Several nobles paced the room as Inara and the “urchins” rolled their spottle dice in flies. She figured these were the sponsors of the other teams. Inara had heard that the Governor had sponsored Lazlo’s team before but this year he obviously hadn’t. She wondered why.
Morn gave his dice to the Spottle Master, a gnome whose moustache hid nearly his entire face, except for a pair of glass pieces covering his eyes. The dice were then fed to the Spottle Frog and the gnome commenced the game. With ale in their bellies, the party won many rounds but no matter how well they did, Lazlo’s team always seemed to come out on top.
“I smell a rat,” said Ariea,”No, not you Squeaks.” She patted her travel bag where her trusty friend lay in wait.
“Oh, you know what rat smells like, then? I would suppose so, since you most likely eat so much of it.” It was Lazlo, who had finished his rounds and came to stand near their table. While he insulted the group, he placed a smooth glove on Morn’s shoulder. Morn flinched at the delicate nature of the man’s hand and moved to brush the gloved hand away, but Lazlo kept it there.
“Yes, we do. And the stench just got very very strong for some reason,” smirked Madeline. She waved a hand in front of her nose. Lazlo’s smile disappeared.
“It smells most strongly over here Madeline,” said Morn standing up and as he did so Lazlo’s hand rose well above his head making him look awkward. Lazlo moved his hand back down off Morn’s shoulder and back to the hilt of his rapier. “In fact, I think it’s coming from this direction.” And he jerked a thumb at Lazlo, who became unamused quickly.
Lazlo fumed and took off one of his gloves and went to strike the cleric with it, but just then Andril motioned with a bit of magic and it struck his green friend in the face.
“We have a short minute in between pubs here my friends. Why don’t you come with us outside and my colleagues and I can show you where you will find your last affordable meal of rat before being Inquistioned?” He and his moustached friends put their hands on their rapier hilts as one.
“After you,” said Andril preparing his spell components under the table. He and the others quickly rose and followed nonchalantly out of the inn to the back where Lazlo and his flock had gone. They were only too aware that if they could eliminate this team from contention, they’d have a much better chance of winning the tournament.
Walking outside, Inara shook her finger at Morn. “What?” He said, “He started it you know!”
Inara just smiled at the cleric, and skipped outside behind the others. This she thought will make a great ballad someday!
“Your team name is The Moustachteers, really?” Laughed Andril. “I mean, really?”
The moustachteers, as Lazlo referred to his “colleagues” began to loosen their gloves and one actually helped another with his hat. “Oh to Ket with this lot, get them!” Yelled Madeline! And she began a spell!
The battle began swiftly there on the back deck of the pub. The moustachteers formed a line just as a halfling carrying a crate of something ran into the alley. Lazlo motioned for them to advance. They pulled forth their rapiers simultaneously!
But they didn’t get far. Inara sung a mighty song whose divine energy knocked several of the men off their feet and against the wall! Andril called up a cold draft of wind. It worked and wound itself around several of the “moustachteers” and they fell to the deck asleep! “You know, Mr. Burgundy,” whispered Madeline, whose eyes began to glow deep red, “No one with your sense of style should be without a sense of humor.” She pointed her finger at him and her eyes grew even brighter!
Lazlo dropped instantly to the deck and began to laugh hysterically. “I’m wearing crimson underwear as well!” He howled.
“Who wears matching underwear?” sighed Morn, who struck out at one of Lazlo’s men.
Thrak struck the same man down, but used the back of his weapon so as not to kill him. “You don’t wear matching underwear, Celn? And I thought I was uncivilized.” He pretended to make a human pouty face which looked even funnier than he intended. Quickly, the tide has turned, and the urchins had tied up their opponents, who were injured but not killed.
Together, they searched the bodies of the unconscious foes. They took a few gold they fond and one of Lazlo’s men was brought to the back alley and hidden behind a barrel so that this team would be late to their next pub. “We held our ale, now hold your time,” whispered Areia, giggling as she covered the man with straw.
“We better start getting ready here,” said Morn, “Unfortunately, The Moustachteers won’t be making the next bar!” He sighed and stuck out his lip in a pouty face. This time it was Thrak who chuckled. He was busy taking something from Lazlo’s hand, and putting it in his sack.
Inara apologized profusely to Areia. Her tune had knocked Areia against a post during the battle. This sometimes seemed to happen to her! “Really, I get a bit carried away sometimes, “she smiled.
“Quite ok,” Areia said, “Besides, thanks to you the battle was a breeze.”
“Hey, nice pun,” said the bard rifling through the green moustachteers’ pocket. “Fellows, I’ve found something here,” said Inara. She pulled a small note out of the locket around his neck. “Blithering blink dogs, it looks like Lazlo here was on the pay to bring us out here! Looks like the tide has turned there Mr. Burgundy!” They all looked down at Lazlo still giggling to himself softly through the wad of cloth they stuck in his mouth.
“And my fellow urchins, it looks like Lazlo was going to be paid for setting us up! And I know where the drop off is!”