The keys jangled in the lock and the door opened with a creak. The interior was dusty motes hanging in the air over the well trod boards and tables. The inside was musty and clearly had not been opened in some time but there was no smell of damp or rot. The various strange folk filed in behind Carlos as he began extolling the virtues of the building.
“Solid as a mountain so it is, see that real heart wood oak the finest money can buy. The building itself was built in my gran pap’s time, by real dwarves down from Khern Garum no less!” There was a loud snort cutting off Carlos’ spiel.
“If dwarves had a hand in this then they were bloody kack handed…” the stern faced dwarf with the glittering armour and scowl muttered darkly following Carlos in. He kicked at the base of a wall and squinted at it as though offended it hadn’t immediately collapsed.
“Well uh… that’s how the story was told to me…” Carlos replied floundering “my pa-”
“Story is all it is.” The dwarf growled back “don’t try push none of that manling rubbish on us we’ve seen near a dozen run down warehouses and bars that we’ve heard the full prattle of it now so don’t be testing my patience!” The tubby barman gulped under the ferocious gaze of the dwarf and then turned his head sharply at the sound of rattling bottles a tall rangy man with salt and pepper hair had vaulted the bar and was rattling through the range of bottles.
“These all come with the place right.” The man shouted over his shoulder, not a question.
“Best fucking idea we’ve had in a long time buy an old run down inn and we get the booze with it too,” a cork was pulled with a pop and the man took a long swig smacking his lips in appreciation.
“C-could could you not take the stock please!” Carlos squeaked his sales pitch all but forgotten as the dozen or so other strange folk crowded into his old inn behind him. They were in every shape and size. In one corner an incredibly ugly scarred man in plate was discussing with a young woman in beautiful armour and robes the possibility of creating a way shrine in the entrance to the property. Another man in his middle years with a bushy unkempt appearance was examining the beams and muttering about potential flammability and fingering his tinder box. Behind him a dark haired elf woman drummed her fingers on the table looking like she had trodden in something unpleasant. He wasn’t sure if she was looking at the man with the tinder box or the inn but as he watched the wild haired fellow began striking matches on the rough table top and holding them up for light. Carlos hoped he wouldn’t burn anything important before the payment was made…
He turned back to the young woman in the long rippling cloak who had been heading up the negotiations. She was backed up by a priest so young he barely could grow a beard as well as the still glowering dwarf but Carlos ran a hand through his hair and began puffing out his chest to loom over the young woman. “Could you please control your people young lady, this is meant to be a property exchange not a riot” he explained in his most patient voice, like he was speaking to someone very slow. There was a dangerous flicker in the eyes for a moment but then an eyebrow cocked as she laughed.
“I wouldn’t say they are my people I’m definitely not in charge of them. Don’t worry they can be a little exuberant but excitement is justified in the circumstances I think!”
At this point another elf with white blonde hair and an unnerving glint in his eyes appeared in the doorway. His hands were covered in blood to the elbow “Good news companions I have sacrificed a goat in the courtyard and the signs in it’s blood indicate this purchase seems favourable!”
“Lords Caeleth,” the ugly priest sighed “Why?! We don’t even own the building yet!”
“Bloody elves,” the dwarf muttered under his breath.
“We had to be sure the spirits smiled upon our endeavour,” The elf cocked his head to one side grinning a flash of white teeth.
“We’ll take it into consideration as part of the bargaining, if Caeleth says the old powers of the world bless the transaction we wouldn’t want to disappoint them…”
Carlos couldn’t tell if she was joking or not but began mentally revising down the price he had been planning to ask if it got them out of his life all the quicker. The elf sniggered and muttered something that sounded a lot like peasant should be grateful hand stroking the long bow at his hip. “Fine fine,” he muttered running his hand across his scalp again “You’ve seen the place, it’s exactly as described and advertised, it can be yours by days end and I’ll throw in the stock your friend has started on over there.” The young priest spoke up.
“Well now mate that sounds like a right nice deal you’re offering obviously at no extra charge..”
“Good! I didn’t haul a dozen orc heads a hundred miles to get swindled!” the young priest grinned brashly.
“D-did you say Orcs?”
“Ignore that,” the young woman broke in “It’ll need a clean, new beds, that window looks in need of repair…”
“Thirty Five wains!” Carlos warbled “I’ll knock Five wains off the original price if we sign here and now if I never have to see you folk again!”
“Well can’t say fairer than that.” she replied sweetly
“W-wonderful now if you j-just come down to the guilds office I am sure we can arrange the transfer.” Carlos began rubbing his hands together oily grin back on his face. He could palm these hicks onto the guilders and recoup leave them with the
“Transfer? Oh I don’t think so we just deal in hard cash. Everybody let’s pay this… this fine gentleman!” The woman led him to the door of the old pub so he could see the wagon rolling in. Confusion crossed Carlos’ face then open awe. He had never seen so much gold in one place before. Chests and bags of coins in strange denominations were piled on the cart along with a giant silver ewer, behind them all a great hexagonal plaque carved with dwarven runes. Bags of small gems were opened and shown to him, sunlight glinting on the facets and a pouch and crown pressed into his hands.The poor donkey looked exhausted form hauling the mighty load.
He couldn’t push the keys and deed into the womans hands fast enough.