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 The Return of AL BARNHOUSE (con't)

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Al Barnhouse
~Weaver Of Tales~
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Posts : 28
Join date : 2013-05-31
Location : Ansgar

Character sheet
Country Affiliation: Wanderer
Guild Affiliation: NEVER~!
Statistics:

PostSubject: The Return of AL BARNHOUSE (con't)   Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:54 pm

A quilted sky of violet and blue hues thundered over the lands where sat the Rusty General. Sheets of rain fell from the sky hammering the tin roof with a satisfying "ping", the only company being kept by the rain was the stout Barkeep Gorich himself.

Gorich was attempting to keep himself busy during this late night polishing the ale steins and waxing the marble bar-top. He did not like rain days - they were bad for business and the tap house was indeed empty this stormy eve. The room was silent but a pleasure to look at. Luminescent amber hues radiated from the lanterns keeping the place alight and casting long shadows of the furniture to the floor. Occasionally there were be a scratching sound as mice scurried and skittered from one hole in the wall to the next. As the hours wore on and the evening grew late, the rain had decided it did not want to quit anytime soon, thus Gorich decided it would be best to close down the tap-house for the night and begin anew in the morning. He breathed a heavy and frustrated sigh and grabbed his brass candle snuffer. One by one he put out the lanterns in the room until there was nothing but the flash of lightning to provide light to the room followed by the angry groan of thunder. There was now only one lantern left...and it was outside lighting the road sign for the inn. On a night like tonight there would not be many travelers on the road and Goric was not one to waste a perfectly good candle for nothing, so he donned his wide-brimmed leather cap and heavy hide long-coat, candle snuffer in hand, and walked out into the storm begrudgingly; all the while cursing the candle and the weather.

A flash of lightning froze Gorich in his tracks for with the flash came a figure in the night; a man in the shadows was trudging toward the inn. A second strike of lightning confirmed that Gorich had indeed seen a man, but this time he could see that the man appeared to be limping. Gorich cried out to the traveler: "LO THERE!! ARE YOU ALRIGHT!?" but the thunder drowned out his voice and it did not carry far. A second time Gorich called out. He seemed to have caught the man's attention this time as the figure looked toward Gorich, his eyes glowing an eerie crimson. Gorich began to wonder if calling out to this man was such a good idea as he struggled to identify the stranger. Then he saw it! The cloak of red and the gleaming eyes - suddenly the old folk-tale came rushing back into his mind and he stammered it breathlessly out of his lips:

"Beware the Eyes that shift in light,
Beware the man who lurks at night,
Beware the cloak whose wake does bleed,
Beware the man who claims no deed.

Beware the man who does not talk,
Whose only action seems be walk,
For an allegiance he has no claim,
Nor do many think his aim.

Keep his eyes out of your view,
Or the wrath of Gods he will bring you...
"

Gorich's eyes grew wide and his mouth lay open is sheer shock. A "thuck" sound could be heard as he dropped the candle snuffer into the muddied roadway. Then Gorich let out one of the mightiest belly laughs that could be heard for miles over.

"AL BARNHOUSE!!? IS THAT YOU?!!"

The figure looked again upward toward Gorich and a pale smile could be seen gleaming under the deep hood of crimson. Without missing a beat Gorich began to run toward the figure in a fashion that ought not be possible for a man of his size and stature. As he trotted closer to the man his arms opened wide as if to embrace the wandered - and yet the wanderer showed no fear and was still steadily moving toward Gorich.

Once they met, Gorich grabbed the man and squeezed him hard (probably harder than he should have) as he lifted him off the ground. A squeal could be heard coming from the man as all the air was squeezed from his lungs - the man collapsed. Realizing what he had done, Gorich quickly snuffed out the lanern and ran the man back into the Rusty General.

Once inside Gorich wasted no time closing all the shutters to the windows and barricaded the door as to let no one else in or even see what was happening inside. He lit only one of the inside lanterns and brought it with him to the man whom he had laid out on the floor. Upon examination of the body his beliefs were confirmed - the shifting eyes, the crimson cloak, the runic leather armor, and a very damp musty tome - it was AL BARNHOUSE.

Hours later Barnhouse woke up next to a roaring hearth that Gorich had set, likely to aide him in drying off from the rain. No sooner had he woken than did he hear a familiar voice from behind him.

"Hello old friend!" Gorich said warmly as he handed him a pint of his finest home brew. "What brings you back to Lorcann?"

A wide and wry grin grew on the face of Barnhouse from ear to ear as he gladly accepted the pint. "It's a long tale" Barnhouse said. "But I assure you I have lots to share!"

Together they clinked their glasses and took a long gulp of the intoxicating ale.

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Al Barnhouse
~Weaver Of Tales~
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Posts : 28
Join date : 2013-05-31
Location : Ansgar

Character sheet
Country Affiliation: Wanderer
Guild Affiliation: NEVER~!
Statistics:

PostSubject: Re: The Return of AL BARNHOUSE (con't)   Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:44 am



The hours wore on as Gorich and Barnhouse spoke. Eventually the night's storm broke and the fresh light of dawn shone through. They had completely lost track of time and were now surprised by the sunbeams trying to break through the cracks of the window shutters and the bottom of the main entryway.

"Oh my!" Gorich said with a gaping mouth, stretching out his arms as he let out a large yawn. "Is it that time already? The hours have truly gotten away from us."

Barnhouse seemed much more unsettled by the discovery of daylight than Gorich and actually seemed to be somewhat panicked. Barnhouse was shuffling quickly throughout the tap-house gathering his things and making sure to grab his cloak which hung near the hearth all night to dry it out, and his book. "I'm sorry old friend! We will have to finish this conversation later!" he said as he frantically put himself together and once again becoming the image of the "mysterious figure"

"Would you like something to eat before you run off again for who knows how many years?" Gorich replied somewhat flustered by his friends sudden impulse to leave.

"You know I would love to stay for some of your delicious hash but if I don't leave now, patrons may begin to arrive, perhaps guards or travelers for breakfast or lodging - I don't have time!" Al Barnhouse said with certainty. Sadness was audible in his tone, he had enjoyed seeing Gorich again! He had missed his company.

Gorich began his morning routine seeing as there was no stopping, even delaying his hooded friend, he removed the barricade from the door and one by one began to open up the shutters on the windows. No sooner had he done this than had he saw who would be his first customers of the day - Royal Guards of the Kingdom of Mertuil!

"My friend it seems we have some fancy company coming our way." Gorich said with disdain. "You're going to have to slip out the back way! You remember where that is?"

Barnhouse shot him a worried glance but responded quietly with a nod of his head. Tucking his book and quill in a satchel given him the eve previous by Gorich, he quickly tied his sandals and walked toward Gorich. He gave him a strong handshake and expressed his thanks without speaking a word less the guards encroaching upon the tap-house hear his voice. The handshake turned into a great hug by Gorich followed by a quick strong pat on the back. They broke their gaze and Barnhouse headed for the back enterance while Gorich swung open the front door to greet his new guests.

"Ahh, well met lads! Welcome to the Rusty General! Here for some breakfast are ye' ?" Gorich called out and slapped one of the guards on the shoulder as a welcoming gesture.

On his way out the back, Al left a large bar of gold behind the bar for Gorich with a note attached to it - more money than Gorich likely made in a few months of running the tavern, and he spoke under his breath "Thanks for all the help my friend, I only wish there was more I could do for you!" And with that, Al Barnhouse was gone - who knew when he would turn up next. One thing was for sure though, he would need to leave Mertuil immediately - of anywhere he could be on Lorcaan, Mertuil was surely the most dangerous. He had made far too many enemies there and it was likely they had heard of his return; they would be searching for him - he needed to flee.

The guards appreciating the jolly man's gesture welcomed the opportunity for a warm meal and a place to rest their feet, but they added a stipulation.

"Well met Gorich! You seem in good spirits today, as always I suppose. My companion and I would surely love some of your famous breakfast hash and perhaps even a few slices of fresh ham!" Exclaimed the guard. "But alas that is not why we have come to your inn so early this morning."

"Oh?" Gorich tried to act confused; he knew why they were here.

"It would seem Al Barnhouse has returned to Lorcaan and there is a nation-wide man hunt presently going on for him." The guard opened a pouch on his belt and pulled out a folded piece of paper, showing it to Gorich. "We've come here to place a new job on the board here as we know this is quite a popular spot. The job is actually a quest so to speak. A ten-thousand gold reward for the arrest and capture of Al Barnhouse alive!" The guard held up the warrant bill.

"Ten-thousand!!? What crime could a man have possibly committed to have such an enormous bounty on his own head!!?" Gorich said with genuine surprise. Last night he spoke with Barnhouse about his travels but did not recall anything that sounded remotely like a crime - though he had asked him to keep their meeting an absolute secret.

"Yes! Ten-thousand. Not even we know what he has done, but that is the highest bounty that has ever been placed on a man, so he must be very dangerous!" The guard said as he pinned the warrant to the tap-house's job board. "See to it that this posting stays up, eh Gorich?"

"Of course Sir!" Gorich nodded in agreement and began to wander back toward the kitchen to begin cooking breakfast for the men. All the while he found himself wondering what kind of crimes someone would have to commit to gain so much notoriety - the Al Barnhouse he knew was anything but a bad person; he was a great friend. Then Gorich saw it, the bar of gold left behind by Al, but there was a note attached.

Quickly Gorich shut the kitchen door, made sure the guards were not still wandering about, and opened it:

Gorich,

My friend I must apologize for placing you in danger. You see I have not been completely honest with you about my travels. I have done something terrible and am doing my best to reconcile the matter. Please trust that I am not a criminal for I am trying to do the right thing - it is just proving to be more difficult while I am being chased by any city guard or bounty hunter out there. If you keep our meeting a secret as I have asked you then you will be safe from all of this.

Please trust that I know what I am doing. Be safe, be well and when I return I promise all will be explained...if I return (I suppose that's a possibility too now)

Please burn this note to keep you safe!
May we meet again old friend! I have truly missed you!

Al Barnhouse


Gorich was not only confused by this recent turn of events but now he was worried for his friend. He threw the note in the cooking fire and carried on with breakfast. Each day he would await news on his friend and carefully watch the job posting. Under his breath he thanked Barnhouse for the gold (it would go a long ways and nearly brought Gorich to tears, such an act of gratitude goes further than the value of the gold itself) and decided that any guard who decided to get drunk in his tavern would be an ample source of information and could help Gorich piece together this mystery and perhaps even help his friend to reconcile whatever it was he needed to do. Gorich had made up his mind - he would help Al Barnhouse in confidence any way that he could!


After the cooking fire was hot, Gorich grabbed his cast iron pan and began to create the enchanting smells of breakfast radiate through his inn. The day carried on like nothing had ever happened.

"I wish you luck my friend..." Gorich whispered while stirring the hash


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