Simion attempted to stride into the Moonshadow Tavern but was shouldered aside by a broad-shouldered Blue Giant. Simion reached for his dirk and then realized it was Seneschal, the large cobalt skinned creature that acted as Alexandra’s butler and occasional backstabbing bodyguard.
“Hold fast Matey!” bellowed Simion in the voice he used to make to make himself heard over a gale. “Watch yourself or Alexandra will be looking for new help!”
Seneschal turned and stood up to his full height. He had stooped over and turned slightly sideways to fit through the notorious tavern’s door.
“Do I know you?” He said.
“Tis me Simion,” he said patting his chest with his dark-skinned and tattooed hand. “Sunfollower to the Cleric of Lathander, Faeron the Lightbringer!”
“Sorry,” Seneschal turned his head. “I didn’t recognize you at first. You humans look all alike.”
“No wonder GFoot dislikes ye,” Simon muttered.
“What did you say?” Seneschal asked.
“Nothing, nothing my bear sized, blue-skinned friend. It is Last Harvest, the time of Pumpkin Plenty, before Winter Fall. Lets get a drink, I need one.”
“I concur,” Seneschal said in his deep, formal and slightly scary voice. “These off-worlders are troubling my nerves.”
Simion laughed. “Let’s share some stories. I’m coming here because of the recent fight with the Hegemon. We won but it was a bloody business.”
Simion entered first, letting Seneschal follow. The old pirate knew that coming though a door in this busy and gang run establishment with a seven-foot giant would get him some respect and maybe a few drinks on the house.
The strange, hypnotic, hurdy-gurdy music of the Tavern greeted them along with curious and slightly fearful stares. Simion sat on a barstool. Next to it was a large chair, specifically built for the Blue Giants of Midsea. Seneschal eased into it smiling in a way that showed his sharp teeth. There were few instances of furniture built to accommodate his kind in Bex.
Simion stroked his graying goatee and ordered an expensive Fey Whiskey. Seneschal received a pitcher of Bex Pumpkin Brew, which fit like a tankard in his gargantuan hand. After a long draw of orange drink he burped a pumpkin flavored belch.
Simion wiped his mouth with the back of his hand after slugging the whiskey down. He looked at Seneschal and shook his head silently. It seemed to him like everything had to be Pumpkin flavored during this time in Bex. There were even some coffee shops that stooped to the practice.
“So,” Seneschal intoned in his gravelly baritone. “What happened with the Hegemon? I heard you captured him with Felix, Lathander, GFoot and the Druid. ”
“Aye!” Simion. “Captain Dawnbringer and crew, we were sailing to Bex, minding out own business for a change and there he appears, the Hegemon, with all his top Generals! He wanted to parley.”
“So what’s the Hegemon all about?” Seneschal asked.
“He’s not big, a bit on the small side for a Hobgoblin, but fast! He’s so full of quick the eye canna follow th’ sword. He’s like GFoot he is with his Bow.”
Seneschal grimaced. GFoot and him had a long running dislike for each other.
“So Captain Dawnbringer, who you all call Faeron sent a magical message and then Felix, GFoot and the Druid arrive. Let’s just say the parley dinna go so well.”
“Typical Off-Worlder drama?” Seneschal asked and almost drained his whole Fall flavored beer. Unlike Simion Seneschal loved the abundance of Pumpkin during Last Harvest.
“Aye,” said Simion and he motioned for another Fey Whiskey. “Felix was shooting lightning, the Druid had plants growing everywhere and GFoot was filling everyone with arrows. Captain Dawnbringer was calling on the “might and light” of Lathander like ye wounna believe. Lucky they dinna burn the boat to th’ waterline like usual.”
“So the Hegemon surrendered?” Seneschal asked.
“No!” Simion exclaimed. He downed the shot glass and its green glowing whiskey in consternation and clapped it down hard on the bar. “He was betrayed by his own Generals! After slicing them up he tried to commit hari-kari but GFoot jumped in the way. ‘course with those two it happened so fast it was over and done ’fore we knew what happened.”
“Ah,” Seneschal said. “So that is why Kona and Sir Gavin got to talk to him in that prison they keep in Conjuror’s Crypt. What did they talk about? The Hegemon seemed pretty quiet when I last saw him.”
Simion smiled. “Kona and Sir Gavin convinced him to become Protector of the Trade Roads and battle against any Orc Tribes, bandits or monsters who prey on the merchants.”
“Sir Gavin is the big one with Brother Sword and Sister Shield, right?” Seneschal asked. “I sometimes get him and that other knight Uldir Blacksteel confused.”
“Cause we look so alike?” Simion growled.
“Take no umbrage,” Seneschal said in his best butler voice. “Some of my best friends are human.”
“Simion!” a melodious voice called out over the hurdy-gurdy music.
Simion turned and spied Bettina making her way over to him. She gracefully maneuvered between two whispering Tieflings and around a drunken half-orc while holding a topped off glass of Scarlet Terravingian Wine. Her curly red hair had grown long since he last saw her. He noted her green eyes still looked as wise, and as slightly sad, as ever.
“Thank the Dawn…” Simion said. “It’s great to see you.”
She looked at Seneschal. “I didn’t know you and Seneschal had become friends.”
“Neither did I,” Simion said.
“Cleric Bettina!” Seneschal said bowing. He grabbed a barstool a drunken gang member was about to sit in and placed it behind Bettina. The gang member fell to the floor cursing, saw the group and quietly slunk away.
“Sea Greetings and Good Fortune milady,” Simion said bowing and then looked at Seneschal. “It seems you are very recognizable to our good butler here, while I am not.”
“Cleric Bettina is a legend,” Seneschal said.
“I’ve sailed the Madric Ocean, Midsea, the Floating Fens, been a Cutlass Pirate and First Mate to the Founder of Lathander Temple in Al Baku!” Simion said, his eyes squinting like Felix before he cast a Fireball. “I’ve helped the Offworlders make their way to Elvenport and had Jorge the Necromancer give me skeleton sailors and you can’t tell me apart from anyone else?”
“Which one is Jorge?” Seneschal said. “It takes me awhile to tell you apart.”
“I’m on the far side of fifty and you can’t tell me apart from a young necromancer?”
“Cleric Bettina has been in Bex for years.” He looked at her. “By the way, how old are you?”
Bettina made the same ‘Felix casting a Fireball’ face as Simion just had.
“So,” said Simion raising his hand for another drink. “What’s a nice legend like yourself doing in a place like this?"
Bettina turned her back to Seneschal and smiled. “I’m here to meet someone. A sailor like yourself and…oh there she is!”
A woman dressed in well-worn sailor garb made her way to them. Unlike Bettina her hair was not red but sun bleached blonde and her skin was not pale but bronzed and weathered.
“Sea Greetings and Good Fortune,” she said to the three distinctive adventurers. She then slapped her hand down on the bar and yelled. “A round on me for all! I have returned from the Glacial Sea after the Off-Worlders defeated the White Duchess!”
A cheer went up in the Moonshadow Tavern. The hurdy-gurdy player pulled off his scarf as he was now sweating and launched into a famous sea-chantey, “The Tipsy Tiefling and the Drunken Devil”.
“Simion and Seneschal may I introduce Cassandra Foamrider,” Bettina said. “Captain of the Second Spyglass!”
“What happened to the first Spyglass?” Simion asked with a sailor’s concern.
“Burned to the waterline by an Off-Worlder battle.” Cassandra said sipping at hot Midsea Mead.
“These Off-Worlders may be able to save the world,” said Simion. “But they sure are hard on ships.”