17 Aryth, 998 YK
“I AM BJORN!!”
The words had barely echoed through the dining hall of Madame Freona’s Resthall as the burly man who uttered them strode into the room, leaving stunned diners and an open door with a fresh muddy boot print on its surface, in his wake.
A hooded figure stood up from a table and glared at the newcomer as he approached, only to be playfully smacked on the side of his head in response. The blow knocked the hood’s cowl back, revealing the horned, amber-eyed visage of a tiefling — who immediately replied with a punch to Bjorn’s face. In an instant, chaos reigned as furniture and crockery flew among the shrieks of the serving staff and the shouts of the combatants.
“Stop this at once!” Blinding bursts of light struck both figures as a warforged, its shield emblazoned with the symbol of the Sovereign Host, sprang into action. Unfortunately, the brawlers were too focused on each other to pay any attention.
A half-elf watched the spectacle from behind a copy of the Korranberg Chronicle and sighed. “Enough of this foolishness,” he muttered as he set the paper down. Reaching into his cloak, he produced a pair of tiny darts and a feather. “Asahya hasi.”
Bjorn threw his head back and sank to his knees as his laughter somehow grew even louder and wilder. Within moments he was on curled into a wheezing, guffawing, snorting ball on the floor. As the others watched warily, the fit died down and he finally unfolded himself and sat up. “That was fun!” he announced, wiping tears from his eyes. “You!” He pointed a calloused finger at the tiefling. You know how to greet people properly! I like you!”
The tiefling briefly raised his eyebrows in puzzlement. Satisfied that the man sitting among the broken plates posed no further threat, he offered a hand to help him up. “Thank you, I think. I suppose introductions are in order. You may call me Ezios.”
“Pewter,” said the warforged as it touched a bruise on Ezios’ cheek; the wound glowed briefly and dissipated. “May the light of Dol Arrah and the Host shine upon you.”
“Reland,” the half-elf stated simply.
“Ho! Pleased to meet all of you!” Bjorn said with a toothy grin. “I am—”
“Bjorn,” Reland said with a sigh. “We figured that out.”
“Ah, then you must have heard of my exploits with the Seadragons of Lhazaar!”
“Uh,” Reland replied, “I don’t think—”
“Bartender!” Bjorn bellowed, completely ignoring the half-elf, “A round of drinks on me for my new friends!”
A halfling woman peeked over the bar. “If this Bjorn fellow doesn’t want me to call for the watch instead,” she called out sharply, “he’ll pay for the damage he caused first!”
Bjorn blinked and looked around at the upended furniture and broken dishes scattered around the dining area. “This always seems to happen to Bjorn,” he sighed as he picked up a table.