What Goes Down, Must Come Up

         

          By the time we left the Cloud Skimmer Tavern, I could barely walk in a straight line. I had failed to get the answers Peyton Unty was going to provide, about our quest, but I achieved a level of drunkenness that will not be forgotten anytime soon. Going into a tavern with Peyton never ended well for me, but I once heard a Norn Necromancer say, “It is not always about the destination, it is about the journey.” The journey was fun, but the destination for me, usually involved a rapid deterioration of my coordination, and Peyton laughing at my inadequate ability to “hold my ale.” She always seemed refreshed and ready for anything, as if she had not touched a single drop of alcohol. Well, at this precise moment, I did not like Peyton very much. “Alright lightweight, let’s go find the rest of the group,” she said smiling. “I’m sure my father will be sending a search party for us at any moment now.” I clumsily hung my bow, grabbed my quiver of arrows, and walked with her out of the tavern.

          Lion’s Arch was far noisier than I remembered it been before I tried, and miserably failed, to outdrink Peyton. The sun was blinding, people were yelling instead of conversing, my mood was fouling, my innards were churning, the world was spinning, and my head was pounding. “I am never drinking again!” I muttered, which caused Peyton to laugh. “Sure you will, Ure.” She said, “It does wonders for your personality.” I thought of something to reply, but thought against remembering what she had done to the drunken Norn earlier. Instead, I murmured something under my breath, which caused her to laugh again.

          As we turned a corner to head towards the Trader’s Forum, we stopped walking as three Norn warriors blocking the ramp came into view. I immediately recognized them as the drunken Norn and his two friends, from a few hours ago. Drunkenly, I turned my head and angrily stared at Peyton. She chuckled, looked back at me and said, “This day just keeps getting better! It is like Wintersday, but much more fun.” As she finished her sentence, one of the Norn said, “Hey little one, our friend wants to apologize for his temper earlier.” Peyton used her sweetest tone of voice and replied, “No worries, it was good exercise for me.” One of the Guardians laughed nervously before he saw the other two staring at him. As we continued walking past the group Peyton added, “Safe travels to you, friends.” I really was not feeling well, so I remained silent, but I didn’t think these Norn really waited a few hours just to apologize to a human female.

          Just as we passed them, a blade unsheathed, and as I tried to roll forward to nock an arrow, all I managed to do was to fall flat on my face. I quickly stood up, turned too fast for my brain’s ability to keep up, and the nearest Norn was the unlucky recipient of my stomach contents. After that, everything began to happen in rapid succession. Before he could recover from his repulsion, Peyton kicked him hard on the chest, and off the ramp. A group of Lionguards saw the screaming Norn fall from the high ramp above into the water, and began running in our direction. The two remaining Norn saw the Lionsguards, looked at each other, then at Peyton who was wearing a grin from ear to ear. “That is a very odd way of apologizing,” she said, “do you boys want to try that again?” Their faces were red with barely contained fury, and as they turned to leave the drunken Norn yelled, “This is not over little girl!” Peyton laughed as they walked away, and then proceeded to turn around to help me stand up straight. “Well done Ure, another battle won thanks to your quick thinking!” she laughed. “Damn your eyes Peyton…” I muttered, “we have to leave before those guards get here.” and with that, we blended with the patrons of the tavern that had come outside to see the source of the commotion.

~Urebril Sener

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