Rilka Featherfeet wrote:
”Who’s going to stop someone from taking our weapons?”
"Me." He says simply. "Haven't had a weapon stolen for almost ten years now. In the case that it happens, I'll fully reimburse you for the cost of the weapon."
I love the pen quip!
He considers Rilka's advice question for a moment while he absentmindedly cleans a spotless mug. "People give that advice to stupid, strong boys so they can make a living and contribute. The only reason I'd give you that advice is if you wanted to become a captain, and that's not a question of necessity, that's a question of passion."
Rilka and Toramin notice there are several interested glances when the large and fancy weapons are dropped into the box, but their looks linger for no more than a second or two.
"Hearty is a bit of a stretch for that group of bastards." He shakes his head. "Can't say I have. Last I heard she was heading to the far south." He turns to the party. "Ah but I'm neglecting my newest patrons. Name's Flenn Hammus, call me Flenn or Strongut. Tell me, what brings you to Balgradash and what brings you to the Silver Minnow? Where'd this big sod pick you lot up anyways?"
"Oi, I'll get you something for your bellies." He goes into the back room for a minute then reemerges. "Should be out in a few minutes." He scratches at his beard and thinks about the question. "Trade's gotten a lot better since Yenrick got into the picture. People don't feel so starved anymore. But there's a scramble for power now in the east, some even say a new pirate lord is brewing, but nobody says which one is gonna be replaced."
"Look at that big soddin' bastard! I swear you get uglier every time you come back!" A tall, lanky human with short hair and a large beard grins from behind the bar. He's wiping down the bar with a rag held by his very long fingers as he waves the group over. He looks at the rest of the party. "And who's this motley crew?" He says with a smile.
Flenn shrugs. "Have no idea what he looks like, besides him being human. Barry I've heard of, although he doesn't remember me fondly. He tried to shake down one of my patrons." He chuckles at the memory. "Think he still has scars from that. Anyways, I don't keep tabs on him but I know who does. Talk to Henry, that old bastard knows where every loan shark in the game is. He's probably asleep now, but if you down to the docks tomorrow during the day you should find him, think he's getting ready for a fishing trip."
"Name is Seilvana, takes after her elven heritage. I'd be careful where you're putting your hands though, first night she came in here a man lost three of his fingers 'cus he was getting a little too cozy with her." He gets an order for a Dragon's Breath, a particularly tricky and strong drink that he starts working on. "Either way she's out now, but always comes back within an hour or two of the sun setting. Make yourself comfortable, have a drink. She'll come on by."
Flenn comes back carrying three mugs in each hand and one on his shoulder. He eyes you as your temper flares "Weapon or not you still can't fight in here." He gathers up the coin from the latest round, sweeping them into his belt purse. "As far as I can tell he has commandeered the Raging Storm, and any of your men that live spend their days scrubbing the deck and shining his boots. I don't know where he is, but I could in a few days if I pulled some strings."
Yenrick is the large nation to the east of Andril. It's a massive desert that's full of labor camps and is ruled by slavers. No nation has even attempted to take it over because of the harshness of the land and the cruel tactics of the slavers, the most notable of which have their own personal armies. Bjorkus Sr. is a terror of the seas, making the waters and the trade routes his own. Him actually bending his pride to raid a town means times are hard and he is personally suffering from it.
Flenn listens and nods, glancing at the new patrons walking in. Suddenly he holds his hand up to stop you, shouting "Hey, you there! Ya the little wiry runt, didn't you read the sign? Weapons by the door. Yeah, all of them, including the one in your boot and the other one in your hair." A few of the newer faces look at Flenn in amazement, but he simply turns back to you. "All you need to change the world is one good lie soaked in enough blood." Flenn gets a little shifty. "Yeah, bout that. Well you know how it is around here, lose your grip on your standing and it goes quickly...Blakros took over your crew. Killed some of them, forced the rest into work. Apparently he didn't like the idea of you coming back so he made a preemptive strike." Flenn begins taking drink and meal orders, but he has one ear turned to you and glances over occasionally to let you know he's listening.
Flenn whistles. "The rumors I heard are crazier yet but I didn't believe a one of them. I think one of them included you riding a treant into battle." He laughs, wiry frame shaking. At the question he gets more serious, leaning in. "Well I'll tell you what's fact. When Xilres went to war it really killed the trade. Honest merchants are struggling and less honest ones are turning desperate." His eyes dart between his patrons, hands seamlessly continuing to clean the glass. "I heard your father raided a port town in Yenrick." He leans back a little, nodding against Bjorkus's disbelief. "I know, I know, I didn't believe it either. But old Sammy over there told me he saw your father put his two legs on land and sow havoc. Now Sammy is a turncoat little rat that can be bought and sold but he's an awful liar and from the fear in his eyes I think he was telling the truth." He finally leans all the way back as customers start flowing in. "Beyond that a few things here and there. Gertrude had her baby, he's a strong little one. Verick lost another ship because of his own ignorance, he'll have to start doing work for hire again soon. You heard anything interesting?"
"Course I do, so you can put all of your weapons down right next to the door." Flenn turns to the door, and you see the familiar short hair and long beard. At this time people are beginning to flood in and Flenn is getting ready for the night, directing two young boys to get the drinks brought from the backroom. He leans on the bar, taking out a rag and habitually cleaning a spotless mug (which you know from experience is extremely reinforced). He eyes you as you lower your weapons, giving you a once over as you approach. "Bjorkus son of Bjorkus. I've heard a thing or two about your adventures recently, but the best information is from the source. How the hell have you been?"