Tales from a crowded tavern

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entry Nov 30 2007, 07:58 PM
It is a common tale, is it not dear reader? One told of men and women who seek each other late into the evenings. Companionship, pleasure, worship… all reasons that strangers might meet around a crowded bar. But occasionally the story changes…

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The night falls quickly during Darkfall, and this particular evening was no different than any other in that regards. The four men lingered about the common room, more than a little intoxicated and intent on entertaining themselves until the suns rose or the inn-keeper drove them away.

One of the four was a bard, long dedicated to Melchior, who carried with him the tools of his trade, and after awhile began to play a melody on a silver flute as his companions danced around the nearly empty room. Whirling with tankards full of ale, they soon fell into laughing heaps on the floor, and more than once spoke of their desire for female companionship. Other than an old crone sitting at a table by herself, there was none to be had on this particular evening, and so the men continued to dance alone.

Be wary of what you ask for dear reader, as our friends are about to find out.

It wasn’t long after this that the door opened and four young lasses entered the tavern, joining in a lively frolic with the three dancers. Though they didn’t drink, three of the women encouraged the hapless men to do so, and before long they were stumbling about drunk, hardly able to keep to their feet in the dance. The more the men stumbled however, the more frenzied the women became in their dance, which took on a wild edge, before fading into passionate embraces. This went unnoticed for quite some time as the bard, lost in his music, continued to play.

In fact, it wasn’t until the first pain-filled cries rent the air that the curly-haired bard looked up from his tune to see those same lovely lasses tearing into his companions with what appeared to be supernatural strength. Blood flowed, splashing across the floor of the room, as the women lapped at the wounds. Backing away slowly, he turned, just in time to see the fourth woman approaching behind him; a firey red-head with eyes to match. Her outstretched hands were twisted with claw-like nails and as he watched her pale, freckled skin began to darken, turning the shade of deepest night. A scream filled the air – his own, startling him into action as he dashed for the door and out into the street.

Despite fleeing blindly, our hero was so attuned to his music that he continued to cling to his instrument – no more interested in abandoning it than in giving up his own life! When he found himself cornered at the end of an alley with nowhere left to run, he turned to face his attacker. She, if this creature was truly female, was nearly impossible to make out among the shadows, given away only by the flames which danced in her eyes.

As a pair of twisted talon-like hands reached for him, the bard lifted his hands in a feeble, instinctive attempt at self defense. With a sudden hiss, the creature drew back, though she did not abandon her prey. Circling and pacing about the alley, she reached for him many times, though it appeared that some type of barrier had been formed between herself and the man; an invisible wall which she could not break through. Snarling and hissing her rage, she continued her assault until, at length, the suns broke across the horizon and she vanished into the early morning mist.

Beating a hasty retreat, the man quickly returned to the tavern where he was greeted with the grisly fate of his three companions. Twisted into positions of pure agony, their bodies were sprawled on the floor of the tavern, completely drained of life.

So thoroughly had the women completed their task that not a single tell-tale drop of blood remained, and were it not for the bard who told me this tale dear readers, the story of their fate may well have stayed a mystery.

 
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