The Path of Kings

Stop me if you've heard this one before

A: “… until an elf, a dwarf, a gnome, a hobbit, a half-orc and a human teleported into the tent.”
B: “Is this a joke?”
A: “Maybe. If it weren’t for the human involved.”
B: “Ah, so a game of spot the odd one out then?”
A: “If that’s the case, where would that leave me as half-elf?”
B: “Beats me, didn’t you join their freak show?”
A: “Politics make strange bedfellows.”
B: “Well, as long as you’re not planning on bedding the Elf; he’s wearing fancier dress than most ladies here!”
A: “Crass, but I appreciate your candor.”
B: “You’re welcome, lad. So what’s the deal with that circus anyway?”
A: “That coin still hasn’t tilted. Either they’re the biggest bunch of fools to be prancing around here, or they might actually be the game-changer we’ve been waiting for.”
B: “I thought you avoided the company of fools?”
A: “Andoletta be good, aye. But as I said: it’s still undecided.”
B: “Sounds like you already made an assessment. Gimme some pro’s and con’s.”
A: “At least one of them knows what he’s doing. They have made contacts with several of the houses here and carry the favour of the Sword Lords. Besides, they actually managed to carve out a piece of the Stolen Lands, as complete outsiders, and throw back the Wolf Lord. That shows talent and organisation… “
B: “This is the point where you continue with either a ‘so’ or a ‘but’?”
A: “… but they seem to have no clue how this game is actually played. They want to get accepted as nobility, but show up on the most important aristocratic event of the decade without proper clothes and gear. They hadn’t even thought about designing any heraldry!”
B: “Yeah, that should’ve been a no-brainer. Anything else?”
A: “They might have had a chance of manoeuvring around smoothly, if it hadn’t been for the hobbit. Somehow, he managed luring all the hair-footed small-folk in the neighborhood to their tent. The guy might as well have started a revolution with his bar talks. So much for subtlety.”
B: “… so it is a joke after all!”
A: “Let’s be patient. I have waited a decade for this. And despite any misgivings I retain, they still are our best shot.”
B: “Well, I’d say tread softly and carry a big stick around. But you’ve got that already covered.”
A: “On that note, I shouldn’t tarry around any longer. That muppet Drelev will be expecting them soon.”
B: “On your way then, lad. Andoletta watch over ya.”
A: “And over you. Thanks for the talk.”
B: “No worries, we bastards have to look after one another. By the by, you really couldn’t come up with anything more original than ‘Aspar’?”
A: “Odd enough to be noticed, short enough to be forgotten.”
B: “You always were the clever one. Stay alert though.”
A: “There’s a reason why I’m still around after all these years. You’ll be hearing from me.”
B: “Well, as long as they don’t see y’…” – “Ha! Great party trick, appearing and disappearing like that. I can’t wait for the next session.”


Not a friggin’ hobbit!


There, there. It’s okay. You can’t help being born a hobbit.


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