That Way Madness Lies

The End of the Games

Otter's Story, Part One

Hail, comrade! Come, sit, drink! You have the dust of the road about you, or else I miss my guess, elsewise you paid poorly to wash the salt of the boats from such ragged clothes. You look like what’s left in a crate after the straw’s been threshed out. That is to say, not like much at all. Ha-HA!

But stay, for I’ll not have it said that Otter Sorenson, Evader of Murderers, Bane of Tax Collectors, Migraine of City Guardsmen is a tiresome host. So drink with me, and I’ll tell you a story that starts with the finish line of the footrace of Attenai…

What’s that? Why did I take the job? I don’t rightly know, brother, but for your wife’s sake I hope your patience with storytellers does not too far outstrip your stamina in the bedchamber. Now be quiet, let me speak, will you not?

As I was saying before being so rudely interrupted by One-Minute-Maarten over here, the captain summoned us with the promise of gold and prestige if we’d tracked down the ones that had been raiding those poor coastal villages north of the Games. Men hauling off more than just able-bodied slaves and wenches, mind you. Old and very young, sick and healthy alike abducted to ships with heads of wolves instead of dragons. Dark times indeed.

The woman was an incentive, ahh, aren’t they ever, brothers? Fair as dawn on a whitecloud morning, with long cornsilk hair and that figure that women who stay pampered indoors can never achieve. A shame, then, that she was a priestess of old One-Eye himself. No justice in this world for beasts or men, or men who only want to act a bit beastly, am I wrong?

Arcanists come and arcanists go, the latter usually at a good clip with a pitchfork-wielding mob behind them and several pouches of weregild to pay, but this one was something different. I could sense it from the beginning, not the bookish fools that so many are. This one would light a fire under a troll’s arse just to watch the smoke. Does that sound mad? Maybe it was, but maybe that’s what we needed.

Of the sea-dog, well, the less said the better. Pirates, and you can tell any slaver from here to the Southron Realms that Otter, son of Soren, son of Halmar back to the beginnings says so with the God of the Noble Seas as my witness, can every one of them fuck the mothers that birthed them on a crate of rotting squid, and may they catch back the siff that their fathers put there firstwise! (spits).

Good with a sword though, and I’d be a liar if I said we didn’t need that cutlass work later. For our troubles truly began, comrades, after we sailed out from Attenai the next morning at dawn…



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