“Huh??? I see Balrog!” exclaimed Slop. Slurping his crusty cracked lips, he surveys the once lavish common room of Nergal’s Tavern. Raising a scarred brow to his companion, he cast an inquisitive glace at the giant warrior standing at the bar. "Hey Wyrmmlore, shall we dive into that barrel Momster brought and clean it out, before Lunar and anyone else gets to thinking that they may have some??" With a crocked smile and a shrug, Slop did not wait for him to reply.

Walking over to the barrel of Balrog and pulling out his trusty dagger, the grislily veteran pierces the side of the Barrel “C’mon ole friend, Ales on me… let’s drink, get drunk (again) and tell old stories of how this place use to rock”

“You want to hear told a story of when this place used to rock…” Wyrm says as he crests the final stair in his decent to the common room proper. “I know of such tales” speaks the young bard while confidently removing the lute strapped to his back. Locating a bench near the hearth and getting comfortable, he continues, “I’ll tell you one…. if you will fill that tankard” he indicates which one with a nod of his head and strums the strings of his instrument a few times.

With every pluck of the cat gut strings you can feel the power building in the air. Wyrm’s voice rings out clearly for all to hear and the rising and falling of the melody brought the busy room to an unmoving hush.

“This tale begins in this very room” Wyrm continues in a sing-song voice “during a time when Keep still walked the grounds of this tavern” the fire seemed to darken causing the already dim light of the room to be all but extinguished. “Shark ruled the kitchens and SpookyChicky the hearts of the masses”. Soon even the patrons of the tavern faded from view to be replaced by patrons whose footsteps have long since absent these halls….

The door opens and a haggard-looking young man ((Bartender)) enters. He moves over to the bar and ask, "Hi all, could you tell me who is the owner of this place? I heard he or she was searching for a bartender." Ordering a bucket of Blue he produces some coin and tosses it down.

"Aye, you are fit for it, are yeh? Well gets you to the kitchen den, an' haf Shark show yeh aroun'" Keep says and nods to the newcomer from behind the bar.

Sure, where is he? I can't seem to find him..." said Bartender as he walks around the bar into the kitchen, brushing off a staff roach who has crawled onto his coat. "No wonder this place is reputed for drinks and not food! But that suits a Bartender."

About that time shark comes bursting through the kitchen door with a large battle shield filled with a full roast amra leg with potatoes, carrots, and onions steaming around it. And what is this, stuffed red wooden bell peppers? "Did I hear someone saying my name?" says Shark

Slowly, as if hypnotized, Bartender went toward the food beginning to drool. "Umm, uhh, maybe, hehe, foo-food may I?" he asked, suddenly remembering he had spent a week living on water alone. "I came to become a, a what’s-its-name, umm bartender, maybe might help. I heard there was help wanted he timidly explained, all the while edging toward the platter of food.

"Well I don't mind, but you had better ask Donk. I hear he is around here somewhere and I think he is rather hungry. I wouldn't get between him and this platter if I were you. You might find yourself picking your arm or leg out of his teeth. FOOD ON DONK!" screams Shark while tossing the shield down on the nearest table and running for his life, knowing the stampede that was about to happen.

“Me Donk! Me Hungry! Shark make Food!? Me Hungry! AHHHGGGG!”

Bartender hesitates a second, before jumping to retrieve the amra leg and scuttling under a table. Gnawing at the meat, he quickly finishes the morsel, astonished that there was still no sign of Donk.

Donk crashes through the wall arriving from the showers, freshly perfumed. Water and soap still dripping, Donk stampedes the food.

Bartender crawling out from under the table to take another scrap, suddenly feels as if a Colossus ran over him. A minute later he wakes up to see an empty platter on the other side of the room and shark not far from it, who had that 'I told you so' look glued to his face...

Spooky comes running out of the shower wrapped lazily in a towel, hair soaking wet, thinking the tavern was under attack once again. She looks around and sees Donk munching on his vittles (teehee) and shark hiding behind a shield smiling knowingly at a table? Spooky takes a peek and is startled to see someone huddled under there. Spooky begins to giggle, then snicker, then laugh, and eventually is on the floor roaring, that is, until she realizes she's only wearing a towel. Spooky jumps up and blushes a bright crimson, mutters a quick apology and runs back into the showers...

To Be Continued...