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Posted by on 1999 Dec 7 |

What is a nice Panther like you doing here?

(Shard, Ilithi: Dolefaren 359)

A young and poor Dwarven Barbarian enters the Tavern and jumps on one of the stools. Baresh, remembering his patrons, serves him a shot of the Spiced Rum wich the dwarf prefers.

"Only one Baresh, only one… Getting jumpy, no easy feat for one like me."

"Well I hope this time I do not have to carry your slumped body to sleep among the horses in the barn like last time. Many of the owners complain of a funny smell in their horses," Baresh responds with a brief wink.

"No, not this time." The bald dwarf sniffs his drink suspiciously, like looking for a signal or clue, then eyeing Baresh drinks it in one gulp.

"When I entered this lands, a very decent Barbarian, Viktoras, put the fear and respect of the gods in my hard head, enough to say, for most of my short carrer I strained to obtain a favor from the gods as Agonar allowed me to rise in my guild. I must have the most favors this side of a Cleric!"

The poorly dressed barbarian can barely be seen smiling thru the bushy mustache and long beard he cultivates. It is clear to Baresh that having no hair, this dwarf dispenses a lot of care to his beard, which is braided in three long braids and his mustache.

"Well Solrac? Why so concerned, why drinking sparingly and smelling my spiced rum? Do not tell me the folks on the Broken Blade Tavern have started running stories about me?"

"No Baresh, nothing like that, but instead…" the barbarian approaches Baresh’s ear and whispers, "I had a vision!"

"A vision? YOU had a vision…? Are you sure you just haven’t cought the Vision Bug that seems to be sweeping Elanthia?"

"Well Baresh, I know you may be right, But since you know so many people… And so many of them study and read and all… I thought that if I told you a secret, soon everybody will know about it and maybe some good advice may come out of it…"

Baresh lets the veiled comentary on his discretion pass unanswered…

"I thought it may have to do with my piety… in any case I do not want to embelish upon it… It was short, and maybe to the point…"

"I was hunting south of Shard with Naresha, Chriztopher and Sabastien when first I had, like a premonition I heard in my mind the words.. "A Message". I did not have much time to ponder on that. I was dealing with a few Rock Trolls and Fanatics at the time. But then-" Solrac gets even closer to Baresh, who now starts to notice the funny smell those patrons complained about…

Straining to hear every word, Baresh can decipher the following…

MY vision suddenly blurred for

a moment as the image of a

night-black panther poised among

the shadows of the forest,

preparing to strike, flashed

before MY eyes.

The dwarf barbarian open his leather coat, gets few bronze coins and puts them in the counter and he leaves the Tavern, eyeing everyone, not the least his own shadow, as if expecting something to pound him at any moment…