Formendacil wrote:"Celebrate, eh?" said Jarva, his mind already having shifted gears to think of drinks. "I suppose I can let you off this time. No harm being done, anyway."
"Of course not," said Drazzuil, deadpan.
"Oooohhhh..." groaned Drazzuil, waking up. "My head..." Gingerly he fingered his head. His helmet was gone, his head was matted with blood, and he had an enormous goose-egg bump on his skull.
"What happened?" he asked himself. Slowly, he took stock of his surroundings. He was in a dirty alley between the Pu and the next building. His helmet, sword, and shield lay scattered around him, and his clothes were filthy and a bit torn. Slowly he climbed to his feet.
He promptly fell back to the ground. As he gathered his shaky composure, he began to think back over the night before.
He remembered the Pu opening, and going in. Corporal Jarva had been there, and the three Korvalt boys (much to the disapproval of their mother, but Drazzuil didn't know that), and a smattering of other locals.
Drazzuil had been playing the celebratory envoy, buying everybody drinks, downing quite a few himself, and doing his best to make himself chummy with the locals.
He must have been doing too good a job of it, because he had certainly had too many drinks. Now some people, when drunk, get silent and moody. Not Drazzuil. Possibly because he was a bit silent and moody to begin with, very stereotypically Fright Knight in that regard, he became a very noisy, voluable drunk when he had had too much.
Whatever the reasons for it, he seemed to vaguely recall saying that he was looking for Harold Brakespear, and that he wanted everything to do with him. He must have mentioned something about Vækadær and his personality, because he seemed to recall the atmosphere in the Pu going very cold.
Everyone else had had too much to drink, and so they didn't think too much of taking on an armed soldier bare-fisted. Lucky for them, Drazzuil had had too much to drink as well, because he fought like an ordinary bum, and had obviously ended up in the street. It was all very hazy, but Drazzuil seemed to remember it going something like that, and it was quite plain that he had messed things up badly.
Once again, Drazzuil stuggled to his feet, and once again he splashed down into the mud again. However, he recovered more quickly, and on his third try he managed to drag himself out of the alley, and onto the edge of square, before collapsing again, just in time for Healer Melkan and his apprentice, Alice Clooney, to come by.
"Good Afternoon, my good fellow," Melkan hailed him, "you look like you could use a little assistance."
"If you'd call a healer, I'd be extremely grateful," said Drazzuil thickly.
"It just so happens that that's what we are," said Melkan, deadpan, as if they had just happened along. As it was, they had been crisscrossing the square all day, waiting for Drazzuil to make his appearance.
Melkan and Alice helped Drazzuil onto the street, and propped him up against the town well.
"Alice dear," said Melkan, "fetch up a bit of that water, and hand me one of the cloths. We need to clean this man up."
Alice's mouth twitched, and she set to work cranking up the bucket, and setting out some cloths in front of Melkan, who had knelt down by Drazzuil, and was loosening the straps of his breastplate, and pushing up his sleaves and pulling down his collar.
"So you're the Fright Knight that got the Korvalt boys all riled up last night," said Melkan conversationally. "Ah, thank you Alice- Careful now, the water may feel a little cold, the weather's been turning chilly- Ah, yes. Good!
"As I was saying, I heard all about that little tussle you fellows had. Smart of you to keep your blade out it, you'd have been run out town tarred and feathered on a splintery rail if you'd drawn a blade on them. All the same, you really didn't stand a chance unarmed. Those are big boys, strong as young oxen, and you're not quite as young as you once were."
"If I'd've had a level head, those country bumpkins wouldn't have seen another day," growled Drazzuil. Melkan smiled indugently, but very deliberately rubbed a rather stinging poultice into Drazzuil's cleaned scalp.
"Youch!" started Drazzuil, but Melkan pushed him down.
"Don't," he said. "It needs to heal. The sting will pass soon enough. Meanwhile, I would suggest that you drop your quest for Harold Brakespear."
"You know about that?" said Drazzuil, a bit surprised.
"Everyone in Hemmerington knows," said Melkan. "I don't know exactly how it went, and every man in the pub had a different version, but it seems that you asked where he was, and let slip that you had orders from some sorceror to find him and bring him back, at all costs."
"Er..." said Drazzuil. "I must have been really drunk."
"Maybe," said Melkan dryly, rubbing slightly harder than necessary on a bruise as he cleaned it. "But it's futile anyway. Harold Brakespear died this spring. I can show you the grave, if you like."
"What about his stuff?" asked Drazzuil, abandoning all pretense. "Did his family get it?"
"Harold Brakespear has no kin that we know of," said Melkan. "His belongings were parted out among old friends, and his home was given to a young blacksmith and his new wife. Anything else was disposed of."
"I thought he had a daughter," said Drazzuil.
"I believe she has been dead for several years," said Melkan. "Certainly, she has never been to this village."
Melkan did up Drazzuil's collar, and stood up, handing the cloth to Alice.
"Well, you're all patched up, right enough," he pronounced. "Fit enough to go on your way, I'd say. Let me give you a piece of parting advice, though. Stay out of Hemmerington. If you come back nosing around our villagers, you'll probably come to a sticky end. Have a pleasant day."
And leaving Drazzuil a bit confused against the well, Melkan and Alice walked away.
"Was that such a good idea?" asked Alice, "threatening him, I mean. He does work for some sorceror, after all."
"Captain Drazzuil will probably nose around and find Harold's tomb, and see the new blacksmith couple," said Melkan. "Once he learns that is true, I think he'll take my word for everything, and leave. I doubt if he'll report his little accident to his superior, and he'll probably pronounce it a dead end. We should be left alone.
"I just hope he doesn't run into Dale. That young man strikes me as the sort that would interest a Fright Knight, and I don't want this Drazzuil carrying tales to his sorceror master that might attract some unwanted attention to our village. No indeed."