Chapter 1: Our Healer Sucks

And now for your entertainment, the beginning of a new tale. I realize there are probably spelling and grammatical issues, but as most of this was typed on my phone, I know they exist, just not where. Feel free to point them out. Also, enjoy the story.

“A berserker, a healer and a paladin walk into a bar. It sounds like the beginning of a very bad joke,” Iain mumbled into his drink. “The worst part is that the healer’s the only one getting drunk.”

The three of them sat at the bar of an inn. Iain, the berserker, was dressed in fur and plaid. He kept his two toned eyes on the bar’s wooden top. Next to him sat Ailbhe, the paladin. She wore plate armor painted white, and her red hair flowed down her back. Beside her sat their healer, Ciarde, who wore a rather unfortunate skimpy outfit that complimented neither her shape nor size. She was easily the largest person in the room.

“You guys should drink too!” Ciardhe cried, hoisting another pint and downing it.

Ailbhe rolled her eyes. “It wouldn’t be so bad if the ‘serk weren’t a teetotaler.”

“Or if the healer could actually heal people,” Iain said. “Why is it that I always end up tending up my own wounds?”

“Because I’m too busy healing myself, and you’d bleed out before I got to you,” Ailbhe replied.

Beside them, Ciardhe made a pass at the bartender. At least they thought it was meant for the bar tender, it could just as easily have been meant for the serving girl beside him. Not that Ciardhe would have complained if either had responded.

“Let’s go upstairs before she starts another fight,” Ailbhe suggested.

“Ciardhe should have been a bard,” Iain said as he stood.

“Does she have enough charisma for that?” the paladin asked.

They both looked at their friend. “I think it’d take a lot of charisma to get as many people in bed as she does,” the ‘serk said.

“True,” Ailbe said. “So remind me again why Ciardhe isn’t a bard.”

They climbed up the rickety staircase to the inn portion of the establishment. Just as they reached the top they heard Ciardhe make a pass at someone at the top of her lungs.

“And so begins another night of debauchery,” Iain said.

“At least we were planning to leave tomorrow anyways,” his companion said as she unlocked the door to their room.

Early on Ailbhe had given up on sleeping in the same room as the healer. More recently they’d given up on getting her a room at all-it was rarely used, and when it was, it was only for sex.

“Tell me again how you can sleep in the same bed as me and not lose you’re paladin status,” Iain said as Ailbhe flopped onto the bed.

“Because,” she said as she burrowed under the covers, “I have no intention of having sex with you. Remember, it’s all about intentions.”

“Right, intentions,” he said, slipping beside her. They fell asleep to the sound of drunken singing.

The next morning they found Ciardhe sleeping under a table. Apparently she hadn’t even gotten up to the room of whoever she’d been with. Oddly enough there was a cricket on her nose.

“Hey,” Iain nudged her with a toe. “Time to get up.”

The healer twitched and mumbled incomprehensibly.

“You’ve got a cricket on your face,” Ailbhe said without looking up from the bowl of porage the innkeeper had given her.

Ciardhe sat up with a shriek and whacked her head on the underside of the table.

“Good morning,” Iain said from his own bowl of breakfast.

“Is it gone? Is it gone?!” Ciardhe asked, smacking herself in the face repeatedly.

Ailbhe glanced over. “Nope, in your hair now.”

The Healer shrieked again and started clawing at her scalp.

Iain glanced from the paladin to the cricket mad healer. “It’s gone now,” he said. “You can stop.”

“Is it really?” she asked, tears in her eyes.

“Yes, now come up here and drink some water so we don’t have to hear about your hangover all day,” the paladin said.

After paying Ciardhe’s rather hefty tab they headed out. Iain and Ailbhe each rode horses. Ciardhe rode a donkey. The going was slow as the healer moaned about her aching head if they went too quickly. She also needed frequent pit stops to pee. “Better hurry up,” Ailbhe yelled to her on the seventeenth stop. “I think I just saw a cricket go in after you.”

Beside her Iain rolled his eyes.

“You did not,” the healer yelled back. “You’re just trying to scare me.”

“No, I really did,” the paladin called. “But there are some cricket repelling herbs out here you could use to keep it away.”

A hand appeared from the underbrush and groped along the ground.

“A little to the left, a little more, there, that’s it.” Ailbhe grinned as the healer’s hand closed over the tri-leaved plant.

“What do I do with it?” Cirdhe asked.

“Just rub it all over yourself, but not here. Move farther away so we don’t see you when you take you clothing off to rub there too.”

Iain waited until the rustling in the underbrush had moved farther away then turned to Ailbhe. “That was poison ivy.”

“Yup,” she said.

“How are you still a paladin? I mean I’m not saying she didn’t deserve it, but still, you just told her to rub poison ivy all over herself. How can you still call yourself a paladin?”

“I occasionally give to orphans,” she said.

“Poison ivy.”

“I help support an orphanage.”

“You told her to take her clothes off.”

“I run a charitable organization for orphans.”

“Poison. Ivy.”

“It’ll be fine.”

“Whatever.”

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