I am Fenton Solstice: lute-player extraordinaire, singer without parallel, and swordsman of no meager skill. On an ordinary evening in the ordinary town of Brindol, I was enjoying my recital of the Second Legend of Felsmon, a great crowd pleaser I read in the amazing annals of Torben Eastlander about a dragonborn Paladin saving his worthy comrades from certain death at the hands of a Monster Cube.
The crowd at the Antler and Horn must have heard it before. The card players nearby failed to appreciate my telling, so fixated were they on who held the Princess card, while the drunkards in the back yammered on, so I played louder. Surely my rendition would be the best they had ever heard! Even as the wraiths closed in on the cleric and the brave Eladrin wizard Rift was swallowed by the horrible Gelatinous Cube, the valiant Paladin Felsmon let forth his mighty dragonbreath. I was in great form! The barkeep Vendal glared at me but didn’t move towards me. Lucky, because I hadn’t even gotten to the resounding axe swing of the dwarf Barrick or the magnificent bowshot of the ranger Erik.
Only the serving wench Yasha, a fine specimen of humanity, seemed to appreciate my talent tonight. I got a wink from her.
Just as I was reaching the exciting part where most of Felsmon’s comrades are dying in the Cube’s acidic innards, into the Antler and Horn walks a solitary drow. Yep, that’s right – a dark elf. Skin like ebony and hair as white as a cloud.
Now, the re-telling of unbelievable feats by far-away heroes is one thing, but having a drow walk into your bar is quite another. I wasn’t even sure that drow really existed. Turns out they do. Or, at least this one does. Zaknafein Do’Urden he called himself later. Yes, Do’Urden. Even I have heard that name, but I didn’t know that when he walked in.
Of course I stopped playing as soon as he sidled up to the bar. I sidled right up next to this most exciting creature to walk into Brindol since last week’s goblinoid raids. I couldn’t believe that Vendal the bartender actually served the drow an ale. This was an evil dark elf! Vendal needs the gold, but he sure gave that dark elf the nasty look. He also charged him way too much. The drow just paid with only a raised eyebrow to show any evidence he knew of the slight. I thought someone was about to say something really nasty to Vendal about his decision, or maybe something even nastier directly to the drow.
I couldn’t wait to try and wheedle a new story out of this dark elf. Sure, he may be a worshipper of Lolth the demon, but the potential for a story, well you have to weigh your priorities. I started a little conversation about the legends of why drow hair is so white. He didn’t seem amused.
Of course, when a drow walks into a bar, there really isn’t time for idle chit-chat. See, not a few heartbeats later, a pair of hairy hobgoblins busted down the Antler’s doors and started shouting, “For Sinruth! For the Red Hand!” Then more hairy hobgoblins and goblins with firebombs came into the tavern. Before I knew it, three patrons were dead from the hobgoblins swords and ole white hair had evened the score by slaying three hobgoblins. But, he couldn’t stop the spreading flames from the goblin firebombs that landed on the bar. Fire spread everywhere.
Dancing away from the flames, I managed to get a few choice licks into a few of the gobbies using a bit of ye old arcane talent. I scared them to death by starting to recite an ancient story by Sir Jaffrey Tchauser. Really, they died of fright. Having an old maid begin to tell the Miller’s Tale may not kill you, but a half-elf with a sword and a little magic to reinforce the tale is deadly.
More hobgoblins and goblins poured into the flaming bar. I was more than a little nervous at this stream of unfriendlies. And, I doubted that they would pay to hear me sing. But, truly frightening was Zaknafein, dancing a dance of beauty and death. Twin scimitars wove from hobgoblin to hobgoblin, dropping the foes before they could harm more bar patrons. Then, I couldn’t see him anymore. The entire area around the drow was engulfed in pure blackness. Not the best idea to be blind around a drow. The remaining goblinoids didn’t have much of a chance.
Realizing he was on the wrong side, the last goblin tried to flee. Stowing his swords, Zaknafein gave chase, pulled out his bow and felled the little fiend.
Soon, the only enemies left were the flames. I quickly rallied the locals and started a bucket brigade from a nearby well. Even the drow pitched in. For someone who had received nothing but cold stares from almost everyone in the room, this was quite a surprising act of charity. Just what was this drow’s game? Oh, Yasha manned the bucket next to mine. Now, that was some good news.
After several minutes, the flames were squelched. It was pretty obvious that it would be a long while before the Antler and Horn was hearing more of my telling about the adventures of Felsmon and his marvelous companions.
For me, it would not be much longer before I would be seeing the drow back in action and finding myself needing my sword rather than a lute.