The guardswoman scoffs "'E was lucky this time.", as Aidan takes a pull, and blows out a vaguely circular ring.

"Maryn knows how many gloves I've charred doin' that." agrees Gormann, winking.

"I had a master once...thought he was this great wizard...almost killed himself with a pipe lighting spell..." interjects a strange mage, garbed in a gilded tunic and leggings, "what was left of the castle after the powder kegs stopped going off wasn't much to look at..."

Aidan shrugs and takes another draught of his ale. "Now, back ta ma tale..." he continues "Th' MacMornag were a warrior folk, yet we 'ad known naught but peace fer generations. Oh aye, we 'ad th' usual raids from th' gublins, an' th' rare outlaws comin' up from down river, but we had nae known an actual war in generations."

He then gazes wistfully at his nigh-empty mug of ale. Maryn prods Gormann, "Top the good man off, would ye? We're growin' old 'ere."

The warrior accepts the fresh mug from the mage, takes a swallow, and returns to weaving his tale, "We kept up th' traditions... Th' son o' th' Thane led th' warriors, all th' clans sent thar finest to guard Karn Ripsyl....." "Go on, me good man." prompts Gormann.

Aidan clears his throat "But... we 'ad forgotten wha' war truly were. We could fight.. but none o' us had known th' 'ell o' seein' yer kin murdered in front o' ye, wit' naught ta do but 'ope ye could kill th' bastard yerself."

"Not tha' it would o' 'elped us any.", he mutters darkly. "Jus' after th' time I 'ad reached ma man'ood, an' taken ma place among th' warriors... we learned somethin' awoke in th' south.... somethin' old, somethin' powerful, and soemthin' tha' 'ated the MacMornag an' mos 'especially Clan MacBlannaugh. Fer weeks... we 'eard rumors o' a great war goin' on from th' traders down river."

"We did nae concern ourselves much, fer thar was little chance any army would e'er git as far as our lands. Th' plains were a good moon down th' river, an' thar was little in our woods to interest mos' any un besides us." Aidan stated.

"Un day... a great many o' th' traders we dealt wit' came up th' river... but isntead o' carryin' goods ta trade, they brought thar consorts an' kin. They told wild tales o' an army of beastlin's an' dark men.. an army tha' did nae seem interested in much o' anythin', except those foolish enough ta git in thar way."

Gorman suddenly stands bolt upright. "Eh?" blurts Aidan, surprised at the reaction.

"Good heavens! I have left the burner on at home!" the mage exclaims, then conjures his hat out of nothing and jams it on his head.

"Burner?" inquires the bemused warrior and shrugs.

"Keepin' me soup warm. Now it's probably gone all sticky." explains the wizard, "I'll have to tend to that, but I'll return thereafter" Aidan nods and takes a sip of his ale.

"'e bes' 'urry, I be gettin' a wee bit..." Aidan trails off and begins to snore.

"Ey! We'll 'ave no more ale for you, if ye canna keep yer eyes open!", shouts Maryn, kicking his chair.

"Wha'!" he yells, jumping up, "Ne'er git 'tween a man an' 'is ale!" then grins. Gormann tries to sneak back in, but trips and falls with a loud crash, and is helped up by the golden mage. Maryn sighs., as Aidan chuckles "Thar 'e be."

"Entrances never were my strong point." notes the mage ruefully, "I need to take more sneaking lessons from Maryn, there."

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