At the Inn of Durrough:
After a long, and relatively uneventful journey across Lenfald, Andared arrived at the city of Durrough. The city's renown comes largely from it's massive seaport (one of the largest in all of Roawia) and it was for this reason that Andared had come to Durrough. He had business in Garheim, and with the border being patrolled more vigorously than ever, a ship would be the safest route of travel.
Unfortunately, boats were in high demand, thanks to a large portion of the merchant fleet being assimilated into the Lenfald navy. Finding an owner of a ship and convincing him to sail to Garheim would be no easy task. Nevertheless, Andared sought out the tavern of Durrough, and began his search for an owner of a ship...
- - - - -
Heaving a great sigh, Arik slumped into a chair after clearing yet another table. He'd been on his feet for nearly three hours, serving drinks, washing tables, and cleaning up what some of the more...generous...inhabitants had left behind. Arik had no doubt that the recent increase of customers was due to the fact that half the merchants had nothing better to do, now that their boats were under commission."If things stay this way," Arik thought. "I might end up hiring them just so I can stop serving them."
Shaking his head, Arik finished off his drink and went to take the order of his new patron. Not long after, another man walked through the door. Another
customer. It took a considerable deal of effort for Arik to restrain from saying all the things he was thinking, but before he regained control of himself, one sentence did slip out.
"I suppose you'd like a table?!"
Several people were now staring at him, eager to see what was about to unfold. The newcomer fixed a sharp gaze on the innkeeper, and began walking towards him. Arik's throat visibly swallowed as he did his best to maintain his composure. "Why in the name of the gods did you have to say that?" Arik hissed to himself. "All you had to do was say there was no more room and send him off."
Arik planted both his feet firmly to the ground, partly to stop them from shaking, and partly to try and appear intimidating. It failed on both accounts.
By now the man had closed the distance, and the two stood barely a foot apart. In truth, he was not much taller or stronger than the average man, but to Arik (who's nerves were already fraying at the edge), he seemed enormous. Slowly the man leaned down until Arik could feel the man's breath against his ear."Just a table for one, please.""...What?" Arik blurted out.
When the man said nothing else, Arik gave a short, mirthless laugh. Slowly, his laughter began to build until reaching the point of hysteria. The tenseness of the situation had been shattered by that anti-climatic question, and it was all too much for him. Arik had completely lost his wits, beginning to mutter the last thing the man had said to him over and over. Ignoring everyone, he continued to babble incoherently until he went into a separate room and locked the door...
- - - - -
Andared did not move to stop him, but merely raised his eyebrows as the innkeeper walked off. He was well aware that every eye in the tavern was watching him by now. Walking over to the counter, he helped himself to a drink and sat down. As he expected, people slowly lost interest and began to chatter among themselves again.
Andared took this opportunity to observe the patrons of this inn, and guess which of them would be the most willing to aid him.
One man drank alone, judging by his clothes and the air with which he carried himself, Andared guessed him to be the owner of a small fleet of merchant vessels. Someone with a good business head would know better than to accept Andared's offer.
Shifting his glance, Andared saw three more at a different table. These men spoke loudly and drank heavily. Fishermen, or brigands. Neither one of them were likely to accommodate him.
Andared continued to scan across the tavern until his eyes fell on two men at a corner table, drinking over what looked like a map. Their skin was darker than the rest, and their clothes also seemed foreign. This was good. Someone who wasn't from around here must be traveling. Moreover, they had a map charter, and that meant they were most likely in possession of a ship. Out of anyone in this tavern, these men were his best chance.
In his excitement, Andared had almost missed them getting up. Watching them walk out the door, Andared finished off his mug, tossed a few coins on his table, and started after them...
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