It was the last day of the Spring Festival in New Theos. People from all across Valingard came to the capitol to celebrate, peddle their wares, and find healing. Following the day’s festivities, strangers and friends alike sought rest in the many inns of New Theos.
At the Inn of Good Hope, Helja, the dwarven cleric of Moradin, sat alone. Across the room, several gruff looking men gave her darting glances of disgust and whispered among themselves. Dwarves, like any other non-humans, were looked down upon by the majority of humans in the major cities. Maratis, the barmaid, rolled her eyes in annoyance and made her way to Helja’s table.
“Just a pint of house ale, please,” said Helja, tossing the 10 copper onto Maratis’ tray. Without a word, Maratis retrieved the ale.
Before Helja could enjoy the first sip, the ruffians across the room made their way to her table. The largest stood taller than his peers on either side. The one to his right sat down at the circle table, next to Helja. “You know you are not welcome here. I suggest you leave before my friend here has to prove the point.”
“I seek no quarrel with your friend,” Helja replied calmly, “Or any of you for that matter. I simply wish to drink in peace. But, Moradin help me, I will defend my right to do so.”
The men exchanged grins, and the instigator reached for Helja’s drink. She quickly raised her fist and, with a solid blow, smashed his hand on the table. The satisfying crunching of bones told her she broke at least two, maybe all of his fingers. Helja immediately spun up from her seat, grabbing her hammer that leaned on the wall behind her. The larger man drew the metal club from his hip while the others attempted to rush Helja.
Helja reached out to the one with a broken hand as he swung his fist down at her. A bright ray of white searing light burst forth, scorching the man’s face. His scream was short but loud enough to draw the attention of everyone in the room. As he fell dead, most of the other patrons rose to their feet to stop the aggressive dwarf.
A man at the bar hurled his clay mug at Helja, barely missing her head. He rose to his feet to engage the dwarf, but before he took his first step in her direction, he fell forward over the bar stool beside him, unconscious. The massive man behind him, one arm outstretched having knocked the man out, finished his ale with the other hand.