“Imbeciles” Muttered Coach Albutt wiping the gore from his hands as the carriage rolled along. “How hard is it to just say head north for 40 mile down that road and take a left? Honestly its like pulling teeth.” It had actually involved teeth pulling when the barman had tried to be a little shady about the information.
It had all started when the carriage had taken a wrong turn some considerable miles back. The travel had already been long and cold , winter was almost past but the cold refused to relinquish its hold on the land. There had been plenty to occupy Martin’s mind with what little he knew to expect and just how he would recover from the awkward blow that had been dealt to his career.
It had not been hard for him to miss the fact that the driver had begun to progress along the wrong road but before he could realise it was to late.
“What manner of driver is incapable of Navigation? Where are we Drokfen?” growled Martin forcing the rage back down. To kill The driver Drokfen would be a mistake right now especially this far out …where ever the my were.
“ I..I don’t know sir” blurted Drokfen fearing for his life, “ BUT I know we passed a small road side inn a 2 miles back. I’m sure we can get direction there” he quickly added flashing a sheepish smile.
“For you health you best hope we can. If we miss our rendezvous your skin shall be used to replace the cushions on my seat and your writhing corpse as a new hood ornament. We have only 2 days to reach the team”
The Inn had turned out to be a small affair called the Hangman’s Roust. The building looked aged and in desperate need of repair. Cracked dirty windows leered insidiously out upon the road with the dark oak door old and split standing oppressively in in its frame. The sign hanging over the door looked as though it would fall on the next person to pass below caving their skull with its tarnished brass border.
Both Coach Albutt and Drokfen enters the small building into a cramped and dingy drinking hall. There appeared to be a few tables squeezed into the space with 3 individuals playing some sort of game involving dice and small figures carved from wood. The barman stood at his place behind the bar a squat man, short greasy brown hair matted his head. Upon his forehead a large, angry pulsing boil while his small rummy eyes watched the new comers carefully all the while rubbing the bar with a dirty cloth. In truth the cloth had a looked to be so foul it would make the grandfather Nurgle blanch and fall ill.
“Afternoon” the barman drooled through thin lips. “what will it be for you gentlemen?”
“Trolls Brew and a Blitzer’s best for my lord” called Drokfen.
“We have no time for drinks we need direction to skull rock stadium” growled Martin angry at the familiarity expressed by his driver. The gods would most certainly have him when this trip was over he thought.
“Directions you say?” chuckled the barman “well my memory of which way you need is a bit foggy these days. A lot of roads around here but only a few going the way you want. A few coin often help jog the old memory though if you catch my drift. Nothing here is free”. A shifty glint could be seen at the prospect of fleecing a few lost travellers.
“Drokfen can you please go fetch me my black leather bag please you know the one with the leather straps? Then if you wouldn’t mind taking those gentlemen out with you and ensure we are not disturbed while…I’m sorry what’s you name barkeep?” Asked Martin coldly with little emotion.
“Sarc” replied the barman
Martin nodded in acceptance “… while me and Sarc here conduct a little … business”
Drokfen nodded knowingly and quickly moved to comply with his lords wishes. First retrieving the black bag that had been requested then hurrying over to converse with the three gentlemen and usher them out the building.
The bar was a charnel house. It had taken 4 hours to properly show the true devotion to the dark gods. It had been just what had been needed to relieve the build up of stress from the journey and the barman had spilled everything that had been asked. Drokfen had not been idle and had made offering of his own with the three men.
“Lets move.” snarled Martin “I have work to do and a team to shape”
…. to be continued