wondrous and I still wasn’t sure I liked that idea. I guess people can change and evolve, so can the world, and just maybe it will revert back to its old ways in a few weeks when it lets its guard down, just like people do.
If I sound cynical it is because I am. Everyone has been hurt repeatedly by that person that just revels in destroying people. That person who swears they will change and repent and as soon as you let your guard down takes a giant shit on your heart. Damn my brain is trying to work again, better have another drink. That will teach it.
Sometime after noon a couple of toughs came in and sat at a table directly across from us with their backs to the wall. It was a little uncomfortable because they hadn’t taken their eyes off us, even while ordering their food and drinks.
Dead-Eye was mumbling under his breath about going over there and gouging out their eyes. But knowing Dead-Eye it was an empty threat unless they somehow managed to stop his flow of alcohol. Hall and Myder walked in and took seats next to us, I filled them in on our admirers and they told me they had seen those men earlier in the day standing outside a general goods shop down the street. That could mean trouble, but we did have numbers on our side.
Myder was egging Dead-Eye on while drinking his ale in such a rush he had to be catching up to us. Hall ate a small meal with a glass of wine; he really wasn’t a drinker like the rest of us. That is probably a good thing. After all he had a trade that didn’t involve sticking sharp things in people to hurt them, he did it to save them.
Our audience apparently wanted our attention, one of the men, the taller one, waved me over when I glanced up at him. That little voice inside of me told me I shouldn’t but I stood up, grabbed my drink, and headed over. Why not? I got nothing to lose, right? Before I could get more than two steps towards them a beer mug whizzed over my head and crashed into the wall just to the left of our new friends.
I spun around already knowing what I would see. Dead-Eye was standing up with his arm extended and a smile on his face. “Screw you bassards! Mind yer own business,” he said before gravity got the best of him and he sat down hard in his chair.
I turned back around towards our new friends just in time to get a fist in the face. I fell down as the man walked over me towards Dead-Eye. I heard a sword being drawn and now I knew this was going to get ugly. Too bad I couldn’t see anything with my eyes tearing up.
By the time I could see clearly everyone was facing off in the middle of the floor with weapons drawn. I stumbled to my feet, and reached for my sword, pulling it free without too much trouble, and I turned towards the two men whom had so much interest in us.
“What the hell do you assholes want?” I said standing next to my friends.
“Everyone needs to calm down we are just looking for information,” one of them spoke in a gruff voice. He pushed aside his green cloak to reveal a nasty mace hanging on his belt, as if the sword in his hand wasn’t enough.
“What kind of information,” Hall asked wary of the strangers.
“We need to know about your traveling companions, a taller fellow and his friend? Name starts with a D,” Green Cloak said.
“What about them?” I asked.
“Can we put these weapons away? Everyone just sit down and relax,” Hall said. Slowly everyone put away their sharp objects and took seats.
“We have been hired to track them, and find out where they are headed, that is all, we just need to know where they are going and we can get paid,” Green Cloak explained.
“Who hired you?” Dead-Eye slurred as he half spilled his mug of ale while raising it to his lips.
“A woman approached us three weeks ago, so beautiful. She asked us to track two men and gave us a vague area to start. She had these large dogs with her, the likes of which I had never seen before. She offered us a good amount of coin to find the men. We didn’t find them until you guys were on the move, and we followed you guys here. The last contact with the woman she said if we can find out where they were headed she would pay us and it would be done,” Green Cloak said.
“We really don’t care what you guys are up to, really we don’t. We just want to get our pay and move on,” he finished.
“What do you think, guys?” I asked my friends. What could it really hurt to tell them we are heading northeast, or tell them something false to get them out of our hair? I was pretty sure Drejnin could handle these two assholes without any problem, and most likely the woman as well. What difference would it make?
Just then the door opened and Drejnin and Serius walked in. I could see Drejnin surveying the situation in a split second and he approached the two strangers without a word and sat down facing them. Serius plopped into a chair next to me and gave me a quizzical look.
“Who are your friends, Marsh,” Drejnin said in that deep baritone voice of his, his eyes never leaving Green Cloaks. Why do these people insist I answer questions and make decisions? I am not cut out for that kind of shit.
“This here is Green Cloak, and his buddy Mute Man,” I said with my usual charm flashing everyone my winning smile. “They have been asking about you, buddy,” I said to the large Dreymorian. At that, Serius sat up and now looked poised to attack. Drejnin also seemed to tense when I told him.
“Is that so, then tell me stranger, what is it you wish to know,” he said in an intimidating voice. Hell, I was intimidated and he wasn’t even looking at me. Drejnin can be one scary bastard when he wanted to. I’m sure his mother would tell us he was just a big ole cuddly teddy bear though. I think all mothers have to say that if their sons grow up to be large.
Green Cloak stammered under the gaze of Drejnin which was fun to watch and not be the focus of that stare. “Well, we were just wondering, where you were headed,” he managed to squeak out barely audible.
“Why do you wish to know? Do you seek companions to travel with? We have a large enough party as is,” Drejnin said.
“Well no, we don’t want to travel with you. We were asked to find out where you guys were headed and report back. That is all she asked of us,” Green Cloak said with a little more confidence in his voice.
“Who asked this of you? Serius asked leaning closer to Green Cloak with such a wicked look on his face it gave me chills. I swear his teeth grew another half their size and his mouth widened. I bet he could fit Dead-Eye’s mug into his mouth. Where his teeth that sharp before?
This whole time Weebly was sitting in the back being silent. He would have been overlooked, not just because of his smaller size, but he dropped his mug and it shattered on the floor behind me. I jumped about three miles into the air, somehow managing to miss hitting my head on the ceiling on my way to the clouds.
All faces spun towards the dwarf, whose face was deathly pale. His eyes were open in fear as his mouth opened and he whispered, “What did she look like, lad?”
“You know, legs, tits, some hair,” Dead-Eye quipped.
“She was dressed in leathers, huntsman clothing,” Green Cloak said. “She had black hair, waist length.”
“Skittessa,” Weeby whispered and if it was possible for him to get paler, then it happened.
“Who the fuck is that?” I asked in the most polite manner, which I am known for.
“Skittessa is bad news, Drejnin,” Weeby said as if I didn’t ask my well phrased question at all.
“Doesn’t sound familiar,” Hall said to me, reassuring me I actually did speak those words out loud and I wasn’t losing my mind.
“She is the personification of stealth, assassination, the hunt. She is an evil goddess, the assassin of the Gods. If she is tracking Drejnin then he must have done something to them. This is very bad indeed,” Weebly said shaking his head back and forth as if saying what a shame.
“This is ridiculous! There are no Gods you dumb stump,” Dead-Eye said to the dwarf who looked ready to ball fists and throw punches.
“Now listen here you drunk piece of shit! It is well known in the dwarven kingdoms about the Gods and their indifference to humanity. You may not believe in the Gods, but they do exist and if somehow Drejnin has gotten their attention it might be better for us all to go our separate ways and make as many miles as we can. Those things that killed my brethren and chased us into those ruins had to be her hounds. This is very bad, and these assholes work for her,” the dwarf finished.
Now all eyes turned towards the two men who followed us into the town. They seemed as surprised as us about the newest details of the story.
“Look, we don’t know anything about no Gods. It was just a woman who said she was trying to find her husband that ran away. We really don’t want to get involved in your problems, it doesn’t matter where you guys are going, we are going to just leave town, today. Right now,” Green Cloak said and started to rise out of his chair.
Quicker than lightening, Drejnin and Serius were blocking the men from leaving the room. “Take a message to your employer,” Drejnin said as he faced down the larger of the two, the silent one. “You tell her we are heading northeast in the morning. You tell her if she wants to find me to head that way. I fear no one, not even a woman claiming to be my wife,” he spoke.
I wish I had half the balls this guy had, it was great. Serius just smiled that wicked grin giving me nightmares for the foreseeable future. Thanks a lot. Why couldn’t he shape shift into something nice once in a while.
The two assholes ran out the door like they were going to get scolded by their mothers for being late to dinner. It brought a smile to my face to watch them run. I got up and looked out the front window as they hurriedly jumped on their horses and sped down the road out of town. Hopefully we had seen the last of those guys.
“Well now what?” I asked the group who haven’t spoken a word since the men ran.
“We get the dwarf another drink,” Dead-Eye said and put his feet up on the table and leaned back I his chair, closing his eyes. I knew he had been drunk for the last few days but I didn’t think he was drunk enough to fall asleep yet.
“We leave in the morning on the riverboat Grunnel,” Drejnin said. “Be at the docks one hour after sunrise,” he finished and went up to his room. Serius ordered us all a round of drinks and sat with us at the table to shoot the shit. He was an okay guy when he wasn’t on duty being a Dontu.
“What do you think of Drejnin being a married man?” I asked him as we all gulped down as much alcohol as Serius would buy.
“Lucky, I will tell ya something. Both Drejnin and I have holes in our memories still, but I don’t remember any gorgeous woman hanging around. If it was true I would hope I would at least have that memory in my mind. Beats the hell out of the death and destruction I see when I close my eyes. I’m still not sure where we came from, but I don’t think it was a good place,” Serius said and closed his eye envisioning his memories.
“Call me Marsh,” I said. “Lucky was a crappy nickname they gave me for being paired with this shit head,” I said and kicked at Dead-Eye’s chair forgetting that he was leaning back in it. It fell out from underneath him and he crashed to the floor. We all let off some steam with a good laugh at Dead-Eyes expense, well except for Dead-Eye. He didn’t seem to get the joke. A few minutes later the brothers came in cherry and drunk, like us. We did some formal introductions with Serius and spent the night bonding in the common room making the Inn a lot of coin.
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