A/N: Not my best work but I had endless writers block trying to get the next arc set up and moving. A few good jokes and a proper set up so hopefully next time I sit down to write I don't just give up. I dont promise to move to any schedule, as this is just when I think of jokes, but at least the movement of plot wont stop me from writing down any jokes I might be thinking up.
No Need for Halkeginian "Logic"
Chapter 13: Kick off the Boots
Beard stubble may be considered roguishly handsome in human culture, but to elves it was the lowest form of facial hair. It had neither the elegance of a will trimmed goatee nor the grace of a clean shave. However, Bidashal did not care about his appearance anymore. It had been days since his last shave. Ruefully scratching his sandpaper-like chin, he trod along the dirt road through the forest; barely intent on his destination. "Clang." He muttered involuntarily, cringing as he did. Shivering in fear, Bidashal hurried his pace. He needed the sweet dull bliss only inebriation could bring.
The elf stopped before the run down tavern and looked it over with a lazy, defeated gaze. "Clang." Again the elf scared himself. He had once heard about the establishment in passing during his travels. There was nothing special of note about the bar besides the fact that it was in the middle of nowhere. At least there wasn't a town guard to come and ruin his drinking here in these woods.
The rusty hinge whined as Bidashal swung the door inward. The first glances from the assorted thugs were filled with contempt and danger. Then they all noticed Bidashal's ears. Said elf ignored the ensuing chaos as ruffians of all shapes jumped out windows, ran through the back door, and in one inspired case shimmied up the chimney. "Clang." By the time Bidashal sat down at the bar the tavern was empty save the proprietress and a nearly unconscious drunk half collapsed against the bar.
The thunk of metal on wood drew Bidashal's attention to the proprietress as she set down a clean stein. Well this was a first, Bidashal silently mused. Usually he had to serve himself after the barkeep ran of with the others. Looking up the woman Bidashal noted the darkened grey skin, likely a Germanian mix. The woman's hair was tier back with a wide headband and she wore simple, yet practical clothing. What explained the woman's fearless demeanor was her clouded eyes starring slightly off. "You must be some kind of badass." The blind woman stated. "To make that lot run off." Bidashal just offered a mild grunt. There was no point telling the woman he was an elf. "What'll it be?" The woman asked, holding her hand out.
Placing a gold ecu in the human's hand, Bidashal ordered, "Cla- er... Wine." Rather than wine, the blind woman filled the stein with some sort of ale. Bidashal lacked the will to correct her. Instead he just began to drink. As the alcohol filled him, Bidashal felt the urge subside and sighed with relief.
"Good stuff *hic* eh?" The apparently conscious drunkard to Bidashal raised his drink lightly and gave it a shake. Said man didn't even bother to raise his head. The mane of messy silver hair fell about the rousing drunk. "It's strong too... Strong enough to make you forget..." Trailing off, the drunken man retreated into himself.
Bidashal found himself comforted by the sentiment never the less. "Forgetting hmm?... I'll drink to that." Downing his ale, Bidashal placed another ecu before him and his stein was filled by the surprisingly deft blind barkeep.
Realizing he had a companion in depression, the white haired man sat up. "To forgetting. My name is Wardes, and yours-" The drunk cut off as he finally looked upon the elf next to him. For half a moment Bidashal expected him to run off, but then Wardes downed the rest of his booze and shrugged off the instinctive fear.
Placing an ecu down for Wardes, Bidashal tilted his drink in salute, "Bidashal. Can't say I've ever met a human as brave as you."
Wardes looked to his filling stein with impatience. "Nor as drunk I'd wager. Besides," The man paused and took a gulp to calm his nerves. "I've seen worse." Bidashal gestured with his stein for the man to continue and began to drink as Wardes spoke. "All my plans, my work, my power, they all meant nothing to that man. Everything fell to pieces when he, that one man, destroyed a founder-damned army." Wardes downed the rest of his stein for courage. "Of course then I was found out. I barely escaped with my life. No title, no lands, nothing." With a great sigh Wardes gave up. "Not that it matters. After seeing something like that... Seeing a being with enough power that I am a mere plaything, it's like it all doesn't matter anymore." Wardes set his ale down and focused on it. Drunk as he was he still understood he must look like a madman.
Yet when Wardes turned to face Bidashal he did not find judgment or worry in the elf's eyes. No, Wardes found understanding, empathy. "That man... Was he tall, blonde haired in ebony armor and toting a pink haired girl around with him." Wardes eyes widened in realization. With no words he could only nod in confirmation. "Those two... I tried to warn my homeland, but they wouldn't listen. Called me mad. Mad. I'll tell you who is mad; that man." Clenching his stein in anger, Wardes shuddered. Since his homeland refused to prepare he had left. Even disgraced he would not lead those monsters to his people.
The anger boiling inside the elf faltered when Wardes place a comforting hand on Bidashal's shoulder. "Fuck that guy." The ex-viscount spoke and offered his glass in cheer.
Bidashal nodded, grin forming, "Fuck that guy." Accepting the camaraderie, Bidashal struck his stein against Wardes'.
Maramal's life was usually rather common. As a priest of Mara he attended to her temple and offered guidance to those that sought Mara's love. The most excitement he got was when he preformed marriages. So when a courier entered the temple laden with several odd looking adventurers, Maramal stopped to offer a curious glance. No more than that mind you, looking with any extreme expression was terribly rude.
The first to hop off the courier was a face Maramal recognized. After all, Maramal had preformed the Dragonborn's wedding himself. The hero turned to his companions and cheered. "It worked! Welcome to Skyrim!"
Second off the courier was a rather satisfied looking imperial. "Ah, it's good to be back in Tamriel." Sheffield spoke, offering a hand to help Tabitha down, only to slip away just before the princess grasped it. The Hero of Kvatch suppressed a snicker when the blue haired girl stumbled. Sure she wasn't under orders to torment the princess anymore, but some habits were hard to break.
Tabitha's eyebrow twitched, but she restrained her annoyance at her one time tormentor in favor of studying the temple around them. The rustic wooden walls and rugged furniture emanated an ethereal sense of welcoming. Of course with Louise there that welcoming felt all the more real. That fact alone wiped away any cares she had.
"You," Louise warned a crouching Fouquet. "Not until after the wedding. I'll not have you ruin the ambiance." For a moment Fouquet met Louise's glare, then relented and stood with a dejected scoff before stalking away.
With his back unburdened, the courier handed his letter to Maramal. "I been looking for you. Got something I'm supposed to deliver. Your hands only." His package delivered and honorary line said, the courier shot the Dragonborn an annoyed glance and left. He was a courier, not a wagon service, adventurers should know better.
Maramal unfolded the letter and read the single word on it aloud, "Hello."
"Hello." The Dragonborn replied to the paltry letter he himself wrote, ignoring the quirked eyebrow from Maramal. It was the delivery rather than the package that mattered anyways. "Louise, this is Maramal, priest of Mara."
Smiling, Louise greeted the Priest. "My fiance' and I want to get married." Pulling the blushing Tabitha forward, Louise waited with trepidation. She knew well enough that the Dragonborn could be... off about certain social customs.
A broad smile filled Maramal's face. The warmth of the man washed away any concerns the girls held. "Of course I would be happy to preform the service. Please come back tomorrow."
Tabitha hoped her surprised gulp wasn't loud enough to be noticed. She tried and failed to raise a concern as her usual lack of words was only compounded by the unexpected news. Luckily, Louise was more than capable of exclaiming. "Tomorrow? That soon?" The pinkette glanced quickly to Tabitha as if to confirm it was on odd notion.
Maramal tilted his head in confusion, "Of course. Why would one delay a proclamation of love any more than is absolutely necessary?"
While that was all well and good, Tabitha found her voice and noted, "Guests? Planning?" It wasn't like they could invite anyone, but their circumstances were hardly the norm she would assume.
Smiling with placation, Maramal waved off Tabitha's worries. "We'll take care of all of that. No need to worry. Love should not be about stress, but celebrating each other." Gesturing to the pair, Maramal smiled ever brighter and said with all the warmth in the world. "Stop thief, give that back."
"...I'm sorry?" Louise paused, then glanced to an equally confused Tabitha. Was this another part of Skyrim's culture she had yet to understand? Looking to the Dragonborn, she spied the man frowning in contemplation. Yet before Louise could speak up, Maramal's fist impacted her jaw. It didn't really hurt all that mush mind you, but it was hard to talk with a fist over her mouth. "Mmmph mmmph mm- already maxed but thank you."
Tabitha was not as accepting of Louise getting punched as the injured herself. Throwing a punch of her own she knocked Maramal flat... against the wall... of the room behind the now destroyed lobby wall. Some of the color drained from her face as she remembered that she was a might bit stronger than she was used to. However the Dragonborn quickly calmed her with a pat on the head. "Don't worry, Maramal's essential. No way the world will let him die." Cupping his free hand to his chin, he thought aloud, "Still, that was odd. You two didn't steal anything, I didn't steal anything..." Before the man could draw his own conclusion, the church door opened and slammed shut. A slightly perturbed Fouquet leaned against it looking like a cat caught with a canary. Tabitha, being the closest to a sane person left conscious, sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. Slightly disappointed, the Dragonborn asked, "Really? After all our training you get caught stealing?" Sure students made mistakes, but this was just sad.
Fouquet's eyes darted behind her and to the growing noise of rabble, then back to her teacher. "Its not my fault! A founder damned horse reported me!"
The Dragonborn scoffed, "Well, yeah?" As if dealing with a child he chuckled. "What was it going to do, not report you?" Looking to Sheffield for confirmation, he received the vampire's shrug of agreement. Any law abiding livestock would alert the town guard. Shaking his head, the Dragonborn reminded himself three of his companions came from a backwards land of anarchy and silly rules. Yet before he could chastise Fouquet any further, the door to the temple burst open and a swarm of guards barged in. Slapping his forehead the Dragonborn sighed, there was no way he was going to bother checking to see if he had and stolen goods on him and killing them would be a hassle. Talking his way out was definitely off the table with his speachcraft... but if talking was no good, what about shouting? "FUS RO DAH!" The ripple in the fabric of realty bowled the men over like so many pins. "As Sheogorath would say, CHEESE IT!"
Spurred on by the man's shout, the quartet of adventures fled the roused town with all the subtlety of a flaming goat.
Within the dingy bar Wardes and Bidashal made merry, buying each other drinks with tabs they could never pay. Never before had a man and elf become such fast friends. Though the two claimed to be loathe to talk about that man, they gabbed on an on as the alcohol loosened their lips. On the subject of booze, Wardes noticed his tankard was suspiciously empty. "Another!" He cried out, ready to down more than any man should. Yet this time the ever present bartender failed to respond. Hazily, Wardes looked to his lifeline to find her staring up and away with an almost orgasmic expression. Her clouded blind eyes tinged with disturbed lust. "Eh... maam?"
When no response was returned beyond heavy breathing, Wardes jabbed his elbow into Bidashal and gestured to the woman. The elf starred with eyes half closed trying and failing to remember the woman's name. "Beer lady?" He tried valiantly. "You okay?"
Half crazed eyes turned to the two. "Better!" She exclaimed as she hurriedly removed her apron. "I thought I had reached the end of my ideas with the whole 'I'll try being a quest giver' thing. But this... this." Her two patrons questioned just how much booze their drunken as she toward around the bar. "I mean, I can still remember the last one. 'Oh Sasha!'" Her voice raised in mocking impersonation. "We have to finish our grand quest and kill all the- bleh! But why!"A giggle escaped the madwoman as she gestured with a non-existent blade. "Stabby stab stab. I could feel the world cry out as I severed the thread of prophecy. I thought there could be nothing better... But a protagonist? What will the world do then? How will it cry!?" Whirling, the bartender rounded on an empty pair of stools. "Consider the bar yours as recompense you sad sad men. This elf has a reality to torment." Only then did Bidashal notice the ears tucked behind the wide headband of the woman. Yet before he could even begin to contemplate anything he might have remembered from the elven histories, the woman spoke a word so incomprehensible, so alien a wave of vertigo flooded him. "cow Tamriel 0 0."
Without even a flash the blind madwoman vanished leaving a pair of thoroughly confused drunkards. After roughly three beats Wardes proposed. "So... free beer?"
And once more the merriment continued.