From the outside you couldn't tell much about the Naked Elf. It stood in the town's square, a building slightly larger then the wattle and daub hovels surrounding it, constructed out of sturdy oak logs from the nearby forest and roofed with straw.
Inside there was a listless atmosphere about the place. Dust motes danced in the hot, still air, pierced by the rays of the afternoon sun that split through the filthy windows set high into the walls. The dust settled on the massive rafters where the spiders scuttled uninterrupted by any cloth or brush. From here you had a bird's eye view of the hall below. At one end of the hall most of the club's benches and tables lay stacked against the wall awaiting the evening crowd. Shielded by the pile was a small panelled door, firmly shut. The floor of the hall, cleared of the furniture had just been freshly strewn with rushes and was bare of anything else. Set into one of the sidewalls was a small bar at which a group of patrons had clustered, like animals round a drinking hole.
Near the bar, and opposite its massive double-door entrance a table had been pushed out. On top of it stood a female Elf, singing beautifully, and carefully accompanying herself on a lyre. Alone amongst the patrons of the bar she was clad in a loose dress, with her instrument's satchel and a sheathed rapier sitting by her feet. Her black hair complimenting her almost grey skin, flowed loosely down to her waste. Her only audience in the bar was another Elven woman, although she was of surface blood, clad in a purple robe and standing by the table singing with the musician. A black cat rubbed itself round her feet, purring.
Carmina the bard brought her song to an end and flicked her white hair out of her eyes in annoyance.
"I don't know why I bother," she pouted down to the Unknown Necromancer "It's not as if that lot ever pay any attention when I play the sagas. Not like proper heroes."
"Well I thought it was beautiful Carmina, it took me right back to home. In any case can you could just imagine the boys there being in the song?" replied the mage.
They shared a giggle over the idea of the huge form of Urg shambling out over the treetops in search of his lost bearded love.
Zorro Arsesmacker looked up at the sundial and yawned. He was a small Dwarf, even by their standards, but made up for it in girth. His face was sallow and scar-crossed, his nose broken in a dozen bar brawls, along with his front teeth. A massive orange Mohican ran along his otherwise shaved head, greased into place every morning. With it came a beard that looked like an accident with a porcupine, erupting along his chin and lips. Twin eyes, bloodshot from lack of sleep and too much drink, twitched and jerked about nervously like a hobbit on a bad acid trip as they turned to watch the bar. His lip piercing, a chain that ran to his nose, trembled as he snorted in disbelief at the sight of the barman.
He was a spotty teenaged Hobbit who been vacantly polishing the same glass for the past twenty minutes as he gazed up at the bard wailing away in the corner. Zorro sighed. Personally he couldn't see what hobbits and humans found so fascinating about elves. He preferred his women three feet wide, with a firm jaw, a hint of aftershave, and a chest you could crack walnuts between.
"Oi, Almonds!" he bawled, waving his pot helmet at the hobbit, "Wake up and get us another one yer lazy Hobbit git!"
Grumpily the hobbit picked up Zorro's helmet and moved back behind the bar to fill it up.
Zorro turned back to the sundial. Next to him the massive leather-clad figure of Urg the barbarian stirred suddenly as a coherent thought arrived. Turning his massive grey head the Half-Orc glared down at his smaller partner, whom he disliked intently.
"Wherez da boss?" he rumbled, absently stroking the small mouse-like doll hung from a thick iron chain around his neck.
"Outside somewhere, probably sellin' his stash of mushrooms," replied the Dwarf, reaching forward for his beer filled helmet from the barman and swigging from it.
"That's if he's found it yet o'course, he continued reflectively. "Silly bugger was late out this mornin', searchin' his room for where he'd left the damn things. Big deal he said. Gonna make a packet if somebody doesn't knife him for them first".
The Half-Orc's lips peeled back to reveal his fangs as they shared a smirk at this happy thought. Neither belonged to a race that had much love for Elves of any stripe, particularly not the bold and flamboyant Noldorian race to which their boss belonged.
"Pointy-eared moron," thought Zorro as he continued "And he said we're to stay here with the Drow and that mad witch till he gets back like."
The barbarian nodded and settled back on the creaking bench, leaning his head back against the bare wall. He was a huge creature at nearly six foot ten, bulging with slabs of thick muscle, his veins standing prominently out in an intricately woven pattern under his grey skin. Despite the heat he was roughly clad in animal furs, though he wore a chest plate of bone armour concealed under them. Necklaces of bone white ivory draped his wrists, the remains of seals he'd killed whilst adventuring in the far north. Filthy black hair lay matted over his bare head and his eyes glowed redly in the gloom. Next to him lay a tremendous great axe, his favourite weapon, though he always carried others on him, usually a dagger plus a sling for distance work, like most sensible folk in Lower Wyrmling.
The sound of the double doors being opened caused him to glance over his shoulder. A cloaked figure with its red-blond hair bound upward into a topknot hurried in and slammed them behind it. Just before the door closed it was possible to hear a torrent of hysterical invective in heavily accented Elvish, which was abruptly cut off by the closure of the portal. The figure paused for a moment, adjusted its weather beaten cloak and ran a tired hand through its hair before turning to face the bar and its occupants. Urg caught sight of a green-eyed elven woman, pretty, with a scar curving smoothly down her left cheek. The face was framed by a mass of curly red-blond hair above, and a leather armour clad body below, the tightness of the armour revealing a figure of some heft.
The Elf scowled as she caught sight of Carmina, then, turning away from the Half-Drow she spotted the two drinkers sat at their table. Arching eyebrows and a twitch of her pointed ears briefly signalled unconcealed elven disdainful amusement at the sight, and then she became more purposeful, and strode briskly towards the pair. Zorro spat onto the rush-strewn floor.
"Here comes trouble," he warned heavily, taking a last big swig of root beer from his pot helmet. The Half-Orc didn't reply. Instead he reached down and picked up his huge double-edged Great Axe and ostentatiously began cleaning his black fingernails on its spike.