So I’m going to be playing in a 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons game soon, and whenever I start a new campaign I always write back story. This time I’m slacking a little bit… I’ve written as much as 20 pages in the past… and in fact The Callindra Chronicles started out as back story for a D&D character. So this isn’t likely to go too far, or at least won’t develop into a full length novel but here’s a start on my silly little Halfling.
Torg the Strong pushed open the door to the Tipsy Tankard and waited for his eyes to adjust to the dimly lit interior. Supposedly he was here to meet someone who had information about a job in a noble house, although he hadn’t ever heard of an informant with as frivolous a name as Bahn before. He looked around the common room, there were plenty of people here, but he didn’t see anyone who he thought fit the bill. A bawdy tune was being played, slightly off key, but the patrons were all clapping, stamping their feet and singing the refrain.
She spread wide her arms
To welcome us in
She’s free with her charms
And laughs at her sin
Her love knows no bounds
I can’t count her chins
With each kiss she drowns
The sorrow within
Torg saw a portly Halfling in fine silk robes standing on the bar, strumming a beautiful ten string lute and singing at the top of his lungs. When he finished his song with a flourish half a dozen coins were tossed in his direction. He caught them all and they seemed to vanish up his sleeve, although they likely were tucked into a pouch.
The Halfling bowed deeply, plucking a mug of ale out of the hand of the man nearest to him and draining it in one long draft. “Hey!” The man protested, but the diminutive thief was already staggering down the bar.
Walking up to the bartender, Torg tossed a pair of copper coins on the bar and accepted a lukewarm mug of ale. It was strong and bitter with a lingering citrus tang that felt good on his parched throat. He nodded at the Halfling.
“Who’s the little one?”
Almost as though he’d heard the question, he turned and wove through the mugs of ale and plates of salty sausage rolls back towards them.
“I dunno. Showed up an hour or so ago, asked if he could play an seemed like he knew one end a the lute from the other, so I said sure. He’s tripled my custom.” The balding heavyset man said with a wide grin, “I might ask him to stay.”
“I’m looking for a man named-“ Torg broke off as the Halfling sat down heavily on the breadbox directly to his left.
“Bahn.” He said, flashing a cheery smile. “At your service my good sir!”
Torg’s jaw worked to find words and eventually he just shook his head and took a swallow of ale instead.
“Here’s the deal. I have some folk who’re looking for a caravan guard or two. They say they’ll pay for the best, and judging by their dress and jewelry I’d say they can afford them.” Bahn casually reached for Torg’s ale jack, but the man twitched it out of reach. He seemed to realize what he’d just done and tossed a copper to the bartender and got his own mug.
“So what do you get out of it?” Torg asked, raising a skeptical eyebrow.
“Finder’s fee.” Bahn answered, drinking half his ale in one swallow. “So how about it? Are you good enough?”
“I ain’t met better.” He said with a shrug, “That’s why I’m still alive.”
“Good, because here comes your test.” Said Bahn with a cheerful grin. The door was kicked open with a crash and a towering half orc with a huge club walked through the door. He had to duck to fit beneath the lintel.
“BAHN! YOU SWINDLING LITTLE SHIT!” He bellowed, loud enough to shake dust from the rafters, “THAT SWORD WASN’T MAGIC AT ALL! I BARELY ESCAPED WITH MY LIFE!”
Torg turned to look for the Halfling, but he was gone. He stood with a grin, “Bartender. If I take care a this problem for ya I want free drinks.”
“No drinks unless you don’t wreck the place!” He said, pulling a crossbow from beneath the bar. “I’d rather not have to clean blood off my floor.”
Torg drew his sword with a grin, “If you want the Halfling you’re going to have to go through ME!” He said, and vaulted out the window.
Bahn saw his opportunity and slipped out the back door. With any luck, Torg would distract Urod long enough that the stupid tuskface would lose his trail for good this time. Whistling a merry tune he began trotting down the road. He’d heard Greenest was nice this time of year.