The Attempted Bridge Burning

Jern the bartender

UP: Drachenfels

    A youngster entered the Cat's Lair tavern onthat rainy night. Sent on an errand to buy some wine to warm his father's oldbones. In a far corner of the public room sat a man clutching mug of ale. Helooked as if he had been wandering in the wild for a long time. His clothes wereragged and his once-blond hair was dark and filthy. The youngster wondered whythe bartender would let such a filthy man inside his tavern.

As the youngster stared, the man turned towards him with a wide grin on hisface. “Hey there las come over 'ere.” The frightened youngster walked overto the man.

“Now there las”, said the man, “no need to be afraid of me old Mury 'ere.Or pr'aps tis me arm that scared ye?” Mury showed him the stump that was oncehis left arm. The youngster looked at the man with wide eyes, “What happenedto you?” he asked.

“Well las dat be a good story. But alas me throat is thirsty pr'aps after someale me could tell you how it happened?” Mury said as he showed the youngsterhis empty mug. “I am sorry,” the youngster said, “but I need to buy winefor my father’s old bones. He will surely slap me if I spend his gold on alefor you.” “Well den,” shrugged Mury, “den me guess ye don’t want tohear a tale of danger and adventure?”

“Wait..just hold on. I guess I can buy a little less wine for my father inorder to buy some ale for you,” said the Youngster. “Wait here,” heintoned, nodding to the bartender to fill Mury’s mug with ale.

“Ahh very kind of ye las, dis is just what me needed,” said Mury as he tooka sip of his ale. “Well den me guess ye earned to hear me story.” Murystretched his back and took a comfortable position on the bench.

“Now las it was a beautiful day for me en my boy’z. Me boss had the idea ofsetting up a big fire for a picnic,” Mury chuckled. “So me boss decided dedwe could make a really BIG fire if we just burned de bridge near Trinsic. Me andde boy’z got many logs and oil and torches, den we went to de bridge. Der weput all de logs on de bridge and den me boss sprinkled de oil all over delogs.” Mury paused in his story and stared at the ceiling, smiling as hethought about what had occurred.

“Yes and what happened then?” the youngster asked. “Did you burn thebridge and get your arm burned off?” “Well las me think me throat is a bittoo thirsty to continue right now,” smiled Mury. Perhaps after some more ale Icould tell ye de rest of de story.”

The youngster took the last coins from his pouch and nodded to the bartender tofill Mury’s mug once more. “Please continue,” he asked. “Ahh ye be agood las. Now where was me?”
“You were telling about your master - that he was going to set fire to thebridge for your picnic,” replied the youngster.

“Aye ded be right. Me boss was going to set fire to de bridge when suddenlytwo well-armoured figures appeared on stinky ‘orses. They told us to stop! Thenerves. Giving orders to me boss and de boy’z. Ye can of course understand wedidn’t like that! So me boss stepped forward, taking out his club”, Muryexplained. "He den tried to slap dem on de head but de figures wer verystrong. Dey drew their swords and started stinging me boss."
"Wauw", gasped the Youngster. "And then? What happenedthen?"

" boss was dead in a second. Dey pricked him and den he bleeded.Dey showed no mercy to us poor men", said Mury angry. "When dey hadmurdered me boss dey came after de rest of me boy'z. Me cannot remember how deykilled all me boy'z with only de two 'o dem. All me do remember is ded when deyran down de last of me boy'z dey turned their swords towards me." Muryshivered. "The mere thought of de 'ungry look in dem eyes when dey lookedat me, it still scares me."

"But you are still alive", said the youngster. "How did yousurvive against such great warriors?"
"When dey turned towards me I tried to ran away. But dey were fast on dem 'orses.One 'o dem galloped towards me and with a mighty swing he chopped me armoff", said Mury as he waved his stump towards the youngster. "Althoughme was feeling incredible pain me managed somehow to outrun de 'orse, and aftera long run me found a healer who toke care of me."

"What an incredible story", said the youngster. "You are verylucky to be alive. Although it wasn't very smart to burn the bridge. That couldindeed have upset some people."
"Aye but burnig de bridge would 'ave been fun", said Mury as he stoodup and walked towards the door. "Thanks las for de ale and yer ear."

"But wait..." stammered the youngster. "Now I don't have any goldleft to buy the wine for my father! He will surely give me slappings!"
"Good night las", grinned Mury. And he walked through the door.

From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Saturday, July 1st 2000