Sunday, November 18, 2012

Deephaven

The bartender poured an ale for the dwarf and settled down on a stool he had behind the counter. The common room was nearly empty at this time of day. It was place frequented more by travelers than anyone local, but that was the nature of the entire city of Deephaven. Few humans chose a subterranean place to live, but Murphy had been excited to open a location inside the carved stone walls. More dungeon than town, it was carved in the stone cliffs looking over the eastern banks of the Opporn Sea.

Strong winds had weathered the entrance of the citadel, but the residents were protected from nearly everything when they barred the doors. Even a siege would be hard to engage as the city housed a portal to the far away city of Skarshend deep within the confines of the Mage’s Guild. That is how Nym D’Cor had made the trip. He was not fond of overland travel, camping, or even horses. Truth be told he was not fond of living in a cave. Deephaven was devoid of culture or even anything but the slightest trappings of civilization. It was the lesser of evils however. To stay in the south in the kingdom of Beelzia had showed little promise, too many people vying for the same power in a place so overrun already with powerful warlords. Nym was familiar with the politics and some substantial connections, but to stay would have resulted in basically serfdom. A step above the commoners in the stable of some great house or vying with his peers over the same jink, it wasn’t a life he would relish. So he had decided to leave the city of wizards to ply his trade somewhere else where his skills we less common. There were powerful magic users scattered all over the Land of Rings, but in a less densely populated area he would fair all the better.

It did mean he had to deal with places like Deephaven, and the dwarf sitting a few feet from him.

“You’re blue!” the ale-soaked breath of the dwarf cut the air as he turned toward Nym with laugh. Durgim was a resident locksmith and a bit of a clod.

“Yes, my friend- it appears so,” Nym feigned indifference to his afternoon drinking buddy. “As I have explained many times I am an arcturan. My people hail from the stars. Rumor is they settled in the Land of the Rings in giant metal flying ships. Although there are no actual remnants of the vessels or the technology used to propel them through the skies remaining.”

The dwarf shifted and let out a small chuckle as he poked his figure at the mage, “Aye, but you are blue.”

“And unlike some people he always pays his tab before he leaves,” Murphy was clearly not happy the two had been sitting at the bar since the night before. He had only grabbed a few hours of sleep while his daughter closed up the night before, and despite the two of them being his best customers recently it was odd that had lasted the entire night. They had run up an enormous tab and were barely showing signs of slowing down.

“I just mean to say that it is an odd thing Nym here has got skin the color of the sky. What sort of creature has skin like that? I remember when I first saw him I thought he was an elf of some kind. Or a demon,” he purported a chuckle. “As if my friend here was a beast of that sort, he definitely isn’t spawned from the stars.”

The drowsiness was wearing in on them, and Nym just let that one fall. He finished the last swig of his beer and set the wooden mug down solidly. As solidly as one who had been awake for thirty hours could at this point. His head was pounding and his eyelids heavy. Murphy made no move to pour him another drink. Which was probably a good thing, but instead let out a significant yawn himself as working behind the bar is probably more taxing than drinking on a bar stool all day. A familiar silence fell back over the group as the discussion of Nym’s ancestral origins faded away.

It was nearly another half hour before the settled their tab and stumbled back out the door. Murphy was satisfied with the tip they left, but threatened them the next time they stayed posted at the bar all night he was going to charge them for a room. The corridors of the city were not particularly crowded, but as it was nearing lunch time many of the residents just ignored the two semi-drunk, semi-hung over characters as they made their way through the streets. At Durgim’s shop the two parted ways, and Nym slid into his bed in a small apartment he was staying in. It wasn’t a large residence, but it was just him and he owned very little in terms of furniture or possessions. As he nodded off to sleep he realized his time in Deephaven should probably come to an end. He just wasn’t happy here. Maybe his fortune would lie elsewhere.

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