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AECorvius t1_iy7k37v wrote

Pause. Blink. Pause. All I could do was stare ahead at the skeleton, arms clanking against each other as they were crossed in front of the...

"Dearest me, my humble lord, but are you perhaps wearing a fluffy bathrobe?"

The snort that answered me caused me to crack a grin.

"And pray tell, my lord. Why does one such as yourself need a bathrobe?"

The skeletal head creaked and cracked as it turned a what I believe was an impetuous stare on me.

"Well, it's a wee bit dafty, don't ye know? Can ye not feel it?"

"I can feel it, good sir. I'm just surprised that you can. You are after all, a skeleton."

The skeleton slowly turned its head, the creaking and cracking grinding against my ears.

"Well, I'll be. I didn't know dat. I suppose ye'd feel better if I were to be laid to rest, den? Of course I knew dat I'm a skeleton, ye daft old coon! It a wee bit drafty because here I am, supposed to be happily retired and instead, party after party after party comes stomping through here, wrecking me garden and me lawn. And ain't one has da decency to reimburse me for deir mistakes. What's da damned world crumbled to if adventurers are afraid to go for da loot behind dat closed door where something made noise. Dat was da fun! Naught knowing what ye'd face, but doing so fer honor, glory, yer name written in bardsong! Now, ye talk bout dis loot ye chase. Is dat all adventuring has come ta? Looting da easy rooms? Bah! But, if ye're looking ta keep going, it's dat tunnel behind da house."

I nodded stupidly as I walked over, removing my coin purse and withdrawing 500 gold coins from it. I held them aloft in an open palm towards the skeleton.

"For the troubles I've caused. And if it'd please you, I'd have your name, fine adventurer. To pray for you. And to see that those who came before me pay their accounts off."

The skeleton remained silent as he slowly reached up, touching the gold coins.

"Blessed be ye, adventurer. Blessed be ye. My name is Bjornir, a fighter of the Great Clan. What be yer name?"

"I am Hallig! Paladin of the Seven Temples."

"Then by me blessing, Hallig. Go ferth and adventure!" --‐------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Many moons had passed before a tentative knock on the door of Bjornir's house had him creaking towards the door. Upon opening it, he was greeted by a young man, sporting short cropped blonde hair, distant features recalling a far off memory of another young man.

"I'm looking for Master Bjornir? I've news to give him."

"Aye, dat'd be me. How can I assist ye, son?"

"I'm here to pay off the balance of those who have wronged you, so many years ago."

"Have ye, now? And what concern is it of yers?"

"I am Hallinor, son of Hallig, Paladin of the Seven Temples. My father swore on his dying breath that he was still collecting the coin to repay you. I am here to deliver his final wish."

Bjornir took a tentative peek out the door. With Hallinor stood 6 hulking men, each carrying two bags filled to the brim. Bjornir stepped back, staring at Hallinor.

"Tell me of yer father and come in, young Paladin. By de gods, please tell me of yer father."