“Gotta say, I’m a little weary with them just leavin’ a bandit here with me and my wife…” Oleg spoke the words with his eyes only directly above his wooden bowl brought to his lips.
Jim finished slurping back the remaining contents of his bowl and set it down on the picnic table. “Well, I caught you the rabbit for this stew right? Doesn’t that earn me anything?” Jim’s retort, obviously somewhat in jest.
Oleg’s response was gruff. “Yeah, it does,” Oleg gestured with his spoon to the bowl Jim set down. “It earned you that bowl of stew.”
“Well I suppose that’s something.”
“And it looks like you cleaned that bowl out. Better watch it, you’ll end up with a gut on ya after long you keep up like that.”
“I like to eat everything because I don’t DO dishes.”
Already on edge, Jim’s refusal to do chores hit a nerve. “Whattya mean you don’t DO dishes?”
Jim threw up his hands with a shrug and responded in a mocking sing songy tone. “Bandit.”
“Harumpf. Of course you wouldn’t do dishes.” Oleg continued to grumble as he picked up both bowls, got up from the table and took a few steps to drop the bowls in the washing bin. He got down on his knees to start some cleaning as Jim pulled a small dagger from his belt to pick his teeth. Both at in silence for a few moments, Jim staring up at the starry night sky. The light of the flames flickering over both. Eventually, Oleg broke the silence. “So…whattya think the chances are of those four taking down this Stag Lord?”
“‘Bout impossible.” Jim’s had practically started before Oleg’s question had finished. It required no thought on his part. “Chances are the Stag Lord will tear them apart. The four will show up, try and use my password and identity to get.” Jim’s eyes were still focused on the stars. His voice was monotone. His speech was automatic. “And they’ll get it, but Dovan’ll see right through ‘em. There’ll be a blood bath. I’m guessin they’ll kill all the bandits in the common room. But Dovan’ll get that Owlbear out of its cage and it’ll tear into one of ‘em real good before the drop it.”
“THE OWLBEAR!?” Oleg dropped the dish he had in hand and it clatter into washbox. “They’ve got an owlbear!?”
Jim continued on as though Oleg wasn’t even there. “Eventually, they’ll wake up the Stag Lord. He’ll stir to his feet, drunk as a halfing swimming in a keg, and start letting arrows fly. Even hammered as he is, he’ll chance the four around the base, popping out around corners and turning each of ‘em into pin cushions. They’ll never know what hit ‘em. He’ll prolly put their heads on pikes as a symbol to anyone else who wants to mess with ‘em.
Oleg’s eyes were wide, his mouth agap at the atrocity Jim described. “But…”
“Who knows though. They might get lucky. Well, I gotta get to bed.” Jim sheathed his dagger, and stood up from the table with vest, seemingly snapped out of his grim trance. “Thank your wife for the stew. It was delicious.”