Part 1 by Fellstorm
Nynalama Tanduri guzzled from a pint of beer and propped her feet up on the table. Her filthy boots dropped clumps of dirt all over her placemat. Her three companions hunched protectively over their appetizers. She was not the sort of elf they were expecting when they placed the ad. Elves were supposed to be gentle and giggly and wistful creatures with a deep connection to nature. This one was rude and pushy and downright dangerous-looking. Not that they were profiling just because she was… dusky, mind you. It’s just… She was missing half her ear on the left side and the one on the right was chock full of earrings all the way to the top. Her clothes weren’t very elflike either. They were decidedly… more urban. Hip-hop would have to be invented ahead of time to explain most of her fashion choices. One arm was done up in a long sleeve tattoo of black snakes and the word “fuck” was written across the knuckles of the other hand. She was a real tough cookie.
They glanced amongst each other with nervous expressions that pleaded for someone else to speak first. The brightest looking one rolled his eyes and turned to the rude elf.
“So, er…” He started
“Nynalama.” She said around the mug at her lips.
He tapped his fingertips together as he searched for the right words. He never really knew what to say to girls.
“Since you’ve decided to answer our ad, you of course know we’re forming a band.”
“That’s what the flyer said, yeah.” She held up the torn end of a poster stub between her thumb and forefinger.
“Right, well…” he mustered his courage into his best interviewing voice “What do you think you can contribute to our fledgling organization?”
“What is it you do, exactly, miss Nynalama?”
Nynalama finished the last of her beer and belched. She knocked herself in the chest a couple times to get the last few bubbles out and set the mug back on the table.
“ ‘M a thief.” She said “An expert.”
The group’s shoulders sagged.
“I see. That’s too bad. We’ve already got a thief in our group, you see. Roguish Roderick.”
Roguish Roderick smiled a crooked smile and politely tugged the tip of his eyepatch at Nynalama.
“ ‘M a fair hand at fighting.”
“We already have a swordsman. He’s the strongest in the land.”
The third man at the table smiled and grunted.
“My name’s Grumblepig.” He said through a mouthful of chicken wings. He wiped his greasy hand on his tunic and offered it to Nynalama.
She nodded, but kept her arms folded across her chest. Grumblepig withdrew his hand, feeling a little snubbed.
“So what do you do?” she asked the first man.
“I…?” he said, drawing himself up with a deep breath and puffing out his chest “I am FLUVIO SHATTERWIND! Master of the arcane!” green sparks and ghosts shot from his fingertips and sailed around the room. The other customers jumped and shouted. A barmaid screamed and dropped a tray of drinks.
“OI! NO MAGIC IN HERE!” Shouted the barteneder.
“Sorry Clyde!” Fluvio called over to the bar, shrinking down smaller than before.
“AND YOU’RE PAYIN’ FOR THOSE GLASSES!”
“AND THE DRINKS INNEM!”
“Yes Clyde.” Fluvio turned back to Nynalama, but couldn’t look her in the eye until his blushing faded down.
“Anyway…” Fluvio said “That’s us. I’m sorry but we really don’t need another thief. We’re really looking more for a healer or cleric.”
Nynaslama didn’t even blink “ ‘M a healer, too.”
“Really?” Fluvio eyed her incredulously.
Nynalama frowned back and cast her eyes around the tavern. She pointed to a man coming out of the gent’s.
“You see that bloke?”
“Yeah?” Fluvio turned in his seat to look. The man passed close by their table and returned to his seat. Fluvio turned back to Nynalama.
“What about him?”
“I just cured him of his heavy wallet.” She grinned; both her fang-teeth were gold. She conjured a jingling purse with a flash of her hand and tossed it lightly in the air.
Fluvio sighed with disappointment and sat back in his seat.
“Very nice, but as I said, we already have a thief.”
“Yeah.” Said Roderick.
“Pah, I’m twice the thief he is. Three times even. You should kick him out.”
Roderick jumped to his feet “Hey! You watch your mouth or I’ll…”
Fluvio jumped between them and eased Roderick back to his seat “Easy now. Just cool off, everyone. I’m sure we can settle this in a civilized manner…”
“Right!” said Roderick, pounding his fist on the table “It’s a thief-off!”