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by Hans-Jrg Knabel

Orc from the Southern Islands.

No such thing, Murdra spat, wiping the table with a wet linen. Her expression was dour. Everyones gotta name!
Elgan and Ricklen hastily pulled their skeins out of the way. Ho, Murdra, Elgan exclaimed. Jus because weve finally got mead again, you don need to spill it! Feren shot her a dark look and insisted: The hero my uncle told me about has no name!
Murdra tossed the rag over her shoulder with a snort. The uncle jus don know the name, she replied. Now e says the ero has none, although e as. She looked around triumphantly. Elgan, smiled benignly through the thick smoke of his pipe. Wouldnt it be more exitin if he really had no name?
Much more exiting! Ricklen agreed, leaning back with a grin.
Stories mus be true, not exitin! Murdra growled. ow true will Ferens story be if the uncle don even know the eros name?
When I drink mead at the Maiden, Elgan interjected, I dont care where you got it from. All that counts is the taste an the buzz!

Ricklen plunked down his skein with a deep, rumbling laugh. Murdra never had liked that laugh, and now, she loathed it.
So, about Ferens story, Elgan asked. You wanna hear it?
Fuhgeddid! Murdra angrily blew a strand of hair out of her face, collected the empty skeins and trudged back to the kitchen.
Craglan, the head of the rangers guild, was sitting by the kitchen door, engrossed in a quiet conversation with Belgor. He wasnt quite as pale as a few days before but the bandages Murdra had changed in the morning were bloody again. Craglan reached for the wound.
No scratchin! He looked up sheepishly and took his hand from the bandages. What does Feren have to tell? he asked Murdra.
Hogwash! she growled, putting her hands on her hips. bout a ero in Myrtana. Wants to buff up is story claims the ero as no name.
Craglan scratched his chin. I heard about the nameless hero as well. On the continent, there are many rumors. Some say that he was responsible for banishing the gods from our world. Others claim he left our world as well, at the side of the most powerful mage in history. But then again, it is said he fought that mage and won.
Like I said: hogwash! Murdra spat on the floor. Everyones gotta name, an nobody tells the Lord Innos whatta do!
Well, Craglan said, giving her a weak smile. The people on the continent seem to believe those stories.
Gone soft in the head, the lot of em! Murdra hissed.
Craglan started to laugh, grimacing through the pain. My thoughts exactly. The other news from the continent are more important, anyway.
What news? Belgor asked.
Lee wont be paying us a visit with his Paladins anytime soon. Hes stuck in Vengard, trying to foster peace with the orcs.

Orc from Thorus entourage.

The general? Belgor asked, surprised. Didnt he fight Lord Tronter in the Valley of Blood?
Nothing more than rumors, my friend, Craglan assured him. Soldiers tell tall tales when they think they lost a battle. Lee never set foot on Argaan. Why should he? Hes got enough problems of his own.
I heard of a war brewing between a general called Gorn and the orcs, Belgor interjected.
Yes, Craglan said, scratching his wound, earning an angry snort from Murdra. Thats one of his problems. An interesting one, even if the war hasnt erupted yet.
That Gorn, Belgor said, hes from Torgaan, isnt he?
Craglan nodded. From what Ive heard, he is. But now it gets interesting hes not the only one. His arch-enemy, Thorus, the one in league with the orcs, hes a black warrior as well.
This is going to be a grim war, Belgor reflected, rubbing his chin.
Craglan nodded again. Hopefully, one thatll keep Lee occupied for a long, long time. Before he could continue, the door to the taproom flew open with a bang.
Ive had it, Murdra thought, spinning around. The door was wide open. Three burly men walked into the taproom. They were wearing light, but lavishly decorated armor. Hun, Murdra thought. Theyre from Setarrif! The soldiers cast a disdainful look around the taproom and wrinkled their noses.
Whos the landlord here? one of the soldiers queried in an imperious tone.
Thats me, Belgor growled back, suspicion in his voice.

Throw out the riff-raff! the soldier barked, kicking a pail of water near the door. And clean up this pigsty! His Majesty, Ethorn VI, from the house of Setarrif, ruler of Argaan, travels these lands with his men. He will be spending the night here!



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