Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kriz-nan

I wrote this a few years ago and dug it up this past week.   Enjoy.



    The warm noisy inn was a pleasant respite from the cold cheerless path that had been the tree travelers’ only companion for far too long.  The heat emanating from the hearth called to them, but they needed ale, rooms, and hot food first.  They located the busy bar-maid and got her attention.
    Kriz-nan, the bearded barbarian from the north told her “We need three warm beds, three hot meals to fill our stomachs, and three tankards of your best beer to wash the food down.”
    She turned her head and shouted, “Toog, get these three beds and something to eat and drink on the double!”  He face returned to look at the travelers.  “And who might we be, wandering around these parts?  A dwarf, a wild-man, and a--” but before she could guess the identity of the final member of the trio, Kriz-nan interrupted her.
    “I’m no dwarf!”  He puffed up his chest before continuing, “I am Kriz-nan the Barbarian!”
    “Barbarian, huh?” the bar-maid replied.  “You look too short.  You’re about dwarf height.”
    “Oh, well, that’s because my shins are missing.  You see, I was fighting this dragon once, and he had this razor sharp tail.  I was distracted because I was helping some children escape the clutches of this evil dragon, when it caught me off guard and cut my feet off.  While I was down, it took a second swipe at me and cut of everything I had below my knees.  He thought I was helpless and grabbed me with his claws,” Kriz-nan was using wild hand gestures at this point, “and went to eat me.  But I was just playing the part of a nearly dead victim.  I thrust my sword up through the roof of his mouth and into that tiny brain of his.  I was able to sew my feet back with his sinews, but alas, I could not find my shins.  It’s the dragon’s fault that I look like a dwarf.”
    “And did you know,” interjected Danalgorn, son of Edagorn, before the bar-maid could tell them that she really didn’t care about any of what they were telling her, “that the word ‘dragon’ actually has its roots in the word ‘drakein,’ which means to see clearly.  And while I am certainly a man and I know that my appearance may seem to be wild, I am no wild man of the woods!  I am Danalgorn, son of Edagorn, a ranger who has come from the east.  Speaking of the east, did you know that--”
    The barmaid cut him off.  “Whatever it is, I can tell you right now that no, I do not know it.  Nor do I care.:  She turned to Marco, the final member of the trio.  “And who might you be, because whatever I’d guess, I know I’d be wrong and corrected.  So just spit out your whole life story so I can get back to work!”
    “Oh,” Marco said in his usual quiet voice, making the bar-maid strain her ears to hear.  “I’m just Marco the nearsighted hobbit archer.”
    “An archer, huh?  Never would have guessed it.  I would have thought a nose like that would make it hard to shoot properly.”
    Marco murmured a few names at the bar-maid that would have had all three of them kicked out of the inn if she’d have heard them.
    “What was that?  Couldn’t hear you above all this ruckus.”  She swept her arms around the whole room.
    “Oh, nothing,” he replied.  “Just that my nose does get in the way sometimes.”
    But before any more could be said, Toog returned to show them to their rooms.

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