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by Hans-Jrg Knabel


Murdras characteristics
Race/gender: human/female
Age: 35
Region: Stewark
Role: Landlady of the Cleaved Maiden/leader of the local merchants guild
Character/looks:

Corpulent, stout, surly, rough. Think of a rolling pin cracking against your chin or of one scary broom. Rolled up sleeves, dirty apron. Unsightly. Pays attention to looks and riches when it comes to men (made a bad catch for a husband).

Stubborn. Defends her position, no matter how wrong (for example, when she believes Xardas name really is Wardas).
Quirks:

Plays around with the spittle in her mouth
Spits as a sign of anger or of triumph (for example, over her husband).
Bad grammar and idiomatic errors.
Drops many letters.
Tends to structure her sentences differently (Choked, is what they all should be!)

Choked, is what they all should be!
Murdra squeezed through the crowd with her flagons of mead, accompanied by raucous laughter. No drinks, but standin in the way - and I ave to dance! She heaved the flagons over Elgans head and thumped them down on the table so hard that mead slopped onto the dark oak. Elgan reclined in his chair, took a long draft of his pipe and grinned at Murdra revealing his rotting teeth. Youre in quite a foul mood today, ey Murdra? he said with pipesmoke wafting from his mouth and nostrils.
More o that and ye wont see another drop, Murdra retorted angrily, and ye can smoke that pipe o yours out in the rain. She spat on the rushes strewn on the floor of the common room and stomped off, back towards her kitchen. Elgan shouted something after her, but his voice was lost in the din of the crowded tavern. Behind Murdras back, her patrons erupted with laughter. Thrown out, is what they all should be!, Murdra grumbled to herself then she felt the hand on her skirt.
The nerve! Murdra turned around with fire in her eyes. Feren, the young merchant from Stewark who visited the Cleaved Maiden every other week, smiled at her. Sit with me, Murdra, he said, indicating an empty chair at his table.
Ye wish! Murdra shot back and turned to walk away, but Ferens hand closed around her bare forearm. He had a soft hand, with delicate fingers and nails unsoiled by dirt. Murdra felt the fine hairs on the back of her arm rise.
Come now, Feren said, his hand still on her arm.
Well, hes handsome enough,thought Murdra and looked at his hand. And hes got rings.
Jus a little, she decided and sat down at Ferens table.
My uncle is back on the island, Feren told Murdra, stroking the back of her hand with his fingertips. His gold rings twinkled seductively in the candlelight. Arrived yesterday by ship from Vengard
Huh, Murdra replied and tried to imagine what his rings would look like on her fingers.
The orcs are beaten, he says. And he has come with many tales of a nameless hero and Xardas the mage.
Wardas, Murdra cut in. Feren stopped and blinked at her, bemused. Wardas is what the mage is called, Murdra said derisively. Everyone knows that!
My uncle says
Murdra shook her head. Pretty, but quite thick, she resolved and pulled her hand away. Rings cant help that. Believes every word the uncle says and dun even know what the mage is called.
Anyhow, my uncle tells me that Xardas
I dont wanna hear it, Murdra said resolutely and got up from her chair. The uncle dun know the mages name. What tales could he bring, if he dont know that?

Feren was about to reply, but she turned her back on him and, fuming, looked about the common room. Seeing her, her patrons began to clamor for mead. Yeah, yeah, Murdra growled, Ill get to ye soon enough! Then she stomped off to her kitchen.
Belgor was standing by the chopping block, wielding a cleaver in his calloused hand. He greeted Murdra with a murderous look in his eye. No rings on this one, Murdra thought angrily.
What? she asked, and glared right back.
Been sittin with a man again?
Murdra swirled some spit around in her mouth, but didnt spew yet. Shouldna have married him, she decided. Whats the point o a tavern if the husband dun even have rings?
Belgor was waiting for an answer. Murdra could feel his anger, his jealousy. But there was a faint glimmer in his eyes, betraying his hope that she hadnt been sitting with another man.
None o yer business! she snapped, spitting near the hearth. The glimmer of hope in Belgors eyes died. He slammed his cleaver through the pork loin on the chopping block and took off through the back door, grabbing his pipe on the way. New clamors for mead came from the taproom. Smokins all hes good for, Murdra thought. And Im the one doin all the work! Beliar take him! she snorted. Grabbing the flagons of mead waiting on the counter, she trudged back into the common room, where she was greeted by raucous laughter.

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