The Coming Dark
Almsman of the Lost Road
The dwarf stares blithely at you over his stein, drumming the ring-bedecked fingers of one meaty hand on the grimy surface of the taverna’s table. His other hand strokes the ruddy length of his beard, pausing occasionally to play at one of the bands of golden filigree that stitch their way through the tangle of braids.
“Blackwater. Hmmph.” His eyes flicker briefly to the bulging coin purse laying between you, its fabric straining with silvered Imperials. “I can get you there, sure as the dawn. But, and pardon me if it ain’t mine to ken, what business do ye have in that bloody place?”
He takes a long pull from his mug, wiping the last dregs of foam from his lips with the back of a brawny hand, eyes appraising you all the while. “Well, I suppose you’ve got the silver,” he eventually concedes, motioning to the coin, “and the steel,” he cocks his head at the weapons tucked in your belt, “to broker passage without me inquiring as to your purpose, and twas bad form on me own part to presume.”
He rises, sliding the purse from the table in one quick motion, as if it would dissipate into smoke if left to sit any longer. Collecting his cloak from the back of his chair, he cuts a polite bow and furls the garment across his back, fastening the clasps to the straps of his leather hauberk and tugging his hood up to ward against the chill of the Northland winter.
“Name’s Kreeg.” He grins, a lopsided and gap-toothed expression, and strides past your seat towards the taverna’s door before turning and calling back. “We’ll be departing at first light, and I ain’t keen on waiting for stragglers; so I’d advise you to get some rest.”