∴ A Brawler’s Friend∴
After two days on the rainy road with only hard bread to cheer you, the russet firelight glimmer of the tavern is a welcome sight. As you slip through the woodworm-pocked door, you grin at the sign above it: “The Fighting Cock”.
A pleasant half hour later, feet thawing and belly full, you’re startled by the sudden clatter of stools. Turning, you see a slight figure surrounded by bristling locals. Whatever the young man had said, it hadn’t won him any friends
A heavyset man with a walrus moustache is the first to throw a drunken punch, but the younger man deftly sidesteps. As he does so, the red-faced fellow behind him raises a pewter tankard and swings it down toward his skull.
Despite yourself, you cry out, raising the young challenger’s attention. With a lightning glint, a dagger is in his hand. Its heavy blackened hilt neatly deflects the vessel before the blade rebounds to press against the attacker’s throat.
A viscous silence fills the room, broken by the clatter of pewter on floorboards as the ruddy man raises both hands and steps back slowly. Without a word, the dagger is secreted amidst folds of roughspun. All eyes are on its owner as he strides – no, saunters – toward the door, pausing only to flash you a lopsided grin.