All in a Nights Entertainment

By Merse

I stepped into the dimly lit tavern glad to be out of the rain. I headed to the back of the bar, where I dropped a few items into a secreted nook where they would be safe. I took note of the glances I got, and who it was that gave them. Always helped to remember the face of someone....especially if the only reason they seemed nervous is because they can't see your face. Due to the weather, raining as it was, most paid me no mind and went about their drinking and having a late supper. From the occaisional giggle I guest more than one Evening Lady would take an 'escort' on her arm to keep her safe of course.
All seemed quiet tonight, that was never a good sign, always meant trouble for me. As these thoughts played through my mind the door slammed. As I pivoted toward the door one hand went to the hilt of my sword. The door was wide open and being buffeted by the wind, after it had slammed twice more against its frame, I turned back to the bar amused at my reaction. Ah well trusting to my reflexes had gotten me out of more than one tight scrape. I tossed a few coins on the bar and took the offered mug in hand. I drank deeply of the mead. Not my prefered drink, but it was good every once and a while just to change things around. Most of the mug was empty now, and I was about to order one of the House steaks and heard the door creak open then slam again. This time I paid it no mind.
'There you are!' growled someone from behind me. Anger tinged the familiar voice. I started to turn and face the voice. 'Don't you dare move a muscle, or I'll run you through where you stand', said the gravelly voice again. Listening I heard armor creaking, and scabbards jingling as his companions stood at the ready but unsure. I knew that voice but so far couldn't place it. So to it I said 'Sir I think perhaps you have me mistaken for another'. At that a low laugh escaped from one of the others. The tavern had gone eerily quiet, from people watching and waiting to see what would happen I guess. The voice said again, 'Theres no mistaking you 'friend', the venom in that word was almost tangible, 'Take out your sword with your thumb and little finger and set it on the bar' I reached with one hand as ordered and went slowly for my blade, while the other moved within my cloak and found something else that might prove useful. Following the directions I set my gladius onto the old dark bar. 'Alright, surely you'll allow an unarmed man to face you?' 'Though I'm still certain you are mistaken' A chorus of whispered words filled the air. 'Go head turn round, about time you see me again. I turned again to the door this time taking careful note of people and places. My eyes found the voice. I blinked, thinking they must have let me down. This man had to be dead. His name was Maicius, him and a friend, came across me once down by the cliffs. Being the model citizens they were tried to apprehend me for the law. Considering the value of some of my possessions, I would no doubt wake up a beggar, if I woke up at all. Such is justice in Iridine. My mind flashed back to that night...
Though I tired to reason with them, it came to swords and he went at me, I'm capable with mine but no match for the veterans of war. As we fought, him and his companion, backed me toward the cliffs. As I parried his stab, his friends blade passed under mine and struck home. Seeing the blade stuck deep into my thigh, I disengaged from the two of them and moved a step of two back holding one hand to my wounded leg and keeping the sword pointed to them. A wave of pain passed over me, and I groaned and staggered a step. The ocean was roaring just below me and I felt the mist at my back and could hear the waves crashing onto the rocks.
Deciding to finish me he lunged. I saw it coming, and spun toward him along the inside of his thrust, which brought me inside his reach. Flipping my gladius around I stabbed back behind me and felt my blade meet a mail cuiriass then slide on through along his right lower abdomen. A startled gasp came from him. I grabbed his still extended sword arm with both hands and swung him out toward the cliffs edge. He backpeddaled just a step to far and his eyes went wide with realization. 'See you in hell my Friend' I kept a wary eye on the thin man still standing a ways to my left a look of shock on his face. 'All in a nights entertainment huh?' I pulled a small serrated dagger from a sheath. 'Care to gamble with your life again?' In answer he blinked, tossed his dirk into the dark and ran. Luckly the folds of my cloak kept the sight of my leg from view, if he had known I was about to pass out things might not have went so well. I was interrupted from my memories by the hoarse voice of Maicius,' Surprised to see me eh....' a wide grin followed 'You've no idea how good it is to find you still livin so that I can put an end to you'. I knew I could be in real trouble here 5 to 1 is never a good odd to face. I stood facing a gladius, two dirks and a spear.....Hoping they had had a bit more drink than I had I began talking. 'Well surprised to be sure...' His companions moved to close me or never I swooned as if the mead had caught up with me..and as I turned I slammed the my hand against the flat the the gladius laying atop the bar sending it up and spinning it it brought a startled yelp as it imbedded into the scraggling looking mans shoulder, not slowing I turned further grabbing the empty mug and made a rolling dive to put a table between me and them...One with a cheeply made dirk came at me trying to flush me out...with a back handed toss I threw the heavy mug in his direction it missed as I figured it would but it distracted him enough for me to gain the table top and launch a kick at him, 3 rapid kicks and the spun and staggered off. Sliding off the table I took up a chair and rushed the retreating man, and smashed it across his face he fell with a groan. As he fell I slipped my hand down and took his dirk and began twirling it with some difficulty. And stood looking defiantly at my would be attackers...the patrons had thinned to the walls and there was a sort of man made circle formed around us all. The one I had woundd with the gladius had since pulled it out and tossed it to the ground and was guarding that side with his polished dirk. The spearman and Maicius came at me eyes narrowed hand gripped on their weapons. Spitting with disgust on his fallen friend he mutter, 'Always did have a glass jaw..' Then eyeing me 'But I assure you I won't fall as easy' As that was said the spearmean moved forward and swept at my legs, my eyes widened I saw the movement but not fast enough and landed sprawled on my back heavy footsteps approaching fast. I slid backwards fast as I could barely avoiding the repeated stabs of the spear. Gladius in hand Maicius came on. I moved into a crouch with the nearest weapons, the two remaining chairs legs in my hands. The spearman was moving to try and flank me and Maicius was edging ever close no doubt to be able to take advantage should I be layed across the floor again. The first attack he had been too far to close the distance and attack, this time it seemed he wouldn't make that mistake. I checked the spearmans position again, and a flicker of movent from my right told me Maicius was making his move, I turned to meet the attack he stabbed at me I jumped back and brought the two legs in an X across his sword arm forcing his gladius to nick the floor. Before he could bring his blade up again I reversed my grip on the legs and brought them crashing into the sides of his head. He fell back a few steps dazed. The cold eyed spearman, seeing my back could resist and and thrust powerfully forward. Sensing someone at my back I instinctively dropped low to the floor and saw the head and haft of a spear through the space I had just been standing. I sent one of the leg flying low and struck him in the shin he yelled in pain but it had barely escaped his lips when the other smacked him in the nose drawing out a geyser of blood. I stood and grabbed the extended haft of the spear, and pushed it back into his gut pushing the air from his lungs, then pivoted it up and connected solidly with his chin, I brought it out and away from him then brought it back fast sweeping his legs, he fell back and in a heap against the pile of chairs. I took a better grip on the spear, though I was far from familar with it and looked about for the other two. So caught up with taking the spearman down I had taken note that Maicius had recovered. As I turned the large man barrelled at me a growl of rage caught in his throat and his gladius high overhead no question he met to cleave me in two. He had covered to much ground and I couldn't dodge the attack I brought the spear overhead to block, only partially succeeding as his blade went clean through the haft sunk into my left shoulder. I grimaced and moaned, moreso when he freed his blade and went for another attack, I took the broken haft and thrust it forcefully into his gut with all my other hand swung the spear point in a wide arc at his face. Roaring in anger and pain his fist smashed into my chest knocking me several feet back against a table and causing the to lose my grip on the rest of the spear. He seemed fairly oblivious the the fact that there was a 4 ft piece of wood stuck into his guts for still came at me. As I stood I pushed one of my armbands up over the wound to slow the bloodloss. I was fast running out of tricks. My hand fished around in my pack for something to be able to use as a weapon against the man finally my hand closed about something and just in time as a gladius was again swung my way in a wicked series of slashes and thrusts I stayed away from the most of them but took a few nicks and cuts, I started letting my breathing become labored for effect and sure enough he closed for the kill, glancing up I saw again his gladius was high overhead, I sidestepped his chop and brought the round ceramic bottle to meet his face at contacted it exploded with a flash. The slight smell of burned hair and flesh hung in the air, as he let a startled almost girlish yelp and retreated dropping his weapon and clutching both hands to his face. I gloves were singed and had bit of glass in them but other than that I was unharmed. Skirting around the blinded man, I headed for the door only to me interposed by the may with the polished dirk. 'It seems theres always one less brave, and one left to stand alone...' I commented to him. He stood his ground. Sighing I said, ' Go your way and leave me be' I was beginnig to feel the wounds and battle catch up to me so I couldn't afford another pitched battle whatever happened it had to be quick there was no telling how long any of the rest would be downed. I took another step or two toward the door and felt something brush agianst my foot, glassing down I saw it to be a wine bottle. I scanned the room and note only and little way to my right and his left was my gladius. I turned as if to head back to the bar then whirled and kicked the bottle launching it into the air and it shattered against the door frame. The man ducked away from the flying glass. I moved into a diving roll that brought me to my gladius and took it up in my and hand an turned on the man who had just registered that I was beside him. He sliced clumisly at me and missed his mark, I brought my blade up across the outside of his thigh and across his stomach and ended at the wrist he held his dirk in. He dropped the weapon and recoiled back his blood covering the floor. I took up his dirk and backed slowly out the door and into the dark comforting rain. I had a place I used in these parts when I need to lie low I headed there and hoped I had the supplies there to at least bind my wounds till I could see a proper healer......'Oh well all in a nights entertainment I thought'

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