The tavern was rather quite this time of day. The few patrons therein consisted of leather clad guards hobbled around a figure drabbed in a fancy purple and orange robe. His age was prevalent as the gray hair can be seen atop his head and the long beard hiding most if not all the wrinkles on his face. His station that one would assume as Jarl by the depiction of a silver antler crown fashioned atop his temple. The old man held a flagon in one hand and a handful of written reports in the other. Obvious and dictated sign that the information therein was dire. His eyes kept darting to his men around him whose looks were rather sour and unpleasant.
“Jarl Grimgar, what do the reports say?” One young guard would pipe up and ask despite the other men given him a worrying look.
Yet without giving a quick response the Jarl simply dug his face into eh flagon and drank its contents completely, before slamming the container on the table with a grunt. Both in anger and frustration.
“A drake was spotted in hills before the snowy mountains.” He would finally say in his graveled old tone. The smell of sweet mead in the back of his throat as he talked.
The guards around him began to raise eyebrows and talk amongst themselves at this remark.
“But their hibernation is still underway we have another year, don’t we?” The young guard would ask between the solemn grumbles of the other guardsmen around the Jarl.
Before the Jarl would retort but not before the front door to the tavern busted in as the fresh autumn air brushed in unhindered. The attendant entering was a large man with a thick brown beard. A big tooth grin across his face as he barely fit through the door with his rather large rucksack, along with odd linen wrapped objects behind his back. Were none the wiser a smaller stature figure followed behind wrapped up furs and leather a hood covering her face. A considerable size distance as though an oversized father and his petit daughter.
The Jarl turned in his seat to see the pair waltzed in taking a seat at a nearby table. The big bulky man waving towards the barmaid to serve them in leisure. The young women sitting close beside him eyeing the tavern with her hood covering her face intently. Raising an eyebrow, the old Jarl stood from his seat and eyed the pair knowing for certain they were not his subject. Walking forward to investigate the guardsmen followed in pursuit.
Upon approaching the table the Jarl pulled the chair out and sat himself in it as if he owned the place. When in literal fact he did along with the rest of the small town and surrounding farmlands. He eventually got the gaze of the bulky man he turns his gaze and simply grinned back with an optimistic face.
“Travelers this far north? What brings you to Dagber this late in the cycle?” The Jarl asked as the guards congregated around him attempting to look rather menacing to the newcomers. Though not seeming put off slightly the bulky man eyed the Jarl for a moment his large arms resting on the table.
“Dragon slaying!” The man would state as he flexed his upper torso that rippled under his cotton shirt. The women beside simply shook her head as if a silent yet exaggerated sigh.
The tavern fell silent for a moment before the guardsmen and the Jarl began cackling in glee. Such an absurd comment was ridiculous to them and clearly a jest. Still keeping a pose the woman slapped the bulky man to stop flexing as he brought his arms down slowly with a shrug.
It took a few moments for the laughter in the tavern to die down but once it did you could see a few tears coming down the Jarl’s cheek. Wiping them away and shaking his head composing himself he put both his hands clasped on the table scooting forward in his seat.
“You are serious I take it?” The Jarl asked as he noticed the unchanging expression of the optimistic man before him. Taking in his sight the Jarl assumed he stood around six feet and six inches in height and weighing almost as much as 300 pounds. A formidable size for a mere human from this region but clearly no match for a dragon. His eyes would then dart to the silent women beside the hulking man and notice she was completely covered even her face with a hood.
“And you lass. What brings you here perhaps dragon slaying as well?” The Jarl would ask almost in a sneer. Awaiting an answer he stared her down but noticed her unflinching and moving. Growing bored the Jarl looked to the hulking man once more with a stern gaze.
“What’s your name dragon slayer?”
“Herod! And this is Lillian!” Herod would state out loud as he wrapped a large arm around the small woman pulling her close.
The Jarl seemed rather skeptical as he raised an eyebrow at them his grey eyebrows doing little to hide his age. “Surely you jest, dragons even the wingless ones are no match for two simple humans large and built you may seem Herod.” The Jarl would remark but soon caught his tongue as the woman stood up slightly and quickly cut him off.
This was the first time he could slightly see her face. Though it was covered by a mask he noticed piercing orange eyes and a blood freezing stare that captivated his attention swiftly. When she finally did speak it sounded rough yet songlike. As though fire was forming at the back of her throat and her melodic tone was keeping it in check.
“When we bring back the head of a dragon will you believe and reward us?”
The Jarl sat in his seat looking up at her with bewilderment and interest. He was at a loss of words, all his years he had never felt such an ominous presence from a small statured woman. And if it were magic it none that he had ever witnessed. Tightening his lips he simply nodded as he kept his gaze locked with hers.
“You bring back the head of a dragon I will make you both thanes and have access to my armory.” The Jarl stated as boldly as he could attempting to sound authoritative despite the odd occurrence.
“It is planned then!” Herod stated as he brought both his hands down on the table rattling it, while letting out a deep bellowing laugh.
“Indeed” The Jarl stated as he stood up and barged through his guards whispering to a few of them some obscenity to keep and eye out on the strangers. The women would sit back down with a faint humph as she crossed her arms shaking her head. The tavern slowly going silent as the Jarl barged out with his group of guards.
“Could have just said you were a traveling blacksmith you brute.” Lilian scolded Herod as she shook her head at him while he guzzled a large flagon set before him by the barmaid. Drinking his fill, he turned his eyes to meet hers and gave off a sincere smile.
“Well I am a blacksmith and a dragon slayer.” Herod would retort as he rummaged with his rucksack slightly. Lilian would sigh back at him as she traced the lines on the table where knives had cut too deep. A sense of boredom before the coming storm and a storm before a potential fight.
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