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Of Muscle and Magic
By: Jonathan Antony Strickland
PART 1: A Heartless Task
It had been a cold and bitter Friday night but this did not bother the citizens of Galiamank, for them Friday night was the time to get drunk with comrades and forget about the troubles of life. Now however the streets had emptied as night in a few short hours would become dawn. Most of the lights in the city of Galiamank had gone out and only the brothels and pubs stayed open at this late hour. Galiamank was a large city but unlike a lot of the other cities in the Kingdom of Labpreane, was fairly un-remarkable. Except that is for the pubs, these were famous for stocking and providing the widest range of extremely good ales known throughout the Kingdom and people from all around Labpreane would come and visit just to sample the many varied and delicious tastes on offer.
Inside the "Nine dead Pigs", a pub renowned for three of the strongest and tastiest ales suspected in the whole of the world of Oldabrock, the customers were becoming intoxicated and the tiredness of the late night and the alcohol that cascaded through their blood was beginning to catch up on them. Yawns and sleepy eyelids were appearing all around the bar and the speech that filled the air was starting to take on a drunken slur. Big Polk the barman was an expert at spotting these signs and knew that at this point in the night not much more ale would get drunk and he would very soon call for last orders. Calling for last orders would always get a groan from his customers and sometimes one or two of them might start the odd bit of trouble when asked to leave. Tonight however Polk new there'd be no trouble, not when Calin was about.